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Sample records for play diverse functional

  1. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal lagoons: Does microbial diversity play any role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Pusceddu, Antonio

    2007-10-01

    Although prokaryotes are small in size, they are a significant biomass component in aquatic ecosystems and play a major role in biogeochemical processes. It is generally assumed that the relative importance of prokaryotes to material and energy fluxes is maximized in low-productivity (oligotrophic) ecosystems and decreases in high-productivity (eutrophic) ecosystems. Lagoon and coastal ecosystems are extremely dynamic, typically highly productive and dominated by macro-size organisms (both macrofauna and macrophytes). As such, their functional characteristics are typically evaluated from a "macrobial" perspective. An efficient ecosystem functioning, with fast nutrient cycling, high productivity, low C accumulation and lack of hypoxic/dystrophic crises is, however, intimately dependent on the interaction between microbial and macrobial organisms. We make here an attempt to relate prokaryote biodiversity (genotype richness, using fingerprinting techniques, ARISA) and ecosystem functioning (using a series of parameters including meiofaunal biomass, prokaryote C production and organic matter turnover rates) in different Mediterranean lagoon systems. The lagoons differed significantly with each other for all the variables. While no relationships were observed between the environmental characteristics of the lagoons and the bacterial diversity, the latter was significantly and positively correlated with the functioning and efficiency of the lagoons. The investigation of the links between microbial diversity and functioning in lagoons is still at its infancy, but these preliminary results suggest that a better understanding of the role of prokaryote diversity on ecosystem functioning and efficiency could open new perspectives for the conservation and management of these highly productive and vulnerable ecosystems.

  2. Executive Functions Development and Playing Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Ana Lucia; de Souza, Maria Thereza C. Coelho

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to discuss executive functions and playing games, considering Piaget's work (1967) and the neuropsychological framework (Barkley, 1997, 2000; Cypel, 2007). Two questions guide the discussion: What are the intersections between playing games and the development of executive functions? Can we stimulate children with learning…

  3. Functional diversity of laminins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domogatskaya, Anna; Rodin, Sergey; Tryggvason, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Laminins are a large family of conserved, multidomain trimeric basement membrane proteins that contribute to the structure of extracellular matrix and influence the behavior of associated cells, such as adhesion, differentiation, migration, phenotype stability, and resistance to anoikis. In lower organisms such as Hydra there is only one isoform of laminin, but higher organisms have at least 16 trimeric isoforms with varying degrees of cell/tissue specificity. In vitro protein and cell culture studies, gene manipulation in animals, and laminin gene mutations in human diseases have provided insight into the specific functions of some laminins, but the biological roles of many isoforms are still largely unexplored, mainly owing to difficulties in isolating them in pure form from tissues or cells. In this review, we elucidate the evolution of laminins, describe their molecular complexity, and explore the current knowledge of their diversity and functional aspects, including laminin-mediated signaling via membrane receptors, in vitro cell biology, and involvement in various tissues gained from animal model and human disease studies. The potential use of laminins in cell biology research and biotechnology is discussed.

  4. Functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly affects community aboveground biomass in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qing; Buyantuev, Alexander; Li, Frank Yonghong; Jiang, Lin; Niu, Jianming; Ding, Yong; Kang, Sarula; Ma, Wenjing

    2017-03-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and productivity has been a hot topic in ecology. However, the relative importance of taxonomic diversity and functional characteristics (including functional dominance and functional diversity) in maintaining community productivity and the underlying mechanisms (including selection and complementarity effects) of the relationship between diversity and community productivity have been widely controversial. In this study, 194 sites were surveyed in five grassland types along a precipitation gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland of China. The relationships between taxonomic diversity (species richness and the Shannon-Weaver index), functional dominance (the community-weighted mean of four plant traits), functional diversity (Rao's quadratic entropy), and community aboveground biomass were analyzed. The results showed that (1) taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass all increased from low to high precipitation grassland types; (2) there were significant positive linear relationships between taxonomic diversity, functional dominance, functional diversity, and community aboveground biomass; (3) the effect of functional characteristics on community aboveground biomass is greater than that of taxonomic diversity; and (4) community aboveground biomass depends on the community-weighted mean plant height, which explained 57.1% of the variation in the community aboveground biomass. Our results suggested that functional dominance rather than taxonomic diversity and functional diversity mainly determines community productivity and that the selection effect plays a dominant role in maintaining the relationship between biodiversity and community productivity in the Inner Mongolia grassland.

  5. Extinction and the loss of functional diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Petchey, O.L.; Gaston, K. J.

    2002-01-01

    Although it is widely thought to influence ecosystem processes, there is little consensus on an appropriate measure of functional diversity. The two major perspectives, to date, are to assume that every species is functionally unique, or to assume that some species are functionally identical, such that functional groups exist. Using a continuous measure of functional diversity (FD) derived from the quantitative functional traits of species, we show that the loss of functional diversity from s...

  6. A partial ordering approach for functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricotta, Carlo; Szeidl, Laszlo; Moretti, Marco; Blasi, Carlo

    2011-09-01

    Functional diversity is generally regarded as the constituent of biological diversity that considers how the species functional traits affect ecosystem processes. Due to its ecological relevance, a number of indices of functional diversity have been proposed to date based on distinct objectives and motivations. Such proliferation of indices can be at least partially overcome by a more fundamental mathematical approach. In this paper we propose an intrinsic ordering approach for abundance-weighted measures of functional diversity that is similar to the Lorenz curves used by ecologists for ordering evenness measures. We then discuss the relevance of a number of functional diversity indices that have a behavior compatible with the proposed partial ordering.

  7. Relationships between symbolic play, functional play, verbal and non-verbal ability in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, V; Boucher, J; Lupton, L; Watson, S

    2000-01-01

    It is well established that certain aspects of play in young children are related to their emerging linguistic skills. The present study examined the relationships between functional play, symbolic play, non-verbal ability, and expressive and receptive language in normally developing children aged between 1 and 6 years using standardized assessment procedures, including a recently developed Test of Pretend Play (ToPP). When effects of chronological age were partialled out, symbolic play remained significantly correlated with both expressive and receptive language, but not with functional play or non-verbal ability; and functional play was only correlated significantly with expressive language. It is concluded that ToPP will provide practitioners with a useful way of assessing symbolic ability in children between the ages of 1 and 6 years, and will contribute to the assessment and diagnosis of a number of communication difficulties, and have implications for intervention.

  8. Preschoolers' Free Play--Connections with Emotional and Social Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veiga, Guida; Neto, Carlos; Rieffe, Carolien

    2016-01-01

    Play has an important role in various aspects of children's development. However, time for free play has declined substantially over the last decades. To date, few studies have focused on the relationship between opportunities for free play and children's social functioning. The aims of this study are to examine whether children´s free play is…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Hu

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Preschoolers’ free play - connections with emotional and social functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guida Veiga

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Play has an important role in various aspects of children’s development. However, time for free play has declined substantially over the last decades. To date, few studies have focused on the relationship between opportunities for free play and children’s social functioning. The aims of this study are to examine whether children´s free play is related to their social functioning and whether this relationship is mediated by children´s emotional functioning. Seventy-eight children (age, 55- 77 months were tested on their theory of mind and emotion understanding. Parents reported on their children’s time for free play, empathic abilities, social competence and externalizing behaviors. The main findings showed that free play and children’s theory of mind are negatively related to externalizing behaviors. Empathy was strongly related to children’s social competence, but free play and social competence were not associated. Less time for free play is related to more disruptive behaviors in preschool children, however certain emotional functioning skills influence these behaviors independently of the time children have for free play. These outcomes suggest that free play might help to prevent the development of disruptive behaviors, but future studies should further examine the causality of this relationship.

  12. Functional diversity changes during tropical forest succession.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Poorter, L.; Paz, H.; Breugel, van M.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Bongers, F.

    2012-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) ‘those components of biodiversity that influence how an ecosystem operates or functions’ is a promising tool to assess the effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning. FD has received ample theoretical attention, but empirical studies are limited. We evaluate chang

  13. The calpains: modular designs and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croall, Dorothy E; Ersfeld, Klaus

    2007-01-01

    The calpain family is named for the calcium dependence of the papain-like, thiol protease activity of the well-studied ubiquitous vertebrate enzymes calpain-1 (mu-calpain) and calpain-2 (m-calpain). Proteins showing sequence relatedness to the catalytic core domains of these enzymes are included in this ancient and diverse eukaryotic protein family. Calpains are examples of highly modular organization, with several varieties of amino-terminal or carboxy-terminal modules flanking a conserved core. Acquisition of the penta-EF-hand module involved in calcium binding (and the formation of heterodimers for some calpains) seems to be a relatively late event in calpain evolution. Several alternative mechanisms for binding calcium and associating with membranes/phospholipids are found throughout the family. The gene family is expanded in mammals, trypanosomes and ciliates, with up to 26 members in Tetrahymena, for example; in striking contrast to this, only a single calpain gene is present in many other protozoa and in plants. The many isoforms of calpain and their multiple splice variants complicate the discussion and analysis of the family, and challenge researchers to ascertain the relationships between calpain gene sequences, protein isoforms and their distinct or overlapping functions. In mammals and plants it is clear that a calpain plays an essential role in development. There is increasing evidence that ubiquitous calpains participate in a variety of signal transduction pathways and function in important cellular processes of life and death. In contrast to relatively promiscuous degradative proteases, calpains cleave only a restricted set of protein substrates and use complex substrate-recognition mechanisms, involving primary and secondary structural features of target proteins. The detailed physiological significance of both proteolytically active calpains and those lacking key catalytic residues requires further study.

  14. HEME OXYGENASE: ENZYME WITH FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shekhawat G. S.

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available In recent years role of Heme oxygenase (HO has been considered in nearly all living system including plants, animals and other organisms. The common role of heme oxygenase is the degradation of heme, although there is a diversity of additional role of HO in organisms including iron acquisition, cellular signaling, defense against stress and biosynthesis during metabolism. Likewise, the function of HO is to provide cofactors for the photosynthetic apparatus in cyanobacteria. Heme concentration is variable in different plant species and found maximum in leguminous plant root nodules. Moreover HO has diverse isoforms in plant and animal systems. The review addressed important function of HO and focused on its functional diversity.

  15. Extracellular matrix molecules play diverse roles in the growth and guidance of central nervous system axons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.A. Pires-Neto

    1999-05-01

    Full Text Available Axon growth and guidance represent complex biological processes in which probably intervene diverse sets of molecular cues that allow for the appropriate wiring of the central nervous system (CNS. The extracellular matrix (ECM represents a major contributor of molecular signals either diffusible or membrane-bound that may regulate different stages of neural development. Some of the brain ECM molecules form tridimensional structures (tunnels and boundaries that appear during time- and space-regulated events, possibly playing relevant roles in the control of axon elongation and pathfinding. This short review focuses mainly on the recognized roles played by proteoglycans, laminin, fibronectin and tenascin in axonal development during ontogenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakeman, Robin J; Stockan, Jenni A

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Functional diversity within the Penicillium roqueforti species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillot, Guillaume; Jany, Jean-Luc; Poirier, Elisabeth; Maillard, Marie-Bernadette; Debaets, Stella; Thierry, Anne; Coton, Emmanuel; Coton, Monika

    2017-01-16

    Penicillium roqueforti is used as a ripening culture for blue cheeses and largely contributes to their organoleptic quality and typical characteristics. Different types of blue cheeses are manufactured and consumed worldwide and have distinct aspects, textures, flavors and colors. These features are well accepted to be due to the different manufacturing methods but also to the specific P. roqueforti strains used. Indeed, inoculated P. roqueforti strains, via their proteolytic and lipolytic activities, have an effect on both blue cheese texture and flavor. In particular, P. roqueforti produces a wide range of flavor compounds and variations in their proportions influence the flavor profiles of this type of cheese. Moreover, P. roqueforti is also characterized by substantial morphological and genetic diversity thus raising the question about the functional diversity of this species. In this context, 55 representative strains were screened for key metabolic properties including proteolytic activity (by determining free NH2 amino groups) and secondary metabolite production (aroma compounds using HS-Trap GC-MS and mycotoxins via LC-MS/Q-TOF). Mini model cheeses were used for aroma production and proteolysis analyses, whereas Yeast Extract Sucrose (YES) agar medium was used for mycotoxin production. Overall, this study highlighted high functional diversity among isolates. Noteworthy, when only P. roqueforti strains isolated from Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) blue cheeses were considered, a clear relationship between genetic diversity, population structure and the assessed functional traits was shown.

  18. Does the Cave Environment Reduce Functional Diversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Camile Sorbo; Batalha, Marco Antonio; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2016-01-01

    Caves are not colonised by all taxa present in the surface species pool, due to absence of light and the tendency to food limitation when compared to surface communities. Under strong species sorting during colonisation and later by the restrictive environmental filter, traits that are not adaptive in subterranean habitats may be filtered out. We tested whether cave communities were assembled by the restrictive regime propitiated by permanent darkness or by competitive exclusion due to resource scarcity. When compared to surface communities, the restrictive subterranean regime would lead to lower functional diversity and phenotypic clustering inside the caves, and the opposite should be expected in the case of competitive exclusion. Using isopods (Oniscidea) as model taxa, we measured several niche descriptors of taxa from surface and cave habitats, used a multivariate measure of functional diversity, and compared their widths. We found phenotypic overdispersion and higher functional diversity in cave taxa when compared to surface taxa. On the one hand, the dry climate outside of caves hampered the survival of several taxa and their ecological strategies, not viable under severe desiccation risk, culminating in the clustering of functional traits. In contrast, this restriction does not occur inside of caves, where isopods find favourable conditions under lower predation pressures and more amenable environmental parameters that allow occupation and subsequent diversification. Our results showed that, at least for some taxa, caves may not be such a harsh environment as previously thought. The high functional diversity we found inside caves adds an additional reason for the conservation of these sensitive environments.

  19. Intensity of guitar playing as a function of auditory feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C I; Pick, H L; Garber, S R; Siegel, G M

    1978-06-01

    Subjects played an electric guitar while auditory feedback was attenuated or amplified at seven sidetone levels varying 10-dB steps around a comfortable listening level. The sidetone signal was presented in quiet (experiment I) and several levels of white noise (experiment II). Subjects compensated for feedback changes, demonstrating a sidetone amplification as well as a Lombard effect. The similarity of these results to those found previously for speech suggests that guitar playing can be a useful analog for the function of auditory feedback in speech production. Unlike previous findings for speech, the sidetone-amplification effect was not potentiated by masking, consistent with a hypothesis that potentiation in speech is attributable to interference with bone conduction caused by the masking noise.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  1. Does Notch play a tumor suppressor role across diverse squamous cell carcinomas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Min; Biswas, Sangita; Qin, Xin; Gong, Wenrong; Deng, Wenbing; Yu, Hongjun

    2016-08-01

    The role of Notch pathway in tumorigenesis is highly variable. It can be tumor suppressive or pro-oncogenic, typically depending on the cellular context. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a cancer of the squamous cell, which can occur in diverse human tissues. SCCs are one of the most frequent human malignancies for which the pathologic mechanisms remain elusive. Recent genomic analysis of diverse SCCs identified marked levels of mutations in NOTCH1, implicating Notch signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of SCCs. In this review, evidences highlighting NOTCH's role in different types of SCCs are summarized. Moreover, based on accumulating structural information of the NOTCH receptor, the functional consequences of NOTCH1 gene mutations identified from diverse SCCs are analyzed, emphasizing loss of function of Notch in these cancers. Finally, we discuss the convergent view on an intriguing possibility that Notch may function as tumor suppressor in SCCs across different tissues. These mechanistic insights into Notch signaling pathways will help to guide the research of SCCs and development of therapeutic strategies for these cancers.

  2. ING function in apoptosis in diverse model systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Sitar; Smith, Heather; Feng, Xiaolan; Rancourt, Derrick E; Riabowol, Karl

    2009-02-01

    Genetic studies in model organisms have shown that programmed cell death (apoptosis) plays a significant role during development, where a deficiency in apoptosis results in severe and diverse diseases. Dysregulation of apoptosis also contributes to a variety of human diseases, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. ING family proteins (ING1-ING5) are involved in many cellular processes, and appear to play a significant role in apoptosis. Loss or downregulation of ING protein function is frequently observed in different tumour types, many of which are resistant to apoptosis, thus warranting their classification as type II tumour suppressors. Several different in vitro and in vivo models have explored the role of ING proteins in regulating apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the progress that has been made in understanding ING protein function in apoptosis using in vitro studies and Mus musculus, Xenopus laevis, and Caenorhabditis elegans experimental models, with an emphasis on ING1 and ING3.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Functional anatomy of the soft palate applied to wind playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alison; Ackermann, Bronwen; Driscoll, Tim

    2010-12-01

    Wind players must be able to sustain high intraoral pressures in order to play their instruments. Prolonged exposure to these high pressures may lead to the performance-related disorder velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). This disorder occurs when the soft palate fails to completely close the air passage between the oral and nasal cavities in the upper respiratory cavity during blowing tasks, this closure being necessary for optimum performance on a wind instrument. VPI is potentially career threatening. Improving music teachers' and students' knowledge of the mechanism of velopharyngeal closure may assist in avoiding potentially catastrophic performance-related disorders arising from dysfunction of the soft palate. In the functional anatomy of the soft palate as applied to wind playing, seven muscles of the soft palate involved in the velopharyngeal closure mechanism are reviewed. These are the tensor veli palatini, levator veli palatini, palatopharyngeus, palatoglossus, musculus uvulae, superior pharyngeal constrictor, and salpingopharyngeus. These muscles contribute to either a palatal or a pharyngeal component of velopharyngeal closure. This information should guide further research into targeted methods of assessment, management, and treatment of VPI in wind musicians.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Teaching engineering ethics using role-playing in a culturally diverse student group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prince, Robert H

    2006-04-01

    The use of role-playing ("active learning") as a teaching tool has been reported in areas as diverse as social psychology, history and analytical chemistry. Its use as a tool in the teaching of engineering ethics and professionalism is also not new, but the approach develops new perspectives when used in a college class of exceptionally wide cultural diversity. York University is a large urban university (40,000 undergraduates) that draws its enrolment primarily from the Greater Toronto Area, arguably one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, embracing the largest percentage of Canada's immigration. Among the area's five million inhabitants, 50% identify themselves as a visible minority born outside Canada, while over 100 languages and dialects are spoken daily. Although students admitted from this international pool have usually been exposed to western attitudes during secondary education and are rapidly assimilated into Canadian culture, responses to specific ethical issues are strongly influenced by their prior culture. Two and three-part scripts for case studies based on NSF or original scenarios were written to illustrate issues such as gifts, attitudes towards women and ethnic minorities, conflict of interest, whistle-blowing, sexual harassment, individual rights, privacy, environment, intellectual property, and others. Following the presentation, the actors lead group discussion based on previously specified questions. Once the initial shyness and reluctance of some cultures has been overcome through the building of rapport, students have written original scripts based on hypothetical or prior personal situations. The method is now being adopted in a short course format to assist the professional integration of foreign trained engineers.

  7. Functions for diverse metabolic activities in heterochromatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xue Bessie; Pillus, Lorraine

    2016-03-15

    Growing evidence demonstrates that metabolism and chromatin dynamics are not separate processes but that they functionally intersect in many ways. For example, the lysine biosynthetic enzyme homocitrate synthase was recently shown to have unexpected functions in DNA damage repair, raising the question of whether other amino acid metabolic enzymes participate in chromatin regulation. Using an in silico screen combined with reporter assays, we discovered that a diverse range of metabolic enzymes function in heterochromatin regulation. Extended analysis of the glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Gdh1) revealed that it regulates silent information regulator complex recruitment to telomeres and ribosomal DNA. Enhanced N-terminal histone H3 proteolysis is observed in GDH1 mutants, consistent with telomeric silencing defects. A conserved catalytic Asp residue is required for Gdh1's functions in telomeric silencing and H3 clipping. Genetic modulation of α-ketoglutarate levels demonstrates a key regulatory role for this metabolite in telomeric silencing. The metabolic activity of glutamate dehydrogenase thus has important and previously unsuspected roles in regulating chromatin-related processes.

  8. Acute Effects of Exercise, Physically Active Video Game Play, and Inactive Video Game Play on Executive Functioning Skills in Children

    OpenAIRE

    Flynn, Rachel Marie

    2013-01-01

    Interactive media plays a central role in children's lives, however limited research has examined the impact of interactive media on children's cognitive development. Past research has suggested that exercise and video game play can improve executive functioning (EF) skills in both the short and long term. EF is a cluster of higher order cognitive skills, including selective attention and inhibition, which work together to coordinate higher order functioning. Interventions that improve EF ...

  9. Does logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture alter functional diversity in a biodiversity hotspot?

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, F.A.; D. P. Edwards; Larsen, T H; Hsu, W W; Benedick, S; Chung, A.; Vun Khen, C; Wilcove, D S; Hamer, K C

    2013-01-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are rapidly being logged and converted to oil palm. These changes in land-use are known to affect species diversity but consequences for the functional diversity of species assemblages are poorly understood. Environmental filtering of species with similar traits could lead to disproportionate reductions in trait diversity in degraded habitats. Here, we focus on dung beetles, which play a key role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling and seed dispersal. W...

  10. Fungal endophytes: diversity and functional roles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, R.J.; White, J.F.; Arnold, A.E.; Redman, R.S.

    2009-01-01

    All plants in natural ecosystems appear to be symbiotic with fungal endophytes. This highly diverse group of fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities through increasing fitness by conferring abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, increasing biomass and decreasing water consumption, or decreasing fitness by altering resource allocation. Despite more than 100 yr of research resulting in thousands of journal articles, the ecological significance of these fungi remains poorly characterized. Historically, two endophytic groups (clavicipitaceous (C) and nonclavicipitaceous (NC)) have been discriminated based on phylogeny and life history traits. Here, we show that NC-endophytes represent three distinct functional groups based on host colonization and transmission, in planta biodiversity and fitness benefits conferred to hosts. Using this framework, we contrast the life histories, interactions with hosts and potential roles in plant ecophysiology of C- and NC-endophytes, and highlight several key questions for future work in endophyte biology.

  11. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  12. Soil eukaryotic functional diversity, a metatranscriptomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Julie; Fraissinet-Tachet, Laurence; Verner, Marie-Christine; Debaud, Jean-Claude; Lemaire, Marc; Wésolowski-Louvel, Micheline; Marmeisse, Roland

    2007-11-01

    To appreciate the functional diversity of communities of soil eukaryotic micro-organisms we evaluated an experimental approach based on the construction and screening of a cDNA library using polyadenylated mRNA extracted from a forest soil. Such a library contains genes that are expressed by each of the different organisms forming the community and represents its metatranscriptome. The diversity of the organisms that contributed to this library was evaluated by sequencing a portion of the 18S rDNA gene amplified from either soil DNA or reverse-transcribed RNA. More than 70% of the sequences were from fungi and unicellular eukaryotes (protists) while the other most represented group was the metazoa. Calculation of richness estimators suggested that more than 180 species could be present in the soil samples studied. Sequencing of 119 cDNA identified genes with no homologues in databases (32%) and genes coding proteins involved in different biochemical and cellular processes. Surprisingly, the taxonomic distribution of the cDNA and of the 18S rDNA genes did not coincide, with a marked under-representation of the protists among the cDNA. Specific genes from such an environmental cDNA library could be isolated by expression in a heterologous microbial host, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is illustrated by the functional complementation of a histidine auxotrophic yeast mutant by two cDNA originating possibly from an ascomycete and a basidiomycete fungal species. Study of the metatranscriptome has the potential to uncover adaptations of whole microbial communities to local environmental conditions. It also gives access to an abundant source of genes of biotechnological interest.

  13. Functional diversity of resilin in Arthropoda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Michels

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Resilin is an elastomeric protein typically occurring in exoskeletons of arthropods. It is composed of randomly orientated coiled polypeptide chains that are covalently cross-linked together at regular intervals by the two unusual amino acids dityrosine and trityrosine forming a stable network with a high degree of flexibility and mobility. As a result of its molecular prerequisites, resilin features exceptional rubber-like properties including a relatively low stiffness, a rather pronounced long-range deformability and a nearly perfect elastic recovery. Within the exoskeleton structures, resilin commonly forms composites together with other proteins and/or chitin fibres. In the last decades, numerous exoskeleton structures with large proportions of resilin and various resilin functions have been described. Today, resilin is known to be responsible for the generation of deformability and flexibility in membrane and joint systems, the storage of elastic energy in jumping and catapulting systems, the enhancement of adaptability to uneven surfaces in attachment and prey catching systems, the reduction of fatigue and damage in reproductive, folding and feeding systems and the sealing of wounds in a traumatic reproductive system. In addition, resilin is present in many compound eye lenses and is suggested to be a very suitable material for optical elements because of its transparency and amorphousness. The evolution of this remarkable functional diversity can be assumed to have only been possible because resilin exhibits a unique combination of different outstanding properties.

  14. Heterogeneity of vocal sac inflation patterns in Odorrana tormota plays a role in call diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang; Zhao, Juan; Chen, Pan; Chen, Zhuqing; Chen, Yuanyuan; Feng, Albert S

    2016-03-01

    Male concave-eared torrent frogs (Odorrana tormota) can emit at least eight distinct call-types. However, the mechanisms by which they are produced are not fully understood. Anatomical analysis revealed that the vocal sacs of male O. tormota comprise two physically distinct compartments (pars lateralis and pars ventralis), residing on two sides of the vocal slits. The goal of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the two compartments play a role in the production of the diverse call-types. For this, audio and video recordings of male vocalizations were made, and sounds were analyzed afterwards. Results showed that the vocal sac inflation pattern was heterogeneous, and the call duration was a major factor determining the differential inflation patterns. Short call-types (duration frequency (F0) of >5000 Hz involved inflation of pars lateralis only, whereas those with an F0 of 200 ms), e.g., shallow frequency modulation calls, staccato calls, and long calls, involved inflation of both compartments of the vocal sacs. These results give support to the working hypothesis.

  15. Drosophila Shep and C. elegans SUP-26 are RNA-binding proteins that play diverse roles in nervous system development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schachtner, Logan T; Sola, Ismail E; Forand, Daniel; Antonacci, Simona; Postovit, Adam J; Mortimer, Nathan T; Killian, Darrell J; Olesnicky, Eugenia C

    2015-11-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans gene sup-26 encodes a well-conserved RNA-recognition motif-containing RNA-binding protein (RBP) that functions in dendrite morphogenesis of the PVD sensory neuron. The Drosophila ortholog of sup-26, alan shepard (shep), is expressed throughout the nervous system and has been shown to regulate neuronal remodeling during metamorphosis. Here, we extend these studies to show that sup-26 and shep are required for the development of diverse cell types within the nematode and fly nervous systems during embryonic and larval stages. We ascribe roles for sup-26 in regulating dendrite number and the expression of genes involved in mechanosensation within the nematode peripheral nervous system. We also find that in Drosophila, shep regulates dendrite length and branch order of nociceptive neurons, regulates the organization of neuronal clusters of the peripheral nervous system and the organization of axons within the ventral nerve cord. Taken together, our results suggest that shep/sup-26 orthologs play diverse roles in neural development across animal species. Moreover, we discuss potential roles for shep/sup-26 orthologs in the human nervous system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lingjie Lei

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Low functional β-diversity despite high taxonomic β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Flores Hernandez, Domingo; Mouillot, David

    2012-01-01

    The concept of β-diversity, defined as dissimilarity among communities, has been widely used to investigate biodiversity patterns and community assembly rules. However, in ecosystems with high taxonomic β-diversity, due to marked environmental gradients, the level of functional β-diversity among communities is largely overlooked while it may reveal processes shaping community structure. Here, decomposing biodiversity indices into α (local) and γ (regional) components, we estimated taxonomic and functional β-diversity among tropical estuarine fish communities, through space and time. We found extremely low functional β-diversity values among fish communities (<1.5%) despite high dissimilarity in species composition and species dominance. Additionally, in contrast to the high α and γ taxonomic diversities, α and γ functional diversities were very close to the minimal value. These patterns were caused by two dominant functional groups which maintained a similar functional structure over space and time, despite the strong dissimilarity in taxonomic structure along environmental gradients. Our findings suggest that taxonomic and functional β-diversity deserve to be quantified simultaneously since these two facets can show contrasting patterns and the differences can in turn shed light on community assembly rules.

  18. Functional Diversity of Fibroblast Growth Factors in Bone Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichiro Takei

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The functional significance of fibroblast growth factor (FGF signaling in bone formation has been demonstrated through genetic loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches. FGFs, comprising 22 family members, are classified into three subfamilies: canonical, hormone-like, and intracellular. The former two subfamilies activate their signaling pathways through FGF receptors (FGFRs. Currently, intracellular FGFs appear to be primarily involved in the nervous system. Canonical FGFs such as FGF2 play significant roles in bone formation, and precise spatiotemporal control of FGFs and FGFRs at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels may allow for the functional diversity of FGFs during bone formation. Recently, several research groups, including ours, have shown that FGF23, a member of the hormone-like FGF subfamily, is primarily expressed in osteocytes/osteoblasts. This polypeptide decreases serum phosphate levels by inhibiting renal phosphate reabsorption and vitamin D3 activation, resulting in mineralization defects in the bone. Thus, FGFs are involved in the positive and negative regulation of bone formation. In this review, we focus on the reciprocal roles of FGFs in bone formation in relation to their local versus systemic effects.

  19. Inorganic pyrophosphatases: structural diversity serving the function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samygina, V. R.

    2016-05-01

    The review is devoted to ubiquitous enzymes, inorganic pyrophosphatases, which are essential in all living organisms. Despite the long history of investigations, these enzymes continue to attract interest. The review focuses on the three-dimensional structures of various representatives of this class of proteins. The structural diversity, the relationship between the structure and some properties of pyrophosphatases and various mechanisms of enzyme action related to the structural diversity of these enzymes are discussed. Interactions of pyrophosphatase with other proteins and possible practical applications are considered. The bibliography includes 56 references.

  20. Deconstructing the relationships between phylogenetic diversity and ecology: a case study on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, T Jonathan; Urban, Mark C; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Cadotte, Marc W; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have supported a link between phylogenetic diversity and various ecological properties including ecosystem function. However, such studies typically assume that phylogenetic branches of equivalent length are more or less interchangeable. Here we suggest that there is a need to consider not only branch lengths but also their placement on the phylogeny. We demonstrate how two common indices of network centrality can be used to describe the evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements (nodes and branches) on a phylogeny. If phylogenetic diversity enhances ecosystem function via complementarity and the representation of functional diversity, we would predict a correlation between evolutionary distinctiveness of network elements and their contribution to ecosystem process. In contrast, if one or a few evolutionary innovations play key roles in ecosystem function, the relationship between evolutionary distinctiveness and functional contribution may be weak or absent. We illustrate how network elements associated with high functional contribution can be identified from regressions between phylogenetic diversity and productivity using a well-known empirical data set on plant productivity from the Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research. We find no association between evolutionary distinctiveness and ecosystem functioning, but we are able to identify phylogenetic elements associated with species of known high functional contribution within the Fabaceae. Our perspective provides a useful guide in the search for ecological traits linking diversity and ecosystem function, and suggests a more nuanced consideration of phylogenetic diversity is required in the conservation and biodiversity-ecosystem-function literature.

  1. Microbial community diversity and composition varies with habitat characteristics and biofilm function in macrophyte-rich streams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levi, Peter S.; Starnawski, Piotr; Poulsen, Britta

    2017-01-01

    Biofilms in streams play an integral role in ecosystem processes and function yet few studies have investigated the broad diversity of these complex prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities. Physical habitat characteristics can affect the composition and abundance of microorganisms...

  2. Phylogenetic and functional diversity in large carnivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalerum, F

    2013-06-07

    Large terrestrial carnivores are important ecological components and prominent flagship species, but are often extinction prone owing to a combination of biological traits and high levels of human persecution. This study combines phylogenetic and functional diversity evaluations of global and continental large carnivore assemblages to provide a framework for conservation prioritization both between and within assemblages. Species-rich assemblages of large carnivores simultaneously had high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but species contributions to phylogenetic and functional diversity components were not positively correlated. The results further provide ecological justification for the largest carnivore species as a focus for conservation action, and suggests that range contraction is a likely cause of diminishing carnivore ecosystem function. This study highlights that preserving species-rich carnivore assemblages will capture both high phylogenetic and functional diversity, but that prioritizing species within assemblages will involve trade-offs between optimizing contemporary ecosystem function versus the evolutionary potential for future ecosystem performance.

  3. Tree aboveground carbon storage correlates with environmental gradients and functional diversity in a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yong; Yu, Shixiao; Lian, Juyu; Shen, Hao; Cao, Honglin; Lu, Huanping; Ye, Wanhui

    2016-06-09

    Tropical forests play a disproportionately important role in the global carbon (C) cycle, but it remains unclear how local environments and functional diversity regulate tree aboveground C storage. We examined how three components (environments, functional dominance and diversity) affected C storage in Dinghushan 20-ha plot in China. There was large fine-scale variation in C storage. The three components significantly contributed to regulate C storage, but dominance and diversity of traits were associated with C storage in different directions. Structural equation models (SEMs) of dominance and diversity explained 34% and 32% of variation in C storage. Environments explained 26-44% of variation in dominance and diversity. Similar proportions of variation in C storage were explained by dominance and diversity in regression models, they were improved after adding environments. Diversity of maximum diameter was the best predictor of C storage. Complementarity and selection effects contributed to C storage simultaneously, and had similar importance. The SEMs disengaged the complex relationships among the three components and C storage, and established a framework to show the direct and indirect effects (via dominance and diversity) of local environments on C storage. We concluded that local environments are important for regulating functional diversity and C storage.

  4. Functional diversity increases ecological stability in a grazed grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, Lauren M; Stein, Claudia; Suding, Katharine N

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the factors governing ecological stability in variable environments is a central focus of ecology. Functional diversity can stabilize ecosystem function over time if one group of species compensates for an environmentally driven decline in another. Although intuitively appealing, evidence for this pattern is mixed. We hypothesized that diverse functional responses to rainfall will increase the stability of vegetation cover and biomass across rainfall conditions, but that this effect depends on land-use legacies that maintain functional diversity. We experimentally manipulated grazing in a California grassland to create land-use legacies of low and moderate grazing, across which we implemented rainout shelters and irrigation to create dry and wet conditions over 3 years. We found that the stability of the vegetation cover was greatly elevated and the stability of the biomass was slightly elevated across rainfall conditions in areas with histories of moderate grazing. Initial functional diversity-both in the seed bank and aboveground-was also greater in areas that had been moderately grazed. Rainfall conditions in conjunction with this grazing legacy led to different functional diversity patterns over time. Wet conditions led to rapid declines in functional diversity and a convergence on resource-acquisitive traits. In contrast, consecutively dry conditions maintained but did not increase functional diversity over time. As a result, grazing practices and environmental conditions that decrease functional diversity may be associated with lasting effects on the response of ecosystem functions to drought. Our results demonstrate that theorized relationships between diversity and stability are applicable and important in the context of working grazed landscapes.

  5. Utilizing Natural Diversity to Evolve Protein Function: Applications Towards Thermostability

    OpenAIRE

    Cole, Megan F.; Gaucher, Eric A.

    2011-01-01

    Protein evolution relies on designing a library of sequences that capture meaningful functional diversity in a limited number of protein variants. Several approaches take advantage of the sequence space already explored through natural selection by incorporating sequence diversity available from modern genomes (and their ancestors) when designing these libraries. The success of these approaches is due, in part, to the fact that modern sequence diversity has already been subjected to evolution...

  6. Does logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture alter functional diversity in a biodiversity hotspot?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, F A; Edwards, D P; Larsen, T H; Hsu, W W; Benedick, S; Chung, A; Vun Khen, C; Wilcove, D S; Hamer, K C

    2014-01-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are rapidly being logged and converted to oil palm. These changes in land-use are known to affect species diversity but consequences for the functional diversity of species assemblages are poorly understood. Environmental filtering of species with similar traits could lead to disproportionate reductions in trait diversity in degraded habitats. Here, we focus on dung beetles, which play a key role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling and seed dispersal. We use morphological and behavioural traits to calculate a variety of functional diversity measures across a gradient of disturbance from primary forest through intensively logged forest to oil palm. Logging caused significant shifts in community composition but had very little effect on functional diversity, even after a repeated timber harvest. These data provide evidence for functional redundancy of dung beetles within primary forest and emphasize the high value of logged forests as refugia for biodiversity. In contrast, conversion of forest to oil palm greatly reduced taxonomic and functional diversity, with a marked decrease in the abundance of nocturnal foragers, a higher proportion of species with small body sizes and the complete loss of telecoprid species (dung-rollers), all indicating a decrease in the functional capacity of dung beetles within plantations. These changes also highlight the vulnerability of community functioning within logged forests in the event of further environmental degradation. PMID:25821399

  7. Does logging and forest conversion to oil palm agriculture alter functional diversity in a biodiversity hotspot?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, F A; Edwards, D P; Larsen, T H; Hsu, W W; Benedick, S; Chung, A; Vun Khen, C; Wilcove, D S; Hamer, K C

    2014-04-01

    Forests in Southeast Asia are rapidly being logged and converted to oil palm. These changes in land-use are known to affect species diversity but consequences for the functional diversity of species assemblages are poorly understood. Environmental filtering of species with similar traits could lead to disproportionate reductions in trait diversity in degraded habitats. Here, we focus on dung beetles, which play a key role in ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling and seed dispersal. We use morphological and behavioural traits to calculate a variety of functional diversity measures across a gradient of disturbance from primary forest through intensively logged forest to oil palm. Logging caused significant shifts in community composition but had very little effect on functional diversity, even after a repeated timber harvest. These data provide evidence for functional redundancy of dung beetles within primary forest and emphasize the high value of logged forests as refugia for biodiversity. In contrast, conversion of forest to oil palm greatly reduced taxonomic and functional diversity, with a marked decrease in the abundance of nocturnal foragers, a higher proportion of species with small body sizes and the complete loss of telecoprid species (dung-rollers), all indicating a decrease in the functional capacity of dung beetles within plantations. These changes also highlight the vulnerability of community functioning within logged forests in the event of further environmental degradation.

  8. Application of the Nutrition Functional Diversity indicator to assess food system contributions to dietary diversity and sustainable diets of Malawian households.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckett, Brian G; DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Mundorf, Adrienne R; Rose, Donald

    2015-09-01

    Dietary diversity is associated with nutrient adequacy and positive health outcomes but indicators to measure diversity have focused primarily on consumption, rather than sustainable provisioning of food. The Nutritional Functional Diversity score was developed by ecologists to describe the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable diets. We have employed this tool to estimate the relative contribution of home production and market purchases in providing nutritional diversity to agricultural households in Malawi and examine how food system provisioning varies by time, space and socio-economic conditions. A secondary analysis of nationally representative household consumption data to test the applicability of the Nutritional Functional Diversity score. The data were collected between 2010 and 2011 across the country of Malawi. Households (n 11 814) from predominantly rural areas of Malawi. Nutritional Functional Diversity varied demographically, geographically and temporally. Nationally, purchased foods contributed more to household nutritional diversity than home produced foods (mean score=17·5 and 7·8, respectively). Households further from roads and population centres had lower overall diversity (PFunctional Diversity score is an effective indicator for identifying populations with low nutritional diversity and the relative roles that markets, agricultural extension and home production play in achieving nutritional diversity. This information may be used by policy makers to plan agricultural and market-based interventions that support sustainable diets and local food systems.

  9. Glycosphingolipid Modification: Structural Diversity, Functional and Mechanistic Integration of Diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadashi Yamashita

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Glycosphingolipids (GSLs are present in all mammalian cell plasma membranes and intracellular membrane structures. They are especially concentrated in plasma membrane lipid domains that are specialized for cell signaling. Plasma membranes have typical structures called rafts and caveola domain structures, with large amounts of sphingolipids, cholesterol, and sphingomyelin. GSLs are usually observed in many organs ubiquitously. However, GSLs, including over 400 derivatives, participate in diverse cellular functions. Several studies indicate that GSLs might have an effect on signal transduction related to insulin receptors and epidermal growth factor receptors. GSLs may modulate immune responses by transmitting signals from the exterior to the interior of the cell. Guillain-Barré syndrome is one of the autoimmune disorders characterized by symmetrical weakness in the muscles of the legs. The targets of the immune response are thought to be gangliosides, which are one group of GSLs. Other GSLs may serve as second messengers in several signaling pathways that are important to cell survival or programmed cell death. In the search for clear evidence that GSLs may play critical roles in various biological functions, many researchers have made genetically engineered mice. Before the era of gene manipulation, spontaneous animal models or chemical-induced disease models were used.

  10. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille

    2014-01-01

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha (wi...

  11. [Soil microbial functional diversity of different altitude Pinus koraiensis forests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dong-xue; Wang, Ning; Wang, Nan-nan; Sun, Xue; Feng, Fu-juan

    2015-12-01

    In order to comprehensively understand the soil microbial carbon utilization characteristics of Pinus koraiensis forests, we took the topsoil (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm) along the 700-1100 m altitude in Changbai Mountains and analyzed the vertical distributed characteristics and variation of microbial functional diversity along the elevation gradient by Biolog microplate method. The results showed that there were significant differences in functional diversity of microbial communities at different elevations. AWCD increased with the extension of incubation time and AWCD at the same soil depth gradually decreased along with increasing altitude; Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh diversity index also showed the same trend with AWCD and three different diversity indices were significantly different along the elevation gradient; Species diversity and functional diversity showed the same variation. The utilization intensities of six categories carbon sources had differences while amino acids were constantly the most dominant carbon source. Principal component analysis (PCA) identified that soil microbial carbon utilization at different altitudes had obvious spatial differentiation, as reflected in the use of carbohydrates, amino acids and carboxylic acids. In addition, the cluster of the microbial diversity indexes and AWCD values of different altitudes showed that the composition of vegetation had a significant impact on soil microbial composition and functional activity.

  12. Global functional diversity of freshwater fish is concentrated in the Neotropics while functional vulnerability is widespread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, A; Charpin, N; Brosse, S; Villéger, S

    2016-03-16

    Worldwide biodiversity assessments have mainly focused on species richness but little is known about the diversity of species roles, i.e. functional diversity, while this is a key facet to understanding the consequences of global changes on the ecosystem services to human societies. Here, we report the world pattern of functional diversity of freshwater fish using a database encompassing morphological characteristics of more than 9,000 species. The Neotropical realm hosts more than 75% of global functional diversity while other realms each host less than 25%. This discrepancy is mediated by high functional uniqueness in some diversified Neotropical fish orders. Surprisingly, functional diversity patterns were weakly related to functional vulnerability. In the Neotropics the loss of threatened species will cause a limited loss of functional diversity (functional diversity will reach 43% and 33%, respectively, conferring a high functional vulnerability to these realms. Conservation of the Neotropical fish diversity is a key target to maintain world fish functional diversity, but this should not hide the pressing need to conserve the vulnerable fish faunas of the rest of the world, in which functional diversity is to a large extent supported by threatened species.

  13. Contrasting biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in phylogenetic and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steudel, Bastian; Hallmann, Christine; Lorenz, Maike; Abrahamczyk, Stefan; Prinz, Kathleen; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Martini, Johannes W R; Kessler, Michael

    2016-10-01

    It is well known that ecosystem functioning is positively influenced by biodiversity. Most biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments have measured biodiversity based on species richness or phylogenetic relationships. However, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that ecosystem functioning should be more closely related to functional diversity than to species richness. We applied different metrics of biodiversity in an artificial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment using 64 species of green microalgae in combinations of two to 16 species. We found that phylogenetic and functional diversity were positively correlated with biomass overyield, driven by their strong correlation with species richness. At low species richness, no significant correlation between overyield and functional and phylogenetic diversity was found. However, at high species richness (16 species), we found a positive relationship of overyield with functional diversity and a negative relationship with phylogenetic diversity. We show that negative phylogenetic diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can result from interspecific growth inhibition. The opposing performances of facilitation (functional diversity) and inhibition (phylogenetic diversity) we observed at the 16 species level suggest that phylogenetic diversity is not always a good proxy for functional diversity and that results from experiments with low species numbers may underestimate negative species interactions.

  14. Functional diversity of soil invertebrates: a potential tool to explain N2O emission?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubbers, Ingrid; De Deyn, Gerlinde; Drake, Harold; Hunger, Sindy; Oppermann, Timo; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota play a crucial role in the mineralization of nutrients from organic material. However, they can thereby increase emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Our current lack of understanding of the factors controlling N2O production and emission is impeding the development of effective mitigation strategies. It is the challenge to control N2O emissions from production systems without reducing crop yield, and diversity of soil fauna may play a key role. A high functional diversity of soil invertebrates is known to stimulate nitrogen mineralization and thereby plant growth, however, it is unknown whether a high functional diversity of soil invertebrates can concurrently diminish N2O emissions. We hypothesized that increased functional diversity of soil invertebrates reduces faunal-induced N2O emissions by facilitating more complete denitrification through (i) stimulating the activity of denitrifying microbes, and (ii) affecting the distribution of micro and macro pores, creating more anaerobic reaction sites. Using state-of-the-art X-ray tomography and next-generation sequencing, we studied effects of functional diversity on soil structural properties and the diversity of the microbial community (16S rRNA genes and 16S rRNA), and linked these to soil N2O emissions. In a 120-day study we found that the functional composition of the soil invertebrate community determined N2O emissions: earthworm activity was key to faunal-induced N2O emissions (a 32-fold increase after 120 days, Psoil structural properties (mean pore size, pore size distribution) were found to be radically altered by earthworm activity. We conclude that the presence of a few functional groups (ecosystem engineers) is more important than overall increased functional diversity in explaining faunal-affected N2O emissions.

  15. Diverse Effects, Complex Causes: Children Use Information About Machines' Functional Diversity to Infer Internal Complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahl, Richard E; Keil, Frank C

    2016-09-26

    Four studies explored the abilities of 80 adults and 180 children (4-9 years), from predominantly middle-class families in the Northeastern United States, to use information about machines' observable functional capacities to infer their internal, "hidden" mechanistic complexity. Children as young as 4 and 5 years old used machines' numbers of functions as indications of complexity and matched machines performing more functions with more complex "insides" (Study 1). However, only older children (6 and older) and adults used machines' functional diversity alone as an indication of complexity (Studies 2-4). The ability to use functional diversity as a complexity cue therefore emerges during the early school years, well before the use of diversity in most categorical induction tasks.

  16. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antommattei Frances M

    2008-10-01

    28 and σ54 play a role in regulating the Geobacter chemotaxis gene expression. Conclusion The numerous chemoreceptors and chemotaxis-like gene clusters of Geobacter appear to be responsible for a diverse set of signaling functions in addition to chemotaxis, including gene regulation and biofilm formation, through functionally and spatially distinct signaling pathways.

  17. Opposing Responses of Bird Functional Diversity to Vegetation Structural Diversity in Wet and Dry Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; York, Alan; Swan, Matthew; Christie, Fiona; Di Stefano, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Disturbance regimes are changing worldwide, and the consequences for ecosystem function and resilience are largely unknown. Functional diversity (FD) provides a surrogate measure of ecosystem function by capturing the range, abundance and distribution of trait values in a community. Enhanced understanding of the responses of FD to measures of vegetation structure at landscape scales is needed to guide conservation management. To address this knowledge gap, we used a whole-of-landscape sampling approach to examine relationships between bird FD, vegetation diversity and time since fire. We surveyed birds and measured vegetation at 36 landscape sampling units in dry and wet forest in southeast Australia during 2010 and 2011. Four uncorrelated indices of bird FD (richness, evenness, divergence and dispersion) were derived from six bird traits, and we investigated responses of these indices and species richness to both vertical and horizontal vegetation diversity using linear mixed models. We also considered the extent to which the mean and diversity of time since fire were related to vegetation diversity. Results showed opposing responses of FD to vegetation diversity in dry and wet forest. In dry forest, where fire is frequent, species richness and two FD indices (richness and dispersion) were positively related to vertical vegetation diversity, consistent with theory relating to environmental variation and coexistence. However, in wet forest subject to infrequent fire, the same three response variables were negatively associated with vertical diversity. We suggest that competitive dominance by species results in lower FD as vegetation diversity increases in wet forest. The responses of functional evenness were opposite to those of species richness, functional richness and dispersion in both forest types, highlighting the value of examining multiple FD metrics at management-relevant scales. The mean and diversity of time since fire were uncorrelated with vegetation

  18. Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, D; Yallop, M L; Memmott, J

    2015-06-10

    Biodiversity increases the ability of ecosystems to provide multiple functions. Most studies report a positive relationship between species richness and the number of ecosystem functions. However, it is not known whether the number of functional groups is related to the structure of the underlying species interaction network. Here we present food web data from 115 salt marsh islands and show that network structure is associated with the number of functional groups present. Functional group diversity is heterogeneously distributed across spatial scales, with some islands hosting more functional groups than others. Functional groups form modules within the community so that food webs with more modular architectures have more functional group diversity. Further, in communities with different interaction types, modularity can be seen as the multifunctional equivalent of trophic complementarity. Collectively, these findings reveal spatial heterogeneity in the number of functional groups that emerges from patterns in the structure of the food web.

  19. NAC transcription factors: structurally distinct, functionally diverse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Addie Nina; Ernst, Heidi A; Leggio, Leila Lo;

    2005-01-01

    NAC proteins constitute one of the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors, and the family is present in a wide range of land plants. Here, we summarize the biological and molecular functions of the NAC family, paying particular attention to the intricate regulation of NAC protei...

  20. On the Functional Diversity of Phonological Rules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasington, R. W. P.

    1976-01-01

    Shows that a phonological description that recognizes the functional variety of phonological rules is more illuminating than one in which data are handled merely as the output of a set of completely undifferentiated processes. Emphasizes the value of distinguishing motivated and unmotivated processes in phonology. (Author/RM)

  1. Moderate land use changes plant functional composition without loss of functional diversity in India's Western Ghats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandle, Lisa; Ticktin, Tamara

    2015-09-01

    The fields of ecology and conservation science increasingly recognize the importance of managing for functional composition and functional diversity to maintain critical ecosystem processes and services. However, little is known about the degree to which widespread but moderate forms of land use that maintain overall vegetation structure are compatible with the conservation of functional diversity. We assessed differences in plani functional composition and functional diversity across savanna woodlands in the Western Ghats, India, managed with varying degrees of biomass extraction, livestock grazing, and ground fire. Across the gradient of moderate land uses, we found shifts in functional composition but no overall decline in functional diversity with land, use intensification. Biomass extraction was associated with changes in dispersal mode, reduced seed mass, and lower overstory functional diversity. Livestock grazing was associated with shorter overstory species, reduced seed mass, and increased understory functional diversity. Nonnative invasive species contributed to shifts in understory functional composition with livestock grazing and increased functional diversity with more intensive land use. Our study highlights both the utility and some limitations of assessing conservation value with functional diversity. These results suggest that moderate-intensity local land use can be compatible with maintenance of functional diversity in savanna woodlands of the Western Ghats, and further efforts to maximize this compatibility would benefit conservation in South India's extensive human-managed landscapes. However, using functional diversity as the sole metric by which to gauge conservation value can mask threats from invasive species and loss of diversity within categories of biotic dispersal. Therefore, functional diversity metrics are likely to provide a valuable complement to, but not replacement for, other management targets such as species composition.

  2. Syndecans as cell surface receptors: Unique structure equates with functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Choi, Youngsil; Chung, Heesung; Jung, Heyjung

    2011-01-01

    An increasing number of functions for syndecan cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans have been proposed over the last decade. Moreover, aberrant syndecan regulation has been found to play a critical role in multiple pathologies, including cancers, as well as wound healing and inflammation. A...... glycosaminoglycan chains, especially heparan sulfate. This heterodisperse polysaccharide has the potential to interact with many ligands from diverse protein families. Here, we relate the structural features of syndecans to some of their known functions....

  3. Strain diversity plays no major role in the varying efficacy of rotavirus vaccines: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasquez, Daniel E; Parashar, Umesh D; Jiang, Baoming

    2014-12-01

    While a monovalent Rotarix® [RV1] and a pentavalent RotaTeq® [RV5] have been extensively tested and found generally safe and equally efficacious in clinical trials, the question still lingers about the evolving diversity of circulating rotavirus strains over time and their relationship with protective immunity induced by rotavirus vaccines. We reviewed data from clinical trials and observational studies that assessed the efficacy or field effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines against different rotavirus strains worldwide. RV1 provided broad clinical efficacy and field effectiveness against severe diarrhea due to all major circulating strains, including the homotypic G1P[8] and the fully heterotypic G2P[4] strains. Similarly, RV5 provided broad efficacy and effectiveness against RV5 and non-RV5 strains throughout different locations. Rotavirus vaccination provides broad heterotypic protection; however continuing surveillance is needed to track the change of circulating strains and monitor the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

  4. Spatial Factors Play a Major Role as Determinants of Endemic Ground Beetle Beta Diversity of Madeira Island Laurisilva

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boieiro, Mário; Carvalho, José C.; Cardoso, Pedro; Aguiar, Carlos A. S.; Rego, Carla; de Faria e Silva, Israel; Amorim, Isabel R.; Pereira, Fernando; Azevedo, Eduardo B.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Serrano, Artur R. M.

