WorldWideScience

Sample records for rangeland plant communities

  1. Introducing cattle grazing to a noxious weed-dominated rangeland shifts plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh S. Davy

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Invasive weed species in California's rangelands can reduce herbaceous diversity, forage quality and wildlife habitat. Small-scale studies (5 acres or fewer have shown reductions of medusahead and yellow starthistle using prescribed grazing on rangelands, but little is published on the effects of pasture-scale (greater than 80 acres prescribed grazing on weed control and plant community responses. We report the results of a 6-year collaborative study of manager-applied prescribed grazing implemented on rangeland that had not been grazed for 4 years. Grazing reduced medusahead but did not alter yellow starthistle cover. Medusahead reductions were only seen in years that did not have significant late spring rainfall, suggesting that it is able to recover from heavy grazing if soil moisture is present. Later season grazing appears to have the potential to suppress medusahead in all years. In practice, however, such grazing is constrained by livestock drinking water availability and forage quality, which were limited even in years with late spring rainfall. Thus, we expect that grazing treatments under real-world constraints would reduce medusahead only in years with little late spring rainfall. After 10 years of grazing exclusion, the ungrazed plant communities began to shift, replacing medusahead with species that have little value, such as ripgut and red brome.

  2. Grazing exclusion, substrate type, and drought frequency affect plant community structure in rangelands of the arid unpredictable Arabian Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Keblawy, Ali; El-Sheikh, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Grazing and drought can adversely affect the ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems. Several management actions have been applied to restore species diversity and community structure in degraded rangelands of the unpredictable arid environment. Protection from grazing is considered as a proper approach for restoration of degraded rangelands, but this depends on substrate type and sometime is hindered with water deficiency (drought). In this study, the effect of protection from grazing animals on species diversity and plant community structure was assessed after a dry and wet periods in both sandy and gravelly substrates in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve (DDCR), United Arab Emirates. Two sites were selected during November 2012 on the two substrate types (fixed sandy flat and gravel plain) in the arid DDCR. An enclosure was established in each site. Plant community attributes (plant cover, density, frequency, species composition, and diversity indices) were assessed in a number of permanent plots laid inside and outside each enclosure during November 2012, April 2014 and April 2016. The results showed that protection improved clay content, but decreased the organic matters. Interestingly, the protection reduced the concentrations of most estimated nutrients, which could be attributed to the high turnover rate of nutrients associated grazing and low decomposition of accumulated dry plants of non-protected sites. Protection significantly increased all plant community attributes, but the only significant effect was for plant density. Plant density was almost twice greater inside than outside the enclosures. During the dry period, protection resulted in significantly greater deterioration in cover, density and all diversity indices in gravel, compared to sandy sites. Most of the grasses and shrubby plants had died in the gravel plains. However, plant community of the gravel plains was significantly restored after receiving considerable rainfalls. The

  3. Grazing Effect on Diversity of Annual Plant Communities in a Semi-Arid Rangeland: Interactions with Small-Scale Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2002-01-01

    1 The interactive effect of grazing and small-scale variation in primary productivity on the diversity of an annual plant community was studied in a semiarid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years...

  4. New Tools to Estimate Runoff, Soil Erosion, and Sustainability of Rangeland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands are the largest land cover type in the world. Degradation from mismanagement, desertification, and drought impact more than 50% of rangelands across the globe. The USDA Agricultural Research Service has been evaluating sustainability of rangeland for over 40-years by conducted rangeland r...

  5. Incorporating plant mortality and recruitment into rangeland management and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tony Svejcar; Jeremy James; Stuart Hardegree; Roger Sheley

    2014-01-01

    Rangeland management is largely focused on managing vegetation change. Objectives may include managing against change if the desired vegetation is in place, or attempting to create a shift in vegetation if the desired plant community is not present. There is a rich body of research documenting influences of disturbance and management on rangeland vegetation. However,...

  6. Invasive rangeland plants in range and animal sciences and resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comprising about 50% of the world’s land surface, rangelands are an important ecological and economic resource. Rangeland plant communities are changing. Even though the composition of plant communities in rangeland changes continually through the process of succession, in more recent years this c...

  7. Small mammalian herbivores as mediators of plant community dynamics in the high-altitude arid rangelands of Trans-Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Namgail, T.; Ritchie, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    The high-altitude rangelands of the Trans-Himalaya represent a grazing ecosystem which has supported an indigenous pastoral community for millennia alongside a diverse assemblage of wild herbivores including burrowing mammals (pikas and voles). Pastoralists consider the small mammals to cause

  8. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental enhancements in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew; Bosworth, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are important carbon (C) pools at global scales. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, C storage in cold-desert ecosystems could increase with boosts in wintertime precipitation, in which climate models predict, due to increases in wintertime soil water storage that enhance summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how rangelands will respond to altered precipitation amount or timing. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over a single growing season in plots that had 200 mm of supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for the past 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated garden plots. At our cold-desert site (298 mm precipitation during the study year), we hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate the aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, especially in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in the aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, and moreso in shrub- compared to grass-dominated communities.

  9. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental enhancements in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew J; Bosworth, Andrew

    2017-03-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are important carbon (C) pools at global scales. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, C storage in cold-desert ecosystems could increase with boosts in wintertime precipitation, in which climate models predict, due to increases in wintertime soil water storage that enhance summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how rangelands will respond to altered precipitation amount or timing. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over a single growing season in plots that had 200 mm of supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for the past 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated garden plots. At our cold-desert site (298 mm precipitation during the study year), we hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate the aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, especially in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in the aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, and moreso in shrub- compared to grass-dominated communities.

  10. Criterion II: Indicators for conservation and maintenance of plant and animal resources on rangelands (Chapter 3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; William Fox; Paul Geissler; Rodney Heitschmidt; Lori Hidinger; Duncan Patten; John Spence; Laurence L. Strong; Robert Unnasch; Robert A. Washington-Allen

    2010-01-01

    Five criteria were established by the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable to be used to assess rangeland sustainability on a national scale. One of those criteria is the conservation and maintenance of plant and animal resources. Within this criterion, 10 indicators were developed through the expert opinions of rangeland scientists, rangeland management agency personnel...

  11. Site Productivity and Plant Size Explain the Response of Annual Species to Grazing Exclusion in a Mediterranean Semi-Arid Rangeland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2004-01-01

    1 The response of an annual plant community to protection from grazing as a function of variation in site productivity was studied in a semi-arid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years (1996-99...

  12. Plant/life form considerations in the rangeland hydrology and erosion model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resilience of rangeland to erosion has largely been attributed to adequate plant cover; however, plant life/growth form, and individual species presence can have a dramatic effect on hydrologic and erosion dynamics on rangelands. Plant life/growth form refers to genetic tendency of a plant to grow i...

  13. Soil Properties and Plant Biomass Production in Natural Rangeland Management Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romeu de Souza Werner

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Improper management of rangelands can cause land degradation and reduce the economic efficiency of livestock activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil properties and quantify plant biomass production in four natural rangeland management systems in the Santa Catarina Plateau (Planalto Catarinense of Brazil. The treatments, which included mowed natural rangeland (NR, burned natural rangeland (BR, natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after harrowing (IH, and natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after chisel plowing (IC, were evaluated in a Nitossolo Bruno (Nitisol. In the improved treatments, soil acidity was corrected, phosphate fertilizer was applied, and intercropped annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum, velvet grass (Holcus lanatus, and white clover (Trifolium repens were sown. Management systems with harrowed or chisel plowed soil showed improved soil physical properties; however, the effect decreased over time and values approached those of burned and mowed natural rangelands. Natural rangeland systems in the establishment phase had little influence on soil organic C. The mowed natural rangeland and improved natural rangeland exhibited greater production of grazing material, while burning the field decreased production and increased the proportion of weeds. Improvement of the natural rangelands increased leguminous biomass for pasture.

  14. Abandoned seasonal livestock migration reflected by plant functional traits: A case study in Kyrgyz rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppe, Franziska; Zhusui Kyzy, Taalaigul; Usupbaev, Adilet; Schickoff, Udo

    2017-04-01

    At least 30% of Kyrgyz pasture areas are considered to be subject to vegetation and soil degradation. Since animal husbandry is the economic basis to sustain people's livelihoods, rangeland degradation presents a threat for the majority of the population. Recently, the usage of plant functional traits as a powerful tool for the characterization of vegetation dynamics in response to anthropogenic and natural disturbances has been put forward. Grazing is one of the most severe disturbances on vegetation, which concerns equally the loss of area and biomass. Because grazing is both depending on and affecting plant functional traits, important insights can be generated, based on this codependency. We hypothesized that the contrasting grazing intensity of summer and winter pastures is reflected by the chosen traits. We used traits such as plant height, flowering start, growth form as well as SLA (Specific Leaf Area) and LMA (Leaf Mass per Area). Based on former phytosociological classification of the main pasture types (summer and winter pastures), community structure and the traits of dominant plant species were analyzed. Our results showed that on winter pastures grazing decreased plant height and SLA and favored plants with an earlier flowering start as well as rosette plants and ascending plants. We conclude that the study of trait composition in relation to anthropogenic disturbances can provide important insights into the mechanism of plant response to grazing in high-altitude rangelands.

  15. Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nearing, Mark; Pierson, Fred; Hernandez, Mariano; Al-Hamdan, Osama; Weltz, Mark; Spaeth, Ken; Wei, Haiyan; Stone, Jeff

    2013-04-01

    Soil loss rates on rangelands are considered one of the few quantitative indicators for assessing rangeland health and conservation practice effectiveness. An erosion model to predict soil loss specific for rangeland applications has been needed for many years. Most erosion models were developed from croplands where the hydrologic and erosion processes are different, largely due to much higher levels of heterogeneity in soil and plant properties at the plot scale and the consolidated nature of the soils. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) was designed to fill that need. RHEM is an event-based model that estimates runoff, erosion, and sediment delivery rates and volumes at the spatial scale of the hillslope and the temporal scale of a single rainfall event. It represents erosion processes under normal and fire-impacted rangeland conditions, it adopts a new splash erosion and thin sheet-flow transport equation developed from rangeland data, and it links the model hydrologic and erosion parameters with rangeland plant communities by providing a new system of parameter estimation equations based on 204 plots at 49 rangeland sites distributed across 15 western U.S. states. Recent work on the model is focused on representing intra-storm dynamics, using stream-power as the driver for detachment by flow, and deriving parameters for after-fire conditions.

  16. Response of native versus exotic plant guilds to cattle and elk herbivory in forested rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burak K. Pekin; Michael J. Wisdom; Catherine G. Parks; Bryan A. Endress; Bridgett J. Naylor; Ralf Ohlemuller

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Are exotic plant species favoured by non-native ungulate herbivores and disadvantaged by native herbivores in forested rangelands? Do the impacts of ungulates on exotic vs native plants depend on forest management activities such as prescribed fire and stand thinning?Location: Northeastern Oregon, USA....

  17. Changes in Property Rights and Management of High-Elevation Rangelands in Bhutan: Implications for Sustainable Development of Herder Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karma Tenzing

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Property rights and management regimes for high-elevation rangelands in Bhutan have evolved over centuries in response to environmental, cultural, and political imperatives. The 2007 Land Act of Bhutan aims to redress historical inequities in property rights by redistributing grazing leases to local livestock owners in a process known as rangeland nationalization. This study explored 3 related issues: property rights and management regimes in 3 distinct high-elevation rangeland systems, herders' and government officials' perceptions of the proposed rangeland nationalization process, and the implications of rangeland nationalization for herder livelihoods and sustainable development. Qualitative research methods were adopted to capture the lived experiences of 151 livestock farmers, seminomadic herders, and government officials, including 40 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions. The research revealed that herding in these high-elevation rangelands is governed by a complex combination of private, communal, and mixed property use rights regimes. Management regimes varied according to traditional rules, but development was limited because of lack of management rights. The rangeland nationalization process is expected to promote sustainable management of high-elevation rangelands by incentivizing provisioning and maintenance activities. However, the lack of clear implementation guidelines and a coherent replacement for traditional practices have created confusion and anxiety in herder communities. Providing tenure security and management rights in an equitable manner will be vital for fostering sustainable development for herder communities living in the high-elevation rangelands of Bhutan.

  18. Plant community dynamics in the shortgrass steppe 24 years after reversal of a grazing exclosure experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and Transition Models are important decision-support tools for rangeland managers that suggest directional effects of both long-term grazing imposition and relaxation on plant community composition. However, most studies of the effects of grazing on semiarid rangelands evaluate only one direct...

  19. Assessing the effects of woody plant traits on understory herbaceous cover in a semiarid rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belay, Tamrat A; Moe, Stein R

    2015-07-01

    The ecological impact of woody plant encroachment in rangeland ecosystems has traditionally been evaluated based on correlation studies between densities of dissimilar woody plants and various ecosystem properties. However, ecosystem properties respond differently to woody plant encroachment because of variations in adaptation of co-occurring woody plants. The objective of this study is to predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover based on analysis of key traits of woody plants. We conducted a vegetation survey in 4 savanna sites in southwestern Ethiopia and compared 9 different key traits of 19 co-occurring woody plants with understory herbaceous cover. Our results show that low understory herbaceous cover is associated with evergreen leaf phenology, shrubby growth form, smaller relative crown-base height and larger relative crown diameter. However, the N2-fixing ability and density of woody plants did not influence the understory herbaceous cover. This shows that traits of individual woody plants can predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover better than density does. The finding improves our ability to accurately predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on various ecosystem properties in highly diverse savanna systems. This plant trait-based approach could be also used as an important management exercise to assess and predict the impact of encroaching woody species in several rangeland ecosystems.

  20. Rangeland monitoring reveals long-term plant responses to precipitation and grazing at the landscape scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Duniway, Michael C.; Johanson, Jamin K.

    2015-01-01

    Managers of rangeland ecosystems require methods to track the condition of natural resources over large areas and long periods of time as they confront climate change and land use intensification. We demonstrate how rangeland monitoring results can be synthesized using ecological site concepts to understand how climate, site factors, and management actions affect long-term vegetation dynamics at the landscape-scale. Forty-six years of rangeland monitoring conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the Colorado Plateau reveals variable responses of plant species cover to cool-season precipitation, land type (ecological site groups), and grazing intensity. Dominant C3 perennial grasses (Achnatherum hymenoides, Hesperostipa comata), which are essential to support wildlife and livestock on the Colorado Plateau, had responses to cool-season precipitation that were at least twice as large as the dominant C4 perennial grass (Pleuraphis jamesii) and woody vegetation. However, these C3 perennial grass responses to precipitation were reduced by nearly one-third on grassland ecological sites with fine- rather than coarse-textured soils, and there were no detectable C3 perennial grass responses to precipitation on ecological sites dominated by a dense-growing shrub, Coleogyne ramosissima. Heavy grazing intensity further reduced the responses of C3 perennial grasses to cool-season precipitation on ecological sites with coarse-textured soils and surprisingly reduced the responses of shrubs as well. By using ecological site groups to assess rangeland condition, we were able to improve our understanding of the long-term relationships between vegetation change and climate, land use, and site characteristics, which has important implications for developing landscape-scale monitoring strategies.

  1. Application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model to Ecological Site Descriptions and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    The utility of Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) and State-and-Transition Models (STMs) concepts in guiding rangeland management hinges on their ability to accurately describe and predict community dynamics and the associated consequences. For many rangeland ecosystems, plant community dynamics ar...

  2. White-tailed deer distribution in response to patch burning on rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. G. Meek; S. M. Cooper; M. K. Owens; R. M. Cooper; A. L. Wappel

    2008-01-01

    Management of rangelands has changed substantially over the past few decades; today there is greater emphasis on wildlife management and increased interest in using natural disturbances such as fire to manage rangeland plant and animal communities. To determine the effect of prescribed fires on the distribution of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus...

  3. Rehabilitation of community-owned, mixed-use rangelands: Lessons from the Ewaso ecosystem in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globally, 10-20% of arid and semi-arid rangelands have been classified as severely degraded (UNCCD 1994; MEA 2005), and in sub-Saharan Africa specifically, 70% of rangelands are considered moderately to severely degraded (Dregne 1992; UNCCD 1994). Given that these drylands make up 43% of Africa’s la...

  4. The positive relationships between plant coverage, species richness, and aboveground biomass are ubiquitous across plant growth forms in semi-steppe rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaei, Anvar; Ali, Arshad; Chahouki, Mohammad Ali Zare

    2018-01-01

    The positive relationships between biodiversity and aboveground biomass are important for biodiversity conservation and greater ecosystem functioning and services that humans depend on. However, the interaction effects of plant coverage and biodiversity on aboveground biomass across plant growth forms (shrubs, forbs and grasses) in natural rangelands are poorly studied. Here, we hypothesized that, while accounting for environmental factors and disturbance intensities, the positive relationships between plant coverage, biodiversity, and aboveground biomass are ubiquitous across plant growth forms in natural rangelands. We applied structural equation models (SEMs) using data from 735 quadrats across 35 study sites in semi-steppe rangelands in Iran. The combination of plant coverage and species richness rather than Shannon's diversity or species diversity (a latent variable of species richness and evenness) substantially enhance aboveground biomass across plant growth forms. In all selected SEMs, plant coverage had a strong positive direct effect on aboveground biomass (β = 0.72 for shrubs, 0.84 for forbs and 0.80 for grasses), followed by a positive effect of species richness (β = 0.26 for shrubs, 0.05 for forbs and 0.09 for grasses), and topographic factors. Disturbance intensity had a negative effect on plant coverage, whereas it had a variable effect on species richness across plant growth forms. Plant coverage had a strong positive total effect on aboveground biomass (β = 0.84 for shrubs, 0.88 for forbs, and 0.85 for grasses), followed by a positive effect of species richness, and a negative effect of disturbance intensity across plant growth forms. Our results shed light on the management of rangelands that is high plant coverage can significantly improve species richness and aboveground biomass across plant growth forms. We also found that high disturbance intensity due to heavy grazing has a strong negative effect on plant coverage rather than species

  5. The Role of Rural Communities in Conservation of Rangelands in Mahneshan Township

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kobra Karimi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the action of rangeland-depended livestock holders regarding rangeland conservation, including protection and rehabilitation activities and to analyse relevant influencing factors, using a mixed method of survey and case study. The data were collected through analysing existing documents, focus groups, semi-structured and structured interviews using questionnaires submitted to 204 rural livestock holders in the Mahneshan Township. The quantitative data were analysed using SPSS and AMOS software. According to the results farmers’ knowledge regarding the role, importance and factors affecting rangeland degradation was relatively high, however they had a low level of knowledge and action about mechanical conservation techniques. The action of livestock holders in terms of biological conservation activities and grazing management showed a positive and signifincat corrletaion with variables such as implementing of rangeland projects, their interaction with external institutions, participating in extension training courses, education level and irrigated and rainfed agricultural land size. Moreover, based on a path analysis, 37% of the variance of the farmers’ actions regarding the rangeland conservation was explained by the variables such as rangeland rehabilitation actions, farmers’ conservation knowledge, farmers’ interaction with natural resources experts, beekeeping, and participating in extension training courses. Promotional and extension activities and farmers’ interaction with experts have a positive effect in enhancing farmers’ knowledge and actions for sustainable rangeland use and conservation.

  6. MBS Native Plant Communities

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data layer contains results of the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS). It includes polygons representing the highest quality native plant communities...

  7. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. IMPACT OF WOODY PLANTS SPECIES ON SOIL PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES ALONG GRAZING GRADIENTS IN RANGELANDS OF EASTERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the lowlands of arid and semiarid rangelands woody plants plays an important role in soil fertility maintenance, providing food, medicine, cosmetics, fodder, fuel wood and pesticides. A better understanding of the interaction of woody plants on their immediate environment is needed to guide optimum management of native vegetation in the production landscapes. However, the impact of woody plant species on soil properties remains poorly understood. This study evaluates the impact of two dominant woody plant species (A. senegal and B. aegyptica on soil physico-chemical properties along grazing gradients in rangelands of eastern Ethiopia. Six trees of each species were selected from light, moderate and heavy grazing sites.  Soil sample data at two depths (0-15 and 16-30 cm were collected from under and open areas of A. senegal and B. aegyptica from each grazing sites, and analysed for nutrient contents. The nutrient status of soil under both woody species was significantly higher especially with regard to soil organic matter (4.37%, total nitrogen (0.313%, and available phosphorus (11.62 than the open grassland with soil organic matter (3.82%, total nitrogen (0.246%, and available phosphorus (10.94 mg/Kg soil for A. Senegal. The soil organic matter (3.93%, total nitrogen (0.285%, available phosphorus (11.66 mg/Kg soil were significantly higher than open grassland with soil organic matter (3.52%, total nitrogen (0.218%, available phosphorus (10.73 mg/Kg soil for B. aegyptica. This was more pronounced in the top 15 cm of soil under A. senegal woody plant species and on the light and moderate grazing site. Therefore, this tree has a significant effect on soil fertility improvement in resource poor rangelands and as a result, it is important to retain scattered A. senegal and B. aegyptica plants in the lowlands of eastern Ethiopia.

  9. Relationship Between Forage Allowance and Grazing Efficiency in the Great Plains: Implications for Managing Rangelands for Both Livestock Production and Desired Ecosystem Goods and Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emergence of desired ecosystem goods and services from rangelands as a societal benefit and a potential income source for land managers has implications regarding the management of plant communities traditionally used primarily for livestock production. Contemporary decision-making on rangelands in ...

  10. Session A6 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Fragmentation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this symposium, we consider the effects of fragmentation of rangelands and ensuing loss of biological complexity for a variety of processes including behaviour and performance of large herbivores, responses of plant communities to herbivory, and functioning of human social and economic systems. We invite posters that ...

  11. Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for forage and rangeland production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Thomson, Allison M.; Morgan, Jack; Fay, Philip; Polley, Wayne; Hatfield, Jerry L.

    2011-04-19

    Projections of temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States during the next 50 years anticipate a 1.5 to 2°C warming and a slight increase in precipitation as a result of global climate change. There have been relatively few studies of climate change impacts on pasture and rangeland (grazingland) species compared to those on crop species, despite the economic and ecological importance of the former. Here we review the literature on pastureland and rangeland species to rising CO2 and climate change (temperature, and precipitation) and discuss plant and management factors likely to influence pastureland and rangeland responses to change (e.g., community composition, plant competition, perennial growth habit, seasonal productivity, and management methods). Overall, the response of pasture species to increased [CO2] is consistent with the general response of C3 and C4 type vegetation, although significant exceptions exist. Both pastureland and rangeland species should exhibit an acceleration of metabolism and development due to earlier onset of spring green-up and longer growing seasons. However, in the studies reviewed here, C3 pasture species increased their photosynthetic rates by up to 40% while C4 species exhibited no increase in photosynthesis. In general, it is expected that increases in [CO2] and precipitation would enhance rangeland net primary production (NPP) while increased air temperatures would either increase or decrease NPP. Much of this uncertainty in response is due to uncertain future projections of precipitation, both globally and regionally. For example, if annual precipitation changes little or declines, rangeland plant response to warming temperatures and rising [CO2] may be neutral or may decline due to increased water stress. This review reveals the need for comprehensive studies of climate change impacts on the pasture ecosystem including grazing regimes, mutualistic relationships (e.g., plant roots-nematodes; N

  12. Plant Communities of Rough Rock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Linda

    A unit of study on plants grown in the Navajo community of Rough Rock, Arizona, is presented in sketches providing the common Navajo name for the plant, a literal English translation, the English name of the plant, and the Latin name. A brief description of each plant includes where the plant grows, how the Navajos use the plant, and the color and…

  13. The usefullness of ERTS-1 and supporting aircraft data for monitoring plant development in rangeland environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneggie, D. M.; Degloria, S. D.

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Preliminary analysis of ERTS-1 MSS imagery of annual and perennial rangeland in California yields the following observations: (1) Sufficient geomorphological detail can be resolved to differentiate upland and bottomland range sites in the foothill range areas. (2) Dry and green meadowland can be differentiated on MSS band 5. (3) Color composites prepared by NASA-Goddard were useful for locating perennial rangeland with varying amounts of herbaceous ground cover. (4) The ERTS-1 images received and interpreted cover nearly 50% of the state of California and show nearly two-thirds of the annual grassland type. (5) Satellite imagery obtained during the late summer season should be optimum for differentiating grassland from brushland and forested land. (6) The ERTS-1 imagery clearly shows areas which at one time were part of the annual grassland but which are now used for dry land farming (cropping of cereal grains). Similarly, the imagery show areas which have been converted from brushland to grassland.

  14. RANGELAND DEGRADATION: EXTENT, IMPACTS, AND ALTERNATIVE RESTORATION TECHNIQUES IN THE RANGELANDS OF ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland degradation remains a serious impediment to improve pastoral livelihoods in the lowlands of Ethiopia. This review paper presents an overview of the extent of rangeland degradation, explores its drivers, discusses the potential impacts of rangeland degradation and also suggests alternative rangeland restoration techniques. It is intended to serve as an exploratory tool for ensuing more detailed quantitative analyses to support policy and investment programs to address rangeland degradation in Ethiopia. The extent of rangeland degradation increases with time, and the productivity of rangelands are losing if not given due attention. The major drivers leading to rangeland degradation includes climate change, overgrazing, bush encroachment, population pressure, drought, and government policy, encroachment of rain fed agriculture and decline of traditional resource management institution. Degradation of rangeland has resulted in substantial declines in rangeland condition, water potential, soil status, and animal performance, livestock holding at the household level and community become destitute. Another consequence of rangeland degradation is linked to food insecurity, poverty to the extent of food aid, expansion of aridity and the need for alternative livelihood and income diversification. Moreover, it has increasingly become a threat to the pastoral production systems, and has contributed towards increases in poverty and tribal conflicts over grazing land and water resources. In spite of these impacts, the adoption of alternative restoration techniques in the country is highly insufficient. To address rangeland degradation problems, there is a strong need to substantially increase the investments and strengthen the policy support for sustainable land management.

  15. Pastoralism versus Agriculturalism-How Do Altered Land-Use Forms Affect the Spread of Invasive Plants in the Degraded Mutara Rangelands of North-Eastern Rwanda?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronski, Torsten; Bariyanga, Jean Damascene; Sun, Ping; Plath, Martin; Apio, Ann

    2017-05-12

    Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) originates from tropical Central and South America and has become invasive in about 50 countries. It causes problems when invading rangelands due to its toxicity to livestock and its tendency to form dense, monotonous thickets. Its invasiveness can partly be explained by the high tannin content largely protecting the species from being browsed, its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, as well as its general preference for anthropogenically disturbed habitats. The dispersal of L. camara is facilitated by birds and other animals consuming its drupes (endozoochory), and so both wild and domestic ungulates could contribute to its spread. In our study, we investigated the distribution of L. camara in the Mutara rangelands of north-eastern Rwanda, an area that faced dramatic landscape changes in recent decades. We assessed 23 ecological factors and factors related to land-use and conservation-political history. Major effects on the local abundance of L. camara were found in that the relative canopy cover of L. camara was negatively correlated with the occurrence of other shrubs (suggesting competition for space and nutrients), while encounter rates of houses, 'living fences' (Euphorbia tirucalli L.) and cattle tracks were positively correlated with L. camara cover. Hence, the spread of non-native L. camara in the Mutara rangelands appears to be linked to landscape alterations arising from the transformation of rangelands supporting traditional pastoralist communities to other agricultural land-use forms.

  16. Pastoralism versus Agriculturalism—How Do Altered Land-Use Forms Affect the Spread of Invasive Plants in the Degraded Mutara Rangelands of North-Eastern Rwanda?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronski, Torsten; Bariyanga, Jean Damascene; Sun, Ping; Plath, Martin; Apio, Ann

    2017-01-01

    Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) originates from tropical Central and South America and has become invasive in about 50 countries. It causes problems when invading rangelands due to its toxicity to livestock and its tendency to form dense, monotonous thickets. Its invasiveness can partly be explained by the high tannin content largely protecting the species from being browsed, its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, as well as its general preference for anthropogenically disturbed habitats. The dispersal of L. camara is facilitated by birds and other animals consuming its drupes (endozoochory), and so both wild and domestic ungulates could contribute to its spread. In our study, we investigated the distribution of L. camara in the Mutara rangelands of north-eastern Rwanda, an area that faced dramatic landscape changes in recent decades. We assessed 23 ecological factors and factors related to land-use and conservation-political history. Major effects on the local abundance of L. camara were found in that the relative canopy cover of L. camara was negatively correlated with the occurrence of other shrubs (suggesting competition for space and nutrients), while encounter rates of houses, ‘living fences’ (Euphorbia tirucalli L.) and cattle tracks were positively correlated with L. camara cover. Hence, the spread of non-native L. camara in the Mutara rangelands appears to be linked to landscape alterations arising from the transformation of rangelands supporting traditional pastoralist communities to other agricultural land-use forms. PMID:28498334

  17. Applying animal behavior to arid rangeland mangement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livestock production is one of many demands placed on today’s arid rangelands. Therefore, understanding plant and animal biology and their effects on biotic and abiotic landscape components is fundamental if rangelands are to remain ecologically sustainable. One limiting factor to accomplishing posi...

  18. Criteria and indicators for sustainable rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell

    2010-01-01

    The concept of sustainable management encompasses ecological, economic, and social criteria and indicators (C&I) for monitoring and assessing the association between maintaining a healthy rangeland base and sustaining the well-being of communities and economies. During a series of meetings from 2001 to 2003, the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) developed...

  19. Water development strategy as a driving force for sustained rangeland management by local communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamo, Etienne Tedonkeng

    2004-12-01

    Water is the major food component for the maintenance of animals. Although Africa is endowed with diverse agricultural environments, the survival of animals in Sahelian and sub-Sahelian Africa is threatened by the lack of water. Animals need water as an essential nutrient, a component of the body, and for conductive or evaporative cooling. Water needs are met mainly through drinking free water and to a lesser extent by utilising water that forms part of the feed. However during the long dry season, surface water resources dwindle and the water content of available forage decreases, thereby increasing the animals' demand for water. Consequently animals have to walk for long distances to obtain adequate forage and water, which in turn raises the demand for these resources. Water can be used to direct and regulate rangeland management in this open access environment, to maintain range resources and to improve their quality. Water development, which takes into consideration usable forage, despite some intra- or inter-annual variability, plays an important role and its spatial distribution will affect the grazing intensity of forage resources. Sound water development and management strategies integrating local communities in the decision-making will set up a firm basis for sustained range management in the free and open access environment of sub-Saharan Africa where lack of financial input, social and cultural habits and above all the environmental condition do not permit large scale fencing as in other parts of the world.

  20. Rangeland exclosures of northeastern Oregon: stories they tell (1936–2004).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Grier Johnson

    2007-01-01

    Rangeland exclosures installed primarily in the 1960s, but with some from the 1940s, were resampled for changes in plant community structure and composition periodically from 1977 to 2004 on the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in northeastern Oregon. They allow one to compare vegetation with all-ungulate exclusion (known historically as game...

  1. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. The paper does not provide guidelines but rather...

  2. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: the relationship of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities and structural conditions (Part 2).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Maser; Jack Ward Thomas; Ralph G. Anderson

    1984-01-01

    The relationships of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities, structural conditions, and special habitats in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described in a series of appendices. The importance of habitat components to wildlife and the predictability of management activities on wildlife are examined in terms of managed rangelands. ...

  3. Secondary compounds in floral rewards of toxic rangeland plants: Impacts on pollinators

    Science.gov (United States)

    The study of plant secondary chemistry has been essential in understanding plant consumption by herbivores. There is growing evidence that secondary compounds also occur in floral rewards, including nectar and pollen. Many pollinators are generalist nectar and pollen foragers and thus are exposed to...

  4. Influence of livestock density on the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguita, Manuel; Pulido, Manuel; Schnabel, Susanne; Lavado-Contador, Francisco; Ortega, Raul; Soriano, Miguel; Miralles, Isabel

    2017-04-01

    Rangelands (namely dehesas and montados) occupy more than 90,000 km2 of land in SW Iberian Peninsula. Their natural pastures are permanently grazed by 13 millions of domestic animals. The persistence of soils of high quality is a key factor for keeping their environmental and economic sustainability. The role of soil microbial communities in the biodegradation processes of organic compounds is essential to ensure soil fertility in this kind of human-induced ecosystems. Nevertheless, there are few studies dealing the effects of livestock grazing on soil microbial communities. The main goal of this study is therefore to assess the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain by comparing different grazing intensities. The study was carried out in 4 fenced areas (sampling sites) belonging to privately-owned farms under different grazing intensities: low, moderate and high. One area excluded to grazing for more than 40 years (located in the Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura) was used as reference sampling site. A total number of 30 soil samples (6 each site) were collected in comparable areas with the same lithology and very similar topographical features. Commercial kit to extract DNA from these soil samples was used for metagenomic analysis. We conducted a sequencing of the amplicons V4-V5 of the 16S rRNA gene with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Illumina MiSeq platform and a relative quantity of bacteria and fungi were accomplished by quantitative qPCR of rRNA 16S and ITS1-5.8S, respectively. The results showed that soils with a high livestock density had the highest content of bacteria per gram of soil (4.77E+09), followed by soils with moderate (3.32E+09) and low livestock density (2.80E+09). The lowest content of microorganisms was found in soils excluded to grazing (2.38E+09). However, soils with moderate and low livestock density showed the greatest amount of fungi per gram of soil (2.31E+10 and 2.22E+10, respectively) and

  5. Rangeland - plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2}. Final report, October 1988--October 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-05-01

    Research is described on plant (tallgrass) response to elevated carbon dioxide. Variables addressed include biomass production, as well as water use efficiency, photosynthetic capacity, decomposition, nutrient cycling, and forage quality.

  6. Assessing the Success of Postfire Reseeding in Semiarid Rangelands Using Terra MODIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fang; Weber, Keith T.; Scbnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    Successful postfire reseeding efforts can aid rangeland ecosystem recovery by rapidly establishing a desired plant community and thereby reducing the likelihood of infestation by invasive plants. Although the success of postfire remediation is critical, few efforts have been made to leverage existing geospatial technologies to develop methodologies to assess reseeding success following a fire. In this study, Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data were used to improve the capacity to assess postfire reseeding rehabilitation efforts, with particular emphasis on the semiarid rangelands of Idaho. Analysis of MODIS data demonstrated a positive effect of reseeding on rangeland ecosystem recovery, as well as differences in vegetation between reseeded areas and burned areas where no reseeding had occurred (P,0.05). We conclude that MODIS provides useful data to assess the success of postfire reseeding.

  7. Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands: lessons learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has had astronomical effects to Great Basin rangelands. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent seed banks that take advantage of condi...

  8. Rangeland Ecology Monitoring Data : 1967-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset describes rangeland monitoring results from the Hanksville, UT (USA) area. Monitoring results consist of canopy cover of plant species and functional...

  9. Chemical composition and digestibility of some browse plant species collected from Algerian arid rangelands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boufennara, S.; Lopez, S.; Boussebouna, H.; Bodas, R.; Bouazza, L.

    2012-11-01

    Many wild browse and bush species are undervalued mainly because of insufficient knowledge about their potential feeding value. The objective was to evaluate some nutritional attributes of various Algerian browse and shub species (Atriplex halimus, Artemisia campestris, Artemisia herba-alba, Astragalus gombiformis, Calobota saharae, Retama raetam, Stipagrostis pungens, Lygeum spartum and Stipa tenacissima). Chemical composition, phenols and tannins concentration, in vitro digestibility, in vitro gas production kinetics and in vitro bio-assay for assessment of tannins using buffered rumen fluid, and in situ disappearence of the edible parts of the plants (leaves, thin twigs and flowers) were determined. In general, protein content in dicotyledon species was always greater than in monocotyledon grasses, these showing higher neutral and acid detergent fibre and lower lignin contents than dicots. The tannin concentrations varied considerably between species, but in general the plants investigated in this study had low tannin contents (except for Artemisia spp. and S. tenacissima). Monocots showed lower in vitro and in situ digestibilities, fermentation rate, cumulative gas production and extent of degradation than dicot species. The plants were clustered by principal components analysis in two groups: poor-quality grasses and the most digestible dicot species. Chemical composition (neutral detergent fibre and protein) and digestibility were the main influential variables determining the ranking. In conclusion, A. halimus, A. campestris, A. herba-alba and A. gombiformis can be considered of greater nutritional value than the highly fibrous and low digestible grasses (S. pungens, L. spartum and S. tenacissima) that should be considered emergency roughages. (Author) 46 refs.

  10. Rangeland plant response to elevated CO{sub 2}. Annual report, 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owensby, C.E.; Coyne, P.I.; Ham, J.M.; Parton, W.; Rice, C.; Auen, L.M.; Adam, N.

    1991-12-31

    Effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on a tallgrass ecosystem were monitored during the 1990 growing season. The chambers, CO{sub 2} delivery system, and data acquisition and control system were in place and operational by 4 April 1990. CO{sub 2} fumigation and data acquisition began on that date. Nitrogen fertilizer as ammonium nitrate was applied at a rate of 45 kg ha {sup -1} on 1 April to the N-fertilized plots. The chambers were 4.5 m in diameter and 4 m in height to allow for destructive sampling for biomass accumulation, leaf area determination, and for grazing esophageally-fistulated sheep. The experimental site was located in pristine Tallgrass Prairie north of/and adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. Vegetation on the site was a mixture of C3 and C4 species and was dominated by big bluestem (Andropogon geradii vitman) and indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash). Subdominants included Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.), and tall dropseed (Sporobolus asper var. asper (Michx.) Kunth). Members of the sedge family made up 5-10% of the composition. Principal forbs included western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya DC.), Louisiana sagewort (Artemesia ludoviciana Nutt.), and mayflower scurfpea (Psoralea tenuiflora var. floribunda (Nutt.) Rydb.). Average peak biomass occurs in early August at 425 g m{sup -2} of which 35 g m{sup -2} is from forbs. The area was ideal for meeting the experimental objectives, in that the mixture of C3 and C4 plants would allow for assessment of competitive relationships among numerous species of both carbon fixation pathways.

  11. Session A2 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Biodiversity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Management of rangelands for animal products can reduce, maintain or even increase biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity of plants and animals can lead to decreased productivity and income generation from rangelands or can exacerbate the effects of climatic variability and concomitant increased risks for subsistence and ...

  12. Structural and functional diversity in rangelands: integrating different ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many rangelands exist as dynamic systems where structural and functional diversity of the community is a function of several interacting factors. Understanding the effects of these factors in rangelands requires an understanding of component functioning at different scales. Integrating the range of levels from ecophysiology ...

  13. Rangeland drought: Effects, restoration, and adaptation [Chap. 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Matt C. Reeves; Jeffrey E. Ott; Francis F. Kilkenny; Jack L. Butler; Jacqueline P. Ott; Jeremy R. Pinto; Paulette L. Ford; Justin B. Runyon; Mark A. Rumble; Stanley G. Kitchen

    2016-01-01

    Drought can have severe impacts on rangeland ecosystems in North America. For the purposes of this chapter, rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundras, alpine communities, marshes, meadows, and woodlands. Drought impacts vary depending on the severity, frequency, duration, and aerial extent of the drought(s); how the land is...

  14. Ecology of plant volatiles: taking a plant community perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierik, Ronald; Ballaré, Carlos L; Dicke, Marcel

    2014-08-01

    Although plants are sessile organisms, they can modulate their phenotype so as to cope with environmental stresses such as herbivore attack and competition with neighbouring plants. Plant-produced volatile compounds mediate various aspects of plant defence. The emission of volatiles has costs and benefits. Research on the role of plant volatiles in defence has focused primarily on the responses of individual plants. However, in nature, plants rarely occur as isolated individuals but are members of plant communities where they compete for resources and exchange information with other plants. In this review, we address the effects of neighbouring plants on plant volatile-mediated defences. We will outline the various roles of volatile compounds in the interactions between plants and other organisms, address the mechanisms of plant neighbour perception in plant communities, and discuss how neighbour detection and volatile signalling are interconnected. Finally, we will outline the most urgent questions to be addressed in the future. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. RANGELAND SEQUESTRATION POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee Spangler; George F. Vance; Gerald E. Schuman; Justin D. Derner

    2012-03-31

    Rangelands occupy approximately half of the world's land area and store greater than 10% of the terrestrial biomass carbon and up to 30% of the global soil organic carbon. Although soil carbon sequestration rates are generally low on rangelands in comparison to croplands, increases in terrestrial carbon in rangelands resulting from management can account for significant carbon sequestration given the magnitude of this land resource. Despite the significance rangelands can play in carbon sequestration, our understanding remains limited. Researchers conducted a literature review to identify sustainably management practices that conserve existing rangeland carbon pools, as well as increase or restore carbon sequestration potentials for this type of ecosystem. The research team also reviewed the impact of grazing management on rangeland carbon dynamics, which are not well understood due to heterogeneity in grassland types. The literature review on the impact of grazing showed a wide variation of results, ranging from positive to negative to no response. On further review, the intensity of grazing appears to be a major factor in controlling rangeland soil organic carbon dynamics. In 2003, researchers conducted field sampling to assess the effect of several drought years during the period 1993-2002. Results suggested that drought can significantly impact rangeland soil organic carbon (SOC) levels, and therefore, carbon sequestration. Resampling was conducted in 2006; results again suggested that climatic conditions may have overridden management effects on SOC due to the ecological lag of the severe drought of 2002. Analysis of grazing practices during this research effort suggested that there are beneficial effects of light grazing compared to heavy grazing and non-grazing with respect to increased SOC and nitrogen contents. In general, carbon storage in rangelands also increases with increased precipitation, although researchers identified threshold levels of

  16. Effects of Management on Soil Carbon Pools in California Rangeland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, W. L.; Ryals, R.; Lewis, D. J.; Creque, J.; Wacker, M.; Larson, S.

    2008-12-01

    Rangeland ecosystems managed for livestock production represent the largest land-use footprint globally, covering more than one-quarter of the world's land surface (Asner et al. 2004). In California, rangelands cover an estimated 17 million hectares or approximately 40% of the land area (FRAP 2003). These ecosystems have considerable potential to sequester carbon (C) in soil and offset greenhouse gas emissions through changes in land management practices. Climate policies and C markets may provide incentives for rangeland managers to pursue strategies that optimize soil C storage, yet we lack a thorough understanding of the effects of management on soil C pools in rangelands over time and space. We sampled soil C pools on rangelands in a 260 km2 region of Marin and Sonoma counties to determine if patterns in soil C storage exist with management. Replicate soil samples were collected from 35 fields that spanned the dominant soil orders, plant communities, and management practices in the region while controlling for slope and bioclimatic zone (n = 1050). Management practices included organic amendments, intensive (dairy) and extensive (other) grazing practices, and subsoiling. Soil C pools ranged from approximately 50 to 140 Mg C ha-1 to 1 m depth, with a mean of 99 ± 22 (sd) Mg C ha-1. Differences among sites were due primarily to C concentrations, which exhibited a much larger coefficient of variation than bulk density at all depths. There were no statistically significant differences among the dominant soil orders. Subsoiling appeared to significantly increase soil C content in the top 50 cm, even though subsoiling had only occurred for the first time the previous Nov. Organic amendments also appeared to greatly increase soil C pools, and was the dominant factor that distinguished soil C pools in intensive and extensive land uses. Our results indicate that management has the potential to significantly increase soil C pools. Future research will determine the

  17. Opportunities and obstacles for rangeland conservation in San Diego County, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen A. Farley

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Working landscapes such as rangelands are increasingly recognized as having high conservation value, providing a variety of ecosystem services, including food, fiber, habitat, recreation, open space, carbon storage, and water, in addition to a broad range of social benefits. However, conversion of rangelands to other land uses has been prevalent throughout the western United States, leading to greater attention in the conservation community to the importance of collaborating with private landowners. The level of interest in collaborative conservation among private landowners and the types of conservation programs they choose to participate in depend on the social, economic, and environmental context. We used GIS analysis and interviews with ranchers to evaluate rangeland conversion and participation in conservation programs among ranchers in San Diego County, California, USA, which is part of a biodiversity hotspot with high plant species richness and a large number of endemic and rare species. We found that > 25% of rangelands were converted to other uses, primarily urbanization, over the past 25 years while the area of public rangeland increased by 9%. Interviews revealed that ranchers in San Diego County have had limited involvement with most conservation programs, and a critical factor for nonparticipation was providing programs access to private land, along with other issues related to trust and social values. Among ranchers who had participated in conservation programs, the payment level and the agency or organization administering the program were key factors. Our results provide insight into factors influencing whether and when ranchers are likely to participate in conservation initiatives and illustrate that private and public land conservation are strongly linked and would be more effective if the two strategies were better integrated.

  18. Modelling asymmetric growth in crowded plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2010-01-01

    A class of models that may be used to quantify the effect of size-asymmetric competition in crowded plant communities by estimating a community specific degree of size-asymmetric growth for each species in the community is suggested. The model consists of two parts: an individual size......-asymmetric growth part, where growth is assumed to be proportional to a power function of the size of the individual, and a term that reduces the relative growth rate as a decreasing function of the individual plant size and the competitive interactions from other plants in the neighbourhood....

  19. Managing the livestock– Wildlife interface on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Toit, Johan T.; Cross, Paul C.; Valeix, Marion

    2017-01-01

    On rangelands the livestock–wildlife interface is mostly characterized by management actions aimed at controlling problems associated with competition, disease, and depredation. Wildlife communities (especially the large vertebrate species) are typically incompatible with agricultural development because the opportunity costs of wildlife conservation are unaffordable except in arid and semi-arid regions. Ecological factors including the provision of supplementary food and water for livestock, together with the persecution of large predators, result in livestock replacing wildlife at biomass densities far exceeding those of indigenous ungulates. Diseases are difficult to eradicate from free-ranging wildlife populations and so veterinary controls usually focus on separating commercial livestock herds from wildlife. Persecution of large carnivores due to their depredation of livestock has caused the virtual eradication of apex predators from most rangelands. However, recent research points to a broad range of solutions to reduce conflict at the livestock–wildlife interface. Conserving wildlife bolsters the adaptive capacity of a rangeland by providing stakeholders with options for dealing with environmental change. This is contingent upon local communities being empowered to benefit directly from their wildlife resources within a management framework that integrates land-use sectors at the landscape scale. As rangelands undergo irreversible changes caused by species invasions and climate forcings, the future perspective favors a proactive shift in attitude towards the livestock–wildlife interface, from problem control to asset management.

