WorldWideScience

Sample records for stream ecosystem function

  1. Continental-Scale Effects of Nutrient Pollution on Stream Ecosystem Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Woodward , Guy; Gessner , Mark O.; Giller , Paul S.; Gulis , Vladislav; Hladyz , Sally; Lecerf , Antoine; Malmqvist , Björn; McKie , Brendan G.; Tiegs , Scott D.; Cariss , Helen; Dobson , Mike; Elosegi , Arturo; Ferreira , Veronica; Graça , Manuel A. S.; Fleituch , Tadeusz

    2012-01-01

    International audience; Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 100...

  2. Persistent effects of acidification on stream ecosystem structure and function

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Traister, E.; McDowell, W. H.; Krám, Pavel; Fottová, Daniela; Kolaříková, K.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 32, č. 2 (2013), s. 586-596 ISSN 2161-9565 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : acidification * macroinvertebrates * whole-stream metabolism * streams * isotopic signature * terrestrial detritus * periphyton * GEOMON Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  3. Ecosystem engineering by invasive exotic beavers reduces in-stream diversity and enhances ecosystem function in Cape Horn, Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Christopher B; Rosemond, Amy D

    2007-11-01

    Species invasions are of global significance, but predicting their impacts can be difficult. Introduced ecosystem engineers, however, provide an opportunity to test the underlying mechanisms that may be common to all invasive engineers and link relationships between changes in diversity and ecosystem function, thereby providing explanatory power for observed ecological patterns. Here we test specific predictions for an invasive ecosystem engineer by quantifying the impacts of habitat and resource modifications caused by North American beavers (Castor canadensis) on aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure and stream ecosystem function in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile. We compared responses to beavers in three habitat types: (1) forested (unimpacted) stream reaches, (2) beaver ponds, and (3) sites immediately downstream of beaver dams in four streams. We found that beaver engineering in ponds created taxonomically simplified, but more productive, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Specifically, macroinvertebrate richness, diversity and number of functional feeding groups were reduced by half, while abundance, biomass and secondary production increased three- to fivefold in beaver ponds compared to forested sites. Reaches downstream of beaver ponds were very similar to natural forested sections. Beaver invasion effects on both community and ecosystem parameters occurred predominantly via increased retention of fine particulate organic matter, which was associated with reduced macroinvertebrate richness and diversity (via homogenization of benthic microhabitat) and increased macroinvertebrate biomass and production (via greater food availability). Beaver modifications to macroinvertebrate community structure were largely confined to ponds, but increased benthic production in beaver-modified habitats adds to energy retention and flow for the entire stream ecosystem. Furthermore, the effects of beavers on taxa richness (negative) and measures of

  4. Continental-scale effects of nutrient pollution on stream ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Guy; Gessner, Mark O; Giller, Paul S; Gulis, Vladislav; Hladyz, Sally; Lecerf, Antoine; Malmqvist, Björn; McKie, Brendan G; Tiegs, Scott D; Cariss, Helen; Dobson, Mike; Elosegi, Arturo; Ferreira, Verónica; Graça, Manuel A S; Fleituch, Tadeusz; Lacoursière, Jean O; Nistorescu, Marius; Pozo, Jesús; Risnoveanu, Geta; Schindler, Markus; Vadineanu, Angheluta; Vought, Lena B-M; Chauvet, Eric

    2012-06-15

    Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 1000-fold nutrient gradient. Dramatically slowed breakdown at both extremes of the gradient indicated strong nutrient limitation in unaffected systems, potential for strong stimulation in moderately altered systems, and inhibition in highly polluted streams. This large-scale response pattern emphasizes the need to complement established structural approaches (such as water chemistry, hydrogeomorphology, and biological diversity metrics) with functional measures (such as litter-breakdown rate, whole-system metabolism, and nutrient spiraling) for assessing ecosystem health.

  5. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  6. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Rodríguez-Lozano

    Full Text Available Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1 leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2 triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel, conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  7. Impacts of drought and crayfish invasion on stream ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Drought and seasonal drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams, leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. Many small streams contain crayfish populations that are often keystone or dominant species in these systems. I conducted an experiment in stream mesocosms to examine the effects of drought and potential ecological redundancy of a native and invasive crayfish species. I examined the effects of drought (drought or control) and crayfish presence (none, native crayfish Orconectes eupunctus or invasive crayfish Orconectes neglectus) on stream mesocosm structure and function (leaf breakdown, community metabolism, periphyton, sediment and chironomid densities) in a fully factorial design. Each mesocosm contained a deep and shallow section, and drought treatments had surface water present (5-cm depth) in deep sections where tiles and leaf packs were placed. Drought and crayfish presence did not interact for any response variable. Drought significantly reduced leaf breakdown, and crayfish presence significantly increased leaf breakdown. However, the native and invasive crayfish species did not differ significantly in their effects on leaf breakdown. Drought significantly reduced primary production and community respiration overall, whereas crayfish presence did not significantly affect primary production and community respiration. Neither drought nor crayfish presence significantly affected periphyton overall. However, drought significantly reduced autotrophic index (AI), and crayfish presence increased AI. Inorganic sediment and chironomid density were not affected by drought, but both were significantly reduced by crayfish presence. O. eupunctus reduced AI and sediment more than O. neglectus did. Neither drought nor crayfish species significantly affected crayfish growth or survival. Drought can have strong effects on ecosystem function, but weaker effects on benthic structure. Crayfish can have strong effects on ecosystem

  8. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics. -- Highlights: ► Fish farm effluent discharge had moderate effects on stream water quality. ► Impacts on the benthic invertebrate community occurred at one stream. ► Whole-stream nitrate uptake showed no consistent impact pattern. ► Effluents caused considerable increases in stream ecosystem metabolism. ► Compliance with best management practices is important for small fish farms. -- Moderate water pollution by small fish farms caused considerable eutrophication responses in tropical headwater streams

  9. Context-Specific Trophic and Functional Ecology of Fishes of Small Stream Ecosystems in the Ouachita National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Matthews; A. Maria Miller-Lemke; Melvin L. Warren; Donna Cobb; Jeffery G. Stewart; Betty Crump; Frances P. Gelwick

    2004-01-01

    Abstract - Fish play diverse and important roles in stream ecosystems, but details about ecosystem effects are poorly known for many freshwater fish species. A requisite first step to understanding functional roles of individual species is information on their trophic ecology in the context of particular environmental settings. Stomach contents were...

  10. Effects of the herbicide metazachlor on macrophytes and ecosystem function in freshwater pond and stream mesocosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohr, S; Berghahn, R; Feibicke, M; Meinecke, S; Ottenströer, T; Schmiedling, I; Schmiediche, R; Schmidt, R

    2007-05-01

    The chloroacetamide metazachlor is a commonly used pre-emergent herbicide to inhibit growth of plants especially in rape culture. It occurs in surface and ground water due to spray-drift or run-off in concentrations up to 100 microgL(-1). Direct and indirect effects of metazachlor on aquatic macrophytes were investigated at oligo- to mesotrophic nutrient levels employing eight stream and eight pond indoor mesocosms. Five systems of each type were dosed once with 5, 20, 80, 200 and 500 microgL(-1) metazachlor and three ponds and three streams served as controls. Pronounced direct negative effects on macrophyte biomass of Potamogeton natans, Myriophyllum verticillatum and filamentous green algae as well as associated changes in water chemistry were detected in the course of the summer 2003 in both pond and stream mesocosms. Filamentous green algae dominated by Cladophora glomerata were the most sensitive organisms in both pond and stream systems with EC(50) ranging from 3 (streams) to 9 (ponds) microgL(-1) metazachlor. In the contaminated pond mesocosms with high toxicant concentrations (200 and 500 microgL(-1)), a species shift from filamentous green algae to the yellow-green alga Vaucheria spec. was detected. The herbicide effects for the different macrophyte species were partly masked by interspecific competition. No recovery of macrophytes was observed at the highest metazachlor concentrations in both pond and stream mesocosms until the end of the study after 140 and 170 days. Based on the lowest EC(50) value of 4 microgL(-1) for total macrophyte biomass, it is argued that single exposure of aquatic macrophytes to metazachlor to nominal concentrations >5 microgL(-1) is likely to have pronounced long-term effects on aquatic biota and ecosystem function.

  11. Endogenous and exogenous control of ecosystem function: N cycling in headwater streams

    OpenAIRE

    Valett, H. M.; Thomas, S. A.; Mulholland, P. J.; Webster, J. R.; Dahm, C. N.; Fellows, C. S.; Crenshaw, C. L.; Peterson, C. G.

    2008-01-01

    Allochthonous inputs act as resource subsidies to many ecosystems, where they exert strong influences on metabolism and material cycling. At the same time, metabolic theory proposes endogenous thermal control independent of resource supply. To address the relative importance of exogenous and endogenous influences, we quantified spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem metabolism and nitrogen (N) uptake using seasonal releases of (15)N as nitrate in six streams differing in riparian-stream ...

  12. Endogenous and exogenous control of ecosystem function: N cycling in headwater streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valett, H M; Thomas, S A; Mulholland, P J; Webster, J R; Dahm, C N; Fellows, C S; Crenshaw, C L; Peterson, C G

    2008-12-01

    Allochthonous inputs act as resource subsidies to many ecosystems, where they exert strong influences on metabolism and material cycling. At the same time, metabolic theory proposes endogenous thermal control independent of resource supply. To address the relative importance of exogenous and endogenous influences, we quantified spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem metabolism and nitrogen (N) uptake using seasonal releases of 15N as nitrate in six streams differing in riparian-stream interaction and metabolic character. Nitrate removal was quantified using a nutrient spiraling approach based on measurements of downstream decline in 15N flux. Respiration (R) and gross primary production (GPP) were measured with whole-stream diel oxygen budgets. Uptake and metabolism metrics were addressed as z scores relative to site means to assess temporal variation. In open-canopied streams, areal uptake (U; microg N x m(-2) x s(-1)) was closely related to GPP, metabolic rates increased with temperature, and R was accurately predicted by metabolic scaling relationships. In forested streams, N spiraling was not related to GPP; instead, uptake velocity (v(f); mm/s) was closely related to R. In contrast to open-canopied streams, N uptake and metabolic activity were negatively correlated to temperature and poorly described by scaling laws. We contend that streams differ along a gradient of exogenous and endogenous control that relates to the relative influences of resource subsidies and in-stream energetics as determinants of seasonal patterns of metabolism and N cycling. Our research suggests that temporal variation in the propagation of ecological influence between adjacent systems generates phases when ecosystems are alternatively characterized as endogenously and exogenously controlled.

  13. Endogenous and exogenous control of ecosystem function: N cycling in headwater streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mulholland, Patrick J [ORNL; Valett, H. Maurice [Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech); Thomas, Steve [University of Nebraska; Webster, Jackson [Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech); Dahm, Cliff [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Fellows, Christine [Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia; Crenshaw, Chelsea [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Peterson, Chris G. [Loyola University

    2008-01-01

    Allochthonous inputs act as resource subsidies to many ecosystems, where they exert strong influences on metabolism and material cycling. At the same time, metabolic theory proposes endogenous thermal control independent of resource supply. To address the relative importance of exogenous and endogenous influences, we quantified spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem metabolism and nitrogen (N) uptake using seasonal releases of {sup 15}N as nitrate in six streams differing in riparian-stream interaction and metabolic character. Nitrate removal was quantified using a nutrient spiraling approach based on measurements of downstream decline in {sup 15}N flux. Respiration (R) and gross primary production (GPP) were measured with whole-stream diel oxygen budgets. Uptake and metabolism metrics were addressed as z scores relative to site means to assess temporal variation. In open-canopied streams, areal uptake (U; {micro}g N {center_dot} m{sup -2} {center_dot} s{sup -1}) was closely related to GPP, metabolic rates increased with temperature, and R was accurately predicted by metabolic scaling relationships. In forested streams, N spiraling was not related to GPP; instead, uptake velocity (v{sub f}; mm/s) was closely related to R. In contrast to open-canopied streams, N uptake and metabolic activity were negatively correlated to temperature and poorly described by scaling laws. We contend that streams differ along a gradient of exogenous and endogenous control that relates to the relative influences of resource subsidies and in-stream energetics as determinants of seasonal patterns of metabolism and N cycling. Our research suggests that temporal variation in the propagation of ecological influence between adjacent systems generates phases when ecosystems are alternatively characterized as endogenously and exogenously controlled.

  14. nitrogen saturation in stream ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Earl, S. R.; Valett, H. M.; Webster, J. R.

    2006-01-01

    The concept of nitrogen (N) saturation has organized the assessment of N loading in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we extend the concept to lotic ecosystems by coupling Michaelis-Menten kinetics and nutrient spiraling. We propose a series of saturation response types, which may be used to characterize the proximity of streams to N saturation. We conducted a series of short-term N releases using a tracer ((NO3)-N-15-N) to measure uptake. Experiments were conducted in streams spanning a gradient ...

  15. Nitrogen saturation in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earl, Stevan R; Valett, H Maurice; Webster, Jackson R

    2006-12-01

    The concept of nitrogen (N) saturation has organized the assessment of N loading in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we extend the concept to lotic ecosystems by coupling Michaelis-Menten kinetics and nutrient spiraling. We propose a series of saturation response types, which may be used to characterize the proximity of streams to N saturation. We conducted a series of short-term N releases using a tracer (15NO3-N) to measure uptake. Experiments were conducted in streams spanning a gradient of background N concentration. Uptake increased in four of six streams as NO3-N was incrementally elevated, indicating that these streams were not saturated. Uptake generally corresponded to Michaelis-Menten kinetics but deviated from the model in two streams where some other growth-critical factor may have been limiting. Proximity to saturation was correlated to background N concentration but was better predicted by the ratio of dissolved inorganic N (DIN) to soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), suggesting phosphorus limitation in several high-N streams. Uptake velocity, a reflection of uptake efficiency, declined nonlinearly with increasing N amendment in all streams. At the same time, uptake velocity was highest in the low-N streams. Our conceptual model of N transport, uptake, and uptake efficiency suggests that, while streams may be active sites of N uptake on the landscape, N saturation contributes to nonlinear changes in stream N dynamics that correspond to decreased uptake efficiency.

  16. Organic carbon spiralling in stream ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Newbold, J D; Mulholland, P J; Elwood, J W; O' Neill, R V

    1982-01-01

    The term spiralling has been used to describe the combined processes of cycling and longitudinal transport in streams. As a measure or organic carbon spiralling, we introduced organic carbon turnover length, S, defined as the average or expected downstream distance travelled by a carbon atom between its entry or fixation in the stream and its oxidation. Using a simple model for organic carbon dynamics in a stream, we show that S is closely related to fisher and Likens' ecosystem efficiency. Unlike efficiency, however, S is independent of the length of the study reach, and values of S determined in streams of differing lengths can be compared. Using data from three different streams, we found the relationship between S and efficiency to agree closely with the model prediction. Hypotheses of stream functioning are discussed in the context of organic carbeon spiralling theory.

  17. Structural and functional responses of the oligochaete and aeolosomatid assemblage in lowland streams: a one-way-pollution-modelled ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria V. López van Oosterom

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the responses of the assemblage of Oligochaeta and Aeolosomatidae to organic pollution; comparing taxonomic richness, diversity, abundance, and diet of the individuals inhabiting two lowland streams with different degrees of anthropic impact (the Rodríguez and the Carnaval belonging to the Río de la Plata basin, Argentina. The physicochemical parameters in the Rodríguez Stream indicated a strong deterioration of the water quality compared to that of the Carnaval. A canonical-correlation analysis indicated that the Tubificinae, Megadrili, Enchytraeidae, and Rhyacodrilinae were more closely associated with the Rodríguez Stream; whereas the Naidinae, Pristininae, and Opystocystidae were more highly represented in the Carnaval. The diversity and taxonomic richness in the Rodríguez Stream exhibited significant differences from those of the Carnaval (P<0.001, but the abundance was not different between the two sites. Schoener’s index revealed the higher degree of dietary overlap of the two streams because all the species analysed consumed a high proportion of detritus, especially the organisms in the Rodríguez. In the Carnaval Stream a higher number of alimentary items were consumed, and mainly by the Naidinae. This difference, probably reflecting the greater availability of this resource at sites impacted by organic pollution, underscores the fundamental role of oligochaetes in the food webs of aquatic ecosystems. The combined use of structural and functional parameters enables a more comprehensive view of how these lotic systems function and as such provides information that will serve to design tools for the management of such temperate environments.

  18. Spiraling in Urban Streams: A Novel Approach to Link Geomorphic Structure with Ecosystem Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, R. A.; Lafrenz, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    . Initial results show significant differences in hyporheic and surface water concentrations within the same reach indicating that sources and sinks of mineral nitrogen can be found within stream channels over very short distances. The implication of this study is that channel complexity is an important driver of nutrient flux in a watershed, and that this technique can be applied in future studies to better characterize the ecosystem services of stream channels over short reaches to entire catchments.

  19. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  20. Ecosystem Function in Appalachian Headwater Streams during an Active Invasion by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert M. Northington; Jackson R. Webster; Ernest F. Benfield; Beth M. Cheever; Barbara R. Niederlehner

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy...

  1. ALIENS IN WESTERN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The USEPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program conducted a five year probability sample of permanent mapped streams in 12 western US states. The study design enables us to determine the extent of selected riparian invasive plants, alien aquatic vertebrates, and some ...

  2. Interactive effects of an insecticide and a fungicide on different organism groups and ecosystem functioning in a stream detrital food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawoud, Mohab; Bundschuh, Mirco; Goedkoop, Willem; McKie, Brendan G

    2017-05-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are often affected by cocktails of multiple pesticides targeting different organism groups. Prediction and evaluation of the ecosystem-level effects of these mixtures is complicated by the potential not only for interactions among the pesticides themselves, but also for the pesticides to alter biotic interactions across trophic levels. In a stream microcosm experiment, we investigated the effects of two pesticides targeting two organism groups (the insecticide lindane and fungicide azoxystrobin) on the functioning of a model stream detrital food web consisting of a detritivore (Ispoda: Asellus aquaticus) and microbes (an assemblage of fungal hyphomycetes) consuming leaf litter. We assessed how these pesticides interacted with the presence and absence of the detritivore to affect three indicators of ecosystem functioning - leaf decomposition, fungal biomass, fungal sporulation - as well as detritivore mortality. Leaf decomposition rates were more strongly impacted by the fungicide than the insecticide, reflecting especially negative effects on leaf processing by detritivores. This result most like reflects reduced fungal biomass and increased detritivore mortality under the fungicide treatment. Fungal sporulation was elevated by exposure to both the insecticide and fungicide, possibly representing a stress-induced increase in investment in propagule dispersal. Stressor interactions were apparent in the impacts of the combined pesticide treatment on fungal sporulation and detritivore mortality, which were reduced and elevated relative to the single stressor treatments, respectively. These results demonstrate the potential of trophic and multiple stressor interactions to modulate the ecosystem-level impacts of chemicals, highlighting important challenges in predicting, understanding and evaluating the impacts of multiple chemical stressors on more complex food webs in situ. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Ecosystem Function: Cyanobacteria Solutions, A Missed Opportunity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stream and wetland riparian functions integrate the relationships between species, their habitats and fostering ecosystem resilience, which is critical to resilience – i.e., ensuring long-term sustainability. These relationships are dependent on the drivers of ecological functio...

  4. Principles for urban stormwater management to protect stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Christopher J.; Booth, Derek B.; Burns, Matthew J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Hale, Rebecca L.; Hoang, Lan N.; Livingston, Grant; Rippy, Megan A.; Roy, Allison; Scoggins, Mateo; Wallace, Angela

    2016-01-01

    Urban stormwater runoff is a critical source of degradation to stream ecosystems globally. Despite broad appreciation by stream ecologists of negative effects of stormwater runoff, stormwater management objectives still typically center on flood and pollution mitigation without an explicit focus on altered hydrology. Resulting management approaches are unlikely to protect the ecological structure and function of streams adequately. We present critical elements of stormwater management necessary for protecting stream ecosystems through 5 principles intended to be broadly applicable to all urban landscapes that drain to a receiving stream: 1) the ecosystems to be protected and a target ecological state should be explicitly identified; 2) the postdevelopment balance of evapotranspiration, stream flow, and infiltration should mimic the predevelopment balance, which typically requires keeping significant runoff volume from reaching the stream; 3) stormwater control measures (SCMs) should deliver flow regimes that mimic the predevelopment regime in quality and quantity; 4) SCMs should have capacity to store rain events for all storms that would not have produced widespread surface runoff in a predevelopment state, thereby avoiding increased frequency of disturbance to biota; and 5) SCMs should be applied to all impervious surfaces in the catchment of the target stream. These principles present a range of technical and social challenges. Existing infrastructural, institutional, or governance contexts often prevent application of the principles to the degree necessary to achieve effective protection or restoration, but significant potential exists for multiple co-benefits from SCM technologies (e.g., water supply and climate-change adaptation) that may remove barriers to implementation. Our set of ideal principles for stream protection is intended as a guide for innovators who seek to develop new approaches to stormwater management rather than accept seemingly

  5. Roles of Benthic Algae in the Structure, Function, and Assessment of Stream Ecosystems Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers around the world are degraded by a legacy of environmental impacts and acid mine drainage (AMD) caused by abandoned underground and surface mines, piles of discarded coal wastes, and tailings. Increased acidity, high concentrations of metals...

  6. Carbon and nitrogen stoichiometry across stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wymore, A.; Kaushal, S.; McDowell, W. H.; Kortelainen, P.; Bernhardt, E. S.; Johnes, P.; Dodds, W. K.; Johnson, S.; Brookshire, J.; Spencer, R.; Rodriguez-Cardona, B.; Helton, A. M.; Barnes, R.; Argerich, A.; Haq, S.; Sullivan, P. L.; López-Lloreda, C.; Coble, A. A.; Daley, M.

    2017-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities are altering carbon and nitrogen concentrations in surface waters globally. The stoichiometry of carbon and nitrogen regulates important watershed biogeochemical cycles; however, controls on carbon and nitrogen ratios in aquatic environments are poorly understood. Here we use a multi-biome and global dataset (tropics to Arctic) of stream water chemistry to assess relationships between dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrate, ammonium and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), providing a new conceptual framework to consider interactions between DOC and the multiple forms of dissolved nitrogen. We found that across streams the total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) pool is comprised of very little ammonium and as DOC concentrations increase the TDN pool shifts from nitrate to DON dominated. This suggests that in high DOC systems, DON serves as the primary source of nitrogen. At the global scale, DOC and DON are positively correlated (r2 = 0.67) and the average C: N ratio of dissolved organic matter (molar ratio of DOC: DON) across our data set is approximately 31. At the biome and smaller regional scale the relationship between DOC and DON is highly variable (r2 = 0.07 - 0.56) with the strongest relationships found in streams draining the mixed temperate forests of the northeastern United States. DOC: DON relationships also display spatial and temporal variability including latitudinal and seasonal trends, and interactions with land-use. DOC: DON ratios correlated positively with gradients of energy versus nutrient limitation pointing to the ecological role (energy source versus nutrient source) that DON plays with stream ecosystems. Contrary to previous findings we found consistently weak relationships between DON and nitrate which may reflect DON's duality as an energy or nutrient source. Collectively these analyses demonstrate how gradients of DOC drive compositional changes in the TDN pool and reveal a high degree of variability in the C: N ratio

  7. Different cesium-137 transfers to forest and stream ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakai, Masaru; Gomi, Takashi; Negishi, Junjiro N.; Iwamoto, Aimu; Okada, Kengo

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of "1"3"7Cs movement across different ecosystems is crucial for projecting the environmental impact and management of nuclear contamination events. Here, we report differential movement of "1"3"7Cs in adjacent forest and stream ecosystems. The food webs of the forest and stream ecosystems in our study were similar, in that they were both dominated by detrital-based food webs and the basal energy source was terrestrial litter. However, the concentration of "1"3"7Cs in stream litter was significantly lower than in forest litter, the result of "1"3"7Cs leaching from litter in stream water. The difference in "1"3"7Cs concentrations between the two types of litter was reflected in the "1"3"7Cs concentrations in the animal community. While the importance of "1"3"7Cs fallout and the associated transfer to food webs has been well studied, research has been primarily limited to cases in a single ecosystem. Our results indicate that there are differences in the flow of "1"3"7Cs through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and that "1"3"7Cs concentrations are reduced in both basal food resources and higher trophic animals in aquatic systems, where primary production is subsidized by a neighboring terrestrial ecosystem. - Highlights: • Detrital-based food web structure was observed in both forest and stream ecosystems. • The "1"3"7Cs concentration in litter was 4 times lower in stream than in forest. • The difference of "1"3"7Cs concentration in litter reflected in animal contamination. • "1"3"7Cs leaching from litter decreases contamination level of stream food web. - Leaching from litter in stream decreases "1"3"7Cs concentration in litter, and the contamination level of food web in stream ecosystem is lower than that in adjacent forest ecosystem.

  8. Effects of water removal on a Hawaiian stream ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinzie, R. A.; Chong, C.; Devrell, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Wolff, R.

    2006-01-01

    A 3-year study of Wainiha River on Kaua'i, Hawai'i, was carried out to determine the impact that water removal had on key stream ecosystem parameters and functions. The study area included a diversion dam for a hydroelectric plant that removes water at an elevation of 213 m and returns it to the stream about 6 km downstream at an elevation of 30 m. There were two high-elevation sites, one with undiverted flow and one with reduced flow, and two low-elevation sites, one with reduced flow and one with full flow restored. Monthly samples were taken of instream and riparian invertebrates and plants. When samples from similar elevations were compared, dewatered sites had lower concentrations of benthic photosynthetic pigments than full-flow sites, and benthic ash-free dry mass (AFDM) was higher at the two low-elevation sites regardless of flow. Benthic chlorophyll a (chl a) and AFDM were higher in summer months than in the winter. Benthic invertebrate abundance was highest at the full-flow, low-elevation site and benthic invertebrate biomass was highest at the full-flow, high-elevation site. Season had only marginal effects on abundance and biomass of benthic invertebrates. Diversity of benthic invertebrates was higher at the more-downstream sites. Abundance of drifting invertebrates was highest at the site above the diversion dam and generally higher in winter than in summer months. Biomass of drifting invertebrates was also highest at the above-dam site but there was little seasonal difference. Almost all parameters measured were lowest at the site just downstream of the diversion dam. The biotic parameters responded only weakly to flows that had occurred up to 1 month before the measurements were made. Flow, elevation, and season interact in complex ways that impact ecosystem parameters and functions, but water diversion can override all these environmental factors. ?? 2006 by University of Hawai'i Press All rights reserved.

  9. Early ecosystem responses to watershed restoration along a headwater stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallenbach, Emilie M.F.; Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Morsing, Jonas

    2018-01-01

    Along many streams, natural riparian vegetation has been replaced by agricultural fields or plantations resulting in ecosystem alterations due to changes of the interactions across the land-water ecotone. We studied the effect of restoration interventions by removing a dense spruce plantation in ...

  10. Sediment composition mediated land use effects on lowland streams ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dos Reis Oliveira, P.C.; Kraak, M.H.S.; van der Geest, H.G.; Naranjo, S.; Verdonschot, P.F.M

    2018-01-01

    Despite the widely acknowledged connection between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the contribution of runoff to the sediment composition in lowland stream deposition zones and the subsequent effects on benthic invertebrates remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was therefore to

  11. Combined effects of local habitat, anthropogenic stress, and dispersal on stream ecosystems: a mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turunen, Jarno; Louhi, Pauliina; Mykrä, Heikki; Aroviita, Jukka; Putkonen, Emmi; Huusko, Ari; Muotka, Timo

    2018-06-06

    The effects of anthropogenic stressors on community structure and ecosystem functioning can be strongly influenced by local habitat structure and dispersal from source communities. Catchment land uses increase the input of fine sediments into stream channels, clogging the interstitial spaces of benthic habitats. Aquatic macrophytes enhance habitat heterogeneity and mediate important ecosystem functions, being thus a key component of habitat structure in many streams. Therefore, the recovery of macrophytes following in-stream habitat modification may be prerequisite for successful stream restoration. Restoration success is also affected by dispersal of organisms from the source community, with potentially strongest responses in relatively isolated headwater sites that receive limited amount of dispersing individuals. We used a factorial design in a set of stream mesocosms to study the independent and combined effects of an anthropogenic stressor (sand sedimentation), local habitat (macrophytes, i.e. moss transplants) and enhanced dispersal (two levels: high vs. low) on organic matter retention, algal accrual rate, leaf decomposition and macroinvertebrate community structure. Overall, all responses were simple additive effects with no interactions between treatments. Sand reduced algal accumulation, total invertebrate density and density of a few individual taxa. Mosses reduced algal accrual rate and algae-grazing invertebrates, but enhanced organic matter retention and detritus- and filter-feeders. Mosses also reduced macroinvertebrate diversity by increasing the dominance by a few taxa. Mosses also reduced leaf-mass loss, possibly because the organic matter retained by mosses provided an additional food source for leaf-shredding invertebrates and thus reduced shredder aggregation into leaf packs. The effect of mosses on macroinvertebrate communities and ecosystem functioning was distinct irrespective of the level of dispersal, suggesting strong environmental

  12. Urban development results in stressors that degrade stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Amanda H.; Coles, James F.; McMahon, Gerard; Woodside, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    In 2003, eighty-three percent of Americans lived in metropolitan areas, and considerable population increases are predicted within the next 50 years. Nowhere are the environmental changes associated with urban development more evident than in urban streams. Contaminants, habitat destruction, and increasing streamflow flashiness resulting from urban development have been associated with the disruption of biological communities, particularly the loss of sensitive aquatic biota. Every stream is connected downstream to other water bodies, and inputs of contaminants and (or) sediments to streams can cause degradation downstream with adverse effects on biological communities and on economically valuable resources, such as fisheries and tourism. Understanding how algal, invertebrate, and fish communities respond to physical and chemical stressors associated with urban development can provide important clues on how multiple stressors may be managed to protect stream health as a watershed becomes increasingly urbanized. This fact sheet highlights selected findings of a comprehensive assessment by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems in nine metropolitan study areas.

  13. Stream hydrology limits recovery of riparian ecosystems after wolf reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Kristin N; Hobbs, N Thompson; Cooper, David J

    2013-04-07

    Efforts to restore ecosystems often focus on reintroducing apex predators to re-establish coevolved relationships among predators, herbivores and plants. The preponderance of evidence for indirect effects of predators on terrestrial plant communities comes from ecosystems where predators have been removed. Far less is known about the consequences of their restoration. The effects of removal and restoration are unlikely to be symmetrical because removing predators can create feedbacks that reinforce the effects of predator loss. Observational studies have suggested that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park initiated dramatic restoration of riparian ecosystems by releasing willows from excessive browsing by elk. Here, we present results from a decade-long experiment in Yellowstone showing that moderating browsing alone was not sufficient to restore riparian zones along small streams. Instead, restoration of willow communities depended on removing browsing and restoring hydrological conditions that prevailed before the removal of wolves. The 70-year absence of predators from the ecosystem changed the disturbance regime in a way that was not reversed by predator reintroduction. We conclude that predator restoration may not quickly repair effects of predator removal in ecosystems.

  14. Resource subsidies between stream and terrestrial ecosystems under global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Stefano; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D.; Marti Roca, Maria Eugenia

    2016-01-01

    Streams and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by permeable boundaries that are crossed by resource subsidies. Although the importance of these subsidies for riverine ecosystems is increasingly recognized, little is known about how they may be influenced by global environmental change. Drawing from available evidence, in this review we propose a conceptual framework to evaluate the effects of global change on the quality and spatiotemporal dynamics of stream–terrestrial subsidies. We illustrate how changes to hydrological and temperature regimes, atmospheric CO2 concentration, land use and the distribution of nonindigenous species can influence subsidy fluxes by affecting the biology and ecology of donor and recipient systems and the physical characteristics of stream–riparian boundaries. Climate-driven changes in the physiology and phenology of organisms with complex life cycles will influence their development time, body size and emergence patterns, with consequences for adjacent terrestrial consumers. Also, novel species interactions can modify subsidy dynamics via complex bottom-up and top-down effects. Given the seasonality and pulsed nature of subsidies, alterations of the temporal and spatial synchrony of resource availability to consumers across ecosystems are likely to result in ecological mismatches that can scale up from individual responses, to communities, to ecosystems. Similarly, altered hydrology, temperature, CO2 concentration and land use will modify the recruitment and quality of riparian vegetation, the timing of leaf abscission and the establishment of invasive riparian species. Along with morphological changes to stream–terrestrial boundaries, these will alter the use and fluxes of allochthonous subsidies associated with stream ecosystems. Future research should aim to understand how subsidy dynamics will be affected by key drivers of global change, including agricultural intensification, increasing water use and biotic

  15. Stream biofilm responses to flow intermittency: from cells to ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergi eSabater

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Temporary streams are characterized by the alternation of dry and wet hydrological phases, creating both a harsh environment for the biota as well as a high diversity of opportunities for adaptation. These systems are eminently microbial-based during several of these hydrological phases, and those growing on all solid substrata (biofilms accordingly change their physical structure and community composition. Biofilms experience large decreases on cell densities and biomass, both of bacteria and algae, during dryness. Algal and bacterial communities show remarkable decreases in their diversity, at least locally (at the habitat scale. Biofilms also respond with significant physiological plasticity to each of the hydrological changes. The decreasing humidity of the substrata through the drying process, and the changing quantity and quality of organic matter and nutrients available in the stream during that process, causes unequal responses on the biofilm bacteria and algae. Biofilm algae are affected faster than bacteria by the hydric stress, and as a result the ecosystem respiration resists longer than gross primary production to the increasing duration of flow intermittency. This response implies enhancing ecosystem heterotrophy, a pattern that can be exacerbated in temporary streams suffering of longer dry periods under global change.

  16. Predator-driven nutrient recycling in California stream ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin G Munshaw

    Full Text Available Nutrient recycling by consumers in streams can influence ecosystem nutrient availability and the assemblage and growth of photoautotrophs. Stream fishes can play a large role in nutrient recycling, but contributions by other vertebrates to overall recycling rates remain poorly studied. In tributaries of the Pacific Northwest, coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus occur at high densities alongside steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss and are top aquatic predators. We surveyed the density and body size distributions of D. tenebrosus and O. mykiss in a California tributary stream, combined with a field study to determine mass-specific excretion rates of ammonium (N and total dissolved phosphorus (P for D. tenebrosus. We estimated O. mykiss excretion rates (N, P by bioenergetics using field-collected data on the nutrient composition of O. mykiss diets from the same system. Despite lower abundance, D. tenebrosus biomass was 2.5 times higher than O. mykiss. Mass-specific excretion summed over 170 m of stream revealed that O. mykiss recycle 1.7 times more N, and 1.2 times more P than D. tenebrosus, and had a higher N:P ratio (8.7 than that of D. tenebrosus (6.0, or the two species combined (7.5. Through simulated trade-offs in biomass, we estimate that shifts from salamander biomass toward fish biomass have the potential to ease nutrient limitation in forested tributary streams. These results suggest that natural and anthropogenic heterogeneity in the relative abundance of these vertebrates and variation in the uptake rates across river networks can affect broad-scale patterns of nutrient limitation.

  17. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: Denitrification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulholland, P.J.; Hall, R.O.; Sobota, D.J.; Dodds, W.K.; Findlay, S.E.G.; Grimm, N. B.; Hamilton, S.K.; McDowell, W.H.; O'Brien, J. M.; Tank, J.L.; Ashkenas, L.R.; Cooper, L.W.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Gregory, S.V.; Johnson, S.L.; Meyer, J.L.; Peterson, B.J.; Poole, G.C.; Valett, H.M.; Webster, J.R.; Arango, C.P.; Beaulieu, J.J.; Bernot, M.J.; Burgin, A.J.; Crenshaw, C.L.; Helton, A.M.; Johnson, L.T.; Niederlehner, B.R.; Potter, J.D.; Sheibley, R.W.; Thomasn, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    We measured denitrification rates using a field 15N-NO- 3 tracer-addition approach in a large, cross-site study of nitrate uptake in reference, agricultural, and suburban-urban streams. We measured denitrification rates in 49 of 72 streams studied. Uptake length due to denitrification (SWden) ranged from 89 m to 184 km (median of 9050 m) and there were no significant differences among regions or land-use categories, likely because of the wide range of conditions within each region and land use. N2 production rates far exceeded N2O production rates in all streams. The fraction of total NO-3 removal from water due to denitrification ranged from 0.5% to 100% among streams (median of 16%), and was related to NHz 4 concentration and ecosystem respiration rate (ER). Multivariate approaches showed that the most important factors controlling SWden were specific discharge (discharge / width) and NO-3 concentration (positive effects), and ER and transient storage zones (negative effects). The relationship between areal denitrification rate (Uden) and NO- 3 concentration indicated a partial saturation effect. A power function with an exponent of 0.5 described this relationship better than a Michaelis-Menten equation. Although Uden increased with increasing NO- 3 concentration, the efficiency of NO-3 removal from water via denitrification declined, resulting in a smaller proportion of streamwater NO-3 load removed over a given length of stream. Regional differences in stream denitrification rates were small relative to the proximate factors of NO-3 concentration and ecosystem respiration rate, and land use was an important but indirect control on denitrification in streams, primarily via its effect on NO-3 concentration. ?? 2009.

  18. Nitrogen spiraling in stream ecosystems spanning a gradient of chronic nitrogen loading

    OpenAIRE

    Earl, Stevan Ross

    2004-01-01

    This dissertation is a study of the relationships between nitrogen (N) availability and spiraling (the paired processes of nutrient cycling and advective transport) in stream ecosystems. Anthropogenic activities have greatly increased rates of N loading to aquatic ecosystems. However, streams may be important sites for retention, removal, and transformation of N. In order to identify controls on NO3-N spiraling in anthropogenically impacted streams, I examined relationships among NO3-N spi...

  19. Variable selection for modelling effects of eutrophication on stream and river ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijboer, R.C.; Verdonschot, P.F.M.