    2013-01-01

    The development in recent years of new beta diversity analytical approaches highlighted valuable information on the different processes structuring ecological communities. A crucial development for the understanding of beta diversity patterns was also its differentiation in two components: species turnover and richness differences. In this study, we evaluate beta diversity patterns of ground beetles from 26 sites in Madeira Island distributed throughout Laurisilva – a relict forest restricted to the Macaronesian archipelagos. We assess how the two components of ground beetle beta diversity (βrepl – species turnover and βrich - species richness differences) relate with differences in climate, geography, landscape composition matrix, woody plant species richness and soil characteristics and the relative importance of the effects of these variables at different spatial scales. We sampled 1025 specimens from 31 species, most of which are endemic to Madeira Island. A spatially explicit analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of pure environmental, pure spatial and environmental spatially structured effects on variation in ground beetle species richness and composition. Variation partitioning showed that 31.9% of species turnover (βrepl) and 40.7% of species richness variation (βrich) could be explained by the environmental and spatial variables. However, different environmental variables controlled the two types of beta diversity: βrepl was influenced by climate, disturbance and soil organic matter content whilst βrich was controlled by altitude and slope. Furthermore, spatial variables, represented through Moran’s eigenvector maps, played a significant role in explaining both βrepl and βrich, suggesting that both dispersal ability and Madeira Island complex orography are crucial for the understanding of beta diversity patterns in this group of beetles. PMID:23724065

  5. Diversity, biogenesis and function of microbial amyloids

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid is a distinct β-sheet-rich fold that many proteins can acquire. Frequently associated with neurodegenerative diseases in humans, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s, amyloids are traditionally considered the product of protein misfolding. However, the amyloid fold is now recognized as a ubiquitous part of normal cellular biology. ‘Functional’ amyloids have been identified in nearly all facets of cellular life, with microbial functional amyloids leading the way. Unlike ...

  6. Adipose tissue: cell heterogeneity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteve Ràfols, Montserrat

    2014-02-01

    There are two types of adipose tissue in the body whose function appears to be clearly differentiated. White adipose tissue stores energy reserves as fat, whereas the metabolic function of brown adipose tissue is lipid oxidation to produce heat. A good balance between them is important to maintain energy homeostasis. The concept of white adipose tissue has radically changed in the past decades, and is now considered as an endocrine organ that secretes many factors with autocrine, paracrine, and endocrine functions. In addition, we can no longer consider white adipose tissue as a single tissue, because it shows different metabolic profiles in its different locations, with also different implications. Although the characteristic cell of adipose tissue is the adipocyte, this is not the only cell type present in adipose tissue, neither the most abundant. Other cell types in adipose tissue described include stem cells, preadipocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes, and endothelial cells. The balance between these different cell types and their expression profile is closely related to maintenance of energy homeostasis. Increases in adipocyte size, number and type of lymphocytes, and infiltrated macrophages are closely related to the metabolic syndrome diseases. The study of regulation of proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes and stem cells, and understanding of the interrelationship between the different cell types will provide new targets for action against these diseases. Copyright © 2012 SEEN. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  7. Utilizing natural diversity to evolve protein function: applications towards thermostability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Megan F; Gaucher, Eric A

    2011-06-01

    Protein evolution relies on designing a library of sequences that capture meaningful functional diversity in a limited number of protein variants. Several approaches take advantage of the sequence space already explored through natural selection by incorporating sequence diversity available from modern genomes (and their ancestors) when designing these libraries. The success of these approaches is, partly, owing to the fact that modern sequence diversity has already been subjected to evolutionary selective forces and thus the diversity has already been deemed 'fit to survive'. Five of these approaches will be discussed in this review to highlight how protein engineers can use evolutionary sequence history/diversity of homologous proteins in unique ways to design protein libraries. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conrad Schittko

    Full Text Available A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  9. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  10. High functional diversity stimulates diversification in experimental microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jousset, Alexandre; Eisenhauer, Nico; Merker, Monika; Mouquet, Nicolas; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-06-01

    There is a growing awareness that biodiversity not only drives ecosystem services but also affects evolutionary dynamics. However, different theories predict contrasting outcomes on when do evolutionary processes occur within a context of competition. We tested whether functional diversity can explain diversification patterns. We tracked the survival and diversification of a focal bacterial species (Pseudomonas fluorescens) growing in bacterial communities of variable diversity and composition. We found that high functional diversity reduced the fitness of the focal species and, at the same time, fostered its diversification. This pattern was linked to resource competition: High diversity increased competition on a portion of the resources while leaving most underexploited. The evolved phenotypes of the focal species showed a better use of underexploited resources, albeit at a cost of lower overall growth rates. As a result, diversification alleviated the impact of competition on the fitness of the focal species. We conclude that biodiversity can stimulate evolutionary diversification, provided that sufficient alternative niches are available.

  11. A Combination of Species Evenness and Functional Diversity Is the Best Predictor of Disease Risk in Multihost Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lifan; Zhou, Shurong

    2015-12-01

    Although accumulated evidence has shown that biodiversity can play an important role in disease transmission and prevalence, it remains unclear how different measures of diversity based on taxonomy or function perform in predicting disease risk. In this article, we assess the relative ability of species richness, Shannon's evenness index, single functional traits, and several functional diversity metrics and their interactions to predict disease risk in both nonequilibrium and equilibrium communities simulated by a multihost epidemiological model. On the basis of generalized linear models and Akaike's information criterion, we found that Shannon's evenness index outperforms species richness as a single variable in explaining variation in disease risk, while the best combination consists of Shannon's evenness index and functional diversity. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate the important role played by species evenness and functional diversity in accounting for variation in disease risk in multihost communities.

  12. Structural and functional diversity of desmosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Robert M; Green, Kathleen J

    2013-12-01

    Desmosomes anchor intermediate filaments at sites of cell contact established by the interaction of cadherins extending from opposing cells. The incorporation of cadherins, catenin adaptors, and cytoskeletal elements resembles the closely related adherens junction. However, the recruitment of intermediate filaments distinguishes desmosomes and imparts a unique function. By linking the load-bearing intermediate filaments of neighboring cells, desmosomes create mechanically contiguous cell sheets and, in so doing, confer structural integrity to the tissues they populate. This trait and a well-established role in human disease have long captured the attention of cell biologists, as evidenced by a publication record dating back to the mid-1860s. Likewise, emerging data implicating the desmosome in signaling events pertinent to organismal development, carcinogenesis, and genetic disorders will secure a prominent role for desmosomes in future biological and biomedical investigations.

  13. Bird functional diversity decreases with time since disturbance: Does patchy prescribed fire enhance ecosystem function?.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitters, Holly; Di Stefano, Julian; Christie, Fiona; Swan, Matthew; York, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Animal species diversity is often associated with time since disturbance, but the effects of disturbances such as fire on functional diversity are unknown. Functional diversity measures the range, abundance, and distribution of trait values in a community, and links changes in species composition with the consequences for ecosystem function. Improved understanding of the relationship between time since fire (TSF) and functional diversity is critical given that the frequency of both prescribed fire and wildfire is expected to increase. To address this knowledge gap, we examined responses of avian functional diversity to TSF and two direct measures of environmental heterogeneity, plant diversity, and structural heterogeneity. We surveyed birds across a 70-year chronosequence spanning four vegetation types in southeast Australia. Six bird functional traits were used to derive four functional diversity indices (richness, evenness, divergence, and dispersion) and the effects of TSF, plant diversity and structural heterogeneity on species richness and the functional diversity indices were examined using mixed models. We used a regression tree method to identify traits associated with species more common in young vegetation. Functional richness and dispersion were negatively associated with TSF in all vegetation types, suggesting that recent prescribed fire generates heterogeneous vegetation and provides greater opportunities for resource partitioning. Species richness was not significantly associated with TSF, and is probably an unreliable surrogate for functional diversity in fire-prone systems. A positive, relationship between functional evenness and structural heterogeneity was comnon to all vegetation types, suggesting that fine-scale (tens of meters) structural variation can enhance ecosystem function. Species more common in young vegetation were primarily linked by their specialist diets, indicating that ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and insect control

  14. Quantifying the importance of plant functional diversity for ecosystem functioning and resilience under scenarios of climate change (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlick, R.; Drewry, D.; Kleidon, A.

    2013-12-01

    Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) typically employ only a small set of Plant Functional Types (PFTs) to represent the vast diversity of observed vegetation forms and functioning. There is growing evidence, however, that this abstraction may not adequately represent the observed variation in plant functional traits, which is thought to play an important role for many ecosystem functions and for ecosystem resilience to environmental change. The geographic distribution of PFTs in these models is also often based on empirical relationships between present-day climate and vegetation patterns. Projections of future climate change, however, point toward the possibility of novel regional climates, which could lead to no-analog vegetation compositions incompatible with the PFT paradigm. Here, we present results from the Jena Diversity-DGVM (JeDi-DGVM), a novel traits-based vegetation model, which simulates a large number of hypothetical plant growth strategies constrained by functional tradeoffs, thereby allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the terrestrial biosphere. We run two sets of model experiments forced with the latest bias-corrected climate change scenarios from several different global climate models. In the first set, we simulate a diverse biosphere using a large number of plant growth strategies, allowing the modelled ecosystems to adapt through emergent changes in ecosystem composition. We then aggregate the surviving growth strategies from the first set of diverse simulations to a small number of biome-averaged growth strategies, recreating something akin to PFTs. We use this smaller set of PFT-like growth strategies to represent a sparse or low-diversity biosphere in the second set of model experiments. We quantify the importance of functional diversity by comparing key metrics of ecosystem functioning across the two sets of simulations. The results reveal the implications of using the common PFT vegetation modelling

  15. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Rodrigo; Badano, Ernesto I.; Zuria, Iriana; Galindo-González, Jorge; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E.; Ávila-Gómez, Eva S.

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness) along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae), including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites). The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others. PMID:27926923

  16. Deforestation Impacts on Bat Functional Diversity in Tropical Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Morales, Rodrigo; Moreno, Claudia E; Badano, Ernesto I; Zuria, Iriana; Galindo-González, Jorge; Rojas-Martínez, Alberto E; Ávila-Gómez, Eva S

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity is the variability in the functional roles carried out by species within ecosystems. Changes in the environment can affect this component of biodiversity and can, in turn, affect different processes, including some ecosystem services. This study aimed to determine the effect of forest loss on species richness, abundance and functional diversity of Neotropical bats. To this end, we identified six landscapes with increasing loss of forest cover in the Huasteca region of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. We captured bats in each landscape using mist nets, and calculated functional diversity indices (functional richness and functional evenness) along with species richness and abundance. We analyzed these measures in terms of percent forest cover. We captured 906 bats (Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae), including 10 genera and 12 species. Species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are positively related with forest cover. Generalized linear models show that species richness, abundance and functional richness per night are significantly related with forest cover, while seasonality had an effect on abundance and functional richness. Neither forest cover nor season had a significant effect on functional evenness. All these findings were consistent across three spatial scales (1, 3 and 5 km radius around sampling sites). The decrease in species, abundance and functional richness of bats with forest loss may have implications for the ecological processes they carry out such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect predation, among others.

  17. Functional diversity of supragranular GABAergic neurons in the barrel cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc J Gentet

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the neocortex forms a distributed system comprised of several functional areas, its vertical columnar organization is largely conserved across areas and species, suggesting the existence of a canonical neocortical microcircuit. In order to elucidate the principles governing the organization of such a cortical diagram, a detailed understanding of the dynamics binding different types of cortical neurons into a coherent algorithm is essential. Within this complex circuitry, GABAergic interneurons, while forming approximately only 15-20% of all cortical neurons, appear critical in maintaining a dynamic balance between excitation and inhibition. Despite their importance, cortical GABAergic neurons have not been extensively studied in vivo and their precise role in shaping the local microcircuit sensory response still remains to be determined. Their paucity, combined with their molecular, anatomical and physiological diversity, has made it difficult to even establish a consensual nomenclature.However, recent technological advances in microscopy and mouse genetics have fostered a renewed interest in neocortical interneurons by putting them within visible reach of experimenters. The anatomically well-defined whisker-to-barrel pathway of the rodent is particularly amenable to studies attempting to link cortical circuit dynamics to behavior. To each whisker corresponds a discrete cortical unit equivalent to a single column, specialized in the encoding and processing of the sensory information it receives. In this review, we will focus on the functional role that each subtype of supragranular GABAergic neuron embedded within such a single neocortical unit may play in shaping the dynamics of the local circuit during somatosensory integration.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Influence of persistent monodominance on functional diversity and functional community assembly in African tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearsley, Elizabeth; Verbeeck, Hans; Hufkens, Koen; Beeckman, Hans; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal; Huygens, Dries

    2015-04-01

    Lowland tropical rainforest are taxonomically diverse and complex systems, although not all tropical communities are equally diverse. Naturally occuring monodominant patches of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei are commonly found across Central Africa alongside higher diversity forests. Nevertheless, a low taxonomical diversity does not necessarily indicate an equivalently low functional diverse system. We investigate the functional diversity and functional community assembly of mixed and monodominant tropical forests in a central region of the Congo Basin in D. R. Congo using 15 leaf and wood traits covering 95% of all species within each community. This unique dataset allows us to investigate differences in functional diversity and ecosystem functioning between mixed and monodominant forest types. Functional richness, functional divergence and functional evenness are three functional diversity measures providing different aspects of functional diversity. The largest difference between the two forest types was found for functional richness, with a lower functional richness in the monodominant forest indicating a higher amount of niche space filled in the mixed forest. The mixed forest also had a higher species richness and Simpson diversity index, indicating that the higher species richness increases the functional niche space. Subsequently, we identified whole community trait shifts within the monodominant forest compared to the mixed forest. The dominance of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, for which a distinct niche is found for most traits, presented a significant influence on the entire (trait) community expressing fundamental differences in ecosystem functioning. More detailed investigation of species unique within the monodominant forest and species occurring in both forest types provide more insight into the influence of Gilbertiodendron dewevrei. Both the unique and the shared species showed significant shifts in leaf nutrients, specific leaf area and water use

  20. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Pekár, Stano; Jocqué, Rudy; Coddington, Jonathan A

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this work are: (1) to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2) test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3) compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4) compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5) relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1) sensing, (2) sheet, (3) space, and (4) orb web weavers; (5) specialists; (6) ambush, (7) ground, and (8) other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also influenced by

  1. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  2. SNiPlay: a web-based tool for detection, management and analysis of SNPs. Application to grapevine diversity projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dereeper, Alexis; Nicolas, Stéphane; Le Cunff, Loïc; Bacilieri, Roberto; Doligez, Agnès; Peros, Jean-Pierre; Ruiz, Manuel; This, Patrice

    2011-05-05

    High-throughput re-sequencing, new genotyping technologies and the availability of reference genomes allow the extensive characterization of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion/deletion events (indels) in many plant species. The rapidly increasing amount of re-sequencing and genotyping data generated by large-scale genetic diversity projects requires the development of integrated bioinformatics tools able to efficiently manage, analyze, and combine these genetic data with genome structure and external data. In this context, we developed SNiPlay, a flexible, user-friendly and integrative web-based tool dedicated to polymorphism discovery and analysis. It integrates:1) a pipeline, freely accessible through the internet, combining existing softwares with new tools to detect SNPs and to compute different types of statistical indices and graphical layouts for SNP data. From standard sequence alignments, genotyping data or Sanger sequencing traces given as input, SNiPlay detects SNPs and indels events and outputs submission files for the design of Illumina's SNP chips. Subsequently, it sends sequences and genotyping data into a series of modules in charge of various processes: physical mapping to a reference genome, annotation (genomic position, intron/exon location, synonymous/non-synonymous substitutions), SNP frequency determination in user-defined groups, haplotype reconstruction and network, linkage disequilibrium evaluation, and diversity analysis (Pi, Watterson's Theta, Tajima's D).Furthermore, the pipeline allows the use of external data (such as phenotype, geographic origin, taxa, stratification) to define groups and compare statistical indices.2) a database storing polymorphisms, genotyping data and grapevine sequences released by public and private projects. It allows the user to retrieve SNPs using various filters (such as genomic position, missing data, polymorphism type, allele frequency), to compare SNP patterns between populations, and to

  3. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees.

  4. Fact or fiction? A longitudinal study of play and the development of reflective functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tessier, V P; Normandin, L; Ensink, K; Fonagy, P

    2016-01-01

    In Fonagy and Target's (1996, 2000) developmental model of mentalization, play is theorized as a precursor of later mentalization and reflective function (RF); however, the relationship between play and later mentalization and RF has yet to be empirically tested. These processes are particularly important in the context of trauma, but an empirical model of the relationships among mentalization, play, and trauma is currently lacking. The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine whether children's capacity to engage in pretend play, to symbolize, and to make play narratives was associated with later RF in those children. Thirty-nine sexually abused children and 21 nonabused children (aged 3 to 8) participated in the study. The Children's Play Therapy Instrument was used to assess children's free play. Three years after the play assessment, children's RF was assessed using the Child Attachment Interview, coded with the Child and Adolescent Reflective Functioning Scale. Pretend play completion was associated with later other-understanding. Play was also found to mediate the relationship between sexual abuse and children's later mentalization regarding others. These findings are consistent with Fonagy and Target's emphasis on the role of pretend play in the development of a nuanced sense of the qualities of the mind and reality. In sum, the findings lend support to Fonagy and Target's account of playing with reality, and the development of mentalization suggests that it may be more than "fiction." Furthermore, these results suggest that children's ability to create meaningful and coherent play sequences after sexual abuse is associated with the development of a better understanding of their relationships with others. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

  5. Assessing natural resource use by forest-reliant communities in Madagascar using functional diversity and functional redundancy metrics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerry A Brown

    Full Text Available Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of 56 forest plots in Madagascar. The use categories for utilitarian plants were determined using expert knowledge and household questionnaires. We used a null model approach to examine the utilitarian (functional diversity and utilitarian redundancy present within ecological communities. Additionally, variables that might influence fluctuations in utilitarian diversity and redundancy--specifically number of felled trees, number of trails, basal area, canopy height, elevation, distance from village--were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs. Eighteen of the 56 plots showed utilitarian diversity values significantly higher than expected. This result indicates that these habitats exhibited a low degree of utilitarian redundancy and were therefore comprised of plants with relatively distinct utilitarian properties. One implication of this finding is that minor losses in species richness may result in reductions in utilitarian diversity and redundancy, which may limit local residents' ability to switch between alternative choices. The GLM analysis showed that the most predictive model included basal area, canopy height and distance from village, which suggests that variation in utilitarian redundancy may be a result of local residents harvesting resources from the protected area. Our approach permits an assessment of the diversity of provisioning services available to local communities, offering unique insights that would not be possible using traditional taxonomic diversity measures. These analyses

  6. Executive function predicts the development of play skills for verbal preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faja, Susan; Dawson, Geraldine; Sullivan, Katherine; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Estes, Annette; Bernier, Raphael

    2016-12-01

    Executive function and play skills develop in early childhood and are linked to cognitive and language ability. The present study examined these abilities longitudinally in two groups with autism spectrum disorder-a group with higher initial language (n = 30) and a group with lower initial language ability (n = 36). Among the lower language group, concurrent nonverbal cognitive ability contributed most to individual differences in executive function and play skills. For the higher language group, executive function during preschool significantly predicted play ability at age 6 over and above intelligence, but early play did not predict later executive function. These results suggested that factors related to the development of play and executive function differ for subgroups of children with different language abilities and that early executive function skills may be critical in order for verbal children with autism to develop play. Autism Res 2016, 9: 1274-1284. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Multitrophic functional diversity predicts ecosystem functioning in experimental assemblages of estuarine consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett

    2015-11-01

    The use of functional traits to explain how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning has attracted intense interest, yet few studies have a priori altered functional diversity, especially in multitrophic communities. Here, we manipulated multivariate functional diversity of estuarine grazers and predators within multiple levels of species richness to test how species richness and functional diversity predicted ecosystem functioning in a multitrophic food web. Community functional diversity was a better predictor than species richness for the majority of ecosystem properties, based on generalized linear mixed-effects models. Combining inferences from eight traits into a single multivariate index increased prediction accuracy of these models relative to any individual trait. Structural equation modeling revealed that functional diversity of both grazers and predators was important in driving final biomass within trophic levels, with stronger effects observed for predators. We also show that different species drove different ecosystem responses, with evidence for both sampling effects and complementarity. Our study extends experimental investigations of functional trait diversity to a multilevel food web, and demonstrates that functional diversity can be more accurate and effective than species richness in predicting community biomass in a food web context.

  8. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heloise Gibb

    Full Text Available Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species. We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies. Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  9. Functional diversity exhibits a diverse relationship with area, even a decreasing one.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadimou, Elpida K; Kallimanis, Athanasios S; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Dimopoulos, Panayotis

    2016-10-18

    The relationship between species richness and area is one of the few well-established laws in ecology, and one might expect a similar relationship with functional diversity (FD). However, only a few studies investigate the relationship between trait-based FD and area, the Functional Diversity - Area Relationship (FDAR). To examine FDAR, we constructed the species accumulation curve and the corresponding FD curve. We used plant diversity data from nested plots (1-128 m(2)), recorded on the Volcanic islands of Santorini Archipelagos, Greece. Six multidimensional FD indices were calculated using 26 traits. We identified a typology of FDARs depending on the facet of FD analyzed: (A) strongly positive for indices quantifying the range of functional traits in the community, (B) negative correlation for indices quantifying the evenness in the distribution of abundance in the trait space, (C) no clear pattern for indices reflecting the functional similarity of species and (D) idiosyncratic patterns with area for functional divergence. As area increases, the range of traits observed in the community increases, but the abundance of traits does not increase proportionally and some traits become dominant, implying a reliance on some functions that may be located in either the center or the periphery of the trait space.

  10. Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis affects functional diversity of rhizosphere fluorescent pseudomonads

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frey-Klett, P.; Chavatte, M.; Clausse, M.L.; Courrier, S.; Roux, Le C.; Raaijmakers, J.M.; Giovanna Martinotti, M.; Pierrat, J.C.; Garbaye, J.

    2005-01-01

    Here we characterized the effect of the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis on the genotypic and functional diversity of soil Pseudomonas fluorescens populations and analysed its possible consequences in terms of plant nutrition, development and health. ¿ Sixty strains of P. fluorescens were isolated from the

  11. Beyond diversity: functional microbiomics of the human colon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egert, M.G.G.; Graaf, de A.; Smidt, H.; Vos, de W.M.; Venema, K.

    2006-01-01

    Molecular tools have revealed wide microbial diversity in the human alimentary tract. Most intestinal microorganisms have not been cultured and the in situ functions of distinct groups of the intestinal microbiota are largely unknown but pivotal to understanding the role of these microorganisms in h

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas L. Slewinski

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Mason, Norman W H; Mouillot, David

    2008-08-01

    Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification

  16. The effects of fantastical pretend-play on the development of executive functions: An intervention study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibodeau, Rachel B; Gilpin, Ansley T; Brown, Melissa M; Meyer, Brooke A

    2016-05-01

    Although recent correlational studies have found a relationship between fantasy orientation (FO; i.e., a child's propensity to play in a fantastical realm) and higher order cognitive skills called executive functions (EFs), no work has addressed the causality and directionality of this relationship. The current study experimentally examined the directionality of the observed relationship between FO and EF development in preschool-aged children through an innovative play intervention employing a randomized controlled design. A sample of 110 children between the ages of 3 and 5years were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: fantastical pretend-play intervention, non-imaginative play intervention, or business-as-usual control. Results revealed that children who participated in a 5-week fantastical pretend-play intervention showed improvements in EFs, whereas children in the other two conditions did not. Within the fantastical pretend-play condition, children who were highly engaged in the play and those who were highly fantastical demonstrated the greatest gains in EFs. These data provide evidence for the equifinal relationship between fantasy-oriented play and EF development, such that engaging in fantasy-oriented play may be one of many ways to directly enhance EF development.

  17. Functional diversity of Cercidiphyllum japonicum, communities in the Shennongjia Reserve, central China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jintun Zhang; Bin Zhang; Zhiying Qian

    2015-01-01

    Functional diversity is significant to ecological processes of plant communities. We analyzed the variation of functional diversity of endangered species, Cercidi-phyllum japonicum, communities along an elevational gradient in the Shennongjia Reserve, central China. Sixty plots of 10 × 20 m from 1,350 to 2,050 m were set up and species composition, traits and environmental variables were measured and recorded. These data were analyzed using five functional diversity indices, functional attribute diversity, modified functional attribute diversity, plot based functional diversity, community based functional diversity and Rao’s functional diversity indices (Rao’s index), Functional diversities of C. japonicum communities were rich and varied greatly. Functional diversity declined non-linearly with increasing elevation. Functional diversity was significantly correlated with species richness and hetero-geneity. Elevation was a key environmental variable influencing functional diversity and species diversity. The five functional diversity indices were all effective for measuring functional diversity of communities. Functional diversity can be used as an indicator of conservation effi-ciency of endangered species such as C. japonicum.

  18. Kinetic Adaptations of Myosins for Their Diverse Cellular Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heissler, Sarah M; Sellers, James R

    2016-08-01

    Members of the myosin superfamily are involved in all aspects of eukaryotic life. Their function ranges from the transport of organelles and cargos to the generation of membrane tension, and the contraction of muscle. The diversity of physiological functions is remarkable, given that all enzymatically active myosins follow a conserved mechanoenzymatic cycle in which the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP and inorganic phosphate is coupled to either actin-based transport or tethering of actin to defined cellular compartments. Kinetic capacities and limitations of a myosin are determined by the extent to which actin can accelerate the hydrolysis of ATP and the release of the hydrolysis products and are indispensably linked to its physiological tasks. This review focuses on kinetic competencies that - together with structural adaptations - result in myosins with unique mechanoenzymatic properties targeted to their diverse cellular functions.

  19. Consumer diversity interacts with prey defenses to drive ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Hoey, Andrew S; Hay, Mark E

    2013-06-01

    Prey traits linking consumer diversity to ecosystem function remain poorly understood. On tropical coral reefs, herbivores promote coral dominance by suppressing competing macroalgae, but the roles of herbivore identity and diversity, macroalgal defenses, and their interactions in affecting reef resilience and function are unclear. We studied adjacent pairs of no-take marine reserves and fished areas on reefs in Fiji and found that protected reefs supported 7-17x greater biomass, 2-3x higher species richness of herbivorous fishes, and 3-11x more live coral cover than did fished reefs. In contrast, macroalgae were 27-61x more abundant and 3-4x more species-rich on fished reefs. When we transplanted seven common macroalgae from fished reefs into reserves they were rapidly consumed, suggesting that rates of herbivory (ecosystem functioning) differed inside vs. outside reserves. We then video-recorded feeding activity on the same seven macroalgae when transplanted into reserves, and assessed the functional redundancy vs. complementarity of herbivorous fishes consuming these macroalgae. Of 29 species of larger herbivorous fishes on these reefs, only four species accounted for 97% of macroalgal consumption. Two unicornfish consumed a range of brown macroalgae, a parrotfish consumed multiple red algae, and a rabbitfish consumed a green alga, with almost no diet overlap among these groups. The two most chemically rich, allelopathic algae were each consumed by a single, but different, fish species. This striking complementarity resulted from herbivore species differing in their tolerances to macroalgal chemical and structural defenses. A model of assemblage diet breadth based on our feeding observations predicted that high browser diversity would be required for effective control of macroalgae on Fijian reefs. In support of this model, we observed strong negative relationships between herbivore diversity and macroalgal abundance and diversity across the six study reefs. Our

  20. Effects of land use on taxonomic and functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hevia, Violeta; Carmona, Carlos P.; Azcárate, Francisco M.

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change is the major driver of biodiversity loss. However, taxonomic diversity (TD) and functional diversity (FD) might respond differently to land-use change, and this response might also vary depending on the biotic group being analysed. In this study, we compare the TD and FD of four...... biotic groups (ants, birds, herbaceous, woody vegetation) among four land-use types that represent a gradient of land-use intensity in a Mediterranean landscape (Mediterranean shrublands, dehesas, mixed-pine forests, olive groves). Analyses were performed separately at two different spatial scales......: the sampling unit scale and the site scale. Land-use intensity effects on TD and FD were quite different and highly varied among the four biotic groups, with no single clear pattern emerging that could be considered general for all organisms. Additive partitioning of species diversity revealed clear...

  1. Roles of mesophyll conductance and plant functional diversities in tropical photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, L.

    2013-12-01

    Tropical photosynthesis dominates global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) and will likely play a defining role in determining how global GPP will respond to climate change. Yet, our current understanding of biological, ecological, edaphic and environmental controls on tropical photosynthesis is poor. The overly simplistic schemes that current Earth System Models use to simulate tropical photosynthesis cannot capture the functional diversities associated with high species diversities in the tropics. New approaches that explicitly represent the functional diversities of tropical photosynthesis in Earth System Models are needed in order to realistically model responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated climate changes. To establish a basis for such approaches, we conducted intensive field measurements of leaf photosynthesis at three forest sites along a strong rainfall gradient in Panama in 2012-2013. The three sites are Parque Natural Metropolitano, Gamboa, and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo. The Parque Natural Metropolitano receives an annual precipitation of less than 1800mm and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo over 3300 mm with Gamboa in between. The three sites differ in species diversity with Parque Nacional San Lorenzo having the highest species diversity and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo the lowest. At the three contrasting sites, we measured A/Ci curves, leaf traits and leaf nutrient (N and P) contents of about 100 species. We determined mesophyll conductance with the LeafWeb approach. From these measurements, we developed practical but realistic parameterizations of functional diversities of tropical plant species at the three sites and implemented these parameterizations in the latest version of the Community Land Model. We found that mesophyll conductance is key to representing functional diversities of tropical forest species. Without it, responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2

  2. Changes in bird functional diversity across multiple land uses: interpretations of functional redundancy depend on functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Gary W; Carter, Andrew; Smallbone, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Examinations of the impact of land-use change on functional diversity link changes in ecological community structure driven by land modification with the consequences for ecosystem function. Yet, most studies have been small-scale, experimental analyses and primarily focussed on plants. There is a lack of research on fauna communities and at large-scales across multiple land uses. We assessed changes in the functional diversity of bird communities across 24 land uses aligned along an intensification gradient. We tested the hypothesis that functional diversity is higher in less intensively used landscapes, documented changes in diversity using four diversity metrics, and examined how functional diversity varied with species richness to identify levels of functional redundancy. Functional diversity, measured using a dendogram-based metric, increased from high to low intensity land uses, but observed values did not differ significantly from randomly-generated expected values. Values for functional evenness and functional divergence did not vary consistently with land-use intensification, although higher than expected values were mostly recorded in high intensity land uses. A total of 16 land uses had lower than expected values for functional dispersion and these were mostly low intensity native vegetation sites. Relations between functional diversity and bird species richness yielded strikingly different patterns for the entire bird community vs. particular functional groups. For all birds and insectivores, functional evenness, divergence and dispersion showed a linear decline with increasing species richness suggesting substantial functional redundancy across communities. However, for nectarivores, frugivores and carnivores, there was a significant hump-shaped or non-significant positive linear relationship between these functional measures and species richness indicating less redundancy. Hump-shaped relationships signify that the most functionally diverse

  3. Distribution of mammal functional diversity in the Neotropical realm: Influence of land-use and extinction risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Maya, José F; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Medellín, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2017-01-01

    Functional diversity represents a measure of diversity that incorporates the role of species in an ecosystem, and therefore its dynamics and resilience. Assessing its drivers and spatial variation represents an important step forward in our understanding of functional ecosystem dynamics and it is also necessary to achieve a comprehensive conservation planning. In this paper, we assessed mammal functional diversity for the 218 ecoregions within the Neotropical realm. We evaluated the overall influence and spatial variation of species richness, ecoregion extent, intervention and species at risk on functional diversity. Using ordinary least squares and geographically weighted regression modeling approaches, we found that intervened areas and threatened and non-threatened species are the most influential overall drivers of functional diversity. However, we also detected that these variables do not operate equally across scales. Our local analyses indicated both that the variation explained and local coefficients vary spatially depending on the ecoregion and major habitat type. As estimates of functional diversity are based on current distribution of all mammals, negative influence of intervened areas and positive influence of non-threatened species may reflect a potential degradation of functional processes for some ecosystems. Most generally, the negative influence of intervention together with the influence of threatened species indicates that some areas are currently more susceptible to functional diversity loss. Our results help to pinpoint key areas requiring urgent conservation action to reduce natural land-cover loss and areas where threatened species play influential roles on ecosystem functioning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Centrins in unicellular organisms: functional diversity and specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; He, Cynthia Y

    2012-07-01

    Centrins (also known as caltractins) are conserved, EF hand-containing proteins ubiquitously found in eukaryotes. Similar to calmodulins, the calcium-binding EF hands in centrins fold into two structurally similar domains separated by an alpha-helical linker region, shaping like a dumbbell. The small size (15-22 kDa) and domain organization of centrins and their functional diversity/specialization make them an ideal system to study protein structure-function relationship. Here, we review the work on centrins with a focus on their structures and functions characterized in unicellular organisms.

  6. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

    Full Text Available Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees, we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by

  7. Rare species support vulnerable functions in high-diversity ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Baraloto, Christopher; Chave, Jerome; Galzin, Rene; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Kulbicki, Michel; Lavergne, Sebastien; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouquet, Nicolas; Paine, C E Timothy; Renaud, Julien; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, the human-induced collapses of populations and species have triggered a sixth mass extinction crisis, with rare species often being the first to disappear. Although the role of species diversity in the maintenance of ecosystem processes has been widely investigated, the role of rare species remains controversial. A critical issue is whether common species insure against the loss of functions supported by rare species. This issue is even more critical in species-rich ecosystems where high functional redundancy among species is likely and where it is thus often assumed that ecosystem functioning is buffered against species loss. Here, using extensive datasets of species occurrences and functional traits from three highly diverse ecosystems (846 coral reef fishes, 2,979 alpine plants, and 662 tropical trees), we demonstrate that the most distinct combinations of traits are supported predominantly by rare species both in terms of local abundance and regional occupancy. Moreover, species that have low functional redundancy and are likely to support the most vulnerable functions, with no other species carrying similar combinations of traits, are rarer than expected by chance in all three ecosystems. For instance, 63% and 98% of fish species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions in coral reef ecosystems are locally and regionally rare, respectively. For alpine plants, 32% and 89% of such species are locally and regionally rare, respectively. Remarkably, 47% of fish species and 55% of tropical tree species that are likely to support highly vulnerable functions have only one individual per sample on average. Our results emphasize the importance of rare species conservation, even in highly diverse ecosystems, which are thought to exhibit high functional redundancy. Rare species offer more than aesthetic, cultural, or taxonomic diversity value; they disproportionately increase the potential breadth of functions provided by ecosystems across

  8. Animal diversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Florian D.; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn C.; Guill, Christian

    2016-10-01

    Species diversity is changing globally and locally, but the complexity of ecological communities hampers a general understanding of the consequences of animal species loss on ecosystem functioning. High animal diversity increases complementarity of herbivores but also increases feeding rates within the consumer guild. Depending on the balance of these counteracting mechanisms, species-rich animal communities may put plants under top-down control or may release them from grazing pressure. Using a dynamic food-web model with body-mass constraints, we simulate ecosystem functions of 20,000 communities of varying animal diversity. We show that diverse animal communities accumulate more biomass and are more exploitative on plants, despite their higher rates of intra-guild predation. However, they do not reduce plant biomass because the communities are composed of larger, and thus energetically more efficient, plant and animal species. This plasticity of community body-size structure reconciles the debate on the consequences of animal species loss for primary productivity.

  9. The Black Baby Doll Doesn't Fit the Disconnect between Early Childhood Diversity Policy, Early Childhood Educator Practice, and Children's Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNevin, Maggie; Berman, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    This article explores how multicultural policy approaches, which mandate the inclusion of culturally and ethnically "diverse" play materials in early childhood classrooms influence the pedagogical practice of educators and, in turn, children's play and social interactions. Using data collected through participant observation of…

  10. Functional diversity, soil features and community functioning: a test in a cerrado site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, J R; Cianciaruso, M V; Batalha, M A

    2012-08-01

    Community functioning may be affected by functional diversity, which measures the extent of complementarity in resource use. We tested whether there was a relationship between functional diversity of woody species and community functioning on a fine scale, using FD as a measure of functional diversity and litter decomposition rate as a surrogate for community functioning. We measured eight functional traits from a woodland cerrado community in southeastern Brazil. Then, we tested the correlation between FD and the decomposition rate taking into account differences in soil features and between decomposition rate and each trait separately. The decomposition rate was related to the aluminium and phosphorus concentration in soil, but not to FD, pointing out that functional diversity was not a good predictor of community functioning. There was a non-significant relationship between FD and the decomposition rate even when we considered each trait separately. Most studies in the relationships between biodiversity and community functioning on fine scales were carried out by experimental manipulation of diversity and in temperate regions. We carried out this fine scale study as a mensurative experiment and in a tropical savanna. Our findings indicated that the relationship between biodiversity and community functioning is not as straightforward as usually assumed.

  11. Functional diversity, soil features and community functioning: a test in a cerrado site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JR. Freitas

    Full Text Available Community functioning may be affected by functional diversity, which measures the extent of complementarity in resource use. We tested whether there was a relationship between functional diversity of woody species and community functioning on a fine scale, using FD as a measure of functional diversity and litter decomposition rate as a surrogate for community functioning. We measured eight functional traits from a woodland cerrado community in southeastern Brazil. Then, we tested the correlation between FD and the decomposition rate taking into account differences in soil features and between decomposition rate and each trait separately. The decomposition rate was related to the aluminium and phosphorus concentration in soil, but not to FD, pointing out that functional diversity was not a good predictor of community functioning. There was a non-significant relationship between FD and the decomposition rate even when we considered each trait separately. Most studies in the relationships between biodiversity and community functioning on fine scales were carried out by experimental manipulation of diversity and in temperate regions. We carried out this fine scale study as a mensurative experiment and in a tropical savanna. Our findings indicated that the relationship between biodiversity and community functioning is not as straightforward as usually assumed.

  12. Diversity and function of bacterial microbiota in the mosquito holobiont

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to host diverse bacterial communities that vary depending on the sex of the mosquito, the developmental stage, and ecological factors. Some studies have suggested a potential role of microbiota in the nutritional, developmental and reproductive biology of mosquitoes. Here, we present a review of the diversity and functions of mosquito-associated bacteria across multiple variation factors, emphasizing recent findings. Mosquito microbiota is considered in the context of possible extended phenotypes conferred on the insect hosts that allow niche diversification and rapid adaptive evolution in other insects. These kinds of observations have prompted the recent development of new mosquito control methods based on the use of symbiotically-modified mosquitoes to interfere with pathogen transmission or reduce the host life span and reproduction. New opportunities for exploiting bacterial function for vector control are highlighted. PMID:23688194

  13. Diversity and function of bacterial microbiota in the mosquito holobiont.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minard, Guillaume; Mavingui, Patrick; Moro, Claire Valiente

    2013-05-20

    Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to host diverse bacterial communities that vary depending on the sex of the mosquito, the developmental stage, and ecological factors. Some studies have suggested a potential role of microbiota in the nutritional, developmental and reproductive biology of mosquitoes. Here, we present a review of the diversity and functions of mosquito-associated bacteria across multiple variation factors, emphasizing recent findings. Mosquito microbiota is considered in the context of possible extended phenotypes conferred on the insect hosts that allow niche diversification and rapid adaptive evolution in other insects. These kinds of observations have prompted the recent development of new mosquito control methods based on the use of symbiotically-modified mosquitoes to interfere with pathogen transmission or reduce the host life span and reproduction. New opportunities for exploiting bacterial function for vector control are highlighted.

  14. Assessment cognitive functions in children with visual impairment by playing method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Statiev S. I.

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The cognitive functions of children are considered with paropsiss by a playing method. In research 10 children with a paropsis (experimental group and 10 children (control group took part without a paropsis. Age of children - 5-6 years. Directions are rotined adaptation of children to the environment. It is well-proven that a playing method gives the clear estimation of development of cognitive functions for children with paropsiss. In future a method allows to conduct rehabilitation measures on the improvement of the state of visual analyzer of children.

  15. Functional diversity of fish in estuaries at a global extent

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    Rita P Vasconcelos

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is currently viewed as a framework encompassing multiple facets of the variety of life, including taxonomic and functional aspects. Species richness and composition of fish assemblages in estuaries is defined by global to local processes acting on community colonization. The present study further investigates how biodiversity of fish assemblages varies among estuaries globally, by simultaneously analysing taxonomic and functional richness and diversity of assemblages. A comprehensive worldwide database was compiled on the fish assemblage composition and environmental characteristics of estuaries. In addition, functional attributes of the fish species were characterized such as body size, habitat use and trophic ecology. We investigated the relationship between taxonomic and functional aspects of biodiversity, i.e. the match or mismatch between the two. We also explored how functional diversity of fish assemblages varied among estuaries globally and related to environmental features of estuaries, i.e. historic and contemporary, global and local constraints. The results are explored in the context of ecosystem functioning and resilience, and outcomes relevant to assist in prioritizing conservation efforts are highlighted.

  16. When does diversity matter? Species functional diversity and ecosystem functioning across habitats and seasons in a field experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frainer, André; McKie, Brendan G; Malmqvist, Björn

    2014-03-01

    Despite ample experimental evidence indicating that biodiversity might be an important driver of ecosystem processes, its role in the functioning of real ecosystems remains unclear. In particular, the understanding of which aspects of biodiversity are most important for ecosystem functioning, their importance relative to other biotic and abiotic drivers, and the circumstances under which biodiversity is most likely to influence functioning in nature, is limited. We conducted a field study that focussed on a guild of insect detritivores in streams, in which we quantified variation in the process of leaf decomposition across two habitats (riffles and pools) and two seasons (autumn and spring). The study was conducted in six streams, and the same locations were sampled in the two seasons. With the aid of structural equations modelling, we assessed spatiotemporal variation in the roles of three key biotic drivers in this process: functional diversity, quantified based on a species trait matrix, consumer density and biomass. Our models also accounted for variability related to different litter resources, and other sources of biotic and abiotic variability among streams. All three of our focal biotic drivers influenced leaf decomposition, but none was important in all habitats and seasons. Functional diversity had contrasting effects on decomposition between habitats and seasons. A positive relationship was observed in pool habitats in spring, associated with high trait dispersion, whereas a negative relationship was observed in riffle habitats during autumn. Our results demonstrate that functional biodiversity can be as significant for functioning in natural ecosystems as other important biotic drivers. In particular, variation in the role of functional diversity between seasons highlights the importance of fluctuations in the relative abundances of traits for ecosystem process rates in real ecosystems.

  17. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

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    Christopher M Clark

    Full Text Available The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv. More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  18. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

  19. Functional diversity and evolutionary dynamics of thermoTRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Shigeru; Tominaga, Makoto

    2015-03-01

    Animals have evolved sophisticated physiological systems for sensing ambient temperature since changes in environmental temperatures affect various biological processes. Thermosensitive transient receptor potential (thermoTRP) channels serve as thermal sensors in diverse animal species. They are multimodal receptors that are activated by temperature as well as other physical and chemical stimuli. Since thermoTRP channels are calcium permeable non-selective cation channels, their activation leads to an influx of calcium and sodium ions into the cell and triggers downstream signal transduction. ThermoTRP channels have been characterized in diverse animal species over the past several years, illuminating the diversification of thermoTRP channels in the course of evolution. The gene repertoires of thermoTRP channels differ among animal species. Additionally, in some cases, the temperature and chemical sensitivities among orthologous thermoTRP channels vary among species. The evolutionary flexibility of thermoTRP channels enabled them to contribute to unique physiological systems such as infrared sensation in snakes and bats and seasonal adaptation in silk moth. On the other hand, the functional differences of thermoTRP channels among species have been utilized for understanding the molecular basis for their activation (or inhibition) mechanisms, and amino acid residues (or domains) responsible for the respective channel properties have been identified in various thermoTRP channels. Here we summarize the current understanding of the functional diversity and evolutionary dynamics of thermoTRP channels.

  20. PDZ-containing proteins: alternative splicing as a source of functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierralta, Jimena; Mendoza, Carolina

    2004-12-01

    Scaffold proteins allow specific protein complexes to be assembled in particular regions of the cell at which they organize subcellular structures and signal transduction complexes. This characteristic is especially important for neurons, which are highly polarized cells. Among the domains contained by scaffold proteins, the PSD-95, Discs-large, ZO-1 (PDZ) domains are of particular relevance in signal transduction processes and maintenance of neuronal and epithelial polarity. These domains are specialized in the binding of the carboxyl termini of proteins allowing membrane proteins to be localized by the anchoring to the cytoskeleton mediated by PDZ-containing scaffold proteins. In vivo studies carried out in Drosophila have taught that the role of many scaffold proteins is not limited to a single process; thus, in many cases the same genes are expressed in different tissues and participate in apparently very diverse processes. In addition to the differential expression of interactors of scaffold proteins, the expression of variants of these molecular scaffolds as the result of the alternative processing of the genes that encode them is proving to be a very important source of variability and complexity on a main theme. Alternative splicing in the nervous system is well documented, where specific isoforms play roles in neurotransmission, ion channel function, neuronal cell recognition, and are developmentally regulated making it a major mechanism of functional diversity. Here we review the current state of knowledge about the diversity and the known function of PDZ-containing proteins in Drosophila with emphasis in the role played by alternatively processed forms in the diversity of functions attributed to this family of proteins.

  1. Trade-off between taxon diversity and functional diversity in European lake ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Lars; Beisser, Daniela; Bock, Christina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Jensen, Manfred; Preisfeld, Angelika; Psenner, Roland; Rahmann, Sven; Wodniok, Sabina; Boenigk, Jens

    2016-12-01

    Inferring ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services through inspections of the species inventory is a major aspect of ecological field studies. Ecosystem functions are often stable despite considerable species turnover. Using metatranscriptome analyses, we analyse a thus-far unparalleled freshwater data set which comprises 21 mainland European freshwater lakes from the Sierra Nevada (Spain) to the Carpathian Mountains (Romania) and from northern Germany to the Apennines (Italy) and covers an altitudinal range from 38 m above sea level (a.s.l) to 3110 m a.s.l. The dominant taxa were Chlorophyta and streptophytic algae, Ciliophora, Bacillariophyta and Chrysophyta. Metatranscriptomics provided insights into differences in community composition and into functional diversity via the relative share of taxa to the overall read abundance of distinct functional genes on the ecosystem level. The dominant metabolic pathways in terms of the fraction of expressed sequences in the cDNA libraries were affiliated with primary metabolism, specifically oxidative phosphorylation, photosynthesis and the TCA cycle. Our analyses indicate that community composition is a good first proxy for the analysis of ecosystem functions. However, differential gene regulation modifies the relative importance of taxa in distinct pathways. Whereas taxon composition varies considerably between lakes, the relative importance of distinct metabolic pathways is much more stable, indicating that ecosystem functioning is buffered against shifts in community composition through a functional redundancy of taxa.

  2. The Function of Play in Bruno Munari’s Children’s Books. A Historical Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marnie Campagnaro

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The ludic dimension of Bruno Munari’s prolific children’s book publishing activity plays an important role, as far as narration and visual arts are concerned. Since the 1940s, and for the following 50 years, books, play and education were fundamental reference points in the artistic production and critical thinking of this Milanese artist. Munari cultivated these influences with extraordinary results in his picturebooks. The following analysis of some of Munari’s texts offers a historical-critical perspective on the value, function and representation of play in this vast production. The present research relies on three main analytical categories: co-authorship, disorientation and the experience of the limit.

  3. Elementary tetrahelical protein design for diverse oxidoreductase functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenstein, Bruce R; Sheehan, Molly M; Fry, Bryan A; Bialas, Chris; Ennist, Nathan M; Siedlecki, Jessica A; Zhao, Zhenyu; Stetz, Matthew A; Valentine, Kathleen G; Anderson, J L Ross; Wand, A Joshua; Discher, Bohdana M; Moser, Christopher C; Dutton, P Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Emulating functions of natural enzymes in man-made constructs has proven challenging. Here we describe a man-made protein platform that reproduces many of the diverse functions of natural oxidoreductases without importing the complex and obscure interactions common to natural proteins. Our design is founded on an elementary, structurally stable 4-α-helix protein monomer with a minimalist interior malleable enough to accommodate various light- and redox-active cofactors and with an exterior tolerating extensive charge patterning for modulation of redox cofactor potentials and environmental interactions. Despite its modest size, the construct offers several independent domains for functional engineering that targets diverse natural activities, including dioxygen binding and superoxide and peroxide generation, interprotein electron transfer to natural cytochrome c and light-activated intraprotein energy transfer and charge separation approximating the core reactions of photosynthesis, cryptochrome and photolyase. The highly stable, readily expressible and biocompatible characteristics of these open-ended designs promise development of practical in vitro and in vivo applications. PMID:24121554

  4. Assessing the functional diversity of herbivorous reef fishes using a compound-specific stable isotope approach

    KAUST Repository

    Tietbohl, Matthew

    2016-12-01

    Herbivorous coral reef fishes play an important role in helping to structure their environment directly by consuming algae and indirectly by promoting coral health and growth. These fishes are generally separated into three broad groups: browsers, grazers, and excavators/scrapers, with these groupings often thought to have a fixed general function and all fishes within a group thought to have similar ecological roles. This categorization assumes a high level of functional redundancy within herbivorous fishes. However, recent evidence questions the use of this broad classification scheme, and posits that there may actually be more resource partitioning within these functional groupings. Here, I use a compound-specific stable isotope approach (CSIA) to show there appears to be a greater diversity of functional roles than previously assumed within broad functional groups. The δ13C signatures from essential amino acids of reef end-members (coral, macroalgae, detritus, and phytoplankton) and fish muscle were analyzed to investigate differences in resource use between fishes. Most end-members displayed clear isotopic differences, and most fishes within functional groups were dissimilar in their isotopic signature, implying differences in the resources they target. No grazers closely resembled each other isotopically, implying a much lower level of functional redundancy within this group; scraping parrotfish were also distinct from excavating parrotfish and to a lesser degree distinct between scrapers. This study highlights the potential of CSIA to help distinguish fine-scale ecological differences within other groups of reef organisms as well. These results question the utility of lumping nominally herbivorous fishes into broad groups with assumed similar roles. Given the apparent functional differences between nominally herbivorous reef fishes, it is important for managers to incorporate the diversity of functional roles these fish play.

  5. Functional and phylogenetic diversity as predictors of biodiversity--ecosystem-function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Dan F B; Mirotchnick, Nicholas; Jain, Meha; Palmer, Matthew I; Naeem, Shahid

    2011-08-01

    How closely does variability in ecologically important traits reflect evolutionary divergence? The use of phylogenetic diversity (PD) to predict biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning, and more generally the use of phylogenetic information in community ecology, depends in part on the answer to this question. However, comparisons of the predictive power of phylogenetic diversity and functional diversity (FD) have not been conducted across a range of experiments. To address how phylogenetic diversity and functional trait variation control biodiversity effects on biomass production, we summarized the results of 29 grassland plant experiments where both the phylogeny of plant species used in the experiments is well described and where extensive trait data are available. Functional trait variation was only partially related to phylogenetic distances between species, and the resulting FD values therefore correlate only partially with PD. Despite these differences, FD and PD predicted biodiversity effects across all experiments with similar strength, including in subsets that excluded plots with legumes and that focused on fertilization experiments. Two- and three-trait combinations of the five traits used here (leaf nitrogen percentage, height, specific root length, leaf mass per unit area, and nitrogen fixation) resulted in the FD values with the greatest predictive power. Both PD and FD can be valuable predictors of the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning, which suggests that a focus on both community trait diversity and evolutionary history can improve understanding of the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  6. The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Meha; Flynn, Dan Fb; Prager, Case M; Hart, Georgia M; Devan, Caroline M; Ahrestani, Farshid S; Palmer, Matthew I; Bunker, Daniel E; Knops, Johannes Mh; Jouseau, Claire F; Naeem, Shahid

    2014-01-01

    The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. To understand how rare species may influence ecosystem functioning, this study quantifies the contribution of species based on their relative level of rarity to community functional diversity using a trait-based approach. Given that rarity can be defined in several different ways, we use four different definitions of rarity: abundance (mean and maximum), geographic range, and habitat specificity. We find that rarer species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity. However, rarer species are functionally redundant when rarity is defined by mean abundance. Furthermore, when using abundance-weighted analyses, we find that rare species typically contribute significantly less to functional diversity than common species due to their low abundances. These results suggest that rare species have the potential to play an important role in ecosystem functioning, either by offering novel contributions to functional diversity or via functional redundancy depending on how rare species are defined. Yet, these contributions are likely to be greatest if the abundance of rare species increases due to environmental change. We argue that given the paucity of data on rare species, understanding the contribution of rare species to community functional diversity is an important first step to understanding the potential role of rare species in ecosystem functioning.

