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Sample records for species-rich grassland communities

  1. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

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    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices.We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment. In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years.The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  2. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

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    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  3. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

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    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  4. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

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    Dörte Bachmann

    Full Text Available Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O and 28 cm depth (with ²H three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs. Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species.

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

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    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Zavalloni, C.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2008-04-01

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

  6. Species richness, but not phylogenetic diversity, influences community biomass production and temporal stability in a re-examination of 16 grassland biodiversity studies

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    Venail, P.; Gross, K.; Oakley, T.H.; Narwani, A.; Allan, E.; Flombaum, P.; Isbell, F.; Joshi, J.; Reich, P.B.; Tilman, D.; Ruijven, van J.; Cardinale, B.J.

    2015-01-01

    1.Hundreds of experiments have now manipulated species richness of various groups of organisms and examined how this aspect of biological diversity influences ecosystem functioning. Ecologists have recently expanded this field to look at whether phylogenetic diversity among species, often quantified

  7. Deficit in community species richness as explained by area and isolation of sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2000-01-01

    The potential community species richness was predicted for 85 patches of seminatural grassland in an agricultural landscape in Denmark. The basis of the prediction was a very large dataset on the vegetation, soil pH and topography in Danish grasslands and related communities. Species were inserte......, community richness deficit, varied considerably among patches. Community richness deficit exhibited a negative relationship with patch area, and for small patches a positive relationship with patch isolation....

  8. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

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    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  9. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

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    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. Quantifying establishment limitations during the ecological restoration of species-rich Nardus grassland

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    Daele, Van Frederik; Wasof, Safaa; Demey, Andreas; Schelfhout, Stephanie; Schrijver, De A.; Baeten, Lander; Ruijven, van Jasper; Mertens, Jan; Verheyen, Kris

    2017-01-01

    Aims: Successful establishment of species-rich Nardus grasslands on ex-agricultural land requires identification and removal of barriers to effective seed germination and seedling survival. Therefore, we investigate how germination and early development are affected by soil conditions from

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

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    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Plant species richness sustains higher trophic levels of soil nematode communities after consecutive environmental perturbations.

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    Cesarz, Simone; Ciobanu, Marcel; Wright, Alexandra J; Ebeling, Anne; Vogel, Anja; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2017-07-01

    The magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events are predicted to increase in the future due to ongoing climate change. In particular, floods and droughts resulting from climate change are thought to alter the ecosystem functions and stability. However, knowledge of the effects of these weather events on soil fauna is scarce, although they are key towards functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Plant species richness has been shown to affect the stability of ecosystem functions and food webs. Here, we used the occurrence of a natural flood in a biodiversity grassland experiment that was followed by a simulated summer drought experiment, to investigate the interactive effects of plant species richness, a natural flood, and a subsequent summer drought on nematode communities. Three and five months after the natural flooding, effects of flooding severity were still detectable in the belowground system. We found that flooding severity decreased soil nematode food-web structure (loss of K-strategists) and the abundance of plant feeding nematodes. However, high plant species richness maintained higher diversity and abundance of higher trophic levels compared to monocultures throughout the flood. The subsequent summer drought seemed to be of lower importance but reversed negative flooding effects in some cases. This probably occurred because the studied grassland system is well adapted to drought, or because drought conditions alleviated the negative impact of long-term soil waterlogging. Using soil nematodes as indicator taxa, this study suggests that high plant species richness can maintain soil food web complexity after consecutive environmental perturbations.

  13. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: Seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

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    Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Bezemer, T.M.; De Boer, W.; Duyts, H.; Holtkamp, R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods

  14. Relative Importance of Current and Past Landscape Structure and Local Habitat Conditions for Plant Species Richness in Dry Grassland-Like Forest Openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-15 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : landscape structure * species richness * dry grassland Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014

  15. Species richness in soil bacterial communities: a proposed approach to overcome sample size bias.

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    Youssef, Noha H; Elshahed, Mostafa S

    2008-09-01

    Estimates of species richness based on 16S rRNA gene clone libraries are increasingly utilized to gauge the level of bacterial diversity within various ecosystems. However, previous studies have indicated that regardless of the utilized approach, species richness estimates obtained are dependent on the size of the analyzed clone libraries. We here propose an approach to overcome sample size bias in species richness estimates in complex microbial communities. Parametric (Maximum likelihood-based and rarefaction curve-based) and non-parametric approaches were used to estimate species richness in a library of 13,001 near full-length 16S rRNA clones derived from soil, as well as in multiple subsets of the original library. Species richness estimates obtained increased with the increase in library size. To obtain a sample size-unbiased estimate of species richness, we calculated the theoretical clone library sizes required to encounter the estimated species richness at various clone library sizes, used curve fitting to determine the theoretical clone library size required to encounter the "true" species richness, and subsequently determined the corresponding sample size-unbiased species richness value. Using this approach, sample size-unbiased estimates of 17,230, 15,571, and 33,912 were obtained for the ML-based, rarefaction curve-based, and ACE-1 estimators, respectively, compared to bias-uncorrected values of 15,009, 11,913, and 20,909.

  16. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: Effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness

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    John L. Maron; Harald Auge; Dean E. Pearson; Lotte Korell; Isabell Hensen; Katharine N. Suding; Claudia Stein

    2014-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed...

  17. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

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    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  18. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

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    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

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

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    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

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

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

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

    2017-06-17

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

  1. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

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    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

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

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

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is the most common biodiversity metric, although typically some species remain unobserved. Therefore, estimates of species richness and related quantities should account for imperfect detectability. Community dynamics can often be represented as superposition of species-specific phenologies (e. g., in taxa with well-defined flight [insects], activity [rodents], or vegetation periods [plants]). We develop a model for such predictably open communities wherein species richness is expressed as the sum over observed and unobserved species of estimated species-specific and site-specific occurrence indicators and where seasonal occurrence is modeled as a species-specific function of time. Our model is a multispecies extension of a multistate model with one unobservable state and represents a parsimonious way of dealing with a widespread form of 'temporary emigration.'' For illustration we use Swiss butterfly monitoring data collected under a robust design (RD); species were recorded on 13 transects during two secondary periods within data, where secondary samples are pooled. The latter model yielded unrealistically high estimates of total community size of 274 species. In contrast, estimates were similar under models applied to RD data with constant (122) or seasonally varying (126) detectability for each species, but the former was more parsimonious and therefore used for inference. Per transect, 6 44 (mean 21.1) species were detected. Species richness estimates averaged 29.3; therefore only 71% (range 32-92%) of all species present were ever detected. In any primary period, 0.4-5.6 species present were overlooked. Detectability varied by species and averaged 0.88 per primary sampling period. Our modeling framework is extremely flexible; extensions such as covariates for the occurrence or detectability of individual species are easy. It should be useful for communities with a predictable form of temporary emigration where rigorous estimation of community

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

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    Matthews, Blake; Pomati, Francesco

    2012-11-01

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

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

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

    2015-08-01

    Intransitive competition networks, those in which there is no single best competitor, may ensure species coexistence. However, their frequency and importance in maintaining diversity in real-world ecosystems remain unclear. We used two large data sets from drylands and agricultural grasslands to assess: (1) the generality of intransitive competition, (2) intransitivity-richness relationships and (3) effects of two major drivers of biodiversity loss (aridity and land-use intensification) on intransitivity and species richness. Intransitive competition occurred in > 65% of sites and was associated with higher species richness. Intransitivity increased with aridity, partly buffering its negative effects on diversity, but was decreased by intensive land use, enhancing its negative effects on diversity. These contrasting responses likely arise because intransitivity is promoted by temporal heterogeneity, which is enhanced by aridity but may decline with land-use intensity. We show that intransitivity is widespread in nature and increases diversity, but it can be lost with environmental homogenisation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Effects of trophic skewing of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a diverse marine community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela L Reynolds

    Full Text Available Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world's ecosystems has "skewed" food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs, while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs. These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  8. Changes of Species Richness in Heathland Communities over 15 Years following Disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Calvo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to define the species richness patterns over a period of 15 years during the vegetation recovery process after disturbances (burning, cutting and ploughing in heathlands. Three communities were selected: two dominated by Erica australis and one dominated by Calluna vulgaris. The alpha and gamma diversity patterns were site specific and influenced by the ecological traits of dominant shrub species. The shrubland dominated by Erica australis, typical resprouters with a fast regeneration, showed the highest values of alpha and gamma diversity during the first 7 years of regeneration. The heathland dominated by Calluna vulgaris, an obligate seeder, had a contrasting pattern of alpha and gamma diversity, as the highest values appeared from year 7 until year 14. Thus, the speed of regeneration of the dominant shrub species could be the main factor affecting structural parameters in these communities. Species richness patterns did not vary in relation to the different types of perturbation. Cutting and burning would be the most suitable forestry management strategies to conserve Erica australis heathlands, but burning is more appropriate in Calluna vulgaris ones because cutting modified this community.

  9. Understanding the extreme species richness of semi-dry grasslands in east-central Europe: a comparative approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roleček, Jan; Čornej, I. I.; Tokarjuk, A. I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 86, č. 1 (2014), s. 13-34 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/0649 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : species richness * environmental history * disjunct distribution Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.104, year: 2014

  10. Base cation depletion, eutrophication and acidification of species-rich grasslands in response to long-term simulated nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horswill, Paul [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)], E-mail: paul.horswill@naturalengland.org.uk; O' Sullivan, Odhran; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Lee, John A.; Leake, Jonathan R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Pollutant nitrogen deposition effects on soil and foliar element concentrations were investigated in acidic and limestone grasslands, located in one of the most nitrogen and acid rain polluted regions of the UK, using plots treated for 8-10 years with 35-140 kg N ha{sup -2} y{sup -1} as NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. Historic data suggests both grasslands have acidified over the past 50 years. Nitrogen deposition treatments caused the grassland soils to lose 23-35% of their total available bases (Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and they became acidified by 0.2-0.4 pH units. Aluminium, iron and manganese were mobilised and taken up by limestone grassland forbs and were translocated down the acid grassland soil. Mineral nitrogen availability increased in both grasslands and many species showed foliar N enrichment. This study provides the first definitive evidence that nitrogen deposition depletes base cations from grassland soils. The resulting acidification, metal mobilisation and eutrophication are implicated in driving floristic changes. - Nitrogen deposition causes base cation depletion, acidification and eutrophication of semi-natural grassland soils.

  11. Bryophyte species richness on retention aspens recovers in time but community structure does not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldén, Anna; Ovaskainen, Otso; Kotiaho, Janne S; Laaka-Lindberg, Sanna; Halme, Panu

    2014-01-01

    Green-tree retention is a forest management method in which some living trees are left on a logged area. The aim is to offer 'lifeboats' to support species immediately after logging and to provide microhabitats during and after forest re-establishment. Several studies have shown immediate decline in bryophyte diversity after retention logging and thus questioned the effectiveness of this method, but longer term studies are lacking. Here we studied the epiphytic bryophytes on European aspen (Populus tremula L.) retention trees along a 30-year chronosequence. We compared the bryophyte flora of 102 'retention aspens' on 14 differently aged retention sites with 102 'conservation aspens' on 14 differently aged conservation sites. We used a Bayesian community-level modelling approach to estimate the changes in bryophyte species richness, abundance (area covered) and community structure during 30 years after logging. Using the fitted model, we estimated that two years after logging both species richness and abundance of bryophytes declined, but during the following 20-30 years both recovered to the level of conservation aspens. However, logging-induced changes in bryophyte community structure did not fully recover over the same time period. Liverwort species showed some or low potential to benefit from lifeboating and high potential to re-colonise as time since logging increases. Most moss species responded similarly, but two cushion-forming mosses benefited from the logging disturbance while several weft- or mat-forming mosses declined and did not re-colonise in 20-30 years. We conclude that retention trees do not function as equally effective lifeboats for all bryophyte species but are successful in providing suitable habitats for many species in the long-term. To be most effective, retention cuts should be located adjacent to conservation sites, which may function as sources of re-colonisation and support the populations of species that require old-growth forests.

  12. Bryophyte species richness on retention aspens recovers in time but community structure does not.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Oldén

    Full Text Available Green-tree retention is a forest management method in which some living trees are left on a logged area. The aim is to offer 'lifeboats' to support species immediately after logging and to provide microhabitats during and after forest re-establishment. Several studies have shown immediate decline in bryophyte diversity after retention logging and thus questioned the effectiveness of this method, but longer term studies are lacking. Here we studied the epiphytic bryophytes on European aspen (Populus tremula L. retention trees along a 30-year chronosequence. We compared the bryophyte flora of 102 'retention aspens' on 14 differently aged retention sites with 102 'conservation aspens' on 14 differently aged conservation sites. We used a Bayesian community-level modelling approach to estimate the changes in bryophyte species richness, abundance (area covered and community structure during 30 years after logging. Using the fitted model, we estimated that two years after logging both species richness and abundance of bryophytes declined, but during the following 20-30 years both recovered to the level of conservation aspens. However, logging-induced changes in bryophyte community structure did not fully recover over the same time period. Liverwort species showed some or low potential to benefit from lifeboating and high potential to re-colonise as time since logging increases. Most moss species responded similarly, but two cushion-forming mosses benefited from the logging disturbance while several weft- or mat-forming mosses declined and did not re-colonise in 20-30 years. We conclude that retention trees do not function as equally effective lifeboats for all bryophyte species but are successful in providing suitable habitats for many species in the long-term. To be most effective, retention cuts should be located adjacent to conservation sites, which may function as sources of re-colonisation and support the populations of species that require old

  13. Species Richness and Community Structure on a High Latitude Reef: Implications for Conservation and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayne Houston

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of the wealth of research on the Great Barrier Reef, few detailed biodiversity assessments of its inshore coral communities have been conducted. Effective conservation and management of marine ecosystems begins with fine-scale biophysical assessments focused on diversity and the architectural species that build the structural framework of the reef. In this study, we investigate key coral diversity and environmental attributes of an inshore reef system surrounding the Keppel Bay Islands near Rockhampton in Central Queensland, Australia, and assess their implications for conservation and management. The Keppels has much higher coral diversity than previously found. The average species richness for the 19 study sites was ~40 with representatives from 68% of the ~244 species previously described for the southern Great Barrier Reef. Using scleractinian coral species richness, taxonomic distinctiveness and coral cover as the main criteria, we found that five out of 19 sites had particularly high conservation value. A further site was also considered to be of relatively high value. Corals at this site were taxonomically distinct from the others (representatives of two families were found here but not at other sites and a wide range of functionally diverse taxa were present. This site was associated with more stressful conditions such as high temperatures and turbidity. Highly diverse coral communities or biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and taxonomically distinct reefs may act as insurance policies for climatic disturbance, much like Noah’s Arks for reefs. While improving water quality and limiting anthropogenic impacts are clearly important management initiatives to improve the long-term outlook for inshore reefs, identifying, mapping and protecting these coastal ‘refugia’ may be the key for ensuring their regeneration against catastrophic climatic disturbance in the meantime.

  14. Mollusca from a species-rich deep-water Leptometra community in the Alboran Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Gofas

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available An exceptional species richness for Mollusca was found on Avempace bank (349-365 m, Djibouti group, Alboran Sea, where the most abundant species was the crinoid Leptometra phalangium. A sample of sediment sieved on a 0.5-mm mesh yielded 156 species of molluscs (83 live-taken, 1772 specimens with a high Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H’(log2=3.60. The dominant mollusc was Limopsis aurita and the six most common species accounted for 77% of the specimens. On the other hand, 42 species were represented by only one or two specimens. Two species are described as new, three more are first findings in the Mediterranean and two are first findings in Iberian waters. One-third of the species have not been reported from the neighbouring, well-explored Alboran Island platform. There is a considerable balance between the trophic groups, denoting a stable and structured community. Most of the species have an extensive Atlantic range, and most have a planktonic larval stage. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that the fauna benefits from a diverse influx of larvae carried in by the more superficial incoming Atlantic current. Because of its exceptional richness, this type of bathyal community with Leptometra and Limopsis should be considered a high priority for habitat conservation in the Mediterranean deep sea.

  15. The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Wagner, V.; von Wehrden, H.; Hájek, M.; Horsák, M.; Brinkert, A.; Hölzel, N.; Wesche, K.; Kamp, J.; Hájková, Petra; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Merunková, K.; Preislerová, Z.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Cherosov, M. M.; Ermakov, N.; German, D.; Gogoleva, P. A.; Lashchinsky, N.; Martynenko, V. B.; Chytrý, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 425-434 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity-environment relationship * dry grassland * precipitation * soil pH Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  16. Species richness and structure of an anuran community in an Atlantic Forest site in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriele Karlokoski Cunha

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The species richness and spatial distribution of an anuran community were studied over 12 months in an Atlantic Forest area in São José dos Pinhais Municipality, Paraná State, southern Brazil. During field surveys, we registered 32 species from ten families: Brachycephalidae (2, Bufonidae (2, Centrolenidae (1, Cycloramphidae (1, Hemiphractidae (1, Hylidae (18, Hylodidae (1, Leiuperidae (2, Leptodactylidae (3, and Microhylidae (1. Sixteen species were registered in open areas, while seventeen species were found on forest borders and twenty species in forest areas. In relation to the microhabitat utilization, species were registered according to stratum of vocalization: 1 on the ground (eight; 2 in the water (two; 3 in the lower stratum (eleven; 4 in the intermediate stratum (five; 5 in the upper stratum (four. Five species were abundant (15.6%, while twelve were common (37.5%, and fifteen were considered rare (46.9%. The biological aspects of the majority of the species described in this work as related to forest areas are not well known. This fact reinforces the importance of Atlantic Forest conservation.

  17. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  18. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardelean, Ioana Violeta; Keller, Christine; Scheidegger, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

  19. Effects of Management on Lichen Species Richness, Ecological Traits and Community Structure in the Rodnei Mountains National Park (Romania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioana Violeta Ardelean

    Full Text Available Lichens are valuable bio-indicators for evaluating the consequences of human activities that are increasingly changing the earth's ecosystems. Since a major objective of national parks is the preservation of biodiversity, our aim is to analyse how natural resource management, the availability of lichen substrates and environmental parameters influence lichen diversity in Rodnei Mountains National Park situated in the Eastern Carpathians. Three main types of managed vegetation were investigated: the transhumance systems in alpine meadows, timber exploitation in mixed and pure spruce forests, and the corresponding conserved sites. The data were sampled following a replicated design. For the analysis, we considered not only all lichen species, but also species groups from different substrates such as soil, trees and deadwood. The lichen diversity was described according to species richness, red-list status and substrate-specialist species richness. The variation in species composition was related to the environmental variables. Habitat management was found to negatively influence species richness and alter the lichen community composition, particularly for threatened and substrate-specialist species. It reduced the mean level of threatened species richness by 59%, when all lichen species were considered, and by 81%, when only epiphytic lichens were considered. Management-induced disturbance significantly decreased lichen species richness in forest landscapes with long stand continuity. The diversity patterns of the lichens indicate a loss of species richness and change in species composition in areas where natural resources are still exploited inside the borders of the national park. It is thus imperative for protected areas, in particular old-growth forests and alpine meadows, to receive more protection than they have received in the past to ensure populations of the characteristic species remain viable in the future.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Integrating Agricultural and Ecological Goals into the Management of Species-Rich Grasslands: Learning from the Flowering Meadows Competition in France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate.

  3. Seed Density Significantly Affects Species Richness and Composition in Experimental Plant Communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 10 (2012), e46704 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/0593 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : species richness * seed rain * species composition Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2012

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    of these conditions is limited due to the scarcity of studies, especially in the High Arctic. 2. We investigated variations in vascular plant community composition and species richness based on 288 plots distributed on three sites along a coast-inland gradient in Northeast Greenland using a stratified random design......1. Arctic plant communities are altered by climate changes. The magnitude of these alterations depends on whether species distributions are determined by macroclimatic conditions, by factors related to local topography, or by biotic interactions. Our current understanding of the relative importance....... We used an information theoretic approach to determine whether variations in species richness were best explained by macroclimate, by factors related to local topography (including soil water) or by plant-plant interactions. Latent variable models were used to explain patterns in plant community...

  5. Galling Insects of the Brazilian Páramos: Species Richness and Composition Along High-Altitude Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel S; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina A; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2017-12-08

    In this work, we investigated the factors that determine the distribution of galling insects in high-altitude grasslands, locally called 'campos de altitude' of Mantiqueira Range and tested whether 1) richness of galling insects decreases with altitude, 2) galling insect richness increases with plant richness, 3) variation in galling insect diversity is predominantly a consequence of its β component, and 4) turnover is the main mechanism driving the beta diversity of both galling insects and plants. Galling insect richness did not exhibit a negative relationship with altitude, but it did increase with plant richness. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into its local and beta components showed that local diversity (α) of galling insects and plants was relatively low in relation to regional diversity; the β component incorporated most of the regional diversity. This pattern was also found in the multiscale analysis of the additive partition for galling insects and plants. The beta diversity of galling insects and plants was driven predominantly by the process of turnover and minimally by nesting. The results reported here point out that the spatial distribution of galling insects is best explained by historical factors, such as the distribution of genera and species of key host plants, as well as their relation to habitat, than ecological effects such as hygrothermal stress - here represented by altitude. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Chemical similarity and local community assembly in the species rich tropical genus Piper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Jaramillo, M Alejandra; Marquis, Robert J

    2016-11-01

    Community ecologists have strived to find mechanisms that mediate the assembly of natural communities. Recent evidence suggests that natural enemies could play an important role in the assembly of hyper-diverse tropical plant systems. Classic ecological theory predicts that in order for coexistence to occur, species differences must be maximized across biologically important niche dimensions. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been recently suggested that, within a particular community, plant species that maximize the difference in chemical defense profiles compared to neighboring taxa will have a relative competitive advantage. Here we tested the hypothesis that plant chemical diversity can affect local community composition in the hyper-diverse genus Piper at a lowland wet forest location in Costa Rica. We first characterized the chemical composition of 27 of the most locally abundant species of Piper. We then tested whether species with different chemical compositions were more likely to coexist. Finally, we assessed the degree to which Piper phylogenetic relationships are related to differences in secondary chemical composition and community assembly. We found that, on average, co-occurring species were more likely to differ in chemical composition than expected by chance. Contrary to expectations, there was no phylogenetic signal for overall secondary chemical composition. In addition we found that species in local communities were, on average, more phylogenetically closely related than expected by chance, suggesting that functional traits other than those measured here also influence local assembly. We propose that selection by herbivores for divergent chemistries between closely related species facilitates the coexistence of a high diversity of congeneric taxa via apparent competition. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Within-community environmental variability drives trait variability in species-rich grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Price, A.; Tamme, R.; Gazol, A.; de Bello, Francesco; Takkis, K.; Uria- Diez, J.; Kasari, L.; Pärtel, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 2 (2017), s. 303-312 ISSN 1100-9233 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Convergence * Divergence * Functional diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.924, year: 2016

  9. Vertical gradients in species richness and community composition across the twilight zone in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Stephanie A; Van Woudenberg, Lauren; Lenz, Petra H; Cepeda, Georgina; Goetze, Erica

    2017-11-01

    Although metazoan animals in the mesopelagic zone play critical roles in deep pelagic food webs and in the attenuation of carbon in midwaters, the diversity of these assemblages is not fully known. A metabarcoding survey of mesozooplankton diversity across the epipelagic, mesopelagic and upper bathypelagic zones (0-1500 m) in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre revealed far higher estimates of species richness than expected given prior morphology-based studies in the region (4,024 OTUs, 10-fold increase), despite conservative bioinformatic processing. Operational taxonomic unit (OTU) richness of the full assemblage peaked at lower epipelagic-upper mesopelagic depths (100-300 m), with slight shoaling of maximal richness at night due to diel vertical migration, in contrast to expectations of a deep mesopelagic diversity maximum as reported for several plankton groups in early systematic and zoogeographic studies. Four distinct depth-stratified species assemblages were identified, with faunal transitions occurring at 100 m, 300 m and 500 m. Highest diversity occurred in the smallest zooplankton size fractions (0.2-0.5 mm), which had significantly lower % OTUs classified due to poor representation in reference databases, suggesting a deep reservoir of poorly understood diversity in the smallest metazoan animals. A diverse meroplankton assemblage also was detected (350 OTUs), including larvae of both shallow and deep living benthic species. Our results provide some of the first insights into the hidden diversity present in zooplankton assemblages in midwaters, and a molecular reappraisal of vertical gradients in species richness, depth distributions and community composition for the full zooplankton assemblage across the epipelagic, mesopelagic and upper bathypelagic zones. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Animesh Dey

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue Xu

    Full Text Available Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct "hide-and-seek" strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community.

  12. Bat community species richness and composition in a restinga protected area in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oprea, M; Esbérard, C E L; Vieira, T B; Mendes, P; Pimenta, V T; Brito, D; Ditchfield, A D

    2009-11-01

    In Brazil, restingas are under severe human-induced impacts resulting in habitat degradation and loss and remain one of the less frequently studied ecosystems. The main objectives of the present study are to describe the bat community in a restinga in Paulo Cesar Vinha State Park, Guarapari municipality, state of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Fieldwork was conducted twice a month from August 2004 to September 2005. A total sampling effort of 40,300 m(2)/h, represents the largest sampling effort for sampling bats in restingas to date. Bats were sampled in five different vegetational types in the area. Captured bats were processed recording information on species, sex, age, forearm length and weight. Shannon Diversity and Jaccard indexes were used to analyse diversity and similarity among habitats in the Park. A total of 554 captures belonging to 14 species and two families were obtained. Noctilio leporinus was recorded through direct observation and an ultra-sound detector also registered the presence of individuals from the family Molossidae, without being possible to distinguish it at specific level. Frugivores were the most representative guild. Richness was higher in Clusia shrubs (11 species) and Caraís lagoon (10 species). Shannon diversity index was estimated at H' = 1.43 for the overall sample, with Caraís lagoon representing the most diverse habitat (H' = 1.60). The greater similarity (J = 0.714) was observed for the two areas under high human influence.

  13. Bat community species richness and composition in a restinga protected area in Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Oprea

    Full Text Available In Brazil, restingas are under severe human-induced impacts resulting in habitat degradation and loss and remain one of the less frequently studied ecosystems. The main objectives of the present study are to describe the bat community in a restinga in Paulo Cesar Vinha State Park, Guarapari municipality, state of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Fieldwork was conducted twice a month from August 2004 to September 2005. A total sampling effort of 40,300 m²/h, represents the largest sampling effort for sampling bats in restingas to date. Bats were sampled in five different vegetational types in the area. Captured bats were processed recording information on species, sex, age, forearm length and weight. Shannon Diversity and Jaccard indexes were used to analyse diversity and similarity among habitats in the Park. A total of 554 captures belonging to 14 species and two families were obtained. Noctilio leporinus was recorded through direct observation and an ultra-sound detector also registered the presence of individuals from the family Molossidae, without being possible to distinguish it at specific level. Frugivores were the most representative guild. Richness was higher in Clusia shrubs (11 species and Caraís lagoon (10 species. Shannon diversity index was estimated at H' = 1.43 for the overall sample, with Caraís lagoon representing the most diverse habitat (H' = 1.60. The greater similarity (J = 0.714 was observed for the two areas under high human influence.

  14. Evidence for hybridization and introgression within a species-rich oak (Quercus spp. community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Finkeldey Reiner

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Analysis of interspecific gene flow is crucial for the understanding of speciation processes and maintenance of species integrity. Oaks (genus Quercus, Fagaceae are among the model species for the study of hybridization. Natural co-occurrence of four closely related oak species is a very rare case in the temperate forests of Europe. We used both morphological characters and genetic markers to characterize hybridization in a natural community situated in west-central Romania and which consists of Quercus robur, Q. petraea, Q. pubescens, and Q. frainetto, respectively. Results On the basis of pubescence and leaf morphological characters ~94% of the sampled individuals were assigned to pure species. Only 16 (~6% individual trees exhibited intermediate morphologies or a combination of characters of different species. Four chloroplast DNA haplotypes were identified in the study area. The distribution of haplotypes within the white oak complex showed substantial differences among species. However, the most common haplotypes were present in all four species. Furthermore, based on a set of 7 isozyme and 6 microsatellite markers and using a Bayesian admixture analysis without any a priori information on morphology we found that four genetic clusters best fit the data. There was a very good correspondence of each species with one of the inferred genetic clusters. The estimated introgression level varied markedly between pairs of species ranging from 1.7% between Q. robur and Q. frainetto to 16.2% between Q. pubescens and Q. frainetto. Only nine individuals (3.4% appeared to be first-generation hybrids. Conclusion Our data indicate that natural hybridization has occurred at relatively low rates. The different levels of gene flow among species might be explained by differences in flowering time and spatial position within the stand. In addition, a partial congruence between phenotypically and genetically intermediate individuals was

  15. Summer Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) species richness and community structure in the lower Illinois River basin of Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWalt, R.E.; Webb, D.W.; Harris, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) species richness is useful for monitoring stream health, but no published studies in Illinois quantitatively document EPT richness or assemblage structure. The objectives of this study were to characterize adult EPT richness and structure and relate these to relative water quality at eight stream sites (160-69,300 km3 area) in the lower Illinois River basin. Adults were ultra-violet light trapped in June, July, and August 1997. Nutrient enrichment by nitrate and nitrite nitrogen was strongly evident, especially in smaller drainages, while critical loss of stable habitat was observed in larger water bodies. Seventy EPT species were identified from 17,889 specimens. Trichoptera were by far the most speciose (41 species), followed by Ephemeroptera (26), and Plecoptera (3). Caddisflies also dominated species richness across sites, contributing 18.0 of the average 28.9 total EPT species collected. Site EPT richness varied significantly (F = 5.51, p = 0.003, df = 7), with smaller drainages supporting greater richness, generally. Differences were also evident for months (F = 21.7, p = 0.0001, df = 2), with June being lower (11.8 average) than either July (20.6) or August (18.1) values. Hilsenhoff biotic index (HBI) scores did not vary significantly across sites (F = 0.7, p = 0.7, df = 7), but were different across months (F = 5.4, p = 0.02, df = 2). June (4.23) and July (4.53) means were not different, but both were lower (of better quality) than August (5.33) scores. The relationship of EPT to HBI scores was not investigated statistically due to problems of sample size and interdependence of monthly samples, but graphical analysis suggested no consistent relationship. This suggested a decoupling of the HBI from the EPT and implied that the gain in taxonomic resolution achieved by using adults outstripped the resolution of the HBI. Use of the HBI to characterize adult aquatic insect communities is discouraged. New state

  16. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  17. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Specht, R. L.; Tyler, M.J.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. L. Specht

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Restoration of grasslands on ex-arable land using regional and commercial seed mixtures and spontaneous succession: Successional trajectories and changes in species richness

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prach, Karel; Jongepierová, I.; Řehounková, Klára; Fajmon, K.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 182, Jan 2014 (2014), s. 131-136 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/0256 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : dry grasslands * restoration * target species Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.402, year: 2014

  1. Effects of soil water table regime on tree community species richness and structure of alluvial forest fragments in Southeast Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, A C; Higuchi, P; van den Berg, E

    2010-08-01

    In order to determine the influence of soil water table fluctuation on tree species richness and structure of alluvial forest fragments, 24 plots were allocated in a point bar forest and 30 plots in five forest fragments located in a floodplain, in the municipality of São Sebastião da Bela Vista, Southeast Brazil, totalizing 54, 10 X 20 m, plots. The information recorded in each plot were the soil water table level, diameter at breast height (dbh), total height and botanical identity off all trees with dbh > 5 cm. The water table fluctuation was assessed through 1 m deep observation wells in each plot. Correlations analysis indicated that sites with shallower water table in the flooding plains had a low number of tree species and high tree density. Although the water table in the point bar remained below the wells during the study period, low tree species richness was observed. There are other events taking place within the point bar forest that assume a high ecological importance, such as the intensive water velocity during flooding and sedimentation processes.

  2. Effects of soil water table regime on tree community species richness and structure of alluvial forest fragments in Southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AC. Silva

    Full Text Available In order to determine the influence of soil water table fluctuation on tree species richness and structure of alluvial forest fragments, 24 plots were allocated in a point bar forest and 30 plots in five forest fragments located in a floodplain, in the municipality of São Sebastião da Bela Vista, Southeast Brazil, totalizing 54, 10 X 20 m, plots. The information recorded in each plot were the soil water table level, diameter at breast height (dbh, total height and botanical identity off all trees with dbh > 5 cm. The water table fluctuation was assessed through 1 m deep observation wells in each plot. Correlations analysis indicated that sites with shallower water table in the flooding plains had a low number of tree species and high tree density. Although the water table in the point bar remained below the wells during the study period, low tree species richness was observed. There are other events taking place within the point bar forest that assume a high ecological importance, such as the intensive water velocity during flooding and sedimentation processes.

  3. Patterns of species richness and abundance among cactus communities receiving different rainfall levels in the semiarid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Sérgio Monteiro Ferreira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study examines the variation in cacti species richness and abundance among sites with different average rainfall and soil types. We assessed a total of 3,660 individuals of six species of Cactaceae: Cereus jamacaru, Melocactus zehntneri, Pilosocereus gounellei, Pilosocereus pachycladus, Tacinga inamoena, and Tacinga palmadora. The greatest species richness and abundance of cacti were at locations with low rainfall and more clayey soils. The species studied differed in multidimensional representation, with some species being more positively related to soils with a higher proportion of fine particles (M. zehntneri and P. gounellei, while others were negatively related to soils with a higher proportion of coarser particles (T. inamoena or positively related to areas with higher rainfall and vegetation cover (C. jamacaru and P. pachycladus. The differential responses of the species of Cactaceae studied in relation to the gradients analyzed demonstrates the need for more research into the relationship between cacti and environmental variables in semiarid ecosystems with high environmental heterogeneity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, André Tavares Corrêa; van Ruijven, Jasper; Berendse, Frank

    2010-07-01

    Soil respiration is an important pathway of the C cycle. However, it is still poorly understood how changes in plant community diversity can affect this ecosystem process. Here we used a long-term experiment consisting of a gradient of grassland plant species richness to test for effects of diversity on soil respiration. We hypothesized that plant diversity could affect soil respiration in two ways. On the one hand, more diverse plant communities have been shown to promote plant productivity, which could increase soil respiration. On the other hand, the nutrient concentration in the biomass produced has been shown to decrease with diversity, which could counteract the production-induced increase in soil respiration. Our results clearly show that soil respiration increased with species richness. Detailed analysis revealed that this effect was not due to differences in species composition. In general, soil respiration in mixtures was higher than would be expected from the monocultures. Path analysis revealed that species richness predominantly regulates soil respiration through changes in productivity. No evidence supporting the hypothesized negative effect of lower N concentration on soil respiration was found. We conclude that shifts in productivity are the main mechanism by which changes in plant diversity may affect soil respiration.