    2004-01-01

    Models are needed for forecasting the effects of eutrophication on stream and river ecosystems. Most of the current models do not include differences in local stream characteristics and effects on the biota. To define the most important variables that should be used in a stream eutrophication model,

  20. Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Grazing management that regenerates ecosystem function and grazingland ... in ecosystem improvement, productivity, soil carbon and fertility, water-holding ... for sufficient time to produce resource improvement, sound animal production, and ...

  1. Carbon Cycling in Floodplain Ecosystems: Out-Gassing and Photosynthesis Transmit Soil d13C Gradient Through Stream Food Webs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gray, Duncan P.; Harding, Jon S.; Elberling, Bo

    2011-01-01

    Natural braided river floodplains typically possess high groundwater–surface water exchange, which is vital to the overall function and structure of these complex ecosystems. Spring-fed streams on the floodplain are also hotspots of benthic invertebrate diversity and productivity. The sources of ...

  2. Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Heard, Matthew S; Isaac, Nick J B; Roy, David B; Procter, Deborah; Eigenbrod, Felix; Freckleton, Rob; Hector, Andy; Orme, C David L; Petchey, Owen L; Proença, Vânia; Raffaelli, David; Suttle, K Blake; Mace, Georgina M; Martín-López, Berta; Woodcock, Ben A; Bullock, James M

    2015-11-01

    Accelerating rates of environmental change and the continued loss of global biodiversity threaten functions and services delivered by ecosystems. Much ecosystem monitoring and management is focused on the provision of ecosystem functions and services under current environmental conditions, yet this could lead to inappropriate management guidance and undervaluation of the importance of biodiversity. The maintenance of ecosystem functions and services under substantial predicted future environmental change (i.e., their 'resilience') is crucial. Here we identify a range of mechanisms underpinning the resilience of ecosystem functions across three ecological scales. Although potentially less important in the short term, biodiversity, encompassing variation from within species to across landscapes, may be crucial for the longer-term resilience of ecosystem functions and the services that they underpin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of acid mine drainage on a headwater stream ecosystem in Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Niyogi, D.K.; Lewis, W.M. Jr.; McKnight, D.M.

    1994-01-01

    The ecological effects of acid mine drainage were investigated during the summer of 1993 on St. Kevin Gulch, a headwater stream near Leadville, Colorado. The stream currently receives acidic water from an abandoned mine. The pH downstream of the mine is between 3.5 and 4.5, and several metals exceed concentrations toxic to aquatic organisms. Zinc is present at especially high concentrations (1 to 10 mg/L) Furthermore, the stream bottom is covered with a thick layer of iron hydroxide precipitates. Effects on stream biota have been dramatic. Aquatic flora in the affected reach is limited to a green filamentous alga, Ulothrix subtilissima. Macroinvertebrate densities are significantly lower in the affected reach (mean = 99 indiv/m 2 ; SD = 88 indiv/M 2 ) compared to an upstream (pristine) reference reach (mean = 1,735 indiv/m 2 ; SD = 652 indiv/M 2 ). Functional processes were also studied in the stream. Net primary production (NPP) was measured during midday with recirculating chambers. Production was significantly lower in the affected reach (mean NPP 13.3 MgO 2 hr -1 m -2 ; SD = 87 MgO 2 hr -1 m -2 ) than the upstream reference reach (NPP = 64.1 MgO 2 hr -1 m -2 ; SD = 27.7 MgO 2 hr -1 m -2 ). Decomposition, measured with litter bags, was also lower in the affected reach than the upstream site. In 1994, St. Kevin Gulch is scheduled to undergo remediation that will treat the acidic water from the mine. Further studies on this stream will provide information on the recovery processes in lotic ecosystems

  4. Importance of terrestrial arthropods as subsidies in lowland Neotropical rain forest stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Gaston E.; Torres, Pedro J.; Schwizer, Lauren M.; Duff, John H.; Pringle, Catherine M.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of terrestrial arthropods has been documented in temperate stream ecosystems, but little is known about the magnitude of these inputs in tropical streams. Terrestrial arthropods falling from the canopy of tropical forests may be an important subsidy to tropical stream food webs and could also represent an important flux of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in nutrient-poor headwater streams. We quantified input rates of terrestrial insects in eight streams draining lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. In two focal headwater streams, we also measured capture efficiency by the fish assemblage and quantified terrestrially derived N- and P-excretion relative to stream nutrient uptake rates. Average input rates of terrestrial insects ranged from 5 to 41 mg dry mass/m2/d, exceeding previous measurements of aquatic invertebrate secondary production in these study streams, and were relatively consistent year-round, in contrast to values reported in temperate streams. Terrestrial insects accounted for half of the diet of the dominant fish species, Priapicthys annectens. Although terrestrially derived fish excretion was found to be a small flux relative to measured nutrient uptake rates in the focal streams, the efficient capture and processing of terrestrial arthropods by fish made these nutrients available to the local stream ecosystem. This aquatic-terrestrial linkage is likely being decoupled by deforestation in many tropical regions, with largely unknown but potentially important ecological consequences.

  5. Soil Erosion from Agriculture and Mining: A Threat to Tropical Stream Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan H. Mol

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In tropical countries soil erosion is often increased due to high erodibility of geologically old and weathered soils; intensive rainfall; inappropriate soil management; removal of forest vegetation cover; and mining activities. Stream ecosystems draining agricultural or mining areas are often severely impacted by the high loads of eroded material entering the stream channel; increasing turbidity; covering instream habitat and affecting the riparian zone; and thereby modifying habitat and food web structures. The biodiversity is severely threatened by these negative effects as the aquatic and riparian fauna and flora are not adapted to cope with excessive rates of erosion and sedimentation. Eroded material may also be polluted by pesticides or heavy metals that have an aggravating effect on functions and ecosystem services. Loss of superficial material and deepening of erosion gullies impoverish the nutrient and carbon contents of the soils; and lower the water tables; causing a “lose-lose” situation for agricultural productivity and environmental integrity. Several examples show how to interrupt this vicious cycle by integrated catchment management and by combining “green” and “hard” engineering for habitat restoration. In this review; we summarize current findings on this issue from tropical countries with a focus on case studies from Suriname and Brazil.

  6. Marine-derived nutrients, bioturbation, and ecosystem metabolism: reconsidering the role of salmon in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtgrieve, Gordon W; Schindler, Daniel E

    2011-02-01

    In coastal areas of the North Pacific Ocean, annual returns of spawning salmon provide a substantial influx of nutrients and organic matter to streams and are generally believed to enhance the productivity of recipient ecosystems. Loss of this subsidy from areas with diminished salmon runs has been hypothesized to limit ecosystem productivity in juvenile salmon rearing habitats (lakes and streams), thereby reinforcing population declines. Using five to seven years of data from an Alaskan stream supporting moderate salmon densities, we show that salmon predictably increased stream water nutrient concentrations, which were on average 190% (nitrogen) and 390% (phosphorus) pre-salmon values, and that primary producers incorporated some of these nutrients into tissues. However, benthic algal biomass declined by an order of magnitude despite increased nutrients. We also measured changes in stream ecosystem metabolic properties, including gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER), from three salmon streams by analyzing diel measurements of oxygen concentrations and stable isotopic ratios (delta O-O2) within a Bayesian statistical model of oxygen dynamics. Our results do not support a shift toward higher primary productivity with the return of salmon, as is expected from a nutrient fertilization mechanism. Rather, net ecosystem metabolism switched from approximately net autotrophic (GPP > or = ER) to a strongly net heterotrophic state (GPP disturbance enhanced in situ heterotrophic respiration. Salmon also changed the physical properties of the stream, increasing air-water gas exchange by nearly 10-fold during peak spawning. We suggest that management efforts to restore salmon ecosystems should consider effects on ecosystem metabolic properties and how salmon disturbance affects the incorporation of marine-derived nutrients into food webs.

  7. Assessing Ecosystem Integrity And Macroinvertebrates Community Structure Towards Conservation Of Small Streams In Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fredrick Ojija

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study attempts to use biological indices such as Biological Monitoring Working Party BMWP Average Score Per Taxa ASPT and Hilsenhoff Family Biotic Index FBI in order to determine the ecosystem health and water quality of Nzovwe stream in Mbeya Tanzania. Macroinvertebrates were sampled from Nzovwe stream using semi-quantitative techniques from March to June 2016. About 500 meters of Nzovwe stream was divided into 5 sampling sites each site was 100 meters apart. The macroinvertebrates were collected from all the possible microhabitats of each site using a 250m mesh size D- frame kick net. Macroinvertebrate specimens were preserved in the 70 ethyl alcohol in the polyethylene bottles. The samples were identified to the family level using standard identification keys. The BMWP score and ASPT score indicated good and moderate stream water quality respectively. The FBI showed the stream had possibility of some organic pollution. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index shows the sampling sites were moderately polluted or possibly impaired. Macroinvertebrates in pollution class II were abundant suggesting moderate pollution. Moreover the Midge Insects Diptera and Snail indicated the stream water quality or ecosystem health is between unimpaired and possibly impaired. Based on these results the study concludes that the stream ecosystem is moderately polluted and therefore the study recommends a regular stream monitoring.

  8. Hydrological evaluation of a peri-urban stream and its impact on ecosystem services potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caro-Borrero Angela

    2015-01-01

    The rivers of the Magdalena–Eslava sub-basin are among the few remaining surficial water sources in Mexico City. These rivers are located in an area classified as a Soil Conservation Zone, which has been intensely managed for decades. The aims of this paper are (1 to perform a hydrological evaluation of two urban streams and identify their relationship with the provision of hydrological ecosystem services via (i a hydraulic balance analysis, (ii a hydro-geomorphological characterization of each stream, (iii an estimate of present and potential hydraulic erosion, (iv the determination of physicochemical and bacteriological parameters and (v a description of macroinvertebrates, macroalgae and their habitats in order to (2 identify the impacts of socio-economic dynamics on the responses of this rural-urban lotic system. Our results show that water flow, forest cover and hydro-geomorphologic heterogeneity are key to sustaining ecosystem functioning, especially in the high and middle sections of the basin. The highest potential provision of water for direct use was recorded in the sub-basin’s middle section; however, the stream channels in that section have lost their natural water flow due to a water management infrastructure built to regulate flow during the rainy season. This intervention can be viewed as a regulation of HESs as water management infrastructure alters the transport of sediment and reduces available natural habitat. The provision of quality water in the lower area of the sub-basin has been seriously compromised by the establishment of illegal urban settlements. A relationship between biologically diverse ecological traits and their response capabilities was established and can be considered an indicator of current HES potential. Therefore, this sub-basin may constitute an example of good management and maximizing potential HESs in an urban-rural setting based on improved management strategies that could be applied in other developing nations.

  9. Ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Ogden, J.; Done, T.; Salvat, B.

    1994-01-01

    The article highlights a workshop held in Key West, Florida in November 1993 attended by a group of 35 international scientists where topics of ecosystem function and biodiversity on coral reefs were discussed.

  10. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  11. Assessing Stream Ecosystem Condition in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faustini, John M.; Kaufmann, Philip R.; Herlihy, Alan T.; Paulsen, Steven G.

    2009-09-01

    When the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in 1972, later amended by the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977, it tasked the newly created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the states, with periodically assessing the quality of U.S. waters and reporting on progress toward meeting the goals of the CWA. In subsequent decades, reviews by various governmental and nongovernmental organizations consistently have found available water quality data and reporting to be inadequate to evaluate the nation's progress [Shapiro et al., 2008]. In response to these concerns, in 1989 EPA's Office of Research and Development initiated the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) to develop and demonstrate scientific tools to monitor the status of, and trends in, U.S. aquatic resources and environmental stressors affecting them. Recent EPA-led efforts involve monitoring wadeable perennial streams (streams or rivers shallow enough to be wadeable during seasonal low flows), which make up an estimated 90% of the total length of all perennial flowing waters in the United States [EPA, 2006]. Selected results from the first national survey of these streams, the national Wadeable Streams Assessment (WSA) [EPA, 2006; Paulsen et al., 2008], illustrate how such surveys can provide critical information to guide management of this important resource. Nonmonitoring applications of data from the WSA and earlier regional surveys show the wide-ranging applicability of these rich data sets.

  12. Ecosystem functioning is enveloped by hydrometeorological variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Christoforos; Mahecha, Miguel D; Frank, David C; Babst, Flurin; Koutsoyiannis, Demetris

    2017-09-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes, and the associated vegetation carbon dynamics, respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Long-term variability of the terrestrial carbon cycle is not yet well constrained and the resulting climate-biosphere feedbacks are highly uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive overview of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability from hourly to decadal timescales integrating multiple in situ and remote-sensing datasets characterizing extra-tropical forest sites. We find that ecosystem variability at all sites is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope across sites and timescales. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. However, simulation results with state-of-the-art process-based models do not reflect this long-term persistent behaviour in ecosystem functioning. Accordingly, we develop a cross-time-scale stochastic framework that captures hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. Our analysis offers a perspective for terrestrial ecosystem modelling and paves the way for new model-data integration opportunities in Earth system sciences.

  13. Streaming for Functional Data-Parallel Languages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Frederik Meisner

    In this thesis, we investigate streaming as a general solution to the space inefficiency commonly found in functional data-parallel programming languages. The data-parallel paradigm maps well to parallel SIMD-style hardware. However, the traditional fully materializing execution strategy...... by extending two existing data-parallel languages: NESL and Accelerate. In the extensions we map bulk operations to data-parallel streams that can evaluate fully sequential, fully parallel or anything in between. By a dataflow, piecewise parallel execution strategy, the runtime system can adjust to any target...... flattening necessitates all sub-computations to materialize at the same time. For example, naive n by n matrix multiplication requires n^3 space in NESL because the algorithm contains n^3 independent scalar multiplications. For large values of n, this is completely unacceptable. We address the problem...

  14. Temporary streams in temperate zones: recognizing, monitoring and restoring transitional aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stubbington, Rachel; England, Judy; Wood, Paul J.; Sefton, Catherine E.M.

    2017-01-01

    Temporary streams are defined by periodic flow cessation, and may experience partial or complete loss of surface water. The ecology and hydrology of these transitional aquatic-terrestrial ecosystems have received unprecedented attention in recent years. Research has focussed on the arid, semi-arid, and Mediterranean regions in which temporary systems are the dominant stream type, and those in cooler, wetter temperate regions with an oceanic climate influence are also receiving increasing atte...

  15. Stream biofilm responses to flow intermittency: from cells to ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sergi eSabater; Sergi eSabater; Xisca eTimoner; Carles eBorrego; Carles eBorrego; Vicenç eAcuña

    2016-01-01

    Temporary streams are characterized by the alternation of dry and wet hydrological phases, creating both a harsh environment for the biota as well as a high diversity of opportunities for adaptation. These systems are eminently microbial-based during several of these hydrological phases, and those growing on all solid substrata (biofilms) accordingly change their physical structure and community composition. Biofilms experience large decreases on cell densities and biomass, both of bacteria a...

  16. Stream Biofilm Responses to Flow Intermittency: From Cells to Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sabater, Sergi; Timoner, Xisca; Borrego, Carles; Acuña, Vicenç

    2016-01-01

    Temporary streams are characterized by the alternation of dry and wet hydrological phases, creating both a harsh environment for the biota as well as a high diversity of opportunities for adaptation. These systems are mainly microbial-based during several of these hydrological phases, and those growing on all solid substrata (biofilms) accordingly change their physical structure and community composition. Biofilms experience large decreases in cell densities and biomass, both of bacteria and ...

  17. Forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Globally, forests cover nearly one third of the land area and they contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity. Both the extent and quality of forest habitat continue to decrease and the associated loss of biodiversity jeopardizes forest ecosystem functioning and the ability of forests to provide ecosystem services. In the light of the increasing population pressure, it is of major importance not only to conserve, but also to restore forest ecosystems. Ecological restoration has recently started to adopt insights from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) perspective. Central is the focus on restoring the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Here we provide an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from this BEF-perspective. Restoring multiple forest functions requires multiple species. It is highly unlikely that species-poor plantations, which may be optimal for above-ground biomass production, will outperform species diverse assemblages for a combination of functions, including overall carbon storage and control over water and nutrient flows. Restoring stable forest functions also requires multiple species. In particular in the light of global climatic change scenarios, which predict more frequent extreme disturbances and climatic events, it is important to incorporate insights from the relation between biodiversity and stability of ecosystem functioning into forest restoration projects. Rather than focussing on species per se, focussing on functional diversity of tree species assemblages seems appropriate when selecting tree species for restoration. Finally, also plant genetic diversity and above - below-ground linkages should be considered during the restoration process, as these likely have prominent but until now poorly understood effects at the level of the ecosystem. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but

  18. Dual influences of ecosystem size and disturbance on food chain length in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Peter A; McIntosh, Angus R; Jellyman, Phillip G

    2010-07-01

    The number of trophic transfers occurring between basal resources and top predators, food chain length (FCL), varies widely in the world's ecosystems for reasons that are poorly understood, particularly for stream ecosystems. Available evidence indicates that FCL is set by energetic constraints, environmental stochasticity, or ecosystem size effects, although no single explanation has yet accounted for FCL patterns in a broad sense. Further, whether environmental disturbance can influence FCL has been debated on both theoretical and empirical grounds for quite some time. Using data from sixteen South Island, New Zealand streams, we determined whether the so-called ecosystem size, disturbance, or resource availability hypotheses could account for FCL variation in high country fluvial environments. Stable isotope-based estimates of maximum trophic position ranged from 2.6 to 4.2 and averaged 3.5, a value on par with the global FCL average for streams. Model-selection results indicated that stream size and disturbance regime best explained across-site patterns in FCL, although resource availability was negatively correlated with our measure of disturbance; FCL approached its maximum in large, stable springs and was disturbed streams. Community data indicate that size influenced FCL, primarily through its influence on local fish species richness (i.e., via trophic level additions and/or insertions), whereas disturbance did so via an effect on the relative availability of intermediate predators (i.e., predatory invertebrates) as prey for fishes. Overall, our results demonstrate that disturbance can have an important food web-structuring role in stream ecosystems, and further imply that pluralistic explanations are needed to fully understand the range of structural variation observed for real food webs.

  19. Recovery of a mining-damaged stream ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mebane, Christopher A.; Eakins, Robert J.; Fraser, Brian G.; Adams, William J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a 30+ year record of changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities and fish populations associated with improving water quality in mining-influenced streams. Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River in central Idaho, USA suffered intensive damage from mining and milling operations at the Blackbird Mine that released copper (Cu), arsenic (As), and cobalt (Co) into tributaries. From the 1960s through the 1980s, no fish and few aquatic invertebrates could be found in 40 km of mine-affected reaches of Panther Creek downstream of the metals contaminated tributaries, Blackbird and Big Deer Creeks.

  20. A Function-Based Framework for Stream Assessment & Restoration Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report lays out a framework for approaching stream assessment and restoration projects that focuses on understanding the suite of stream functions at a site in the context of what is happening in the watershed.

  1. Mercury cycling in stream ecosystems. 3. Trophic dynamics and methylmercury bioaccumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasar, L.C.; Scudder, B.C.; Stewart, A.R.; Bell, A.H.; Aiken, G.R.

    2009-01-01

    Trophic dynamics (community composition and feeding relationships) have been identified as important drivers of methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulation in lakes, reservoirs, and marine ecosystems. The relative importance of trophic dynamics and geochemical controls on MeHg bioaccumulation in streams, however, remains poorly characterized. MeHg bioaccumulation was evaluated in eight stream ecosystems across the United States (Oregon, Wisconsin, and Florida) spanning large ranges in climate, landscape characteristics, atmospheric Hg deposition, and stream chemistry. Across all geographic regions and all streams, concentrations of total Hg (THg) in top predator fish and forage fish, and MeHg in invertebrates, were strongly positively correlated to concentrations of filtered THg (FTHg), filtered MeHg (FMeHg), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC); to DOC complexity (as measured by specific ultraviolet absorbance); and to percent wetland in the stream basins. Correlations were strongest for nonurban streams. Although regressions of log[Hg] versus ??15N indicate that Hg in biota increased significantly with increasing trophic position within seven of eight individual streams, Hg concentrations in top predator fish (including cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout; green sunfish; and largemouth bass) were not strongly influenced by differences in relative trophic position. Slopes of log[Hg] versus ??15N, an indicator of the efficiency of trophic enrichment, ranged from 0.14 to 0.27 for all streams. These data suggest that, across the large ranges in FTHg (0.14-14.2 ng L-1), FMeHg (0.023-1.03 ng L-1), and DOC (0.50-61.0 mg L-1) found in this study, Hg contamination in top predator fish in streams likely is dominated by the amount of MeHg available for uptake at the base of the food web rather than by differences in the trophic position of top predator fish. ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  2. Recovery of a mining-damaged stream ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A. Mebane

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper presents a 30+ year record of changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities and fish populations associated with improving water quality in mining-influenced streams. Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River in central Idaho, USA suffered intensive damage from mining and milling operations at the Blackbird Mine that released copper (Cu, arsenic (As, and cobalt (Co into tributaries. From the 1960s through the 1980s, no fish and few aquatic invertebrates could be found in 40 km of mine-affected reaches of Panther Creek downstream of the metals contaminated tributaries, Blackbird and Big Deer Creeks. Efforts to restore water quality began in 1995, and by 2002 Cu levels had been reduced by about 90%, with incremental declines since. Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss were early colonizers, quickly expanding their range as areas became habitable when Cu concentrations dropped below about 3X the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s biotic ligand model (BLM based chronic aquatic life criterion. Anadromous Chinook Salmon (O. tshawytscha and steelhead (O. mykiss have also reoccupied Panther Creek. Full recovery of salmonid populations occurred within about 12-years after the onset of restoration efforts and about 4-years after the Cu chronic criteria had mostly been met, with recovery interpreted as similarity in densities, biomass, year class strength, and condition factors between reference sites and mining-influenced sites. Shorthead Sculpin (Cottus confusus were slower than salmonids to disperse and colonize. While benthic macroinvertebrate biomass has increased, species richness has plateaued at about 70 to 90% of reference despite the Cu criterion having been met for several years. Different invertebrate taxa had distinctly different recovery trajectories. Among the slowest taxa to recover were Ephemerella, Cinygmula and Rhithrogena mayflies, Enchytraeidae oligochaetes, and Heterlimnius aquatic beetles. Potential

  3. Combined use of meio- and macrobenthic indices to assess complex chemical impacts on a stream ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKnight, Ursula S.; Sonne, Anne T.; Rasmussen, Jes J.; Traunspurger, Walter; Höss, Sebastian; Bjerg, Poul L.

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem dynamics (e.g. temperature, inorganic nutrients) and properties (e.g. resilience, robustness), and ecological functions and services depend on the structure and diversity of biological communities, and the fluxes of energy and materials occurring within and across abiotic and biotic boundaries. The close interchange, i.e. multiple feedback loops, between hydrologic and biologic controls is also becoming increasingly evident. Holistic approaches are thus necessary for a robust understanding of ecosystem functioning and subsequent implementation of effective management practices across multiple spatial scales. Groundwater and surface water resources are under pressure from increasing global exploitation and anthropogenic impacts such as contamination by chemicals, leading to a severe degradation of essential ecological functions. Many of the environmental problems we face today have existed for decades; what has changed is our understanding of the key drivers, processes and impacts. The first reporting by European Member States (MS) on the status of their water bodies found that rivers and transitional waters were often in worse condition than lakes and coastal waters. This is not surprising considering that streams integrate all of the diverse stressors found within a catchment (e.g. contaminated sites; diffuse source pollution; water abstraction). The chemical status of a water body is relatively straightforward to assess, defined partly by environmental quality standards on priority substances and partly by additional regulations imposed by individual MS. However, the biological quality elements used for the classification of ecological status are only loosely defined, leaving MS free to develop their own assessment tools. Although useful for the individual MS, it impedes methodological standardization across different ecoregions, thus contributing to inconsistencies and data gaps across Europe. Moreover, despite the unambiguous importance of benthic

  4. Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuwirth, Nele; Reichert, Peter

    2013-02-01

    For the first time, we combine concepts of theoretical food web modeling, the metabolic theory of ecology, and ecological stoichiometry with the use of functional trait databases to predict the coexistence of invertebrate taxa in streams. We developed a mechanistic model that describes growth, death, and respiration of different taxa dependent on various environmental influence factors to estimate survival or extinction. Parameter and input uncertainty is propagated to model results. Such a model is needed to test our current quantitative understanding of ecosystem structure and function and to predict effects of anthropogenic impacts and restoration efforts. The model was tested using macroinvertebrate monitoring data from a catchment of the Swiss Plateau. Even without fitting model parameters, the model is able to represent key patterns of the coexistence structure of invertebrates at sites varying in external conditions (litter input, shading, water quality). This confirms the suitability of the model concept. More comprehensive testing and resulting model adaptations will further increase the predictive accuracy of the model.

  5. Importance of neutral processes varies in time and space: Evidence from dryland stream ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Dong

    Full Text Available Many ecosystems experience strong temporal variability in environmental conditions; yet, a clear picture of how niche and neutral processes operate to determine community assembly in temporally variable systems remains elusive. In this study, we constructed neutral metacommunity models to assess the relative importance of neutral processes in a spatially and temporally variable ecosystem. We analyzed macroinvertebrate community data spanning multiple seasons and years from 20 sites in a Sonoran Desert river network in Arizona. The model goodness-of-fit was used to infer the importance of neutral processes. Averaging over eight stream flow conditions across three years, we found that neutral processes were more important in perennial streams than in non-perennial streams (intermittent and ephemeral streams. Averaging across perennial and non-perennial streams, we found that neutral processes were more important during very high flow and in low flow periods; whereas, at very low flows, the relative importance of neutral processes varied greatly. These findings were robust to the choice of model parameter values. Our study suggested that the net effect of disturbance on the relative importance of niche and neutral processes in community assembly varies non-monotonically with the severity of disturbance. In contrast to the prevailing view that disturbance promotes niche processes, we found that neutral processes could become more important when the severity of disturbance is beyond a certain threshold such that all organisms are adversely affected regardless of their biological traits and strategies.

  6. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  7. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  8. Structural and functional responses of benthic invertebrates to imidacloprid in outdoor stream mesocosms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pestana, J.L.T.; Alexander, A.C.; Culp, J.M.; Baird, D.J.; Cessna, A.J.; Soares, A.M.V.M.

    2009-01-01

    Structural and functional responses of a benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage to pulses of the insecticide imidacloprid were assessed in outdoor stream mesocosms. Imidacloprid pulses reduced invertebrate abundance and community diversity in imidacloprid-dosed streams compared to control streams. These results correlated well with effects of imidacloprid on leaf litter decomposition and feeding rates of Pteronarcys comstocki, a stonefly, in artificial streams. Reductions in oxygen consumption of stoneflies exposed to imidacloprid were also observed in laboratory experiments. Our findings suggest that leaf litter degradation and single species responses can be sensitive ecotoxicological endpoints that can be used as early warning indicators and biomonitoring tools for pesticide contamination. The data generated illustrates the value of mesocosm experiments in environmental assessment and how the consideration of functional and structural endpoints of natural communities together with in situ single species bioassays can improve the evaluation and prediction of pesticide effects on stream ecosystems. - Combining organism-level responses with community-level processes for the evaluation and prediction of pesticide effects on stream ecosystems.

  9. Structural and functional responses of benthic invertebrates to imidacloprid in outdoor stream mesocosms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pestana, J.L.T., E-mail: jpestana@ua.p [CESAM and Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Environment Canada at Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, 10 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, NB (Canada); Alexander, A.C., E-mail: alexa.alexander@unb.c [Environment Canada at Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, 10 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, NB (Canada); Culp, J.M., E-mail: jculp@unb.c [Environment Canada at Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, 10 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, NB (Canada); Baird, D.J., E-mail: djbaird@unb.c [Environment Canada at Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, 10 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, NB (Canada); Cessna, A.J., E-mail: asoares@ua.p [Environment Canada, National Hydrology Research Centre, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Soares, A.M.V.M., E-mail: asoares@ua.p [CESAM and Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)

    2009-08-15

    Structural and functional responses of a benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage to pulses of the insecticide imidacloprid were assessed in outdoor stream mesocosms. Imidacloprid pulses reduced invertebrate abundance and community diversity in imidacloprid-dosed streams compared to control streams. These results correlated well with effects of imidacloprid on leaf litter decomposition and feeding rates of Pteronarcys comstocki, a stonefly, in artificial streams. Reductions in oxygen consumption of stoneflies exposed to imidacloprid were also observed in laboratory experiments. Our findings suggest that leaf litter degradation and single species responses can be sensitive ecotoxicological endpoints that can be used as early warning indicators and biomonitoring tools for pesticide contamination. The data generated illustrates the value of mesocosm experiments in environmental assessment and how the consideration of functional and structural endpoints of natural communities together with in situ single species bioassays can improve the evaluation and prediction of pesticide effects on stream ecosystems. - Combining organism-level responses with community-level processes for the evaluation and prediction of pesticide effects on stream ecosystems.

  10. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertram, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes’ broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example

  11. Maximum entropy models of ecosystem functioning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bertram, Jason, E-mail: jason.bertram@anu.edu.au [Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200 (Australia)

    2014-12-05

    Using organism-level traits to deduce community-level relationships is a fundamental problem in theoretical ecology. This problem parallels the physical one of using particle properties to deduce macroscopic thermodynamic laws, which was successfully achieved with the development of statistical physics. Drawing on this parallel, theoretical ecologists from Lotka onwards have attempted to construct statistical mechanistic theories of ecosystem functioning. Jaynes’ broader interpretation of statistical mechanics, which hinges on the entropy maximisation algorithm (MaxEnt), is of central importance here because the classical foundations of statistical physics do not have clear ecological analogues (e.g. phase space, dynamical invariants). However, models based on the information theoretic interpretation of MaxEnt are difficult to interpret ecologically. Here I give a broad discussion of statistical mechanical models of ecosystem functioning and the application of MaxEnt in these models. Emphasising the sample frequency interpretation of MaxEnt, I show that MaxEnt can be used to construct models of ecosystem functioning which are statistical mechanical in the traditional sense using a savanna plant ecology model as an example.

  12. The role of species functional traits for distribuitional patterns in lowland stream vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cavalli, Giulia; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Riis, Tenna

    Freshwater ecosystems provide goods and service to human society and invasion is a major threat to them. Plant invasion affect community dynamics, threatens biodiversity and promote biological homogenization. In this study we explore functional traits in three groups of species e.g. invasive...... species, disturbance-tolerant species and rare species in lowland streams. In order to investigate the role of functional traits for species distributional patterns we investigate relationships between a range of species features and species abundance in app. 1,200 stream sites in Denmark covering...

  13. Spatial and temporal effects of olive mill wastewaters to stream macroinvertebrates and aquatic ecosystems status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karaouzas, Ioannis; Skoulikidis, Nikolaos T; Giannakou, Urania; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2011-12-01

    Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is one of the major and most challenging organic pollutants in olive oil production countries. However, the knowledge about the in-situ effects of olive mill wastewaters to lotic ecosystems and their benthic organisms is very limited. To resolve this, eight sampling sites were selected upstream and downstream the outflow of several olive mills to assess the spatial and temporal effects of OMW to stream macroinvertebrates and to ecological status of stream ecosystems. Biotic (macroinvertebrates) and abiotic (physicochemical, hydromorphological) data were monitored for two years thus following the biennial cycle of olive growth and production and hydrological variation (drought-wet years). The results of this study revealed the spatial and temporal structural deterioration of the aquatic community due to OMW pollution with consequent reduction of the river capacity for reducing the effects of polluting substances through internal mechanisms of self-purification. OMW, even highly diluted, had dramatic impacts on the aquatic fauna and to the ecological status of the receiving stream ecosystems. The organic load of the wastewater expressed as BOD(5), COD and TSS, substrate contamination (sewage bacteria) and distance from the mill outlet, were the most important factors affecting macroinvertebrate assemblages while the typology (i.e. slope, altitude) and hydrology of the stream site (i.e. mountainous-lowland) and the intensity and volume of the wastewater were the most important determinants of self-purification processes. As OMW are usually being discharged in small size streams that are not considered in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, there is a need for including such systems into monitoring and assessment schemes as they may significantly contribute to the pollution load of the river basin. Furthermore, guidelines to manage these wastes through technologies that minimise their environmental impact and lead to a sustainable use

  14. Scaling measurements of metabolism in stream ecosystems: challenges and approaches to estimating reaeration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, W. B.; Parker, S.; Song, C.

    2016-12-01

    Stream ecologists have used various formulations of an oxygen budget approach as a surrogate to measure "whole-stream metabolism" (WSM) of carbon in rivers and streams. Improvements in sensor technologies that provide reliable, high-frequency measurements of dissolved oxygen concentrations in adverse field conditions has made it much easier to acquire the basic data needed to estimate WSM in remote locations over long periods (weeks to months). However, accurate estimates of WSM require reliable measurements or estimates of the reaeration coefficient (k). Small errors in estimates of k can lead to large errors in estimates of gross ecosystem production and ecosystem respiration and so the magnitude of the biological flux of CO2 to or from streams. This is an especially challenging problem in unproductive, oligotrophic streams. Unfortunately, current methods to measure reaeration directly (gas evasion) are expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming. As a consequence, there is a substantial mismatch between the time steps at which we can measure reaeration versus most of the other variables required to calculate WSM. As a part of the NSF Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research Project we have refined methods to measure WSM in Arctic streams and found a good relationship between measured k values and those calculated by the Energy Dissipation Model (EDM). Other researchers have also noted that this equation works well for both low- and high-order streams. The EDM is dependent on stream slope (relatively constant) and velocity (which is related to discharge or stage). These variables are easy to measure and can be used to estimate k a high frequency (minutes) over large areas (river networks). As a key part of the NSF MacroSystems Biology SCALER project we calculated WSM for multiple reaches in nested stream networks in six biomes across the United States and Australia. We calculated k by EDM and fitted k via a Bayesian model for WSM. The relationships between

  15. Whole ecosystem approaches for assessing the coupling of N and P cycles in small streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Thomas, S. A.; Seybold, E. C.; Drake, T.; Lewis, K.; MacNeill, K.; Zimov, N.

    2010-12-01

    The most pressing environmental problems faced by society are manifestations of changes in biogeochemical cycles. The urgency of mitigating these problems has brought into sharp focus the need for a stronger mechanistic understanding of the factors that control biogeochemical cycles and how these factors affect multiple elements. Our overarching goal is to assess the strength of coupling between carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles in small headwater streams, including streams draining small watersheds in Northern California and the East Siberian Arctic. We have used a range of whole ecosystem approaches, rooted in nutrient spiraling theory, including plateau and pulsed nutrient enrichment experiments at a range of N:P ratios in heterotrophic and autotrophic streams. We use these experiments to calculate changes in nutrient spiraling metrics in response to changes in absolute and relative supply of N and P, and we use these results to infer the strength of the linkage between N and P cycles. In all California study streams, ecological processes are N limited, and we have observed significant changes in the strength of N and P coupling depending on position along the stream network. In small heterotrophic streams, addition of N caused significant increases in P uptake, while P had little influence on N. In larger autotrophic streams, N and P were only weakly coupled, which we attributed to a shift towards dominance of uptake by algae rather than heterotrophic bacteria, which is associated with differences in cellular structures. In addition, we have observed a small but consistent reduction in P uptake at high N:P of supply in autotrophic streams, which we speculate may indicate a suppression of N fixers at high N supply. In the Arctic, we have observed less consistency in the response of streams to nutrient enrichment, with some streams showing very little change in N or P uptake with changes in supply N:P, and others showing a decrease in N uptake in response

  16. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dynamic landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Ulrich; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships

  17. The effects of road crossings on prairie stream habitat and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouska, Wesley W.; Keane, Timothy; Paukert, Craig P.

    2010-01-01

    Improperly designed stream crossing structures may alter the form and function of stream ecosystems and habitat and prohibit the movement of aquatic organisms. Stream sections adjoining five concrete box culverts, five low-water crossings (concrete slabs vented by one or multiple culverts), and two large, single corrugated culvert vehicle crossings in eastern Kansas streams were compared to reference reaches using a geomorphologic survey and stream classification. Stream reaches were also compared upstream and downstream of crossings, and crossing measurements were used to determine which crossing design best mimicked the natural dimensions of the adjoining stream. Four of five low-water crossings, three of five box culverts, and one of two large, single corrugated pipe culverts changed classification from upstream to downstream of the crossings. Mean riffle spacing upstream at low-water crossings (8.6 bankfull widths) was double that of downstream reaches (mean 4.4 bankfull widths) but was similar upstream and downstream of box and corrugated pipe culverts. There also appeared to be greater deposition of fine sediments directly upstream of these designs. Box and corrugated culverts were more similar to natural streams than low-water crossings at transporting water, sediments, and debris during bankfull flows.

  18. Examining the role of dissolved organic nitrogen in stream ecosystems across biomes and Critical Zone gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wymore, A.; Rodriguez-Cardona, B.; Coble, A. A.; Potter, J.; Lopez Lloreda, C.; Perez Rivera, K.; De Jesus Roman, A.; Bernal, S.; Martí Roca, E.; Kram, P.; Hruska, J.; Prokishkin, A. S.; McDowell, W. H.

    2016-12-01

    Watershed nitrogen exports are often dominated by dissolved organic nitrogen (DON); yet, little is known about the role ambient DON plays in ecosystems. As an organic nutrient, DON may serve as either an energy source or as a nutrient source. One hypothesized control on DON is nitrate (NO3-) availability. Here we examine the interaction of NO3- and DON in streams across temperate forests, tropical rainforests, and Mediterranean and taiga biomes. Experimental streams also drain contrasting Critical Zones which provide gradients of vegetation, soil type and lithology (e.g. volcaniclastic, granitic, ultramafic, Siberian Traps Flood Basalt) in which to explore how the architecture of the Critical Zone affects microbial biogeochemical reactions. Streams ranged in background dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration (1-50 mg C/L) and DOC: NO3- ratios (10-2000). We performed a series of ecosystem-scale NO3- additions in multiple streams within each environment and measured the change in DON concentration. Results demonstrate that there is considerable temporal and spatial variation across systems with DON both increasing and decreasing in response to NO3- addition. Ecologically this suggests that DON can serve as both a nutrient source and an energy source to aquatic microbial communities. In contrast, DOC concentrations rarely changed in response to NO3- additions suggesting that the N-rich fraction of the ambient dissolved organic matter pool is more bioreactive than the C-rich fraction. Contrasting responses of the DON and DOC pools indicate different mechanisms controlling their respective cycling. It is likely that DON plays a larger role in ecosystems than previously recognized.