  20. Valuation of rangeland ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, W.R.

    2011-01-01

    Economic valuation lends itself well to the anthropocentric orientation of ecosystem services. An economic perspective on ecosystems portrays them as natural assets providing a flow of goods and services valuable to individuals and society collectively. A few examples include the purification of drinking water, reduced risk from flooding and other extreme events, pollination of agricultural crops, climate regulation, and recreation opportunities from plant and animal habitat maintenance, among many others. Once these goods and services are identified and quantified, they can be monetized to complete the valuation process. The monetization of ecosystem goods and services (in the form of dollars) provides a common metric that allows for cross-comparison of attributes and evaluation of differing ecological scenarios. Complicating the monetization process is the fact that most of these goods and services are public and non-market in nature; meaning they are non-rival and non-exclusive and are typically not sold in a traditional market setting where monetary values are revealed. Instead, one must employ non-market valuation techniques, with primary valuation methods typically being very time and resource consuming, intimidating to non-economists, and often impractical. For these reasons, benefit transfer methods have gained popularity. This methodology harnesses the primary collection results of existing studies to make inferences about the economic values of non-market goods and services at an alternative policy site (in place and/or in time). For instance, if a primary valuation study on oak reestablishment on rangelands in southern California yielded a value of $30 per-acre associated with water regulation, this result can be transferred, with some adjustments, to say something about the value of an acre of oaks on rangelands in northern portions of the state. The economic valuation of rangeland ecosystem services has many roles. Economic values may be used as input

  1. THE EUROPEAN POSITION OF DUTCH PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A.M. JANSSEN

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper it is analyzed for which plant communities (alliances the Netherlands has an international responsibility. Data has been brought together on the range and distribution of alliances in Europe, the area of plant communities in the Netherlands and surrounding countries and the occurrence of endemic associations in the Netherlands. The analysis resulted in a list of 34 out of 93 alliances in the Netherlands which are important from an international point of view.

  2. Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 enhances plant community stability by suppressing dominant plant species in a mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Blumenthal, Dana M; Williams, David G; Souza, Lara; LeCain, Daniel R; Morgan, Jack; Pendall, Elise

    2014-10-28

    Climate controls vegetation distribution across the globe, and some vegetation types are more vulnerable to climate change, whereas others are more resistant. Because resistance and resilience can influence ecosystem stability and determine how communities and ecosystems respond to climate change, we need to evaluate the potential for resistance as we predict future ecosystem function. In a mixed-grass prairie in the northern Great Plains, we used a large field experiment to test the effects of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on plant community structure and productivity, linking changes in both to stability in plant community composition and biomass production. We show that the independent effects of CO2 and warming on community composition and productivity depend on interannual variation in precipitation and that the effects of elevated CO2 are not limited to water saving because they differ from those of irrigation. We also show that production in this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem is not only relatively resistant to interannual variation in precipitation, but also rendered more stable under elevated CO2 conditions. This increase in production stability is the result of altered community dominance patterns: Community evenness increases as dominant species decrease in biomass under elevated CO2. In many grasslands that serve as rangelands, the economic value of the ecosystem is largely dependent on plant community composition and the relative abundance of key forage species. Thus, our results have implications for how we manage native grasslands in the face of changing climate.

  3. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bekker, RM; Schaminee, JHJ; Bakker, JP; Thompson, K

    With the recent appearances of a new and well-documented classification of the Dutch plant communities (Schaminee et al 1995a,b; 1996) and a database on the seed longevity of plant species of North West Europe (Thompson ct al. 1997a) it was possible to investigate patterns of seed longevity in Dutch

  4. Weather-centric rangeland revegetation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardegree, Stuart P.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Brunson, Mark W.; Germino, Matthew; Hegewisch, Katherine C.; Moffet, Corey A.; Pilliod, David S.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Boehm, Alex R.; Meredith, Gwendwr R.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive annual weeds negatively impact ecosystem services and pose a major conservation threat on semiarid rangelands throughout the western United States. Rehabilitation of these rangelands is challenging due to interannual climate and subseasonal weather variability that impacts seed germination, seedling survival and establishment, annual weed dynamics, wildfire frequency, and soil stability. Rehabilitation and restoration outcomes could be improved by adopting a weather-centric approach that uses the full spectrum of available site-specific weather information from historical observations, seasonal climate forecasts, and climate-change projections. Climate data can be used retrospectively to interpret success or failure of past seedings by describing seasonal and longer-term patterns of environmental variability subsequent to planting. A more detailed evaluation of weather impacts on site conditions may yield more flexible adaptive-management strategies for rangeland restoration and rehabilitation, as well as provide estimates of transition probabilities between desirable and undesirable vegetation states. Skillful seasonal climate forecasts could greatly improve the cost efficiency of management treatments by limiting revegetation activities to time periods where forecasts suggest higher probabilities of successful seedling establishment. Climate-change projections are key to the application of current environmental models for development of mitigation and adaptation strategies and for management practices that require a multidecadal planning horizon. Adoption of new weather technology will require collaboration between land managers and revegetation specialists and modifications to the way we currently plan and conduct rangeland rehabilitation and restoration in the Intermountain West.

  5. Using long-term datasets to study exotic plant invasions on rangelands in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Morris; L. R. Morris; A. J. Leffler; C. D. Holifield Collins; A. D. Forman; M. A. Weltz; S. G. Kitchen

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by exotic species are generally described using a logistic growth curve divided into three phases: introduction, expansion and saturation. This model is constructed primarily from regional studies of plant invasions based on historical records and herbarium samples. The goal of this study is to compare invasion curves at the local scale to the logistic growth...

  6. Drought and rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droughts are common and occur regularly in Oklahoma. They’re the most costly natural hazard to the United States, and estimates show a $6-$8 billion annual loss to the nation’s farmers and rancher. With the current drought impacting Oklahoma, people managing rangelands are concerned with the short...

  7. Determination of Indicator Ecological Factors in the Habitats of Some Plant Species of Polour Mountainous Rangelands, Mazandaran Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SH. Shokrollahi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was investigating some ecological factors in the habitats of four species and determining the most significant variables affecting the presence and distribution of these species. Study area, which was about 4600 ha, was located at Polur, Mazandaran province. For this purpose, after primary survey and selection of main plant species, 3 transects 150 meter in length were laid down systematically and 10 random plots (1m×1m were established in each vegetation type. The investigated plant species included Festuca ovina, Astragalus gossypinus, Poa bulbosa and Dactylis glomerata.Then, 3 soil samplings were taken from 0-30 cm in starting, mean and ending points of each transect. Soil factors such as N, P, organic material, pH, EC and texture were determined. The software SHAZAM 10 package was used to find the logical relationship between plant species and environmental variables. The statistical pattern for this research was based on qualitative function. Therefore, logic function was evaluated. The results showed that soil acidity and nitrogen were the main limiting factors affecting the presence and absence probability of Festuca ovina and Poa bulbosa but, in the habitats of Astragalus depressus, organic matter and electrical conductivity were the most important variables affecting the presence and absence probability of this species. Elevation and nitrogen were the main limiting factors in the habitats of Dactylis glomerata.

  8. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J, RODWELL

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The phytosociological analysis of Albania was initiated by F. Markgraf in the 30ies, but still remains incomplete. This is a preliminary list of the plant communities resulting from the literature and from field research carried out during the last years and may represent a first contribution for further research. Many communities are described only by dominant species, other are quoted as nomina nuda. Some further syntaxa. probably present in the study area, are added.

  9. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. DRING

    2002-04-01

    Full Text Available The phytosociological analysis of Albania was initiated by F. Markgraf in the 30ies, but still remains incomplete. This is a preliminary list of the plant communities resulting from the literature and from field research carried out during the last years and may represent a first contribution for further research. Many communities are described only by dominant species, other are quoted as nomina nuda. Some further syntaxa. probably present in the study area, are added.

  10. Bush encroachment dynamics and rangeland management implications in the Horn of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands in the Horn of Africa have been undergoing a rapid shift from herbaceous to woody plant dominance in the past decades, threatening subsistence livestock herding and pastoral food security. Despite of significant rangeland management implications, quantification of the spatial extent of en...

  11. Species composition, Plant Community structure and Natural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Belete forest is one of the very few remnant moist evergreen montane forests in Ethiopia. The objective of this work was to study the vegetation structure, composition and Natural regeneration status of Belete moist evergreen montane forest. To investigate the plant community structure, composition and regeneration status ...

  12. Plant establishment and soil microenvironments in Utah juniper masticated woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kert R. Young

    2012-01-01

    Juniper (Juniperus spp.) encroachment into sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and bunchgrass communities has reduced understory plant cover and allowed juniper trees to dominate millions of hectares of semiarid rangelands. Trees are mechanically masticated or shredded to decrease wildfire potential and increase desirable understory plant cover. When trees are masticated after...

  13. Challenges of establishing big sgebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in rangeland restoration: effects of herbicide, mowing, whole-community seeding, and sagebrush seed sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brabec, Martha M.; Germino, Matthew J.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Pilliod, David S.; McIlroy, Susan K.; Arkle, Robert S.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) on sites disturbed by fire has motivated restoration seeding and planting efforts. However, the resulting sagebrush establishment is often lower than desired, especially in dry areas. Sagebrush establishment may be increased by addressing factors such as seed source and condition or management of the plant community. We assessed initial establishment of seeded sagebrush and four populations of small outplants (from different geographies, climates, and cytotypes) and small sagebrush outplants in an early seral community where mowing, herbicide, and seeding of other native plants had been experimentally applied. No emergence of seeded sagebrush was detected. Mowing the site before planting seedlings led to greater initial survival probabilities for sagebrush outplants, except where seeding also occurred, and these effects were related to corresponding changes in bare soil exposure. Initial survival probabilities were > 30% greater for the local population of big sagebrush relative to populations imported to the site from typical seed transfer distances of ~320–800 km. Overcoming the high first-year mortality of outplanted or seeded sagebrush is one of the most challenging aspects of postfire restoration and rehabilitation, and further evaluation of the impacts of herb treatments and sagebrush seed sources across different site types and years is needed.

  14. Plant interactions with multiple insect herbivores: from community to genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, J.M.; Kroes, A.; Li, Y.; Gols, R.; Loon, van J.J.A.; Poelman, E.H.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Every plant is a member of a complex insect community that consists of tens to hundreds of species that belong to different trophic levels. The dynamics of this community are critically influenced by the plant, which mediates interactions between community members that can occur on the plant

  15. Impact of Rangeland Degradation on Soil Physical, Chemical

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In terms of impacts from soil compaction, Abdel-Megid et al, (1987) reported reduced water infiltration and aeration, while Van der westhuizen et al., (1999) found poor plant respiration and soil seed germination unless the soil crust is broken. Soil compaction also enhanced encroachment in eastern rangelands of Ethiopia ...

  16. Scale, heterogeneity and secondary production in tropical rangelands

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper will review our current understanding of scale-related effects on livestock production in tropical rangelands and herbivore-plant interactions at patch to landscape scales. We use published information and results from recent empirical studies in northern Australia and elsewhere to elucidate scale-related effects ...

  17. Botanical Criteria of Baharkish Rangeland in Quchan, Khorasan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    resolution of ecological problems such as biological conservation and natural ... agriculture, biology and pharmacy, this study set out to evaluate ..... Ghahreman, A (1979-1992).Colorful flora of Iran. Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands,. Tehran (In Persian). Ghahreman, A (1994). Plant systematics: cormophytes of ...

  18. Lessons from historical rangeland revegetation for today's restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    1999-01-01

    Rangeland revegetation in the Western United States historically was applied at a large scale for soil conservation and forage production purposes. Principles of revegetation that have developed over years of research include matching site potential and plant materials adaption, use of appropriate seedbed preparation and sowing techniques, and development of large...

  19. Reshaping women's land rights on communal rangeland | Kleinbooi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper aims to contribute to the debates on communal rangelands and analyses the gendered dimension of land rights and land access in the rural areas of Namaqualand. The actual gender relations within rural communities and the emergence of strategies that are being pursued in communal land processes are ...

  20. Rangeland dynamics in South Omo Zone of Southern Ethiopia: Assessment of rangeland condition in relation to altitude and Grazing types

    OpenAIRE

    Terefe, A.; Ebro, A.; Tessema, Z.K.

    2010-01-01

    A study was undertaken in Hamer and Benna-Tsemay districts of the Southern Ethiopia with the objective to determine the condition of the rangelands for grazing animals as influenced by altitude and grazing types. The rangelands in each of the study districts were stratified based on altitude and grazing types. In the study districts, a total of 32, 3, 2, 7 and 29 species of grasses, legumes, sedges, other herbaceous plants and woody species were identified, respectively. The common and/or dom...

  1. EVALUATION AND MAPPING OF RANGELANDS DEGRADATION USING REMOTELY SENSED DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Ajorlo

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The empirical and scientifically documents prove that misuse of natural resource causes degradation in it. So natural resources conservation is important in approaching sustainable development aims. In current study, Landsat Thematic Mapper images and grazing gradient method have been used to map the extent and degree of rangeland degradation. In during ground-based data measuring, factors such as vegetation cover, litter, plant diversity, bare soil, and stone & gravels were estimated as biophysical indicators of degradation. The next stage, after geometric correction and doing some necessary pre-processing practices on the study area’s images; the best and suitable vegetation index has been selected to map rangeland degradation among the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI, and Perpendicular Vegetation Index (PVI. Then using suitable vegetation index and distance parameter was produced the rangelands degradation map. The results of ground-based data analysis reveal that there is a significant relation between increasing distance from critical points and plant diversity and also percentage of litter. Also there is significant relation between vegetation cover percent and distance from village, i.e. the vegetation cover percent increases by increasing distance from villages, while it wasn’t the same around the stock watering points. The result of analysis about bare soil and distance from critical point was the same to vegetation cover changes manner. Also there wasn’t significant relation between stones & gravels index and distance from critical points. The results of image processing show that, NDVI appears to be sensitive to vegetation changes along the grazing gradient and it can be suitable vegetation index to map rangeland degradation. The degradation map shows that there is high degradation around the critical points. These areas need urgent attention for soil conservation. Generally, it

  2. Effects of Agaricus lilaceps fairy rings on soil aggregation and microbial community structure in relation to growth stimulation of western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) in Eastern Montana rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caesar-Tonthat, The Can; Espeland, Erin; Caesar, Anthony J; Sainju, Upendra M; Lartey, Robert T; Gaskin, John F

    2013-07-01

    Stimulation of plant productivity caused by Agaricus fairy rings has been reported, but little is known about the effects of these fungi on soil aggregation and the microbial community structure, particularly the communities that can bind soil particles. We studied three concentric zones of Agaricus lilaceps fairy rings in Eastern Montana that stimulate western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii): outside the ring (OUT), inside the ring (IN), and stimulated zone adjacent to the fungal fruiting bodies (SZ) to determine (1) soil aggregate proportion and stability, (2) the microbial community composition and the N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activity associated with bulk soil at 0-15 cm depth, (3) the predominant culturable bacterial communities that can bind to soil adhering to wheatgrass roots, and (4) the stimulation of wheatgrass production. In bulk soil, macroaggregates (4.75-2.00 and 2.00-0.25 mm) and aggregate stability increased in SZ compared to IN and OUT. The high ratio of fungal to bacteria (fatty acid methyl ester) and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activity in SZ compared to IN and OUT suggest high fungal biomass. A soil sedimentation assay performed on the predominant isolates from root-adhering soil indicated more soil-binding bacteria in SZ than IN and OUT; Pseudomonas fluorescens and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia isolates predominated in SZ, whereas Bacillus spp. isolates predominated in IN and OUT. This study suggests that growth stimulation of wheatgrass in A. lilaceps fairy rings may be attributed to the activity of the fungus by enhancing soil aggregation of bulk soil at 0-15 cm depth and influencing the amount and functionality of specific predominant microbial communities in the wheatgrass root-adhering soil.

  3. Whither the Rangeland?: Protection and conversion in California's Rangeland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D Richard Cameron

    Full Text Available Land use change in rangeland ecosystems is pervasive throughout the western United States with widespread ecological, social and economic implications. In California, rangeland habitats have high biodiversity value, provide significant habitat connectivity and form the foundation for a number of ecosystem services. To comprehensively assess the conservation status of these habitats, we analyzed the extent and drivers of habitat loss and the degree of protection against future loss across a 13.5 M ha study area in California. We analyzed rangeland conversion between 1984 and 2008 using time series GIS data and classified resulting land uses with aerial imagery. In total, over 195,000 hectares of rangeland habitats were converted during this period. The majority of conversions were to residential and associated commercial development (49% of the area converted, but agricultural intensification was surprisingly extensive and diverse (40% across six categories. Voluntary enrollment in an agricultural tax incentive program provided widespread protection from residential and commercial conversions across 37% of the remaining rangeland habitat extent (7.5 M ha, though this program did not protect rangeland from conversion to more intensive agricultural uses. Additionally, 24% of the remaining rangeland was protected by private conservation organizations or public agencies through land or easement ownership while 38% had no protection status at all. By developing a spatial method to analyze the drivers of loss and patterns of protection, this study demonstrates a novel approach to prioritize conservation strategies and implementation locations to avert habitat conversion. We propose that this approach can be used in other ecosystem types, and can serve as a regional conservation baseline assessment to focus strategies to effect widespread, cost-effective conservation solutions.

  4. Management of plant communities on set-aside land and its effects on earthworm communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gormsen, D.; Hedlund, K.; Korthals, G.W.; Mortimer, S.R.; Pizl, V.; Smilauerova, M.; Sugg, E.

    2004-01-01

    Plant communities of set-aside agricultural land in a European project were managed in order to enhance plant succession towards weed-resistant, mid-successional grassland. Here, we ask if the management of a plant community affects the earthworm community. Field experiments were established in four

  5. Community Support of Ethanol Plants: Does Local Ownership Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bain, Carmen; Prokos, Anastasia; Liu, Hexuan

    2012-01-01

    Drawing on data from six communities in Kansas and Iowa, we explore the factors that are related to community members' current levels of overall support for local ethanol plants. What are residents' opinions about the benefits and drawbacks of local ownership of ethanol plants? How does that awareness lead to overall support of plants? Our…

  6. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  7. Plant community analysis and ecology of afromontane and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant community-environment relationship was assessed based on topog raphic and some soil physical and chemical characteristics. A total of 101 relevés were analysed at altitudes between 1050 and 2550 m a.s.l. (metres above sea level), and a total of 139 species of vascular plants were identified. Nine plant community ...

  8. The GEOGLAM Rangelands and Pasture Productivity Activity: Recent Progress and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerschman, J. P.; Held, A. A.; Donohue, R. J.; Renzullo, L. J.; Sims, N.; Kerblat, F.; Grundy, M.

    2015-12-01

    Rangelands and pastures cover about a third of the world's land area and support livestock production which represents ~40% of global agricultural gross domestic product. The global consumption of animal protein shows a clear increasing trend, driven by both total population and per capita income increases, putting a growing pressure on the sustainability of grazing lands worldwide. Despite their relevance, rangelands have received less attention than croplands regarding global monitoring of the resource productivity and condition. The Rangelands and Pasture Productivity (RaPP) activity is a component within the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative established under the Group on Earth Observations (GEOGLAM) in 2013. GEOGLAM RaPP is aimed at providing the global community with the means to monitor the world's rangelands and pastures on a routine basis, and the capacity to produce animal protein in real-time, at global, regional and national levels. Since its launch two years ago GEOGLAM RAPP has made progress in the four implementation elements. These include: 1- the establishment of community of practice; 2- the development of a global monitoring system for rangeland condition; 3- the establishment of pilot sites in main rangeland systems for satellite data products validation and model testing; and 4- integration with livestock production models. Three international workshops have been held building the community of practice. A prototype monitoring system that provides global visualisations and querying capability of vegetation cover data and anomalies has been established. Pilot sites, mostly in areas with long records of field measurements of rangeland condition and productivity have been proposed for nine countries. The link to global livestock models, including physical and economic components, have been established. Future challenges for GEOGLAM RaPP have also been identified and include: better representation of the areas occupied by rangelands

  9. Rangelands: Where anthromes meet their limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defining rangelands as anthromes enabled Ellis and Ramankutty (2008) to conclude that more than three-quarters of Earth’s land is anthropogenic; without rangelands, this figure would have been less than half. They classified all lands grazed by domestic livestock as rangelands, provided that human p...

  10. A systematic review of US rangeland science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland science aims to create knowledge to sustain rangeland social-ecological systems over the long term. Range science has made substantial progress on understanding ecological dynamics of rangeland systems and the management practices that sustain them, and these findings have been systematica...

  11. Sustainable rangelands ecosystem goods and services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie Maczko; Lorie Hidinger

    2008-01-01

    The Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) recognizes the unique contributions rangeland resources make to the nation's wellbeing. To communicate the importance of these commodity and amenity values, SRR participants developed this primer on rangeland ecosystem goods and services. It summarizes the history of the nation's relationship with and reliance upon...

  12. Microbe-mediated plant-soil feedback causes historical contingency effects in plant community assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Cornips, N.J.; Kempen, van M.M.L.; Bakx-Schotman, J.M.T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Plant¿soil feedback affects performance and competitive ability of individual plants. However, the importance of plant¿soil feedback in historical contingency processes and plant community dynamics is largely unknown. In microcosms, we tested how six early-successional plant species of secondary

  13. Opportunities for Integrated Ecological Analysis across Inland Australia with Standardised Data from Ausplots Rangelands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg R Guerin

    Full Text Available Australian rangelands ecosystems cover 81% of the continent but are understudied and continental-scale research has been limited in part by a lack of precise data that are standardised between jurisdictions. We present a new dataset from AusPlots Rangelands that enables integrative rangelands analysis due to its geographic scope and standardised methodology. The method provides data on vegetation and soils, enabling comparison of a suite of metrics including fractional vegetation cover, basal area, and species richness, diversity, and composition. Cover estimates are robust and repeatable, allowing comparisons among environments and detection of modest change. The 442 field plots presented here span a rainfall gradient of 129-1437 mm Mean annual precipitation with varying seasonality. Vegetation measurements include vouchered vascular plant species, growth form, basal area, height, cover and substrate type from 1010 point intercepts as well as systematically recorded absences, which are useful for predictive modelling and validation of remote sensing applications. Leaf and soil samples are sampled for downstream chemical and genomic analysis. We overview the sampling of vegetation parameters and environments, applying the data to the question of how species abundance distributions (SADs vary over climatic gradients, a key question for the influence of environmental change on ecosystem processes. We found linear relationships between SAD shape and rainfall within grassland and shrubland communities, indicating more uneven abundance in deserts and suggesting relative abundance may shift as a consequence of climate change, resulting in altered diversity and ecosystem function. The standardised data of AusPlots enables such analyses at large spatial scales, and the testing of predictions through time with longitudinal sampling. In future, the AusPlots field program will be directed towards improving coverage of space, under-represented environments

  14. Opportunities for Integrated Ecological Analysis across Inland Australia with Standardised Data from Ausplots Rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerin, Greg R; Sparrow, Ben; Tokmakoff, Andrew; Smyth, Anita; Leitch, Emrys; Baruch, Zdravko; Lowe, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Australian rangelands ecosystems cover 81% of the continent but are understudied and continental-scale research has been limited in part by a lack of precise data that are standardised between jurisdictions. We present a new dataset from AusPlots Rangelands that enables integrative rangelands analysis due to its geographic scope and standardised methodology. The method provides data on vegetation and soils, enabling comparison of a suite of metrics including fractional vegetation cover, basal area, and species richness, diversity, and composition. Cover estimates are robust and repeatable, allowing comparisons among environments and detection of modest change. The 442 field plots presented here span a rainfall gradient of 129-1437 mm Mean annual precipitation with varying seasonality. Vegetation measurements include vouchered vascular plant species, growth form, basal area, height, cover and substrate type from 1010 point intercepts as well as systematically recorded absences, which are useful for predictive modelling and validation of remote sensing applications. Leaf and soil samples are sampled for downstream chemical and genomic analysis. We overview the sampling of vegetation parameters and environments, applying the data to the question of how species abundance distributions (SADs) vary over climatic gradients, a key question for the influence of environmental change on ecosystem processes. We found linear relationships between SAD shape and rainfall within grassland and shrubland communities, indicating more uneven abundance in deserts and suggesting relative abundance may shift as a consequence of climate change, resulting in altered diversity and ecosystem function. The standardised data of AusPlots enables such analyses at large spatial scales, and the testing of predictions through time with longitudinal sampling. In future, the AusPlots field program will be directed towards improving coverage of space, under-represented environments, vegetation types

  15. Plant toxicity, adaptive herbivory, and plant community dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhilan Feng; Rongsong Liu; Donald L. DeAngelis; John P. Bryant; Knut Kielland; F. Stuart Chapin; Robert K. Swihart

    2009-01-01

    We model effects of interspecific plant competition, herbivory, and a plant's toxic defenses against herbivores on vegetation dynamics. The model predicts that, when a generalist herbivore feeds in the absence of plant toxins, adaptive foraging generally increases the probability of coexistence of plant species populations, because the herbivore switches more of...

  16. Ecology of plant volatiles: taking a plant community perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, Ronald; Ballaré, C.L.; Dicke, M.

    Although plants are sessile organisms, they can modulate their phenotype so as to cope with environmental stresses such as herbivore attack and competition with neighbouring plants. Plant-produced volatile compounds mediate various aspects of plant defence. The emission of volatiles has costs and

  17. Ecology of plant volatiles: taking a plant community perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, R.; Ballaré, C.L.; Dicke, M.

    2014-01-01

    Although plants are sessile organisms, they can modulate their phenotype so as to cope with environmental stresses such as herbivore attack and competition with neighbouring plants. Plant-produced volatile compounds mediate various aspects of plant defence. The emission of volatiles has costs and

  18. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Mediation of Plant-Plant Interactions in a Marshland Plant Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Obligate aerobic AMF taxa have high species richness under waterlogged conditions, but their ecological role remains unclear. Here we focused on AM fungal mediation of plant interactions in a marshland plant community. Five cooccurring plant species were chosen for a neighbor removal experiment in which benomyl was used to suppress AMF colonization. A Phragmites australis removal experiment was also performed to study its role in promoting AMF colonization by increasing rhizosphere oxygen concentration. Mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant interactions were different for dominant and subdominant plant species. AMF colonization has driven positive neighbor effects for three subdominant plant species including Kummerowia striata, Leonurus artemisia, and Ixeris polycephala. In contrast, AMF colonization enhanced the negative effects of neighbors on the dominant Conyza canadensis and had no significant impact on the neighbor interaction to the dominant Polygonum pubescens. AM colonization was positively related to oxygen concentration. P. australis increased oxygen concentration, enhanced AMF colonization, and was thus indirectly capable of influencing plant interactions. Aerobic AM fungi appear to be ecologically relevant in this wetland ecosystem. They drive positive neighbor interactions for subdominant plant species, effectively increasing plant diversity. We suggest, therefore, that AM fungi may be ecologically important even under waterlogged conditions.

  19. Functional diversity of plant-pollinator interaction webs enhances the persistence of plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Fontaine

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

  20. Functional Diversity of Plant-Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant-pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Obratov-Petković Dragica; Popović Ivana; Belanović Snežana; Perović Marko; Košanin Olivera

    2006-01-01

    The high floristic diversity of Stara Planina was the starting base for the research of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) in individual forest and meadow communities. The sites Javor and Prelesje, forest community Fagetum moesiacae montanum B. Jov. 1953, pioneer community of birch Betuletum verrucosae s.l. and meadow community Agrostietum vulgaris (capillaris) Pavlović, Z. 1955, were researched as follows: soil types, floristic composition and structure of the community, percentage of MAPs...

  2. Institutional development for sustainable rangeland resource and ecosystem management in mountainous areas of northern Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shikui; Lassoie, James; Shrestha, K K; Yan, Zhaoli; Sharma, Ekalabya; Pariya, D

    2009-02-01

    Rangelands represent one of the most important natural resources in mountainous regions of northern Nepal. However, a poor understanding of the social dimensions of rangeland use has limited their proper management and sustainable development, which represent major challenges for Nepal's resource managers. Institutional development is thought to be a viable solution to this problem and may ultimately lead to improved rangeland management in Nepal. Based on this hypothesis, a study was conduced in the Rasuwa district of northern Nepal to examine the effectiveness of institutional development at the local and national levels in mitigating the problems facing sustainable rangeland management by using an institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. The information and data were mainly collected from different stakeholders, farmers, professionals and practitioners using a toolkit of participatory rural appraisal (PRA), workshops and literature review. It can be concluded from this case study that a number of institutional development efforts are needed to promote sustainable rangeland management in this region. First, local herders represent a repository of rich indigenous knowledge essential to sustaining sound rangeland management practices; hence, indigenous practices need to be integrated into modern technologies. Second, public services and technical support are currently unavailable or inaccessible to local herders; hence, research, development and extension interventions need to be initiated for marginalized pastoral communities. Third, rangeland institutions are incomplete and ill-organized, so institutional development of various organizations is necessary for promoting sustainable rangeland management. Fourth, the policies and governance necessary for promoting rangeland management are not well-designed; hence, governance reform and policy development need to be formulated through internal and external agencies and organizations.

  3. Site and plant species are important determinants of the Methylobacterium community composition in the plant phyllosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Claudia; Ramette, Alban; Frances, Lisa; Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Vorholt, Julia A

    2010-06-01

    The plant phyllosphere constitutes a habitat for numerous microorganisms; among them are members of the genus Methylobacterium. Owing to the ubiquitous occurrence of methylobacteria on plant leaves, they represent a suitable target for studying plant colonization patterns. The influence of the factor site, host plant species, time and the presence of other phyllosphere bacteria on Methylobacterium community composition and population size were evaluated in this study. Leaf samples were collected from Arabidopsis thaliana or Medicago truncatula plants and from the surrounding plant species at several sites. The abundance of cultivable Methylobacterium clearly correlated with the abundance of other phyllosphere bacteria, suggesting that methylobacteria constitute a considerable and rather stable fraction of the phyllosphere microbiota under varying environmental conditions. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) was applied to characterize the Methylobacterium community composition and showed the presence of similar communities on A. thaliana plants at most sites in 2 consecutive years of sampling. A substantial part of the observed variation in the community composition was explained by site and plant species, especially in the case of the plants collected at the Arabidopsis sites (50%). The dominating ARISA peaks that were detected on A. thaliana plants were found on other plant species grown at the same site, whereas some different peaks were detected on A. thaliana plants from other sites. This indicates that site-specific factors had a stronger impact on the Methylobacterium community composition than did plant-specific factors and that the Methylobacterium-plant association is not highly host plant species specific.

  4. The importance of priority effects for riparian plant community dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sarneel, Judith M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304836923; Kardol, Paul; Nilsson, Christer

    Questions The order of plant species arrival can affect recruitment and subsequent plant community development via priority effects, but is often overlooked. Priority effects occur when early-colonizing plant species affect the establishment of later-arriving species, and are hypothesized to depend

  5. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has altered native plant communities and the wildlife species that depend on these communities. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent...

  6. Endemic shrubs in temperate arid and semiarid regions of northern China and their potentials for rangeland restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jianmin; Yang, Hongxiao; Lu, Qi; Zhang, Xiaoyan

    2015-06-03

    Some endemic shrubs in arid and semiarid ecosystems are in danger of extinction, and yet they can play useful roles in maintaining or restoring these ecosystems, thus practical efforts are needed to conserve them. The shrubs Amygdalus pedunculata Pall., Amygdalus mongolica (Maxim.) Ricker and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim. ex Kom.) Cheng f. are endemic species in arid and semiarid regions of northern China, where rangeland desertification is pronounced due to chronic overgrazing. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that these endemic shrubs have developed adaptations to arid and semiarid environments and could play critical roles as nurse species to initiate the process of rangeland recovery. Based on careful vegetation surveys, we analysed the niches of these species in relation to precipitation, temperature and habitats. All sampling plots were categorized by these endemics and sorted by the non-metric multidimensional scaling method. Species ratios of each life form and species co-occurrence rates with the endemics were also evaluated. Annual average temperature and annual precipitation were found to be the key factors determining vegetation diversity and distributions. Amygdalus pedunculata prefers low hills and sandy land in temperate semiarid regions. Amygdalus mongolica prefers gravel deserts of temperate semiarid regions. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus prefers sandy land of temperate arid regions. Communities of A. pedunculata have the highest diversity and the largest ratios of long-lived grass species, whereas those of A. mongolicus have the lowest diversity but the largest ratios of shrub species. Communities of A. mongolica are a transition between the first two community types. These findings demonstrate that our focal endemic shrubs have evolved adaptations to arid and semiarid conditions, thus they can be nurse plants to stabilize sand ground for vegetation restoration. We suggest that land managers begin using these shrub species to restore

  7. Estimates of Global Rangeland Net Primary Productivity and its Consumption Based on Climate and Livestock Distribution Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asrar, G.; Wolf, J.; Rafique, R.; West, T. O.; Ogle, S. M.

    2016-12-01

    Rangelands play an important role in providing ecosystem services such as food, forage, and fuels in many parts of the world. The net primary productivity (NPP), a difference between CO2 fixed by plants and CO2 lost to autotrophic respiration, is a good indicator of the productivity of rangeland ecosystems, and their contribution to the cycling of carbon in the Earth system. In this study, we estimated the NPP of global rangelands, the consumption thereof by grazing livestock, and associated uncertainties, to better understand and quantify the contribution of rangelands to land-based carbon storage. We estimated rangeland NPP using mean annual precipitation data from Climate Research Unit (CRU), and a regression model based on global observations (Del Grosso et al., 2008). Spatial distributions of annual livestock consumption of rangeland NPP (Wolf et al., 2015) were combined with gridded annual rangeland NPP for the years 2000 - 2011. The uncertainty analysis of these estimates was conducted using a Monte Carlo approach. The rangeland NPP estimates with associated uncertainties were also compared with the total modeled GPP estimates obtained from vegetation dynamic model simulations. Our results showed that mean above-ground NPP of rangelands is 1017.5 MgC/km2, while mean below-ground NPP is 847.6 MgC/km2. The total rangeland NPP represents a significant portion of the total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystem. The livestock area requirements used to geographically distribute livestock spatially are based on optimal pasturage and are low relative to area requirements on less productive land. Even so, ca. 90% of annual livestock consumption of rangeland NPP were met with no adjustment of livestock distributions. Moreover, the results of this study allowed us to explicitly quantify the temporal and spatial variations of rangeland NPP under different climatic conditions. Uncertainty analysis was helpful in identifying the strength and weakness of the methods used to

  8. Above- and belowground insect herbivores differentially affect soil nematode communities in species-rich plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deyn, de G.B.; Ruijven, van J.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2007-01-01

    Interactions between above- and belowground invertebrate herbivores alter plant diversity, however, little is known on how these effects may influence higher trophic level organisms belowground. Here we explore whether above- and belowground invertebrate herbivores which alter plant community

  9. The Role of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge in Managing Rangelands Sustainably in Northern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Pastoralists' knowledge of adaptive rangeland management in Iran has long been only selectively analyzed and documented. This study attempts to rectify that by outlining the indigenous ecological knowledge of the pastoralists of Nariyan village in the Taleghan region of northern Iran, and by evaluating the influence of such knowledge on rangeland management. Local herd owners operate according to traditional herding practices; their knowledge of rangeland plants and principles of sustainable rangeland management is indigenous and is based on centuries of experience and observation. Their in-depth knowledge covers the medicinal properties of various local plant species and the palatability of the most salient forage species in terms of sustaining the sheep and goats that are their livelihood. This study investigates some of the traditional strategies of rangeland management used in the Taleghan region, the rationale and timing of livestock rotation in the rangelands, local landscape classification, and local know-how in animal husbandry, all of which are indispensable in contributing to the pastoralists' survival and maintenance of the local environment.

  10. Plant communities of stubble-fields in the Lublin Region, P. I. Plant communities of poor sites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jędruszczak

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Floristic diversity is a specific characteristic of stubble-fields plant communities. They contain both the species which remained after harvesting cereal communities and the species developing root-plant communities. This diversity is favoured by the ecological conditions of stubble-fields (warmth, light, frequent rainfall but first of all lack of competition on the part of cultivated plants. The first part of the paper describes the plant communities of poor sites in the investigated region. It is based on 133 phytosociological records taken in August and September in 1975-1980 and on soil investigations. Three types of communities have been distingushed belonging to the Panico-Setarion association. They are: (1 Digitarietum ischaemi association, (2 Setaria glauca-Scleranthus annuus community and (3 Echinochloo-setarietum association. They all can be divided into smaller phytosociological units.

  11. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits [Chapter 10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Matthew J. Germino; Jayne Belnap; Cynthia S. Brown; Eugene W. Schupp; Samuel B. St. Clair

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in...

  12. Adaptive management of rangeland systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.; Fontaine, Joseph J.; Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Hart, Noelle M.; Pope, Kevin L.; Twidwell, Dirac

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive management is an approach to natural resource management that uses structured learning to reduce uncertainties for the improvement of management over time. The origins of adaptive management are linked to ideas of resilience theory and complex systems. Rangeland management is particularly well suited for the application of adaptive management, having sufficient controllability and reducible uncertainties. Adaptive management applies the tools of structured decision making and requires monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment of management. Adaptive governance, involving sharing of power and knowledge among relevant stakeholders, is often required to address conflict situations. Natural resource laws and regulations can present a barrier to adaptive management when requirements for legal certainty are met with environmental uncertainty. However, adaptive management is possible, as illustrated by two cases presented in this chapter. Despite challenges and limitations, when applied appropriately adaptive management leads to improved management through structured learning, and rangeland management is an area in which adaptive management shows promise and should be further explored.

  13. The plant communities of the Andover Game Reserve, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heath P. Cronje

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Floristic characteristics of the Andover Game Reserve (AGR were surveyed using an area-based survey technique and classified according to the data recorded from 88 relevés, using the PHYTOTAB-PC software package. Three plant communities, of which two each contain two variants, were described and mapped. The plant communities and their causative environmental factors were validated through detrended- and canonical correspondence multivariate analyses. The plant communities of the AGR were found to typify the floristics associated with the catenal sequences located in undulating areas on granite. Broad-leaved savanna is located at the crest and upper mid-slopes while fine-leaved savanna occurs along the footslopes of the AGR. Seeplines, a characteristic occurrence along catenas, are found at the transitional zone between the upper broad- and lower fine-leaved savanna plant communities. This study forms the basis for the compilation of a revised ecological management plan for the Andover Game Reserve.

  14. Local factors determine plant community structure on closely neighbored islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianbo Lu

    Full Text Available Despite the recent popularity of the metacommunity concept, ecologists have not evaluated the applicability of different metacommunity frameworks to insular organisms. We surveyed 50 closely spaced islands in the Thousand-Island Lake of China to examine the role of local (environmental and regional (dispersal factors in structuring woody plant assemblages (tree and shrub species on these islands. By partitioning the variation in plant community structure into local and regional causes, we showed that local environmental conditions, specifically island morphometric characteristics, accounted for the majority of the variation in plant community structure among the studied islands. Spatial variables, representing the potential importance of species dispersal, explained little variation. We conclude that one metacommunity framework-species sorting-best characterizes these plant communities. This result reinforces the idea that the traditional approach of emphasizing the local perspective when studying ecological communities continues to hold its value.

  15. Local factors determine plant community structure on closely neighbored islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jianbo; Jiang, Lin; Yu, Lin; Sun, Que

    2011-05-10

    Despite the recent popularity of the metacommunity concept, ecologists have not evaluated the applicability of different metacommunity frameworks to insular organisms. We surveyed 50 closely spaced islands in the Thousand-Island Lake of China to examine the role of local (environmental) and regional (dispersal) factors in structuring woody plant assemblages (tree and shrub species) on these islands. By partitioning the variation in plant community structure into local and regional causes, we showed that local environmental conditions, specifically island morphometric characteristics, accounted for the majority of the variation in plant community structure among the studied islands. Spatial variables, representing the potential importance of species dispersal, explained little variation. We conclude that one metacommunity framework-species sorting-best characterizes these plant communities. This result reinforces the idea that the traditional approach of emphasizing the local perspective when studying ecological communities continues to hold its value.

  16. ROOT ALLOMETRY OF TWO SUBTROPICAL PLANT COMMUNITIES OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose de Jesus Navar Chaidez

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This research work aimed at the study of the root allometry in subtropical Tamaulipan thornscrub and pine forest communities of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. By excavating each individual root of each of 20 trees per plant community, we developed root allometric equations for biomass, volume, total length and diameter. Covariance analysis, ancova, was employed to determine the statistical difference of these parameters between plant communities. Results indicate that pine plant trees have larger root volumes, longer root systems and higher root basic densities than trees of Tamaulipan thornscrub forests. This piece of information is key to estimate root biomass, volume, total length and diameter of roots of trees of these plant communities at the stand scale; important environmental information.Key words: Power equations, ancova, root biomass, volume, length and diameter.

  17. Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Park Service, Department of the Interior — The Fire-Dependent Plant Communities (burn_plan_p) data layer was developed in conjunction with the St Croix National Scenic Riverway's Fire Management Plan. It...

  18. Gall-Insect Community on Big Sagebrush Varies With Plant Size but not Plant Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spawton, Kayla A; Wetzel, William C

    2015-08-01

    There is astounding variation in the abundance and diversity of insect herbivores among plant individuals within plant species in natural systems. One of the most well studied hypotheses for this pattern, the plant architecture hypothesis, suggests that insect community patterns vary with plant structural complexity and plant traits associated with structure. An important limitation to our understanding of the plant architecture hypothesis has been that most studies on the topic confound plant size and plant age. This occurs because, for most plant species, larger individuals are older individuals. This is a limitation because it prevents us from knowing whether insect community patterns are more dependent on traits associated with plant size, like resource quantity or plant apparency, or traits associated with plant age, like ontogenetic changes in phytochemistry. To separate these effects, we characterized galling insect communities on sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)-a shrub in which age and size are not tightly correlated. We identified gall insects and recorded morphological measurements from 60 plants that varied separately in size and age. We found that plant size explained significantly more variation in insect gall abundance and species richness than did plant age. These results suggest that processes supporting the plant architecture hypothesis in this system are driven primarily by plant size and not plant age per se. Resource qualities associated with host-plant ontogeny may be less important than resource quantity in the assembly of herbivorous insect communities. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Earth observation for rangeland monitoring

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available for the methodology is presented in Figure 1. Figure 1: Conceptual framework for the development of grass nutrient estimation models, using remote sensing at various scales Earth Observation for Rangeland Monitoring DR A RAMOELO, DR M CHO AND DR R MATHIEU CSIR... and canopy N conforms to the underlying geology (Figure 2). ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors would like to thank the Department of Science and Technology which contributed financially to this work through the grant ?Earth Observation Application Development...

  20. Measuring competition in plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

    A novel method for measuring plant-plant interactions in undisturbed semi-natural and natural plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants is discussed. It is assumed that the ecological success of the different plant species in the plant community may be adequately...... measured by plant cover and vertical density (a measure that is correlated to the 3-dimensional space occupancy and biomass). Both plant cover and vertical density are measured in a standard pin-point analysis in the beginning and at the end of the growing season. In the outlined competition model....... The method allows direct measurements of the competitive effects of neighbouringzplants on plant performance and the estimation of parameters that describe the ecological processes of plantplant interactions during the growing season as well as the process of survival and recruitment between growing seasons...

  1. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  2. Reductions of plant cover induced by sheep grazing change the above-belowground partition and chemistry of organic C stocks in arid rangelands of Patagonian Monte, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larreguy, C; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2017-09-01

    The objective of this study was to estimate the size and chemical quality of the total organic C stock and its partition between above-belowground plant parts and soil at sites with different plant cover induced by sheep grazing in the arid Patagonian Monte. This study was conducted at six representative sites with increasing signs of canopy disturbance attributed to grazing pressure. We used faeces density as a proxy of grazing pressure at each site. We assessed the total plant cover, shrub and perennial grass cover, total standing aboveground biomass (AGB), litter mass and belowground biomass (BGB) at each site. We further estimated the content of organic C, lignin and soluble phenols in plant compartments and the content of organic C, organic C in humic substances (recalcitrant C) and water soluble C (labile C) in soil at each site. Total plant cover was significantly related to grazing pressure. Standing AGB and litter mass decreased with increasing canopy disturbance while BGB did not vary across sites. Total organic C stock and the organic C stock in standing AGB increased with increasing total plant, shrub, and perennial grass cover. The organic C stock in litter mass increased with increasing total plant and shrub cover, while the organic C stock in BGB did not vary across sites. Lignin content in plant compartments increased with increasing total and shrub cover, while soluble phenols content did not change across sites. The organic C stock and the water soluble C content in soil were positively associated with perennial grass cover. Changes in total plant cover induced by grazing pressure negatively affected the size of the total organic C stock, having minor impact on the size of belowground than aboveground components. The reduction of perennial grass cover was reflected in decreasing chemical quality of the organic C stock in soil. Accordingly, plant managerial strategies should not only be focused on the amount of organic C sequestered but also on the

  3. Independent variations of plant and soil mixtures reveal soil feedback effects on plant community overyielding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriks, M.; Mommer, L.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Putten, van der W.H.; Kroon, de H.

    2013-01-01

    1. Recent studies have shown that the positive relationship between plant diversity and plant biomass ('overyielding') can be explained by soil pathogens depressing productivity more in low than in high diverse plant communities. However, tests of such soil effects in field studies were constrained

  4. Impacts of soil microbial communities on exotic plant invasions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inderjit, .; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soil communities can have profound effects on invasions of ecosystems by exotic plant species. We propose that there are three main pathways by which this can happen. First, plant–soil feedback interactions in the invaded range are neutral to positive, whereas native plants predominantly suffer from

  5. Changing soil legacies to direct restoration of plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brinkman, E.P.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; De Boer, W.; van der Putten, W.H.

    2017-01-01

    It is increasingly acknowledged that soil biota may influence interactions among plant species, however, little is known about how to change historical influences of previous land management on soil biota, the so-called ‘biotic soil legacy effect’. We used a two-phase plant community-soil feedback

  6. Quantitative description of woody plant communities: Part I. An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Various descriptive units for woody plant communities are proposed. These are the evapotranspiration tree equivalent (ETTE), browse tree equivalent (BTE) and canopied subhabitat index (CSI), which describe the status of woody community in terms of potential moisture use, value of the trees as food for browsers and ...

  7. Evapotranspiration in three plant communities of a Rhigozum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration losses in three Rhigozum trichotomum plant communities namely, pure grass, pure R. trichotomum and a mixed stand of grass and R. trichotomum were determined during the 1985-86 growing season. Three hydrologically isolated plots in each community type were irrigated and changes in soil water ...

  8. Experimental plant communities develop phylogenetically overdispersed abundance distributions during assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Jenkins, Tania; Alexander J. F. Fergus; Roscher, Christiane; Fischer, Markus; Petermann, Jana; Wolfgang W Weisser; Schmid, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    The importance of competition between similar species in driving community assembly is much debated. Recently, phylogenetic patterns in species composition have been investigated to help resolve this question: phylogenetic clustering is taken to imply environmental filtering, and phylogenetic overdispersion to indicate limiting similarity between species. We used experimental plant communities with random species compositions and initially even abundance distributions to examine the developme...