  5. The most species-rich plant communities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (with new world records)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chytrý, M.; Dražil, T.; Hájek, M.; Kalníková, V.; Preislerová, Z.; Šibík, J.; Ujházy, K.; Axmanová, I.; Bernátová, D.; Blanár, D.; Dančák, M.; Dřevojan, P.; Fajmon, K.; Galvánek, D.; Hájková, Petra; Herben, Tomáš; Hrivnák, R.; Janeček, Štěpán; Janišová, M.; Jiráská, Š.; Kliment, J.; Kochjarová, J.; Lepš, J.; Lejskovjanská, A.; Merunková, K.; Mládek, J.; Slezák, M.; Šeffer, J.; Šefferová, V.; Škodová, I.; Uhlířová, J.; Ujházyová, M.; Vymazalová, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 3 (2015), s. 217-278 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : alpha diversity * semi-natural grasslands * vegetation database Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.711, year: 2015

  6. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhua Zhang

    Full Text Available Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  7. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Yongfan; Yu, Shixiao

    2014-01-01

    Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  8. Three dimensional marine seismic survey has no measurable effect on species richness or abundance of a coral reef associated fish community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, Ian; Cripps, Edward

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A marine seismic survey was conducted at Scott Reef, North Western Australia. • Effects of the survey on demersal fish were gauged using underwater visual census. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species abundance. • There was no detectable impact of the seismic survey on species richness. -- Abstract: Underwater visual census was used to determine the effect of a three dimensional seismic survey on the shallow water coral reef slope associated fish community at Scott Reef. A census of the fish community was conducted on six locations at Scott Reef both before and after the survey. The census included small site attached demersal species belonging to the family Pomacentridae and larger roving demersal species belonging to the non-Pomacentridae families. These data were combined with a decade of historical data to assess the impact of the seismic survey. Taking into account spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal and observer variability, modelling showed no significant effect of the seismic survey on the overall abundance or species richness of Pomacentridae or non-Pomacentridae. The six most abundant species were also analysed individually. In all cases no detectable effect of the seismic survey was found on the abundance of these fish species at Scott Reef

  9. Impact of Precipitation Patterns on Biomass and Species Richness of Annuals in a Dry Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Annuals are an important component part of plant communities in arid and semiarid grassland ecosystems. Although it is well known that precipitation has a significant impact on productivity and species richness of community or perennials, nevertheless, due to lack of measurements, especially long-term experiment data, there is little information on how quantity and patterns of precipitation affect similar attributes of annuals. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how quantity and temporal patterns of precipitation affect aboveground biomass, interannual variation aboveground biomass, relative aboveground biomass, and species richness of annuals using a 29-year dataset from a dry steppe site at the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Results showed that aboveground biomass and relative aboveground biomass of annuals increased with increasing precipitation. The coefficient of variation in aboveground biomass of annuals decreased significantly with increasing annual and growing-season precipitation. Species richness of annuals increased significantly with increasing annual precipitation and growing-season precipitation. Overall, this study highlights the importance of precipitation for aboveground biomass and species richness of annuals. PMID:25906187

  10. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Knappová

    Full Text Available The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood.The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities.The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes

  11. Effects of habitat-forming species richness, evenness, identity, and abundance on benthic intertidal community establishment and productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Lemieux

    Full Text Available In a context of reduced global biodiversity, the potential impacts from the loss of habitat-forming species (HFS on ecosystem structure and functioning must be established. These species are often the main community primary producers and have a major role in the establishment of organisms through facilitation processes. This study focuses on macroalgae and mussels as HFS within an intertidal zone along the St. Lawrence estuary (Quebec, Canada. Over a 16-week period, we manipulated the in situ diversity profile (richness, evenness, identity, and abundance of the dominant HFS (Fucus distichus edentatus, F. vesiculosus, and Mytilus spp. in order to define their role in both the establishment of associated species and community primary production. Contrary to expectation, no general change in HFS richness, evenness, abundance, or identity on associated species community establishment was observed. However, over the study period, the HFS diversity profile modified the structure within the trophic guilds, which may potentially affect further community functions. Also, our results showed that the low abundance of HFS had a negative impact on the primary productivity of the community. Our results suggest that HFS diversity profiles have a limited short-term role in our study habitat and may indicate that biological forcing in these intertidal communities is less important than environmental conditions. As such, there was an opportunistic establishment of species that ensured rapid colonization regardless of the absence, or the diversity profile, of facilitators such as HFS.

  12. Pre-dispersal seed predation in a species-rich forest community: Patterns and the interplay with determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue Xu; Zehao Shen; Daoxin Li; Qinfeng Guo

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community- level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal...

  13. Increased frequency of drought reduces species richness of enchytraeid communities in both wet and dry heathland soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmstrup, Martin; Sørensen, Jesper G.; Maraldo, Kristine

    2012-01-01

    providing an opportunity to study biological responses on a local (within sites) and regional scale. Warming treatments increasing night-time temperature (0.5–1 °C higher than ambient at 5 cm soil depth) had no detectable effects on the enchytraeid communities. Increased intensity and frequency of drought...

  14. Relationships between Plant Biomass and Species Richness under ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted in a montane grassland of Kokosa District, West Arsi Zone of Oromia Region, southern Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to investigate the relationships between aboveground plant biomass and species richness in three farming systems and four grazing management systems. A total of 180 ...

  15. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  16. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  17. Grassland communities of traditional orchards in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Zarnovican

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional orchards are a valuable feature of the rural landscape and they are specific for regions with scattered settlement such as the Myjava hilly land and White Carpathians. Here, the permanent species-rich grasslands beneath trees were regularly managed in the traditional manner until some were replaced in the 1970’s and 80’s by intensively managed orchards, some of which were abandoned in the early 1990’s. Our 2011–2015 phytosociological research followed the standard Braun-Blanquet approach. We classified 178 phytosociological relevés recorded in orchard meadows (156 relevés, former intensively managed orchards (16 relevés, and two relevés from a semi-intensively grazed orchard. Traditionally managed orchard meadows were classified in the following five units: (i Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – thermophilous variant, (ii Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – transitional variant to Alchemillo-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iii Ranunculo bulbosi-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iv Onobrychido viciifoliae-Brometum erecti, and (v Brachypodio pinnati-Molinietum arundinaceae. Formerly intensively managed large-scale orchards were classified as Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris association and the semi-intensively grazed orchard as Lolio perennis-Cynosuretum cristati association. The species composition varies considerably due to tree-shading and different management treatments applied in the orchards, so the relevés of the delimited syntaxonomic units are not typical and have transitional character. Moisture, soil nutrients, and soil reaction were identified as the main environmental gradients influencing species composition. We tested four management treatments in direct gradient analysis and found that abandonment has the strongest effect on species composition. Comparison of grassland vegetation in the studied traditional orchards with that described in Germany reveals differences in species

  18. Species richness alone does not predict cultural ecosystem service value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Rose A.; Pearson, Scott M.; Turner, Monica G.

    2017-01-01

    Many biodiversity-ecosystem services studies omit cultural ecosystem services (CES) or use species richness as a proxy and assume that more species confer greater CES value. We studied wildflower viewing, a key biodiversity-based CES in amenity-based landscapes, in Southern Appalachian Mountain forests and asked (i) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary with components of biodiversity, including species richness?; (ii) How do aesthetic preferences for wildflower communities vary across psychographic groups?; and (iii) How well does species richness perform as an indicator of CES value compared with revealed social preferences for wildflower communities? Public forest visitors (n = 293) were surveyed during the summer of 2015 and asked to choose among images of wildflower communities in which flower species richness, flower abundance, species evenness, color diversity, and presence of charismatic species had been digitally manipulated. Aesthetic preferences among images were unrelated to species richness but increased with more abundant flowers, greater species evenness, and greater color diversity. Aesthetic preferences were consistent across psychographic groups and unaffected by knowledge of local flora or value placed on wildflower viewing. When actual wildflower communities (n = 54) were ranked based on empirically measured flower species richness or wildflower viewing utility based on multinomial logit models of revealed preferences, rankings were broadly similar. However, designation of hotspots (CES values above the median) based on species richness alone missed 27% of wildflower viewing utility hotspots. Thus, conservation priorities for sustaining CES should incorporate social preferences and consider multiple dimensions of biodiversity that underpin CES supply. PMID:28320953

  19. Effects of habitat and landscape characteristics on medium and large mammal species richness and composition in northern Uruguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María José Andrade-Núñez

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The increasing world population and demand for food and other products has accelerated the conversion of natural habitats into agricultural lands, plantations and urban areas. Changes in habitat and landscape characteristics due to land-use change can have a significant effect on species presence, abundance, and distribution. Multi-scale approaches have been used to determine the proper spatial scales at which species and communities are responding to habitat transformation. In this context, we evaluated medium and large mammal species richness and composition in gallery forest (n = 10, grassland (n = 10, and exotic tree plantation (n = 10 in a region where grasslands have been converted into exotic tree plantations. We quantified mammal species richness and composition with camera traps and track surveys. The composition of the mammal community was related with local habitat variables, and landscape variables measured at seven spatial scales. We found 14 mammal species in forest, 11 species in plantation, and 7 mammal species in grassland. Two species are exotics, the wild boar Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 and the European hare Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778. The most common species are the crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous Linnaeus, 1766, the nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 and the gray brocket deer Mazama gouazoubira G. Fischer, 1814 which are generalist species. Our results showed significant differences in mammal species richness and composition among the three habitat types. Plantations can have positive and negative effects on the presence of species restricted to grasslands. Positive effects are reflected in a wider local distribution of some forest species that rarely use grassland. The most important habitat and landscape variables that influenced mammal species richness and composition were vertical structure index, canopy cover, tree species diversity, percentage of grass, and the percentage of forest and grassland

  20. Distribution, species diversity and composition of plant communities in relation to various affecting factors in an alpine grassland at Bandipora, Kashmir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a broad understanding of vascular plant richness and community structure of mountain grassland (Matri) at Bandipora, Kashmir and links it various environmental variables. Employing a stratified sampling design, six sites were selected wherein vegetation was sampled by placing quadrats (n=210). Elucidating an important effect of topography and anthropic pressure, numerical classification TWINSPAN segregated the quadrats into seven community types. Contrary to species rich communities which showed an explicit composition and localized distribution, the other communities depicted a vague composition and stretched unevenly between the lower and middle altitudes. Using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), elevation and disturbance were found as most influencing factors whereas steepness of slope, organic carbon, soil reaction (pH) and soil salinity (electrical conductivity) were other important factors. Indices of diversity measured at two measurement scales varied differently between communities and at a macro scale (site level) highest values were recorded in least disturbed communities. However, on a micro scale (quadrat level) the indices behaved differently. For effective conservation of these species rich grasslands, acknowledging the local level variability in vegetation structure is all but crucial. (author)

  1. Differences in species richness patterns between unicellular and multicellular organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillebrand, Helmut; Watermann, Frank; Karez, Rolf; Berninger, Ulrike-G

    2001-01-01

    For unicellular organisms, a lack of effects of local species richness on ecosystem function has been proposed due to their locally high species richness and their ubiquitous distribution. High dispersal ability and high individual numbers may enable unicellular taxa to occur everywhere. Using our own and published data sets on uni- and multicellular organisms, we conducted thorough statistical analyses to test whether (1) unicellular taxa show higher relative local species richness compared to multicellular taxa, (2) unicellular taxa show lower slopes of the species:area relationships and species:individuals relationships, and (3) the species composition of unicellular taxa is less influenced by geographic distance compared to multicellular taxa. We found higher local species richness compared to the global species pool for unicellular organisms than for metazoan taxa. The difference was significant if global species richness was conservatively estimated but not if extrapolated, and therefore higher richness estimates were used. Both microalgae and protozoans showed lower slopes between species richness and sample size (area or individuals) compared to macrozoobenthos, also indicating higher local species richness for unicellular taxa. The similarity of species composition of both benthic diatoms and ciliates decreased with increasing geographic distance. This indicated restricted dispersal ability of protists and the absence of ubiquity. However, a steeper slope between similarity and distance was found for polychaetes and corals, suggesting a stronger effect of distance on the dispersal of metazoans compared to unicellular taxa. In conclusion, we found partly different species richness patterns among uni- and multicellular eukaryotes, but no strict ubiquity of unicellular taxa. Therefore, the effect of local unicellular species richness on ecosystem function has to be reanalyzed. Macroecological patterns suggested for multicellular organisms may differ in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  4. Prescribed-fire effects on an aquatic community of a southwest montane grassland system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Colleen A.; Jacobi, Gerald Z.; Anderson, Michael C.; Parmenter, Robert R.; McGann, Jeanine; Gould, William R.; DuBey, Robert; Jacobi, M. Donna

    2013-01-01

    The use of prescription fire has long been recognized as a reliable management tool to suppress vegetative succession processes and to reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but very little attention has been paid to the effects on aquatic systems. A late-fall prescribed burn was implemented to characterize effects on an aquatic community within a montane grassland system in north-central New Mexico. The fire treatment was consistent with protocols of a managed burn except that the fire was allowed to burn through the riparian area to the treatment stream to replicate natural fire behavior. In addition to summer and fall preburn assessment of the treatment and reference stream, we characterized immediate postfire effects (within a week for macroinvertebrates and within 6 months for fish) and seasonal effects over a 2-year period. Responses within the treatment stream were compared with an unburned reference stream adjacent to the prescription burn. During the burn, the diel range in air temperature increased by 5°C while diel range in water temperature did not change. Carbon–nitrogen ratios did not differ between treatment and reference streams, indicating the contribution of ash from the surrounding grassland was negligible. Although total taxa and species richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates were not altered, qualitative indices revealed departure from preburn condition due to loss of sensitive taxa (mayflies [order Ephemeroptera] and stoneflies [order Plecoptera]) and an increase in tolerant taxa (midges [order Chironomidae]) following the burn. Within 1 year of the burn, these attributes returned to preburn conditions. The density and recruitment of adult Brown Trout Salmo trutta did not differ between pre- and postburn collections, nor did fish condition differ. Fire is rarely truly replicated within a given study. Although our study represents one replication, the results will inform managers about the importance in timing (seasonality

  5. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  6. No universal scale-dependent impacts of invasive species on native plant species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2014-01-01

    A growing number of studies seeking generalizations about the impact of plant invasions compare heavily invaded sites to uninvaded sites. But does this approach warrant any generalizations? Using two large datasets from forests, grasslands and desert ecosystems across the conterminous United States, we show that (i) a continuum of invasion impacts exists in many biomes and (ii) many possible species-area relationships may emerge reflecting a wide range of patterns of co-occurrence of native and alien plant species. Our results contradict a smaller recent study by Powell et al. 2013 (Science 339, 316-318. (doi:10.1126/science.1226817)), who compared heavily invaded and uninvaded sites in three biomes and concluded that plant communities invaded by non-native plant species generally have lower local richness (intercepts of log species richness-log area regression lines) but steeper species accumulation with increasing area (slopes of the regression lines) than do uninvaded communities. We conclude that the impacts of plant invasions on plant species richness are not universal.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigen Xu

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

  8. Diversity effects on root length production and loss in an experimental grassland community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommer, L.; Padilla, F.M.; Ruijven, van J.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Berendse, F.; Kroon, de H.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in root ecology have revealed that root standing biomass is higher in species-rich plant communities than in species-poor communities. Currently, we do not know whether this below-ground diversity effect is the result of enhanced root production or reduced root mortality or both, which is

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Wathen

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

  10. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    OpenAIRE

    Helden, Alvin J.; Dittrich, Alex D. K.

    2016-01-01

    Sward islet is a term that has been used to describe a patch of longer vegetation in a pasture produced by a reduction in cattle grazing around their dung. They are known to affect the abundance and distribution of grassland arthropods. Hemiptera, like other groups, are found in higher densities within islets than the surrounding sward. Does this modify the community composition or is there just a density effect? Evidence from a paired (islets, non-islets) study at an Irish cattle-grazed site...

  11. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Heim

    Full Text Available Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany. Using spatial analysis (GIS, we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water. In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers. Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Kahl, Tiemo; Grassein, Fabrice; Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Birkhofer, Klaus; Renner, Swen C; Sikorski, Johannes; Wubet, Tesfaye; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Jung, Kirsten; Keyel, Alexander C; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Penone, Caterina; Perović, David J; Purschke, Oliver; Schall, Peter; Socher, Stephanie A; Sonnemann, Ilja; Tschapka, Marco; Tscharntke, Teja; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul Christiaan; Weiner, Christiane N; Werner, Michael; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Westphal, Catrin; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Allan, Eric

    2016-12-08

    Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification homogenizes communities at different trophic levels, above- and belowground. Here we show that even moderate increases in local land-use intensity (LUI) cause biotic homogenization across microbial, plant and animal groups, both above- and belowground, and that this is largely independent of changes in α-diversity. We analysed a unique grassland biodiversity dataset, with abundances of more than 4,000 species belonging to 12 trophic groups. LUI, and, in particular, high mowing intensity, had consistent effects on β-diversity across groups, causing a homogenization of soil microbial, fungal pathogen, plant and arthropod communities. These effects were nonlinear and the strongest declines in β-diversity occurred in the transition from extensively managed to intermediate intensity grassland. LUI tended to reduce local α-diversity in aboveground groups, whereas the α-diversity increased in belowground groups. Correlations between the β-diversity of different groups, particularly between plants and their consumers, became weaker at high LUI. This suggests a loss of specialist species and is further evidence for biotic homogenization. The consistently negative effects of LUI on landscape-scale biodiversity underscore the high value of extensively managed grasslands for conserving multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Indeed, biotic homogenization rather than local diversity

  15. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Community Structure, Abundance and Species Richness Changes in Soil by Different Levels of Heavy Metal and Metalloid Concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamoorthy, Ramasamy; Kim, Chang-Gi; Subramanian, Parthiban; Kim, Ki-Yoon; Selvakumar, Gopal; Sa, Tong-Min

    2015-01-01

    Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) play major roles in ecosystem functioning such as carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and plant growth promotion. It is important to know how this ecologically important soil microbial player is affected by soil abiotic factors particularly heavy metal and metalloid (HMM). The objective of this study was to understand the impact of soil HMM concentration on AMF abundance and community structure in the contaminated sites of South Korea. Soil samples were collected from the vicinity of an abandoned smelter and the samples were subjected to three complementary methods such as spore morphology, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) for diversity analysis. Spore density was found to be significantly higher in highly contaminated soil compared to less contaminated soil. Spore morphological study revealed that Glomeraceae family was more abundant followed by Acaulosporaceae and Gigasporaceae in the vicinity of the smelter. T-RFLP and DGGE analysis confirmed the dominance of Funneliformis mosseae and Rhizophagus intraradices in all the study sites. Claroideoglomus claroideum, Funneliformis caledonium, Rhizophagus clarus and Funneliformis constrictum were found to be sensitive to high concentration of soil HMM. Richness and diversity of Glomeraceae family increased with significant increase in soil arsenic, cadmium and zinc concentrations. Our results revealed that the soil HMM has a vital impact on AMF community structure, especially with Glomeraceae family abundance, richness and diversity. PMID:26035444

  16. The interactive effects of fire and diversity on short-term responses of ecosystem processes in experimental mediterranean grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Siamantziouras, Akis-Stavros D; Galanidis, Alexandros; Mprezetou, Irene; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2006-06-01

    We conducted a field experiment using constructed communities to test whether species richness contributed to the maintenance of ecosystem processes under fire disturbance. We studied the effects of diversity components (i.e., species richness and species composition) upon productivity, structural traits of vegetation, decomposition rates, and soil nutrients between burnt and unburnt experimental Mediterranean grassland communities. Our results demonstrated that fire and species richness had interactive effects on aboveground biomass production and canopy structure components. Fire increased biomass production of the highest-richness communities. The effects of fire on aboveground biomass production at different levels of species richness were derived from changes in both vertical and horizontal canopy structure of the communities. The most species-rich communities appeared to be more resistant to fire in relation to species-poor ones, due to both compositional and richness effects. Interactive effects of fire and species richness were not important for belowground processes. Decomposition rates increased with species richness, related in part to increased levels of canopy structure traits. Fire increased soil nutrients and long-term decomposition rate. Our results provide evidence that composition within richness levels had often larger effects on the stability of aboveground ecosystem processes in the face of fire disturbance than species richness per se.

  17. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  18. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Štokmane, M.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species.

  19. The influence of vegetation structure on spider species richness, diversity and community organization in the Apšuciems calcareous fen, Latvia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Štokmane, M.; Spuņģis, V.

    2016-07-01

    Calcareous fens are considered to be among the most threatened ecosystems of Europe. They are also one of the most diverse habitats as they support an incredibly rich and diverse range of plant and animal species. However, in spite of their diversity, calcareous fens are still poorly investigated, especially when referring to fen invertebrates, such as spiders. Because spiders are good bioindicators, knowledge of their ecology in rare and threatened habitats is of interest. The aim of this study was to document the composition and diversity of spider species, families and foraging guilds in the ground– and grass–layers of the Apšuciems calcareous fen, and to evaluate the influence of vegetation structure on spider community organization. In summer 2012, we collected ground–dwelling spiders using pitfall traps and grass–dwelling spiders using sweep–netting. A total of 2,937 spider individuals belonging to 19 families and 80 species was collected in the Apšuciems fen. Our results indicate that spider species and families tend to be stratified across the vertical structure of the habitat; the spider composition in the ground stratum differed from that in the grass stratum. On the contrary, however, the spider foraging guild structure between the ground–layer and the grass–layer was similar. Each of the two studied strata presented similar guilds in similar proportions. Our results also showed that spider composition differed considerably between fen parts and that much of this variability could be explained by the architectural properties of the habitat. More diverse vegetation generally supported a higher number of spider species. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jens-Christian Svenning; Matthew C. Fitzpatrick; Signe Normand; Catherine H. Graham; Peter B. Pearman; Louis R. Iverson; Flemming. Skov

    2010-01-01

    Environmental conditions and biotic interactions are generally thought to influence local species richness. However, immigration and the evolutionary and historical factors that shape regional species pools should also contribute to determining local species richness because local communities arise by assembly from regional species pools. Using the European tree flora...

  1. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    OpenAIRE

    Cassano, Stefania; Alignier, Audrey; Forte, Luigi; Labadessa, Rocco; Mairota, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest the importance of boundary features on plant community dynamics. Our aim was to investigate the influence of boundary features on edge plant assemblages in semi-natural dry grasslands. For this purpose we selected 16 grassland edges in the central portion of the Natura 2000 site Murgia Alta, in southeastern Italy. These sites were selected according to a combination of boundary features, i.e. the adjoining land use type (road or cereal crop), slope (grassland tilted towar...

  2. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  3. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

  4. Species richness, area and climate correlates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nogues, David Bravo; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  6. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  7. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  8. Island Species Richness Increases with Habitat Diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hortal, J.; Triantis, K.A.; Meiri, S.; Thebault, E.M.C.; Sfenthourakis, S.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is commonly thought to increase with habitat diversity. However, a recent theoretical model aiming to unify niche and island biogeography theories predicted a hump-shaped relationship between richness and habitat diversity. Given the contradiction between model results and previous

  9. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  10. [Community structure and diversity of soil arthropods in naturally restored sandy grasslands after grazing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ren-tao; Zhao, Ha-lin; Zhao, Xue-yong

    2010-11-01

    Taking the Naiman Desertification Research Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences as a base, an investigation was conducted on the community structure of soil arthropods in the naturally restored sandy grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance, with the effects of vegetation and soil on this community structure approached. In the non-grazing grassland, soil arthropods were rich in species and more in individuals, and had the highest diversity. In the restored grassland after light grazing, soil arthropods had the lowest evenness and diversity. In the restored grassland after moderate grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were lesser but the major groups were more, and the evenness and diversity were higher. In the restored grassland after heavy grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were more but the major groups were lesser, and the diversity was higher. Plant individuals' number, vegetation height and coverage, and soil alkalinity were the main factors affecting the soil arthropod community in naturally restored grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance. It was implied that after 12-year exclosure of grassland, soil arthropod community could be recovered to some degree, while grazing disturbance had long-term negative effects on the arthropod community.

  11. Changes in nitrogen mineralization, tissue nutrient concentrations and biomass compartmentation after cessation of fertiliser application to mown grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Berendse, F.; Visser, de W.

    1994-01-01

    1 Nitrogen mineralization was studied in four grasslands (fields A-D), which had not been fertilized for 2, 6, 19 and 45 years, respectively, thereby forming a chrono-sequence. Fertilizer application was stopped in these fields in order to restore former species-rich communities characteristic of

  12. Effect of soil properties and hydrology on Archaeal community composition in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Görres, Carolyn-Monika; Conrad, Ralf; Petersen, Søren O

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark........ Overall, there seemed to be a significant coupling between peat type and archaeal community composition, with local hydrology modifying the strength of this coupling....

  13. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  14. How do plant communities and flower visitors relate? A case study of semi-natural xerothermic grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Chmura

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines the relationships between the species composition of flower visitors and plants in the semi-natural xerothermic grasslands in southern and central Poland. Thirty 10 × 10 m permanent plots were laid out in total, mainly in nature reserves. The vegetation units studied were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet system; these were phytocoenoses of the Festuco-Brometea classes Inuletum ensifoliae, Adonido-Brachypodietum pinnati and the transitional plant community. Entomological research was performed using the Pollard method within the same plots. A particular site was visited only once and different sites were studied between April and August 2008. We applied, among others, co-correspondence-analysis Co-CA, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA and redundancy analysis (RDA to investigate the co-occurrence patterns of plants and flower visitors and their biotopic requirements. We found that the species composition of flower visitors cannot be predicted by floristic composition when the duration of the study is restricted to one day (but under similar weather conditions; however, there is a positive relationship between the species richness of insects and plants and a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the abundance of flower visitors. The Ellenberg moisture index and the cover of meadow species significantly explained the species composition of insects. The three various vegetation units and five dominant xerothermic species, i.e. Adonis vernalis, Anemone sylvestris, Inula ensifolia, Linum hirsutum and Carlina onopordifolia that were studied across time differed in the species richness of insects. Our results demonstrate that possible patterns in the species composition and the assembly rules of flower visitors are not apparent when the Pollard method is applied. Based on the data obtained using this method, the flower visiting assemblages seem not to be driven by competition and they primarily

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Leisher

    Full Text Available The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

  17. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

  18. The effect of grassland management on enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup

    2012-01-01

    Enchytraeids (small white earthworms between 3 to 35 mm) are important regulators of nitrogen turnover in grasslands, as their activities accelerate the decomposition and nutrient recycling processes. In this study, the effect of management on species composition, abundance and biomass of the enc...... biomass and density of the grazed plots are due to compaction by grazing animals....

  19. Evaluating species richness: biased ecological inference results from spatial heterogeneity in species detection probabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B.; Handel, Colleen M.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate estimates of species richness are necessary to test predictions of ecological theory and evaluate biodiversity for conservation purposes. However, species richness is difficult to measure in the field because some species will almost always be overlooked due to their cryptic nature or the observer's failure to perceive their cues. Common measures of species richness that assume consistent observability across species are inviting because they may require only single counts of species at survey sites. Single-visit estimation methods ignore spatial and temporal variation in species detection probabilities related to survey or site conditions that may confound estimates of species richness. We used simulated and empirical data to evaluate the bias and precision of raw species counts, the limiting forms of jackknife and Chao estimators, and multi-species occupancy models when estimating species richness to evaluate whether the choice of estimator can affect inferences about the relationships between environmental conditions and community size under variable detection processes. Four simulated scenarios with realistic and variable detection processes were considered. Results of simulations indicated that (1) raw species counts were always biased low, (2) single-visit jackknife and Chao estimators were significantly biased regardless of detection process, (3) multispecies occupancy models were more precise and generally less biased than the jackknife and Chao estimators, and (4) spatial heterogeneity resulting from the effects of a site covariate on species detection probabilities had significant impacts on the inferred relationships between species richness and a spatially explicit environmental condition. For a real dataset of bird observations in northwestern Alaska, the four estimation methods produced different estimates of local species richness, which severely affected inferences about the effects of shrubs on local avian richness. Overall, our results

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-21

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

  1. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

  2. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Sohlenius, B.; Berg, M.P.; Petchey, O.; Palmborg, C.; Huss-Daniel, K.

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity 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

  3. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term

  4. Mechanical soil disturbance as a determinant of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim Krone; Lekberg, Ylva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2011-01-01

    an ongoing grassland restoration experiment that contained replicated plowed and control plots. The AM fungal community in roots was determined using nested PCR and LSU rDNA primers. We identified 38 phylotypes within the Glomeromycota, of which 29 belonged to Glomus A, six to Glomus B, and three...

  5. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  6. BETA DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DIFFERENTIATION IN DRY PERENNIAL SAND GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial variability of species composition was studied in perennial sand grasslands in Hungary at multiple scales. Three sites were compared along an aridity gradient. Existing differences in climate along this ca. 200 km gradient correspond to regional climate changes predicted for the next 20-30 years. Six stands of Festucetum vaginatae grasslands were selected at each site within 400 x 1200 m areas for representing the coarse-scale within-site heterogeneity. Fine-scale compositional heterogeneity of vegetation within stands was sampled by recording the presence of species along 52 m long circular belt transects of 1040 units of 5 cm x 5 cm contiguous microquadrats. This sampling design enabled us to study the patterns of species combinations at a wide range of scales. The highest variability of plant species combinations appeared at very fine scales, between 10 cm and 25 cm. Differences in beta diversity along the gradient were scale-dependent. We found a decreasing trend of beta diversity with increasing aridity at fine scale, and on the contrary, an increasing trend at landscape scale. We conclude that the major trend of the vegetation differentiation due to aridity is the decrease of compositional variability at fine-scale accompanied by a coarse-scale diversification.

  7. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. DIVERSITY OF PLANT COMMUNITIES IN SECONDARY SUCCESSION OF IMPERATA GRASSLANDS IN SAMBOJA LESTARI, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Regeneration of  Imperata grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, both to create new secondary forest and to recover the original biodiversity. The diversity of  plant communities in secondary succession of  Imperata grasslands was studied using 45 subplots of  9 linear transects (10 m x 100 m. Data was collected and all stems over 10 cm dbh were identified, the Importance Values Index (IVI for all trees were calculated, saplings and seedlings were counted  and analysed, and soil samples were taken and analysed. Results showed that  after more than 10 years of  regeneration, 65 families were encountered consisting of  164 species, which were dominated by Vernonia arborea Buch.-Ham, Vitex pinnata L., Macaranga gigantea (Reichb.f. & Zoll. Muell.Arg., Symplocos crassipes C.B. Clarke, Artocarpus odoratissimus Miq., and Bridelia glauca Blume. The effects of  regeneration, from Imperata grassland to secondary forest, on soil were the strongest in the A-horizon where an increase in carbon, N content, and pH were observed. Our result shows that Imperata grasslands appear to be permanent because of  frequent fires and human interferences and so far few efforts have been made to promote sustainable rehabilitation. If  protected from fire and other disturbances, such as shifting cultivation, Imperata grassland will grow and develop into secondary forest.

  9. Study of Plant Species Richness in Habitats with Different Grazing Intensities at Golestan National Park and Surrounding Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bagheri

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Considering the importance of plant diversity and to evaluate the effect of grazing pressure on species richness and structure of plant communities, this experiment was conducted at Golestan National Park and its surrounding areas in the north east of Iran. Sampling was conducted in intact and abandoned habitats and habitats under seasonal and heavy grazing, using Modified Whitaker Plot in 1, 10,100 and 1000 m2 spatial scales. Results showed that the composition of plant species from different habitats was different. In addition the increasing intensity of grazing increased the importance of therophytes and decreased the role of hemicryptophytes and phanerophytes and also decreasd the amount of species richness. Mean species richness of studied habitat showed a significant difference in all four sampling spatial scales. The results showed that plant species richness decreased in the areas affected by heavy grazing and conservation against grazing plays an important role in maintaining species richness.

  10. Context-dependent interactions and the regulation of species richness in freshwater fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDougall, Andrew S.; Harvey, Eric; McCune, Jenny L.; Nilsson, Karin A.; Bennett, Joseph; Firn, Jennifer; Bartley, Timothy; Grace, James B.; Kelly, Jocelyn; Tunney, Tyler D.; McMeans, Bailey; Matsuzaki, Shin-Ichiro S.; Kadoya, Taku; Esch, Ellen; Cazelles, Kevin; Lester, Nigel; McCann, Kevin S.

    2018-01-01

    Species richness is regulated by a complex network of scale-dependent processes. This complexity can obscure the influence of limiting species interactions, making it difficult to determine if abiotic or biotic drivers are more predominant regulators of richness. Using integrative modeling of freshwater fish richness from 721 lakes along an 11olatitudinal gradient, we find negative interactions to be a relatively minor independent predictor of species richness in lakes despite the widespread presence of predators. Instead, interaction effects, when detectable among major functional groups and 231 species pairs, were strong, often positive, but contextually dependent on environment. These results are consistent with the idea that negative interactions internally structure lake communities but do not consistently ‘scale-up’ to regulate richness independently of the environment. The importance of environment for interaction outcomes and its role in the regulation of species richness highlights the potential sensitivity of fish communities to the environmental changes affecting lakes globally.

  11. Species richness and trophic diversity increase decomposition in a co-evolved food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Baiser

    Full Text Available Ecological communities show great variation in species richness, composition and food web structure across similar and diverse ecosystems. Knowledge of how this biodiversity relates to ecosystem functioning is important for understanding the maintenance of diversity and the potential effects of species losses and gains on ecosystems. While research often focuses on how variation in species richness influences ecosystem processes, assessing species richness in a food web context can provide further insight into the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and elucidate potential mechanisms underpinning this relationship. Here, we assessed how species richness and trophic diversity affect decomposition rates in a complete aquatic food web: the five trophic level web that occurs within water-filled leaves of the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea. We identified a trophic cascade in which top-predators--larvae of the pitcher-plant mosquito--indirectly increased bacterial decomposition by preying on bactivorous protozoa. Our data also revealed a facultative relationship in which larvae of the pitcher-plant midge increased bacterial decomposition by shredding detritus. These important interactions occur only in food webs with high trophic diversity, which in turn only occur in food webs with high species richness. We show that species richness and trophic diversity underlie strong linkages between food web structure and dynamics that influence ecosystem functioning. The importance of trophic diversity and species interactions in determining how biodiversity relates to ecosystem functioning suggests that simply focusing on species richness does not give a complete picture as to how ecosystems may change with the loss or gain of species.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catherine, Arnaud; Selma, Maloufi; Mouillot, David; Troussellier, Marc; Bernard, Cécile

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Estimating tree species richness from forest inventory plot data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald E. McRoberts; Dacia M. Meneguzzo

    2007-01-01

    Montreal Process Criterion 1, Conservation of Biological Diversity, expresses species diversity in terms of number of forest dependent species. Species richness, defined as the total number of species present, is a common metric for analyzing species diversity. A crucial difficulty in estimating species richness from sample data obtained from sources such as inventory...