  19. Functional ecomorphology: Feedbacks between form and function in fluvial landscape ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Stuart G.; Heffernan, James B.; Sponseller, Ryan A.; Welter, Jill R.

    2007-09-01

    The relationship between form and function has been a central organizing principle in biology throughout its history as a formal science. This concept has been relevant from molecules to organisms but loses meaning at population and community levels where study targets are abstract collectives and assemblages. Ecosystems include organisms and abiotic factors but ecosystem ecology too has developed until recently without a strong spatially explicit reference. Landscape ecology provides an opportunity to once again anneal form and function and to consider reciprocal causation between them. This ecomorphologic view can be applied at a variety of ecologically relevant scales and consists of an investigation of how geomorphology provides a structural template that shapes, and is shaped by ecological processes. Running water ecosystems illustrate several principles governing the interaction of landscape form and ecological function subsumed by the concept of "Functional Ecomorphology". Particularly lucrative are ecosystem-level interactions between geologic form and biogeochemical processes integrated by hydrologic flowpaths. While the utility of a flowpath-based approach is most apparent in streams, spatially explicit biogeochemical processing pervades all landscapes and may be of general ecological application.

  20. Relating stream function and land cover in the Middle Pee Dee River Basin, SC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.D. Jayakaran

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Study region: The study region comprised sixteen stream sites and associated contributing watersheds located in the Middle Pee Dee River Basin (MPDRB of South Carolina, USA. Study focus: The study was conducted between 2008 and 2010 to quantify how indices of streamflow varied with land cover characteristics analyzed at multiple spatial scales and fluvial geomorphic characteristics of sampled streams in the MPDRB. Study objectives were to relate three indices of streamflow that reflect recent temporal flow variability in a stream, with synoptic stream geomorphological measurements, and land cover type at specific spatial domains. New hydrological insights for the region: Modifications to the landscape, hydrologic regime, and alteration to channel morphology, are major threats to the functioning of riparian ecosystem functions but can rarely be linked to a single common stressor. Results from the study showed that in the MPDRB, wetland cover in the riparian corridor was an important factor, correlating significantly with stream flashiness, channel enlargement, and bed substrate character. It was also shown that a combination of stream geomorphological characteristics when combined with landscape variables at specific spatial scales were reasonable predictors of all three indices of streamflow. The study also highlights an innovative statistical methodology to relate land cover data to commonly measured metrics of streamflow and fluvial geomorphology. Keywords: Flashiness, Stream habitat, Flow indices, Land cover analysis, Wetlands, Coastal plain, Bed material, Partial least squares regression, Pee Dee River, South Carolina

  1. Functional traits explain ecosystem function through opposing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W

    2017-08-01

    The ability to explain why multispecies assemblages produce greater biomass compared to monocultures, has been a central goal in the quest to understand biodiversity effects on ecosystem function. Species contributions to ecosystem function can be driven by two processes: niche complementarity and a selection effect that is influenced by fitness (competitive) differences, and both can be approximated with measures of species' traits. It has been hypothesised that fitness differences are associated with few, singular traits while complementarity requires multidimensional trait measures. Here, using experimental data from plant assemblages, I show that the selection effect was strongest when trait dissimilarity was low, while complementarity was greatest with high trait dissimilarity. Selection effects were best explained by a single trait, plant height. Complementarity was correlated with dissimilarity across multiple traits, representing above and below ground processes. By identifying the relevant traits linked to ecosystem function, we obtain the ability to predict combinations of species that will maximise ecosystem function. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Differences in ecological structure, function, and native species abundance between native and invaded Hawaiian streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tara Holitzki; Richard A. MacKenzie; Tracy N. Wiegner; Karla J. McDermid

    2013-01-01

    Poeciliids, one of the most invasive species worldwide, are found on almost every continent and have been identified as an ‘‘invasive species of concern’’ in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite their global prevalence, few studies have quantified their impacts on tropical stream ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Utilizing Hawaiian...

  3. Functional differentiation between fish assemblages from forested and deforested streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We tested the hypothesis that streams in deforested areas shelter different fish communities to nearby forested areas, and that these disparities are due to environmental parameters that limit or benefit different species according to their functional traits. We compared the community composition of three south east Brazilian streams flanked by riparian forest with three nearby streams in deforested areas. The following functional traits were considered: diet, habitat use, water flow preference, size, and hypoxia tolerance. Differentiation between forested and deforested streams corresponded with the different contributions of three functional groups. Species reported in the literature to be hypoxia tolerant, and exhibiting a variable combination of the other traits prevailed in deforested streams, although we did not find substantial differences in oxygen levels between forested and deforested streams. In forested streams, benthic species associated with a high water flow and an insectivorous diet were dominant. Changes in streams induced by deforestation which are associated with habitat availability, food resources, and physicochemical conditions appear to restrict the occurrence of specialized species and instead benefit tolerant generalists.

  4. Altitudinal patterns of diversity and functional traits of metabolically active microorganisms in stream biofilms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Linda; Besemer, Katharina; Fragner, Lena; Peter, Hannes; Weckwerth, Wolfram; Battin, Tom J

    2015-01-01

    Resources structure ecological communities and potentially link biodiversity to energy flow. It is commonly believed that functional traits (generalists versus specialists) involved in the exploitation of resources depend on resource availability and environmental fluctuations. The longitudinal nature of stream ecosystems provides changing resources to stream biota with yet unknown effects on microbial functional traits and community structure. We investigated the impact of autochthonous (algal extract) and allochthonous (spruce extract) resources, as they change along alpine streams from above to below the treeline, on microbial diversity, community composition and functions of benthic biofilms. Combining bromodeoxyuridine labelling and 454 pyrosequencing, we showed that diversity was lower upstream than downstream of the treeline and that community composition changed along the altitudinal gradient. We also found that, especially for allochthonous resources, specialisation by biofilm bacteria increased along that same gradient. Our results suggest that in streams below the treeline biofilm diversity, specialisation and functioning are associated with increasing niche differentiation as potentially modulated by divers allochthonous and autochthonous constituents contributing to resources. These findings expand our current understanding on biofilm structure and function in alpine streams. PMID:25978543

  5. Thermal regulation of functional groups in running water ecosystems. Progress report, 1974--1975

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cummins, K.W.; Klug, M.J.

    1975-01-01

    Upper and lower thermal limits and temperature dependent growth were determined for a number of organisms (or populations) representing various functional groups of stream ecosystems (microconsumers, producers, and macroconsumers, shredders, collectors, scrapers, and predators). Although temperature functions as an overall control parameter, organic substrate (microconsumers) and inorganic nutrients (microconsumers and producers), light (producers) and food quality (macroconsumers) can modify thermal responses. Stream microorganisms typically grow below their thermal optima, community composition being determined by those that can manage the maximum growth at a given temperature utilizing a given organic substrate. Producers in first to third order streams are generally light limited (although nutrient availability is also important). Food quality, primarily a function of microbial biomass in the case of detritivores. can compensate for temperature dependent growth in non-predator macroinvertebrate functional groups. (U.S.)

  6. Effects of resource chemistry on the composition and function of hyporheic stream biofilms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward eHall

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Stream ecosystems process large quantities of dissolved organic matter as it moves from the headwaters to the sea. Interstitial sediments in the hyporheic zone are centers of high biogeochemical reactivity due to their high levels of microbial biomass and activity. However, the interaction between organic matter and microbial dynamics of these systems remains poorly understood. We evaluated how variance in resource chemistry affected the microbial community and its associated activity in experimentally grown interstitial biofilms. Specifically, we fed beech leaf leachates that differed in chemical composition to a series of bioreactors filled with sediment from a sub-alpine stream. Differences in resource chemistry resulted in differences in diversity and phylogenetic origin of microbial proteins, enzyme activity, and microbial biomass stoichiometry. Specifically, increased lignin, phenolics and manganese in a single leachate resulted in increased phenoloxidase and peroxidase activity, elevated microbial biomass carbon:nitrogen ratio, and a greater proportion of proteins of beta-proteobacter origin. We use this model system to link microbial form, (community composition and proteome, with function, (enzyme activity, in an attempt to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms that link resource heterogeneity to ecosystem function in stream ecosystems.

  7. Effects of resource chemistry on the composition and function of stream hyporheic biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Besemer, K.; Kohl, L.; Preiler, C.; Reidel, K.; Schneider, T.; Wanek, W.; Battin, T.J.

    2012-01-01

    Fluvial ecosystems process large quantities of dissolved organic matter as it moves from the headwater streams to the sea. In particular, hyporheic sediments are centers of high biogeochemical reactivity due to their elevated residence time and high microbial biomass and activity. However, the interaction between organic matter and microbial dynamics in the hyporheic zone remains poorly understood. We evaluated how variance in resource chemistry affected the microbial community and its associated activity in experimentally grown hyporheic biofilms. To do this we fed beech leaf leachates that differed in chemical composition to a series of bioreactors filled with sediment from a sub-alpine stream. Differences in resource chemistry resulted in differences in diversity and phylogenetic origin of microbial proteins, enzyme activity, and microbial biomass stoichiometry. Specifically, increased lignin, phenolics, and manganese in a single leachate resulted in increased phenoloxidase and peroxidase activity, elevated microbial biomass carbon:nitrogen ratio, and a greater proportion of proteins of Betaproteobacteria origin. We used this model system to attempt to link microbial form (community composition and metaproteome) with function (enzyme activity) in order to better understand the mechanisms that link resource heterogeneity to ecosystem function in stream ecosystems.

  8. Projected warming portends seasonal shifts of stream temperatures in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, USA and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Marshall, Lucy A.

    2017-01-01

    Climate warming is expected to increase stream temperatures in mountainous regions of western North America, yet the degree to which future climate change may influence seasonal patterns of stream temperature is uncertain. In this study, a spatially explicit statistical model framework was integrated with empirical stream temperature data (approximately four million bi-hourly recordings) and high-resolution climate and land surface data to estimate monthly stream temperatures and potential change under future climate scenarios in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, USA and Canada (72,000 km2). Moderate and extreme warming scenarios forecast increasing stream temperatures during spring, summer, and fall, with the largest increases predicted during summer (July, August, and September). Additionally, thermal regimes characteristic of current August temperatures, the warmest month of the year, may be exceeded during July and September, suggesting an earlier and extended duration of warm summer stream temperatures. Models estimate that the largest magnitude of temperature warming relative to current conditions may be observed during the shoulder months of winter (April and November). Summer stream temperature warming is likely to be most pronounced in glacial-fed streams where models predict the largest magnitude (> 50%) of change due to the loss of alpine glaciers. We provide the first broad-scale analysis of seasonal climate effects on spatiotemporal patterns of stream temperature in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem for better understanding climate change impacts on freshwater habitats and guiding conservation and climate adaptation strategies.

  9. Rivers and streams in the media: a content analysis of ecosystem services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Weber

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Although ecosystem services research has become common, few efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. The theoretical framework of final ecosystem services focuses attention on such measurable attributes, as a common currency for social-ecological systems research. Environmental communications as well as ecological monitoring and analysis efforts could be enhanced through increased documentation of final ecosystem services. For example, small changes in the way ecosystems are described could strongly influence relevance to the public and improve the foundation for environmental decision making. Focusing on rivers and streams, we conducted a content analysis of existing publications to document the breadth and frequency with which various measurable attributes, such as flooding, water quality characteristics, and wildlife appeared in different news sources over a multiyear timeline. In addition to attributes, motivations for human interest in river-related resources were also coded, such as recreation or preservation for future generations. To allow testing of differences between materials written for different audiences, three sources were sampled: a blog hosted by National Geographic, New York Times articles, and Wall Street Journal articles. The coding approach was rigorously tested in a pilot phase, with measures developed to ensure high data quality, including use of two independent coders. Results show numerous similarities across sources with some notable differences in emphasis. Significant relationships between groups of attribute and motivation codes were also found, one outcome of which is further support for the importance of nonuse values for fish and wildlife. Besides offering insight on ecosystem services, the project demonstrates an in-depth quantitative approach to analyzing preexisting qualitative data.

  10. Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walters, David; Wanty, Richard B.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Wolf, Ruth E.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed over a gradient of bioavailable metals in streams and how these changes affected riparian web-building spiders. Insect emergence decreased 97% over the metal gradient, whereas metal concentrations in adult insects changed relatively little. As a result, total metal exported by insects (flux) was lowest at the most contaminated streams, declining 96% among sites. Spiders were affected by the decrease in prey biomass, but not by metal exposure or metal flux to land in aquatic prey. Aquatic insects are increasingly thought to increase exposure of terrestrial consumers to aquatic contaminants, but stream metals reduce contaminant flux to riparian consumers by strongly impacting the resource linkage. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the contaminant-specific effects of aquatic pollutants on adult insect emergence and contaminant accumulation in adults to predict impacts on terrestrial food webs.

  11. Understanding the influence of nutrients on stream ecosystems in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munn, Mark D.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Black, Robert W.; Duff, John H.; Lee, Kathy E.; Maret, Terry R.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Waite, Ian R.; Zelt, Ronald B.

    2018-06-06

    Sustaining the quality of the Nation’s water resources and the health of our diverse ecosystems depends on the availability of sound water-resources data and information to develop effective, science-based policies. Effective management of water resources also brings more certainty and efficiency to important economic sectors. Taken together, these actions lead to immediate and long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits that make a difference to the lives of the almost 400 million people projected to live in the United States by 2050.In 1991, Congress established the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) to address where, when, why, and how the Nation’s water quality has changed, or is likely to change in the future, in response to human activities and natural factors. Since then, NAWQA has been a leading source of scientific data and knowledge used by national, regional, State, and local agencies to develop science-based policies and management strategies to improve and protect water resources used for drinking water, recreation, irrigation, energy development, and ecosystem needs (https://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/applications/). Plans for the third decade of NAWQA (2013–23) address priority water-quality issues and science needs identified by NAWQA stakeholders, such as the Advisory Committee on Water Information and the National Research Council, and are designed to meet increasing challenges related to population growth, increasing needs for clean water, and changing land-use and weather patterns.Excess nutrients are a pervasive problem of streams, lakes, and coastal waters. The current report, “The Quality of Our Nation’s Waters—Understanding the Effects of Nutrients on Stream Ecosystems in Agricultural Landscapes,” presents a summary of results from USGS investigations conducted from 2003 to 2011 on processes that influence nutrients and how nutrient enrichment can alter biological components of

  12. Species replacement by a nonnative salmonid alters ecosystem function by reducing prey subsidies that support riparian spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, J.R.; Fausch, K.D.; Baxter, C.V.

    2011-01-01

    Replacement of a native species by a nonnative can have strong effects on ecosystem function, such as altering nutrient cycling or disturbance frequency. Replacements may cause shifts in ecosystem function because nonnatives establish at different biomass, or because they differ from native species in traits like foraging behavior. However, no studies have compared effects of wholesale replacement of a native by a nonnative species on subsidies that support consumers in adjacent habitats, nor quantified the magnitude of these effects. We examined whether streams invaded by nonnative brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in two regions of the Rocky Mountains, USA, produced fewer emerging adult aquatic insects compared to paired streams with native cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), and whether riparian spiders that depend on these prey were less abundant along streams with lower total insect emergence. As predicted, emergence density was 36% lower from streams with the nonnative fish. Biomass of brook trout was higher than the cutthroat trout they replaced, but even after accounting for this difference, emergence was 24% lower from brook trout streams. More riparian spiders were counted along streams with greater total emergence across the water surface. Based on these results, we predicted that brook trout replacement would result in 6-20% fewer spiders in the two regions. When brook trout replace cutthroat trout, they reduce cross-habitat resource subsidies and alter ecosystem function in stream-riparian food webs, not only owing to increased biomass but also because traits apparently differ from native cutthroat trout. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag.

  13. Distributional (in)congruence of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Boit, A.; Mori, S.; Vonk, J.A.; Dyer, S.D.; Faggiano, L.; Geisen, S.; González, A.L.; Kaspari, M.; Lavorel, S.; Marquet, P.A.; Rossberg, A.G.; Sterner, R.W.; Voigt, W.; Wall, D.H.

    2012-01-01

    The majority of research on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in laboratories has concentrated on a few traits, but there is increasing evidence from the field that functional diversity controls ecosystem functioning more often than does species number. Given the importance of traits as predictors

  14. Nutrient cycling and ecosystem metabolism in boreal streams of the Central Siberian Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diemer, L.; McDowell, W. H.; Prokushkin, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic boreal streams are undergoing considerable change in carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry due to degrading permafrost and increasing fire activity. Recent studies show that fire increases transport of inorganic solutes from the boreal landscape to arctic streams in some regions; couple this with expected greater labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from deepening active layers, enhanced biomass production, and increased annual precipitation and boreal streams may experience greater in-stream primary production and respiration in the coming century. Little is known about the spatial and temporal dynamics of inorganic nutrients in relation to C availability in headwater streams of a major Arctic region, the Central Siberian Plateau. Our preliminary data of Central Siberian headwater streams show NO3 and PO4 concentrations near or below detection limits (e.g. nine samples taken in spring from a small stream near the Russian settlement of Tura averaged 10 μg/L NO3-N and 9.7 μg/L PO4-P), and recent studies in Central Siberia suggest that bioavailable organic matter and inorganic nutrients such as NO3 will likely increase with climate warming. We examined the fate of nutrients in Central Siberian streams using Tracer for Spiraling Curve Characterization (TASCC) additions of NO3, NH4, and PO4 along with conservative tracer, NaCl, in spring at high and low discharges in streams underlain by continuous permafrost in Central Siberia. We also sampled two sites in spring every 2 hours overnight for 24 hours to document any diel patterns in DOC and inorganic nutrients. Our results thus far show that NO3 uptake length may be strongly correlated with DOC concentration (a function of fire activity). Preliminary results also show that despite high discharge and cold temperatures (4-8°C) in mid to late spring, there appears to be biological activity stimulating a diel signal for NO3 with maximum concentration corresponding to low light (11 PM). Investigating the primary

  15. Reactivation of a cryptobiotic stream ecosystem in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: A long-term geomorphological experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKnight, Diane M.; Tate, C.M.; Andrews, E.D.; Niyogi, D.K.; Cozzetto, K.; Welch, K.; Lyons, W.B.; Capone, D.G.

    2007-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contain many glacial meltwater streams that flow for 6 to 12??weeks during the austral summer and link the glaciers to the lakes on the valley floors. Dry valley streams gain solutes longitudinally through weathering reactions and microbial processes occurring in the hyporheic zone. Some streams have thriving cyanobacterial mats. In streams with regular summer flow, the mats are freeze-dried through the winter and begin photosynthesizing with the onset of flow. To evaluate the longer term persistence of cyanobacterial mats, we diverted flow to an abandoned channel, which had not received substantial flow for approximately two decades. Monitoring of specific conductance showed that for the first 3??years after the diversion, the solute concentrations were greater in the reactivated channel than in most other dry valley streams. We observed that cyanobacterial mats became abundant in the reactivated channel within a week, indicating that the mats had been preserved in a cryptobiotic state in the channel. Over the next several years, these mats had high rates of productivity and nitrogen fixation compared to mats from other streams. Experiments in which mats from the reactivated channel and another stream were incubated in water from both of the streams indicated that the greater solute concentrations in the reactivated channel stimulated net primary productivity of mats from both streams. These stream-scale experimental results indicate that the cryptobiotic preservation of cyanobacterial mats in abandoned channels in the dry valleys allows for rapid response of these stream ecosystems to climatic and geomorphological change, similar to other arid zone stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: Total uptake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R.O.; Tank, J.L.; Sobota, D.J.; Mulholland, P.J.; O'Brien, J. M.; Dodds, W.K.; Webster, J.R.; Valett, H.M.; Poole, G.C.; Peterson, B.J.; Meyer, J.L.; McDowell, W.H.; Johnson, S.L.; Hamilton, S.K.; Grimm, N. B.; Gregory, S.V.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Cooper, L.W.; Ashkenas, L.R.; Thomas, S.M.; Sheibley, R.W.; Potter, J.D.; Niederlehner, B.R.; Johnson, L.T.; Helton, A.M.; Crenshaw, C.M.; Burgin, A.J.; Bernot, M.J.; Beaulieu, J.J.; Arangob, C.P.

    2009-01-01

    We measured uptake length of 15NO-3 in 72 streams in eight regions across the United States and Puerto Rico to develop quantitative predictive models on controls of NO-3 uptake length. As part of the Lotic Intersite Nitrogen eXperiment II project, we chose nine streams in each region corresponding to natural (reference), suburban-urban, and agricultural land uses. Study streams spanned a range of human land use to maximize variation in NO-3 concentration, geomorphology, and metabolism. We tested a causal model predicting controls on NO-3 uptake length using structural equation modeling. The model included concomitant measurements of ecosystem metabolism, hydraulic parameters, and nitrogen concentration. We compared this structural equation model to multiple regression models which included additional biotic, catchment, and riparian variables. The structural equation model explained 79% of the variation in log uptake length (S Wtot). Uptake length increased with specific discharge (Q/w) and increasing NO-3 concentrations, showing a loss in removal efficiency in streams with high NO-3 concentration. Uptake lengths shortened with increasing gross primary production, suggesting autotrophic assimilation dominated NO-3 removal. The fraction of catchment area as agriculture and suburban-urban land use weakly predicted NO-3 uptake in bivariate regression, and did improve prediction in a set of multiple regression models. Adding land use to the structural equation model showed that land use indirectly affected NO-3 uptake lengths via directly increasing both gross primary production and NO-3 concentration. Gross primary production shortened SWtot, while increasing NO-3 lengthened SWtot resulting in no net effect of land use on NO- 3 removal. ?? 2009.

  17. A decision support system for restoration planning of stream valley ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieterse, N.M.; Verkroost, A.W.M.; Wassen, M.; Olde Venterink, H.; Kwakernaak, C.

    2002-01-01

    Despite efforts that have been put into conservation, there is a continuing loss of species and ecosystems in Western Europe. There is a growing awareness that restoration is an essential step to stop this tide. Unfortunately, there is lack of understanding about the multitude of functions and the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  19. Modelling stream-fish functional traits in reference conditions: regional and local environmental correlates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João M Oliveira

    Full Text Available Identifying the environmental gradients that control the functional structure of biological assemblages in reference conditions is fundamental to help river management and predict the consequences of anthropogenic stressors. Fish metrics (density of ecological guilds, and species richness from 117 least disturbed stream reaches in several western Iberia river basins were modelled with generalized linear models in order to investigate the importance of regional- and local-scale abiotic gradients to variation in functional structure of fish assemblages. Functional patterns were primarily associated with regional features, such as catchment elevation and slope, rainfall, and drainage area. Spatial variations of fish guilds were thus associated with broad geographic gradients, showing (1 pronounced latitudinal patterns, affected mainly by climatic factors and topography, or (2 at the basin level, strong upstream-downstream patterns related to stream position in the longitudinal gradient. Maximum native species richness was observed in midsize streams in accordance with the river continuum concept. The findings of our study emphasized the need to use a multi-scale approach in order to fully assess the factors that govern the functional organization of biotic assemblages in 'natural' streams, as well as to improve biomonitoring and restoration of fluvial ecosystems.

  20. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Hocking

    Full Text Available Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp. likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2 plots and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2 where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2. In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders. Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  1. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types.

  2. Using Whole Stream {delta}{sup 15}N Additions to Understand the Effects of Land Use Change on Stream Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deegan, L. A.; Neill, C.; Thomas, S.; Haupert, C. [Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (United States); Victoria, R. L.; Krusche, A. V.; Ballester, M. V.R. [Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    2013-05-15

    In this paper we introduce an emerging new technique; the use of {delta}{sup 15}N stable isotope tracers to understand both short term and long term alterations in stream ecosystem nitrogen biogeochemistry and food web dynamics. The use of {delta}{sup 15}N isotopes to determine stream nitrogen cycling was developed in small tundra streams in Alaska (USA), but a network of researchers using similar technique has rapidly grown to answer questions about nitrogen cycling and stream food webs in a variety of ecosystem types and subject to human modifications. Here we provide an overview of some of the information that can be provided using stable isotope additions and describe the general approach of an isotope addition experiment. To illustrate the scope of isotope applicability some examples are provided of work undertaken in the Brazilian Amazon. (author)

  3. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    Science.gov (United States)

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  4. Some remarks on the functions of European coastal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Maarel, E

    2003-01-01

    Amongst the various functions of European coastal ecosystems the information functions are by far the most important. Information is provided mainly through the various aspects of biodiversity: taxon diversity, genetic diversity, community (P) diversity, phylogentic distinctiveness, rarity and

  5. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bannar-Martin, K.; Kremer, C.; Ernest, S.K. Morgan; Leibold, M.; Auge, H.; Chase, J.; Declerck, S.A.J.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, W.S.; Hillebrand, H.; Isbell, F.; Koffel, T.; Larsen, S.; Narwani, A.; Petermann, J.; Roscher, C.; Sarmento Cabral, J.; Supp, S.

    2018-01-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness

  6. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

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

  7. Beaver Activity, Holocene Climate and Riparian Landscape Change Across Stream Scales in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, R.; Meyer, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    Beaver (Castor canadensis) have been part of the fluvial and riparian landscape across much of North America since the Pleistocene, increasing channel habitat complexity and expanding riparian landscapes. The fur trade, however, decimated beaver populations by the 1840s, and other human activities have limited beaver in many areas, including parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Understanding fluctuations in beaver occupation through the Holocene will aid in understanding the natural range of variability in beaver activity as well as climatic and anthropogenic impacts to fluvial systems. We are developing a detailed chronology of beaver-assisted sedimentation and overall fluvial activity for Odell and Red Rock Creeks (basin areas 83 and 99 km2) in Centennial Valley (CV), Montana, to augment related studies on the long-term effects of beaver on smaller GYE fluvial systems (basin areas 0.1-50 km2). In developing the CV chronology, we use the presence of concentrations of beaver-chewed sticks as a proxy for beaver occupancy. Beaver-stick deposits are found in paleochannel and fluvial terrace exposures. The relative ages of exposures were determined by elevation data from airborne LiDAR and ground surveys. Numerical ages were obtained from 36 14C ages (~30 more are pending) of beaver-stick wood collected during investigation of the stratigraphy. Most beaver-stick deposits are associated with ~ 1 meter of fine-grained sediment, interpreted as overbank deposits, commonly overlying gravelly sand or pebble gravel channel deposits which is consistent with enhanced overbank sedimentation associated with active beaver dams in CV streams. The CV deposits differ from those on smaller GYE streams where beaver-stick deposits are associated with abandoned dams (berms), infilled ponds and laminated sediments. The lack of pond-related deposition associated with CV beaver-stick deposits is consistent with frequent dam breaching (≤ 5 years) in the modern channel of Odell

  8. Phosphorus dynamics in a woodland stream ecosystem: a study of nutrient spiralling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newbold, J.D.; Elwood, J.W.; O'Neill, R.V.; Sheldon, A.L.

    1983-01-01

    To describe spiralling in Walker Branch, a first-order woodland stream in Tennessee, we released 32 PO 4 to the stream water and measured its uptake from the water and then followed its dynamics in coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM), fine particulate organic matter (FPOM), aufwuchs, grazers, shredders, collectors, net-spinning filter feeders, and predators over a 6-week period. Rates of transfer among compartments and rates of downstream transport were estimated by fitting a partial differential equation model of the ecosystem to the data. With the resulting coefficients, the model was run to steady state to estimate standing stocks and fluxes of exchangeable phosphorus. Phosphorus moved downstream at an average velocity of 10.4 m/d, cycling once every 18.4 d. The average downstream distance associated with one cycle was therefore 190 m (10.4 m/d x 18.4 d). Spiralling length, at steady state, is approximately the ratio of the total downstream flux of phosphorus per unit width of stream (720 mg.d -1 .m -1 ) to the rate of P uptake from the water (3.90 mg.m -2 .d -1 ). CPOM accounted for 60% of the uptake, FPOM for 35%, and aufwuchs for 5%. Turnover times of P in particulates ranged from 5.6 to 6.7 d, except for FPOM, which showed a slower turnover time of 99 d. Of the P uptake from water by particulates, 2.8% was transferred to consumers, while the remainder returned directly to the water. About 30% of the consumer uptake, in turn, was transferred to predators. The small consumer turnover length reflected low consumer uptake of P from particulates and slow downstream drift velocity (0.013 m/d). In spite of the low rate of phosphorus uptake, the combined consumer-and-predator community accounted for 25% of the standing stock of exchangeable P in the stream. The retentiveness of this community is attributable both to the low drift rate and to a long turnover time (152 d) for P within the community

  9. Review on the effects of toxicants on freshwater ecosystem functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, K.; Bundschuh, M.; Schäfer, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    We reviewed 122 peer-reviewed studies on the effects of organic toxicants and heavy metals on three fundamental ecosystem functions in freshwater ecosystems, i.e. leaf litter breakdown, primary production and community respiration. From each study meeting the inclusion criteria, the concentration resulting in a reduction of at least 20% in an ecosystem function was standardized based on median effect concentrations of standard test organisms (i.e. algae and daphnids). For pesticides, more than one third of observations indicated reductions in ecosystem functions at concentrations that are assumed being protective in regulation. Moreover, the reduction in leaf litter breakdown was more pronounced in the presence of invertebrate decomposers compared to studies where only microorganisms were involved in this function. High variability within and between studies hampered the derivation of a concentration–effect relationship. Hence, if ecosystem functions are to be included as protection goal in chemical risk assessment standardized methods are required. -- Highlights: •Quantitative review of 122 studies on effects of toxicants on ecosystem functions. •Variation between studies hampered derivation of concentration–effect relationships. •Adverse effects of pesticide were observed below thresholds corresponding to regulation. •Effects on leaf breakdown were greater when invertebrates were involved. -- Concentrations assumed as protective in chemical regulation cause adverse effects in three fundamental ecosystem functions

  10. Functional traits in agriculture: agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Stephen A; Karp, Daniel S; DeClerck, Fabrice; Kremen, Claire; Naeem, Shahid; Palm, Cheryl A

    2015-09-01

    Functional trait research has led to greater understanding of the impacts of biodiversity in ecosystems. Yet, functional trait approaches have not been widely applied to agroecosystems and understanding of the importance of agrobiodiversity remains limited to a few ecosystem processes and services. To improve this understanding, we argue here for a functional trait approach to agroecology that adopts recent advances in trait research for multitrophic and spatially heterogeneous ecosystems. We suggest that trait values should be measured across environmental conditions and agricultural management regimes to predict how ecosystem services vary with farm practices and environment. This knowledge should be used to develop management strategies that can be easily implemented by farmers to manage agriculture to provide multiple ecosystem services. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. β-Diversity, Community Assembly, and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Isbell, Forest; Seidl, Rupert

    2018-05-25

    Evidence is increasing for positive effects of α-diversity on ecosystem functioning. We highlight here the crucial role of β-diversity - a hitherto underexplored facet of biodiversity - for a better process-level understanding of biodiversity change and its consequences for ecosystems. A focus on β-diversity has the potential to improve predictions of natural and anthropogenic influences on diversity and ecosystem functioning. However, linking the causes and consequences of biodiversity change is complex because species assemblages in nature are shaped by many factors simultaneously, including disturbance, environmental heterogeneity, deterministic niche factors, and stochasticity. Because variability and change are ubiquitous in ecosystems, acknowledging these inherent properties of nature is an essential step for further advancing scientific knowledge of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in theory and practice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Riparian ecosystems and buffers - multiscale structure, function, and management: introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathleen A. Dwire; Richard R. Lowrance

    2006-01-01

    Given the importance of issues related to improved understanding and management of riparian ecosystems and buffers, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) sponsored a Summer Specialty Conference in June 2004 at Olympic Valley, California, entitled 'Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Multiscale Structure, Function, and Management.' The primary objective...

  13. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Regional zooplankton dispersal provides spatial insurance for ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symons, Celia C; Arnott, Shelley E

    2013-05-01

    Changing environmental conditions are affecting diversity and ecosystem function globally. Theory suggests that dispersal from a regional species pool may buffer against changes in local community diversity and ecosystem function after a disturbance through the establishment of functionally redundant tolerant species. The spatial insurance provided by dispersal may decrease through time after environmental change as the local community monopolizes resources and reduces community invasibility. To test for evidence of the spatial insurance hypothesis and to determine the role dispersal timing plays in this response we conducted a field experiment using crustacean zooplankton communities in a subarctic region that is expected to be highly impacted by climate change - Churchill, Canada. Three experiments were conducted where nutrients, salt, and dispersal were manipulated. The three experiments differed in time-since-disturbance that the dispersers were added. We found that coarse measures of diversity (i.e. species richness, evenness, and Shannon-Weiner diversity) were generally resistant to large magnitude disturbances, and that dispersal had the most impact on diversity when dispersers were added shortly after disturbance. Ecosystem functioning (chl-a) was degraded in disturbed communities, but dispersal recovered ecosystem function to undisturbed levels. This spatial insurance for ecosystem function was mediated through changes in community composition and the relative abundance of functional groups. Results suggest that regional diversity and habitat connectivity will be important in the future to maintain ecosystem function by introducing functionally redundant species to promote compensatory dynamics. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Benthic macroinvertebrates and the use of stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) in the impact assessment of peatland use on boreal stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieminen, Mika L.; Daza Secco, Emmanuela; Nykänen, Hannu; Meissner, Kristian

    2013-04-01

    Stable isotope analysis (SIA) can provide insights into carbon flow dynamics and trophic positions of consumers in food webs. SIA is used in this study, where we assess the possible changes in the basal resources of Finnish boreal stream ecosystems and differences in the impact of two forms of peatland use, forestry and peat mining. About 30% of the total land area of Finland is classified as peatland, of which about 55% has been drained for forestry and about 0.6% is in peat production. Unlike forestry, peat production is regionally less scattered and can thus have measurable local impacts although the total area of peat production is small. Three watersheds were used as study areas. Within each watershed, one stream drains a subcatchment affected only by peat mining, whereas the other stream flows through a subcatchment affected by forestry. The two subcatchment streams merge to form a single stream flowing into a lake. Studied watersheds were subject to no other forms of land use. In addition to the impacted sites, we used two pristine natural mire and two natural forest catchments as controls. We analysed the stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) from benthic macroinvertebrates, stream bank soil, stream sediment, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in stream water. Samples for stable isotope analyses were collected in the summer of 2011 and samples for invertebrate community analyses in the autumn of 2011. Upon sampling we measured several physical parameters at each sampling site. In addition, stream water samples collected in summer and autumn 2012 were analysed for CH4 and CO2 gas concentrations and autumn gas samples also for their δ13C values. Our initial SIA results of invertebrates suggest some degree of discrimination between different sources of OM and possible effects on feeding habits, presumably due to the quality of the basal resources. We will explore this result further by examining not only taxonomical structure, but also the

  16. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  17. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannar-Martin, Katherine H; Kremer, Colin T; Ernest, S K Morgan; Leibold, Mathew A; Auge, Harald; Chase, Jonathan; Declerck, Steven A J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Isbell, Forest; Koffel, Thomas; Larsen, Stefano; Narwani, Anita; Petermann, Jana S; Roscher, Christiane; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Supp, Sarah R

    2018-02-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. We synthesise the BEF and CAFE perspectives using an ecological application of the Price equation, which partitions the contributions of richness and composition to function. Using empirical examples, we show how the CAFE approach reveals important contributions of composition to function. These examples show how changes in species richness and composition driven by environmental perturbations can work in concert or antagonistically to influence ecosystem function. Considering how communities change in an integrative fashion, rather than focusing on one axis of community structure at a time, will improve our ability to anticipate and predict changes in ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Biofilms in streams play an integral role in ecosystem processes and function yet few studies have investigated the broad diversity of these complex prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities. Physical habitat characteristics can affect the composition and abundance of microorganisms...... in these biofilms by creating microhabitats. Here we describe the prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial diversity of biofilms in sand and macrophyte habitats (i.e. epipsammon and epiphyton, respectively) in five macrophyte-rich streams in Jutland, Denmark. The macrophyte species varied in growth morphology, C......:N stoichiometry, and preferred stream habitat, providing a range in environmental conditions for the epiphyton. Among all habitats and streams, the prokaryotic communities were dominated by common phyla, including Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteriodetes, and Gammaproteobacteria, while the eukaryotic communities were...

  19. Thermal regulation of functional groups in running water ecosystems. Progress report, October 1, 1975--June 30, 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cummins, K.W.; Klug, M.J.

    1976-07-01

    Progress is reported on the following research projects: characterization of functional groups of running water organisms, particularly macroconsumers; studies on relationship of functional groups to qualitative and quantitative characteristics of organic inputs to stream ecosystems; studies on relationship of functional groups to thermal regimes; and dimensioning the control of feeding and growth by temperature and food quality and quantity and determining the extent of compensatory action of each. (HLW)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Mouillot

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

  2. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moreno-Mateos

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain. Our results from a meta-analysis of 621 wetland sites from throughout the world show that even a century after restoration efforts, biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages, and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily by the storage of carbon in wetland soils, remained on average 26% and 23% lower, respectively, than in reference sites. Either recovery has been very slow, or postdisturbance systems have moved towards alternative states that differ from reference conditions. We also found significant effects of environmental settings on the rate and degree of recovery. Large wetland areas (>100 ha and wetlands restored in warm (temperate and tropical climates recovered more rapidly than smaller wetlands and wetlands restored in cold climates. Also, wetlands experiencing more (riverine and tidal hydrologic exchange recovered more rapidly than depressional wetlands. Restoration performance is limited: current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades. If restoration as currently practiced is used to justify further degradation, global loss of wetland ecosystem function and structure will spread.