  9. Community evolution increases plant productivity at low diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Moorsel, Sofia J; Hahl, Terhi; Wagg, Cameron; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B; Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard

    2018-01-01

    Species extinctions from local communities negatively affect ecosystem functioning. Ecological mechanisms underlying these impacts are well studied, but the role of evolutionary processes is rarely assessed. Using a long-term field experiment, we tested whether natural selection in plant communities increased biodiversity effects on productivity. We re-assembled communities with 8-year co-selection history adjacent to communities with identical species composition but no history of co-selection ('naïve communities'). Monocultures, and in particular mixtures of two to four co-selected species, were more productive than their corresponding naïve communities over 4 years in soils with or without co-selected microbial communities. At the highest diversity level of eight plant species, no such differences were observed. Our findings suggest that plant community evolution can lead to rapid increases in ecosystem functioning at low diversity but may take longer at high diversity. This effect was not modified by treatments simulating co-evolutionary processes between plants and soil organisms. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Contrasting effects of different mammalian herbivores on sagebrush plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari E Veblen

    Full Text Available Herbivory by both grazing and browsing ungulates shapes the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, and both types of herbivory have been implicated in major ecosystem state changes. Despite the ecological consequences of differences in diets and feeding habits among herbivores, studies that experimentally distinguish effects of grazing from spatially co-occurring, but temporally segregated browsing are extremely rare. Here we use a set of long-term exclosures in northern Utah, USA, to determine how domestic grazers vs. wild ungulate herbivores (including browsers and mixed feeders affect sagebrush-dominated plant communities that historically covered ~62 million ha in North America. We sampled plant community properties and found that after 22 years grazing and browsing elicited perceptible changes in overall plant community composition and distinct responses by individual plant species. In the woody layer of the plant community, release from winter and spring wild ungulate herbivory increased densities of larger Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, ssp. wyomingensis at the expense of small sagebrush, while disturbance associated with either cattle or wild ungulate activity alone was sufficient to increase bare ground and reduce cover of biological soil crusts. The perennial bunchgrass, bottlebrush squirretail (Elymus elymoides, responded positively to release from summer cattle grazing, and in turn appeared to competitively suppress another more grazing tolerant perennial grass, Sandberg's blue grass (Poa secunda. Grazing by domestic cattle also was associated with increased non-native species biomass. Together, these results illustrate that ungulate herbivory has not caused sagebrush plant communities to undergo dramatic state shifts; however clear, herbivore-driven shifts are evident. In a dry, perennial-dominated system where plant community changes can occur very slowly, our results provide insights into

  11. Conservation and restoration of indigenous plants to improve community livelihoods: the Useful Plants Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

    Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership (MSBP) is one of the largest ex situ plant conservation initiatives, which is focused on saving plants in and from regions most at risk, particularly in drylands. Seeds are collected and stored in seed banks in the country of origin and duplicated in the Millennium Seed Bank in the UK. The MSBP also strengthens the capacity of local communities to successfully conserve and sustainably use indigenous plants, which are important for their wellbeing. Since 2007, high quality seed collections and research information have been gathered on ca. 700 useful indigenous plant species that were selected by communities in Botswana, Kenya, Mali, Mexico and South Africa through Project MGU - The Useful Plants Project. These communities range from various farmer's groups and organisations to traditional healers, organic cotton/crop producers and primary schools. The information on seed conservation and plant propagation was used to train communities and to propagate ca. 200 species that were then planted in local gardens, and as species reintroduced for reforestation programmes and enriching village forests. Experimental plots have also been established to further investigate the field performance (plant survival and growth rate) of indigenous species, using low cost procedures. In addition, the activities support revenue generation for local communities directly through the sustainable use of plant products or indirectly through wider environmental and cultural services. This project has confirmed the potential of biodiversity conservation to improve food security and human health, enhance community livelihoods and strengthen the resilience of land and people to the changing climate. This approach of using indigenous species and having local communities play a central role from the selection of species to their planting and establishment, supported by complementary research, may represent a model for other regions of the world, where

  12. Intraspecific genetic variation and species coexistence in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlers, Bodil K; Damgaard, Christian F; Laroche, Fabien

    2016-01-01

    Many studies report that intraspecific genetic variation in plants can affect community composition and coexistence. However, less is known about which traits are responsible and the mechanisms by which variation in these traits affect the associated community. Focusing on plant-plant interactions, we review empirical studies exemplifying how intraspecific genetic variation in functional traits impacts plant coexistence. Intraspecific variation in chemical and architectural traits promotes species coexistence, by both increasing habitat heterogeneity and altering competitive hierarchies. Decomposing species interactions into interactions between genotypes shows that genotype × genotype interactions are often intransitive. The outcome of plant-plant interactions varies with local adaptation to the environment and with dominant neighbour genotypes, and some plants can recognize the genetic identity of neighbour plants if they have a common history of coexistence. Taken together, this reveals a very dynamic nature of coexistence. We outline how more traits mediating plant-plant interactions may be identified, and how future studies could use population genetic surveys of genotype distribution in nature and methods from trait-based ecology to better quantify the impact of intraspecific genetic variation on plant coexistence. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Remote sensing applications for monitoring rangeland vegetation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Remote sensing techniques hold considerable promise for the inventory and monitoring of natural resources on rangelands. A significant lack of information concerning basic spectral characteristics of range vegetation and soils has resulted in a lack of rangeland applications. The parameters of interest for range condition ...

  14. Development of a computerised rangelands resource information ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data on livestock inventory, rangelands resources, and status of land degradation were integrated to produce a computerised resource information system for Swaziland, which will assist in decision making for monitoring and management of rangelands resources; its application is demonstrated. The resource information ...

  15. The Vale rangeland rehabilitation program: an evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold F. Heady

    1988-01-01

    This manuscript discusses the initiation, execution, and outcome of an 11-year (1962-1972) rangeland rehabilitation program in southeastern Oregon. Res. Bull. PNW-RB-070 (1977) is updated with 1986 measurements and evaluations of vegetational conditions, wildlife, recreational use, livestock grazing, and management of public rangelands. The mix of multiple uses has...

  16. Current situation of rangelands in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicia Melgoza-Castillo

    2006-01-01

    Rangelands are natural areas with certain characteristics that make them unsuitable for agriculture. They include several types of vegetation such as deserts, grasslands, shrubs, forests, and riparian areas. Cattle ranching, along with the products and services it engenders, is a prime activity that rangelands have traditionally supported.

  17. Tackling 'the most avoided issue\\'*: communal rangeland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Facilitator training for communal rangeland management should include social skills, the social context of communal rangelands and novice facilitators should be supported by mentors. There is a need for greater financial support and law enforcement from the state in the area of communal grazing management. Keywords: ...

  18. A Dynamic Model of California's Hardwood Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Standiford; Richard E. Howitt

    1991-01-01

    Low profitability of hardwood rangeland management, and oak tree harvesting for firewood markets and forage enhancement has led to concern about the long-term sustainability of the oak resource on rangelands. New markets for recreational hunting may give value to oaks for the habitat they provide for game species, and broaden the economic base for managers. A ranch...

  19. Microbial community structure in the rhizosphere of rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn eBreidenbach

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The microbial community in the rhizosphere environment is critical for the health of land plants and the processing of soil organic matter. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which rice plants shape the microbial community in rice field soil over the course of a growing season. Rice (Oryza sativa was cultivated under greenhouse conditions in rice field soil from Vercelli, Italy and the microbial community in the rhizosphere of planted soil microcosms was characterized at four plant growth stages using quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag analysis and compared to that of unplanted bulk soil. The abundances of 16S rRNA genes in the rice rhizosphere were on average twice that of unplanted bulk soil, indicating a stimulation of microbial growth in the rhizosphere. Soil environment type (i.e. rhizosphere versus bulk soil had a greater effect on the community structure than did time (e.g. plant growth stage. Numerous phyla were affected by the presence of rice plants, but the strongest effects were observed for Gemmatimonadetes, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. With respect to functional groups of microorganisms, potential iron reducers (e.g. Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter and fermenters (e.g. Clostridiaceae, Opitutaceae were notably enriched in the rhizosphere environment. A Herbaspirillum species was always more abundant in the rhizosphere than bulk soil and was enriched in the rhizosphere during the early stage of plant growth.

  20. The stubble-field plant communities on lowland complexes in South-Eastern Poland. P. II. Plant communities of the Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion alliance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czesława Trąba

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Part I deals with the Panico-Setarion stubble plant communities. Part II describes the Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion plant communities. Part II is based on 89 photosociological records. The Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion plant communities develope on soil rich in nutrients (brown soil developed from silts loess and clay; alluvial soils developed from silts and loams; chernozem and black soils, belongs to wheat complexes. Two plant communities are distinguished: 1 Oxalis stricta-Euphorbia esula community; 2 Veronica persica community divided into four variants. The floristic diversity of these plant communities reflects the ecological conditions of the examined region.

  1. Criterion I: Soil and water conservation on rangelands [Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael G. (Sherm) Karl; Paul T. Tueller; Gerald E. Schuman; Mark R. Vinson; James L. Fogg; Ronald W. Shafer; David A. Pyke; D. Terrance Booth; Steven J. Borchard; William G. Ypsilantis; Richard H. Barrett

    2010-01-01

    The Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) has explicitly included conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources as a criterion of rangeland sustainability. Within the soil/water criterion, 10 indicators ­ five soil-based and five water-based - were developed through the expert opinions of rangeland scientists, rangeland management agency personnel, non-...

  2. Characteristics of Climbing Plants Community in Rambut Island Wildlife Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nani Rahayu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Climbing plants are major component of tropical forest and play important role in many aspects of forest dynamic, balancing the micro-climate and provide food, shelter, nest material for wildlife especially bird. Inspite of their importance, climbing plants are often neglected. This research was aimed to describe the characteristics of climbing plants communities in three different ecosystems in Rambut Island Wildlife Reserve (RIWR. Climbing plants inventory in dryland, beach and ecotone forest were done by combining transect and quadrat method. The plots made in each ecosystem were 53, 27 and 85 respectively. A total of 37 climbing plants species consisted of 19 families were identifed and their contribution to species richness in RIWR reached 25,7 %. The climbing plants found in dryland, coastal and ecotone forest were 27 species (17 families, 23 species (16 families dan 16 species (12 families respectively. The species richness of climbing plants in all ecosystem were low, but the dryland forest was the richest due to the more fertile soils and vegetation structure complexity. In general, the species diversity and evenness in all ecosystem were low because of certain species domination. Dioscorea bulbifera was dominant in dryland and beach forest while Ipomoea violacea was dominant in ecotone forest. The domination of D. bulbifera influenced the similarity of climbing plants communities among ecosystem. Dominance, density and distribution of climbing plants indicated invasion of certain climbing plants species in RIWR. Keywords: diversity, forest, liana, vine

  3. Microbial Communities in Danish Wastewater Treatment Plants with Nutrient Removal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

    Activated sludge treatment plants are the most used wastewater treatment systems worldwide for biological nutrient removal from wastewater. Nevertheless, the treatment systems have been for many years operated as so called “black-box”, where specific process parameters were adjusted without...... was devoted into detailed analysis of almost fifty full-scale treatment plants (Microbial Database over Danish Wastewater Treatment Plants.) in order to learn more about the activated sludge communities and the rules that govern their presence and growth. This is one of the first such comprehensive long......-term investigations of the microbial community in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, where conventional identification, molecular identification by quantitative Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization and extensive process information related to treatment plant design and process performance have been compiled...

  4. Species composition, Plant Community structure and Natural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    at good regeneration status. Planning and management of the forest should be assisted by research findings, such as detailed ecological studies in relation to various environmental factors. Keywords: Belete forest, Community structure, Moist Evergreen Montane Forest, Regeneration. 1. INTRODUCTION. Ethiopia has the ...

  5. Major plant communities of the Marakele National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. van Staden

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available To manage and conserve any national park efficiently, a profound knowledge of the ecology is a prerequisite, and to achieve that an inventory of the biotic and abiotic components must be undertaken. As a contribution to such a program this information was collected for Marakele National Park. The study area covers 290.51 km² in the southwestern part of the Limpopo Province. The underlying parent rock of the study area is sandstone, shale and mudstone with several diabase dykes. The soils range from shallow to deep sandy soils on sandstone and clayey soils on diabase and mudstone. The rainfall varies from 556 mm to 630 mm per annum, mainly during the summer months. The study area experiences warm summers with temperatures of up to 32 ºC and cool, dry winters with frost in the low-lying areas. The vegetation of the study area was classified in a hierarchical, plant sociological system by using TWINSPAN and the Braun - Blanquet technique. The floristic data from 130 relevés were classified to identify five major plant communities, namely one forest community, three savanna/grassland communities and one wetland community. These plant communities were ecologically interpreted by habitat.The phytosociological table was condensed to a synoptic table to describe the major plant communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  7. Nitrogen Fixing Legumes in the Plant Communities

    OpenAIRE

    M. A.A. Al-Fredan

    2011-01-01

    Problems statement: Numerous authors have used energetic to explain the ecological success of N-fixing plants. Legume biodiversity assessment, species dynamics, nitrogen fixation monitoring and environment impact assessment of these ecological events in Al-Hassa Oasis, Saudi Arabia are rare and need to be continuous and more frequent. Approach: Thus the objectives of this study were to analyze legume abundance within and outside Al-Hassa Oasis and relate it to the dis...

  8. Behavioural and community ecology of plants that cry for help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicke, Marcel

    2009-06-01

    Plants respond to insect herbivory with the production of volatiles that attract carnivorous enemies of the herbivores, a phenomenon called indirect defence or 'plants crying for help'. Plants are under selection to maximize Darwinian fitness, and this can be done by making the right 'decisions' (i.e. by responding to environmental stress in ways that maximize seed production). Plant decisions related to the response to herbivory in terms of the emission of herbivore-induced volatiles include 'to respond or not to respond', 'how fast to respond', 'how to respond' and 'when to stop responding'. In this review, the state-of-the-art of the research field is presented in the context of these decisions that plants face. New questions and directions for future research are identified. To understand the consequences of plant responses in a community context, it is important to expand research from individual interactions to multispecies interactions in a community context. To achieve this, detailed information on underlying mechanisms is essential and first steps on this road have been made. This selective review addresses the ecology of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) by integrating information on mechanisms and ecological functions. New questions are identified as well as challenges for extending current information to community ecology.

  9. Euphorbia plant latex is inhabited by diverse microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunawardana, Manjula; Hyde, Embriette R; Lahmeyer, Sean; Dorsey, Brian L; La Val, Taylor P; Mullen, Madeline; Yoo, Jennifer; Knight, Rob; Baum, Marc M

    2015-12-01

    The antimicrobial properties and toxicity of Euphorbia plant latex should make it a hostile environment to microbes. However, when specimens from Euphorbia spp. were propagated in tissue culture, microbial growth was observed routinely, raising the question whether the latex of this diverse plant genus can be a niche for polymicrobial communities. Latex from a phylogenetically diverse set of Euphorbia species was collected and genomic microbial DNA extracted. Deep sequencing of bar-coded amplicons from taxonomically informative gene fragments was used to measure bacterial and fungal species richness, evenness, and composition. Euphorbia latex was found to contain unexpectedly complex bacterial (mean: 44.0 species per sample; 9 plants analyzed) and fungal (mean: 20.9 species per sample; 22 plants analyzed) communities using culture-independent methods. Many of the identified taxa are known plant endophytes, but have not been previously found in latex. Our results suggest that Euphorbia plant latex, a putatively hostile antimicrobial environment, unexpectedly supports diverse bacterial and fungal communities. The ecological roles of these microorganisms and potential interactions with their host plants are unknown and warrant further research. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  10. Impact of grazing on range plant community components under arid Mediterranean climate in northern Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niane, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Keywords: Rotational grazing, full protection, continuous grazing species richness, species diversity, soil seed bank, Bayesian methods, Salsola vermiculata, seed longevity, rangeland management, Syria.   Rangelands represent 70% of the semi-arid and arid Mediterranean land mass. It is a

  11. Introduced and invasive species in novel rangeland ecosystems: friends or foes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Ludwig, John A.; Wilcox, Bradford P.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Dean, W. Richard J.; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Milton, Sue J.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, new combinations of introduced and native plant and animal species have changed rangelands into novel ecosystems. Whereas many rangeland stakeholders (people who use or have an interest in rangelands) view intentional species introductions to improve forage and control erosion as beneficial, others focus on unintended costs, such as increased fire risk, loss of rangeland biodiversity, and threats to conservation efforts, specifically in nature reserves and parks. These conflicting views challenge all rangeland stakeholders, especially those making decisions on how best to manage novel ecosystems. To formulate a conceptual framework for decision making, we examined a wide range of novel ecosystems, created by intentional and unintentional introductions of nonnative species and land-use–facilitated spread of native ones. This framework simply divides decision making into two types: 1) straightforward–certain, and 2) complex–uncertain. We argue that management decisions to retain novel ecosystems are certain when goods and services provided by the system far outweigh the costs of restoration, for example in the case of intensively managed Cenchrus pastures. Decisions to return novel ecosystems to natural systems are also certain when the value of the system is low and restoration is easy and inexpensive as in the case of biocontrol of Opuntia infestations. In contrast, decisions whether to retain or restore novel ecosystems become complex and uncertain in cases where benefits are low and costs of control are high as, for example, in the case of stopping the expansion of Prosopis and Juniperus into semiarid rangelands. Decisions to retain or restore novel ecosystems are also complex and uncertain when, for example, nonnative Eucalyptus trees expand along natural streams, negatively affecting biodiversity, but also providing timber and honey. When decision making is complex and uncertain, we suggest that rangeland managers utilize cost–benefit analyses

  12. Bacterial Communities Associated with Different Anthurium andraeanum L. Plant Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarria-Guzmán, Yohanna; Chávez-Romero, Yosef; Gómez-Acata, Selene; Montes-Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Morales-Salazar, Eleacin; Dendooven, Luc; Navarro-Noya, Yendi E

    2016-09-29

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in the shoots, whereas all shoot endophytes were found in the roots. Streptomyces, Flavobacterium succinicans, and Asteroleplasma were only found in the roots, Variovorax paradoxus only in the stem, and Fimbriimonas 97%-OTUs only in the spathe, i.e., considered specialists, while Brevibacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Pseudomonas, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes were generalist and colonized all plant parts. The anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria Lachnospiraceae, Clostridium sp., and Clostridium bifermentans colonized the shoot system. Phylotypes belonging to Pseudomonas were detected in the rhizosphere and in the substrate (an equiproportional mixture of soil, cow manure, and peat), and dominated the endosphere. Pseudomonas included nine 97%-OTUs with different patterns of distribution and phylogenetic affiliations with different species. P. pseudoalcaligenes and P. putida dominated the shoots, but were also found in the roots and rhizosphere. P. fluorescens was present in all plant parts, while P. resinovorans, P. denitrificans, P. aeruginosa, and P. stutzeri were only detected in the substrate and rhizosphere. The composition of plant-associated bacterial communities is generally considered to be suitable as an indicator of plant health.

  13. Negative Plant-Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant¿soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a

  14. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically......Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced...... exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Incorporating grazing into an eco-hydrologic model: Simulating coupled human and natural systems in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, J. J.; Liu, M.; Tague, C.; Choate, J. S.; Evans, R. D.; Johnson, K. A.; Adam, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Rangelands provide an opportunity to investigate the coupled feedbacks between human activities and natural ecosystems. These areas comprise at least one-third of the Earth's surface and provide ecological support for birds, insects, wildlife and agricultural animals including grazing lands for livestock. Capturing the interactions among water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles within the context of regional scale patterns of climate and management is important to understand interactions, responses, and feedbacks between rangeland systems and humans, as well as provide relevant information to stakeholders and policymakers. The overarching objective of this research is to understand the full consequences, intended and unintended, of human activities and climate over time in rangelands by incorporating dynamics related to rangeland management into an eco-hydrologic model that also incorporates biogeochemical and soil processes. Here we evaluate our model over ungrazed and grazed sites for different rangeland ecosystems. The Regional Hydro-ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys) is a process-based, watershed-scale model that couples water with carbon and nitrogen cycles. Climate, soil, vegetation, and management effects within the watershed are represented in a nested landscape hierarchy to account for heterogeneity and the lateral movement of water and nutrients. We incorporated a daily time-series of plant biomass loss from rangeland to represent grazing. The TRY Plant Trait Database was used to parameterize genera of shrubs and grasses in different rangeland types, such as tallgrass prairie, Intermountain West cold desert, and shortgrass steppe. In addition, other model parameters captured the reallocation of carbon and nutrients after grass defoliation. Initial simulations were conducted at the Curlew Valley site in northern Utah, a former International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Desert Biome site. We found that grasses were most sensitive to model parameters affecting

  17. Rangeland dynamics: investigating vegetation composition and structure of urban and exurban prairie dog habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopson, Rebecca; Meiman, Paul; Shannon, Graeme

    2015-01-01

    Rapid human population growth and habitat modification in the western United States has led to the formation of urban and exurban rangelands. Many of these rangelands are also home to populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Our study aimed to compare the vegetation composition of an urban and exurban rangeland, and explore the role that prairie dogs play in these systems. The percent absolute canopy cover of graminoids (grasses and grass-likes), forbs, shrubs, litter, and bare ground were estimated at sampling areas located on and off prairie dog colonies at an urban and an exurban site. Herbaceous forage quality and quantity were determined on plant material collected from exclosure cages located on the colony during the entire growing season, while a relative estimate of prairie dog density was calculated using maximum counts. The exurban site had more litter and plant cover and less bare ground than the urban site. Graminoids were the dominant vegetation at the exurban plots. In contrast, mostly introduced forbs were found on the urban prairie dog colony. However, the forage quality and quantity tests demonstrated no difference between the two colonies. The relative prairie dog density was greater at the urban colony, which has the potential to drive greater vegetation utilization and reduced cover. Exurban rangeland showed lower levels of impact and retained all of the plant functional groups both on- and off-colony. These results suggest that activities of prairie dogs might further exacerbate the impacts of humans in fragmented urban rangeland habitats. Greater understanding of the drivers of these impacts and the spatial scales at which they occur are likely to prove valuable in the management and conservation of rangelands in and around urban areas.

  18. Functional diversity in plant communities: Theory and analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant functional diversity in community has become a key point in ecology studies recently. The development of species functional diversity was reviewed in the present work. Based on the former original research papers and reviews, we discussed the concept and connotation and put forward a new definition of functional ...

  19. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, D.; Schmid, B.; Petermann, J.S.; Yadav, V.; Deyn, de G.B.; Flynn, D.F.B.

    2014-01-01

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time1, 2, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures3 and negative plant–soil feedbacks in monocultures4. Here we show

  20. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, D.; Schmid, B.; Petermann, J.S.; Yadav, V.; Deyn, de G.B.; Flynn, D.F.B.

    2014-01-01

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant–soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that

  1. Plant community development is affected by nutrients and soil biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Raaijmakers, C.E.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    1 Plant community development depends to a great extent on the availability of soil nutrients, but recent studies underline the role of symbiotic, herbivorous and pathogenic soil biota. We tested for interactions between these biotic and abiotic factors by studying the effects of additional

  2. The biodiversity and stability of alpine meadow plant communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-10-02

    Oct 2, 2012 ... The biodiversity and stability of alpine meadow plant communities in relation to altitude gradient in three ... grassland to global climate change. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Site description ..... ultramafic substrate and altitude in south western New Zealand [J]. Vegetation 86:15-20. Wills KJ, Whittaker RJ ...

  3. Vascular plant diversity and community Structure of nandi forests ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The main objective of this study was assessing the species diversity and plant community structure of Nandi forests of Kenya. Seventy six (20 × 20 m) sample plots, of which 27 located in North Nandi and 49 from South Nandi Forest were used to collect vegetation data. Sample plots were established along transects ...

  4. Plant community responses to prescribed burning in Wisconsin sedge meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael A. Kost; Diane De Steven

    2000-01-01

    In northern temperate regions, sedge meadows dominated by the tussock-sedge Carex stricta Lam. (Cyperaceae) were historically a fire-maintained community type. In two Wisconsin natural areas (Lulu Lake and Summerton), the authors assessed the effects of time since prescribed spring burning on plant composition and aboveground biomass in eight sedge...

  5. Response of Native Insect Communities to Invasive Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Cronin, J.T.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies.

  6. Problems in the recognition of plant communities in pollen diagrams

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, C.R.

    1970-01-01

    In recent years pollen analysis has turned increasingly from historical plant geography towards paleoecology. More and more the main interest lies in a reconstruction of the past vegetation instead of simply floristics of a region. Vegetation as a rule is made up of communities¹) that can be

  7. Hierarchical organization of a Sardinian sand dune plant community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Cusseddu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Coastal sand dunes have attracted the attention of plant ecologists for over a century, but they have largely relied on correlations to explain dune plant community organization. We examined long-standing hypotheses experimentally that sand binding, inter-specific interactions, abiotic factors and seedling recruitment are drivers of sand dune plant community structure in Sardinia, Italy. Removing foundation species from the fore-, middle- and back-dune habitats over three years led to erosion and habitat loss on the fore-dune and limited plant recovery that increased with dune elevation. Reciprocal species removals in all zones suggested that inter-specific competition is common, but that dominance is transient, particularly due to sand burial disturbance in the middle-dune. A fully factorial 2-year manipulation of water, nutrient availability and substrate stability revealed no significant proximate response to these physical factors in any dune zone. In the fore- and middle-dune, plant seeds are trapped under adult plants during seed germination, and seedling survivorship and growth generally increase with dune height in spite of increased herbivory in the back-dune. Sand and seed erosion leads to limited seed recruitment on the fore-dune while high summer temperatures and preemption of space lead to competitive dominance of woody plants in the back-dune. Our results suggest that Sardinian sand dune plant communities are organized hierarchically, structured by sand binding foundation species on the fore-dune, sand burial in the middle-dune and increasingly successful seedling recruitment, growth and competitive dominance in the back-dune.

  8. Hierarchical organization of a Sardinian sand dune plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusseddu, Valentina; Ceccherelli, Giulia; Bertness, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Coastal sand dunes have attracted the attention of plant ecologists for over a century, but they have largely relied on correlations to explain dune plant community organization. We examined long-standing hypotheses experimentally that sand binding, inter-specific interactions, abiotic factors and seedling recruitment are drivers of sand dune plant community structure in Sardinia, Italy. Removing foundation species from the fore-, middle- and back-dune habitats over three years led to erosion and habitat loss on the fore-dune and limited plant recovery that increased with dune elevation. Reciprocal species removals in all zones suggested that inter-specific competition is common, but that dominance is transient, particularly due to sand burial disturbance in the middle-dune. A fully factorial 2-year manipulation of water, nutrient availability and substrate stability revealed no significant proximate response to these physical factors in any dune zone. In the fore- and middle-dune, plant seeds are trapped under adult plants during seed germination, and seedling survivorship and growth generally increase with dune height in spite of increased herbivory in the back-dune. Sand and seed erosion leads to limited seed recruitment on the fore-dune while high summer temperatures and preemption of space lead to competitive dominance of woody plants in the back-dune. Our results suggest that Sardinian sand dune plant communities are organized hierarchically, structured by sand binding foundation species on the fore-dune, sand burial in the middle-dune and increasingly successful seedling recruitment, growth and competitive dominance in the back-dune.

  9. A novel protocol for assessment of aboveground biomass in rangeland environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mundava, C.; Schut, A.G.T.; Helmholtz, P.; Stovold, R.G.H.; Donald, G.; Lamb, D.W.

    2015-01-01

    Current methods to measure aboveground biomass (AGB) do not deliver adequate results in relation to the extent and spatial variability that characterise rangelands. An optimised protocol for the assessment ofAGBis presented that enables calibration and validation of remote-sensing imagery or plant

  10. Improving restoration of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands through activated carbon seed enhancement technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cost-efficient strategies for revegetating annual grass-infested rangelands are limited. Restoration efforts typically comprise a combination of pre-emergent herbicide treatments and seeding to restore desired plant materials. However, practitioners struggle with applying herbicide at rates sufficie...

  11. Utah lotus: North American legume for rangeland revegetation in southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utah lotus (Lotus utahensis Ottley) is a North American leguminous forb that may hold promise for rangeland revegetation in the western USA for diversifying planting mixtures, attracting pollinators, providing high quality forage, and expanding habitats for insects needed by sage grouse chicks. We ...

  12. Multiple climate drivers accelerate Arctic plant community senescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2015-12-01

    Alteration of seasonal phenology cues due to climate change has led to changes in the onset and duration of the growing season. While photoperiod often acts as an ultimate control on phenological events, recent studies have shown that environmental cues such as temperature and soil water content can modify the direction and rate of senescence processes. Warmer temperatures have resulted in an observed trend towards delayed senescence across temperate latitudes. However, Arctic regions are characterized by extreme seasonality and rapidly decreasing photoperiod, and consequently senescence may not shift as climate warms. We monitored the timing of Arctic plant community senescence for three years under the framework of an experimental manipulation that altered seasonal phenological cues through warming and earlier snowmelt. Alternative models of senescence were tested to determine if microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and soil moisture) or start of season phenology affect the timing and rate of community senescence. We found that all three microclimate predictors contributed to explaining variation in timing of senescence, suggesting that photoperiod is not the sole control on timing of senescence in Arctic plant communities. Rather, increased air and soil temperatures along with drier soil conditions, led to acceleration in the onset of senescence at a community level. Our data suggest that (1) multiple climate drivers predict timing of plant community senescence, and (2) climate change could result in a shorter peak season due to earlier onset of senescence, which would decrease the potential carbon uptake in moist acidic tundra.

  13. Assessing the diversity of bacterial communities associated with plants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. The influence of land use and cover changes on the pastoral rangeland systems of southern Ethiopia : how much woody cover is enough?

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammed, Hasen Yusuf

    2014-01-01

    The Borana rangelands in southern Ethiopia are facing deterioration caused by intensification of grazing and woody plant encroachment, resulting in marked reductions in pastoral production. This process affects the food security and livelihoods of the Borana pastoral people negatively. Woody plant encroachment might result in an increase in carbon (C) storage in these rangelands, which represents an important aspect for climate change mitigation potentials. However, it is unclear how much C i...

  15. Ethnobotany of dye plants in Dong communities of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yujing; Ahmed, Selena; Liu, Bo; Guo, Zhiyong; Huang, Weijuan; Wu, Xianjin; Li, Shenghua; Zhou, Jiangju; Lei, Qiyi; Long, Chunlin

    2014-02-19

    Dyes derived from plants have an extensive history of use for coloring food and clothing in Dong communities and other indigenous areas in the uplands of China. In addition to use as coloring agents, Dong communities have historically utilized dye plants for their value for enhancing the nutritive, medicinal and preservative properties of foods. However, the persistence of plant-derived dyes and associated cultural practices and traditional knowledge is threatened with rapid socio-economic change in China. Research is needed to document the ethnobotany of dye plants in indigenous communities towards their conservation and potential commercialization as a sustainable means of supporting local development initiatives. Semi-structured surveys on plants used for coloring agents and associated traditional knowledge were conducted in fifteen Dong villages of Tongdao County in Hunan Province of South Central China during 2011-2012. Transect walks were carried out with key informants identified from semi-structured surveys to collect samples and voucher specimens for each documented plant species for taxonomic identification. Dong households at the study sites utilize the flowers, bark, stems, tubers and roots of 13 plant species from 9 families as dyes to color their customary clothing and food. Out of the documented plants, a total of 7 are used for coloring food, 3 for coloring clothing and 3 for both food and clothing. Documented plants consist of 3 species that yield black pigments, 3 for brownish red/russet pigments, 3 for red pigments, 2 for dark blue pigments and 2 for yellow pigments. In addition to dyes, the plants have multiple uses including medicinal, ornamental, sacrificial, edible, and for timber. The use of dyes derived from plants persists at the study sites for their important role in expressing Dong cultural identity through customary clothing and food. Further research is needed to evaluate the safety of dye plants, their efficacy in enhancing food

  16. Effects of trampling limitation on coastal dune plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Riccardo; Jucker, Tommaso; Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Battisti, Corrado; Acosta, Alicia T R

    2012-03-01

    Sandy coastlines are sensitive ecosystems where human activities can have considerable negative impacts. In particular, trampling by beach visitors is a disturbance that affects dune vegetation both at the species and community level. In this study we assess the effects of the limitation of human trampling on dune vegetation in a coastal protected area of Central Italy. We compare plant species diversity in two recently fenced sectors with that of an unfenced area (and therefore subject to human trampling) using rarefaction curves and a diversity/dominance approach during a two year study period. Our results indicate that limiting human trampling seems to be a key factor in driving changes in the plant diversity of dune systems. In 2007 the regression lines of species abundance as a function of rank showed steep slopes and high Y-intercept values in all sectors, indicating a comparable level of stress and dominance across the entire study site. On the contrary, in 2009 the regression lines of the two fenced sectors clearly diverge from that of the open sector, showing less steep slopes. This change in the slopes of the tendency lines, evidenced by the diversity/dominance diagrams and related to an increase in species diversity, suggests the recovery of plant communities in the two fences between 2007 and 2009. In general, plant communities subject to trampling tended to be poorer in species and less structured, since only dominant and tolerant plant species persisted. Furthermore, limiting trampling appears to have produced positive changes in the dune vegetation assemblage after a period of only two years. These results are encouraging for the management of coastal dune systems. They highlight how a simple and cost-effective management strategy, based on passive recovery conservation measures (i.e., fence building), can be a quick (1–2 years) and effective method for improving and safeguarding the diversity of dune plant communities.

  17. Experimental plant communities develop phylogenetically overdispersed abundance distributions during assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allan, Eric; Jenkins, Tania; Fergus, Alexander J F; Roscher, Christiane; Fischer, Markus; Petermann, Jana; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2013-02-01

    The importance of competition between similar species in driving community assembly is much debated. Recently, phylogenetic patterns in species composition have been investigated to help resolve this question: phylogenetic clustering is taken to imply environmental filtering, and phylogenetic overdispersion to indicate limiting similarity between species. We used experimental plant communities with random species compositions and initially even abundance distributions to examine the development of phylogenetic pattern in species abundance distributions. Where composition was held constant by weeding, abundance distributions became overdispersed through time, but only in communities that contained distantly related clades, some with several species (i.e., a mix of closely and distantly related species). Phylogenetic pattern in composition therefore constrained the development of overdispersed abundance distributions, and this might indicate limiting similarity between close relatives and facilitation/complementarity between distant relatives. Comparing the phylogenetic patterns in these communities with those expected from the monoculture abundances of the constituent species revealed that interspecific competition caused the phylogenetic patterns. Opening experimental communities to colonization by all species in the species pool led to convergence in phylogenetic diversity. At convergence, communities were composed of several distantly related but species-rich clades and had overdispersed abundance distributions. This suggests that limiting similarity processes determine which species dominate a community but not which species occur in a community. Crucially, as our study was carried out in experimental communities, we could rule out local evolutionary or dispersal explanations for the patterns and identify ecological processes as the driving force, underlining the advantages of studying these processes in experimental communities. Our results show that

  18. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages.

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    Guang Hu

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST. Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation.

  19. Habitat Fragmentation Drives Plant Community Assembly Processes across Life Stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Guang; Feeley, Kenneth J; Yu, Mingjian

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation.

  20. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model: A dynamic approach for predicting soil loss on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this study we present the improved Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM V2.3), a process-based erosion prediction tool specific for rangeland application. The article provides the mathematical formulation of the model and parameter estimation equations. Model performance is assessed agains...

  1. USDA internet tool to estimate runoff and soil loss on rangelands: rangelands hydrology and erosion model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands are the most dominant land cover type in the United States (770 million acres) with approximately 53% of the nation’s rangelands owned and managed by the private sector, while approximately 43% are managed by the federal government. Information on the type, extent, and spatial location of...

  2. Predictive Phenologic Modeling Using MODIS: A Tool for Rangeland Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisen, N. M.; Hepner, G.; Hadley, H.

    2007-12-01

    Grazing is the predominant land use activity in the rangelands of the Inter-Mountain West. Vegetation phenology affects the impact of grazing; new plant growth is especially palatable to grazing animals. Over time, preferential grazing gives less palatable plants an advantage in rooting depth and may alter the composition of plant species and lead to soil erosion. The benefits of using remote spectral imagery to predict the onset and advancement of the phenologic phases for expansive and/or inaccessible areas is recognized, however, the practical application of this technology has been limited. A time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) vegetation indices was analyzed to identify the temporal profile of the growing season for surface vegetation in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Drivers to which the progression of phenologic transition dates are most responsive were explored. Using phenological parameters defined from the MODIS time series and relationships of the phenological transition dates to the drivers, a predictive phenological model specific to the environmental parameters of the UCRB was developed. This model can be implemented at various spatial extents and temporal windows as part of a rangeland management strategy.

  3. Grazing intensity on the plant diversity of alpine meadow in the eastern Tibetan plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Ning

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Because ofthe remoteness and harsh conditions of the high-altitude rangelands on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, the relationship between yak grazing and plant diversity has not been so clear although livestock increase was thought as the main issue leading to the degradation of rangeland. In the debate of rangeland degradation, biodiversity loss has been assumed as one of the indicators in the last two decades. In this paper authors measured the effects of different grazing intensities on the plant diversity and the structure of Kobresia pygmaea community in the case-study area, northwestern Sichuan. The results indicated that plant diversity of alpine meadow has different changing trends respectively with the change of grazing intensity and seasons. In June the highest plant diversity occurred in the intensively grazed (HG plots, but in July and September species biodiversity index of slightly grazed (LG plots is higher than other experimental treatments. In August the intermediate grazed (IG plots has the highest biodiversity index. Moreover, it was found that intensively grazing always leads to the increase of plant density, but meanwhile the decrease of community height, coverage and biomass. Over-grazing can change the community structure and lead to the succession from Kobresia pygmaea dominated community to Poa pratensis dominated. Analyzing results comprehensively, it can be suggested that the relationship between grazing intensity and plant diversity is not linear, i.e. diversity index is not as good as other characteristics of community structure to evaluate rangeland degradation on the high altitude situation. The change of biodiversity is so complicated that it can not be explained with the simple corresponding causality.

  4. The Role of Rangelands in Diversified Farming Systems: Innovations, Obstacles, and Opportunities in the USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Sayre

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Discussions of diversified farming systems (DFS rarely mention rangelands: the grasslands, shrublands, and savannas that make up roughly one-third of Earth's ice-free terrestrial area, including some 312 million ha of the United States. Although ranching has been criticized by environmentalists for decades, it is probably the most ecologically sustainable segment of the U.S. meat industry, and it exemplifies many of the defining characteristics of DFS: it relies on the functional diversity of natural ecological processes of plant and animal (reproduction at multiple scales, based on ecosystem services generated and regenerated on site rather than imported, often nonrenewable, inputs. Rangelands also provide other ecosystem services, including watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation, and tourism. Even where non-native or invasive plants have encroached on or replaced native species, rangelands retain unusually high levels of plant diversity compared with croplands or plantation forests. Innovations in management, marketing, incentives, and easement programs that augment ranch income, creative land tenure arrangements, and collaborations among ranchers all support diversification. Some obstacles include rapid landownership turnover, lack of accessible U.S. Department of Agriculture certified processing facilities, tenure uncertainty, fragmentation of rangelands, and low and variable income, especially relative to land costs. Taking advantage of rancher knowledge and stewardship, and aligning incentives with production of diverse goods and services, will support the sustainability of ranching and its associated public benefits. The creation of positive feedbacks between economic and ecological diversity should be the ultimate goal.

  5. Plant communities of the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld

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    Theo H.C. Mostert

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld is one of eight major vegetation types (MVT described for the Soutpansberg-Blouberg region. The plant communities of this MVT are described in detail. Main ecological drivers of the vegetation structure and species composition of these communities are discussed and some conservation recommendations are made. Phytosociological data from a subset of 72 Braun-Blanquet sample plots collected in the Soutpansberg Arid Northern Bushveld were classified using Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN and ordinated using a Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DECORANA. The resulting classification was further refined with table-sorting procedures based on the Braun-Blanquet floristic-sociological approach to vegetation classification using the computer software MEGATAB and JUICE. Eight plant communities were identified and described as Commiphora tenuipetiolata-Adansonia digitata short open woodland, Ledebouria ovatifolia-Commiphora mollis short bushland, Phyllanthus reticulatus-Acacia nigrescens short bushland, Tinnea rhodesiana-Combretum apiculatum short bushland, Dichrostachys cinerea subsp. africana-Spirostachys africana low thickets, Themeda triandra-Pterocarpus rotundifolius short closed grassland on steep basaltic slopes, Cyperus albostriatus-Syzygium cordatum sandveld wetlands, and Sesamothamnus lugardii-Catophractes alexandri tall sparse shrubland. These plant communities are event-driven ecosystems, predominantly infl uenced by frequent droughts, exposure to desiccation and unpredictable rainfall events. The complex topography of the Soutpansberg further contributes to the aridity of these ecosystems. The classifi cation and ordination analyses show similar groupings in the vegetation of the Soutpansberg Arid Mountain Bushveld. This confi rms the usefulness of complimentary analysis, using both classifi cation and ordination methods on a single data set in order to examine patterns and to search for

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

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    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

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

  7. Using rangeland health assessment to inform successional management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland health assessment provides qualitative information on ecosystem attributes. Successional management is a conceptual framework that allows managers to link information gathered in rangeland health assessment to ecological processes that need to be repaired to allow vegetation to change in ...

  8. Collaborative adaptive rangeland management fosters management-science partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands of the western Great Plains of North America are complex social-ecological systems where management objectives for livestock production, grassland bird conservation and vegetation structure and composition converge. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) experiment is a 10...

  9. Rangelands: Where Anthromes Meet Their Limits

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    Nathan F. Sayre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Defining rangelands as anthromes enabled Ellis and Ramankutty (2008 to conclude that more than three-quarters of Earth’s land is anthropogenic; without rangelands, this figure would have been less than half. They classified all lands grazed by domestic livestock as rangelands, provided that human population densities were low; similar areas without livestock were excluded and classified instead as ‘wildlands’. This paper examines the empirical basis and conceptual assumptions of defining and categorizing rangelands in this fashion. Empirically, we conclude that a large proportion of rangelands, although used to varying degrees by domesticated livestock, are not altered significantly by this use, especially in arid, highly variable environments and in settings with long evolutionary histories of herbivory by wild animals. Even where changes have occurred, the dynamics and components of many rangelands remain structurally and functionally equivalent to those that preceded domestic livestock grazing or would be found in its absence. In much of Africa and Asia, grazing is so longstanding as to be inextricable from ‘natural’ or reference conditions for those sites. Thus, the extent of anthropogenic biomes is significantly overstated. Conceptually, rangelands reveal the dependence of the anthromes thesis on outdated assumptions of ecological climax and equilibrium. Coming to terms with rangelands—how they can be classified, understood, and managed sustainably—thus offers important lessons for understanding anthromes and the Anthropocene as a whole. At the root of these lessons, we argue, is not the question of human impacts on ecosystems but property relations among humans.

  10. Alpine plant functional group responses to fertiliser addition depend on abiotic regime and community composition.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onipchenko, V.G.; Makarov, M.I.; Akmetzhanova, A.A.; Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Aibazova, F.U.; Elkanova, M.K.; Stogova, A.V.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims: We ask how productivity responses of alpine plant communities to increased nutrient availability can be predicted from abiotic regime and initial functional type composition. Methods: We compared four Caucasian alpine plant communities (lichen heath, Festuca varia grassland,

  11. Additive and interactive effects of functionally dissimilar soil organisms on a grassland plant community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ladygina, N.; Henry, F.; Kant, M.R.; Koller, R.; Reidinger, S.; Rodriguez, A.; Saj, S.; Sonnemann, I.; Witt, C.; Wurst, S.

    2010-01-01

    The productivity and diversity of plant communities are affected by soil organisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), root herbivores and decomposers. However, it is unknown how interactions between such functionally dissimilar soil organisms affect plant communities and whether the

  12. Symbiotic fungi that influence vigor, biomass and reproductive potential of native bunch grasses for remediation of degraded semiarid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry R. Barrow; Mary E. Lucero; Isaac Reyes-Vera

    2008-01-01

    A steady decline of perennial bunch grasses in arid rangelands has resulted in losses of productivity and germplasm. Remediation is costly and rarely successful. Cryptic symbiotic fungi, structurally integrated with cells and organs of native plants cannot be separated from host plant tissue. However, they were successfully transferred from cell cultures of native...

  13. Common garden comparisons of reproductive, forage and weed suppression potential of rangeland rehabilitation grasses of the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Common garden experiments are a means to remove environmental effects. Using 8 species of perennial rangeland grasses, we established a common garden (3 reps x28 plants = 84 plants/species). We found that ‘Hycrest’ crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria sp...

  14. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mograbi, Penelope J; Erasmus, Barend F N; Witkowski, E T F; Asner, Gregory P; Wessels, Konrad J; Mathieu, Renaud; Knapp, David E; Martin, Roberta E; Main, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha(-1) on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha(-1) on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10-14% p.a.) were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation wood extraction rangeland, 79% of the changes in the vertical vegetation subcanopy are gains in the 1-3 m height class. The higher the wood extraction pressure on the rangelands, the greater the biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands could be misinterpreted as woodland recovery in the

  15. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands.

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    Penelope J Mograbi

    Full Text Available Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha(-1 on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha(-1 on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10-14% p.a. were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation <5 m in height, and that, in the high wood extraction rangeland, 79% of the changes in the vertical vegetation subcanopy are gains in the 1-3 m height class. The higher the wood extraction pressure on the rangelands, the greater the biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands

  16. Advances of Community-Level Plant DNA Barcoding in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Nancai; Chen, Bufeng; Kress, W J

    2017-01-01

    DNA barcoding is a commonly used bio-technology in multiple disciplines including biology, environmental science, forensics and inspection, etc. Forest dynamic plots provide a unique opportunity to carry out large-scale, comparative, and multidisciplinary research for plant DNA barcoding. The paper concisely reviewed four previous progresses in China; specifically, species discrimination, community phylogenetic reconstruction, phylogenetic community structure exploration, and biodiversity index evaluation. Further, we demonstrated three major challenges; specifically, building the impetus to generate DNA barcodes using multiple plant DNA markers for all woody species at forest community levels, analyzing massive DNA barcoding sequence data, and promoting theoretical innovation. Lastly, we raised five possible directions; specifically, proposing a "purpose-driven barcode" fit for multi-level applications, developing new integrative sequencing strategies, pushing DNA barcoding beyond terrestrial ecosystem, constructing national-level DNA barcode sequence libraries for special plant groups, and establishing intelligent identification systems or online server platforms. These efforts will be potentially valuable to explore large-scale biodiversity patterns, the origin and evolution of life, and will also facilitate preservation and utilization of biodiversity resources.

  17. Phytochemical diversity drives plant-insect community diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Lora A; Dyer, Lee A; Forister, Matthew L; Smilanich, Angela M; Dodson, Craig D; Leonard, Michael D; Jeffrey, Christopher S

    2015-09-01

    What are the ecological causes and consequences of variation in phytochemical diversity within and between plant taxa? Despite decades of natural products discovery by organic chemists and research by chemical ecologists, our understanding of phytochemically mediated ecological processes in natural communities has been restricted to studies of either broad classes of compounds or a small number of well-characterized molecules. Until now, no studies have assessed the ecological causes or consequences of rigorously quantified phytochemical diversity across taxa in natural systems. Consequently, hypotheses that attempt to explain variation in phytochemical diversity among plants remain largely untested. We use spectral data from crude plant extracts to characterize phytochemical diversity in a suite of co-occurring plants in the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae). In combination with 20 years of data focused on Piper-associated insects, we find that phytochemical diversity has a direct and positive effect on the diversity of herbivores but also reduces overall herbivore damage. Elevated chemical diversity is associated with more specialized assemblages of herbivores, and the cascading positive effect of phytochemistry on herbivore enemies is stronger as herbivore diet breadth narrows. These results are consistent with traditional hypotheses that predict positive associations between plant chemical diversity, insect herbivore diversity, and trophic specialization. It is clear from these results that high phytochemical diversity not only enhances the diversity of plant-associated insects but also contributes to the ecological predominance of specialized insect herbivores.