  15. Species richness inside and outside long-term exclosures

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. A. Laycock; D. L. Bartos; K. D. Klement

    2004-01-01

    Recent environmental literature contains claims that livestock grazing has caused reduction in species diversity on Western rangelands. Data of species richness (number of species) is presented from inside and outside 24 long-term exclosures in Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. For the average of all exclosures there was no difference between species richness inside and...

  16. Patterns of coral species richness and reef connectivity in Malaysia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waheed, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Much remains to be discovered about the biodiversity of coral reefs in Malaysia, making this area a priority for coral reef research. This thesis aims to provide insights into the patterns of reef coral species richness and the degree of reef connectivity across Malaysia. For the species richness

  17. Geographic range size and determinants of avian species richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jetz, Walter; Rahbek, Carsten

    2002-01-01

    Geographic patterns in species richness are mainly based on wide-ranging species because their larger number of distribution records has a disproportionate contribution to the species richness counts. Here we demonstrate how this effect strongly influences our understanding of what determines spe...

  18. Avian species richness in relation to intensive forest management practices in early seral tree plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jay E; Kroll, Andrew J; Giovanini, Jack; Duke, Steven D; Ellis, Tana M; Betts, Matthew G

    2012-01-01

    Managers of landscapes dedicated to forest commodity production require information about how practices influence biological diversity. Individual species and communities may be threatened if management practices truncate or simplify forest age classes that are essential for reproduction and survival. For instance, the degradation and loss of complex diverse forest in young age classes have been associated with declines in forest-associated Neotropical migrant bird populations in the Pacific Northwest, USA. These declines may be exacerbated by intensive forest management practices that reduce hardwood and broadleaf shrub cover in order to promote growth of economically valuable tree species in plantations. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to evaluate relationships between avian species richness and vegetation variables that reflect stand management intensity (primarily via herbicide application) on 212 tree plantations in the Coast Range, Oregon, USA. Specifically, we estimated the influence of broadleaf hardwood vegetation cover, which is reduced through herbicide applications, on bird species richness and individual species occupancy. Our model accounted for imperfect detection. We used average predictive comparisons to quantify the degree of association between vegetation variables and species richness. Both conifer and hardwood cover were positively associated with total species richness, suggesting that these components of forest stand composition may be important predictors of alpha diversity. Estimates of species richness were 35-80% lower when imperfect detection was ignored (depending on covariate values), a result that has critical implications for previous efforts that have examined relationships between forest composition and species richness. Our results revealed that individual and community responses were positively associated with both conifer and hardwood cover. In our system, patterns of bird community assembly appear to be associated with

  19. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Differential responses of soil bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists to plant species richness and plant functional group identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dassen, Sigrid; Cortois, Roeland; Martens, Henk; de Hollander, Mattias; Kowalchuk, George A; van der Putten, Wim H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B

    2017-08-01

    Plants are known to influence belowground microbial community structure along their roots, but the impacts of plant species richness and plant functional group (FG) identity on microbial communities in the bulk soil are still not well understood. Here, we used 454-pyrosequencing to analyse the soil microbial community composition in a long-term biodiversity experiment at Jena, Germany. We examined responses of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and protists to plant species richness (communities varying from 1 to 60 sown species) and plant FG identity (grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs) in bulk soil. We hypothesized that plant species richness and FG identity would alter microbial community composition and have a positive impact on microbial species richness. Plant species richness had a marginal positive effect on the richness of fungi, but we observed no such effect on bacteria, archaea and protists. Plant species richness also did not have a large impact on microbial community composition. Rather, abiotic soil properties partially explained the community composition of bacteria, fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), archaea and protists. Plant FG richness did not impact microbial community composition; however, plant FG identity was more effective. Bacterial richness was highest in legume plots and lowest in small herb plots, and AMF and archaeal community composition in legume plant communities was distinct from that in communities composed of other plant FGs. We conclude that soil microbial community composition in bulk soil is influenced more by changes in plant FG composition and abiotic soil properties, than by changes in plant species richness per se. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Drought consistently alters the composition of soil fungal and bacterial communities in grasslands from two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Collins, Scott L; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Hamonts, Kelly; Pockman, William T; Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Smith, Melinda D; Knapp, Alan K; Power, Sally A

    2018-03-05

    The effects of short-term drought on soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored, particularly at large scales and under field conditions. We used seven experimental sites from two continents (North America and Australia) to evaluate the impacts of imposed extreme drought on the abundance, community composition, richness, and function of soil bacterial and fungal communities. The sites encompassed different grassland ecosystems spanning a wide range of climatic and soil properties. Drought significantly altered the community composition of soil bacteria and, to a lesser extent, fungi in grasslands from two continents. The magnitude of the fungal community change was directly proportional to the precipitation gradient. This greater fungal sensitivity to drought at more mesic sites contrasts with the generally observed pattern of greater drought sensitivity of plant communities in more arid grasslands, suggesting that plant and microbial communities may respond differently along precipitation gradients. Actinobateria, and Chloroflexi, bacterial phyla typically dominant in dry environments, increased their relative abundance in response to drought, whereas Glomeromycetes, a fungal class regarded as widely symbiotic, decreased in relative abundance. The response of Chlamydiae and Tenericutes, two phyla of mostly pathogenic species, decreased and increased along the precipitation gradient, respectively. Soil enzyme activity consistently increased under drought, a response that was attributed to drought-induced changes in microbial community structure rather than to changes in abundance and diversity. Our results provide evidence that drought has a widespread effect on the assembly of microbial communities, one of the major drivers of soil function in terrestrial ecosystems. Such responses may have important implications for the provision of key ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling, and may result in the weakening of plant-microbial interactions and a

  3. Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Smith, Melinda D.; Seabloom, Eric; Andelman, Sandy J.; Meche, Gayna; Weiher, Evan; Allain, Larry K.; Jutila, Heli; Sankaran, Mahesh; Knops, Johannes; Ritchie, Mark; Willig, Michael R.

    Theoretical analyses and experimental studies of synthesized assemblages indicate that under particular circumstances species diversity can enhance community productivity through niche complementarity. It remains unclear whether this process has important effects in mature natural ecosystems where

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  6. The response of sward-dwelling arthropod communities to reduced grassland management intensity in pastures

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    Helden Alvin J.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We compared arthropod taxon richness, diversity and community structure of two replicated grassland husbandry experiments to investigate effects of reduced management intensity, as measured by nutrient input levels (390, 224 and 0 kg/ha per year N in one experiment, and 225 and 88 kg/ha per year N in another. Suction sampling was used to collect Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Hymenoptera, with Araneae and Coleoptera also sampled with pitfall trapping. Univariate analyses found no significant differences in abundance and species density between treatments. However, with multivariate analysis, there were significant differences in arthropod community structure between treatments in both experiments.

  7. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Carrara, Francesco; Mari, Lorenzo; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2016-02-16

    Elevational gradients of biodiversity have been widely investigated, and yet a clear interpretation of the biotic and abiotic factors that determine how species richness varies with elevation is still elusive. In mountainous landscapes, habitats at different elevations are characterized by different areal extent and connectivity properties, key drivers of biodiversity, as predicted by metacommunity theory. However, most previous studies directly correlated species richness to elevational gradients of potential drivers, thus neglecting the interplay between such gradients and the environmental matrix. Here, we investigate the role of geomorphology in shaping patterns of species richness. We develop a spatially explicit zero-sum metacommunity model where species have an elevation-dependent fitness and otherwise neutral traits. Results show that ecological dynamics over complex terrains lead to the null expectation of a hump-shaped elevational gradient of species richness, a pattern widely observed empirically. Local species richness is found to be related to the landscape elevational connectivity, as quantified by a newly proposed metric that applies tools of complex network theory to measure the closeness of a site to others with similar habitat. Our theoretical results suggest clear geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness and support the use of the landscape elevational connectivity as a null model for the analysis of the distribution of biodiversity.

  8. The relative importance of climate and vegetation properties on patterns of North American breeding bird species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, Scott J; Sun, Mindy; Zolkos, Scott; Hansen, Andy; Dubayah, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing and ecological modeling warrant a timely and robust investigation of the ecological variables that underlie large-scale patterns of breeding bird species richness, particularly in the context of intensifying land use and climate change. Our objective was to address this need using an array of bioclimatic and remotely sensed data sets representing vegetation properties and structure, and other aspects of the physical environment. We first build models of bird species richness across breeding bird survey (BBS) routes, and then spatially predict richness across the coterminous US at moderately high spatial resolution (1 km). Predictor variables were derived from various sources and maps of species richness were generated for four groups (guilds) of birds with different breeding habitat affiliation (forest, grassland, open woodland, scrub/shrub), as well as all guilds combined. Predictions of forest bird distributions were strong (R 2 = 0.85), followed by grassland (0.76), scrub/shrub (0.63) and open woodland (0.60) species. Vegetation properties were generally the strongest determinants of species richness, whereas bioclimatic and lidar-derived vertical structure metrics were of variable importance and dependent upon the guild type. Environmental variables (climate and the physical environment) were also frequently selected predictors, but canopy structure variables were not as important as expected based on more local to regional scale studies. Relatively sparse sampling of canopy structure metrics from the satellite lidar sensor may have reduced their importance relative to other predictor variables across the study domain. We discuss these results in the context of the ecological drivers of species richness patterns, the spatial scale of bird diversity analyses, and the potential of next generation space-borne lidar systems relevant to vegetation and ecosystem studies. This study strengthens current understanding of bird species

  9. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

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    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

  10. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

  11. Responses of Ammonia-Oxidising Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen, Lime, and Plant Species in Upland Grassland Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Clipson, N.J.W.; Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Gleeson, D.B.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural improvement of semi natural grasslands has been shown to result in changes to plant and microbial diversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A microcosm approach was used to elucidate the effects of two key components of agricultural improvement (nitrogen addition and liming) on ammonia-oxidising bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved pastures (A. capillaries and L. perenne) were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH 4 NO 3 ), or lime plus nitrogen added. The AOB community was profiled using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the amoA gene. AOB community structure was largely altered by NH 4 NO 3 addition, rather than liming, although interactions between nitrogen addition and plant species were also evident. Results indicate that nitrogen addition drives shifts in the structure of key microbial communities in upland grassland soils, and that plant species may play a significant role in determining AOB community structure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Freshwater fishes in Greek lakes: Species richness and body size patterns

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    Anthi Oikonomou

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Freshwater ecosystems are widely recognised as hotspots of biodiversity and endemism; thus they are of great value for conservation biogeography. Amongst the taxa found in freshwater ecosystems, fish are the ideal biological model for testing biogeographical patterns and have often been used in large-scale ecological and biogeographical analyses. Lakes of Greece provide a unique opportunity to test biogeographical theories, however, biogeographical studies in Greece at broader, regional, scales, based on the distribution of freshwater species, species richness and endemism, are scarce. The aim of the current study is to test the effect of key environmental factors and spatial variables on species richness of lacustrine fishes and to test their effect on species’ size distributions. We assembled datasets of species richness and body size and environmental (predictor factors for 13 Greek lakes. Model selection procedures revealed that fish species richness increased with ecosystem area and decreased with altitude. In addition, our results showed that latitude per se is a good predictor of body size. Indeed, the mean size of lacustrine communities in the northern and southern lake ecosystems differed significantly. These patterns reflect the biogeographical history of these areas and highlight the crucial role connectivity plays in communities’ species composition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness. PMID:26380684

  15. DRY CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND COMMUNITIES (FILIPENDULA VULGARIS-HELICTOTRICHON PRATENSE IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL LATVIA

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    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The dry calcareous grassland vegetation of Westem and Central Latvia is described based on 93 rclevés, Ali relevés could be assigned to one community type Filipendula vulgaris-Helictotrichon pratense named according to dominant species. Four variants were distinguished: typicum, Viscaria vulgaris, Astragalus danicus and Carex flacca. Ellenberg indìcator values were calculated to study the ecology of communities. Floristic differences among variants are associated mainly with soil reaction (Ellenberg indicator values for soil pH range from 6.0 to 7.6, but conditions of moisture and fertility are similar among the variants. The calcareous grassland vegetation in Latvia represents transition vegetation between the c1asses Molinio-Arrhenatheretea and Festuco-Brometea. However, ecologically and floristically, these communities are closer to the class Festuco-Brometea and could be assigned to the order Brometalia. For designation to alliance and associations, more data is required. The results are compared with similar communities in other European countries.

  16. Modelling stomatal ozone flux and deposition to grassland communities across Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashmore, M.R.; Bueker, P.; Emberson, L.D.; Terry, A.C.; Toet, S.

    2007-01-01

    Regional scale modelling of both ozone deposition and the risk of ozone impacts is poorly developed for grassland communities. This paper presents new predictions of stomatal ozone flux to grasslands at five different locations in Europe, using a mechanistic model of canopy development for productive grasslands to generate time series of leaf area index and soil water potential as inputs to the stomatal component of the DO 3 SE ozone deposition model. The parameterisation of both models was based on Lolium perenne, a dominant species of productive pasture in Europe. The modelled seasonal time course of stomatal ozone flux to both the whole canopy and to upper leaves showed large differences between climatic zones, which depended on the timing of the start of the growing season, the effect of soil water potential, and the frequency of hay cuts. Values of modelled accumulated flux indices and the AOT40 index showed a five-fold difference between locations, but the locations with the highest flux differed depending on the index used; the period contributing to the accumulation of AOT40 did not always coincide with the modelled period of active ozone canopy uptake. Use of a fixed seasonal profile of leaf area index in the flux model produced very different estimates of annual accumulated total canopy and leaf ozone flux when compared with the flux model linked to a simulation of canopy growth. Regional scale model estimates of both the risks of ozone impacts and of total ozone deposition will be inaccurate unless the effects of climate and management in modifying grass canopy growth are incorporated. - Modelled stomatal flux of ozone to productive grasslands in Europe shows different spatial and temporal variation to AOT40, and is modified by management and soil water status

  17. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Properties of native plant communities do not determine exotic success during early forest succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldo Compagnoni; Charles B. Halpern

    2009-01-01

    Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how plant invasions are influenced by properties of the native community and to the traits of exotic species that contribute to successful invasion. Studies of invasibility are common in successionally stable grasslands, but rare in recently disturbed or seral forests. We used 16 years of species richness and...

  19. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

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    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

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

  1. Butterfly Species Richness in Selected West Albertine Rift Forests

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    Patrice Kasangaki

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Efectos de la planta en cojín Oreopolus glacialis (Rubiaceae sobre la riqueza y diversidad de especies en una comunidad alto-andina de Chile central Effects of the cushion plant Oreopolus glacialis (Rubiaceae on species richness and diversity in a high-Andean plant community of central Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ERNESTO I BADANO

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Las plantas en cojín que crecen en ambientes de alta montaña modifican microclimáticamente su entorno, generando microhábitats favorables para el establecimiento de otras especies, actuando como nodrizas. Varios estudios han demostrado que los cojines contienen una mayor riqueza de especies que los espacios abiertos. Sin embargo, hasta ahora, no se ha evaluado el efecto de los cojines sobre otros parámetros comunitarios como la abundancia de individuos, la diversidad y la equitatividad. En este trabajo se analiza el efecto que posee Oreopolus glacialis, una planta en cojín de la cordillera andina, sobre la riqueza, abundancia, diversidad y equitatividad de la comunidad vegetal en un ambiente de alta montaña ubicado a 1.900 m en Chile central. Se determino la riqueza y abundancia de especies que crecen tanto sobre cojines de O. glacialis como en los espacios abiertos entre cojines. Los resultados mostraron que la riqueza de especies y la abundancia de individuos por unidad de área es mayor dentro de los cojines que fuera de ellos. Sin embargo, los valores de diversidad y equitatividad sobre O. glacialis fueron menores que fuera de ellos debido a la presencia de algunas especies dominantes. Análisis particulares de la frecuencia y abundancia de cada especie mostraron que no todas las especies son afectadas de la misma manera por la presencia de este cojín, por lo que O. glacialis actuaría como nodriza sólo para una parte limitada de los componentes de la comunidadCushion plants growing in high mountain habitats can modify the microclimate within their canopy generating microhabitats more favorable for the recruitment of other plant species, acting as nurse plants. Although several studies have shown that species richness is higher within cushions than outside them, no attempts have been made in order to assess the effect of cushions on other community aspects such as total and individual abundance, diversity and evenness. In this study

  3. Effects of hay management and native species sowing on grassland community structure, biomass, and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Bryan L; Kindscher, Kelly; Houseman, Greg R; Murphy, Cheryl A

    2009-10-01

    Prairie hay meadows are important reservoirs of grassland biodiversity in the tallgrass prairie regions of the central United States and are the object of increasing attention for conservation and restoration. In addition, there is growing interest in the potential use of such low-input, high-diversity (LIHD) native grasslands for biofuel production. The uplands of eastern Kansas, USA, which prior to European settlement were dominated by tallgrass prairie, are currently utilized for intensive agriculture or exist in a state of abandonment from agriculture. The dominant grasslands in the region are currently high-input, low-diversity (HILD) hay fields seeded to introduced C3 hay grasses. We present results from a long-term experiment conducted in a recently abandoned HILD hay field in eastern Kansas to evaluate effects of fertilization, haying, and native species sowing on community dynamics, biomass, and potential for restoration to native LIHD hay meadow. Fertilized plots maintained dominance by introduced grasses, maintained low diversity, and were largely resistant to colonization throughout the study. Non-fertilized plots exhibited rapid successional turnover, increased diversity, and increased abundance of C4 grasses over time. Haying led to modest changes in species composition and lessened the negative impact of fertilization on diversity. In non-fertilized plots, sowing increased representation by native species and increased diversity, successional turnover, and biomass production. Our results support the shifting limitations hypothesis of community organization and highlight the importance of species pools and seed limitations in constraining successional turnover, community structure, and ecosystem productivity under conditions of low fertility. Our findings also indicate that several biological and functional aspects of LIHD hay meadows can be restored from abandoned HILD hay fields by ceasing fertilization and reintroducing native species through

  4. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

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    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  5. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

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    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kefford, Ben J.; Marchant, Richard; Schaefer, Ralf B.; Metzeling, Leon; Dunlop, Jason E.; Choy, Satish C.; Goonan, Peter

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Sexual selection predicts species richness across the animal kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janicke, Tim; Ritchie, Michael G; Morrow, Edward H; Marie-Orleach, Lucas

    2018-05-16

    Our improving knowledge of the animal tree of life consistently demonstrates that some taxa diversify more rapidly than others, but what contributes to this variation remains poorly understood. An influential hypothesis proposes that selection arising from competition for mating partners plays a key role in promoting speciation. However, empirical evidence showing a link between proxies of this sexual selection and species richness is equivocal. Here, we collected standardized metrics of sexual selection for a broad range of animal taxa, and found that taxonomic families characterized by stronger sexual selection on males show relatively higher species richness. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that sexual selection elevates species richness. This could occur either by promoting speciation and/or by protecting species against extinction. © 2018 The Author(s).

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    . Location: Global. Methods: We used spatial and non-spatial regressions to test for relationships between broad-scale woodpecker species richness and predictor variables describing current and deep-time availability of trees, current climate, Quaternary climate change, human impact, topographical...... a negative indirect effect on woodpecker species richness. Main conclusions: Global species richness of woodpeckers is primarily shaped by current tree cover and precipitation, reflecting a strong biotic association between woodpeckers and trees. Human influence can have a negative effect on woodpecker....... As an example, woodpeckers (Picidae) are closely associated with trees and woody habitats because of multiple morphological and ecological specializations. In this study, we test whether this strong biotic association causes woodpecker diversity to be closely linked to tree availability at a global scale...

  10. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Multiscale assessment of patterns of avian species richness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, C; Graves, G R

    2001-01-01

    at continental scales. We used a database of the geographic ranges of 2,869 species of birds breeding in South America (nearly a third of the world's living avian species) to explore the influence of climate, quadrat area, ecosystem diversity, and topography on species richness gradients at 10 spatial scales...... (quadrat area, approximately 12,300 to approximately 1,225,000 km(2)). Topography, precipitation, topography x latitude, ecosystem diversity, and cloud cover emerged as the most important predictors of regional variability of species richness in regression models incorporating 16 independent variables...... the hypothesis that terrestrial species richness from the equator to the poles is ultimately governed by a synergism between climate and coarse-scale topographic heterogeneity....

  12. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  13. Effects of water and nitrogen addition on species turnover in temperate grasslands in northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuwen Xu

    Full Text Available Global nitrogen (N deposition and climate change have been identified as two of the most important causes of current plant diversity loss. However, temporal patterns of species turnover underlying diversity changes in response to changing precipitation regimes and atmospheric N deposition have received inadequate attention. We carried out a manipulation experiment in a steppe and an old-field in North China from 2005 to 2009, to test the hypothesis that water addition enhances plant species richness through increase in the rate of species gain and decrease in the rate of species loss, while N addition has opposite effects on species changes. Our results showed that water addition increased the rate of species gain in both the steppe and the old field but decreased the rates of species loss and turnover in the old field. In contrast, N addition increased the rates of species loss and turnover in the steppe but decreased the rate of species gain in the old field. The rate of species change was greater in the old field than in the steppe. Water interacted with N to affect species richness and species turnover, indicating that the impacts of N on semi-arid grasslands were largely mediated by water availability. The temporal stability of communities was negatively correlated with rates of species loss and turnover, suggesting that water addition might enhance, but N addition would reduce the compositional stability of grasslands. Experimental results support our initial hypothesis and demonstrate that water and N availabilities differed in the effects on rate of species change in the temperate grasslands, and these effects also depend on grassland types and/or land-use history. Species gain and loss together contribute to the dynamic change of species richness in semi-arid grasslands under future climate change.

  14. Grassland to woodland transitions: Dynamic response of microbial community structure and carbon use patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, Courtney A.; Filley, Timothy R.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Rowe, Helen I.

    2016-06-01

    Woodland encroachment into grasslands is a globally pervasive phenomenon attributed to land use change, fire suppression, and climate change. This vegetation shift impacts ecosystem services such as ground water allocation, carbon (C) and nutrient status of soils, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, and soil structure. We hypothesized that woodland encroachment would alter microbial community structure and function and would be related to patterns in soil C accumulation. To address this hypothesis, we measured the composition and δ13C values of soil microbial phospholipids (PLFAs) along successional chronosequences from C4-dominated grasslands to C3-dominated woodlands (small discrete clusters and larger groves) spanning up to 134 years. Woodland development increased microbial biomass, soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations, and altered microbial community composition. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria (cy19:0) increased linearly with stand age, consistent with decreases in soil pH and/or greater rhizosphere development and corresponding increases in C inputs. δ13C values of all PLFAs decreased with time following woody encroachment, indicating assimilation of woodland C sources. Among the microbial groups, fungi and actinobacteria in woodland soils selectively assimilated grassland C to a greater extent than its contribution to bulk soil. Between the two woodland types, microbes in the groves incorporated relatively more of the relict C4-C than those in the clusters, potentially due to differences in below ground plant C allocation and organo-mineral association. Changes in plant productivity and C accessibility (rather than C chemistry) dictated microbial C utilization in this system in response to shrub encroachment.

  15. Species richness and distribution of bryophytes within different phytophysiognomies in the Chapada Diamantina region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia de Brito Valente

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The Chapada Diamantina ecoregion is within the caatinga (shrublands biome of Brazil. Environmental factors determine the phytophysiognomies that distinguish the ecoregion from the surrounding areas. This study aimed to investigate the distribution of bryophyte flora in this ecoregion, by phytophysiognomy and elevational zone. Analyzing specimens we collected from five municipalities in the region, together with specimens (previously collected from the region in herbaria, we identified 400 taxa. The phytophysiognomies that presented the highest species richness and the greatest numbers of exclusive taxa were forests and campos rupestres (dry, rocky grasslands, which respectively accounted for 51% and 40% of the taxa, compared with only 5% and 4%, respectively, for the caatinga and cerrado (savanna. Species richness and the numbers of exclusive taxa were highest in the lower and upper montane zones. There was a predominance of neotropical taxa and a significant number of disjunct species found in Brazil and in the Andes region. We conclude that the Chapada Diamantina region is an important center of bryophyte diversity, harboring not only a great number of species overall but also a considerable number of species exclusive to the region, primarily in forests and campos rupestres at elevations above 800 m.

  16. Assessing the Impact of Spectral Resolution on Classification of Lowland Native Grassland Communities Based on Field Spectroscopy in Tasmania, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany Melville

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study for the analysis of endangered lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands region using field spectroscopy and spectral convolution techniques. The aim of the study was to determine whether there was significant improvement in classification accuracy for lowland native grasslands and other vegetation communities based on hyperspectral resolution datasets over multispectral equivalents. A spectral dataset was collected using an ASD Handheld-2 spectroradiometer at Tunbridge Township Lagoon. The study then employed a k-fold cross-validation approach for repeated classification of a full hyperspectral dataset, a reduced hyperspectral dataset, and two convoluted multispectral datasets. Classification was performed on each of the four datasets a total of 30 times, based on two different class configurations. The classes analysed were Themeda triandra grassland, Danthonia/Poa grassland, Wilsonia rotundifolia/Selliera radicans, saltpan, and a simplified C3 vegetation class. The results of the classifications were then tested for statistically significant differences using ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc comparisons. The results of the study indicated that hyperspectral resolution provides small but statistically significant increases in classification accuracy for Themeda and Danthonia grasslands. For other classes, differences in classification accuracy for all datasets were not statistically significant. The results obtained here indicate that there is some potential for enhanced detection of major lowland native grassland community types using hyperspectral resolution datasets, and that future analysis should prioritise good performance in these classes over others. This study presents a method for identification of optimal spectral resolution across multiple datasets, and constitutes an important case study for lowland native grassland mapping in Tasmania.

  17. Community structure of grassland ground-dwelling arthropods along increasing soil salinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chengchen; Feng, Qi; Liu, Jiliang; Li, Yulin; Li, Yuqiang; Yu, Xiaoya

    2018-03-01

    Ground-dwelling arthropod communities are influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Little is known, however, about the relative importance of vegetation structure and abiotic environmental factors on the patterns of ground-dwelling arthropod community across a wide range of soil salinities. Here, a field survey was conducted to assess the driving forces controlling ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands in the Hexi Corridor, Gansu Province, China. The data were analyzed by variance partitioning with canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). We found that vegetation structure and edaphic factors were at least of similar importance to the pattern of the whole ground-dwelling arthropod community. However, when all collected ground-dwelling arthropods were categorized into three trophic guilds (predators, herbivores, and decomposers), as these groups use different food sources, their populations were controlled by different driving forces. Predators and decomposers were mainly determined by biotic factors such as vegetation cover and aboveground plant biomass and herbivores by plant density and vegetation cover. Abiotic factors were also major determinants for the variation occurring in these guilds, with predators strongly affected by soil electrical conductivity (EC) and the content of fine particles (silt + clay, CS), herbivores by soil N:P, EC, and CS, and decomposers by soil EC and organic matter content (SOM). Since plant cover, density, and aboveground biomass can indicate resource availability, which are mainly constrained by soil N:P, EC, CS, and SOM, we consider that the ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands was mainly influenced by resource availability.

  18. Differential responses of soil bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists to plant species richness and plant functional group identity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dassen, S.; Cortois, R.; Martens, Henk; De Hollander, M.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.

    2017-01-01

    Plants are known to influence belowground microbial community structure along their roots, but the impacts of plant species richness and plant functional group (FG) identity on microbial communities in the bulk soil are still not well understood. Here, we used 454-pyrosequencing to analyse the soil

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The middle shore is primarily occupied by cirolanids and bivalves, and hippid crabs, bivalves and amphipods dominate the lower beach. Generally, species richness increases from upper to lower beach levels. Studies carried out on exposed sandy beaches of south-central Chile (ca. 40°S) show that different beach states ...

  20. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  1. Livestock grazing has minimal effect on the species richness and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Succulent Karoo, one of two arid biodiversity hotspots in the world, is known for its high plant species richness, but little is known about the influence of topography and how it mediates the potentially deleterious effects of grazing. Changes in vegetation species composition, cover and species diversity were examined ...

  2. Pollinator species richness: Are the declines slowing down?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom J. M. Van Dooren

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Changes in pollinator abundances and diversity are of major concern. A recent study inferred that pollinator species richnesses are decreasing more slowly in recent decades in several taxa and European countries. A more careful interpretation of these results reveals that this conclusion cannot be drawn and that we can only infer that declines decelerate for bees (Anthophila in the Netherlands.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholl, Joshua P; Wiens, John J

    2016-09-14

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

  4. Multiscale perspectives of species richness in East Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Said, M.

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.B. Adler; E.T. Borer; H. Hillebrand; Y. Hautier; A. Hector; S. Harpole; L.R. O’Halloran; J.B. Grace; M. Anderson; J.D. Bakker; L.A. Biederman; C.S. Brown; Y.M. Buckley; L.B. Calabrese; C.-J. Chu; E.E. Cleland; S.L. Collins; K.L. Cottingham; M.J. Crawley; E.I. Damschen; K.W. Davies; N.M. DeCrappeo; P.A. Fay; J. Firn; P. Frater; E.I. Gasarch; D.S. Gruner; N. Hagenah; J. Hille. Ris Lambers

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent...

  6. Mammal predator and prey species richness are strongly linked at macroscales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Dalby, Lars; Fløjgaard, Camilla

    2013-01-01

    Predator–prey interactions play an important role for species composition and community dynamics at local scales, but their importance in shaping large-scale gradients of species richness remains unexplored. Here, we use global range maps, structural equation models (SEM), and comprehensive...... databases of dietary preferences and body masses of all terrestrial, non-volant mammals worldwide, to test whether (1) prey-bottom-up or predator- top-down relationships are important drivers of broad-scale species richness gradients once the environment and human influence has been accounted for, (2...... between them (e.g., large prey to small predators), suggesting that mass-related energetic and physiological constraints influence broad-scale richness links, especially for large-bodied mammals. Overall, our results support the idea that trophic interactions can be important drivers of large...

  7. Partitioning sources of variation in vertebrate species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, R.B.; Krohn, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    Aim: To explore biogeographic patterns of terrestrial vertebrates in Maine, USA using techniques that would describe local and spatial correlations with the environment. Location: Maine, USA. Methods: We delineated the ranges within Maine (86,156 km2) of 275 species using literature and expert review. Ranges were combined into species richness maps, and compared to geomorphology, climate, and woody plant distributions. Methods were adapted that compared richness of all vertebrate classes to each environmental correlate, rather than assessing a single explanatory theory. We partitioned variation in species richness into components using tree and multiple linear regression. Methods were used that allowed for useful comparisons between tree and linear regression results. For both methods we partitioned variation into broad-scale (spatially autocorrelated) and fine-scale (spatially uncorrelated) explained and unexplained components. By partitioning variance, and using both tree and linear regression in analyses, we explored the degree of variation in species richness for each vertebrate group that Could be explained by the relative contribution of each environmental variable. Results: In tree regression, climate variation explained richness better (92% of mean deviance explained for all species) than woody plant variation (87%) and geomorphology (86%). Reptiles were highly correlated with environmental variation (93%), followed by mammals, amphibians, and birds (each with 84-82% deviance explained). In multiple linear regression, climate was most closely associated with total vertebrate richness (78%), followed by woody plants (67%) and geomorphology (56%). Again, reptiles were closely correlated with the environment (95%), followed by mammals (73%), amphibians (63%) and birds (57%). Main conclusions: Comparing variation explained using tree and multiple linear regression quantified the importance of nonlinear relationships and local interactions between species

  8. Grassland communities of urban open spaces in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamokete N.V. Dingaan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Natural vegetation in urban environments is greatly impacted by human activities and it is in constant threat of degradation and destruction as a result of urbanisation. This vegetation, although fragmented, serves an important ecological function and needs to be properly managed and conserved. Studies on urban vegetation are lacking in South Africa, with only a handful having been carried out since the end of the last century. This study was initiated to identify, classify and describe the grassland communities of the urban open spaces in Bloemfontein. Relevés were compiled in 61 sample plots, where species present and habitat information were recorded. Care was taken to restrict sample plots to vegetation in pristine condition, wherever possible, and severely degraded stands were avoided. A two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed two distinct major communities, seven communities and four sub-communities. Both detrended and canonical correspondence analyses indicated the vegetation units to be associated with soil texture and pH, although biotic factors such as overgrazing, burning and mowing also influence the composition of the vegetation. The proper management and conservation of urban open spaces requires in-depth knowledge of the spatial distribution, floristic, structural and functional compositions within the major vegetation types in this environment. The present study further contributed towards formulating ways for the proper management, utilisation and functioning of the open spaces within the Bloemfontein area.Conservation implications: The Grassland Biome of South Africa is poorly conserved, mainly because of its status as an agricultural hub of the country. The preservation of natural and semi-natural forms of urban vegetation is important because such vegetation, although often disturbed and degraded, could form dispersal corridors between peri-urban and rural

  9. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud eBerlemont

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of two years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and constituted ~18.2% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  10. Soil Bacterial and Fungal Community Structure Across a Range of Unimproved and Semi-Improved Upland Grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, Nabla; Edwards, Suzanne; Clipson, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    Changes in soil microbial community structure due to improvement are often attributed to concurrent shifts in floristic community composition. The bacterial and fungal communities of unimproved and semi-improved (as determined by floristic classification) grassland soils were studied at five upland sites on similar geological substrata using both broad-scale (microbial activity and fungal biomass) and molecular [terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP)...