  7. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Sandel, Brody; Šímová, Irena; Donoghue, John C.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; McGill, Brian J.; Boyle, Brad; Buzzard, Vanessa; Dolins, Steven; Jørgensen, Peter M.; Marcuse-Kubitza, Aaron; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Peet, Robert K.; Piel, William H.; Regetz, James; Schildhauer, Mark; Spencer, Nick; Thiers, Barbara; Wiser, Susan K.; Enquist, Brian J.

    2014-01-01

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha (within local assemblages), beta (among assemblages), and gamma (regional pool) scales. We test these predictions by quantifying hypervolumes constructed from functional traits representing major axes of plant strategy variation (specific leaf area, plant height, and seed mass) in tree assemblages spanning the temperate and tropical New World. Alpha-scale trait volume decreases with absolute latitude and is often lower than sampling expectation, consistent with environmental filtering theory. Beta-scale overlap decays with geographic distance fastest in the temperate zone, again consistent with environmental filtering theory. In contrast, gamma-scale trait space shows a hump-shaped relationship with absolute latitude, consistent with no theory. Furthermore, the overall temperate trait hypervolume was larger than the overall tropical hypervolume, indicating that the temperate zone permits a wider range of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory. PMID:25225365

  8. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille; Kraft, Nathan J B; Sandel, Brody; Šímová, Irena; Donoghue, John C; Svenning, Jens-Christian; McGill, Brian J; Boyle, Brad; Buzzard, Vanessa; Dolins, Steven; Jørgensen, Peter M; Marcuse-Kubitza, Aaron; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Peet, Robert K; Piel, William H; Regetz, James; Schildhauer, Mark; Spencer, Nick; Thiers, Barbara; Wiser, Susan K; Enquist, Brian J

    2014-09-23

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha (within local assemblages), beta (among assemblages), and gamma (regional pool) scales. We test these predictions by quantifying hypervolumes constructed from functional traits representing major axes of plant strategy variation (specific leaf area, plant height, and seed mass) in tree assemblages spanning the temperate and tropical New World. Alpha-scale trait volume decreases with absolute latitude and is often lower than sampling expectation, consistent with environmental filtering theory. Beta-scale overlap decays with geographic distance fastest in the temperate zone, again consistent with environmental filtering theory. In contrast, gamma-scale trait space shows a hump-shaped relationship with absolute latitude, consistent with no theory. Furthermore, the overall temperate trait hypervolume was larger than the overall tropical hypervolume, indicating that the temperate zone permits a wider range of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory.

  9. Consumers control diversity and functioning of a natural marine ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our understanding of the functional consequences of changes in biodiversity has been hampered by several limitations of previous work, including limited attention to trophic interactions, a focus on species richness rather than evenness, and the use of artificially assembled communities. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we manipulated the density of an herbivorous snail in natural tide pools and allowed seaweed communities to assemble in an ecologically relevant and non-random manner. Seaweed species evenness and biomass-specific primary productivity (mg O(2 h(-1 g(-1 were higher in tide pools with snails because snails preferentially consumed an otherwise dominant seaweed species that can reduce biomass-specific productivity rates of algal assemblages. Although snails reduced overall seaweed biomass in tide pools, they did not affect gross primary productivity at the scale of tide pools (mg O(2 h(-1 pool(-1 or mg O(2 h(-1 m(-2 because of the enhanced biomass-specific productivity associated with grazer-mediated increases in algal evenness. SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that increased attention to trophic interactions, diversity measures other than richness, and particularly the effects of consumers on evenness and primary productivity, will improve our understanding of the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and allow more effective links between experimental results and real-world changes in biodiversity.

  10. The functional diversity of retinal ganglion cells in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baden, Tom; Berens, Philipp; Franke, Katrin; Román Rosón, Miroslav; Bethge, Matthias; Euler, Thomas

    2016-01-21

    In the vertebrate visual system, all output of the retina is carried by retinal ganglion cells. Each type encodes distinct visual features in parallel for transmission to the brain. How many such 'output channels' exist and what each encodes are areas of intense debate. In the mouse, anatomical estimates range from 15 to 20 channels, and only a handful are functionally understood. By combining two-photon calcium imaging to obtain dense retinal recordings and unsupervised clustering of the resulting sample of more than 11,000 cells, here we show that the mouse retina harbours substantially more than 30 functional output channels. These include all known and several new ganglion cell types, as verified by genetic and anatomical criteria. Therefore, information channels from the mouse eye to the mouse brain are considerably more diverse than shown thus far by anatomical studies, suggesting an encoding strategy resembling that used in state-of-the-art artificial vision systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Coe Girão

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

  12. Genetic diversity of coastal bottlenose dolphins revealed by structurally and functionally diverse hemoglobins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Nicole; Stevens, Robert D; Wells, Randall S; Holn, Aleta; Dhungana, Suraj; Taboy, Celine H; Crumbliss, Alvin L; Henkens, Robert; Bonaventura, Celia

    2007-08-15

    Studies of structure-function relationships in the respiratory proteins of marine mammals revealed unexpected variations in the number and types of hemoglobins (Hbs) present in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. We obtained blood samples from free-ranging coastal bottlenose dolphins as a component of capture-release studies. We found that the oxygen-binding functions of bottlenose dolphin blood are poised between effector-saturated and unsaturated levels, enabling exercise-dependent shifts in oxygen transfer functions. Isolated bottlenose dolphin Hbs showed elevated pH sensitivities (Bohr effects) and appreciably lower oxygen affinities than adult human Hb in the absence of allosteric effectors. These properties may be an adaptive modification that enhances oxygen delivery during diving episodes when oxygen tensions and effector levels are low. The Hbs of individual dolphins showed similar oxygen affinities, responses to effectors, and expression of heme-heme interaction in oxygen binding, but differed in their redox potentials and rates of autoxidation. The heterogeneity suggested by these functional variations in Hbs of individual dolphins was born out by variations in the molecular weights and numbers of their alpha and beta globin chains. Although coastal bottlenose dolphins were expected to have a single type of Hb, the mass differences observed revealed considerable genetic diversity. There were multiple Hb forms in some individuals and differences in Hb patterns among individuals within the same community.

  13. Functional biogeography of oceanic islands and the scaling of functional diversity in the Azores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, Robert J; Rigal, François; Borges, Paulo A V; Cardoso, Pedro; Terzopoulou, Sofia; Casanoves, Fernando; Pla, Laura; Guilhaumon, François; Ladle, Richard J; Triantis, Kostas A

    2014-09-23

    Analyses of species-diversity patterns of remote islands have been crucial to the development of biogeographic theory, yet little is known about corresponding patterns in functional traits on islands and how, for example, they may be affected by the introduction of exotic species. We collated trait data for spiders and beetles and used a functional diversity index (FRic) to test for nonrandomness in the contribution of endemic, other native (also combined as indigenous), and exotic species to functional-trait space across the nine islands of the Azores. In general, for both taxa and for each distributional category, functional diversity increases with species richness, which, in turn scales with island area. Null simulations support the hypothesis that each distributional group contributes to functional diversity in proportion to their species richness. Exotic spiders have added novel trait space to a greater degree than have exotic beetles, likely indicating greater impact of the reduction of immigration filters and/or differential historical losses of indigenous species. Analyses of species occurring in native-forest remnants provide limited indications of the operation of habitat filtering of exotics for three islands, but only for beetles. Although the general linear (not saturating) pattern of trait-space increase with richness of exotics suggests an ongoing process of functional enrichment and accommodation, further work is urgently needed to determine how estimates of extinction debt of indigenous species should be adjusted in the light of these findings.

  14. Light-dependent maintenance of hydraulic function in mangrove branches: do xylary chloroplasts play a role in embolism repair?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, N; Egerton, J J G; Lovelock, C E; Ball, M C

    2012-07-01

    • To clarify the role of branch photosynthesis in tree functioning, the presence and function of chloroplasts in branch xylem tissue were studied in a diverse range of mangrove species growing in Australia. • The presence of xylary chloroplasts was observed via chlorophyll fluorescence of transverse sections. Paired, attached branches were selected to study the effects of covering branches with aluminium foil on the gas exchange characteristics of leaves and the hydraulic conductivity of branches. • Xylary chloroplasts occurred in all species, but were differently distributed among living cell types in the xylem. Covering stems altered the gas exchange characteristics of leaves, such that water-use efficiency was greater in exposed leaves of covered than of uncovered branches. • Leaf-specific hydraulic conductivity of stems was lower in covered than in uncovered branches, implicating stem photosynthesis in the maintenance of hydraulic function. Given their proximity to xylem vessels, we suggest that xylary chloroplasts may play a role in light-dependent repair of embolized xylem vessels.

  15. Pull-down combined with proteomic strategy reveals functional diversity of synaptotagmin I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Tianyao; Duan, Zhigui; Chen, Jia; Xie, Chunliang; Wang, Ying; Chen, Ping; Wang, Xianchun

    2017-01-01

    Synaptotagmin I (Syt I) is most abundant in the brain and is involved in multiple cellular processes. Its two C2 domains, C2A and C2B, are the main functional regions. Our present study employed a pull-down combined with proteomic strategy to identify the C2 domain-interacting proteins to comprehensively understand the biological roles of the C2 domains and thus the functional diversity of Syt I. A total of 135 non-redundant proteins interacting with the C2 domains of Syt I were identified. Out of them, 32 and 64 proteins only bound to C2A or C2B domains, respectively, and 39 proteins bound to both of them. Compared with C2A, C2B could bind to many more proteins particularly those involved in synaptic transmission and metabolic regulation. Functional analysis indicated that Syt I may exert impacts by interacting with other proteins on multiple cellular processes, including vesicular membrane trafficking, synaptic transmission, metabolic regulation, catalysis, transmembrane transport and structure formation, etc. These results demonstrate that the functional diversity of Syt I is higher than previously expected, that its two domains may mediate the same and different cellular processes cooperatively or independently, and that C2B domain may play even more important roles than C2A in the functioning of Syt I. This work not only further deepened our understanding of the functional diversity of Syt I and the functional differences between its two C2 domains, but also provided important clues for the further related researches.

  16. Genetic and Functional Diversity of Propagating Cells in Glioblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara G.M. Piccirillo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma (GBM is a lethal malignancy whose clinical intransigence has been linked to extensive intraclonal genetic and phenotypic diversity and the common emergence of therapeutic resistance. This interpretation embodies the implicit assumption that cancer stem cells or tumor-propagating cells are themselves genetically and functionally diverse. To test this, we screened primary GBM tumors by SNP array to identify copy number alterations (a minimum of three that could be visualized in single cells by multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization. Interrogation of neurosphere-derived cells (from four patients and cells derived from secondary transplants of these same cells in NOD-SCID mice allowed us to infer the clonal and phylogenetic architectures. Whole-exome sequencing and single-cell genetic analysis in one case revealed a more complex clonal structure. This proof-of-principle experiment revealed that subclones in each GBM had variable regenerative or stem cell activity, and highlighted genetic alterations associated with more competitive propagating activity in vivo.

  17. Genetic and functional diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph S. Lam

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Lipopolysccharide (LPS is an integral component of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa cell envelope, occupying the outer leaflet of the outer membrane in this Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen. It is important for bacteria-host interactions and has been shown to be a major virulence factor for this organism. Structurally, P. aeruginosa LPS is composed of three domains, namely, lipid A, core oligosaccharide, and the distal O antigen (O-Ag. Most P. aeruginosa strains produce two distinct forms of O-Ag, one a homopolymer of D-rhamnose that is a common polysaccharide antigen (CPA, formerly termed A band, and the other a heteropolymer of three to five distinct (and often unique dideoxy sugars in its repeat units, known as O-specific antigen (OSA, formerly termed B band. Compositional differences in the O units among the OSA from different strains form the basis of the International Antigenic Typing Scheme for classification via serotyping of different strains of P. aeruginosa. The focus of this review is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge on the genetic and resultant functional diversity of LPS produced by P. aeruginosa. The underlying factors contributing to this diversity will be thoroughly discussed and presented in the context of its contributions to host-pathogen interactions and the control/prevention of infection.

  18. Limiting similarity and functional diversity along environmental gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwilk, D.W.; Ackerly, D.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent developments in community models emphasize the importance of incorporating stochastic processes (e.g. ecological drift) in models of niche-structured community assembly. We constructed a finite, spatially explicit, lottery model to simulate the distribution of species in a one-dimensional landscape with an underlying gradient in environmental conditions. Our framework combines the potential for ecological drift with environmentally-mediated competition for space in a heterogeneous environment. We examined the influence of niche breadth, dispersal distances, community size (total number of individuals) and the breadth of the environmental gradient on levels of species and functional trait diversity (i.e. differences in niche optima). Three novel results emerge from this model: (1) niche differences between adjacent species (e.g. limiting similarity) increase in smaller communities, because of the interaction of competitive effects and finite population sizes; (2) immigration from a regional species pool, stochasticity and niche-assembly generate a bimodal distribution of species residence times ('transient' and 'resident') under a heterogeneous environment; and (3) the magnitude of environmental heterogeneity has a U-shaped effect on diversity, because of shifts in species richness of resident vs. transient species. These predictions illustrate the potential importance of stochastic (although not necessarily neutral) processes in community assembly. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Protein function from its emergence to diversity in contemporary proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncearenco, Alexander; Berezovsky, Igor N.

    2015-07-01

    The goal of this work is to learn from nature the rules that govern evolution and the design of protein function. The fundamental laws of physics lie in the foundation of the protein structure and all stages of the protein evolution, determining optimal sizes and shapes at different levels of structural hierarchy. We looked back into the very onset of the protein evolution with a goal to find elementary functions (EFs) that came from the prebiotic world and served as building blocks of the first enzymes. We defined the basic structural and functional units of biochemical reactions—elementary functional loops. The diversity of contemporary enzymes can be described via combinations of a limited number of elementary chemical reactions, many of which are performed by the descendants of primitive prebiotic peptides/proteins. By analyzing protein sequences we were able to identify EFs shared by seemingly unrelated protein superfamilies and folds and to unravel evolutionary relations between them. Binding and metabolic processing of the metal- and nucleotide-containing cofactors and ligands are among the most abundant ancient EFs that became indispensable in many natural enzymes. Highly designable folds provide structural scaffolds for many different biochemical reactions. We show that contemporary proteins are built from a limited number of EFs, making their analysis instrumental for establishing the rules for protein design. Evolutionary studies help us to accumulate the library of essential EFs and to establish intricate relations between different folds and functional superfamilies. Generalized sequence-structure descriptors of the EF will become useful in future design and engineering of desired enzymatic functions.

  20. Interacting Dimensions of Diversity: Cross-Categorization and the Functioning of Diverse Work Groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.C. Homan (Astrid); D.L. van Knippenberg (Daan); G.A. van Kleef (Gerben); C.K.W. de Dreu (Carsten)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractWe conducted an experiment to show how the interplay between informational diversity and other dimensions of diversity can account for some of the inconsistent effects of informational diversity in previous research. 70 four-person groups involved in a decision-making task received homog

  1. Linking Carbonic Anhydrase Abundance and Diversity in Soils to Ecological Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, E.; Meredith, L. K.; Welander, P. V.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an ancient enzyme widespread among bacteria, archaea, and eukarya that catalyzes the following reaction: CO2 + H2O ⇌ HCO3- + H+. Its functions are critical for key cellular processes such as concentrating CO2 for autotrophic growth, pH regulation, and pathogen survival in hosts. Currently, there are six known CA classes (α, β, γ, δ, η, ζ) arising from several distinct evolutionary lineages. CA are widespread in sequenced genomes, with many organisms containing multiple classes of CA or multiple CA of the same class. Soils host rich microbial communities with diverse and important ecological functions, but the diversity and abundance of CA in soils has not been explored. CA appears to play an important, but poorly understood, role in some biogeochemical cycles such as those of CO2 and its oxygen isotope composition and also carbonyl sulfide (COS), which are potential tracers in predictive carbon cycle models. Recognizing the prevalence and functional significance of CA in soils, we used a combined bioinformatics and molecular biology approach to address fundamental questions regarding the abundance, diversity, and function of CA in soils. To characterize the abundance and diversity of the different CA classes in soils, we analyzed existing soil metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data from the DOE Joint Genome Institute databases. Out of the six classes of CA, we only found the α, β, and γ classes to be present in soils, with the β class being the most abundant. We also looked at genomes of sequenced soil microorganisms to learn what combination of CA classes they contain, from which we can begin to predict the physiological role of CA. To characterize the functional roles of the different CA classes in soils, we collected soil samples from a variety of biomes with diverse chemical and physical properties and quantified the rate of two CA-mediated processes: soil uptake of COS and acceleration of the oxygen isotope exchange

  2. Phylogeny, Function and evolution of the cupins, a structurally conserved, functionally diverse superfamily of proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Khuri, S.; Bakker, F.T.; Dunwell, J.M.

    2001-01-01

    The cupin superfamily is a group of functionally diverse proteins that are found in all three kingdoms of life, Archaea, Eubacteria, and Eukaryota. These proteins have a characteristic signature domain comprising two histidine- containing motifs separated by an intermotif region of variable length.

  3. Diversity in mechanism and function of tRNA methyltransferases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinehart, William E; Jackman, Jane E

    2015-01-01

    tRNA molecules undergo extensive post-transcriptional processing to generate the mature functional tRNA species that are essential for translation in all organisms. These processing steps include the introduction of numerous specific chemical modifications to nucleotide bases and sugars; among these modifications, methylation reactions are by far the most abundant. The tRNA methyltransferases comprise a diverse enzyme superfamily, including members of multiple structural classes that appear to have arisen independently during evolution. Even among closely related family members, examples of unusual substrate specificity and chemistry have been observed. Here we review recent advances in tRNA methyltransferase mechanism and function with a particular emphasis on discoveries of alternative substrate specificities and chemistry associated with some methyltransferases. Although the molecular function for a specific tRNA methylation may not always be clear, mutations in tRNA methyltransferases have been increasingly associated with human disease. The impact of tRNA methylation on human biology is also discussed. PMID:25626150

  4. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  5. Functional Gene Diversity and Metabolic Potential of the Microbial Community in an Estuary-Shelf Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbes play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes in the ocean, including carbon (C, nitrogen (N, and phosphorus (P cycling. Functional gene diversity and the structure of the microbial community determines its metabolic potential and therefore its ecological function in the marine ecosystem. However, little is known about the functional gene composition and metabolic potential of bacterioplankton in estuary areas. The East China Sea (ECS is a dynamic marginal ecosystem in the western Pacific Ocean that is mainly affected by input from the Changjiang River and the Kuroshio Current. Here, using a high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip, we analyzed the functional gene diversity, composition, structure, and metabolic potential of microbial assemblages in different ECS water masses. Four water masses determined by temperature and salinity relationship showed different patterns of functional gene diversity and composition. Generally, functional gene diversity [Shannon–Weaner’s H and reciprocal of Simpson’s 1/(1-D] in the surface water masses was higher than that in the bottom water masses. The different presence and proportion of functional genes involved in C, N, and P cycling among the bacteria of the different water masses showed different metabolic preferences of the microbial populations in the ECS. Genes involved in starch metabolism (amyA and nplT showed higher proportion in microbial communities of the surface water masses than of the bottom water masses. In contrast, a higher proportion of genes involved in chitin degradation was observed in microorganisms of the bottom water masses. Moreover, we found a higher proportion of nitrogen fixation (nifH, transformation of hydroxylamine to nitrite (hao and ammonification (gdh genes in the microbial communities of the bottom water masses compared with those of the surface water masses. The spatial variation of microbial functional genes was significantly correlated

  6. Butterflies show different functional and species diversity in relationship to vegetation structure and land use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Wallis de Vries, Michiel; Marshall, Leon; Zelfde, van 't Maarten; Villalobos-Arámbula, Alma R.; Boekelo, Bastiaen; Bartholomeus, Harm; Franzén, Markus; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.

    2017-01-01


    Aim

    Biodiversity is rapidly disappearing at local and global scales also affecting the functional diversity of ecosystems. We aimed to assess whether functional diversity was correlated with species diversity and whether both were affected by similar land use and vegetation structure

  7. Functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Varo, Juan P; López-Bao, José V; Guitián, José

    2013-05-01

    1. Knowledge of the spatial scale of the dispersal service provided by important seed dispersers (i.e. common and/or keystone species) is essential to our understanding of their role on plant ecology, ecosystem functioning and, ultimately, biodiversity conservation. 2. Carnivores are the main mammalian frugivores and seed dispersers in temperate climate regions. However, information on the seed dispersal distances they generate is still very limited. We focused on two common temperate carnivores differing in body size and spatial ecology - red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and European pine marten (Martes martes) - for evaluating possible functional diversity in their seed dispersal kernels. 3. We measured dispersal distances using colour-coded seed mimics embedded in experimental fruits that were offered to the carnivores in feeding stations (simulating source trees). The exclusive colour code of each simulated tree allowed us to assign the exact origin of seed mimics found later in carnivore faeces. We further designed an explicit sampling strategy aiming to detect the longest dispersal events; as far we know, the most robust sampling scheme followed for tracking carnivore-dispersed seeds. 4. We found a marked functional heterogeneity among both species in their seed dispersal kernels according to their home range size: multimodality and long-distance dispersal in the case of the fox and unimodality and short-distance dispersal in the case of the marten (maximum distances = 2846 and 1233 m, respectively). As a consequence, emergent kernels at the guild level (overall and in two different years) were highly dependent on the relative contribution of each carnivore species. 5. Our results provide the first empirical evidence of functional diversity among seed dispersal kernels generated by carnivorous mammals. Moreover, they illustrate for the first time how seed dispersal kernels strongly depend on the relative contribution of different disperser species, thus on the

  8. The Efficacy of Exergames Played Proximally and over the Internet on Cognitive Functioning for Online Physical Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooiman, Brian J.; Sheehan, Dwayne P.

    2014-01-01

    Exergames (active video games that require kinesthetic movement) played in proximity to other players or against a gaming machine have been linked to positive increases in cognitive functioning. This study tested to see if remote exergame play over the Internet had an impact similar to exergames that are played in proximity. The study shows that…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. MusicGlove: motivating and quantifying hand movement rehabilitation by using functional grips to play music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nizan; Chan, Vicky; Zondervan, Danny; Bachman, Mark; Reinkensmeyer, David J

    2011-01-01

    People with stroke typically must perform much of their hand exercise at home without professional assistance as soon as two weeks after the stroke. Without feedback and encouragement, individuals often lose motivation to practice using the affected hand, and this disuse contributes to further declines in hand function. We developed the MusicGlove as a way to facilitate and motivate at home practice of hand movement. This low-cost device uses music as an interactive and motivating medium to guide hand exercise and to quantitatively assess hand movement recovery. It requires the user to practice functional movements, including pincer grip, key-pinch grip, and finger-thumb opposition, by using those movements to play different musical notes, played along to songs displayed by an interactive computer game. We report here the design of the glove and the results of a single-session experiment with 10 participants with chronic stroke. We found that the glove is well suited for use by people with an impairment level quantified by a Box and Blocks score of at least around 7; that the glove can be used to obtain a measure of hand dexterity (% of notes hit) that correlates strongly with the Box and Blocks score; and that the incorporation of music into training significantly improved both objective measures of hand motor performance and self-ratings of motivation for training in the single session.

  12. Diverse functions of spindle assembly checkpoint genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Jewel A; Keyes, Brice E; Ng, Yvonne P Y; Freeman, C Onyi; Burke, Daniel J

    2006-01-01

    The spindle assembly checkpoint regulates the metaphase-to-anaphase transition from yeast to humans. We examined the genetic interactions with four spindle assembly checkpoint genes to identify nonessential genes involved in chromosome segregation, to identify the individual roles of the spindle assembly checkpoint genes within the checkpoint, and to reveal potential complexity that may exist. We used synthetic genetic array (SGA) analysis using spindle assembly checkpoint mutants mad1, mad2, mad3, and bub3. We found 228 synthetic interactions with the four spindle assembly checkpoint mutants with substantial overlap in the spectrum of interactions between mad1, mad2, and bub3. In contrast, there were many synthetic interactions that were common to mad1, mad2, and bub3 that were not shared by mad3. We found shared interactions between pairs of spindle assembly checkpoint mutants, suggesting additional complexity within the checkpoint and unique interactions for all of the spindle assembly checkpoint genes. We show that most genes in the interaction network, including ones with unique interactions, affect chromosome transmission or microtubule function, suggesting that the complexity of interactions reflects diverse roles for the checkpoint genes within the checkpoint. Our analysis expands our understanding of the spindle assembly checkpoint and identifies new candidate genes with possible roles in chromosome transmission and mitotic spindle function.

  13. Playing piano can improve upper extremity function after stroke: case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villeneuve, Myriam; Lamontagne, Anouk

    2013-01-01

    Music-supported therapy (MST) is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3), prior to (week6) and after the intervention (week9), and at 3-week follow-up (week12). Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test) and gross (box and block test) manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke.

  14. Playing Piano Can Improve Upper Extremity Function after Stroke: Case Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myriam Villeneuve

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Music-supported therapy (MST is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3, prior to (week6 and after the intervention (week9, and at 3-week follow-up (week12. Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test and gross (box and block test manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test. Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke.

  15. Exploitation of desilylation chemistry in tailor-made functionalization on diverse surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yongchun; Chen, Songjie; Kuzume, Akiyoshi; Rudnev, Alexander; Huang, Cancan; Kaliginedi, Veerabhadrarao; Baghernejad, Masoud; Hong, Wenjing; Wandlowski, Thomas; Decurtins, Silvio; Liu, Shi-Xia

    2015-03-01

    Interface engineering to attain a uniform and compact self-assembled monolayer at atomically flat surfaces plays a crucial role in the bottom-up fabrication of organic molecular devices. Here we report a promising and operationally simple approach for modification/functionalization not only at ultraflat single-crystal metal surfaces, M(111) (M=Au, Pt, Pd, Rh and Ir) but also at the highly oriented pyrolytic graphite surface, upon efficient in situ cleavage of trimethylsilyl end groups of the molecules. The obtained self-assembled monolayers are ultrastable within a wide potential window. The carbon-surface bonding on various substrates is confirmed by shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Application of this strategy in tuning surface wettability is also demonstrated. The most valuable finding is that a combination of the desilylation with the click chemistry represents an efficient method for covalent and tailor-made functionalization of diverse surfaces.

  16. Exploitation of desilylation chemistry in tailor-made functionalization on diverse surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yongchun; Chen, Songjie; Kuzume, Akiyoshi; Rudnev, Alexander; Huang, Cancan; Kaliginedi, Veerabhadrarao; Baghernejad, Masoud; Hong, Wenjing; Wandlowski, Thomas; Decurtins, Silvio; Liu, Shi-Xia

    2015-03-11

    Interface engineering to attain a uniform and compact self-assembled monolayer at atomically flat surfaces plays a crucial role in the bottom-up fabrication of organic molecular devices. Here we report a promising and operationally simple approach for modification/functionalization not only at ultraflat single-crystal metal surfaces, M(111) (M=Au, Pt, Pd, Rh and Ir) but also at the highly oriented pyrolytic graphite surface, upon efficient in situ cleavage of trimethylsilyl end groups of the molecules. The obtained self-assembled monolayers are ultrastable within a wide potential window. The carbon-surface bonding on various substrates is confirmed by shell-isolated nanoparticle-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Application of this strategy in tuning surface wettability is also demonstrated. The most valuable finding is that a combination of the desilylation with the click chemistry represents an efficient method for covalent and tailor-made functionalization of diverse surfaces.

  17. Molybdenum and tungsten oxygen transferases--and functional diversity within a common active site motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pushie, M Jake; Cotelesage, Julien J; George, Graham N

    2014-01-01

    Molybdenum and tungsten are the only second and third-row transition elements with a known function in living organisms. The molybdenum and tungsten enzymes show common structural features, with the metal being bound by a pyranopterin-dithiolene cofactor called molybdopterin. They catalyze a variety of oxygen transferase reactions coupled with two-electron redox chemistry in which the metal cycles between the +6 and +4 oxidation states usually with water, either product or substrate, providing the oxygen. The functional roles filled by the molybdenum and tungsten enzymes are diverse; for example, they play essential roles in microbial respiration, in the uptake of nitrogen in green plants, and in human health. Together, the enzymes form a superfamily which is among the most prevalent known, being found in all kingdoms of life. This review discusses what is known of the active site structures and the mechanisms, together with some recent insights into the evolution of these important enzyme systems.

  18. Intraspecific functional diversity of common species enhances community stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Connor M; McKinney, Shawn T; Loftin, Cynthia S

    2017-03-01

    Common species are fundamental to the structure and function of their communities and may enhance community stability through intraspecific functional diversity (iFD). We measured among-habitat and within-habitat iFD (i.e., among- and within-plant community types) of two common small mammal species using stable isotopes and functional trait dendrograms, determined whether iFD was related to short-term population stability and small mammal community stability, and tested whether spatially explicit trait filters helped explain observed patterns of iFD. Southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) had greater iFD than deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), both among habitats, and within the plant community in which they were most abundant (their "primary habitat"). Peromyscus maniculatus populations across habitats differed significantly between years and declined 78% in deciduous forests, their primary habitat, as did the overall deciduous forest small mammal community. Myodes gapperi populations were stable across habitats and within coniferous forest, their primary habitat, as was the coniferous forest small mammal community. Generalized linear models representing internal trait filters (e.g., competition), which increase within-habitat type iFD, best explained variation in M. gapperi diet, while models representing internal filters and external filters (e.g., climate), which suppress within-habitat iFD, best explained P. maniculatus diet. This supports the finding that M. gapperi had higher iFD than P. maniculatus and is consistent with the theory that internal trait filters are associated with higher iFD than external filters. Common species with high iFD can impart a stabilizing influence on their communities, information that can be important for conserving biodiversity under environmental change.

  19. Improving understanding of the functional diversity of fisheries by exploring the influence of global catch reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L; Watson, Reg A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Blanchard, Julia L

    2017-09-06

    Functional diversity is thought to enhance ecosystem resilience, driving research focused on trends in the functional composition of fisheries, most recently with new reconstructions of global catch data. However, there is currently little understanding of how accounting for unreported catches (e.g. small-scale and illegal fisheries, bycatch and discards) influences functional diversity trends in global fisheries. We explored how diversity estimates varied among reported and unreported components of catch in 2010, and found these components had distinct functional fingerprints. Incorporating unreported catches had little impact on global-scale functional diversity patterns. However, at smaller, management-relevant scales, the effects of incorporating unreported catches were large (changes in functional diversity of up to 46%). Our results suggest there is greater uncertainty about the risks to ecosystem integrity and resilience from current fishing patterns than previously recognized. We provide recommendations and suggest a research agenda to improve future assessments of functional diversity of global fisheries.

  20. Three zinc-finger RNA-binding proteins in cabbage (Brassica rapa) play diverse roles in seed germination and plant growth under normal and abiotic stress conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ye Rin; Choi, Min Ji; Park, Su Jung; Kang, Hunseung

    2017-01-01

    Despite the increasing understanding of the stress-responsive roles of zinc-finger RNA-binding proteins (RZs) in several plant species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa), the functions of RZs in cabbage (Brassica rapa) have not yet been elucidated. In this study, the functional roles of the three RZ family members present in the cabbage genome, designated as BrRZ1, BrRZ2 and BrRZ3, were investigated in transgenic Arabidopsis under normal and environmental stress conditions. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that all BrRZ proteins were exclusively localized in the nucleus. The expression levels of each BrRZ were markedly increased by cold, drought or salt stress and by abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Expression of BrRZ3 in Arabidopsis retarded seed germination and stem growth and reduced seed yield of Arabidopsis plants under normal growth conditions. Germination of BrRZ2- or BrRZ3-expressing Arabidopsis seeds was delayed compared with that of wild-type seeds under dehydration or salt stress conditions and cold stress conditions, respectively. Seedling growth of BrRZ3-expressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants was significantly inhibited under salt, dehydration or cold stress conditions. Notably, seedling growth of all three BrRZ-expressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants was inhibited upon ABA treatment. Importantly, all BrRZs possessed RNA chaperone activity. Taken together, these results indicate that the three cabbage BrRZs harboring RNA chaperone activity play diverse roles in seed germination and seedling growth of plants under abiotic stress conditions as well as in the presence of ABA. © 2016 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  1. CD44 plays a functional role in Helicobacter pylori-induced epithelial cell proliferation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Bertaux-Skeirik

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The cytotoxin-associated gene (Cag pathogenicity island is a strain-specific constituent of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori that augments cancer risk. CagA translocates into the cytoplasm where it stimulates cell signaling through the interaction with tyrosine kinase c-Met receptor, leading cellular proliferation. Identified as a potential gastric stem cell marker, cluster-of-differentiation (CD CD44 also acts as a co-receptor for c-Met, but whether it plays a functional role in H. pylori-induced epithelial proliferation is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that CD44 plays a functional role in H. pylori-induced epithelial cell proliferation. To assay changes in gastric epithelial cell proliferation in relation to the direct interaction with H. pylori, human- and mouse-derived gastric organoids were infected with the G27 H. pylori strain or a mutant G27 strain bearing cagA deletion (∆CagA::cat. Epithelial proliferation was quantified by EdU immunostaining. Phosphorylation of c-Met was analyzed by immunoprecipitation followed by Western blot analysis for expression of CD44 and CagA. H. pylori infection of both mouse- and human-derived gastric organoids induced epithelial proliferation that correlated with c-Met phosphorylation. CagA and CD44 co-immunoprecipitated with phosphorylated c-Met. The formation of this complex did not occur in organoids infected with ∆CagA::cat. Epithelial proliferation in response to H. pylori infection was lost in infected organoids derived from CD44-deficient mouse stomachs. Human-derived fundic gastric organoids exhibited an induction in proliferation when infected with H. pylori that was not seen in organoids pre-treated with a peptide inhibitor specific to CD44. In the well-established Mongolian gerbil model of gastric cancer, animals treated with CD44 peptide inhibitor Pep1, resulted in the inhibition of H. pylori-induced proliferation and associated atrophic gastritis. The current study reports a unique

  2. Endozoicomonas genomes reveal functional adaptation and plasticity in bacterial strains symbiotically associated with diverse marine hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Neave, Matthew J.

    2017-01-17

    Endozoicomonas bacteria are globally distributed and often abundantly associated with diverse marine hosts including reef-building corals, yet their function remains unknown. In this study we generated novel Endozoicomonas genomes from single cells and metagenomes obtained directly from the corals Stylophora pistillata, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Acropora humilis. We then compared these culture-independent genomes to existing genomes of bacterial isolates acquired from a sponge, sea slug, and coral to examine the functional landscape of this enigmatic genus. Sequencing and analysis of single cells and metagenomes resulted in four novel genomes with 60–76% and 81–90% genome completeness, respectively. These data also confirmed that Endozoicomonas genomes are large and are not streamlined for an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle, implying that they have free-living stages. All genomes show an enrichment of genes associated with carbon sugar transport and utilization and protein secretion, potentially indicating that Endozoicomonas contribute to the cycling of carbohydrates and the provision of proteins to their respective hosts. Importantly, besides these commonalities, the genomes showed evidence for differential functional specificity and diversification, including genes for the production of amino acids. Given this metabolic diversity of Endozoicomonas we propose that different genotypes play disparate roles and have diversified in concert with their hosts.

  3. Organic amendments enhance microbial diversity and abundance of functional genes in Australian Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldorri, Sind; McMillan, Mary; Pereg, Lily

    2016-04-01

    Food and cash crops play important roles in Australia's economy with black, grey and red clay soil, widely use for growing cotton, wheat, corn and other crops in rotation. While the majority of cotton growers use nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers only in the form of agrochemicals, a few experiment with the addition of manure or composted plant material before planting. We hypothesized that the use of such organic amendments would enhance the soil microbial function through increased microbial diversity and abundance, thus contribute to improved soil sustainability. To test the hypothesis we collected soil samples from two cotton-growing farms in close geographical proximity and with mostly similar production practices other than one grower has been using composted plants as organic amendment and the second farmer uses only agrochemicals. We applied the Biolog Ecoplate system to study the metabolic signature of microbial communities and used qPCR to estimate the abundance of functional genes in the soil. The soil treated with organic amendments clearly showed higher metabolic activity of a more diverse range of carbon sources as well as higher abundance of genes involved in the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles. Since microbes undertake a large number of soil functions, the use of organic amendments can contribute to the sustainability of agricultural soils.

  4. Fluidic interconnections for microfluidic systems: A new integrated fluidic interconnection allowing plug 'n' play functionality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perozziello, Gerardo; Bundgaard, Frederik; Geschke, Oliver

    2008-01-01

    A crucial challenge in packaging of microsystems is microfluidic interconnections. These have to seal the ports of the system, and have to provide the appropriate interface to other devices or the external environment. Integrated fluidic interconnections appear to be a good solution...... for interconnecting polymer microsystems in terms of cost, space and performance. Following this path we propose a new reversible, integrated fluidic interconnection composed of custom-made cylindrical rings integrated in a polymer house next to the fluidic network. This allows plug 'n' play functionality between...... external metal ferrules and the system. Theoretical calculations are made to dimension and model the integrated fluidic interconnection. Leakage tests are performed on the interconnections, in order to experimentally confirm the model, and detect its limits....

  5. Functional diversity and developmental changes in rat neuronal kainate receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilding, T J; Huettner, J E

    2001-04-15

    1. Whole-cell currents evoked by kainate and the GluR5-selective agonist (RS)-2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-tertbutylisoxazol-4-yl)propanoic acid (ATPA) were used to compare the physiological properties of kainate receptors expressed by neurons from rat hippocampus, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia. 2. In contrast to kainate, which evoked desensitizing currents with similar decay rates and steady-state components in all three cell types, responses to ATPA were distinctly different in the three cell populations. Currents evoked by ATPA displayed a significant steady-state component in hippocampal neurons, but decayed rapidly to baseline in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells. ATPA failed to evoke current in many of the spinal neurons. 3. ATPA caused steady-state desensitization in DRG cells with an IC50 of 41 nM. Recovery from desensitization of DRG cell receptors by ATPA was significantly slower than for any previously described agonist. In contrast, hippocampal kainate receptors recovered from desensitization by ATPA within a few seconds. 4. Half-maximal activation of kainate receptors in hippocampal neurons required 938 nM ATPA. In DRG cells treated with concanavalin A the EC50 for ATPA was 341 nM. ATPA evoked current in embryonic hippocampal neurons but with lower amplitude relative to kainate than in cultured postnatal neurons. 5. Collectively, these results highlight functional differences between neuronal kainate receptors that may reflect their distinct subunit composition and their diverse roles in synaptic transmission.

  6. Distance-based functional diversity measures and their decomposition: a framework based on Hill numbers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Chun-Huo; Chao, Anne

    2014-01-01

    Hill numbers (or the "effective number of species") are increasingly used to characterize species diversity of an assemblage. This work extends Hill numbers to incorporate species pairwise functional distances calculated from species traits. We derive a parametric class of functional Hill numbers, which quantify "the effective number of equally abundant and (functionally) equally distinct species" in an assemblage. We also propose a class of mean functional diversity (per species), which quantifies the effective sum of functional distances between a fixed species to all other species. The product of the functional Hill number and the mean functional diversity thus quantifies the (total) functional diversity, i.e., the effective total distance between species of the assemblage. The three measures (functional Hill numbers, mean functional diversity and total functional diversity) quantify different aspects of species trait space, and all are based on species abundance and species pairwise functional distances. When all species are equally distinct, our functional Hill numbers reduce to ordinary Hill numbers. When species abundances are not considered or species are equally abundant, our total functional diversity reduces to the sum of all pairwise distances between species of an assemblage. The functional Hill numbers and the mean functional diversity both satisfy a replication principle, implying the total functional diversity satisfies a quadratic replication principle. When there are multiple assemblages defined by the investigator, each of the three measures of the pooled assemblage (gamma) can be multiplicatively decomposed into alpha and beta components, and the two components are independent. The resulting beta component measures pure functional differentiation among assemblages and can be further transformed to obtain several classes of normalized functional similarity (or differentiation) measures, including N-assemblage functional generalizations of the

  7. Distance-based functional diversity measures and their decomposition: a framework based on Hill numbers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Huo Chiu

    Full Text Available Hill numbers (or the "effective number of species" are increasingly used to characterize species diversity of an assemblage. This work extends Hill numbers to incorporate species pairwise functional distances calculated from species traits. We derive a parametric class of functional Hill numbers, which quantify "the effective number of equally abundant and (functionally equally distinct species" in an assemblage. We also propose a class of mean functional diversity (per species, which quantifies the effective sum of functional distances between a fixed species to all other species. The product of the functional Hill number and the mean functional diversity thus quantifies the (total functional diversity, i.e., the effective total distance between species of the assemblage. The three measures (functional Hill numbers, mean functional diversity and total functional diversity quantify different aspects of species trait space, and all are based on species abundance and species pairwise functional distances. When all species are equally distinct, our functional Hill numbers reduce to ordinary Hill numbers. When species abundances are not considered or species are equally abundant, our total functional diversity reduces to the sum of all pairwise distances between species of an assemblage. The functional Hill numbers and the mean functional diversity both satisfy a replication principle, implying the total functional diversity satisfies a quadratic replication principle. When there are multiple assemblages defined by the investigator, each of the three measures of the pooled assemblage (gamma can be multiplicatively decomposed into alpha and beta components, and the two components are independent. The resulting beta component measures pure functional differentiation among assemblages and can be further transformed to obtain several classes of normalized functional similarity (or differentiation measures, including N-assemblage functional

  8. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010-2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon's landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Loss of functional diversity of ant assemblages in secondary tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bihn, Jochen H; Gebauer, Gerhard; Brandl, Roland

    2010-03-01

    Secondary forests and plantations increasingly dominate the tropical wooded landscape in place of primary forests. The expected reduction of biodiversity and its impact on ecological functions provided by these secondary forests are of major concern to society and ecologists. The potential effect of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning depends largely on the associated loss in the functional diversity of animal and plant assemblages, i.e., the degree of functional redundancy among species. However, the relationship between species and functional diversity is still poorly documented for most ecosystems. Here, we analyze how changes in the species diversity of ground-foraging ant assemblages translate into changes of functional diversity along a successional gradient of secondary forests in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Our analysis uses continuous measures of functional diversity and is based on four functional traits related to resource use of ants: body size, relative eye size, relative leg length, and trophic position. We find a strong relationship between species and functional diversity, independent of the functional traits used, with no evidence for saturation in this relationship. Recovery of species richness and diversity of ant assemblages in tropical secondary forests was accompanied by a proportional increase of functional richness and diversity of assemblages. Moreover, our results indicate that the increase in functional diversity along the successional gradient of secondary forests is primarily driven by rare species, which are functionally unique. The observed loss of both species and functional diversity in secondary forests offers no reason to believe that the ecological functions provided by secondary forests are buffered against species loss through functional redundancy.

  11. Inter-assemblage facilitation: the functional diversity of cavity-producing beetles drives the size diversity of cavity-nesting bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sydenham, Markus A K; Häusler, Lise D; Moe, Stein R; Eldegard, Katrine

    2016-01-01

    Inter-specific interactions are important drivers and maintainers of biodiversity. Compared to trophic and competitive interactions, the role of non-trophic facilitation among species has received less attention. Cavity-nesting bees nest in old beetle borings in dead wood, with restricted diameters corresponding to the body size of the bee species. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the functional diversity of cavity-producing wood boring beetles - in terms of cavity diameters - drives the size diversity of cavity-nesting bees. The invertebrate communities were sampled in 30 sites, located in forested landscapes along an elevational gradient. We regressed the species richness and abundance of cavity nesting bees against the species richness and abundance of wood boring beetles, non-wood boring beetles and elevation. The proportion of cavity nesting bees in bee species assemblage was regressed against the species richness and abundance of wood boring beetles. We also tested the relationships between the size diversity of cavity nesting bees and wood boring beetles. The species richness and abundance of cavity nesting bees increased with the species richness and abundance of wood boring beetles. No such relationship was found for non-wood boring beetles. The abundance of wood boring beetles was also related to an increased proportion of cavity nesting bee individuals. Moreover, the size diversity of cavity-nesting bees increased with the functional diversity of wood boring beetles. Specifically, the mean and dispersion of bee body sizes increased with the functional dispersion of large wood boring beetles. The positive relationships between cavity producing bees and cavity nesting bees suggest that non-trophic facilitative interactions between species assemblages play important roles in organizing bee species assemblages. Considering a community-wide approach may therefore be required if we are to successfully understand and conserve wild bee

  12. Leaf and stem economics spectra drive diversity of functional plant traits in a dynamic global vegetation model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sakschewski, B.; Bloh, von W.; Boit, A.; Rammig, A.; Kattge, J.; Poorter, L.; Peñualeas, J.; Thonicke, K.

    2015-01-01

    Functional diversity is critical for ecosystem dynamics, stability and productivity. However, dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) which are increasingly used to simulate ecosystem functions under global change, condense functional diversity to plant functional types (PFTs) with constant paramet

  13. Evaluation of nine distance-based measures of functional diversity applied to forest communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Tun Zhang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Several methods for the estimation of functional diversity are employed in plant communities. However, it is hard to select the most suitable measures in practice. This work presents comparisons of nine distance-based measures applied to functional diversity analysis in forest communities (36m plots along an elevational gradient in the Pangquangou Reserve, China. The employed indices and methods were: functional attribute diversity (FAD, Rao’s functional diversity (Rao’s index, single linkage (SL, complete linkage (CL, Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA, Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Centroids (UPGMC, Median linkage (Median, fuzzy equivalence diversity (Fuzzy index and minimum spanning tree index (MST. The results showed that all the nine measures successfully quantified the functional diversity in plant communities and described the changes along environmental gradient. It was concludedthat all the employed indices and methods were equally effectiveand significantly correlated. Comparatively, fuzzy index, MST, UPGMC,UPGMA and Median were more suitable and should have priority over theother four measures in functional diversity analysis. A combination of a few measures of functional diversity within the same study was recommended. Functional diversity indices were significantly decreasing with elevation and correlated with species richness in the studied forest communities.

  14. Evaluation of nine distance-based measures of functional diversity applied to forest communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Tun Zhang

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Several methods for the estimation of functional diversity are employed in plant communities. However, it is hard to select the most suitable measures in practice. This work presents comparisons of nine distance-based measures applied to functional diversity analysis in forest communities (36 plots along an elevational gradient in the Pangquangou Reserve, China. The employed indices and methods were: functional attribute diversity (FAD, Rao’s functional diversity (Rao’s index, single linkage (SL, complete linkage (CL, Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA, Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Centroids (UPGMC, Median linkage (Median, fuzzy equivalence diversity (Fuzzy index and minimum spanning tree index (MST. The results showed that all the nine measures successfully quantified the functional diversity in plant communities and described the changes along environmental gradient. It was concluded that all the employed indices and methods were equally effective and significantly correlated. Comparatively, fuzzy index, MST, UPGMC, UPGMA and Median were more suitable and should have priority over the other four measures in functional diversity analysis. A combination of a few measures of functional diversity within the same study was recommended. Functional diversity indices were significantly decreasing with elevation and correlated with species richness in the studied forest communities. 

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Dung Beetles along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient: Environmental Filtering on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Cássio Alencar; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Figueira, José Eugênio Cortes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira; Fernandes, G. Wilson

    2016-01-01

    Mountains provide an interesting context in which to study the many facets of biodiversity in response to macroclimate, since environmental conditions change rapidly due to elevation. Although the decrease in biodiversity with increasing elevation is generally accepted, our understanding of the variation of functional diversity along altitudinal gradients is still poorly known. The partitioning of diversity into spatial components can help to understand the processes that influence the distribution of species, and these studies are urgently needed in face of the increasing threats to mountain environments throughout the world. We describe the distribution of dung beetle diversity along an altitudinal gradient on a tropical mountain in southeastern Brazil, including the spatial partitioning of taxonomic and functional diversities. The altitudinal gradient ranged from 800 up to 1400 m a.s.l. and we collected dung beetles at every 100 m of altitude. We used the Rao Index to calculate γ, α and β diversity for taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Climatic, soil and vegetation variables were used to explain variation in community attributes along the altitudinal gradient. Dung beetle richness declined with altitude and was related to climatic and vegetation variables, but functional diversity did not follow the same pattern. Over 50% of γ taxonomic diversity was caused by among altitudes diversity (β), while almost 100% of functional diversity was due to the α component. Contrasting β taxonomic with β functional diversity, we suggest that there is ecological redundancy among communities and that the environment is filtering species in terms of the Grinnellian niche, rather than the Eltonian niche. β taxonomic diversity is caused mainly by the turnover component, reinforcing the hypothesis of environmental filtering. Global warming may have strong effects on mountain communities due to upslope range shifts and extinctions, and these events will

  17. Dung Beetles along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient: Environmental Filtering on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Cássio Alencar; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Figueira, José Eugênio Cortes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2016-01-01

    Mountains provide an interesting context in which to study the many facets of biodiversity in response to macroclimate, since environmental conditions change rapidly due to elevation. Although the decrease in biodiversity with increasing elevation is generally accepted, our understanding of the variation of functional diversity along altitudinal gradients is still poorly known. The partitioning of diversity into spatial components can help to understand the processes that influence the distribution of species, and these studies are urgently needed in face of the increasing threats to mountain environments throughout the world. We describe the distribution of dung beetle diversity along an altitudinal gradient on a tropical mountain in southeastern Brazil, including the spatial partitioning of taxonomic and functional diversities. The altitudinal gradient ranged from 800 up to 1400 m a.s.l. and we collected dung beetles at every 100 m of altitude. We used the Rao Index to calculate γ, α and β diversity for taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Climatic, soil and vegetation variables were used to explain variation in community attributes along the altitudinal gradient. Dung beetle richness declined with altitude and was related to climatic and vegetation variables, but functional diversity did not follow the same pattern. Over 50% of γ taxonomic diversity was caused by among altitudes diversity (β), while almost 100% of functional diversity was due to the α component. Contrasting β taxonomic with β functional diversity, we suggest that there is ecological redundancy among communities and that the environment is filtering species in terms of the Grinnellian niche, rather than the Eltonian niche. β taxonomic diversity is caused mainly by the turnover component, reinforcing the hypothesis of environmental filtering. Global warming may have strong effects on mountain communities due to upslope range shifts and extinctions, and these events will

  18. Effects of Seasonal Thermal Stratification on the Functional Diversity and Composition of the Microbial Community in a Drinking Water Reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Yang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The microbial communities within reservoir ecosystems are shaped by water quality and hydrological characteristics. However, there are few studies focused on the effects of thermal stratification on the bacterial community diversity in drinking water reservoirs. In this study, we collected water samples from the Jinpen Reservoir around the re-stratification period. To explore the functional diversity and bacterial community composition, we used the Biolog method and 16S rRNA-based 454 pyrosequencing combined with flow cytometry. The results indicated that stratification of the reservoir had great effects on temperature and oxygen profiles, and both the functional diversity and the composition of the bacterial community strongly reflected the significant vertical stratification in the reservoir. The results of the Biolog method showed a significantly higher utilization of carbon sources in the hypolimnion than in the epilimnion. The result of pyrosequencing also showed a significantly higher species diversity and richness in the hypolimnion than in the epilimnion with different dominant phylum. Redundancy analysis also indicated that the majority of environmental variables, especially pH and dissolved oxygen, played key roles in shaping bacterial community composition. Our study provides a better understanding of the functional diversity of bacterial communities, and the response of microorganisms to seasonal thermal stratification.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariana E Sutton-Grier

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

  20. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of cultivable rhizobacterial endophytes of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindasamy, Venkadasamy; Raina, Susheel Kumar; George, Priya; Kumar, Mahesh; Rane, Jagadish; Minhas, Paramjit Singh; Vittal, Kanuparthy Pandu Ranga

    2017-03-28

    A diverse group of bacteria colonize the exo- and endo-rhizospheres of sorghum and play a critical role in its tolerance to drought and other abiotic stresses. Two hundred and eighty endophytic bacteria were isolated from the surface-sterilized roots of four sorghum cultivars that were grown on three soil types at three different phenological stages of growth. The isolates were subjected to in vitro screening for their plant growth promoting traits. Out of 280 isolates, 70 could produce Indole 3-Acetic Acid (IAA), 28 showed N-fixation, 28 could solubilize phosphate, 24 had ACC deaminase activity and 13 isolates were able to produce siderophores. Functional diversity grouping of the isolates indicated one isolate having five PGP traits and two isolates having four PGP traits; two and 29 isolates having three and two PGP traits, respectively. Among the thirty-four isolates that possessed multiple PGP traits, 19 and 17 isolates were able to produce significant quantities of IAA in the presence and absence of L-tryptophan, an inducer. Eight isolates possessed high levels of ACC deaminase activity. PCR-RFLP of the 16Sr RNA gene revealed a distinct clustering and considerable genetic diversity among these functionally characterized isolates. The 16S rRNA gene based identification of the isolates of single and multiple PGP traits revealed phylogenetic dominance of Firmicutes; Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Enterobacter, Geobacillus, Lysinibacillus, Microbacterium, Ochrobactrum, Paenibacillus and Pseudomonas were the major genera present in the endo-rhizosphere of sorghum. Results of this study are constructive in selection of effective rhizobacterial endophytes or consortia for drought stress alleviation in sorghum.