  3. Disturbance, Functional Diversity and Ecosystem Processes: Does Species Identity Matter?

    OpenAIRE

    Emrick III, Verl Roy

    2013-01-01

    The role of disturbance is widely recognized as a fundamental driver of ecological organization from individual species to entire landscapes. Anthropogenic disturbances from military training provide a unique opportunity to examine effects of disturbance on vegetation dynamics, physicochemical soil properties, and ecosystem processes. Additionally, plant functional diversity has been suggested as the key to ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient dynamics. I investigated how dis...

  4. Bivariate functional data clustering: grouping streams based on a varying coefficient model of the stream water and air temperature relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. Li; X. Deng; Andy Dolloff; E. P. Smith

    2015-01-01

    A novel clustering method for bivariate functional data is proposed to group streams based on their water–air temperature relationship. A distance measure is developed for bivariate curves by using a time-varying coefficient model and a weighting scheme. This distance is also adjusted by spatial correlation of streams via the variogram. Therefore, the proposed...

  5. Ecosystem Functions across Trophic Levels Are Linked to Functional and Phylogenetic Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Patrick L.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  6. Declining resilience of ecosystem functions under biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Tom H; Isaac, Nick J B; August, Tom A; Woodcock, Ben A; Roy, David B; Bullock, James M

    2015-12-08

    The composition of species communities is changing rapidly through drivers such as habitat loss and climate change, with potentially serious consequences for the resilience of ecosystem functions on which humans depend. To assess such changes in resilience, we analyse trends in the frequency of species in Great Britain that provide key ecosystem functions--specifically decomposition, carbon sequestration, pollination, pest control and cultural values. For 4,424 species over four decades, there have been significant net declines among animal species that provide pollination, pest control and cultural values. Groups providing decomposition and carbon sequestration remain relatively stable, as fewer species are in decline and these are offset by large numbers of new arrivals into Great Britain. While there is general concern about degradation of a wide range of ecosystem functions, our results suggest actions should focus on particular functions for which there is evidence of substantial erosion of their resilience.

  7. Towards an integration of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and food web theory to evaluate relationships between multiple ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, Jes; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.; Wagg, Cameron; Voigt, Winfried; Mulder, Christian; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Engel, Jan; Melian, Carlos; Scheu, Stefan; Birkhofer, Klaus; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that

  8. Water quality and ecosystem management: Data-driven reality check of effects in streams and lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Destouni, Georgia; Fischer, Ida; Prieto, Carmen

    2017-08-01

    This study investigates nutrient-related water quality conditions and change trends in the first management periods of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD; since 2009) and Baltic Sea Action Plan (BASP; since 2007). With mitigation of nutrients in inland waters and their discharges to the Baltic Sea being a common WFD and BSAP target, we use Sweden as a case study of observable effects, by compiling and analyzing all openly available water and nutrient monitoring data across Sweden since 2003. The data compilation reveals that nutrient monitoring covers only around 1% (down to 0.2% for nutrient loads) of the total number of WFD-classified stream and lake water bodies in Sweden. The data analysis further shows that the hydro-climatically driven water discharge dominates the determination of waterborne loads of both total phosphorus and total nitrogen across Sweden. Both water discharge and the related nutrient loads are in turn well correlated with the ecosystem status classification of Swedish water bodies. Nutrient concentrations do not exhibit such correlation and their changes over the study period are on average small, but concentration increases are found for moderate-to-bad status waters, for which both the WFD and the BSAP have instead targeted concentration decreases. In general, these results indicate insufficient distinction and mitigation of human-driven nutrient components in inland waters and their discharges to the sea by the internationally harmonized applications of the WFD and the BSAP. The results call for further comparative investigations of observable large-scale effects of such regulatory/management frameworks in different parts of the world.

  9. Biodiversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jeff R; Rillig, Matthias C

    2018-03-30

    Contents Summary I. pathways of influence and pervasiveness of effects II. AM fungal richness effects on ecosystem functions III. Other dimensions of biodiversity IV. Back to basics - primary axes of niche differentiation by AM fungi V. Functional diversity of AM fungi - a role for biological stoichiometry? VI. Past, novel and future ecosystems VII. Opportunities and the way forward Acknowledgements References SUMMARY: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play important functional roles in ecosystems, including the uptake and transfer of nutrients, modification of the physical soil environment and alteration of plant interactions with other biota. Several studies have demonstrated the potential for variation in AM fungal diversity to also affect ecosystem functioning, mainly via effects on primary productivity. Diversity in these studies is usually characterized in terms of the number of species, unique evolutionary lineages or complementary mycorrhizal traits, as well as the ability of plants to discriminate among AM fungi in space and time. However, the emergent outcomes of these relationships are usually indirect, and thus context dependent, and difficult to predict with certainty. Here, we advocate a fungal-centric view of AM fungal biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships that focuses on the direct and specific links between AM fungal fitness and consequences for their roles in ecosystems, especially highlighting functional diversity in hyphal resource economics. We conclude by arguing that an understanding of AM fungal functional diversity is fundamental to determine whether AM fungi have a role in the exploitation of marginal/novel environments (whether past, present or future) and highlight avenues for future research. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Ecosystem functional response across precipitation extremes in a sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tredennick, Andrew T; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Taylor, J Bret; Adler, Peter B

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is predicted to become more variable in the western United States, meaning years of above and below average precipitation will become more common. Periods of extreme precipitation are major drivers of interannual variability in ecosystem functioning in water limited communities, but how ecosystems respond to these extremes over the long-term may shift with precipitation means and variances. Long-term changes in ecosystem functional response could reflect compensatory changes in species composition or species reaching physiological thresholds at extreme precipitation levels. We conducted a five year precipitation manipulation experiment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Idaho, United States. We used drought and irrigation treatments (approximately 50% decrease/increase) to investigate whether ecosystem functional response remains consistent under sustained high or low precipitation. We recorded data on aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), species abundance, and soil moisture. We fit a generalized linear mixed effects model to determine if the relationship between ANPP and soil moisture differed among treatments. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling to quantify community composition over the five years. Ecosystem functional response, defined as the relationship between soil moisture and ANPP, was similar among irrigation and control treatments, but the drought treatment had a greater slope than the control treatment. However, all estimates for the effect of soil moisture on ANPP overlapped zero, indicating the relationship is weak and uncertain regardless of treatment. There was also large spatial variation in ANPP within-years, which contributes to the uncertainty of the soil moisture effect. Plant community composition was remarkably stable over the course of the experiment and did not differ among treatments. Despite some evidence that ecosystem functional response became more sensitive under sustained drought conditions, the response

  11. Prevalance and consequences of the most frequently observed alien molluse in US wadeable stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien molluscs are widely distributed in U.S. streams. While some raise economic concerns on the order of billions of dollars, documentation of widespread ecological effects has, in some instances, been more elusive. A probability survey of wadeable streams of the coterminous U.S...

  12. Seafloor ecosystem functioning: the importance of organic matter priming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Nugteren, P.; Moodley, L.; Brummer, G.J.; Heip, C.H.R.; Herman, P.M.J.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2009-01-01

    Organic matter (OM) remineralization may be considered a key function of the benthic compartment of marine ecosystems and in this study we investigated if the input of labile organic carbon alters mineralization of indigenous sediment OM (OM priming). Using 13C-enriched diatoms as labile tracer

  13. Influence of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) on fish community structure and function in headwater streams of the Delaware River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, R.M.; Bennett, R.M.; Snyder, C.D.; Young, J.A.; Smith, D.R.; Lemarie, D.P.

    2003-01-01

    Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest of the eastern U.S. are in decline due to invasion by the exotic insect hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). Aquatic biodiversity in hemlock ecosystems has not been documented; thus the true impact of the infestation cannot be assessed. We compared ichthyofaunal assemblages and trophic structure of streams draining hemlock and hardwood forests by sampling first- and second-order streams draining 14 paired hemlock and hardwood stands during base flows in July 1997 at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Over 1400 fish of 15 species and 7 families were collected, but hemlock and hardwood streams individually harbored only one to four species. Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) were two to three times as prevalent in hemlock than hardwood streams. Insectivorous fishes occurred in significantly higher proportion in streams of hardwood (0.90) than hemlock (0.46) stands, while piscivores occurred more often in hemlock (0.85) than hardwood (0.54) stands. Functional (trophic) diversity of fishes in hemlock and second-order streams was numerically greater than that of hardwood and first-order streams. Species composition also differed by stream order and terrain type. Biodiversity is threatened at several levels within hemlock ecosystems at risk to the hemlock woolly adelgid in eastern U.S. forests.

  14. Functional complexity and ecosystem stability: an experimental approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  15. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in evolving food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allhoff, K T; Drossel, B

    2016-05-19

    We use computer simulations in order to study the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) during both the formation and the ongoing evolution of large food webs. A species in our model is characterized by its own body mass, its preferred prey body mass and the width of its potential prey body mass spectrum. On an ecological time scale, population dynamics determines which species are viable and which ones go extinct. On an evolutionary time scale, new species emerge as modifications of existing ones. The network structure thus emerges and evolves in a self-organized manner. We analyse the relation between functional diversity and five community level measures of ecosystem functioning. These are the metabolic loss of the predator community, the total biomasses of the basal and the predator community, and the consumption rates on the basal community and within the predator community. Clear BEF relations are observed during the initial build-up of the networks, or when parameters are varied, causing bottom-up or top-down effects. However, ecosystem functioning measures fluctuate only very little during long-term evolution under constant environmental conditions, despite changes in functional diversity. This result supports the hypothesis that trophic cascades are weaker in more complex food webs. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Jocqué, Rudy; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-25

    The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity). Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity): insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced). This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  17. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  18. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulling, Mark T.; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M.; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C. L.; Solan, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty. PMID:20513718

  19. Risk assessment of salinity and turbidity in Victoria (Australia) to stream insects' community structure does not always protect functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kefford, Ben J; Schäfer, Ralf B; Metzeling, Leon

    2012-01-15

    Ecological risk assessments mostly consider measures of community composition (structure) across large spatial scales. These assessments, using species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) or the relative species retention (RSR), may not be protective of ecosystem functions and services at smaller spatial scales. Here we examine how changes in biological traits, as proxy for ecosystem functions/services, at a fine spatial scale relate to larger scale assessment of structure. We use functional traits of stream insect species in south-east Australia in two habitats (riffle and edge/pool). We find that the protection of community structure in terms of 95% of species over multiple sites against adverse effects of salinity (as electrical conductivity) and turbidity will mostly, but not always, protect traits at smaller scales. Considering different combinations of trait modalities, contaminants and habitat, a mean of 17.5% (range 0%-36.8) of cases would result in under-protection of trait modalities despite protecting species composition (in terms of Jaccard's Index). This under-protection of trait modalities is only because of the different spatial scales that community structure and the traits were considered. We recommend that where the protection of biological traits, ecosystem functions or ecosystem services from stressors is a management goal, protective targets should not be solely set using measures of community structure such as SSDs or RSR. To protect both structural and functional attributes separate risk assessments should be done. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Slope failure as an upslope source of stream wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel. Miller

    2013-01-01

    Large woody debris is recognized as an important component of stream geomorphology and stream ecosystem function, and forest-land management is recognized as an important control on the quantity (and size and species distributions) of wood available for recruitment to streams. Much of the wood present in streams comes from adjacent forests, and riparian management...

  1. Rivers and streams in the media: a content analysis of ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    While ecosystem services research has become common, few efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. Environmental communications as well as ecological monitoring and analysis efforts could be enhanced by such information...

  2. STREAM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Godsk, Mikkel

    This paper presents a flexible model, ‘STREAM’, for transforming higher science education into blended and online learning. The model is inspired by ideas of active and collaborative learning and builds on feedback strategies well-known from Just-in-Time Teaching, Flipped Classroom, and Peer...... Instruction. The aim of the model is to provide both a concrete and comprehensible design toolkit for adopting and implementing educational technologies in higher science teaching practice and at the same time comply with diverse ambitions. As opposed to the above-mentioned feedback strategies, the STREAM...... model supports a relatively diverse use of educational technologies and may also be used to transform teaching into completely online learning. So far both teachers and educational developers have positively received the model and the initial design experiences show promise....

  3. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of urban development on stream ecosystems in nine metropolitan study areas across the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, James F.; McMahon, Gerard; Bell, Amanda H.; Brown, Larry R.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Scudder Eikenberry, Barbara C.; Woodside, Michael D.; Cuffney, Thomas F.; Bryant, Wade L.; Cappiella, Karen; Fraley-McNeal, Lisa; Stack, William P.

    2012-01-01

    Urban development is an important agent of environmental change in the United States. The urban footprint on the American landscape has expanded during a century and a half of almost continuous development. Eighty percent of Americans now live in metropolitan areas, and the advantages and challenges of living in these developed areas—convenience, congestion, employment, pollution—are part of the day-to-day realities of most Americans. Nowhere are the environmental changes associated with urban development more evident than in urban streams. Contaminants, habitat destruction, and increasing streamflow flashiness resulting from urban development have been associated with the disruption of biological communities, particularly the loss of sensitive aquatic species. Every stream is connected downstream to larger water bodies, including rivers, reservoirs, and ultimately coastal waters. Inputs of chemical contaminants or sediments at any point along the stream can cause degradation downstream with adverse effects on biological communities and on economically valuable resources, such as fisheries and tourism.

  5. Re-thinking stressor interactions: The role of groundwater contamination impacting stream ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McKnight, Ursula S.; Sonne, Anne Thobo; Rønde, Vinni Kampman

    ) to quantify the contaminant discharges, and potentially link the chemical impact and stream water quality. Potential pollution sources include two contaminated sites (Grindstedfactory/landfill), aquaculture, waste water discharges, and diffuse sources from agriculture and urban areas. Datafor xenobiotic...... chronic stress level, so even small perturbations on top of changes in water flow or additional chemical stressors may be detrimental to the stream health. To address this issue, we identified contaminant sources and chemical stressors along a 16-km groundwater-fedstream stretch (Grindsted, Denmark...... organic groundwater contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals, general water chemistry, physical conditions and stream flow from three campaigns in 2012 and 2014 were assessed. The measured chemicalconcentrations were converted to toxic units (TU) based on 48-h acute toxicity tests with Daphnia magna...

  6. Function of Wildfire-Deposited Pyrogenic Carbon in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa R. A. Pingree

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Fire is an important driver of change in most forest, savannah, and prairie ecosystems and fire-altered organic matter, or pyrogenic carbon (PyC, conveys numerous functions in soils of fire-maintained terrestrial ecosystems. Although an exceptional number of recent review articles and books have addressed agricultural soil application of charcoal or biochar, few reviews have addressed the functional role of naturally formed PyC in fire-maintained ecosystems. Recent advances in molecular spectroscopic techniques have helped strengthen our understanding of PyC as a ubiquitous, complex material that is capable of altering soil chemical, physical, and biological properties and processes. The uniquely recalcitrant nature of PyC in soils is partly a result of its stable C = C double-bonded, graphene-like structure and C-rich, N-poor composition. This attribute allows it to persist in soils for hundreds to thousands of years and represent net ecosystem C sequestration in fire-maintained ecosystems. The rapid formation of PyC during wildfire or anthropogenic fire events short-circuits the normally tortuous pathway of recalcitrant soil C formation. Existing literature also suggests that PyC provides an essential role in the cycling of certain nutrients, greatly extending the timeframe by which fires influence soil processes and facilitating recovery in ecosystems where organic matter inputs are low and post-fire surface soil bacterial and fungal activity is reduced. The high surface area of PyC allows for the adsorption a broad spectrum of organic compounds that directly or indirectly influence microbial processes after fire events. Adsorption capacity and microsite conditions created by PyC yields a “charosphere” effect in soil with heightened microbial activity in the vicinity of PyC. In this mini-review, we explore the function of PyC in natural and semi-natural settings, provide a mechanistic approach to understanding these functions, and examine

  7. Biological factors of natural and artificial ecosystems stable (unstable) functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechurkin, Nikolai S.

    The problem of sustainable development of humanity on Earth and the problem of supporting human life in space have the same scientific and methodological bases. The key to solve both problems is a long term maintenance of balanced material cycle. As a whole, natural or artificial ecosystems are to be more closed than open, but their elements (links of systems) are to be substantially open in interactions with each other. Prolonged stable interactions of different links have to have unique joint results - closed material cycling or biotic turnover. It is necessary to include, at least, three types of main links into any system to support real material cycling: producers, consumers, reducers. Producer links are now under studies in many laboratories. It is evident that the higher productivity of link, the lower link stability. Especially, it concerns with parasite impact to plants. As usual, artificial ecosystems are more simple (incomplete) than natural ecosystems, sometimes, they have not enough links for prolonged stable functioning. For example, life support system for space flight can be incomplete in consumer link, having only some crew persons, instead of interacting populations of consumers. As for reducer link, it is necessary to "organize" a special coordinated work of microbial biocenoses to fulfill proper cycling. Possible evolution of links, their self development is a matter of special attention for the maintenance of prolonged stable functioning. It's the most danger for systems with populations of quickly reproducing, so-called, R - strategists, according to symbols of logistic equation. From another side, quick reproduction of R - strategists is able to increase artificial ecosystems and their links functioning. After some damages of system, R - strategist's link can be quickly "self repaired" up to level of normal functioning. Some experimental data of this kind and mathematical models are to be discussed in the paper. This work is supported by

  8. Investigating Stream Metabolism and Nutrient Dynamics in Contrasting Ecosystems: The Role of Hydrologic Compartments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Covino, T. P.

    2015-12-01

    The interactions between mobile and less mobile hydrologic compartments affect the quality and quantity of water in streams and aquifers, and the cycling of dissolved carbon and nutrients. As new laboratory and field techniques become available, new questions and challenges emerge, including: What do we measure, where, and for how long to fully characterize a system? and, What is the ideal cost-maintenance-benefit relationship that we should strive for to maximize knowledge gained in different field settings? We recently performed a series of field experiments to measure aquatic metabolism and nutrient dynamics in two highly contrasting hydrologic systems, i.e., 1) a wetland-stream alpine, tropical system in Colombia (South America) and 2) a dryland river continuum (1st - 5th stream orders) in New Mexico. In this presentation we discuss how multiple lines of evidence can support the analysis of key aquatic processes and how co-interpretation provides a more complete picture of stream complexity. For this analysis, we deployed YSI EXO2 and 6920 sondes, Turner Designs C-sense and C6 sensors, and Onset HOBO water quality data loggers. Parameters measured by these instruments include conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, pCO2, chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin, fluorescein, CDOM, brighteners and water depth. We also injected conservative tracers (i.e., NaCl and NaBr) and the bioreactive tracer resazurin in both experimental sites, and NO3 in the dryland river continuum. NO3 was measured in-situ with Satlantic Submersible Ultraviolet Nitrate Analyzers (SUNA) sensors and in the laboratory using Ion Chromatograph techniques using stream grab samples. Our results highlight the role of both residence times and chemical fluxes in regulating the effective processing of carbon and nutrients. Our results also demonstrate that stream stimuli from controlled experiments are ideal for maximizing the information content derived from short (hours to days) and mid

  9. Two different streams form the dorsal visual system: anatomy and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Matelli, Massimo

    2003-11-01

    There are two radically different views on the functional role of the dorsal visual stream. One considers it as a system involved in space perception. The other is of a system that codes visual information for action organization. On the basis of new anatomical data and a reconsideration of previous functional and clinical data, we propose that the dorsal stream and its recipient parietal areas form two distinct functional systems: the dorso-dorsal stream (d-d stream) and the ventro-dorsal stream (v-d stream). The d-d stream is formed by area V6 (main d-d extrastriate visual node) and areas V6A and MIP of the superior parietal lobule. Its major functional role is the control of actions "on line". Its damage leads to optic ataxia. The v-d stream is formed by area MT (main v-d extrastriate visual node) and by the visual areas of the inferior parietal lobule. As the d-d stream, v-d stream is responsible for action organization. It, however, also plays a crucial role in space perception and action understanding. The putative mechanisms linking action and perception in the v-d stream is discussed.

  10. Functional identity and diversity of animals predict ecosystem functioning better than species-based indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagic, Vesna; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Jonsson, Tomas; Taylor, Astrid; Winqvist, Camilla; Fischer, Christina; Slade, Eleanor M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Emmerson, Mark; Potts, Simon G; Tscharntke, Teja; Weisser, Wolfgang; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2015-02-22

    Drastic biodiversity declines have raised concerns about the deterioration of ecosystem functions and have motivated much recent research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. A functional trait framework has been proposed to improve the mechanistic understanding of this relationship, but this has rarely been tested for organisms other than plants. We analysed eight datasets, including five animal groups, to examine how well a trait-based approach, compared with a more traditional taxonomic approach, predicts seven ecosystem functions below- and above-ground. Trait-based indices consistently provided greater explanatory power than species richness or abundance. The frequency distributions of single or multiple traits in the community were the best predictors of ecosystem functioning. This implies that the ecosystem functions we investigated were underpinned by the combination of trait identities (i.e. single-trait indices) and trait complementarity (i.e. multi-trait indices) in the communities. Our study provides new insights into the general mechanisms that link biodiversity to ecosystem functioning in natural animal communities and suggests that the observed responses were due to the identity and dominance patterns of the trait composition rather than the number or abundance of species per se. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Restoration of a forested wetland ecosystem in a thermally impacted stream corridor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, E.A.; McKee, W.H. Jr.; Dulohery, C.J.

    1995-01-01

    The Savannah River Swamp is a 3,020 Ha forested wetland on the floodplain of the Savannah River and is located on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS). Major impacts to the swamp hydrology occurred with the completion of the production reactors and one coal-fired powerhouse at the SRS in the early 1950's. Water was pumped from the Savannah River, through secondary heat exchangers of the reactors, and discharged into three of the tributary streams that flow into the swamp. This continued from 1954 to 1988 at various levels. The sustained increases in water volume resulted in overflow of the original stream banks and the creation of additional floodplains. Accompanying this was considerable erosion of the original stream corridor and deposition of a deep silt layer on the newly formed delta. Heated water was discharged directly into Pen Branch and water temperature in the stream often exceeded 50 C. The nearly continuous flood of the swamp, the thermal load of the water, and the heavy silting resulted in complete mortality of the original vegetation in large areas of the floodplain. Research has been ongoing to determine methods to reintroduce tree species characteristic of more mature forested wetlands. The goal of the restoration is to create structural and biological diversity in the forest canopy by establishing a mix of species typically present in riparian and wetland forests of the area

  12. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  13. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats...

  14. Realizing ecosystem services: wetland hydrologic function along a gradient of ecosystem condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Daniel L; Cohen, Matthew J

    2013-10-01

    Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, from habitat provision to pollutant removal, floodwater storage, and microclimate regulation. Delivery of particular services relies on specific ecological functions, and thus to varying degree on wetland ecological condition, commonly quantified as departure from minimally impacted reference sites. Condition assessments are widely adopted as regulatory indicators of ecosystem function, and for some services (e.g., habitat) links between condition and function are often direct. For others, however, links are more tenuous, and using condition alone to enumerate ecosystem value (e.g., for compensatory mitigation) may underestimate important services. Hydrologic function affects many services cited in support of wetland protection both directly (floodwater retention, microclimate regulation) and indirectly (biogeochemical cycling, pollutant removal). We investigated links between condition and hydrologic function to test the hypothesis, embedded in regulatory assessment of wetland value, that condition predicts function. Condition was assessed using rapid and intensive approaches, including Florida's official wetland assessment tool, in 11 isolated forested wetlands in north Florida (USA) spanning a land use intensity gradient. Hydrologic function was assessed using hydrologic regime (mean, variance, and rates of change of water depth), and measurements of groundwater exchange and evapotranspiration (ET). Despite a wide range in condition, no systematic variation in hydrologic regime was observed; indeed reference sites spanned the full range of variation. In contrast, ET was affected by land use, with higher rates in intensive (agriculture and urban) landscapes in response to higher leaf area. ET determines latent heat exchange, which regulates microclimate, a valuable service in urban heat islands. Higher ET also indicates higher productivity and thus carbon cycling. Groundwater exchange regularly reversed flow direction

  15. Shifts of community composition and population density substantially affect ecosystem function despite invariant richness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spaak, Jurg W.; Baert, Jan M.; Baird, Donald J.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Maltby, Lorraine; Pomati, Francesco; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Rohr, Jason R.; Brink, van den Paul J.; Laender, De Frederik

    2017-01-01

    There has been considerable focus on the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem function arising from changes in species richness. However, environmental change may affect ecosystem function without affecting richness, most notably by affecting population densities and community

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-12

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

  17. Experimental Analysis of Cell Function Using Cytoplasmic Streaming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, Peter; Waldhuber, Megan

    2012-01-01

    This laboratory exercise investigates the phenomenon of cytoplasmic streaming in the fresh water alga "Nitella". Students use the fungal toxin cytochalasin D, an inhibitor of actin polymerization, to investigate the mechanism of streaming. Students use simple statistical methods to analyze their data. Typical student data are provided. (Contains 3…

  18. Predicting richness effects on ecosystem function in natural communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dangles, Olivier; Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Andino, Patricio

    2011-01-01

    rates in the field, although water discharge may also play a role locally. We also examined the relative contribution of the three most abundant shredders on decomposition rates by manipulating shredder richness and community composition in a field experiment. Transgressive overyielding was detected....... Despite the increased complexity of experimental and theoretical studies on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) relationship, a major challenge is to demonstrate whether the observed importance of biodiversity in controlled experimental systems also persists in nature. Due...... to their structural simplicity and their low levels of human impacts, extreme species-poor ecosystems may provide new insights into B-EF relationships in natural systems. We address this issue using shredder invertebrate communities and organic matter decomposition rates in 24 high-altitude (3200-3900 m) Neotropical...

  19. The stream subsurface: nitrogen cycling and the cleansing function of hyporheic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhonda Mazza; Steve Wondzell; Jay Zarnetske

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen is an element essential to plant growth and ecosystem productivity. Excess nitrogen, however, is a common water pollutant. It can lead to algal blooms that deplete the water's dissolved oxygen, creating "dead zones" devoid of fish and aquatic insects.Previous research showed that the subsurface area of a stream, known as the hyporheic...

  20. Ontogenetic functional diversity: size structure of a keystone predator drives functioning of a complex ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolf, Volker H W; Rasmussen, Nick L

    2013-05-01

    A central challenge in community ecology is to understand the connection between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. While traditional approaches have largely focused on species-level diversity, increasing evidence indicates that there exists substantial ecological diversity among individuals within species. By far, the largest source of this intraspecific diversity stems from variation among individuals in ontogenetic stage and size. Although such ontogenetic shifts are ubiquitous in natural communities, whether and how they scale up to influence the structure and functioning of complex ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the consequences of ontogenetic niche shifts for the structure of communities and ecosystem processes. In particular we experimentally manipulated the stage structure in a keystone predator, larvae of the dragonfly Anax junius, in complex experimental pond communities to test whether changes in the population stage or size structure of a keystone species scale up to alter community structure and ecosystem processes, and how functional differences scale with relative differences in size among stages. We found that the functional role of A. junius was stage-specific. Altering what stages were present in a pond led to concurrent changes in community structure, primary producer biomass (periphyton and phytoplankton), and ultimately altered ecosystem processes (respiration and net primary productivity), indicating a strong, but stage-specific, trophic cascade. Interestingly, the stage-specific effects did not simply scale with size or biomass of the predator, but instead indicated clear ontogenetic niche shifts in ecological interactions. Thus, functional differences among stages within a keystone species scaled up to alter the functioning of entire ecosystems. Therefore, our results indicate that the classical approach of assuming an average functional role of a species can be misleading because

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Spatial pattern enhances ecosystem functioning in an African savanna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Pringle

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The finding that regular spatial patterns can emerge in nature from local interactions between organisms has prompted a search for the ecological importance of these patterns. Theoretical models have predicted that patterning may have positive emergent effects on fundamental ecosystem functions, such as productivity. We provide empirical support for this prediction. In dryland ecosystems, termite mounds are often hotspots of plant growth (primary productivity. Using detailed observations and manipulative experiments in an African savanna, we show that these mounds are also local hotspots of animal abundance (secondary and tertiary productivity: insect abundance and biomass decreased with distance from the nearest termite mound, as did the abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of insect-eating predators. Null-model analyses indicated that at the landscape scale, the evenly spaced distribution of termite mounds produced dramatically greater abundance, biomass, and reproductive output of consumers across trophic levels than would be obtained in landscapes with randomly distributed mounds. These emergent properties of spatial pattern arose because the average distance from an arbitrarily chosen point to the nearest feature in a landscape is minimized in landscapes where the features are hyper-dispersed (i.e., uniformly spaced. This suggests that the linkage between patterning and ecosystem functioning will be common to systems spanning the range of human management intensities. The centrality of spatial pattern to system-wide biomass accumulation underscores the need to conserve pattern-generating organisms and mechanisms, and to incorporate landscape patterning in efforts to restore degraded habitats and maximize the delivery of ecosystem services.

  3. Ecology of periphyton in a meltwater stream ecosystem in the maritime Antarctica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Elster, Josef; Komárek, O.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 2 (2003), s. 189-201 ISSN 0954-1020 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/94/0156; GA MŠk ME 576; GA AV ČR KSK6005114 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : environmental parameters * King George Island * meltwater streams Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.265, year: 2003

  4. The Sphagnum microbiome supports bog ecosystem functioning under extreme conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragina, Anastasia; Oberauner-Wappis, Lisa; Zachow, Christin; Halwachs, Bettina; Thallinger, Gerhard G; Müller, Henry; Berg, Gabriele

    2014-09-01

    Sphagnum-dominated bogs represent a unique yet widely distributed type of terrestrial ecosystem and strongly contribute to global biosphere functioning. Sphagnum is colonized by highly diverse microbial communities, but less is known about their function. We identified a high functional diversity within the Sphagnum microbiome applying an Illumina-based metagenomic approach followed by de novo assembly and MG-RAST annotation. An interenvironmental comparison revealed that the Sphagnum microbiome harbours specific genetic features that distinguish it significantly from microbiomes of higher plants and peat soils. The differential traits especially support ecosystem functioning by a symbiotic lifestyle under poikilohydric and ombrotrophic conditions. To realise a plasticity-stability balance, we found abundant subsystems responsible to cope with oxidative and drought stresses, to exchange (mobile) genetic elements, and genes that encode for resistance to detrimental environmental factors, repair and self-controlling mechanisms. Multiple microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions were also found to play a crucial role as indicated by diverse genes necessary for biofilm formation, interaction via quorum sensing and nutrient exchange. A high proportion of genes involved in nitrogen cycle and recycling of organic material supported the role of bacteria for nutrient supply. 16S rDNA analysis indicated a higher structural diversity than that which had been previously detected using PCR-dependent techniques. Altogether, the diverse Sphagnum microbiome has the ability to support the life of the host plant and the entire ecosystem under changing environmental conditions. Beyond this, the moss microbiome presents a promising bio-resource for environmental biotechnology - with respect to novel enzymes or stress-protecting bacteria. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Historical land use change and its influence on stream ecosystems and water quality

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Petersen, Chantel R

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available , the three lakes, Rondevlei, Langvlei and Eilandvlei (all recognized Ramsar sites) with their rivers. Ramsar sites are wetlands that are of international importance and are designated according to the Convention based on their significance to conserve... global biological diversity and sustain human livelihoods by maintaining ecosystem goods, services and processes [7]. Signatories to the Ramsar Convention commit to the wise use of the wetlands, to ensure effective management and to cooperate...

  6. Functional Process Zones Characterizing Aquatic Insect Communities in Streams of the Brazilian Cerrado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoy, B S; Simião-Ferreira, J; Lodi, S; Oliveira, L G

    2016-04-01

    Stream ecology studies see to understand ecological dynamics in lotic systems. The characterization of streams into Functional Process Zones (FPZ) has been currently debated in stream ecology because aquatic communities respond to functional processes of river segments. Therefore, we tested if different functional process zones have different number of genera and trophic structure using the aquatic insect community of Neotropical streams. We also assessed whether using physical and chemical variables may complement the approach of using FPZ to model communities of aquatic insects in Cerrado streams. This study was conducted in 101 streams or rivers from the central region of the state of Goiás, Brazil. We grouped the streams into six FPZ associated to size of the river system, presence of riparian forest, and riverbed heterogeneity. We used Bayesian models to compare number of genera and relative frequency of the feeding groups between FPZs. Streams classified in different FPZs had a different number of genera, and the largest and best preserved rivers had an average of four additional genera. Trophic structure exhibited low variability among FPZs, with little difference both in the number of genera and in abundance. Using functional process zones in Cerrado streams yielded good results for Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera communities. Thus, species distribution and community structure in the river basin account for functional processes and not necessarily for the position of the community along a longitudinal dimension of the lotic system.

  7. Diverse effects of invasive ecosystem engineers on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functions: A global review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guy-Haim, Tamar; Lyons, Devin A; Kotta, Jonne; Ojaveer, Henn; Queirós, Ana M; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Arvanitidis, Christos; Como, Serena; Magni, Paolo; Blight, Andrew J; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Somerfield, Paul J; Crowe, Tasman P; Rilov, Gil

    2018-03-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers (IEE) are potentially one of the most influential types of biological invaders. They are expected to have extensive ecological impacts by altering the physical-chemical structure of ecosystems, thereby changing the rules of existence for a broad range of resident biota. To test the generality of this expectation, we used a global systematic review and meta-analysis to examine IEE effects on the abundance of individual species and communities, biodiversity (using several indices) and ecosystem functions, focusing on marine and estuarine environments. We found that IEE had a significant effect (positive and negative) in most studies testing impacts on individual species, but the overall (cumulative) effect size was small and negative. Many individual studies showed strong IEE effects on community abundance and diversity, but the direction of effects was variable, leading to statistically non-significant overall effects in most categories. In contrast, there was a strong overall effect on most ecosystem functions we examined. IEE negatively affected metabolic functions and primary production, but positively affected nutrient flux, sedimentation and decomposition. We use the results to develop a conceptual model by highlighting pathways whereby IEE impact communities and ecosystem functions, and identify several sources of research bias in the IEE-related invasion literature. Only a few of the studies simultaneously quantified IEE effects on community/diversity and ecosystem functions. Therefore, understanding how IEE may alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships should be a primary focus of future studies of invasion biology. Moreover, the clear effects of IEE on ecosystem functions detected in our study suggest that scientists and environmental managers ought to examine how the effects of IEE might be manifested in the services that marine ecosystems provide to humans. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Assessing Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction on Microbial Communities in Headwater Stream Ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eTrexler

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale play. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity (MSA+. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity (MSA-. For example, OTUs within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  9. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  10. Stream and floodplain restoration in a riparian ecosystem disturbed by placer mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karle, Kenneth F.; Densmore, Roseann V.

    1994-01-01

    Techniques for the hydrologic restoration of placer-mined streams and floodplains were developed in Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska, USA. The hydrologic study focused on a design of stream and floodplain geometry using hydraulic capacity and shear stress equations. Slope and sinuosity values were based on regional relationships. Design requirements include a channel capacity for a 1.5-year (bankfull) discharge and a floodplain capacity for a 1.5- to 100-year discharge. Concern for potential damage to the project from annual flooding before natural revegetation occurs led to development of alder (Alnus crispa) brush bars to dissipate floodwater energy and encourage sediment deposition. The brush bars, constructed of alder bundles tied together and anchored laterally adjacent to the channel, were installed on the floodplain in several configurations to test their effectiveness. A moderate flood near the end of the two-year construction phase of the project provided data on channel design, stability, floodplain erosion, and brush bar effectiveness. The brush bars provided substantial protection, but unconsolidated bank material and a lack of bed armour for a new channel segment led to some bank erosion, slope changes and an increase in sinuosity in several reaches of the study area.

  11. Biodiversity as a solution to mitigate climate change impacts on the functioning of forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisano, Masumi; Searle, Eric B; Chen, Han Y H

    2018-02-01

    Forest ecosystems are critical to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration. However, climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning in both negative and positive ways, and has led to shifts in species/functional diversity and losses in plant species diversity which may impair the positive effects of diversity on ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may mitigate climate change impacts on (I) biodiversity itself, as more-diverse systems could be more resilient to climate change impacts, and (II) ecosystem functioning through the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning. By surveying the literature, we examined how climate change has affected forest ecosystem functioning and plant diversity. Based on the biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning (B→EF), we specifically address the potential for biodiversity to mitigate climate change impacts on forest ecosystem functioning. For this purpose, we formulate a concept whereby biodiversity may reduce the negative impacts or enhance the positive impacts of climate change on ecosystem functioning. Further B→EF studies on climate change in natural forests are encouraged to elucidate how biodiversity might influence ecosystem functioning. This may be achieved through the detailed scrutiny of large spatial/long temporal scale data sets, such as long-term forest inventories. Forest management strategies based on B→EF have strong potential for augmenting the effectiveness of the roles of forests in the mitigation of climate change impacts on ecosystem functioning. © 2017 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  12. Mapping ecosystem functions and services in Eastern Europe using global-scale data sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, C.J.E.; Alkemade, R.; Klein Goldewijk, K.; Petz, K.

    2012-01-01

    To assess future interactions between the environment and human well-being, spatially explicit ecosystem service models are needed. Currently available models mainly focus on provisioning services and do not distinguish changes in the functioning of the ecosystem (Ecosystem Functions – ESFs) and

  13. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  14. An experimental framework to identify community functional components driving ecosystem processes and services delivery

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dias, A. T. C.; Berg, M. P.; de Bello, Francesco; Oosten, A. R. V.; Bílá, Karolína; Morreti, M.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 101, č. 1 (2013), s. 29-37 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:67179843 Keywords : CWM * ecosystem functioning * ecosystem processes * ecosystem services * functional divergence * functional diversity * functional evenness * functional richness * mass ratio hypothesis * Rao index Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 5.694, year: 2013

  15. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Impacts of multiple stressors on ecosystem function: Leaf decomposition in constructed urban wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackintosh, Teresa J.; Davis, Jenny A.; Thompson, Ross M.