  18. Social and Economic Indicators of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell; Daniel W. McCallum; Lewis E. Swanson; John Tanaka; Mark Brunson; Aaron Harp; L. Allen Torell; H. Theodore Heintz

    2006-01-01

    Social and economic systems provide a context and rationale for rangeland management. Sustaining rangeland ecosystems requires attention to the social and economic conditions that accompany the functioning of those systems. We present and discuss economic and social indicators for rangeland sustainability that have possible relevance in the United States. A brief...

  19. Indicators of rangeland health and functionality in the Intermountain West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renee A. O' Brien; Curtis M. Johnson; Andrea M. Wilson; Van C. Elsbernd

    2003-01-01

    Rangelands comprise about 42 percent of the land area of the United States and provide vital land functions such as watershed, multiple-use, recreation, and other amenities. Currently, we do not know the status and trends of many of our nation's rangelands, and consistent protocols for describing rangeland system dynamics across land management agencies are...

  20. Plant Community Traits of Shohada Protected Area, West Azerbijan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdollah HASSANZADEH GORTTAPEH

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Shohada Protected Area, consisting of Shohada Valley and it�s adjacent areas with an area of 577 hectares is located in south of Urmia, and is known as an important natural plant station of Urmia. It is studied with respect to the important factors which influence the vegetation cover in whole, particularly, with regard the composition and formation of plant communities. To study the area, Brown-Blanquet�s method was used. Plant samples were taken from 77 sample plots. The study resulted in recognition of four herbaceous types and seven shrub types in the studied area. In addition, the investigation led to the fact that the most important factors which influence the vegetation cover, are: geographical orientation, altitude, gradient and soil texture. The study also resulted in preparation of a colored vegetation map with a scale of 1:20000.

  1. Plant Community Traits of Shohada Protected Area, West Azerbijan, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdollah HASSANZADEH GORTTAPEH

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Shohada Protected Area, consisting of Shohada Valley and its adjacent areas with an area of 577 hectares is located in south of Urmia, and is known as an important natural plant station of Urmia. It is studied with respect to the important factors which influence the vegetation cover in whole, particularly, with regard the composition and formation of plant communities. To study the area, Brown-Blanquets method was used. Plant samples were taken from 77 sample plots. The study resulted in recognition of four herbaceous types and seven shrub types in the studied area. In addition, the investigation led to the fact that the most important factors which influence the vegetation cover, are: geographical orientation, altitude, gradient and soil texture. The study also resulted in preparation of a colored vegetation map with a scale of 1:20000.

  2. Selection for niche differentiation in plant communities increases biodiversity effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuppinger-Dingley, Debra; Schmid, Bernhard; Petermann, Jana S; Yadav, Varuna; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Flynn, Dan F B

    2014-11-06

    In experimental plant communities, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been found to strengthen over time, a fact often attributed to increased resource complementarity between species in mixtures and negative plant-soil feedbacks in monocultures. Here we show that selection for niche differentiation between species can drive this increasing biodiversity effect. Growing 12 grassland species in test monocultures and mixtures, we found character displacement between species and increased biodiversity effects when plants had been selected over 8 years in species mixtures rather than in monocultures. When grown in mixtures, relative differences in height and specific leaf area between plant species selected in mixtures (mixture types) were greater than between species selected in monocultures (monoculture types). Furthermore, net biodiversity and complementarity effects were greater in mixtures of mixture types than in mixtures of monoculture types. Our study demonstrates a novel mechanism for the increase in biodiversity effects: selection for increased niche differentiation through character displacement. Selection in diverse mixtures may therefore increase species coexistence and ecosystem functioning in natural communities and may also allow increased mixture yields in agriculture or forestry. However, loss of biodiversity and prolonged selection of crops in monoculture may compromise this potential for selection in the longer term.

  3. Symbiotic bacteria as a determinant of plant community structure and plant productivity in dune grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Bakker, R.; Verwaal, J.; Scheublin, T.R.; Rutten, M.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Staehlin, C.

    2006-01-01

    Symbiotic interactions are thought to play a key role in ecosystems. Empirical evidence for the impact of symbiotic bacteria on plant communities is, however, extremely scarce because of experimental constraints. Here, in three complementary experiments, we show that nitrogen-fixing rhizobia

  4. Symbiontic bacteria as a determinant of plant community structure and plant productivity in dune grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Bakker, R.; Verwaal, J.; Scheublin, T.R.; Rutten, M.; van Logtestijn, R.S.P; Staehelin, C.

    2006-01-01

    Symbiotic interactions are thought to play a key role in ecosystems. Empirical evidence for the impact of symbiotic bacteria on plant communities is, however, extremely scarce because of experimental constraints. Here, in three complementary experiments, we show that nitrogen-fixing rhizobia

  5. Plant and litter influences on earthworm abundance and community structures in a tropical wet forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. Gonzalez; X. Zou

    1999-01-01

    Plant communities differ in species composition and litter input. To examine the influence of plant species on the abundance and community structure of soil fauna, we sampled earthworms in areas close to and away from the bases of Dacryodes excelsa and Heliconia caribaea, two distinct plant communities within a tropical wet forest in Puerto Rico. We also carried out a...

  6. Arctic Late Cretaceous and Paleocene Plant Community Succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Alexei; Spicer, Robert; Daly, Robert; Jolley, David; Ahlberg, Anders; Moiseeva, Maria

    2010-05-01

    The Arctic abounds with Late Cretaceous and Paleocene plant fossils attesting to a thriving, diverse, but now extinct polar ecosystem that sequestered vast amounts of carbon. Through detailed examination of plant remains and their distributions in time and space with respect to their entombing sedimentary facies, it has been possible to reconstruct changes in Arctic vegetation composition and dynamics through the Late Cretaceous and into the Paleocene. Based on over 10,000 leaf remains, fossil wood and palynomorph assemblages from northeastern Russia and northern Alaska and palynological data from elsewhere in the Arctic we identify a number of successional plant communities (SPCs) representing seral development from early (pioneer), through middle to late SPCs and climax vegetation. We recognise that (1) Equisetites and some ferns (typically Birisia, but after the beginning of the Maastrichtian, Onoclea) were obligatory components of the early SPCs; (2) first rare angiosperms (e.g. the dicot Vitiphyllum multifidum) appeared in the middle SPCs of the Arctic in the Early - Middle Albian; (3) from late Albian times onwards angiosperms became abundant in the middle SPCs of the Arctic, but were still rare in the earlier and later SPCs; (4) monocots appeared in the Maastrichtian early SPCs; (5) all Arctic Cretaceous late SPCs (and climax vegetation) were dominated by conifers; (6) Arctic SPCs were more numerous and diverse under warm climates than cold; (7) during the Albian and late Cretaceous, advanced (Cenophytic, angiosperm-dominated) plant communities coexisted with those of a more relictual (Mesophytic, dominated by ferns and gymnosperms) aspect, and plants composing these communities did not mix; (8) coal-forming environments (mires) remained conifer, fern and bryophyte dominated throughout the late Cretaceous and Paleocene with little penetration of woody angiosperm components and thus are conservative and predominantly Mesophytic in character; (9) bryophytes

  7. Development of an improved compact package plant for small community waste-water treatment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hulsman, A

    1993-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges facing the design and operation of small community wastewater treatment plants are discussed. The package plant concept is considered and the consequent development of a compact intermittently aerated activated sludge package plant...

  8. Experimental warming, not grazing, decreases rangeland quality on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Julia A; Harte, John; Zhao, Xin-Quan

    2007-03-01

    We investigated experimental warming and simulated grazing (clipping) effects on rangeland quality, as indicated by vegetation production and nutritive quality, in winter-grazed meadows and summer-grazed shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau, a rangeland system experiencing climatic and pastoral land use changes. Warming decreased total aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by 40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at the meadow habitats and decreased palatable ANPP (total ANPP minus non-palatable forb ANPP) by 10 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at both habitats. The decreased production of the medicinal forb Gentiana straminea and the increased production of the non-palatable forb Stellera chamaejasme with warming also reduced rangeland quality. At the shrubland habitats, warming resulted in less digestible shrubs, whose foliage contains 25% digestible dry matter (DDM), replacing more digestible graminoids, whose foliage contains 60% DDM. This shift from graminoids to shrubs not only results in lower-quality forage, but could also have important consequences for future domestic herd composition. Although warming extended the growing season in non-clipped plots, the reduced rangeland quality due to decreased vegetative production and nutritive quality will likely overwhelm the improved rangeland quality associated with an extended growing season. Grazing maintained or improved rangeland quality by increasing total ANPP by 20-40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) with no effect on palatable ANPP. Grazing effects on forage nutritive quality, as measured by foliar nitrogen and carbon content and by shifts in plant group ANPP, resulted in improved forage quality. Grazing extended the growing season at both habitats, and it advanced the growing season at the meadows. Synergistic interactions between warming and grazing were present, such that grazing mediated the warming-induced declines in vegetation production and nutritive quality. Moreover, combined treatment effects were nonadditive, suggesting that we

  9. The soil microbial community predicts the importance of plant traits in plant-soil feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi; Ding, Tzung-Su

    2015-04-01

    Reciprocal interaction between plant and soil (plant-soil feedback, PSF) can determine plant community structure. Understanding which traits control interspecific variation of PSF strength is crucial for plant ecology. Studies have highlighted either plant-mediated nutrient cycling (litter-mediated PSF) or plant-microbe interaction (microbial-mediated PSF) as important PSF mechanisms, each attributing PSF variation to different traits. However, this separation neglects the complex indirect interactions between the two mechanisms. We developed a model coupling litter- and microbial-mediated PSFs to identify the relative importance of traits in controlling PSF strength, and its dependency on the composition of root-associated microbes (i.e. pathogens and/or mycorrhizal fungi). Results showed that although plant carbon: nitrogen (C : N) ratio and microbial nutrient acquisition traits were consistently important, the importance of litter decomposability varied. Litter decomposability was not a major PSF determinant when pathogens are present. However, its importance increased with the relative abundance of mycorrhizal fungi as nutrient released from the mycorrhizal-enhanced litter production to the nutrient-depleted soils result in synergistic increase of soil nutrient and mycorrhizal abundance. Data compiled from empirical studies also supported our predictions. We propose that the importance of litter decomposability depends on the composition of root-associated microbes. Our results provide new perspectives in plant invasion and trait-based ecology. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. A solar thermal electric power plant for small communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holl, R. J.

    1979-01-01

    A solar power plant has been designed with a rating of 1000-kW electric and a 0.4 annual capacity factor. It was configured as a prototype for plants in the 1000 to 10,000-kWe size range for application to small communities or industrial users either grid-connected or isolated from a utility grid. A small central receiver was selected for solar energy collection after being compared with alternative distributed collectors. Further trade studies resulted in the selection of Hitec (heat transfer salt composed of 53 percent KNO3, 40 percent NaNO2, 7 percent NaNO3) as both the receiver coolant and the sensible heat thermal stroage medium and the steam Rankine cycle for power conversion. The plant is configured with road-transportable units to accommodate remote sites and minimize site assembly requirements. Results of the analyses indicate that busbar energy costs are competitive with diesel-electric plants in certain situations, e.g., off-grid, remote regions with high insolation. Sensitivity of energy costs to plant power rating and system capacity factor are given.

  11. The stubble-field plant communities on lowland complexes in South-Eastern Poland. P. I. Plant communities of the Panico-Setarion alliance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciszek Pawłowski

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Floristic diversity is characteristic for stubble-field plant communities. Those communities consist of both the species remaining after harvesting of grain and of the species developing in rootplant communities. The first part of this paper describes the plant communities of poor sites in the investigated region. It is based on 90 phytosociological records taken in August and September of 1972-1975 and on soil investigations. The Panico-Setarion alliance was made up of: 1 the Digitarietum ischaemi association, 2 the Setaria glauca community and 3 the Ecbinochloo-Setarietum association, the Setaria glauca community was divided into smaller phytosociological units.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  13. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Aim To determine the best-fit model of species–area relationships for Mediterranean-type plant communities and evaluate how community structure affects these species–area models.Location Data were collected from California shrublands and woodlands and compared with literature reports for other Mediterranean-climate regions.Methods The number of species was recorded from 1, 100 and 1000 m2 nested plots. Best fit to the power model or exponential model was determined by comparing adjusted r2 values from the least squares regression, pattern of residuals, homoscedasticity across scales, and semi-log slopes at 1–100 m2 and 100–1000 m2. Dominance–diversity curves were tested for fit to the lognormal model, MacArthur's broken stick model, and the geometric and harmonic series.Results Early successional Western Australia and California shrublands represented the extremes and provide an interesting contrast as the exponential model was the best fit for the former, and the power model for the latter, despite similar total species richness. We hypothesize that structural differences in these communities account for the different species–area curves and are tied to patterns of dominance, equitability and life form distribution. Dominance–diversity relationships for Western Australian heathlands exhibited a close fit to MacArthur's broken stick model, indicating more equitable distribution of species. In contrast, Californian shrublands, both postfire and mature stands, were best fit by the geometric model indicating strong dominance and many minor subordinate species. These regions differ in life form distribution, with annuals being a major component of diversity in early successional Californian shrublands although they are largely lacking in mature stands. Both young and old Australian heathlands are dominated by perennials, and annuals are largely absent. Inherent in all of these ecosystems is cyclical disequilibrium caused by periodic fires. The

  14. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANTONIO B. PEREIRA

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications.

  15. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T M; Fountain, M T; Barea, J M; Christensen, S; Dekker, S C; Duyts, H; van Hal, R; Harvey, J A; Hedlund, K; Maraun, M; Mikola, J; Mladenov, A G; Robin, C; de Ruiter, P C; Scheu, S; Setälä, H; Smilauer, P; van der Putten, W H

    2010-10-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and providers of resources to the soil food web, are of vital importance for the composition, structure, and functioning of soil communities. However, whether natural soil food webs that are completely open to immigration and emigration differ underneath individual plants remains unknown. In a biodiversity restoration experiment we first compared the soil nematode communities of 228 individual plants belonging to eight herbaceous species. We included grass, leguminous, and non-leguminous species. Each individual plant grew intermingled with other species, but all plant species had a different nematode community. Moreover, nematode communities were more similar when plant individuals were growing in the same as compared to different plant communities, and these effects were most apparent for the groups of bacterivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous nematodes. Subsequently, we analyzed the composition, structure, and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire food webs were influenced both by the species identity of the plant individual and the surrounding plant community. Unexpectedly, plant identity had the strongest effects on decomposing soil organisms, widely believed to be generalist feeders. In contrast, quantitative food web modeling showed that the composition of the plant community influenced nitrogen mineralization under individual plants, but that plant species identity did not affect nitrogen or carbon

  16. Shrub communities as inhibitors of plant succession in southern Quebec

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meilleur, A.; Veronneau, H.; Bouchard, A. (Institut de Recherche en Biologie Vegetale, Quebec (Canada))

    The purpose of our research was to identify shrub species growing in southern Quebec that inhibit ecological succession in power-line corridors. Results are presented in three parts. First, clonal characteristics that allowed the establishment of stable communities were identified. Second, successional vector analysis identified those species that have the potential to inhibit succession. In poorly drained sites those species were Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, and Spiraea alba. In well-drained sites, those species were Zanthoxylum americanum, Rubus idaeus, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, and Thuja occidentalis. Third, analysis of variance showed that there is a significantly larger number of tree seedlings found in adjacent herbaceous communities than found under the dense cover of Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, Rubus idaeus, Thuya occidentalis, and Zanthoxylum americanum. These results indicate that the planting of selected shrub species could, through biological control, delay reforestation. 58 refs., 6 figs., 6 tabs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

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

  18. Influence of Host Plant on Thaumetopoea pityocampa Gut Bacterial Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strano, Cinzia P; Malacrinò, Antonino; Campolo, Orlando; Palmeri, Vincenzo

    2018-02-01

    Microbial communities associated to the gut of insects are attracting an increasing interest, mainly because of their role in influencing several host life-traits. The characterization of the gut microbial community is pivotal for understanding insect ecology and, thus, to develop novel pest management strategies. The pine processionary moth, Thaumetopoea pytiocampa (Denis & Schiff.) (Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae), is a severe defoliator of pine forests, able to feed on several pine species. In this work, we performed a metabarcoding analysis to investigate, for the first time, the diversity of the gut bacterial community of pine processionary larvae associated with three different host pine species (Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra subsp. laricio, and Pinus pinaster). We found that the gut microbial community of T. pityocampa larvae collected on P. halapensis was different from that associated with larvae collected from P. nigra and P. pinaster. Moreover, the high presence of bacteria belonging to the genera Modestobacter, Delftia, and unidentified Methylobacteriaceae retrieved in larvae feeding on P. halapensis suggested that specific interactions can occur. Our results provide the evidence that different host plant differently impact on the microbiota diversity of T. pityocampa larvae, contributing to the general knowledge of this pest with information that could be useful in shaping the next generation of pest control strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Climatic and topographical factors affecting the vegetative carbon stock of rangelands in arid and semiarid regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhengchao, Ren; Huazhong, Zhu; Shi, Hua; Xiaoni, Liu

    2016-01-01

    Rangeland systems play an important role in ecological stabilization and the terrestrial carbon cycle in arid and semiarid regions. However, little is known about the vegetative carbon dynamics and climatic and topographical factors that affect vegetative carbon stock in these rangelands. Our goal was to assess vegetative carbon stock by examining meteorological data in conjunction with NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) time series datasets from 2001–2012. An improved CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) model was then applied to simulate the spatiotemporal dynamic variation of vegetative carbon stock, and analyze its response to climatic and topographical factors. We estimated the vegetative carbon stock of rangeland in Gansu province, China to be 4.4× 1014 gC, increasing linearly at an annual rate of 9.8×1011 gC. The mean vegetative carbon density of the whole rangeland was 136.5 gC m-2. Vegetative carbon density and total carbon varied temporally and spatially and were highly associated with temperature, precipitation and solar radiation. Vegetative carbon density reached the maximal value on elevation at 2500–3500 m, a slope of >30°and easterly aspect. The effect of precipitation, temperature and solar radiation on the vegetative carbon density of five rangeland types (desert and salinized meadow, steppe, alpine meadow, shrub and tussock, and marginal grassland in the forest) depends on the acquired quantity of water and heat for rangeland plants at all spatial scales. The results of this study provide new evidence for explaining spatiotemporal heterogeneity in vegetative carbon dynamics and responses to global change for rangeland vegetative carbon stock, and offer a theoretical and practical basis for grassland agriculture management in arid and semiarid regions.

  1. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: management

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the final part of a three part series specifically addressing lessons learned concerning the management of rehabilitated cheatgrass-infested rangelands. Steve Novak and Richard Mack reported in 2003 that they found no evidence of outcrossing in 2,000 cheatgrass seedlings from 60 North Americ...

  2. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of acres of Intermountain West rangelands has caused astronomical changes to numerous ecosystems and the multiple uses that depend on healthy and functional ecosystems. This is the first part, of a 3-part series ...

  3. Management of Collective Rangelands in Rhamna (Morocco ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Rangelands are severely degraded in Morocco. This has stimulated public interventions to reduce the pressure on natural resources and promote sustainable management. In Rhamna, a region traditionally used for transhumance, such efforts have met with limited success because they have not taken into consideration ...

  4. Increasing flexibility in rangeland management during drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    The extreme drought that began in 2011 and persists throughout the central and western US presents a challenge to sustainable rangeland management. Wyoming ranchers manage half of this drought-prone state and are at the forefront of this challenge. We examined Wyoming ranchers’ drought management st...

  5. Distance and environmental difference in alpine plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Differences in plant communities are a response to the abiotic environment, species interactions, and dispersal. The role of geographic distance relative to the abiotic environment is explored for alpine tundra vegetation from 319 plots of four regions along the Rocky Mountain cordillera in the USA. The site by species data were ordinated using nonmetric multidimensional scaling to produce dependent variables for use in best-subsets regression. For independent variables, observations of local topography and microtopography were used as environmental indicators. Two methods of including distance in studies of vegetation and environment are used and contrasted. The relative importance of geographic distance in accounting for the pattern of alpine tundra similarity indicates that location is a factor in plant community composition. Mantel tests provide direct correlations between difference and distance but have known weaknesses. Moran spatial eigenvectors used in regression based approaches have greater geographic specificity, but require another step, ordination, in creating a vegetation variable. While the spatial eigenvectors are generally preferable, where species–environment relations are weak, as seems to be the case for the alpine sites studied here, the fewer abstractions of the Mantel test may be useful.

  6. Coastal Freshwater Wetland Plant Community Response to Seasonal Drought and Flooding in Northwestern Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    In tropical wet-dry climates, seasonal hydrologic cycles drive wetland plant community change and produce distinct seasonal plant assemblages. In this study, we examined the plant community response to seasonal flooding and drought in a large coastal freshwater wetland in northwe...

  7. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs beneath individual plants: plant species and community effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Fountain, M.T.; Barea, J.M.; Christensen, S.; Dekker, S.C.; Duyts, H.; van Hal, R.; Harvey, J.A.; Hedlund, K.; Maraun, M.; Mikola, J.; Mladenov, A.G.; Robin, C.; de Ruiter, P.C.; Scheu, S.; Setälä, H.; Milauer, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and

  8. Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of climate change to declining populations of organisms remains a question of outstanding concern. Much attention to declining populations has focused on how changing climate drives phenological mismatches between animals and their food. Effects of climate on plant communities may provide an alternative, but particularly powerful, influence on animal populations because plants provide their habitats. Here, we show that abundances of deciduous trees and associated songbirds have declined with decreasing snowfall over 22 years of study in montane Arizona, USA. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that declining snowfall indirectly influences plants and associated birds by allowing greater over-winter herbivory by elk (Cervus canadensis). We excluded elk from one of two paired snowmelt drainages (10 ha per drainage), and replicated this paired experiment across three distant canyons. Over six years, we reversed multi-decade declines in plant and bird populations by experimentally inhibiting heavy winter herbivory associated with declining snowfall. Moreover, predation rates on songbird nests decreased in exclosures, despite higher abundances of nest predators, demonstrating the over-riding importance of habitat quality to avian recruitment. Thus, our results suggest that climate impacts on plant–animal interactions can have forceful ramifying effects on plants, birds, and ecological interactions.

  9. Rangeland Rummy - a board game to support adaptive management of rangeland-based livestock systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrié, B; Jouven, M; Launay, F; Moreau, J-C; Moulin, C-H; Piquet, M; Taverne, M; Tchakérian, E; Thénard, V; Martin, G

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland-based livestock systems have to deal with the significant instability and uncertainty of the agricultural context (policy changes, volatility of input prices, etc.), and especially of the climatic context. Thus, they are particularly concerned by adaptive management strategies. To support the development of such strategies, we developed a board game including a computer model called "Rangeland Rummy". It is to be used by groups of farmers and agricultural consultants in the context of short workshops (about 3 h). Rangeland Rummy builds upon five types of material object: (i) a game board; (ii) a calendar stick indicating the starting date of the game board; (iii) sticks marked with the feed resources available for combinations of vegetation types and their management practices; (iv) cards to define animal groups and their feeding requirements throughout the year; (v) cards related to types of feed that can be attributed to animal groups throughout the year. Using these material objects, farmers collectively design a rangeland-based livestock system. This system is immediately evaluated using a computer model, i.e. a spreadsheet providing graphs and indicators providing information on, among other things, the extent to which quantitative and qualitative animal feeding requirements are covered across the year. Playing the game thus consists in collectively and iteratively designing and evaluating rangeland-based livestock systems, while confronting the players with new contextual challenges (e.g. interannual variability of weather, volatility of input prices) or new farmers' objectives (e.g. being self-sufficient for animal feeding). An example of application of Rangeland Rummy with 3 farmers in southern France is reported. Applications show that it tends to develop farmers' adaptive capacity by stimulating their discussions and the exchange of locally-relevant knowledge on management strategies and practices in rangeland-based livestock systems. Copyright

  10. Links between plant and rhizoplane bacterial communities in grassland soils, characterized using molecular techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Daniell, Timothy J; Singh, Brajesh K; Papert, Artemis; McNicol, James W; Prosser, James I

    2005-11-01

    Molecular analysis of grassland rhizosphere soil has demonstrated complex and diverse bacterial communities, with resultant difficulties in detecting links between plant and bacterial communities. These studies have, however, analyzed "bulk" rhizosphere soil, rather than rhizoplane communities, which interact most closely with plants through utilization of root exudates. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that plant species was a major driver for bacterial rhizoplane community composition on individual plant roots. DNA extracted from individual roots was used to determine plant identity, by analysis of the plastid tRNA leucine (trnL) UAA gene intron, and plant-related bacterial communities. Bacterial communities were characterized by analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes using two fingerprinting methods: terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms (T-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Links between plant and bacterial rhizoplane communities could not be detected by visual examination of T-RFLP patterns or DGGE banding profiles. Statistical analysis of fingerprint patterns did not reveal a relationship between bacterial community composition and plant species but did demonstrate an influence of plant community composition. The data also indicated that topography and other, uncharacterized, environmental factors are important in driving bacterial community composition in grassland soils. T-RFLP had greater potential resolving power than DGGE, but findings from the two methods were not significantly different.

  11. Phylogenetic composition of host plant communities drives plant-herbivore food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volf, Martin; Pyszko, Petr; Abe, Tomokazu; Libra, Martin; Kotásková, Nela; Šigut, Martin; Kumar, Rajesh; Kaman, Ondřej; Butterill, Philip T; Šipoš, Jan; Abe, Haruka; Fukushima, Hiroaki; Drozd, Pavel; Kamata, Naoto; Murakami, Masashi; Novotny, Vojtech

    2017-05-01

    Insects tend to feed on related hosts. The phylogenetic composition of host plant communities thus plays a prominent role in determining insect specialization, food web structure, and diversity. Previous studies showed a high preference of insect herbivores for congeneric and confamilial hosts suggesting that some levels of host plant relationships may play more prominent role that others. We aim to quantify the effects of host phylogeny on the structure of quantitative plant-herbivore food webs. Further, we identify specific patterns in three insect guilds with different life histories and discuss the role of host plant phylogeny in maintaining their diversity. We studied herbivore assemblages in three temperate forests in Japan and the Czech Republic. Sampling from a canopy crane, a cherry picker and felled trees allowed a complete census of plant-herbivore interactions within three 0·1 ha plots for leaf chewing larvae, miners, and gallers. We analyzed the effects of host phylogeny by comparing the observed food webs with randomized models of host selection. Larval leaf chewers exhibited high generality at all three sites, whereas gallers and miners were almost exclusively monophagous. Leaf chewer generality dropped rapidly when older host lineages (5-80 myr) were collated into a single lineage but only decreased slightly when the most closely related congeneric hosts were collated. This shows that leaf chewer generality has been maintained by feeding on confamilial hosts while only a few herbivores were shared between more distant plant lineages and, surprisingly, between some congeneric hosts. In contrast, miner and galler generality was maintained mainly by the terminal nodes of the host phylogeny and dropped immediately after collating congeneric hosts into single lineages. We show that not all levels of host plant phylogeny are equal in their effect on structuring plant-herbivore food webs. In the case of generalist guilds, it is the phylogeny of deeper

  12. A New P System to Model the Subalpine and Alpine Plant Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Colomer, M. Angels; Fondevilla, Cristian; Valencia Cabrera, Luis

    2011-01-01

    In this work we present a P system based model of the ecosystem dynamics of plant communities. It is applied to four National Hunting Reservoirs in Catalan Pyrenees (Spain). In previous works several natural high- mountain- ecosystems and population dynamics were modeled, but in those works grass was considered unlimited and changes in plant communities were not taken into account. In our new model we take advantage of the modularity of P systems, adding the plant communities t...

  13. Contrasting trait responses in plant communities to experimental and geographic variation in precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Goldstein, Leah; Kraft, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    between these approaches. We synthesized results from four experimental water addition studies with a correlative analysis of community changes across a large natural precipitation gradient in the United States. We investigated whether community composition, summarized with plant functional traits...

  14. Humans as long-distance dispersers of rural plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

    Full Text Available Humans are known for their capacity to disperse organisms long distances. Long-distance dispersal can be important for species threatened by habitat destruction, but research into human-mediated dispersal is often focused upon few and/or invasive species. Here we use citizen science to identify the capacity for humans to disperse seeds on their clothes and footwear from a known species pool in a valuable habitat, allowing for an assessment of the fraction and types of species dispersed by humans in an alternative context. We collected material from volunteers cutting 48 species-rich meadows throughout Sweden. We counted 24,354 seeds of 197 species, representing 34% of the available species pool, including several rare and protected species. However, 71 species (36% are considered invasive elsewhere in the world. Trait analysis showed that seeds with hooks or other appendages were more likely to be dispersed by humans, as well as those with a persistent seed bank. More activity in a meadow resulted in more dispersal, both in terms of species and representation of the source communities. Average potential dispersal distances were measured at 13 km. We consider humans capable seed dispersers, transporting a significant proportion of the plant communities in which they are active, just like more traditional vectors such as livestock. When rural populations were larger, people might have been regular and effective seed dispersers, and the net rural-urban migration resulting in a reduction in humans in the landscape may have exacerbated the dispersal failure evident in declining plant populations today. With the fragmentation of habitat and changes in land use resulting from agricultural change, and the increased mobility of humans worldwide, the dispersal role of humans may have shifted from providers of regular local and landscape dispersal to providers of much rarer long-distance and regional dispersal, and international invasion.

  15. Influences of plant type on bacterial and archaeal communities in constructed wetland treating polluted river water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Yan; Yi, Hao; Chen, Sili; Zhang, Zhengke; Cui, Kai; Bing, Yongxin; Zhuo, Qiongfang; Li, Bingxin; Xie, Shuguang; Guo, Qingwei

    2016-10-01

    Both bacteria and archaeal communities can play important roles in biogeochemical processes in constructed wetland (CW) system. However, the influence of plant type on microbial community in surface water CW remains unclear. The present study investigated bacterial and archaeal communities in five surface water CW systems with different plant species. The abundance, richness, and diversity of both bacterial and archaeal communities considerably differed in these five CW systems. Compared with the other three CW systems, the CW systems planted with Vetiveria zizanioides or Juncus effusus L. showed much higher bacterial abundance but lower archaeal abundance. Bacteria outnumbered archaea in each CW system. Moreover, the CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L. had relatively lower archaeal but higher bacterial richness and diversity. In each CW system, bacterial community displayed much higher richness and diversity than archaeal community. In addition, a remarkable difference of both bacterial and archaeal community structures was observed in the five studied CW systems. Proteobacteria was the most abundant bacterial group (accounting for 33-60 %). Thaumarchaeota organisms (57 %) predominated in archaeal communities in CW systems planted with V. zizanioides or J. effusus L., while Woesearchaeota (23 or 24 %) and Euryarchaeota (23 or 15 %) were the major archaeal groups in CW systems planted with Cyperus papyrus or Canna indica L. Archaeal community in CW planted with Typha orientalis Presl was mainly composed of unclassified archaea. Therefore, plant type exerted a considerable influence on microbial community in surface water CW system.

  16. Planting Trees in Designed and Built Community Landscapes - Checklists for Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary K. Reynolds; H. Sharon Ossenbruggen

    Trees create green spaces in communities. The right trees in the right places benefit you, your home, and your community now and in the future. It is essential to select living trees to create a sense of place within communities. This publication helps citizens create community green spaces. It encourages both experts and amateurs to plant and grow trees correctly, and...

  17. Bacterial communities involved in sulfur transformations in wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Daniel Derrossi; de Andrade, Pedro Avelino Maia; Durrer, Ademir; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Corção, Gertrudes; Brandelli, Adriano

    2016-12-01

    The main sulfate-reducing (SRB) and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) in six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located at southern Brazil were described based on high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rDNA. Specific taxa of SRB and SOB were correlated with some abiotic factors, such as the source of the wastewater, oxygen content, sample type, and physical chemical attributes of these WWTPs. When the 22 families of SRB and SOB were clustered together, the samples presented a striking distribution, demonstrating grouping patterns according to the sample type. For SOB, the most abundant families were Spirochaetaceae, Chromatiaceae, Helicobacteriaceae, Rhodospirillaceae, and Neisseriaceae, whereas, for SRB, were Syntrophaceae, Desulfobacteraceae, Nitrospiraceae, and Desulfovibriaceae. The structure and composition of the major families related to the sulfur cycle were also influenced by six chemical attributes (sulfur, potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, and nitrogen). Sulfur was the chemical attribute that most influenced the variation of bacterial communities in the WWTPs (λ = 0.14, p = 0.008). The OTUs affiliated to Syntrophus showed the highest response to the increase of total sulfur. All these findings can contribute to improve the understanding in relation to the sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing communities in WWTPs aiming to reduce H2S emissions.

  18. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change.

  19. Decadal changes in north-American tundra plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, S.; Johnson, D. R.; Webber, P.; Ebert-May, D.; Hollister, R. D.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2013-12-01

    Improving our understanding of how tundra vegetation responds to environmental change over decadal time scales is important. Tundra plants and ecosystems are well-recognized for their susceptibility to be impacted by climate warming; changes in land-atmosphere carbon, water, and energy balance in tundra landscapes have the potential to impact regional to global-scale climate, and relatively few studies examining change in tundra landscapes have spanned decadal time scales. The majority of our understanding of tundra vegetation responses to environmental change has been derived from studies along environmental gradients, experimental manipulations, and modeling. This study synthesizes the rescue and resampling of historic vegetation study sites established during the 1960's and 1970's at three arctic tundra locations (Baffin Island, Canada, Barrow, Alaska, and Atqasuk, Alaska), and one alpine tundra location (Niwot Ridge, Colorado). We conducted a meta-analysis to examine decadal changes in plant community composition, species richness, species evenness, and species diversity at all locations and for three broad soil moisture classes (dry, moist, wet). For all sites, except Baffin Island, change over the last decade was compared with long term change to determine if rates of change have altered over time. Change in plant community composition was most dramatic at Barrow and Baffin Island (P relative to rates documented in the mid 1960's. There were no changes in species richness at any of the locations, but there appears to be acceleration in the loss of species richness for dry and moist tundra. Species evenness increased at Atqasuk and in dry and wet tundra but decreased at Niwot Ridge in moist tundra. A loss in species diversity was detected in moist tundra in the decadal study, while diversity increased for dry and wet tundra. Baffin Island was the only location to show evidence of an increase in species diversity. This study appears to be among the first to

  20. Mineralogical composition changes of postagrogenic soils under different plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churilin, Nikita; Chizhikova, Natalia; Varlamov, Evgheni; Churilina, Alexandra

    2017-04-01

    Plant communities play the leading role in transformation of soil. The need of studying former arable lands increases due to large number of abandoned lands in Russia. It is necessary to study mineralogical composition of soils involved into natural processes to understand the trends of their development after agricultural activities in the past. The aim of the study is to identify changes in mineralogical composition of soils under the influence of different plant communities. Soils were sampled in the south of Arkhangelsk region, Ustyansky district, near Akichkin Pochinok village. Soils are formed on clay moraine of Moscow glaciation. Soil profiles were dug on interfluve. We selected 4 plant communities on different stages of succession: upland meadow with domination of sod grasses (Phleum pratense, Agrostis tenuis), 16-year-old birch forest where dominants are herbaceous plants such as Poa sp., Chamerion angustiflium, Agrostis tenuis, 16-year-old spruce forest with no herbaceous vegetation and 70-year-old bilberry spruce forest with domination of Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea. To separate soil fractions <1 micron, 1-5 micron and 5-10 micron samples were rubbed into a thick paste and sedimented. Oriented preparations of fractions were examined by XRD method. The results show that podzol processes lead to significant changes of mineral content. We noticed a clear differentiation of studied soils both in the content of fraction and composition of minerals. Mineralogical composition and major mineral phases correlation of profiles under 70 years and 16 years of spruce forests are different. Mineralogical content in upper part of profile under the young spruce is more differentiated than in old spruce forest: the amount of quartz and kaolinite increases in upper horizon, although in this case the overall pattern of profile formation of clay material during podzolization remains unchanged. There is more substantial desilting under the birch forest

  1. Composition of fungal soil communities varies with plant abundance and geographic origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reininger, Vanessa; Martinez-Garcia, Laura B; Sanderson, Laura; Antunes, Pedro M

    2015-09-14

    Interactions of belowground fungal communities with exotic and native plant species may be important drivers of plant community structure in invaded grasslands. However, field surveys linking plant community structure with belowground fungal communities are missing. We investigated whether a selected number of abundant and relatively rare plants, either native or exotic, from an old-field site associate with different fungal communities. We also assessed whether these plants showed different symbiotic relationships with soil biota through their roots. We characterized the plant community and collected roots to investigate fungal communities using 454 pyrosequencing and assessed arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and enemy-induced lesions. Differences in fungal communities were considered based on the assessment of α- and β diversity depending on plant 'abundance' and 'origin'. Plant abundance and origin determined the fungal community. Fungal richness was higher for native abundant as opposed to relatively rare native plant species. However, this was not observed for exotics of contrasting abundance. Regardless of their origin, β diversity was higher for rare than for abundant species. Abundant exotics in the community, which happen to be grasses, were the least mycorrhizal whereas rare natives were most susceptible to enemy attack. Our results suggest that compared with exotics, the relative abundance of remnant native plant species in our old-field site is still linked to the structure of belowground fungal communities. In contrast, exotic species may act as a disturbing agent contributing towards the homogenization of soil fungal communities, potentially changing feedback interactions. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. A Post Licensing Study of Community Effects at Two Operating Nuclear Power Plants. Final Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Bruce J.; And Others

    In an effort to identify and assess the social, economic, and political effects of nuclear power plant construction and operation upon two host communities (Plymouth, Massachusetts and Waterford, Connecticut), a post-licensing review revealed that the primary impact of the nuclear power plants in both communities was an increase in the property…

  4. Microbial community structure elucidates performance of Glyceria maxima plant microbial fuel cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, R.A.; Rothballer, M.; Strik, D.P.B.T.B.; Engel, M.; Schulz, M.; Hartmann, A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2012-01-01

    The plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) is a technology in which living plant roots provide electron donor, via rhizodeposition, to a mixed microbial community to generate electricity in a microbial fuel cell. Analysis and localisation of the microbial community is necessary for gaining insight into

  5. Monitoring Forage Production of California Rangeland Using Remote Sensing Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Jin, Y.; Dahlgren, R. A.; O'Geen, A. T.; Roche, L. M.; Smith, A. M.; Flavell, D.

    2016-12-01

    Pastures and rangeland cover more than 10 million hectares in California's coastal and inland foothill regions, providing feeds to livestock and important ecosystem services. Forage production in California has a large year-to-year variation due to large inter-annual and seasonal variabilities in precipitation and temperature. It also varies spatially due to the variability in climate and soils. Our goal is to develop a robust and cost-effective tool to map the near-real-time and historical forage productivity in California using remote sensing observations from Landsat and MODIS satellites. We used a Monteith's eco-physiological plant growth theory: the aboveground net primary production (ANPP) is determined by (i) the absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and the (ii) light use efficiency (LUE): ANPP = APAR * LUEmax * f(T) * f(SM), where LUEmax is the maximum LUE, and f(T) and f(SM) are the temperature and soil moisture constrains on LUE. APAR was estimated with Landsat and MODIS vegetation index (VI), and LUE was calibrated with a statewide point dataset of peak forage production measurements at 75 annual rangeland sites. A non-linear optimization was performed to derive maximum LUE and the parameters for temperature and soil moisture regulation on LUE by minimizing the differences between the estimated and measured ANPP. Our results showed the satellite-derived annual forage production estimates correlated well withcontemporaneous in-situ forage measurements and captured both the spatial and temporal productivity patterns of forage productivity well. This remote sensing algorithm can be further improved as new field measurements become available. This tool will have a great importance in maintaining a sustainable range industry by providing key knowledge for ranchers and the stakeholders to make managerial decisions.

  6. Effects of invasive species on plant communities: an example using submersed aquatic plants at the regional level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Submerged aquatic plants have a key role in maintaining functioning aquatic ecosystems through their effects in the hydrological regime, sedimentation, nutrient cycling and habitats of associated fauna. Modifications of aquatic plant communities, as for example through the introduction of invasive s...

  7. Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making and Coping with Drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie M. Roche

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grazinglands support the livelihoods of millions of people around the world, as well as supply critical ecosystem services. Communities reliant on rain-fed rangelands are potentially the most vulnerable to increasing climate variability given their dependence on highly climate-sensitive resources. Droughts, which are gradual natural hazards, pose substantial and recurrent economic and ecological stresses to these systems. This study examined management decision-making based on survey responses of 479 California ranchers to: (1 identify the types of drought strategies in-place across California’s rangelands and the operation variables driving strategy selection; and (2 examine how individual drought adaptation is enhanced by decision-making factors. Four types of in-place drought strategies were identified and ordered along a gradient of increasing intensity (number of practices used. Significant background variables driving strategy selection were operation experience with drought, type of livestock operation, grazing system, and land ownership types. Information resource networks, goal setting for sustainable natural resources, and management capacity all acted to enhance individual drought adaptation—defined here by active drought planning and the number of both reactive and proactive drought practices used. Overall, analyses revealed that flexibility in management is a key component of adapting to and coping with drought. Climate policy planning should take into account the diversity of strategies that have been developed by ranchers for multiple generations and within the context of their unique operations, as well as support these working landscapes via a range of adaptation and mitigation options to reduce vulnerability across all types of operations.

  8. Assessment of rangeland ecosystem conditions, Salt Creek watershed and Dugout Ranch, southeastern Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belote, R.T.

    2012-01-01

    Increasingly, dry rangelands are being valued for multiple services beyond their traditional value as a forage production system. Additional ecosystem services include the potential to store carbon in the soil and plant biomass. In addition, dust emissions from rangelands might be considered an ecosystem detriment, the opposite of an ecosystem service. Dust emitted may have far-reaching impacts, for example, reduction of local air quality, as well as altering regional water supplies through effects on snowpack. Using an extensive rangeland monitoring dataset in the greater Canyonlands region (Utah, USA), we developed a method to estimate indices of the provisioning of three ecosystem services (forage production, dust retention, C storage) and one ecosystem property (nativeness), taking into account both ecosystem type and alternative states within that ecosystem type. We also integrated these four indices into a multifunctionality index. Comparing the currently ungrazed Canyonlands National Park watersheds to the adjacent Dugout Ranch pastures, we found clearly higher multifunctionality was attained in the Park, and that this was primarily driven by greater C-storage and better dust retention. It is unlikely to maximize all benefits and minimize all detriments at the same time. Some goods and services may have synergistic interactions; for example, managing for carbon storage will increase plant and biocrust cover likely lowering dust emission. Likewise, some may have antagonistic interactions. For instance, if carbon is consumed as biomass for livestock production, then carbon storage may be reduced. Ultimately our goal should be to quantify the monetary consequences of specific land use practices for multiple ecosystem services and determine the best land use and adaptive management practices for attaining multiple ecosystem services, minimizing economic detriments, and maximizing economic benefits from multi-commodity rangelands. Our technique is the first step

  9. Developing restoration planting mixes for active ski slopes: a multi-site reference community approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer Williamson

    2012-03-01

    Downhill ski areas occupy large expanses of mountainous lands where restoration of ecosystem function is of increasing importance and interest. Establishing diverse native plant communities on ski runs should enhance sediment and water retention, wildlife habitat, biodiversity and aesthetics. Because ski slopes are managed for recreation, ski slope revegetation mixes must consist of low-stature or herbaceous plants that can tolerate typical environmental conditions on ski slopes (high elevation, disturbed soils, open, steep slopes). The most appropriate reference communities for selecting ski slope revegetation species are thus successional, or seral plant communities in similar environments (i.e., other ski slopes). Using results from a broad-scale reference community analysis, I evaluated plant communities naturally occurring on ski slopes from 21 active and abandoned ski areas throughout the northern Sierra Nevada to identify native plant species suitable for use in ski slope restoration. I constructed a baseline planting palette of regionally appropriate plant species (for restoration of either newly created or already existing ski runs) that is functionally diverse and is likely to succeed across a broad range of environments. I also identify a more comprehensive list of species for more specialized planting mixes based on site-specific goals and particular environmental settings. Establishing seral plant communities may be an appropriate restoration goal for many other types of managed lands, including roadsides, firebreaks and utility rights-of-way. This study describes an ecological (and potentially cost-effective) approach to developing restoration planting palettes for such managed lands.

  10. Transcending Landscapes: Working Across Scales and Levels in Pastoralist Rangeland Governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Lance W; Ontiri, Enoch; Alemu, Tsegaye; Moiko, Stephen S

    2017-08-01

    Landscape approaches can be subjected to mistakenly targeting a single "best" level of governance, and paying too little attention to the role that cross-scale and cross-level interactions play in governance. In rangeland settings, resources, patterns of use of those resources, and the institutions for managing the resources exist at multiple levels and scales. While the scholarship on commons offers some guidance on how to conceptualize governance in rangeland landscapes, some elements of commons scholarship-notably the "design principles" for effective governance of commons-do not seem to apply neatly to governance in pastoralist rangeland settings. This paper examines three cases where attempts have been made to foster effective landscape governance in such settings to consider how the materiality of commons influences the nature of cross-scale and cross-level interactions, and how these interactions affect governance. In all three cases, although external actors seemed to work appropriately and effectively at community and landscape levels, landscape governance mechanisms have been facing great challenges arising from relationships beyond the landscape, both vertically to higher levels of decision-making and horizontally to communities normally residing in other landscapes. The cases demonstrate that fostering effective landscape-level governance cannot be accomplished only through action at the landscape level; it is a task that must be pursued at multiple levels and in relation to the connections across scales and levels. The paper suggests elements of a conceptual framework for understanding cross-level and cross-scale elements of landscape governance, and offers suggestions for governance design in pastoralist rangeland settings.

  11. Transcending Landscapes: Working Across Scales and Levels in Pastoralist Rangeland Governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Lance W.; Ontiri, Enoch; Alemu, Tsegaye; Moiko, Stephen S.

    2017-08-01

    Landscape approaches can be subjected to mistakenly targeting a single "best" level of governance, and paying too little attention to the role that cross-scale and cross-level interactions play in governance. In rangeland settings, resources, patterns of use of those resources, and the institutions for managing the resources exist at multiple levels and scales. While the scholarship on commons offers some guidance on how to conceptualize governance in rangeland landscapes, some elements of commons scholarship—notably the "design principles" for effective governance of commons—do not seem to apply neatly to governance in pastoralist rangeland settings. This paper examines three cases where attempts have been made to foster effective landscape governance in such settings to consider how the materiality of commons influences the nature of cross-scale and cross-level interactions, and how these interactions affect governance. In all three cases, although external actors seemed to work appropriately and effectively at community and landscape levels, landscape governance mechanisms have been facing great challenges arising from relationships beyond the landscape, both vertically to higher levels of decision-making and horizontally to communities normally residing in other landscapes. The cases demonstrate that fostering effective landscape-level governance cannot be accomplished only through action at the landscape level; it is a task that must be pursued at multiple levels and in relation to the connections across scales and levels. The paper suggests elements of a conceptual framework for understanding cross-level and cross-scale elements of landscape governance, and offers suggestions for governance design in pastoralist rangeland settings.