  1. Dispersion quality of amine functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes plays critical roles in polymerase chain reaction enhancement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuce, Meral, E-mail: meralyuce@sabanciuniv.edu; Budak, Hikmet [Sabanci University, Nanotechnology Research and Application Centre (Turkey)

    2014-12-15

    Impact of dispersion quality of NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs (13–18 nm in diameter with a length between 1 and 12 µm, >99 % purity) in the amplification efficiency of a random DNA oligonucleotide library (96 bp) was investigated. Amplification yield in the presence of non-filtered NH{sub 2}-MWCNT dispersion, filtered NH{sub 2}-MWCNT dispersion and surface-attached NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs was explored, and physical interactions between NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs and major PCR reagents including DNA template, wild type Taq DNA polymerase enzyme and primers were determined using high resolution polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering, UV–Vis-NIR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The results revealed that presence of NH{sub 2}-MWCNT dispersion which was sonicated, centrifuged and filtered, enhanced the total PCR efficiency up to 70 % while the presence of NH{sub 2}-MWCNT only centrifuged after sonication, inhibited the reaction significantly at similar concentrations. Furthermore, the NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs coupled covalently onto magnetic microspheres, contributed for the specificity enhancement whilst decreasing the amplification efficiency by 30 % at the maximum concentration, which suggests a removable enhancement system for sensitive applications. On the other hand, the relative hydrodynamic size distribution measurements displayed a clear difference between the filtered NH{sub 2} and non-filtered NH{sub 2}-MWCNT water dispersions, which justifies the inhibition of the amplification by the non-filtered NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs containing big agglomerates and bundles. Finally, we demonstrated that major PCR components adsorb onto the NH{sub 2}-MWCNTs with diverse affinities, and maintain their functions after adsorption, which provides a good framework to further develop tunable NH{sub 2}-MWCNT-carriers to be utilized in various nanobiotechnology and material science applications.

  2. Does gender play a role in functional asymmetry of ventromedial prefrontal cortex?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, Daniel; Damasio, Hanna; Denburg, Natalie L; Bechara, Antoine

    2005-12-01

    We found previously in a lesion study that the right-sided sector of the ventromedial prefrontal cortices (VMPCs) was critical for social/emotional functioning and decision-making, whereas the left side appeared to be less important. It so happened that all but one of the subjects in that study were men, and the one woman did not fit the pattern very well. This prompted a follow-up investigation, in which we explored the following question: Does gender play a role in the development of defects in social conduct, emotional functioning and decision-making, following unilateral VMPC damage? We culled from our Patient Registry same-sex pairs of men or women patients who had comparable unilateral VMPC damage in either the left or right hemisphere. Two male pairs and one female pair were formed, and we included two additional women with unilateral right VMPC damage (8 patients in all). The domains of measurement covered social conduct, emotional processing and personality, and decision-making. We found a systematic effect of gender on the pattern of left-right asymmetry in VMPC. In men, there were severe defects following unilateral right VMPC damage, but not following left-sided damage. In women, there were defects following unilateral left VMPC damage; following right-sided damage, however, defects were mild or absent. The findings suggest that men and women may use different strategies to solve similar problems--e.g. men may use a more holistic, gestalt-type strategy, and women may use a more analytic, verbally-mediated strategy. Such differences could reflect asymmetric, gender-related differences in the neurobiology of left and right VMPC sectors.

  3. Neurospora COP9 signalosome integrity plays major roles for hyphal growth, conidial development, and circadian function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhipeng Zhou

    Full Text Available The COP9 signalosome (CSN is a highly conserved multifunctional complex that has two major biochemical roles: cleaving NEDD8 from cullin proteins and maintaining the stability of CRL components. We used mutation analysis to confirm that the JAMM domain of the CSN-5 subunit is responsible for NEDD8 cleavage from cullin proteins in Neurospora crassa. Point mutations of key residues in the metal-binding motif (EX(nHXHX(10D of the CSN-5 JAMM domain disrupted CSN deneddylation activity without interfering with assembly of the CSN complex or interactions between CSN and cullin proteins. Surprisingly, CSN-5 with a mutated JAMM domain partially rescued the phenotypic defects observed in a csn-5 mutant. We found that, even without its deneddylation activity, the CSN can partially maintain the stability of the SCF(FWD-1 complex and partially restore the degradation of the circadian clock protein FREQUENCY (FRQ in vivo. Furthermore, we showed that CSN containing mutant CSN-5 efficiently prevents degradation of the substrate receptors of CRLs. Finally, we found that deletion of the CAND1 ortholog in N. crassa had little effect on the conidiation circadian rhythm. Our results suggest that CSN integrity plays major roles in hyphal growth, conidial development, and circadian function in N. crassa.

  4. Crop rotational diversity enhances belowground communities and functions in an agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S; Atkinson, E E; Marin-Spiotta, E; McDaniel, M D

    2015-08-01

    Biodiversity loss, an important consequence of agricultural intensification, can lead to reductions in agroecosystem functions and services. Increasing crop diversity through rotation may alleviate these negative consequences by restoring positive aboveground-belowground interactions. Positive impacts of aboveground biodiversity on belowground communities and processes have primarily been observed in natural systems. Here, we test for the effects of increased diversity in an agroecosystem, where plant diversity is increased over time through crop rotation. As crop diversity increased from one to five species, distinct soil microbial communities were related to increases in soil aggregation, organic carbon, total nitrogen, microbial activity and decreases in the carbon-to-nitrogen acquiring enzyme activity ratio. This study indicates positive biodiversity-function relationships in agroecosystems, driven by interactions between rotational and microbial diversity. By increasing the quantity, quality and chemical diversity of residues, high diversity rotations can sustain soil biological communities, with positive effects on soil organic matter and soil fertility.

  5. Functional diversity of macrobenthic assemblages decreases in response to sewage discharges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gusmao, Joao B.; Brauko, Kalina M.; Eriksson, Britas K.; Lana, Paulo C.

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed the effects of sewage discharge on a subtropical estuary by comparing the functional diversity of intertidal macroinvertebrate assemblages in contaminated with non-contaminated reference areas. Functional structure was assessed using biological traits analysis (BTA) and four multivariate

  6. Structural and functional diversity of acidic scorpion potassium channel toxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zong-Yun Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although the basic scorpion K(+ channel toxins (KTxs are well-known pharmacological tools and potential drug candidates, characterization the acidic KTxs still has the great significance for their potential selectivity towards different K(+ channel subtypes. Unfortunately, research on the acidic KTxs has been ignored for several years and progressed slowly. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we describe the identification of nine new acidic KTxs by cDNA cloning and bioinformatic analyses. Seven of these toxins belong to three new α-KTx subfamilies (α-KTx28, α-KTx29, and α-KTx30, and two are new members of the known κ-KTx2 subfamily. ImKTx104 containing three disulfide bridges, the first member of the α-KTx28 subfamily, has a low sequence homology with other known KTxs, and its NMR structure suggests ImKTx104 adopts a modified cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-β-sheet (CS-α/β fold motif that has no apparent α-helixs and β-sheets, but still stabilized by three disulfide bridges. These newly described acidic KTxs exhibit differential pharmacological effects on potassium channels. Acidic scorpion toxin ImKTx104 was the first peptide inhibitor found to affect KCNQ1 channel, which is insensitive to the basic KTxs and is strongly associated with human cardiac abnormalities. ImKTx104 selectively inhibited KCNQ1 channel with a K(d of 11.69 µM, but was less effective against the basic KTxs-sensitive potassium channels. In addition to the ImKTx104 toxin, HeTx204 peptide, containing a cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-helix (CS-α/α fold scaffold motif, blocked both Kv1.3 and KCNQ1 channels. StKTx23 toxin, with a cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-β-sheet (CS-α/β fold motif, could inhibit Kv1.3 channel, but not the KCNQ1 channel. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings characterize the structural and functional diversity of acidic KTxs, and could accelerate the development and clinical use of acidic KTxs as pharmacological tools and

  7. The human LIS1 is downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and plays a tumor suppressor function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xing, Zhen; Tang, Xin; Gao, Yuan; Da, Liang; Song, Hai; Wang, Suiquan [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai (China); Tiollais, Pierre [Unite' d' Organisation Nucleaire et Oncogenese, INSERM U.579, Institut Pasteur, Paris (France); Li, Tsaiping [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai (China); Zhao, Mujun, E-mail: mjzhao@sibs.ac.cn [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai (China)

    2011-06-03

    Highlights: {yields} LIS1 mRNA and protein levels are decreased in 70% HCC tissues. {yields} Downregulation of LIS1 expression induces oncogenic transformation of QSG7701 and NIH3T3 cells in vitro and in vivo. {yields} LIS1 downregulation leads to mitotic errors including spindle and chromosome defects. {yields} Ectopic expression of LIS1 could significantly inhibit HCC cell proliferation and colony formation. {yields} Our results suggest that LIS1 plays a potential tumor suppressor role in the development and progression of HCC. -- Abstract: The human lissencephaly-1 gene (LIS1) is a disease gene responsible for Miller-Dieker lissencephaly syndrome (MDL). LIS1 gene is located in the region of chromosome 17p13.3 that is frequency deleted in MDL patients and in human liver cancer cells. However, the expression and significance of LIS1 in liver cancer remain unknown. Here, we investigated the expression of LIS1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues by real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. The results indicated that the mRNA and protein levels of LIS1 were downregulated in about 70% of HCC tissues, and this downregulation was significantly associated with tumor progression. Functional studies showed that the reduction of LIS1 expression in the normal human liver cell line QSG7701 or the mouse fibroblast cell line NIH3T3 by shRNA resulted in colony formation in soft agar and xenograft tumor formation in nude mice, demonstrating that a decrease in the LIS1 level can promote the oncogenic transformation of cells. We also observed that the phenotypes of LIS1-knockdown cells displayed various defective mitotic structures, suggesting that the mechanism by which reduced LIS1 levels results in tumorigenesis is associated with its role in mitosis. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ectopic expression of LIS1 could significantly inhibit HCC cell proliferation and colony formation. Our results suggest that LIS1 plays a potential tumor suppressor role in the

  8. Relationships between functional diversity and aboveground biomass production in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Juntao; Jiang, Lin; Zhang, Yangjian

    2016-09-26

    Functional diversity, the extent of functional differences among species in a community, drives biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) relationships. Here, four species traits and aboveground biomass production (ABP) were considered. We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao's quadratic diversity (FDQ) to evaluate the effects of functional diversity on the ABP in the Northern Tibetan alpine grasslands. Both species and functional diversity were positively related to the ABP. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for the ABP than species diversity and FDQ, indicating a primary dependence of ecosystem property on the identity of dominant species in our study system. Multivariate functional diversity was ineffective in predicting ecosystem function due to the trade-offs among different traits or traits selection criterions. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms driving the BEF relationships in stressed ecosystems, and especially emphasizes that abiotic and biotic factors affect the BEF relationships in alpine grasslands.

  9. Young Mothers' Play with Their Toddlers: Individual Variability as a Function of Psychosocial Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driscoll, Joan Riley; Easterbrooks, M. Ann

    2007-01-01

    There is no one style of parenting which characterizes young mothers as a group. In addition, life circumstances play an important role in shaping maternal behaviour. The aim of this study was to identify patterns of maternal play behaviour and contextual (social and personal) factors associated with these different patterns. In this study, 107…

  10. Using phylogenetic, functional and trait diversity to understand patterns of plant community productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc W Cadotte

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Two decades of research showing that increasing plant diversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1 species richness, 2 variation in 10 individual traits, 3 functional group richness, 4 a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5 a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6 a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7 a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. CONCLUSIONS: Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits.

  11. Expanding Diversity in Molecular Structures and Functions of the IL-6/IL-12 Heterodimeric Cytokine Family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideaki Hasegawa

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The interleukin (IL-6/IL-12 family cytokines have pleiotropic functions and play critical roles in multiple immune responses. This cytokine family has very unique characteristics in that they are composed of two distinct subunits forming a heterodimer and each cytokine and receptor subunit shares with each other. The members of this cytokine family are increasing; currently, there are more than 6 cytokines, including the tentatively named cytokines IL-Y (p28/p40, IL-12 (p35/p40, IL-23 (p19/p40, IL-27 p28/Epstein-Barr virus-induced protein 3 (EBI3, IL-35 (p35/EBI3, and IL-39 (p19/EBI3. This family of cytokines covers a very broad range of immune responses, including pro-inflammatory responses such as helper T (Th1, Th2, and Th17 to anti-inflammatory responses such as regulatory T (Treg cells and IL-10-producing Treg cells. IL-12 is the first member of this family, and IL-12, IL-23, and IL-27 are mainly produced by activated antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells and macrophages. IL-12 plays a critical role in the promotion of Th1 immune responses by inducing interferon-γ production to combat pathogens and malignant tumors. IL-23 induces IL-17 production and is necessary to maintain pathogenic Th17 cells that cause inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. IL-27 was initially reported to play a critical role in promotion of Th1 differentiation; however, subsequent studies revealed that IL-27 has broader stimulatory and inhibitory roles by inducing IL-10-producing Treg cells. IL-35 is produced by forkhead box P3+ Treg cells and activated B cells and has immunosuppressive functions to maintain immune tolerance. The most recently identified cytokine, IL-39, is produced by activated B cells and has pro-inflammatory functions. The cytokine tentatively named IL-Y seems to have anti-inflammatory functions by inhibiting Th1 and Th17 differentiation. In addition, individual cytokine subunits were also shown to have self-standing activities. Thus

  12. Diversions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, John

    2017-01-01

    Three game examples using L-shaped tri-cubes in alternative arrangements are presented. Each game example challenges you to think who might win, and what alternative playing strategies could be implemented to change the final outcome.

  13. Study protocol: effect of playful training on functional abilities of older adults - a randomized controlled trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Jari Due; Lund, Henrik Hautop

    2017-01-01

    paired t-test, otherwise using Wilcoxon signed-rank test. "Intention to treat" analysis will be done.Discussion: The trial tests for increased mobility, agility, balancing and general fitness of community-dwelling elderly as a result of playing, in this case on modular interactive tiles. A positive...... of community dwelling elderly as a result of short-term playing with an exergame system in the form of interactive modular tiles. Such playful training may be motivational to perform and viewed by the subjects to offer life-fulfilling quality, while providing improvement in physical abilities, e.g. related...... to prevent fall accidents. The RCT will test for a variety of health parameters of community-dwelling elderly playing on interactive modular tiles.Methods: The study will be a single blinded, randomized controlled trial with 60 community-dwelling adults 70+ years. The trial will consist an intervention group...

  14. Diverse functions of miR-125 family in different cell contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Yu-Meng

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract MicroRNAs (miRNAs are emerging as a novel class of non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. More than 1000 miRNAs have been identified in human cells to date, and they are reported to play important roles in normal cell homeostasis, cell metastasis and disease pathogensis and progression. MiR-125, which is a highly conserved miRNA throughout diverse species from nematode to humans, consists of three homologs hsa-miR-125a, hsa-miR-125b-1 and hsa-miR-125-2. Members of this family have been validated to be down-regulated, exhibiting its disease-suppressing properties in many different types of diseases, while they also have disease-promoting functions in certain contexts. MiR-125 targets a number of genes such as transcription factors, matrix-metalloprotease, members of Bcl-2 family and others, aberrance of which may lead to abnormal proliferation, metastasis and invasion of cells, even carcinomas. Furthermore, miR-125 plays a crucial role in immunological host defense, especially in response to bacterial or viral infections. In this review, we summarize the implication of miR-125 family in disease suppression and promotion, focusing on carcinoma and host immune responses. We also discussed the potential of this miRNA family as promising biomarkers and therapeutic targets for different diseases in future.

  15. The Function of Play in Bruno Munari’s Children’s Books. A Historical Overview

    OpenAIRE

    Marnie Campagnaro

    2016-01-01

    The ludic dimension of Bruno Munari’s prolific children’s book publishing activity plays an important role, as far as narration and visual arts are concerned. Since the 1940s, and for the following 50 years, books, play and education were fundamental reference points in the artistic production and critical thinking of this Milanese artist. Munari cultivated these influences with extraordinary results in his picturebooks. The following analysis of some of Munari’s texts offers a historical-cri...

  16. Advances in generating functional diversity for directed protein evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivange, Amol V; Marienhagen, Jan; Mundhada, Hemanshu; Schenk, Alexander; Schwaneberg, Ulrich

    2009-02-01

    Despite advances in screening technologies, only a very small fraction of theoretical protein sequence can be sampled in directed evolution experiments. At the current state of random mutagenesis technologies mutation frequencies have often been adjusted to values that cause a limited number of amino acid changes (often one to four amino acid changes per protein). For harvesting the power of directed evolution algorithms it is therefore important that generated mutant libraries are rich in diversity and enriched in active population. Insufficient knowledge about protein traits, mutational robustness of protein folds and technological limitations in diversity generating methods are main challenges for managing the complexity of protein sequence space. This review covers computational and experimental advances for high quality mutant library generation that have been achieved in the past two years.

  17. Hidden Diversity Revealed : Genomic, Transcriptomic and Functional Studies of Diplomonads

    OpenAIRE

    2012-01-01

    The diplomonads are a diverse group of eukaryotic microbes found in oxygen limited environments such as the intestine of animals were they may cause severe disease. Among them, the prominent human parasite Giardia intestinalis non-invasively colonizes the small intestine of humans and animals where it induces the gastrointestinal disease giardiasis. Two of the eight genetic groups of G. intestinalis, assemblage A and B, are known to infect humans and have zoonotic potential. At the start of p...

  18. Fostering innovation in functionally diverse teams : the two faces of transformational leadership

    OpenAIRE

    Hüttermann, Hendrik; Boerner, Sabine

    2011-01-01

    Empirical research on the effects of functional diversity on team innovation has yielded largely inconsistent results, showing positive, negative, as well as nonsignificant effects. For capitalizing on the positive potential inherent in functionally diverse teams, opening the black box between cross-functionality and team innovation by analysing mediating and moderating processes thus seems to be highly relevant. In this article, task and relationship conflicts are introduced as mediators of ...

  19. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions – Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebergesell, Mario; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:26848836

  20. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Liebergesell

    Full Text Available Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis and the functional richness index (FRic. Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

  1. Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions - Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebergesell, Mario; Reu, Björn; Stahl, Ulrike; Freiberg, Martin; Welk, Erik; Kattge, Jens; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Peñuelas, Josep; Wirth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

  2. Effects of Fishing and Regional Species Pool on the Functional Diversity of Fish Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Gustavo M.; Arenas, Francisco; Neto, Ana I.; Jenkins, Stuart R.

    2012-01-01

    The potential population and community level impacts of fishing have received considerable attention, but little is known about how fishing influences communities’ functional diversity at regional scales. We examined how estimates of functional diversity differed among 25 regions of variable richness and investigated the functional consequences of removing species targeted by commercial fisheries. Our study shows that fishing leads to substantial losses in functional diversity. The magnitude of such loss was, however, reduced in the more speciose regions. Moreover, the removal of commercially targeted species caused a much larger reduction in functional diversity than expected by random species deletions, which was a consequence of the selective nature of fishing for particular species traits. Results suggest that functional redundancy is spatially variable, that richer biotas provide some degree of insurance against the impact of fishing on communities’ functional diversity and that fishing predominantly selects for particular species traits. Understanding how fishing impacts community functional diversity is key to predict its effects for biodiversity as well as ecosystem functioning. PMID:22952950

  3. Effects of fishing and regional species pool on the functional diversity of fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Gustavo M; Arenas, Francisco; Neto, Ana I; Jenkins, Stuart R

    2012-01-01

    The potential population and community level impacts of fishing have received considerable attention, but little is known about how fishing influences communities' functional diversity at regional scales. We examined how estimates of functional diversity differed among 25 regions of variable richness and investigated the functional consequences of removing species targeted by commercial fisheries. Our study shows that fishing leads to substantial losses in functional diversity. The magnitude of such loss was, however, reduced in the more speciose regions. Moreover, the removal of commercially targeted species caused a much larger reduction in functional diversity than expected by random species deletions, which was a consequence of the selective nature of fishing for particular species traits. Results suggest that functional redundancy is spatially variable, that richer biotas provide some degree of insurance against the impact of fishing on communities' functional diversity and that fishing predominantly selects for particular species traits. Understanding how fishing impacts community functional diversity is key to predict its effects for biodiversity as well as ecosystem functioning.

  4. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  5. Hsp40 function in yeast prion propagation: Amyloid diversity necessitates chaperone functional complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2015-01-01

    Yeast prions are heritable protein-based elements, most of which are formed of amyloid aggregates that rely on the action of molecular chaperones for transmission to progeny. Prions can form distinct amyloid structures, known as 'strains' in mammalian systems, that dictate both pathological progression and cross-species infection barriers. In yeast these same amyloid structural polymorphisms, called 'variants', dictate the intensity of prion-associated phenotypes and stability in mitosis. We recently reported that [PSI(+)] prion variants differ in the fundamental domain requirements for one chaperone, the Hsp40/J-protein Sis1, which are mutually exclusive between 2 different yeast prions, demonstrating a functional plurality for Sis1. Here we extend that analysis to incorporate additional data that collectively support the hypothesis that Sis1 has multiple functional roles that can be accomplished by distinct sets of domains. These functions are differentially required by distinct prions and prion variants. We also present new data regarding Hsp104-mediated prion elimination and show that some Sis1 functions, but not all, are conserved in the human homolog Hdj1/DNAJB1. Importantly, of the 10 amyloid-based prions indentified to date in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the chaperone requirements of only 4 are known, leaving a great diversity of amyloid structures, and likely modes of amyloid-chaperone interaction, largely unexplored.

  6. Impacts of Urban Areas and Their Characteristics on Avian Functional Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily Oliveira Hagen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Urban development is rapidly expanding across the globe and is a major driver of environmental change. Despite considerable improvements in our understanding of how species richness responds to urbanization, there is still insufficient knowledge of how other measures of assemblage composition and structure respond to urban development. Functional diversity metrics provide a useful approach for quantifying ecological function. We compare avian functional diversity in 25 urban areas, located across the globe, with paired non-urban assemblages using a database of 27 functional traits that capture variation in resource use (amount and type of resources and how they are acquired across the 529 species occurring across these assemblages. Using three standard functional diversity metrics (FD, MNTD, and convex hull we quantify observed functional diversity and, using standardized effect sizes, how this diverges from that expected under random community assembly null models. We use regression trees to investigate whether human population density, amount of vegetation and city size (spatial extent of urban land, bio-region and use of semi-natural or agricultural assemblages as a baseline modulate the effect of urbanization on functional diversity. Our analyses suggest that observed functional diversity of urban avian assemblages is not consistently different from that of non-urban assemblages. After accounting for species richness avian functional diversity is higher in cities than areas of semi-natural habitat. This creates a paradox as species responses to urban development are determined by their ecological traits, which should generate assemblages clustered within a narrow range of trait space. Greater habitat diversity within cities compared to semi-natural areas dominated by a single habitat may enhance functional diversity in cities and explain this paradox. Regression trees further suggest that smaller urban areas, lower human population densities

  7. PhytoSFDM version 1.0.0: Phytoplankton Size and Functional Diversity Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Trejos, Esteban; Brandt, Gunnar; Smith, S. Lan; Merico, Agostino

    2016-11-01

    Biodiversity is one of the key mechanisms that facilitate the adaptive response of planktonic communities to a fluctuating environment. How to allow for such a flexible response in marine ecosystem models is, however, not entirely clear. One particular way is to resolve the natural complexity of phytoplankton communities by explicitly incorporating a large number of species or plankton functional types. Alternatively, models of aggregate community properties focus on macroecological quantities such as total biomass, mean trait, and trait variance (or functional trait diversity), thus reducing the observed natural complexity to a few mathematical expressions. We developed the PhytoSFDM modelling tool, which can resolve species discretely and can capture aggregate community properties. The tool also provides a set of methods for treating diversity under realistic oceanographic settings. This model is coded in Python and is distributed as open-source software. PhytoSFDM is implemented in a zero-dimensional physical scheme and can be applied to any location of the global ocean. We show that aggregate community models reduce computational complexity while preserving relevant macroecological features of phytoplankton communities. Compared to species-explicit models, aggregate models are more manageable in terms of number of equations and have faster computational times. Further developments of this tool should address the caveats associated with the assumptions of aggregate community models and about implementations into spatially resolved physical settings (one-dimensional and three-dimensional). With PhytoSFDM we embrace the idea of promoting open-source software and encourage scientists to build on this modelling tool to further improve our understanding of the role that biodiversity plays in shaping marine ecosystems.

  8. Role-Play and Its Functions in Oral English Teaching in Universities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郭思含

    2015-01-01

    Role-play is recommended as a useful method to solve the problem of oral English teaching. It ’s much more than a performance and it can be considered as a way to vary the kinds of spoken interaction that learners can experience in the class⁃room of universities. Through the use of role-play, oral English teaching becomes more interesting and attractive;university stu⁃dents can gain more oral English skills in the mini society atmosphere, and the accuracy and fluency of their oral English will be improved.

  9. Functional diversity of microbial communities in pristine aquifers inferred by PLFA- and sequencing-based approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Valérie F.; Herrmann, Martina; Roth, Vanessa-Nina; Gleixner, Gerd; Lehmann, Robert; Pohnert, Georg; Trumbore, Susan; Küsel, Kirsten; Totsche, Kai U.

    2017-05-01

    Microorganisms in groundwater play an important role in aquifer biogeochemical cycles and water quality. However, the mechanisms linking the functional diversity of microbial populations and the groundwater physico-chemistry are still not well understood due to the complexity of interactions between surface and subsurface. Within the framework of Hainich (north-western Thuringia, central Germany) Critical Zone Exploratory of the Collaborative Research Centre AquaDiva, we used the relative abundances of phospholipid-derived fatty acids (PLFAs) to link specific biochemical markers within the microbial communities to the spatio-temporal changes of the groundwater physico-chemistry. The functional diversities of the microbial communities were mainly correlated with groundwater chemistry, including dissolved O2, Fet and NH4+ concentrations. Abundances of PLFAs derived from eukaryotes and potential nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (11Me16:0 as biomarker for Nitrospira moscoviensis) were high at sites with elevated O2 concentration where groundwater recharge supplies bioavailable substrates. In anoxic groundwaters more rich in Fet, PLFAs abundant in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), iron-reducing bacteria and fungi increased with Fet and HCO3- concentrations, suggesting the occurrence of active iron reduction and the possible role of fungi in meditating iron solubilization and transport in those aquifer domains. In more NH4+-rich anoxic groundwaters, anammox bacteria and SRB-derived PLFAs increased with NH4+ concentration, further evidencing the dependence of the anammox process on ammonium concentration and potential links between SRB and anammox bacteria. Additional support of the PLFA-based bacterial communities was found in DNA- and RNA-based Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes, which showed high predominance of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria Nitrospira, e.g. Nitrospira moscoviensis, in oxic aquifer zones and of anammox bacteria in more NH4+-rich

  10. Shifts in diversity and function of lake bacterial communities upon glacier retreat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Hannes; Sommaruga, Ruben

    2016-07-01

    Global climate change is causing a wastage of glaciers and threatening biodiversity in glacier-fed ecosystems. The high turbidity typically found in those ecosystems, which is caused by inorganic particles and result of the erosive activity of glaciers is a key environmental factor influencing temperature and light availability, as well as other factors in the water column. Once these lakes loose hydrological connectivity to glaciers and turn clear, the accompanying environmental changes could represent a potential bottleneck for the established local diversity with yet unknown functional consequences. Here, we study three lakes situated along a turbidity gradient as well as one clear unconnected lake and evaluate seasonal changes in their bacterial community composition and diversity. Further, we assess potential consequences for community functioning. Glacier runoff represented a diverse source community for the lakes and several taxa were able to colonize downstream turbid habitats, although they were not found in the clear lake. Operational taxonomic unit-based alpha diversity and phylogenetic diversity decreased along the turbidity gradient, but metabolic functional diversity was negatively related to turbidity. No evidence for multifunctional redundancy, which may allow communities to maintain functioning upon alterations in diversity, was found. Our study gives a first view on how glacier-fed lake bacterial communities are affected by the melting of glaciers and indicates that diversity and community composition significantly change when hydrological connectivity to the glacier is lost and lakes turn clear.

  11. Functional traits dominate the diversity-related selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yan, Y.; Kuramae, E.E.; De Hollander, M.; Klinkhamer, P.G.L.; van Veen, J.A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the impact of community diversity on the selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere by comparing the composition and the functional traits of these communities in soil and rhizosphere. Differences in diversity were established by inoculating into sterilized soils diluted suspen

  12. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  13. Dramatic increases of soil microbial functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone of Changbai Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong Shen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500 to 2200 m on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0, we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC. This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  14. Plant Functional Diversity Can Be Independent of Species Diversity: Observations Based on the Impact of 4-Yrs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions in an Alpine Meadow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Cheng, Ji-Min; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard E; Guo, Liang; Jing, Guang-Hua; Zhao, Jie; Du, Guo-Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have widely documented the decrease in species diversity in response to addition of nutrients, however functional diversity is often independent from species diversity. In this study, we conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization ((NH4)2 HPO4) at 0, 15, 30 and 60 g m-2 yr-1 (F0, F15, F30 and F60) after 4 years of continuous fertilization on functional diversity and species diversity, and its relationship with productivity in an alpine meadow community on the Tibetan Plateau. To this purpose, three community-weighted mean trait values (specific leaf area, SLA; mature plant height, MPH; and seed size, SS) for 30 common species in each fertilization level were determined; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, FRic; functional evenness, FEve; and Rao's index of quadratic entropy, FRao) were quantified. Our results showed that: (i) species diversity sharply decreased, but functional diversity remained stable with fertilization; (ii) community-weighted mean traits (SLA and MPH) had a significant increase along the fertilization level; (iii) aboveground biomass was not correlated with functional diversity, but it was significantly correlated with species diversity and MPH. Our results suggest that decreases in species diversity due to fertilization do not result in corresponding changes in functional diversity. Functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing aboveground productivity in this alpine meadow community, and our results also support the mass ratio hypothesis; that is, the traits of the dominant species influenced the community biomass production.

  15. Origination and immigration drive latitudinal gradients in marine functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Berke

    Full Text Available Global patterns in the functional attributes of organisms are critical to understanding biodiversity trends and predicting biotic responses to environmental change. In the first global marine analysis, we find a strong decrease in functional richness, but a strong increase in functional evenness, with increasing latitude using intertidal-to-outer-shelf bivalves as a model system (N = 5571 species. These patterns appear to be driven by the interplay between variation in origination rates among functional groups, and latitudinal patterns in origination and range expansion, as documented by the rich fossil record of the group. The data suggest that (i accumulation of taxa in spatial bins and functional categories has not impeded continued diversification in the tropics, and (ii extinctions will influence ecosystem function differentially across latitudes.

  16. Role Played Self-Disclosure as a Function of Liking and Knowing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critelli, Joseph W.; And Others

    1976-01-01

    Examines the effects of liking and knowing on self-disclosure using both self-report and observational measures, obtains separate measures of personal and impersonal self-disclosure, and assesses the utility of the role-playing paradigm for revealing orderly relationships among self-disclosure variables. (Author/RK)

  17. Modulating epigenetic mechanisms: the diverse functions of Ski during cortical development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranek, Constanze; Atanasoski, Suzana

    2012-07-01

    In the developing forebrain, neural stem and progenitor cells generate a large variety of neurons with specific functions in the mature cortex. A central issue is to understand the roles of transcriptional networks and regulatory pathways that control these complex developmental processes. The proto-oncogene Ski is a transcriptional regulator linked to the human 1p36 deletion syndrome, which involves a set of phenotypes including nervous system defects. Ski shows a dynamic expression pattern during cortical development and, accordingly, the phenotype of Ski-deficient cortices is complex, involving altered cell cycle characteristics of neural progenitors, disturbed timing of neurogenesis and mis-specification of projection neurons. Ski is likely to play a role in various pathways by virtue of its ability to interact with a range of signaling molecules, thereby modulating transcriptional activity of corresponding target genes. Ski regulates proliferation and differentiation of various cell types, and more recent data from my laboratory demonstrates that Ski is also involved in the specification of cortical projection neurons. This Point-of-View elucidates the role of Ski as an essential linker between sequence-specific transcription factors and non-DNA binding cofactors with chromatin modifying activities. In particular, it puts forward the hypothesis that the diverse functions of Ski as a co-repressor might be related to its association with distinct HDAC-complexes.

  18. Chemical and Conformational Diversity of Modified Nucleosides Affects tRNA Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ville Y. P. Väre

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available RNAs are central to all gene expression through the control of protein synthesis. Four major nucleosides, adenosine, guanosine, cytidine and uridine, compose RNAs and provide sequence variation, but are limited in contributions to structural variation as well as distinct chemical properties. The ability of RNAs to play multiple roles in cellular metabolism is made possible by extensive variation in length, conformational dynamics, and the over 100 post-transcriptional modifications. There are several reviews of the biochemical pathways leading to RNA modification, but the physicochemical nature of modified nucleosides and how they facilitate RNA function is of keen interest, particularly with regard to the contributions of modified nucleosides. Transfer RNAs (tRNAs are the most extensively modified RNAs. The diversity of modifications provide versatility to the chemical and structural environments. The added chemistry, conformation and dynamics of modified nucleosides occurring at the termini of stems in tRNA’s cloverleaf secondary structure affect the global three-dimensional conformation, produce unique recognition determinants for macromolecules to recognize tRNAs, and affect the accurate and efficient decoding ability of tRNAs. This review will discuss the impact of specific chemical moieties on the structure, stability, electrochemical properties, and function of tRNAs.

  19. In silico analysis of sequential, structural and functional diversity of wheat cystatins and its implication in plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutt, Shriparna; Singh, V K; Marla, Soma S; Kumar, Anil

    2010-03-01

    Phytocystatins constitute a multigene family that regulates the activity of endogenous and/or exogenous cysteine proteinases. Cereal crops like wheat are continuously threatened by a multitude of pathogens, therefore cystatins offer to play a pivotal role in deciding the plant response. In order to study the need of having diverse specificities and activities of various cystatins, we conducted comparative analysis of six wheat cystatins (WCs) with twelve rice, seven barley, one sorghum and ten corn cystatin sequences employing different bioinformatics tools. The obtained results identified highly conserved signature sequences in all the cystatins considered. Several other motifs were also identified, based on which the sequences could be categorized into groups in congruence with the phylogenetic clustering. Homology modeling of WCs revealed 3D structural topology so well shared by other cystatins. Protein-protein interaction of WCs with papain supported the notion that functional diversity is a con-sequence of existing differences in amino acid residues in highly conserved as well as relatively less conserved motifs. Thus there is a significant conservation at the sequential and structural levels; however, concomitant variations maintain the functional diversity in this protein family, which constantly modulates itself to reciprocate the diversity while counteracting the cysteine proteinases.

  20. Functional-diversity indices can be driven by methodological choices and species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poos, Mark S; Walker, Steven C; Jackson, Donald A

    2009-02-01

    Functional diversity is an important concept in community ecology because it captures information on functional traits absent in measures of species diversity. One popular method of measuring functional diversity is the dendrogram-based method, FD. To calculate FD, a variety of methodological choices are required, and it has been debated about whether biological conclusions are sensitive to such choices. We studied the probability that conclusions regarding FD were sensitive, and that patterns in sensitivity were related to alpha and beta components of species richness. We developed a randomization procedure that iteratively calculated FD by assigning species into two assemblages and calculating the probability that the community with higher FD varied across methods. We found evidence of sensitivity in all five communities we examined, ranging from a probability of sensitivity of 0 (no sensitivity) to 0.976 (almost completely sensitive). Variations in these probabilities were driven by differences in alpha diversity between assemblages and not by beta diversity. Importantly, FD was most sensitive when it was most useful (i.e., when differences in alpha diversity were low). We demonstrate that trends in functional-diversity analyses can be largely driven by methodological choices or species richness, rather than functional trait information alone.

  1. The association between singing and/or playing a musical instrument and cognitive functions in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansens, D; Deeg, D J H; Comijs, H C

    2017-05-19

    Cognitive decline happens to everyone when aging, but to some more than others. Studies with children, adults, and professional musicians suggest that making music could be associated with better cognitive functioning. In older adults however, this association is less well investigated, which is therefore the aim of this study. In this cross-sectional study data from 1101 participants aged 64 and older from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to test the association between making music and cognitive functioning and time spent making music and cognitive functioning. ANCOVA analyses were performed to differentiate between participants who made no music, only sang, only played an instrument or both sang and played an instrument in terms of cognitive functioning. Making music was significantly positively associated with letter fluency, learning and attention/short-term memory. Time spent making music yielded no significant results. The ANCOVA analyses showed higher scores for participants who only played an instrument compared to participants who made no music on learning, working memory and processing speed. For processing speed the instrument only group also had a higher score than participants who only sang. Making music at least once every two weeks and especially playing a musical instrument, is associated with better attention, episodic memory and executive functions. The results suggest that making music might be a potential protective factor for cognitive decline; however, to support this notion a longitudinal study design is needed.

  2. Functional diversity and functional traits of periphytic algae during a short-term successional process in a Neotropical floodplain lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunck, B; Rodrigues, L; Bicudo, D C

    2015-08-01

    Due to the lack of knowledge in periphytic algae functional diversity patterns during successional processes in floodplains, the present study aimed to analyze the dynamics of the functional traits and functional diversity of periphytic species during a short-term successional process in a floodplain lake. The functional traits analyzed were size class, growth form, strength of attachment to the substratum, and functional strategies. We evaluated the dynamics of these traits, considering richness, density and biovolume during an 18-day colonization in two hydrological periods. The functional diversity was assessed using the mean pairwise distance index (MPD). Dominant functional traits during the colonization changed in association with the flood pulse. Under the pulse effect, higher development of C-S strategist, loosely attached, filamentous and nanoperiphytic species occurred. The highest values of functional diversity were associated with the algal biomass peak during the colonization and the high water hydrological period, possibly indicating greater efficiency in the ecosystem functioning. These findings show the importance of the functional traits approach in periphyton studies and that the selection of functional traits must be performed taking into account traits that represent the species niche.

  3. Human-mediated loss of phylogenetic and functional diversity in coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'agata, Stéphanie; Mouillot, David; Kulbicki, Michel; Andréfouët, Serge; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cowman, Peter F; Kronen, Mecki; Pinca, Silvia; Vigliola, Laurent

    2014-03-03

    Beyond the loss of species richness, human activities may also deplete the breadth of evolutionary history (phylogenetic diversity) and the diversity of roles (functional diversity) carried out by species within communities, two overlooked components of biodiversity. Both are, however, essential to sustain ecosystem functioning and the associated provision of ecosystem services, particularly under fluctuating environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of human activities on the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of fish communities in coral reefs, while teasing apart the influence of biogeography and habitat along a gradient of human pressure across the Pacific Ocean. We detected nonlinear relationships with significant breaking points in the impact of human population density on phylogenetic and functional diversity of parrotfishes, at 25 and 15 inhabitants/km(2), respectively, while parrotfish species richness decreased linearly along the same population gradient. Over the whole range, species richness decreased by 11.7%, while phylogenetic and functional diversity dropped by 35.8% and 46.6%, respectively. Our results call for caution when using species richness as a benchmark for measuring the status of ecosystems since it appears to be less responsive to variation in human population densities than its phylogenetic and functional counterparts, potentially imperiling the functioning of coral reef ecosystems.

  4. Functional identity is the main driver of diversity effects in young tree communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobner, Cornelia M; Paquette, Alain; Gravel, Dominique; Reich, Peter B; Williams, Laura J; Messier, Christian

    2016-06-01

    Two main effects are proposed to explain biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships: niche complementarity and selection effects. Both can be functionally defined using the functional diversity (FD) and functional identity (FI) of the community respectively. Herein, we present results from the first tree diversity experiment that separated the effect of selection from that of complementarity by varying community composition in high-density plots along a gradient of FD, independent of species richness and testing for the effects of FD and community weighted means of traits (a proxy for FI) on stem biomass increment (a proxy for productivity). After 4 years of growth, most mixtures did not differ in productivity from the averages of their respective monocultures, but some did overyield significantly. Those positive diversity effects resulted mostly from selection effects, primarily driven by fast-growing deciduous species and associated traits. Net diversity effect did not increase with time over 4 years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Validity of PROMIS® Physical Function Measures in Diverse Clinical Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schalet, Benjamin D.; Hays, Ron D.; Jensen, Sally E.; Beaumont, Jennifer L.; Fries, James F.; Cella, David

    2016-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the validity of the PROMIS® Physical Function measures using longitudinal data collected in six chronic health conditions. Study Design and Setting Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), major depressive disorder (MDD), back pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF), and cancer completed the PROMIS Physical Function computerized adaptive test (CAT) or fixed-length short form (SF) at baseline and at the end of clinically-relevant follow-up intervals. Anchor items were also administered to assess change in physical function and general health. Linear mixed effects models and standardized response means were estimated at baseline and follow-up. Results 1415 individuals participated (COPD n = 121; CHF n = 57; back pain n = 218; MDD n = 196, RA n = 521; cancer n = 302). The PROMIS Physical Function scores improved significantly for treatment of CHF and back pain patients, but not for patients with MDD or COPD. Most of the patient subsamples that reported improvement or worsening on the anchors showed a corresponding positive or negative change in PROMIS Physical Function. Conclusion This study provides evidence that the PROMIS Physical Function measures are sensitive to change in intervention studies where physical function is expected to change and able to distinguish among different clinical samples. The results inform the estimation of meaningful change, enabling comparative effectiveness research. PMID:26970039

  7. Functional diversity response to hardwood forest management varies across taxa and spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Bryan D; Holland, Jeffrey D; Summerville, Keith S; Dunning, John B; Saunders, Michael R; Jenkins, Michael A

    2017-03-15

    Contemporary forest management offers a trade-off between the potential positive effects of habitat heterogeneity on biodiversity, and the potential harm to mature-forest communities caused by habitat loss and perforation of the forest canopy. While the response of taxonomic diversity to forest management has received a great deal of scrutiny, the response of functional diversity is largely unexplored. However, functional diversity may represent a more direct link between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To examine how forest management affects diversity at multiple spatial scales, we analyzed a long-term dataset that captured changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of moths (Lepidoptera), longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), and breeding birds in response to contemporary silvicultural systems in oak-hickory hardwood forests. We used these datasets to address the following questions: how do even- and uneven-aged silvicultural systems affect taxonomic and functional diversity at the scale of managed landscapes compared to the individual harvested and unharvested forest patches that comprise the landscapes, and how do these silvicultural systems affect the functional similarity of assemblages at the scale of managed landscapes and patches? Due to increased heterogeneity within landscapes, we expected even-aged silviculture to increase and uneven-aged silviculture to decrease functional diversity at the landscape level regardless of impacts at the patch level. Functional diversity responses were taxon-specific with respect to the direction of change and time since harvest. Responses were also consistent across patch and landscape levels within each taxon. Moth assemblage species richness, functional richness, and functional divergence were negatively affected by harvesting, with stronger effects resulting from uneven-aged than even-aged management. Longhorned beetle assemblages exhibited a peak in species richness two years after harvesting, while

  8. Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services such as carbon cycling...... the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes. Their activity has been measured by the use of fluorogenic model substrates e.g. methylumbelliferyl (MUF) substrates for a number of enzymes involved in the degradation of polysacharides as cellulose, hemicellulose...

  9. Play with online virtual pets as a method to improve mirror neuron and real world functioning in autistic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altschuler, Eric Lewin

    2008-01-01

    Autism is a severe disease with no known cause and no cure or treatment. Recently, ourselves and subsequently others found that so-called "mirror neurons" - neurons that respond not only when a person moves, but upon observation of movement in another - are dysfunctional in autistic children. Here I suggest an easy, simple, inexpensive and fun method to improve mirror neuron functioning in autistic children, increase appreciation in autistic children for the theory of mind and thinking of others, and most importantly hopefully to improve real world functioning: play with virtual online pets that are the "embodiment" of a stuffed animal the child has. Adoption and then care and play with online pets forces, in a fun way, one to think about the world through the eyes and needs of the pet. A simple method to test this play with online virtual pet therapy is described.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Omar López-Martínez

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The Role of Make-Believe Play in the Development of Executive Function: Status of Research and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Laura E.; Meyers, Adena B.

    2013-01-01

    The authors discuss the association between make-believe play and the development of executive-function (EF) skills in young children. Some forty years ago, Lev S. Vygotsky first proposed that make-believe fosters the development of symbolic thought and self-regulation. Since then, a small body of research has produced evidence of an association…

  13. Mothers' Reports of Play Dates and Observation of School Playground Behavior of Children Having High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankel, Frederick D.; Gorospe, Clarissa M.; Chang, Ya-Chih; Sugar, Catherine A.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are generally included with typically developing peers at school. They have difficulties interacting with peers on the school playground. Previous literature suggests that having play dates in the home may be related to better peer acceptance at school. Methods: This study…

  14. Epigenetic variation predicts regional and local intraspecific functional diversity in a perennial herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medrano, Mónica; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2014-10-01

    The ecological significance of epigenetic variation has been generally inferred from studies on model plants under artificial conditions, but the importance of epigenetic differences between individuals as a source of intraspecific diversity in natural plant populations remains essentially unknown. This study investigates the relationship between epigenetic variation and functional plant diversity by conducting epigenetic (methylation-sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphisms, MSAP) and genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, AFLP) marker-trait association analyses for 20 whole-plant, leaf and regenerative functional traits in a large sample of wild-growing plants of the perennial herb Helleborus foetidus from ten sampling sites in south-eastern Spain. Plants differed widely in functional characteristics, and exhibited greater epigenetic than genetic diversity, as shown by per cent polymorphism of MSAP fragments (92%) or markers (69%) greatly exceeding that for AFLP ones (41%). After controlling for genetic structuring and possible cryptic relatedness, every functional trait considered exhibited a significant association with at least one AFLP or MSAP marker. A total of 27 MSAP (13.0% of total) and 12 AFLP (4.4%) markers were involved in significant associations, which explained on average 8.2% and 8.0% of trait variance, respectively. Individual MSAP markers were more likely to be associated with functional traits than AFLP markers. Between-site differences in multivariate functional diversity were directly related to variation in multilocus epigenetic diversity after multilocus genetic diversity was statistically accounted for. Results suggest that epigenetic variation can be an important source of intraspecific functional diversity in H. foetidus, possibly endowing this species with the capacity to exploit a broad range of ecological conditions despite its modest genetic diversity.

  15. Structural and functional diversity of native brain neuronal nicotinic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotti, Cecilia; Clementi, Francesco; Fornari, Alice; Gaimarri, Annalisa; Guiducci, Stefania; Manfredi, Irene; Moretti, Milena; Pedrazzi, Patrizia; Pucci, Luca; Zoli, Michele

    2009-10-01

    Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are a family of ligand-gated ion channels present in the central and peripheral nervous systems, that are permeable to mono- and divalent cations. They share a common basic structure but their pharmacological and functional properties arise from the wide range of different subunit combinations making up distinctive subtypes. nAChRs are involved in many physiological functions in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and are the targets of the widely used drug of abuse nicotine. In addition to tobacco dependence, changes in their number and/or function are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, ranging from epilepsy to dementia. Although some of the neural circuits involved in the acute and chronic effects of nicotine have been identified, much less is known about which native nAChR subtypes are involved in specific physiological functions and pathophysiological conditions. We briefly review some recent findings concerning the structure and function of native nAChRs, focusing on the subtypes identified in the mesostriatal and habenulo-interpeduncular pathways, two systems involved in nicotine reinforcement and withdrawal. We also discuss recent findings concerning the effect of chronic nicotine on the expression of native subtypes.

  16. Experimental evidence for strong stabilizing forces at high functional diversity of aquatic microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrara, Francesco; Giometto, Andrea; Seymour, Mathew; Rinaldo, Andrea; Altermatt, Florian

    2015-05-01

    Unveiling the mechanisms that promote coexistence in biological communities is a fundamental problem in ecology. Stable coexistence of many species is commonly observed in natural communities. Most of these natural communities, however, are composed of species from multiple trophic and functional groups, while theory and experiments on coexistence have been focusing on functionally similar species. Here, we investigated how functional diversity affects the stability of species coexistence and productivity in multispecies communities by characterizing experimentally all pairwise species interactions in a pool of 11 species of eukaryotes (10 protists and one rotifer) belonging to three different functional groups. Species within the same functional group showed stronger competitive interactions compared to among-functional group interactions. This often led to competitive exclusion between species that had higher functional relatedness, but only at low levels of species richness. Communities with higher functional diversity resulted in increased species coexistence and community biomass production. Our experimental findings and the results of a stochastic model tailored to the experimental interaction matrix suggest the emergence of strong stabilizing forces when species from different functional groups interact in a homogeneous environment. By combining theoretical analysis with experiments we could also disentangle the relationship between species richness and functional diversity, showing that functional diversity per se is a crucial driver of productivity and stability in multispecies community.

  17. Functionally diverse biotin-dependent enzymes with oxaloacetate decarboxylase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lietzan, Adam D; St Maurice, Martin

    2014-02-15

    Biotin-dependent enzymes catalyze carboxylation, decarboxylation and transcarboxylation reactions that participate in the primary metabolism of a wide range of organisms. In all cases, the overall reaction proceeds via two half reactions that take place in physically distinct active sites. In the first half-reaction, a carboxyl group is transferred to the 1-N' of a covalently tethered biotin cofactor. The tethered carboxybiotin intermediate subsequently translocates to a second active site where the carboxyl group is either transferred to an acceptor substrate or, in some bacteria and archaea, is decarboxylated to biotin and CO2 in order to power the export of sodium ions from the cytoplasm. A homologous carboxyltransferase domain is found in three enzymes that catalyze diverse overall reactions: carbon fixation by pyruvate carboxylase, decarboxylation and sodium transport by the biotin-dependent oxaloacetate decarboxylase complex, and transcarboxylation by transcarboxylase from Propionibacterium shermanii. Over the past several years, structural data have emerged which have greatly advanced the mechanistic description of these enzymes. This review assembles a uniform description of the carboxyltransferase domain structure and catalytic mechanism from recent studies of pyruvate carboxylase, oxaloacetate decarboxylase and transcarboxylase, three enzymes that utilize an analogous carboxyltransferase domain to catalyze the biotin-dependent decarboxylation of oxaloacetate.

  18. IQGAP1 and its binding proteins control diverse biological functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Colin D; Erdemir, Huseyin H; Sacks, David B

    2012-04-01

    IQGAP proteins have been identified in a wide spectrum of organisms, ranging from yeast to humans. The most extensively studied family member is the ubiquitously expressed scaffold protein IQGAP1, which participates in multiple essential aspects of mammalian biology. IQGAP1 mediates these effects by binding to and regulating the function of numerous interacting proteins. Over ninety proteins have been reported to associate with IQGAP1, either directly or as part of a larger complex. In this review, we summarise those IQGAP1 binding partners that have been identified in the last five years. The molecular mechanisms by which these interactions contribute to the functions of receptors and their signalling cascades, small GTPase function, cytoskeletal dynamics, neuronal regulation and intracellular trafficking are evaluated. The evidence that has accumulated recently validates the role of IQGAP1 as a scaffold protein and expands the repertoire of cellular activities in which it participates.

  19. 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.

  20. Diversity of TITAN function in Arabidopsis Seed Development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tzafrir, I.; McElver, J.A.; Liu, C.M.; Yang, L.J.; Wu, J.Q.; Martinez, A.; Patton, D.A.; Meinke, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    The titan mutants of Arabidopsis exhibit striking defects in seed development. The defining feature is the presence of abnormal endosperm with giant polyploid nuclei. Several TTN genes encode structural maintenance of chromosome proteins (condensins and cohesins) required for chromosome function at

  1. Boronate Derivatives of Functionally Diverse Catechols: Stability Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Aziz Ketuly

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Benzeneboronate of catecholic carboxyl methyl esters, N-acetyldopamine, coumarin and catechol estrogens were prepared as crystalline derivatives in high yield. Related catechol compounds with extra polar functional group(s (OH, NH2 do not form or only partially form unstable cyclic boronate derivatives.