    2016-01-01

    The impact of stormwater on stream biota is well documented, but less is known about the impacts on ecosystem processes, such as the breakdown of organic matter. This study sought to establish whether the degree of urbanisation affected rates of leaf-litter breakdown within constructed wetlands. A litter bag method was used to ascertain rate of decomposition along a gradient of urbanisation (total imperviousness, TI), in constructed wetlands in western and south-eastern Melbourne. A significant positive relationship between TI and breakdown rate was found in the south-eastern wetlands. The significant reduction in rate of invertebrate-mediated breakdown with increasing concentration of certain metals was consistent with other studies. However, overall there was an increase in rate of breakdown. Studies have shown that the effects of heavy metals can be negated if nutrient levels are high. Our results suggest that other parameters besides exposure to contaminants are likely to affect leaf litter breakdown. - Highlights: • There have been few studies on the effect of urbanisation on ecosystem function. • Rate of leaf litter breakdown increased moving along a gradient of urbanisation. • There was a reduction in invertebrate mediated breakdown with certain metals. • Results suggest other parameters besides contaminants affect leaf litter breakdown. - Certain heavy metals led to a decrease in leaf litter breakdown; however overall, there was a positive relationship between breakdown and increasing urbanisation.

  18. Spatial Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Functions and Services using Human Relating Factors for SDG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, C.; Lee, W. K.; Jeon, S. W.; Kim, T.; Lim, C. H.

    2015-12-01

    Application of ecosystem service concept in environmental related decision making could be numerical and objective standard for policy maker between preserving and developing perspective of environment. However, pursuing maximum benefit from natural capital through ecosystem services caused failure by losing ecosystem functions through its trade-offs. Therefore, difference between ecosystem functions and services were demonstrated and would apply human relating perspectives. Assessment results of ecosystem functions and services can be divided 3 parts. Tree growth per year set as the ecosystem function factor and indicated through so called pure function map. After that, relating functions can be driven such as water conservation, air pollutant purification, climate change regulation, and timber production. Overall process and amount are numerically quantified. These functional results can be transferred to ecosystem services by multiplying economic unit value, so function reflecting service maps can be generated. On the other hand, above services, to implement more reliable human demand, human reflecting service maps are also be developed. As the validation, quantified ecosystem functions are compared with former results through pixel based analysis. Three maps are compared, and through comparing difference between ecosystem function and services and inversed trends in function based and human based service are analysed. In this study, we could find differences in PF, FRS, and HRS in relation to based ecosystem conditions. This study suggests that the differences in PF, FRS, and HRS should be understood in the decision making process for sustainable management of ecosystem services. Although the analysis is based on in sort existing process separation, it is important to consider the possibility of different usage of ecosystem function assessment results and ecosystem service assessment results in SDG policy making. Furthermore, process based functional approach

  19. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  20. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of 33 PO 4 or 32 PO 4 . Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using 33 PO 4 and 32 PO 4 , in which the microbiota were labeled with 33 P until in isotopic equilibrium, then 32 P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio 32 P to 33 P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream

  1. Thermal-nutritional regulation of functional groups in running water ecosystems. Technical progress report, October 1, 1978-November 1, 1980

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cummins, K.W.

    1980-11-01

    The research encompassed three general areas: (1) characterization of stream macroinvertebrate functional feeding groups (shredders, collectors, scrapers, and predators) based on morphological and behavioral adaptations and food-source-specific growth responses of selected species; (2) demonstration of the relative importance of temperature and food quality (in which maximum quality is defined as that producing the most growth) in controlling growth rate and survivorship of stream functional groups; and (3) derivation and refinement of conceptual and quantitative models of stream ecosystem structure and function, with particular emphasis on detrital processing. Verification of the functional group concept as a tool for assessing and predicting is reflected in alterations of the relative dominance of various functional groups. Food quality can strongly influence the growth rates of shredders, collectors and scrapers and override the effects of temperature in a number of cases. Gathering collectors may select food particles by size (or at least be restricted to a limited portion of the total range available) but representative species do not appear to select for quality.

  2. Fluvial wood function downstream of beaver versus man-made dams in headwater streams in Massachusetts, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, G. C.; DeVito, L. F.; Munz, K. T.; Lisius, G.

    2014-12-01

    Fluvial wood is an essential component of stream ecosystems by providing habitat, increasing accumulation of organic matter, and increasing the processing of nutrients and other materials. However, years of channel alterations in Massachusetts have resulted in low wood loads despite the afforestation that has occurred since the early 1900s. Streams have also been impacted by a large density of dams, built during industrialization, and reduction of the beaver population. Beavers were reintroduced to Massachusetts in the 1940s and they have since migrated throughout the state. Beaver dams impound water, which traps sediment and results in the development of complex channel patterns and more ecologically productive and diverse habitats than those found adjacent to man-made dams. To develop better management practices for dam removal it is essential that we understand the geomorphic and ecologic function of wood in these channels and the interconnections with floodplain dynamics and stream water chemistry. We investigate the connections among fluvial wood, channel morphology, floodplain soil moisture dynamics, and stream water chemistry in six watersheds in Massachusetts that have been impacted by either beaver or man-made dams. We hypothesize that wood load will be significantly higher below beaver dams, subsequently altering channel morphology, water chemistry, and floodplain soil moisture. Reaches are surveyed up- and downstream of each type of dam to better understand the impact dams have on the fluvial system. Surveys include a longitudinal profile, paired with dissolved oxygen and ammonium measurements, cross-section and fluvial wood surveys, hydraulic measurements, and floodplain soil moisture mapping. We found that dissolved oxygen mirrored the channel morphology, but did not vary significantly between reaches. Wood loads were significantly larger downstream of beaver dams, which resulted in significant changes to the ammonium levels. Floodplain soil moisture

  3. Calibration of two complex ecosystem models with different likelihood functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidy, Dóra; Haszpra, László; Pintér, Krisztina; Nagy, Zoltán; Barcza, Zoltán

    2014-05-01

    The biosphere is a sensitive carbon reservoir. Terrestrial ecosystems were approximately carbon neutral during the past centuries, but they became net carbon sinks due to climate change induced environmental change and associated CO2 fertilization effect of the atmosphere. Model studies and measurements indicate that the biospheric carbon sink can saturate in the future due to ongoing climate change which can act as a positive feedback. Robustness of carbon cycle models is a key issue when trying to choose the appropriate model for decision support. The input parameters of the process-based models are decisive regarding the model output. At the same time there are several input parameters for which accurate values are hard to obtain directly from experiments or no local measurements are available. Due to the uncertainty associated with the unknown model parameters significant bias can be experienced if the model is used to simulate the carbon and nitrogen cycle components of different ecosystems. In order to improve model performance the unknown model parameters has to be estimated. We developed a multi-objective, two-step calibration method based on Bayesian approach in order to estimate the unknown parameters of PaSim and Biome-BGC models. Biome-BGC and PaSim are a widely used biogeochemical models that simulate the storage and flux of water, carbon, and nitrogen between the ecosystem and the atmosphere, and within the components of the terrestrial ecosystems (in this research the developed version of Biome-BGC is used which is referred as BBGC MuSo). Both models were calibrated regardless the simulated processes and type of model parameters. The calibration procedure is based on the comparison of measured data with simulated results via calculating a likelihood function (degree of goodness-of-fit between simulated and measured data). In our research different likelihood function formulations were used in order to examine the effect of the different model

  4. Eco-systems biology-From the gene to the stream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mothersill, Carmel; Seymour, Colin

    2010-01-01

    This review considers the implications for environmental health and ecosystem sustainability, of new developments in radiobiology and ecotoxicology. Specifically it considers how the non-targeted effects of low doses of radiation, which are currently being scrutinized experimentally, not only mirror similar effects from low doses of chemical stressors but may actually lead to unpredictable emergent effects at higher hierarchical levels. The position is argued that non-targeted effects are mechanistically important in coordinating phased hierarchical transitions (i.e. transitions which occur in a regulated sequence). The field of multiple stressors (both radiation and chemical) is highly complex and agents can interact in an additive, antagonist or synergistic manner. The outcome following low dose multiple stressor exposure also is impacted by the context in which the stressors are received, perceived or communicated by the organism or tissue. Modern biology has given us very sensitive methods to examine changes following stressor interaction with biological systems at several levels of organization but the translation of these observations to ultimate risk remains difficult to resolve. Since multiple stressor exposure is the norm in the environment, it is essential to move away from single stressor-based protection and to develop tools, including legal instruments, which will enable us to use response-based risk assessment. Radiation protection in the context of multiple stressors includes consideration of humans and non-humans as separate groups requiring separate assessment frameworks. This is because for humans, individual survival and prevention of cancer are paramount but for animals, it is considered sufficient to protect populations and cancer is not of concern. The need to revisit this position is discussed not only from the environmental perspective but also from the human health perspective because the importance of 'pollution' (a generic term for

  5. From bottles to stream reaches and networks: Consequences of scale in how we interpret the function of freshwaters in the carbon cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotchkiss, E. R.

    2017-12-01

    Freshwater biological processes can alter the quantity and quality of organic carbon (OC) inputs from land before they are transported downstream, but the relative role of hydrologic transport and in-stream processing is still not well quantified at the scale of fluvial networks. Despite much research on the role of biology and hydrology in governing the form and fate of C in inland waters, conclusions about the function of freshwater ecosystems in modifying OC still largely depend on where we draw our ecosystem boundaries, i.e., the spatial scale of measurements used to assess OC transformations. Here I review freshwater OC uptake rates derived from bioassay incubations, synoptic modeling, reach-scale experiments, and ecosystem OC spiraling estimates. Median OC uptake velocities from standard bioassay incubations (0.02 m/d) and synoptic modeling (0.04 m/d) are 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than reach-scale experimental DOC additions and ecosystem OC spiraling estimates (2.2 and 0.27 m/d, respectively) in streams and rivers. Together, ecosystem metabolism and OC fluxes can be used to estimate the distance OC travels before being consumed and respired as CO2 through biological processes (i.e., OC spiraling), allowing for a more mechanistic understanding of the role of ecosystem processes and hydrologic fluxes in modifying downstream OC transport. Beyond the reach scale, data from stream network and stream-lake-river modeling simulations show how we may use linked sampling sites within networks to better understand the integrated sources and fate of OC in freshwaters. We currently underestimate the role of upstream processes in contributing to downstream fluxes: moving from single-ecosystem comparisons to linked-ecosystem simulations increases the contribution of in situ OC processing to CO2 emissions from 30% to >40%. Insights from literature reviews, ecosystem process measurements, and model simulations provide a framework for future considerations of integrated C

  6. Longitudinal and seasonal changes in functional organization of macroinvertebrate communities in four Oregon streams.

    OpenAIRE

    Hawkins, C. P.; Sedell, J. R.

    1981-01-01

    Relative numerical dominance and densities of invertebrate functional feeding groups are compared with longitudinal and seasonal changes in food resources in a Cascade Range stream system in Oregon. We also compare our data with hypothetical predictions of the River Continuum model. We found that both relative abundances and densities of functional groups fit qualitative characterization of stream reaches and the River Continuum model: Shredders dominated upper shaded reaches; scrapers were m...

  7. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Laender, F.; Van den Brink, P.J.; Janssen, C.R.

    2011-01-01

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: → Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. → Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. → Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. → Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  8. Functional redundancy and food web functioning in linuron-exposed ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Laender, F., E-mail: frederik.delaender@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium); Van den Brink, P.J., E-mail: Paul.vandenBrink@wur.nl [Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands); Janssen, C.R., E-mail: colin.janssen@ugent.be [Laboratory of Environmental Toxicity and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

    2011-10-15

    An extensive data set describing effects of the herbicide linuron on macrophyte-dominated microcosms was analysed with a food web model to assess effects on ecosystem functioning. We showed that sensitive phytoplankton and periphyton groups in the diets of heterotrophs were gradually replaced by more tolerant phytoplankton species as linuron concentrations increased. This diet shift - showing redundancy among phytoplankton species - allowed heterotrophs to maintain their functions in the contaminated microcosms. On an ecosystem level, total gross primary production was up to hundred times lower in the treated microcosms but the uptake of dissolved organic carbon by bacteria and mixotrophs was less sensitive. Food web efficiency was not consistently lower in the treated microcosms. We conclude that linuron predominantly affected the macrophytes but did not alter the overall functioning of the surrounding planktonic food web. Therefore, a risk assessment that protects macrophyte growth also protects the functioning of macrophyte-dominated microcosms. - Highlights: > Food web modelling reveals the functional response of species and ecosystem to linuron. > Primary production was more sensitive to linuron than bacterial production. > Linuron replaced sensitive phytoplankton by tolerant phytoplankton in heterotrophs' diets. > Linuron did not change the functioning of heterotrophs. - Food web modelling reveals functional redundancy of the planktonic community in microcosms treated with linuron.

  9. Spatial distribution and functional feeding groups of aquatic insects in a stream of Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barman B.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aquatic insects play important role in ecosystem functioning viz. nutrient cycling, primary production, decomposition and material translocation. The functional feeding group (FFG approach is an attempt to classify organisms, especially insects, according to their role in the processing of organic matter. An investigation during 2011–2013 was carried out on aquatic insects in different stretches of a stream of Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary located in western Assam, North East India which is designated as Key Biodiversity Area (KBA by IUCN. Physico-chemical properties of water of the stream like water temperature, dissolved oxygen, free-carbondioxide, pH, total alkalinity, electrical conductivity, phosphate and nitrate were estimated to correlate the aquatic insects of specific functional feeding groups with water quality. A total of seventeen species was recorded during the study period. Record of nine species in first year and fourteen species in second year under different functional feeding groups (FFG showed altitudinal variation. Highest percentage of predators was found in upstream. Collectors were recorded in upstream and downstream and shredders were recorded in midstream.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew H Altieri

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

  11. Effects of a large scale nitrogen and phosphorous fertilization on the ecosystem functioning of a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliavacca, Mirco; El Madany, Tarek; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Carrara, Arnaud; Hammer, Tiana; Henkel, Kathin; Kolle, Olaf; Luo, Yunpeng; Moreno, Gerardo; Morris, Kendalynn; Nair, Richard; Schrumpf, Marion; Wutzler, Thomas; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N/P imbalances affect essential ecosystem processes, and might be particularly important in water-limited ecosystems. In this contribution we will present results from an ecosystem scale nutrient manipulation experiment on a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem (Majadas del Tietar, Spain). Specifically, we will show how ecosystem functioning (e.g. light use efficiency, water use efficiency - WUE, albedo) changes as consequence of N and NP fertilization. A cluster of eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been set up beside a long-term EC site (Control site) to measured high temporal resolution C and water fluxes between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. The sites were selected in a way to have similar pre-treatment conditions. Two out of three EC footprint areas (18 Ha) were fertilized with N and NP at the beginning of 2015 and 2016. To interpret the variations in C and water fluxes measured with the EC systems we monitored spatial and temporal variations in phenology, plant traits, species richness, and tree transpiration by using sap-flow meters, digital repeat photography, as well as soil sampling. The results show a consistent increase ( 15% compared to the Control site) in net ecosystem production (NEP) observed both in the N and the NP treatments. An increase of evapotranspiration (ET) of about 15% and 10% is observed in the N and NP site, respectively, indicating an increase of WUE in the NP treatment. The partitioning of the NEP into its gross components, the gross primary production (GPP) and the total ecosystem respiration (TER), show that the fertilization stimulated more GPP rather than TER, increasing therefore the capability of the ecosystem to act as carbon sink. The effects of fertilization are pronounced in spring and autumn and negligible in summer. This indicates that grass reacted much more than trees to N and NP addition. An increase of greenness and also an earlier green-up of grass in the N and NP sites

  12. Log Distribution, Persistence, and Geomorphic Function in Streams and Rivers, in the Northeastern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Pierre, L.; Burchsted, D.; Warren, D.

    2015-12-01

    Large wood provides critical ecosystem services such as fish habitat, temperature regulation and bank stabilization. In the northeastern U.S., the distribution of large wood is documented; however, there is little understanding of the movement, longevity and geomorphic function. This research examines the hypothesis that tree species control the persistence and geomorphic function of instream wood in the Appalachian region of the northeastern U.S. To do this, we assessed size, location, and species of logs in New Hampshire rivers, including locations in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) where these data were collected ten years ago. We expanded the previous dataset to include assessment of geomorphic function, including creation of diversion channels, pool formation, and sediment storage, among others. We also added new sites in the WMNF and sites on a large rural river in southwestern NH to increase the range of geomorphic variables to now include: confined and unconfined channels; 1st to 4th order streams; low to high gradient; meandering, multithreaded, and straight channels; and land use such as historic logging, modern agriculture, and post-agricultural abandonment. At each study site, we located all large logs (>10cm diameter, > 1m length) and log jams (>3 accumulated logs that provide a geomorphic function) along 100m-700m reaches. We marked each identified log with a numbered tag and recorded species, diameter, length, orientation, GPS location, tag number, and photographs. We assessed function and accumulation, decay, stability, and source classes for each log. Along each reach we measured riparian forest composition and structure and channel width. Preliminary analysis suggests that tree species significantly affects the function of logs: yellow birch and American sycamore are highly represented. Additionally, geomorphic setting also plays a primary role, where unconfined reaches have large logs that provide important functions; those functions

  13. Upscaling key ecosystem functions across the conterminous United States by a water‐centric ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge Sun; Peter Caldwell; Asko Noormets; Steven G. McNulty; Erika Cohen; al. et.

    2011-01-01

    We developed a water‐centric monthly scale simulation model (WaSSI‐C) by integrating empirical water and carbon flux measurements from the FLUXNET network and an existing water supply and demand accounting model (WaSSI). The WaSSI‐C model was evaluated with basin‐scale evapotranspiration (ET), gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), and net ecosystem exchange (NEE)...

  14. Chapter Four : Towards an Integration of Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning and Food Web Theory to Evaluate Relationships between Multiple Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Deyn, de G.B.; Wagg, C.; Voigt, W.; Mulder, C.; Weisser, W.W.; Engel, J.; Melian, C.; Scheu, S.; Birkhofer, K.; Ebeling, A.; Scherber, C.; Eisenhauer, N.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that

  15. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Watershed Land Use and Seasonal Variation Constrain the Influence of Riparian Canopy Cover on Stream Ecosystem Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    While watershed and local scale controls on stream metabolism have been independently investigated, little is known about how controls exerted at these different scales interact to determine stream metabolic rates, or how these interactions vary across seasons. To address this ...

  18. Application of a coupled ecosystem-chemical equilibrium model, DayCent-Chem, to stream and soil chemistry in a Rocky Mountain watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, M.D.; Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen species have the potential to acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, but nitrate and ammonium are also critical nutrients for plant and microbial productivity. Both the ecological response and the hydrochemical response to atmospheric deposition are of interest to regulatory and land management agencies. We developed a non-spatial biogeochemical model to simulate soil and surface water chemistry by linking the daily version of the CENTURY ecosystem model (DayCent) with a low temperature aqueous geochemical model, PHREEQC. The coupled model, DayCent-Chem, simulates the daily dynamics of plant production, soil organic matter, cation exchange, mineral weathering, elution, stream discharge, and solute concentrations in soil water and stream flow. By aerially weighting the contributions of separate bedrock/talus and tundra simulations, the model was able to replicate the measured seasonal and annual stream chemistry for most solutes for Andrews Creek in Loch Vale watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park. Simulated soil chemistry, net primary production, live biomass, and soil organic matter for forest and tundra matched well with measurements. This model is appropriate for accurately describing ecosystem and surface water chemical response to atmospheric deposition and climate change. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Functional trait responses to sediment deposition reduce macrofauna-mediated ecosystem functioning in an estuarine mudflat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestdagh, Sebastiaan; Bagaço, Leila; Braeckman, Ulrike; Ysebaert, Tom; De Smet, Bart; Moens, Tom; Van Colen, Carl

    2018-05-01

    Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna controls sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the structure of macrobenthic communities could affect the functioning of an entire ecosystem. We assessed the impact of sediment deposition on intertidal macrobenthic communities and on rates of an important ecosystem function, i.e. sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC). An experiment was performed with undisturbed sediment samples from the Scheldt river estuary (SW Netherlands). The samples were subjected to four sedimentation regimes: one control and three with a deposited sediment layer of 1, 2 or 5 cm. Oxygen consumption was measured during incubation at ambient temperature. Luminophores applied at the surface, and a seawater-bromide mixture, served as tracers for bioturbation and bio-irrigation, respectively. After incubation, the macrofauna was extracted, identified, and counted and then classified into functional groups based on motility and sediment reworking capacity. Total macrofaunal densities dropped already under the thinnest deposits. The most affected fauna were surficial and low-motility animals, occurring at high densities in the control. Their mortality resulted in a drop in SCOC, which decreased steadily with increasing deposit thickness, while bio-irrigation and bioturbation activity showed increases in the lower sediment deposition regimes but decreases in the more extreme treatments. The initial increased activity likely counteracted the effects of the drop in low-motility, surficial fauna densities, resulting in a steady rather than sudden fall in oxygen consumption. We conclude that the functional identity in terms of motility and sediment reworking can be crucial in our understanding of the

  20. Functional trait responses to sediment deposition reduce macrofauna-mediated ecosystem functioning in an estuarine mudflat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mestdagh

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human activities, among which dredging and land use change in river basins, are altering estuarine ecosystems. These activities may result in changes in sedimentary processes, affecting biodiversity of sediment macrofauna. As macrofauna controls sediment chemistry and fluxes of energy and matter between water column and sediment, changes in the structure of macrobenthic communities could affect the functioning of an entire ecosystem. We assessed the impact of sediment deposition on intertidal macrobenthic communities and on rates of an important ecosystem function, i.e. sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC. An experiment was performed with undisturbed sediment samples from the Scheldt river estuary (SW Netherlands. The samples were subjected to four sedimentation regimes: one control and three with a deposited sediment layer of 1, 2 or 5 cm. Oxygen consumption was measured during incubation at ambient temperature. Luminophores applied at the surface, and a seawater–bromide mixture, served as tracers for bioturbation and bio-irrigation, respectively. After incubation, the macrofauna was extracted, identified, and counted and then classified into functional groups based on motility and sediment reworking capacity. Total macrofaunal densities dropped already under the thinnest deposits. The most affected fauna were surficial and low-motility animals, occurring at high densities in the control. Their mortality resulted in a drop in SCOC, which decreased steadily with increasing deposit thickness, while bio-irrigation and bioturbation activity showed increases in the lower sediment deposition regimes but decreases in the more extreme treatments. The initial increased activity likely counteracted the effects of the drop in low-motility, surficial fauna densities, resulting in a steady rather than sudden fall in oxygen consumption. We conclude that the functional identity in terms of motility and sediment reworking can be crucial in our

  1. Effects of Timber Harvesting with Best Management Practices on Ecosystem Metabolism of a Low Gradient Stream on the United States Gulf Coastal Plain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abram DaSilva

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Stream metabolism can be used as a measure of freshwater ecosystem health because of its responsiveness to natural and anthropogenic changes. In this study, we used stream metabolic rates to test for the effects of a timber harvest with Louisiana’s current best management practices (BMPs. The study was conducted from 2006 to 2010 in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda stand in north-central Louisiana, USA, 45 ha of which was clear cut harvested in the summer of 2007. Dissolved oxygen (DO, water temperature, and stream depth were recorded at a site upstream (serving as a reference and a site downstream of the harvested area. Using diurnal DO change and an open-system, single-station method at each site, we quantified rates of net ecosystem productivity (NEP, gross primary productivity (GPP, community respiration (CR, and the GPP/CR ratio. The system was predominately heterotrophic, with a GPP/CR ratio of less than one for 82% of the time at the upstream site. No calculated metabolic rate was significantly changed by the timber harvest (two-way ANOVA with interaction; p < 0.001. Overall, the results suggest that timber harvests of similar intensity with Louisiana’s current BMPs may not significantly impact stream biological conditions.

  2. Quantifying effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning across times and places†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Cowles, Jane; Dee, Laura E.; Loreau, Michel; Reich, Peter B.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Hector, Andy; Schmid, Bernhard

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity loss decreases ecosystem functioning at the local scales at which species interact, but it remains unclear how biodiversity loss affects ecosystem functioning at the larger scales of space and time that are most relevant to biodiversity conservation and policy. Theory predicts that additional insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning could emerge across time and space if species respond asynchronously to environmental variation and if species become increasingly dominant when and where they are most productive. Even if only a few dominant species maintain ecosystem functioning within a particular time and place, ecosystem functioning may be enhanced by many different species across many times and places (β-diversity). Here, we develop and apply a new approach to estimate these previously unquantified insurance effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning that arise due to species turnover across times and places. In a long-term (18-year) grassland plant diversity experiment, we find that total insurance effects are positive in sign and substantial in magnitude, amounting to 19% of the net biodiversity effect, mostly due to temporal insurance effects. Species loss can therefore reduce ecosystem functioning both locally and by eliminating species that would otherwise enhance ecosystem functioning across temporally fluctuating and spatially heterogeneous environments. PMID:29493062

  3. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  4. Environmental quality of the Fosso della Casaccia. stream (Rome, Italy). Evaluation of the ecological impact of wastewaters from the ENEA Research Centre Casaccia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Formichetti, P.; Mancini, L.; Morgana, J.G.; Izzo, G.

    2008-01-01

    The study concerned the evaluation of ENEA Research Centre wastewaters effect on the nearby stream Fosso della Casaccia. These pollutants consist of black waters and low radioactivity substances. The effects on stream's ecosystem were evaluated using macro invertebrate community structure, diatom community structure, chemical and microbiological analysis of sediments and water, stream.s ecological functionality level, toxicological indicators. The results showed a general strong pollution degree of the ecosystem that could also reach a higher level due to the low flow of the stream (and consequent low self-depuration effect of the stream itself). Maintenance interventions, if not adequately planned, can also negatively influence the stream ecosystem [it

  5. Differential geometric structures of stream functions: incompressible two-dimensional flow and curvatures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamasaki, K; Iwayama, T; Yajima, T

    2011-01-01

    The Okubo-Weiss field, frequently used for partitioning incompressible two-dimensional (2D) fluids into coherent and incoherent regions, corresponds to the Gaussian curvature of the stream function. Therefore, we consider the differential geometric structures of stream functions and calculate the Gaussian curvatures of some basic flows. We find the following. (I) The vorticity corresponds to the mean curvature of the stream function. Thus, the stream-function surface for an irrotational flow and that for a parallel shear flow correspond to the minimal surface and a developable surface, respectively. (II) The relationship between the coherency and the magnitude of the vorticity is interpreted by the curvatures. (III) Using the Gaussian curvature, stability of single and double point vortex streets is analyzed. The results of this analysis are compared with the well-known linear stability analysis. (IV) Conformal mapping in fluid mechanics is the physical expression of the geometric fact that the sign of the Gaussian curvature does not change in conformal mapping. These findings suggest that the curvatures of stream functions are useful for understanding the geometric structure of an incompressible 2D flow.

  6. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Hwey-Lian; Lin, Hsing-Juh; Shih, Shang-Shu; Chen, Chang-Po

    2015-06-09

    The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service) were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing) had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  7. Ecosystem Functions Connecting Contributions from Ecosystem Services to Human Wellbeing in a Mangrove System in Northern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hwey-Lian Hsieh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study examined a mangrove ecosystem in northern Taiwan to determine how the various components of ecosystem function, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are connected. The overall contributions of mangrove services to specific components of human wellbeing were also assessed. A network was developed and evaluated by an expert panel consisting of hydrologists, ecologists, and experts in the field of culture, landscape or architecture. The results showed that supporting habitats was the most important function to human wellbeing, while water quality, habitable climate, air quality, recreational opportunities, and knowledge systems were services that were strongly linked to human welfare. Security of continuous supply of services appeared to be the key to a comfortable life. From a bottom-up and top-down perspective, knowledge systems (a service were most supported by ecosystem functions, while the security of continuous supply of services (wellbeing had affected the most services. In addition, the overall benefits of mangrove services to human prosperity concentrated on mental health, security of continuous supply of services, and physical health.

  8. Partitioning inter annual variability in net ecosystem exchange between climatic variability and functional change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hui, D.; Luo, Y.; Katul, G.

    2003-01-01

    Inter annual variability in net ecosystem exchange of carbon is investigated using a homogeneity-of-slopes model to identify the function change contributing to inter annual variability, net ecosystem carbon exchange, and night-time ecosystem respiration. Results of employing this statistical approach to a data set collected at the Duke Forest AmeriFlux site from August 1997 to December 2001 are discussed. The results demonstrate that it is feasible to partition the variation in ecosystem carbon fluxes into direct effects of seasonal and inter annual climatic variability and functional change. 51 refs., 4 tabs., 5 figs

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Biological assessment of aquaculture effects on effluent-receiving streams in Ghana using structural and functional composition of fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansah, Yaw Boamah; Frimpong, Emmanuel A; Amisah, Stephen

    2012-07-01

    Biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems is widely employed as an alternative or complement to chemical and toxicity testing due to numerous advantages of using biota to determine ecosystem condition. These advantages, especially to developing countries, include the relatively low cost and technical requirements. This study was conducted to determine the biological impacts of aquaculture operations on effluent-receiving streams in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. We collected water, fish and benthic macroinvertebrate samples from 12 aquaculture effluent-receiving streams upstream and downstream of fish farms and 12 reference streams between May and August of 2009, and then calculated structural and functional metrics for biotic assemblages. Fish species with non-guarding mode of reproduction were more abundant in reference streams than downstream (P = 0.0214) and upstream (P = 0.0251), and sand-detritus spawning fish were less predominant in reference stream than upstream (P = 0.0222) and marginally less in downstream locations (P = 0.0539). A possible subsidy-stress response of macroinvertebrate family richness and abundance was also observed, with nutrient (nitrogen) augmentation from aquaculture and other farming activities likely. Generally, there were no, or only marginal differences among locations downstream and upstream of fish farms and in reference streams in terms of several other biotic metrics considered. Therefore, the scale of impact in the future will depend not only on the management of nutrient augmentation from pond effluents, but also on the consideration of nutrient discharges from other industries like fruit and vegetable farming within the study area.

  11. Towards a Stochastic Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Functioning and Resilience to Environmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Process-based modeling of ecosystem functioning is therefore challenging, especially when long-term predictions are envisioned. Here we analyze the statistical properties of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability, i.e., the variability of ecosystem process related to vegetation carbon dynamics, from hourly to decadal timescales. 23 extra-tropical forest sites, covering different climatic zones and vegetation characteristics, are examined. Micrometeorological and reanalysis data of precipitation, air temperature, shortwave radiation and vapor pressure deficit are used to describe hydrometeorological variability. Ecosystem variability is quantified using long-term eddy covariance flux data of hourly net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between land surface and atmosphere, monthly remote sensing vegetation indices, annual tree-ring widths and above-ground biomass increment estimates. We find that across sites and timescales ecosystem variability is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope that describes the range of variability of the available resources, i.e., water and energy. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. We derive an analytical model, combining deterministic harmonics and stochastic processes, that represents major mechanisms and uncertainties and mimics the observed pattern of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. This stochastic framework offers a parsimonious and mathematically tractable approach for modelling ecosystem functioning and for understanding its response and resilience to environmental changes. Furthermore, this framework reflects well the observed ecological memory, an inherent property of ecosystem functioning that is currently not

  12. How wide is a stream? Spatial extent of the potential "stream signature" in terrestrial food webs using meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D; Collins, Scott F; Doyle, Martin W; Tockner, Klement

    2014-01-01

    The magnitude of cross-ecosystem resource subsidies is increasingly well recognized; however, less is known about the distance these subsidies travel into the recipient landscape. In streams and rivers, this distance can delimit the "biological stream width," complementary to hydro-geomorphic measures (e.g., channel banks) that have typically defined stream ecosystem boundaries. In this study we used meta-analysis to define a "stream signature" on land that relates the stream-to-land subsidy to distance. The 50% stream signature, for example, identifies the point on the landscape where subsidy resources are still at half of their maximum (in- or near-stream) level. The decay curve for these data was best fit by a negative power function in which the 50% stream signature was concentrated near stream banks (1.5 m), but a non-trivial (10%) portion of the maximum subsidy level was still found > 0.5 km from the water's edge. The meta-analysis also identified explanatory variables that affect the stream signature. This improves our understanding of ecosystem conditions that permit spatially extensive subsidy transmission, such as in highly productive, middle-order streams and rivers. Resultant multivariate models from this analysis may be useful to managers implementing buffer rules and conservation strategies for stream and riparian function, as they facilitate prediction of the extent of subsidies. Our results stress that much of the subsidy remains near the stream, but also that subsidies (and aquatic organisms) are capable of long-distance dispersal into adjacent environments, and that the effective "biological stream width" of stream and river ecosystems is often much larger than has been defined by hydro-geomorphic metrics alone. Limited data available from marine and lake sources overlap well with the stream signature data, indicating that the "signature" approach may also be applicable to subsidy spatial dynamics across other ecosystems.

  13. Grid refinement model in lattice Boltzmann method for stream function-vorticity formulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Myung Seob [Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Dongyang Mirae University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-03-15

    In this study, we present a grid refinement model in the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) for two-dimensional incompressible fluid flow. That is, the model combines the desirable features of the lattice Boltzmann method and stream function-vorticity formulations. In order to obtain an accurate result, very fine grid (or lattice) is required near the solid boundary. Therefore, the grid refinement model is used in the lattice Boltzmann method for stream function-vorticity formulation. This approach is more efficient in that it can obtain the same accurate solution as that in single-block approach even if few lattices are used for computation. In order to validate the grid refinement approach for the stream function-vorticity formulation, the numerical simulations of lid-driven cavity flows were performed and good results were obtained.

  14. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  15. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    OpenAIRE

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  16. Stream function-vorticity finite elements and the resolution of the Navier-Stokes equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Almeida, R.C.C. de.

    1987-07-01

    A stream function-vorticity finite element formulation for the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations is proposed. The present work shows a procedure to solve the problem posed by the no-slip conditions on solid frontiers which can also be applied to flow problems in a multi-connected domain. Moreover, a methodology to solve the pressure is developed using the stream function-vorticity approximate solution. Numerical experiments were conducted for some steady and unsteady problems and the performance of the proposed methods is discussed. (author) [pt

  17. Forest ecosystems functioning of and conducting of forestry in the zones of absolute alienation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yirklyienko, S.P.; Buzun, V.O.; Dmitrenko, O.G.; Turchak, F.M.

    2001-01-01

    The main regularities of forest ecosystems functioning in the zone of absolute alienation were shown. The radio contamination mozaicity of forest ecosystems was underlined. Regularities of 137 Cs accumulation in the wood of the main arboreous species were analyzed. The detailed measures of forestry conducting and forests rehabilitation were proposed

  18. Forecasting Urban Forest Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    James W. N. Steenberg; Andrew A. Millward; David J. Nowak; Pamela J. Robinson; Alexis Ellis

    2016-01-01

    The benefits derived from urban forest ecosystems are garnering increasing attention in ecological research and municipal planning. However, because of their location in heterogeneous and highly-altered urban landscapes, urban forests are vulnerable and commonly suffer disproportionate and varying levels of stress and disturbance. The objective of this study is to...

  19. Public perception of ecosystem service functions of peri - urban ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AGBAJE ISMAEEL

    Forest ecosystems and landscapes are under strong and multiple pressures that challenge their capacities to continue to ... they are always considered as free gifts of nature. As a ... historic 'Olumo Rock' is a popular tourist and holiday resort in the town. ..... Adekunle MF, Ajibola AA, Odeyemi AS (2012): Economic Valuation.

  20. Beyond barriers: ecosystem functions of alien aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, Bart M.C.

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Impact of wildfire on stream nutrient chemistry and ecosystem metabolism in boreal forest catchments of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emma F. Betts; Jeremy B. Jones

    2009-01-01

    With climatic warming, wildfire occurrence is increasing in the boreal forest of interior Alaska. Loss of catchment vegetation during fire can impact streams directly through altered solute and debris inputs and changed light and temperature regimes. Over longer time scales, fire can accelerate permafrost degradation, altering catchment hydrology and stream nutrient...