  12. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

    Full Text Available Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  13. Biological support media influence the bacterial biofouling community in reverse osmosis water reclamation demonstration plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrera, Isabel; Mas, Jordi; Taberna, Elisenda; Sanz, Joan; Sánchez, Olga

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of the bacterial community developed in different stages of two reverse osmosis (RO) water reclamation demonstration plants designed in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Tarragona (Spain) was characterized by applying 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. The plants were fed by secondary treated effluent to a conventional pretreatment train prior to the two-pass RO system. Plants differed in the material used in the filtration process, which was sand in one demonstration plant and Scandinavian schists in the second plant. The results showed the presence of a highly diverse and complex community in the biofilms, mainly composed of members of the Betaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes in all stages, with the presence of some typical wastewater bacteria, suggesting a feed water origin. Community similarities analyses revealed that samples clustered according to filter type, highlighting the critical influence of the biological supporting medium in biofilm community structure.

  14. Erosion rates from forests and rangelands following fuel management

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Elliot; Peter R. Robichaud; I. Sue Miller

    2007-01-01

    In both forest and rangelands, fuel reduction operations are now common practices. Mechanical thinning followed by prescribed fire is common in forests, while fire is frequently applied to rangelands. Studies at different scales (50 sq m to 389 ha) measure the erosion from fuel management. This presentation compares runoff and erosion from these studies. Plot size has...

  15. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: applications and practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    The challenges that land owners and resource managers face when trying to attempt applications and practices when attempting to rehabilitate rangelands infested with cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) are over-whelming. Simply purchasing seed and spreading it throughout the rangelands is doomed for failu...

  16. Managing climate change risks in rangeland systems [Chapter 15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; Nadine A. Marshall

    2017-01-01

    The management of rangelands has long involved adapting to climate variability to ensure that economic enterprises remain viable and ecosystems sustainable; climate change brings the potential for change that surpasses the experience of humans within rangeland systems. Adaptation will require an intentionality to address the effects of climate change. Knowledge of...

  17. Improving access to livestock markets for sustainable rangeland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Productivity of rangelands in Kenya is affected by increasing crop farming especially in more fertile range areas. Among the key factors driving the encroachment of crops on rangelands are the changing opportunities brought about by markets. We hypothesize that the existing market inefficiencies characterizing livestock ...

  18. Mathematical modeling of heat transfer in plant community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finnikov K.A.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The conductive, convective and radiation heat exchange process in a natural system including plants aggregation, air lower layer and ground upper layer, is examined. The mathematical model of process is formulated in 1d unsteady approach. The numerical simulation of plants aggregation cooling is performed for the case of a radiation frost. It is found up that mutual influence of plants in an aggregation on the heat exchange with environment grows with the increase of plants size and plants number per ground area. The influence leads to that lower parts of plants are cooled slower, while upper parts are cooled faster. The estimations are made for the quantity of heat emitted in a thermogenic plant that is enough to prevent the plant cold stress. It is shown that in presence of enforced air flow the rate of plants cooling is noticeably lower, as well as the quantity of heat enough to prevent the plant cold stress.

  19. Subordinate plant species moderate drought effects on earthworms communities in grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Mariotte Pierre; Le Bayon Renee-Claire; Eisenhauer Nico; Guenat Claire; Buttler Alexandre

    2016-01-01

    Loss of plant diversity resulting from forecasted drought events is likely to alter soil functioning and affect earthworm communities. Plant soil interactions are expected to play an important role in mediating climate change effects on soil decomposers. In this study we test above belowground linkages after drought by focusing on the effects of subordinate plant species on earthworm communities. Using a combination of subordinate species removal and experimental drought we show that subordin...

  20. Impact of heavy metals on photosynthetic pigment content in roadside plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Elena

    2017-11-01

    The research is dedicated to the study of the impact of heavy metals (As, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn) found in plant samples on photosynthetic pigments in anthropogenic roadside plant communities. In the process of research, the anthropogenic load intensity for the selected sites (1 substances. The obtained data may be used to forecast dynamics of plant populations and communities in the polluted areas and to monitor conditions of natural ecosystems.

  1. Sustainable rangeland management, economic growth, and a cautious role for the SRM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in the art and science of rangeland management increased dramatically during the 20th century and it was out of this interest that the profession of rangeland management was born. As public interest in rangeland management grew, so did the number, breadth, and depth of rangeland management ...

  2. An Integrated Social, Economic, and Ecologic Conceptual (ISEEC) framework for considering rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William E. Fox; Daniel W. McCollum; John E. Mitchell; Louis E. Swanson; Urs P. Kreuter; John A. Tanaka; Gary R. Evans; H. Theodore Heintz; Robert P. Breckenridge; Paul H. Geissler

    2009-01-01

    Currently, there is no standard method to assess the complex systems in rangeland ecosystems. Decision makers need baselines to create a common language of current rangeland conditions and standards for continued rangeland assessment. The Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable (SRR), a group of private and public organizations and agencies, has created a forum to discuss...

  3. Mathematical modeling of heat transfer in plant community

    OpenAIRE

    Finnikov K.A.; Korzun A.M.; Kolesnichenko A.V.

    2011-01-01

    The conductive, convective and radiation heat exchange process in a natural system including plants aggregation, air lower layer and ground upper layer, is examined. The mathematical model of process is formulated in 1d unsteady approach. The numerical simulation of plants aggregation cooling is performed for the case of a radiation frost. It is found up that mutual influence of plants in an aggregation on the heat exchange with environment grows with the increase of plants size and plants nu...

  4. Interplay between Senecio jacobaea and plant, soil and aboveground insect herbivore community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Korpershoek, H.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate the factors that affect the performance of plants in their natural environment, it is essential to study interactions with other neighboring plants, as well as with above- and belowground higher trophic organisms. We used a long-term field experiment to study how local plant community

  5. Interplay between Senecio jacobaea and plant, soil, and aboveground insect community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Harvey, J.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Korpershoek, H.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate the factors that affect the performance of plants in their natural environment, it is essential to study interactions with other neighboring plants, as well as with above- and belowground higher trophic organisms. We used a long-term field experiment to study how local plant community

  6. Climate change effects on rangelands and rangeland management: Affirming the need for monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Mccollum; John A. Tanaka; Jack A. Morgan; John E. Mitchell; William E. Fox; Kristie A. Maczko; Lori Hidinger; Clifford S. Duke; Urs P. Kreuter

    2017-01-01

    Uncertainty as to the extent and magnitude of changes in conditions that might occur due to climate change poses a problem for land and resource managers as they seek to adapt to changes and mitigate effects of climate variability. We illustrate using scenarios of projected future conditions on rangelands in the Northern Great Plains and Desert Southwest of the United...

  7. The role of biotic interactions in plant community assembly: What is the community species pool?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

    Differences in plant species composition between a community and its species pool are considered to reflect the effect of community filters. If we define the species pool as a set of species able to reach a site and form a viable population in a given abiotic environment (i.e. to pass the dispersal and abiotic filter), the difference in species composition should correspond to the effect of biotic interactions. However, most of the operational definitions of the species pool are based on co-occurrence patterns and thus also reflect the effect of biotic relationships, including definitions based on functional plant traits, Ellenberg indicator values or Beals index. We conducted two seed introduction experiments in an oligotrophic wet meadow with the aim of demonstrating that many species excluded, according to the above definitions, from a species pool are in fact able to establish there successfully if competition is removed. In sowing experiments, we studied the establishment and survival of species after the removal of competition (i.e. in artificial gaps) and in intact vegetation. We also investigated inter-annual variability of seed germination and seedling establishment and competitive exclusion of sown species. The investigated species also included those from very different habitats (i.e. species with very low corresponding Beals index or Ellenberg indicator values that were different from the target community weighted mean). Many of these species were able to grow in the focal wet meadow if competition was removed, but they did not establish and survive in the intact community. These species are thus not limited by abiotic conditions, but by the biotic filter. We also recorded a great inter-annual variability in seed germination and seedling establishment. Competitive exclusion of species with different ecological requirements could be quite fast (one and half seasons) in some species, but some non-resident species were able to survive several seasons; the

  8. Soil degradation in wooded rangelands of southwest Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, S.; Lavado Contador, J. F.; Gómez Gutiérrez, Á.

    2009-04-01

    Extremadura, gullies are localized and permanent features, representing only a small fraction of the total land and are mainly located in valley bottoms with an alluvial sediment fill. Individual gullies may present high soil losses, constitute an obstacle for traffic and enhance drainage of subsurface flow (valley bottoms probably dry up more quickly). They are more frequent on schist and greywacke than on granites, the dominant rock types in SW Spain. Monitoring of a gully system during a period of 7 years has shown that a strong relationship exists between catchment hydrology (rainfall and runoff) and erosion in the channel. However, a study of the same gully system for the period from 1947 until 2002 has shown increases of erosion during a period when large parts of the catchment were cultivated and when livestock numbers were increased. The latter is mainly related with animal trampling in the vicinity and along the margins of the gully. Rill erosion is not a frequent phenomenon in dehesa, limited mainly to areas which are ploughed for cultivation or shrub cleaning. Very high erosion may occur when tillage practice immediately precedes exceptional rainstorms. Other soil degradation processes important in wooded rangelands are soil compaction, reduction of organic matter content, biological activity, plant available water and infiltration capacity. The few quantitative data available to date show that in large parts of the region soils are degraded (shallow, low organic matter content and high bulk density, etc.). This can be the result of centuries of agrosilvopastoral land use but is certainly also the consequence of inadequate land management in many areas at present. The large spatial variation of factors (vegetation, soils, relief, climate, land use and land management) is a characteristic feature of wooded rangelands in the Iberian Peninsula, and together with the temporal changes of these factors, makes it very difficult to discriminate the causes of soil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Rangeland health assessment - The key to understanding and assessing rangeland soil health in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the science related to soil and rangeland health evolves, so do their protocols and assessment methodologies. Rangeland health assessments consist of evaluating how well ecological processes such as the water cycle, energy flow and nutrient cycling are functioning at a site. Soil health is the ca...

  11. Rangeland dynamics in South Omo Zone of Southern Ethiopia: Assessment of rangeland condition in relation to altitude and Grazing types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe, A.; Ebro, A.; Tessema, Z.K.

    2010-01-01

    A study was undertaken in Hamer and Benna-Tsemay districts of the Southern Ethiopia with the objective to determine the condition of the rangelands for grazing animals as influenced by altitude and grazing types. The rangelands in each of the study districts were stratified based on altitude and

  12. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Janoušková

    Full Text Available Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation.

  13. Inoculation effects on root-colonizing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities spread beyond directly inoculated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janoušková, Martina; Krak, Karol; Vosátka, Miroslav; Püschel, David; Štorchová, Helena

    2017-01-01

    Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation.

  14. Plant Invasions Associated with Change in Root-Zone Microbial Community Structure and Diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

    Full Text Available The importance of plant-microbe associations for the invasion of plant species have not been often tested under field conditions. The research sought to determine patterns of change in microbial communities associated with the establishment of invasive plants with different taxonomic and phenetic traits. Three independent locations in Virginia, USA were selected. One site was invaded by a grass (Microstegium vimineum, another by a shrub (Rhamnus davurica, and the third by a tree (Ailanthus altissima. The native vegetation from these sites was used as reference. 16S rRNA and ITS regions were sequenced to study root-zone bacterial and fungal communities, respectively, in invaded and non-invaded samples and analyzed using Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME. Though root-zone microbial community structure initially differed across locations, plant invasion shifted communities in similar ways. Indicator species analysis revealed that Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs closely related to Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Ascomycota increased in abundance due to plant invasions. The Hyphomonadaceae family in the Rhodobacterales order and ammonia-oxidizing Nitrospirae phylum showed greater relative abundance in the invaded root-zone soils. Hyphomicrobiaceae, another bacterial family within the phyla Proteobacteria increased as a result of plant invasion, but the effect associated most strongly with root-zones of M. vimineum and R. davurica. Functional analysis using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt showed bacteria responsible for nitrogen cycling in soil increased in relative abundance in association with plant invasion. In agreement with phylogenetic and functional analyses, greater turnover of ammonium and nitrate was associated with plant invasion. Overall, bacterial and fungal communities changed congruently across plant invaders, and support the hypothesis that

  15. Emerging issues and challenges in conservation of biodiversity in the rangelands of Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jafari Kideghesho

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Tanzania rangelands are a stronghold for biodiversity harbouring a variety of animal and plant species of economic, ecological and socio-cultural importance. Efforts to protect these resources against destruction and loss have involved, among other things, setting aside some tracks of land as protected areas in the form of national parks, nature reserves, game reserves, game controlled and wildlife management areas. However, these areas and adjacent lands have long been subjected to a number of emerging issues and challenges, which complicate their management, thus putting the resources at risk of over exploitation and extinction. These issues and challenges include, among other things, government policies, failure of conservation (as a form of land use to compete effectively with alternative land uses, habitat degradation and blockage of wildlife corridors, overexploitation and illegal resource extraction, wildfires, human population growth, poverty, HIV/AIDS pandemic and human-wildlife conflicts. In this paper, we review the emerging issues and challenges in biodiversity conservation by drawing experience from different parts of Tanzania. The paper is based on the premise that, understanding of the issues and challenges underpinning the rangelands is a crucial step towards setting up of plausible objectives, strategies and plans that will improve and lead to effective management of these areas. We conclude by recommending some proactive measures that may enhance the sustainability of the rangeland resources for the benefit of the current and future generations.

  16. Fodder Biomass Monitoring in Sahelian Rangelands Using Phenological Metrics from FAPAR Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdoul Aziz Diouf

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Timely monitoring of plant biomass is critical for the management of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands. The estimation of annual biomass production in the Sahel is based on a simple relationship between satellite annual Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and in situ biomass data. This study proposes a new methodology using multi-linear models between phenological metrics from the SPOT-VEGETATION time series of Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR and in situ biomass. A model with three variables—large seasonal integral (LINTG, length of growing season, and end of season decreasing rate—performed best (MAE = 605 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.68 across Sahelian ecosystems in Senegal (data for the period 1999–2013. A model with annual maximum (PEAK and start date of season showed similar performances (MAE = 625 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.64, allowing a timely estimation of forage availability. The subdivision of the study area in ecoregions increased overall accuracy (MAE = 489.21 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.77, indicating that a relation between metrics and ecosystem properties exists. LINTG was the main explanatory variable for woody rangelands with high leaf biomass, whereas for areas dominated by herbaceous vegetation, it was the PEAK metric. The proposed approach outperformed the established biomass NDVI-based product (MAE = 818 kg·DM/ha and R2 = 0.51 and should improve the operational monitoring of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands.

  17. Responses of community-level plant-insect interactions to climate warming in a meadow steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Hui; Zou, Xuehui; Wang, Deli; Wan, Shiqiang; Wang, Ling; Guo, Jixun

    2015-12-21

    Climate warming may disrupt trophic interactions, consequently influencing ecosystem functioning. Most studies have concentrated on the temperature-effects on plant-insect interactions at individual and population levels, with a particular emphasis on changes in phenology and distribution. Nevertheless, the available evidence from the community level is limited. A 3-year field manipulative experiment was performed to test potential responses of plant and insect communities, and plant-insect interactions, to elevated temperature in a meadow steppe. Warming increased the biomass of plant community and forbs, and decreased grass biomass, indicating a shift from grass-dominant to grass-forb mixed plant community. Reduced abundance of the insect community under warming, particularly the herbivorous insects, was attributed to lower abundance of Euchorthippus unicolor and a Cicadellidae species resulting from lower food availability and higher defensive herbivory. Lower herbivore abundance caused lower predator species richness because of reduced prey resources and contributed to an overall decrease in insect species richness. Interestingly, warming enhanced the positive relationship between insect and plant species richness, implying that the strength of the plant-insect interactions was altered by warming. Our results suggest that alterations to plant-insect interactions at a community level under climate warming in grasslands may be more important and complex than previously thought.

  18. Strong linkage between plant and soil fungal communities along a successional coastal dune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy-Bolduc, Alice; Laliberté, Etienne; Boudreau, Stéphane; Hijri, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Complex interactions between plants and soil microorganisms drive key ecosystem and community properties such as productivity and diversity. In nutrient-poor systems such as sand dunes, plant traits and fungal symbioses related to nutrient acquisition can strongly influence vegetation dynamics. We investigated plant and fungal communities in a relic foredune plain located on an archipelago in Québec, Canada. We detected distinct communities across the edaphic and successional gradient. Our results showed a clear increase in plant species richness, as well as in the diversity of nutrient-acquisition strategies. We also found a strong correlation between aboveground vegetation and soil fungal communities, and both responded similarly to soil physicochemical properties. Soil pH influenced the composition of plant and fungal communities, and could act as an important environmental filter along this relic foredune plain. The increasing functional diversity in plant nutrient-acquisition strategies across the gradient might favor resource partitioning and facilitation among co-occurring plant species. The coordinated changes in soil microbial and plant communities highlight the importance of aboveground-belowground linkages and positive biotic interactions during ecological succession in nutrient-poor environments. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Species divergence and trait convergence in experimental plant community assembly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fukami, T.; Bezemer, T.M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2005-01-01

    Despite decades of research, it remains controversial whether ecological communities converge towards a common structure determined by environmental conditions irrespective of assembly history. Here, we show experimentally that the answer depends on the level of community organization considered. In

  20. [Effects of phytase transgenic corn planting on soil nematode community].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zong-Chao; Su, Ying; Mou, Wen-Ya; Liu, Man-Qiang; Chen, Xiao-Yun; Chen, Fa-Jun

    2014-04-01

    A healthy soil ecosystem is essential for nutrient cycling and energy conversion, and the impact of exogenous genes from genetically modified crops had aroused wide concerns. Phytase transgenic corn (i. e., the inbred line BVLA430101) was issued a bio-safety certificate on 27 September 2009 in China, which could improve the efficiency of feed utilization, reduce environmental pollution caused by animal manure. In this study, the abundance of trophic groups, community structure and ecological indices of soil nematodes were studied over the growing cycle of phytase transgenic corn (ab. transgenic corn) and control conventional parental corn (ab. control corn) in the field. Totally 29 and 26 nematode genera were isolated from transgenic corn and control corn fields, respectively. The abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators, the total number of soil nematodes, and the Shannon index (H) were significantly greater under transgenic corn than under control corn, while the opposite trend was found for the relative abundance of herbivores and the maturity index (Sigma MI) of soil nematodes. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not detect any significant effects of transgenic corn on the composition and abundance of nematode trophic groups and ecological indices of soil nematodes. Furthermore, the Student-T test showed that the abundances of bacterivores and omnivores-predators and the total number of soil nematodes during the milk-ripe stage were significant higher in the transgenic corn field than in the control corn field. The effects of transgenic corn planting on soil nematodes might be related to the increase in the nitrogen content of field soil under transgenic corn compared to control corn.

  1. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyle E Merriam; Jon E. Keeley; Jan L. Beyers

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment...

  2. Species Richness of Yeast Communities in Floral Nectar of Southern Spanish Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Pozo, María I.; Herrera, Carlos M.; Bazaga, Pilar

    2011-01-01

    Floral nectar of insect-pollinated plants often contains dense yeast populations, yet little quantitative information exists on patterns and magnitude of species richness of nectar-dwelling yeasts in natural plant commu- nities. This study evaluates yeast species richness at both the plant community and plant species levels in a montane forest area in southern Spain, and also explores possible correlations between the incidence of different yeast species in nectar and their reported tolerance...

  3. Knowledge and use of wild edible plants in rural communities along Paraguay River, Pantanal, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Bortolotto, Ieda Maria; Amorozo, Maria Christina de Mello; Neto, Germano Guarim; Oldeland, Jens; Damasceno-Junior, Geraldo Alves

    2015-01-01

    Background Wild plants are used as food for human populations where people still depend on natural resources to survive. This study aimed at identifying wild plants and edible uses known in four rural communities of the Pantanal-Brazil, estimating the use value and understanding how distance to the urban areas, gender, age and number of different environments available in the vicinity can influence the knowledge and use of these plants by local people. Methods Data on edible plants with known...

  4. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mograbi, Penelope J.; Knapp, David E.; Martin, Roberta E.; Main, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha-1 on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha-1 on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10–14% p.a.) were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands could be misinterpreted as woodland recovery in the absence of three-dimensional, subcanopy information. PMID:25969985

  5. Soil microbial communities alter leaf chemistry and influence allelopathic potential among coexisting plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiners, Scott J; Phipps, Kelsey K; Pendergast, Thomas H; Canam, Thomas; Carson, Walter P

    2017-04-01

    While both plant-soil feedbacks and allelochemical interactions are key drivers of plant community dynamics, the potential for these two drivers to interact with each other remains largely unexplored. If soil microbes influence allelochemical production, this would represent a novel dimension of heterogeneity in plant-soil feedbacks. To explore the linkage between soil microbial communities and plant chemistry, we experimentally generated soil microbial communities and evaluated their impact on leaf chemical composition and allelopathic potential. Four native perennial old-field species (two each of Aster and Solidago) were grown in pairwise combination with each species' soil microbial community as well as a sterilized inoculum. We demonstrated unequivocally that variation in soil microbial communities altered leaf chemical fingerprints for all focal plant species and also changed their allelopathic potential. Soil microbes reduced allelopathic potential in bioassays by increasing germination 25-54% relative to sterile control soils in all four species. Plants grown with their own microbial communities had the lowest allelopathic potential, suggesting that allelochemical production may be lessened when growing with microbes from conspecifics. The allelopathic potential of plants grown in congener and confamilial soils was indistinguishable from each other, indicating an equivalent response to all non-conspecific microbial communities within these closely related genera. Our results clearly demonstrated that soil microbial communities cause changes in leaf tissue chemistry that altered their allelopathic properties. These findings represent a new mechanism of plant-soil feedbacks that may structure perennial plant communities over very small spatial scales that must be explored in much more detail.

  6. An account of the plant communities of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm, Orange Free State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-09-01

    Full Text Available As part of the IBP survey of conservation sites, the vegetation of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm,Orange Free State, was surveyed and analysed according to the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological method. A classification of the plant communities occurring there is given. A way by which a hierarchical classification of plant communities in South Africa community is physiognomically classified according of this system are discussed briefly.could be constructed, is suggested. Each plant to Fosberg's (1967 system. Two disadvantages of this system are discussed briefly.

  7. An account of the plant communities of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm, Orange Free State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-07-01

    Full Text Available As part of the IBP survey of conservation sites, the vegetation of Tussen die Riviere Game Farm,Orange Free State, was surveyed and analysed according to the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological method. A classification of the plant communities occurring there is given. A way by which a hierarchical classification of plant communities in South Africa community is physiognomically classified according of this system are discussed briefly.could be constructed, is suggested. Each plant to Fosberg's (1967 system. Two disadvantages of this system are discussed briefly.

  8. Traits underlying community consequences of plant intra-specific diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Abdala-Roberts

    Full Text Available A plant's performance and interactions with other trophic levels are recorgnized to be contingent upon plant diversity and underlying associational dynamics, but far less is known about the plant traits driving such phenomena. We manipulated diversity in plant traits using pairs of plant and a substitutive design to elucidate the mechanisms underlying diversity effects operating at a fine spatial scale. Specifically, we measured the effects of diversity in sex (sexual monocultures vs. male and female genotypes together and growth rate (growth rate monocultures vs. fast- and slow-growing genotypes together on growth of the shrub Baccharis salicifolia and on above- and belowground consumers associated with this plant. We compared effects on associate abundance (# associates per plant vs. density (# associates per kg plant biomass to elucidate the mechanisms underlying diversity effects; effects on abundance but not density suggest diversity effects are mediated by resource abundance (i.e. plant biomass alone, whereas effects on density suggest diversity effects are mediated by plant-based heterogeneity or quality. Sexual diversity increased root growth but reduced the density (but not abundance of the dietary generalist aphid Aphis gossypii and its associated aphid-tending ants, suggesting sex mixtures were of lower quality to this herbivore (e.g. via reduced plant quality, and that this effect indirectly influenced ants. Sexual diversity had no effect on the abundance or density of parasitoids attacking A. gossypii, the dietary specialist aphid Uroleucon macolai, or mycorrhizae. In contrast, growth rate diversity did not influence plant growth or any associates except for the dietary specialist aphid U. macolai, which increased in both abundance and density at high diversity, suggesting growth rate mixtures were of higher quality to this herbivore. These results highlight that plant associational and diversity effects on consumers are contingent

  9. Relative Importance and Knowledge Distribution of Medicinal Plants in a Kichwa Community in the Ecuadorian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Joseph Doyle

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional knowledge, such as knowledge of the use of plants as medicine, influences how indigenous people manage forest resources. Gender and age-associated differences in traditional knowledge may impact forest resource management because of the traditional division of labor. We interviewed 18 men and 18 women between 9 and 74 years old in San José de Payamino, an indigenous community of the Kichwa ethnicity in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to determine if there are gender or age-associated differences in medicinal plant knowledge among the Payamino people and to identify the most important species from a sample of medicinal plants. Individuals were interviewed using a tablet that displayed images of 34 plants, which had been cited by traditional healers in the community. Quantitative analysis provided insight into the relative importance of plants in the sample as well as the distribution of medicinal plant knowledge among members of the community. The most important plants were Tradescantia zanonia and Monolena primuliflora. These plants should be considered candidates for further investigation. There was a positive correlation between age and knowledge of medicinal plants, but no significant difference between genders. Our results suggest that an interview method that relies on digital images can reveal differences in the importance of medicinal plants as well as provide insight into the distribution of traditional medical knowledge. While men and women are likely to manage forest resources similarly, younger members of the community may not have the same regard for forest resources as their elder counterparts.

  10. Petroleum Contamination and Plant Identity Influence Soil and Root Microbial Communities While AMF Spores Retrieved from the Same Plants Possess Markedly Different Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bachir Iffis

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation is a promising in situ green technology based on the use of plants to cleanup soils from organic and inorganic pollutants. Microbes, particularly bacteria and fungi, that closely interact with plant roots play key roles in phytoremediation processes. In polluted soils, the root-associated microbes contribute to alleviation of plant stress, improve nutrient uptake and may either degrade or sequester a large range of soil pollutants. Therefore, improving the efficiency of phytoremediation requires a thorough knowledge of the microbial diversity living in the rhizosphere and in close association with plant roots in both the surface and the endosphere. This study aims to assess fungal ITS and bacterial 16S rRNA gene diversity using high-throughput sequencing in rhizospheric soils and roots of three plant species (Solidago canadensis, Populus balsamifera, and Lycopus europaeus growing spontaneously in three petroleum hydrocarbon polluted sedimentation basins. Microbial community structures of rhizospheric soils and roots were compared with those of microbes associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF spores to determine the links between the root and rhizosphere communities and those associated with AMF. Our results showed a difference in OTU richness and community structure composition between soils and roots for both bacteria and fungi. We found that petroleum hydrocarbon pollutant (PHP concentrations have a significant effect on fungal and bacterial community structures in both soils and roots, whereas plant species identity showed a significant effect only on the roots for bacteria and fungi. Our results also showed that the community composition of bacteria and fungi in soil and roots varied from those associated with AMF spores harvested from the same plants. This let us to speculate that in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soils, AMF may release chemical compounds by which they recruit beneficial microbes to tolerate

  11. Amazonian dark Earth and plant species from the Amazon region contribute to shape rhizosphere bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa Lima, Amanda; Cannavan, Fabiana Souza; Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Teixeira, Wenceslau Geraldes; Kuramae, Eiko Eurya; Tsai, Siu Mui

    2015-05-01

    Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) or Terra Preta de Índio formed in the past by pre-Columbian populations are highly sustained fertile soils supported by microbial communities that differ from those extant in adjacent soils. These soils are found in the Amazon region and are considered as a model soil when compared to the surrounding and background soils. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of ADE and its surrounding soil on the rhizosphere bacterial communities of two leguminous plant species that frequently occur in the Amazon region in forest sites (Mimosa debilis) and open areas (Senna alata). Bacterial community structure was evaluated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and bacterial community composition by V4 16S rRNA gene region pyrosequencing. T-RFLP analysis showed effect of soil types and plant species on rhizosphere bacterial community structure. Differential abundance of bacterial phyla, such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Firmicutes, revealed that soil type contributes to shape the bacterial communities. Furthermore, bacterial phyla such as Firmicutes and Nitrospira were mostly influenced by plant species. Plant roots influenced several soil chemical properties, especially when plants were grown in ADE. These results showed that differences observed in rhizosphere bacterial community structure and composition can be influenced by plant species and soil fertility due to variation in soil attributes.

  12. Stubble-field plant communities in the Lublin region. P. IV. A comparison of the characteristic of stubble-field plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jędruszczk

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This part of a series of paper presents a comparative characterization of selected stubble-field plant communities described in parts I-III. It encompasses the most important characteristic of the communities as well as the habitas in which they occur. In the differentiated climatically, geomorphologically, hydrologically and, most of all, in respect to soil type conditions of mideastern Poland, more precisely in the old limits of the Lublin voivodship, 6 types of stubble-field plant communities have been described and further classified into subunits; all of which have been isolated on the basis of the floristic composition of 330 analysed phytosociologocal records. The selected stubble-field plant communities were assigned to the suborder Polygono-Chenopodietalia. Among them, 3 plant associations known from root crop fields were identified: 2 belonging to the alliance Panico-Setarion (Digitarietum ischaemi and Echinochloo-Setarietum and 1 belonging to Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion (Oxalido-Chenopodietum polyspermi. On most of the grain stubble-field of the Lublin region (almost 77% of the records communities were found which could be assigned only to the alliances: community Setaria glauca-Scleranthus annuus to Panico-Setarion, community Veronica persica-Sonchus asper to Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion and community Rorippa sylvestris-Oxalis stricta which is an intermediate from between these alliances. The floristic types identified here, as well as their lower rancs (subassocietions variants, subvariants were a reflection of the mechanical composition, nutritional, hydrological and pH conditions of the soils in their habitas and confirmed the high differentiation of soil conditions over the studied area.

  13. Endophytic Fungal Communities Associated with Vascular Plants in the High Arctic Zone Are Highly Diverse and Host-Plant Specific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

    Full Text Available This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs. Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. Field soil aggregate stability kit for soil quality and rangeland health evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, J.E.; Whitford, W.G.; de Soyza, A. G.; Van Zee, J. W.; Havstad, K.M.; Seybold, C.A.; Walton, M.

    2001-01-01

    Soil aggregate stability is widely recognized as a key indicator of soil quality and rangeland health. However, few standard methods exist for quantifying soil stability in the field. A stability kit is described which can be inexpensively and easily assembled with minimal tools. It permits up to 18 samples to be evaluated in less than 10 min and eliminates the need for transportation, minimizing damage to soil structure. The kit consists of two 21??10.5??3.5 cm plastic boxes divided into eighteen 3.5??3.5 cm sections, eighteen 2.5-cm diameter sieves with 1.5-mm distance openings and a small spatula used for soil sampling. Soil samples are rated on a scale from one to six based on a combination of ocular observations of slaking during the first 5 min following immersion in distilled water, and the percent remaining on a 1.5-mm sieve after five dipping cycles at the end of the 5-min period. A laboratory comparison yielded a correlation between the stability class and percent aggregate stability based on oven dry weight remaining after treatment using a mechanical sieve. We have applied the method in a wide variety of agricultural and natural ecosystems throughout western North America, including northern Mexico, and have found that it is highly sensitive to differences in management and plant community composition. Although the field kit cannot replace the careful laboratory-based measurements of soil aggregate stability, it can clearly provide valuable information when these more intensive procedures are not possible.

  15. Assessment of LANDSAT for rangeland mapping, Rush Valley, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridd, M. K.; Price, K. P.; Douglass, G. E.

    1984-01-01

    The feasibility of using LANDSAT MSS (multispectral scanner) data to identify and map cover types for rangeland, and to determine comparative condition of the ecotypes was assessed. A supporting objective is to assess the utility of various forms of aerial photography in the process. If rangelands can be efficiently mapped with Landsat data, as supported by appropriate aerial photography and field data, then uniform standards of cover classification and condition may be applied across the rangelands of the state. Further, a foundation may be established for long-term monitoring of range trend, using the same satellite system over time.

  16. Elevated carbon dioxide: impacts on soil and plant water relations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kirkham, M. B

    2011-01-01

    .... Focusing on this critical issue, Elevated Carbon Dioxide: Impacts on Soil and Plant Water Relations presents research conducted on field-grown sorghum, winter wheat, and rangeland plants under elevated CO2...

  17. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savanna plant community composition explained by total herbivory more than herbivore type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veblen, Kari E; Porensky, Lauren M; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2016-09-01

    The widespread replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: (1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds and (2) addition of livestock to the system. Each can have important implications for plant community dynamics. Yet very few studies have experimentally addressed the individual, combined, and potentially interactive effects of wild vs. domestic herbivore species on herbaceous plant communities within a single system. Additionally, there is little information about whether, and in which contexts, livestock might functionally replace native herbivore wildlife or, alternatively, have fundamentally different effects on plant species composition. The Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment, which has been running since 1995, is composed of six treatment combinations of mega-herbivores, meso-herbivore ungulate wildlife, and cattle. We sampled herbaceous vegetation 25 times between 1999 and 2013. We used partial redundancy analysis and linear mixed models to assess effects of herbivore treatments on overall plant community composition and key plant species. Plant communities in the six different herbivore treatments shifted directionally over time and diverged from each other substantially by 2013. Plant community composition was strongly related (R2  = 0.92) to residual plant biomass, a measure of herbivore utilization. Addition of any single herbivore type (cattle, wildlife, or mega-herbivores) caused a shift in plant community composition that was proportional to its removal of plant biomass. These results suggest that overall herbivory pressure, rather than herbivore type or complex interactions among different herbivore types, was the main driver of changes in plant community composition. Individual plant species, however, did respond most strongly to either wild ungulates or cattle. Although these results suggest considerable functional similarity between

  18. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Canto

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants.

  19. Nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community: diversity and effects on community-wide floral nectar traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canto, Azucena; Herrera, Carlos M; Rodriguez, Rosalina

    2017-01-01

    We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants.

  20. Notification: Hotline Complaint – Drinking Water Treatment Plant at the Fort Belknap Indian Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Project #OA-FY13-0076, November 13, 2012. On March 22, 2012, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) received a hotline complaint on the construction of the Drinking Water Treatment Plant (DWTP) at the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

  1. NPDES Permit for the Blackfeet Community Water Treatment Plant in Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Under NPDES permit MT-0030643, the Blackfeet Tribe is authorized to discharge from its Blackfoot Community Water Treatment Plant in Glacier County, Montana, to an unnamed intermittent stream which flows to Two Medicine River.

  2. Management of aspen plant communities on the National Elk Refuge, Wyoming

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There are 1,860 acres (753 ha) of aspen (Populus tremuloides) plant communities on the National Elk Refuge (NER). Aspen is an important tree species on the Refuge,...

  3. The effects of glyphosate and aminopyralid on an artifical plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US EPA has responsibility for registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The potential adverse effects of pesticides to nontarget terrestrial plant communities are a concern that must be addressed in the pesticide regist...

  4. Subalpine meadow plant communities in Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, 2011-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This publication presents data collected within meadows from samples used to assess meadow plant community responses to recreational pack stock as part of a USGS...

  5. Community structure of actively growing bacterial populations in plant pathogen suppressive soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hjort, K.; Lembke, A.; Speksnijder, A.G.C.L.; Smalla, K.; Jansson, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    The bacterial community in soil was screened by using various molecular approaches for bacterial populations that were activated upon addition of different supplements. Plasmodiophora brassicae spores, chitin, sodium acetate, and cabbage plants were added to activate specific bacterial populations

  6. Herbicide and fertilizers promote analogous phylogenetic responses but opposite functional responses in plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S.; Strandberg, Beate

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the world, herbicides and fertilizers change species composition in agricultural communities, but how do the cumulative effects of these chemicals impact the functional and phylogenetic structure of non-targeted communities when they drift into adjacent semi-natural habitats? Based...... on long-term experiment we show that fertilizer and herbicides (glyphosate) have contrasting effects on functional structure, but can increase phylogenetic diversity in semi-natural plant communities. We found that an increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area and canopy...... height at the community level, but an increase in glyphosate promoted a decrease in those traits. Phylogenetic diversity of plant communities increased when herbicide and fertilizer were applied together, likely because functional traits facilitating plant success in those conditions were...

  7. Community-Weighted Mean Plant Traits Predict Small Scale Distribution of Insect Root Herbivore Abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Pfestorf, Hans; Jeltsch, Florian; Wurst, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Small scale distribution of insect root herbivores may promote plant species diversity by creating patches of different herbivore pressure. However, determinants of small scale distribution of insect root herbivores, and impact of land use intensity on their small scale distribution are largely unknown. We sampled insect root herbivores and measured vegetation parameters and soil water content along transects in grasslands of different management intensity in three regions in Germany. We calculated community-weighted mean plant traits to test whether the functional plant community composition determines the small scale distribution of insect root herbivores. To analyze spatial patterns in plant species and trait composition and insect root herbivore abundance we computed Mantel correlograms. Insect root herbivores mainly comprised click beetle (Coleoptera, Elateridae) larvae (43%) in the investigated grasslands. Total insect root herbivore numbers were positively related to community-weighted mean traits indicating high plant growth rates and biomass (specific leaf area, reproductive- and vegetative plant height), and negatively related to plant traits indicating poor tissue quality (leaf C/N ratio). Generalist Elaterid larvae, when analyzed independently, were also positively related to high plant growth rates and furthermore to root dry mass, but were not related to tissue quality. Insect root herbivore numbers were not related to plant cover, plant species richness and soil water content. Plant species composition and to a lesser extent plant trait composition displayed spatial autocorrelation, which was not influenced by land use intensity. Insect root herbivore abundance was not spatially autocorrelated. We conclude that in semi-natural grasslands with a high share of generalist insect root herbivores, insect root herbivores affiliate with large, fast growing plants, presumably because of availability of high quantities of food. Affiliation of insect root

  8. Complementarity among plant growth promoting traits in rhizospheric bacterial communities promotes plant growth

    OpenAIRE

    Mangal Singh; Ashutosh Awasthi; Sumit K. Soni; Rakshapal Singh; Rajesh K. Verma; Alok Kalra

    2015-01-01

    An assessment of roles of rhizospheric microbial diversity in plant growth is helpful in understanding plant-microbe interactions. Using random combinations of rhizospheric bacterial species at different richness levels, we analysed the contribution of species richness, compositions, interactions and identity on soil microbial respiration and plant biomass. We showed that bacterial inoculation in plant rhizosphere enhanced microbial respiration and plant biomass with complementary relationshi...

  9. Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia rosea Dieback and partial community disassembly following experimental storm surge in a coastal pitcher plant bog.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Abbott

    Full Text Available Sea-level rise and frequent intense hurricanes associated with climate change will result in recurrent flooding of inland systems such as Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs by storm surges. These surges can transport salt water and sediment to freshwater bogs, greatly affecting their biological integrity. Purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia rosea are Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog inhabitants that could be at a disadvantage under this scenario because their pitcher morphology may leave them prone to collection of saline water and sediment after a surge. We investigated the effects of storm surge water salinity and sediment type on S. rosea vitality, plant community structure, and bog soil-water conductivity. Plots (containing ≥1 ramet of S. rosea were experimentally flooded with fresh or saline water crossed with one of three sediment types (local, foreign, or no sediment. There were no treatment effects on soil-water conductivity; nevertheless, direct exposure to saline water resulted in significantly lower S. rosea cover until the following season when a prescribed fire and regional drought contributed to the decline of all the S. rosea to near zero percent cover. There were also significant differences in plant community structure between treatments over time, reflecting how numerous species increased in abundance and a few species decreased in abundance. However, in contrast to S. rosea, most of the other species in the community appeared resilient to the effects of storm surge. Thus, although the community may be somewhat affected by storm surge, those few species that are particularly sensitive to the storm surge disturbance will likely drop out of the community and be replaced by more resilient species. Depending on the longevity of these biological legacies, Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs may be incapable of fully recovering if they become exposed to storm surge more frequently due to climate change.

  10. Purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia rosea) Dieback and partial community disassembly following experimental storm surge in a coastal pitcher plant bog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Matthew J; Battaglia, Loretta L

    2015-01-01

    Sea-level rise and frequent intense hurricanes associated with climate change will result in recurrent flooding of inland systems such as Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs by storm surges. These surges can transport salt water and sediment to freshwater bogs, greatly affecting their biological integrity. Purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia rosea) are Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog inhabitants that could be at a disadvantage under this scenario because their pitcher morphology may leave them prone to collection of saline water and sediment after a surge. We investigated the effects of storm surge water salinity and sediment type on S. rosea vitality, plant community structure, and bog soil-water conductivity. Plots (containing ≥1 ramet of S. rosea) were experimentally flooded with fresh or saline water crossed with one of three sediment types (local, foreign, or no sediment). There were no treatment effects on soil-water conductivity; nevertheless, direct exposure to saline water resulted in significantly lower S. rosea cover until the following season when a prescribed fire and regional drought contributed to the decline of all the S. rosea to near zero percent cover. There were also significant differences in plant community structure between treatments over time, reflecting how numerous species increased in abundance and a few species decreased in abundance. However, in contrast to S. rosea, most of the other species in the community appeared resilient to the effects of storm surge. Thus, although the community may be somewhat affected by storm surge, those few species that are particularly sensitive to the storm surge disturbance will likely drop out of the community and be replaced by more resilient species. Depending on the longevity of these biological legacies, Gulf Coastal pitcher plant bogs may be incapable of fully recovering if they become exposed to storm surge more frequently due to climate change.

  11. Management of communal rangelands - the dialogue between science and indigenous knowledge: the case of the Eastern Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dube, S

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Communal area rangeland resource users are an important part of the rangeland ecosystem; rangeland management policies and practice should, therefore, accommodate their socio-cultural practices and knowledge. Indigenous knowledge (IK) is often...

  12. Disparate effects of plant genotypic diversity on foliage and litter arthropod communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crutsinger, Greg [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Reynolds, Nicholas [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Classen, Aimee T [ORNL; Sanders, Dr. Nathan James [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2008-01-01

    Intraspecific diversity within plant species is increasingly recognized as an important influence on the structure of associated arthropod communities, though whether there are congruent responses of above- and belowground communities to intraspecific diversity remains unclear. In this study, we compare the effects of host-plant genotype and genotypic diversity of the perennial plant, Solidago altissima, on the arthropod community associated with living plant tissue (foliage-based community) and microarthropods associated with leaf litter (litter-based community). We found that variation among host-plant genotypes had strong effects on the diversity and composition of foliage-based arthropods, but only weak influence on litter-based microarthropods. Furthermore, host-plant genotypic diversity was positively related to the abundance and diversity of foliage-based arthropods, including herbivore and predator trophic levels. In contrast, there were minimal effects of genotypic diversity in litter on microarthropods. Our study illustrates that incorporating both above- and belowground perspective into community genetics studies leads to very different conclusions about the importance of intraspecific diversity, than when considering aboveground responses in isolation.

  13. Seed bank and big sagebrush plant community composition in a range margin for big sagebrush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martyn, Trace E.; Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Laurenroth, William K.

    2016-01-01

    The potential influence of seed bank composition on range shifts of species due to climate change is unclear. Seed banks can provide a means of both species persistence in an area and local range expansion in the case of increasing habitat suitability, as may occur under future climate change. However, a mismatch between the seed bank and the established plant community may represent an obstacle to persistence and expansion. In big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) plant communities in Montana, USA, we compared the seed bank to the established plant community. There was less than a 20% similarity in the relative abundance of species between the established plant community and the seed bank. This difference was primarily driven by an overrepresentation of native annual forbs and an underrepresentation of big sagebrush in the seed bank compared to the established plant community. Even though we expect an increase in habitat suitability for big sagebrush under future climate conditions at our sites, the current mismatch between the plant community and the seed bank could impede big sagebrush range expansion into increasingly suitable habitat in the future.

  14. Biodiversity at the plant-soil interface: microbial abundance and community structure respond to litter mixing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Samantha K; Newman, Gregory S

    2010-03-01

    The interactive effects of diversity in plants and microbial communities at the litter interface are not well understood. Mixtures of plant litter from different species often decompose differently than when individual species decompose alone. Previously, we found that litter mixtures of multiple conifers decomposed more rapidly than expected, but litter mixtures that included conifer and aspen litter did not. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these diversity effects may help explain existing anomalous decay dynamics and provide a glimpse into the elusive linkage between plant diversity and the fungi and bacteria that carry out decomposition. We examined the microbial communities on litter from individual plant species decomposing both in mixture and alone. We assessed two main hypotheses to explain how the decomposer community could stimulate mixed-litter decomposition above predicted rates: either by being more abundant, or having a different or more diverse community structure than when microbes decompose a single species of litter. Fungal, bacterial and total phospholipid fatty acid microbial biomass increased by over 40% on both conifer and aspen litter types in mixture, and microbial community composition changed significantly when plant litter types were mixed. Microbial diversity also increased with increasing plant litter diversity. While our data provide support for both the increased abundance hypothesis and the altered microbial community hypothesis, microbial changes do not translate to predictably altered litter decomposition and may only produce synergisms when mixed litters are functionally similar.

  15. Plant community influence on soil microbial response after a wildfire in Sierra Nevada National Park (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bárcenas-Moreno, Gema; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Mataix-Beneyto, Jorge

    2016-12-15

    Plant community influence on microbial response after fire has been studied in a Sierra Nevada National Park area affected by a wildfire in 2005. Two different plant communities adapted to different altitudes were selected to analyse possible differences on soil microbial recolonisation process after fire, in oak forest and high mountain shrub communities. Microbial abundance, activity and community composition were monitored to evaluate medium-term changes. Microbial abundance was studied by mean of microbial biomass carbon and plate count methods; microbial activity was analysed by microbial respiration and bacterial growth while microbial community composition was determined by analysing phospholipid fatty acid pattern. Under unburnt conditions oak forest showed higher nutrient content, pH and microbial abundance and activity values than the high mountain shrubs community. Different parameters studied showed different trends with time, highlighting important changes in microbial community composition in high mountain shrubs from first sampling to the second one. Post-fire recolonisation process was different depending on plant community studied. Highlighting fungal response and microbial activity were stimulated in burnt high mountain shrubs community whilst it was negatively affected in oak forest. Fire induced changes in oak forest were almost neutralized 20months after the fire, while high mountain shrubs community still showed fire-induced changes at the end of the study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Changes in community-level riparian plant traits over inundation gradients, Colorado River, Grand Canyon

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy-Sulentic, Miles; Kolb, Thomas; Merritt, David; Palmquist, Emily C.; Ralston, Barbara E.; Sarr, Daniel; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    Comparisons of community-level functional traits across environmental gradients have potential for identifying links among plant characteristics, adaptations to stress and disturbance, and community assembly. We investigated community-level variation in specific leaf area (SLA), plant mature height, seed mass, stem specific gravity (SSG), relative cover of C4 species, and total plant cover over hydrologic zones and gradients in years 2013 and 2014 in the riparian plant community along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Vegetation cover was lowest in the frequently inundated active channel zone, indicating constraints on plant establishment and production by flood disturbance and anaerobic stress. Changes in trait values over hydrologic zones and inundation gradients indicate that frequently inundated plots exhibit a community-level ruderal strategy with adaptation to submergence (high SLA and low SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover), whereas less frequently inundated plots exhibit adaptation to drought and infrequent flood disturbance (low SLA and high SSG, height, seed mass, C4 relative cover). Variation in traits not associated with inundation suggests niche differentiation and multiple modes of community assembly. The results enhance understanding of future responses of riparian communities of the Grand Canyon to anticipated drying and changes in hydrologic regime.