  11. Marine diversity: the paradigms in patterns of species richness examined

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Gray

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available The two central paradigms of marine diversity are that there is a latitudinal cline of increasing species richness from poles to tropics and that species richness increases with depth to a maximum around 2,000 m and thereafter decreases. However, these paradigms were based on data collected in the late 1950´s and early 1960´s. Here I show that the 1960´s data, are not representative and thus the paradigms need re-examination. New data from coastal areas in the northern hemisphere record species richness as high as the highest recorded in the deep-sea. Whilst this suggests that the cline of increasing diversity from shallow to deep-sea does not exist, however, the database for the deep sea is not sufficient to draw such a conclusion. The basic problem with the data from the 1960s is that samples were taken on ecological scales and yet they are used to answer evolutionary questions. The questions that such data were to answer were why do the tropics have higher species richness than polar regions or why do deep-sea sediments have more species than coastal sediments? Evolutionary questions need data from much larger spatial areas. Recently, data representative of large scales have been collected from coastal areas in the northern hemisphere and show that there is a cline of increasing species richness from the Arctic to the tropics, but there does not yet seem to be a similar cline in the southern hemisphere. A number of hypotheses have been proposed for the observed patterns in biodiversity. In terrestrial ecology the energy-productivity hypothesis has gained wide acceptance as an explanation for the latitudinal gradient. Here I examine this and other hypotheses critically. Finally an analysis of research priorities is made. Assessment is urgently needed of the spatial scales and dynamics of species richness from point samples to assemblages, habitats and landscapes, especially in coastal areas and in the tropics, where the threats to

  12. Local-scale spatial structure and community composition of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in semi-natural grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oja, J.; Vahtra, J.; Bahram, M.; Kohout, Petr; Kull, T.; Rannap, R.; Köljalg, U.; Tedersoo, L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 4 (2017), s. 355-367 ISSN 0940-6360 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : mycorrhiza * orchids * fungal community composition * calcareous grassland * spatial distribution * grazing intensity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.047, year: 2016

  13. Past tree influence and prescribed fire mediate biotic interactions and community reassembly in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Donald McKenzie; Annette M. Olson; Lara Souza

    2016-01-01

    1. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands is occurring globally, with profound ecological consequences. Attempts to restore herbaceous dominance may fail if the woody state is resilient or if intervention leads to an alternate, undesirable state. Restoration outcomes often hinge on biotic interactions – particularly on priority effects that inhibit or promote community...

  14. Local Environmental Factors Drive Divergent Grassland Soil Bacterial Communities in the Western Swiss Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-11-01

    Mountain ecosystems are characterized by a diverse range of climatic and topographic conditions over short distances and are known to shelter a high biodiversity. Despite important progress, still little is known on bacterial diversity in mountain areas. Here, we investigated soil bacterial biogeography at more than 100 sampling sites randomly stratified across a 700-km 2 area with 2,200-m elevation gradient in the western Swiss Alps. Bacterial grassland communities were highly diverse, with 12,741 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across 100 sites and an average of 2,918 OTUs per site. Bacterial community structure was correlated with local climatic, topographic, and soil physicochemical parameters with high statistical significance. We found pH (correlated with % CaO and % mineral carbon), hydrogen index (correlated with bulk gravimetric water content), and annual average number of frost days during the growing season to be among the groups of the most important environmental drivers of bacterial community structure. In contrast, bacterial community structure was only weakly stratified as a function of elevation. Contrasting patterns were discovered for individual bacterial taxa. Acidobacteria responded both positively and negatively to pH extremes. Various families within the Bacteroidetes responded to available phosphorus levels. Different verrucomicrobial groups responded to electrical conductivity, total organic carbon, water content, and mineral carbon contents. Alpine grassland bacterial communities are thus highly diverse, which is likely due to the large variety of different environmental conditions. These results shed new light on the biodiversity of mountain ecosystems, which were already identified as potentially fragile to anthropogenic influences and climate change. This article addresses the question of how microbial communities in alpine regions are dependent on local climatic and soil physicochemical variables. We benefit from a unique 700

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarabeev, Volodimir

    2015-08-01

    Quantitative complex analyses of parasite communities of invaders across different native and introduced populations are largely lacking. The present study provides a comparative analysis of species richness of helminth parasites in native and invasive populations of grey mullets. The local species richness differed between regions and host species, but did not differ when compared with invasive and native hosts. The size of parasite assemblages of endohelminths was higher in the Mediterranean and Azov-Black Seas, while monogeneans were the most diverse in the Sea of Japan. The helminth diversity was apparently higher in the introduced population of Liza haematocheilus than that in their native habitat, but this trend could not be confirmed when the size of geographic range and sampling efforts were controlled for. The parasite species richness at the infracommunity level of the invasive host population is significantly lower compared with that of the native host populations that lends support to the enemy release hypothesis. A distribution pattern of the infracommunity richness of acquired parasites by the invasive host can be characterized as aggregated and it is random in native host populations. Heterogeneity in the host susceptibility and vulnerability to acquired helminth species was assumed to be a reason of the aggregation of species numbers in the population of the invasive host. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Species richness of motile cryptofauna across a gradient of reef framework erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enochs, I. C.; Manzello, D. P.

    2012-09-01

    Coral reef ecosystems contain exceptionally high concentrations of marine biodiversity, potentially encompassing millions of species. Similar to tropical rainforests and their insects, the majority of reef animal species are small and cryptic, living in the cracks and crevices of structural taxa (trees and corals). Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef's metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology. We sampled motile cryptofaunal communities from both live corals and dead carbonate reef framework across a gradient of increasing erosion on a reef in Pacific Panamá. A total of 289 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) from six phyla were identified. We used species-accumulation models fitted to individual- and sample-based rarefaction curves, as well as seven nonparametric richness estimators to estimate species richness among the different framework types. All procedures predicted the same trends in species richness across the differing framework types. Estimated species richness was higher in dead framework (261-370 OTUs) than in live coral substrates (112-219 OTUs). Surprisingly, richness increased as framework structure was eroded: coral rubble contained the greatest number of species (227-320 OTUs) and the lowest estimated richness of 47-115 OTUs was found in the zone where the reef framework had the greatest vertical relief. This contradicts the paradigm that abundant live coral indicates the apex of reef diversity.

  17. The relative importance of pollinator abundance and species richness for the temporal variance of pollination services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genung, Mark A; Fox, Jeremy; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire; Ascher, John; Gibbs, Jason; Winfree, Rachael

    2017-07-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and the stability of ecosystem function is a fundamental question in community ecology, and hundreds of experiments have shown a positive relationship between species richness and the stability of ecosystem function. However, these experiments have rarely accounted for common ecological patterns, most notably skewed species abundance distributions and non-random extinction risks, making it difficult to know whether experimental results can be scaled up to larger, less manipulated systems. In contrast with the prolific body of experimental research, few studies have examined how species richness affects the stability of ecosystem services at more realistic, landscape scales. The paucity of these studies is due in part to a lack of analytical methods that are suitable for the correlative structure of ecological data. A recently developed method, based on the Price equation from evolutionary biology, helps resolve this knowledge gap by partitioning the effect of biodiversity into three components: richness, composition, and abundance. Here, we build on previous work and present the first derivation of the Price equation suitable for analyzing temporal variance of ecosystem services. We applied our new derivation to understand the temporal variance of crop pollination services in two study systems (watermelon and blueberry) in the mid-Atlantic United States. In both systems, but especially in the watermelon system, the stronger driver of temporal variance of ecosystem services was fluctuations in the abundance of common bee species, which were present at nearly all sites regardless of species richness. In contrast, temporal variance of ecosystem services was less affected by differences in species richness, because lost and gained species were rare. Thus, the findings from our more realistic landscapes differ qualitatively from the findings of biodiversity-stability experiments. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Belowground Carbon Allocation and Plant-Microbial Interactions Drive Resistance and Resilience of Mountain Grassland Communities to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlowsky, S.; Augusti, A.; Ingrisch, J.; Hasibeder, R.; Lavorel, S.; Bahn, M.; Gleixner, G.

    2016-12-01

    Belowground carbon allocation (BCA) and plant-microbial interactions are crucial for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Recent research suggests that extreme events can have severe effects on these processes but it is unknown how land use intensity potentially modifies their responses. We studied the resistance and resilience of mountain grassland communities to prolonged drought and investigated the role of plant C allocation and soil microbial communities in mediating drought resistance and immediate recovery. In a common garden experiment we exposed monoliths from an abandoned grassland and a hay meadow to an early summer drought. Two independent 13C pulse labeling experiments were conducted, the first during peak drought and the second during the recovery phase. The 13C incorporation was analyzed in above- and belowground plant parts and in phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids of soil microorganisms. In addition, a 15N label was added at the rewetting to determine plant N uptake. We found that C uptake, BCA and C transfer to soil microorganisms were less strongly reduced by drought in the abandoned grassland than in the meadow. Moreover, drought induced an increase of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) marker in the abandoned grassland. Nevertheless, C uptake and related parameters were quickly recovered and N uptake increased in the meadow during recovery. Unexpectedly, AMF and their C uptake were generally reduced during recovery, while bacteria increased and quickly recovered C uptake, particularly in the meadow. Our results showed a negative relation between high resistance and fast recovery. The more resistant abandoned grassland plant communities seemed to invest more C below ground and into interactions with AMF during drought, likely to access water through their hyphal network. Conversely, meadow communities invested more C from recent photosynthesis into bacterial communities during recovery, obviously to gain more nutrients for regrowth

  19. Responses of a grassland arthropod community to chronic beta and gamma radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styron, C.E.; Dodson, G.J.; Beauchamp, J.J.; Miller, F.L. Jr.

    1976-01-01

    A long-term project was initiated in 1968 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assess effects of mixed beta and gamma radiation from simulated fallout on a grassland ecosystem. Beta and gamma radiation dose rates in microhabitats of the experimentally contaminated enclosure were measured with LiF thermoluminescent microdosimeters. Extensive statistical analyses of data on numbers of individuals collected for each of 76 arthropod and 2 molluscan taxa have identified no lasting significant changes in similarity or species diversity of experimental versus control communities as the result of the long-term irradiation at low dose rates. Natural fluctuations in community dynamics obscured any possible radiation effects. Thus, the apparent threshold for mixed beta and gamma radiation inducing changes in community structure must be above the exposure rate range of 2.3 to 13 rad/day delivered during the 5 yr of observation. Establishing such a threshold is of importance in assessing the impact of communities subjected to chronic, low level environmental exposure to ionizing radiation

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anke Stein

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Savanna ant species richness is maintained along a bioclimatic gradient of increasing latitude and decreasing rainfall in northern Australia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Alan N.; Del Toro, Israel; Parr, Catherine L.

    2015-01-01

    of 246 species from 37 genera. Mean observed species richness pooled across sampling periods was similar at sand (85.4) and loam (82.2) sites, but was less than half this at clay sites (40.0). Ant communities were also compositionally distinct on clay soils compared with sands and loams. Individual...... genera showed variable diversity patterns, ranging from a linear increase to a linear decrease in species richness along the NATT. However, total species richness was relatively uniform along the gradient. Patterns of ant species turnover were consistent with previously recognized biogeographical......Aim: Using a standardized sampling protocol along a 600-km transect in northern Australia, we tested whether ant diversity within a single biome, tropical savanna, decreases with increasing latitude (as a surrogate of temperature) and decreasing rainfall, as is expected for biodiversity in general...

  2. Effects of herbivore species richness on the niche dynamics of blue sheep Pseudois nayaur in the Indian Trans-Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Mishra, C.; Jong, de C.B.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2009-01-01

    Aim To understand the community structure of mountain ungulates by exploring their niche dynamics in response to sympatric species richness. Location Ladakh and Spiti Regions of the Western Indian Trans-Himalaya. Methods We used the blue sheep Pseudois nayaur, a relatively widely distributed

  3. Landscape structure affects specialists but not generalists in naturally fragmented grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jesse E.D.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Harrison, Susan P.; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how biotic communities respond to landscape spatial structure is critically important for conservation management as natural landscapes become increasingly fragmented. However, empirical studies of the effects of spatial structure on plant species richness have found inconsistent results, suggesting that more comprehensive approaches are needed. In this study, we asked how landscape structure affects total plant species richness and the richness of a guild of specialized plants in a multivariate context. We sampled herbaceous plant communities at 56 dolomite glades (insular, fire-adapted grasslands) across the Missouri Ozarks, and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the relative importance of landscape structure, soil resource availability, and fire history for plant communities. We found that landscape spatial structure-defined as the area-weighted proximity of glade habitat surrounding study sites (proximity index)-had a significant effect on total plant species richness, but only after we controlled for environmental covariates. Richness of specialist species, but not generalists, was positively related to landscape spatial structure. Our results highlight that local environmental filters must be considered to understand the influence of landscape structure on communities, and that unique species guilds may respond differently to landscape structure than the community as a whole. These findings suggest that both local environment and landscape context should be considered when developing management strategies for species of conservation concern in fragmented habitats.

  4. Relationships between botanical and chemical composition of forages: a multivariate approach to grasslands in the Western Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravetto Enri, Simone; Renna, Manuela; Probo, Massimiliano; Lussiana, Carola; Battaglini, Luca M; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero

    2017-03-01

    Plant composition of species-rich mountain grasslands can affect the sensorial and chemical attributes of dairy and meat products, with implications for human health. A multivariate approach was used to analyse the complex relationships between vegetation characteristics (botanical composition and plant community variables) and chemical composition (proximate constituents and fatty acid profile) in mesophilic and dry vegetation ecological groups, comprising six different semi-natural grassland types in the Western Italian Alps. Mesophilic and dry grasslands were comparable in terms of phenology, biodiversity indices and proportion of botanical families. The content of total fatty acids and that of the most abundant fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, linoleic and palmitic acids) were mainly associated to nutrient-rich plant species, belonging to the mesophilic grassland ecological group. Mesophilic grasslands showed also higher values of crude protein, lower values of fibre content and they were related to higher pastoral values of vegetation compared to dry grasslands. The proximate composition and fatty acid profile appeared mainly single species dependent rather than botanical family dependent. These findings highlight that forage from mesophilic grasslands can provide higher nutritive value for ruminants and may be associated to ruminant-derived food products with a healthier fatty acid profile. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Wiens, John J

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Patterns of species richness and diversity of insects associated with cucurbit fruits in the southern part of Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokam, Didi Gaëlle; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Bilong Bilong, Charles-Félix

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of species diversity and community structure of insects associated with fruits of domesticated cucurbits were investigated from January 2009 to 2011 in three localities from two agroecological zones in the southern part of Cameroon. Rarefaction curves combined with nonparametric estimators of species richness were used to extrapolate species richness beyond our own data. Sampling efforts of over 92% were reached in each of the three study localities. Data collected revealed a total of 66 insect morphospecies belonging to 37 families and five orders, identified from a set of 57,510 insects. The orders Diptera (especially Tephritidae and Lonchaeidae) and Hymenoptera (mainly Braconidae and Eulophidae) were the most important, in terms of both abundance and species richness on the one hand, and effects on agronomic performance on the other. Values for both the species diversity (Shannon and Simpson) and the species richness indices (Margalef and Berger-Parker) calculated showed that the insect communities were species-rich but dominated, all to a similar extent, by five main species (including four fruit fly species and one parasitoid). Species abundance distributions in these communities ranged from the Zipf-Mandelbrot to Mandelbrot models. The communities are structured as tritrophic networks, including cucurbit fruits, fruit-feeding species (fruit flies) and carnivorous species (parasitoids). Within the guild of the parasitoids, about 30% of species, despite their low abundance, may potentially be of use in biological control of important pests. Our field data contribute in important ways to basic knowledge of biodiversity patterns in agrosystems and constitute baseline data for the planned implementation of biological control in Integrated Pest Management. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  7. Allelopathic dominance ofMiscanthus transmorrisonensis in an alpine grassland community in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, C H; Lee, Y F

    1991-11-01

    A study site located at 2600 m elevation in Tartarchia Anpu, Nantou county, Taiwan, exhibits a unique grassland community composed of two principal species,Miscanthus transmorrisonensis andYushinia niitakayamensis, and 35 other species. The relative frequencies of the two species are 12% and 11%, while their relative coverages are 25% and 19.5%, respectively. The values for the remaining 35 species are lower than4% each, while species diversity of the community is -3.04839, indicating great diversity. To elucidate the mechanism of dominance ofM. transmorrisonensis, allelopathic evaluation of the plant was conducted. Aqueous extracts of M.Transmorrisonensis plant parts with two ecotypes were bioassayed. The extracts showed significant phytotoxic effects on seed germination and radicle growth of four tested plants: rye grass, lettuce, and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. In addition, rhizosphere soils underMiscanthus also exhibited significant phytotoxicity, indicating that allelopathic interaction was involved. Some responsible phytotoxic phenolics, namely, p-coumaric, ferulic, vanillic, protocatechuic, o-hydroxyphenylacetic, andm-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, and 4-hydroxycoumarin and phloridzin were identified. Allelopathy thus can play an important role in regulating plant diversity in the field.

  8. Species-rich grassland can persist under nitrogen-rich but phosphorus-limited conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dobben, van Han F.; Wamelink, Wieger; Slim, Pieter A.; Kamiński, Jan; Piórkowski, Hubert

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Deposition of nitrogen is assumed to cause loss of botanical diversity, probably through increased production and exclusion of less competitive species. However, if production is (co-)limited by phosphorus, acceleration of the phosphorus cycle may be responsible for the diversity loss and,

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hiiesalu, Inga; Pärtel, M.; Davison, J.; Gerhold, P.; Metsis, M.; Moora, M.; Öpik, M.; Vasar, M.; Zobel, M.; Wilson, S. D.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 203, č. 1 (2014), s. 233-244 ISSN 1469-8137 R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.30.0048 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : belowground plant richness * diversity * productivity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.545, year: 2013

  10. Patterns of fine-scale plant species richness in dry grasslands across the eastern Balkan Peninsula

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Chytrý, M.; Tzonev, R.; Danihelka, Jiří; Axmanová, I.; Merunková, K.; Duchoň, M.; Karakiev, T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 63, February (2015), s. 36-46 ISSN 1146-609X R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : alpha diversity * soil chemistry * steppe Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.420, year: 2015

  11. Plant species occurrence patterns in Eurasian grasslands reflect adaptation to nutrient ratios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roeling, Ineke S.; Ozinga, Wim A.; van Dijk, Jerry; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies of Eurasian grasslands have suggested that nutrient ratios, rather than absolute nutrient availabilities and associated productivity, may be driving plant species richness patterns. However, the underlying assumption that species occupy distinct niches along nutrient ratio gradients

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  13. Use of fish parasite species richness indices in analyzing anthropogenically impacted coastal marine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzikowski, R.; Paperna, I.; Diamant, A.

    2003-10-01

    The diversity of fish parasite life history strategies makes these species sensitive bioindicators of aquatic ecosystem health. While monoxenous (single-host) species may persist in highly perturbed, extreme environments, this is not necessarily true for heteroxenous (multiple-host) species. As many parasites possess complex life cycles and are transmitted through a chain of host species, their dependency on the latter to complete their life cycles renders them sensitive to perturbed environments. In the present study, parasite communities of grey mullet Liza aurata and Liza ramada (Mugilidae) were investigated at two Mediterranean coastal sites in northern Israel: the highly polluted Kishon Harbor (KH) and the relatively unspoiled reference site, Ma'agan Michael (MM). Both are estuarine sites in which grey mullet are one of the most common fish species. The results indicate that fish at the polluted site had significantly less trematode metacercariae than fish at the reference site. Heteroxenous gut helminths were completely absent at the polluted sampling site. Consequently, KH fish displayed lower mean parasite species richness. At the same time, KH fish mean monoxenous parasite richness was higher, although the prevalence of different monoxenous taxa was variable. Copepods had an increased prevalence while monogenean prevalence was significantly reduced at the polluted site. This variability may be attributed to the differential susceptibility of the parasites to the toxicity of different pollutants, their concentration, the exposure time and possible synergistic effects. In this study, we used the cumulative species curve model that extrapolates "true" species richness of a given habitat as a function of increasing sample size. We considered the heteroxenous and monoxenous species separately for each site, and comparison of curves yielded significant results. It is proposed to employ this approach, originally developed for estimating the "true" parasite

  14. Biogeography of species richness gradients : Linking adaptive traits, demography and diversification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Brotons, Lluis; Stefanescu, Constanti; Penuelas, Josep

    Here we review how adaptive traits contribute to the emergence and maintenance of species richness gradients through their influence on demographic and diversification processes. We start by reviewing how demographic dynamics change along species richness gradients. Empirical studies show that

  15. Age and area predict patterns of species richness in pumice rafts contingent on oceanic climatic zone encountered.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasquez, Eleanor; Bryan, Scott E; Ekins, Merrick; Cook, Alex G; Hurrey, Lucy; Firn, Jennifer

    2018-05-01

    The theory of island biogeography predicts that area and age explain species richness patterns (or alpha diversity) in insular habitats. Using a unique natural phenomenon, pumice rafting, we measured the influence of area, age, and oceanic climate on patterns of species richness. Pumice rafts are formed simultaneously when submarine volcanoes erupt, the pumice clasts breakup irregularly, forming irregularly shaped pumice stones which while floating through the ocean are colonized by marine biota. We analyze two eruption events and more than 5,000 pumice clasts collected from 29 sites and three climatic zones. Overall, the older and larger pumice clasts held more species. Pumice clasts arriving in tropical and subtropical climates showed this same trend, where in temperate locations species richness (alpha diversity) increased with area but decreased with age. Beta diversity analysis of the communities forming on pumice clasts that arrived in different climatic zones showed that tropical and subtropical clasts transported similar communities, while species composition on temperate clasts differed significantly from both tropical and subtropical arrivals. Using these thousands of insular habitats, we find strong evidence that area and age but also climatic conditions predict the fundamental dynamics of species richness colonizing pumice clasts.

  16. Primary controls on species richness in higher taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabosky, Daniel L

    2010-12-01

    The disparity in species richness across the tree of life is one of the most striking and pervasive features of biological diversity. Some groups are exceptionally diverse, whereas many other groups are species poor. Differences in diversity among groups are frequently assumed to result from primary control by differential rates of net diversification. However, a major alternative explanation is that ecological and other factors exert primary control on clade diversity, such that apparent variation in net diversification rates is a secondary consequence of ecological limits on clade growth. Here, I consider a likelihood framework for distinguishing between these competing hypotheses. I incorporate hierarchical modeling to explicitly relax assumptions about the constancy of diversification rates across clades, and I propose several statistics for a posteriori evaluation of model adequacy. I apply the framework to a recent dated phylogeny of ants. My results reject the hypothesis that net diversification rates exert primary control on species richness in this group and demonstrate that clade diversity is better explained by total time-integrated speciation. These results further suggest that it may not possible to estimate meaningful speciation and extinction rates from higher-level phylogenies of extant taxa only.

  17. Upscaling species richness and abundances in tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tovo, Anna; Suweis, Samir; Formentin, Marco; Favretti, Marco; Volkov, Igor; Banavar, Jayanth R; Azaele, Sandro; Maritan, Amos

    2017-10-01

    The quantification of tropical tree biodiversity worldwide remains an open and challenging problem. More than two-fifths of the number of worldwide trees can be found either in tropical or in subtropical forests, but only ≈0.000067% of species identities are known. We introduce an analytical framework that provides robust and accurate estimates of species richness and abundances in biodiversity-rich ecosystems, as confirmed by tests performed on both in silico-generated and real forests. Our analysis shows that the approach outperforms other methods. In particular, we find that upscaling methods based on the log-series species distribution systematically overestimate the number of species and abundances of the rare species. We finally apply our new framework on 15 empirical tropical forest plots and quantify the minimum percentage cover that should be sampled to achieve a given average confidence interval in the upscaled estimate of biodiversity. Our theoretical framework confirms that the forests studied are comprised of a large number of rare or hyper-rare species. This is a signature of critical-like behavior of species-rich ecosystems and can provide a buffer against extinction.

  18. Long-term nitrogen addition leads to loss of species richness due to litter accumulation and soil acidification in a temperate steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Ying; Xun, Fen; Bai, Wenming; Zhang, Wenhao; Li, Linghao

    2012-01-01

    Although community structure and species richness are known to respond to nitrogen fertilization dramatically, little is known about the mechanisms underlying specific species replacement and richness loss. In an experiment in semiarid temperate steppe of China, manipulative N addition with five treatments was conducted to evaluate the effect of N addition on the community structure and species richness. Species richness and biomass of community in each plot were investigated in a randomly selected quadrat. Root element, available and total phosphorus (AP, TP) in rhizospheric soil, and soil moisture, pH, AP, TP and inorganic N in the soil were measured. The relationship between species richness and the measured factors was analyzed using bivariate correlations and stepwise multiple linear regressions. The two dominant species, a shrub Artemisia frigida and a grass Stipa krylovii, responded differently to N addition such that the former was gradually replaced by the latter. S. krylovii and A. frigida had highly-branched fibrous and un-branched tap root systems, respectively. S. krylovii had higher height than A. frigida in both control and N added plots. These differences may contribute to the observed species replacement. In addition, the analysis on root element and AP contents in rhizospheric soil suggests that different calcium acquisition strategies, and phosphorus and sodium responses of the two species may account for the replacement. Species richness was significantly reduced along the five N addition levels. Our results revealed a significant relationship between species richness and soil pH, litter amount, soil moisture, AP concentration and inorganic N concentration. Our results indicate that litter accumulation and soil acidification accounted for 52.3% and 43.3% of the variation in species richness, respectively. These findings would advance our knowledge on the changes in species richness in semiarid temperate steppe of northern China under N

  19. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Flooding regime changes resulting from natural and human activity have been projected to affect wetland plant community structures and functions. It is therefore important to conduct investigations across a range of flooding gradients to assess the impact of flooding depth on wetland vegetation. We conducted this study to identify the pattern of plant height, species richness and aboveground biomass variation along the flooding gradient in floodplain wetlands located in Northeast China. We found that the response of dominant species height to the flooding gradient depends on specific species, i.e., a quadratic response for Carex lasiocarpa, a negative correlation for Calamagrostis angustifolia, and no response for Carex appendiculata. Species richness showed an intermediate effect along the vegetation zone from marsh to wet meadow while aboveground biomass increased. When the communities were analysed separately, only the water table depth had significant impact on species richness for two Carex communities and no variable for C. angustifolia community, while height of dominant species influenced aboveground biomass. When the three above-mentioned communities were grouped together, variations in species richness were mainly determined by community type, water table depth and community mean height, while variations in aboveground biomass were driven by community type and the height of dominant species. These findings indicate that if habitat drying of these herbaceous wetlands in this region continues, then two Carex marshes would be replaced gradually by C. angustifolia wet meadow in the near future. This will lead to a reduction in biodiversity and an increase in productivity and carbon budget. Meanwhile, functional traits must be considered, and should be a focus of attention in future studies on the species diversity and ecosystem function in this region. PMID:27097325

  2. Solution of the spatial neutral model yields new bounds on the Amazonian species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shem-Tov, Yahav; Danino, Matan; Shnerb, Nadav M.

    2017-02-01

    Neutral models, in which individual agents with equal fitness undergo a birth-death-mutation process, are very popular in population genetics and community ecology. Usually these models are applied to populations and communities with spatial structure, but the analytic results presented so far are limited to well-mixed or mainland-island scenarios. Here we combine analytic results and numerics to obtain an approximate solution for the species abundance distribution and the species richness for the neutral model on continuous landscape. We show how the regional diversity increases when the recruitment length decreases and the spatial segregation of species grows. Our results are supported by extensive numerical simulations and allow one to probe the numerically inaccessible regime of large-scale systems with extremely small mutation/speciation rates. Model predictions are compared with the findings of recent large-scale surveys of tropical trees across the Amazon basin, yielding new bounds for the species richness (between 13100 and 15000) and the number of singleton species (between 455 and 690).

  3. Vector species richness increases haemorrhagic disease prevalence through functional diversity modulating the duration of seasonal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Andrew W; Cleveland, Christopher A; Dallas, Tad A; Corn, Joseph L

    2016-06-01

    Although many parasites are transmitted between hosts by a suite of arthropod vectors, the impact of vector biodiversity on parasite transmission is poorly understood. Positive relationships between host infection prevalence and vector species richness (SR) may operate through multiple mechanisms, including (i) increased vector abundance, (ii) a sampling effect in which species of high vectorial capacity are more likely to occur in species-rich communities, and (iii) functional diversity whereby communities comprised species with distinct phenologies may extend the duration of seasonal transmission. Teasing such mechanisms apart is impeded by a lack of appropriate data, yet could highlight a neglected role for functional diversity in parasite transmission. We used statistical modelling of extensive host, vector and microparasite data to test the hypothesis that functional diversity leading to longer seasonal transmission explained variable levels of disease in a wildlife population. We additionally developed a simple transmission model to guide our expectation of how an increased transmission season translates to infection prevalence. Our study demonstrates that vector SR is associated with increased levels of disease reporting, but not via increases in vector abundance or via a sampling effect. Rather, the relationship operates by extending the length of seasonal transmission, in line with theoretical predictions.

  4. Responses of Cryptofaunal Species Richness and Trophic Potential to Coral Reef Habitat Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek P. Manzello

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide as a result of many anthropogenic disturbances. This trend is alarming because coral reefs are hotspots of marine biodiversity and considered the ‘rainforests of the sea. As in the rainforest, much of the diversity on a coral reef is cryptic, remaining hidden among the cracks and crevices of structural taxa. Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef’s metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology or how these communities respond to reef degradation. Emerging research shows that the species richness of the motile cryptofauna is higher among dead (framework vs. live coral substrates and, surprisingly, increases within successively more eroded reef framework structures, ultimately reaching a maximum in dead coral rubble. Consequently, the paradigm that abundant live coral is the apex of reef diversity needs to be clarified. This provides guarded optimism amidst alarming reports of declines in live coral cover and the impending doom of coral reefs, as motile cryptic biodiversity should persist independent of live coral cover. Granted, the maintenance of this high species richness is contingent on the presence of reef rubble, which will eventually be lost due to physical, chemical, and biological erosion if not replenished by live coral calcification and mortality. The trophic potential of a reef, as inferred from the abundance of cryptic organisms, is highest on live coral. Among dead framework substrates, however, the density of cryptofauna reaches a peak at intermediate levels of degradation. In summary, the response of the motile cryptofauna, and thus a large fraction of the reef’s biodiversity, to reef degradation is more complex and nuanced than currently thought; such that species richness may be less sensitive than overall trophic function.

  5. Impacts of non-native Norway spruce plantation on abundance and species richness of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Elek

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available The impacts of non-native Norway spruce plantation on the abundance and species richness of carabids were studied in the Bükk National Park in Hungary, central Europe. Pitfall catches from recently established (5 yr old, young (15 yr after planting, middle-aged (30 yr after planting, old Norway spruce Picea abies plantation (50 yr after planting, and a native submontane beech forest (Fagetum sylvaticae as a control stand were compared.

    Our results showed that deciduous forest species decreased significantly in abundance in the plantations, and appeared in high abundance only in the native beech forest. Furthermore, open habitat species increased remarkably in abundance in the recently established plantation. Carabids were significantly more abundant and species rich in the native forest than in the plantations, while differences were not significant among the plantations. Multiple regression between the abundance and species richness of carabids and twelve environmental measurements showed that pH of the soil, herb cover and density of the carabids’ prey had a significant effect in determining abundance and species richness.

    Our results showed that plantation of non-native Norway spruce species had a detrimental effect on the composition of carabid communities and no regeneration could be observed during the growth of plantations even 50 yr after the establishment. This emphasises the importance of an active nature management practice to facilitate the recolonization of the native species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Seasonal dynamics and vertical distribution of plant-feeding nematode communities in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, B.C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Hoop, de J.W.; Vries, de F.W.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution and seasonal dynamics of plant- and fungal-feeding nematode taxa in permanent grasslands were investigated. Dolichodoridae, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Tylenchidae and Aphelenchoides dominated the upper 10 cm soil and their numbers strongly decreased with depth. The

  8. Pollination biology in a tropical high-altitude grassland in Brazil: Interactions at the community level

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

    Surveys of local assemblages of plants and their pollinators are among the most useful ways to evaluate specialization in pollination and to discuss the patterns of plant-pollinator interactions among ecosystems. The high-altitude grasslands from southeastern Brazil constitute diminutive island-like formations surrounded by montane rainforests. We registered the floral traits of 124 species from the Serra da Bricaina grasslands (about 60% of the animal-pollinated species of this flora), and d...

  9. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  10. Species richness of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens along an altitudinal gradient in western Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grytnes, John Arvid; Heegaard, Einar; Ihlen, Per G.

    2006-05-01

    Species richness patterns of ground-dwelling vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (310-1135 m a.s.l.), in western Norway. Total species richness peaked at intermediate altitudes, vascular plant species richness peaked immediately above the forest limit (at 600-700 m a.s.l.), bryophyte species richness had no statistically significant trend, whereas lichen richness increased from the lowest point and up to the forest limit, with no trend above. It is proposed that the pattern in vascular plant species richness is enhanced by an ecotone effect. Bryophyte species richness responds to local scale factors whereas the lichen species richness may be responding to the shading from the forest trees.

  11. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legay, N; Baxendale, C; Grigulis, K; Krainer, U; Kastl, E; Schloter, M; Bardgett, R D; Arnoldi, C; Bahn, M; Dumont, M; Poly, F; Pommier, T; Clément, J C; Lavorel, S

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. An improved nonparametric lower bound of species richness via a modified good-turing frequency formula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Chun-Huo; Wang, Yi-Ting; Walther, Bruno A; Chao, Anne

    2014-09-01

    It is difficult to accurately estimate species richness if there are many almost undetectable species in a hyper-diverse community. Practically, an accurate lower bound for species richness is preferable to an inaccurate point estimator. The traditional nonparametric lower bound developed by Chao (1984, Scandinavian Journal of Statistics 11, 265-270) for individual-based abundance data uses only the information on the rarest species (the numbers of singletons and doubletons) to estimate the number of undetected species in samples. Applying a modified Good-Turing frequency formula, we derive an approximate formula for the first-order bias of this traditional lower bound. The approximate bias is estimated by using additional information (namely, the numbers of tripletons and quadrupletons). This approximate bias can be corrected, and an improved lower bound is thus obtained. The proposed lower bound is nonparametric in the sense that it is universally valid for any species abundance distribution. A similar type of improved lower bound can be derived for incidence data. We test our proposed lower bounds on simulated data sets generated from various species abundance models. Simulation results show that the proposed lower bounds always reduce bias over the traditional lower bounds and improve accuracy (as measured by mean squared error) when the heterogeneity of species abundances is relatively high. We also apply the proposed new lower bounds to real data for illustration and for comparisons with previously developed estimators. © 2014, The International Biometric Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukasz Myczko

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

  14. Evolutionary history determines how plant productivity responds to phylogenetic diversity and species richness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Genung

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has received a great deal of attention in ecological research and recent results, from re-analyses, suggest that ecosystem function improves with increases in phylogenetic diversity. However, many of these results have been generalized across a range of different species and clades, and plants with different evolutionary histories could display different relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To experimentally test this hypothesis, we manipulated species richness and phylogenetic diversity using 26 species from two subgenera of the genus Eucalyptus (subgenus Eucalyptus and subgenus Symphyomyrtus. We found that plant biomass (a measurement of ecosystem function sometimes, but not always, responded to increases in species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Specifically, Symphyomyrtus plants showed a positive response while no comparable effect was observed for Eucalyptus plants, showing that responses to biodiversity can vary across different phylogenetic groups. Our results show that the impacts of evolutionary history may complicate the relationship between the diversity of plant communities and plant biomass.