  2. Efficient Estimation of Dynamic Density Functions with Applications in Streaming Data

    KAUST Repository

    Qahtan, Abdulhakim

    2016-05-11

    Recent advances in computing technology allow for collecting vast amount of data that arrive continuously in the form of streams. Mining data streams is challenged by the speed and volume of the arriving data. Furthermore, the underlying distribution of the data changes over the time in unpredicted scenarios. To reduce the computational cost, data streams are often studied in forms of condensed representation, e.g., Probability Density Function (PDF). This thesis aims at developing an online density estimator that builds a model called KDE-Track for characterizing the dynamic density of the data streams. KDE-Track estimates the PDF of the stream at a set of resampling points and uses interpolation to estimate the density at any given point. To reduce the interpolation error and computational complexity, we introduce adaptive resampling where more/less resampling points are used in high/low curved regions of the PDF. The PDF values at the resampling points are updated online to provide up-to-date model of the data stream. Comparing with other existing online density estimators, KDE-Track is often more accurate (as reflected by smaller error values) and more computationally efficient (as reflected by shorter running time). The anytime available PDF estimated by KDE-Track can be applied for visualizing the dynamic density of data streams, outlier detection and change detection in data streams. In this thesis work, the first application is to visualize the taxi traffic volume in New York city. Utilizing KDE-Track allows for visualizing and monitoring the traffic flow on real time without extra overhead and provides insight analysis of the pick up demand that can be utilized by service providers to improve service availability. The second application is to detect outliers in data streams from sensor networks based on the estimated PDF. The method detects outliers accurately and outperforms baseline methods designed for detecting and cleaning outliers in sensor data. The

  3. Application of macrobenthos functional groups to estimate the ecosystem health in a semi-enclosed bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shitao; Zhou, Ran; Qin, Xuebo; Shi, Honghua; Ding, Dewen

    2013-09-15

    In this study, the functional group concept was first applied to evaluate the ecosystem health of Bohai Bay. Macrobenthos functional groups were defined according to feeding types and divided into five groups: a carnivorous group (CA), omnivorous group (OM), planktivorous group (PL), herbivorous group (HE), and detritivorous group (DE). Groups CA, DE, OM, and PL were identified, but the HE group was absent from Bohai Bay. Group DE was dominant during the study periods. The ecosystem health was assessed using a functional group evenness index. The functional group evenness values of most sampling stations were less than 0.40, indicating that the ecosystem health was deteriorated in Bohai Bay. Such deterioration could be attributed to land reclamation, industrial and sewage effluents, oil pollution, and hypersaline water discharge. This study demonstrates that the functional group concept can be applied to ecosystem health assessment in a semi-enclosed bay. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Metal toxicity affects predatory stream invertebrates less than other functional feeding groups

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liess, Matthias; Gerner, Nadine V.; Kefford, Ben J.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem effects of heavy metals need to be identified for a retrospective risk assessment, and potential impacts need to be predicted for a prospective risk assessment. In this study, we established a strong correlation between the toxic pressure of dissolved metals and invertebrate species. We compiled available data from a wide geographical range of Australian streams that were contaminated with heavy metals [mainly copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn)] and the corresponding invertebrate communities. Heavy metal toxicity is positively related to the proportion of predators within the invertebrate community, represented by the predator ratio , with an effect threshold range of 2.6 μg/L - 26 μg/L for Cu and 62 μg/L - 617 μg/L for Zn. These effect concentrations are in the ranges of the concentrations identified in model ecosystems and other field investigations and are just above the existing guideline limits. Heavy metals also affects the taxa richness negatively. Other community measures, such as the evenness, number of EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) taxa, SPEcies At Risk (SPEAR) pesticides or SPEAR salinity were relatively poorly correlated with heavy metal toxicity in the streams. Therefore, we suggest applying the predator ratio within the community as a starting point for an indicator of the dissolved metal toxicity, the SPEAR metals . - Highlights: • Data on dissolved metals and invertebrates were compiled for a wide geographical range. • Heavy metal toxicity was strongly related to the predator ratio. • Ecologically relevant thresholds identified for Cu and Zn were above the guideline limits. - Increasing metal toxicity for Cu and Zn in streams could be related to an increasing predator ratio within the invertebrate community.

  5. A method to assess longitudinal riverine connectivity in tropical streams dominated by migratory data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly E. Crook; Catherine M. Pringle; Mary C. Freeman

    2009-01-01

    1. One way in which dams affect ecosystem function is by altering the distribution and abundance of aquatic species. 2. Previous studies indicate that migratory shrimps have significant effects on ecosystem processes in Puerto Rican streams, but are vulnerable to impediments to upstream or downstream passage, such as dams and associated water intakes where stream water...

  6. Stable isotope views on ecosystem function: challenging or challenged?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resco, Víctor; Querejeta, José I; Ogle, Kiona; Voltas, Jordi; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Linares, Juan C; Moreno-Gutiérrez, Cristina; Herrero, Asier; Carreira, José A; Torres-Cañabate, Patricia; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-06-23

    Stable isotopes and their potential for detecting various and complex ecosystem processes are attracting an increasing number of scientists. Progress is challenging, particularly under global change scenarios, but some established views have been challenged. The IX meeting of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AAET, Ubeda, 18-22 October 2009) hosted a symposium on the ecology of stable isotopes where the linear mixing model approach of partitioning sinks and sources of carbon and water fluxes within an ecosystem was challenged, and new applications of stable isotopes for the study of plant interactions were evaluated. Discussion was also centred on the need for networks that monitor ecological processes using stable isotopes and key ideas for fostering future research with isotopes.

  7. Stable isotope views on ecosystem function: challenging or challenged?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resco, Víctor; Querejeta, José I.; Ogle, Kiona; Voltas, Jordi; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Linares, Juan C.; Moreno-Gutiérrez, Cristina; Herrero, Asier; Carreira, José A.; Torres-Cañabate, Patricia; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Stable isotopes and their potential for detecting various and complex ecosystem processes are attracting an increasing number of scientists. Progress is challenging, particularly under global change scenarios, but some established views have been challenged. The IX meeting of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AAET, Úbeda, 18–22 October 2009) hosted a symposium on the ecology of stable isotopes where the linear mixing model approach of partitioning sinks and sources of carbon and water fluxes within an ecosystem was challenged, and new applications of stable isotopes for the study of plant interactions were evaluated. Discussion was also centred on the need for networks that monitor ecological processes using stable isotopes and key ideas for fostering future research with isotopes. PMID:20015858

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

    OpenAIRE

    Whitcraft, Christine René

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Biodiversity, ecosystem function and forest management. Part I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Tacon, F.; Selosse, M-A.; Gosselin, F.

    2000-01-01

    In part one, the authors dealt first with the foundations of biodiversity and its role in forest ecosystems. They then go on to the problems relating to its level of expression and the measurements and indicators for assessing it. Following a section on ethical considerations, the authors explore the possible impact of factors involving human activities other than forest management on biodiversity - fragmentation and structuring of space, forest occupancy, picking, disappearance of carnivorous species, depositions and pollution, global warming and forest fires. (authors)

  10. Forecasting the combined effects of urbanization and climate change on stream ecosystems: from impacts to management options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Kären C.; Palmer, Margaret A.; Pizzuto, James E.; Moglen, Glenn E.; Angermeier, Paul L.; Hilderbrand, Robert H.; Dettinger, Mike; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2015-01-01

    Streams collect runoff, heat, and sediment from their watersheds, making them highly vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbances such as urbanization and climate change. Forecasting the effects of these disturbances using process-based models is critical to identifying the form and magnitude of likely impacts. Here, we integrate a new biotic model with four previously developed physical models (downscaled climate projections, stream hydrology, geomorphology, and water temperature) to predict how stream fish growth and reproduction will most probably respond to shifts in climate and urbanization over the next several decades.

  11. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langenheder, Silke; Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Prosser, James I

    2010-05-26

    With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity) relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity ecosystem functioning relationships, suggests that detailed knowledge of how individual

  12. Bacterial biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relations are modified by environmental complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke Langenheder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: With the recognition that environmental change resulting from anthropogenic activities is causing a global decline in biodiversity, much attention has been devoted to understanding how changes in biodiversity may alter levels of ecosystem functioning. Although environmental complexity has long been recognised as a major driving force in evolutionary processes, it has only recently been incorporated into biodiversity-ecosystem functioning investigations. Environmental complexity is expected to strengthen the positive effect of species richness on ecosystem functioning, mainly because it leads to stronger complementarity effects, such as resource partitioning and facilitative interactions among species when the number of available resource increases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we implemented an experiment to test the combined effect of species richness and environmental complexity, more specifically, resource richness on ecosystem functioning over time. We show, using all possible combinations of species within a bacterial community consisting of six species, and all possible combinations of three substrates, that diversity-functioning (metabolic activity relationships change over time from linear to saturated. This was probably caused by a combination of limited complementarity effects and negative interactions among competing species as the experiment progressed. Even though species richness and resource richness both enhanced ecosystem functioning, they did so independently from each other. Instead there were complex interactions between particular species and substrate combinations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study shows clearly that both species richness and environmental complexity increase ecosystem functioning. The finding that there was no direct interaction between these two factors, but that instead rather complex interactions between combinations of certain species and resources underlie positive biodiversity

  13. Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can serve to disentangle multiple interacting stressors in lowland streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette, E-mail: abp@bios.au.dk [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg (Denmark); Göthe, Emma [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg (Denmark); Riis, Tenna [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé 1, Building 1135, Room 217, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); O' Hare, Matthew T. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik EH26 0QB (United Kingdom)

    2016-02-01

    stress. The ability to disentangle several stressors is particularly important in lowland stream environments where several stressors act in concert since the impact of the most important stressor can be targeted first, which is essential to improve the ecological status. - Highlights: • Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can distinguish hydromorphological degradation from eutrophication in streams • A conceptual framework on how eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation interact on functional trait composition • Weed cutting can set aside light as a factor controlling trait-abundance pattern in eutrophic lowland streams.

  14. Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can serve to disentangle multiple interacting stressors in lowland streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Göthe, Emma; Riis, Tenna; O'Hare, Matthew T.

    2016-01-01

    stress. The ability to disentangle several stressors is particularly important in lowland stream environments where several stressors act in concert since the impact of the most important stressor can be targeted first, which is essential to improve the ecological status. - Highlights: • Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can distinguish hydromorphological degradation from eutrophication in streams • A conceptual framework on how eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation interact on functional trait composition • Weed cutting can set aside light as a factor controlling trait-abundance pattern in eutrophic lowland streams.

  15. Biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services in environmental risk assessment: introduction to the special issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Ralf B

    2012-01-15

    This Special Issue focuses on the questions if and how biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services could be incorporated into the Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Therefore, three articles provide a framework for the integration of ecosystem services into ERA of soils, sediments and pesticides. Further articles demonstrate ways how stakeholders can be integrated into an ecosystem service-based ERA for soils and describe how the current monitoring could be adapted to new assessment endpoints that are directly linked to ecosystem services. Case studies show that the current ERA may not be protective for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services and that both pesticides and salinity currently adversely affect ecosystem functions in the field. Moreover, ecological models can be used for prediction of new protection goals and could finally support their implementation into the ERA. Overall, the Special Issue stresses the urgent need to enhance current procedures of ERA if biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resulting services are to be protected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Meta-Analysis of Lost Ecosystem Attributes in Urban Streams and the Effectiveness of Out-of-Channel Management Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watershed development is a leading cause of stream impairment, and it increasingly threatens the availability, quality, and sustainability of freshwater resources as human populations continue to grow and migrate. Most efforts have focused on trying to improve ecological conditio...

  17. Use of functional traits to assess changes in stream fish assemblages across a habitat gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Domiciano Ribeiro

    Full Text Available Abstract Functional traits are important for understanding the links between species occurrence and environmental conditions. Identifying these links makes it possible to predict changes in species composition within communities under specific environmental conditions. We used functional traits related to habitat use and trophic ecology in order to assess the changes in fish community composition between streams with varying habitat structure. The relationship between the species traits and habitat characteristics was analyzed using an RLQ ordination analysis. Although species were widely distributed in habitats with different structures, physical conditions did favor some species based on their functional characteristics. Eight functional traits were found to be associated with stream habitat structure, allowing us to identify traits that may predict the susceptibility of fish species to physical habitat degradation.

  18. The meaning of functional trait composition of food webs for ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravel, Dominique; Albouy, Camille; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-05-19

    There is a growing interest in using trait-based approaches to characterize the functional structure of animal communities. Quantitative methods have been derived mostly for plant ecology, but it is now common to characterize the functional composition of various systems such as soils, coral reefs, pelagic food webs or terrestrial vertebrate communities. With the ever-increasing availability of distribution and trait data, a quantitative method to represent the different roles of animals in a community promise to find generalities that will facilitate cross-system comparisons. There is, however, currently no theory relating the functional composition of food webs to their dynamics and properties. The intuitive interpretation that more functional diversity leads to higher resource exploitation and better ecosystem functioning was brought from plant ecology and does not apply readily to food webs. Here we appraise whether there are interpretable metrics to describe the functional composition of food webs that could foster a better understanding of their structure and functioning. We first distinguish the various roles that traits have on food web topology, resource extraction (bottom-up effects), trophic regulation (top-down effects), and the ability to keep energy and materials within the community. We then discuss positive effects of functional trait diversity on food webs, such as niche construction and bottom-up effects. We follow with a discussion on the negative effects of functional diversity, such as enhanced competition (both exploitation and apparent) and top-down control. Our review reveals that most of our current understanding of the impact of functional trait diversity on food web properties and functioning comes from an over-simplistic representation of network structure with well-defined levels. We, therefore, conclude with propositions for new research avenues for both theoreticians and empiricists. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. A review of the ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, using forests as a reference system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dislich, Claudia; Keyel, Alexander C; Salecker, Jan; Kisel, Yael; Meyer, Katrin M; Auliya, Mark; Barnes, Andrew D; Corre, Marife D; Darras, Kevin; Faust, Heiko; Hess, Bastian; Klasen, Stephan; Knohl, Alexander; Kreft, Holger; Meijide, Ana; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Otten, Fenna; Pe'er, Guy; Steinebach, Stefanie; Tarigan, Suria; Tölle, Merja H; Tscharntke, Teja; Wiegand, Kerstin

    2017-08-01

    Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in recent decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great ecological, economic, and social impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. However, research on the impacts of oil palm cultivation is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview exists. We address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, including several (genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources, information functions) not included in previous systematic reviews. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those in forests, as the conversion of forest to oil palm is prevalent in the tropics. We find that oil palm plantations generally have reduced ecosystem functioning compared to forests: 11 out of 14 ecosystem functions show a net decrease in level of function. Some functions show decreases with potentially irreversible global impacts (e.g. reductions in gas and climate regulation, habitat and nursery functions, genetic resources, medicinal resources, and information functions). The most serious impacts occur when forest is cleared to establish new plantations, and immediately afterwards, especially on peat soils. To variable degrees, specific plantation management measures can prevent or reduce losses of some ecosystem functions (e.g. avoid illegal land clearing via fire, avoid draining of peat, use of integrated pest management, use of cover crops, mulch, and compost) and we highlight synergistic mitigation measures that can improve multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously. The only ecosystem function which increases in oil palm plantations is, unsurprisingly, the production of marketable goods. Our review highlights numerous research gaps. In particular, there are significant gaps with respect to socio-cultural information functions. Further, there is a need for more empirical data on the importance of spatial and temporal

  20. The role of ants, birds and bats for ecosystem functions and yield in oil palm plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denmead, Lisa H; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Diaz, Patrick; Grass, Ingo; Hoffmann, Munir P; Nurdiansyah, Fuad; Fardiansah, Rico; Tscharntke, Teja

    2017-07-01

    One of the world's most important and rapidly expanding crops, oil palm, is associated with low levels of biodiversity. Changes in predator communities might alter ecosystem services and subsequently sustainable management but these links have received little attention to date. Here, for the first time, we manipulated ant and flying vertebrate (birds and bats) access to oil palms in six smallholder plantations in Sumatra (Indonesia) and measured effects on arthropod communities, related ecosystem functions (herbivory, predation, decomposition and pollination) and crop yield. Arthropod predators increased in response to reductions in ant and bird access, but the overall effect of experimental manipulations on ecosystem functions was minimal. Similarly, effects on yield were not significant. We conclude that ecosystem functions and productivity in oil palm are, under current levels of low pest pressure and large pollinator populations, robust to large reductions of major predators. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Increased functional connectivity in the ventral and dorsal streams during retrieval of novel words in professional musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittinger, Eva; Valizadeh, Seyed Abolfazl; Jäncke, Lutz; Besson, Mireille; Elmer, Stefan

    2018-02-01

    Current models of speech and language processing postulate the involvement of two parallel processing streams (the dual stream model): a ventral stream involved in mapping sensory and phonological representations onto lexical and conceptual representations and a dorsal stream contributing to sound-to-motor mapping, articulation, and to how verbal information is encoded and manipulated in memory. Based on previous evidence showing that music training has an influence on language processing, cognitive functions, and word learning, we examined EEG-based intracranial functional connectivity in the ventral and dorsal streams while musicians and nonmusicians learned the meaning of novel words through picture-word associations. In accordance with the dual stream model, word learning was generally associated with increased beta functional connectivity in the ventral stream compared to the dorsal stream. In addition, in the linguistically most demanding "semantic task," musicians outperformed nonmusicians, and this behavioral advantage was accompanied by increased left-hemispheric theta connectivity in both streams. Moreover, theta coherence in the left dorsal pathway was positively correlated with the number of years of music training. These results provide evidence for a complex interplay within a network of brain regions involved in semantic processing and verbal memory functions, and suggest that intensive music training can modify its functional architecture leading to advantages in novel word learning. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Reach-scale stream restoration in agricultural streams of southern Minnesota alters structural and functional responses of macroinvertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolph, Christine L.; Eggert, Susan L.; Magner, Joe; Ferrington, Leonard C.; Vondracek, Bruce C.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that stream restoration at the reach scale may not increase stream biodiversity, raising concerns about the utility of this conservation practice. We examined whether reach-scale restoration in disturbed agricultural streams was associated with changes in macroinvertebrate community structure (total macroinvertebrate taxon richness, total macroinvertebrate density, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera [EPT] taxon richness, % abundance of EPT taxa) or secondary production (macroinvertebrate biomass over time). We collected macroinvertebrate samples over the course of 1 y from restored and unrestored reaches of 3 streams in southern Minnesota and used generalized least-square (GLS) models to assess whether measures of community structure were related to reach type, stream site, or sampling month. After accounting for effects of stream site and time, we found no significant difference in total taxon richness or % abundance of EPT taxa between restored and unrestored reaches. However, the number of EPT taxa and macroinvertebrate density were significantly higher in restored than in unrestored reaches. We compared secondary production estimates among study reaches based on 95th-percentile confidence intervals generated via bootstrapping. In each study stream, secondary production was significantly (2–3×) higher in the restored than in the unrestored reach. Higher productivity in the restored reaches was largely a result of the disproportionate success of a few dominant, tolerant taxa. Our findings suggest that reach-scale restoration may have ecological effects that are not detected by measures of total taxon richness alone.

  3. Ecosystem Management and Restoration. Overview of Stream Restoration Technology: State of the Science. EMRRP, Volume 2, Number 3

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fischenich, J

    1999-01-01

    The Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (EMRRP), established in 1997, provides state-of-the-science techniques for prediction and analysis of environmental impacts of Corps projects and activities...

  4. An integrated ecological modeling system for assessing impacts of multiple stressors on stream and riverine ecosystem services within river basins

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — We demonstrate a novel, spatially explicit assessment of the current condition of aquatic ecosystem services, with limited sensitivity analysis for the atmospheric...

  5. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Joseph M.; Wells, Sarah P.; Mather, Martha E.; Muth, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Because human impacts and climate change threaten aquatic ecosystems, a need exists to quantify catchment-scale biodiversity patterns and identify conservation actions that can mitigate adverse human impacts on aquatic biota.

  6. Functional approach in estimation of cultural ecosystem services of recreational areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sautkin, I. S.; Rogova, T. V.

    2018-01-01

    The article is devoted to the identification and analysis of cultural ecosystem services of recreational areas from the different forest plant functional groups in the suburbs of Kazan. The study explored two cultural ecosystem services supplied by forest plants by linking these services to different plant functional traits. Information on the functional traits of 76 plants occurring in the forest ecosystems of the investigated area was collected from reference books on the biological characteristics of plant species. Analysis of these species and traits with the Ward clustering method yielded four functional groups with different potentials for delivering ecosystem services. The results show that the contribution of species diversity to services can be characterized through the functional traits of plants. This proves that there is a stable relationship between biodiversity and the quality and quantity of ecosystem services. The proposed method can be extended to other types of services (regulating and supporting). The analysis can be used in the socio-economic assessment of natural ecosystems for recreation and other uses.

  7. Rising tides, cumulative impacts and cascading changes to estuarine ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Meara, Theresa A; Hillman, Jenny R; Thrush, Simon F

    2017-08-31

    In coastal ecosystems, climate change affects multiple environmental factors, yet most predictive models are based on simple cause-and-effect relationships. Multiple stressor scenarios are difficult to predict because they can create a ripple effect through networked ecosystem functions. Estuarine ecosystem function relies on an interconnected network of physical and biological processes. Estuarine habitats play critical roles in service provision and represent global hotspots for organic matter processing, nutrient cycling and primary production. Within these systems, we predicted functional changes in the impacts of land-based stressors, mediated by changing light climate and sediment permeability. Our in-situ field experiment manipulated sea level, nutrient supply, and mud content. We used these stressors to determine how interacting environmental stressors influence ecosystem function and compared results with data collected along elevation gradients to substitute space for time. We show non-linear, multi-stressor effects deconstruct networks governing ecosystem function. Sea level rise altered nutrient processing and impacted broader estuarine services ameliorating nutrient and sediment pollution. Our experiment demonstrates how the relationships between nutrient processing and biological/physical controls degrade with environmental stress. Our results emphasise the importance of moving beyond simple physically-forced relationships to assess consequences of climate change in the context of ecosystem interactions and multiple stressors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

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

  9. Hyporheic exchange and fulvic acid redox reactions in an alpine stream/wetland ecosystem, Colorado front range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Matthew P.; McKnight, Diane M.; Cory, R.M.; Williams, Mark W.; Runkel, Robert L.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of hyporheic zone interactions on the redox state of fulvic acids and other redox active species was investigated in an alpine stream and adjacent wetland, which is a more reducing environment. A tracer injection experiment using bromide (Br-) was conducted in the stream system. Simulations with a transport model showed that rates of exchange between the stream and hyporheic zone were rapid (?? ??? 10-3 s -1). Parallel factor analysis of fluorescence spectra was used to quantify the redox state of dissolved fulvic acids. The rate coefficient for oxidation of reduced fulvic acids (?? = 6.5 ?? 10-3 s -1) in the stream indicates that electron-transfer reactions occur over short time scales. The rate coefficients for decay of ammonium (?? = 1.2 ?? 10-3 s-1) and production of nitrate (?? = -1.0 ?? 10-3 s-1) were opposite in sign but almost equal in magnitude. Our results suggest that fulvic acids are involved in rapid electron-transfer processes in and near the stream channel and may be important in determining ecological energy flow at the catchment scale. ?? 2006 American Chemical Society.

  10. Consequences of increasing hypoxic disturbance on benthic communities and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Villnäs

    Full Text Available Disturbance-mediated species loss has prompted research considering how ecosystem functions are changed when biota is impaired. However, there is still limited empirical evidence from natural environments evaluating the direct and indirect (i.e. via biota effects of disturbance on ecosystem functioning. Oxygen deficiency is a widespread threat to coastal and estuarine communities. While the negative impacts of hypoxia on benthic communities are well known, few studies have assessed in situ how benthic communities subjected to different degrees of hypoxic stress alter their contribution to ecosystem functioning. We studied changes in sediment ecosystem function (i.e. oxygen and nutrient fluxes across the sediment water-interface by artificially inducing hypoxia of different durations (0, 3, 7 and 48 days in a subtidal sandy habitat. Benthic chamber incubations were used for measuring responses in sediment oxygen and nutrient fluxes. Changes in benthic species richness, structure and traits were quantified, while stress-induced behavioral changes were documented by observing bivalve reburial rates. The initial change in faunal behavior was followed by non-linear degradation in benthic parameters (abundance, biomass, bioturbation potential, gradually impairing the structural and functional composition of the benthic community. In terms of ecosystem function, the increasing duration of hypoxia altered sediment oxygen consumption and enhanced sediment effluxes of NH(4(+ and dissolved Si. Although effluxes of PO(4(3- were not altered significantly, changes were observed in sediment PO(4(3- sorption capability. The duration of hypoxia (i.e. number of days of stress explained a minor part of the changes in ecosystem function. Instead, the benthic community and disturbance-driven changes within the benthos explained a larger proportion of the variability in sediment oxygen- and nutrient fluxes. Our results emphasize that the level of stress to the

  11. Effects of urban stream burial on nitrogen uptake and ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbanization has resulted in extensive burial and channelization of headwater streams, yet little is known about impacts on stream ecosystem functions critical for reducing downstream nitrogen pollution. To characterize the biogeochemical impact of stream burial, we measured NO3- uptake, using 15N-NO3- isotope tracer releases, and whole stream metabolism, during four seasons in three paired buried and open streams reaches within the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-term Ecological Research Network. Stream burial increased NO3- uptake lengths, by a factor of 7.5 (p < 0.01) and decreased nitrate uptake velocity and areal nitrate uptake rate by factors of 8.2 (p = 0.01) and 9.6 (p < 0.001), respectively. Stream burial decreased gross primary productivity by a factor of 9.2 (p < 0.05) and decreased ecosystem respiration by a factor of 4.2 (p = 0.06). From statistical analysis of Excitation Emissions Matrices (EEMs), buried streams were also found to have significantly less labile dissolved organic matter. Furthermore, buried streams had significantly lower transient storage and water temperatures. Overall, differences in NO3- uptake and metabolism were primarily explained by decreased transient storage and light availability in buried streams. We estimate that stream burial increases daily watershed nitrate export by as much as 500% due to decreased in-stream retention and may considerably decrease carbon export via decreased primary production. These results

  12. The ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina; Bengtsson, Mia M; Romani, Anna M; Packmann, Aaron I

    2016-04-01

    Streams and rivers form dense networks, shape the Earth's surface and, in their sediments, provide an immensely large surface area for microbial growth. Biofilms dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, drive crucial ecosystem processes and contribute substantially to global biogeochemical fluxes. In turn, water flow and related deliveries of nutrients and organic matter to biofilms constitute major constraints on microbial life. In this Review, we describe the ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms and highlight the influence of physical and ecological processes on their structure and function. Recent advances in the study of biofilm ecology may pave the way towards a mechanistic understanding of the effects of climate and environmental change on stream biofilms and the biogeochemistry of stream ecosystems.

  13. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  15. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Measurement of changes in marine benthic ecosystem function following physical disturbance by dredging

    OpenAIRE

    Wan Hussin, Wan Mohd Rauhan

    2012-01-01

    Measuring the impact of physical disturbance on macrofaunal communities and sediment composition is important given the increased demand for the exploitation and disturbance of marine ecosystems. The aim of the present investigation was to provide a comprehensive study about the extent to which the disturbance (especially aggregate dredging) may affect benthic ecosystem function. The first part of the thesis concerns a field investigation of the impacts of dredging on the be...

  17. Exponential Decline of Deep-Sea Ecosystem Functioning Linked to Benthic Biodiversity Loss

    OpenAIRE

    Danovaro, Roberto; Gambi, Cristina; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Vanreusel, Ann; Vincx, Magda; Gooday, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    BackgroundRecent investigations suggest that biodiversity loss might impair the functioning and sustainability of ecosystems. Although deep-sea ecosystems are the most extensive on Earth, represent the largest reservoir of biomass, and host a large proportion of undiscovered biodiversity, the data needed to evaluate the consequences of biodiversity loss on the ocean floor are completely lacking.ResultsHere, we present a global-scale study based on 116 deep-sea sites that relates benthic biodi...

  18. Linking hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in African papyrus wetlands using a Bayesian Network Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, A.; Gettel, G. M.; Kipkemboi, J.; Rahman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    Papyrus wetlands in East Africa provide ecosystem services supporting the livelihoods of millions but are rapidly degrading due to economic development. For ecosystem conservation, an integrated understanding of the natural and social processes driving ecosystem change is needed. This research focuses on integrating the causal relationships between hydrology, ecosystem function, and livelihood sustainability in Nyando wetland, western Kenya. Livelihood sustainability is based on ecosystem services that include plant and animal harvest for building material and food, conversion of wetlands to crop and grazing land, water supply, and water quality regulation. Specific objectives were: to integrate studies of hydrology, ecology, and livelihood activities using a Bayesian Network (BN) model and include stakeholder involvement in model development. The BN model (Netica 4.16) had 35 nodes with seven decision nodes describing demography, economy, papyrus market, and rainfall, and two target nodes describing ecosystem function (defined by groundwater recharge, nutrient and sediment retention, and biodiversity) and livelihood sustainability (drinking water supply, crop production, livestock production, and papyrus yield). The conditional probability tables were populated using results of ecohydrological and socio-economic field work and consultations with stakeholders. The model was evaluated for an average year with decision node probabilities set according to data from research, expert opinion, and stakeholders' views. Then, scenarios for dry and wet seasons and for economic development (low population growth and unemployment) and policy development (more awareness of wetland value) were evaluated. In an average year, the probability for maintaining a "good" level of sediment and nutrient retention functions, groundwater recharge, and biodiversity was about 60%. ("Good" is defined by expert opinion based on ongoing field research.) In the dry season, the probability was

  19. Trophic interactions, ecosystem structure and function in the southern Yellow Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qun; Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-01

    The southern Yellow Sea is an important fishing ground, providing abundant fishery resources. However, overfishing and climate change have caused a decline in the resource and damaged the ecosystem. We developed an ecosystem model to analyze the trophic interactions and ecosystem structure and function to guide sustainable development of the ecosystem. A trophic mass-balance model of the southern Yellow Sea during 2000-2001 was constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim software. We defined 22 important functional groups and studied their diet composition. The trophic levels of fish, shrimp, crabs, and cephalopods were between 2.78 and 4.39, and the mean trophic level of the fisheries was 3.24. The trophic flows within the food web occurred primarily in the lower trophic levels. The mean trophic transfer efficiency was 8.1%, of which 7.1% was from primary producers and 9.3% was from detritus within the ecosystem. The transfer efficiency between trophic levels II to III to IV to V to >V was 5.0%, 5.7%, 18.5%, and 19.7%-20.4%, respectively. Of the total flow, phytoplankton contributed 61% and detritus contributed 39%. Fishing is defined as a top predator within the ecosystem, and has a negative impact on most commercial species. Moreover, the ecosystem had a high gross efficiency of the fishery and a high value of primary production required to sustain the fishery. Together, our data suggest there is high fishing pressure in the southern Yellow Sea. Based on analysis of Odum's ecological parameters, this ecosystem was at an immature stage. Our results provide some insights into the structure and development of this ecosystem.

  20. Indicators of ecosystem function identify alternate states in the sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kachergis, Emily; Rocca, Monique E; Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria E

    2011-10-01

    Models of ecosystem change that incorporate nonlinear dynamics and thresholds, such as state-and-transition models (STMs), are increasingly popular tools for land management decision-making. However, few models are based on systematic collection and documentation of ecological data, and of these, most rely solely on structural indicators (species composition) to identify states and transitions. As STMs are adopted as an assessment framework throughout the United States, finding effective and efficient ways to create data-driven models that integrate ecosystem function and structure is vital. This study aims to (1) evaluate the utility of functional indicators (indicators of rangeland health, IRH) as proxies for more difficult ecosystem function measurements and (2) create a data-driven STM for the sagebrush steppe of Colorado, USA, that incorporates both ecosystem structure and function. We sampled soils, plant communities, and IRH at 41 plots with similar clayey soils but different site histories to identify potential states and infer the effects of management practices and disturbances on transitions. We found that many IRH were correlated with quantitative measures of functional indicators, suggesting that the IRH can be used to approximate ecosystem function. In addition to a reference state that functions as expected for this soil type, we identified four biotically and functionally distinct potential states, consistent with the theoretical concept of alternate states. Three potential states were related to management practices (chemical and mechanical shrub treatments and seeding history) while one was related only to ecosystem processes (erosion). IRH and potential states were also related to environmental variation (slope, soil texture), suggesting that there are environmental factors within areas with similar soils that affect ecosystem dynamics and should be noted within STMs. Our approach generated an objective, data-driven model of ecosystem dynamics

  1. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  2. A holistic method for selecting tidal stream energy hotspots under technical, economic and functional constraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vazquez, A.; Iglesias, G.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A method for selecting the most suitable sites for tidal stream farms was presented. • The selection was based on relevant technical, economic and functional aspects. • As a case study, a model of the Bristol Channel was implemented and validated. - Abstract: Although a number of prospective locations for tidal stream farms have been identified, the development of a unified approach for selecting the optimum site in a region remains a current research topic. The objective of this work is to develop and apply a methodology for determining the most suitable sites for tidal stream farms, i.e. sites whose characteristics maximise power performance, minimise cost and avoid conflicts with competing uses of the marine space. Illustrated through a case study in the Bristol Channel, the method uses a validated hydrodynamics model to identify highly energetic areas and a geospatial Matlab-based program (designed ad hoc) to estimate the energy output that a tidal farm at the site with a given technology would have. This output is then used to obtain the spatial distribution of the levelised cost of energy and, on this basis, to preselect certain areas. Subsequently, potential conflicts with other functions of the marine space (e.g. fishing, shipping) are considered. The result is a selection of areas for tidal stream energy development based on a holistic approach, encompassing the relevant technical, economic and functional aspects. This methodology can lead to a significant improvement in the selection of tidal sites, thereby increasing the possibilities of project acceptance and development.

  3. Macroinvertebrate community structure and function along gradients of physical stream quality and pesticide contamination in Danish streams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jes

    to stream are surface runoff and tile drainage giving rise to short pulses of acute contamination strongly coinciding with high levels of precipitation. Field studies indicate that macroinvertebrate community structure can be impacted by pesticides during spraying seasons in May and June, but also...... was calculated for 1 km2 catchments (produced from topographical maps) on Funen, Denmark. The physical condition (substrate, meandering etc.) of 1st and 2nd order streams (based on existing data from the National Monitoring Programme and personal exploring) draining these catchments was, additionally, assessed...

  4. Floodplain Hydrodynamics and Ecosystem Function in a Dryland Wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, J. F.; Sandi, S. G.; Saco, P. M.; Wen, L.; Saintilan, N.; Kuczera, G. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Macquarie Marshes is a floodplain wetland system located in the semiarid region of south-east Australia, regularly flooded by small channels and creeks that get their water from a regulated river system. Flood-dependent vegetation in the wetland includes semi-permanent wetland areas (reed beds, lagoons, and mixed marsh), and floodplain forests and woodlands mainly dominated by River Red Gum (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis). These plant communities support a rich ecosystem and provide sanctuary for birds, frogs and fish and their ecological importance has been recognized under the Ramsar convention. During droughts, wetland vegetation can deteriorate or transition to terrestrial vegetation. Most recently, during the Millennium drought (2001-2009) large areas of water couch and common reeds transitioned to terrestrial vegetation and many patches of River Red Gum reported up to an 80% mortality. Since then, a significant recovery has occurred after a few years of record or near record rainfall. In order to support management decisions regarding watering of the wetland from the upstream reservoir, we have developed an eco-hydraulic model that relates vegetation distribution to the inundation regime (present and past) determined by floodplain hydrodynamics. The model couples hydrodynamic simulations with a rules-based vegetation module that considers water requirements for different plant associations and transition rules accounting for patch dynamics and vegetation resilience. The model has been setup and calibrated with satellite-derived inundation and vegetation maps as well as fractional cover products during the period from 1991 to 2013. We use the model to predict short-term wetland evolution under dry and wet future conditions.

  5. Linking benthic biodiversity to the functioning of coastal ecosystems subjected to river runoff (NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harmelin–Vivien, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Continental particulate organic matter (POM plays a major role in the functioning of coastal marine ecosystems as a disturbance as well as an input of nutrients. Relationships linking continental inputs from the Rhone River to biodiversity of the coastal benthic ecosystem and fishery production were investigated in the Golfe du Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea. Macrobenthic community diversity decreased when continen¬tal inputs of organic matter increased, whereas ecosystem production, measured by common sole (Solea solea fishery yields in the area, increased. Decreases in macrobenthic diversity were mainly related to an increasing abundance of species with specific functional traits, particularly deposit-feeding polychaetes. The decrease in macrobenthic diversity did not result in a decrease, but an increase in ecosystem production, as it enhanced the transfer of continental POM into marine food webs. The present study showed that it is necessary to consider functional traits of species, direct and indirect links between species, and feedback loops to understand the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and productivity.

  6. A synoptic survey of ecosystem services from headwater catchments in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian H. Hill; Randall K. Kolka; Frank H. McCormick; Matthew A. Starry

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem production functions for water supply, climate regulation, and water purification were estimated for 568 headwater streams and their catchments. Results are reported for nine USA ecoregions. Headwater streams represented 74-80% of total catchment stream length. Water supply per unit catchment area was highest in the Northern Appalachian Mountains ecoregion...

  7. Using the CARDAMOM framework to retrieve global terrestrial ecosystem functioning properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; van der Velde, Ivar R.; Feng, Liang; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems act as a sink for anthropogenic emissions of fossil-fuel and thereby partially offset the ongoing global warming. However, recent model benchmarking and intercomparison studies have highlighted the non-trivial uncertainties that exist in our understanding of key ecosystem properties like plant carbon allocation and residence times. It leads to worrisome differences in terrestrial carbon stocks simulated by Earth system models, and their evolution in a warming future. In this presentation we attempt to provide global insights on these properties by merging an ecosystem model with remotely-sensed global observations of leaf area and biomass through a data-assimilation system: the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM). CARDAMOM relies on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to retrieve confidence intervals of model parameters that regulate ecosystem properties independently of any prior land-cover information. The MCMC method thereby enables an explicit representation of the uncertainty in land-atmosphere fluxes and the evolution of terrestrial carbon stocks through time. Global experiments are performed for the first decade of the 21st century using a 1°×1° spatial resolution. Relationships emerge globally between key ecosystem properties. For example, our analyses indicate that leaf lifespan and leaf mass per area are highly correlated. Furthermore, there exists a latitudinal gradient in allocation patterns: high latitude ecosystems allocate more carbon to photosynthetic carbon (leaves) while plants invest more carbon in their structural parts (wood and root) in the wet tropics. Overall, the spatial distribution of these ecosystem properties does not correspond to usual land-cover maps and are also partially correlated with disturbance regimes. For example, fire-prone ecosystems present statistically significant higher values of carbon use efficiency than less disturbed ecosystems experiencing similar climatic conditions. These results

  8. Functional trophic composition of the ichthyofauna of forest streams in eastern Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Lourenco Brejao

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to describe the functional organization of the ichthyofauna of forest streams from northeastern Pará State, Brazil, based on behavioral observation of species' feeding tactics. Seven streams were sampled between June and November, 2010, during snorkeling sessions, totaling 91h 51min of visual censuses at day, dusk, and night periods. Seventy three species distributed in six orders, 26 families and 63 genera were observed, with dominance of Characiformes, followed by Siluriformes. From information gathered by ad libitum observations, each species was included in one of 18 functional trophic groups (FTGs, according to two main characteristics: (1 its most frequently observed feeding tactic; and (2 its spatial distribution in the stream environment, considering their horizontal (margins or main channel and vertical (water column dimensions. The most frequent FTGs observed were Nocturnal invertebrate pickers (9 species, Diurnal channel drift feeders (8 spp., Diurnal surface pickers (7 spp., and Ambush and stalking predators (6 spp.. The FTGs herein defined enable a comparative analysis of the structure and composition of ichthyofauna in different basins and environmental conditions, which presents an alternative approach to the use of taxonomic structure in ecological studies. The ichthyofauna classification based in FTGs proposed in this study is compared to three other classifications, proposed by Sazima (1986, Sabino & Zuanon (1998 and Casatti et al. (2001.