  17. Different pioneer plant species select specific rhizosphere bacterial communities in a high mountain environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccazzo, Sonia; Esposito, Alfonso; Rolli, Eleonora; Zerbe, Stefan; Daffonchio, Daniele; Brusetti, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The rhizobacterial communities of 29 pioneer plants belonging to 12 species were investigated in an alpine ecosystem to assess if plants from different species could select for specific rhizobacterial communities. Rhizospheres and unvegetated soils were collected from a floristic pioneer stage plot at 2,400 m a.s.l. in the forefield of Weisskugel Glacier (Matsch Valley, South Tyrol, Italy), after 160 years of glacier retreat. To allow for a culture-independent perspective, total environmental DNA was extracted from both rhizosphere and bare soil samples and analyzed by Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE). ARISA fingerprinting showed that rhizobacterial genetic structure was extremely different from bare soil bacterial communities while rhizobacterial communities clustered strictly together according to the plant species. Sequencing of DGGE bands showed that rhizobacterial communities were mainly composed of Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria whereas bare soil was colonized by Acidobacteria and Clostridia. UniFrac significance calculated on DGGE results confirmed the rhizosphere effect exerted by the 12 species and showed different bacterial communities (P < 0.05) associated with all the plant species. These results pointed out that specific rhizobacterial communities were selected by pioneer plants of different species in a high mountain ecosystem characterized by oligotrophic and harsh environmental conditions, during an early primary succession.

  18. Plant community composition determines the strength of top-down control in a soil food web motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-03-16

    Top-down control of prey by predators are magnified in productive ecosystems due to higher sustenance of prey communities. In soil micro-arthropod food webs, plant communities regulate the availability of basal resources like soil microbial biomass. Mixed plant communities are often associated with higher microbial biomass than monocultures. Therefore, top-down control is expected to be higher in soil food webs of mixed plant communities. Moreover, higher predator densities can increase the suppression of prey, which can induce interactive effects between predator densities and plant community composition on prey populations. Here, we tested the effects of predator density (predatory mites) on prey populations (Collembola) in monoculture and mixed plant communities. We hypothesized that top-down control would increase with predator density but only in the mixed plant community. Our results revealed two contrasting patterns of top-down control: stronger top-down control of prey communities in the mixed plant community, but weaker top-down control in plant monocultures in high predator density treatments. As expected, higher microbial community biomass in the mixed plant community sustained sufficiently high prey populations to support high predator density. Our results highlight the roles of plant community composition and predator densities in regulating top-down control of prey in soil food webs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

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

  20. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Zwolicki

    Full Text Available We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina. Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  1. Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants used by the Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kidane, B.; Maesen, van der L.J.G.; Andel, van T.; Asfaw, Z.

    2014-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance: Livestock production is an integral part of the agricultural system in Ethiopia. Medicinal plants are used and are important for rural communities for the treatment of livestock diseases. We studied and analysed the traditional medicinal plants used for the treatment

  2. Effects of plant diversity on primary production and species interactions in brackish water angiosperm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...

  3. Importance of Marine-Derived Nutrients Supplied by Planktivorous Seabirds to High Arctic Tundra Plant Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwolicki, Adrian; Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, Katarzyna; Richard, Pierre; Stempniewicz, Lech

    2016-01-01

    We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important of the studied environmental factors influencing the tundra plant community. We found a strong positive correlation between δ15N isotopic values and total N content in the soil, confirming the fundamental role of marine-derived matter to the generally nutrient-poor Arctic tundra ecosystem. We also recorded a strong correlation between the δ15N values of soil and of the tissues of vascular plants and mosses, but not of lichens. The relationship between soil δ15N values and vascular plant cover was linear. In the case of mosses, the percentage ground cover reached maximum around a soil δ 15N value of 8‰, as did plant community diversity. This soil δ15N value clearly separated the occurrence of plants with low nitrogen tolerance (e.g. Salix polaris) from those predominating on high N content soils (e.g. Cerastium arcticum, Poa alpina). Large colonies of planktivorous little auks have a great influence on Arctic tundra vegetation, either through enhancing plant abundance or in shaping plant community composition at a local scale.

  4. A systematic review of arthropod community diversity in association with invasive plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan Spafford

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Invasive plants represent a significant financial burden for land managers and also have the potential to severely degrade ecosystems. Arthropods interact strongly with plants, relying on them for food, shelter, and as nurseries for their young. For these reasons, the impacts of plant invasions are likely strongly reflected by arthropod community dynamics including diversity and abundances. A systematic review was conducted to ascertain the state of the literature with respect to plant invaders and their associated arthropod communities. We found that the majority of studies did not biogeographically contrast arthropod community dynamics from both the home and away ranges and that studies were typically narrow in scope, focusing only on the herbivore feeding guild, rather than assessing two or more trophic levels. Importantly, relative arthropod richness was significantly reduced on invasive plant species. Phylogenetic differences between the invasive and local plant community as well as the plant functional group impact arthropod diversity patterns. A framework highlighting some interaction mechanisms between multiple arthropod trophic levels and native and invasive plants is discussed and future research directions relating to these interactions and the findings herein are proposed.

  5. Community analysis of pitcher plant bogs of the Little River Canyon National Preserve, Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Carter; Terry Boyer; Heather McCoy; Andrew J. Londo

    2006-01-01

    Pitcher plant bogs of the Little River Canyon National Preserve in northern Alabama contain the federally endangered green pitcher plant [Sarracenia oreophila (Kearney) Wherry]. Multivariate analysis of the bog vegetation and environmental variables revealed three communities with unique species compositions and soil characteristics. The significant...

  6. Rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands: an integrated approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disturbed rangelands present significant challenges to resource managers and land owners. In the Great Basin, exotic annual grasses have truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native perennial species for limited moisture and nutrients. An integrated approach to successfully control such inv...

  7. Future scenarios of impacts to ecosystem services on California rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin; Alvarez, Pelayo; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley of California provide multiple benefits or “ecosystem services” to people—including wildlife habitat, water supply, open space, recreation, and cultural resources. Most of this land is privately owned and managed for livestock production. These rangelands are vulnerable to land-use conversion and climate change. To help resource managers assess the impacts of land-use change and climate change, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators developed scenarios to quantify and map changes to three main rangeland ecosystem services—wildlife habitat, water supply, and carbon sequestration. Project results will help prioritize strategies to conserve these rangelands and the ecosystem services that they provide.

  8. Regional gradient analysis and spatial pattern of woody plant communities in Oregon forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.L. Ohmann; T.A. Spies

    1998-01-01

    Knowledge of regional-scale patterns of ecological community structure, and of factors that control them, is largely conceptual. Regional- and local-scale factors associated with regional variation in community composition have not been quantified. We analyzed data on woody plant species abundance from 2443 field plots across natural and seminatural forests and...

  9. Chronic wind and plant communities in dunes: Total biomass, inter-specific competition, and species abundance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, W.M.; Xi, W.M.; Anten, N.P.R.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic wind is an important ecological factor, but its direct roles in shaping plant communities remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that chronic wind can modulate community productivity, inter-specific competition, and species abundance in inland dunes. We conducted an experiment with three

  10. DIFFERENTIATION IN N15 UPTAKE AND THE ORGANIZATION OF AN ARCTIC TUNDRA PLANT COMMUNITY

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used N15 soil-labeling techniques to examine how the dominant species in a N-limited, tussock tundra plant community partitioned soil N, and how such partitioning may contribute to community organization. The five most abundant species were well differentiated with respect to...

  11. Influences of space, soil, nematodes and plants on microbial community composition of chalk grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yergeau, E.; Bezemer, T.M.; Hedlund, K.; Mortimer, S.R.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial communities respond to a variety of environmental factors related to resources (e.g. plant and soil organic matter), habitat (e.g. soil characteristics) and predation (e.g. nematodes, protozoa and viruses). However, the relative contribution of these factors on microbial community

  12. Ethnobotany of wild plants used for starting fermented beverages in Shui communities of southwest China

    OpenAIRE

    Hong, Liya; Zhuo, Jingxian; Lei, Qiyi; Zhou, Jiangju; Ahmed, Selena; Wang, Chaoying; Long, Yuxiao; Li, Feifei; Long, Chunlin

    2015-01-01

    Background Shui communities of southwest China have an extensive history of using wild plants as starters (Xiaoqu) to prepare fermented beverages that serve important roles in interpersonal relationships and cultural events. While the practice of using wild plants as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages was once prevalent throughout China, this tradition has seen a decline nationally since the 1930s. The traditional technique of preparing fermented beverages from wild plant sta...

  13. Hydrology, shore morphology and species traits affect seed dispersal, germination and community assembly in shoreline plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; Sarneel, Judith M.; van Paassen, Jose; Rip, Winnie J.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    1. Seed dispersal and germination are two primary processes influencing plant community assembly. On freshwater shores, water levels regulate both processes. However, it is still unclear how water levels, shore morphology and species traits interactively affect seed dispersal and germination, and

  14. Hydrology, shore morphology and species traits affect seed dispersal, germination and community assembly in shoreline plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Leeuwen, C.H.A.; Sarneel, J.M.; van Paassen, José; Rip, W.J.; Bakker, E.S.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1.Seed dispersal and germination are two primary processes influencing plant community assembly. On freshwater shores, water levels regulate both processes. However, it is still unclear how water levels, shore morphology and species traits interactively affect seed dispersal and germination,

  15. Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used by Saperas community of Khetawas, Jhajjar District, Haryana, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panghal, Manju; Arya, Vedpriya; Yadav, Sanjay; Kumar, Sunil; Yadav, Jaya Parkash

    2010-01-28

    Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in India by indigenous people of different ethnic groups inhabiting various terrains for the control of various ailments afflicting human and their domestic animals. The indigenous community of snake charmers belongs to the 'Nath' community in India have played important role of healers in treating snake bite victims. Snake charmers also sell herbal remedies for common ailments. In the present paper an attempt has been made to document on ethno botanical survey and traditional medicines used by snake charmers of village Khetawas located in district Jhajjar of Haryana, India as the little work has been made in the past to document the knowledge from this community. Ethno botanical data and traditional uses of plants information was obtained by semi structured oral interviews from experienced rural folk, traditional herbal medicine practitioners of the 'Nath' community. A total of 42 selected inhabitants were interviewed, 41 were male and only one woman. The age of the healers was between 25 years and 75 years. The plant specimens were identified according to different references concerning the medicinal plants of Haryana and adjoining areas and further confirmation from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. The present study revealed that the people of the snake charmer community used 57 medicinal plants species that belonged to 51 genera and 35 families for the treatment of various diseases. The study has brought to light that the main diseases treated by this community was snakebite in which 19 different types of medicinal plants belongs to 13 families were used. Significantly higher number of medicinal plants was claimed by men as compared to women. The highest numbers of medicinal plants for traditional uses utilized by this community were belonging to family Fabaceae. This community carries a vast knowledge of medicinal plants but as snake charming is banned in India as part of efforts to protect India

  16. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

    Full Text Available Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens. Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition, with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  17. Woody plant richness does not influence invertebrate community reassembly trajectories in a tree diversity experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeeles, Peter; Lach, Lori; Hobbs, Richard J; van Wees, Mary; Didham, Raphael K

    2017-02-01

    Understanding the relationship between plant diversity and diversity at higher trophic levels is important from both conservation and restoration perspectives. Although there is strong evidence for bottom-up maintenance of biodiversity, this is based largely on studies of simplified grassland systems. Recently, studies in the TreeDivNet global network of tree diversity experiments have begun to test whether these findings are generalizable to more complex ecosystems, such as woodlands. We monitored invertebrate community reassembly over 5 yr of experimental woodland restoration at the TreeDivNet Ridgefield site in southwest Australia, testing the effects of woody plant species richness and herb-layer manipulation on invertebrate community structure and ant species composition. From 2010 to 2014, we sampled ground-dwelling invertebrates using pitfall traps in herbicide vs. no-herbicide subplots nested within each of 10 woody plant treatments varying in richness from zero (bare controls) to eight species, which produced a total of 211, 235 invertebrates, including 98, 979 ants belonging to 74 species. In mixed model analyses, the presence of woody plants was an important driver of faunal community reassembly (relative to bare control plots), but faunal responses to woody plant treatment combinations were idiosyncratic and unrelated to woody plant richness across treatments. We also found that a herbicide-induced reduction in herbaceous plant cover and richness had a positive effect on ant richness and caused more rapid convergence of invertebrate community composition toward the composition of a woodland reference site. These findings show that woody plant richness did not have direct positive effects on the diversity and community reassembly trajectories of higher trophic levels in our woodland system. From a management perspective, this suggests that even low-diversity restoration or carbon sequestration plantings can potentially lead to faunal reassembly outcomes

  18. Multiple mechanisms of early plant community assembly with stochasticity driving the process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marteinsdóttir, Bryndís; Svavarsdóttir, Kristín; Thórhallsdóttir, Thóra Ellen

    2018-01-01

    Initial plant establishment is one of the most critical phases in ecosystem development, where an early suite of physical (environmental filtering), biological (seed limitation, species interactions) and stochastic factors may affect successional trajectories and rates. While functional traits are commonly used to study processes that influence plant community assembly in late successional communities, few studies have applied them to primary succession. The objective here was to determine the importance of these factors in shaping early plant community assembly on a glacial outwash plain, Skeiðarársandur, in SE Iceland using a trait based approach. We used data on vascular plant assemblages at two different spatial scales (community and neighborhood) sampled in 2005 and 2012, and compiled a dataset on seven functional traits linked to species dispersal abilities, establishment, and persistence for all species within these assemblages. Trait-based null model analyses were used to determine the processes that influenced plant community assembly from the regional species pool into local communities, and to determine if the importance of these processes in community assembly was dependent on local environment or changed with time. On the community scale, for most traits, random processes dominated the assembly from the regional species pool. However, in some communities, there was evidence of non-random assembly in relation to traits linked to species dispersal abilities, persistence, and establishment. On the neighborhood scale, assembly was mostly random. The relative importance of different processes varied spatially and temporally and the variation was linked to local soil conditions. While stochasticity dominated assembly patterns of our early successional communities, there was evidence of both seed limitation and environmental filtering. Our results indicated that as soil conditions improved, environmental constraints on assembly became weaker and the

  19. Pastoralism, land degradation and Carbon redistribution in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Ali, Seid Mohammed

    2017-04-01

    Pastoralism is rarely viewed as a major future form of land use, because of well-documented cases of rangeland degradation, attributed to irrational overstocking, and the subsequent losses of ecosystem services. However, pastoralists were actually encouraged to settle and adopt such strategies, copied from rangelands with higher and more reliable rainfall. This curtailed mobility resulted in a shift from opportunistic and extensive land use to more intensive and settled forms of use, and promoted degradation of vegetation and soils and the ecosystem services they provided. However, pastoralists traditionally employed several techniques to manage rangeland resources. These practices, such as the use of seasonal grassland reserves and livestock mobility, influence vegetation composition, coverage and abundance in rangelands and preserved ecosystem services relevant for pastoralists. The traditional practices also offer tools for soil and vegetation protection and restoration, thereby contributing to the mitigation of climate change. However, various internal and external factors have curtailed traditional management practices and livestock mobility, breaking the co-evolved balance of vegetation, wildlife and land use, thus exposing rangeland to continued livestock pressure, which often leads to degradation. Rather than abandoning pastoralism as consequence of 20th century land degradation, the revitalisation of traditional practices and indigenous knowledge can be vital to secure sustainable livelihoods for millions of pastoralists and to maintain rangeland ecosystem services.

  20. The stuble-field plant communities in South-East Poland. Part V. The comparative characteristics of stuble-fleld plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czesława Trąba

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this of the presented paper results of the studies conducted in preceding four parts (I-IV were synthetically assumed. On that background a comparative characteristics of specified stuble-field plant communities was conducted. It contains the most important features of communities and seats, in which they appear. In climatically, geomorphologically, hydrologically and with respect to soils differentiated conditions of South-East Poland, especially in former Rzeszów region, there were described stubble-field plant communities occurring as well on lowland, as on highland agricultural utility complexes. There were analysed 359 phytosociological records, in which 232 ones came from lowland, while 127 from highland complexes. The specified communities were included to two orders: Secali-Violetalia arvensis (suborder Polygono-Chenopodienalia : alliances Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion and Panico-Setarion and Cyperetalia fusci (alliance Nanocyperion flavescentis. On the lowland agricultural utility complexes specified were seven types of communities: 3 belonged to Panico-Setarion alliance (association Digitarietum ischaemi; community with Setaria glauca and association Echinochloo-Setarietum, 2 to Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion alliance (the community with Euphorbia esula and Oxalis stricta as well the community with Veronica persica, while 2 associations from the Nanocyperion flavescentis (Hyperico-Spergularietum and Centunculo-Anthocerotetum alliance. On the other hand, on the highland complexes of South-East Poland only 3 communities were found: 1 with Setaria glauca included to Panico-Setarion alliance, 2 with Veronica persica from Eu-Polygono-Chenopodion alliance and 3 Centunculo-Anthocerotetum association from Nanocyperion flavescentis alliance. The specified floral types, as well as lower units (variants and sub variants, reflected the mechanical structure, hydrological conditions and pH soils in their seats, what confrumed a great differentiation of soil

  1. Restoring Degraded Rangelands in Jordan: Optimizing Mechanized Micro-Water Harvesting Technique Using Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Continuous population growth, recent refugee movement and migration as well as boundary restrictions and their implications on the nomadic lifestyle are additive pressure on rangelands throughout the Middle East. In particular, overgrazing through increased livestock herds threatens the Jordanian ra...

  2. Methylobacterium-induced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardanov, Pavlo; Sessitsch, Angela; Häggman, Hely; Kozyrovska, Natalia; Pirttilä, Anna Maria

    2012-01-01

    Plant inoculation with endophytic bacteria that normally live inside the plant without harming the host is a highly promising approach for biological disease control. The mechanism of resistance induction by beneficial bacteria is poorly understood, because pathways are only partly known and systemic responses are typically not seen. The innate endophytic community structures change in response to external factors such as inoculation, and bacterial endophytes can exhibit direct or indirect antagonism towards pathogens. Earlier we showed that resistance induction by an endophytic Methylobacterium sp. in potato towards Pectobacterium atrosepticum was dependent on the density of the inoculum, whereas the bacterium itself had no antagonistic activity. To elucidate the role of innate endophyte communities in plant responses, we studied community changes in both in vitro and greenhouse experiments using various combinations of plants, endophyte inoculants, and pathogens. Induction of resistance was studied in several potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars by Methylobacterium sp. IMBG290 against the pathogens P. atrosepticum, Phytophthora infestans and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and in pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) by M. extorquens DSM13060 against Gremmeniella abietina. The capacities of the inoculated endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains to induce resistance were dependent on the plant cultivar, pathogen, and on the density of Methylobacterium spp. inoculum. Composition of the endophyte community changed in response to inoculation in shoot tissues and correlated with resistance or susceptibility to the disease. Our results demonstrate that endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains have varying effects on plant disease resistance, which can be modulated through the endophyte community of the host.

  3. Plants of the fynbos biome harbour host species-specific bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyambo, Tsakani; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Cowan, Don A; Valverde, Angel

    2016-08-01

    The fynbos biome in South Africa is globally recognised as a plant biodiversity hotspot. However, very little is known about the bacterial communities associated with fynbos plants, despite interactions between primary producers and bacteria having an impact on the physiology of both partners and shaping ecosystem diversity. This study reports on the structure, phylogenetic composition and potential roles of the endophytic bacterial communities located in the stems of three fynbos plants (Erepsia anceps, Phaenocoma prolifera and Leucadendron laureolum). Using Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA sequencing we found that different subpopulations of Deinococcus-Thermus, Alphaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Firmicutes dominated the endophytic bacterial communities. Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria were prevalent in P. prolifera, whereas Deinococcus-Thermus dominated in L. laureolum, revealing species-specific host-bacteria associations. Although a high degree of variability in the endophytic bacterial communities within hosts was observed, we also detected a core microbiome across the stems of the three plant species, which accounted for 72% of the sequences. Altogether, it seems that both deterministic and stochastic processes shaped microbial communities. Endophytic bacterial communities harboured putative plant growth-promoting bacteria, thus having the potential to influence host health and growth. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Root Zone Microbial Communities and Restoration of Plant Communities in Owens Valley, California - Phase 1

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fredrickson, Herbert; Furey, John; Price, David; Foote, Chris; Richmond, Margaret

    2007-01-01

    .... These interrelationships depend on soil characteristics affecting the microbial communities. This study was designed to provide survey information on microbial communities in soils from native and disturbed areas at ten locations spanning Owens Valley...

  5. Economically and ecologically important plant communities in high altitude coniferous forest of Malam Jabba, Swat, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Hassan; Al Yemeni, Mohammad

    2011-01-01

    A study on the economically important plant communities was carried out during summer 2008 in various parts of Malam Jabba valley, Swat. The principal aim of the study was phytosociological evaluation with special reference to the occurrence of commercially important medicinal plant species in coniferous forest of the study area. Secondly to prepare ethnobotanical inventory of the plant resources of the area, as well as to evaluate the conservation status of important medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) through rapid vulnerable assessment (RVA) procedure. The study documented 90 species of ethnobotanical importance, out of these 71 spp used as medicinal plant, 20 spp fodder plant, 10 spp vegetables, 14 spp wild fruit, 18 spp fuel wood, 9 spp furniture and agricultural tools, 9 spp thatching, fencing and hedges, 4 spp honey bee, 2 spp evil eyes, 2 spp religious and 3 spp as poison. Phytosociologically six plant communities were found, comprising five herbs-shrubs-trees communities and one meadow community. Further study is, therefore, required to quantify the availability of species and to suggest suitable method for their production and conservation. Recommendations are also given in the spheres of training in identification, sustainable collection, value addition, trade monitoring and cooperative system of marketing.

  6. Simulation of plant communities with a cellular automaton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gassmann, F. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1999-08-01

    With a modelling approach based on cellular automata, five observed types of plant development can be simulated. In addition, the proposed model shows a strong tendency towards the formation of patches and a high degree of dynamical and structural instability leading to limits of predictability for the asymptotic solution chosen by the system among several possible metastable patterns (multistability). Further, external fluctuations can be shown to have advantages for certain plant types. The presented model unifies the fundamental dichotomy in vegetation dynamics between determinism (understood as predictability) and disorder (chance effects) by showing the outcome of both classical theories as special cases. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  7. Woody plants and woody plant management: ecology, safety, environmental impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    James H. Miller

    2001-01-01

    Wise and effective woody plant management is an increasing necessity for many land uses and conservation practices, especially on forests and rangelands where native or exotic plants are affecting productivity, access, or critical habitat. Tools and approaches for managing woody plants have been under concerted development for the past 50 years, integrating mechanical...

  8. Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ormsbee, Lindell e [Civil Engineering, Univ. of KY; Kipp, James A [Univ. of KY, Kentucky water research Institute

    2011-09-01

    This report focuses on assessing community preferences for the future use of the PGDP site, given the site's pending closure by US DOE. The project approach fostered interaction and engagement with the public based on lessons learned at other complex DOE environmental cleanup sites and upon the integration of a number of principles and approaches to public engagement from the Project Team's local, state, regional and international public engagement experience. The results of the study provide the community with a record of the diversity of values and preferences related to the environmental cleanup and future use of the site.

  9. Broad-Scale Comparison of Photosynthesis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Plant Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Krause-Jensen, D.

    1997-01-01

    Comparisons of photosynthesis in terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been impaired by differences in methods and time-scales of measurements. We compiled information on gross photosynthesis at high irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency at low irradiance from 109 published terrestrial studies...... communities probably due to more efficient light utilization and gas exchange in the terrestrial habitats. By contrast only small differences were found within different aquatic plant communities or within different terrestrial plant communities.......Comparisons of photosynthesis in terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been impaired by differences in methods and time-scales of measurements. We compiled information on gross photosynthesis at high irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency at low irradiance from 109 published terrestrial studies...... of forests, grasslands and crops and 319 aquatic studies of phytoplankton, macrophyte and attached microalgal communities to test if specific differences existed between the communities. Maximum gross photosynthesis and photosynthetic efficiency were systematically higher in terrestrial than in aquatic...

  10. Four decades of plant community change in the Alpine tundra of southwest Yukon, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danby, Ryan K; Koh, Saewan; Hik, David S; Price, Larry W

    2011-09-01

    Repeat measurements from long-term plots provide precise data for studying plant community change. In 2010, we visited a remote location in Yukon, Canada, where a detailed survey of alpine tundra communities was conducted in 1968. Plant community composition was resurveyed on the same four slopes using the same methods as the original study. Species richness and diversity increased significantly over the 42 years and non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that community composition had also changed significantly. However, the direction and magnitude of change varied with aspect. Dominant species were not replaced or eliminated but, instead, declined in relative importance. Fine-scale changes in vegetation were evident from repeat photography and dendro-ecological analysis of erect shrubs, supporting the community-level analysis. The period of study corresponds to a mean annual temperature increase of 2 degrees C, suggesting that climate warming has influenced these changes.

  11. Selective herbicide applications for low impact vegetation management of exotic species and enhancement of native plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Max. Williamson

    1998-01-01

    Selective and specific management for the control of exotic (non-native) plants is necessary for preservation of native plant communities. Managers of federal, state, or county land holdings and parks, wildlife areas, recreation areas, and historic sites are frequently charged with selectively managing the enhancement of desirable or native plant communities. In...

  12. Central Florida community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Shannon N. Albers; Qingfu Xiao

    2010-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  13. Tropical community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu Xiao

    2008-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  14. Interior West community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu. Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  15. Lower Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2009-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  16. THE ROLE OF THERMAL REGIMEN IN TUNDRA PLANT COMMUNITY RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mineral extraction activities in the Arctic regions of the world produce long-lasting ecological disturbances. Assisted recovery from such disturbances may require restoration of the tundra thermal regime. We transplanted plugs of entire root zone and live tundra plants to a dist...

  17. The delineation of plant communities in relatively homogenous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A relatively homogenous area of grassland was sampled by means of 2204 systematically place 0.5 m squared quadrats for the presence or absence of all vascular plants this data was processed by the method of normal association analysis which provided an hierarchical subdivision of the vegetation. This subdivision ...

  18. Earthworm abundance and distribution pattern in contrasting plant communities within a tropical wet forest in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. Gonzalez; X. Zou; A. Sabat; N. Fetcher

    1999-01-01

    Plant communities may impose strong control on soil fauna properties. We examined the abundance and distribution pattern of earthworms in two contrasting plant communities within a tropical wet forest in Puerto Rico. The Dacryodes community occurs in well-drained soils and is dominated by Dacryodes excels, Manilkara bidentata, Guarea guidonea, and Sloanea berteriana....

  19. The biodiversity and stability of alpine meadow plant communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kobresia pygmaea meadow community diversities in relation to altitude gradients (4200, 4300, 4400, 4450) on free grazing grassland was studied in the range of Chenduo county, Yushu prefecture, Qinghai province. Species richness and diversity index of vegetations in the four altitudes were comparatively analyzed.

  20. Using geomorphology to map plant community distribution in complex polygonal tundra landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, V. L.; Gangodagamage, C.; Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change over the next century is expected to substantially alter Arctic ecosystem structure and function, resulting in important feedbacks to global climate. Representing Arctic landscapes in the carbon cycle and climate models, however, is challenging because vegetation and soils vary over small spatial scales. Robust approaches are needed for identifying distinct plant communities for fine-scale model parameterizations, and for mapping the distribution of these communities to enable scaling from plot to grid-cell. Here, we demonstrate how a novel technique using LiDAR-derived metrics to delineate micro-topographic features can also be applied to mapping plant community distribution in a polygonal tundra landscape on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), Alaska. We recorded species composition in 48, 1 x 1 m plots located across contrasting ice-wedge polygon types on the BEO in July 2012. One-way cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling identified four major plant communities, namely i) tall Carex (sedge) dominated communities, ii) mixed tall graminoid-forb-moss communities, iii) dry graminoid-lichen communities and iv) low-stature, lichen dominated-communities. These communities were strongly linked to micro-topography, corresponding with i) low centers ii) troughs, iii) rims and transitional polygon centers, and iv) high centers. We therefore combined plant community type with geomorphological analyses using high-resolution LiDAR-derived metrics (e.g. slope, curvature, flowpath distances) to delineate micro-topographic features to produce a vegetation map. The map was verified using 24 field survey transects in which plant community boundaries were mapped using DGPS. The approach performed well, with only a small (5%) over-estimate of the extent of trough communities and a corresponding under-estimate of rim and transitional center communities. Overall, these analyses provide a framework which can be used for parameterizing fine

  1. Integrating a rangeland health assessment with successional management: A synergistic approach to EBIPM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qualitative Rangeland Health Assessments are extremely useful because they provide a relative indication of resource problems on rangelands. Additionally, theSuccessional Management framework identifies three primary causes of plantcommunity change, ecological processes, and factors that modify thes...

  2. An Integrated Social, Economic, and Ecologic Conceptual (ISEEC) framework for considering rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W.E.; McCollum, D.W.; Mitchell, J.E.; Swanson, L.E.; Kreuter, U.P.; Tanaka, J.A.; Evans, G.R.; Theodore, Heintz H.; Breckenridge, R.P.; Geissler, P.H.

    2009-01-01

    Currently, there is no standard method to assess the complex systems in rangeland ecosystems. Decision makers need baselines to create a common language of current rangeland conditions and standards for continued rangeland assessment. The Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable (SRR), a group of private and public organizations and agencies, has created a forum to discuss rangeland sustainability and assessment. The SRR has worked to integrate social, economic, and ecological disciplines related to rangelands and has identified a standard set of indicators that can be used to assess rangeland sustainability. As part of this process, SRR has developed a two-tiered conceptual framework from a systems perspective to study the validity of indicators and the relationships among them. The first tier categorizes rangeland characteristics into four states. The second tier defines processes affecting these states through time and space. The framework clearly shows that the processes affect and are affected by each other. ?? 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

  3. Land management implications for ecosystem services in a South African rangeland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petz, K.; Glenday, J.; Alkemade, J.R.M.

    2014-01-01

    In South Africa, restoration and sustainable management of historically overgrazed and degraded rangelands are promoted to increase biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. This study evaluates different land management scenarios in terms of ecosystem services in a South African rangeland, the

  4. Very High Resolution Panoramic Photography to Improve Conventional Rangeland Monitoring 1994

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland monitoring often includes repeat photographs as a basis for documentation and although photographic equipment and electronics have been evolving rapidly, basic rangeland photo monitoring methods have changed little over time. Ground based digital photography is underutilized, especially s...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Coal mining activities change plant community structure due to air pollution and soil degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.

  7. Distinguishing Early Successional Plant Communities Using Ground-Level Hyperspectral Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itiya Aneece

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Abandoned agricultural fields have recently become more abundant in the U.S. and remain susceptible to species invasions after cultivation disturbance. As invasive species become more widespread with increases in anthropogenic activities, we need more effective ways to use limited resources for conservation of native ecosystems. Remote sensing can help us monitor the spread and effects of invasive species, and thus determine the species and locations to target for conservation. To examine this potential, we studied plant communities dominated by exotic invasive plant species in secondary successional fields in northern Virginia using ground-level hyperspectral data. Within these communities, ordination analyses of vegetation surveys revealed differences in species compositions among plots and fields. These differences among communities were also observed in the spectral data. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses to determine which species influenced the ordination axes revealed that many of the influential species are considered invasive, again underscoring the influence of invasive species on community properties. Stepwise regression analyses also revealed that the most influential wavelengths for discrimination were distributed along the spectral profile from the visible to the near-infrared regions. A discriminant analysis using wavelengths selected with a principal components analysis demonstrated that different plant communities were separable using spectral data. These spectrally observable differences suggest that we can use hyperspectral data to distinguish among invasive-dominated successional plant communities in this region.

  8. PLANT COMMUNITIES WITH ARNICA MONTANA IN NATURAL HABITATS FROM THE CENTRAL REGION OF ROMANIAN EASTERN CARPATHIANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constantin MARDARI

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Arnica montana is a species of European Union interest, whose harvest from the wild and exploitation should be made under certain management measures. In Romania it is a vulnerable species due to excessive collection. It is a species with European areal occuring in pastures, meadows, forest glades, shrubs communities of mountain to the subalpine regions and, isolated, up to the alpine belt. Most of the plant communities with Arnica montana are semi-natural, with a floristic composition in which there are numerous rare or threatened species also supporting the need of their conservation. Our study was focused on a numerical classification (hierarchical, using Flexible ß algorithm and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity based on 48 plots, of the plant communities with Arnica montana from the central region of Romanian Eastern Carpathians and on the investigation of the effect of some environmental variables (Ellenberg indicator values, altitude, heat load index on their floristic composition (100 m2 scale. Vegetation – environment relationship was assessed via detrended correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis with Monte Carlo test. Six plant communities with Arnica montana were identified (communities of Festuca rubra with Agrostis capillaris, Festuca nigrescens, Vaccinium myrtillus, Nardus stricta, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Juniperus sibirica with a floristic composition mainly shaped by altitude, temperature and soil nitrogen content. Details related to location and sites characteristics, diagnostic species, floristic composition, presence of other rare or threatened species and Arnica montana abundance were presented for all these plant communities.

  9. Species richness of yeast communities in floral nectar of southern Spanish plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozo, María I; Herrera, Carlos M; Bazaga, Pilar

    2011-01-01

    Floral nectar of insect-pollinated plants often contains dense yeast populations, yet little quantitative information exists on patterns and magnitude of species richness of nectar-dwelling yeasts in natural plant communities. This study evaluates yeast species richness at both the plant community and plant species levels in a montane forest area in southern Spain, and also explores possible correlations between the incidence of different yeast species in nectar and their reported tolerance to high sugar concentrations, and between yeast diversity and pollinator composition. Yeast species occurring in a total of 128 field-collected nectar samples from 24 plant species were identified by sequencing the D1/D2 domain of the large subunit rDNA, and rarefaction-based analyses were used to estimate yeast species richness at the plant community and plant species levels, using nectar drops as elemental sampling units. Individual nectar samples were generally characterized by very low species richness (1.2 yeast species/sample, on average), with the ascomycetous Metschnikowia reukaufii and Metschnikowia gruessii accounting altogether for 84.7% of the 216 isolates identified. Other yeasts recorded included species in the genera Aureobasidium, Rhodotorula, Cryptococcus, Sporobolomyces, and Lecythophora. The shapes and slopes of observed richness accumulation curves were quite similar for the nectar drop and plant species approaches, but the two approaches yielded different expected richness estimates. Expected richness was higher for plant species-based than for nectar drop-based analyses, showing that the coverage of nectar yeast species occurring in the region would be improved by sampling additional host plant species. A significant correlation was found between incidence of yeast species in nectar and their reported ability to grow in a medium containing 50% glucose. Neither diversity nor incidence of yeasts was correlated with pollinator composition across plant species.

  10. Interactive effects of deer exclusion and exotic plant removal on deciduous forest understory communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourg, Norman; McShea, William J.; Herrmann, Valentine; Stewart, Chad M.

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian herbivory and exotic plant species interactions are an important ongoing research topic, due to their presumed impacts on native biodiversity. The extent to which these interactions affect forest understory plant community composition and persistence was the subject of our study. We conducted a 5-year, 2 × 2 factorial experiment in three mid-Atlantic US deciduous forests with high densities of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and exotic understory plants. We predicted: (i) only deer exclusion and exotic plant removal in tandem would increase native plant species metrics; and (ii) deer exclusion alone would decrease exotic plant abundance over time. Treatments combining exotic invasive plant removal and deer exclusion for plots with high initial cover, while not differing from fenced or exotic removal only plots, were the only ones to exhibit positive richness responses by native herbaceous plants compared to control plots. Woody seedling metrics were not affected by any treatments. Deer exclusion caused significant increases in abundance and richness of native woody species >30 cm in height. Abundance changes in two focal members of the native sapling community showed that oaks (Quercus spp.) increased only with combined exotic removal and deer exclusion, while shade-tolerant maples (Acer spp.) showed no changes. We also found significant declines in invasive Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) abundance in deer-excluded plots. Our study demonstrates alien invasive plants and deer impact different components and life-history stages of the forest plant community, and controlling both is needed to enhance understory richness and abundance. Alien plant removal combined with deer exclusion will most benefit native herbaceous species richness under high invasive cover conditions while neither action may impact native woody seedlings. For larger native woody species, only deer exclusion is needed for such increases. Deer exclusion directly

  11. PARTICIPATORY CARTOGRAPHY IN A TRADITIONAL GOAT PRODUCTION SYSTEM OF A SMALLHOLDER COMMUNITY IN NORTHERN MÉXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Pinos Rodríguez

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available A community mapping procedure was developed to identify and characterize communal land area used for a traditional goat production system. Participatory cartography indicated that producers have good knowledge of their territory; more than 80% of the spatial distribution and localization of the elements and shapes present in the community map agreed with the map constructed with GIS. All flocks were mainly grazed on communal rangelands where the most important native forage plants were Opuntia spp. Yucca filifera, Condalia mexicana, Dalea spp. and Euphorbia cinerasiens, and corn stover the main crop by-product supplement used during dry season.

  12. Fungal Communities in Rhizosphere Soil under Conservation Tillage Shift in Response to Plant Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziting Wang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Conservation tillage is an extensively used agricultural practice in northern China that alters soil texture and nutrient conditions, causing changes in the soil microbial community. However, how conservation tillage affects rhizosphere and bulk soil fungal communities during plant growth remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of long-term (6 years conservation (chisel plow, zero and conventional (plow tillage during wheat growth on the rhizosphere fungal community, using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS gene and quantitative PCR. During tillering, fungal alpha diversity in both rhizosphere and bulk soil were significantly higher under zero tillage compared to other methods. Although tillage had no significant effect during the flowering stage, fungal alpha diversity at this stage was significantly different between rhizosphere and bulk soils, with bulk soil presenting the highest diversity. This was also reflected in the phylogenetic structure of the communities, as rhizosphere soil communities underwent a greater shift from tillering to flowering compared to bulk soil communities. In general, less variation in community structure was observed under zero tillage compared to plow and chisel plow treatments. Changes in the relative abundance of the fungal orders Capnodiales, Pleosporales, and Xylariales contributed the highest to the dissimilarities observed. Structural equation models revealed that the soil fungal communities under the three tillage regimes were likely influenced by the changes in soil properties associated with plant growth. This study suggested that: (1 differences in nutrient resources between rhizosphere and bulk soils can select for different types of fungi thereby increasing community variation during plant growth; (2 tillage can alter fungal communities' variability, with zero tillage promoting more stable communities. This work suggests that long-term changes in

  13. Fungal Communities in Rhizosphere Soil under Conservation Tillage Shift in Response to Plant Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ziting; Li, Tong; Wen, Xiaoxia; Liu, Yang; Han, Juan; Liao, Yuncheng; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2017-01-01

    Conservation tillage is an extensively used agricultural practice in northern China that alters soil texture and nutrient conditions, causing changes in the soil microbial community. However, how conservation tillage affects rhizosphere and bulk soil fungal communities during plant growth remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of long-term (6 years) conservation (chisel plow, zero) and conventional (plow) tillage during wheat growth on the rhizosphere fungal community, using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene and quantitative PCR. During tillering, fungal alpha diversity in both rhizosphere and bulk soil were significantly higher under zero tillage compared to other methods. Although tillage had no significant effect during the flowering stage, fungal alpha diversity at this stage was significantly different between rhizosphere and bulk soils, with bulk soil presenting the highest diversity. This was also reflected in the phylogenetic structure of the communities, as rhizosphere soil communities underwent a greater shift from tillering to flowering compared to bulk soil communities. In general, less variation in community structure was observed under zero tillage compared to plow and chisel plow treatments. Changes in the relative abundance of the fungal orders Capnodiales, Pleosporales, and Xylariales contributed the highest to the dissimilarities observed. Structural equation models revealed that the soil fungal communities under the three tillage regimes were likely influenced by the changes in soil properties associated with plant growth. This study suggested that: (1) differences in nutrient resources between rhizosphere and bulk soils can select for different types of fungi thereby increasing community variation during plant growth; (2) tillage can alter fungal communities' variability, with zero tillage promoting more stable communities. This work suggests that long-term changes in tillage regimes may

  14. Metagenomic characterization of biofilter microbial communities in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Seungdae; Hammes, Frederik; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2018-01-01

    Microorganisms inhabiting filtration media of a drinking water treatment plant can be beneficial, because they metabolize biodegradable organic matter from source waters and those formed during disinfection processes, leading to the production of biologically stable drinking water. However, which microbial consortia colonize filters and what metabolic capacity they possess remain to be investigated. To gain insights into these issues, we performed metagenome sequencing and analysis of microbial communities in three different filters of a full-scale drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). Filter communities were sampled from a rapid sand filter (RSF), granular activated carbon filter (GAC), and slow sand filter (SSF), and from the Schmutzdecke (SCM, a biologically active scum layer accumulated on top of SSF), respectively. Analysis of community phylogenetic structure revealed that the filter bacterial communities significantly differed from those in the source water and final effluent communities, respectively. Network analysis identified a filter-specific colonization pattern of bacterial groups. Bradyrhizobiaceae were abundant in GAC, whereas Nitrospira were enriched in the sand-associated filters (RSF, SCM, and SSF). The GAC community was enriched with functions associated with aromatics degradation, many of which were encoded by Rhizobiales (∼30% of the total GAC community). Predicting minimum generation time (MGT) of prokaryotic communities suggested that the GAC community potentially select fast-growers (structure, colonization pattern, and metabolic capacity that potentially contributes to organic matter removal achieved in the biofiltration stages of the full-scale DWTP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Planting the Seed: An Evaluation of a Community Youth Summit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corliss Outley

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Meaningful youth engagement produces benefits both to youth and to the community in which they live. This paper discusses a day-long youth summit held for 289 middle school students. Youth attended a combination of mass and break-out sessions based on America’s Promise Five Promises. Planners and evaluators assessed proximal student outcomes throughout the day. A two question visual analog scale was developed and utilized to assess students’ perceptions of learning and enjoyment.

  16. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model: A Dynamic Approach for Predicting Soil Loss on Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Mariano; Nearing, Mark A.; Al-Hamdan, Osama Z.; Pierson, Frederick B.; Armendariz, Gerardo; Weltz, Mark A.; Spaeth, Kenneth E.; Williams, C. Jason; Nouwakpo, Sayjro K.; Goodrich, David C.; Unkrich, Carl L.; Nichols, Mary H.; Holifield Collins, Chandra D.

    2017-11-01

    In this study, we present the improved Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM V2.3), a process-based erosion prediction tool specific for rangeland application. The article provides the mathematical formulation of the model and parameter estimation equations. Model performance is assessed against data collected from 23 runoff and sediment events in a shrub-dominated semiarid watershed in Arizona, USA. To evaluate the model, two sets of primary model parameters were determined using the RHEM V2.3 and RHEM V1.0 parameter estimation equations. Testing of the parameters indicated that RHEM V2.3 parameter estimation equations provided a 76% improvement over RHEM V1.0 parameter estimation equations. Second, the RHEM V2.3 model was calibrated to measurements from the watershed. The parameters estimated by the new equations were within the lowest and highest values of the calibrated parameter set. These results suggest that the new parameter estimation equations can be applied for this environment to predict sediment yield at the hillslope scale. Furthermore, we also applied the RHEM V2.3 to demonstrate the response of the model as a function of foliar cover and ground cover for 124 data points across Arizona and New Mexico. The dependence of average sediment yield on surface ground cover was moderately stronger than that on foliar cover. These results demonstrate that RHEM V2.3 predicts runoff volume, peak runoff, and sediment yield with sufficient accuracy for broad application to assess and manage rangeland systems.

  17. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E Kuramae

    Full Text Available We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA templates. We detected no significant differences in soil fungal diversity and community structure associated with different plant cultivars. However, DNA-based analyses yielded lower fungal OTU richness as compared to RNA-based analyses. Clear differences in fungal community structure were also observed in relation to sampling time and the nucleic acid pool targeted (DNA versus RNA. The most abundant soil fungi, as recovered by DNA-based methods, did not necessary represent the most "active" fungi (as recovered via RNA. Interestingly, RNA-derived community compositions at t1 were highly similar to DNA-derived communities at t2, based on presence/absence measures of OTUs. We recovered large proportions of fungal sequences belonging to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Basidiomycota, especially at the RNA level, suggesting that these important and potentially beneficial fungi are not affected by the plant cultivars nor by GM traits (Bt toxin production. Our results suggest that even though DNA- and RNA-derived soil fungal communities can be very different at a given time, RNA composition may have a predictive power of fungal community development through time.

  18. The Upper Mississippi River floodscape: spatial patterns of flood inundation and associated plant community distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Yin, Yao; Hoy, Erin E.

    2016-01-01

    Questions How is the distribution of different plant communities associated with patterns of flood inundation across a large floodplain landscape? Location Thirty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy hectare of floodplain, spanning 320 km of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Methods High-resolution elevation data (Lidar) and 30 yr of daily river stage data were integrated to produce a ‘floodscape’ map of growing season flood inundation duration. The distributions of 16 different remotely sensed plant communities were quantified along the gradient of flood duration. Results Models fitted to the cumulative frequency of occurrence of different vegetation types as a function of flood duration showed that most types exist along a continuum of flood-related occurrence. The diversity of community types was greatest at high elevations (0–10 d of flooding), where both upland and lowland community types were found, as well as at very low elevations (70–180 d of flooding), where a variety of lowland herbaceous communities were found. Intermediate elevations (20–60 d of flooding) tended to be dominated by floodplain forest and had the lowest diversity of community types. Conclusions Although variation in flood inundation is often considered to be the main driver of spatial patterns in floodplain plant communities, few studies have quantified flood–vegetation relationships at broad scales. Our results can be used to identify targets for restoration of historical hydrological regimes or better anticipate hydro-ecological effects of climate change at broad scales.

  19. Plant communities of the Ebenhaezer section of the Mountain Zebra National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. de Klerk

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available The long-term conservation of viable ecosystems requires a broader understanding of the ecological processes involved. Because ecosystems react differently to different management practices, it is important to have a description and classification of the vegetation of an area available. As part of a vegetation survey programme for the newly acquired farms to be incorporated into the Mountain Zebra National Park, the vegetation of the Ebenhaezer section was investigated. Ahierarchical classification, vegetation map, description and ecological interpretation of the plant communities of the study area are presented. ATWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures revealed eight distinct plant communities. Habitat factors associated with differences in vegetation include topography, soil form and grazing. Descriptions of the plant communities include diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of the tree, shrub and herbaceous layers.