  15. Pollen Deposition Is More Important than Species Richness for Seed Set in Luffa Gourd.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, M; Saeed, S; Sajjad, A

    2016-10-01

    In the context of global biodiversity decline, it is imperative to understand the different aspects of bee communities for sustaining the vital ecosystem service of pollination. Bee species can be assigned to functional groups (average difference among species in functionally related traits) on the basis of complementarity (trait variations exhibited by individual organisms) in their behavior but is not yet known which functional group trait is most important for seed set. In this study, first, the functional groups of bees were made based on their five selected traits (pollen deposition, visitation rate, stay time, visiting time of the day, body size) and then related to the seed set of obligate cross-pollinated Luffa gourd (Luffa aegyptiaca). We found that bee diversity and abundance differed significantly among the studied plots, but only the bee species richness was positively related to the seed set. Functional group diversity in terms of pollen deposition explained even more of the variance in seed set (r 2  = 0.74) than did the species richness (r 2  = 0.53) making it the most important trait of bee species for predicting the crop reproductive success.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myczko, Lukasz; Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Antibiotics and Manure Effects on Microbial Communities Responsible for Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semedo, M.; Song, B.; Sparrer, T.; Crozier, C.; Tobias, C. R.; Phillips, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    Agroecosystems are major contributors of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Denitrification and nitrification are the primary pathways of N2O emission in soils. However, there is uncertainty regarding the organisms responsible for N2O production. Bacteria were previously considered the only microbial N2O source, however, current studies indicate that fungi also produce N2O by denitrification. Denitrifying bacteria can be a source or sink of N2O depending on the presence and expression of nitrous oxide reductase genes (nosZ), encoding for the enzyme converting N2O to N2. Fungal denitrification may produce only N2O as an end product due to missing the nosZ gene. Animal manures applied to agricultural fields can transfer antibiotics to soils as a result of antibiotic use in the livestock industry. These antibiotics target mostly bacteria and may promote fungal growth. The growth inhibition of denitrifying bacteria may favor fungal denitrifiers potentially enhancing N2O emissions. Our objective is to examine the effects of antibiotic exposure and manure fertilization on the microbial communities responsible for N2 and N2O production in grasslands. Soil slurry incubations were conducted with tetracycline at different concentrations. A mesocosm experiment was also performed with soil cores exposed to tetracycline and cow manure. Production of N2O and N2 was measured using gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC-ECD) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), respectively. Antibiotic inhibition of soil N2 production was found to be dose dependent, reaching up to 80% inhibition with 1g Kg-1 of tetracycline treatment, while N2O production was enhanced up to 8 times. These results suggest higher fungal denitrification with a concomitant decrease in bacterial denitrification after antibiotic exposure. We also found higher N2O fluxes in the soil mesocosms treated with manure plus tetracycline. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) will be conducted to examine the changes in

  18. Higher species richness and abundance of fish and benthic invertebrates around submarine groundwater discharge in Obama Bay, Japan

    OpenAIRE

    Tatsuya Utsunomiya; Masaki Hata; Ryo Sugimoto; Hisami Honda; Shiho Kobayashi; Yoji Miyata; Makoto Yamada; Osamu Tominaga; Jun Shoji; Makoto Taniguchi

    2017-01-01

    Study focus: There have been far more studies on how the variability in surface water discharge affects production of animal communities in aquatic ecosystems while less information has been accumulated on the mechanisms of how the groundwater supply works. Study region: Physical and biological surveys were conducted to test the hypothesis that high level of submarine ground water discharge enhances species richness, abundance and biomass of fishes and invertebrates in coastal waters of Ob...

  19. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  20. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  1. Variation in local abundance and species richness of stream fishes in relation to dispersal barriers: Implications for management and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nislow, K.H.; Hudy, M.; Letcher, B.H.; Smith, E.P.

    2011-01-01

    1.Barriers to immigration, all else being equal, should in principle depress local abundance and reduce local species richness. These issues are particularly relevant to stream-dwelling species when improperly designed road crossings act as barriers to migration with potential impacts on the viability of upstream populations. However, because abundance and richness are highly spatially and temporally heterogeneous and the relative importance of immigration on demography is uncertain, population- and community-level effects can be difficult to detect. 2.In this study, we tested the effects of potential barriers to upstream movements on the local abundance and species richness of a diverse assemblage of resident stream fishes in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia, U.S.A. Fishes were sampled using simple standard techniques above- and below road crossings that were either likely or unlikely to be barriers to upstream fish movements (based on physical dimensions of the crossing). We predicted that abundance of resident fishes would be lower in the upstream sections of streams with predicted impassable barriers, that the strength of the effect would vary among species and that variable effects on abundance would translate into lower species richness. 3.Supporting these predictions, the statistical model that best accounted for variation in abundance and species richness included a significant interaction between location (upstream or downstream of crossing) and type (passable or impassable crossing). Stream sections located above predicated impassable culverts had fewer than half the number of species and less than half the total fish abundance, while stream sections above and below passable culverts had essentially equivalent richness and abundance. 4.Our results are consistent with the importance of immigration and population connectivity to local abundance and species richness of stream fishes. In turn, these results suggest that when measured at

  2. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  3. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  4. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Aim In Europe, the relationships between species richness and latitude differ for lentic (standing water) and lotic (running water) species. Freshwater animals are highly dependent on suitable habitat, and thus the distribution of available habitat should strongly influence large-scale patterns...... of species richness. We tested whether habitat availability can account for the differences in species richness patterns between European lentic and lotic freshwater animals. Location Europe. Methods We compiled occurrence data of 1959 lentic and 2445 lotic species as well as data on the amount of lentic...... for previously reported latitudinal patterns in species richness. For lotic species, richness declined with latitude, whereas there was no relationship between habitat availability and latitude. For lentic species, richness showed a hump-shaped relationship with latitude, whereas available habitat increased...

  6. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  7. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  8. Seed dispersal increases local species richness and reduces spatial turnover of tropical tree seedlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wandrag, Elizabeth M; Dunham, Amy E; Duncan, Richard P; Rogers, Haldre S

    2017-10-03

    Dispersal is thought to be a key process underlying the high spatial diversity of tropical forests. Just how important dispersal is in structuring plant communities is nevertheless an open question because it is very difficult to isolate dispersal from other processes, and thereby measure its effect. Using a unique situation, the loss of vertebrate seed dispersers on the island of Guam and their presence on the neighboring islands of Saipan and Rota, we quantify the contribution of vertebrate seed dispersal to spatial patterns of diversity of tree seedlings in treefall gaps. The presence of vertebrate seed dispersers approximately doubled seedling species richness within canopy gaps and halved species turnover among gaps. Our study demonstrates that dispersal plays a key role in maintaining local and regional patterns of diversity, and highlights the potential for ongoing declines in vertebrate seed dispersers to profoundly alter tropical forest composition.

  9. Lizard community structure across a grassland - creosote bush ecotone in the Chihuahuan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

    I investigated the distribution and abundance of lizard species (Aspidoscelis inornatus, Aspidoscelis tesselatus, Aspidoscelis tigris, Aspidoscelis uniparens, Cophosaurus texanus, Crotaphytus collaris, Eumeces obsoletus, Gambelia wislizenii, Holbrookia maculata, Phrynosoma cornutum, Sceloporus magister, and Uta stansburiana) across a desert grassland - creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) ecotone in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The ecotonal area in the Jomada del Muerto basin has increased drama...

  10. Root biomass and carbon storage in differently managed multispecies temporary grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Jørgen; Mortensen, Tine Bloch; Søegaard, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Species-rich grasslands may potentially increase carbon (C) storage in soil, and an experiment was established to investigate C storage in highly productive temporary multi-species grasslands. Plots were established with three mixtures: (1) a herb mixture containing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor...

  11. Landscape and Local Correlates of Bee Abundance and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quistberg, Robyn D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2016-03-31

    Urban gardens may preserve biodiversity as urban population densities increase, but this strongly depends on the characteristics of the gardens and the landscapes in which they are embedded. We investigated whether local and landscape characteristics are important correlates of bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) abundance and species richness in urban community gardens. We worked in 19 gardens in the California central coast and sampled bees with aerial nets and pan traps. We measured local characteristics (i.e., vegetation and ground cover) and used the USGS National Land Cover Database to classify the landscape surrounding our garden study sites at 2 km scales. We classified bees according to nesting type (i.e., cavity, ground) and body size and determined which local and landscape characteristics correlate with bee community characteristics. We found 55 bee species. One landscape and several local factors correlated with differences in bee abundance and richness for all bees, cavity-nesting bees, ground-nesting bees, and different sized bees. Generally, bees were more abundant and species rich in bigger gardens, in gardens with higher floral abundance, less mulch cover, more bare ground, and with more grass. Medium bees were less abundant in sites surrounded by more medium intensity developed land within 2 km. The fact that local factors were generally more important drivers of bee abundance and richness indicates a potential for gardeners to promote bee conservation by altering local management practices. In particular, increasing floral abundance, decreasing use of mulch, and providing bare ground may promote bees in urban gardens. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanette K Howard

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourque, Charles P-A; Bayat, Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions.

  15. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland e...

  16. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-11-17

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range.

  17. Ferromanganese nodule fauna in the Tropical North Pacific Ocean: Species richness, faunal cover and spatial distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veillette, Julie; Sarrazin, Jozée; Gooday, Andrew J.; Galéron, Joëlle; Caprais, Jean-Claude; Vangriesheim, Annick; Étoubleau, Joël; Christian, James R.; Kim Juniper, S.

    2007-11-01

    The poorly known ferromanganese nodule fauna is a widespread hard substratum community in the deep sea that will be considerably impacted by large-scale nodule mining operations. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of the fauna attached to nodules in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone at two scales; a regional scale that includes the east (14°N, 130°W) and the west (9°N, 150°W) zones and a local scale in which different geological facies (A, B, C and west) are recognizable. The fauna associated with 235 nodules was quantitatively described: 104 nodules from the east zone (15 of facies A, 50 of facies B and 39 of facies C) and 131 nodules from the west zone. Percent cover was used to quantify the extent of colonization at the time of sampling, for 42 species out of the 62 live species observed. Fauna covered up to 18% of exposed nodule surface with an average of about 3%. While species richness increased with exposed nodule surface, both at the regional and at the facies scales (except for facies A), total species density decreased (again except for facies A). When all nodules were included in the statistical analysis, there was no relation between faunal cover and exposed nodule surface. Nevertheless, faunal cover did decrease with exposed nodule surface for the east zone in general and for both facies B and C in particular. Species distributions among facies were significantly different but explained only a very small portion of the variance (˜5%). We identified two groups of associated species: a first group of two species and a second group of six species. The other species (34) were independently distributed, suggesting that species interactions play only a minor role in the spatial distribution of nodule fauna. The flux of particulate organic carbon to the bottom is the only major environmental factor considered to vary between the two zones within this study. We conclude that the higher species richness and higher

  18. Community-specific hydraulic conductance potential of soil water decomposed for two Alpine grasslands by small-scale lysimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenck, Georg; Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hofmann, Magdalena; Newesely, Christian; Deutschmann, Mario; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2018-02-01

    For central Europe in addition to rising temperatures an increasing variability in precipitation is predicted. This will increase the probability of drought periods in the Alps, where water supply has been sufficient in most areas so far. For Alpine grasslands, community-specific imprints on drought responses are poorly analyzed so far due to the sufficient natural water supply. In a replicated mesocosm experiment we compared evapotranspiration (ET) and biomass productivity of two differently drought-adapted Alpine grassland communities during two artificial drought periods divided by extreme precipitation events using high-precision small lysimeters. The drought-adapted vegetation type showed a high potential to utilize even scarce water resources. This is combined with a low potential to translate atmospheric deficits into higher water conductance and a lower biomass production as those measured for the non-drought-adapted type. The non-drought-adapted type, in contrast, showed high water conductance potential and a strong increase in ET rates when environmental conditions became less constraining. With high rates even at dry conditions, this community appears not to be optimized to save water and might experience drought effects earlier and probably more strongly. As a result, the water use efficiency of the drought-adapted plant community is with 2.6 gDW kg-1 of water much higher than that of the non-drought-adapted plant community (0.16 gDW kg-1). In summary, the vegetation's reaction to two covarying gradients of potential evapotranspiration and soil water content revealed a clear difference in vegetation development and between water-saving and water-spending strategies regarding evapotranspiration.

  19. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles P-A Bourque

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

  1. Guild-specific responses of avian species richness to LiDAR-derived habitat heterogeneity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03–0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.

  2. Modelling patterns of pollinator species richness and diversity using satellite image texture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Hofmann

    Full Text Available Assessing species richness and diversity on the basis of standardised field sampling effort represents a cost- and time-consuming method. Satellite remote sensing (RS can help overcome these limitations because it facilitates the collection of larger amounts of spatial data using cost-effective techniques. RS information is hence increasingly analysed to model biodiversity across space and time. Here, we focus on image texture measures as a proxy for spatial habitat heterogeneity, which has been recognized as an important determinant of species distributions and diversity. Using bee monitoring data of four years (2010-2013 from six 4 × 4 km field sites across Central Germany and a multimodel inference approach we test the ability of texture features derived from Landsat-TM imagery to model local pollinator biodiversity. Textures were shown to reflect patterns of bee diversity and species richness to some extent, with the first-order entropy texture and terrain roughness being the most relevant indicators. However, the texture measurements accounted for only 3-5% of up to 60% of the variability that was explained by our final models, although the results are largely consistent across different species groups (bumble bees, solitary bees. While our findings provide indications in support of the applicability of satellite imagery textures for modeling patterns of bee biodiversity, they are inconsistent with the high predictive power of texture metrics reported in previous studies for avian biodiversity. We assume that our texture data captured mainly heterogeneity resulting from landscape configuration, which might be functionally less important for wild bees than compositional diversity of plant communities. Our study also highlights the substantial variability among taxa in the applicability of texture metrics for modelling biodiversity.

  3. Diversity within diversity: Parasite species richness in poison frogs assessed by transcriptomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Juan C; Tarvin, Rebecca D; O'Connell, Lauren A; Blackburn, David C; Coloma, Luis A

    2018-08-01

    Symbionts (e.g., endoparasites and commensals) play an integral role in their host's ecology, yet in many cases their diversity is likely underestimated. Although endoparasites are traditionally characterized using morphology, sequences of conserved genes, and shotgun metagenomics, host transcriptomes constitute an underused resource to identify these organisms' diversity. By isolating non-host transcripts from host transcriptomes, individual host tissues can now simultaneously reveal their endoparasite species richness (i.e., number of different taxa) and provide insights into parasite gene expression. These approaches can be used in host taxa whose endoparasites are mostly unknown, such as those of tropical amphibians. Here, we focus on the poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) as hosts, which are a Neotropical clade known for their bright coloration and defensive alkaloids. These toxins are an effective protection against vertebrate predators (e.g., snakes and birds), bacteria, and skin-biting ectoparasites (e.g., mosquitoes); however, little is known about their deterrence against eukaryotic endoparasites. With de novo transcriptomes of dendrobatids, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline for endoparasite identification that uses host annotated RNA-seq data and set of a priori parasite taxonomic terms, which are used to mine for specific endoparasites. We found a large community of helminths and protozoans that were mostly restricted to the digestive tract and a few systemic parasites (e.g., Trypanosoma). Contrary to our expectations, all dendrobatid frogs regardless of the presence of alkaloid defenses have endoparasites, with their highest species richness located in the frog digestive tract. Some of these organisms (e.g., roundworms) might prove to be generalists, as they were not found to be co-diversifying with their frog hosts. We propose that endoparasites may escape poison frogs' chemical defenses by colonizing tissues with fewer alkaloids than the frog's skin

  4. Modelling patterns of pollinator species richness and diversity using satellite image texture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Sylvia; Everaars, Jeroen; Schweiger, Oliver; Frenzel, Mark; Bannehr, Lutz; Cord, Anna F

    2017-01-01

    Assessing species richness and diversity on the basis of standardised field sampling effort represents a cost- and time-consuming method. Satellite remote sensing (RS) can help overcome these limitations because it facilitates the collection of larger amounts of spatial data using cost-effective techniques. RS information is hence increasingly analysed to model biodiversity across space and time. Here, we focus on image texture measures as a proxy for spatial habitat heterogeneity, which has been recognized as an important determinant of species distributions and diversity. Using bee monitoring data of four years (2010-2013) from six 4 × 4 km field sites across Central Germany and a multimodel inference approach we test the ability of texture features derived from Landsat-TM imagery to model local pollinator biodiversity. Textures were shown to reflect patterns of bee diversity and species richness to some extent, with the first-order entropy texture and terrain roughness being the most relevant indicators. However, the texture measurements accounted for only 3-5% of up to 60% of the variability that was explained by our final models, although the results are largely consistent across different species groups (bumble bees, solitary bees). While our findings provide indications in support of the applicability of satellite imagery textures for modeling patterns of bee biodiversity, they are inconsistent with the high predictive power of texture metrics reported in previous studies for avian biodiversity. We assume that our texture data captured mainly heterogeneity resulting from landscape configuration, which might be functionally less important for wild bees than compositional diversity of plant communities. Our study also highlights the substantial variability among taxa in the applicability of texture metrics for modelling biodiversity.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Limited sampling hampers “big data” estimation of species richness in a tropical biodiversity hotspot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engemann, Kristine; Enquist, Brian J.; Sandel, Brody Steven

    2015-01-01

    in Ecuador, one of the most species-rich and climatically heterogeneous biodiversity hotspots. Species richness estimates were calculated based on 205,735 georeferenced specimens of 15,788 species using the Margalef diversity index, the Chao estimator, the second-order Jackknife and Bootstrapping resampling...

  7. Kleptoparasitic behavior and species richness at Mt. Graham red squirrel middens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Edelman; John L. Koprowski; Jennifer L. Edelman

    2005-01-01

    We used remote photography to assess the frequency of inter- and intra-specific kleptoparasitism and species richness at Mt. Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) middens. Remote cameras and conifer cones were placed at occupied and unoccupied middens, and random sites. Species richness of small mammals was higher at red squirrel...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    ), the derived species richness pattern changed progressively from hump-shaped to a monotonic pattern as the scale of extent diminished. Scale effects alone gave rise to as many conflicting patterns of species richness as had previously been reported in the literature, and scale effects lent significantly...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

  11. Influence of the environmental heterogeneity on the tree species richness –above ground biomass relationship in the Colombian Amazon

    OpenAIRE

    Posada Hernández , Carlos Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Abstract: In this study, we aimed to identify the shape and environmental drivers of the species richness (SR) –rarefied above ground biomass (RAGB) relationship across and within tree communities in the Colombian Amazon. We used a series of 130 0.1 ha plots to answer the next questions: 1) what is the shape of the SR - RAGB relationship both across and within tree communities in the Colombian Amazon? 2) At what extent does environmental heterogeneity drives the shape of the SR - RAGB relatio...

  12. Natural woodland vegetation and plant species richness of the urban open spaces in Gauteng, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.H. Grobler

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available It is estimated that approximately 60 % of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2025. In Gauteng, the most densely populated province in South Africa, the natural open spaces are continually under threat from development. Vegetation is the most physical representation of the environment on which all animals are ultimately dependent. In order to evaluate an areas potential for development or conservation it is necessary to make a thorough inventory of the plant communities and their associated habitats. A survey of the natural woodlands was undertaken as part of a project describing the vegetation of the natural open spaces within the Gauteng region. Relevés were compiled in 73 stratified random sample plots in selected open spaces within the study area. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, indicated six woodland communities that can be grouped into two major woodland communities. A classification and description of these communities as well as their species richness are presented. The results indicate that there are still patches of well-preserved natural vegetation within the study area and contribute to the limited knowledge that presently exists for the vegetation of the area.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinggang Wang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Diversidad y distribución de acridios (Orthoptera: Acridoidea en pastizales del sur de la región pampeana, Argentina Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanina Mariottini

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Los acridios son componentes nativos de los pastizales, dichos sistemas han sido modificados debido a la intensificación de las actividades agrícola-ganaderas y por lo tanto se considera importante estudiar las comunidades de acridios asociadas. Se estudió la diversidad y distribución de acridios en el Sur de la región pampeana a través de muestreos realizados en las comunidades vegetales más representativas del partido de Laprida, provincia de Buenos Aires, durante cinco temporadas (2005-2010. Se recolectaron 22 especies. La subfamilia Melanoplinae fue la más diversa (ocho especies. La mayor cantidad de especies se observó en los pastizales nativos (18. La diversidad en los pastizales alterados (1.75±0.096 fue superior (pIn Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province, as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10. Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S, eveness (E, dominance (J, and diversity index (H´. In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22

  16. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, F; Peeters, A; Tallowin, JRB; Bakker, JP; Bekker, RM; Fillat, F; Oomes, MJM

    Many studies carried out during these last few years have focused on the factors influencing plant diversity in species-rich grasslands. This is due to the fact that these ecosystems, among the most diversified in temperate climates, are extremely threatened; in some areas, they have almost

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

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

  19. Assessment of interspecific interactions in plant communities: an illustration from the cold desert saltbush grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Carl D.; Emlen, John M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific interactions influence both the productivity and composition of plant communities. Here, we propose new field procedures and analytical approaches for assessing interspecific interactions in nature and apply these procedures to the salt desert shrub grasslands of western Utah. Data were collected from two grazing treatments over a period of 2 years. The proposed equations were fairly consistent across both treatments and years. In addition to illustrating how to assess interspecific interactions within a community, we also develop a new approach for projecting the community composition as a result of some alteration, i.e. increase or decrease in the abundance of one or more species. Results demonstrate competition both within and between plant life-form groups. While introduced annuals were found to depress profoundly the likelihood of perennial plants replacing themselves, perennials had little influence on annuals. Thus, as native perennials die, they are more likely to be replaced by perennials than for the reverse to occur. Our results suggest that unless conditions change, these communities will become increasingly dominated by introduced annuals.

  20. Effects of soil depth and plant-soil interaction on microbial community in temperate grasslands of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiaodong; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui; Wang, Wei

    2018-07-15

    Although the patterns and drivers of soil microbial community composition are well studied, little is known about the effects of plant-soil interactions and soil depth on soil microbial distribution at a regional scale. We examined 195 soil samples from 13 sites along a climatic transect in the temperate grasslands of northern China to measure the composition of and factors influencing soil microbial communities within a 1-m soil profile. Soil microbial community composition was measured using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Fungi predominated in topsoil (0-10 cm) and bacteria and actinomycetes in deep soils (40-100 cm), independent of steppe types. This variation was explained by contemporary environmental factors (including above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil physicochemical and climatic factors) >58% in the 0-40 cm of soil depth, but soils. Interestingly, when we considered the interactive effects between plant traits (above ground biomass and root biomass) and soil factors (pH, clay content, and soil total carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), we observed a significant interaction effect occurring at depths of 10-20 cm soil layer, due to different internal and external factors of the plant-soil system along the soil profile. These results improve understanding of the drivers of soil microbial community composition at regional scales. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Climate change velocity since the Last Glacial Maximum and its importance for patterns of species richness and range size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Arge, Lars Allan; Svenning, J.-C.

    to fully occupy suitable habitat, or when local diversification rates are depressed by local population extinctions and changing selective regimes. Locations with long-term climate instability should therefore show reduced species richness with small-ranged species particularly missing from the community...... these predictions using global data on mammal and amphibian distributions. Consistent with our predictions, richness of small-ranged species of both groups was negatively associated with velocity. Velocity generally explained more variation in richness than did the simple climate anomaly. Climate velocity appears...... to capture an important historical signal on current mammal and amphibian distributions....

  2. Relations of Environmental Factors with Mussel-Species Richness in the Neversink River, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldigo, Barry P.; Ernst, Anne G.; Schuler, George E.; Apse, Colin D.

    2007-01-01

    the Neversink Reservoir that mimic the river?s original flow patterns have recently been proposed by TNC and could benefit the established mussel populations and aquatic communities. The ability to protect mussel populations and the potential to increase mussel richness in the Neversink River is unknown, however, because the environmental factors that affect the seven mussel species are poorly defined, and the distribution of mussel beds is patchy and thus difficult to quantify. In 1997, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with TNC, began a 6-year study along the Neversink River and its tributaries to (1) document the current distribution of each mussel species, (2) assess environmental factors in relation to mussel-species richness and distribution, and (3) identify the factors that most strongly affect mussel populations and develop an equation that relates environmental factors to mussel-species richness. This report (a) summarizes the methods used to quantify or qualify environmental factors and mussel-species distribution and abundance, (b) presents a list of environmental factors that were correlated with mussel-species richness, and (c) offers an empirical model to predict richness of mussel species in benthic communities throughout the basin.

  3. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  4. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland. The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Species richness and the temporal stability of biomass production: a new analysis of recent biodiversity experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gross, K.; Cardinale, B.J.; Fox, J.W.; Gonzalez, A.; Loreau, M.; Polley, H.W.; Reich, P.B.; Ruijven, van J.

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between biological diversity and ecological stability has fascinated ecologists for decades. Determining the generality of this relationship, and discovering the mechanisms that underlie it, are vitally important for ecosystem management. Here, we investigate how species richness

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Scleractinian species richness for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary from 1996-2012 (NODC Accession 0123059)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset contains records of scleractinian species richness compiled from multiple sources. These are: CREMP, SCREAM, AGRRA, and FRRP CREMP: Coral Reef...

  9. Species richness pattern along altitudinal gradient in Central European beech forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hrivnák, R.; Gömöry, D.; Slezák, M.; Ujházy, K.; Hédl, Radim; Jarčuška, B.; Ujházyová, M.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 49, č. 3 (2014), s. 425-441 ISSN 1211-9520 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : altitude * beech-dominated forest * species richness Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.778, year: 2014

  10. Species richness alone does not predict cultural ecosystem service value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose A. Graves; Scott M. Pearson; Monica G. Turner

    2017-01-01

    Sustaining biodiversity and ecosystem services are common conservation goals. However, understanding relationships between biodiversity and cultural ecosystem services (CES) and determining the best indicators to represent CES remain crucial challenges. We combined ecological and social data to compare CES value of wildflower communities based on observed...

  11. Models of alien species richness show moderate predictive accuracy and poor transferability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Capinha

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Robust predictions of alien species richness are useful to assess global biodiversity change. Nevertheless, the capacity to predict spatial patterns of alien species richness remains largely unassessed. Using 22 data sets of alien species richness from diverse taxonomic groups and covering various parts of the world, we evaluated whether different statistical models were able to provide useful predictions of absolute and relative alien species richness, as a function of explanatory variables representing geographical, environmental and socio-economic factors. Five state-of-the-art count data modelling techniques were used and compared: Poisson and negative binomial generalised linear models (GLMs, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS, random forests (RF and boosted regression trees (BRT. We found that predictions of absolute alien species richness had a low to moderate accuracy in the region where the models were developed and a consistently poor accuracy in new regions. Predictions of relative richness performed in a superior manner in both geographical settings, but still were not good. Flexible tree ensembles-type techniques (RF and BRT were shown to be significantly better in modelling alien species richness than parametric linear models (such as GLM, despite the latter being more commonly applied for this purpose. Importantly, the poor spatial transferability of models also warrants caution in assuming the generality of the relationships they identify, e.g. by applying projections under future scenario conditions. Ultimately, our results strongly suggest that predictability of spatial variation in richness of alien species richness is limited. The somewhat more robust ability to rank regions according to the number of aliens they have (i.e. relative richness, suggests that models of aliens species richness may be useful for prioritising and comparing regions, but not for predicting exact species numbers.

  12. Object-based random forest classification of Landsat ETM+ and WorldView-2 satellite imagery for mapping lowland native grassland communities in Tasmania, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Bethany; Lucieer, Arko; Aryal, Jagannath

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a random forest classification approach for identifying and mapping three types of lowland native grassland communities found in the Tasmanian Midlands region. Due to the high conservation priority assigned to these communities, there has been an increasing need to identify appropriate datasets that can be used to derive accurate and frequently updateable maps of community extent. Therefore, this paper proposes a method employing repeat classification and statistical significance testing as a means of identifying the most appropriate dataset for mapping these communities. Two datasets were acquired and analysed; a Landsat ETM+ scene, and a WorldView-2 scene, both from 2010. Training and validation data were randomly subset using a k-fold (k = 50) approach from a pre-existing field dataset. Poa labillardierei, Themeda triandra and lowland native grassland complex communities were identified in addition to dry woodland and agriculture. For each subset of randomly allocated points, a random forest model was trained based on each dataset, and then used to classify the corresponding imagery. Validation was performed using the reciprocal points from the independent subset that had not been used to train the model. Final training and classification accuracies were reported as per class means for each satellite dataset. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to determine whether classification accuracy differed between the two datasets, as well as between classifications. Results showed mean class accuracies between 54% and 87%. Class accuracy only differed significantly between datasets for the dry woodland and Themeda grassland classes, with the WorldView-2 dataset showing higher mean classification accuracies. The results of this study indicate that remote sensing is a viable method for the identification of lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands, and that repeat classification and statistical significant testing can be

  13. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings. We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    beaches with rdkctive and dissip:1tive characteristics (sensu. R eprodu ced by Sabin et G atew ay u n der licen ce gran ted by th e P u blish er (dated 2009). ... beach intertidal communities WaS reviewed, (b) location of len sam.!y beaches studied in south-central Chile, imd (c) location of two sandy beaches studied on the ...

  15. Ecological impacts of tropical forest fragmentation: how consistent are patterns in species richness and nestedness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jane K; Gray, Michael A; Khen, Chey Vun; Benedick, Suzan; Tawatao, Noel; Hamer, Keith C

    2011-11-27

    Large areas of tropical forest now exist as remnants scattered across agricultural landscapes, and so understanding the impacts of forest fragmentation is important for biodiversity conservation. We examined species richness and nestedness among tropical forest remnants in birds (meta-analysis of published studies) and insects (field data for fruit-feeding Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and ants). Species-area relationships were evident in all four taxa, and avian and insect assemblages in remnants typically were nested subsets of those in larger areas. Avian carnivores and nectarivores and predatory ants were more nested than other guilds, implying that the sequential loss of species was more predictable in these groups, and that fragmentation alters the trophic organization of communities. For butterflies, the ordering of fragments to achieve maximum nestedness was by fragment area, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven mainly by extinction. In contrast for moths, maximum nestedness was achieved by ordering species by wing length; species with longer wings (implying better dispersal) were more likely to occur at all sites, including low diversity sites, suggesting that differences among fragments were driven more strongly by colonization. Although all four taxa exhibited high levels of nestedness, patterns of species turnover were also idiosyncratic, and thus even species-poor sites contributed to landscape-scale biodiversity, particularly for insects.

  16. Environmental filtering is the main assembly rule of ground beetles in the forest and its edge but not in the adjacent grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gábor L

    2017-07-04

    In a fragmented landscape, transitional zones between neighboring habitats are common, and our understanding of community organizational forces across such habitats is important. Edge studies are numerous, but the majority of them utilize information on species richness and abundance. Abundance and taxonomic diversity, however, provide little information on the functioning and phylogeny of the co-existing species. Combining the evaluation of their functional and phylogenetic relationships, we aimed to assess whether ground beetle assemblages are deterministically or stochastically structured along grassland-forest gradients. Our results showed different community assembly rules on opposite sides of the forest edge. In the grassland, co-occurring species were functionally and phylogenetically not different from the random null model, indicating a random assembly process. Contrary to this, at the forest edge and the interior, co-occurring species showed functional and phylogenetic clustering, thus environmental filtering was the likely process structuring carabid assemblages. Community assembly in the grassland was considerably affected by asymmetrical species flows (spillover) across the forest edge: more forest species penetrated into the grassland than open-habitat and generalist species entered into the forest. This asymmetrical species flow underlines the importance of the filter function of forest edges. As unfavorable, human-induced changes to the structure, composition and characteristics of forest edges may alter their filter function, edges have to be specifically considered during conservation management. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Evaluation of species richness estimators based on quantitative performance measures and sensitivity to patchiness and sample grain size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willie, Jacob; Petre, Charles-Albert; Tagg, Nikki; Lens, Luc

    2012-11-01

    Data from forest herbaceous plants in a site of known species richness in Cameroon were used to test the performance of rarefaction and eight species richness estimators (ACE, ICE, Chao1, Chao2, Jack1, Jack2, Bootstrap and MM). Bias, accuracy, precision and sensitivity to patchiness and sample grain size were the evaluation criteria. An evaluation of the effects of sampling effort and patchiness on diversity estimation is also provided. Stems were identified and counted in linear series of 1-m2 contiguous square plots distributed in six habitat types. Initially, 500 plots were sampled in each habitat type. The sampling process was monitored using rarefaction and a set of richness estimator curves. Curves from the first dataset suggested adequate sampling in riparian forest only. Additional plots ranging from 523 to 2143 were subsequently added in the undersampled habitats until most of the curves stabilized. Jack1 and ICE, the non-parametric richness estimators, performed better, being more accurate and less sensitive to patchiness and sample grain size, and significantly reducing biases that could not be detected by rarefaction and other estimators. This study confirms the usefulness of non-parametric incidence-based estimators, and recommends Jack1 or ICE alongside rarefaction while describing taxon richness and comparing results across areas sampled using similar or different grain sizes. As patchiness varied across habitat types, accurate estimations of diversity did not require the same number of plots. The number of samples needed to fully capture diversity is not necessarily the same across habitats, and can only be known when taxon sampling curves have indicated adequate sampling. Differences in observed species richness between habitats were generally due to differences in patchiness, except between two habitats where they resulted from differences in abundance. We suggest that communities should first be sampled thoroughly using appropriate taxon sampling

  20. Ozone pollution affects flower numbers and timing in a simulated BAP priority calcareous grassland community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Felicity; Williamson, Jennifer; Mills, Gina

    2012-01-01

    Mesocosms representing the BAP Priority habitat ‘Calcareous Grassland’ were exposed to eight ozone profiles for twelve-weeks in two consecutive years. Half of the mesocosms received a reduced watering regime during the exposure periods. Numbers and timing of flowering in the second exposure period were related to ozone concentration and phytotoxic ozone dose (accumulated stomatal flux). For Lotus corniculatus, ozone accelerated the timing of the maximum number of flowers. An increase in mean ozone concentration from 30 ppb to 70 ppb corresponded with an advance in the timing of maximum flowering by six days. A significant reduction in flower numbers with increasing ozone was found for Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria and the relationship with ozone was stronger for those that were well-watered than for those with reduced watering. These changes in flowering timing and numbers could have large ecological impacts, affecting plant pollination and the food supply of nectar feeding insects. - Highlights: ► An increase in ozone accelerated timing of maximum flowering in Lotus corniculatus. ► Ozone reduced flower numbers in Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria. ► Reduced water availability did not protect most species from the effects of ozone. - Increased tropospheric ozone affected timing of flowering and maximum flower numbers in calcareous grassland mesocosms.