  2. Structural and Functional Diversity of Weed Species in Organic and Conventional Rice Agro-Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Y. Mousawi Toghani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Diversity reflects the complexity of a system and can maintain its sustainability. Higherdiversity, results in higher inherent complexity of agro-ecosystems and strengthen their processes. It is necessary to realize the spatial distribution and temporal properties of the biodiversity components in agro-ecosystems, for the conservation and optimal utilization. Since weeds as a complementary component of agro-ecosystems and are inseparable, so the study of species, their functional and structural diversity of them can play an important role in weed management and balance in ecological systems. Materials and Methods This study was performed to determine the effects of different management systems on structural, and functional diversity of paddy weeds in Mazandaran province. Three rice fields, ranged from 0.3 to 0.5 ha, were chosen for each management system. Samples were collected from three fields running under each selected management system (organic and conventional. Data (number of weed species and their density were randomly gathered from 9 quadrates (1m×1m per each field in four stages (tillering, stem elongation, grain filling and after harvest. The diversity, evenness, frequency and similarity indices for weeds were determined at genera and species level. Data analysis carried out through T-test and grouping performed via cluster analysis as hierarchy. Results and Discussion All monitored weeds can be classified into four plant family including cereals (Poaceae, sedges (Cyperaceae, plantain (Plantaginaceae and chicory (Asteraceae.Under conventional systems the values of weed diversity indices were higher during tillering and stem elongation compared with organic ones, and were lower during grain filling and after harvest stages. However indices of weed evenness showed contrary tendency. Both Sympson and Shanon-Wiener diversity indices, consist of two clusters in 76% similarity. Evenness indices of Kamargo and Smith

  3. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Barragán

    Full Text Available The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha. Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  4. Negative impacts of human land use on dung beetle functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragán, Felipe; Moreno, Claudia E; Escobar, Federico; Halffter, Gonzalo; Navarrete, Dario

    2011-03-23

    The loss of biodiversity caused by human activity is assumed to alter ecosystem functioning. However our understanding of the magnitude of the effect of these changes on functional diversity and their impact on the dynamics of ecological processes is still limited. We analyzed the functional diversity of copro-necrophagous beetles under different conditions of land use in three Mexican biosphere reserves. In Montes Azules pastures, forest fragments and continuous rainforest were analyzed, in Los Tuxtlas rainforest fragments of different sizes were analyzed and in Barranca de Metztitlán two types of xerophile scrub with different degrees of disturbance from grazing were analyzed. We assigned dung beetle species to functional groups based on food relocation, beetle size, daily activity period and food preferences, and as measures of functional diversity we used estimates based on multivariate methods. In Montes Azules functional richness was lower in the pastures than in continuous rainforest and rainforest fragments, but fragments and continuous forest include functionally redundant species. In small rainforest fragments (20 ha). Functional evenness and functional dispersion did not vary among habitat types or fragment size in these reserves. In contrast, in Metztitlán, functional richness and functional dispersion were different among the vegetation types, but differences were not related to the degree of disturbance by grazing. More redundant species were found in submontane than in crassicaule scrub. For the first time, a decrease in the functional diversity in communities of copro-necrophagous beetles resulting from changes in land use is documented, the potential implications for ecosystem functioning are discussed and a series of variables that could improve the evaluation of functional diversity for this biological group is proposed.

  5. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance.

  6. Microbial Diversity Indexes Can Explain Soil Carbon Dynamics as a Function of Carbon Source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, Pierre-Alain; Menasseri-Aubry, Safya; Sarr, Amadou; Lévêque, Jean; Mathieu, Olivier; Jolivet, Claudy; Leterme, Philippe; Viaud, Valérie

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models do not explicitly represent the influence of soil microbial diversity on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics despite recent evidence of relationships between them. The objective of the present study was to statistically investigate relationships between bacterial and fungal diversity indexes (richness, evenness, Shannon index, inverse Simpson index) and decomposition of different pools of soil organic carbon by measuring dynamics of CO2 emissions under controlled conditions. To this end, 20 soils from two different land uses (cropland and grassland) were incubated with or without incorporation of 13C-labelled wheat-straw residue. 13C-labelling allowed us to study residue mineralisation, basal respiration and the priming effect independently. An innovative data-mining approach was applied, based on generalized additive models and a predictive criterion. Results showed that microbial diversity indexes can be good covariates to integrate in SOC dynamics models, depending on the C source and the processes considered (native soil organic carbon vs. fresh wheat residue). Specifically, microbial diversity indexes were good candidates to help explain mineralisation of native soil organic carbon, while priming effect processes seemed to be explained much more by microbial composition, and no microbial diversity indexes were found associated with residue mineralisation. Investigation of relationships between diversity and mineralisation showed that higher diversity, as measured by the microbial diversity indexes, seemed to be related to decreased CO2 emissions in the control soil. We suggest that this relationship can be explained by an increase in carbon yield assimilation as microbial diversity increases. Thus, the parameter for carbon yield assimilation in mathematical models could be calculated as a function of microbial diversity indexes. Nonetheless, given limitations of the methods used, these observations should be considered with caution and

  7. γ-Protocadherin structural diversity and functional implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Kerry Marie; Rubinstein, Rotem; Thu, Chan Aye; Mannepalli, Seetha; Bahna, Fabiana; Ahlsén, Göran; Rittenhouse, Chelsea; Maniatis, Tom; Honig, Barry; Shapiro, Lawrence

    2016-01-01

    Stochastic cell-surface expression of α-, β-, and γ-clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) provides vertebrate neurons with single-cell identities that underlie neuronal self-recognition. Here we report crystal structures of ectodomain fragments comprising cell-cell recognition regions of mouse γ-Pcdhs γA1, γA8, γB2, and γB7 revealing trans-homodimers, and of C-terminal ectodomain fragments from γ-Pcdhs γA4 and γB2, which depict cis-interacting regions in monomeric form. Together these structures span the entire γ-Pcdh ectodomain. The trans-dimer structures reveal determinants of γ-Pcdh isoform-specific homophilic recognition. We identified and structurally mapped cis-dimerization mutations to the C-terminal ectodomain structures. Biophysical studies showed that Pcdh ectodomains from γB-subfamily isoforms formed cis dimers, whereas γA isoforms did not, but both γA and γB isoforms could interact in cis with α-Pcdhs. Together, these data show how interaction specificity is distributed over all domains of the γ-Pcdh trans interface, and suggest that subfamily- or isoform-specific cis-interactions may play a role in the Pcdh-mediated neuronal self-recognition code. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20930.001 PMID:27782885

  8. γ-Protocadherin structural diversity and functional implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goodman, Kerry Marie; Rubinstein, Rotem; Thu, Chan Aye; Mannepalli, Seetha; Bahna, Fabiana; Ahlsén, Göran; Rittenhouse, Chelsea; Maniatis, Tom; Honig, Barry; Shapiro, Lawrence

    2016-10-26

    Stochastic cell-surface expression of α-, β-, and γ-clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs) provides vertebrate neurons with single-cell identities that underlie neuronal self-recognition. Here we report crystal structures of ectodomain fragments comprising cell-cell recognition regions of mouse γ-Pcdhs γA1, γA8, γB2, and γB7 revealingtrans-homodimers, and of C-terminal ectodomain fragments from γ-Pcdhs γA4 and γB2, which depictcis-interacting regions in monomeric form. Together these structures span the entire γ-Pcdh ectodomain. Thetrans-dimer structures reveal determinants of γ-Pcdh isoform-specific homophilic recognition. We identified and structurally mappedcis-dimerization mutations to the C-terminal ectodomain structures. Biophysical studies showed that Pcdh ectodomains from γB-subfamily isoforms formedcisdimers, whereas γA isoforms did not, but both γA and γB isoforms could interact inciswith α-Pcdhs. Together, these data show how interaction specificity is distributed over all domains of the γ-Pcdhtransinterface, and suggest that subfamily- or isoform-specificcis-interactions may play a role in the Pcdh-mediated neuronal self-recognition code.

  9. The apoptotic initiator caspase-8: its functional ubiquity and genetic diversity during animal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamaki, Kazuhiro; Shimizu, Kouhei; Iwata, Hiroaki; Imai, Kenichiro; Satou, Yutaka; Funayama, Noriko; Nozaki, Masami; Yajima, Mamiko; Nishimura, Osamu; Higuchi, Mayura; Chiba, Kumiko; Yoshimoto, Michi; Kimura, Haruna; Gracey, Andrew Y; Shimizu, Takashi; Tomii, Kentaro; Gotoh, Osamu; Akasaka, Koji; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Miller, David J

    2014-12-01

    The caspases, a family of cysteine proteases, play multiple roles in apoptosis, inflammation, and cellular differentiation. Caspase-8 (Casp8), which was first identified in humans, functions as an initiator caspase in the apoptotic signaling mediated by cell-surface death receptors. To understand the evolution of function in the Casp8 protein family, casp8 orthologs were identified from a comprehensive range of vertebrates and invertebrates, including sponges and cnidarians, and characterized at both the gene and protein levels. Some introns have been conserved from cnidarians to mammals, but both losses and gains have also occurred; a new intron arose during teleost evolution, whereas in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, the casp8 gene is intronless and is organized in an operon with a neighboring gene. Casp8 activities are near ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. Exogenous expression of a representative range of nonmammalian Casp8 proteins in cultured mammalian cells induced cell death, implying that these proteins possess proapoptotic activity. The cnidarian Casp8 proteins differ considerably from their bilaterian counterparts in terms of amino acid residues in the catalytic pocket, but display the same substrate specificity as human CASP8, highlighting the complexity of spatial structural interactions involved in enzymatic activity. Finally, it was confirmed that the interaction with an adaptor molecule, Fas-associated death domain protein, is also evolutionarily ancient. Thus, despite structural diversity and cooption to a variety of new functions, the ancient origins and near ubiquitous distribution of this activity across the animal kingdom emphasize the importance and utility of Casp8 as a central component of the metazoan molecular toolkit.

  10. Mysterious Myofibroblast: A Cell with Diverse Origin and Multiple Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sowmya Rao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Myofibroblasts are one of the most controversial cells in recent times. Ever since its first discovery, numerous discussions have been done on its illusive nature and functions. They are commonly considered as smooth muscle like fibroblasts. Their presence and distribution in normal and pathological conditions are still not clear since they are difficult to identify with the routine histological techniques. Recent studies have shown their ubiquitous presence in the body tissues hence suggesting their important role in both physiological functioning and pathological conditions. This review discusses briefly the cell in terms of its definition, possible precursors; mechanism involved in its modulation, most importantly how to differentiate it from its nearest counterparts such as fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells and finally its fundamental role in physiology and pathology. [J Interdiscipl Histopathol 2017; 5(1.000: 12-17

  11. Microbial diversity affects self-organization of the soil–microbe system with consequences for function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, John W.; Deacon, Lewis; Grinev, Dmitri; Harris, James A.; Ritz, Karl; Singh, Brajesh K.; Young, Iain

    2012-01-01

    Soils are complex ecosystems and the pore-scale physical structure regulates key processes that support terrestrial life. These include maintaining an appropriate mixture of air and water in soil, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. There is evidence that this structure is not random, although the organizing mechanism is not known. Using X-ray microtomography and controlled microcosms, we provide evidence that organization of pore-scale structure arises spontaneously out of the interaction between microbial activity, particle aggregation and resource flows in soil. A simple computational model shows that these interactions give rise to self-organization involving both physical particles and microbes that gives soil unique material properties. The consequence of self-organization for the functioning of soil is determined using lattice Boltzmann simulation of fluid flow through the observed structures, and predicts that the resultant micro-structural changes can significantly increase hydraulic conductivity. Manipulation of the diversity of the microbial community reveals a link between the measured change in micro-porosity and the ratio of fungal to bacterial biomass. We suggest that this behaviour may play an important role in the way that soil responds to management and climatic change, but that this capacity for self-organization has limits. PMID:22158839

  12. Microbial diversity affects self-organization of the soil-microbe system with consequences for function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, John W; Deacon, Lewis; Grinev, Dmitri; Harris, James A; Ritz, Karl; Singh, Brajesh K; Young, Iain

    2012-06-07

    Soils are complex ecosystems and the pore-scale physical structure regulates key processes that support terrestrial life. These include maintaining an appropriate mixture of air and water in soil, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. There is evidence that this structure is not random, although the organizing mechanism is not known. Using X-ray microtomography and controlled microcosms, we provide evidence that organization of pore-scale structure arises spontaneously out of the interaction between microbial activity, particle aggregation and resource flows in soil. A simple computational model shows that these interactions give rise to self-organization involving both physical particles and microbes that gives soil unique material properties. The consequence of self-organization for the functioning of soil is determined using lattice Boltzmann simulation of fluid flow through the observed structures, and predicts that the resultant micro-structural changes can significantly increase hydraulic conductivity. Manipulation of the diversity of the microbial community reveals a link between the measured change in micro-porosity and the ratio of fungal to bacterial biomass. We suggest that this behaviour may play an important role in the way that soil responds to management and climatic change, but that this capacity for self-organization has limits.

  13. Collision avoidance behavior as a function of aging and tennis playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobjois, Régis; Benguigui, Nicolas; Bertsch, Jean; Broderick, Michael P

    2008-02-01

    Daily living often requires pedestrians and drivers to adapt their behavior to the displacement of other objects in their environment in order to avoid collision. Yet little research has paid attention to the effect of age on the completion of such a challenging task. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age and collision avoidance skill and whether a sporting activity affects this. Three age groups (20-30, 60-70, and 70-80 years) of tennis players and non-players launched a projectile toward a target in order to hit it before it was hit by another "object" (a stimulus represented by apparent motion of lights). If the participant judged that time-to-collision (TTC) of the moving stimulus was not long enough for him/her to launch the projectile in time to arrive before the stimulus, the participant had to inhibit the launching. Results showed that for the non-players the number of errors in the 70-80 year-old group was significantly higher than those of the 20-30 and 60-70 year-old groups, which did not differ from each other. However, this increase was not observed in the 70-80 year-old tennis players, demonstrating a beneficial effect of playing tennis on collision avoidance skill. Results also revealed that the older groups of both tennis players and non-players were subject to the typical age-related increase in response time. Additional analyses indicated that the 70-80 year-old non-players did not adjust their actions to these age-related changes in response time. The older tennis-playing participants, however, were more likely to adjust collision avoidance behavior to their diminished response times.

  14. Functional diversity of fish communities in two tropical estuaries subjected to anthropogenic disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolbeth, M; Vendel, A L; Pessanha, A; Patrício, J

    2016-11-15

    The functional diversity of fish communities was studied along the salinity gradient of two estuaries in Northeast Brazil subjected to different anthropogenic pressures, to gain a better understanding of the response of fish communities to disturbance. We evaluated functional complementarity indices, redundancy and analysed functional composition through functional groups based on combinations of different traits. The fish communities in both estuaries share similar functions performed by few functional groups. The upstream areas had generally lower taxonomic, functional diversity and lower redundancy, suggesting greater vulnerability to impacts caused by human activities. Biomass was slightly more evenly distributed among functional groups in the less disturbed estuary, but total biomass and redundancy were lower in comparison to the urbanized estuary. The present findings lend strength to the notion that the less disturbed estuary may be more susceptible to anthropogenic impacts, underscoring the need for more effective conservation measures directed at this estuary.

  15. Executive function plays a role in coordinating different perspectives, particularly when one's own perspective is involved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fizke, Ella; Barthel, Dana; Peters, Thomas; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2014-03-01

    While developmental experiments with children and elderly subjects, work with neuropsychological patients and adult experimental studies have consistently found close relations between executive function and theory of mind, the foundation of this relation still remains somewhat unclear. One prominent account holds that executive function is specifically involved in ascribing such mental states, paradigmatically beliefs, that aim at representing the world truly because ascribing such states requires inhibition of normative defaults (beliefs being true) (e.g. Sabbagh, Moses, & Shiverick, 2006). The present studies systematically tested for the role of executive function in different forms of mental state ascription as a function of the type of state ascribed (beliefs or desires) and the first person involvement of the ascriber (whether she herself has an attitude conflicting with one to be ascribed to someone else) in young children. The results reveal that (i) executive function is related not only to belief ascription but equally to desire ascription when both are matched in terms of logical complexity (such that two subjective attitudes have to be ascribed to two agents that are incompatible with each other). (ii) Both for desires and for beliefs, these relations are strongest in such tasks where the ascriber herself is one of the two agents, i.e. has a belief or desire herself that stands in contrast to that to be ascribed to someone else. All in all, these findings suggest that executive function figures in coordinating perspectives more generally, not only epistemic ones, and in particular in coordinating others' and one's own conflicting perspectives. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Predator-prey dynamics driven by feedback between functionally diverse trophic levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Tirok

    Full Text Available Neglecting the naturally existing functional diversity of communities and the resulting potential to respond to altered conditions may strongly reduce the realism and predictive power of ecological models. We therefore propose and study a predator-prey model that describes mutual feedback via species shifts in both predator and prey, using a dynamic trait approach. Species compositions of the two trophic levels were described by mean functional traits--prey edibility and predator food-selectivity--and functional diversities by the variances. Altered edibility triggered shifts in food-selectivity so that consumers continuously respond to the present prey composition, and vice versa. This trait-mediated feedback mechanism resulted in a complex dynamic behavior with ongoing oscillations in the mean trait values, reflecting continuous reorganization of the trophic levels. The feedback was only possible if sufficient functional diversity was present in both trophic levels. Functional diversity was internally maintained on the prey level as no niche existed in our system, which was ideal under any composition of the predator level due to the trade-offs between edibility, growth and carrying capacity. The predators were only subject to one trade-off between food-selectivity and grazing ability and in the absence of immigration, one predator type became abundant, i.e., functional diversity declined to zero. In the lack of functional diversity the system showed the same dynamics as conventional models of predator-prey interactions ignoring the potential for shifts in species composition. This way, our study identified the crucial role of trade-offs and their shape in physiological and ecological traits for preserving diversity.

  17. Predator-prey dynamics driven by feedback between functionally diverse trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirok, Katrin; Bauer, Barbara; Wirtz, Kai; Gaedke, Ursula

    2011-01-01

    Neglecting the naturally existing functional diversity of communities and the resulting potential to respond to altered conditions may strongly reduce the realism and predictive power of ecological models. We therefore propose and study a predator-prey model that describes mutual feedback via species shifts in both predator and prey, using a dynamic trait approach. Species compositions of the two trophic levels were described by mean functional traits--prey edibility and predator food-selectivity--and functional diversities by the variances. Altered edibility triggered shifts in food-selectivity so that consumers continuously respond to the present prey composition, and vice versa. This trait-mediated feedback mechanism resulted in a complex dynamic behavior with ongoing oscillations in the mean trait values, reflecting continuous reorganization of the trophic levels. The feedback was only possible if sufficient functional diversity was present in both trophic levels. Functional diversity was internally maintained on the prey level as no niche existed in our system, which was ideal under any composition of the predator level due to the trade-offs between edibility, growth and carrying capacity. The predators were only subject to one trade-off between food-selectivity and grazing ability and in the absence of immigration, one predator type became abundant, i.e., functional diversity declined to zero. In the lack of functional diversity the system showed the same dynamics as conventional models of predator-prey interactions ignoring the potential for shifts in species composition. This way, our study identified the crucial role of trade-offs and their shape in physiological and ecological traits for preserving diversity.

  18. Management with willow short rotation coppice increase the functional gene diversity and functional activity of a heavy metal polluted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, K; van Nostrand, J D; Vangronsveld, J; Witters, N; Janssen, J O; Kumpiene, J; Siebielec, G; Galazka, R; Giagnoni, L; Arenella, M; Zhou, J-Z; Renella, G

    2015-11-01

    We studied the microbial functional diversity, biochemical activity, heavy metals (HM) availability and soil toxicity of Cd, Pb and Zn contaminated soils, kept under grassland or short rotation coppice (SRC) to attenuate the risks associated with HM contamination and restore the soil ecological functions. Soil microbial functional diversity was analyzed by the GeoChip, a functional gene microarray containing probes for genes involved in nutrient cycling, metal resistance and stress response. Soil under SRC showed a higher abundance of microbial genes involved in C, N, P and S cycles and resistance to various HM, higher microbial biomass, respiration and enzyme activity rates, and lower HM availability than the grassland soil. The linkages between functional genes of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties, HM availability and biochemical activity were also investigated. Soil toxicity and N, P and Pb availability were important factors in shaping the microbial functional diversity, as determined by CCA. We concluded that in HM contaminated soils the microbial functional diversity was positively influenced by SRC management through the reduction of HM availability and soil toxicity increase of nutrient cycling. The presented results can be important in predicting the long term environmental sustainability of plant-based soil remediation.

  19. Diverse functions of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes in development and cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiang I. Wu

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian SWI/SNF like Brg1/Brm associated factors (BAF) chromatin-remodeling complexes are able to use energy derived from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to change chromatin structures and regulate nuclear processes such as transcription.BAF complexes contain multiple subunits and the diverse subunit compositions provide functional specificities to BAF complexes.In this review,we summarize the functions of BAF subunits during mammalian development and in progression of various cancers.The mechanisms underlying the functional diversity and specificities of BAF complexes will be discussed.

  20. Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular Enzyme Activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soil enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria...... and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity reflects the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes which are essential processes for soil functioning......, experimental conditions of extraction of enzymes from soils, buffer and pH, substrate concentration, temperature and the necessary controls were optimized and standardized. This has resulted in an optimized standard operating procedure of EEA, which are being tested as an indicator of soil functional diversity...

  1. Bacterial community and arsenic functional genes diversity in arsenic contaminated soils from different geographic locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yunfu; D. Van Nostrand, Joy; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Qin, Yujia; Zhao, Fang-Jie; Zhou, Jizhong

    2017-01-01

    To understand how soil microbial communities and arsenic (As) functional genes respond to soil arsenic (As) contamination, five soils contaminated with As at different levels were collected from diverse geographic locations, incubated for 54 days under flooded conditions, and examined by both MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and functional gene microarray (GeoChip 4.0). The results showed that both bacterial community structure and As functional gene structure differed among geographical locations. The diversity of As functional genes correlated positively with the diversity of 16S rRNA genes (Pcontaminated with different levels of As at different geographic locations, and the impact of environmental As contamination on the soil bacterial community. PMID:28475654

  2. Functional Diversity of CYCLOIDEA-like TCP Genes in the Control of Zygomorphic Flower Development in Lotus japonicus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shilei Xu; Yonghai Luo; Zhigang Cai; Xiangling Cao; Xiaohe Hu; Jun Yang; and Da Luo

    2013-01-01

    CYCLOIDEA (CYC)-Iike TCP genes play key roles in dorsoventral differentiation of zygomorphic flowers in Papilionoideae legumes.In this study,we analyzed the kew mutants whose flowers lost lateral identity,and investigated the diverse functions of three LjCYC genes during zygomorphic flower development in the model legume Lotusjaponicus.We showed that kew1 and kew3 are allelic mutants of LjCYC3,a CYC-like TCP gene.Through transgenic experiments,it was shown that LjCYC1 possesses dorsal activity similar to LjCYC2,and that LjCYC3 alone is sufficient to confer lateral activity,and an epistatic effect between dorsal and lateral activities was identified.Sequence analysis revealed a striking alteration at the 3' end of the LjCYC3 open reading frame (ORF) in comparison with those of LjCYC1 and LjCYC2 ORFs.Furthermore,it was found that LjCYC proteins could interact with each other and possess different activities by means of a transcriptional activity assay.Our data demonstrate that the sequence variation and the subsequent alteration of protein property play important roles in the functional diversity of different LjCYC genes in controlling zygomorphic flower development in Lotusjaponicus.

  3. Fungal specificity and selectivity for algae play a major role in determining lichen partnerships across diverse ecogeographic regions in the lichen-forming family Parmeliaceae (Ascomycota).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leavitt, Steven D; Kraichak, Ekaphan; Nelsen, Matthew P; Altermann, Susanne; Divakar, Pradeep K; Alors, David; Esslinger, Theodore L; Crespo, Ana; Lumbsch, Thorsten

    2015-07-01

    Microbial symbionts are instrumental to the ecological and long-term evolutionary success of their hosts, and the central role of symbiotic interactions is increasingly recognized across the vast majority of life. Lichens provide an iconic group for investigating patterns in species interactions; however, relationships among lichen symbionts are often masked by uncertain species boundaries or an inability to reliably identify symbionts. The species-rich lichen-forming fungal family Parmeliaceae provides a diverse group for assessing patterns of interactions of algal symbionts, and our study addresses patterns of lichen symbiont interactions at the largest geographic and taxonomic scales attempted to date. We analysed a total of 2356 algal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequences collected from lichens representing ten mycobiont genera in Parmeliaceae, two genera in Lecanoraceae and 26 cultured Trebouxia strains. Algal ITS sequences were grouped into operational taxonomic units (OTUs); we attempted to validate the evolutionary independence of a subset of the inferred OTUs using chloroplast and mitochondrial loci. We explored the patterns of symbiont interactions in these lichens based on ecogeographic distributions and mycobiont taxonomy. We found high levels of undescribed diversity in Trebouxia, broad distributions across distinct ecoregions for many photobiont OTUs and varying levels of mycobiont selectivity and specificity towards the photobiont. Based on these results, we conclude that fungal specificity and selectivity for algal partners play a major role in determining lichen partnerships, potentially superseding ecology, at least at the ecogeographic scale investigated here. To facilitate effective communication and consistency across future studies, we propose a provisional naming system for Trebouxia photobionts and provide representative sequences for each OTU circumscribed in this study.

  4. Scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities using functional diversity and community deconstruction approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Pedro Giovâni da; Hernández, Malva Isabel Medina

    2015-01-01

    Community structure is driven by mechanisms linked to environmental, spatial and temporal processes, which have been successfully addressed using metacommunity framework. The relative importance of processes shaping community structure can be identified using several different approaches. Two approaches that are increasingly being used are functional diversity and community deconstruction. Functional diversity is measured using various indices that incorporate distinct community attributes. Community deconstruction is a way to disentangle species responses to ecological processes by grouping species with similar traits. We used these two approaches to determine whether they are improvements over traditional measures (e.g., species composition, abundance, biomass) for identification of the main processes driving dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) community structure in a fragmented mainland-island landscape in southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We sampled five sites in each of four large forest areas, two on the mainland and two on the island. Sampling was performed in 2012 and 2013. We collected abundance and biomass data from 100 sampling points distributed over 20 sampling sites. We studied environmental, spatial and temporal effects on dung beetle community across three spatial scales, i.e., between sites, between areas and mainland-island. The γ-diversity based on species abundance was mainly attributed to β-diversity as a consequence of the increase in mean α- and β-diversity between areas. Variation partitioning on abundance, biomass and functional diversity showed scale-dependence of processes structuring dung beetle metacommunities. We identified two major groups of responses among 17 functional groups. In general, environmental filters were important at both local and regional scales. Spatial factors were important at the intermediate scale. Our study supports the notion of scale-dependence of environmental, spatial and temporal processes in the distribution

  5. Cajal body function in genome organization and transcriptome diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Iain A; Sturgill, David; Sung, Myong-Hee; Hager, Gordon L; Dundr, Miroslav

    2016-12-01

    Nuclear bodies contribute to non-random organization of the human genome and nuclear function. Using a major prototypical nuclear body, the Cajal body, as an example, we suggest that these structures assemble at specific gene loci located across the genome as a result of high transcriptional activity. Subsequently, target genes are physically clustered in close proximity in Cajal body-containing cells. However, Cajal bodies are observed in only a limited number of human cell types, including neuronal and cancer cells. Ultimately, Cajal body depletion perturbs splicing kinetics by reducing target small nuclear RNA (snRNA) transcription and limiting the levels of spliceosomal snRNPs, including their modification and turnover following each round of RNA splicing. As such, Cajal bodies are capable of shaping the chromatin interaction landscape and the transcriptome by influencing spliceosome kinetics. Future studies should concentrate on characterizing the direct influence of Cajal bodies upon snRNA gene transcriptional dynamics. Also see the video abstract here.

  6. Interpenetration in coordination polymers: structural diversities toward porous functional materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritesh Haldar

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Interpenetration is a natural phenomenon frequently encountered in porous coordination polymers (PCPs or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs. Traditionally interpenetration has been considered as a threat to permanent porosity and several strategies have been adopted to control the framework interpenetration. Recent literature reports have unveiled that interpenetration has paramount importance in several material properties particularly in storage and separation of small gas molecules. Such frameworks also show interesting structural flexibility based on shearing or movement of the nets and also reveals guest induced dynamic structural transformation for modulated specific functions. In this review, we will emphasize several interpenetration phenomena observed in coordination polymers, their intriguing structural aspects and fascinating material properties.

  7. Structural Diversity and Function of Xyloglucan Sidechain Substituents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Schultink

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Xyloglucan (XyG is a hemicellulose found in the cell walls of all land plants including early-divergent groups such as liverworts, hornworts and mosses. The basic structure of XyG, a xylosylated glucan, is similar in all of these plants but additional substituents can vary depending on plant family, tissue, and developmental stage. A comprehensive list of known XyG sidechain substituents is assembled including their occurrence within plant families, thereby providing insight into the evolutionary origin of the various sidechains. Recent advances in DNA sequencing have enabled comparative genomics approaches for the identification of XyG biosynthetic enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana as well as in non-model plant species. Characterization of these biosynthetic genes not only allows the determination of their substrate specificity but also provides insights into the function of the various substituents in plant growth and development.

  8. Effects of disturbance intensity on species and functional diversity in a tropical forest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carreño Rocabado, G.; Peña-Claros, M.; Bongers, F.; Alarcón, A.; Licona, J.C.; Poorter, L.

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances are widespread and may affect community assembly, species composition, (functional) diversity and hence ecosystem processes. It remains still unclear to what extent disturbance-mediated species changes scale-up to changes in community functional properties, especially for species-rich t

  9. Abundance and functional diversity of riboswitches in microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelfand Mikhail S

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several recently completed large-scale enviromental sequencing projects produced a large amount of genetic information about microbial communities ('metagenomes' which is not biased towards cultured organisms. It is a good source for estimation of the abundance of genes and regulatory structures in both known and unknown members of microbial communities. In this study we consider the distribution of RNA regulatory structures, riboswitches, in the Sargasso Sea, Minnesota Soil and Whale Falls metagenomes. Results Over three hundred riboswitches were found in about 2 Gbp metagenome DNA sequences. The abundabce of riboswitches in metagenomes was highest for the TPP, B12 and GCVT riboswitches; the S-box, RFN, YKKC/YXKD, YYBP/YKOY regulatory elements showed lower but significant abundance, while the LYS, G-box, GLMS and YKOK riboswitches were rare. Regions downstream of identified riboswitches were scanned for open reading frames. Comparative analysis of identified ORFs revealed new riboswitch-regulated functions for several classes of riboswitches. In particular, we have observed phosphoserine aminotransferase serC (COG1932 and malate synthase glcB (COG2225 to be regulated by the glycine (GCVT riboswitch; fatty acid desaturase ole1 (COG1398, by the cobalamin (B12 riboswitch; 5-methylthioribose-1-phosphate isomerase ykrS (COG0182, by the SAM-riboswitch. We also identified conserved riboswitches upstream of genes of unknown function: thiamine (TPP, cobalamine (B12, and glycine (GCVT, upstream of genes from COG4198. Conclusion This study demonstrates applicability of bioinformatics to the analysis of RNA regulatory structures in metagenomes.

  10. Patterns of bird functional diversity on land-bridge island fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Zhifeng; Feeley, Kenneth J; Wang, Yanping; Pakeman, Robin J; Ding, Ping

    2013-07-01

    The loss of species diversity due to habitat fragmentation has been extensively studied. In contrast, the impacts of habitat fragmentation on functional diversity remains relatively poorly understood. We conducted bird functional diversity studies on a set of 41 recently isolated land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake, China. We analysed differences in bird species richness and a recently developed suite of complementary functional diversity indices (FRic, volume of functional space occupied; FEve, evenness of abundance distribution in the functional trait space; FDiv, divergence in the distribution of abundance in the trait volume) across different gradients (island area and isolation). We found no correlations between FRic and FEve or FEve and FDiv, but negative correlations between FRic and FDiv. As predicted, island area accounted for most of the variation in bird species richness, whereas isolation explained most of the variation in species evenness (decreasing species evenness with increasing isolation). Functional diversity appears to be more strongly influenced by habitat filtering as opposed to limiting similarity. More specifically, across all islands, both FRic and FEve were significantly lower than expected for randomly assembled communities, but FDiv showed no clear patterns. FRic increased with island area, FEve decreased with island area and FDiv showed no clear patterns. Our finding that FEve decreases with island area at TIL may indicate low functional stability on such islands, and as such large islands and habitat patches may deserve extra attention and/or protection. These results help to demonstrate the importance of considering the effects of fragmentation on functional diversity in habitat management and reserve design plans.

  11. Functional Diversity as a New Framework for Understanding the Ecology of an Emerging Generalist Pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Aaron; Guégan, Jean-François; Benbow, M Eric; Williamson, Heather; Small, Pamela L C; Quaye, Charles; Boakye, Daniel; Merritt, Richard W; Gozlan, Rodolphe E

    2016-09-01

    Emerging infectious disease outbreaks are increasingly suspected to be a consequence of human pressures exerted on natural ecosystems. Previously, host taxonomic communities have been used as indicators of infectious disease emergence, and the loss of their diversity has been implicated as a driver of increased presence. The mechanistic details in how such pathogen-host systems function, however, may not always be explained by taxonomic variation or loss. Here we used machine learning and methods based on Gower's dissimilarity to quantify metrics of invertebrate functional diversity, in addition to functional groups and their taxonomic diversity at sites endemic and non-endemic for the model generalist pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer. Changes in these metrics allowed the rapid categorisation of the ecological niche of the mycobacterium's hosts and the ability to relate specific host traits to its presence in aquatic ecosystems. We found that taxonomic diversity of hosts and overall functional diversity loss and evenness had no bearing on the mycobacterium's presence, or whether the site was in an endemic area. These findings, however, provide strong evidence that generalist environmentally persistent bacteria such as M. ulcerans can be associated with specific functional traits rather than taxonomic groups of organisms, increasing our understanding of emerging disease ecology and origin.

  12. Wide ranges of functional traits in the flora from the central region of Sonora: A diversity to be explored

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesar Hinojo Hinojo; Alejandro E. Castellanos; Jose M. Llano. Sotelo

    2013-01-01

    Although the Sonoran Desert does not have the highest plant species richness, it has been documented with the highest growth form diversity from the North American deserts. It is not known if this high growth form diversity could also harbor a high functional diversity. In this study we characterize the ecophysiological functional traits of photosynthetic capacity,...

  13. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Étienne Normandin

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852 and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775. Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services.

  14. Taxonomic and functional trait diversity of wild bees in different urban settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddle, Christopher M.; Fournier, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization is one of the major anthropogenic processes contributing to local habitat loss and extirpation of numerous species, including wild bees, the most widespread pollinators. Little is known about the mechanisms through which urbanization impacts wild bee communities, or the types of urban green spaces that best promote their conservation in cities. The main objective of this study was to describe and compare wild bee community diversity, structure, and dynamics in two Canadian cities, Montreal and Quebec City. A second objective was to compare functional trait diversity among three habitat types (cemeteries, community gardens and urban parks) within each city. Bees were collected using pan traps and netting on the same 46 sites, multiple times, over the active season in 2012 and 2013. A total of 32,237 specimens were identified, representing 200 species and 6 families, including two new continental records, Hylaeus communis Nylander (1852) and Anthidium florentinum (Fabricius, 1775). Despite high community evenness, we found significant abundance of diverse species, including exotic ones. Spatio-temporal analysis showed higher stability in the most urbanized city (Montreal) but low nestedness of species assemblages among the three urban habitats in both cities. Our study demonstrates that cities are home to diverse communities of wild bees, but in turn affect bee community structure and dynamics. We also found that community gardens harbour high levels of functional trait diversity. Urban agriculture therefore contributes substantially to the provision of functionally diverse bee communities and possibly to urban pollination services.

  15. TLR4 plays a crucial role in MSC-induced inhibition of NK cell function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Ying [No. 307 Hospital of the Chinese People' s Liberation Army, Beijing (China); Liu, Jin; Liu, Yang; Qin, Yaru [Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing (China); Luo, Qun [No. 307 Hospital of the Chinese People' s Liberation Army, Beijing (China); Wang, Quanli, E-mail: 13691110351@163.com [No. 307 Hospital of the Chinese People' s Liberation Army, Beijing (China); Duan, Haifeng, E-mail: duanhf0720@163.com [Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing (China)

    2015-08-21

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are a kind of stromal cell within the tumor microenvironment. In our research, MSC derived from acute myeloid leukemia patients' bone marrow (AML-MSC) and lung cancer tissues (LC-MSC) as well as normal bone marrow-derived MSC (BM-MSC) cultured in conditioned medium of HeLa cells were found to have higher expressions of Toll-like receptor (TLR4) mRNA compared with BM-MSC. The sorted TLR4-positive MSC (TLR4+ MSC) differed in cytokine (interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) secretion from those of unsorted MSC. MSC was reported to inhibit natural killer (NK) cell proliferation and function. In this research, we confirmed that TLR4+ MSC aggravate this suppression. Furthermore, when TLR4 in the sorted cells were stimulated by LPS or following blocked by antibody, the suppression on NK cell proliferation and cytotoxicity were more intensive or recovered respectively. Compared to unsorted MSC, NKG2D receptor expression on NK cells were also inhibited by TLR4+ MSC. These findings suggest that activation of TLR4 pathway is important for TLR4+ MSC and MSC to obstruct anti-tumor immunity by inhibiting NK cell function, which may provide a potential stroma-targeted tumor therapy. - Highlights: • TLR4+ MSC inhibit NK cell proliferation in vivo and in vitro. • TLR4+ MSC inhibit NKG2D expression on NK cells and NK cell cytotoxicity. • The distinguished cytokine expression of TLR4+ MSC may contribute to the inhibition on NK cell function.

  16. Chemical-functional diversity in cell-penetrating peptides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie Stalmans

    Full Text Available Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs are a promising tool to overcome cell membrane barriers. They have already been successfully applied as carriers for several problematic cargoes, like e.g. plasmid DNA and (siRNA, opening doors for new therapeutics. Although several hundreds of CPPs are already described in the literature, only a few commercial applications of CPPs are currently available. Cellular uptake studies of these peptides suffer from inconsistencies in used techniques and other experimental conditions, leading to uncertainties about their uptake mechanisms and structural properties. To clarify the structural characteristics influencing the cell-penetrating properties of peptides, the chemical-functional space of peptides, already investigated for cellular uptake, was explored. For 186 peptides, a new cell-penetrating (CP-response was proposed, based upon the scattered quantitative results for cellular influx available in the literature. Principal component analysis (PCA and a quantitative structure-property relationship study (QSPR, using chemo-molecular descriptors and our newly defined CP-response, learned that besides typical well-known properties of CPPs, i.e. positive charge and amphipathicity, the shape, structure complexity and the 3D-pattern of constituting atoms influence the cellular uptake capacity of peptides.

  17. Insight into the molecular and functional diversity of cnidarian neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Toshio; Takeda, Noriyo

    2015-01-23

    Cnidarians are the most primitive animals to possess a nervous system. This phylum is composed of the classes Scyphozoa (jellyfish), Cubozoa (box jellyfish), and Hydrozoa (e.g., Hydra, Hydractinia), which make up the subphylum Medusozoa, as well as the class Anthozoa (sea anemones and corals). Neuropeptides have an early evolutionary origin and are already abundant in cnidarians. For example, from the cnidarian Hydra, a key model system for studying the peptides involved in developmental and physiological processes, we identified a wide variety of novel neuropeptides from Hydra magnipapillata (the Hydra Peptide Project). Most of these peptides act directly on muscle cells and induce contraction and relaxation. Some peptides are involved in cell differentiation and morphogenesis. In this review, we describe FMRFamide-like peptides (FLPs), GLWamide-family peptides, and the neuropeptide Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide. Several hundred FLPs have been isolated from invertebrate animals such as cnidarians. GLWamide-family peptides function as signaling molecules in muscle contraction, metamorphosis, and settlement in cnidarians. Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide enhances neuronal differentiation in Hydra. Recently, GLWamide-family peptides and Hym-355; FPQSFLPRGamide were shown to trigger oocyte maturation and subsequent spawning in the hydrozoan jellyfish Cytaeis uchidae. These findings suggest the importance of these neuropeptides in both developmental and physiological processes.

  18. Structural and functional diversity of ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliverti, Alessandro; Pandini, Vittorio; Pennati, Andrea; de Rosa, Matteo; Zanetti, Giuliana

    2008-06-15

    Although all ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases (FNRs) catalyze the same reaction, i.e. the transfer of reducing equivalents between NADP(H) and ferredoxin, they belong to two unrelated families of proteins: the plant-type and the glutathione reductase-type of FNRs. Aim of this review is to provide a general classification scheme for these enzymes, to be used as a framework for the comparison of their properties. Furthermore, we report on some recent findings, which significantly increased the understanding of the structure-function relationships of FNRs, i.e. the ability of adrenodoxin reductase and its homologs to catalyze the oxidation of NADP(+) to its 4-oxo derivative, and the properties of plant-type FNRs from non-photosynthetic organisms. Plant-type FNRs from bacteria and Apicomplexan parasites provide examples of novel ways of FAD- and NADP(H)-binding. The recent characterization of an FNR from Plasmodium falciparum brings these enzymes into the field of drug design.

  19. Microalgal lipid droplets: composition, diversity, biogenesis and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goold, Hugh; Beisson, Fred; Peltier, Gilles; Li-Beisson, Yonghua

    2015-04-01

    Lipid droplet is the major site of neutral lipid storage in eukaryotic cells, and increasing evidence show its involvement in numerous cellular processes such as lipid homeostasis, signaling, trafficking and inter-organelle communications. Although the biogenesis, structure, and functions of lipid droplets have been well documented for seeds of vascular plants, mammalian adipose tissues, insects and yeasts, relative little is known about lipid droplets in microalgae. Over the past 5 years, the growing interest of microalgae as a platform for biofuel, green chemicals or value-added polyunsaturated fatty acid production has brought algal lipid droplets into spotlight. Studies conducted on the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and other model microalgae such as Haematococcus and Nannochloropsis species have led to the identification of proteins associated with lipid droplets, which include putative structural proteins different from plant oleosins and animal perilipins, as well as candidate proteins for lipid biosynthesis, mobilization, trafficking and homeostasis. Biochemical and microscopy studies have also started to shed light on the role of chloroplasts in the biogenesis of lipid droplets in Chlamydomonas.

  20. Playing with cardiac "redox switches": the "HNO way" to modulate cardiac function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tocchetti, Carlo G; Stanley, Brian A; Murray, Christopher I; Sivakumaran, Vidhya; Donzelli, Sonia; Mancardi, Daniele; Pagliaro, Pasquale; Gao, Wei Dong; van Eyk, Jennifer; Kass, David A; Wink, David A; Paolocci, Nazareno

    2011-05-01

    The nitric oxide (NO(•)) sibling, nitroxyl or nitrosyl hydride (HNO), is emerging as a molecule whose pharmacological properties include providing functional support to failing hearts. HNO also preconditions myocardial tissue, protecting it against ischemia-reperfusion injury while exerting vascular antiproliferative actions. In this review, HNO's peculiar cardiovascular assets are discussed in light of its unique chemistry that distinguish HNO from NO(•) as well as from reactive oxygen and nitrogen species such as the hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite. Included here is a discussion of the possible routes of HNO formation in the myocardium and its chemical targets in the heart. HNO has been shown to have positive inotropic/lusitropic effects under normal and congestive heart failure conditions in animal models. The mechanistic intricacies of the beneficial cardiac effects of HNO are examined in cellular models. In contrast to β-receptor/cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A-dependent enhancers of myocardial performance, HNO uses its "thiophylic" nature as a vehicle to interact with redox switches such as cysteines, which are located in key components of the cardiac electromechanical machinery ruling myocardial function. Here, we will briefly review new features of HNO's cardiovascular effects that when combined with its positive inotropic/lusitropic action may render HNO donors an attractive addition to the current therapeutic armamentarium for treating patients with acutely decompensated congestive heart failure.

  1. Functional diversity of macrophyte communities within and between Pyrenean lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enric BALLESTEROS

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Submersed vegetation is a common feature in about 70% Pyrenean high mountain (>1500 m a.s.l. lakes. Isoetids and soft-water elodeids are common elements of this underwater flora and can form distinct vegetation units (i.e. patches of vegetation dominated by different species within complex mosaics of vegetation in shallow waters (<7 m. Since isoetids exert a strong influence on sediment biogeochemistry due to high radial oxygen loss, we examined the small scale characteristics of the lake environment (water and sediment associated to vegetation patches in order to ascertain potential functional differences among them. To do so, we characterised the species composition and biomass of the main vegetation units from 11 lakes, defined plant communities based on biomass data, and then related each community with sediment properties (redox and dissolved nutrient concentration in the pore water and water nutrient concentration within plant canopy. We also characterised lake water and sediment in areas without vegetation as a reference. A total of twenty-one vegetation units were identified, ranging from one to five per lake. A cluster analysis on biomass species composition suggested seven different macrophyte communities that were named after the most dominant species: Nitella sp., Potamogeton praelongus, Myriophyllum alterniflorum, Sparganium angustifolium, Isoetes echinospora, Isoetes lacustris and Carex rostrata. Coupling between macrophyte communities and their immediate environment (overlying water and sediment was manifested mainly as variation in sediment redox conditions and the dominant form of inorganic nitrogen in pore-water. These effects depended on the specific composition of the community, and on the allocation between above- and belowground biomass, and could be predicted with a model relating the average and standard deviation of sediment redox potential from 0 down to -20 cm, across macrophyte communities. Differences in pore

  2. Functional polymorphism of the CK2alpha intronless gene plays oncogenic roles in lung cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Szu Hung

    Full Text Available Protein kinase CK2 is frequently up-regulated in human cancers, although the mechanism of CK2 activation in cancer remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of the CK2alpha intronless gene (CSNK2A1P, a presumed CK2alpha pseudogene in the pathogenesis of human cancers. We found evidence of amplification and over-expression of the CSNK2A1P gene in non-small cell lung cancer and leukemia cell lines and 25% of the lung cancer tissues studied. The mRNA expression levels correlated with the copy numbers of the CSNK2A1P gene. We also identified a novel polymorphic variant (398T/C, I133T of the CSNK2A1P gene and showed that the 398T allele is selectively amplified over the 398C allele in 101 non-small cell lung cancer tissue samples compared to those in 48 normal controls (p = 0.013<0.05. We show for the first time CSNK2A1P protein expression in transfected human embryonic kidney 293T and mouse embryonic fibroblast NIH-3T3 cell lines. Both alleles are transforming in these cell lines, and the 398T allele appears to be more transforming than the 398C allele. Moreover, the 398T allele degrades PML tumor suppressor protein more efficiently than the 398C allele and shows a relatively stronger binding to PML. Knockdown of the CSNK2A1P gene expression with specific siRNA increased the PML protein level in lung cancer cells. We report, for the first time, that the CSNK2A1P gene is a functional proto-oncogene in human cancers and its functional polymorphism appears to degrade PML differentially in cancer cells. These results are consistent with an important role for the 398T allele of the CSNK2A1P in human lung cancer susceptibility.

  3. AQP4-dependent water transport plays a functional role in exercise-induced skeletal muscle adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basco, Davide; Blaauw, Bert; Pisani, Francesco; Sparaneo, Angelo; Nicchia, Grazia Paola; Mola, Maria Grazia; Reggiani, Carlo; Svelto, Maria; Frigeri, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    In this study we assess the functional role of Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) in the skeletal muscle by analyzing whether physical activity modulates AQP4 expression and whether the absence of AQP4 has an effect on osmotic behavior, muscle contractile properties, and physical activity. To this purpose, rats and mice were trained on the treadmill for 10 (D10) and 30 (D30) days and tested with exercise to exhaustion, and muscles were used for immunoblotting, RT-PCR, and fiber-type distribution analysis. Taking advantage of the AQP4 KO murine model, functional analysis of AQP4 was performed on dissected muscle fibers and sarcolemma vesicles. Moreover, WT and AQP4 KO mice were subjected to both voluntary and forced activity. Rat fast-twitch muscles showed a twofold increase in AQP4 protein in D10 and D30 rats compared to sedentary rats. Such increase positively correlated with the animal performance, since highest level of AQP4 protein was found in high runner rats. Interestingly, no shift in muscle fiber composition nor an increase in AQP4-positive fibers was found. Furthermore, no changes in AQP4 mRNA after exercise were detected, suggesting that post-translational events are likely to be responsible for AQP4 modulation. Experiments performed on AQP4 KO mice revealed a strong impairment in osmotic responses as well as in forced and voluntary activities compared to WT mice, even though force development amplitude and contractile properties were unvaried. Our findings definitively demonstrate the physiological role of AQP4 in supporting muscle contractile activity and metabolic changes that occur in fast-twitch skeletal muscle during prolonged exercise.

  4. AQP4-dependent water transport plays a functional role in exercise-induced skeletal muscle adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Basco

    Full Text Available In this study we assess the functional role of Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 in the skeletal muscle by analyzing whether physical activity modulates AQP4 expression and whether the absence of AQP4 has an effect on osmotic behavior, muscle contractile properties, and physical activity. To this purpose, rats and mice were trained on the treadmill for 10 (D10 and 30 (D30 days and tested with exercise to exhaustion, and muscles were used for immunoblotting, RT-PCR, and fiber-type distribution analysis. Taking advantage of the AQP4 KO murine model, functional analysis of AQP4 was performed on dissected muscle fibers and sarcolemma vesicles. Moreover, WT and AQP4 KO mice were subjected to both voluntary and forced activity. Rat fast-twitch muscles showed a twofold increase in AQP4 protein in D10 and D30 rats compared to sedentary rats. Such increase positively correlated with the animal performance, since highest level of AQP4 protein was found in high runner rats. Interestingly, no shift in muscle fiber composition nor an increase in AQP4-positive fibers was found. Furthermore, no changes in AQP4 mRNA after exercise were detected, suggesting that post-translational events are likely to be responsible for AQP4 modulation. Experiments performed on AQP4 KO mice revealed a strong impairment in osmotic responses as well as in forced and voluntary activities compared to WT mice, even though force development amplitude and contractile properties were unvaried. Our findings definitively demonstrate the physiological role of AQP4 in supporting muscle contractile activity and metabolic changes that occur in fast-twitch skeletal muscle during prolonged exercise.

  5. Can mangrove plantation enhance the functional diversity of macrobenthic community in polluted mangroves?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Jonathan Y S; Cheung, Napo K M

    2017-03-15

    Mangrove plantation is widely applied to re-establish the plant community in degraded mangroves, but its effectiveness to restore the ecological functions of macrobenthic community remains poorly known, especially when pollution may overwhelm its potential positive effect. Here, we tested the effect of mangrove plantation on the ecological functions of macrobenthic community in a polluted mangrove by analyzing biological traits of macrobenthos and calculating functional diversity. Mangrove plantation was shown to enhance the functional diversity and restore the ecological functions of macrobenthic community, depending on seasonality. Given the polluted sediment, however, typical traits of opportunistic species (e.g. small and short-lived) prevailed in all habitats and sampling times. We conclude that mangrove plantation can help diversify the ecological functions of macrobenthic community, but its effectiveness is likely reduced by pollution. From the management perspective, therefore, pollution sources must be stringently regulated and mangrove plantation should be conducted to fully recover degraded mangroves.

  6. 14-3-3 phosphoprotein interaction networks – does isoform diversity present functional interaction specification?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Lisa ePaul

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The 14-3-3 proteins have emerged as major phosphoprotein interaction proteins and thereby constitute a key node in the Arabidopsis Interactome Map, a node through which a large number of important signals pass. Throughout their history of discovery and description, the 14-3-3s have been described as protein families and there has been some evidence that the different 14-3-3 family members within any organisms might carry isoform specific functions. However there has also been evidence for redundancy of 14-3-3 function, suggesting that the perceived 14-3-3 diversity may be the accumulation of neutral mutations over evolutionary time and as some 14-3-3 genes develop tissue or organ specific expression. This situation has led to a currently unresolved question – does 14-3-3 isoform sequence diversity indicate functional diversity at the biochemical or cellular level? We discuss here some of the key observations on both sides of the resulting debate, and present a set of contrastable observations to address the theory that sequence diversity does lead to functional diversity among 14-3-3 isoforms. The resulting model suggests strongly that there are indeed functional specificities in the 14-3-3s of Arabidopsis. The model further suggests that 14-3-3 diversity and specificity should enter into the discussion of 14-3-3 roles in signal transduction and be directly approached in experiments designed to address 14-3-3 functional roles. It is hoped that future studies involving 14-3-3s will continue to address specificity in experimental design and analysis.