  20. Biomass, Leaf Area, and Resource Availability of Kudzu Dominated Plant Communities Following Herbicide Treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

    Kudzu is an exotic vine that threatens the forests of the southern U.S. Five herbicides were tested with regard to their efficacy in controlling kudzu, community recover was monitored, and interactions with planted pines were studied. The sites selected were old farm sites dominated by kudzu.These were burned following herbicide treatment. The herbicides included triclopyr, clopyralid, metsulfuron, tebuthiuron, and picloram plus 2,4-D. Pine seedlings were planted the following year. Regression equations were developed for predicting biomass and leaf area. Four distinct plant communities resulted from the treatments. The untreated check continued to be kudzu dominated. Blackberry dominated the clopyradid treatment. Metsulfron, trychlopyr and picloram treated sites resulted in herbaceous dominated communities. The tebuthiuron treatment maintained all vegetation low.

  1. Use of Medical Plants in Schools Communities from Sinop, Mato Grosso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This study was conducted in Sinop, Mato Grosso, on two school communities. It was applied semi-structured questionnaires with questions focused on socioeconomic and the use of medicinal plants. It has as finality proved the effective use of medicinal plants on the everyday and a levy of the most used plant. The general profile of the respondents has shown that the women detain the major part of the knowledge, and that pass this uses to the future generations and friends, and find these plants on specialty stores, backyards, supermarket, root stores, bush and fairs. The plants that were found more frequently was (Ruta graveolens L., Babosa (Aloe vera L., Erva-Cidreira (Lippia alba Mill., Erva-Santa-Maria (Chenopodium ambrosioides L., Boldo (Plectranthus amboinicus Spreng., Hortel(Menta x vilosa Huds. e Terramicina (Alternanthera dentata Moench..Keywords: medical plants, Sinop, school.

  2. Biosolids Effects in Chihuahuan Desert Rangelands: A Ten-Year Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Wester

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Arid and semiarid rangelands are suitable for responsible biosolids application. Topical application is critical to avoid soil and vegetation disturbance. Surface-applied biosolids have long-lasting effects in these ecosystems. We conducted a 10-year research program investigating effects of biosolids applied at rates from 0 to 90 dry Mg ha−1 on soil water infiltration; runoff and leachate water quality; soil erosion; forage production and quality; seedling establishment; plant physiological responses; nitrogen dynamics; biosolids decomposition; and grazing animal behavior and management. Biosolids increased soil water infiltration and reduced erosion. Effects on soil water quality were observed only at the highest application rates. Biosolids increased soil nitrate-nitrogen. Biosolids increased forage production and improved forage quality. Biosolids increased leaf area of grasses; photosynthetic rates were not necessarily increased by biosolids. Biosolids effects on plant establishment are expected only under moderately favorable conditions. Over an 82-mo exposure period, total organic carbon, nitrogen, and total and available phosphorus decreased and inorganic matter increased. Grazing animals spent more time grazing, ruminating, and resting in biosolids-treated areas; positive effects on average daily gain were observed during periods of higher rainfall. Our results suggest that annual biosolids application rates of up to 18 Mg ha−1 are appropriate for desert rangelands.

  3. Criterion V: Legal, institutional, and economic framework for rangeland conservation and sustainable management [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonn E. Mitchell; Stan Hamiliton; Thomas Lustig; Kenneth Nelson; Tom Roberts; Brian Czech

    2010-01-01

    Laws, institutions, and economic policies play a large role in determining the sustainability of rangelands. They provide the basic framework from which many lasting decisions about rangeland management are made. The SRR has identified 10 primary indicators to assess how this framework influences the long-term health and productivity of rangeland in this country. The...

  4. Ecohydrologic impacts of rangeland fire on runoff and erosion: A literature synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick B. Pierson; C. Jason Williams

    2016-01-01

    Fire can dramatically influence rangeland hydrology and erosion by altering ecohydrologic relationships. This synthesis presents an ecohydrologic perspective on the effects of fire on rangeland runoff and erosion through a review of scientific literature spanning many decades. The objectives are: (1) to introduce rangeland hydrology and erosion concepts necessary for...

  5. Rangelands of Central Asia: Proceedings of the Conference on Transformations, Issues, and Future Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald J. Bedunah; E. Durant McArthur; Maria Fernandez-Gimenez

    2006-01-01

    The 11 papers in this document address issues and needs in the development and stewardship of Central Asia rangelands, and identify directions for future work. With its vast rangelands and numerous pastoral populations, Central Asia is a region of increasing importance to rangeland scientists, managers, and pastoral development specialists. Five of the papers address...

  6. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alkemade, R.; Reid, R.S.; Berg, van den M.; Leeuw, de J.; Jeuken, M.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock

  7. Ecologic, Economic, and Social Considerations for Rangeland Sustainability: An Integrated Conceptual Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. McCollum; H. Theodore Jr. Heintz; Aaron J. Harp; John A. Tanaka; Gary R. Evans; David Radloff; Louis E. Swanson; William E. III Fox; Michael G. Sherm Karl; John E. Mitchell

    2006-01-01

    Use and sustainability of rangelands are inherently linked to the health and sustainability of the land. They are also inherently linked to the social and economic infrastructures that complement and support those rangelands and rangeland uses. Ecological systems and processes provide the biological interactions underlying ecosystem health and viability. Social and...

  8. Criterion IV: Social and economic indicators of rangeland sustainability (Chapter 5)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. McCollum; Louis E. Swanson; John A. Tanaka; Mark W. Brunson; Aaron J. Harp; L. Allen Torell; H. Theodore Heintz

    2010-01-01

    Social and economic systems provide the context and rationale for rangeland management. Sustaining rangeland ecosystems requires attention to the social and economic conditions that accompany the functioning of those systems. We present and discuss economic and social indicators for rangeland sustainability. A brief conceptual basis for each indicator is offered,...

  9. Application of rangeland health indicators on forested plots on the Fishlake National Forest, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggie G. Toone; Sara Goeking

    2017-01-01

    Typical indicators of rangeland health are used to describe health and functionality of a variety of rangeland ecosystems. Similar indicators may be applied to forested locations to examine ecological health at a local forest level. Four rangeland health indicators were adapted and applied to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky...

  10. Root Zone Microbial Communities and Restoration of Plant Communities in Owens Valley, California - Phase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    community is composed of Ambrosia dumosa (burrobush), Artemisia spinescens (bud sage), Atriplex con- fertifolia (schadscale), Atriplex polycarpa...pauciflora (desert milkaster). • The dryland nonalkaline scrub community is composed of Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush), Chrysothamnus teretifolius...locations all show significantly heavier ratios, probably indicating ordinary fertilizer with heavier nitrogen via the Haber process. Autotrophs

  11. Evapotranspiration over spatially extensive plant communities in the Big Cypress National Preserve, southern Florida, 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, W. Barclay; Lopez, Christian D.; Duever, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) was quantified over plant communities within the Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) using the eddy covariance method for a period of 3 years from October 2007 to September 2010. Plant communities selected for study included Pine Upland, Wet Prairie, Marsh, Cypress Swamp, and Dwarf Cypress. These plant communities are spatially extensive in southern Florida, and thus, the ET measurements described herein can be applied to other humid subtropical locations such as the Everglades.

  12. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

    Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in both the greenhouse and laboratory by growing associated plants, Melaleuca ericifolia, Rumex conglomeratus, and model plant, Lactuca sativa at varying densities with the allelopathic plant, P. australis, its litter and leachate of P. australis litter. This study investigated the potential interacting influences of allelopathy and resource competition on plant growth-density relationships. In greenhouse, the root exudates mediated effects showed the strongest growth inhibition of M. ericifolia at high density whereas litter mediated results revealed increased growth at medium density treatments compared to low and high density. Again, laboratory experiments related to seed germination and seedling growth of L. sativa and R. conglomeratus exhibited phytotoxicity decreased showing positive growth as plant density increased and vice versa. Overall, the differential effects were observed among experiments but maximum individual plant biomass and some other positive effects on plant traits such as root and shoot length, chlorophyll content occurred at an intermediate density. This was attributed to the sharing of the available phytotoxin among plants at high densities which is compatible to density-dependent phytotoxicity model. The results demonstrated that plant-plant interference is the combined effect of allelopathy and resource competition with many other factors but this experimental design, target-neighbor mixed-culture in combination of plant grown at varying densities with varying

  13. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in forest plant roots are simultaneously shaped by host characteristics and canopy-mediated light availability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koorem, Kadri; Tulva, Ingmar; Davison, John; Jairus, Teele; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin; Moora, Mari

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims The majority of terrestrial plant species associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, to exchange carbon compounds with nutrients. However, the factors that determine the composition of AM fungal communities in individual plant roots remain poorly understood. We

  14. Effects of single and multiple applications of glyphosate or aminopyralid on simple constructed plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleeger, Thomas; Blakeley-Smith, Matthew; Lee, E Henry; King, George; Plocher, Milton; Olszyk, David

    2014-10-01

    To determine effects of multiple applications of herbicides on small constructed plant communities, Prunella vulgaris L.var. lanceolata Fern, Festuca roemeri (Pavlick) Alexeev, Clarkia amoena (Lehm.) Nels., and Cynosurus echinatus L. were grown together in small field plots. Plants were treated with glyphosate at target concentrations of 0 × , 0.01 × , 0.1 × , and 0.2× a field application rate (FAR) of 1122 g ha(-1) active ingredient (a.i.) for 3 yr in 1 location, and for 2 yr in a second location. Plants also were treated with aminopyralid at 0 × , 0.037 × , 0.136 × , and 0.5× FAR of 123 g ha(-1) a.i. for 2 yr in 2 locations. Plants received 1, 2, or 3 applications of each herbicide each year. Species and community responses depended on herbicide concentration and number of applications. With glyphosate, plant volume (modified formula for a cone) tended to decrease for all species (especially C. echinatus), and the decreases generally became larger with more applications. Plant communities exposed to the 2 greatest concentrations initially differed from controls but then appeared to recover. With aminopyralid, C. amoena was essentially eliminated from the communities, especially at the 2 greatest FARs, whereas the other 3 species tended to have significant increases in volume, especially at the 2 smallest FARs. With aminopyralid, increasing numbers of applications produced variable results, and the plant community volume never tended to recover. Published 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc., on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal...... of habitat loss on plant species richness was pervasive across different regions, whereas the effect of habitat isolation on species richness was not evident. This area effect was, however, not equal for all the species, and life-history traits related to both species persistence and dispersal modified plant...... sensitivity to habitat loss, indicating that both landscape and local processes determined large-scale dynamics of plant communities. High competitive ability for light, annual life cycle and animal dispersal emerged as traits enabling species to cope with habitat loss. Main conclusions In highly fragmented...

  16. Exploratory Retrospective Analysis of Power Plant Emissions in Vulnerable Communities in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declet-Barreto, J.; Pham, M.

    2016-12-01

    Carbon emissions trading has been implemented in parts of the United States (and elsewhere) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Data from one such program focused on power plant emissions in the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), have shown that regionally, power sector carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced since the adoption of the program in 2009. However, it is not known what the spatial distributions of such reductions have been in individual plants, and if emissions reductions have ocurred in plants impacting low-income and ethnic minority communities, arguably the populations most overburdened by health threats from co-pollutants (e.g., fine particulates, nitrous oxides, and sulfurous oxides) emitted along greenhouse gases. In this research, we explore the trajectory of power plant emissions in the RGGI region in vulnerable communities. This is a first, exploratory step in understanding the environmental justice implications of market-based carbon reduction policies.

  17. Plant communities on infertile soils are less sensitive to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen; Fernandez-Going, Barbara; Eskelinen, Anu; Copeland, Stella

    2015-11-01

    Much evidence suggests that plant communities on infertile soils are relatively insensitive to increased water deficit caused by increasing temperature and/or decreasing precipitation. However, a multi-decadal study of community change in the western USA does not support this conclusion. This paper tests explanations related to macroclimatic differences, overstorey effects on microclimate, variation in soil texture and plant functional traits. A re-analysis was undertaken of the changes in the multi-decadal study, which concerned forest understorey communities on infertile (serpentine) and fertile soils in an aridifying climate (southern Oregan) from 1949-1951 to 2007-2008. Macroclimatic variables, overstorey cover and soil texture were used as new covariates. As an alternative measure of climate-related change, the community mean value of specific leaf area was used, a functional trait measuring drought tolerance. We investigated whether these revised analyses supported the prediction of lesser sensitivity to climate change in understorey communities on infertile serpentine soils. Overstorey cover, but not macroclimate or soil texture, was a significant covariate of community change over time. It strongly buffered understorey temperatures, was correlated with less change and averaged >50 % lower on serpentine soils, thereby counteracting the lower climate sensitivity of understorey herbs on these soils. Community mean specific leaf area showed the predicted pattern of less change over time in serpentine than non-serpentine communities. Based on the current balance of evidence, plant communities on infertile serpentine soils are less sensitive to changes in the climatic water balance than communities on more fertile soils. However, this advantage may in some cases be lessened by their sparser overstorey cover. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  18. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Constructing more informative plant-pollinator networks: visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, G; Baldock, Katherine C R; Willmer, P G

    2015-09-07

    Interaction networks are widely used as tools to understand plant-pollinator communities, and to examine potential threats to plant diversity and food security if the ecosystem service provided by pollinating animals declines. However, most networks to date are based on recording visits to flowers, rather than recording clearly defined effective pollination events. Here we provide the first networks that explicitly incorporate measures of pollinator effectiveness (PE) from pollen deposition on stigmas per visit, and pollinator importance (PI) as the product of PE and visit frequency. These more informative networks, here produced for a low diversity heathland habitat, reveal that plant-pollinator interactions are more specialized than shown in most previous studies. At the studied site, the specialization index [Formula: see text] was lower for the visitation network than the PE network, which was in turn lower than [Formula: see text] for the PI network. Our study shows that collecting PE data is feasible for community-level studies in low diversity communities and that including information about PE can change the structure of interaction networks. This could have important consequences for our understanding of threats to pollination systems. © 2015 The Authors.

  20. Phyllosphere microbiota composition and microbial community transplantation on lettuce plants grown indoors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas R; Marco, Maria L

    2014-08-12

    The aerial surfaces of plants, or phyllosphere, are microbial habitats important to plant and human health. In order to accurately investigate microbial interactions in the phyllosphere under laboratory conditions, the composition of the phyllosphere microbiota should be representative of the diversity of microorganisms residing on plants in nature. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in the laboratory contained 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown plants was also significantly lower and contained relatively higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Incubation of field-grown Romaine lettuce plants in environmental growth chambers for 2 weeks resulted in bacterial cell densities and taxa similar to those on plants in the field but with less diverse bacterial populations overall. In comparison, the inoculation of laboratory-grown Romaine lettuce plants with either freshly collected or cryopreserved microorganisms recovered from field lettuce resulted in the development of a field-like microbiota on the lettuce within 2 days of application. The survival of an inoculated strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was unchanged by microbial community transfer; however, the inoculation of E. coli O157:H7 onto those plants resulted in significant shifts in the abundance of certain taxa. This finding was strictly dependent on the presence of a field-associated as opposed to a laboratory-associated microbiota on the plants. Phyllosphere microbiota transplantation in the laboratory will be useful for elucidating microbial interactions on plants that are important to agriculture and microbial food safety. The phyllosphere is a habitat for a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria with significant relevance to plant and human health. Some indigenous epiphytic bacteria might affect the persistence of human food

  1. Can DNA sequencing show differences between microbial communities in Polish and Danish wastewater treatment plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miłobędzka, A; Muszyński, A

    2017-03-01

    The microbial populations in the activated sludge of two Polish wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were identified and quantified using Illumina sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons over a 2-year period. Their dynamics over time were compared to Danish WWTPs (data collected in previous studies by Center for Microbial Communities, Aalborg University). The bacterial communities in Polish and Danish WWTPs were similar to each other, but the microbial diversity in Polish WWTPs was lower. The dominant genera in Polish WWTPs were more abundant than in Danish WWTPs; 30 of them constituted more than half the of activated sludge community. Polish WWTPs showed a higher abundance of bacteria involved in nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand removal (Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes), while polyphosphate-acculumating bacteria were the dominant bacterial group in Danish plants. The microbial community structures in the examined Polish WWTPs were relatively similar to each other and showed strong seasonal variations which are not normally observed in Danish WWTPs.

  2. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...

  3. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gerven, Luuk P A; de Klein, Jeroen J M; Gerla, Daan J; Kooi, Bob W; Kuiper, Jan J; Mooij, Wolf M

    2015-07-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at high supply of light and nutrients, floating plants always dominate due to their primacy for light, even when submerged plants have lower minimal resource requirements. The model also shows that floating-plant dominance cannot be an alternative stable state in light-limited environments but only in nutrient-limited environments, depending on the plants' resource consumption traits. Compared to unlayered communities, the asymmetry in competition for light-coincident with symmetry in competition for nutrients-leads to fundamentally different results: competition outcomes can no longer be predicted from species traits such as minimal resource requirements ([Formula: see text] rule) and resource consumption. Also, the same two species can, depending on the environment, coexist or be alternative stable states. When applied to two common plant species in temperate regions, both the model and field data suggest that floating-plant dominance is unlikely to be an alternative stable state.

  4. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Previous field observations indicated that earthworms promote late-successional plant species and reduce collembolan numbers at post-mining sites in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic). Here, we established a laboratory pot experiment to test the effect of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny and Lumbricus rubellus Hoffm.) and litter of low, medium, and high quality (the grass Calamagrostis epigejos, the willow Salix caprea, and the alder Alnus glutinosa, respectively) on late successional plants (grasses Arrhenatherum elatius and Agrostis capillaris, legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium medium, and non-leguminous dicots Centaurea jacea and Plantago lanceolata) in spoil substrate originating from Sokolov post-mining sites and naturally inhabited by abundant numbers of Collembola. The earthworms increased plant biomass, especially that of the large-seeded A. elatius, but reduced the number of plant individuals, mainly that of the small-seeded A. capillaris and both legumes. Litter quality affected plant biomass, which was highest with S. caprea litter, but did not change the number of plant individuals. Litter quality did not modify the effect of earthworms on plants; the effect of litter quality and earthworms was only additive. Species composition of Collembola community was altered by litter quality, but earthworms reduced the number of individuals, increased the number of species, and increased species evenness consistently across the litter qualities. Because the results of this experiment were consistent with the field observations, we conclude that earthworms help drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities on post-mining sites.

  5. Overstory influences on light attenuation patterns and understory plant community diversity and composition in southern boreal forests of Quebec

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bartemucci, Paula; Messier, Christian; Canham, Charles D

    2006-01-01

    We have characterized overstory light transmission, understory light levels, and plant communities in mixed wood boreal forests of northwestern Quebec with the objective of understanding how overstory...

  6. [Influence of Submerged Plants on Microbial Community Structure in Sediment of Hongze Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ding-yu; Zhang, Ting-xi; Dong, Dan-ping; Li, De-fang; Wang, Guo-xiang

    2016-05-15

    Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) method was applied to analyze the influence of submerged plants on sediment microbial community structure, in order to investigate the changes of sediment microbial community structure for different kinds of the submerged plants in different growth periods. Particularly, Potamogeton crispus L., Potamogeton pectinatus L and the mixed group were chosen as the typical submerged plants in Hongze Lake for investigation in this paper. The results indicated that the change of total PLFAs in different periods was significant, on the contrary, the PLFA change for different groups in the same period was insignificant. The values of G⁺ PLFA/G⁻ PLFA in the submerged plant group were also highly related to the different growth periods, which demonstrated that the root function of the submerged plant had a severe impact on the microbial community in sediment. Furthermore, some environmental factors, such as Temperature, pH, TOC and DO, were correlated to characteristic phospholipid of PLFAs in sediment, which means the environmental factors could also affect the microbial community structure.

  7. Plant communities of field boundaries in Finnish farmland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. TARMI

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available To determine the importance of field boundary habitats for farmland biodiversity, we surveyed a total of 193 boundaries from four climatically and agriculturally dissimilar regions in Finland. We measured the current plant species richness and composition of the boundaries, and based on the differences in vegetation characteristics, we describe six boundary types. The observed plant species were mainly indicators of fresh to wet soils and moderate to rich mineral nitrogen content. The most frequent species were tall, perennial monocots and dicots indicating the high productivity of thevegetation. Moreove, herbicide-tolerant species were common. No species rare for Finland were found.In animal husbandry regions, the most frequent species were sown grassland species and typical grassland weeds. In cereal production regions, fast-spreading root weeds tolerant of herbicides were the most frequent. Mean species richness was highest in the cluster Ca-lamagrostis-Phalaris (24 species (s/boundary (b, which we considered as representative of moist sites with some disturbance by agricultural practices. Most species-poor were the clusters Elymus-Anthriscus (14 s/band Elymus-Cirsium (16 s/b,both found predominantly in cereal production regions in southern Finland. Our results suggest that the biodiversity value of boundaries is lowest in the most intensive cereal production areas and highest in areas of mixed farming.;

  8. Bacterial communities associated with culex mosquito larvae and two emergent aquatic plants of bioremediation importance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagne Duguma

    Full Text Available Microbes are important for mosquito nutrition, growth, reproduction and control. In this study, we examined bacterial communities associated with larval mosquitoes and their habitats. Specifically, we characterized bacterial communities associated with late larval instars of the western encephalitis mosquito (Culextarsalis, the submerged portions of two emergent macrophytes (California bulrush, Schoenoplectuscalifornicus and alkali bulrush, Schoenoplectusmaritimus, and the associated water columns to investigate potential differential use of resources by mosquitoes in different wetland habitats. Using next-generation sequence data from 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions, the alpha diversity of mosquito gut microbial communities did not differ between pond mesocosms containing distinct monotypic plants. Proteobacteria, dominated by the genus Thorsellia (Enterobacteriaceae, was the most abundant phylum recovered from C. tarsalis larvae. Approximately 49% of bacterial OTUs found in larval mosquitoes were identical to OTUs recovered from the water column and submerged portions of the two bulrushes. Plant and water samples were similar to one another, both being dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia phyla. Overall, the bacterial communities within C. tarsalis larvae were conserved and did not change across sampling dates and between two distinct plant habitats. Although Thorsellia spp. dominated mosquito gut communities, overlap of mosquito gut, plant and water-column OTUs likely reveal the effects of larval feeding. Future research will investigate the role of the key indicator groups of bacteria across the different developmental stages of this mosquito species.

  9. Socioeconomic impacts of nuclear power plant siting: a case study of two New England communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Purdy, B. J.

    1976-01-01

    An examination is presented of the social, economic and political/institutional impacts of two operating nuclear power complexes on two New England communities. The work is one of a series planned to broaden knowledge of the effects of large energy-generating facilities upon the social structure of local communities. Its primary objectives are to investigate and assess social and economic impacts resulting from construction and operation of nuclear power plants and to generate hypotheses about such impacts for future testing.

  10. Tracking dynamics of plant biomass composting by changes in substrate structure, microbial community, and enzyme activity

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Hui; Tucker Melvin P; Baker John O; Harris Michelle; Luo Yonghua; Xu Qi; Himmel Michael E; Ding Shi-You

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Understanding the dynamics of the microbial communities that, along with their secreted enzymes, are involved in the natural process of biomass composting may hold the key to breaking the major bottleneck in biomass-to-biofuels conversion technology, which is the still-costly deconstruction of polymeric biomass carbohydrates to fermentable sugars. However, the complexity of both the structure of plant biomass and its counterpart microbial degradation communities makes it d...

  11. Distribution of plant communities in the Badlands of the Upper Llobregat Basin (Southeastern Pyrenees)

    OpenAIRE

    Guardia, Roser; Josep M. Ninot

    2017-01-01

    The plant communities of the badlands of a pre-Pyrenean area were studied by means of a geomorphological selection of the eroded areas and 71 phytocoenological relevés with topographic data. The relevés were subdivided into two groups, according to the two kinds of substratum (Eocene marls and Upper Cretaceous clays), and then submitted to Correspondence Analysis. According to these analyses and to abiotic parameters, nine vegetation types can be distinguished. Each community is characterized...

  12. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest

    OpenAIRE

    Kembel, Steven W.; O’Connor, Timothy K.; Arnold, Holly K.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Wright, S. Joseph; Green, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we sequenced bacterial communities present on tree leaves in a neotropical forest in Panama, to quantify the poorly understood relationships between bacterial biodiversity on leaves (the phyllosphere) vs. host tree attributes. Bacterial community structure on leaves was highly correlated with host evolutionary relatedness and suites of plant functional traits related to host ecological strategies for resource uptake and growth/mortality tradeoffs. The abundance of several bacter...

  13. An introduced predator alters Aleutian Island plant communities by thwarting nutrient subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, J.L.; Estes, J.A.; Croll, D.A.; Danner, E.M.; Elmendorf, S.C.; Buckelew, S.L.

    2006-01-01

    The ramifying effects of top predators on food webs traditionally have been studied within the framework of trophic cascades. Trophic cascades are compelling because they embody powerful indirect effects of predators on primary production. Although less studied, indirect effects of predators may occur via routes that are not exclusively trophic. We quantified how the introduction of foxes onto the Aleutian Islands transformed plant communities by reducing abundant seabird populations, thereby disrupting nutrient subsidies vectored by seabirds from sea to land. We compared soil and plant fertility, plant biomass and community composition, and stable isotopes of nitrogen in soil, plants, and other organisms on nine fox-infested and nine historically fox-free islands across the Aleutians. Additionally, we experimentally augmented nutrients on a fox-infested island to test whether differences in plant productivity and composition between fox-infested and fox-free islands could have arisen from differences in nutrient inputs between island types. Islands with historical fox infestations had soils low in phosphorus and nitrogen and plants low in tissue nitrogen. Soils, plants, slugs, flies, spiders, and bird droppings on these islands had low d15N values indicating that these organisms obtained nitrogen from internally derived sources. In contrast, soils, plants, and higher trophic level organisms on fox-free islands had elevated d15N signatures indicating that they utilized nutrients derived from the marine environment. Furthermore, soil phosphorus (but not nitrogen) and plant tissue nitrogen were higher on fox-free than fox-infested islands. Nutrient subsidized fox-free islands supported lush, high biomass plant communities dominated by graminoids. Fox-infested islands were less graminoid dominated and had higher cover and biomass of low-lying forbs and dwarf shrubs. While d15N profiles of soils and plants and graminoid biomass varied with island size and distance from

  14. Ethnobotany of wild plants used for starting fermented beverages in Shui communities of southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Liya; Zhuo, Jingxian; Lei, Qiyi; Zhou, Jiangju; Ahmed, Selena; Wang, Chaoying; Long, Yuxiao; Li, Feifei; Long, Chunlin

    2015-05-28

    Shui communities of southwest China have an extensive history of using wild plants as starters (Xiaoqu) to prepare fermented beverages that serve important roles in interpersonal relationships and cultural events. While the practice of using wild plants as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages was once prevalent throughout China, this tradition has seen a decline nationally since the 1930s. The traditional technique of preparing fermented beverages from wild plant starters remains well preserved in the Shui communities in southwest China and provides insight on local human-environment interactions and conservation of plant biodiversity for cultural purposes. The present study sought to examine the ethnobotany of wild plants used as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages including an inventory of plants used as a starter in liquor fermentation and associated knowledge and practices. Field surveys were carried out that consisted of semi-structured surveys and plant species inventories. One hundred forty-nine informants in twenty Shui villages were interviewed between July 2012 and October 2014 to document knowledge associated with wild plants used as a liquor fermentation starter. The inventories involved plant voucher specimens and taxonomic identification of plant collections. A total of 103 species in 57 botanical families of wild plants were inventoried and documented that are traditionally used as starters for preparing fermented beverages by Shui communities. The majority of the species (93.2%) have multiple uses in addition to being used as a starter with medicinal purposes being the most prevalent. Shui women are the major harvesters and users of wild plants used as starters for preparing fermented beverages and transfer knowledge orally from mother to daughter. Findings from this study can serve as a basis for future investigation on fermented beverages and foods and associated knowledge and cultural practices. However, with rapid

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Effect of a chemical manufacturing plant on community cancer rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Churches Tim

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We conducted a retrospective study to determine if potential past exposure to dioxin had resulted in increased incidence of cancer in people living near a former manufacturing plant in New South Wales, Australia. During operation, from 1928 to 1970, by-products of the manufacturing process, including dioxin and other chemical waste, were dumped into wetlands and mangroves, discharged into a nearby bay and used to reclaim land along the foreshore, leaving a legacy of significant dioxin contamination. Methods We selected 20 Census Collector Districts within 1.5 kilometres of the former manufacturing plant as the study area. We obtained data on all cases of cancer and deaths from cancer in New South Wales from 1972 to 2001. We also compared rates for some cancer types that have been associated with dioxin exposure. Based on a person's residential address at time of cancer diagnosis, or at time of death due to cancer, various geo-coding software and processes were used to determine which collector district the case or death should be attributed to. Age and sex specific population data were used to calculate standardised incidence ratios and standardised mortality ratios, to compare the study area to two comparison areas, using indirect standardisation. Results During the 30-year study period 1,106 cases of cancer and 524 deaths due to cancer were identified in the study area. This corresponds to an age-sex standardised rate of 3.2 cases per 1,000 person-years exposed and 1.6 deaths per 1,000 person-years exposed. The study area had a lower rate of cancer and deaths from cancer than the comparison areas. The case incidence and mortality due to lung and bronchus carcinomas and haematopoietic cancers did not differ significantly from the comparison areas for the study period. There was no obvious geographical trend in ratios when comparing individual collector districts to New South Wales according to distance from the potential

  17. Hierarchical spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine B.; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  19. Legacy of historic ozone exposure on plant community and food web structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Ghersa, M Alejandra; Menéndez, Analía I; Gundel, Pedro E; Folcia, Ana M; Romero, Ana M; Landesmann, Jennifer B; Ventura, Laura; Ghersa, Claudio M

    2017-01-01

    Information on whole community responses is needed to predict direction and magnitude of changes in plant and animal abundance under global changes. This study quantifies the effect of past ozone exposure on a weed community structure and arthropod colonization. We used the soil seed bank resulting from a long-term ozone exposure to reestablish the plant community under a new low-pollution environment. Two separate experiments using the same original soil seed bank were conducted. Plant and arthropod richness and species abundance was assessed during two years. We predicted that exposure to episodic high concentrations of ozone during a series of growing cycles would result in plant assemblies with lower diversity (lower species richness and higher dominance), due to an increase in dominance of the stress tolerant species and the elimination of the ozone-sensitive species. As a consequence, arthropod-plant interactions would also be changed. Species richness of the recruited plant communities from different exposure histories was similar (≈ 15). However, the relative abundance of the dominant species varied according to history of exposure, with two annual species dominating ozone enriched plots (90 ppb: Spergula arvensis, and 120 ppb: Calandrinia ciliata). Being consistent both years, the proportion of carnivore species was significantly higher in plots with history of higher ozone concentration (≈3.4 and ≈7.7 fold higher in 90 ppb and 120 ppb plots, respectively). Our study provides evidence that, past history of pollution might be as relevant as management practices in structuring agroecosystems, since we show that an increase in tropospheric ozone may influence biotic communities even years after the exposure.

  20. Legacy of historic ozone exposure on plant community and food web structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Alejandra Martínez-Ghersa

    Full Text Available Information on whole community responses is needed to predict direction and magnitude of changes in plant and animal abundance under global changes. This study quantifies the effect of past ozone exposure on a weed community structure and arthropod colonization. We used the soil seed bank resulting from a long-term ozone exposure to reestablish the plant community under a new low-pollution environment. Two separate experiments using the same original soil seed bank were conducted. Plant and arthropod richness and species abundance was assessed during two years. We predicted that exposure to episodic high concentrations of ozone during a series of growing cycles would result in plant assemblies with lower diversity (lower species richness and higher dominance, due to an increase in dominance of the stress tolerant species and the elimination of the ozone-sensitive species. As a consequence, arthropod-plant interactions would also be changed. Species richness of the recruited plant communities from different exposure histories was similar (≈ 15. However, the relative abundance of the dominant species varied according to history of exposure, with two annual species dominating ozone enriched plots (90 ppb: Spergula arvensis, and 120 ppb: Calandrinia ciliata. Being consistent both years, the proportion of carnivore species was significantly higher in plots with history of higher ozone concentration (≈3.4 and ≈7.7 fold higher in 90 ppb and 120 ppb plots, respectively. Our study provides evidence that, past history of pollution might be as relevant as management practices in structuring agroecosystems, since we show that an increase in tropospheric ozone may influence biotic communities even years after the exposure.

  1. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  2. Soil-landform-plant-community relationships of a periglacial landscape on Potter Peninsula, maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on the monitoring of climate change in maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated on Potter Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a QuickBird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities on Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils that have greater moisture or are poorly drained, and with acid to neutral pH, are favourable for moss sub-formations. Saline, organic-matter-rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felsenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens at the highest surface. Lichens sub-formations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  3. Knowledge and use of wild edible plants in rural communities along Paraguay River, Pantanal, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bortolotto, Ieda Maria; Amorozo, Maria Christina de Mello; Neto, Germano Guarim; Oldeland, Jens; Damasceno-Junior, Geraldo Alves

    2015-05-30

    Wild plants are used as food for human populations where people still depend on natural resources to survive. This study aimed at identifying wild plants and edible uses known in four rural communities of the Pantanal-Brazil, estimating the use value and understanding how distance to the urban areas, gender, age and number of different environments available in the vicinity can influence the knowledge and use of these plants by local people. Data on edible plants with known uses by communities were obtained through semi-structured interviews. A form with standardized information was used for all communities in order to obtain comparable data for analysis. For the quantitative analysis of the factors that could influence the number of species known by the population, a generalized linear model (GLM) was conducted using a negative binomial distribution as the data consisted of counts (number of citations). A total of 54 wild species were identified with food uses, included in 44 genera and 30 families of angiosperms. Besides food use, the species are also known as medicine, bait, construction, technology and other. The species with the highest use value was Acrocomia aculeata. Older people, aged more than 60 years, and those living in more remote communities farther from cities know more wild edible plants. Statistical analysis showed no difference regarding gender or number of vegetation types available in the vicinity and the number of plants known by locals. This study indicated more knowledge retained in communities more distant from the urban area, indifference in distribution of knowledge between genders and the higher cultural competence of elderly people in respect to knowledge of wild edible botanicals.

  4. Methylobacterium-induced endophyte community changes correspond with protection of plants against pathogen attack.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlo Ardanov

    Full Text Available Plant inoculation with endophytic bacteria that normally live inside the plant without harming the host is a highly promising approach for biological disease control. The mechanism of resistance induction by beneficial bacteria is poorly understood, because pathways are only partly known and systemic responses are typically not seen. The innate endophytic community structures change in response to external factors such as inoculation, and bacterial endophytes can exhibit direct or indirect antagonism towards pathogens. Earlier we showed that resistance induction by an endophytic Methylobacterium sp. in potato towards Pectobacterium atrosepticum was dependent on the density of the inoculum, whereas the bacterium itself had no antagonistic activity. To elucidate the role of innate endophyte communities in plant responses, we studied community changes in both in vitro and greenhouse experiments using various combinations of plants, endophyte inoculants, and pathogens. Induction of resistance was studied in several potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cultivars by Methylobacterium sp. IMBG290 against the pathogens P. atrosepticum, Phytophthora infestans and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, and in pine (Pinus sylvestris L. by M. extorquens DSM13060 against Gremmeniella abietina. The capacities of the inoculated endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains to induce resistance were dependent on the plant cultivar, pathogen, and on the density of Methylobacterium spp. inoculum. Composition of the endophyte community changed in response to inoculation in shoot tissues and correlated with resistance or susceptibility to the disease. Our results demonstrate that endophytic Methylobacterium spp. strains have varying effects on plant disease resistance, which can be modulated through the endophyte community of the host.

  5. Summer Freezing Resistance: A Critical Filter for Plant Community Assemblies in Mediterranean High Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pescador, David S; Sierra-Almeida, Ángela; Torres, Pablo J; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-01-01

    Assessing freezing community response and whether freezing resistance is related to other functional traits is essential for understanding alpine community assemblages, particularly in Mediterranean environments where plants are exposed to freezing temperatures and summer droughts. Thus, we characterized the leaf freezing resistance of 42 plant species in 38 plots at Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain) by measuring their ice nucleation temperature, freezing point (FP), and low-temperature damage (LT50), as well as determining their freezing resistance mechanisms (i.e., tolerance or avoidance). The community response to freezing was estimated for each plot as community weighted means (CWMs) and functional diversity (FD), and we assessed their relative importance with altitude. We established the relationships between freezing resistance, growth forms, and four key plant functional traits (i.e., plant height, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content (LDMC), and seed mass). There was a wide range of freezing resistance responses and more than in other alpine habitats. At the community level, the CWMs of FP and LT50 responded negatively to altitude, whereas the FD of both traits increased with altitude. The proportion of freezing-tolerant species also increased with altitude. The ranges of FP and LT50 varied among growth forms, and only leaf dry matter content was negatively correlated with freezing-resistance traits. Summer freezing events represent important abiotic filters for assemblies of Mediterranean high mountain communities, as suggested by the CWMs. However, a concomitant summer drought constraint may also explain the high freezing resistance of species that thrive in these areas and the lower FD of freezing resistance traits at lower altitudes. Leaves with high dry matter contents may maintain turgor at lower water potential and enhance drought tolerance in parallel to freezing resistance. This adaptation to drought seems to be a general prerequisite for plants

  6. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking.In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community.This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment.

  7. Plant communities, wetlands and landscapes of the Parque Nacional de Banhine, Moçambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Stalmans

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The Parque Nacional de Banhine (Banhine National Park was proclaimed during 1972. It covers 600 000 ha in Moçambique to the east of the Limpopo River. Until recently, this park, originally and popularly known as the ‘Serengeti of Moçambique’, was characterised by neglect and illegal hunting that caused the demise of most of its large wildlife. New initiatives aimed at rehabilitating the park have been launched within the scope of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. A vegetation map was required as input to its management plan. The major objectives of the study were firstly to understand the environmental determinants of the vegetation, secondly to identify and describe individual plant communities in terms of species composition and structure and thirdly to delineate landscapes in terms of their plant community and wetland make-up, environmental determinants and distribution. A combination of fieldwork and analysis of LANDSAT satellite imagery was used. A total of 115 sample plots were surveyed. Another 222 sample points were briefly assessed from the air to establish the extent of the different landscapes. The ordination results clearly indicate the overriding importance of moisture availability in determining vegetation composition in the Parque Nacional de Banhine. Eleven distinct plant communities were recognised. They are described in terms of their structure, composition and distribution. These plant communities have strong affinities to a number of communities found in the Limpopo National Park to the west. The sandveld community is relatively the most species-rich of all communities. Different combinations of these plant communities can be grouped in five major landscapes, namely the Wetland, Grassland, Mopane, Sandveld and Androstachys landscape. These different landscapes hold six different wetland types as defined by the RAMSAR classification. The landscapes with their individual plant communities and wetland types represent

  8. Rangeland resilience and resistance: annual and perennial grass stable states

    Science.gov (United States)

    The concept of resilience, the ability to resist a shift to an alternative vegetation state, has become an important topic in range management. To quantify the degree to which a plant community is resilient, we experimentally manipulated communities dominated by either the invasive annual grass chea...

  9. Spatial and phylogenetic variation in plant defense in a tropical moist forest canopy community

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, K. M.; Asner, G. P.; Martin, R.

    2013-12-01

    Plants employ physical and chemical defenses to mitigate damage caused by herbivory. Spatial patterns of plant defense may provide insight into the role of plant-herbivore interactions in the assembly of plant communities. Within plant communities, the spatial overdispersion of anti-herbivore defenses by individuals may reflect a strategy to avoid host shifts from herbivore assemblages of neighboring plants. However, variation in plant defense may also result from trade-offs between foliar investment into defense and growth, mediated by variations in abiotic nutrient availability, or constrained by phylogeny. We measured four defensive traits (leaf toughness, total phenols, condensed tannins, and hydrolysable tannins) and three growth traits (LMA, C:N, total protein) of outer canopy foliage for 345 canopy trees representing 78 species, 65 genera, and 34 families in a moist tropical rainforest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. The outer canopy provides an important, but rarely evaluated, cross-sectional image of the tropical forest ecosystem, and observations at this scale may provide an important link between field and remote sensing based studies. We used existing data on edaphic and geological properties to investigate the relationships of abiotic nutrient variation on variation in defense. Using regression and nested random-effects variance modeling, we found strong phylogenetic association with defensive traits at the family and species level, and little evidence for a trade-off between defensive traits. Greater understanding of phylogenetic structure in trait variation may yield improved characterizations of tropical biodiversity, from functional traits to risk assessments.

  10. Cascading effects of fire retardant on plant-microbe interactions, community composition, and invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Abigail; Waller, Lauren; Lekberg, Ylva

    2016-06-01

    Climate change, historical fire suppression, and a rise in human movements in urban-forest boundaries have resulted in an increased use of long-term fire retardant (LTFR). While LTFR is an effective fire-fighting tool, it contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, and little is known about how this nutrient pulse affects terrestrial ecosystems. We used field surveys and greenhouse experiments to quantify effects of LTFR on plant productivity, community composition, and plant interactions with the ubiquitous root symbiont arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). In the field, LTFR applications were associated with persistent shifts in plant communities toward exotic annuals with little or no dependency of AMF. Plants exposed to LTFR were less colonized by AMF, both in field surveys and in the greenhouse, and this was most likely due to the substantial and persistent increase in soil available phosphorus. All plants grew bigger with LTFR in the greenhouse, but the invasive annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) benefitted most. While LTFR can control fires, it may cause long-term changes in soil nutrient availabilities, disrupt plant interactions with beneficial soil microbes, and exasperate invasion by some exotic plants.

  11. Plant community diversity influences allocation to direct chemical defence in Plantago lanceolata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mraja

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Forecasting the consequences of accelerating rates of changes in biodiversity for ecosystem functioning requires a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between the structure of biological communities and variation in plant functional characteristics. So far, experimental data of how plant species diversity influences the investment of individual plants in direct chemical defences against herbivores and pathogens is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used Plantago lanceolata as a model species in experimental grasslands differing in species richness and composition (Jena Experiment to investigate foliar concentrations of the iridoid glycosides (IG, catalpol and its biosynthetic precursor aucubin. Total IG and aucubin concentrations decreased, while catalpol concentrations increased with increasing plant diversity in terms of species or functional group richness. Negative plant diversity effects on total IG and aucubin concentrations correlated with increasing specific leaf area of P. lanceolata, suggesting that greater allocation to light acquisition reduced the investment into these carbon-based defence components. In contrast, increasing leaf nitrogen concentrations best explained increasing concentrations of the biosynthetically more advanced IG, catalpol. Observed levels of leaf damage explained a significant proportion of variation in total IG and aucubin concentrations, but did not account for variance in catalpol concentrations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly show that plants growing in communities of varying species richness and composition differ in their defensive chemistry, which may modulate plant susceptibility to enemy attack and consequently their interactions with higher trophic level organisms.

  12. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANAND S. BISHT

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisht AS, Sharma KD. 2014. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversitas 15: 92-98. Garhwal Himalaya possesses luxuriant a varied vegetation with in the Himalaya region. Almost every plant has economic value in the form of shelter, food, water, medicine, fuel and industrial products and fodder. Surveys were conducted in entire Bharsar, Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India in order to get information on traditional uses of plants by local inhabitants. A total of 169 plants were collected of which 40 species of vegetables, 19 species of forest and agroforestry, 24 species of ornamental flower, 71 species of less known medicinal plants and 15 species of agricultural crops were found economically important as they are used by the people frequently for various purposes.

  13. Power and limitation of soil properties as predictors of variation in peak plant biomass in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil properties are thought to affect annual plant productivity in rangelands, and thus soil variables that are consistently correlated with variation in plant biomass may be general indicators of rangeland health. Here we measured several soil properties (e.g. aggregate stability, organic carbon, ...

  14. Endemic plants harbour specific Trichoderma communities with an exceptional potential for biocontrol of phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachow, Christin; Berg, Christian; Müller, Henry; Monk, Jana; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-10-10

    Trichoderma strains exhibit enormous potential for applications in biotechnology, in particular as biocontrol agents against pathogens. However, little is known about the diversity of plant-associated Trichoderma communities at a global scale and their antagonistic spectrum. In order to gather information about structure and function, we compared Trichoderma biomes of endemic (Aeonium, Diospyros, Hebe, Rhododendron) and cosmopolitan plants (Zea mays) in a global study encompassing the area Northwest Africa to New Zealand via the European Alps and Madagascar. At the quantitative level we found no differences between cosmopolitan and endemic plants. Statistically significant differences were detected at the qualitative level: Trichoderma populations of endemic plants were highly specific and diverse with hot spots appearing in Madagascar and New Zealand. By contrast, maize plants from all sites shared the majority of Trichoderma species (65.5%). Interestingly, the high above ground biodiversity in ecosystems containing endemic plants was confirmed by a high below ground Trichoderma diversity. Despite the differences, we found a global Trichoderma core community shared by all analysed plants, which was dominated by T. koningii and T. koningiopsis. Amplicon-based network analyses revealed a high similarity between maize Trichoderma grown world-wide and distinct populations of endemic plants. Furthermore, Trichoderma strains from endemic plants showed a higher antagonistic activity against fungal pathogens compared to maize-associated strains. Our results showed that endemic plants are associated with a specific Trichoderma microbiome which possesses a high antagonistic activity indicating that it has potential to be used for biocontrol purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The most used medicinal plants by communities in Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka, Southwestern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randrianarivony, Tabita N; Ramarosandratana, Aro Vonjy; Andriamihajarivo, Tefy H; Rakotoarivony, Fortunat; Jeannoda, Vololoniaina H; Randrianasolo, Armand; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2017-03-09

    This paper reports a study undertaken in three remote communities (Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka), located in Sakaraha, Southwestern Madagascar. Not only villages are far away from sanitary infrastructures and doctors but drugs and consulting fees are unaffordable to villagers. They rely essentially on natural resources for health care as for most of rural areas in Madagascar. This paper aims to document medicinal plants used by communities in Sakaraha and to present the most important plant species used in traditional medicine. Semi - structured interview was conducted within 214 informants in 34 villages of the study area. Different ailments encountered in the site study were classified in various categories. For data analysis, frequency of citation (Fq), Informant Consensus Factor (Fic), Fidelity Level (FL) and Use Value (UV) were assessed to find agreement among informants about the use of plants as remedies. Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis and Spearman correlation tests were performed to determine use of medicinal plants following social status of informants. A total of 235 medicinal plant species belonging to 198 genera and 75 families were inventoried. The richest families in species used for medicinal purposes were: Fabaceae, Apocynaceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae, and Poaceae. Plant species cited by informants were used to treat 76 various ailments classified in 13 categories. Leaves and leafy twigs were the most used plant parts and decoction was the mostly cited way of preparation of these medicinal plants species. In average, local people cited 6.7 ± 6.03 medicinal taxa among them, Cedrelopsis grevei is the most cited medicinal plants (Fq. 0.28). With Cedrelopsis grevei (UV = 0.48), Henonia scoparia (UV = 0.43) are mostly used species. Leonotis nepetifolia (FL = 96%) and Strychnos henningsii (FL = 92%) are plant species claimed by high percentage of informants to treat the Digestive System Disorder. This study

  16. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  17. Plant community development after 28 years in small group-selection openings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip M. McDonald; Phillip E. Reynolds

    1999-01-01

    Thirty openings, 9, 18, and 27 meters in diameter, were created by group-selection harvest on a high quality site in northern California in 1963. In 1991, or 28 years after site preparation, the plant community in the openings had stabilized at 55 species. A major shift was from annuals to perennials. New seedlings of ponderosa and sugar pine were able to become...