  1. [Ants’ higher taxa as surrogates of species richness in a chronosequence of fallows, old-grown forests and agroforestry systems in the Eastern Amazon, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz Gutiérrez, Jhonatan Andrés; Roussea, Guillaume Xavier; Andrade-Silva, Joudellys; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles

    2017-03-01

    Deforestation in Amazon forests is one of the main causes for biodiversity loss worldwide. Ants are key into the ecosystem because act like engineers; hence, the loss of ants’ biodiversity may be a guide to measure the loss of essential functions into the ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil ant’s richness and to estimate whether higher taxa levels (Subfamily and Genus) can be used as surrogates of species richness in different vegetation types (fallows, old-growth forests and agroforestry systems) in Eastern Amazon. The samples were taken in 65 areas in the Maranhão and Pará States in the period 2011-2014. The sampling scheme followed the procedure of Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF). Initially, the vegetation types were characterized according to their age and estimated species richness. Linear and exponential functions were applied to evaluate if higher taxa can be used as surrogates and correlated with the Pearson coefficient. In total, 180 species distributed in 60 genera were identified. The results showed that ant species richness was higher in intermediate fallows (88) and old secondary forest (76), and was lower in agroforestry systems (38) and mature riparian forest (35). The genus level was the best surrogate to estimate the ant’s species richness across the different vegetation types, and explained 72-97 % (P agroforestry systems may contribute in the conservation of Eastern Amazon ant community.

  2. Increased precipitation accelerates soil organic matter turnover associated with microbial community composition in topsoil of alpine grassland on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Conghai; Wang, Zongli; Si, Guicai; Lei, Tianzhu; Yuan, Yanli; Zhang, Gengxin

    2017-10-01

    Large quantities of carbon are stored in alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau, which is extremely sensitive to climate change. However, it remains unclear whether soil organic matter (SOM) in different layers responds to climate change analogously, and whether microbial communities play vital roles in SOM turnover of topsoil. In this study we measured and collected SOM turnover by the 14 C method in alpine grassland to test climatic effects on SOM turnover in soil profiles. Edaphic properties and microbial communities in the northwestern Qinghai Lake were investigated to explore microbial influence on SOM turnover. SOM turnover in surface soil (0-10 cm) was more sensitive to precipitation than that in subsurface layers (10-40 cm). Precipitation also imposed stronger effects on the composition of microbial communities in the surface layer than that in deeper soil. At the 5-10 cm depth, the SOM turnover rate was positively associated with the bacteria/fungi biomass ratio and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, both of which are related to precipitation. Partial correlation analysis suggested that increased precipitation could accelerate the SOM turnover rate in topsoil by structuring soil microbial communities. Conversely, carbon stored in deep soil would be barely affected by climate change. Our results provide valuable insights into the dynamics and storage of SOM in alpine grasslands under future climate scenarios.

  3. Temporal species richness-biomass relationships along successional gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Q.

    2003-01-01

    Diversity-biomass relationships are frequently reported to be hump-shaped over space at a given time. However, it is not yet clear how diversity and biomass change simultaneously and how they are related to each other over time (e.g. in succession) at one locality. This study develops a temporal model based on the projected changes of various community variables in a generalized terrestrial environment after fire and uses post-fire succession data on Santa Monica Mountains of southern California and other published succession data to examine the temporal diversity-biomass relationships. The results indicate that in the early stages of succession, both diversity and biomass increase and a positive relationship appears, while in the late stages of succession, biomass continued to increase but diversity usually declines; thus a negative relationship may be observed. When the scales of measurement become sufficiently large so that the measured diversity and biomass cross various stages of succession, a 'hump-shaped' relationship can emerge. The diversity-biomass relationship appears to be concordant in space and time when appropriate scales are used. Formerly proposed explanations for spatial patterns may well apply to the temporal patterns (particularly colonization, facilitation and competitive exclusion).

  4. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  5. Limited sampling hampers "big data" estimation of species richness in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engemann, Kristine; Enquist, Brian J; Sandel, Brody; Boyle, Brad; Jørgensen, Peter M; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Peet, Robert K; Violle, Cyrille; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2015-02-01

    Macro-scale species richness studies often use museum specimens as their main source of information. However, such datasets are often strongly biased due to variation in sampling effort in space and time. These biases may strongly affect diversity estimates and may, thereby, obstruct solid inference on the underlying diversity drivers, as well as mislead conservation prioritization. In recent years, this has resulted in an increased focus on developing methods to correct for sampling bias. In this study, we use sample-size-correcting methods to examine patterns of tropical plant diversity in Ecuador, one of the most species-rich and climatically heterogeneous biodiversity hotspots. Species richness estimates were calculated based on 205,735 georeferenced specimens of 15,788 species using the Margalef diversity index, the Chao estimator, the second-order Jackknife and Bootstrapping resampling methods, and Hill numbers and rarefaction. Species richness was heavily correlated with sampling effort, and only rarefaction was able to remove this effect, and we recommend this method for estimation of species richness with "big data" collections.

  6. Global assessment of the effects of terrestrial acidification on plant species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azevedo, Ligia B.; Zelm, Rosalie van; Hendriks, A. Jan; Bobbink, Roland; Huijbregts, Mark A.J.

    2013-01-01

    This study estimates the potential losses of vascular plant species richness due to terrestrial acidification for different world's biomes. We used empirical occurrence data of 2409 species from 140 studies and estimated the relative species richness – pH response curves using logistic regressions. The regressions were then used to quantify the fraction of species that are potentially lost due to soil pH changes. Although we found considerable variability within biomes, out results show that the pH at which species richness was maximized was found to be the lowest in (sub)tropical forests (pH = 4.1) and the highest in deserts (pH = 7.4). We also found that (sub)tropical moist forests are highly sensitive to decreases of in soil pH below 4.1. This study can be coupled with existing atmospheric deposition models to quantify the risk of species richness loss following soil acidification. Highlights: ► We compare the sensitivity of four biomes to soil acidification. ► We develop logistic regressions using observational field data. ► Sub(tropical) moist forests are highly affected by pH decreases. ► Logistic regressions can be linked to global scale atmospheric and soil fate models. -- Relationships of potential species richness loss along a soil pH gradient are proposed

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Nieto

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  9. Inter-specific competition, but not different soil microbial communities, affects N chemical forms uptake by competing graminoids of upland grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Medina-Roldán

    Full Text Available Evidence that plants differ in their ability to take up both organic (ON and inorganic (IN forms of nitrogen (N has increased ecologists' interest on resource-based plant competition. However, whether plant uptake of IN and ON responds to differences in soil microbial community composition and/or functioning has not yet been explored, despite soil microbes playing a key role in N cycling. Here, we report results from a competition experiment testing the hypothesis that soil microbial communities differing in metabolic activity as a result of long-term differences to grazing exposure could modify N uptake of Eriophorum vaginatum L. and Nardus stricta L. These graminoids co-occur on nutrient-poor, mountain grasslands where E. vaginatum decreases and N. stricta increases in response to long-term grazing. We inoculated sterilised soil with soil microbial communities from continuously grazed and ungrazed grasslands and planted soils with both E. vaginatum and N. stricta, and then tracked uptake of isotopically labelled NH(4 (+ (IN and glycine (ON into plant tissues. The metabolically different microbial communities had no effect on N uptake by either of the graminoids, which might suggest functional equivalence of soil microbes in their impacts on plant N uptake. Consistent with its dominance in soils with greater concentrations of ON relative to IN in the soluble N pool, Eriophorum vaginatum took up more glycine than N. stricta. Nardus stricta reduced the glycine proportion taken up by E. vaginatum, thus increasing niche overlap in N usage between these species. Local abundances of these species in mountain grasslands are principally controlled by grazing and soil moisture, although our results suggest that changes in the relative availability of ON to IN can also play a role. Our results also suggest that coexistence of these species in mountain grasslands is likely based on non-equilibrium mechanisms such as disturbance and/or soil heterogeneity.

  10. Effects of below-ground insects, mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment of Vicia in grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganade, G; Brown, V K

    1997-02-01

     The effects of, and interactions between, insect root feeders, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment, growth and reproduction of Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta (Fabaceae) were investigated in an early-successional grassland community. Seeds of both species were sown into plots where soil insecticide (Dursban 5G), soil fungicide (Rovral) and soil fertiliser (NPK) were applied in a factorial randomised block design. Fertiliser addition reduced growth, longevity and reproduction of both Vicia species, due to the commonly recorded increase in the competitive advantage of the non-nitrogen-fixing species when nitrogen is added to the plant community. However, in plots where fertiliser was not applied, a reduction in root feeders and mycorrhizal infection led to an increase in seedling establishment and fruit production of V. sativa, and to an increase in flower production for both Vicia species. The interaction between all three soil treatments explained much of the variation in growth and longevity of V. sativa. Plants grew larger and survived longer in plots where natural levels of mycorrhizal infection and root feeders were low compared with plots where all the treatments were applied. This suggests that, although soil nutrient availability was a strong determinant of the performance of these two leguminous species, at natural levels of soil fertility biotic factors acting in the soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi and soil-dwelling insects, were important in shaping the competitive interactions between the two Vicia species and the plant community. Our results indicate that non-additive interactions between ecological factors in the soil environment may strongly affect plant performance.

  11. Simulated geographic variations of plant species richness, evenness and abundance using climatic constraints on plant functional diversity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kleidon, Axel; Pavlick, Ryan; Reu, Bjoern; Adams, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    Among the most pronounced large-scale geographic patterns of plant biodiversity are the increase in plant species richness towards the tropics, a more even distribution of the relative abundances of plant species in the tropics, and a nearly log-normal relative abundance distribution. Here we use an individual-based plant diversity model that relates climatic constraints to feasible plant growth strategies to show that all three basic diversity patterns can be predicted merely from the climatic constraints acting upon plant ecophysiological trade-offs. Our model predicts that towards objectively 'harsher' environments, the range of feasible growth strategies resulting in reproductive plants is reduced, thus resulting in lower functional plant species richness. The reduction of evenness is attributed to a more rapid decline in productivity from the most productive to less productive plant growth strategies since the particular setup of the strategy becomes more important in maintaining high productivity in harsher environments. This approach is also able to reproduce the increase in the deviation from a log-normal distribution towards more evenly distributed communities of the tropics. Our results imply that these general biodiversity relationships can be understood primarily by considering the climatic constraints on plant ecophysiological trade-offs.

  12. Climate patterns as predictors of amphibians species richness and indicators of potential stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W.; Hay, L.; McCabe, G.; Nanjappa, P.; Gallant, Alisa L.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians occupy a range of habitats throughout the world, but species richness is greatest in regions with moist, warm climates. We modeled the statistical relations of anuran and urodele species richness with mean annual climate for the conterminous United States, and compared the strength of these relations at national and regional levels. Model variables were calculated for county and subcounty mapping units, and included 40-year (1960-1999) annual mean and mean annual climate statistics, mapping unit average elevation, mapping unit land area, and estimates of anuran and urodele species richness. Climate data were derived from more than 7,500 first-order and cooperative meteorological stations and were interpolated to the mapping units using multiple linear regression models. Anuran and urodele species richness were calculated from the United States Geological Survey's Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) National Atlas for Amphibian Distributions. The national multivariate linear regression (MLR) model of anuran species richness had an adjusted coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.64 and the national MLR model for urodele species richness had an R2 value of 0.45. Stratifying the United States by coarse-resolution ecological regions provided models for anUrans that ranged in R2 values from 0.15 to 0.78. Regional models for urodeles had R2 values. ranging from 0.27 to 0.74. In general, regional models for anurans were more strongly influenced by temperature variables, whereas precipitation variables had a larger influence on urodele models.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario R Moura

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

  14. Testing the Effectiveness of Environmental Variables to Explain European Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Richness across Biogeographical Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maud Mouchet

    Full Text Available We compared the effectiveness of environmental variables, and in particular of land-use indicators, to explain species richness patterns across taxonomic groups and biogeographical scales (i.e. overall pan-Europe and ecoregions within pan-Europe. Using boosted regression trees that handle non-linear relationships, we compared the relative influence (as a measure of effectiveness of environmental variables related to climate, landscape (or habitat heterogeneity, land-use intensity or energy availability to explain European vertebrate species richness (birds, amphibians, and mammals at the continental and ecoregion scales. We found that dominant land cover and actual evapotranspiration that relate to energy availability were the main correlates of vertebrate species richness over Europe. At the ecoregion scale, we identified four distinct groups of ecoregions where species richness was essentially associated to (i seasonality of temperature, (ii actual evapotranspiration and/or mean annual temperature, (iii seasonality of precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and land cover and (iv and an even combination of the environmental variables. This typology of ecoregions remained valid for total vertebrate richness and the three vertebrate groups taken separately. Despite the overwhelming influence of land cover and actual evapotranspiration to explain vertebrate species richness patterns at European scale, the ranking of the main correlates of species richness varied between regions. Interestingly, landscape and land-use indicators did not stand out at the continental scale but their influence greatly increased in southern ecoregions, revealing the long-lasting human footprint on land-use-land-cover changes. Our study provides one of the first multi-scale descriptions of the variability in the ranking of correlates across several taxa.

  15. The relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the effects of grazing cessation in semi-natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Land use change can affect biodiversity, and this has an impact on ecosystem services (ESs, but the relationships between biodiversity and ESs are complex and poorly understood. Biodiversity is declining due to the abandonment of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands.We therefore aim to explore relationships between biodiversity and ESs provided by extensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Focusing on vascular plant species richness, as well as the ESs fodder quantity, quality, and stability, allergy control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and aesthetic appreciation, we carried out botanical field surveys of 28 paired extensively grazed and abandoned semi-natural grassland plots, with four subplots of 4 m2 in each plot. The management of the semi-natural grasslands is and has been at low intensity. We calculated the influence of abandonment on the ES indicators, measured the correlation between the biodiversity measure of vascular plant species richness and ES indicators, and finally determined how the relationships between plant species richness and the ES indicators were affected by the cessation of the extensive management.ES indicators are often, but not always, positively correlated with species richness. Cessation of extensive grazing has both negative and positive effects on ES indicators but the relationships between species richness and ES indicators are often different in extensively managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. The relationships between species richness and ES indicators are less pronounced in the extensively managed semi-natural grassland than for the abandoned. One possible reason for this outcome is high functional redundancy in the extensively managed semi-natural grasslands.

  16. An African grassland responds similarly to long-term fertilization to the Park Grass experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ward

    Full Text Available We compared the results of a long-term (65 years experiment in a South African grassland with the world's longest-running ecological experiment, the Park Grass study at Rothamsted, U.K. The climate is warm and humid in South Africa and cool and temperate in England. The African grassland has been fertilized with two forms of nitrogen applied at four levels, phosphorus and lime in a crossed design in 96 plots. In 1951, about 84% of plant cover consisted of Themeda triandra, Tristachya leucothrix and Setaria nigrirostris. Currently, the dominant species are Panicum maximum, Setaria sphacelata and Eragrostis curvula, making up 71% of total biomass. As in the Park Grass experiment, we found a significant (additive interaction effect on ANPP of nitrogen and phosphorus, and a (marginally significant negative correlation between ANPP and species richness. Unlike the Park Grass experiment, there was no correlation between ANPP and species richness when pH was included as a covariate. There was also a significant negative effect of nitrogen amount and nitrogen form and a positive effect of lime on species richness and species diversity. Soil pH had an important effect on species richness. Liming was insufficient to balance the negative effects on species richness of nitrogen fertilization. There was a significant effect of pH on biomass of three abundant species. There were also significant effects of light on the biomass of four species, with only Panicum maximum having a negative response to light. In all of the abundant species, adding total species richness and ANPP to the model increased the amount of variance explained. The biomass of Eragrostis curvula and P. maximum were negatively correlated with species richness while three other abundant species increased with species richness, suggesting that competition and facilitation were active. Consistent with the results from the Park Grass and other long-term fertilization experiments of grasslands

  17. Environmental and spatial controls of palm (Arecaceae) species richness across the Americas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjorholm, Stine; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Skov, Flemming

    2005-01-01

    Our analysis suggests that in the Americas, palm species richness at spatial scales from 1° to 10° is most strongly controlled by water availability, although unknown broad-scale factors, perhaps soil, historical processes or geometric constraints, are also important.......Our analysis suggests that in the Americas, palm species richness at spatial scales from 1° to 10° is most strongly controlled by water availability, although unknown broad-scale factors, perhaps soil, historical processes or geometric constraints, are also important....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    /temperature and water availability. These patterns therefore reflect net diversification at both deep and shallow levels in the phylogeny. Richness also increased with range in elevation, but this was only reflected in the MS/G pattern and therefore reflects recent diversification. Main conclusions The geographical......Aim Species richness exhibits striking geographical variation, but the processes that drive this variation are unresolved. We investigated the relative importance of two hypothesized evolutionary causes for the variation in palm species richness across the New World: time for diversification...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Oberdorff

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Time-lagged response of carabid species richness and composition to past management practices and landscape context of semi-natural field margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alignier, Audrey; Aviron, Stéphanie

    2017-12-15

    Field margins are key features for the maintenance of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. Little is known about the effects of management practices of old semi-natural field margins, and their historical dimension regarding past management practices and landscape context is rarely considered. In this paper, the relative influence of recent and past management practices and landscape context (during the last five years) were assessed on the local biodiversity (species richness and composition) of carabid assemblages of field margins in agricultural landscapes of northwestern France. The results showed that recent patterns of carabid species richness and composition were best explained by management practices and landscape context measured four or five years ago. It suggests the existence of a time lag in the response of carabid assemblages to past environmental conditions of field margins. The relative contribution of past management practices and past landscape context varied depending on the spatial scale at which landscape context was taken into account. Carabid species richness was higher in grazed or sprayed field margins probably due to increased heterogeneity in habitat conditions. Field margins surrounded by grasslands and crops harbored species associated with open habitats whilst forest species dominated field margins surrounded by woodland. Landscape effect was higher at fine spatial scale, within 50 m around field margins. The present study highlights the importance of considering time-lagged responses of biodiversity when managing environment. It also suggests that old semi-natural field margins should not be considered as undisturbed habitats but more as management units being part of farming activities in agricultural landscapes, as for arable fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  2. Effects of slurry application methods on soil faunal communities in permanent grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, van P.C.J.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of two slurry manure application methods, broadcasting manure slurry (MB) and manure slit injection (SMI), on soil faunal communities 1 week and 4 or 5 weeks after application in the spring of 2002 and the summer of 2003. No effect on total numbers of Enchytraeidae and

  3. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Block

    2016-10-01

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

  6. Species Richness and Phenology of Cerambycid Beetles in Urban Forest Fragments of Northern Delaware

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. Handley; J. Hough-Goldstein; L.M. Hanks; J.G. Millar; V. D' amico

    2015-01-01

    Cerambycid beetles are abundant and diverse in forests, but much about their host relationships and adult behavior remains unknown. Generic blends of synthetic pheromones were used as lures in traps, to assess the species richness, and phenology of cerambycids in forest fragments in northern Delaware. More than 15,000 cerambycid beetles of 69 species were trapped over...

  7. Changes in biomass allocation in species rich meadow after abandonment: Ecological strategy or allometry?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bartušková, Alena; Doležal, Jiří; Janeček, Štěpán; Lanta, V.; Klimešová, Jitka

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 5 (2015), s. 379-387 ISSN 1433-8319 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Biomass allocation * species-rich meadow * abandonment Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.578, year: 2015

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, Carsten

    2005-01-01

    Despite two centuries of exploration, our understanding of factors determining the distribution of life on Earth is in many ways still in its infancy. Much of the disagreement about governing processes of variation in species richness may be the result of differences in our perception of species...

  9. Species richness and origin of the bryophyte flora of the Colombian Andes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gradstein, S.R.; Reenen, van G.B.A.; Griffin, D.

    1988-01-01

    Based on data from the ECOANDES project, a phytogeographical analysis has been made of the bryophyte flora along the wet, foggy western slope (1000-4500 m) and the drier eastern slope (500-4500 m) of the Colombian Central Cordillera at the ‘Parque de los Nevados’. Species richness increases with

  10. Species richness in natural and disturbed habitats: Asteraceae and Flower-head insects (Tephritidae: Diptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Soraia; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in the landscape result in an environmental mosaic with serious consequences for biodiversity. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the anthropogenic changes on Asteraceae richness and abundance, and to evaluate the consequences for the richness of Tephritidae assemblages in five sampling sites, with three sampled habitats in each: cerrado (Brazilian savanna), eucalyptus stands and pasture. Sampling was carried out in 15 random transects (cerrados and one pasture) and in 30 transects (eucalyptus stands and the remaining pastures). Composition, species richness and insect abundance in each habitat type was estimated by sampling the flower heads for each species of host plant, collected by four people for 1h. Differences in mean abundance of plant population between habitats and sites were tested by two-way ANOVA. Differences in plant species richness between habitats and sites and effects of habitat, site and host plant richness on insect richness were tested using a generalized linear model with Poisson errors. Within each sampling site, cerrados showed higher species richness of Asteraceae than pastures and eucalyptus stands. There were also significant differences in plant richness among sites. Mean population abundance values were significantly different among habitats, but not among sites. Increased host plant richness led to significant insect species richness. There were no additional significant effects of habitat on insect richness. Therefore, anthropogenic alterations in landscape determined the impoverishment of plant assemblages and therefore of insect assemblages, because of the positive relationship between host plant richness and insect richness.

  11. Carrying capacity for species richness as context for conservation: a case study of North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Hansen; Linda Bowers Phillips; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated the leading hypotheses on biophysical factors affecting species richness for Breeding Bird Survey routes from areas with little influence of human activities.We then derived a best model based on information theory, and used this model to extrapolate SK across North America based on the biophysical predictor variables. The predictor variables included the...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Queiroz

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

  13. Diversification of tanagers, a species rich bird group, from lowlands to montane regions of South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjeldså, Jon; Rahbek, Carsten

    2006-01-01

    in the Atlantic forests of south-eastern Brazil, and moderate densities of widespread species in the tropical lowlands. Contemporary climate explains well the variation in species richness for the 25% most widespread species; for the remaining 75% of species with more restricted distributions, variation can only...

  14. Terrain and vegetation structural influences on local avian species richness in two mixed-conifer forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jody C. Vogeler; Andrew T. Hudak; Lee A. Vierling; Jeffrey Evans; Patricia Green; Kerri T. Vierling

    2014-01-01

    Using remotely-sensed metrics to identify regions containing high animal diversity and/or specific animal species or guilds can help prioritize forest management and conservation objectives across actively managed landscapes. We predicted avian species richness in two mixed conifer forests, Moscow Mountain and Slate Creek, containing different management contexts and...

  15. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spiders...

  16. Patterns in species richness and distribution of vascular epiphytes in Chiapas, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolf, J.H.D.; Flamenco-S., A.

    2003-01-01

    Aim We aim to assess regional patterns in the distribution and species richness of vascular epiphytes with an emphasis on forests that differ in altitude and the amount of rainfall. Location Tropical America, in particularly the 75000 km2 large state of Chiapas in southern Mexico at 14.5-18.0º N.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Stohlgren; David T. Barnett; Curtis H. Flather; Pam L. Fuller; Bruce G. Peterjohn; John T. Kartesz; Lawrence L. Master

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  19. Local versus landscape-scale effects of anthropogenic land-use on forest species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffa, G.; Del Vecchio, S.; Fantinato, E.; Milano, V.

    2018-01-01

    The study investigated the effects of human-induced landscape patterns on species richness in forests. For 80 plots of fixed size, we measured human disturbance (categorized as urban/industrial and agricultural land areas), at 'local' and 'landscape' scale (500 m and 2500 m radius from each plot, respectively), the distance from the forest edge, and the size and shape of the woody patch. By using GLM, we analyzed the effects of disturbance and patch-based measures on both total species richness and the richness of a group of specialist species (i.e. the 'ancient forest species'), representing more specific forest features. Patterns of local species richness were sensitive to the structure and composition of the surrounding landscape. Among the landscape components taken into account, urban/industrial land areas turned out as the most threatening factor for both total species richness and the richness of the ancient forest species. However, the best models evidenced a different intensity of the response to the same disturbance category as well as a different pool of significant variables for the two groups of species. The use of groups of species, such as the ancient forest species pool, that are functionally related and have similar ecological requirements, may represent an effective solution for monitoring forest dynamics under the effects of external factors. The approach of relating local assessment of species richness, and in particular of the ancient forest species pool, to land-use patterns may play an important role for the science-policy interface by supporting and strengthening conservation and regional planning decision making.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MALONZA, Patrick Kinyatta

    2015-01-01

    Faunal species richness is traditionally assumed to decrease with increasing elevation and decreasing primary productivity. Species richness is reported to peak at mid-elevation. This survey examines the herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Mt. Kenya (central Kenya) by testing the hypothesis that changes in species richness with elevation relate to elevation-dependent changes in climate. Sampling along transects from an elevation of approximately 1 700 m in Chogoria forest block (wind-ward side) and approximately 2 600 m in Sirimon block (rain shadow zone) upwards in March 2009. This starts from the forest to montane alpine zones. Sampling of reptiles and amphibians uses pitfall traps associated with drift fences, time-limited searches and visual encounter surveys. The results show that herpetofaunal richness differs among three vegetation zones along the elevation gradient. Chogoria has higher biodiversity than Sirimon. More species occur at low and middle elevations and few exist at high elevations. The trends are consistent with expected optimum water and energy variables. The lower alpine montane zone has high species richness but low diversity due to dominance of some high elevations species. Unambiguous data do not support a mid-domain effect (mid-elevation peak) because the observed trend better fits a model in which climatic variables (rainfall and temperature) control species richness, which indirectly measures productivity. It is important to continue protection of all indigenous forests, especially at low to mid elevations. These areas are vulnerable to human destruction yet are home to some endemic species. Firebreaks can limit the spread of the perennial wildfires, especially on the moorlands. PMID:26646571

  1. Vascular plant species richness along environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone in central Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

    In order to clarify how vegetation types change along the environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone and the determinant factors that define plant species richness, we established 360 plots (each 4 × 10 m) within which the vegetation type, species richness, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), slope inclination, and ground light index (GLI) of the natural vegetation were surveyed. Mean elevation, TPI, slope inclination, and GLI differed across vegetation types. Tree species richness was negatively correlated with elevation, whereas fern and herb species richness were positively correlated. Tree species richness was greater in the upper slope area than the lower slope area, whereas fern and herb species richness were greater in the lower slope area. Ferns and trees species richness were smaller in the open canopy, whereas herb species richness was greater in the open canopy. Vegetation types were determined firstly by elevation and secondary by topographic configurations, such as topographic position, and slope inclination. Elevation and topography were the most important factors affecting plant richness, but the most influential variables differed among plant life-form groups. Moreover, the species richness responses to these environmental gradients greatly differed among ferns, herbs, and trees.

  2. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  3. Weeds in Organic Fertility-Building Leys: Aspects of Species Richness and Weed Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas F. Döring

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Legume-based leys (perennial sod crops are an important component of fertility management in organic rotations in many parts of Europe. Despite their importance, however, relatively little is known about how these leys affect weed communities or how the specific composition of leys may contribute to weed management. To determine whether the choice of plant species in the ley affects weeds, we conducted replicated field trials at six locations in the UK over 24 months, measuring weed cover and biomass in plots sown with monocultures of 12 legume and 4 grass species, and in plots sown with a mixture of 10 legume species and 4 grass species. Additionally, we monitored weed communities in leys on 21 organic farms across the UK either sown with a mixture of the project species or the farmers’ own species mix. In total, 63 weed species were found on the farms, with the annuals Stellaria media, Sonchus arvensis, and Veronica persica being the most frequent species in the first year after establishment of the ley, while Stellaria media and the two perennials Ranunculus repens and Taraxacum officinale dominated the weed spectrum in the second year. Our study shows that organic leys constitute an important element of farm biodiversity. In both replicated and on-farm trials, weed cover and species richness were significantly lower in the second year than in the first, owing to lower presence of annual weeds in year two. In monocultures, meadow pea (Lathyrus pratensis was a poor competitor against weeds, and a significant increase in the proportion of weed biomass was observed over time, due to poor recovery of meadow pea after mowing. For red clover (Trifolium pratense, we observed the lowest proportion of weed biomass in total biomass among the tested legume species. Crop biomass and weed biomass were negatively correlated across species. Residuals from the linear regression between crop biomass and weed biomass indicated that at similar levels of crop

  4. Frog species richness, composition and beta-diversity in coastal Brazilian restinga habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, C F D; Hatano, F H; Vrcibradic, D; Van Sluys, M

    2008-02-01

    We studied the species richness and composition of frogs in 10 restinga habitats (sand dune environments dominated by herbaceous and shrubby vegetation) along approximately 1500 km of coastal areas of three Brazilian States: Rio de Janeiro (Grumari, Maricá, Massambaba, Jurubatiba and Grussaí), Espírito Santo (Praia das Neves and Setiba) and Bahia (Prado and Trancoso). We estimated beta-diversity and similarity among areas and related these parameters to geographic distance between areas. All areas were surveyed with a similar sampling procedure. We found 28 frog species belonging to the families Hylidae, Microhylidae, Leptodactylidae and Bufonidae. Frogs in restingas were in general nocturnal with no strictly diurnal species. The richest restinga was Praia das Neves (13 species), followed by Grussaí and Trancoso (eight species in each). The commonest species in the restingas was Scinax alter (found in eight restingas), followed by Aparasphenodon brunoi (seven areas). Our data shows that richness and composition of frog communities vary consistently along the eastern Brazilian coast and, in part, the rate of species turnover is affected by the distance among areas. Geographic distance explained approximately 12% of species turnover in restingas and about 9.5% of similarity among frog assemblages. Although geographic distance somewhat affects frog assemblages, other factors (e.g. historical factors, disturbances) seem to be also involved in explaining present frog assemblage composition in each area and species turnover among areas. The frog fauna along restinga habitats was significantly nested (matrix community temperature = 26.13 degrees; p = 0.007). Our data also showed that the most hospitable restinga was Praia das Neves and indicated that this area should be protected as a conservation unit. Frog assemblage of each area seems to partially represent a nested subset of the original assemblage, although we should not ignore the importance of historical

  5. Frog species richness, composition and beta-diversity in coastal Brazilian restinga habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CFD. Rocha

    Full Text Available We studied the species richness and composition of frogs in 10 restinga habitats (sand dune environments dominated by herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along approximately 1500 km of coastal areas of three Brazilian States: Rio de Janeiro (Grumari, Maricá, Massambaba, Jurubatiba and Grussaí, Espírito Santo (Praia das Neves and Setiba and Bahia (Prado and Trancoso. We estimated beta-diversity and similarity among areas and related these parameters to geographic distance between areas. All areas were surveyed with a similar sampling procedure. We found 28 frog species belonging to the families Hylidae, Microhylidae, Leptodactylidae and Bufonidae. Frogs in restingas were in general nocturnal with no strictly diurnal species. The richest restinga was Praia das Neves (13 species, followed by Grussaí and Trancoso (eight species in each. The commonest species in the restingas was Scinax alter (found in eight restingas, followed by Aparasphenodon brunoi (seven areas. Our data shows that richness and composition of frog communities vary consistently along the eastern Brazilian coast and, in part, the rate of species turnover is affected by the distance among areas. Geographic distance explained approximately 12% of species turnover in restingas and about 9.5% of similarity among frog assemblages. Although geographic distance somewhat affects frog assemblages, other factors (e.g. historical factors, disturbances seem to be also involved in explaining present frog assemblage composition in each area and species turnover among areas. The frog fauna along restinga habitats was significantly nested (matrix community temperature = 26.13°; p = 0.007. Our data also showed that the most hospitable restinga was Praia das Neves and indicated that this area should be protected as a conservation unit. Frog assemblage of each area seems to partially represent a nested subset of the original assemblage, although we should not ignore the importance of historical

  6. Scale and diversity following manipulation of productivity and disturbance in Californian coastal grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Corbin, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    the responses of species–area relationships to experimental manipulations are more consistent than richness at any single scale. Location Northern Californian coastal grasslands. Methods We applied disturbance and productivity reduction treatments over 4 yr at two sites. We assessed changes in species richness...... known. We ask whether the response of species richness to experimental manipulation of productivity and disturbance varies across small spatial scales (0.016–4 m2). We show that species–area relationships are well suited to summarize cross-scale responses of species richness, and ask whether...... over five grain sizes, encompassing a 256-fold range of plot size. This allowed us to construct a species–area relationship for each experimental plot in each sampling year. We used the slope of the species–area relationship to summarize changes in species richness across multiple spatial scales...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Effects of plant diversity, N fertilization, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland soil N cycling in a long-term experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Kevin E; Hobbie, Sarah E; Tilman, David; Reich, Peter B

    2013-04-01

    The effects of global environmental changes on soil nitrogen (N) pools and fluxes have consequences for ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and N retention. In a 13-year grassland experiment, we evaluated how elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), N fertilization, and plant species richness alter soil N cycling. We focused on soil inorganic N pools, including ammonium and nitrate, and two N fluxes, net N mineralization and net nitrification. In contrast with existing hypotheses, such as progressive N limitation, and with observations from other, often shorter, studies, elevated CO2 had relatively static and small, or insignificant, effects on soil inorganic N pools and fluxes. Nitrogen fertilization had inconsistent effects on soil N transformations, but increased soil nitrate and ammonium concentrations. Plant species richness had increasingly positive effects on soil N transformations over time, likely because in diverse subplots the concentrations of N in roots increased over time. Species richness also had increasingly positive effects on concentrations of ammonium in soil, perhaps because more carbon accumulated in soils of diverse subplots, providing exchange sites for ammonium. By contrast, subplots planted with 16 species had lower soil nitrate concentrations than less diverse subplots, especially when fertilized, probably due to greater N uptake capacity of subplots with 16 species. Monocultures of different plant functional types had distinct effects on N transformations and nitrate concentrations, such that not all monocultures differed from diverse subplots in the same manner. The first few years of data would not have adequately forecast the effects of N fertilization and diversity on soil N cycling in later years; therefore, the dearth of long-term manipulations of plant species richness and N inputs is a hindrance to forecasting the state of the soil N cycle and ecosystem functions in extant plant communities. © 2012 Blackwell

  9. Multi-level natural resources governance based on local community: A case study on semi-natural grassland in Tarōji, Nara, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisaku Shimada

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Japan is facing a bio-diversity crisis as a result of rapid industrialisation. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment formulated a National Biodiversity Strategy based on the Convention on Biological Diversity signed at the Earth Summit in 1992. After an amendment in 2002, the National Biodiversity Strategy addressed three crises in biodiversity: over-exploitation and development that destroys habitats, underutilisation (the satoyama problem and artificially introduced factors (chemicals, alien species and so on. This paper focuses on the second problem. Secondary natural environments called satoyama have been created and maintained over the centuries by human activity. Because natural environments in Japan have been affected by human-induced disturbances for 35,000 years, many species have evolved in response to these disturbances. If the human activities cease, many of the species that have evolved to survive in managed environments become threatened. Many satoyama have been managed as commonage or common lands, called iriai in Japan. One natural resource system created by commoners is semi-natural grassland, and economic modernisation has led to abandonment of traditional management practices on these grasslands – one of the more evident changes in Japanese iriai practices. Before industrialisation, semi-natural grasslands were managed as a source of green manure, as a harvest for roofing materials (thatch and as pasture for animals. After industrialisation, however, introduction of chemical fertilizers, changes in building practices and importation of animal feeds rapidly decreased the use value of these grasslands for local residents. On the other hand, their value as public goods – as historical, cultural landscapes and places of biodiversity – which concern a much broader population than the local community – became relatively more important. The resulting problem is how to manage this resource with its new value for new

  10. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G J; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  11. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarinah Waheed

    Full Text Available The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39, Agariciidae (n = 30 and Euphylliidae (n = 15. The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51% and good (38%. Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park.