  7. Phylogenetic and functional diversity of nitrogen cycling microbes in coastal sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Zhang

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The coastal zone contains diverse habitats which are usually characterized by strong environmental gradients (e.g. salinity, nutrients and pollutants. This makes the coastal zone an ideal experimental laboratory for describing microbial diversity and testing hypotheses on community structure, function and control. Coastal sediment is of significance in nutrient regeneration and transformation involving different assemblages of microbes in the nitrogen cycle. This review focuses on 16S rRNA gene-based phylogenetic diversity and the key enzyme encoding gene-based (e.g. nifH, amoA, narG, nirS, nirK, nosZ, nrfA, hzo and hzs functional diversity of nitrogen fixing, ammonia oxidizing and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (Anammox bacteria as well as bacteria and fungi involved in denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA. Characteristics of community composition and diversity of nitrogen cycling microbes in different habitats (e.g. estuarine, intertidal flats, seagrass or seaweed beds, mangroves, salt marsh, coral reefs, and shallow seas, and their spatiotemporal patterns under benthic pollution or bioturbation are reviewed. Future directions for a better understanding diversity of nitrogen cycling microbes are suggested, such as culture methods and technologies, and single-cell sequencing, etc.

  8. Advancing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning science using high-density tree-based experiments over functional diversity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobner, Cornelia M; Paquette, Alain; Reich, Peter B; Gravel, Dominique; Messier, Christian

    2014-03-01

    Increasing concern about loss of biodiversity and its effects on ecosystem functioning has triggered a series of manipulative experiments worldwide, which have demonstrated a general trend for ecosystem functioning to increase with diversity. General mechanisms proposed to explain diversity effects include complementary resource use and invoke a key role for species' functional traits. The actual mechanisms by which complementary resource use occurs remain, however, poorly understood, as well as whether they apply to tree-dominated ecosystems. Here we present an experimental approach offering multiple innovative aspects to the field of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. The International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees (IDENT) allows research to be conducted at several hierarchical levels within individuals, neighborhoods, and communities. The network investigates questions related to intraspecific trait variation, complementarity, and environmental stress. The goal of IDENT is to identify some of the mechanisms through which individuals and species interact to promote coexistence and the complementary use of resources. IDENT includes several implemented and planned sites in North America and Europe, and uses a replicated design of high-density tree plots of fixed species-richness levels varying in functional diversity (FD). The design reduces the space and time needed for trees to interact allowing a thorough set of mixtures varying over different diversity gradients (specific, functional, phylogenetic) and environmental conditions (e.g., water stress) to be tested in the field. The intention of this paper is to share the experience in designing FD-focused BEF experiments with trees, to favor collaborations and expand the network to different conditions.

  9. Parametric scaling from species to growth-form diversity: an interesting analogy with multifractal functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricotta, Carlo; Pacini, Alessandra; Avena, Giancarlo

    2002-01-01

    We propose a measure of divergence from species to life-form diversity aimed at summarizing the ecological similarity among different plant communities without losing information on traditional taxonomic diversity. First, species and life-form relative abundances within a given plant community are determined. Next, using Rényi's generalized entropy, the diversity profiles of the analyzed community are computed both from species and life-form relative abundances. Finally, the speed of decrease from species to life-form diversity is obtained by combining the outcome of both profiles. Interestingly, the proposed measure shows some formal analogies with multifractal functions developed in statistical physics for the analysis of spatial patterns. As an application for demonstration, a small data set from a plant community sampled in the archaeological site of Paestum (southern Italy) is used.

  10. Assessment of soil microbial diversity with functional multi-endpoint methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Creamer, R. E.; Rutgers, M.

    Soil microbial diversity provides the cornerstone for support of soil ecosystem services by key roles in soil organic matter turnover, carbon sequestration and water infiltration. However, standardized methods to quantify the multitude of microbial functions in soils are lacking. Methods based......-substrates. These methods have been proposed to fill the gap. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation; and whether it is only bacteria or also fungi and /or extracellular enzymes. Also they vary in the functions tested and the number of functions. In addition...... techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses and compare with the vast amount of data delivered in other projects (BISQ, RMQS-bioindicateur). Based on experimental results...

  11. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Gang; Mi, Xiangcheng; Bøcher, Peder Klith;

    2014-01-01

    studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study...... their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax), probably reflecting the dominant role of competition...

  12. A Study on Forest Species Diversity and Its Ecological Service Function in the Plateau Area of Western Sichuan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Deng Yu-lin; Wang Yu-kuan; Peng Pei-hao

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a study on species diversity and its ecological service function in the plateau area in western Sichuan. The results show that species diversity in the plantations on the cutover land has a tendency to increase and that its ecological service function is to be improved with stand age growing. The species diversity in forest communities is also gradually increased on different succession stage till reaching a climax level. But the species diversity in the climax community is slightly decreased before it reaches a relatively constant status. Ecological service function of diversity is gradually strengthened with the progress of succession. In addition, species diversity in a stand in a similar site and at a same age differs among forest types. Species diversity index within a coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest is larger than that within a coniferous forest. Meanwhile, species diversity enriches as the tree density increases.

  13. Implications for Diverse Functions of the LINC Complexes Based on the Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miki Hieda

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC complex is composed of the outer and inner nuclear membrane protein families Klarsicht, Anc-1, and Syne homology (KASH, and Sad1 and UNC-84 (SUN homology domain proteins. Increasing evidence has pointed to diverse functions of the LINC complex, such as in nuclear migration, nuclear integrity, chromosome movement and pairing during meiosis, and mechanotransduction to the genome. In metazoan cells, the nuclear envelope possesses the nuclear lamina, which is a thin meshwork of intermediate filaments known as A-type and B-type lamins and lamin binding proteins. Both of lamins physically interact with the inner nuclear membrane spanning SUN proteins. The nuclear lamina has also been implicated in various functions, including maintenance of nuclear integrity, mechanotransduction, cellular signalling, and heterochromatin dynamics. Thus, it is clear that the LINC complex and nuclear lamins perform diverse but related functions. However, it is unknown whether the LINC complex–lamins interactions are involved in these diverse functions, and their regulation mechanism has thus far been elusive. Recent structural analysis suggested a dynamic nature of the LINC complex component, thus providing an explanation for LINC complex organization. This review, elaborating on the integration of crystallographic and biochemical data, helps to integrate this research to gain a better understanding of the diverse functions of the LINC complex.

  14. Defining conservation priorities for freshwater fishes according to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Angela; Olden, Julian D.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2011-01-01

    To date, the predominant use of systematic conservation planning has been to evaluate and conserve areas of high terrestrial biodiversity. Although studies in freshwater ecosystems have received recent attention, research has rarely considered the potential trade-offs between protecting different dimensions of biodiversity and the ecological processes that maintain diversity. We provide the first systematic prioritization for freshwaters (focusing on the highly threatened and globally distinct fish fauna of the Lower Colorado River Basin, USA) simultaneously considering scenarios of: taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity; contemporary threats to biodiversity (including interactions with nonnative species); and future climate change and human population growth. There was 75% congruence between areas of highest conservation priority for different aspects of biodiversity, suggesting that conservation efforts can concurrently achieve strong complementarity among all types of diversity. However, sizable fractions of the landscape were incongruent across conservation priorities for different diversity scenarios, underscoring the importance of considering multiple dimensions of biodiversity and highlighting catchments that contribute disproportionately to taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in the region. Regions of projected human population growth were not concordant with conservation priorities; however, higher human population abundance will likely have indirect effects on native biodiversity by increasing demand for water. This will come in direct conflict with projected reductions in precipitation and warmer temperatures, which have substantial overlap with regions of high contemporary diversity. Native and endemic fishes in arid ecosystems are critically endangered by both current and future threats, but our results highlight the use of systematic conservation planning for the optimal allocation of limited resources that incorporates

  15. Consumer diversity across kingdoms supports multiple functions in a coastal ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hensel, Marc J S; Silliman, Brian R

    2013-12-17

    The global biodiversity crisis impairs the valuable benefits ecosystems provide humans. These nature-generated benefits are defined by a multitude of different ecosystem functions that operate simultaneously. Although several studies have simulated species loss in communities and tracked the response of single functions such as productivity or nutrient cycling, these studies have involved relatively similar taxa, and seldom are strikingly different functions examined. With the exception of highly managed ecosystems such as agricultural fields, rarely are we interested in only one function being performed well. Instead, we rely on ecosystems to deliver several different functions at the same time. Here, we experimentally investigated the extinction impacts of dominant consumers in a salt marsh. These consumers are remarkably phylogenetically diverse, spanning two kingdoms (i.e., Animalia and Fungi). Our field studies reveal that a diverse consumer assemblage significantly enhances simultaneous functioning of disparate ecosystem processes (i.e., productivity, decomposition, and infiltration). Extreme functional and phylogenetic differences among consumers underlie this relationship. Each marsh consumer affected at least one different ecosystem function, and each individual function was affected by no more than two consumers. The implications of these findings are profound: If we want ecosystems to perform many different functions well, it is not just number of species that matter. Rather, the presence of species representing markedly different ecologies and biology is also essential to maximizing multiple functions. Moreover, this work emphasizes the need to incorporate both microcomponents and macrocomponents of food webs to accurately predict biodiversity declines on integrated-ecosystem functioning.

  16. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yufang; Chen, Yingying; Li, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L.) field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer), FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer) and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition). The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological quality of the

  17. Assessment of genetic and functional diversity of phosphate solubilizing fluorescent pseudomonads isolated from rhizospheric soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayanan Kannan

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phosphorus is an essential macronutrient for the growth of plants. However, in most soils a large portion of phosphorus becomes insoluble and therefore, unavailable to plants. Knowledge on biodiversity of phosphate-solubilizing fluorescent pseudomonads is essential to understand their ecological role and their utilization in sustainable agriculture. Results Of 443 fluorescent pseudomonad strains tested, 80 strains (18% showed positive for the solubilization of tri-calcium phosphate (Ca3(PO42 by the formation of visible dissolution halos on Pikovskaya's agar. These phosphate solubilizing strains showed high variability in utilizing various carbon sources. Numerical taxonomy of the phosphate solubilizing strains based on their carbon source utilization profiles resulted into three major phenons at a 0.76 similarity coefficient level. Genotypic analyses of strains by BOX (bacterial repetitive BOX element-polymerase chain reaction (PCR resulted into three distinct genomic clusters and 26 distinct BOX profiles at a 80% similarity level. On the basis of phenotypic characterization and 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analyses strains were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. mosselii, P. monteilii, P. plecoglossicida, P. putida, P. fulva and P. fluorescens. These phosphate solubilizing strains also showed the production of plant growth promoting enzymes, hormones and exhibited antagonism against phytopathogenic fungi that attack on various crops. Gene specific primers have identified the putative antibiotic producing strains. These putative strains were grown in fermentation media and production of antibiotics was confirmed by thin layer chromatography (TLC and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC. Conclusion Present study revealed a high degree of functional and genetic diversity among the phosphate solubilizing fluorescent pseudomonad bacteria. Due to their innate potential of producing an array of plant growth promoting

  18. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufang Shen

    Full Text Available Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L. field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition. The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological

  19. Landscape constraints on functional diversity of birds and insects in tropical agroecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscharntke, Teja; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Dietsch, Thomas V; Sodhi, Navjot S; Hoehn, Patrick; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2008-04-01

    In this paper, we analyze databases [corrected] on birds and insects to assess patterns of functional diversity in human-dominated landscapes in the tropics. A perspective from developed landscapes is essential for understanding remnant natural ecosystems, because most species experience their surroundings at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and spillover between natural and managed ecosystems is common. Agricultural bird species have greater habitat and diet breadth than forest species. Based on a global data base, bird assemblages in tropical agroforest ecosystems were composed of disproportionately more frugivorous and nectarivorous, but fewer insectivorous bird species compared with forest. Similarly, insect predators of plant-feeding arthropods were more diverse in Ecuadorian agroforest and forest compared with rice and pasture, while, in Indonesia, bee diversity was also higher in forested habitats. Hence, diversity of insectivorous birds and insect predators as well as bee pollinators declined with agricultural transformation. In contrast, with increasing agricultural intensification, avian pollinators and seed dispersers initially increase then decrease in proportion. It is well established that the proximity of agricultural habitats to forests has a strong influence on the functional diversity of agroecosystems. Community similarity is higher among agricultural systems than in natural habitats and higher in simple than in complex landscapes for both birds and insects, so natural communities, low-intensity agriculture, and heterogeneous landscapes appear to be critical in the preservation of beta diversity. We require a better understanding of the relative role of landscape composition and the spatial configuration of landscape elements in affecting spillover of functionally important species across managed and natural habitats. This is important for data-based management of tropical human-dominated landscapes sustaining the capacity of communities to

  20. Play Matters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sicart (Vila), Miguel Angel

    , but not necessarily fun. Play can be dangerous, addictive, and destructive. Along the way, Sicart considers playfulness, the capacity to use play outside the context of play; toys, the materialization of play--instruments but also play pals; playgrounds, play spaces that enable all kinds of play; beauty......, the aesthetics of play through action; political play -- from Maradona's goal against England in the 1986 World Cup to the hactivist activities of Anonymous; the political, aesthetic, and moral activity of game design; and why play and computers get along so well....

  1. Mammalian Exo1 encodes both structural and catalytic functions that play distinct roles in essential biological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaetzlein, Sonja; Chahwan, Richard; Avdievich, Elena; Roa, Sergio; Wei, Kaichun; Eoff, Robert L; Sellers, Rani S; Clark, Alan B; Kunkel, Thomas A; Scharff, Matthew D; Edelmann, Winfried

    2013-07-02

    Mammalian Exonuclease 1 (EXO1) is an evolutionarily conserved, multifunctional exonuclease involved in DNA damage repair, replication, immunoglobulin diversity, meiosis, and telomere maintenance. It has been assumed that EXO1 participates in these processes primarily through its exonuclease activity, but recent studies also suggest that EXO1 has a structural function in the assembly of higher-order protein complexes. To dissect the enzymatic and nonenzymatic roles of EXO1 in the different biological processes in vivo, we generated an EXO1-E109K knockin (Exo1(EK)) mouse expressing a stable exonuclease-deficient protein and, for comparison, a fully EXO1-deficient (Exo1(null)) mouse. In contrast to Exo1(null/null) mice, Exo1(EK/EK) mice retained mismatch repair activity and displayed normal class switch recombination and meiosis. However, both Exo1-mutant lines showed defects in DNA damage response including DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR) through DNA end resection, chromosomal stability, and tumor suppression, indicating that the enzymatic function is required for those processes. On a transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53)-null background, the DSBR defect caused by the E109K mutation altered the tumor spectrum but did not affect the overall survival as compared with p53-Exo1(null) mice, whose defects in both DSBR and mismatch repair also compromised survival. The separation of these functions demonstrates the differential requirement for the structural function and nuclease activity of mammalian EXO1 in distinct DNA repair processes and tumorigenesis in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Effects of the core functions of government on the diversity of executive agendas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jennings, W.; Bevan, S.; Timmermans, A.; Breeman, G.E.; Brouard, S.; Chaqués-Bonafont, L.; Green-Pedersen, C.; John, P.; Mortensen, P.B.; Palau Roque, A.

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of attention across issues is of fundamental importance to the political agenda and outputs of government. This article presents an issue-based theory of the diversity of governing agendas where the core functions of government—defense, international affairs, the economy, government

  4. Diverse functions of KNOX transcription factors in the diploid body plan of plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    KNOX genes were initially found as shoot meristem regulators in angiosperms. Recent studies in diverse plant lineages however, have revealed the divergence of KNOX gene function during the evolution of diploid body plans. Using genomic approaches, class I KNOX transcription factors have been shown t...

  5. APPLICATIONS OF MULTICOMPONENT ASSEMBLY PROCESSES TO THE FACILE SYNTHESES OF DIVERSELY FUNCTIONALIZED NITROGEN HETEROCYCLES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald, James R; Granger, Brett A; Hardy, Simon; Sahn, James J; Martin, Stephen F

    2012-01-01

    Several multicomponent assembly processes have been developed for the synthesis of intermediates that may be elaborated by a variety of cyclizations to generate a diverse array of highly functionalized heterocycles from readily-available starting materials. The overall approach enables the efficient preparation of libraries of small molecules derived from fused, privileged scaffolds.

  6. Ground Spider Guilds and Functional Diversity in Native Pine Woodlands and Eucalyptus Plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcuera, Pablo; Valverde, Pedro Luis; Jiménez, María Luisa; Ponce-Mendoza, Alejandro; De la Rosa, Gabriela; Nieto, Gisela

    2016-04-01

    Vegetation structure and floristics have a strong influence on the relative abundance of spider guilds and functional diversity of terrestrial arthropods. Human activities have transformed much of the temperate woodlands. The aim of this study was to test five predictions related to the guild distribution and functional diversity of the ground spider communities of Eucalyptus plantations and native pine woodlands in western Mexico. Spiders were collected every fortnight from September to November from 15 pitfalls positioned in each of the eight sites. We also assessed the cover of grasses, herbs, shrubs, and leaf litter in each site. We found that the abundances of ground hunters and sheet weavers between plantations and pine woodlands were different. Nevertheless, there was not a consistent difference between sites of each of the vegetation types. Most species of ground hunters, sheet web weavers, and many other hunters were associated with litter and the grass cover. Nonetheless, in some cases, species of different families belonging to the same guild responded to different variables. Wolf spiders were related to the grass Aristida stricta Micheaux, 1803, while the species of the other families of ground hunters were associated with leaf litter. One Eucalyptus plantation and one pine woodland had the highest functional diversity of all sites. These sites have a well developed litter and grass cover. Our study suggests that the abundance of litter and a high cover of grasses explain the occurrence of species with different traits, and these habitat components results in a high functional diversity.

  7. Low functional diversity promotes niche changes in natural island pollinator communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraiwa, Masayoshi K; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2017-01-11

    Functional diversity loss among pollinators has rapidly progressed across the globe and is expected to influence plant-pollinator interactions in natural communities. Although recent findings suggest that the disappearance of a certain pollinator functional group may cause niche expansions and/or shifts in other groups, no study has examined this prediction in natural communities with high plant and pollinator diversities. By comparing coastal pollination networks on continental and oceanic islands, we examined how community-level flower visit patterns are influenced by the relative biomass of long-tongued pollinators (RBLP). We found that RBLP significantly correlated with pollinator functional diversity and was lower in oceanic than in continental islands. Pollinator niches shifted with decreasing RBLP, such that diverse species with various proboscis lengths, especially short-tongued species, increasingly visited long-tubed flowers. However, we found no conspicuous negative impacts of low RBLP and the consequent niche shifts on pollinator visit frequencies to flowers in oceanic island communities. Notably, fruit set significantly decreased as RBLP decreased in a study plant species. These results suggest that niche shifts by other functional groups can generally compensate for a decline in long-tongued pollinators in natural communities, but there may be negative impacts on plant reproduction.

  8. Beta cell function and BMI in ethnically diverse children with newly diagnosed autoimmune type 1 diabetes

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of our study was to examine the relationship between BMI and beta-cell function at diagnosis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D) in a large group of ethnically diverse children. Cross-sectional analysis of 524 children (60.8% White, 19.5% Hispanic, 14.5% African-American, 5.2% other n...

  9. Community-weighted mean traits but not functional diversity determine the changes in soil properties during wetland drying on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Epstein, Howard E.; Wen, Zhongming; Zhao, Jie; Jin, Jingwei; Jing, Guanghua; Cheng, Jimin; Du, Guozhen

    2017-02-01

    Climate change and human activities have caused a shift in vegetation composition and soil biogeochemical cycles of alpine wetlands on the Tibetan Plateau. The primary goal of this study was to test for associations between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits, functional diversity, and soil properties during wetland drying. We collected soil samples and investigated the aboveground vegetation in swamp, swamp meadow, and typical meadow environments. Four CWM trait values (specific leaf area is SLA, leaf dry matter content is LDMC, leaf area is LA, and mature plant height is MPH) for 42 common species were measured across the three habitats; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence) were also quantified at these sites. Our results showed that the drying of the wetland dramatically altered plant community and soil properties. There was a significant correlation between CWM of traits and soil properties, but not a significant correlation between functional diversity and soil properties. Our results further showed that CWM-LA, CWM-SLA, and CWM-LDMC had positive correlations with soil readily available nutrients (available nitrogen, AN; available phosphorus, AP), but negative correlations with total soil nutrients (soil organic carbon is SOC, total nitrogen is TN, and total phosphorus is TP). Our study demonstrated that simple, quantitative plant functional traits, but not functional diversity, are directly related to soil C and N properties, and they likely play an important role in plant-soil interactions. Our results also suggest that functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing ecosystem processes during wetland drying.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  11. [Seasonal variation of functional diversity of aquatic microbial community in Apostichopus japonicus cultural pond].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Fa-Jun; Tian, Xiang-Li; Dong, Shuang-Lin; Yang, Gang

    2014-05-01

    The functional diversity of aquatic microbial communities in sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) cultural ponds was examined in this paper. The Biolog plate technique and redundancy analysis (RDA) method were used to evaluate seasonal changes and their relationships with environmental factors. The results showed that both total amount and types of carbon sources utilized by microbes in the sea cucumber cultural ponds varied seasonally, and were the highest in summer and lowest in winter, with polymers being the main type of carbon sources. Principal component analysis revealed that the carbon utilization diversity of the microbial communities varied significantly over the seasonal courses. A total of 10 categories of carbon sources were significantly related to the principal component 1, among which were polymers, carbohydrates, carboxylic acids, amino acids, and amines. Significant seasonal changes were detected for all carbon utilization diversity indices of the microbial communities, including Shannon, McIntosh, Simpson, and S-E. However, seasonal variations were different among the microbial diversity indices. RDA analysis revealed that TP, NO(3-)-N, TN, and PO4(3-)-P were the critical environmental factors influencing the seasonal changes in functional diversity of aquatic microbial community in sea cucumber cultural ponds.

  12. Opposing Patterns of Seasonal Change in Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity of Tadpole Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauß, Axel; Guilhaumon, François; Randrianiaina, Roger Daniel; Wollenberg Valero, Katharina C.; Vences, Miguel; Glos, Julian

    2016-01-01

    Assemblages that are exposed to recurring temporal environmental changes can show changes in their ecological properties. These can be expressed by differences in diversity and assembly rules. Both can be identified using two measures of diversity: functional (FD) and phylogenetic diversity (PD). Frog communities are understudied in this regard, especially during the tadpole life stage. We utilised tadpole assemblages from Madagascan rainforest streams to test predictions of seasonal changes on diversity and assemblage composition and on diversity measures. From the warm-wet to the cool-dry season, species richness (SR) of tadpole assemblages decreased. Also FD and PD decreased, but FD less and PD more than expected by chance. During the dry season, tadpole assemblages were characterised by functional redundancy (among assemblages—with increasing SR), high FD (compared to a null model), and low PD (phylogenetic clustering; compared to a null model). Although mutually contradictory at first glance, these results indicate competition as tadpole community assembly driving force. This is true during the limiting cool-dry season but not during the more suitable warm-wet season. We thereby show that assembly rules can strongly depend on season, that comparing FD and PD can reveal such forces, that FD and PD are not interchangeable, and that conclusions on assembly rules based on FD alone are critical. PMID:27014867

  13. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanja Strecker

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization.We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment. Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency.Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  14. 充分发挥博物馆的美育功能%Fully Playing Aesthetic Education Function of Museums

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    叶春辉

    2012-01-01

    充分发挥博物馆的美育功能,有利于促进人的德智体美全面发展,促进社会的和谐发展和国家的长治久安,有利于培育创新人才,有利于社会主义新文化的发展。博物馆要采取措施,强化美育功能。%Fully playing the aesthetic education function of museums not only helps to improve the comprehensive quality of citizens,but also leads to harmony of the society and stability of the nation.Moreover,it benefits to cultivate innovative talents and advancement of new socialist culture.Museums should take measures to strengthen aesthetic education function.

  15. Plant functional diversity increases grassland productivity-related water vapor fluxes: an Ecotron and modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Eugster, Werner; Bachmann, Dörte; Guderle, Marcus; Roscher, Christiane; Gockele, Annette; Landais, Damien; Ravel, Olivier; Gessler, Arthur; Lange, Markus; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Roy, Jacques; Hildebrandt, Anke; Buchmann, Nina

    2016-08-01

    The impact of species richness and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem water vapor fluxes has been little investigated. To address this knowledge gap, we combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and a modeling approach. Our goals were (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (four vs. 16 species) on day- and nighttime ecosystem water vapor fluxes; (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model; and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor fluxes using plant functional-trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. Daytime measured and modeled evapotranspiration were significantly higher in the higher plant diversity treatment, suggesting increased water acquisition. The SW model suggests that, at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while, at higher species richness, the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a productivity-related water flux) increased. While it is well established that LAI controls ecosystem transpiration, here we also identified that the diversity of leaf nitrogen concentration among species in a community is a consistent predictor of ecosystem water vapor fluxes during daytime. The results provide evidence that, at the peak of the growing season, higher leaf area index (LAI) and lower percentage of bare ground at high plant diversity diverts more of the available water to transpiration, a flux closely coupled with photosynthesis and productivity. Higher rates of transpiration presumably contribute to the positive effect of diversity on productivity.

  16. Physical soil architectural traits are functionally linked to carbon decomposition and bacterial diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbi, S. M. F.; Daniel, H.; Lockwood, P. V.; MacDonald, C.; Pereg, L.; Tighe, M.; Wilson, B. R.; Young, I. M.

    2016-09-01

    Aggregates play a key role in protecting soil organic carbon (SOC) from microbial decomposition. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of pore geometry on the organic carbon decomposition rate and bacterial diversity in both macro- (250-2000 μm) and micro-aggregates (53-250 μm) using field samples. Four sites of contrasting land use on Alfisols (i.e. native pasture, crop/pasture rotation, woodland) were investigated. 3D Pore geometry of the micro-aggregates and macro-aggregates were examined by X-ray computed tomography (μCT). The occluded particulate organic carbon (oPOC) of aggregates was measured by size and density fractionation methods. Micro-aggregates had 54% less μCT observed porosity but 64% more oPOC compared with macro-aggregates. In addition, the pore connectivity in micro-aggregates was lower than macro-aggregates. Despite both lower μCT observed porosity and pore connectivity in micro-aggregates, the organic carbon decomposition rate constant (Ksoc) was similar in both aggregate size ranges. Structural equation modelling showed a strong positive relationship of the concentration of oPOC with bacterial diversity in aggregates. We use these findings to propose a conceptual model that illustrates the dynamic links between substrate, bacterial diversity, and pore geometry that suggests a structural explanation for differences in bacterial diversity across aggregate sizes.

  17. Functional diversity of bacterioplankton in three North Florida freshwater lakes over an annual cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, Tamar L; Williams, Henry N

    2014-01-01

    The phylogenetic diversity of freshwater bacterioplankton is widely known; however, there is minimal information on the functional diversity of the bacterial communities in these systems. Understanding the functional diversity of freshwater bacterial communities is important because heterotrophic bacteria can be impacted by anthropogenic perturbation, which in turn can alter biogeochemical cycling. The objective of this study was to use Biolog EcoPlates to acquire spatial and temporal community-level physiological profiles (CLPPs) for three freshwater lakes of different trophic levels and to assess the phylogenetic affiliation of the bacteria responsible for utilizing the various carbon guilds within them by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). CLPP results showed that bacterial communities utilized the carbon guilds similarly between sites within the three lakes. However, when the metabolic profile of each lake was compared, Lake Bradford and Moore Lake were more similar to one another than to Lake Munson, the eutrophic lake. Additionally, although the bacteria that utilized the five carbon guilds included representatives from the classes α-, β-, γ-Proteobacteria, Flavobacteria and Sphingobacteria, Lake Munson had the largest number of Flavobacteria and γ-Proteobacteria in comparison to Moore Lake and Lake Bradford. Overall, Biolog analysis was useful in identifying differences in the functional diversity of bacterial communities between lakes of different trophic statuses and can be used as a tool to assess ecosystem health.

  18. [Effect of long-term fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in black soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jing-xin; Chi, Feng-qin; Xu, Xiu-hong; Kuang, En-jun; Zhang, Jiu-ming; Su, Qing-rui; Zhou, Bao-ku

    2015-10-01

    In order to study the effects of long-term different fertilization on microbial community functional diversity in arable black. soil, we examined microbial metabolic activities in two soil la- yers (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm) under four treatments (CK, NPK, M, MNPK) from a 35-year continuous fertilization field at the Ministry of Agriculture Key Field Observation Station of Harbin Black Soil Ecology Environment using Biolog-ECO method. The results showed that: in the 0-20 cm soil layer, combined application of organic and inorganic fertilizer(MNPK) increased the rate of soil microbial carbon source utilization and community metabolism richness, diversity and dominance; In the 20-40 cm layer, these indices of the MNPK treatment was lower than that of the NPK treat- ment; while NPK treatment decreased soil microbial community metabolism evenness in both layers. Six groups of carbon sources used by soil microbes of all the treatments were different between the two soil layers, and the difference was significant among all treatments in each soil layer (P functional diversity in both tillage soil layer and down soil layers, and chemical fertilization alone had a larger influence on the microbial community functional diversity in the 20-40 cm layer.

  19. Strong paleoclimatic legacies in current plant functional diversity patterns across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordonez, Alejandro; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2016-05-01

    Numerous studies indicate that environmental changes during the late Quaternary have elicited long-term disequilibria between species diversity and environment. Despite its importance for ecosystem functioning, the importance of historical environmental conditions as determinants of FD (functional diversity) remains largely unstudied. We quantified the geographic distributions of plant FD (richness and dispersion) across Europe using distribution and functional trait information for 2702 plant species. We then compared the importance of historical and contemporary factors to determine the relevance of past conditions as predictors of current plant FD in Europe. For this, we compared the strength of the relationships between FD with temperature and precipitation stability since the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum), accessibility to LGM refugia, and contemporary environmental conditions (climate, productivity, soil, topography, and land use). Functional richness and dispersion exhibited geographic patterns with strong associations to the environmental history of the region. The effect size of accessibility to LGM refugia and climate stability since the LGM was comparable to that of the contemporary predictors. Both functional richness and dispersion increased with temperature stability since the LGM and accessibility to LGM refugia. Functional richness' geographic pattern was primarily associated with accessibility to LGM refugia growing degree-days, land use heterogeneity, diversity of soil types, and absolute minimum winter temperature. Functional dispersion's geographic pattern was primarily associated with accessibility to LGM refugia growing degree-days and absolute minimum winter temperature. The high explained variance and model support of historical predictors are consistent with the idea that long-term variability in environmental conditions supplements contemporary factors in shaping FD patterns at continental scales. Given the importance of FD for ecosystem

  20. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...... of MicroResp and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP), while soil enzymatic activity are being assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF-substrates. Here we compared and contrasted the three techniques of assessing soil microbial functional diversity in a European transect...

  1. Expansion of amphibian intronless interferons revises the paradigm for interferon evolution and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Yongming; Liu, Qinfang; Lee, Jinhwa; Ma, Wenjun; McVey, D Scott; Blecha, Frank

    2016-06-30

    Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines identified in vertebrates and evolutionary dominance of intronless IFN genes in amniotes is a signature event in IFN evolution. For the first time, we show that the emergence and expansion of intronless IFN genes is evident in amphibians, shown by 24-37 intronless IFN genes in each frog species. Amphibian IFNs represent a molecular complex more complicated than those in other vertebrate species, which revises the established model of IFN evolution to facilitate re-inspection of IFN molecular and functional diversity. We identified these intronless amphibian IFNs and their intron-containing progenitors, and functionally characterized constitutive and inductive expression and antimicrobial roles in infections caused by zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza viruses and Listeria monocytogenes. Amphibians, therefore, may serve as overlooked vectors/hosts for zoonotic pathogens, and the amphibian IFN system provides a model to study IFN evolution in molecular and functional diversity in coping with dramatic environmental changes during terrestrial adaption.

  2. Taxonomic and functional diversity increase the aesthetic value of coralligenous reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribot, Anne-Sophie; Mouquet, Nicolas; Villéger, Sébastien; Raymond, Michel; Hoff, Fabrice; Boissery, Pierre; Holon, Florian; Deter, Julie

    2016-01-01

    The aesthetic value of landscapes contributes to human well-being. However, studies which have investigated the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services have not taken aesthetic value into account. In this study we evaluated how the aesthetics of coralligenous reefs, a key marine ecosystem in the Mediterranean, is perceived by the general public and how aesthetic preferences are related to biodiversity facets (taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversities). We performed both biodiversity measures and online-surveys of aesthetic perception on photographic quadrats sampled along the French Mediterranean coast. Our results show that species richness and functional richness have a significant positive effect on aesthetic value. Most of the ecological literature, exploring the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and service has focused so far on ‘economical’ aspects of biodiversity (provision or regulation). Our results illustrate that cultural facets, such as ‘beauty’, should also be central in our motivations to preserve ecological diversity. PMID:27677850

  3. Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spake, Rebecca; Barsoum, Nadia; Newton, Adrian C; Doncaster, C Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations.

  4. Selection of multiple umbrella species for functional and taxonomic diversity to represent urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattler, T; Pezzatti, G B; Nobis, M P; Obrist, M K; Roth, T; Moretti, M

    2014-04-01

    Surrogates, such as umbrella species, are commonly used to reduce the complexity of quantifying biodiversity for conservation purposes. The presence of umbrella species is often indicative of high taxonomic diversity; however, functional diversity is now recognized as an important metric for biodiversity and thus should be considered when choosing umbrella species. We identified umbrella species associated with high taxonomic and functional biodiversity in urban areas in Switzerland. We analyzed 39,752 individuals of 574 animal species from 96 study plots and 1397 presences of 262 plant species from 58 plots. Thirty-one biodiversity measures of 7 taxonomic groups (plants, spiders, bees, ground beetles, lady bugs, weevils and birds) were included in within- and across-taxa analyses. Sixteen measures were taxonomical (species richness and species diversity), whereas 15 were functional (species traits including mobility, resource use, and reproduction). We used indicator value analysis to identify umbrella species associated with single or multiple biodiversity measures. Many umbrella species were indicators of high biodiversity within their own taxonomic group (from 33.3% in weevils to 93.8% in birds), to a lesser extent they were indicators across taxa. Principal component analysis revealed that umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity represented different aspects of biodiversity, especially with respect to measures of taxonomic and functional diversity. Thus, even umbrella species for multiple measures of biodiversity were complementary in the biodiversity aspects they represented. Thus, the choice of umbrella species based solely on taxonomic diversity is questionable and may not represent biodiversity comprehensively. Our results suggest that, depending on conservation priorities, managers should choose multiple and complementary umbrella species to assess the state of biodiversity. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tianyu; Yan, Xiping; Wang, Guosong; Liu, Hehe; Gan, Xiang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Jiwen; Li, Liang

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors) domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors) are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3' UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3' UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

  6. Microtopographic refuges shape consumer-producer dynamics by mediating consumer functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandl, Simon J; Bellwood, David R

    2016-09-01

    Consumer-producer dynamics are critical for ecosystem functioning. In marine environments, primary production is often subject to strong consumer control, and on coral reefs, the grazing pressure exerted by herbivorous fishes has been identified as a major determinant of benthic community structure. Using experimental surfaces, we demonstrate that on coral reefs, microtopographic refuges decrease the overall grazing pressure by more than one order of magnitude. Furthermore, by functionally characterizing consumer communities, we show that refuges also restrict grazer communities to only one functional group, algal croppers, which selectively remove the apical parts of algae. In contrast, detritivorous fishes, which intensively graze flat and exposed microhabitats and can remove both particulate matter and entire stands of algal filaments, are almost entirely excluded. This preclusion of an entire ecosystem process (the removal of particulates) results in two distinct coexisting benthic regimes: communities within refuges are diverse and characterized by numerous algal types and juvenile scleractinian corals, while communities outside refuges support only low-diversity assemblages dominated by simple, unbranched filamentous turf algal mats. Although limited to the scale of a few centimeters, microtopographic refuges can, therefore, mediate the biotic control of community development by affecting both overall grazing rates and the functional diversity of consumer communities. We suggest that the coexistence of two distinct benthic regimes at a small spatial scale may be an important factor for ecosystem functioning and highlight the need to consider the ecological complexity of consumer-producer dynamics when assessing the status of coral reef ecosystems.

  7. Variation in species diversity and functional traits of sponge communities near human populations in Bocas del Toro, Panama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cole G. Easson

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have renewed interest in sponge ecology by emphasizing the functional importance of sponges in a broad array of ecosystem services. Many critically important habitats occupied by sponges face chronic stressors that might lead to alterations in their diversity, relatedness, and functional attributes. We addressed whether proximity to human activity might be a significant factor in structuring sponge community composition, as well as potential functional roles, by monitoring sponge diversity and abundance at two structurally similar sites that vary in distance to areas of high coastal development in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. We surveyed sponge communities at each site using belt transects and differences between two sites were compared using the following variables: (1 sponge species richness, Shannon diversity, and inverse Simpson’s diversity; (2 phylogenetic diversity; (3 taxonomic and phylogenetic beta diversity; (4 trait diversity and dissimilarity; and (5 phylogenetic and trait patterns in community structure. We observed significantly higher sponge diversity at Punta Caracol, the site most distant from human development (∼5 km. Although phylogenetic diversity was lower at Saigon Bay, the site adjacent to a large village including many houses, businesses, and an airport, the sites did not exhibit significantly different patterns of phylogenetic relatedness in species composition. However, each site had a distinct taxonomic and phylogenetic composition (beta diversity. In addition, the sponge community at Saigon included a higher relative abundance of sponges with high microbial abundance and high chlorophyll a concentration, whereas the community at Punta Caracol had a more even distribution of these traits, yielding a significant difference in functional trait diversity between sites. These results suggest that lower diversity and potentially altered community function might be associated with proximity to human populations

  8. Genetic diversity of functional food species Spinacia oleracea L. by protein markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, M; Yousaf, Z; Haider, M S; Khalid, S; Rehman, H A; Younas, A; Arif, A

    2014-01-01

    Exploration of genetic diversity contributes primarily towards crop improvement. Spinaciaoleracea L. is a functional food species but unfortunately the genetic diversity of this vegetable is still unexplored. Therefore, this research was planned to explore the genetic diversity of S. oleracea by using morphological and protein markers. Protein profile of 25 accessions was generated on sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel. Total allelic variation of 27 bands was found. Out of these, 20 were polymorphic and the rest of the bands were monomorphic. Molecular weights of the bands ranged from 12.6 to 91.2 kDa. Major genetic differences were observed in accession 20541 (Peshawar) followed by 20180 (Lahore) and 19902 (AVRDC). Significant differences exist in the protein banding pattern. This variation can further be studied by advanced molecular techniques, including two-dimensional electrophoresis and DNA markers.

  9. Playful Gaming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makedon, Alexander

    A philosophical analysis of play and games is undertaken in this paper. Playful gaming, which is shown to be a synthesis of play and games, is utilized as a category for undertaking the examination of play and games. The significance of playful gaming to education is demonstrated through analyses of Plato's, Dewey's, Sartre's, and Marcuse's…

  10. Functional diversity, succession, and human-mediated disturbances in raised bog vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyderski, Marcin K; Czapiewska, Natalia; Zajdler, Mateusz; Tyborski, Jarosław; Jagodziński, Andrzej M

    2016-08-15

    Raised and transitional bogs are one of the most threatened types of ecosystem, due to high specialisation of biota, associated with adaptations to severe environmental conditions. The aim of the study was to characterize the relationships between functional diversity (reflecting ecosystem-shaping processes) of raised bog plant communities and successional gradients (expressed as tree dimensions) and to show how impacts of former clear cuts may alter these relationships in two raised bogs in 'Bory Tucholskie' National Park (N Poland). Herbaceous layers of the plant communities were examined by floristic relevés (25m(2)) on systematically established transects. We also assessed patterns of tree ring widths. There were no relationships between vegetation functional diversity components and successional progress: only functional dispersion was negatively, but weakly, correlated with median DBH. Lack of these relationships may be connected with lack of prevalence of habitat filtering and low level of competition over all the successional phases. Former clear cuts, indicated by peaks of tree ring width, influenced the growth of trees in the bogs studied. In the bog with more intensive clear cuts we found more species with higher trophic requirements, which may indicate nutrient influx. However, we did not observe differences in vegetation patterns, functional traits or functional diversity indices between the two bogs studied. We also did not find an influence of clear cut intensity on relationships between functional diversity indices and successional progress. Thus, we found that alteration of the ecosystems studied by neighbourhood clear cuts did not affect the bogs strongly, as the vegetation was resilient to these impacts. Knowledge of vegetation resilience after clear cuts may be crucial for conservation planning in raised bog ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Temporal changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of fish assemblages downstream from mountaintop mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Chambers, Douglas B.

    2014-01-01

    Mountaintop mining (MTM) affects chemical, physical, and hydrological properties of receiving streams, but the long-term consequences for fish-assemblage structure and function are poorly understood. We sampled stream fish assemblages using electrofishing techniques in MTM exposure sites and reference sites within the Guyandotte River basin, USA, during 2010–2011. We calculated indices of taxonomic diversity (species richness, abundance, Shannon diversity) and functional diversity (functional richness, functional evenness, functional divergence) to compare exposure and reference assemblages between seasons (spring and autumn) and across years (1999–2011). We based temporal comparisons on 2 sites that were sampled during 1999–2001 by Stauffer and Ferreri (2002). Exposure assemblages had lower taxonomic and functional diversity than reference assemblages or simulated assemblages that accounted for random variation. Differences in taxonomic composition between reference and exposure assemblages were associated with conductivity and aqueous Se concentrations. Exposure assemblages had fewer species, lower abundances, and less biomass than reference assemblages across years and seasons. Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and Creek Chub (Semotilus atromaculatus) became numerically dominant in exposure assemblages over time because of their persistence and losses of other taxa. In contrast, species richness increased over time in reference assemblages, a result that may indicate recovery from drought. Mean individual biomass increased as fish density decreased and most obligate invertivores were apparently extirpated at MTM exposure sites. Effects of MTM were not related to physical-habitat conditions but were associated with water-quality variables, which may limit quality and availability of benthic macroinvertebrate prey. Simulations revealed effects of MTM that could not be attributed to random variation in fish assemblage structure.

  12. Cloning the soil metagenome: a strategy for accessing the genetic and functional diversity of uncultured microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondon, M R; August, P R; Bettermann, A D; Brady, S F; Grossman, T H; Liles, M R; Loiacono, K A; Lynch, B A; MacNeil, I A; Minor, C; Tiong, C L; Gilman, M; Osburne, M S; Clardy, J; Handelsman, J; Goodman, R M

    2000-06-01

    Recent progress in molecular microbial ecology has revealed that traditional culturing methods fail to represent the scope of microbial diversity in nature, since only a small proportion of viable microorganisms in a sample are recovered by culturing techniques. To develop methods to investigate the full extent of microbial diversity, we used a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) vector to construct libraries of genomic DNA isolated directly from soil (termed metagenomic libraries). To date, we have constructed two such libraries, which contain more than 1 Gbp of DNA. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from one of the libraries indicates that the BAC libraries contain DNA from a wide diversity of microbial phyla, including sequences from diverse taxa such as the low-G+C, gram-positive Acidobacterium, Cytophagales, and Proteobacteria. Initial screening of the libraries in Escherichia coli identified several clones that express heterologous genes from the inserts, confirming that the BAC vector can be used to maintain, express, and analyze environmental DNA. The phenotypes expressed by these clones include antibacterial, lipase, amylase, nuclease, and hemolytic activities. Metagenomic libraries are a powerful tool for exploring soil microbial diversity, providing access to the genetic information of uncultured soil microorganisms. Such libraries will be the basis of new initiatives to conduct genomic studies that link phylogenetic and functional information about the microbiota of environments dominated by microorganisms that are refractory to cultivation.

  13. Microbial community structure and functional diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with Colophospermum mopane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbano, Claudia Sofía; Grönemeyer, Jann Lasse; Hurek, Thomas; Reinhold-Hurek, Barbara

    2015-04-01

    Colophospermum mopane is an indigenous legume tree that grows in Southern Africa and is one of the predominant trees of the woodland vegetation. In order to increase knowledge about its ecology, especially how C. mopane thrives in the nitrogen-poor soils of the region, we analyzed the root-associated bacteria to assess the active diazotrophic diversity and total microbial diversity by culture-dependent and independent techniques. Root nodules were not detected but in some samples the lateral roots showed an outgrowth-like protuberance, that were not likely to have functions related to legume root nodules. The bacterial isolates recovered were related to Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The total microbial diversity was dominated by Actinobacteria-related phylotypes, while the active diazotrophic diversity showed that the majority of the sequences were related to the order Rhizobiales but also to Spirochaetes, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Deltaproteobacteria. Several isolates showed characteristics of plant growth-promoting bacteria. These findings increase the spectrum of possible phylotypes that can be found in legume trees that are typically nodulated by Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria, and reveal for the first time a surprising diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria active in legume tree roots. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Leaf dry matter content predicts herbivore productivity, but its functional diversity is positively related to resilience in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakeman, Robin J

    2014-01-01

    This paper addresses whether the ecosystem service of animal production from grasslands depends upon plant functional identity, plant functional diversity or if the resilience of production is a function of this diversity. Using the results of nine grazing experiments the paper shows that productivity is highly dependent on one leaf trait, leaf dry matter content, as well as rainfall. Animal (secondary) productivity is not dependent on plant functional diversity, but the variability in productivity of grasslands is related to the functional diversity of leaf dry matter content. This and a range of independent studies have shown that functional diversity is reduced at high levels of grassland productivity, so it appears that there is a trade-off between productivity and the resilience of productivity in the face of environmental variation.

  15. Leaf dry matter content predicts herbivore productivity, but its functional diversity is positively related to resilience in grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin J Pakeman

    Full Text Available This paper addresses whether the ecosystem service of animal production from grasslands depends upon plant functional identity, plant functional diversity or if the resilience of production is a function of this diversity. Using the results of nine grazing experiments the paper shows that productivity is highly dependent on one leaf trait, leaf dry matter content, as well as rainfall. Animal (secondary productivity is not dependent on plant functional diversity, but the variability in productivity of grasslands is related to the functional diversity of leaf dry matter content. This and a range of independent studies have shown that functional diversity is reduced at high levels of grassland productivity, so it appears that there is a trade-off between productivity and the resilience of productivity in the face of environmental variation.

  16. Relative roles of local disturbance, current climate and palaeoclimate in determining phylogenetic and functional diversity in Chinese forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Feng

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The main processes underlying the generation and maintenance of biodiversity include both local factors such as competition and abiotic filtering and regional forces such as palaeoclimate, speciation and dispersal. While the effects of regional and local drivers on species diversity are increasingly studied, their relative importance for other aspects of diversity, notably phylogenetic and functional diversity is so far little studied. Here, we link data from large Chinese forest plots to data on current and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM climate as well as local disturbance regimes to study their relative roles in determining woody plant phylogenetic and functional diversity in this important hotspot for woody plant diversity. Local disturbance was the best predictor of functional diversity as represented by maximum canopy height (Hmax, probably reflecting the dominant role of competition for light in determining the forest Hmax structure. In contrast, the LGM-present anomaly in temperature was the factor with the strongest explanatory power for phylogenetic diversity, with modern climate also important. Hence, local contemporary and regional historical factors have highly contrasting importance for the geographic patterns of the functional and phylogenetic aspects of Chinese forest woody plant diversity. Importantly, contemporary factors are of overriding importance for functional diversity, while palaeoclimate has left a strong signature in the phylogenetic diversity patterns.

  17. Bioprospecting at former mining sites across Europe: microbial and functional diversity in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprocati, Anna Rosa; Alisi, Chiara; Tasso, Flavia; Fiore, Alessia; Marconi, Paola; Langella, Francesca; Haferburg, Götz; Nicoara, Andrei; Neagoe, Aurora; Kothe, Erika

    2014-01-01

    The planetary importance of microbial function requires urgently that our knowledge and our exploitation ability is extended, therefore every occasion of bioprospecting is welcome. In this work, bioprospecting is presented from the perspective of the UMBRELLA project, whose main goal was to develop an integral approach for remediation of soil influenced by mining activity, by using microorganisms in association with plants. Accordingly, this work relies on the cultivable fraction of microbial biodiversity, native to six mining sites across Europe, different for geographical, climatic and geochemical characteristics but similar for suffering from chronic stress. The comparative analysis of the soil functional diversity, resulting from the metabolic profiling at community level (BIOLOG ECOPlates) and confirmed by the multivariate analysis, separates the six soils in two clusters, identifying soils characterised by low functional diversity and low metabolic activity. The microbial biodiversity falls into four major bacterial phyla: Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, including a total of 47 genera and 99 species. In each soil, despite harsh conditions, metabolic capacity of nitrogen fixation and plant growth promotion were quite widespread, and most of the strains showed multiple resistances to heavy metals. At species-level, Shannon's index (alpha diversity) and Sørensen's Similarity (beta diversity) indicates the sites are indeed diverse. Multivariate analysis of soil chemical factors and biodiversity identifies for each soil well-discriminating chemical factors and species, supporting the assumption that cultured biodiversity from the six mining sites presents, at phylum level, a convergence correlated to soil factors rather than to geographical factors while, at species level, reflects a remarkable local characterisation.

  18. Earthworm-Mycorrhiza Interactions Can Affect the Diversity, Structure and Functioning of Establishing Model Grassland Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m−2). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that

  19. Earthworm-mycorrhiza interactions can affect the diversity, structure and functioning of establishing model grassland communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johann G Zaller

    Full Text Available Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m(-2. AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study

  20. Diversity Indices as Measures of Functional Annotation Methods in Metagenomics Studies

    KAUST Repository

    Jankovic, Boris R.

    2016-01-26

    Applications of high-throughput techniques in metagenomics studies produce massive amounts of data. Fragments of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic molecules are all found in metagenomics samples. Laborious and meticulous effort in sequencing and functional annotation are then required to, amongst other objectives, reconstruct a taxonomic map of the environment that metagenomics samples were taken from. In addition to computational challenges faced by metagenomics studies, the analysis is further complicated by the presence of contaminants in the samples, potentially resulting in skewed taxonomic analysis. The functional annotation in metagenomics can utilize all available omics data and therefore different methods that are associated with a particular type of data. For example, protein-coding DNA, non-coding RNA or ribosomal RNA data can be used in such an analysis. These methods would have their advantages and disadvantages and the question of comparison among them naturally arises. There are several criteria that can be used when performing such a comparison. Loosely speaking, methods can be evaluated in terms of computational complexity or in terms of the expected biological accuracy. We propose that the concept of diversity that is used in the ecosystems and species diversity studies can be successfully used in evaluating certain aspects of the methods employed in metagenomics studies. We show that when applying the concept of Hill’s diversity, the analysis of variations in the diversity order provides valuable clues into the robustness of methods used in the taxonomical analysis.

  1. Functional diversity of bacterial genes associated with aromatic hydrocarbon degradation in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Gomes Germano

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to evaluate the catabolic gene diversity for the bacterial degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in anthropogenic dark earth of Amazonia (ADE and their biochar (BC. Functional diversity analyses in ADE soils can provide information on how adaptive microorganisms may influence the fertility of soils and what is their involvement in biogeochemical cycles. For this, clone libraries containing the gene encoding for the alpha subunit of aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (α-ARHD bacterial gene were constructed, totaling 800 clones. These libraries were prepared from samples of an ADE soil under two different land uses, located at the Caldeirão Experimental Station - secondary forest (SF and agriculture (AG -, and the biochar (SF_BC and AG_BC, respectively. Heterogeneity estimates indicated greater diversity in BC libraries; and Venn diagrams showed more unique operational protein clusters (OPC in the SF_BC library than the ADE soil, which indicates that specific metabolic processes may occur in biochar. Phylogenetic analysis showed unidentified dioxygenases in ADE soils. Libraries containing functional gene encoding for the alpha subunit of the aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases (ARHD gene from biochar show higher diversity indices than those of ADE under secondary forest and agriculture.

  2. Characterizing scale-dependent community assembly using the functional-diversity--area relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Adam B; Sandel, Brody; Kraft, Nathan J B; Carey, Susan

    2013-11-01

    Phenotypic traits mediate organisms' interactions with the environment and determine how they affect and are affected by their biotic and abiotic milieu. Thus, dispersion of trait values, or functional diversity (FD) of a community can offer insights into processes driving community assembly. For example, underdispersion of FD suggests that habitat "filtering" of species with unfavorable trait values restricts the species that can exist in a particular habitat, while even spacing of FD suggests that interspecific competition, or biotic "sorting," discourages the coexistence of species with similar trait values. Since assembly processes are expected to vary as a function of spatial scale, we should also expect patterns of FD to reflect scale dependence in filtering and biotic sorting. Here we present the concept of the functional-diversity-area relationship (FAR), which is similar to the species-area relationship but plots a measure of phenotypic trait diversity as a function of spatial scale. We develop a set of null model tests that discriminate between FARs generated predominantly by filtering or biotic sorting and indicate the scales at which these effects are pronounced. The utility of the FAR for addressing long-standing issues in ecology is illustrated with several examples. A multi-scale examination of FD and its pattern relative to null expectations provides an important tool for ecologists interested in understanding the scale dependence of community assembly processes.