  18. Establishment of different riparian plant communities from the same soil seed bank

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

    This thesis shows that weather conditions during the first year of establishment, strongly affect the composition of riparian plant communities. This is one of the factors determining if some goals of the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000, reed beds and accompanying bird species, can be met.

  19. Blue oak plant communities of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark I. Borchert; Nancy D. Cunha; Patricia C. Krosse; Marcee L. Lawrence

    1993-01-01

    An ecological classification system has been developed for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service. As part of that classification effort, blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodlands and forests of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties in Los Padres National Forest were classified into I3 plant communities using...

  20. The Effects of Disturbance History on Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.

  1. [Taxonomic diversity of the plant communities in Pangquangou Nature Reserve, Shanxi Province, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiao-na; Qin, Xiao-juan; Dong, Gang; Zhang, Feng

    2014-12-01

    In order to explore the relationship between the taxonomic diversity of plant communities' and environmental factors in Pangquangou Nature Reserve, Shanxi Province, 33 stands of the plant communities and environmental information were investigated, respectively. Moreover, the taxonomic variability index (delta+) and the average taxonomic differences index (delta+) of the communities were analyzed as well as the relationships between delta+ and delta+ with environmental factors were discussed. The results showed that the average values of delta+ and delta+ were 270 and 76.5, respectively. Delta+ was negatively correlated with altitude and slope, A+ and latitude had a significant positive correlation, and delta+ and slope had a significant negative correlation. Based on the distributions of the 33 stands in the confidence funnel, the plant communities had a higher taxonomic diversity in Pangquangou Nature Reserve, which resulted from that the plant resources and eco-environment had been effectively conserved with little disturbance from human activities since the establishment of the nature reserve for more than 30 years.

  2. The use of indigenous plants as food by a rural community in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this short contribution the author, a Masters in Environmental Education student, introduces his research into a rural community's knowledge about, attitudes towards and extensive use of plants which grow wild in their locality, with specific reference to their diet. Taking an ethnographic approach to the study of people's ...

  3. Phytosociology and plant community utilisation by vervet monkeys of the Blydeberg Conservancy, Limpopo Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Barret

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The plant communities of the Blydeberg Conservancy were investigated as part of a research project on the foraging ecology of vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus (senso lato in mixed lowveld bushveld and sour lowveld bushveld areas. To date there are no formal management plans for vervet monkeys. This is attributed to the limited knowledge of vervets and their utilisation of and impacts on ecosystems. From a TWINSPAN classification refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, ten plant communities that can be placed into four major groups were identified. A classification and description of these communities, including a vegetation map are presented. Diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of tree, shrub, herb and grass strata are outlined. Of the ten available plant communities, the vervets utilised only six during the study period. There was an abundant supply of various food sources throughout the year, with movement patterns mostly coinciding with the fruiting times of several tree and other plant species.

  4. Are cattle surrogate wildlife? Savannah plant community composition explained by total herbivory, not herbivore identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    The replacement of wild ungulate herbivores by domestic livestock in African savannas is composed of two interrelated phenomena: 1) loss or reduction in numbers of individual wildlife species or guilds, and 2) addition of livestock to the system. Each has important implications for plant community d...

  5. Plants impact structure and function of bacterial communities in Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj; Mannisto, Minna K.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta M.

    Microorganisms are prime drivers of ecosystem functions in the Arctic, and they are essential for vegetation succession. However, very little is known about the phylogenetic and functional diversities of the bacterial communities associated with Arctic plants, especially in low organic matter soils.

  6. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, E.E.; Verbruggen, E.; Hillekens, R.H.E.; De Hollander, M.; Röling, W.F.M.; Van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age) in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM) cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA

  7. Restoration of native plant communities infested by invasive weeds -- Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Rice

    2000-01-01

    Invasive alien weeds established themselves on the Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area, harming elk feeding grounds and threatening the integrity of the native plant community. Management enacted herbicide control over several growing seasons, resulting in greater elk winter forage on study plots. Monitoring the long-term effects of herbicide as a restoration tool...

  8. Negative Plant–Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonanomi, G.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Dekker, S.C.; Mazzoleni, S.

    2005-01-01

    Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interaction and negative plant–soil feedback are driving factors of plant population dynamics and community processes. We studied the intensity and the relative impact of negative feedback on clonal growth and seed germination of Scirpus holoschoenus, a

  9. Mountain Pine Beetles and Invasive Plant Species Findings from a Survey of Colorado Community Residents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney Flint; Hua Qin; Michael Daab

    2008-01-01

    The US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station funded research to assess community responses to forest disturbance by mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and public reaction to invasive plants in north central Colorado. In the Spring of2007, 4,027 16-page questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected households with addresses in Breckenridge,...

  10. SPECIES AND ROTATION FREQUENCY INFLUENCE SOIL NITROGEN IN SIMPLIFIED TROPICAL PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    JOHN J. EWEL

    2006-01-01

    Among the many factors that potentially influence the rate at which nitrogen (N) becomes available to plants in terrestrial ecosystems are the identity and diversity of species composition, frequency of disturbance or stand turnover, and time. Replicated suites of investigator-designed communities afforded an opportunity to examine the effects of those factors on net N...

  11. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

  12. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  13. Driving factors behind the eutrophication signal in understorey plant communities of deciduous temperate forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheyen, K.; Baeten, L.; Frenne, De P.; Bernhardt-Römermann, M.; Brunet, J.; Cornelis, J.; Decocq, G.; Eriksson, O.; Dierschke, H.; Hommel, P.W.F.M.

    2012-01-01

    1. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is expected to change forest understorey plant community composition and diversity, but results of experimental addition studies and observational studies are not yet conclusive. A shortcoming of observational studies, which are generally based on resurveys or

  14. Species distribution modelling for plant communities: Stacked single species or multivariate modelling approaches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emilie B. Henderson; Janet L. Ohmann; Matthew J. Gregory; Heather M. Roberts; Harold S.J. Zald

    2014-01-01

    Landscape management and conservation planning require maps of vegetation composition and structure over large regions. Species distribution models (SDMs) are often used for individual species, but projects mapping multiple species are rarer. We compare maps of plant community composition assembled by stacking results from many SDMs with multivariate maps constructed...

  15. Plant-mediated indirect effects and the persistence of parasitoid-herbivore communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M.; Berrocal, S.M.; Karamaouna, F.; Hemerik, L.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2001-01-01

    We have examined the effects of herbivore diversity on parasitoid community persistence and stability mediated by nonspecific information from herbivore-infested plants. First, we investigated host location and patch time allocation in the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata in environments where host

  16. Plant-mediated indirect effects and the persistence of parasitoid-herbivore communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M.; Berrocal, S.M.; Karamaouna, F.; Hemerik, L.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2001-01-01

    We have examined the effects of herbivore diversity on parasitoid community persistence and stability, mediated by nonspecific information from herbivore-infested plants. First, we investigated host location and patch time allocation in the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata in environments where host

  17. Control of Boreal Forest Soil Microbial Communities and Processes by Plant Secondary Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leewis, M. C.; Leigh, M. B.

    2016-12-01

    Plants release an array of secondary plant metabolites (SPMEs), which vary widely between plant species/progenies and may drive shifts in soil microbial community structure and function. We hypothesize that SPMEs released through litterfall and root turnover in the boreal forest control ecosystem carbon cycling by inhibiting microbial decomposition processes, which are overcome partially by increased aromatic biodegradation of microbial communities that also fortuitously prime soils for accelerated biodegradation of contaminants. Soils and litter (stems, roots, senescing leaves) were collected from 3 different birch progenies from Iceland, Finland, and Siberia that have been reported to contain different SPME content (low, medium, high, respectively) due to differences in herbivory pressure over their natural history, as well as black spruce, all growing in a long-term common tree garden at the Kevo Subarctic Field Research Institute, Finland. We characterized the SPME content of these plant progenies and used a variety of traditional microbiological techniques (e.g., enzyme assays, litter decomposition and contaminant biodegradation rates) and molecular techniques (e.g., high-throughput amplicon sequencing for bacteria and fungi) to assess how different levels of SPMEs may correlate to shifts in microbial community structure and function. Microbial communities (bacterial and fungal) significantly varied in composition as well as leaf litter and diesel biodegradation rates, in accordance with the phytochemistry of the trees present. This study offers novel, fundamental information about phytochemical controls on ecosystem processes, resilience to contaminants, and microbial decomposition processes.

  18. De plantengemeenschappen van de Wassenaarse duinen = (The plant communities of the Wassenaar dunes near The Hague)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boerboom, J.H.A.

    1960-01-01

    The plant communities on about 1800 ha of dunes were studied before any consequences could be observed of percolation since 1955 of fresh water stored underground for mains supply. Classification was by the French-Swiss and sometimes the Scandinavian sociological system. Some difficulties of

  19. Use and management of traditional medicinal plants by Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Around 80% of the people of Ethiopia are estimated to be relying on medicinal plants for the treatment of different types of human health problems. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse the use and management of medicinal plants used for the treatment of human health problems by the Maale and Ari communities in southern Ethiopia. Methods Quantitative and qualitative ethnobotanical field inquiries and analytical methods including individual and focus group discussions (18), observations, individual interviews (n = 74), preference ranking and paired comparison were used. Data were collected in three study sites and from two markets; the latter surveyed every 15 days from February 2011 to February 2012. Results A total of 128 medicinal plant species, belonging to 111 genera and 49 families, used as herbal medicine by Maale and Ari communities were documented. Predominantly harvested plant parts were leaves, which are known to have relatively low impact on medicinal plant resources. Species with high familiarity indices included Solanum dasyphyllum, Indigofera spicata, Ruta chalepensis, Plumbago zeylanica and Meyna tetraphylla. Low Jaccards similarity indices (≤ 0.33) indicated little correspondence in medicinal plant use among sites and between ethnic communities. The dominant ways of medicinal plant knowledge acquisition and transfer is vertical: from parents to children through oral means. Gender and site significantly influenced the number of human medicinal plants known currently in the study sites. Age was only a factor of significance in Maale. Marketing of medicinal plants harvested from wild and semi-wild stands is not common. Expansion of agricultural land and lack of cultivation efforts by local communities are mentioned by locals to affect the availability of medicinal plant resources. Conclusion S. dasyphyllum, I. spicata, P. zeylanica, M. tetraphylla, and Oxalis radicosa need to be considered for phytochemical and

  20. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  1. Functional traits of the understory plant community of a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest across environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Gregory M; Anderson, Steven M; Ungberg, Eric A; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of plant communities to environmental changes and disturbances such as fire requires an understanding of the functional traits present in the system, including within and across species variability, and their dynamics over time. These data are difficult to obtain as few studies provide comprehensive information for more than a few traits or species, rarely cover more than a single growing season, and usually present only summary statistics of trait values. As part of a larger study seeking to understand the dynamics of plant communities in response to different prescribed fire regimes, we measured the functional traits of the understory plant communities located in over 140 permanent plots spanning strong gradients in soil moisture in a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest in North Carolina, USA, over a four-year period from 2011 and 2014. We present over 120,000 individual trait measurements from over 130 plant species representing 91 genera from 47 families. We include data on the following 18 traits: specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf area, leaf length, leaf width, leaf perimeter, plant height, leaf nitrogen, leaf carbon, leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio, water use efficiency, time to ignition, maximum flame height, maximum burn temperature, mass-specific burn time, mass-specific smolder time, branching architecture, and the ratio of leaf matter consumed by fire. We also include information on locations, soil moisture, relative elevation, soil bulk density, and fire histories for each site. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

    Full Text Available Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies, Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  3. Plant growth in Arabidopsis is assisted by compost soil-derived microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalhais, Lilia C.; Muzzi, Frederico; Tan, Chin-Hong; Hsien-Choo, Jin; Schenk, Peer M.

    2013-01-01

    Plants in natural and agricultural environments are continuously exposed to a plethora of diverse microorganisms resulting in microbial colonization of roots and the rhizosphere. This process is believed to be accompanied by an intricate network of ongoing simultaneous interactions. In this study, we examined Arabidopsis thaliana roots and shoots in the presence or absence of whole microbial communities extracted from compost soil. The results show a clear growth promoting effect on Arabidopsis shoots in the presence of soil microbes compared to plants grown in microbe-free soil under otherwise identical conditions. Element analyses showed that iron uptake was facilitated by these mixed microbial communities which also led to transcriptional downregulation of genes required for iron transport. In addition, soil microbial communities suppressed the expression of marker genes involved in nitrogen uptake, oxidative stress/redox signaling, and salicylic acid (SA)-mediated plant defense while upregulating jasmonate (JA) signaling, cell wall organization/biosynthesis and photosynthesis. Multi-species analyses such as simultaneous transcriptional profiling of plants and their interacting microorganisms (metatranscriptomics) coupled to metagenomics may further increase our understanding of the intricate networks underlying plant-microbe interactions. PMID:23847639

  4. Plant growth in Arabidopsis is assisted by compost soil-derived microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilia C Carvalhais

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Plants in natural and agricultural environments are continuously exposed to a plethora of diverse microorganisms resulting in microbial colonization of roots and the rhizosphere. This process is believed to be accompanied by an intricate network of ongoing simultaneous interactions. In this study, we examined Arabidopsis thaliana roots and shoots in the presence or absence of whole microbial communities extracted from compost soil. The results show a clear growth promoting effect on Arabidopsis shoots in the presence of soil microbes compared to plants grown in microbe-free soil under otherwise identical conditions. Element analyses showed that iron uptake was facilitated by these mixed microbial communities which also led to transcriptional downregulation of genes required for iron transport. In addition, soil microbial communities suppressed the expression of marker genes involved in nitrogen uptake, oxidative stress/redox signaling, cell wall modification and salicylic acid (SA-mediated plant defense while upregulating jasmonate (JA signaling and photosynthesis. Multi-species analyses such as simultaneous transcriptiptional profiling of plants and their interacting microorganisms (metatransciptomics coupled to metagenomics may further increase our understanding of the intricate networks underlying plant-microbe interactions in their diverse environments.

  5. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J; Sanders, Nathan J; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-02-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: "dispersal lags" affecting plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M.; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I.; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: “dispersal lags” affecting plant species’ spread along elevational gradients, “establishment lags” following their arrival in recipient communities, and “extinction lags” of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species’ range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. PMID:29112781

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-14

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can affect plant phenotype and the composition of soil microbiota. Tomato plants grown in soil supplemented with CNTs produce two times more flowers and fruit compared to plants grown in control soil. The effect of carbon nanotubes on microbial community of CNT-treated soil is determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and pyrosequencing analysis. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes are the most dominant groups in the microbial community of soil. The relative abundances of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes are found to increase, whereas Proteobacteria and Verrucomicorbia decrease with increasing concentration of CNTs. The results of comparing diversity indices and species level phylotypes (OTUs) between samples showed that there is not a significant affect on bacterial diversity. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. An Index for Measuring Functional Diversity in Plant Communities Based on Neural Network Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naiqi Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional diversity in plant communities is a key driver of ecosystem processes. The effective methods for measuring functional diversity are important in ecological studies. A new method based on neural network, self-organizing feature map (SOFM index, was put forward and described. A case application to the study of functional diversity of Phellodendron amurense communities in Xiaolongmen Forest Park of Beijing was carried out in this paper. The results showed that SOFM index was an effective method in the evaluation of functional diversity and its change in plant communities. Significant nonlinear correlations of SOFM index with the common used methods, FAD, MFAD, FDp, FDc, FRic, and FDiv indices, also proved that SOFM index is useful in the studies of functional diversity.

  9. Spatial heterogeneity of aggregate stability and soil carbon in semi-arid rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, S B; Herrick, J E; Wander, M M; Wright, S F

    2002-01-01

    To measure and manage for C sequestration in heterogeneous rangeland systems, we need to more fully understand spatial patterns of soil resources. Spatial distributions of aggregate stability and soil carbon were investigated in a semiarid rangeland in New Mexico, USA. Soil was analyzed from plant interspaces, black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda (Torr.) Torr.), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) in a landscape-replicated study. Aggregate stability at the 250 microm scale, carbonate C, organic C and N, C:N ratio, and glomalin, were all highest under mesquite. Soil C:N ratio was the best predictor of aggregate stability. Estimates of metric tons of C per hectare in the top 10 cm were highly variable at patch and landscape scales, varying from 4.2 to 10.5 under mesquite and from 3.0 to 7.0 in interspaces. High variability of aggregate stability and soil C has important implications for C sequestration. We argue that this multi-scale soil heterogeneity must be considered when measuring and managing for C sequestration.

  10. Biophysical characterization and management effects on semiarid rangeland observed from Landsat ETM+ data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Hongliang; Liang, Shunlin; McClaran, Mitchell P.; van Leeuwen, Willem J. D.; Drake, Sam; Marsh, Stuart E.; Thomson, Allison M.; Izaurralde, R Cesar C.; Rosenberg, Norman J.

    2005-01-20

    Semi-arid rangelands are very sensitive to global climatic change; studies of their biophysical attributes are crucial to understanding the dynamics of rangeland ecosystems under human disturbance. In the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER), Arizona, the vegetation has changed considerably and there have been many management activities applied. This study calculates seven surface variables: the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), surface albedos (total shortwave, visible and near-infrared), leaf area index (LAI) and the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by green vegetation (FPAR) from the Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) data. Comparison with the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) vegetation index and albedo products indicate they agree well with our estimates from ETM+ while their LAI and FPAR are larger than ETM+. Human disturbance has significantly changed the cover types and biophysical conditions. Statistical tests indicate that surface albedos increased and FPAR decreased at all sites. The recovery will require more than 67 years, and is about 50% complete within 40 years at the higher elevation. Grass cover, vegetation indices, albedos and LAI recovered from cutting faster at the higher elevation. Woody plants, vegetation indices and LAI have recovered to their original characteristics after 65 years at the lower elevation. More studies are needed to examine the spectral characteristics of different ground components.

  11. An overview of the rangelands atmosphere hydrosphere biosphere interaction study experiment in northeastern Asia (RAISE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugita, Michiaki; Asanuma, Jun; Tsujimura, Maki; Mariko, Shigeru; Lu, Minjiao; Kimura, Fujio; Azzaya, Dolgorsuren; Adyasuren, Tsokhio

    2007-01-01

    SummaryIntensive observations, analysis and modeling within the framework of the rangelands atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere interaction study experiment in northeastern Asia (RAISE) project, have allowed investigations into the hydrologic cycle in the ecotone of forest-steppe, and its relation to atmosphere and ecosystem in the eastern part of Mongolia. In this region, changes in the climate have been reported and a market oriented economy was introduced recently, but their impact on the natural environment is still not well understood. In this RAISE special issue, the outcome is presented of the studies carried out by six groups within RAISE, namely: (1) Land-atmosphere interaction analysis, (2) ecosystem analysis and modeling, (3) hydrologic cycle analysis, (4) climatic modeling, (5) hydrologic modeling, and (6) integration. The results are organized in five relevant categories comprising (i) hydrologic cycle including precipitation, groundwater, and surface water, (ii) hydrologic cycle and ecosystem, (iii) surface-atmosphere interaction, (iv) effect of grazing activities on soils, plant ecosystem and surface fluxes, and (v) future prediction. Comparison with studies on rangelands in other parts of the world, and some future directions of studies still needed in this region are also summarized.

  12. Wild plant species growing closely connected in a subalpine meadow host distinct root-associated bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Aleklett

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant roots are known to harbor large and diverse communities of bacteria. It has been suggested that plant identity can structure these root-associated communities, but few studies have specifically assessed how the composition of root microbiota varies within and between plant species growing under natural conditions. We assessed the community composition of endophytic and epiphytic bacteria through high throughput sequencing using 16S rDNA derived from root tissues collected from a population of a wild, clonal plant (Orange hawkweed–Pilosella aurantiaca as well as two neighboring plant species (Oxeye daisy–Leucanthemum vulgare and Alsike clover–Trifolium hybridum. Our first goal was to determine if plant species growing in close proximity, under similar environmental conditions, still hosted unique root microbiota. Our results showed that plants of different species host distinct bacterial communities in their roots. In terms of community composition, Betaproteobacteria (especially the family Oxalobacteraceae were found to dominate in the root microbiota of L. vulgare and T. hybridum samples, whereas the root microbiota of P. aurantiaca had a more heterogeneous distribution of bacterial abundances where Gammaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria occupied a larger portion of the community. We also explored the extent of individual variance within each plant species investigated, and found that in the plant species thought to have the least genetic variance among individuals (P. aurantiaca still hosted just as diverse microbial communities. Whether all plant species host their own distinct root microbiota and plants more closely related to each other share more similar bacterial communities still remains to be fully explored, but among the plants examined in this experiment there was no trend that the two species belonging to the same family shared more similarities in terms of bacterial community composition.

  13. Traditional uses of medicinal plants used by Indigenous communities for veterinary practices at Bajaur Agency, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Muhammad Abdul; Khan, Amir Hasan; Adnan, Muhammad; Ullah, Habib

    2018-01-29

    The pastoral lifestyle of Indigenous communities of Bajaur Agency is bringing them close to natural remedies for treating their domestic animals. Several studies have been conducted across the globe describing the importance of traditional knowledge in veterinary care. Therefore, this study was planned with the aim to record knowledge on ethnoveterinary practices from the remote areas and share sit with other communities through published literature. Data was gathered from community members through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to evaluate the consent of current ethnoveterinary practices among the local people. In total, 73 medicinal plants were recorded under the ethnoveterinary practices. Most widely used medicinal plants with maximum use reports (URs) were Visnaga daucoides Gaertn., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Solanum virginianum L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Curcuma longa L. New medicinal values were found with confidential level of citations for species including Heracleum candicans and Glycerhiza glabra. Family Apiaceae was the utmost family with high number (7 species) of medicinal plants. Maximum number of medicinal plants (32) was used for gastric problems. High Fic was recorded for dermatological (0.97) followed by reproductive (0.93) and gastrointestinal disorders (0.92). The main route of remedies administration was oral. Current study revealed that the study area has sufficient knowledge on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. This knowledge is in the custody of nomadic grazers, herders, and aged community members. Plants with new medicinal uses need to be validated phytochemically and pharmacologically for the development of new alternative drugs for veterinary purposes.

  14. Relationships between plant community functioning and soil carbon stocks in permanent mowed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson, Solène; Tasseta, Elise; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Amiaud, Bernard; Cliquet, Jean-Bernard; Klumpp, Katja; Louault, Frédérique; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands represent the most widespread ecosystems on the surface of the earth and provide many ecosystem services. They are managed by farmers in order to produce provisioning services through forage production. They also offer regulation services for the humankind such as carbon (C) storage. According to their management, grasslands may constitute a C source or a sink. Plants control both C input through photosynthesis and C output release directly via their own respiration and indirectly via soil microflora respiration through organic matter mineralization. Plants can thus be considered as a gas stream center. To better understand the role of vegetation on soil C stocks, the P2C "Plant Pilot Carbon" project aims at evaluate C stocks in mowed permanent grasslands characterized by various edaphic and climatic conditions and identify the drivers (vegetation composition, plant community functioning, management, history) of soil C stocks. We focused on 32 grasslands selected over two French Regional Natural Parks (Normandy-Maine / Lorraine) and an experimental farm (ACBB SOERE, Theix, Auvergne). We measured then their floristic composition as well as their functional composition through a trait based approach. Leaf traits (SLA, LDMC, LNC, LC/N) were measured at the plant community level (community weighed mean traits) and soil C stocks were analyzed in the top soil (0-10 cm) and in a deeper layer (10-30 cm). The grassland sampling has allowed to obtain a great variability of both soil C stocks and plant community functioning which give the opportunity to assess the relationships between C stocks and vegetation considering climatic, edaphic and management parameters

  15. Understanding past, contemporary, and future dynamics of plants, populations, and communities using Sonoran Desert winter annuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huxman, Travis E; Kimball, Sarah; Angert, Amy L; Gremer, Jennifer R; Barron-Gafford, Greg A; Venable, D Lawrence

    2013-07-01

    Global change requires plant ecologists to predict future states of biological diversity to aid the management of natural communities, thus introducing a number of significant challenges. One major challenge is considering how the many interacting features of biological systems, including ecophysiological processes, plant life histories, and species interactions, relate to performance in the face of a changing environment. We have employed a functional trait approach to understand the individual, population, and community dynamics of a model system of Sonoran Desert winter annual plants. We have used a comprehensive approach that connects physiological ecology and comparative biology to population and community dynamics, while emphasizing both ecological and evolutionary processes. This approach has led to a fairly robust understanding of past and contemporary dynamics in response to changes in climate. In this community, there is striking variation in physiological and demographic responses to both precipitation and temperature that is described by a trade-off between water-use efficiency (WUE) and relative growth rate (RGR). This community-wide trade-off predicts both the demographic and life history variation that contribute to species coexistence. Our framework has provided a mechanistic explanation to the recent warming, drying, and climate variability that has driven a surprising shift in these communities: cold-adapted species with more buffered population dynamics have increased in relative abundance. These types of comprehensive approaches that acknowledge the hierarchical nature of biology may be especially useful in aiding prediction. The emerging, novel and nonstationary climate constrains our use of simplistic statistical representations of past plant behavior in predicting the future, without understanding the mechanistic basis of change.

  16. Climate legacy and lag effects on dryland plant communities in the southwestern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunting, Erin; Munson, Seth M.; Villarreal, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This study examines the relationship between climate and vegetation condition using a time-series of Landsat imagery across grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We improve on poorly understood inter-annual climate-vegetation relationships by exploring how the responses of different plant communities depend on climate legacies (>12 months) and lag behind shorter-term (3–12 month) changes in water availability. Our results show a prolonged drying trend on the Colorado Plateau since the early 1990s that was punctuated in several years by intense droughts. In areas that experienced sustained dry conditions or a drying trend, vegetation greenness (a proxy for production) increased linearly when conditions were interrupted by wetting events. In contrast, in areas that experienced sustained wet conditions or a wetting trend, vegetation greenness was weakly or not related to wetting events, indicating that production may saturate if vegetation experiences sufficient water availability. Shrubland and woodland communities had stronger relationships with climate at long lags (6–12 months) and many maintained greenness under sustained water deficit, whereas grassland communities had stronger relationships at short lags (3–6 months) and lost greenness even in periods of short-term drought. The results of our study show the importance of identifying climate legacies and lags when assessing indicators of ecological drought, which can be used to improve forecasts of which plant communities will be vulnerable under future climate change.

  17. Annual glyphosate treatments alter growth of unaffected bentgrass (Agrostis weeds and plant community composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin W Ahrens

    Full Text Available Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB and redtop (RT, where the glyphosate resistance (GR trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities.

  18. Annual Glyphosate Treatments Alter Growth of Unaffected Bentgrass (Agrostis) Weeds and Plant Community Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W.; Auer, Carol A.

    2012-01-01

    Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB) and redtop (RT), where the glyphosate resistance (GR) trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities. PMID:23226530

  19. Cattle-rangeland management practices and perceptions of pastoralists towards rangeland degradation in the Borana zone of southern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, T B; Snyman, H A; Smit, G N

    2007-03-01

    A survey was conducted in the Borana pastoral areas of southern Ethiopia to assess current livestock production systems, rangeland management practices and the perceptions of the pastoralists towards rangeland degradation. This information is considered vital to future pastoral development planning and interventions. Data were collected from a total of 20 villages that were identified from 5 peasant associations, namely Did Yabello, Moyatte, Did Harra, Dubuluk and Melbana. The average household size in the study area was 7.23. The majority of the pastoralists relied on both livestock and crop farming. The average livestock holding per household was 14 cattle, 10 goats, 6 sheep and 2 camels. Livestock holdings, with the exception of camels, has shown a declining trend over time. The two most important traditional rangeland management strategies adopted by the pastoralists included burning and mobility, but since 1974/75 burning has no longer been practised. With regard to mobility, the livestock herding falls in two categories, namely: home based and satellite herding. The former involves the herding of milking cows, calves and immature animals (2 years) further away from the encampments. Based on the pastoralists' perceptions, the major constraints on livestock production in descending order, were recurrent drought, feed and water scarcity, animal diseases, predators and communal land ownership. All the respondents considered the condition of the rangelands to have declined dramatically over time. In the past most development policies were based on equilibrium theories that opposed the communal use of the rangelands and traditional range management practices. The way in which the pastoral system affects the rangeland ecosystem functioning is contentious to this theory and the 'tragedy of the commons'. There was also a perceived problem of bush encroachment and the ban on traditional burning practices and recurrent droughts were seen as aggravating factors to this

  20. Ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions in a rare cycad within angiosperm communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C; Búrquez, Alberto; Dovčiak, Martin

    2014-06-01

    Gymnosperms and angiosperms can co-occur within the same habitats but key plant traits are thought to give angiosperms an evolutionary competitive advantage in many ecological settings. We studied ontogenetic changes in competitive and facilitative interactions between a rare gymnosperm (Dioon sonorense, our target species) and different plant and abiotic neighbours (conspecific-cycads, heterospecific-angiosperms, or abiotic-rocks) from 2007 to 2010 in an arid environment of northwestern Mexico. We monitored survival and growth of seedlings, juveniles, and adults of the cycad Dioon sonorense to evaluate how cycad survival and relative height growth rate (RHGR) responded to intra- and interspecific competition, canopy openness, and nearest neighbour. We tested spatial associations among D. sonorense life stages and angiosperm species and measured ontogenetic shifts in cycad shade tolerance. Canopy openness decreased cycad survival while intraspecific competition decreased survival and RHGR during early ontogeny. Seedling survival was higher in association with rocks and heterospecific neighbours where intraspecific competition was lower. Shade tolerance decreased with cycad ontogeny reflecting the spatial association of advanced stages with more open canopies. Interspecific facilitation during early ontogeny of our target species may promote its persistence in spite of increasing interspecific competition in later stages. We provide empirical support to the long-standing assumption that marginal rocky habitats serve as refugia from angiosperm competition for slow-growing gymnosperms such as cycads. The lack of knowledge of plant-plant interactions in rare or endangered species may hinder developing efficient conservation strategies (e.g. managing for sustained canopy cover), especially under the ongoing land use and climatic changes.

  1. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by communities of Northern Kordofan region, Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suleiman, Mohamed Hammad Adam

    2015-12-24

    The present study provides significant ethnopharmacological information on plant species used in North Kordofan region, western Sudan. The study was undertaken with an aim to document the medicinal uses of the species known to some Northern Kordofan communities. The study was conducted between 2012 and 2013. The plants were identified and voucher specimens prepared. Information was collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 258 informants (195 men and 63 women). In addition, the use value (UV) of the species was determined and the informant consensus factor (ICF) was calculated for the medicinal plants researched in the study. Further analysis was carried out to compare results with previous studies from the study area and other regions of Sudan. A total of 44 plant species representing 24 families were found to be commonly used in the treatment of 73 different human health problems. The families most represented were Leguminosae (18%), Caesalpiniaceae (9%), Malvaceae (9%), Asclepiadaceae (6.8%) and Combretaceae (6.8%). The highest number of plant species are used against digestive system disorders (23 species) followed by microbial infections (21 species) and dermatology (19 species). Among all the plant parts leaves (20%), roots (19%), fruits and bark (14% each) were the most preferred plant parts used by the informants. There was strong agreement among the informants as to the usages of the plants (informant consensus factor 0.63-0.93). The most important plants on the basis of use-value were Acacia nilotica, Acacia seyal, Balanites aegyptiaca, Cassia occidentalis, Cassia senna, Guiera senegalensis and Tamarindus indica. This study has helped to document information that may otherwise be lost to future generations. This is the first ethnobotanical study in which statistical calculations about plants are carried out by means of the ICF and UV methods in the study area. Plants with high ICF and UV values should be subjected for further phytochemical and

  2. Bacterial Communities and Antibiotic Resistance Communities in a Full-Scale Hospital Wastewater Treatment Plant by High-Throughput Pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youngho Ahn

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The community of whole microbes and antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB in hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTP receiving domestic wastewater (DWW and hospital wastewater (HWW was investigated. Samples from an influent of a secondary clarifier, at each treatment train, were characterized for the whole microbial community and ARB on the antibiotic resistance database, based on high-throughput pyrosequencing. The pyrosequencing analysis revealed that the abundance of Bacteroidetes in the DWW sample was higher (~1.6 times than in the HWW sample, whereas the abundance of Proteobacteria in the HWW sample was greater than in the DWW sample. At the top twenty of the genus level, distinct genera were observed—Saprospiraceae in the DWW and Zoogloea in the HWW. Apart from the top twenty genera, minor genera showed various antibiotic resistance types based on the antibiotic resistance gene database.

  3. Plant domestication and the assembly of bacterial and fungal communities associated with strains of the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Lynch, Ryan C; Kane, Nolan C; Fierer, Noah

    2017-04-01

    Root and rhizosphere microbial communities can affect plant health, but it remains undetermined how plant domestication may influence these bacterial and fungal communities. We grew 33 sunflower (Helianthus annuus) strains (n = 5) that varied in their extent of domestication and assessed rhizosphere and root endosphere bacterial and fungal communities. We also assessed fungal communities in the sunflower seeds to investigate the degree to which root and rhizosphere communities were influenced by vertical transmission of the microbiome through seeds. Neither root nor rhizosphere bacterial communities were affected by the extent of sunflower domestication, but domestication did affect the composition of rhizosphere fungal communities. In particular, more modern sunflower strains had lower relative abundances of putative fungal pathogens. Seed-associated fungal communities strongly differed across strains, but several lines of evidence suggest that there is minimal vertical transmission of fungi from seeds to the adult plants. Our results indicate that plant-associated fungal communities are more strongly influenced by host genetic factors and plant breeding than bacterial communities, a finding that could influence strategies for optimizing microbial communities to improve crop yields. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Exploring the plant-associated bacterial communities in Medicago sativa L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pini, Francesco; Frascella, Arcangela; Santopolo, Luisa; Bazzicalupo, Marco; Biondi, Emanuele G; Scotti, Carla; Mengoni, Alessio

    2012-05-20

    Plant-associated bacterial communities caught the attention of several investigators which study the relationships between plants and soil and the potential application of selected bacterial species in crop improvement and protection. Medicago sativa L. is a legume crop of high economic importance as forage in temperate areas and one of the most popular model plants for investigations on the symbiosis with nitrogen fixing rhizobia (mainly belonging to the alphaproteobacterial species Sinorhizobium meliloti). However, despite its importance, no studies have been carried out looking at the total bacterial community associated with the plant. In this work we explored for the first time the total bacterial community associated with M. sativa plants grown in mesocosms conditions, looking at a wide taxonomic spectrum, from the class to the single species (S. meliloti) level. Results, obtained by using Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis, quantitative PCR and sequencing of 16 S rRNA gene libraries, showed a high taxonomic diversity as well as a dominance by members of the class Alphaproteobacteria in plant tissues. Within Alphaproteobacteria the families Sphingomonadaceae and Methylobacteriaceae were abundant inside plant tissues, while soil Alphaproteobacteria were represented by the families of Hyphomicrobiaceae, Methylocystaceae, Bradyirhizobiaceae and Caulobacteraceae. At the single species level, we were able to detect the presence of S. meliloti populations in aerial tissues, nodules and soil. An analysis of population diversity on nodules and soil showed a relatively low sharing of haplotypes (30-40%) between the two environments and between replicate mesocosms, suggesting drift as main force shaping S. meliloti population at least in this system. In this work we shed some light on the bacterial communities associated with M. sativa plants, showing that Alphaproteobacteria may constitute an important part of biodiversity in this

  5. Ethnopharmacological evaluation of medicinal plants used against malaria by quilombola communities from Oriximiná, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Danilo R; Krettli, Antoniana U; Aguiar, Anna Caroline C; Leitão, Gilda G; Vieira, Mariana N; Martins, Karine S; Leitão, Suzana G

    2015-09-15

    Malaria is the most important parasitic disease in the world, including in the Amazon region, due to its high incidence. In addition, malaria is difficult to control because of the geographical characteristics of the endemic Amazon region. The quilombola communities of Oriximina, located in remote rainforest areas, have extensive experience with medicinal plants due to their close contact with and dependence on local biodiversity as a therapeutic resource. To search for active bioproducts against malaria, based on in vitro tests using blood culture-derived parasites and plants selected by an ethno-directed approach in traditional quilombola communities of Oriximiná, in the Amazon region of Brazil. Ethnobotanical data were collected from 35 informants in the quilombola communities of Oriximiná, Brazil, by a free-listing method for the survey of species locally indicated to be effective against malaria and related symptoms. Data were analyzed by salience index (S) and major use agreement. The activity of extracts from 11 plants, selected based on their Salience values (four plants with S>1; seven plants with Scultures of W2 clone Plasmodium falciparum parasites resistant to chloroquine. Thirty-five ethnospecies comprising 40 different plants belonging to 23 botanical families and 37 genera were listed as antimalarials by the ethno-directed approach. Among these, 11 species selected based on their S values were assayed against P. falciparum. The most active plant extracts, with an IC50 as low as 1.6μg/mL, were obtained from Aspidosperma rigidum (Apocynaceae), Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) and Simaba cedron (Simaroubaceae), all of which displayed an S value>1. A strong correlation between the consensus of the informants from quilombola communities living in a malaria endemic area and the salience index indicating antiplasmodial activity was observed, where the ethnospecies mostly cited to be effective against malaria produced the most active plant extracts in

  6. Antiprotozoal activity of medicinal plants used by Iquitos-Nauta road communities in Loreto (Peru).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vásquez-Ocmín, Pedro; Cojean, Sandrine; Rengifo, Elsa; Suyyagh-Albouz, Soulaf; Amasifuen Guerra, Carlos A; Pomel, Sébastien; Cabanillas, Billy; Mejía, Kember; Loiseau, Philippe M; Figadère, Bruno; Maciuk, Alexandre

    2018-01-10

    In the Peruvian Amazon, the use of medicinal plants is a common practice. However, there is few documented information about the practical aspects of their use and few scientific validation. The starting point for this work was a set of interviews of people living in rural communities from the Peruvian Amazon about their uses of plants. Protozoan diseases are a public health issue in the Amazonian communities, who partly cope with it by using traditional remedies. Validation of these traditional practices contributes to public health care efficiency and may help identify new antiprotozoal compounds. to inventory and validate the use of medicinal plants by rural people of Loreto region. Rural mestizos were interviewed about traditional medication of parasite infections with medicinal plants. Ethnopharmacological surveys were undertaken in two villages along Iquitos-Nauta road (Loreto region, Peru), namely 13 de Febrero and El Dorado communities. Forty-six plants were collected according to their traditional use for the treatment of parasitic diseases, 50 ethanolic extracts (different parts for some of the plants) were tested in vitro on Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 sensitive strain and W2 chloroquine resistant strain), Leishmania donovani LV9 strain and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Cytotoxic assessment (HUVEC cells) of the active extracts was performed. Two of the most active plants were submitted to preliminary bioguided fractionation to ascertain and explore their activities. From the initial plants list, 10 were found to be active on P. falciparum, 15 on L. donovani and 2 on the three parasites. The ethanolic extract from Costus curvibracteatus (Costaceae) leaves and Grias neuberthii (Lecythidaceae) bark showed strong in vitro activity on P. falciparum (sensitive and resistant strain) and L. donovani and moderate activity on T. brucei gambiense. The Amazonian forest communities in Peru represents a source of knowledge on the use of medicinal plants. In this work

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Associations between an Invasive Plant (Taeniatherum caput-medusae, Medusahead and Soil Microbial Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Understanding plant-microbe relationships can be important for developing management strategies for invasive plants, particularly when these relationships interact with underlying variables, such as habitat type and seedbank density, to mediate control efforts. In a field study located in California, USA, we investigated how soil microbial communities differ across the invasion front of Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead, an annual grass that has rapidly invaded most of the western USA. Plots were installed in habitats where medusahead invasion is typically successful (open grassland and typically not successful (oak woodland. Medusahead was seeded into plots at a range of densities (from 0-50,000 seeds/m2 to simulate different levels of invasion. We found that bacterial and fungal soil community composition were significantly different between oak woodland and open grassland habitats. Specifically, ectomycorrhizal fungi were more abundant in oak woodlands while arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant pathogens were more abundant in open grasslands. We did not find a direct effect of medusahead density on soil microbial communities across the simulated invasion front two seasons after medusahead were seeded into plots. Our results suggest that future medusahead management initiatives might consider plant-microbe interactions.

  9. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. B. Metcalfe

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil – such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts – each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge.

    Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future

  10. Relations of alpine plant communities across environmental gradients: Multilevel versus multiscale analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, George P.; Zimmerman, Dale L.; Kinney, Mitch; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2017-01-01

    Alpine plant communities vary, and their environmental covariates could influence their response to climate change. A single multilevel model of how alpine plant community composition is determined by hierarchical relations is compared to a separate examination of those relations at different scales. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of species cover for plots in four regions across the Rocky Mountains created dependent variables. Climate variables are derived for the four regions from interpolated data. Plot environmental variables are measured directly and the presence of thirty-seven site characteristics is recorded and used to create additional independent variables. Multilevel and best subsets regressions are used to determine the strength of the hypothesized relations. The ordinations indicate structure in the assembly of plant communities. The multilevel analyses, although revealing significant relations, provide little explanation; of the site variables, those related to site microclimate are most important. In multiscale analyses (whole and separate regions), different variables are better explanations within the different regions. This result indicates weak environmental niche control of community composition. The weak relations of the structure in the patterns of species association to the environment indicates that either alpine vegetation represents a case of the neutral theory of biogeography being a valid explanation or that it represents disequilibrium conditions. The implications of neutral theory and disequilibrium explanations are similar: Response to climate change will be difficult to quantify above equilibrium background turnover.

  11. Interactions for pollinator visitation and their consequences for reproduction in a plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Ørjan

    2012-08-01

    Competition and facilitation in species interactions attract much attention in ecology, but their relative importance has seldom been evaluated in a community context. We assessed competitive and facilitative interactions for pollinator visitation among co-flowering species in a plant community, investigated the subsequent consequences for plant reproduction, and investigated whether effects could be trait-based. We removed the flowers of two species attractive to pollinators, in two separate experiments and assessed the effects on pollinator visitation rates and components of reproductive success in 11 co-flowering focal herb species. Overall, most focal species appear not to interact with the removal species with respect to pollinator visitation and subsequent reproduction (neutral interactions). Three focal species in the community had significantly higher reproductive responses (fruit production and seed weight) in the presence of the attractive removal species (facilitative interactions), but species interaction effects were less pronounced in species' flower visitation rates. A community-wide meta-analysis demonstrated that the two experiments did not have a significant effect on either facilitation or competition, and that there was no overall correlation between effect sizes for visitation and reproduction. Based on species-specific responses, it seems likely that floral traits such as similar flower colors contribute to interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation and, in particular, that high pollinator dependence for plant reproduction, and associated pollen limitation, may contribute to subsequent interaction effects on reproduction in the focal species.

  12. Woody plant encroachment into grasslands: spatial patterns of functional group distribution and community development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Feng; Archer, Steven R; Gelwick, Frances; Bai, Edith; Boutton, Thomas W; Wu, Xinyuan Ben

    2013-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs) better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in the Southern Great Plains, United States at a subtropical grassland known to have been encroached upon by woody species over the past 50-100 years. A total of 20 woody species (9 tree-statured; 11 shrub-statured) were encountered along a transect extending from an upland into a playa basin. About half of the encroaching woody plants were potential N2-fixers (55% of species), but they contributed only 7% to 16 % of the total basal area. Most species and the PFTs they represent were ubiquitously distributed along the topoedaphic gradient, but with varying abundances. Overstory-understory comparisons suggest that while future species composition of these woody communities is likely to change, PFT composition is not. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) ordination and variance partitioning (Partial CCA) indicated that woody species and PFT composition in developing woody communities was primarily influenced by intrinsic landscape location variables (e.g., soil texture) and secondarily by plant-induced changes in soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The ubiquitous distribution of species and PFTs suggests that woody plants are generally well-suited to a broad range of grassland topoedaphic settings. However, here we only examined categorical and non-quantitative functional traits. Although intrinsic soil properties exerted more control over the floristics of grassland-to-woodland succession did plant modifications of soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations, the latter

  13. Program of Research for Forests and Associated Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson S. Loftus; Joseph G. Massey; [Compilers

    1978-01-01

    This research plan for the Southern Region is a companion publication to the National Program of Research for Forests and Associated Rangelands. While the national program reflects both regional and national priorities, this plan provides details on forestry research matters concerning the South. For the reader's convenience, background information on development...

  14. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  15. Simplifying ecological site verification, rangeland health assessments, and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the past several decades, scientists and land managers in North America have increasingly recognized the importance of rangeland assessment relative to ecological potential based on soil and climate. The adoption of the site potential based “ecological site” system was recently formalized in ...

  16. Parameterization of erodibility in the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    The magnitude of erosion from a hillslope is governed by the availability of sediment and connectivity of runoff and erosion processes. For undisturbed rangelands, sediment is primarily detached and transported by rainsplash and sheetflow (splash-sheet) processes in isolated bare batches, but sedime...

  17. 75 FR 8036 - Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... Forest Service Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of intent...-Toiyabe National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to authorize..., Little Fish Lake, Monitor Complex, Saulsbury and Stone Cabin allotments have active term grazing permits...

  18. Ranch business planning and resource monitoring for rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie A. Maczko; John A. Tanaka; Michael Smith; Cindy Garretson-Weibel; Stanley F. Hamilton; John E. Mitchell; Gene Fults; Charles Stanley; Dick Loper; Larry D. Bryant; J. K. (Rooter) Brite

    2012-01-01

    Aligning a rancher's business plan goals with the capability of the ranch's rangeland resources improves the viability and sustainability of family ranches. Strategically monitoring the condition of soil, water, vegetation, wildlife, livestock production, and economics helps inform business plan goals. Business planning and resource monitoring help keep...

  19. Rangeland Ecosystem Services: Nature's Supply and Humans' Demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that society receives from nature and they include the regulation of climate, the pollination of crops, the provisioning of intellectual inspiration and recreational environment, as well as many essential goods such as food, fiber, and wood. Rangeland ecosystem se...

  20. Vulnerability of amphibians to climate change: implications for rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch; Megan M. Friggens

    2011-01-01

    Many amphibian populations have declined drastically in recent years due to a large number of factors including the emerging threat of climate change (Wake 2007). Rangelands provide important habitat for amphibians. In addition to natural wetlands, stock tanks and other artificial water catchments provide habitat for many amphibian species (Euliss et al. 2004).