  12. Tree Species Richness Promotes Invertebrate Herbivory on Congeneric Native and Exotic Tree Saplings in a Young Diversity Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Wein

    Full Text Available Tree diversity in forests is an important driver of ecological processes including herbivory. Empirical evidence suggests both negative and positive effects of tree diversity on herbivory, which can be, respectively, attributed to associational resistance or associational susceptibility. Tree diversity experiments allow testing for associational effects, but evidence regarding which pattern predominates is mixed. Furthermore, it is unknown if herbivory on tree species of native vs. exotic origin is influenced by changing tree diversity in a similar way, or if exotic tree species escape natural enemies, resulting in lower damage that is unrelated to tree diversity. To address these questions, we established a young tree diversity experiment in temperate southwestern Germany that uses high planting density (49 trees per plot; plot size 13 m2. The species pool consists of six congeneric species pairs of European and North American origin (12 species in total planted in monocultures and mixtures (1, 2, 4, 6 species. We assessed leaf damage by leaf-chewing insects on more than 5,000 saplings of six broadleaved tree species. Plot-level tree species richness increased leaf damage, which more than doubled from monocultures to six-species mixtures, strongly supporting associational susceptibility. However, leaf damage among congeneric native and exotic species pairs was similar. There were marked differences in patterns of leaf damage across tree genera, and only the genera likely having a predominately generalist herbivore community showed associational susceptibility, irrespective of the geographical origin of a tree species. In conclusion, an increase in tree species richness in young temperate forests may result in associational susceptibility to feeding by generalist herbivores.

  13. Biochemical parameters and bacterial species richness in soils contaminated by sludge-borne metals and remediated with inorganic soil amendments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mench, Michel; Renella, Giancarlo; Gelsomino, Antonio; Landi, Loretta; Nannipieri, Paolo

    2006-01-01

    The effectiveness of two amendments for the in situ remediation of a Cd- and Ni-contaminated soil in the Louis Fargue long-term field experiment was assessed. In April 1995, one replicate plot (S1) was amended with 5% w/w of beringite (B), a coal fly ash (treatment S1 + B), and a second plot with 1% w/w zerovalent-Fe iron grit (SS) (treatment S1+SS), with the aim of increasing metal sorption and attenuating metal impacts. Long-term responses of daily respiration rates, microbial biomass, bacterial species richness and the activities of key soil enzymes (acid and alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, β-glucosidase, urease and protease activities) were studied in relation to soil metal extractability. Seven years after initial amendments, the labile fractions of Cd and Ni in both the S1 + B and S1 + SS soils were reduced to various extents depending on the metal and fractions considered. The soil microbial biomass and respiration rate were not affected by metal contamination and amendments in the S1 + B and S1 + SS soils, whereas the activity of different soil enzymes was restored. The SS treatment was more effective in reducing labile pools of Cd and Ni and led to a greater recovery of soil enzyme activities than the B treatment. Bacterial species richness in the S1 soil did not alter with either treatment. It was concluded that monitoring of the composition and activity of the soil microbial community is important in evaluating the effectiveness of soil remediation practices. - Amendments (coal fly ash, zerovalent-Fe iron grit), reduced labile fractions of Cd and Ni in contaminated soils and restored the activity of key soil hydrolases

  14. Coral Reefs at the Northernmost Tip of Borneo: An Assessment of Scleractinian Species Richness Patterns and Benthic Reef Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Zarinah; van Mil, Harald G. J.; Syed Hussein, Muhammad Ali; Jumin, Robecca; Golam Ahad, Bobita; Hoeksema, Bert W.

    2015-01-01

    The coral reefs at the northernmost tip of Sabah, Borneo will be established under a marine protected area: the Tun Mustapha Park (TMP) by the end of 2015. This area is a passage where the Sulu Sea meets the South China Sea and it is situated at the border of the area of maximum marine biodiversity, the Coral Triangle. The TMP includes fringing and patch reefs established on a relatively shallow sea floor. Surveys were carried out to examine features of the coral reefs in terms of scleractinian species richness, and benthic reef assemblages following the Reef Check substrate categories, with emphasis on hard coral cover. Variation in scleractinian diversity was based on the species composition of coral families Fungiidae (n = 39), Agariciidae (n = 30) and Euphylliidae (n = 15). The number of coral species was highest at reefs with a larger depth gradient i.e. at the periphery of the study area and in the deep South Banggi Channel. Average live hard coral cover across the sites was 49%. Only 7% of the examined reefs had > 75% hard coral cover, while the majority of the reef sites were rated fair (51%) and good (38%). Sites with low coral cover and high rubble fragments are evidence of blast fishing, although the observed damage appeared old. Depth was a dominant factor in influencing the coral species composition and benthic reef communities in the TMP. Besides filling in the information gaps regarding species richness and benthic cover for reef areas that were previously without any data, the results of this study together with information that is already available on the coral reefs of TMP will be used to make informed decisions on zoning plans for conservation priorities in the proposed park. PMID:26719987

  15. Visual search for tropical web spiders: the influence of plot length, sampling effort, and phase of the day on species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto-Leite, C M; Rocha, P L B

    2012-12-01

    Empirical studies using visual search methods to investigate spider communities were conducted with different sampling protocols, including a variety of plot sizes, sampling efforts, and diurnal periods for sampling. We sampled 11 plots ranging in size from 5 by 10 m to 5 by 60 m. In each plot, we computed the total number of species detected every 10 min during 1 hr during the daytime and during the nighttime (0630 hours to 1100 hours, both a.m. and p.m.). We measured the influence of time effort on the measurement of species richness by comparing the curves produced by sample-based rarefaction and species richness estimation (first-order jackknife). We used a general linear model with repeated measures to assess whether the phase of the day during which sampling occurred and the differences in the plot lengths influenced the number of species observed and the number of species estimated. To measure the differences in species composition between the phases of the day, we used a multiresponse permutation procedure and a graphical representation based on nonmetric multidimensional scaling. After 50 min of sampling, we noted a decreased rate of species accumulation and a tendency of the estimated richness curves to reach an asymptote. We did not detect an effect of plot size on the number of species sampled. However, differences in observed species richness and species composition were found between phases of the day. Based on these results, we propose guidelines for visual search for tropical web spiders.

  16. Scale-dependence of the correlation between human population and the species richness of stream macro-invertebrates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pecher, C.; Fritz, Susanne; Marini, L.

    2010-01-01

    . This is surprising as EPT are bio-indicators of stream pollution and most local studies report higher species richness of these macro-invertebrates where human influences on water quality are lower. Using a newly collated taxonomic dataset, we studied whether the species richness of EPT is related to human...

  17. Species richness and distribution of chondrichthyan fishes in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lynghammar, A.; Christiansen, J. S.; Mecklenburg, C. W.

    2013-01-01

    The sea ice cover decreases and human activity increases in Arctic waters. Fisheries and bycatch issues, shipping and petroleum exploitation (pollution issues) make it imperative to establish biological baselines for the marine fishes inhabiting the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas (AOAS). Species...... richness, zoogeographic affiliations and Red List statuses among chondrichthyan fishes (Chondrichthyes) were examined across 16 AOAS regions as a first step towards credible conservation actions. Published literature and museum vouchers were consulted for presence/absence data. Although many regions...... are poorly sampled, 49 chondrichthyan species have been reported from the AOAS. Skates and rays are the most species-rich taxon, represented by 27 species in family Rajidae and one species in family Dasyatidae. The sharks comprise 20 species in 13 families and the chimaeras one species in family Chimaeridae...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Tree species diversity has been reported to increase forest ecosystem above-ground biomass and productivity, but little is known about below-ground biomass and production in diverse mixed forests compared to single-species forests. For testing whether species richness increases below-ground biomass...... and production and thus complementarity between forest tree species in young stands, we determined fine root biomass and production of trees and ground vegetation in two experimental plantations representing gradients in tree species richness. Additionally, we measured tree fine root length and determined...... be that these stands were still young, and canopy closure had not always taken place, i.e. a situation where above- or below-ground competition did not yet exist. Another reason could be that the rooting traits of the tree species did not differ sufficiently to support niche differentiation. Our results suggested...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    AimTo document the species richness pattern of birds in the Hengduan Mountains and to understand its causes. LocationHengduan Mountains, China. MethodsSpecies richness of 738 breeding bird species was calculated for each 100-m elevational band along a gradient from 100 to 6000m a.s.l. Climate data...... were compiled based on monthly records from 182 meteorological stations in the Hengduan Mountains from 1959 to 2004. We calculated the planimetric area, predicted richness under geometric constraints, three-year average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) and EVI (enhanced vegetation index...... that climatic and energy factors correlate well with the richness pattern of birds, and that on the surveyed subtropical mountain, the elevational bands with highest seasonality harbour fewer species than areas with less seasonal variation in temperature. The results, however, vary somewhat among taxonomic...

  20. Higher taxa as surrogates of species richness of spiders in insect-resistant transgenic rice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sheng Lin; Min-Sheng You; Liette Vasseur; Guang Yang; Feng-Jing Liu; Feng Guo

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity assessments can often be time- and resource-consuming.Several alternative approaches have been proposed to reduce sampling efforts,including indicator taxa and surrogates.In this study,we examine the reliability of higher taxon surrogates to predict species richness in two experimental rice fields of Fujian Province,southeastern China during 2005 and 2009.Spider samples in transgenic and nontransgenic plots were collected using a suction sampler.Both the genus and family surrogates had significant and positive linear relationships with species richness in the transgenic and nontransgenic rice fields.The rice varieties did not significantly influence the linear relationships.Our findings suggest that higher-taxon surrogacy could be a useful alternative to complete species inventory for risk assessments of transgenic rice.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Hui, Cang; Gaertner, Mirijam

    2014-01-01

    species richness and abundance in agroforestry, arable land, pastures, and permanent crops of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, we investigated (1) which taxonomic groups (arthropods, birds, lichen, vascular plants) are more affected by land abandonment; (2) at which spatial and temporal scales.......0001) plant and animal species richness and abundance overall, though results were heterogeneous, with differences in effect size between taxa, spatial-temporal scales, land uses, landforms, and climate. In conclusion, there is no "one-size-fits-all" conservation approach that applies to the diverse contexts......Land abandonment is common in the Mediterranean Basin, a global biodiversity hotspot, but little is known about its impacts on biodiversity. To upscale existing case-study insights to the Pan-Mediterranean level, we conducted a metaanalysis of the effects of land abandonment on plant and animal...

  2. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

  4. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knappová, Jana; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 7 (2016), s. 1-24 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : AMF * dry grassland commnunity * soil abiotic conditions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Rarity, Species Richness, and the Threat of Extinction—Are Plants the Same as Animals?

    OpenAIRE

    Knapp, Sandra

    2011-01-01

    Assessment of conservation status is done both for areas or habitats and for species (or taxa). IUCN Red List categories have been the principal method of categorising species in terms of extinction risk, and have been shown to be robust and helpful in the groups for which they have been developed. A recent study highlights properties associated with extinction risk in flowering plants, focusing on the species-rich hot spot of the Cape region of South Africa, and concludes that merely followi...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Dainese

    2012-08-01

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

  8. Species-rich ecosystems are vulnerable to cascading extinctions in an increasingly variable world

    OpenAIRE

    Kaneryd, Linda; Borrvall, Charlotte; Berg, Sofia; Curtsdotter, Alva; Eklöf, Anna; Hauzy, Céline; Jonsson, Tomas; Münger, Peter; Setzer, Malin; Säterberg, Torbjörn; Ebenman, Bo

    2012-01-01

    Global warming leads to increased intensity and frequency of weather extremes. Such increased environmental variability might in turn result in increased variation in the demographic rates of interacting species with potentially important consequences for the dynamics of food webs. Using a theoretical approach, we here explore the response of food webs to a highly variable environment. We investigate how species richness and correlation in the responses of species to environmental fluctuation...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernán Mario Beccacece

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. The importance of plot size and the number of sampling seasons on capturing macrofungal species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huili; Ostermann, Anne; Karunarathna, Samantha C; Xu, Jianchu; Hyde, Kevin D; Mortimer, Peter E

    2018-07-01

    The species-area relationship is an important factor in the study of species diversity, conservation biology, and landscape ecology. A deeper understanding of this relationship is necessary, in order to provide recommendations on how to improve the quality of data collection on macrofungal diversity in different land use systems in future studies, a systematic assessment of methodological parameters, in particular optimal plot sizes. The species-area relationship of macrofungi in tropical and temperate climatic zones and four different land use systems were investigated by determining the macrofungal species richness in plot sizes ranging from 100 m 2 to 10 000 m 2 over two sampling seasons. We found that the effect of plot size on recorded species richness significantly differed between land use systems with the exception of monoculture systems. For both climate zones, land use system needs to be considered when determining optimal plot size. Using an optimal plot size was more important than temporal replication (over two sampling seasons) in accurately recording species richness. Copyright © 2018 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The effect of peatland drainage and restoration on Odonata species richness and abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elo, Merja; Penttinen, Jouni; Kotiaho, Janne S

    2015-04-09

    Restoration aims at reversing the trend of habitat degradation, the major threat to biodiversity. In Finland, more than half of the original peatland area has been drained, and during recent years, restoration of some of the drained peatlands has been accomplished. Short-term effects of the restoration on peatland hydrology, chemistry and vegetation are promising but little is known about how other species groups apart from vascular plants and bryophytes respond to restoration efforts. Here, we studied how abundance and species richness of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) respond to restoration. We sampled larvae in three sites (restored, drained, pristine) on each of 12 different study areas. We sampled Odonata larvae before restoration (n = 12), during the first (n = 10) and the third (n = 7) year after restoration and used generalized linear mixed models to analyze the effect of restoration. Drained sites had lower abundance and species richness than pristine sites. During the third year after restoration both abundance and species richness had risen in restored sites. Our results show that Odonata suffer from drainage, but seem to benefit from peatland restoration and are able to colonize newly formed water pools already within three years after restoration.

  15. TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION AS PREDICTORS OF SPECIES RICHNESS IN NORTHERN ANDEAN AMPHIBIANS FROM COLOMBIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ortiz-Yusty Carlos Eduardo

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Our objective was to explore the spatial distribution patterns of amphibian speciesrichness in Antioquia, as model for the tropical Andes, and determine how annualmean temperature, annual precipitation, and elevation range influence it. We alsobriefly compare local and global regression models for estimating the relationbetween environmental variables and species richness. Distribution maps for 223amphibian species and environmental variables were generalized onto grid mapsof 752 blocks each covering the entire Department of Antioquia. We explored therelationship between species richness and environment using two global regressionmodels (the Ordinary Least Squares “OLS” and Generalized Linear Squares“GLS” models and one local model (the Geographically Weighted Regression“GWR” model. We found a significant relationship between species richness andenvironmental variables (GLS r2: 0.869; GRW r2: 0.929. The GLS model efficientlyincorporated the spatial autocorrelation effect and handled spatial dependencein the regression error terms while the GWR model showed the best fit (r2 andbalance between number of parameters and fit (AICc. GWR parameters show widevariation within the study area, indicating that relationship between species richnessand climate is spatially complex. Temperature was the most important variablein the GLS and GWR models, and altitude range the least significant. The strongrelationship between environment and amphibian richness is possibly due to lifehistory traits of amphibians, such as ectothermy and water dependency to completethe life cycle

  16. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Dexter

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin.

  17. Short-term responses and resistance of soil microbial community structure to elevated CO2 and N addition in grassland mesocosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonin, Marie; Nunan, Naoise; Bloor, Juliette M G; Pouteau, Valérie; Niboyet, Audrey

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) addition is known to affect soil microbial communities, but the interactive effects of N addition with other drivers of global change remain unclear. The impacts of multiple global changes on the structure of microbial communities may be mediated by specific microbial groups with different life-history strategies. Here, we investigated the combined effects of elevated CO2 and N addition on soil microbial communities using PLFA profiling in a short-term grassland mesocosm experiment. We also examined the linkages between the relative abundance of r- and K-strategist microorganisms and resistance of the microbial community structure to experimental treatments. N addition had a significant effect on microbial community structure, likely driven by concurrent increases in plant biomass and in soil labile C and N. In contrast, microbial community structure did not change under elevated CO2 or show significant CO2 × N interactions. Resistance of soil microbial community structure decreased with increasing fungal/bacterial ratio, but showed a positive relationship with the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacterial ratio. Our findings suggest that the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacteria ratio may be a useful indicator of microbial community resistance and that K-strategist abundance may play a role in the short-term stability of microbial communities under global change. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Seasonal Variation in Soil Microbial Biomass, Bacterial Community Composition and Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Relation to Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilton, E.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil respiration rate is affected by seasonal changes in temperature and moisture, but is this a direct effect on soil metabolism or an indirect effect caused by changes in microbial biomass, bacterial community composition and substrate availability? In order to address this question, we compared continuous measurements of soil and plant CO2 exchange made with an automatic chamber system to analyses conducted on replicate soil samples collected on four dates during June-August. Microbial biomass was estimated from substrate-induced respiration rate, bacterial community composition was determined by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) and phenol oxidase enzyme activities were assayed fluorometrically or by absorbance measurements, respectively. Soil microbial biomass declined from June to August in strong correlation with a progressive decline in soil moisture during this time period. Soil bacterial species richness and alpha diversity showed no significant seasonal change. However, bacterial community composition showed a progressive shift over time as measured by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. In particular, the change in community composition was associated with increasing relative abundance in the alpha and delta classes, and declining abundance of the beta and gamma classes of the Proteobacteria phylum during June-August. NAGase showed a progressive seasonal decline in potential activity that was correlated with microbial biomass and seasonal changes in soil moisture. In contrast, phenol oxidase showed highest potential activity in mid-July near the time of peak soil respiration and ecosystem photosynthesis, which may represent a time of high input of carbon exudates into the soil from plant roots. This input of exudates may stimulate the activity of phenol oxidase, a lignolytic enzyme involved in the breakdown of soil organic matter. These analyses indicated that seasonal change in soil respiration is a complex

  19. Plant species richness-productivity relationships in a low-productive boreal region

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Axmanová, I.; Chytrý, M.; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Horsák, M.; Cherosov, M. M.; Gogoleva, P. A.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 214, č. 2 (2013), s. 207-219 ISSN 1385-0237 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : competitive excluison * forest herb layer * grassland Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.640, year: 2013

  20. Life History Traits Reflect Changes in Mediterranean Butterfly Communities Due to Forest Encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Slancarova

    Full Text Available The biodiversity of the Southern Balkans, part of the Mediterranean global biodiversity hot-spot, is threatened by land use intensification and abandonment, the latter causing forest encroachment of formerly open habitats. We investigated the impact of forest encroachment on butterfly species richness, community species composition and the representation of life history traits by repeated seasonal visits of 150 one-hectare sites in five separate regions in three countries-Greece, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM-the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia- 10 replicates for each habitat type of grasslands, open formations and scrub forest within each region. Grasslands and open formations sites hosted in average more species and more red-listed species than scrub forest, while no pattern was found for numbers of Mediterranean species. As shown by ordination analyses, each of the three habitat types hosted distinct butterfly communities, with Mediterranean species inclining either towards grasslands or open formations. Analysing the representation of life history traits revealed that successional development from grasslands and open formations towards scrub forest shifts the community composition towards species overwintering in earlier stages, having fewer generations per year, and inhabiting large European or Eurosiberian (e.g. northern ranges; it decreases the representation of Mediterranean endemics. The loss of grasslands and semi-open formations due to forest encroachment thus threatens exactly the species that should be the focus of conservation attention in the Mediterranean region, and innovative conservation actions to prevent ongoing forest encroachment are badly needed.

  1. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  2. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  3. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C. J.; Bodelier, Paul L. E.; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M. F.; Hefting, Mariet M.; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization. PMID:23060870

  4. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eDaebeler

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of the associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilisation site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative PCR suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while the measured soil physico-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  5. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C J; Bodelier, Paul L E; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M F; Hefting, Mariet M; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  6. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia Rosa Santoro

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

  8. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang; Hu, Huijian; Jin, Kun

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure.

  9. Hotspots of species richness, threat and endemism for terrestrial vertebrates in SW Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual, López-López; Luigi, Maiorano; Alessandra, Falcucci; Emilio, Barba; Luigi, Boitani

    2011-09-01

    The Mediterranean basin, and the Iberian Peninsula in particular, represent an outstanding "hotspot" of biological diversity with a long history of integration between natural ecosystems and human activities. Using deductive distribution models, and considering both Spain and Portugal, we downscaled traditional range maps for terrestrial vertebrates (amphibians, breeding birds, mammals and reptiles) to the finest possible resolution with the data at hand, and we identified hotspots based on three criteria: i) species richness; ii) vulnerability, and iii) endemism. We also provided a first evaluation of the conservation status of biodiversity hotspots based on these three criteria considering both existing and proposed protected areas (i.e., Natura 2000). For the identification of hotspots, we used a method based on the cumulative distribution functions of species richness values. We found no clear surrogacy among the different types of hotspots in the Iberian Peninsula. The most important hotspots (considering all criteria) are located in the western and southwestern portions of the study area, in the Mediterranean biogeographical region. Existing protected areas are not specifically concentrated in areas of high species richness, with only 5.2% of the hotspots of total richness being currently protected. The Natura 2000 network can potentially constitute an important baseline for protecting vertebrate diversity in the Iberian Peninsula although further improvements are needed. We suggest taking a step forward in conservation planning in the Mediterranean basin, explicitly considering the history of the region as well as its present environmental context. This would allow moving from traditional reserve networks (conservation focused on "patterns") to considerations about the "processes" that generated present biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Species richness and relative abundance of birds in natural and anthropogenic fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz dos Anjos

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Bird communities were studied in two types of fragmented habitat of Atlantic forest in the State of Paraná, southern Brazil; one consisted of forest fragments that were created as a result of human activities (forest remnants, the other consisted of a set of naturally occurring forest fragments (forest patches. Using quantitative data obtained by the point counts method in 3 forest patches and 3 forest remnants during one year, species richness and relative abundance were compared in those habitats, considering species groups according to their general feeding habits. Insectivores, omnivores, and frugivores presented similar general tendencies in both habitats (decrease of species number with decreasing size and increasing isolation of forest fragment. However, these tendencies were different, when considering the relative abundance data: the trunk insectivores presented the highest value in the smallest patch while the lowest relative abundance was in the smallest remnant. In the naturally fragmented landscape, time permitted that the loss of some species of trunk insectivores be compensated for the increase in abundance of other species. In contrast, the remnants essentially represented newly formed islands that are not yet at equilibrium and where future species losses would make them similar to the patches.Comunidades de aves foram estudadas em duas regiões fragmentadas de floresta Atlântica no Estado do Paraná, sul do Brasil; uma região é constituída de fragmentos florestais que foram criados como resultado de atividades humanas (remanescentes florestais e a outra de um conjunto de fragmentos florestais naturais (manchas de floresta. Usando dados quantitativos (o método de contagens pontuais previamente obtidos em 3 manchas de floresta e em 3 remanescentes florestais durante um ano, a riqueza e a abundância relativa de aves foram comparadas naqueles habitats considerando as espécies pelos seus hábitos alimentares. Inset

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    by assembly from regional species pools. Using the European tree flora as our study system, we implemented a novel approach to assess the relative importance of local and regional mechanisms that control local species richness. We first identified species pools that tolerate particular local environments....../P richness ratio estimates, but we found consistent support for a negative effect of regional geographic fragmentation and a positive topographic effect. We also identified fairly broad support for the predicted effect of accessibility. We conclude that local tree assemblages in Europe often fail to realize...

  13. Relief influence on tree species richness in secondary forest fragments of Atlantic Forest, SE, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Silva,William Goulart da; Metzger,Jean Paul; Bernacci,Luis Carlos; Catharino,Eduardo Luís Martins; Durigan,Giselda; Simões,Sílvio

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this work was to explore the relationship between tree species richness and morphological characteristics of relief at the Ibiúna Plateau (SE Brazil). We sampled 61 plots of 0.30 ha, systematically established in 20 fragments of secondary forest (2-274 ha) and in three areas within a continuous secondary forest site, Morro Grande Reserve (9,400 ha). At each plot, 100 trees with diameter at breast height > 5 cm were sampled by the point centered quarter method, and total richness an...

  14. Model uncertainties do not affect observed patterns of species richness in the Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Lilian Patrícia; Neves, Olívia Viana; De Marco, Paulo

    2017-01-01

    Background Climate change is arguably a major threat to biodiversity conservation and there are several methods to assess its impacts on species potential distribution. Yet the extent to which different approaches on species distribution modeling affect species richness patterns at biogeographical scale is however unaddressed in literature. In this paper, we verified if the expected responses to climate change in biogeographical scale—patterns of species richness and species vulnerability to climate change—are affected by the inputs used to model and project species distribution. Methods We modeled the distribution of 288 vertebrate species (amphibians, birds and mammals), all endemic to the Amazon basin, using different combinations of the following inputs known to affect the outcome of species distribution models (SDMs): 1) biological data type, 2) modeling methods, 3) greenhouse gas emission scenarios and 4) climate forecasts. We calculated uncertainty with a hierarchical ANOVA in which those different inputs were considered factors. Results The greatest source of variation was the modeling method. Model performance interacted with data type and modeling method. Absolute values of variation on suitable climate area were not equal among predictions, but some biological patterns were still consistent. All models predicted losses on the area that is climatically suitable for species, especially for amphibians and primates. All models also indicated a current East-western gradient on endemic species richness, from the Andes foot downstream the Amazon river. Again, all models predicted future movements of species upwards the Andes mountains and overall species richness losses. Conclusions From a methodological perspective, our work highlights that SDMs are a useful tool for assessing impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Uncertainty exists but biological patterns are still evident at large spatial scales. As modeling methods are the greatest source of

  15. Effect of plant species richness on weed invasion in experimental plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lanta, Vojtěch; Lepš, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 198, č. 2 (2008), s. 253-263 ISSN 1385-0237 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD206/03/H034; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516; CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Biodiversity * Invasion * Weeds Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2008

  16. Effect of abiotic factors on species richness and cover in Central European weed communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Kropáč, Z.; Chytrý, M.; Wild, Jan; Tichý, L.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 109, - (2005), s. 1-8 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/00/1443 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : weed s of arable land * diversity * agricultural management Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.495, year: 2005

  17. Sown species richness and realized diversity can influence functioning of plant communities differently

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rychtecká, Terezie; Lanta, V.; Weiterová, I.; Lepš, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 101, č. 8 (2014), s. 637-644 ISSN 0028-1042 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : biodiversity * realized diversity * species pool Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.098, year: 2014

  18. Stabilizing effects in temporal fluctuations: management, traits, and species richness in high-diversity communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 99, č. 2 (2018), s. 360-371 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA17-05506S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : compensatory dynamics * dominant removal * fertilization/eutrophication Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016

  19. Invasibility and species richness of a community: A neutral model and a survey of published data

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herben, Tomáš; Mandák, Bohumil; Bímová, Kateřina; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 85, č. 12 (2004), s. 3223-3233 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB6005301 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : meta-analysis * disturbance rate * alien species Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.104, year: 2004

  20. Impacts of an invasive tree across trophic levels: species richness, community composition and resident species’ traits

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hejda, Martin; Hanzelka, J.; Kadlec, T.; Štrobl, M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 9 (2017), s. 997-1007 ISSN 1366-9516 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G; GA ČR(CZ) GA14-21715S Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : invasions * impact * trophic level Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016

  1. Octocoral Species Richness for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary from 1999-2009 (NODC Accession 0123059)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The dataset includes species richness of benthic branching and encrusting gorgonians collected from multiple habitat types across the south Florida shelf, inside and...

  2. Historical dynamics and current environmental effects explain the spatial distribution of species richness patterns of New World monkeys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Vallejos-Garrido

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background Why biodiversity is not uniformly distributed on the Earth is a major research question of biogeography. One of the most striking patterns of disparity in species distribution are the biodiversity hotspots, which generally do not fit with the distribution of relevant components of the Neotropical biota. In this study, we assess the proximal causes of the species-richness pattern of one of the most conspicuous groups of Neotropical mammals, the New World monkeys the Platyrrhini. We test two complementary hypotheses: (1 there is a historical source-sink dynamic (addressed using macroevolutionary and macroecological approaches; (2 the large number of species in the Amazon basin is due to the constraints imposed by environmental variables occurring outside this area. Methods We first characterize spatial patterns of species richness and biodiversity hotspots using a new, objective protocol based on probabilities. Then we evaluate the source-sink hypothesis using BioGeoBEARS analysis and nestedness analysis of species richness patterns. Complementarily, to measure how often different species pairs appear in the same sites, we used null models to estimate the checkerboard score index (C-score. Finally, we evaluate the relationship between several climatic variables and species richness through ordinary least squares (OLS and spatial autoregressive (SAR models, and the potential environmental constraints on the pattern. Results We found one significant cluster of high values for species richness in the Amazon basin. Most dispersal events occurred from the Amazonian subregion to other Neotropical areas. Temperature (T, discrepancy (BR, and NODF indexes show a significant nesting in the matrix ordered by species richness and available energy. The C-score observed was significantly smaller than the null expectation for all sites in the Neotropics where there are records of platyrrhine species. Ten climatic variables comprised the best

  3. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg -1 dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO 2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO 2 assimilation rate (A sat ) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A sat in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. - Highlights: → We exposed constructed grassland communities to Zn addition in a current and a future climate. → Zn uptake did not differ between the climates. → Although A sat was more responsive to Zn in future climate, climate did not alter biomass responses. → If this response remains on the long term, climate change will not alter sensitivity. - This study is the first to examine plant responses to a heavy metal (Zn) in a changing climate, and shows that the tolerance of plants to Zn stress will not be altered in a future climate.

  4. The relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass in a primary Pinus kesiya forest of Yunnan, southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shuaifeng; Lang, Xuedong; Liu, Wande; Ou, Guanglong; Xu, Hui; Su, Jianrong

    2018-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and biomass is an essential element of the natural ecosystem functioning. Our research aims at assessing the effects of species richness on the aboveground biomass and the ecological driver of this relationship in a primary Pinus kesiya forest. We sampled 112 plots of the primary P. kesiya forests in Yunnan Province. The general linear model and the structural equation model were used to estimate relative effects of multivariate factors among aboveground biomass, species richness and the other explanatory variables, including climate moisture index, soil nutrient regime and stand age. We found a positive linear regression relationship between the species richness and aboveground biomass using ordinary least squares regressions. The species richness and soil nutrient regime had no direct significant effect on aboveground biomass. However, the climate moisture index and stand age had direct effects on aboveground biomass. The climate moisture index could be a better link to mediate the relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass. The species richness affected aboveground biomass which was mediated by the climate moisture index. Stand age had direct and indirect effects on aboveground biomass through the climate moisture index. Our results revealed that climate moisture index had a positive feedback in the relationship between species richness and aboveground biomass, which played an important role in a link between biodiversity maintenance and ecosystem functioning. Meanwhile, climate moisture index not only affected positively on aboveground biomass, but also indirectly through species richness. The information would be helpful in understanding the biodiversity-aboveground biomass relationship of a primary P. kesiya forest and for forest management.