  3. The veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline and Cu influence functional diversity of the soil microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kong, W.-D. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Zhu, Y.-G. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)]. E-mail: ygzhu@mail.rcees.ac.cn; Fu, B.-J. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Marschner, P. [Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, DP 636, 5005 (Australia); He, J.-Z. [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)

    2006-09-15

    There are increasing concerns over the effects of veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals in agricultural soils. The widely used veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC), Cu and their combination on soil microbial community function were assessed with the Biolog method. The microbial community was extracted from the soil and exposed to a 0.85% sodium chloride solution containing OTC (0, 1, 5, 11, 43, 109 and 217 {mu}M), or Cu (0, 10, 20, 100 and 300 {mu}M), or combination of the two pollutants (OTC 0, 5, 11 {mu}M and Cu 0, 20 {mu}M). Functional diversity, evenness, average well color development (AWCD) and substrate utilization decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of OTC or Cu (p < 0.005). The critical concentrations were 11 {mu}M for OTC and 20 {mu}M for Cu. The combination of OTC and Cu significantly decreased Shannon's diversity, evenness and utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids compared to individual one of the contaminants. The antibiotic OTC and Cu had significant negative effects on soil microbial community function, particularly when both pollutants were present. - Oxytetracycline reduces the functional diversity of soil microbial community, and the combination of Cu and oxytetracycline leads to a further reduction.

  4. Performance Improvement by Functional-Respectively Competence-Diversity in New Product Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph STAITA

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper demonstrates the latest research results of the relationship between cross functional product development teams and project respectively team performance. The aim of this paper is to support the basic hypothesis of the author, which is “The higher the technical draughters’ integration intensity in a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design product development project, the higher the economic and socio-psychological efficiency within that project”, with the findings of recent research. Besides studying standard references, a systematic inquiry, using 2 scientific databases, Emerald and EBSCO was performed to study cross-functionality in New Product Development (NewPD. The increase of functional diversity in development teams which is supposed to promote performance is an inadequate variable. Essential to make a cross-functional team successful are competence diversity and familiarity. The intention is to apply competence diversity not only for company wide teams but also in single working units as in mechanical development departments of medium-sized companies.

  5. Dimer monomer transition and dimer re-formation play important role for ATM cellular function during DNA repair

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Du, Fengxia [Laboratory of Genome Variations and Precision Bio-Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China); Zhang, Minjie [Laboratory of Genome Variations and Precision Bio-Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Li, Xiaohua; Yang, Caiyun [Laboratory of Genome Variations and Precision Bio-Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China); Meng, Hao; Wang, Dong; Chang, Shuang [Laboratory of Genome Variations and Precision Bio-Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Xu, Ye [Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Genomic Stability, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, MA 02134 (United States); Price, Brendan, E-mail: Brendan_Price@dfci.harvard.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Genomic Stability, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, MA 02134 (United States); Sun, Yingli, E-mail: sunyl@big.ac.cn [Laboratory of Genome Variations and Precision Bio-Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China)

    2014-10-03

    Highlights: • ATM phosphorylates the opposite strand of the dimer in response to DNA damage. • The PETPVFRLT box of ATM plays a key role in its dimer dissociation in DNA repair. • The dephosphorylation of ATM is critical for dimer re-formation after DNA repair. - Abstract: The ATM protein kinase, is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is recruited and activated by DNA double-strand breaks, mediates responses to ionizing radiation in mammalian cells. Here we show that ATM is held inactive in unirradiated cells as a dimer and phosphorylates the opposite strand of the dimer in response to DNA damage. Cellular irradiation induces rapid intermolecular autophosphorylation of serine 1981 that causes dimer dissociation and initiates cellular ATM kinase activity. ATM cannot phosphorylate the substrates when it could not undergo dimer monomer transition. After DNA repair, the active monomer will undergo dephosphorylation to form dimer again and dephosphorylation is critical for dimer re-formation. Our work reveals novel function of ATM dimer monomer transition and explains why ATM dimer monomer transition plays such important role for ATM cellular activity during DNA repair.

  6. The Play's the Thing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateman, Barbara

    2005-01-01

    The modern special education theater in the United States has hosted many plays, none with a larger or more diverse cast than the learning disabilities (LD) play. During the prologue, the children with LD were waiting in the wings, not yet identified as LD but there, nonetheless. With the advent of compulsory education in this country, awareness…

  7. Contrasting changes in taxonomic vs. functional diversity of tropical fish communities after habitat degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Ramos Miranda, Julia; Flores Hernández, Domingo; Mouillot, David

    2010-09-01

    Human activities have strong impacts on ecosystem functioning through their effect on abiotic factors and on biodiversity. There is also growing evidence that species functional traits link changes in species composition and shifts in ecosystem processes. Hence, it appears to be of utmost importance to quantify modifications in the functional structure of species communities after human disturbance in addition to changes in taxonomic structure. Despite this fact, there is still little consensus on the actual impacts of human-mediated habitat alteration on the components of biodiversity, which include species functional traits. Therefore, we studied changes in taxonomic diversity (richness and evenness), in functional diversity, and in functional specialization of estuarine fish communities facing drastic environmental and habitat alterations. The Terminos Lagoon (Gulf of Mexico) is a tropical estuary of primary concern for its biodiversity, its habitats, and its resource supply, which have been severely impacted by human activities. Fish communities were sampled in four zones of the Terminos Lagoon 18 years apart (1980 and 1998). Two functions performed by fish (food acquisition and locomotion) were studied through the measurement of 16 functional traits. Functional diversity of fish communities was quantified using three independent components: richness, evenness, and divergence. Additionally, we measured the degree of functional specialization in fish communities. We used a null model to compare the functional and the taxonomic structure of fish communities between 1980 and 1998. Among the four largest zones studied, three did not show strong functional changes. In the northern part of the lagoon, we found an increase in fish richness but a significant decrease of functional divergence and functional specialization. We explain this result by a decline of specialized species (i.e., those with particular combinations of traits), while newly occurring species are

  8. Resource partitioning along multiple niche axes drives functional diversity in parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Kelley, Megan; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    The recent loss of key consumers to exploitation and habitat degradation has significantly altered community dynamics and ecosystem function across many ecosystems worldwide. Predicting the impacts of consumer losses requires knowing the level of functional diversity that exists within a consumer assemblage. In this study, we document functional diversity among nine species of parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs. Parrotfishes are key herbivores that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of coral-dominated reefs by controlling algae and provisioning space for the recruitment of corals. We observed large functional differences among two genera of parrotfishes that were driven by differences in diet. Fishes in the genus Scarus targeted filamentous algal turf assemblages, crustose coralline algae, and endolithic algae and avoided macroalgae, while fishes in the genus Sparisoma preferentially targeted macroalgae. However, species with similar diets were dissimilar in other attributes, including the habitats they frequented, the types of substrate they fed from, and the spatial scale at which they foraged. These differences indicate that species that appear to be functionally redundant when looking at diet alone exhibit high levels of complementarity when we consider multiple functional traits. By identifying key functional differences among parrotfishes, we provide critical information needed to manage parrotfishes to enhance the resilience of coral-dominated reefs and reverse phase shifts on algal-dominated reefs throughout the wider Caribbean. Further, our study provides a framework for predicting the impacts of consumer losses in other species rich ecosystems.

  9. Specialized functional diversity and interactions of the Na,K-ATPase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor I. Krivoi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Na,K-ATPase is a protein ubiquitously expressed in the plasma membrane of all animal cells and vitally essential for their functions. A specialized functional diversity of the Na,K-ATPase isozymes is provided by molecular heterogeneity, distinct subcellular localizations and functional interactions with molecular environment. Studies over the last decades clearly demonstrated complex and isoform-specific reciprocal functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and neighboring proteins and lipids. These interactions are enabled by a spatially restricted ion homeostasis, direct protein-protein/lipid interactions and protein kinase signaling pathways. In addition to its ‘classical’ function in ion translocation, the Na,K-ATPase is now considered as one of the most important signaling molecules in neuronal, epithelial, skeletal, cardiac and vascular tissues. Accordingly, the Na,K-ATPase forms specialized sub-cellular multimolecular microdomains which act as receptors to circulating endogenous cardiotonic steroids triggering a number of signaling pathways. Changes in these endogenous cardiotonic steroid levels and initiated signaling responses have significant adaptive values for tissues and whole organisms under numerous physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This review discusses recent progress in the studies of functional interactions between the Na,K-ATPase and molecular microenvironment, the Na,K-ATPase-dependent signaling pathways and their significance for diversity of cell function.

  10. Linking multidimensional functional diversity to quantitative methods: a graphical hypothesis--evaluation framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boersma, Kate S; Dee, Laura E; Miller, Steve J; Bogan, Michael T; Lytle, David A; Gitelman, Alix I

    2016-03-01

    Functional trait analysis is an appealing approach to study differences among biological communities because traits determine species' responses to the environment and their impacts on ecosystem functioning. Despite a rapidly expanding quantitative literature, it remains challenging to conceptualize concurrent changes in multiple trait dimensions ("trait space") and select quantitative functional diversity methods to test hypotheses prior to analysis. To address this need, we present a widely applicable framework for visualizing ecological phenomena in trait space to guide the selection, application, and interpretation of quantitative functional diversity methods. We describe five hypotheses that represent general patterns of responses to disturbance in functional community ecology and then apply a formal decision process to determine appropriate quantitative methods to test ecological hypotheses. As a part of this process, we devise a new statistical approach to test for functional turnover among communities. Our combination of hypotheses and metrics can be applied broadly to address ecological questions across a range of systems and study designs. We illustrate the framework with a case study of disturbance in freshwater communities. This hypothesis-driven approach will increase the rigor and transparency of applied functional trait studies.

  11. Dimer monomer transition and dimer re-formation play important role for ATM cellular function during DNA repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Fengxia; Zhang, Minjie; Li, Xiaohua; Yang, Caiyun; Meng, Hao; Wang, Dong; Chang, Shuang; Xu, Ye; Price, Brendan; Sun, Yingli

    2014-10-03

    The ATM protein kinase, is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is recruited and activated by DNA double-strand breaks, mediates responses to ionizing radiation in mammalian cells. Here we show that ATM is held inactive in unirradiated cells as a dimer and phosphorylates the opposite strand of the dimer in response to DNA damage. Cellular irradiation induces rapid intermolecular autophosphorylation of serine 1981 that causes dimer dissociation and initiates cellular ATM kinase activity. ATM cannot phosphorylate the substrates when it could not undergo dimer monomer transition. After DNA repair, the active monomer will undergo dephosphorylation to form dimer again and dephosphorylation is critical for dimer re-formation. Our work reveals novel function of ATM dimer monomer transition and explains why ATM dimer monomer transition plays such important role for ATM cellular activity during DNA repair.

  12. Land use impacts on biodiversity in LCA: proposal of characterization factors based on functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Danielle Maia de; Flynn, Dan F. B.; DeClerck, Fabrice

    2013-01-01

    The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect the disti......The focus of land use modeling in life cycle impact assessment has been mainly on taxonomic measures of biodiversity, namely species richness (SR). However, increasing availability of trait data for species has led to the use of functional diversity (FD) as a promising metric to reflect...... on data compiled by previous regional meta-analysis on SR and FD, in different land use types in the Americas. The taxonomic groups included were mammals, birds, and plants. Within each study, calculated values for FD for different land use types were compared with the natural or close-to-natural state...

  13. Aesthetic Play

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang, Jytte Susanne

    2012-01-01

    to the children’s complex life-worlds. Further, this leads to an analysis of music-play activities as play with an art-form (music), which includes aesthetic dimensions and gives the music-play activities its character of being aesthetic play. Following Lev Vygotsky’s insight that art is a way of building life...

  14. Mechanisms shaping size structure and functional diversity of phytoplankton communities in the ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo-Trejos, Esteban; Brandt, Gunnar; Bruggeman, Jorn; Merico, Agostino

    2015-03-01

    The factors regulating phytoplankton community composition play a crucial role in structuring aquatic food webs. However, consensus is still lacking about the mechanisms underlying the observed biogeographical differences in cell size composition of phytoplankton communities. Here we use a trait-based model to disentangle these mechanisms in two contrasting regions of the Atlantic Ocean. In our model, the phytoplankton community can self-assemble based on a trade-off emerging from relationships between cell size and (1) nutrient uptake, (2) zooplankton grazing, and (3) phytoplankton sinking. Grazing `pushes' the community towards larger cell sizes, whereas nutrient uptake and sinking `pull' the community towards smaller cell sizes. We find that the stable environmental conditions of the tropics strongly balance these forces leading to persistently small cell sizes and reduced size diversity. In contrast, the seasonality of the temperate region causes the community to regularly reorganize via shifts in species composition and to exhibit, on average, bigger cell sizes and higher size diversity than in the tropics. Our results raise the importance of environmental variability as a key structuring mechanism of plankton communities in the ocean and call for a reassessment of the current understanding of phytoplankton diversity patterns across latitudinal gradients.

  15. Functional diversity of marine ecosystems after the Late Permian mass extinction event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, William J.; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2014-03-01

    The Late Permian mass extinction event about 252 million years ago was the most severe biotic crisis of the past 500 million years and occurred during an episode of global warming. The loss of around two-thirds of marine genera is thought to have had substantial ecological effects, but the overall impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems and the pattern of marine recovery are uncertain. Here we analyse the fossil occurrences of all known benthic marine invertebrate genera from the Permian and Triassic periods, and assign each to a functional group based on their inferred lifestyle. We show that despite the selective extinction of 62-74% of these genera, all but one functional group persisted through the crisis, indicating that there was no significant loss of functional diversity at the global scale. In addition, only one new mode of life originated in the extinction aftermath. We suggest that Early Triassic marine ecosystems were not as ecologically depauperate as widely assumed. Functional diversity was, however, reduced in particular regions and habitats, such as tropical reefs; at these smaller scales, recovery varied spatially and temporally, probably driven by migration of surviving groups. We find that marine ecosystems did not return to their pre-extinction state, and by the Middle Triassic greater functional evenness is recorded, resulting from the radiation of previously subordinate groups such as motile, epifaunal grazers.

  16. Surface binding sites in carbohydrate active enzymes: An emerging picture of structural and functional diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svensson, Birte; Cockburn, Darrell

    2013-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes, particularly those that are active on polysaccharides, are often found associated with carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs), which can play several roles in supporting enzyme function, such as localizing the enzyme to the substrate. However, the presence of CBMs...

  17. Functional and structural microbial diversity in organic and conventional viticulture: organic farming benefits natural biocontrol agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Florian; Moser, Gerit; Müller, Henry; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-03-01

    Statistically significant differences in the structure and function of above-ground grapevine-associated microorganisms from organically and conventionally managed vineyards were found. Aureobasidium pullulans, a copper-detoxifying fungus and biocontrol agent, plays a key role in explaining these differences. The black fungus was strongly enriched in the communities of organically managed plants and yielded a higher indigenous antiphytopathogenic potential.

  18. Five species, many genotypes, broad phenotypic diversity: When agronomy meets functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Ivan; Litrico, Isabelle; Violle, Cyrille; Barre, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Current ecological theory can provide insight into the causes and impacts of plant domestication. However, just how domestication has impacted intraspecific genetic variability (ITV) is unknown. We used 50 ecotypes and 35 cultivars from five grassland species to explore how selection drives functional trait coordination and genetic differentiation. We quantified the extent of genetic diversity among different sets of functional traits and determined how much genetic diversity has been generated within populations of natural ecotypes and selected cultivars. In general, the cultivars were larger (e.g., greater height, faster growth rates) and had larger and thinner leaves (greater SLA). We found large (average 63%) and trait-dependent (ranging from 14% for LNC to 95.8% for growth rate) genetic variability. The relative extent of genetic variability was greater for whole-plant than for organ-level traits. This pattern was consistent within ecotypes and within cultivars. However, ecotypes presented greater ITV variability. The results indicated that genetic diversity is large in domesticated species with contrasting levels of heritability among functional traits and that selection for high yield has led to indirect selection of some associated leaf traits. These findings open the way to define which target traits should be the focus in selection programs, especially in the context of community-level selection. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  19. Functional diversity of human protein kinase splice variants marks significant expansion of human kinome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anamika Krishanpal

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein kinases are involved in diverse spectrum of cellular processes. Availability of draft version of the human genomic data in the year 2001 enabled recognition of repertoire of protein kinases. However, over the years the human genomic data is being refined and the current release of human genomic data has helped us to recognize a larger repertoire of over 900 human protein kinases represented mainly by splice variants. Results Many of these identified protein kinases are alternatively spliced products. Interestingly, some of the human kinase splice variants appear to be significantly diverged in terms of their functional properties as represented by incorporation or absence of one or more domains. Many sets of protein kinase splice variants have substantially different domain organization and in a few sets of splice variants kinase domains belong to different subfamilies of kinases suggesting potential participation in different signal transduction pathways. Conclusions Addition or deletion of a domain between splice variants of multi-domain kinases appears to be a means of generating differences in the functional features of otherwise similar kinases. It is intriguing that marked sequence diversity within the catalytic regions of some of the splice variant kinases result in kinases belonging to different subfamilies. These human kinase splice variants with different functions might contribute to diversity of eukaryotic cellular signaling.

  20. Genetic and functional diversity of ubiquitous DNA viruses in selected Chinese agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Li-Li; Yu, Dan-Ting; Zhang, Li-Mei; Shen, Ju-Pei; He, Ji-Zheng

    2017-01-01

    Viral community structures in complex agricultural soils are largely unknown. Electron microscopy and viromic analyses were conducted on six typical Chinese agricultural soil samples. Tailed bacteriophages, spherical and filamentous viral particles were identified by the morphological analysis. Based on the metagenomic analysis, single-stranded DNA viruses represented the largest viral component in most of the soil habitats, while the double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Caudovirales order were predominanted in Jiangxi-maize soils. The majority of functional genes belonged to the subsystem “phages, prophages, transposable elements, and plasmids”. Non-metric multidimensional analysis of viral community showed that the environment medium type was the most important driving factor for the viral community structure. For the major viral groups detected in all samples (Microviridae and Caudovirales), the two groups gathered viruses from different sites and similar genetic composition, indicating that viral diversity was high on a local point but relatively limited on a global scale. This is a novel report of viral diversity in Chinese agricultural soils, and the abundance, taxonomic, and functional diversity of viruses that were observed in different types of soils will aid future soil virome studies and enhance our understanding of the ecological functions of soil viruses. PMID:28327667

  1. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions.

  2. Functional Diversity of Fungal Communities in Soil Contaminated with Diesel Oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agata Borowik

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The widespread use and consumption of crude oil draws the public’s attention to the fate of petroleum hydrocarbons in the environment, as they can permeate the soil environment in an uncontrollable manner. Contamination of soils with petroleum products, including diesel oil (DO, can cause changes in the microbiological soil properties. The effect of diesel oil on the functional diversity of fungi was tested in a model experiment during 270 days. Fungi were isolated from soil and identified. The functional diversity of fungal communities was also determined. Fungi were identified with the MALDI-TOF method, while the functional diversity was determined using FF-plates made by Biolog®, with 95 carbon sources. Moreover, the diesel oil degradation dynamics was assessed. The research showed that soil contaminated with diesel oil is characterized by a higher activity of oxireductases and a higher number of fungi than soil not exposed to the pressure of this product. The DO pollution has an adverse effect on the diversity of fungal community. This is proved by significantly lower values of the Average Well-Color Development, substrates Richness (R and Shannon–Weaver (H indices at day 270 after contamination. The consequences of DO affecting soil not submitted to remediation are persistent. After 270 days, only 64% of four-ringed, 28% of five-ringed, 21% of 2–3-ringed and 16% of six-ringed PAHs underwent degradation. The lasting effect of DO on communities of fungi led to a decrease in their functional diversity. The assessment of the response of fungi to DO pollution made on the basis of the development of colonies on Petri dishes [Colony Development (CD and Eco-physiological Diversity (EP indices] is consistent with the analysis based on the FF MicroPlate system by Biolog®. Thus, a combination of the FF MicroPlate system by Biolog® with the simultaneous calculation of CD and EP indices alongside the concurrent determination of the content of

  3. Habitat connectivity and local conditions shape taxonomic and functional diversity of arthropods on green roofs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaker, Sonja; Obrist, Martin Karl; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Moretti, Marco

    2017-02-06

    Increasing development of urban environments creates high pressure on green spaces with potential negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. There is growing evidence that green roofs - rooftops covered with vegetation - can contribute mitigate the loss of urban green spaces by providing new habitats for numerous arthropod species. Whether green roofs can contribute to enhance taxonomic and functional diversity and increase connectivity across urbanized areas remains, however, largely unknown. Furthermore, only limited information is available on how environmental conditions shape green roof arthropod communities. We investigated the community composition of arthropods (Apidae, Curculionidae, Araneae and Carabidae) on 40 green roofs and 40 green sites at ground level in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. We assessed how the site's environmental variables (such as area, height, vegetation, substrate and connectivity among sites) affect species richness and functional diversity using generalized linear models. We used an extension of co-inertia analysis (RLQ) and fourth-corner analysis to highlight the mechanism underlying community assemblages across taxonomic groups on green roof and ground communities. Species richness was higher at ground-level sites, while no difference in functional diversity was found between green roofs and ground sites. Green roof arthropod diversity increased with higher connectivity and plant species richness, irrespective of substrate depth, height and area of green roofs. The species trait analysis reviewed the mechanisms related to the environmental predictors that shape the species assemblages of the different taxa at ground and roof sites. Our study shows the important contribution of green roofs in maintaining high functional diversity of arthropod communities across different taxonomic groups, despite their lower species richness compared with ground sites. Species communities on green roofs revealed to be characterized

  4. Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duveneck, Matthew J; Scheller, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low- and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-as-usual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have

  5. ATF4 plays a pivotal role in the development of functional hematopoietic stem cells in mouse fetal liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yunze; Zhou, Jie; Liu, Dan; Dong, Fang; Cheng, Hui; Wang, Weili; Pang, Yakun; Wang, Yajie; Mu, Xiaohuan; Ni, Yanli; Li, Zhuan; Xu, Huiyu; Hao, Sha; Wang, Xiaochen; Ma, Shihui; Wang, Qian-fei; Xiao, Guozhi; Yuan, Weiping; Liu, Bing; Cheng, Tao

    2015-11-19

    The fetal liver (FL) serves as a predominant site for expansion of functional hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during mouse embryogenesis. However, the mechanisms for HSC development in FL remain poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that deletion of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) significantly impaired hematopoietic development and reduced HSC self-renewal in FL. In contrast, generation of the first HSC population in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region was not affected. The migration activity of ATF4(-/-) HSCs was moderately reduced. Interestingly, the HSC-supporting ability of both endothelial and stromal cells in FL was significantly compromised in the absence of ATF4. Gene profiling using RNA-seq revealed downregulated expression of a panel of cytokines in ATF4(-/-) stromal cells, including angiopoietin-like protein 3 (Angptl3) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA). Addition of Angptl3, but not VEGFA, partially rescued the repopulating defect of ATF4(-/-) HSCs in the culture. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay in conjunction with silencing RNA-mediated silencing and complementary DNA overexpression showed transcriptional control of Angptl3 by ATF4. To summarize, ATF4 plays a pivotal role in functional expansion and repopulating efficiency of HSCs in developing FL, and it acts through upregulating transcription of cytokines such as Angptl3 in the microenvironment.

  6. Copper(I)-Catalyzed Interrupted Click Reaction: Synthesis of Diverse 5-Hetero-Functionalized Triazoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Weiguo; Peng, Xianglong; Wei, Fang; Tung, Chen-Ho; Xu, Zhenghu

    2016-01-11

    The 5-heterofunctionalized triazoles are important scaffolds in bioactive compounds, but current click reactions (CuAAC) cannot produce these core structures. A copper(I)-catalyzed interrupted click reaction to access diverse 5-functionalized triazoles is reported. Various 5-amino-, thio-, and selenotriazoles were readily assembled in one step in high yields. The reaction proceeds under mild conditions with complete regioselectivity. It also features a broad substrate scope and good functional group compatibility. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Effects of mercury contamination on the culturable heterotrophic, functional and genetic diversity of the bacterial community in soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Lasse Dam; Sørensen, S. J.

    2001-01-01

    . The culturable heterotrophic diversity was investigated by colony morphology and colony appearance on solid LB medium. Functional diversity was analysed as sole carbon utilisation patterns in ECOplates. Genetic diversity was measured as bands on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGCE) gels obtained...... analysed by Shannon-Weaver indices, functional diversity was found to increase almost immediately after mercury addition and to remain at a level higher than the control soil for the rest of the experiment. The fraction of culturable heterotrophic bacteria increased from 1% to 10% of the total bacterial...

  8. Positive effects of bacterial diversity on ecosystem functioning driven by complementarity effects in a bioremediation context.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick A Venail

    Full Text Available Despite their importance as ecosystem drivers, our understanding of the influence of bacterial diversity on ecosystem functioning is limited. After identifying twelve bacterial strains from two petroleum-contaminated sites, we experimentally explored the impact of biodiversity on total density by manipulating the number of strains in culture. Irrespective of the origin of the bacteria relative to the contaminant, biodiversity positively influenced total density. However, bacteria cultured in the crude oil of their origin (autochthonous reached higher densities than bacteria from another origin (allochthonous and the relationship between diversity and density was stronger for autochthonous bacteria. By measuring the relative contribution of each strain to total density we showed that the observed positive effect of increasing diversity on total density was mainly due to positive interactions among species and not the presence of a particular species. Our findings can be explained by the complex chemical composition of crude oil and the necessity of a diverse array of organisms with complementary enzymatic capacities to achieve its degradation. The long term exposure to a contaminant may have allowed different bacteria to become adapted to the use of different fractions of the crude, resulting in higher complementarity in resource use in autochthonous bacteria compared to allochthonous ones. Our results could help improve the success of bioaugmentation as a bioremediation technique by suggesting the use of a diversified set of autochthonous organisms.

  9. Discovery of diverse and functional antibodies from large human repertoire antibody libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwimmer, Lauren J; Huang, Betty; Giang, Hoa; Cotter, Robyn L; Chemla-Vogel, David S; Dy, Francis V; Tam, Eric M; Zhang, Fangjiu; Toy, Pamela; Bohmann, David J; Watson, Susan R; Beaber, John W; Reddy, Nithin; Kuan, Hua-Feng; Bedinger, Daniel H; Rondon, Isaac J

    2013-05-31

    Phage display antibody libraries have a proven track record for the discovery of therapeutic human antibodies, increasing the demand for large and diverse phage antibody libraries for the discovery of new therapeutics. We have constructed naïve antibody phage display libraries in both Fab and scFv formats, with each library having more than 250 billion clones that encompass the human antibody repertoire. These libraries show high fidelity in open reading frame and expression percentages, and their V-gene family distribution, VH-CDR3 length and amino acid usage mirror the natural diversity of human antibodies. Both the Fab and scFv libraries show robust sequence diversity in target-specific binders and differential V-gene usage for each target tested, supporting the use of libraries that utilize multiple display formats and V-gene utilization to maximize antibody-binding diversity. For each of the targets, clones with picomolar affinities were identified from at least one of the libraries and for the two targets assessed for activity, functional antibodies were identified from both libraries.

  10. High functional diversity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis driven by genetic drift and human demography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth Hershberg

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects one third of the human world population and kills someone every 15 seconds. For more than a century, scientists and clinicians have been distinguishing between the human- and animal-adapted members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC. However, all human-adapted strains of MTBC have traditionally been considered to be essentially identical. We surveyed sequence diversity within a global collection of strains belonging to MTBC using seven megabase pairs of DNA sequence data. We show that the members of MTBC affecting humans are more genetically diverse than generally assumed, and that this diversity can be linked to human demographic and migratory events. We further demonstrate that these organisms are under extremely reduced purifying selection and that, as a result of increased genetic drift, much of this genetic diversity is likely to have functional consequences. Our findings suggest that the current increases in human population, urbanization, and global travel, combined with the population genetic characteristics of M. tuberculosis described here, could contribute to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

  11. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  12. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D.; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea. PMID:27579575

  13. Testing Associations of Plant Functional Diversity with Carbon and Nitrogen Storage along a Restoration Gradient of Sandy Grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that ecosystem function is strongly affected by plant functional diversity as reflected by the traits of the most abundant species (community-weighted mean, CWM) and functional dispersion (FDis). Effects of CWM and FDis individually support the biomass ratio hypothesis and the niche complementarity hypothesis. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relative roles of CWM traits and FDis in explaining the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage in grassland ecosystems. We measured plant functional traits in the 34 most abundant species across 24 sites along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China. Thereafter, we calculated the CWM traits, the functional divergence of each single trait (FDvar) and the trait dispersion of multiple traits (FDis). We also measured the C and N storage in plant, litter, root, and soil. Using a stepwise multiple regression analysis, we further assessed which of the functional diversity components best explained C and N storage in the sandy grassland restoration. We found consistent links between C or N storage and leaf traits related to plant resource use strategy. However, the CWM of plant height was retained as an important predictor of C and N storage in plant, litter, soil, and total ecosystem in the final multiple models. CWMs of specific leaf area and plant height best predicted soil C and N storage and total ecosystem N storage. FDis was one of good predictors of litter C and N storage as well as total ecosystem C storage. These results suggest that ecosystem C and N pools in the sandy grassland restoration are primarily associated with the traits of the most abundant species in communities, thereby supporting the biomass ratio hypothesis. The positive associations of FDis with C storage in litter and total ecosystem provide evidence to support the niche complementarity hypothesis. Both functional

  14. Testing associations of plant functional diversity with carbon and nitrogen storage along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoan eZuo

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The trait-based approach shows that ecosystem function is strongly affected by plant functional diversity as reflected by the traits of the most abundant species (community-weighted mean, CWM and functional dispersion (FDis. Effects of CWM and FDis individually support the biomass ratio hypothesis and the niche complementarity hypothesis. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relative roles of CWM traits and FDis in explaining the carbon (C and nitrogen (N storage in grassland ecosystems. We measured plant functional traits in the 34 most abundant species across 24 sites along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune and grassland in Horqin Sand Land, northern China. Thereafter, we calculated the CWM traits, the functional divergence of each single trait (FDvar and the trait dispersion of multiple traits (FDis. We also measured the C and N storage in plant, litter, root and soil. Using a stepwise multiple regression analysis, we further assessed which of the functional diversity components best explained C and N storage in the sandy grassland restoration. We found consistent links between C or N storage and leaf traits related to plant resource use strategy. However, the CWM of plant height was retained as an important predictor of C and N storage in plant, litter, soil and total ecosystem in the final multiple models. CWMs of specific leaf area and plant height best predicted soil C and N storage and total ecosystem N storage. FDis was one of good predictors of litter C and N storage as well as total ecosystem C storage. These results suggest that ecosystem C and N pools in the sandy grassland restoration are primarily associated with the traits of the most abundant species in communities, thereby supporting the biomass ratio hypothesis. The positive associations of FDis with C storage in litter and total ecosystem provide evidence to support the niche complementarity hypothesis. Both

  15. Primase-polymerases are a functionally diverse superfamily of replication and repair enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilliam, Thomas A; Keen, Benjamin A; Brissett, Nigel C; Doherty, Aidan J

    2015-08-18

    Until relatively recently, DNA primases were viewed simply as a class of proteins that synthesize short RNA primers requisite for the initiation of DNA replication. However, recent studies have shown that this perception of the limited activities associated with these diverse enzymes can no longer be justified. Numerous examples can now be cited demonstrating how the term 'DNA primase' only describes a very narrow subset of these nucleotidyltransferases, with the vast majority fulfilling multifunctional roles from DNA replication to damage tolerance and repair. This article focuses on the archaeo-eukaryotic primase (AEP) superfamily, drawing on recently characterized examples from all domains of life to highlight the functionally diverse pathways in which these enzymes are employed. The broad origins, functionalities and enzymatic capabilities of AEPs emphasizes their previous functional misannotation and supports the necessity for a reclassification of these enzymes under a category called primase-polymerases within the wider functional grouping of polymerases. Importantly, the repositioning of AEPs in this way better recognizes their broader roles in DNA metabolism and encourages the discovery of additional functions for these enzymes, aside from those highlighted here.

  16. Evaluating green infrastructure in urban environments using a multi-taxa and functional diversity approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, Pedro; Correia, Otília; Lecoq, Miguel; Munzi, Silvana; Vasconcelos, Sasha; Gonçalves, Paula; Rebelo, Rui; Antunes, Cristina; Silva, Patrícia; Freitas, Catarina; Lopes, Nuno; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Branquinho, Cristina

    2016-05-01

    Forested areas within cities host a large number of species, responsible for many ecosystem services in urban areas. The biodiversity in these areas is influenced by human disturbances such as atmospheric pollution and urban heat island effect. To ameliorate the effects of these factors, an increase in urban green areas is often considered sufficient. However, this approach assumes that all types of green cover have the same importance for species. Our aim was to show that not all forested green areas are equal in importance for species, but that based on a multi-taxa and functional diversity approach it is possible to value green infrastructure in urban environments. After evaluating the diversity of lichens, butterflies and other-arthropods, birds and mammals in 31 Mediterranean urban forests in south-west Europe (Almada, Portugal), bird and lichen functional groups responsive to urbanization were found. A community shift (tolerant species replacing sensitive ones) along the urbanization gradient was found, and this must be considered when using these groups as indicators of the effect of urbanization. Bird and lichen functional groups were then analyzed together with the characteristics of the forests and their surroundings. Our results showed that, contrary to previous assumptions, vegetation density and more importantly the amount of urban areas around the forest (matrix), are more important for biodiversity than forest quantity alone. This indicated that not all types of forested green areas have the same importance for biodiversity. An index of forest functional diversity was then calculated for all sampled forests of the area. This could help decision-makers to improve the management of urban green infrastructures with the goal of increasing functionality and ultimately ecosystem services in urban areas.

  17. Advances in Soil Microbial Functional Diversity%土壤微生物功能多样性研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王淼强; 杨琼; 刘莉娜

    2011-01-01

    土壤微生物功能多样性主要表现为土壤酶的多样性。土壤酶在土壤生态系统的物质循环和能量流动中扮演重要角色,其多样性比群落结构多样性更重要。文章主要综述土壤微生物功能多样性的研究状况,指出其不足之处,并探讨今后的研究方向。%Soil microbial functional diversity has frequently been evaluated as differences in enzyme activity. Soil enzyme system plays a key role in the soil biochemical process and energy ecosystem. The functional diversity is much more important to ecosystem productivity and stability than taxonomic diversity. In this paper, advances in soil microbial functional diversity are summarized.The deficiency and future direction are put forward.

  18. Galactinol synthase across evolutionary diverse taxa: functional preference for higher plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Sonali; Mukherjee, Sritama; Parween, Sabiha; Majumder, Arun Lahiri

    2012-05-21

    Galactinol synthase (GolS), a GT8 family glycosyltransferase, synthesizes galactinol and raffinose series of oligosaccharides (RFOs). Identification and analysis of conserved domains in GTs among evolutionarily diverse taxa, structure prediction by homology modeling and determination of substrate binding pocket followed by phylogenetic analysis of GolS sequences establish presence of functional GolS predominantly in higher plants, fungi having the closest possible ancestral sequences. Evolutionary preference for a functional GolS expression in higher plants might have arisen in response to the need for galactinol and RFO synthesis to combat abiotic stress, in contrast to other organisms lacking functional GolS for such functions. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A comprehensive framework for functional diversity patterns of marine chromophytic phytoplankton using rbcL phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanta, Brajogopal; Bhadury, Punyasloke

    2016-02-01

    Marine chromophytes are taxonomically diverse group of algae and contribute approximately half of the total oceanic primary production. To understand the global patterns of functional diversity of chromophytic phytoplankton, robust bioinformatics and statistical analyses including deep phylogeny based on 2476 form ID rbcL gene sequences representing seven ecologically significant oceanographic ecoregions were undertaken. In addition, 12 form ID rbcL clone libraries were generated and analyzed (148 sequences) from Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve representing the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem as part of this study. Global phylogenetic analyses recovered 11 major clades of chromophytic phytoplankton in varying proportions with several novel rbcL sequences in each of the seven targeted ecoregions. Majority of OTUs was found to be exclusive to each ecoregion, whereas some were shared by two or more ecoregions based on beta-diversity analysis. Present phylogenetic and bioinformatics analyses provide a strong statistical support for the hypothesis that different oceanographic regimes harbor distinct and coherent groups of chromophytic phytoplankton. It has been also shown as part of this study that varying natural selection pressure on form ID rbcL gene under different environmental conditions could lead to functional differences and overall fitness of chromophytic phytoplankton populations.

  20. Degradation of chlorpyrifos in laboratory soil and its impact on soil microbial functional diversity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Hua; YU Yunlong; CHU Xiaoqiang; WANG Xiuguo; YANG Xiaoe; YU Jingquan

    2009-01-01

    Degradation of chlorpyrifos at different concentrations in soil and its impact on soil microbial functional diversity were investigated under laboratory conditions. The degradation half-lives of chlorpyrifos at levels of 4, 8, and 12 mg/kg in soil were calculated to be 14.3, 16.7, and 18.0 d, respectively. The Biolog study showed that average well color development (AWCD) in soils was significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited by chlorpyrifos within the first two weeks and thereafter recovered to the similar level as the control. A similar variation in the diversity indices (Simpson index 1/D and McIntosh index U) in chlorpyrifos-treated soils was observed, no significant difference in the Shannon-Wiener index H' was found in these soils. With increasing chlorpyrifos concentration, the half-lives of chlorpyrifos were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) extended and its inhibitory effects on soil microorganisms were aggravated. It is concluded that chlorpyrifos residues in soil had a temporary or short-term inhibitory effect on soil microbial functional diversity.

  1. Geochip-based analysis of microbial functional genes diversity in rutile bio-desilication reactor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋翔宇; 邱冠周; 王海东; 谢建平; 徐靖; 王娟

    2015-01-01

    Biological desilication process is an effective way to remove silicate from rutile so that high purity rutile could be obtained. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism of this process. In this work, a newly developed rutile bio-desilication reactor was applied to enrich rutile from rough rutile concentrate obtained from Nanzhao rutile mine and a comprehensive high through-put functional gene array (GeoChip 4.0) was used to analyze the functional gene diversity, structure and metabolic potential of microbial communities in the biological desilication reactor. The results show that TiO2grade of the rutile concentrate could increase from 78.21% to above 90% and the recovery rate could reach to 96% or more in 8−12 d. The results also show that almost all the key functional genes involved in the geochemical cycling process, totally 4324 and 4983 functional microorganism genes, are detected in the liquid and ore surface, respectively. There are totally 712 and 831 functional genes involved in nitrogen cycling for liquid and ore surface samples, respectively. The relative abundance of functional genes involved in the phosphorus and sulfur cycling is higher in the ore surface than liquid. These results indicate that nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycling are also present in the desiliconization process of rutile. Acetogenesis genes are detected in the liquid and ore surface, which indicates that the desiliconizing process mainly depends on the function of acetic acid and other organic acids. Four silicon transporting genes are also detected in the sample, which proves that the bacteria have the potential to transfer silicon in the molecule level. It is shown that bio-desilication is an effective and environmental-friendly way for enrichment of rough rutile concentrate and presents an overview of functional diversity and structure of desilication microbial communities, which also provides insights into our understanding of metabolic potential in

  2. Loss of functional diversity and network modularity in introduced plant-fungal symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickie, Ian A; Cooper, Jerry A; Bufford, Jennifer L; Hulme, Philip E; Bates, Scott T

    2016-12-30

    The introduction of alien plants into a new range can result in the loss of co-evolved symbiotic organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi, that are essential for normal plant physiological functions. Prior studies of mycorrhizal associations in alien plants have tended to focus on individual plant species on a case-by-case basis. This approach limits broad scale understanding of functional shifts and changes in interaction network structure that may occur following introduction. Here we use two extensive datasets of plant-fungal interactions derived from fungal sporocarp observations and recorded plant hosts in two island archipelago nations: New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK). We found that the NZ dataset shows a lower functional diversity of fungal hyphal foraging strategies in mycorrhiza of alien as compared with native trees. Across species this resulted in fungal foraging strategies associated with alien trees being much more variable in functional composition compared with native trees, which had a strikingly similar functional composition. The UK data showed no functional difference in fungal associates of alien and native plant genera. Notwithstanding this, both the NZ and UK data showed a substantial difference in interaction network structure of alien trees compared with native trees. In both cases, fungal associates of native trees showed strong modularity, while fungal associates of alien trees generally integrated into a single large module. The results suggest a lower functional diversity (in one dataset) and a simplification of network structure (in both) as a result of introduction, potentially driven by either limited symbiont co-introductions or disruption of habitat as a driver of specificity due to nursery conditions, planting, or plant edaphic-niche expansion. Recognizing these shifts in function and network structure has important implications for plant invasions and facilitation of secondary invasions via shared mutualist populations.

  3. Selective microenvironmental effects play a role in shaping genetic diversity and structure in a Phaseolus vulgaris L. landrace: implications for on-farm conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiranti, B; Negri, V

    2007-12-01

    Little is known about the organization of landrace diversity and about the forces that shape and maintain within- and among-landrace population diversity. However, this knowledge is essential for conservation and breeding activities. The first aim of this study was to obtain some insight into how variation has been sculptured within a cultivated environment and to identify the loci that potentially underlie selective effects by using a Phaseolus vulgaris L. landrace case study whose natural and human environment and morpho-physiological traits are known in detail. The second aim of this study was to define an appropriate on-farm conservation strategy which can serve as a model for other populations. The farmers' populations of this threatened landrace were examined with 28 single sequence repeat molecular markers. The landrace appears to be a genetically structured population in which substantial diversity is maintained at the subpopulation level (62% of the total variance). Evidence of locus-specific selective effects was obtained for five of the 13 loci-differentiating subpopulations. Their role is discussed. Our data suggest that a complex interaction of factors (differential microenvironmental selection pressures by farmers and by biotic and abiotic conditions, migration rate and drift) explains the observed pattern of diversity. Appropriate on-farm conservation of a structured landrace requires the maintenance of the entire population.

  4. Simultaneous Raising of Rabbit Monoclonal Antibodies to Fluoroquinolones with Diverse Recognition Functionalities via Single Mixture Immunization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Na; Zhao, Zhiyong; Tan, Yanglan; Lu, Lei; Wang, Lin; Liao, Yucai; Beloglazova, Natalia; De Saeger, Sarah; Zheng, Xiaodong; Wu, Aibo

    2016-01-19

    Highly specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies are the key components in a diverse set of immunoassay applications, from research work to routine monitoring and analysis. In the current manuscript, combinatorial strategies for a single mixture immunization, screening and rabbit hybridoma cell technology were described. Fluoroquinolones (FQs) drugs were chosen as representative analytes. Six FQs were conjugated with bovine serum albumin and used as immunogens for subsequent immunization, while a mixture of all was injected for coimmunization. The hybridomas obtained against the individual and multiple FQs were used for the production of diverse varieties of rabbit monoclonal antibodies (RabMAbs) against the target analytes. As was proven by indirect competitive ELISA and quantitative lateral flow immunoassay, this approach opens a new way for simultaneously obtaining functional monoclonal antibodies which are capable of recognizing both individual and multiple analytes in a single preparation circle. This addresses various needs of different monitoring regulations as analytical methodology advances.

  5. Diversity and functions of bacterial community in drinking water biofilms revealed by high-throughput sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Yuanqing; Mao, Yanping; Wang, Zhiping; Zhang, Tong

    2015-01-01

    The development of biofilms in drinking water (DW) systems may cause various problems to water quality. To investigate the community structure of biofilms on different pipe materials and the global/specific metabolic functions of DW biofilms, PCR-based 454 pyrosequencing data for 16S rRNA genes and Illumina metagenomic data were generated and analysed. Considerable differences in bacterial diversity and taxonomic structure were identified between biofilms formed on stainless steel and biofilms formed on plastics, indicating that the metallic materials facilitate the formation of higher diversity biofilms. Moreover, variations in several dominant genera were observed during biofilm formation. Based on PCA analysis, the global functions in the DW biofilms were similar to other DW metagenomes. Beyond the global functions, the occurrences and abundances of specific protective genes involved in the glutathione metabolism, the SoxRS system, the OxyR system, RpoS regulated genes, and the production/degradation of extracellular polymeric substances were also evaluated. A near-complete and low-contamination draft genome was constructed from the metagenome of the DW biofilm, based on the coverage and tetranucleotide frequencies, and identified as a Bradyrhizobiaceae-like bacterium according to a phylogenetic analysis. Our findings provide new insight into DW biofilms, especially in terms of their metabolic functions. PMID:26067561

  6. Unity and diversity of executive functions: Individual differences as a window on cognitive structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Naomi P; Miyake, Akira

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are high-level cognitive processes, often associated with the frontal lobes, that control lower level processes in the service of goal-directed behavior. They include abilities such as response inhibition, interference control, working memory updating, and set shifting. EFs show a general pattern of shared but distinct functions, a pattern described as "unity and diversity". We review studies of EF unity and diversity at the behavioral and genetic levels, focusing on studies of normal individual differences and what they reveal about the functional organization of these cognitive abilities. In particular, we review evidence that across multiple ages and populations, commonly studied EFs (a) are robustly correlated but separable when measured with latent variables; (b) are not the same as general intelligence or g; (c) are highly heritable at the latent level and seemingly also highly polygenic; and (d) activate both common and specific neural areas and can be linked to individual differences in neural activation, volume, and connectivity. We highlight how considering individual differences at the behavioral and neural levels can add considerable insight to the investigation of the functional organization of the brain, and conclude with some key points about individual differences to consider when interpreting neuropsychological patterns of dissociation.

  7. The phylogeny of the mammalian heme peroxidases and the evolution of their diverse functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ó'Fágáin Ciarán

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian heme peroxidases (MHPs are a medically important group of enzymes. Included in this group are myeloperoxidase, eosinophil peroxidase, lactoperoxidase, and thyroid peroxidase. These enzymes are associated with such diverse diseases as asthma, Alzheimer's disease and inflammatory vascular disease. Despite much effort to elucidate a clearer understanding of the function of the 4 major groups of this multigene family, we still do not have a clear understanding of their relationships to each other. Results Sufficient signal exists for the resolution of the evolutionary relationships of this family of enzymes. We demonstrate, using a root mean squared deviation statistic, how the removal of the fastest evolving sites aids in the minimisation of the effect of long branch attraction and the generation of a highly supported phylogeny. Based on this phylogeny we have pinpointed the amino acid positions that have most likely contributed to the diverse functions of these enzymes. Many of these residues are in close proximity to sites implicated in protein misfolding, loss of function or disease. Conclusion Our analysis of all available genomic sequence data for the MHPs from all available completed mammalian genomes, involved sophisticated methods of phylogeny reconstruction and data treatment. Our study has (i fully resolved the phylogeny of the MHPs and the subsequent pattern of gene duplication, and (ii, we have detected amino acids under positive selection that have most likely contributed to the observed functional shifts in each type of MHP.

  8. Arthropod Diversity and Functional Importance in Old-Growth Forests of North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Schowalter

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Old-growth forests have become rare in North America but provide habitat for unique assemblages of species that often are rare in younger forests. Insects and related arthropods reach their highest diversity in old-growth forests because of their stable moderate temperature and relative humidity and the rich variety of resources represented by high plant species richness and structural complexity. Old-growth arthropod assemblages typically are distinct from those in younger, managed forests. Major subcommunities include the arboreal community that is composed of a rich assemblage of herbivores, fungivores, and their associated predators and parasitoids that function to regulate primary production and nutrient fluxes, the stem zone community that includes bark- and wood-boring species and their associated predators and parasitoids that initiate the decomposition of coarse woody debris, and the forest floor community composed of a variety of detritivores, fungivores, burrowers, and their associated predators and parasitoids that are instrumental in litter decomposition. Insect outbreaks are relatively rare in old-growth forests, where the diversity of resources and predators limit population growth. In turn, insects contribute to plant diversity and limit primary production of host plant species, thereby promoting development of old-growth forest characteristics. Arthropods also provide important functions in decomposition and nutrient cycling that may be lost in younger, managed forests with limited provision of coarse woody debris and accumulated litter. Protection of remnant old-growth forests within the forest matrix may be particularly valuable for maintaining the diversity of plant and arthropod predators that can minimize outbreaks, thereby contributing to resilience to changing environmental conditions.

  9. Functional diversity of HIV-1 envelope proteins expressed by contemporaneous plasma viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clavel François

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Numerous studies have shown that viral quasi-species with genetically diverse envelope proteins (Env replicate simultaneously in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1. Less information is available concerning the extent that envelope sequence diversity translates into a diversity of phenotypic properties, including infectivity and resistance to entry inhibitors. Methods To study these questions, we isolated genetically distinct contemporaneous clonal viral populations from the plasma of 5 HIV-1 infected individuals (n = 70, and evaluated the infectivity of recombinant viruses expressing Env proteins from the clonal viruses in several target cells. The sensitivity to entry inhibitors (enfuvirtide, TAK-799, soluble CD4 and monoclonal antibodies (2G12, 48d, 2F5 was also evaluated for a subset of the recombinant viruses (n = 20. Results Even when comparisons were restricted to viruses with similar tropism, the infectivity for a given target cell of viruses carrying different Env proteins from the same patient varied over an approximately 10-fold range, and differences in their relative ability to infect different target cells were also observed. Variable region haplotypes associated with high and low infectivity could be identified for one patient. In addition, clones carrying unique mutations in V3 often displayed low infectivity. No correlation was observed between viral infectivity and sensitivity to inhibition by any of the six entry inhibitors evaluated, indicating that these properties can be dissociated. Significant inter-patient differences, independent of infectivity, were observed for the sensitivity of Env proteins to several entry inhibitors and their ability to infect different target cells. Conclusion These findings demonstrate the marked functional heterogeneity of HIV-1 Env proteins expressed by contemporaneous circulating viruses, and underscore the advantage of clonal analyses in

  10. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+ channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Jegla

    Full Text Available The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+ channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1, Shaw (Kv3 and Shal (Kv4. In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+ channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+ channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2 family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  11. The loss of interneuron functional diversity in the piriform cortex after induction of experimental epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavrilovici, Cezar; Pollock, Emily; Everest, Michelle; Poulter, Michael O

    2012-12-01

    Interneuronal functional diversity is thought to be an important factor in the control of neural network oscillations in many brain regions. Specifically, interneuron action potential firing patterns are thought to modulate brain rhythms. In neurological disorders such as epilepsy where brain rhythms are significantly disturbed interneuron function is largely unexplored. Thus the purpose of this study was to examine the functional diversity of piriform cortex interneurons (PC; an area of the brain that easily supports seizures) before and after kindling-induced epilepsy. Using cluster analysis, we found five control firing behaviors. These groups were termed: non-adapting very high frequency (NAvHF), adapting high frequency (AHF), adapting low frequency (ALF), strongly adapting low frequency (sALF), and weakly adapting low frequency (wALF). A morphological analysis showed these spiking patterns were not associated with any specific interneuronal morphology although we found that most of the cells displaying NAvHF firing pattern were multipolar. After kindling about 40% of interneuronal firing pattern changed, and neither the NAvHF nor the wALF phenotypes were found. We also found that in multipolar interneurons a long-lasting potassium current was increased. A qPCR analysis indicated Kv1.6 subtype was up-regulated after kindling. An immunocytochemical analysis showed that Kv1.6 protein expression on parvalbumin (multipolar) interneurons increased by greater than 400%. We also examined whether these changes could be due to the selective death of a subset of interneurons but found that there was no change in cell number. These data show an important loss of the functional diversity of interneurons in the PC. Our data suggest that under pathophysiological condition interneurons are plastic resulting in the attenuation of high frequency network oscillations in favor of low frequency network activity. This may be an important new mechanism by which network synchrony is

  12. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diverse microbial communities reveals core metabolic pathways and microbiome-specific functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Xiong, Xuejian; Danska, Jayne; Parkinson, John

    2016-01-12

    Metatranscriptomics is emerging as a powerful technology for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Use of unbiased RNA-sequencing can reveal both the taxonomic composition and active biochemical functions of a complex microbial community. However, the lack of established reference genomes, computational tools and pipelines make analysis and interpretation of these datasets challenging. Systematic studies that compare data across microbiomes are needed to demonstrate the ability of such pipelines to deliver biologically meaningful insights on microbiome function. Here, we apply a standardized analytical pipeline to perform a comparative analysis of metatranscriptomic data from diverse microbial communities derived from mouse large intestine, cow rumen, kimchi culture, deep-sea thermal vent and permafrost. Sequence similarity searches allowed annotation of 19 to 76% of putative messenger RNA (mRNA) reads, with the highest frequency in the kimchi dataset due to its relatively low complexity and availability of closely related reference genomes. Metatranscriptomic datasets exhibited distinct taxonomic and functional signatures. From a metabolic perspective, we identified a common core of enzymes involved in amino acid, energy and nucleotide metabolism and also identified microbiome-specific pathways such as phosphonate metabolism (deep sea) and glycan degradation pathways (cow rumen). Integrating taxonomic and functional annotations within a novel visualization framework revealed the contribution of different taxa to metabolic pathways, allowing the identification of taxa that contribute unique functions. The application of a single, standard pipeline confirms that the rich taxonomic and functional diversity observed across microbiomes is not simply an artefact of different analysis pipelines but instead reflects distinct environmental influences. At the same time, our findings show how microbiome complexity and availability of

  13. Uterine autonomic nerve innervation plays a crucial role in regulating rat uterine mast cell functions during embryo implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xue-Jun; Huang, Li-Bo; Qiao, Hui-Li; Deng, Ze-Pei; Fa, Jing-Jing

    2009-12-01

    To explore the potential mechanism of how uterine innervations would affect the uterine mast cell (MC) population and functions during the periimplantation. We herein first examined the consequence of uterine neurectomy on embryo implantation events. We observed that amputation of autonomic nerves innervating the uterus led to on-time implantation failure in rats. Exploiting MC culture and ELISA approaches, we then further analyzed the effect of neurectomy on cellular histamine levels and its release from uterine MCs, to elucidate the relation of the autonomic nerves and local cellular immunity in the uterine during early pregnancy. We observed that disconnection of autonomic nerve innervation significantly increased the population of uterine MCs. Most interestingly, these increased number of uterine MCs in neuroectomized rats contained a much reduced cellular level of histamine. Our subsequent challenge experiments revealed that uterine MCs in nerve amputated rats exhibited enhanced histamine releasing rate in response to substance P and antiIgE, suggesting loss of nerve innervation in the uterus not only increases the population of uterine MCs, but also facilitates the release of histamine from MCs, thus subsequently interfere with the normal implantation process. Collectively, our findings provide a new line of evidence supporting the concept that immune-neuro-endocrine network plays important role during pregnancy establishment and maintenance.