  9. Macroinvertebrate community structure and function along gradients of physical stream quality and pesticide contamination in Danish streams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jes

    to stream are surface runoff and tile drainage giving rise to short pulses of acute contamination strongly coinciding with high levels of precipitation. Field studies indicate that macroinvertebrate community structure can be impacted by pesticides during spraying seasons in May and June, but also...

  10. Optic ataxia and the function of the dorsal stream: contributions to perception and action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisella, Laure; Sergio, Lauren; Blangero, Annabelle; Torchin, Héloïse; Vighetto, Alain; Rossetti, Yves

    2009-12-01

    Optic ataxia (OA) is one of the symptoms pertaining to Bálint's Syndrome. It has been described clinically for nearly 80 years before it became a cornerstone of the most popular dual stream theory of the visual brain. Over the last 10 years a regain of interest for this neurological condition lead to a number of precise analyses of the deficits found in optic ataxia, giving rise to a renewed outline of its very definition and hence of the function(s) of the occipito-parietal (dorsal) stream. In absence of concomitant clinical symptoms, we review evidence that misreaching errors in central vision result from the "hand effect": an erroneous dynamic spatial processing of proprioceptive information from the hand. When visual feedback of the hand is provided (closed-loop condition), pure optic ataxia is restricted to peripheral vision. This central versus peripheral vision distinction is repeatedly used to argue that action and perception are not unique and dissociated systems. New assessments of optic ataxia patients are provided, confirming on one hand that their visuomotor deficit is specific to peripheral vision (i.e. when the gaze and the hand goals are dissociated), on the other hand that they disclose perceptual deficits in peripheral vision. These results are coherent with the recent demonstration that optic ataxia patients exhibit a general contralesional deficit for dynamic visuo-spatial processing, affecting both hand and eye movements [Gaveau, V., Pélisson, D., Blangero, A., Urquizar, C., Prablanc, C.,Vighetto, A., et al. (2008). A common parietal module for saccade and reach: Eye-hand coordination and saccadic control in optic ataxia. Neuropsychologia, 46, 475-486]. Such module(s) within the dorsal stream could be used for both action and perception in the periphery. It is concluded that optic ataxia cannot be considered as a unitary and specific visuo-manual deficit, and that the modular organisation of the dorsal stream allows for numerous dorsal

  11. Global change and stream ecosystem functioning: repercussions on the leaf litter decomposition

    OpenAIRE

    Monroy Zarzuelo, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    158 p. El crecimiento de la población humana y el aumento en el consumo de recursos observado en las recientes décadas está ocasionando cambios medioambientales a una velocidad sin precedentes y cuyas repercusiones alcanzan una escala global, afectando al funcionamiento general de la Tierra. Éstas características han conducido a proponer el término ¿Antropoceno¿ para designar una nueva era geológica en la cual la población humana ha emergido como una nueva fuerza capaz de controlar proceso...

  12. Organism-Sediment Interactions Govern Post-Hypoxia Recovery of Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Colen, Carl; Rossi, Francesca; Montserrat, Francesc; Andersson, Maria G. I.; Gribsholt, Britta; Herman, Peter M. J.; Degraer, Steven; Vincx, Magda; Ysebaert, Tom; Middelburg, Jack J.

    2012-01-01

    Hypoxia represents one of the major causes of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning loss for coastal waters. Since eutrophication-induced hypoxic events are becoming increasingly frequent and intense, understanding the response of ecosystems to hypoxia is of primary importance to understand and predict the stability of ecosystem functioning. Such ecological stability may greatly depend on the recovery patterns of communities and the return time of the system properties associated to these patterns. Here, we have examined how the reassembly of a benthic community contributed to the recovery of ecosystem functioning following experimentally-induced hypoxia in a tidal flat. We demonstrate that organism-sediment interactions that depend on organism size and relate to mobility traits and sediment reworking capacities are generally more important than recovering species richness to set the return time of the measured sediment processes and properties. Specifically, increasing macrofauna bioturbation potential during community reassembly significantly contributed to the recovery of sediment processes and properties such as denitrification, bedload sediment transport, primary production and deep pore water ammonium concentration. Such bioturbation potential was due to the replacement of the small-sized organisms that recolonised at early stages by large-sized bioturbating organisms, which had a disproportionately stronger influence on sediment. This study suggests that the complete recovery of organism-sediment interactions is a necessary condition for ecosystem functioning recovery, and that such process requires long periods after disturbance due to the slow growth of juveniles into adult stages involved in these interactions. Consequently, repeated episodes of disturbance at intervals smaller than the time needed for the system to fully recover organism-sediment interactions may greatly impair the resilience of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23185440

  13. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V; Verbesselt, Jan; de Beurs, Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-08-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data, and expert knowledge, this study provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (P agricultural land abandonment. Our study also showed that recurrent droughts deeply affected vegetation productivity throughout the observation period, with a general worsening of the drought conditions in recent years. Moreover, recent human-induced turning points in ecosystem functioning were detected and attributed to ongoing recultivation and change in irrigation practices in the Volgograd region, and to increased salinization and increased grazing intensity around Lake Balkhash. The ecosystem-state assessment method introduced here proved to be a valuable support that highlighted hotspots of potentially altered ecosystems and allowed for disentangling human from climatic disturbances. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Review of the effects of in-stream pipeline crossing construction on aquatic ecosystems and examination of Canadian methodologies for impact assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lévesque, Lucie M; Dubé, Monique G

    2007-09-01

    Pipeline crossing construction alters river and stream channels, hence may have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems. This review examines the effects of crossing construction on fish and fish habitat in rivers and streams, and recommends an approach to monitoring and assessment of impacts associated with these activities. Pipeline crossing construction is shown to not only compromise the integrity of the physical and chemical nature of fish habitat, but also to affect biological habitat (e.g., benthic invertebrates and invertebrate drift), and fish behavior and physiology. Indicators of effect include: water quality (total suspended solids TSS), physical habitat (substrate particle size, channel morphology), benthic invertebrate community structure and drift (abundance, species composition, diversity, standing crop), and fish behavior and physiology (hierarchy, feeding, respiration rate, loss of equilibrium, blood hematocrit and leukocrit levels, heart rate and stroke volume). The Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) approach, which is often applied in Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM), is recommended as a basis for impact assessment, as is consideration of site-specific sensitivities, assessment of significance, and cumulative effects.

  15. Volume Transport Stream Function Calculated from World Ocean Atlas 2013 (WOA13-VTSF) and Climatological Wind (NCEI Accession 0138646)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The dataset consists of calculated annual and monthly mean ocean volume transport stream function on 1 degree resolution using the WOA13 (T, S) and corresponding...

  16. Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, A. R.; Sweetman, A. K.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.; Jones, D. O. B.; Ingels, J.; Hansman, R. L.

    2014-07-01

    The deep sea is often viewed as a vast, dark, remote, and inhospitable environment, yet the deep ocean and seafloor are crucial to our lives through the services that they provide. Our understanding of how the deep sea functions remains limited, but when treated synoptically, a diversity of supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services becomes apparent. The biological pump transports carbon from the atmosphere into deep-ocean water masses that are separated over prolonged periods, reducing the impact of anthropogenic carbon release. Microbial oxidation of methane keeps another potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere while trapping carbon in authigenic carbonates. Nutrient regeneration by all faunal size classes provides the elements necessary for fueling surface productivity and fisheries, and microbial processes detoxify a diversity of compounds. Each of these processes occur on a very small scale, yet considering the vast area over which they occur they become important for the global functioning of the ocean. The deep sea also provides a wealth of resources, including fish stocks, enormous bioprospecting potential, and elements and energy reserves that are currently being extracted and will be increasingly important in the near future. Society benefits from the intrigue and mystery, the strange life forms, and the great unknown that has acted as a muse for inspiration and imagination since near the beginning of civilization. While many functions occur on the scale of microns to meters and timescales up to years, the derived services that result are only useful after centuries of integrated activity. This vast dark habitat, which covers the majority of the globe, harbors processes that directly impact humans in a variety of ways; however, the same traits that differentiate it from terrestrial or shallow marine systems also result in a greater need for integrated spatial and temporal understanding as it experiences increased use by society. In

  17. A Rapid Method to Score Stream Reaches Based on the Overall Performance of Their Main Ecological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, David K.; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John; Collier, Kevin; Hatton, Chris; Joy, Michael K.; Maxted, John; Moore, Stephen

    2009-06-01

    A method was developed to score the ecological condition of first- to third-order stream reaches in the Auckland region of New Zealand based on the performance of their key ecological functions. Such a method is required by consultants and resource managers to quantify the reduction in ecological condition of a modified stream reach relative to its unmodified state. This is a fundamental precursor for the determination of fair environmental compensation for achieving no-net-loss in overall stream ecological value. Field testing and subsequent use of the method indicated that it provides a useful measure of ecological condition related to the performance of stream ecological functions. It is relatively simple to apply compared to a full ecological study, is quick to use, and allows identification of the degree of impairment of each of the key ecological functions. The scoring system was designed so that future improvements in the measurement of stream functions can be incorporated into it. Although the methodology was specifically designed for Auckland streams, the principles can be readily adapted to other regions and stream types.

  18. Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning: a consensus of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, D.U.; Chapin, F. S.; Ewel, J.J.; Hector, A.; Inchausti, P.; Lavorel, S.; Lawton, J.H.; Lodge, D.M.; Loreau, M.; Naeem, S.; Schmid, B.; SetSlS, H.; Symstad, A.J.; Vandermeer, J.; Wardle, D.A.

    2005-01-01

    Humans are altering the composition of biological communities through a variety of activities that increase rates of species invasions and species extinctions, at all scales, from local to global. These changes in components of the Earth's biodiversity cause concern for ethical and aesthetic reasons, but they also have a strong potential to alter ecosystem properties and the goods and services they provide to humanity. Ecological experiments, observations, and theoretical developments show that ecosystem properties depend greatly on biodiversity in terms of the functional characteristics of organisms present in the ecosystem and the distribution and abundance of those organisms over space and time. Species effects act in concert with the effects of climate, resource availability, and disturbance regimes in influencing ecosystem properties. Human activities can modify all of the above factors; here we focus on modification of these biotic controls.The scientific community has come to a broad consensus on many aspects of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, including many points relevant to management of ecosystems. Further progress will require integration of knowledge about biotic and abiotic controls on ecosystem properties, how ecological communities are structured, and the forces driving species extinctions and invasions. To strengthen links to policy and management, we also need to integrate our ecological knowledge with understanding of the social and economic constraints of potential management practices. Understanding this complexity, while taking strong steps to minimize current losses of species, is necessary for responsible management of Earth's ecosystems and the diverse biota they contain.Based on our review of the scientific literature, we are certain of the following conclusions:1) Species' functional characteristics strongly influence ecosystem properties. Functional characteristics operate in a variety of contexts

  19. Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the assessment of ecosystem services and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Miguel Leandro

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The project Berlengas Biosphere Reserve - Plan for the Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Functions arises from the need to identify and assess ecosystem services, promoting sustainable uses of the services in the Reserve. The high degradation rate currently observed in the natural systems, thus reducing the level and quality of ecosystem services, is reflected in a negative effect on environmental quality, human well-being and in some economic activities. Thus, it becomes inevitable to promote the need to convey the importance of these services to society. It is also essential to contribute to the development of innovative and environmentally sustainable practices which will maintain the functioning of the local ecosystem and the sustainability of the services. Thus, the main goals of this project are i to identify and analyse the impacts and dependencies on ecosystem services in the Reserve; ii to analyse the trends of the priority services, iii to identify the risks and opportunities associated with these services; iv to evaluate their value and ultimately iv to disseminate the results improving conservation and management. Based on the results to be obtained through the evaluation and maintenance of these services it is expected an improvement on the environment in the region and the development of efficient mechanisms for the management of resources. Started in February 2014, over the past 3 months much research has already been conducted, with emphasis for the identification of services and opportunities in the Reserve. Ecosystem services in Berlengas can range from simply providing essential goods or support (e.g. fish to cultural services (e.g. field trips, diving. Work is also being done to develop, define and optimize the methods to assess ecosystems services trends and values.

  20. Modeled hydrologic metrics show links between hydrology and the functional composition of stream assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Christopher J; Yuan, Lester L

    2017-07-01

    Flow alteration is widespread in streams, but current understanding of the effects of differences in flow characteristics on stream biological communities is incomplete. We tested hypotheses about the effect of variation in hydrology on stream communities by using generalized additive models to relate watershed information to the values of different flow metrics at gauged sites. Flow models accounted for 54-80% of the spatial variation in flow metric values among gauged sites. We then used these models to predict flow metrics in 842 ungauged stream sites in the mid-Atlantic United States that were sampled for fish, macroinvertebrates, and environmental covariates. Fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages were characterized in terms of a suite of metrics that quantified aspects of community composition, diversity, and functional traits that were expected to be associated with differences in flow characteristics. We related modeled flow metrics to biological metrics in a series of stressor-response models. Our analyses identified both drying and base flow instability as explaining 30-50% of the observed variability in fish and invertebrate community composition. Variations in community composition were related to variations in the prevalence of dispersal traits in invertebrates and trophic guilds in fish. The results demonstrate that we can use statistical models to predict hydrologic conditions at bioassessment sites, which, in turn, we can use to estimate relationships between flow conditions and biological characteristics. This analysis provides an approach to quantify the effects of spatial variation in flow metrics using readily available biomonitoring data. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  1. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  2. Re-introducing environmental change drivers in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R.; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J.; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J.; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly re-introducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next, we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to obtain mechanistic insight about how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function, and how biodiversity and function relate in food-webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed re-introduction, and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change. PMID:27742415

  3. Function assessment of coastal ecosystem based on phytoplankton community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haraguchi, Lumi

    2018-01-01

    on phytoplankton community structure; and 3) investigating the role of planktonic communities on the cycling of dissolved organic matter. Those objectives were addressed focusing the temperate mesohaline estuary of Roskilde Fjord (Denmark). Paper I, explores the use of Pulse-shape recording flow cytometry (PFCM...... as an energy reservoir, buffering changes in the nutrient supply. Finally, the results embedded in this thesis demonstrate the importance of integrating different time scales to understand functioning of phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton dynamics should not be regarded just in light of inorganic......This Ph.D. project aimed to improve the knowledge on phytoplankton community structure and its influence in the carbon transfer and nutrient cycling in coastal waters, by: 1) assessing the importance of phytoplankton

  4. On the Validity of the Streaming Model for the Redshift-Space Correlation Function in the Linear Regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Karl B.

    1995-08-01

    The relation between the galaxy correlation functions in real-space and redshift-space is derived in the linear regime by an appropriate averaging of the joint probability distribution of density and velocity. The derivation recovers the familiar linear theory result on large scales but has the advantage of clearly revealing the dependence of the redshift distortions on the underlying peculiar velocity field; streaming motions give rise to distortions of θ(Ω0.6/b) while variations in the anisotropic velocity dispersion yield terms of order θ(Ω1.2/b2). This probabilistic derivation of the redshift-space correlation function is similar in spirit to the derivation of the commonly used "streaming" model, in which the distortions are given by a convolution of the real-space correlation function with a velocity distribution function. The streaming model is often used to model the redshift-space correlation function on small, highly nonlinear, scales. There have been claims in the literature, however, that the streaming model is not valid in the linear regime. Our analysis confirms this claim, but we show that the streaming model can be made consistent with linear theory provided that the model for the streaming has the functional form predicted by linear theory and that the velocity distribution is chosen to be a Gaussian with the correct linear theory dispersion.

  5. Validation of the stream function method used for reconstruction of experimental ionospheric convection patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.L. Israelevich

    Full Text Available In this study we test a stream function method suggested by Israelevich and Ershkovich for instantaneous reconstruction of global, high-latitude ionospheric convection patterns from a limited set of experimental observations, namely, from the electric field or ion drift velocity vector measurements taken along two polar satellite orbits only. These two satellite passes subdivide the polar cap into several adjacent areas. Measured electric fields or ion drifts can be considered as boundary conditions (together with the zero electric potential condition at the low-latitude boundary for those areas, and the entire ionospheric convection pattern can be reconstructed as a solution of the boundary value problem for the stream function without any preliminary information on ionospheric conductivities. In order to validate the stream function method, we utilized the IZMIRAN electrodynamic model (IZMEM recently calibrated by the DMSP ionospheric electrostatic potential observations. For the sake of simplicity, we took the modeled electric fields along the noon-midnight and dawn-dusk meridians as the boundary conditions. Then, the solution(s of the boundary value problem (i.e., a reconstructed potential distribution over the entire polar region is compared with the original IZMEM/DMSP electric potential distribution(s, as well as with the various cross cuts of the polar cap. It is found that reconstructed convection patterns are in good agreement with the original modelled patterns in both the northern and southern polar caps. The analysis is carried out for the winter and summer conditions, as well as for a number of configurations of the interplanetary magnetic field.

    Key words: Ionosphere (electric fields and currents; plasma convection; modelling and forecasting

  6. INTERIM RESULTS FROM A STUDY OF THE IMPACTS OF TIN(II) BASED MERCURY TREATMENT IN A SMALL STREAM ECOSYSTEM: TIMS BRANCH, SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Looney, B.; Bryan, L.; Mathews, T.

    2012-03-30

    source control measures have resulted in rapid responses in lake or reservoir fisheries (Joslin 1994, Turner and Southworth 1999; Orihel et al., 2007), but examples of similar responses in Hg-contaminated stream ecosystems are less common. Recent work suggests that stream systems may actually be more susceptible to mercury bioaccumulation than lakes, highlighting the need to better understand the ecological drivers of mercury bioaccumulation in stream-dwelling fish (Chasar et al. 2009, Ward et al. 2010). In the present study we examine the response of fish to remedial actions in Tims Branch, a point-source contaminated stream on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. This second order stream received inorganic mercury inputs at its headwaters from the 1950s-2000s which contaminated the water, sediments, and biota downstream. In 2007, an innovative mercury removal system using tin (II) chloride (stannous chloride, SnCl{sub 2}) was implemented at a pre-existing air stripper. Tin(II) reduces dissolved Hg (II) to Hg (0), which is removed by the air stripper. During this process, tin(II) is oxidized to tin (IV) which is expected to precipitate as colloidal tin(IV) oxides and hydroxides, particulate materials with relatively low toxicity (Hallas and Cooney, 1981, EPA 2002, ATSDR, 2005). The objectives of the present research are to provide an initial assessment of the net impacts of the tin(II) based mercury treatment on key biota and to document the distribution and fate of inorganic tin in this small stream ecosystem after the first several years of operating a full scale system. To support these objectives, we collected fish, sediment, water, invertebrates, and biofilm samples from Tims Branch to quantify the general behavior and accumulation patterns for mercury and tin in the ecosystem and to determine if the treatment process has resulted in: (1) a measurable beneficial impact on (i.e., decrease of) mercury concentration in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Environmental and Human Controls of Ecosystem Functional Diversity in Temperate South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domingo Alcaraz-Segura

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The regional controls of biodiversity patterns have been traditionally evaluated using structural and compositional components at the species level, but evaluation of the functional component at the ecosystem level is still scarce. During the last decades, the role of ecosystem functioning in management and conservation has increased. Our aim was to use satellite-derived Ecosystem Functional Types (EFTs, patches of the land-surface with similar carbon gain dynamics to characterize the regional patterns of ecosystem functional diversity and to evaluate the environmental and human controls that determine EFT richness across natural and human-modified systems in temperate South America. The EFT identification was based on three descriptors of carbon gain dynamics derived from seasonal curves of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI: annual mean (surrogate of primary production, seasonal coefficient of variation (indicator of seasonality and date of maximum EVI (descriptor of phenology. As observed for species richness in the southern hemisphere, water availability, not energy, emerged as the main climatic driver of EFT richness in natural areas of temperate South America. In anthropogenic areas, the role of both water and energy decreased and increasing human intervention increased richness at low levels of human influence, but decreased richness at high levels of human influence.

  9. Global Human Footprint on the Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in Reef Fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, Camilo; Aburto-Oropeza, Octavio; Ayala Bocos, Arturo; Ayotte, Paula M.; Banks, Stuart; Bauman, Andrew G.; Beger, Maria; Bessudo, Sandra; Booth, David J.; Brokovich, Eran; Brooks, Andrew; Chabanet, Pascale; Cinner, Joshua E.; Cortés, Jorge; Cruz-Motta, Juan J.; Cupul Magaña, Amilcar; DeMartini, Edward E.; Edgar, Graham J.; Feary, David A.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Gaston, Kevin J.; Gough, Charlotte; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Green, Alison; Guzman, Hector; Hardt, Marah; Kulbicki, Michel; Letourneur, Yves; López Pérez, Andres; Loreau, Michel; Loya, Yossi; Martinez, Camilo; Mascareñas-Osorio, Ismael; Morove, Tau; Nadon, Marc-Olivier; Nakamura, Yohei; Paredes, Gustavo; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Reyes Bonilla, Héctor; Rivera, Fernando; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Soler, German; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Tessier, Emmanuel; Tittensor, Derek P.; Tupper, Mark; Usseglio, Paolo; Vigliola, Laurent; Wantiez, Laurent; Williams, Ivor; Wilson, Shaun K.; Zapata, Fernando A.

    2011-01-01

    Difficulties in scaling up theoretical and experimental results have raised controversy over the consequences of biodiversity loss for the functioning of natural ecosystems. Using a global survey of reef fish assemblages, we show that in contrast to previous theoretical and experimental studies, ecosystem functioning (as measured by standing biomass) scales in a non-saturating manner with biodiversity (as measured by species and functional richness) in this ecosystem. Our field study also shows a significant and negative interaction between human population density and biodiversity on ecosystem functioning (i.e., for the same human density there were larger reductions in standing biomass at more diverse reefs). Human effects were found to be related to fishing, coastal development, and land use stressors, and currently affect over 75% of the world's coral reefs. Our results indicate that the consequences of biodiversity loss in coral reefs have been considerably underestimated based on existing knowledge and that reef fish assemblages, particularly the most diverse, are greatly vulnerable to the expansion and intensity of anthropogenic stressors in coastal areas. PMID:21483714

  10. Impact of soil moisture deficit on ecosystem function across the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan Moran; Morgan Ross; Mallory Burns

    2016-01-01

    The cumulative effect of recent prolonged warm drought on regional ecosystem function is still uncertain. Large regions of the United States are experiencing new hydroclimatic conditions with extreme variability in climate drivers such as total precipitation, precipitation patterns (e.g., storm size, intensity and frequency), and seasonal temperatures.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Approximate Stream Function wavemaker theory for highly non-linear waves in wave flumes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, H.W.; Schäffer, Hemming Andreas

    2007-01-01

    An approximate Stream Function wavemaker theory for highly non-linear regular waves in flumes is presented. This theory is based on an ad hoe unified wave-generation method that combines linear fully dispersive wavemaker theory and wave generation for non-linear shallow water waves. This is done...... by applying a dispersion correction to the paddle position obtained for non-linear long waves. The method is validated by a number of wave flume experiments while comparing with results of linear wavemaker theory, second-order wavemaker theory and Cnoidal wavemaker theory within its range of application....

  13. Effects of declining oak vitality on ecosystem functions: Lessons from a Spanish oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Sánchez, Aida; Bareth, Georg; Bolten, Andreas; Linstädter, Anja

    2017-04-01

    Mediterranean oak woodlands have a great ecological and socio-economic importance. Today, these fragile ecosystems are facing unprecedented degradation threats from Novel Oak Diseases (NODs). Among NOD drivers, maladapted land management practices and climate change are most important. Although it is generally believed that NOD-related declines in tree vitality will have detrimental effects on ecosystem functions, little is known on the magnitude of change, and whether different functions are affected in a similar way. Here we analyzed effects of tree vitality on various ecosystem functions, comparing subcanopy and intercanopy habitats across two oak species (Quercus ilex and Q. suber) in a Spanish oak woodland. We asked how functions - including aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), taxonomic diversity, and litter decomposition rates - were affected by oak trees' size and vitality. We also combined measurements in the ecosystem function habitat index (MEFHI), a proxy of ecosystem multifunctionality. Field research was carried out in 2016 on a dehesa in southern Spain. We used a stratified random sampling to contrast trees of different species affiliation, size and vitality. Tree vitality was estimated as crown density (assessed via hemispherical photography), and as tree vigor, which combines the grade of canopy defoliation with proxies for tree size (dbh, height, crown height and crown radius). For each tree (n = 34), two plots (50 x 50 cm) were located; one in the subcanopy habitat, and the other in the intercanopy area beyond the tree crown's influence. On all 68 plots, moveable cages were placed during the main growth period (March to May) to estimate ANPP under grazed conditions. Litter decomposition rates were assessed via the tea bag index. ANPP and the biomass of grasses, forbs and legumes were recorded via destructive sampling. To take plots' highly variable environmental conditions into account, we recorded a suite of abiotic and biotic

  14. Thinking beyond the Bioreactor Box: Incorporating Stream Ecology into Edge-of-Field Nitrate Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goeller, Brandon C; Febria, Catherine M; Harding, Jon S; McIntosh, Angus R

    2016-05-01

    Around the world, artificially drained agricultural lands are significant sources of reactive nitrogen to stream ecosystems, creating substantial stream health problems. One management strategy is the deployment of denitrification enhancement tools. Here, we evaluate the factors affecting the potential of denitrifying bioreactors to improve stream health and ecosystem services. The performance of bioreactors and the structure and functioning of stream biotic communities are linked by environmental parameters like dissolved oxygen and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations, dissolved organic carbon availability, flow and temperature regimes, and fine sediment accumulations. However, evidence of bioreactors' ability to improve waterway health and ecosystem services is lacking. To improve the potential of bioreactors to enhance desirable stream ecosystem functioning, future assessments of field-scale bioreactors should evaluate the influences of bioreactor performance on ecological indicators such as primary production, organic matter processing, stream metabolism, and invertebrate and fish assemblage structure and function. These stream health impact assessments should be conducted at ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Bioreactors have great potential to make significant contributions to improving water quality, stream health, and ecosystem services if they are tailored to site-specific conditions and implemented strategically with land-based and stream-based mitigation tools within watersheds. This will involve combining economic, logistical, and ecological information in their implementation. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  15. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on tallgrass prairie ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native tallgrass prairie. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200% interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ~40% variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52% of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual season rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15%, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40% in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased soil temperature at 5 cm depth, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in

  16. Body condition, diet and ecosystem function of red deer (Cervus elaphus in a fenced nature reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Fløjgaard

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Body condition, as a sign of animal welfare, is of management concern in rewilding projects where fenced animals are subject to winter starvation, which may conflict with animal welfare legislation. Investigating the relationship between body condition, age, sex, diet quality and diet composition is therefore relevant to increase understanding of herbivores' ecosystem function and to inform management. In this study, we focused on red deer, Cervus elaphus, in a fenced nature reserve in Denmark, where the deer are managed as ecosystem engineers to contribute to biodiversity conservation. We measured body mass and body size of 91 culled red deer, and determined diet composition using DNA metabarcoding and diet quality using fecal nitrogen on 246 fecal samples. We found that body condition was predicted by age and diet composition, but not diet quality. We also found that individuals of different body condition had different diets, i.e., the fecal samples of red deer in poorer body condition contained significantly more Ericaceae sequences than red deer in good body condition. This may imply that certain functions of red deer in ecosystems, such as regeneration of heather by grazing, may depend on variation in body condition within the population. Our findings call for the need to consider the consequences of management practices, including culling or supplemental feeding, on the outcomes of habitat restoration, and more broadly underline the importance of preserving the overall breath of herbivore ecosystem functions for effective biodiversity conservation.

  17. Faunal impact on vegetation structure and ecosystem function in mangrove forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cannicci, S.; Burrows, Damien; Fratini, Sara

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic...... processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon...... to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about...

  18. Faunal impact on vegetation structure and ecosystem function in mangrove forests: A review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cannicci, S.; Burows, D.; Fratini, S.

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic...... processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon...... to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about...

  19. Global biogeographical pattern of ecosystem functional types derived from earth observation data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivits, Eva; Cherlet, Michael; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F

    2013-01-01

    correspondence of the EFTs to global climate and also to land use classification. The results show the great potential of Earth Observation derived parameters for the quantification of ecosystem functional dynamics and for providing reference status information for future assessments of ecosystem changes........ The association of the EFTs with existing climate and land cover classifications was demonstrated via Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). The ordination indicated good description of the global environmental gradient by the EFTs, supporting the understanding of phenological and productivity dynamics...... of global ecosystems. Climatic constraints of vegetation growth explained 50% of variation in the phenological data along the EFTs showing that part of the variation in the global phenological gradient is not climate related but is unique to the Earth Observation derived variables. DCA demonstrated good...

  20. Exploring the Red Sea seasonal ecosystem functioning using a three-dimensional biophysical model

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafyllou, G.; Yao, F.; Petihakis, G.; Tsiaras, K. P.; Raitsos, D. E.; Hoteit, Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    The Red Sea exhibits complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical dynamics, which vary both in time and space. These dynamics have been explored through the development and application of a 3-D ecosystem model. The simulation system comprises two off-line coupled submodels: the MIT General Circulation Model (MITgcm) and the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), both adapted for the Red Sea. The results from an annual simulation under climatological forcing are presented. Simulation results are in good agreement with satellite and in situ data illustrating the role of the physical processes in determining the evolution and variability of the Red Sea ecosystem. The model was able to reproduce the main features of the Red Sea ecosystem functioning, including the exchange with the Gulf of Aden, which is a major driving mechanism for the whole Red Sea ecosystem and the winter overturning taking place in the north. Some model limitations, mainly related to the dynamics of the extended reef system located in the southern part of the Red Sea, which is not currently represented in the model, still need to be addressed.

  1. Exploring the Red Sea seasonal ecosystem functioning using a three-dimensional biophysical model

    KAUST Repository

    Triantafyllou, G.

    2014-03-01

    The Red Sea exhibits complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical dynamics, which vary both in time and space. These dynamics have been explored through the development and application of a 3-D ecosystem model. The simulation system comprises two off-line coupled submodels: the MIT General Circulation Model (MITgcm) and the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), both adapted for the Red Sea. The results from an annual simulation under climatological forcing are presented. Simulation results are in good agreement with satellite and in situ data illustrating the role of the physical processes in determining the evolution and variability of the Red Sea ecosystem. The model was able to reproduce the main features of the Red Sea ecosystem functioning, including the exchange with the Gulf of Aden, which is a major driving mechanism for the whole Red Sea ecosystem and the winter overturning taking place in the north. Some model limitations, mainly related to the dynamics of the extended reef system located in the southern part of the Red Sea, which is not currently represented in the model, still need to be addressed.

  2. Consequences of tropical land use for multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Andrew D; Jochum, Malte; Mumme, Steffen; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Farajallah, Achmad; Widarto, Tri Heru; Brose, Ulrich

    2014-10-28

    Our knowledge about land-use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is mostly limited to single trophic levels, leaving us uncertain about whole-community biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. We analyse consequences of the globally important land-use transformation from tropical forests to oil palm plantations. Species diversity, density and biomass of invertebrate communities suffer at least 45% decreases from rainforest to oil palm. Combining metabolic and food-web theory, we calculate annual energy fluxes to model impacts of land-use intensification on multitrophic ecosystem functioning. We demonstrate a 51% reduction in energy fluxes from forest to oil palm communities. Species loss clearly explains variation in energy fluxes; however, this relationship depends on land-use systems and functional feeding guilds, whereby predators are the most heavily affected. Biodiversity decline from forest to oil palm is thus accompanied by even stronger reductions in functionality, threatening to severely limit the functional resilience of communities to cope with future global changes.

  3. Interim Results from a Study of the Impacts of Tin (II) Based Mercury Treatment in a Small Stream Ecosystem: Tims Branch, Savannah River Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Looney, Brian [Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL); BryanJr., Larry [Savannah River Ecology Laboratory; Mathews, Teresa J [ORNL; Peterson, Mark J [ORNL; Roy, W Kelly [ORNL; Jett, Robert T [ORNL; Smith, John G [ORNL

    2012-03-01

    A research team is assessing the impacts of an innovative mercury treatment system in Tims Branch, a small southeastern stream. The treatment system, installed in 2007, reduces and removes inorganic mercury from water using tin(II) (stannous) chloride addition followed by air stripping. The system results in discharge of inorganic tin to the ecosystem. This screening study is based on historical information combined with measurements of contaminant concentrations in water, fish, sediment, biofilms and invertebrates. Initial mercury data indicate that first few years of mercury treatment resulted in a significant decrease in mercury concentration in an upper trophic level fish, redfin pickerel, at all sampling locations in the impacted reach. For example, the whole body mercury concentration in redfin pickerel collected from the most impacted pond decreased approximately 72% between 2006 (pre-treatment) and 2010 (post-treatment). Over this same period, mercury concentrations in the fillet of redfin pickerel in this pond were estimated to have decreased from approximately 1.45 {micro}g/g (wet weight basis) to 0.45 {micro}g/g - a decrease from 4.8x to 1.5x the current EPA guideline concentration for mercury in fillet (0.3 {micro}g/g). Thermodynamic modeling, scanning electron microscopy, and other sampling data for tin suggest that particulate tin (IV) oxides are a significant geochemical species entering the ecosystem with elevated levels of tin measured in surficial sediments and biofilms. Detectable increases in tin in sediments and biofilms extended approximately 3km from the discharge location. Tin oxides are recalcitrant solids that are relatively non-toxic and resistant to dissolution. Work continues to develop and validate methods to analyze total tin in the collected biota samples. In general, the interim results of this screening study suggest that the treatment process has performed as predicted and that the concentration of mercury in upper trophic level

  4. Diurnal pH variations of a Glacial Stream: a starting point for Inquiry-driven student and teacher Investigations of a Glacial Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, W. P.; Galbraith, J.; Fatland, D. R.; Heavner, M.

    2009-12-01

    Contemporary geoscience research often operates in a mode that generates huge repositories of data available on the internet to the scientific community and the general public. The SEAMONSTER (SM) online data browser of both archival and real-time data is an example of such a dynamic online ecosystem resource associated with the Juneau Icefield. Although newly developed database navigation tools and geobrowsers make it easy for non-experts to access data of interest, it nonetheless can be daunting to K-16 educators to fashion lesson plans that make effective use of these rich resources. In the following scenario, a student and associated teacher, operating outside the traditional didactic lecture/demo mode, explore and try to make sense of a tiny portion of SM data in a spirit of inquiry guided by curiosity, looking for features that catch their attention as they skim through interactive time-series graphs (96 samples/day) of data from Lemon Creek (which drains Lemon Glacier) for stream hydrological variables (temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, discharge) and associated meteorological variables (precipitation, humidity, temperature). Amidst all the complex fluctuations that follow no immediately apparent pattern, one regular and continuous feature does stand out: a seemingly sinusoidal diurnal variation in pH of about 0.1 that peaks daily at noon. This high-frequency signal is superimposed on a slower signal characterized by multiple-day trends and larger fluctuations in pH. The resulting composite signal with its easily identifiable patterns is an ideal candidate for investigating Fourier signal decomposition. They hypothesize that photosynthesis could be a contributing factor to the diurnal signal and then design and run an experiment modeling bioactive streamwater with a blended chloroplast-rich slurry of fresh spinach leaves (spinach soup). They put a recording pH meter in the spinach soup and expose it to high and low levels of light

  5. Changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function during the restoration of a tropical forest in south China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REN Hai; LI ZhiAn; SHEN WeiJun; YU ZuoYue; PENG ShaoLin; LIAO ChongHui; DING MingMao; WU JianGuo

    2007-01-01

    Tropical forests continue to vanish rapidly, but few long-term studies have ever examined if and how the lost forests can be restored. Based on a 45-year restoration study in south China, we found that a tropical rain forest, once completely destroyed, could not recover naturally without deliberate restoration efforts. We identified two kinds of thresholds that must be overcome with human ameliorative measures before the ecosystem was able to recover. The first threshold was imposed primarily by extreme physical conditions such as exceedingly high surface temperature and impoverished soil, while the second was characterized by a critical level of biodiversity and a landscape context that accommodates dispersal and colonization processes. Our three treatment catchments (un-restored barren land, single-species plantation, and mixed-forest stand) exhibited dramatically different changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning over 4 decades. The mixed forest, having the highest level of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, possesses several major properties of tropical rain forest.These findings may have important implications for the restoration of many severely degraded or lost tropical forest ecosystems.

  6. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  7. Stream Insect Production as a Function of Alkalinity and Detritus Processing

    OpenAIRE

    Osborn, Thomas G.

    1981-01-01

    The study was conducted to determine if aquatic insect production was significantly different between high and low alkalinity mountain streams and if any differences were associated with food availability factors. The major objectives included determining: (1) if annual production differences occur between high and low alkalinity streams; (2) if processing rates of terrestrial detritus differs between high and low alkalinity streams; (3) if detrital processing rates are related to stream inse...