  5. Positive effects of plant species diversity on productivity in the absence of legumes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the effect of species richness on productivity in randomly assembled grassland communities without legumes. Aboveground biomass increased with increasing species richness and different measures of complementarity showed strong increases with plant species richness. Increasing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael N Dawson

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2014-12-07

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

  9. The relationship between species richness and ecosystem variability is shaped by the mechanism of coexistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Adler, Peter B; Adler, Frederick R

    2017-08-01

    Theory relating species richness to ecosystem variability typically ignores the potential for environmental variability to promote species coexistence. Failure to account for fluctuation-dependent coexistence may explain deviations from the expected negative diversity-ecosystem variability relationship, and limits our ability to predict the consequences of increases in environmental variability. We use a consumer-resource model to explore how coexistence via the temporal storage effect and relative nonlinearity affects ecosystem variability. We show that a positive, rather than negative, diversity-ecosystem variability relationship is possible when ecosystem function is sampled across a natural gradient in environmental variability and diversity. We also show how fluctuation-dependent coexistence can buffer ecosystem functioning against increasing environmental variability by promoting species richness and portfolio effects. Our work provides a general explanation for variation in observed diversity-ecosystem variability relationships and highlights the importance of conserving regional species pools to help buffer ecosystems against predicted increases in environmental variability. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  10. SPECIES RICHNESS AND UNIFORMITY CONTRIBUTIONS TO BIRD DIVERSITY IN SHADE COFFEE PLANTATIONS IN THE SOUTHEAST OF MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio Altamirano González Ortega

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the contribution of the richness and uniformity in the diversity of birds, and their relationship with covariates of vegetation in a coffee landscape in southern Mexico. Species richness and abundance was recorded in 2010 and 2011 in evergreen forests and three different types of coffee production systems. Changes in the values of species richness and uniformity were detected by a SHE analysis (S = species richness, H = diversity and E = evenness. True diversity (the actual number of species actually represent the diversity of species in the samples was also estimated. The tree cover, shrub cover and tree height were covariates of vegetation that explained the variation in species richness and abundance. SHE analysis indicated that cumulative values of bird diversity increased in all plots with species richness, while the values of uniformity of species decreased. This condition changed with management activities of coffee and / or the arrival of migratory birds. The true diversity, when all species had a weight proportional to its abundance (q = 1, was higher in all plots when they were given greater weight to the dominant species (q = 2. Management practices of tree cover and shrubs and bird migration could explain changes in species richness and uniformity during the agricultural cycle.

  11. Correlation between the habitats productivity and species richness (amphibians and reptiles) in Portugal through remote sensed data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodoro, A. C.; Sillero, N.; Alves, S.; Duarte, L.

    2013-10-01

    Several biogeographic theories propose that the species richness depends on the structure and ecosystems diversity. The habitat productivity, a surrogate for these variables, can be evaluated through satellite imagery, namely using vegetation indexes (e.g. NDVI). We analyzed the correlation between species richness (from the Portuguese Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles) and NDVI (from Landsat, MODIS, and Vegetation images). The species richness database contains more than 80000 records, collected from bibliographic sources (at 1 or 10 km of spatial resolution) and fieldwork sampling stations (recorded with GPS devices). Several study areas were chosen for Landsat images (three subsets), and all Portugal for MODIS and Vegetation images. The Landsat subareas had different climatic and habitat characteristics, located in the north, center and south of Portugal. Different species richness datasets were used depending on the image spatial resolution: data with metric resolution were used for Landsat, and with 1 km resolution, for MODIS and Vegetation images. The NDVI indexes and all the images were calculated/processed in an open source software (Quantum GIS). Several plug-ins were applied in order to automatize several procedures. We did not find any correlation between the species richness of amphibians and reptiles (not even after separating both groups by species of Atlantic and Mediterranean affinity) and the NDVI calculated with Landsat, MODIS and Vegetation images. Our results may fail to find a relationship because as the species richness is not correlated with only one variable (NDVI), and thus other environmental variables must be considered.

  12. Inferring species richness and turnover by statistical multiresolution texture analysis of satellite imagery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo Convertino

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The quantification of species-richness and species-turnover is essential to effective monitoring of ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are particularly in need of such monitoring due to their sensitivity to rainfall, water management and other external factors that affect hydrology, soil, and species patterns. A key challenge for environmental scientists is determining the linkage between natural and human stressors, and the effect of that linkage at the species level in space and time. We propose pixel intensity based Shannon entropy for estimating species-richness, and introduce a method based on statistical wavelet multiresolution texture analysis to quantitatively assess interseasonal and interannual species turnover. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We model satellite images of regions of interest as textures. We define a texture in an image as a spatial domain where the variations in pixel intensity across the image are both stochastic and multiscale. To compare two textures quantitatively, we first obtain a multiresolution wavelet decomposition of each. Either an appropriate probability density function (pdf model for the coefficients at each subband is selected, and its parameters estimated, or, a non-parametric approach using histograms is adopted. We choose the former, where the wavelet coefficients of the multiresolution decomposition at each subband are modeled as samples from the generalized Gaussian pdf. We then obtain the joint pdf for the coefficients for all subbands, assuming independence across subbands; an approximation that simplifies the computational burden significantly without sacrificing the ability to statistically distinguish textures. We measure the difference between two textures' representative pdf's via the Kullback-Leibler divergence (KL. Species turnover, or [Formula: see text] diversity, is estimated using both this KL divergence and the difference in Shannon entropy. Additionally, we predict species

  13. Fungal Community Responses to Past and Future Atmospheric CO2 Differ by Soil Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J. Christopher; Fay, Philip A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Jackson, Robert B.

    2014-01-01

    Soils sequester and release substantial atmospheric carbon, but the contribution of fungal communities to soil carbon balance under rising CO2 is not well understood. Soil properties likely mediate these fungal responses but are rarely explored in CO2 experiments. We studied soil fungal communities in a grassland ecosystem exposed to a preindustrial-to-future CO2 gradient (250 to 500 ppm) in a black clay soil and a sandy loam soil. Sanger sequencing and pyrosequencing of the rRNA gene cluster revealed that fungal community composition and its response to CO2 differed significantly between soils. Fungal species richness and relative abundance of Chytridiomycota (chytrids) increased linearly with CO2 in the black clay (P 0.7), whereas the relative abundance of Glomeromycota (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) increased linearly with elevated CO2 in the sandy loam (P = 0.02, R2 = 0.63). Across both soils, decomposition rate was positively correlated with chytrid relative abundance (r = 0.57) and, in the black clay soil, fungal species richness. Decomposition rate was more strongly correlated with microbial biomass (r = 0.88) than with fungal variables. Increased labile carbon availability with elevated CO2 may explain the greater fungal species richness and Chytridiomycota abundance in the black clay soil, whereas increased phosphorus limitation may explain the increase in Glomeromycota at elevated CO2 in the sandy loam. Our results demonstrate that soil type plays a key role in soil fungal responses to rising atmospheric CO2. PMID:25239904

  14. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A.; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels. PMID:27408583

  15. High-throughput biodiversity analysis: Rapid assessment of species richness and ecological interactions of Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera) in the tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Zurita, Jesús; Cardoso, Anabela; Coronado, Indiana; De la Cadena, Gissela; Jurado-Rivera, José A; Maes, Jean-Michel; Montelongo, Tinguaro; Nguyen, Dinh Thi; Papadopoulou, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity assessment has been the focus of intense debate and conceptual and methodological advances in recent years. The cultural, academic and aesthetic impulses to recognise and catalogue the diversity in our surroundings, in this case of living objects, is furthermore propelled by the urgency of understanding that we may be responsible for a dramatic reduction of biodiversity, comparable in magnitude to geological mass extinctions. One of the most important advances in this attempt to characterise biodiversity has been incorporating DNA-based characters and molecular taxonomy tools to achieve faster and more efficient species delimitation and identification, even in hyperdiverse tropical biomes. In this assay we advocate for a broad understanding of Biodiversity as the inventory of species in a given environment, but also the diversity of their interactions, with both aspects being attainable using molecular markers and phylogenetic approaches. We exemplify the suitability and utility of this framework for large-scale biodiversity assessment with the results of our ongoing projects trying to characterise the communities of leaf beetles and their host plants in several tropical setups. Moreover, we propose that approaches similar to ours, establishing the inventories of two ecologically inter-related and species-rich groups of organisms, such as insect herbivores and their angiosperm host-plants, can serve as the foundational stone to anchor a comprehensive assessment of diversity, also in tropical environments, by subsequent addition of trophic levels.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon S Schamp

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

  17. Long-term functioning of a species-rich mountain meadow under different management regimes. Agriculture

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mašková, Z.; Doležal, J.; Květ, Jan; Zemek, František

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 132 (2009), s. 192-202 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA MZe QH92034 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Šumava National Park and Biosphere Reserve * grassland management * plant biomass Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.130, year: 2009

  18. Changes in the microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi in response to elevated CO(2) and warming in an Australian native grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Helen L; Mele, Pauline M; Bougoure, Damian S; Allan, Claire Y; Norng, Sorn; Piceno, Yvette M; Brodie, Eoin L; Desantis, Todd Z; Andersen, Gary L; Williams, Amity L; Hovenden, Mark J

    2012-12-01

    The microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi is described in an Australian native grassland soil after more than 5 years exposure to different atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) (ambient, +550 ppm) and temperatures (ambient, + 2°C) under different plant functional types (C3 and C4 grasses) and at two soil depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm). Archaeal community diversity was influenced by elevated [CO2], while under warming archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers increased for C4 plant Themeda triandra and decreased for the C3 plant community (P fungi in soil responded differently to elevated [CO2], warming and their interaction. Taxa identified as significantly climate-responsive could show differing trends in the direction of response ('+' or '-') under elevated CO2 or warming, which could then not be used to predict their interactive effects supporting the need to investigate interactive effects for climate change. The approach of focusing on specific taxonomic groups provides greater potential for understanding complex microbial community changes in ecosystems under climate change. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Meta-scale mountain grassland observatories uncover commonalities as well as specific interactions among plant and non-rhizosphere soil bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Helene; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2018-04-10

    Interactions between plants and bacteria in the non-rhizosphere soil are rarely assessed, because they are less direct and easily masked by confounding environmental factors. By studying plant vegetation alliances and soil bacterial community co-patterning in grassland soils in 100 sites across a heterogeneous mountain landscape in the western Swiss Alps, we obtained sufficient statistical power to disentangle common co-occurrences and weaker specific interactions. Plant alliances and soil bacterial communities tended to be synchronized in community turnover across the landscape, largely driven by common underlying environmental factors, such as soil pH or elevation. Certain alliances occurring in distinct, local, environmental conditions were characterized by co-occurring specialist plant and bacterial species, such as the Nardus stricta and Thermogemmatisporaceae. In contrast, some generalist taxa, like Anthoxanthum odoratum and 19 Acidobacteria species, spanned across multiple vegetation alliances. Meta-scale analyses of soil bacterial community composition and vegetation surveys, complemented with local edaphic measurements, can thus prove useful to identify the various types of plant-bacteria interactions and the environments in which they occur.

  20. Application of DNA barcoding in biodiversity studies of shallow-water octocorals: molecular proxies agree with morphological estimates of species richness in Palau

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, C. S.; Brown, A. S.; Brayton, C.; Hunt, C. B.; van Ofwegen, L. P.

    2014-06-01

    The application of DNA barcoding to anthozoan cnidarians has been hindered by their slow rates of mitochondrial gene evolution and the failure to identify alternative molecular markers that distinguish species reliably. Among octocorals, however, multilocus barcodes can distinguish up to 70 % of morphospecies, thereby facilitating the identification of species that are ecologically important but still very poorly known taxonomically. We tested the ability of these imperfect DNA barcodes to estimate species richness in a biodiversity survey of the shallow-water octocoral fauna of Palau using multilocus ( COI, mtMutS, 28S rDNA) sequences obtained from 305 specimens representing 38 genera of octocorals. Numbers and identities of species were estimated independently (1) by a taxonomic expert using morphological criteria and (2) by assigning sequences to molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) using predefined genetic distance thresholds. Estimated numbers of MOTUs ranged from 73 to 128 depending on the barcode and distance threshold applied, bracketing the estimated number of 118 morphospecies. Concordance between morphospecies identifications and MOTUs ranged from 71 to 75 % and differed little among barcodes. For the speciose and ecologically dominant genus Sinularia, however, we were able to identify 95 % of specimens correctly simply by comparing mtMutS sequences and in situ photographs of colonies to an existing vouchered database. Because we lack a clear understanding of species boundaries in most of these taxa, numbers of morphospecies and MOTUs are both estimates of the true species diversity, and we cannot currently determine which is more accurate. Our results suggest, however, that the two methods provide comparable estimates of species richness for shallow-water Indo-Pacific octocorals. Use of molecular barcodes in biodiversity surveys will facilitate comparisons of species richness and composition among localities and over time, data that do not

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hella Schlinkert

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

  2. Pattern or process? Evaluating the peninsula effect as a determinant of species richness in coastal dune forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pieter I Olivier

    Full Text Available The peninsula effect predicts that the number of species should decline from the base of a peninsula to the tip. However, evidence for the peninsula effect is ambiguous, as different analytical methods, study taxa, and variations in local habitat or regional climatic conditions influence conclusions on its presence. We address this uncertainty by using two analytical methods to investigate the peninsula effect in three taxa that occupy different trophic levels: trees, millipedes, and birds. We surveyed 81 tree quadrants, 102 millipede transects, and 152 bird points within 150 km of coastal dune forest that resemble a habitat peninsula along the northeast coast of South Africa. We then used spatial (trend surface analyses and non-spatial regressions (generalized linear mixed models to test for the presence of the peninsula effect in each of the three taxa. We also used linear mixed models to test if climate (temperature and precipitation and/or local habitat conditions (water availability associated with topography and landscape structural variables could explain gradients in species richness. Non-spatial models suggest that the peninsula effect was present in all three taxa. However, spatial models indicated that only bird species richness declined from the peninsula base to the peninsula tip. Millipede species richness increased near the centre of the peninsula, while tree species richness increased near the tip. Local habitat conditions explained species richness patterns of birds and trees, but not of millipedes, regardless of model type. Our study highlights the idiosyncrasies associated with the peninsula effect-conclusions on the presence of the peninsula effect depend on the analytical methods used and the taxon studied. The peninsula effect might therefore be better suited to describe a species richness pattern where the number of species decline from a broader habitat base to a narrow tip, rather than a process that drives species

  3. The effects of global change on the distribution, species richness and life history of European dragonflies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Kent

    2016-01-01

    traits such as taxonomy, habitat specificity, metabolic plasticity, and biogeographic traits such zoogeographical origin. In Paper I we describe how changes in species richness pattern across Europe correlate with range changes in different taxonomic and biogeographic groups of dragonflies. We found...... specialized species adapted to permanent running (perennial lotic) water habitats. We found that species reproducing in temporary water track climate changes better than species adapted to permanent water. In Paper III we explore the relationship between metabolic plasticity (expressed as the ability to shift...... with less metabolic plasticity. We conducted experimental ex-situ measurements of metabolic rates measured as respiration rates at 10°C and 20°C, respectively, of four Scandinavian dragonfly species. We used two species with a northern distribution, one with a southern distribution and one ubiquitous...

  4. (macro- Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Morand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Knapp

    2011-05-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    , and network roles indicates that historical climate had little effects on extinction-immigration dynamics. This is in contrast to the strong effect of historical climate observed on the mainland, possibly because surrounding oceans buffer against strong climate oscillations and because geography is a strong....... Here, we evaluate the potential additional effects of historical climate on breeding land bird richness and endemism in Wallacea and the West Indies. Furthermore, on the basis of species distributions, we identify island biogeographical network roles and examine their association with geography......, current and historical climate, and bird richness/endemism. We found that island geography, especially island area but also isolation and elevation, largely explained the variation in island species richness and endemism. Current and historical climate only added marginally to our understanding...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calabuig, Isabel

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Geographical, Temporal and Environmental Determinants of Bryophyte Species Richness in the Macaronesian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aranda, Silvia C.; Gabriel, Rosalina; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Santos, Ana M. C.; de Azevedo, Eduardo Brito; Patiño, Jairo; Hortal, Joaquín; Lobo, Jorge M.

    2014-01-01

    Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB), habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM). Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups), was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%). There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable ecological

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

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    Craig Costion

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

  10. Energy and speleogenesis: Key determinants of terrestrial species richness in caves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Valverde, Alberto; Sendra, Alberto; Garay, Policarp; Reboleira, Ana Sofia P S

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this study was to unravel the relative role played by speleogenesis (i.e., the process in which a cave is formed), landscape-scale variables, and geophysical factors in the determination of species richness in caves. Biological inventories from 21 caves located in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula along with partial least square (PLS) regression analysis were used to assess the relative importance of the different explanatory variables. The caves were grouped according to the similarity in their species composition; the effect that spatial distance could have on similarity was also studied using correlation between matrices. The energy and speleogenesis of caves accounted for 44.3% of the variation in species richness. The trophic level of each cave was the most significant factor in PLS regression analysis, and epigenic caves (i.e., those formed by the action of percolating water) had significantly more species than hypogenic ones (i.e., those formed by the action of upward flows in confined aquifers). Dissimilarity among the caves was very high (multiple-site β sim  = 0.92). Two main groups of caves were revealed through the cluster analysis, one formed by the western caves and the other by the eastern ones. The significant-but low-correlation found between faunistic dissimilarity and geographical distance ( r  =   .16) disappeared once the caves were split into the two groups. The extreme beta-diversity suggests a very low connection among the caves and/or a very low dispersal capacity of the species. In the region under study, two main factors are intimately related to the richness of terrestrial subterranean species in caves: the amount of organic material (trophic level) and the formation process (genesis). This is the first time that the history of a cave genesis has been quantitatively considered to assess its importance in explaining richness patterns in comparison with other factors more widely recognized.

  11. Species richness and trait composition of butterfly assemblages change along an altitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leingärtner, Annette; Krauss, Jochen; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-06-01

    Species richness patterns along altitudinal gradients are well-documented ecological phenomena, yet very little data are available on how environmental filtering processes influence the composition and traits of butterfly assemblages at high altitudes. We have studied the diversity patterns of butterfly species at 34 sites along an altitudinal gradient ranging from 600 to 2,000 m a.s.l. in the National Park Berchtesgaden (Germany) and analysed traits of butterfly assemblages associated with dispersal capacity, reproductive strategies and developmental time from lowlands to highlands, including phylogenetic analyses. We found a linear decline in butterfly species richness along the altitudinal gradient, but the phylogenetic relatedness of the butterfly assemblages did not increase with altitude. Compared to butterfly assemblages at lower altitudes, those at higher altitudes were composed of species with larger wings (on average 9%) which laid an average of 68% more eggs. In contrast, egg maturation time in butterfly assemblages decreased by about 22% along the altitudinal gradient. Further, butterfly assemblages at higher altitudes were increasingly dominated by less widespread species. Based on our abundance data, but not on data in the literature, population density increased with altitude, suggesting a reversed density-distribution relationship, with higher population densities of habitat specialists in harsh environments. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for significant shifts in the composition of butterfly assemblages and for the dominance of different traits along the altitudinal gradient. In our study, these changes were mainly driven by environmental factors, whereas phylogenetic filtering played a minor role along the studied altitudinal range.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costion, Craig; Ford, Andrew; Cross, Hugh; Crayn, Darren; Harrington, Mark; Lowe, Andrew

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ossola

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size.

  14. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  15. Functional redundancy patterns reveal non-random assembly rules in a species-rich marine assemblage.

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    Nicolas Guillemot

    Full Text Available The relationship between species and the functional diversity of assemblages is fundamental in ecology because it contains key information on functional redundancy, and functionally redundant ecosystems are thought to be more resilient, resistant and stable. However, this relationship is poorly understood and undocumented for species-rich coastal marine ecosystems. Here, we used underwater visual censuses to examine the patterns of functional redundancy for one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages, the coral reef fishes of New Caledonia, South Pacific. First, we found that the relationship between functional and species diversity displayed a non-asymptotic power-shaped curve, implying that rare functions and species mainly occur in highly diverse assemblages. Second, we showed that the distribution of species amongst possible functions was significantly different from a random distribution up to a threshold of ∼90 species/transect. Redundancy patterns for each function further revealed that some functions displayed fast rates of increase in redundancy at low species diversity, whereas others were only becoming redundant past a certain threshold. This suggested non-random assembly rules and the existence of some primordial functions that would need to be fulfilled in priority so that coral reef fish assemblages can gain a basic ecological structure. Last, we found little effect of habitat on the shape of the functional-species diversity relationship and on the redundancy of functions, although habitat is known to largely determine assemblage characteristics such as species composition, biomass, and abundance. Our study shows that low functional redundancy is characteristic of this highly diverse fish assemblage, and, therefore, that even species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs may be vulnerable to the removal of a few keystone species.

  16. Combining projected changes in species richness and composition reveals climate change impacts on coastal Mediterranean fish assemblages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albouy, Camille; Guilhaumon, François; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    future climatic niches of 288 coastal Mediterranean fish species based on a global warming scenario. We then aggregated geographically the species-level projections to analyse the projected changes in species richness and composition. Our results show that projected changes in assemblage composition....... nestedness), separately. We also present a mapping strategy to simultaneously visualize changes in species richness and assemblage composition. To illustrate our approach, we used the Mediterranean coastal fish fauna as a case study. Using Bioclimatic Envelope Models (BEMs) we first projected the potential......, the joint exploration of changes in species richness and composition coupled with the distinction between species replacement and nestedness bears important information for understanding the nature of climate change impacts on biodiversity. These methodological advances should help decision...

  17. Topographic heterogeneity and temperature amplitude explain species richness patterns of birds in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunlan; Quan, Qing; Wu, Yongjie; Chen, Youhua; He, Peng; Qu, Yanhua; Lei, Fumin

    2017-04-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness have gained much attention in recent years; however, the factors that drive high species richness are still controversial in local regions, especially in highly diversified montane regions. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and the surrounding mountains are biodiversity hot spots due to a high number of endemic montane species. Here, we explored the factors underlying this high level of diversity by studying the relationship between species richness and environmental variables. The richness patterns of 758 resident bird species were summarized at the scale of 1°×1° grid cell at different taxonomic levels (order, family, genus, and species) and in different taxonomic groups (Passeriformes, Galliformes, Falconiformes, and Columbiformes). These richness patterns were subsequently analyzed against habitat heterogeneity (topographical heterogeneity and land cover), temperature amplitude (annual temperature, annual precipitation, precipitation seasonality, and temperature seasonality) and a vegetation index (net primary productivity). Our results showed that the highest richness was found in the southeastern part of the QTP, the eastern Himalayas. The lowest richness was observed in the central plateau of the QTP. Topographical heterogeneity and temperature amplitude are the primary factors that explain overall patterns of species richness in the QTP, although the specific effect of each environmental variable varies between the different taxonomic groups depending on their own evolutionary histories and ecological requirements. High species richness in the southeastern QTP is mostly due to highly diversified habitat types and temperature zones along elevation gradients, whereas the low species richness in the central plateau of the QTP may be due to environmental and energetic constraints, as the central plateau is harsh environment.

  18. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-12-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg(-1) dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO2 assimilation rate (A(sat)) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A(sat) in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Soil fertilization leads to a decline in between-samples variability of microbial community δ13C profiles in a grassland fertilization experiment.

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    Stavros D Veresoglou

    Full Text Available Gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS was used to measure the (13C/(12C ratios of PLFAs at natural abundance levels from a temperate grassland nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P factorial fertilization experiment in northern Greece. In each plot two rhizosphere samples were derived centred around individual Agrostis capillaris and Prunella vulgaris plants. It was hypothesized that the isotopic signal of microbes that preferentially feed on recalcitrant litter such as fungi would be modified by fertilization more strongly than that of opportunistic microbes using labile C. Microbial community δ(13C was affected by both P and N fertilization regime and plant species identity. However, we have been unable to detect significant nutrient effects on individual groups of microbes when analyzed separately in contrast to our original hypothesis. Intra-treatment variability, as evaluated from Hartley's F(max tests in the five first PCA components axes as well as the size of the convex hulls in PCA scoreplots and Mahalanobis distances, was considerably higher in the non-fertilized controls. Moreover, a significant relationship was established between the change in PLFA abundances and their respective changes in δ(13C for the aggregate of samples and those simultaneously fertilized with N and P. We conclude that use of compound specific isotope analysis in the absence of labelling represents a valuable and overlooked tool in obtaining an insight of microbial community functioning.

  20. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

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    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  1. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  2. Tectonics, climate, and the rise and demise of continental aquatic species richness hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Thomas A; Harzhauser, Mathias; Georgopoulou, Elisavet; Kroh, Andreas; Mandic, Oleg

    2015-09-15

    Continental aquatic species richness hotspots are unevenly distributed across the planet. In present-day Europe, only two centers of biodiversity exist (Lake Ohrid on the Balkans and the Caspian Sea). During the Neogene, a wide variety of hotspots developed in a series of long-lived lakes. The mechanisms underlying the presence of richness hotspots in different geological periods have not been properly examined thus far. Based on Miocene to Recent gastropod distributions, we show that the existence and evolution of such hotspots in inland-water systems are tightly linked to the geodynamic history of the European continent. Both past and present hotspots are related to the formation and persistence of long-lived lake systems in geological basins or to isolation of existing inland basins and embayments from the marine realm. The faunal evolution within hotspots highly depends on warm climates and surface area. During the Quaternary icehouse climate and extensive glaciations, limnic biodiversity sustained a severe decline across the continent and most former hotspots disappeared. The Recent gastropod distribution is mainly a geologically young pattern formed after the Last Glacial Maximum (19 ky) and subsequent formation of postglacial lakes. The major hotspots today are related to long-lived lakes in preglacially formed, permanently subsiding geological basins.

  3. Geographical Gradients in Argentinean Terrestrial Mammal Species Richness and Their Environmental Correlates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Márquez, Ana L.; Real, Raimundo; Kin, Marta S.; Guerrero, José Carlos; Galván, Betina; Barbosa, A. Márcia; Olivero, Jesús; Palomo, L. Javier; Vargas, J. Mario; Justo, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    We analysed the main geographical trends of terrestrial mammal species richness (SR) in Argentina, assessing how broad-scale environmental variation (defined by climatic and topographic variables) and the spatial form of the country (defined by spatial filters based on spatial eigenvector mapping (SEVM)) influence the kinds and the numbers of mammal species along these geographical trends. We also evaluated if there are pure geographical trends not accounted for by the environmental or spatial factors. The environmental variables and spatial filters that simultaneously correlated with the geographical variables and SR were considered potential causes of the geographic trends. We performed partial correlations between SR and the geographical variables, maintaining the selected explanatory variables statistically constant, to determine if SR was fully explained by them or if a significant residual geographic pattern remained. All groups and subgroups presented a latitudinal gradient not attributable to the spatial form of the country. Most of these trends were not explained by climate. We used a variation partitioning procedure to quantify the pure geographic trend (PGT) that remained unaccounted for. The PGT was larger for latitudinal than for longitudinal gradients. This suggests that historical or purely geographical causes may also be relevant drivers of these geographical gradients in mammal diversity. PMID:23028254

  4. Blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Croatia: species richness, distribution and relationship to surrounding countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivković, Marija; Kúdela, Matuš; Kúdelová, Tatiana

    2016-05-05

    All records of blackflies (Simuliidae) from the territory of Croatia are summarized, including previously unpublished data. The blackfly fauna of Croatia consists of 28 species. Simulium (Nevermannia) angustitarse (Lundström), Simulium (Nevermannia) cryophilum (Rubtsov) complex, Simulium (Nevermannia) lundstromi (Enderlein), Simulium (Nevermannia) vernum Macquart complex, Simulium (Simulium) argyreatum Meigen, Simulium (Simulium) bezzii (Corti) complex, Simulium paraequinum Puri and Simulium pseudequinum Séguy are reported for the first time from Croatia. Information related to the ecoregions, in which species were found and specific species traits are given. Genus Prosimulium Roubaud is represented by one species only. Genus Simulium Latreille is represented by 27 species in six subgenera, with subgenus Simulium Latreille s. str. being most species rich (13 species) and subgenera Boophthora Enderlein and  Trichodagmia Enderlein represented each by only one species. Compared to the neighboring countries, the Croatian species assemblage is most similar to the fauna of Slovenia and least similar to that of Italy. The relatively low number of species, presence of several species complexes and unclear identity of other species show that further research of blackflies in Croatia is needed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-07

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

  6. Dietary species richness as a measure of food biodiversity and nutritional quality of diets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raneri, Jessica E.; Smith, Katherine Walker; Kolsteren, Patrick; Van Damme, Patrick; Verzelen, Kaat; Penafiel, Daniela; Vanhove, Wouter; Kennedy, Gina; Hunter, Danny; Odhiambo, Francis Oduor; Ntandou-Bouzitou, Gervais; De Baets, Bernard; Ratnasekera, Disna; Ky, Hoang The; Remans, Roseline; Termote, Céline

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity is key for human and environmental health. Available dietary and ecological indicators are not designed to assess the intricate relationship between food biodiversity and diet quality. We applied biodiversity indicators to dietary intake data from and assessed associations with diet quality of women and young children. Data from 24-hour diet recalls (55% in the wet season) of n = 6,226 participants (34% women) in rural areas from seven low- and middle-income countries were analyzed. Mean adequacies of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, and zinc and diet diversity score (DDS) were used to assess diet quality. Associations of biodiversity indicators with nutrient adequacy were quantified using multilevel models, receiver operating characteristic curves, and test sensitivity and specificity. A total of 234 different species were consumed, of which functional diversity, species richness (SR) showed stronger associations and better diagnostic properties with micronutrient adequacy. For every additional species consumed, dietary nutrient adequacy increased by 0.03 (P food biodiversity in diets. PMID:29255049

  7. Patterns of species richness and the center of diversity in modern Indo-Pacific larger foraminifera.

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    Förderer, Meena; Rödder, Dennis; Langer, Martin R

    2018-05-29

    Symbiont-bearing Larger Benthic Foraminifera (LBF) are ubiquitous components of shallow tropical and subtropical environments and contribute substantially to carbonaceous reef and shelf sediments. Climate change is dramatically affecting carbonate producing organisms and threatens the diversity and structural integrity of coral reef ecosystems. Recent invertebrate and vertebrate surveys have identified the Coral Triangle as the planet's richest center of marine life delineating the region as a top priority for conservation. We compiled and analyzed extensive occurrence records for 68 validly recognized species of LBF from the Indian and Pacific Ocean, established individual range maps and applied Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP) and Species Distribution Model (SDM) methodologies to create the first ocean-wide species richness maps. SDM output was further used for visualizing latitudinal and longitudinal diversity gradients. Our findings provide strong support for assigning the tropical Central Indo-Pacific as the world's species-richest marine region with the Central Philippines emerging as the bullseye of LBF diversity. Sea surface temperature and nutrient content were identified as the most influential environmental constraints exerting control over the distribution of LBF. Our findings contribute to the completion of worldwide research on tropical marine biodiversity patterns and the identification of targeting centers for conservation efforts.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of richness and endemism (incorporating all five taxa. For all taxa except birds, richness and endemism were significantly correlated, with amphibians, reptiles, and the overall indices showing the highest correlations (rs = 0.527-0.676. However, 'priority sets' of ecoregions (i.e., the top 10% of ecoregions based on richness generally overlapped poorly with those based on endemism (< 50% overlap for all but reptiles. These results offer only limited support for the idea that richness and endemism are correlated at broad scales and indicate that land managers will need to balance these dual, and often conflicting, goals of biodiversity conservation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. Geographical Gradients in Argentinean Terrestrial Mammal Species Richness and Their Environmental Correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana L. Márquez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analysed the main geographical trends of terrestrial mammal species richness (SR in Argentina, assessing how broad-scale environmental variation (defined by climatic and topographic variables and the spatial form of the country (defined by spatial filters based on spatial eigenvector mapping (SEVM influence the kinds and the numbers of mammal species along these geographical trends. We also evaluated if there are pure geographical trends not accounted for by the environmental or spatial factors. The environmental variables and spatial filters that simultaneously correlated with the geographical variables and SR were considered potential causes of the geographic trends. We performed partial correlations between SR and the geographical variables, maintaining the selected explanatory variables statistically constant, to determine if SR was fully explained by them or if a significant residual geographic pattern remained. All groups and subgroups presented a latitudinal gradient not attributable to the spatial form of the country. Most of these trends were not explained by climate. We used a variation partitioning procedure to quantify the pure geographic trend (PGT that remained unaccounted for. The PGT was larger for latitudinal than for longitudinal gradients. This suggests that historical or purely geographical causes may also be relevant drivers of these geographical gradients in mammal diversity.

  11. Testing Dragonflies as Species Richness Indicators in a Fragmented Subtropical Atlantic Forest Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, S; Sahlén, G; Périco, E

    2016-06-01

    We surveyed 15 bodies of water among remnants of the Atlantic Forest biome in southern Brazil for adult dragonflies and damselflies to test whether an empirical selection method for diversity indicators could be applied in a subtropical ecosystem, where limited ecological knowledge on species level is available. We found a regional species pool of 34 species distributed in a nested subset pattern with a mean of 11.2 species per locality. There was a pronounced difference in species composition between spring, summer, and autumn, but no differences in species numbers between seasons. Two species, Homeoura chelifera (Selys) and Ischnura capreolus (Hagen), were the strongest candidates for regional diversity indicators, being found only at species-rich localities in our surveyed area and likewise in an undisturbed national forest reserve, serving as a reference site for the Atlantic Forest. Using our selection method, we found it possible to obtain a tentative list of diversity indicators without having detailed ecological information of each species, providing a reference site is available for comparison. The method thus allows for indicator species to be selected in blanco from taxonomic groups that are little known. We hence argue that Odonata can already be incorporated in ongoing assessment programs in the Neotropics, which would also increase the ecological knowledge of the group and allow extrapolation to other taxa.

  12. Relative abundance and species richness of cerambycid beetles in partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newell, P.; King, S.

    2009-01-01

    Partial cutting techniques are increasingly advocated and used to create habitat for priority wildlife. However, partial cutting may or may not benefit species dependent on deadwood; harvesting can supplement coarse woody debris in the form of logging slash, but standing dead trees may be targeted for removal. We sampled cerambycid beetles during the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007 with canopy malaise traps in 1- and 2-year-old partial cut and uncut bottomland hardwood forests of Louisiana. We captured a total of 4195 cerambycid beetles representing 65 species. Relative abundance was higher in recent partial cuts than in uncut controls and with more dead trees in a plot. Total species richness and species composition were not different between treatments. The results suggest partial cuts with logging slash left on site increase the abundance of cerambycid beetles in the first few years after partial cutting and that both partial cuts and uncut forest should be included in the bottomland hardwood forest landscape.

  13. Community level offset of rain use- and transpiration efficiency for a heavily grazed ecosystem in inner Mongolia grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying Z; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X; Yang, Hai J

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and "real" WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems.

  14. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertzog, Lionel R.; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Ebeling, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by te