  14. Aesthetic Play

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang, Jytte Susanne

    2012-01-01

    The present article explores the role of music-related artefacts and technologies in children’s lives. More specifically, it analyzes how four 10- to 11-year old girls use CDs and DVD games in their music-play activities and which developmental themes and potentials may accrue from such activities...... to the children’s complex life-worlds. Further, this leads to an analysis of music-play activities as play with an art-form (music), which includes aesthetic dimensions and gives the music-play activities its character of being aesthetic play. Following Lev Vygotsky’s insight that art is a way of building life...

  15. The effects of restoring logged tropical forests on avian phylogenetic and functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosset, Cindy C P; Edwards, David P

    2017-09-01

    Selective logging is the most prevalent land-use change in the tropics. Despite the resulting degradation of forest structure, selectively logged forests still harbor a substantial amount of biodiversity leading to suggestions that their protection is the next best alternative to conserving primary, old-growth forests. Restoring carbon stocks under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) schemes is a potential method for obtaining funding to protect logged forests, via enrichment planting and liberation cutting of vines. This study investigates the impacts of restoring logged forests in Borneo on avian phylogenetic diversity, the total evolutionary history shared across all species within a community, and on functional diversity, with important implications for the protection of evolutionarily unique species and the provision of many ecosystem services. Overall and understorey avifaunal communities were studied using point count and mist netting surveys, respectively. Restoration caused a significant loss in phylogenetic diversity and MPD (mean pairwise distance) leaving an overall bird community of less total evolutionary history and more closely related species compared to unlogged forests, while the understorey bird community had MNTD (mean nearest taxon distance) that returned toward the lower levels found in a primary forest, indicating more closely related species pairs. The overall bird community experienced a significant loss of functional strategies and species with more specialized traits in restored forests compared to that of unlogged forests, which led to functional clustering in the community. Restoration also led to a reduction in functional richness and thus niches occupied in the understorey bird community compared to unlogged forests. While there are additional benefits of restoration for forest regeneration, carbon sequestration, future timber harvests, and potentially reduced threat of forest conversion, this must be

  16. Linking carbon storage with functional diversity in tropical rainforest in the central Congo Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbeeck, Hans; Kearsley, Elizabeth; Bauters, Marijn; Beeckman, Hans; Huygens, Dries; Steppe, Kathy; Boeckx, Pascal

    2015-04-01

    This presentation will show an overview of results of the COBIMFO project (Congo basin integrated monitoring for forest carbon mitigation and biodiversity). In the framework of this project we have established 21 permanent 1 ha sampling plots in different forest types in the Yangambi reserve. This UNESCO Man and Biosphere reserve has an area of more than 6000 km² and is located in the heart of the Congo Basin near the Yangambi research station (DR Congo). Analysis of the inventory data of these plots revealed that carbon stocks in mature forests in this area of the Congo Basin are significantly lower (24%) than stocks recorded in the outer regions of the basin. These lower stocks are attributed to a lower maximal tree height (Kearsley et al. 2013). In addition to the carbon inventories we collected leaf and wood samples on all species within 95% basal area of each of the Yangambi plots. A total of 995 individuals were sampled, covering 123 tree species. On the samples we measured 15 traits related to leaf and wood morphology and functioning. In the presented study, relationships between the observed functional diversity and biomass are analysed. One of the remarkable results of our analysis is that species with a high functional distinctiveness have a low contribution to the basal area and the carbon stocks. In contrast, species with a high contribution to the carbon stock have a low contribution to the functional diversity. Similar patterns have been observed elsewhere (e.g. Amazon basin), but are now for the first time confirmed for central African rainforest. Finally, we also present the first results of an analysis of carbons stocks and functional diversity in tropical plantations from a unique 70-years old tree diversity experiment that was established during the colonial period at the Yangambi research station. Kearsley, E., de Haulleville, T., Hufkens, K., Kidimbu, A., Toirambe, B., Baert, G., Huygens, D., Kebede, Y., Defourny, P., Bogaert, J., Beeckman, H

  17. Functions of gamma-band synchronization in cognition: from single circuits to functional diversity across cortical and subcortical systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosman, Conrado A; Lansink, Carien S; Pennartz, Cyriel M A

    2014-06-01

    Gamma-band activity (30-90 Hz) and the synchronization of neural activity in the gamma-frequency range have been observed in different cortical and subcortical structures and have been associated with different cognitive functions. However, it is still unknown whether gamma-band synchronization subserves a single universal function or a diversity of functions across the full spectrum of cognitive processes. Here, we address this question reviewing the mechanisms of gamma-band oscillation generation and the functions associated with gamma-band activity across several cortical and subcortical structures. Additionally, we raise a plausible explanation of why gamma rhythms are found so ubiquitously across brain structures. Gamma band activity originates from the interplay between inhibition and excitation. We stress that gamma oscillations, associated with this interplay, originate from basic functional motifs that conferred advantages for low-level system processing and multiple cognitive functions throughout evolution. We illustrate the multifunctionality of gamma-band activity by considering its role in neural systems for perception, selective attention, memory, motivation and behavioral control. We conclude that gamma-band oscillations support multiple cognitive processes, rather than a single one, which, however, can be traced back to a limited set of circuit motifs which are found universally across species and brain structures.

  18. Playful Membership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Åkerstrøm Andersen, Niels; Pors, Justine Grønbæk

    2014-01-01

    This article studies the implications of current attempts by organizations to adapt to a world of constant change by introducing the notion of playful organizational membership. To this end we conduct a brief semantic history of organizational play and argue that when organizations play, employees...... are expected to engage in playful exploration of alternative selves. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann's theory of time and decision-making and Gregory Bateson's theory of play, the article analyses three empirical examples of how games play with conceptions of time. We explore how games represent an organizational...... desire to reach out - not just to the future - but to futures beyond the future presently imaginable. The article concludes that playful membership is membership through which employees are expected to develop a surplus of potential identities and continuously cross boundaries between real and virtual...

  19. Metagenomic-Based Study of the Phylogenetic and Functional Gene Diversity in Galápagos Land and Marine Iguanas

    KAUST Repository

    Hong, Pei-Ying

    2014-12-19

    In this study, a metagenome-based analysis of the fecal samples from the macrophytic algae-consuming marine iguana (MI; Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and terrestrial biomass-consuming land iguanas (LI; Conolophus spp.) was conducted. Phylogenetic affiliations of the fecal microbiome were more similar between both iguanas than to other mammalian herbivorous hosts. However, functional gene diversities in both MI and LI iguana hosts differed in relation to the diet, where the MI fecal microbiota had a functional diversity that clustered apart from the other terrestrial-biomass consuming reptilian and mammalian hosts. A further examination of the carbohydrate-degrading genes revealed that several of the prevalent glycosyl hydrolases (GH), glycosyl transferases (GT), carbohydrate binding modules (CBM), and carbohydrate esterases (CE) gene classes were conserved among all examined herbivorous hosts, reiterating the important roles these genes play in the breakdown and metabolism of herbivorous diets. Genes encoding some classes of carbohydrate-degrading families, including GH2, GH13, GT2, GT4, CBM50, CBM48, CE4, and CE11, as well as genes associated with sulfur metabolism and dehalogenation, were highly enriched or unique to the MI. In contrast, gene sequences that relate to archaeal methanogenesis were detected only in LI fecal microbiome, and genes coding for GH13, GH66, GT2, GT4, CBM50, CBM13, CE4, and CE8 carbohydrate active enzymes were highly abundant in the LI. Bacterial populations were enriched on various carbohydrates substrates (e.g., glucose, arabinose, xylose). The majority of the enriched bacterial populations belong to genera Clostridium spp. and Enterococcus spp. that likely accounted for the high prevalence of GH13 and GH2, as well as the GT families (e.g., GT2, GT4, GT28, GT35, and GT51) that were ubiquitously present in the fecal microbiota of all herbivorous hosts.

  20. Are fire, soil fertility and toxicity, water availability, plant functional diversity, and litter decomposition related in a Neotropical savanna?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Gustavo Henrique; Batalha, Marco Antônio; Silva, Igor Aurélio; Cianciaruso, Marcus Vinicius; Petchey, Owen L

    2014-07-01

    Understanding how biodiversity and ecosystem functioning respond to changes in the environment is fundamental to the maintenance of ecosystem function. In realistic scenarios, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning path may account for only a small share of all factors determining ecosystem function. Here, we investigated the strength to which variations in environmental characteristics in a Neotropical savanna affected functional diversity and decomposition. We sought an integrative approach, testing a number of pairwise hypotheses about how the environment, biodiversity, and functioning were linked. We used structural equation modelling to connect fire frequency, soil fertility, exchangeable Al, water availability, functional diversity of woody plants, tree density, tree height, and litter decomposition rates in a causal chain. We found significant effects of soil nutrients, water availability, and Al on functional diversity and litter decomposition. Fire did not have a significant direct effect on functional diversity or litter decomposition. However, fire was connected to both variables through soil fertility. Functional diversity did not influence rates of litter decomposition. The mediated effects that emerged from pairwise interactions are encouraging not only for predicting the functional consequences of changes in environmental variables and biodiversity, but also to caution against predictions based on only environmental or only biodiversity change.

  1. Functional trade-offs increase species diversity in experimental plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Hur, Eyal; Fragman-Sapir, Ori; Hadas, Rivka; Singer, Alon; Kadmon, Ronen

    2012-11-01

    Functional trade-offs have long been recognised as important mechanisms of species coexistence, but direct experimental evidence for such mechanisms is extremely rare. Here, we test the effect of one classical trade-off - a negative correlation between seed size and seed number - by establishing microcosm plant communities with positive, negative and no correlation between seed size and seed number and analysing the effect of the seed size/number correlation on species richness. Consistent with theory, a negative correlation between seed size and seed number led to a higher number of species in the communities and a corresponding wider range of seed size (a measure of functional richness) by promoting coexistence of large- and small-seeded species. Our study provides the first direct evidence that a seed size/number trade-off may contribute to species coexistence, and at a wider context, demonstrates the potential role of functional trade-offs in maintaining species diversity.

  2. Distribution and genetic diversity of functional microorganisms in different CANON reactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tao; Li, Dong; Zeng, Huiping; Li, Xiangkun; Liang, Yuhai; Chang, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Jie

    2012-11-01

    Completely autotrophic nitrogen removal over nitrite (CANON) has been regarded as an efficient and economical process for nitrogen removal from wastewater. The distribution and genetic diversity of the functional microorganisms in five lab-scale CANON reactors have been investigated by using some molecular biology methods. Nitrosomonas-like aerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AerAOB) and Candidatus Brocadia-related anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AnAOB) were detected as predominant functional microbes in the five reactors while Nitrobacter-like nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) existed only in the systems operated at ambient temperature. Communities of AerAOB and AnAOB were almost similar among the five reactors while the distribution of the functional microbes was either scattered or densely packed. Meanwhile, this study has demonstrated the feasibility of starting up CANON by inoculating conventional activated sludge in low ammonium content at ambient temperature.

  3. Compositional and functional diversity of canonical PRC1 complexes in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, Katelyn E; Dykhuizen, Emily C

    2017-02-01

    The compositional complexity of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) increased dramatically during vertebrate evolution. What is considered the "canonical" PRC1 complex consists of four subunits originally identified as regulators of body segmentation in Drosophila. In mammals, each of these four canonical subunits consists of two to six paralogs that associate in a combinatorial manner to produce over a hundred possible distinct PRC1 complexes with unknown function. Genetic studies have begun to define the phenotypic roles for different PRC1 paralogs; however, relating these phenotypes to unique biochemical and transcriptional function for the different paralogs has been challenging. In this review, we attempt to address how the compositional diversity of canonical PRC1 complexes relates to unique roles for individual PRC1 paralogs in transcriptional regulation. This review focuses primarily on PRC1 complex composition, genome targeting, and biochemical function.

  4. On the risks of using dendrograms to measure functional diversity and multidimensional spaces to measure phylogenetic diversity: a comment on Sobral et al. (2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Maire, Eva; Leprieur, Fabien

    2017-04-01

    Sobral et al. (Ecology Letters, 19, 2016, 1091) reported that the loss of bird functional and phylogenetic diversity due to species extinctions was not compensated by exotic species introductions. Here, we demonstrate that the reported changes in biodiversity were underestimated because of methodological pitfalls.

  5. Linking microbial enzymatic activities and functional diversity of soil around earthworm burrows and casts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Lipiec

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system (burrow wall 0–3 mm, transitional zone 3–7 mm, bulk soil >20 mm from the burrow wall and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the burrow wall or casts than in bulk soil and transitional zone. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the bulk soil. Average Well Color Development in both the transitional zone and the bulk soil (0.98-0.94 A590nm were more than eight times higher than in the burrow walls and casts. The lowest richness index in the bulk soil (15 utilized substrates increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis (PCA mainly differentiated the burrow walls and the transitional zone. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the bulk soil. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  6. Linking Microbial Enzymatic Activities and Functional Diversity of Soil around Earthworm Burrows and Casts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Frąc, Magdalena; Brzezińska, Małgorzata; Turski, Marcin; Oszust, Karolina

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system [burrow wall (BW) 0-3 mm, transitional zone (TZ) 3-7 mm, bulk soil (BS) > 20 mm from the BW] and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential) was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the BW or casts than in BS and TZ. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the BS. Average Well Color Development in both the TZ and the BS (0.98-0.94 A590 nm) were more than eight times higher than in the BWs and casts. The lowest richness index in the BS (15 utilized substrates) increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis mainly differentiated the BWs and the TZ. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the BS. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  7. Nocturnality constrains morphological and functional diversity in the eyes of reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmitz Lars

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ambient light levels are often considered to drive the evolution of eye form and function. Diel activity pattern is the main mechanism controlling the visual environment of teleost reef fish, with day-active (diurnal fish active in well-illuminated conditions, whereas night-active (nocturnal fish cope with dim light. Physiological optics predicts several specific evolutionary responses to dim-light vision that should be reflected in visual performance features of the eye. Results We analyzed a large comparative dataset on morphological traits of the eyes in 265 species of teleost reef fish in 43 different families. The eye morphology of nocturnal reef teleosts is characterized by a syndrome that indicates better light sensitivity, including large relative eye size, high optical ratio and large, rounded pupils. Improved dim-light image formation comes at the cost of reduced depth of focus and reduction of potential accommodative lens movement. Diurnal teleost reef fish, released from the stringent functional requirements of dim-light vision have much higher morphological and optical diversity than nocturnal species, with large ranges of optical ratio, depth of focus, and lens accommodation. Conclusions Physical characteristics of the environment are an important factor in the evolution and diversification of the vertebrate eye. Both teleost reef fish and terrestrial amniotes meet the functional requirements of dim-light vision with a similar evolutionary response of morphological and optical modifications. The trade-off between improved dim-light vision and reduced optical diversity may be a key factor in explaining the lower trophic diversity of nocturnal reef teleosts.

  8. Using linkage models to explore skull kinematic diversity and functional convergence in arthrodire placoderms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Philip S L

    2010-08-01

    Biomechanical models offer a powerful set of tools for quantifying the diversity of function across fossil taxa. A computer-based four-bar linkage model previously developed to describe the potential feeding kinematics of Dunkleosteus terrelli is applied here to several other arthrodire placoderm taxa from different lineages. Arthrodire placoderms are a group of basal gnathostomes showing one of the earliest diversifications of jaw structures. The linkage model allows biomechanical variation to be compared across taxa, identify trends in skull morphology among arthrodires that potentially influence function and explore the role of linkage systems in the early evolution of jaw structures. The linkage model calculates various kinematic metrics including gape angle, effective mechanical advantage, and kinematic transmission coefficients. Results indicate that the arthrodire feeding system may be more diverse and complex than previously thought. A range of potential kinematic profiles among arthrodire taxa illustrate a diversity of feeding function comparable with modern teleost fishes. Previous estimates of bite force in Dunkleosteus are revised based on new morphological data. High levels of kinematic transmission among arthrodires suggest the potential for rapid gape expansion and possible suction feeding. Morphological comparisons indicate that there were several morphological solutions for obtaining these fast kinematics, which allowed different taxa to achieve similar kinematic profiles while varying other aspects of the feeding apparatus. Mapping of key morphological components of the linkage system on a general placoderm phylogeny illustrates the potential importance of four-bar systems to the early evolution of jaw structures. J. Morphol. 271:990-1005, 2010. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management. PMID:27650273

  10. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-09-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management.

  11. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-09-21

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management.

  12. Assessing functional diversity in the soybean β-substituted alanine synthase enzyme family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Hankuil; Jez, Joseph M

    2012-11-01

    In plants, proteins of the β-substituted alanine synthase (BSAS) enzyme family perform a diverse range of reactions, including formation of cysteine from O-acetylserine and sulfide, detoxification of cyanide by its addition to cysteine, the breakdown of cysteine into pyruvate, ammonia, and sulfide, and the synthesis of S-sulfocysteine. With the completed genome sequence of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Williams 82), the functional diversity of the BSAS in this highly duplicated plant species was examined to determine whether soybean BSAS enzymes catalyze the various reactions connected to cysteine metabolism. The 16 soybean BSAS can be grouped into clades that are similar to those observed in Arabidopsis. Biochemical analysis of soybean BSAS proteins demonstrate that enzymes of clades I and III function as O-acetylserine sulfhydrylases for cysteine synthesis, clade II encodes cysteine desulfhydrase activity, and that clade V proteins function as β-cyanoalanine synthase for cyanide detoxification. Although clade IV is similar to Arabidopsis S-sulfocysteine synthase, this activity was not detected in the soybean homolog. Overall, our results show that bioinformatics approach provides a useful method to assess the biochemical properties of BSAS enzymes in plant species.

  13. Evolution of domain-peptide interactions to coadapt specificity and affinity to functional diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelil, Abdellali; Levy, Emmanuel D; Michnick, Stephen W

    2016-07-05

    Evolution of complexity in eukaryotic proteomes has arisen, in part, through emergence of modular independently folded domains mediating protein interactions via binding to short linear peptides in proteins. Over 30 years, structural properties and sequence preferences of these peptides have been extensively characterized. Less successful, however, were efforts to establish relationships between physicochemical properties and functions of domain-peptide interactions. To our knowledge, we have devised the first strategy to exhaustively explore the binding specificity of protein domain-peptide interactions. We applied the strategy to SH3 domains to determine the properties of their binding peptides starting from various experimental data. The strategy identified the majority (∼70%) of experimentally determined SH3 binding sites. We discovered mutual relationships among binding specificity, binding affinity, and structural properties and evolution of linear peptides. Remarkably, we found that these properties are also related to functional diversity, defined by depth of proteins within hierarchies of gene ontologies. Our results revealed that linear peptides evolved to coadapt specificity and affinity to functional diversity of domain-peptide interactions. Thus, domain-peptide interactions follow human-constructed gene ontologies, which suggest that our understanding of biological process hierarchies reflect the way chemical and thermodynamic properties of linear peptides and their interaction networks, in general, have evolved.

  14. Hsp70 chaperone systems: diversity of cellular functions and mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, M P; Bukau, B

    1998-03-01

    Hsp70 chaperone systems play an essential role in the life cycle of many proteins not only in an hostile environment but also under normal growth conditions. In the course of evolution the diversification of functions was accompanied by an amplification of components of the Hsp70 system. Here strategies are reviewed how different Hsp70 systems work independently or cooperate with each other in a functional network to perform their housekeeping tasks even under stress conditions. We further discuss how co-chaperones which act as targeting factors regulate the cycle of substrate binding and release upon which the Hsp70 chaperone activity depends.

  15. Partitioning taxonomic diversity of aquatic insect assemblages and functional feeding groups in Neotropical Savanna headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological diversity can be divided into: alpha (α, local), beta (β, difference in assemblage composition among locals), and gamma (γ, total diversity). We assessed the partitioning of taxonomic diversity of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPT) and of ...

  16. Playful Literacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Froes, Isabel

    2017-01-01

    these practices, which compose the taxonomy of tablet play. My contribution lies in identifying and proposing a series of theoretical concepts that complement recent theories related to play and digital literacy studies. The data collected through observations informed some noteworthy aspects, including how...... with tablets’ physical and digital affordances shape children’s digital play. This thesis presents how young children’s current practices when playing with tablets inform digital experiences in Denmark and Japan. Through an interdisciplinary lens and a grounded theory approach, I have identified and mapped...... vocabulary in children’s digital play experiences. These early digital experiences set the rules for the playgrounds and assert digital tablets as twenty-first-century toys, shaping young children’s playful literacy....

  17. Taxonomic and Functional Diversity of Soil and Hypolithic Microbial Communities in Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Sean T. S.; Lacap-Bugler, Donnabella C.; Lau, Maggie C. Y.; Caruso, Tancredi; Rao, Subramanya; de los Rios, Asunción; Archer, Stephen K.; Chiu, Jill M. Y.; Higgins, Colleen; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Hopkins, David W.; Pointing, Stephen B.

    2016-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an extreme polar desert. Mineral soils support subsurface microbial communities and translucent rocks support development of hypolithic communities on ventral surfaces in soil contact. Despite significant research attention, relatively little is known about taxonomic and functional diversity or their inter-relationships. Here we report a combined diversity and functional interrogation for soil and hypoliths of the Miers Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The study employed 16S rRNA fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing combined with the GeoChip functional microarray. The soil community was revealed as a highly diverse reservoir of bacterial diversity dominated by actinobacteria. Hypolithic communities were less diverse and dominated by cyanobacteria. Major differences in putative functionality were that soil communities displayed greater diversity in stress tolerance and recalcitrant substrate utilization pathways, whilst hypolithic communities supported greater diversity of nutrient limitation adaptation pathways. A relatively high level of functional redundancy in both soil and hypoliths may indicate adaptation of these communities to fluctuating environmental conditions. PMID:27812351

  18. Taxonomic and functional diversity of soil and hypolithic microbial communities in Miers Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean Wei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are an extreme polar desert. Mineral soils support subsurface microbial communities and translucent rocks support development of hypolithic communities on ventral surfaces in soil contact. Despite significant research attention relatively little is known about taxonomic and functional diversity or their inter-relationships. Here we report a combined diversity and functional interrogation for soil and hypoliths of the Miers Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The study employed 16S rRNA fingerprinting and high throughput sequencing combined with the GeoChip functional microarray. The soil community was revealed as a highly diverse reservoir of bacterial diversity dominated by actinobacteria. Hypolithic communities were less diverse and dominated by cyanobacteria. Major differences in putative functionality were that soil communities displayed greater diversity in stress tolerance and recalcitrant substrate utilization pathways, whilst hypolithic communities supported greater diversity of nutrient limitation adaptation pathways. A relatively high level of functional redundancy in both soil and hypoliths may indicate adaptation of these communities to fluctuating environmental conditions.

  19. Disparities in Quality of Park Play Spaces between Two Cities with Diverse Income and Race/Ethnicity Composition: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin R. Jenkins

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the differences in the quality of park play spaces between an affluent and a non-affluent community in a large US Southeastern metropolitan area. Two cities were purposefully selected to reflect differences in household income and race/ethnicity characteristics. Using the Playable Space Quality Assessment Tool (PSQAT, all parks (n = 11, with six in the affluent city, and five in the non-affluent city in these two cities were evaluated. The data were analyzed across three aspects of environmental features of the PSQAT: Location, Play Value and Care and Maintenance between parks in the two cities. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the study hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between parks in the two cities in all three aspects of the PSQAT with p-values ≤ 0.03 and effect sizes of > 0.65, suggesting that the affluent city had parks of a higher quality than the non-affluent city. Significant disparity in Play Value (p = 0.009 in parks between these two communities suggests that children and young people are likely to have different experiences of the play spaces in their locality and therefore may experience different physical and psychological health benefits.

  20. Disparities in Quality of Park Play Spaces between Two Cities with Diverse Income and Race/Ethnicity Composition: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Gavin R; Yuen, Hon K; Rose, Emily J; Maher, Amy I; Gregory, Kristina C; Cotton, Megan E

    2015-07-14

    This study investigated the differences in the quality of park play spaces between an affluent and a non-affluent community in a large US Southeastern metropolitan area. Two cities were purposefully selected to reflect differences in household income and race/ethnicity characteristics. Using the Playable Space Quality Assessment Tool (PSQAT), all parks (n = 11, with six in the affluent city, and five in the non-affluent city) in these two cities were evaluated. The data were analyzed across three aspects of environmental features of the PSQAT: Location, Play Value and Care and Maintenance between parks in the two cities. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the study hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between parks in the two cities in all three aspects of the PSQAT with p-values ≤ 0.03 and effect sizes of > 0.65, suggesting that the affluent city had parks of a higher quality than the non-affluent city. Significant disparity in Play Value (p = 0.009) in parks between these two communities suggests that children and young people are likely to have different experiences of the play spaces in their locality and therefore may experience different physical and psychological health benefits.

  1. Land-use systems affect Archaeal community structure and functional diversity in western Amazon soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acácio Aparecido Navarrete

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The study of the ecology of soil microbial communities at relevant spatial scales is primordial in the wide Amazon region due to the current land use changes. In this study, the diversity of the Archaea domain (community structure and ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (richness and community composition were investigated using molecular biology-based techniques in different land-use systems in western Amazonia, Brazil. Soil samples were collected in two periods with high precipitation (March 2008 and January 2009 from Inceptisols under primary tropical rainforest, secondary forest (5-20 year old, agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified DNA (PCR-DGGE using the 16S rRNA gene as a biomarker showed that archaeal community structures in crops and pasture soils are different from those in primary forest soil, which is more similar to the community structure in secondary forest soil. Sequence analysis of excised DGGE bands indicated the presence of crenarchaeal and euryarchaeal organisms. Based on clone library analysis of the gene coding the subunit of the enzyme ammonia monooxygenase (amoA of Archaea (306 sequences, the Shannon-Wiener function and Simpson's index showed a greater ammonia-oxidizing archaeal diversity in primary forest soils (H' = 2.1486; D = 0.1366, followed by a lower diversity in soils under pasture (H' = 1.9629; D = 0.1715, crops (H' = 1.4613; D = 0.3309 and secondary forest (H' = 0.8633; D = 0.5405. All cloned inserts were similar to the Crenarchaeota amoA gene clones (identity > 95 % previously found in soils and sediments and distributed primarily in three major phylogenetic clusters. The findings indicate that agricultural systems of indigenous people and cattle pasture affect the archaeal community structure and diversity of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea in western Amazon soils.

  2. Pretend play.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisberg, Deena Skolnick

    2015-01-01

    Pretend play is a form of playful behavior that involves nonliteral action. Although on the surface this activity appears to be merely for fun, recent research has discovered that children's pretend play has connections to important cognitive and social skills, such as symbolic thinking, theory of mind, and counterfactual reasoning. The current article first defines pretend play and then reviews the arguments and evidence for these three connections. Pretend play has a nonliteral correspondence to reality, hence pretending may provide children with practice with navigating symbolic relationships, which may strengthen their language skills. Pretend play and theory of mind reasoning share a focus on others' mental states in order to correctly interpret their behavior, hence pretending and theory of mind may be mutually supportive in development. Pretend play and counterfactual reasoning both involve representing nonreal states of affairs, hence pretending may facilitate children's counterfactual abilities. These connections make pretend play an important phenomenon in cognitive science: Studying children's pretend play can provide insight into these other abilities and their developmental trajectories, and thereby into human cognitive architecture and its development.

  3. Playful Interaction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2003-01-01

    The video Playful Interaction describes a future architectural office, and envisions ideas and concepts for playful interactions between people, materials and appliances in a pervasive and augmented working environment. The video both describes existing developments, technologies and designs...... as well as ideas not yet implemented such as playful modes of interaction with an augmented ball. Playful Interaction has been used as a hybrid of a vision video and a video prototype (1). Externally the video has been used to visualising our new ideas, and internally the video has also worked to inspire...

  4. Mediatized play

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Stine Liv

    Children’s play must nowadays be understood as a mediatized field in society and culture. Media – understood in a very broad sense - holds severe explanatory power in describing and understanding the practice of play, since play happens both with, through and inspired by media of different sorts....... In this presentation the case of ‘playing soccer’ will be outlined through its different mediated manifestations, including soccer games and programs on TV, computer games, magazines, books, YouTube videos and soccer trading cards....

  5. Biogeographical boundaries, functional group structure and diversity of Rocky Shore communities along the Argentinean coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evie A Wieters

    Full Text Available We investigate the extent to which functional structure and spatial variability of intertidal communities coincide with major biogeographical boundaries, areas where extensive compositional changes in the biota are observed over a limited geographic extension. We then investigate whether spatial variation in the biomass of functional groups, over geographic (10's km and local (10's m scales, could be associated to species diversity within and among these groups. Functional community structure expressed as abundance (density, cover and biomass and composition of major functional groups was quantified through field surveys at 20 rocky intertidal shores spanning six degrees of latitude along the southwest Atlantic coast of Argentina and extending across the boundaries between the Argentinean and Magellanic Provinces. Patterns of abundance of individual functional groups were not uniformly matched with biogeographical regions. Only ephemeral algae showed an abrupt geographical discontinuity coincident with changes in biogeographic boundaries, and this was limited to the mid intertidal zone. We identified 3-4 main 'groups' of sites in terms of the total and relative abundance of the major functional groups, but these did not coincide with biogeographical boundaries, nor did they follow latitudinal arrangement. Thus, processes that determine the functional structure of these intertidal communities are insensitive to biogeographical boundaries. Over both geographical and local spatial scales, and for most functional groups and tidal levels, increases in species richness within the functional group was significantly associated to increased total biomass and reduced spatial variability of the group. These results suggest that species belonging to the same functional group are sufficiently uncorrelated over space (i.e. metres and site-to-site to stabilize patterns of biomass variability and, in this manner, provide a buffer, or "insurance", against

  6. Biogeographical boundaries, functional group structure and diversity of Rocky Shore communities along the Argentinean coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieters, Evie A; McQuaid, Christopher; Palomo, Gabriela; Pappalardo, Paula; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the extent to which functional structure and spatial variability of intertidal communities coincide with major biogeographical boundaries, areas where extensive compositional changes in the biota are observed over a limited geographic extension. We then investigate whether spatial variation in the biomass of functional groups, over geographic (10's km) and local (10's m) scales, could be associated to species diversity within and among these groups. Functional community structure expressed as abundance (density, cover and biomass) and composition of major functional groups was quantified through field surveys at 20 rocky intertidal shores spanning six degrees of latitude along the southwest Atlantic coast of Argentina and extending across the boundaries between the Argentinean and Magellanic Provinces. Patterns of abundance of individual functional groups were not uniformly matched with biogeographical regions. Only ephemeral algae showed an abrupt geographical discontinuity coincident with changes in biogeographic boundaries, and this was limited to the mid intertidal zone. We identified 3-4 main 'groups' of sites in terms of the total and relative abundance of the major functional groups, but these did not coincide with biogeographical boundaries, nor did they follow latitudinal arrangement. Thus, processes that determine the functional structure of these intertidal communities are insensitive to biogeographical boundaries. Over both geographical and local spatial scales, and for most functional groups and tidal levels, increases in species richness within the functional group was significantly associated to increased total biomass and reduced spatial variability of the group. These results suggest that species belonging to the same functional group are sufficiently uncorrelated over space (i.e. metres and site-to-site ) to stabilize patterns of biomass variability and, in this manner, provide a buffer, or "insurance", against spatial variability

  7. Play practices and play moods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karoff, Helle Skovbjerg

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this article is to develop a view of play as a relation between play practices and play moods based on an empirical study of children's everyday life and by using Bateson's term of ‘framing’ [(1955/2001). In Steps to an ecology of mind (pp. 75–80). Chicago: University of Chicago Press......], Schmidt's notion of ‘commonness’ [(2005). Om respekten. København: Danmarks Pædagogiske Universitets Forlag; (2011). On respect. Copenhagen: Danish School of Education University Press] and Heidegger's term ‘mood’ [(1938/1996). Time and being. Cornwall: Wiley-Blackwell.]. Play mood is a state of being...... in which we are open and ready, both to others and their production of meaning and to new opportunities for producing meaning. This play mood is created when we engage with the world during play practices. The article points out four types of play moods – devotion, intensity, tension and euphorica – which...

  8. Huanglongbing alters the structure and functional diversity of microbial communities associated with citrus rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, Pankaj; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Albrigo, Gene; Zhou, Jizhong; Wang, Nian

    2012-02-01

    The diversity and stability of bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere heavily influence soil and plant quality and ecosystem sustainability. The goal of this study is to understand how 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' (known to cause Huanglongbing, HLB) influences the structure and functional potential of microbial communities associated with the citrus rhizosphere. Clone library sequencing and taxon/group-specific quantitative real-time PCR results showed that 'Ca. L. asiaticus' infection restructured the native microbial community associated with citrus rhizosphere. Within the bacterial community, phylum Proteobacteria with various genera typically known as successful rhizosphere colonizers were significantly greater in clone libraries from healthy samples, whereas phylum Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, typically more dominant in the bulk soil were higher in 'Ca. L. asiaticus'-infected samples. A comprehensive functional microarray GeoChip 3.0 was used to determine the effects of 'Ca. L. asiaticus' infection on the functional diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities. GeoChip analysis showed that HLB disease has significant effects on various functional guilds of bacteria. Many genes involved in key ecological processes such as nitrogen cycling, carbon fixation, phosphorus utilization, metal homeostasis and resistance were significantly greater in healthy than in the 'Ca. L. asiaticus'-infected citrus rhizosphere. Our results showed that the microbial community of the 'Ca. L. asiaticus'-infected citrus rhizosphere has shifted away from using more easily degraded sources of carbon to the more recalcitrant forms. Overall, our study provides evidence that the change in plant physiology mediated by 'Ca. L. asiaticus' infection could elicit shifts in the composition and functional potential of rhizosphere microbial communities. In the long term, these fluctuations might have important implications for the productivity and sustainability

  9. Functional diversity enhances the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to aridity in Mediterranean drylands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia, Enrique; Maestre, Fernando T; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Quero, José Luis; Tamme, Riin; Börger, Luca; García-Gómez, Miguel; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-04-01

    We used a functional trait-based approach to assess the impacts of aridity and shrub encroachment on the functional structure of Mediterranean dryland communities (functional diversity (FD) and community-weighted mean trait values (CWM)), and to evaluate how these functional attributes ultimately affect multifunctionality (i.e. the provision of several ecosystem functions simultaneously). Shrub encroachment (the increase in the abundance/cover of shrubs) is a major land cover change that is taking place in grasslands worldwide. Studies conducted on drylands have reported positive or negative impacts of shrub encroachment depending on the functions and the traits of the sprouting or nonsprouting shrub species considered. FD and CWM were equally important as drivers of multifunctionality responses to both aridity and shrub encroachment. Size traits (e.g. vegetative height or lateral spread) and leaf traits (e.g. specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content) captured the effect of shrub encroachment on multifunctionality with a relative high accuracy (r(2)  = 0.63). FD also improved the resistance of multifunctionality along the aridity gradient studied. Maintaining and enhancing FD in plant communities may help to buffer negative effects of ongoing global environmental change on dryland multifunctionality.

  10. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    OpenAIRE

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-01-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicoch...

  11. Elucidating Global Patterns in Functional Diversity of Marine Chromophytic Phytoplankton Based on Rbcl Deep Phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanta, B.

    2016-02-01

    Global patterns of functional diversity of chromophytic phytoplankton using robust bioinformatics analyses including deep phylogeny based on form ID rbcL gene across different ecologically significant oceanographic ecoregions were undertaken as part of this study. A total of 2476 uncultured form ID rbcL sequences were retrieved from GenBank representing seven major oceanographic ecoregions around the world. In addition, 12 form ID rbcL clone libraries were generated and analyzed from Sundarbans Mangrove Biosphere Reserve in this study. Phylogenies were constructed using RAxML method. Bioinformatics and statistical analyses such as Operational taxonomic unit (OTUs) calculation, beta diversity matrices, AMOVA, ANOSIM, LIBSHUFF and UniFrac were undertaken. Natural selection pressure on form ID rbcL sequences were investigated for the first time from environmental form ID rbcL sequences using maximum likelihood based SLAC methodology. Global phylogenetic analyses recovered 11 major clades of chromophytic phytoplankton in varying proportions with several novel form ID rbcL sequences in each of the seven targeted ecoregions. In beta-diversity analysis, majority of OTUs of each targeted ecoregions were found to be restricted within their respective ecosystems, whereas some were shared by two or more habitat types. Natural selection pressure on form ID rbcL datasets showed that dN/dS ratio varied from 0.124-0.158 with few evidences of positive selection. Present phylogenetic and bioinformatics analyses provided a strong statistical support for the hypothesis that different oceanographic regimes harbor distinct and coherent groups of chromophytic phytoplankton. We show that different selection pressure on form ID rbcL gene under different environmental conditions could lead to functional differences and ultimately overall fitness of chromophytic phytoplankton populations.

  12. Effects of Nitrogen Application Rates on Rhizosphere Microbial Community Functional Diversity in Maize and Potato Intercropping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    QIN Xiao-min

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Field trials were carried out to investigate the effects of different nitrogen application rates N0(0 kg·hm-2, N1(125 kg·hm-2, N2 (250 kg·hm-2and N3(375 kg·hm-2on the rhizosphere microbial population and metabolic function diversity of maize and potato under intercropping using plate culture method and BIOLOG technique. The results indicated that nitrogen(N1, N2 and N3application increased the amounts of bacteria, actinomyces and total microbes, but decreased the quantities of fungi significantly in rhizosphere soil of maize and potato in intercropping, and the highest increment was with N2 treatment. In comparison with N0, nitrogen fertilizer application could increase significantly the diversities of soil microbial community, the utilization rate of carbon source, richness of soil microbial community. And the AWCD value, Shannon-Wiener index(H, Simpson index(D, Evenness index(Eand Richness index(Sin rhizosphere soil of maize under intercropping were the highest at N3 treatment, while that of potato were the highest at N2 treatment, but the effects of different N application rates on the ability of rhizospheric microbes in utilizing six types of carbon sources were different. Principal component analysis (PCAand cluster analysis showed that there were differences in carbon substrate utilization patterns and metabolic characteristics of the soil microbes in maize and potato intercropping with different N application rates. It suggested that applying N could regulate the rhizosphere soil microbial communities and promote the functional diversity of crop intercropping.

  13. A novel comparative research platform designed to determine the functional significance of tree species diversity in European forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baeten, L.; Verheyen, K.; Wirth, C.; Bruelheide, H.; Bussotti, F.; Finer, L.; Jaroszewicz, B.; Selvi, F.; Vries, de W.

    2013-01-01

    One of the current advances in functional biodiversity research is the move away from short-lived test systems towards the exploration of diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in structurally more complex ecosystems. In forests, assumptions about the functional significance of tree species d

  14. The Jena Diversity-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (JeDi-DGVM: a diverse approach to representing terrestrial biogeography and biogeochemistry based on plant functional trade-offs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Pavlick

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial biosphere models typically abstract the immense diversity of vegetation forms and functioning into a relatively small set of predefined semi-empirical plant functional types (PFTs. There is growing evidence, however, from the field ecology community as well as from modelling studies that current PFT schemes may not adequately represent the observed variations in plant functional traits and their effect on ecosystem functioning. In this paper, we introduce the Jena Diversity-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (JeDi-DGVM as a new approach to terrestrial biosphere modelling with a richer representation of functional diversity than traditional modelling approaches based on a small number of fixed PFTs. JeDi-DGVM simulates the performance of a large number of randomly generated plant growth strategies, each defined by a set of 15 trait parameters which characterize various aspects of plant functioning including carbon allocation, ecophysiology and phenology. Each trait parameter is involved in one or more functional trade-offs. These trade-offs ultimately determine whether a strategy is able to survive under the climatic conditions in a given model grid cell and its performance relative to the other strategies. The biogeochemical fluxes and land surface properties of the individual strategies are aggregated to the grid-cell scale using a mass-based weighting scheme. We evaluate the simulated global biogeochemical patterns against a variety of field and satellite-based observations following a protocol established by the Carbon-Land Model Intercomparison Project. The land surface fluxes and vegetation structural properties are reasonably well simulated by JeDi-DGVM, and compare favourably with other state-of-the-art global vegetation models. We also evaluate the simulated patterns of functional diversity and the sensitivity of the JeDi-DGVM modelling approach to the number of sampled strategies. Altogether, the results demonstrate the

  15. Functional diversity of non-lethal effects, chemical camouflage, and variation in fish avoidance in colonizing beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resetarits, William J; Pintar, Matthew R

    2016-12-01

    Predators play an extremely important role in natural communities. In freshwater systems, fish can dominate sorting both at the colonization and post-colonization stage. Specifically, for many colonizing species, fish can have non-lethal, direct effects that exceed the lethal direct effects of predation. Functionally diverse fish species with a range of predatory capabilities have previously been observed to elicit functionally equivalent responses on oviposition in tree frogs. We tested this hypothesis of functional equivalence of non-lethal effects for four predatory fish species, using naturally colonizing populations of aquatic beetles. Among taxa other than mosquitoes, and with the exception of the chemically camouflaged pirate perch, Aphredoderus sayanus, we provide the first evidence of variation in colonization or oviposition responses to different fish species. Focusing on total abundance, Fundulus chrysotus, a gape-limited, surface-feeding fish, elicited unique responses among colonizing Hydrophilidae, with the exception of the smallest and most abundant taxa, Paracymus, while Dytiscidae responded similarly to all avoided fish. Neither family responded to A. sayanus. Analysis of species richness and multivariate characterization of the beetle assemblages for the four fish species and controls revealed additional variation among the three avoided species and confirmed that chemical camouflage in A. sayanus results in assemblages essentially identical to fishless controls. The origin of this variation in beetle responses to different fish is unknown, but may involve variation in cue sensitivity, different behavioral algorithms, or differential responses to species-specific fish cues. The identity of fish species occupying aquatic habitats is crucial to understanding community structure, as varying strengths of lethal and non-lethal effects, as well as their interaction, create complex landscapes of predator effects and challenge the notion of functional

  16. Functional characterization of bacteria isolated from ancient arctic soil exposes diverse resistance mechanisms to modern antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Gabriel G; Whyte, Lyle; Turnbaugh, Peter J; Goordial, Jacqueline; Hanage, William P; Dantas, Gautam; Desai, Michael M

    2015-01-01

    Using functional metagenomics to study the resistomes of bacterial communities isolated from different layers of the Canadian high Arctic permafrost, we show that microbial communities harbored diverse resistance mechanisms at least 5,000 years ago. Among bacteria sampled from the ancient layers of a permafrost core, we isolated eight genes conferring clinical levels of resistance against aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline antibiotics that are naturally produced by microorganisms. Among these resistance genes, four also conferred resistance against amikacin, a modern semi-synthetic antibiotic that does not naturally occur in microorganisms. In bacteria sampled from the overlaying active layer, we isolated ten different genes conferring resistance to all six antibiotics tested in this study, including aminoglycoside, β-lactam and tetracycline variants that are naturally produced by microorganisms as well as semi-synthetic variants produced in the laboratory. On average, we found that resistance genes found in permafrost bacteria conferred lower levels of resistance against clinically relevant antibiotics than resistance genes sampled from the active layer. Our results demonstrate that antibiotic resistance genes were functionally diverse prior to the anthropogenic use of antibiotics, contributing to the evolution of natural reservoirs of resistance genes.

  17. Functional diversity of family 3 β-glucosidases from thermophilic cellulolytic fungus Humicola insolens Y1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Wei; Bai, Yingguo; Cui, Ying; Xu, Xinxin; Qian, Lichun; Shi, Pengjun; Zhang, Wei; Luo, Huiying; Zhan, Xiuan; Yao, Bin

    2016-06-08

    The fungus Humicola insolens is one of the most powerful decomposers of crystalline cellulose. However, studies on the β-glucosidases from this fungus remain insufficient, especially on glycosyl hydrolase family 3 enzymes. In the present study, we analyzed the functional diversity of three distant family 3 β-glucosidases from Humicola insolens strain Y1, which belonged to different evolutionary clades, by heterogeneous expression in Pichia pastoris strain GS115. The recombinant enzymes shared similar enzymatic properties including thermophilic and neutral optima (50-60 °C and pH 5.5-6.0) and high glucose tolerance, but differed in substrate specificities and kinetics. HiBgl3B was solely active towards aryl β-glucosides while HiBgl3A and HiBgl3C showed broad substrate specificities including both disaccharides and aryl β-glucosides. Of the three enzymes, HiBgl3C exhibited the highest specific activity (158.8 U/mg on pNPG and 56.4 U/mg on cellobiose) and catalytic efficiency and had the capacity to promote cellulose degradation. Substitutions of three key residues Ile48, Ile278 and Thr484 of HiBgl3B to the corresponding residues of HiBgl3A conferred the enzyme activity towards sophorose, and vice versa. This study reveals the functional diversity of GH3 β-glucosidases as well as the key residues in recognizing +1 subsite of different substrates.

  18. Functional diversity of catch mitigates negative effects of temperature variability on fisheries yields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dee, Laura E; Miller, Steve J; Peavey, Lindsey E; Bradley, Darcy; Gentry, Rebecca R; Startz, Richard; Gaines, Steven D; Lester, Sarah E

    2016-08-17

    Temperature variation within a year can impact biological processes driving population abundances. The implications for the ecosystem services these populations provide, including food production from marine fisheries, are poorly understood. Whether and how temperature variability impacts fishery yields may depend on the number of harvested species and differences in their responses to varying temperatures. Drawing from previous theoretical and empirical studies, we predict that greater temperature variability within years will reduce yields, but harvesting a larger number of species, especially a more functionally diverse set, will decrease this impact. Using a global marine fisheries dataset, we find that within-year temperature variability reduces yields, but current levels of functional diversity (FD) of targeted species, measured using traits related to species' responses to temperature, largely offset this effect. Globally, high FD of catch could avoid annual losses in yield of 6.8% relative to projections if FD were degraded to the lowest level observed in the data. By contrast, species richness in the catch and in the ecosystem did not provide a similar mitigating effect. This work provides novel empirical evidence that short-term temperature variability can negatively impact the provisioning of ecosystem services, but that FD can buffer these negative impacts.

  19. Functional Diversity and Microbial Activity of Forest Soils that Are Heavily Contaminated by Lead and Zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pająk, Marek; Błońska, Ewa; Frąc, Magdalena; Oszust, Karolina

    The objective of this study was to assess the impact of metal contamination on microbial functional diversity and enzyme activity in forest soils. This study involved the evaluation of the influence of the texture, carbon content and distance to the source of contamination on the change in soil microbial activity, which did not investigate in previous studies. The study area is located in southern Poland near the city of Olkusz around the flotation sedimentation pond of lead and zinc at the Mining and Metallurgical Company "ZGH Bolesław, Inc.". The central point of the study area was selected as the middle part of the sedimentation pond. The experiment was conducted over a regular 500 × 500-m grid, where 33 sampling points were established. Contents of organic carbon and trace elements (Zn, Pb and Cd), pH and soil texture were investigated. The study included the determination of dehydrogenase and urease activities and microbial functional diversity evaluation based on the community-level physiological profiling approach by Biolog EcoPlate. The greatest reduction in the dehydrogenase and urease activities was observed in light sandy soils with Zn content >220 mg · kg(-1) and a Pb content > 100 mg · kg(-1). Soils with a higher concentration of fine fraction, despite having the greatest concentrations of metals, were characterized by high rates of Biolog®-derived parameters and a lower reduction of enzyme activity.

  20. Diverse functional responses to drought in a Mediterranean-type shrubland in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, A G; Dawson, T E; February, E C; Midgley, G F; Bond, W J; Aston, T L

    2012-07-01

    • Mediterranean-type ecosystems contain 20% of all vascular plant diversity on Earth and have been identified as being particularly threatened by future increases in drought. Of particular concern is the Cape Floral Region of South Africa, a global biodiversity hotspot, yet there are limited experimental data to validate predicted impacts on the flora. In a field rainout experiment, we tested whether rooting depth and degree of isohydry or anisohydry could aid in the functional classification of drought responses across diverse growth forms. • We imposed a 6-month summer drought, for 2 yr, in a mountain fynbos shrubland. We monitored a suite of parameters, from physiological traits to morphological outcomes, in seven species comprising the three dominant growth forms (deep-rooted proteoid shrubs, shallow-rooted ericoid shrubs and graminoid restioids). • There was considerable variation in drought response both between and within the growth forms. The shallow-rooted, anisohydric ericoid shrubs all suffered considerable reductions in growth and flowering and increased mortality. By contrast, the shallow-rooted, isohydric restioids and deep-rooted, isohydric proteoid shrubs were largely unaffected by the drought. • Rooting depth and degree of iso/anisohydry allow a first-order functional classification of drought response pathways in this flora. Consideration of additional traits would further refine this approach.

  1. Diverse Functions of VDUP1 in Cell Proliferation, Differentiation, and Diseases

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sang Yong Kim; Hyun-Woo Suh; Jin Woong Chung; Suk-Ran Yoon; Inpyo Choi

    2007-01-01

    Vitamin D3 up-regulated protein 1 (VDUP1) is a multifunctional protein involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis. VDUP1 is induced by a variety of stresses. Inversely, VDUP1 is often reduced in various tumor tissues and cell lines. Over-expression of VDUP1 inhibits cell proliferation through cell cycle arrest. VDUP1 interacts with thioredoxin (Trx) and negatively regulates the expression and antioxidant function of Trx which is involved in redox regulation. VDUP1-/- mice are more susceptible to carcinogenesis than wild-type mice and are defective in establishing immune system including the development and function of natural killer cells. Furthermore, VDUP1-/-mice show impaired Kreb cycle-mediated fatty acid utilization. In this review, we have discussed the multifunctional roles of VDUP1 in diverse cellular responses, in particular its relation to proliferation, apoptosis,differentiation, and diseases such as cancer and stress-related diseases.

  2. The diversity of lexical functions in Bulgarian and Russian: an approach to compatible digital comparative lexicography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Timoshenko

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The diversity of lexical functions in Bulgarian and Russian: an approach to compatible digital comparative lexicography This paper presents an approach to the creation of Russian-Bulgarian digital dictionary of collocations using the apparatus of lexical functions. The project is aimed not only at the high-quality translation and word sense disambiguation but also at the cross-linguistic analysis and at comparing the semantics and compatibility of the words in Slavic languages (here: Russian and Bulgarian by means of digital lexicographical data. Another important application is computer-assisted language learning: Bulgarian data can be incorporated in the educational project being developed for Russian and English at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.