  8. Predicting Early Reading Skills from Pre-Reading Measures of Dorsal Stream Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevan, Alison; Pammer, Kristen

    2009-01-01

    It is well documented that good reading skills may be dependent upon adequate dorsal stream processing. However, the degree to which dorsal stream deficits play a causal role in reading failure has not been established. This study used coherent motion and visual frequency doubling to examine whether dorsal stream sensitivity measured before the…

  9. Too big or too narrow? Disturbance characteristics determine the functional resilience in virtual microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Firle, Anouk-Letizia; Koehnke, Merlin; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2017-04-01

    In general ecology, there is an ongoing debate about the influence of fragmentation on extinction thresholds. Whether this influence is positive or negative depends on the considered type of fragmentation: whereas habitat fragmentation often has a negative influence on population extinction thresholds, spatially fragmented disturbances are observed to have mostly positive effects on the extinction probability. Besides preventing population extinction, in soil systems ecology we are interested in analyzing how ecosystem functions are maintained despite disturbance events. Here, we analyzed the influence of disturbance size and fragmentation on the functional resilience of a microbial soil ecosystem. As soil is a highly heterogeneous environment exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations, the identification of critical disturbance characteristics for maintaining its functions is crucial. We used the numerical simulation model eColony considering bacterial growth, degradation and dispersal for analyzing the dynamic response of biodegradation examplary for an important microbial ecosystem service to disturbance events of different spatial configurations. We systematically varied the size and the degree of fragmentation of the affected area (disturbance pattern). We found that the influence of the disturbance size on functional recovery and biodegradation performance highly depends on the spatial fragmentation of the disturbance. Generally, biodegradation performance decreases with increasing clumpedness and increasing size of the affected area. After spatially correlated disturbance events, biodegradation performance decreases linear with increasing disturbance size. After spatially fragmented disturbance events, on the other hand, an increase in disturbance size has no influence on the biodegradation performance until a critical disturbance size is reached. Is the affected area bigger than this critical size, the functional performance decreases

  10. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J. A.

    2017-01-01

    and function is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures, however there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling...... processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study, and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic......Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure...

  11. Drought effects on ecosystem functioning and interactions with CO2 and warming - results from CLIMAITE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beier, Claus; Ibrom, Andreas; Linden, Leon G.; Selsted, Merete B.; Albert, Kristian R.; Kongstad, Jane; Andresen, Louise C.

    2010-05-01

    Current predictions indicate that, unless greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curtailed, atmospheric CO2 concentrations will double during the present century inducing an additional 1.4 to 5.8oC increase in mean global temperature, alterations in global and regional precipitation patterns, and increase the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events (e.g. droughts and floods). Such changes will have strong effects on the terrestrial ecosystems as CO2, temperature and water are main drivers in ecosystem processes. There is growing concern that climate driven changes in precipitation patterns and water availability will have significant effects on ecosystem processes and functioning, and in some regions may be the most influential climate change factor. Yet, it has received much less attention in recent climate change research relative to elevated CO2 and temperature. Furthermore, most precipitation experiments have focussed on water alone despite the fact that at least CO2 and temperature will change simultaneously and both of these factors will have direct or indirect effects on water status and use in the ecosystem. In the CLIMAITE project a Danish heathland has been exposed since 2005 to elevated CO2, temperature and extended drought in a full factorial experiment (Mikkelsen et al., 2008). The CO2 concentration in the canopy level is elevated by 50% by the Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) technique, temperature is elevated by 1-2 °C by the passive night time warming technique and summer drought is extended for 4-6 weeks by rain out shelters. The full factor combination mimics recent climate projections for Denmark 2075. Following the experiments, responses of major ecosystem processes and functioning is recorded. Drought generally leads to hypothesised reductions in most ecosystem processes during and shortly after the drought but on the short term, many of these processes also show a strong potential to recover during rewetting. Drought reduces

  12. Mammalian engineers drive soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions across a disturbance gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, David J; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Woodhouse, Jason N; Neilan, Brett A

    2016-11-01

    The effects of mammalian ecosystem engineers on soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions in terrestrial ecosystems are poorly known. Disturbance from livestock has been widely reported to reduce soil function, but disturbance by animals that forage in the soil may partially offset these negative effects of livestock, directly and/or indirectly by shifting the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. Understanding the role of disturbance from livestock and ecosystem engineers in driving soil microbes and functions is essential for formulating sustainable ecosystem management and conservation policies. We compared soil bacterial community composition and enzyme concentrations within four microsites: foraging pits of two vertebrates, the indigenous short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the exotic European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and surface and subsurface soils along a gradient in grazing-induced disturbance in an arid woodland. Microbial community composition varied little across the disturbance gradient, but there were substantial differences among the four microsites. Echidna pits supported a lower relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Cyanobacteria, but a higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria than rabbit pits and surface microsites. Moreover, these microsite differences varied with disturbance. Rabbit pits had a similar profile to the subsoil or the surface soils under moderate and high, but not low disturbance. Overall, echidna foraging pits had the greatest positive effect on function, assessed as mean enzyme concentrations, but rabbits had the least. The positive effects of echidna foraging on function were indirectly driven via microbial community composition. In particular, increasing activity was positively associated with increasing relative abundance of Proteobacteria, but decreasing Acidobacteria. Our study suggests that soil disturbance by animals may offset, to some degree, the oft-reported negative

  13. Peatland Bryophytes in a Changing Environment : Ecophysiological Traits and Ecosystem Function

    OpenAIRE

    Granath, Gustaf

    2012-01-01

    Peatlands are peat forming ecosystems in which not fully decomposed plant material builds up the soil. The sequestration of carbon into peat is mainly associated with the bryophyte genus Sphagnum (peat mosses), which dominate and literally form most peatlands. The responses of Sphagnum to environmental change help us to understand peatland development and function and to predict future changes in a rapidly changing world. In this thesis, the overarching aim was to use ecophysiological traits ...

  14. Environmental Drivers of Benthic Flux Variation and Ecosystem Functioning in Salish Sea and Northeast Pacific Sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rénald Belley

    Full Text Available The upwelling of deep waters from the oxygen minimum zone in the Northeast Pacific from the continental slope to the shelf and into the Salish Sea during spring and summer offers a unique opportunity to study ecosystem functioning in the form of benthic fluxes along natural gradients. Using the ROV ROPOS we collected sediment cores from 10 sites in May and July 2011, and September 2013 to perform shipboard incubations and flux measurements. Specifically, we measured benthic fluxes of oxygen and nutrients to evaluate potential environmental drivers of benthic flux variation and ecosystem functioning along natural gradients of temperature and bottom water dissolved oxygen concentrations. The range of temperature and dissolved oxygen encountered across our study sites allowed us to apply a suite of multivariate analyses rarely used in flux studies to identify bottom water temperature as the primary environmental driver of benthic flux variation and organic matter remineralization. Redundancy analysis revealed that bottom water characteristics (temperature and dissolved oxygen, quality of organic matter (chl a:phaeo and C:N ratios and sediment characteristics (mean grain size and porosity explained 51.5% of benthic flux variation. Multivariate analyses identified significant spatial and temporal variation in benthic fluxes, demonstrating key differences between the Northeast Pacific and Salish Sea. Moreover, Northeast Pacific slope fluxes were generally lower than shelf fluxes. Spatial and temporal variation in benthic fluxes in the Salish Sea were driven primarily by differences in temperature and quality of organic matter on the seafloor following phytoplankton blooms. These results demonstrate the utility of multivariate approaches in differentiating among potential drivers of seafloor ecosystem functioning, and indicate that current and future predictive models of organic matter remineralization and ecosystem functioning of soft-muddy shelf and

  15. Linking urbanization to the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) for stream ecosystems in the Northeastern United States using a Bayesian network approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashuba, Roxolana; McMahon, Gerard; Cuffney, Thomas F.; Qian, Song; Reckhow, Kenneth; Gerritsen, Jeroen; Davies, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Urban development alters important physical, chemical, and biological processes that define urban stream ecosystems. An approach was developed for quantifying the effects of these processes on aquatic biota, and then linking those effects to endpoints that can be used for environmental management. These complex, interacting systems are challenging to model from a scientific standpoint. A desirable model clearly shows the system, simulates the interactions, and ultimately predicts results of management actions. Traditional regression techniques that calculate empirical relations between pairs of environmental factors do not capture the interconnected web of multiple stressors, but urban development effects are not yet understood at the detailed scales required to make mechanistic modeling approaches feasible. Therefore, in contrast to a fully deterministic or fully statistical modeling approach, a Bayesian network model provides a hybrid approach that can be used to represent known general associations between variables while acknowledging uncertainty in predicted outcomes. It does so by quantifying an expert-elicited network of probabilistic relations between variables. Advantages of this modeling approach include (1) flexibility in accommodating many model specifications and information types; (2) efficiency in storing and manipulating complex information, and to parameterize; and (3) transparency in describing the relations using nodes and arrows and in describing uncertainties with discrete probability distributions for each variable.

  16. Remote sensing of Essential Biodiversity Variables: new measurements linking ecosystem structure, function and composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schimel, D.; Pavlick, R.; Stavros, E. N.; Townsend, P. A.; Ustin, S.; Thompson, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Remote sensing can inform a wide variety of essential biodiversity variables, including measurements that define primary productivity, forest structure, biome distribution, plant communities, land use-land cover change and climate drivers of change. Emerging remote sensing technologies can add significantly to remote sensing of EBVs, providing new, large scale insights on plant and habitat diversity itself, as well as causes and consequences of biodiversity change. All current biodiversity assessments identify major data gaps, with insufficient coverage in critical regions, limited observations to monitor change over time, with very limited revisit of sample locations, as well as taxon-specific biased biases. Remote sensing cannot fill many of the gaps in global biodiversity observations, but spectroscopic measurements in terrestrial and marine environments can aid in assessing plant/phytoplankton functional diversity and efficiently reveal patterns in space, as well as changes over time, and, by making use of chlorophyll fluorescence, reveal associated patterns in photosynthesis. LIDAR and RADAR measurements quantify ecosystem structure, and can precisely define changes due to growth, disturbance and land use. Current satellite-based EBVs have taken advantage of the extraordinary time series from LANDSAT and MODIS, but new measurements more directly reveal ecosystem structure, function and composition. We will present results from pre-space airborne studies showing the synergistic ability of a suite of new remote observation techniques to quantify biodiversity and ecosystem function and show how it changes during major disturbance events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Tradeoffs between income, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning during tropical rainforest conversion and agroforestry intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kessler, Michael; Barkmann, Jan; Bos, Merijn M; Buchori, Damayanti; Erasmi, Stefan; Faust, Heiko; Gerold, Gerhard; Glenk, Klaus; Gradstein, S Robbert; Guhardja, Edi; Harteveld, Marieke; Hertel, Dietrich; Höhn, Patrick; Kappas, Martin; Köhler, Stefan; Leuschner, Christoph; Maertens, Miet; Marggraf, Rainer; Migge-Kleian, Sonja; Mogea, Johanis; Pitopang, Ramadhaniel; Schaefer, Matthias; Schwarze, Stefan; Sporn, Simone G; Steingrebe, Andrea; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri S; Tjitrosoemito, Soekisman; Twele, André; Weber, Robert; Woltmann, Lars; Zeller, Manfred; Tscharntke, Teja

    2007-03-20

    Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning due to rainforest destruction and agricultural intensification are prime concerns for science and society alike. Potentially, ecosystems show nonlinear responses to land-use intensification that would open management options with limited ecological losses but satisfying economic gains. However, multidisciplinary studies to quantify ecological losses and socioeconomic tradeoffs under different management options are rare. Here, we evaluate opposing land use strategies in cacao agroforestry in Sulawesi, Indonesia, by using data on species richness of nine plant and animal taxa, six related ecosystem functions, and on socioeconomic drivers of agroforestry expansion. Expansion of cacao cultivation by 230% in the last two decades was triggered not only by economic market mechanisms, but also by rarely considered cultural factors. Transformation from near-primary forest to agroforestry had little effect on overall species richness, but reduced plant biomass and carbon storage by approximately 75% and species richness of forest-using species by approximately 60%. In contrast, increased land use intensity in cacao agroforestry, coupled with a reduction in shade tree cover from 80% to 40%, caused only minor quantitative changes in biodiversity and maintained high levels of ecosystem functioning while doubling farmers' net income. However, unshaded systems further increased income by approximately 40%, implying that current economic incentives and cultural preferences for new intensification practices put shaded systems at risk. We conclude that low-shade agroforestry provides the best available compromise between economic forces and ecological needs. Certification schemes for shade-grown crops may provide a market-based mechanism to slow down current intensification trends.

  19. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J A; Tamelander, Tobias; Törnroos, Anna; Bonaglia, Stefano; Bonsdorff, Erik; Brüchert, Volker; Gårdmark, Anna; Järnström, Marie; Kotta, Jonne; Lindegren, Martin; Nordström, Marie C; Norkko, Alf; Olsson, Jens; Weigel, Benjamin; Žydelis, Ramunas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Niiranen, Susa; Winder, Monika

    2017-06-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems, and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure and function are strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures; however, there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic-pelagic coupling processes (e.g., nutrient exchange and sedimentation of organic material) are to some extent quantifiable, but the magnitude and variability of biological processes are rarely assessed, preventing quantitative comparisons. Changing oxygen conditions will continue to have widespread effects on the processes that govern inorganic and organic matter exchange among habitats while climate change and nutrient load reductions may have large effects on organic matter sedimentation. Many biological processes (predation, bioturbation) are expected to be sensitive to anthropogenic drivers, but the outcomes for ecosystem function are largely unknown. We emphasize how improved empirical and experimental understanding of benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their variability are necessary to inform models that can quantify the feedbacks among processes and ecosystem responses to a changing world. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; Conner, William H.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Hester, Mark W.; Zheng, Haochi

    2013-01-01

    In the late nineteenth century and twentieth century, there was considerable interest and activity to develop the United States for agricultural, mining, and many other purposes to improve the quality of human life standards and prosperity. Most of the work to support this development was focused along disciplinary lines with little attention focused on ecosystem service trade-offs or synergisms, especially those that transcended boundaries of scientific disciplines and specific interest groups. Concurrently, human population size has increased substantially and its use of ecosystem services has increased more than five-fold over just the past century. Consequently, the contemporary landscape has been highly modified for human use, leaving behind a fragmented landscape where basic ecosystem functions and processes have been broadly altered. Over this period, climate change also interacted with other anthropogenic effects, resulting in modern environmental problems having a complexity that is without historical precedent. The challenge before the scientific community is to develop new science paradigms that integrate relevant scientific disciplines to properly frame and evaluate modern environmental problems in a systems-type approach to better inform the decision-making process. Wetland science is a relatively new discipline that grew out of the conservation movement of the early twentieth century. In the United States, most of the conservation attention in the earlier days was on wildlife, but a growing human awareness of the importance of the environment led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969. Concurrently, there was a broadening interest in conservation science, and the scientific study of wetlands gradually gained acceptance as a scientific discipline. Pioneering wetland scientists became formally organized when they formed The Society of Wetland Scientists in 1980 and established a publication outlet to share wetland research

  1. Stream function method for computing steady rotational transonic flows with application to solar wind-type problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopriva, D.A.

    1982-01-01

    A numerical scheme has been developed to solve the quasilinear form of the transonic stream function equation. The method is applied to compute steady two-dimensional axisymmetric solar wind-type problems. A single, perfect, non-dissipative, homentropic and polytropic gas-dynamics is assumed. The four equations governing mass and momentum conservation are reduced to a single nonlinear second order partial differential equation for the stream function. Bernoulli's equation is used to obtain a nonlinear algebraic relation for the density in terms of stream function derivatives. The vorticity includes the effects of azimuthal rotation and Bernoulli's function and is determined from quantities specified on boundaries. The approach is efficient. The number of equations and independent variables has been reduced and a rapid relaxation technique developed for the transonic full potential equation is used. Second order accurate central differences are used in elliptic regions. In hyperbolic regions a dissipation term motivated by the rotated differencing scheme of Jameson is added for stability. A successive-line-overrelaxation technique also introduced by Jameson is used to solve the equations. The nonlinear equation for the density is a double valued function of the stream function derivatives. The velocities are extrapolated from upwind points to determine the proper branch and Newton's method is used to iteratively compute the density. This allows accurate solutions with few grid points

  2. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turetsky, M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Talbot, J. J.; Frolking, S.; McGuire, A.D.; Tuittila, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries – permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography – and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes.

  3. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-05

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide.

  4. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turetsky, M R; Bond-Lamberty, B; Euskirchen, E; Talbot, J; Frolking, S; McGuire, A D; Tuittila, E-S

    2012-10-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries - permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography - and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Interactive effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Aliny P F; Srivastava, Diane S; Marino, Nicholas A C; MacDonald, A Andrew M; Figueiredo-Barros, Marcos Paulo; Farjalla, Vinicius F

    2018-05-01

    Climate change and biodiversity loss are expected to simultaneously affect ecosystems, however research on how each driver mediates the effect of the other has been limited in scope. The multiple stressor framework emphasizes non-additive effects, but biodiversity may also buffer the effects of climate change, and climate change may alter which mechanisms underlie biodiversity-function relationships. Here, we performed an experiment using tank bromeliad ecosystems to test the various ways that rainfall changes and litter diversity may jointly determine ecological processes. Litter diversity and rainfall changes interactively affected multiple functions, but how depends on the process measured. High litter diversity buffered the effects of altered rainfall on detritivore communities, evidence of insurance against impacts of climate change. Altered rainfall affected the mechanisms by which litter diversity influenced decomposition, reducing the importance of complementary attributes of species (complementarity effects), and resulting in an increasing dependence on the maintenance of specific species (dominance effects). Finally, altered rainfall conditions prevented litter diversity from fueling methanogenesis, because such changes in rainfall reduced microbial activity by 58%. Together, these results demonstrate that the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on ecosystems cannot be understood in isolation and interactions between these stressors can be multifaceted. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Diversity-interaction modeling: estimating contributions of species identities and interactions to ecosystem function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirwan, L; Connolly, J; Finn, J A

    2009-01-01

    to the roles of evenness, functional groups, and functional redundancy. These more parsimonious descriptions can be especially useful in identifying general diversity-function relationships in communities with large numbers of species. We provide an example of the application of the modeling framework......We develop a modeling framework that estimates the effects of species identity and diversity on ecosystem function and permits prediction of the diversity-function relationship across different types of community composition. Rather than just measure an overall effect of diversity, we separately....... These models describe community-level performance and thus do not require separate measurement of the performance of individual species. This flexible modeling approach can be tailored to test many hypotheses in biodiversity research and can suggest the interaction mechanisms that may be acting....

  7. Diversity and Function of Microbial Community in Chinese Strong-Flavor Baijiu Ecosystem: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Strong flavor baijiu (SFB, also called Luzhou-flavor liquor, is the most popular Chinese baijiu. It is manufactured via solid fermentation, with daqu as the starter. Microbial diversity of the SFB ecosystem and the synergistic effects of the enzymes and compounds produced by them are responsible for the special flavor and mouthfeel of SFB. The present review covers research studies focused on microbial community analysis of the SFB ecosystem, including the culturable microorganisms, their metabolic functions, microbial community diversity and their interactions. The review specifically emphasizes on the most recently conducted culture-independent analysis of SFB microbial community diversity. Furthermore, the possible application of systems biology approaches for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of SFB production were also reviewed and prospected.

  8. Integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks to advance the understanding of ecosystem function in heterogeneous landscapes: An analysis on the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haile; Chen, Jiakuan

    2018-01-01

    The successful integration of ecosystem ecology with landscape ecology would be conducive to understanding how landscapes function. There have been several attempts at this, with two main approaches: (1) an ecosystem-based approach, such as the meta-ecosystem framework and (2) a landscape-based approach, such as the landscape system framework. These two frameworks are currently disconnected. To integrate these two frameworks, we introduce a protocol, and then demonstrate application of the protocol using a case study. The protocol includes four steps: 1) delineating landscape systems; 2) classifying landscape systems; 3) adjusting landscape systems to meta-ecosystems and 4) integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks through meta-ecosystems. The case study is the analyzing of the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan using this protocol. The application of this protocol revealed that one could follow this protocol to construct a meta-ecosystem and analyze it using the integrative framework of landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks. That is, one could (1) appropriately describe and analyze the spatial heterogeneity of the meta-ecosystem; (2) understand the emergent properties arising from spatial coupling of local ecosystems in the meta-ecosystem. In conclusion, this protocol is a useful approach for integrating the meta-ecosystem framework and the landscape system framework, which advances the describing and analyzing of the spatial heterogeneity and ecosystem function of interconnected ecosystems.

  9. Effects of watershed history on dissolved organic matter characteristics in headwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youhei Yamashita; Brian D. Kloeppel; Jennifer Knoepp; Gregory L. Zausen; Rudolf Jaffe'

    2011-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is recognized as a major component in the global carbon cycle and is an important driver in aquatic ecosystem function. Climate, land use, and forest cover changes all impact stream DOM and alter biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial environments. We determined the temporal variation in DOM quantity and quality in headwater streams at a...

  10. Stream temperature monitoring and modeling: Recent advances and new tools for managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Isaak

    2011-01-01

    Stream thermal regimes are important within regulatory contexts, strongly affect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems, and are a primary determinant of habitat suitability for many sensitive species. The diverse landscapes and topographies inherent to National Forests and Grasslands create mosaics of stream thermal conditions that are intermingled with strong...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  12. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reef habitats, seagrass beds and mangroves provide important goods and services both individually and through functional linkages. A range of anthropogenic factors are threatening the ecological and economic importance of these habitats and it is vital to understand how ecosystem processes vary across seascapes. A greater understanding of processes will facilitate further insight into the effects of disturbances and assist with assessing management options. Despite the need to study processes across whole seascapes, few spatially explicit ecosystem-scale assessments exist. We review the empirical literature to examine the role of different habitat types for a range of processes. The importance of each of 10 generic habitats to each process is defined as its "functional value" (none, low, medium or high), quantitatively derived from published data wherever possible and summarised in a single figure. This summary represents the first time the importance of habitats across an entire Caribbean seascape has been assessed for a range of processes. Furthermore, we review the susceptibility of each habitat to disturbances to investigate spatial patterns that might affect functional values. Habitat types are considered at the scale discriminated by remotely-sensed imagery and we envisage that functional values can be combined with habitat maps to provide spatially explicit information on processes across ecosystems. We provide examples of mapping the functional values of habitats for populations of three commercially important species. The resulting data layers were then used to generate seascape-scale assessments of "hot spots" of functional value that might be considered priorities for conservation. We also provide an example of how the literature reviewed here can be used to parameterise a habitat-specific model investigating reef resilience under different scenarios of herbivory. Finally, we use multidimensional scaling to provide a basic analysis of the

  13. The importance of biodiversity and dominance for multiple ecosystem functions in a human-modified tropical landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.; Bongers, F.; Martinez-Ramos, M.; Poorter, L.

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest that biodiversity may be particularly important for ecosystem multifunctionality, because different species with different traits can contribute to different functions. Support, however, comes mostly from experimental studies conducted at small spatial scales in low-diversity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

    the carbon cycle. Therefore, to analyze NEE of any glacier forefield ecosystem, different functional traits of the vegetation communities must be taken into consideration. Moreover, to assess the net ecosystem carbon balance it is necessary to consider the lateral fluxes of carbon via animal consumption, winter respiration, and in a broader temporal perspective, the different stages characterizing the primary succession.

  15. Functional redundancy and sensitivity of fish assemblages in European rivers, lakes and estuarine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Nils; Lepage, Mario; Sagouis, Alban; Borja, Angel; Chust, Guillem; Ferreira, Maria Teresa; Pasquaud, Stéphanie; Schinegger, Rafaela; Segurado, Pedro; Argillier, Christine

    2017-12-14

    The impact of species loss on ecosystems functioning depends on the amount of trait similarity between species, i.e. functional redundancy, but it is also influenced by the order in which species are lost. Here we investigated redundancy and sensitivity patterns across fish assemblages in lakes, rivers and estuaries. Several scenarios of species extinction were simulated to determine whether the loss of vulnerable species (with high propensity of extinction when facing threats) causes a greater functional alteration than random extinction. Our results indicate that the functional redundancy tended to increase with species richness in lakes and rivers, but not in estuaries. We demonstrated that i) in the three systems, some combinations of functional traits are supported by non-redundant species, ii) rare species in rivers and estuaries support singular functions not shared by dominant species, iii) the loss of vulnerable species can induce greater functional alteration in rivers than in lakes and estuaries. Overall, the functional structure of fish assemblages in rivers is weakly buffered against species extinction because vulnerable species support singular functions. More specifically, a hotspot of functional sensitivity was highlighted in the Iberian Peninsula, which emphasizes the usefulness of quantitative criteria to determine conservation priorities.

  16. Impacts of multiple stressors on ecosystem function: Leaf decomposition in constructed urban wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackintosh, Teresa J; Davis, Jenny A; Thompson, Ross M

    2016-01-01

    The impact of stormwater on stream biota is well documented, but less is known about the impacts on ecosystem processes, such as the breakdown of organic matter. This study sought to establish whether the degree of urbanisation affected rates of leaf-litter breakdown within constructed wetlands. A litter bag method was used to ascertain rate of decomposition along a gradient of urbanisation (total imperviousness, TI), in constructed wetlands in western and south-eastern Melbourne. A significant positive relationship between TI and breakdown rate was found in the south-eastern wetlands. The significant reduction in rate of invertebrate-mediated breakdown with increasing concentration of certain metals was consistent with other studies. However, overall there was an increase in rate of breakdown. Studies have shown that the effects of heavy metals can be negated if nutrient levels are high. Our results suggest that other parameters besides exposure to contaminants are likely to affect leaf litter breakdown. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in long-term time series and palaeoecological records: deep sea as a test bed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Doi, Hideyuki; Wei, Chih-Lin; Danovaro, Roberto; Myhre, Sarah E

    2016-05-19

    The link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) over long temporal scales is poorly understood. Here, we investigate biological monitoring and palaeoecological records on decadal, centennial and millennial time scales from a BEF framework by using deep sea, soft-sediment environments as a test bed. Results generally show positive BEF relationships, in agreement with BEF studies based on present-day spatial analyses and short-term manipulative experiments. However, the deep-sea BEF relationship is much noisier across longer time scales compared with modern observational studies. We also demonstrate with palaeoecological time-series data that a larger species pool does not enhance ecosystem stability through time, whereas higher abundance as an indicator of higher ecosystem functioning may enhance ecosystem stability. These results suggest that BEF relationships are potentially time scale-dependent. Environmental impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning may be much stronger than biodiversity impacts on ecosystem functioning at long, decadal-millennial, time scales. Longer time scale perspectives, including palaeoecological and ecosystem monitoring data, are critical for predicting future BEF relationships on a rapidly changing planet. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Assimilation of Ocean-Color Plankton Functional Types to Improve Marine Ecosystem Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciavatta, S.; Brewin, R. J. W.; Skákala, J.; Polimene, L.; de Mora, L.; Artioli, Y.; Allen, J. I.

    2018-02-01

    We assimilated phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) derived from ocean color into a marine ecosystem model, to improve the simulation of biogeochemical indicators and emerging properties in a shelf sea. Error-characterized chlorophyll concentrations of four PFTs (diatoms, dinoflagellates, nanoplankton, and picoplankton), as well as total chlorophyll for comparison, were assimilated into a physical-biogeochemical model of the North East Atlantic, applying a localized Ensemble Kalman filter. The reanalysis simulations spanned the years 1998-2003. The skill of the reference and reanalysis simulations in estimating ocean color and in situ biogeochemical data were compared by using robust statistics. The reanalysis outperformed both the reference and the assimilation of total chlorophyll in estimating the ocean-color PFTs (except nanoplankton), as well as the not-assimilated total chlorophyll, leading the model to simulate better the plankton community structure. Crucially, the reanalysis improved the estimates of not-assimilated in situ data of PFTs, as well as of phosphate and pCO2, impacting the simulation of the air-sea carbon flux. However, the reanalysis increased further the model overestimation of nitrate, in spite of increases in plankton nitrate uptake. The method proposed here is easily adaptable for use with other ecosystem models that simulate PFTs, for, e.g., reanalysis of carbon fluxes in the global ocean and for operational forecasts of biogeochemical indicators in shelf-sea ecosystems.

  19. Effects of non-Maxwellian electron velocity distribution function on two-stream instability in low-pressure discharges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sydorenko, D.; Smolyakov, A.; Kaganovich, I.; Raitses, Y.

    2007-01-01

    Electron emission from discharge chamber walls is important for plasma maintenance in many low-pressure discharges. The electrons emitted from the walls are accelerated by the sheath electric field and are injected into the plasma as an electron beam. Penetration of this beam through the plasma is subject to the two-stream instability, which tends to slow down the beam electrons and heat the plasma electrons. In the present paper, a one-dimensional particle-in-cell code is used to simulate these effects both in a collisionless plasma slab with immobile ions and in a cross-field discharge of a Hall thruster. The two-stream instability occurs if the total electron velocity distribution function of the plasma-beam system is a nonmonotonic function of electron speed. Low-pressure plasmas can be depleted of electrons with energy above the plasma potential. This study reveals that under such conditions the two-stream instability depends crucially on the velocity distribution function of electron emission. It is shown that propagation of the secondary electron beams in Hall thrusters may be free of the two-stream instability if the velocity distribution of secondary electron emission is a monotonically decaying function of speed. In this case, the beams propagate between the walls with minimal loss of the beam current and the secondary electron emission does not affect the thruster plasma properties

  20. Body condition, diet and ecosystem function of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in a fenced nature reserve

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fløjgaard, Camilla; De Barba, Marta; Taberlet, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    is therefore relevant to increase understanding of herbivores' ecosystem function and to inform management. In this study, we focused on red deer, Cervus elaphus, in a fenced nature reserve in Denmark, where the deer are managed as ecosystem engineers to contribute to biodiversity conservation. We measured...... on variation in body condition within the population. Our findings call for the need to consider the consequences of management practices, including culling or supplemental feeding, on the outcomes of habitat restoration, and more broadly underline the importance of preserving the overall breath of herbivore...... ecosystem functions for effective biodiversity conservation....

  1. Conservation of ecosystems : theory and practice

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Siegfried, WR

    1982-09-01

    Full Text Available stream_source_info Conservation of Ecosystems Theory and Practice.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 102 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name Conservation of Ecosystems Theory and Practice.pdf.txt Content...-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  2. The world's richest tadpole communities show functional redundancy and low functional diversity: ecological data on Madagascar's stream-dwelling amphibian larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randrianiaina Roger-Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional diversity illustrates the range of ecological functions in a community. It allows revealing the appearance of functional redundancy in communities and processes of community assembly. Functional redundancy illustrates the overlap in ecological functions of community members which may be an indicator of community resilience. We evaluated patterns of species richness, functional diversity and functional redundancy on tadpole communities in rainforest streams in Madagascar. This habitat harbours the world's most species-rich stream tadpole communities which are due to their occurrence in primary habitat of particular interest for functional diversity studies. Results Species richness of tadpole communities is largely determined by characteristics of the larval habitat (stream structure, not by adult habitat (forest structure. Species richness is positively correlated with a size-velocity gradient of the streams, i.e. communities follow a classical species-area relationship. While widely observed for other taxa, this is an unusual pattern for anuran larvae which usually is expected to be hump-shaped. Along the species richness gradient, we quantified functional diversity of all communities considering the similarity and dissimilarity of species in 18 traits related to habitat use and foraging. Especially species-rich communities were characterised by an overlap of species function, i.e. by functional redundancy. By comparing the functional diversity of the observed communities with functional diversity of random assemblages, we found no differences at low species richness level, whereas observed species-rich communities have lower functional diversity than respective random assemblages. Conclusions We found functional redundancy being a feature of communities also in primary habitat, what has not been shown before using such a continuous measure. The observed species richness dependent pattern of low functional

  3. Structure, functioning, and cumulative stressors of Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    Environmental stressors, such as climate fluctuations, and anthropogenic stressors, such as fishing, are of major concern for the management of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-water habitats are limited by primary productivity and are mainly dependent on the vertical input of organic matter from the surface. Global change over the latest decades is imparting variations in primary productivity levels across oceans, and thus it has an impact on the amount of organic matter landing on the deep seafloor. In addition, anthropogenic impacts are now reaching the deep ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, the largest enclosed basin on the planet, is not an exception. However, ecosystem-level studies of response to varying food input and anthropogenic stressors on deep-sea ecosystems are still scant. We present here a comparative ecological network analysis of three food webs of the deep Mediterranean Sea, with contrasting trophic structure. After modelling the flows of these food webs with the Ecopath with Ecosim approach, we compared indicators of network structure and functioning. We then developed temporal dynamic simulations varying the organic matter input to evaluate its potential effect. Results show that, following the west-to-east gradient in the Mediterranean Sea of marine snow input, organic matter recycling increases, net production decreases to negative values and trophic organisation is overall reduced. The levels of food-web activity followed the gradient of organic matter availability at the seafloor, confirming that deep-water ecosystems directly depend on marine snow and are therefore influenced by variations of energy input, such as climate-driven changes. In addition, simulations of varying marine snow arrival at the seafloor, combined with the hypothesis of a possible fishery expansion on the lower continental slope in the western basin, evidence that the trawling fishery may pose an impact which could be an order of magnitude stronger than a climate

  4. Decomposition of terrestrial resource subsidies in headwater streams: Does consumer diversity matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Stoker; Amber J. Falkner; Kelly M. Murray; Ashley K. Lang; Thomas R. Barnum; Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman; Michael J. Conroy; Robert J. Cooper; Catherine M. Pringle

    2017-01-01

    Resource subsidies and biodiversity are essential for maintaining community structure and ecosystem functioning, but the relative importance of consumer diversity and resource characteristics to decomposition remains unclear. Forested headwater streams are detritus-based systems, dependent on leaf litter inputs from adjacent riparian ecosystems, and...

  5. Species-Specific Effects on Ecosystem Functioning Can Be Altered by Interspecific Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, David S; Spencer, Matthew; Robinson, Leonie A; Frid, Christopher L J

    2016-01-01

    Biological assemblages are constantly undergoing change, with species being introduced, extirpated and experiencing shifts in their densities. Theory and experimentation suggest that the impacts of such change on ecosystem functioning should be predictable based on the biological traits of the species involved. However, interspecific interactions could alter how species affect functioning, with the strength and sign of interactions potentially depending on environmental context (e.g. homogenous vs. heterogeneous conditions) and the function considered. Here, we assessed how concurrent changes to the densities of two common marine benthic invertebrates, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor, affected the ecological functions of organic matter consumption and benthic-pelagic nutrient flux. Complementary experiments were conducted within homogenous laboratory microcosms and naturally heterogeneous field plots. When the densities of the species were increased within microcosms, interspecific interactions enhanced effects on organic matter consumption and reduced effects on nutrient flux. Trait-based predictions of how each species would affect functioning were only consistently supported when the density of the other species was low. In field plots, increasing the density of either species had a positive effect on organic matter consumption (with no significant interspecific interactions) but no effect on nutrient flux. Our results indicate that species-specific effects on ecosystem functioning can be altered by interspecific interactions, which can be either facilitative (positive) or antagonistic (negative) depending on the function considered. The impacts of biodiversity change may therefore not be predictable based solely on the biological traits of the species involved. Possible explanations for why interactions were detected in microcosms but not in the field are discussed.

  6. Species-Specific Effects on Ecosystem Functioning Can Be Altered by Interspecific Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Clare

    Full Text Available Biological assemblages are constantly undergoing change, with species being introduced, extirpated and experiencing shifts in their densities. Theory and experimentation suggest that the impacts of such change on ecosystem functioning should be predictable based on the biological traits of the species involved. However, interspecific interactions could alter how species affect functioning, with the strength and sign of interactions potentially depending on environmental context (e.g. homogenous vs. heterogeneous conditions and the function considered. Here, we assessed how concurrent changes to the densities of two common marine benthic invertebrates, Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor, affected the ecological functions of organic matter consumption and benthic-pelagic nutrient flux. Complementary experiments were conducted within homogenous laboratory microcosms and naturally heterogeneous field plots. When the densities of the species were increased within microcosms, interspecific interactions enhanced effects on organic matter consumption and reduced effects on nutrient flux. Trait-based predictions of how each species would affect functioning were only consistently supported when the density of the other species was low. In field plots, increasing the density of either species had a positive effect on organic matter consumption (with no significant interspecific interactions but no effect on nutrient flux. Our results indicate that species-specific effects on ecosystem functioning can be altered by interspecific interactions, which can be either facilitative (positive or antagonistic (negative depending on the function considered. The impacts of biodiversity change may therefore not be predictable based solely on the biological traits of the species involved. Possible explanations for why interactions were detected in microcosms but not in the field are discussed.

  7. Potential and limitations of inferring ecosystem photosynthetic capacity from leaf functional traits

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Musavi, T.; Migliavacca, M.; van de Weg, M. J.; Kattge, J.; Wohlfahrt, G.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Reichstein, M.; Bahn, M.; Carrara, A.; Domingues, T. F.; Gavazzi, M.; Gianelle, D.; Gimeno, C.; Granier, A.; Gruening, C.; Havránková, Kateřina; Herbst, M.; Hrynkiw, Ch.; Kalhori, A.; Kaminski, T.; Klumpp, K.; Kolari, P.; Longdoz, B.; Minerbi, S.; Montagnani, L.; Moors, E.; Oechel, W.; Reich, P. B.; Rohatyn, S.; Rossi, A.; Rotenberg, E.; Varlagin, A.; Wilkinson, M.; Wirth, C.; Mahecha, M. D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 20 (2016), s. 7352-7366 ISSN 2045-7758 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : gross primary production * cross-biome analysis * relative growth-rate * plant traits * carbon-dioxide * forest productivity * wide-range * environmental variation * nutrient concentrations * terrestrial biosphere * ecosystem functional property * eddy covariance * fluxnet * interannual variability * photosynthetic capacity * plant traits * spatiotemporal variability * TRY database Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  8. Functional trophic composition of the ichthyofauna of forest streams in eastern Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Lourenço Brejão

    Full Text Available This study aimed to describe the functional organization of the ichthyofauna of forest streams from northeastern Pará State, Brazil, based on behavioral observation of species' feeding tactics. Seven streams were sampled between June and November, 2010, during snorkeling sessions, totaling 91h 51min of visual censuses at day, dusk, and night periods. Seventy three species distributed in six orders, 26 families and 63 genera were observed, with dominance of Characiformes, followed by Siluriformes. From information gathered by ad libitum observations, each species was included in one of 18 functional trophic groups (FTGs, according to two main characteristics: (1 its most frequently observed feeding tactic; and (2 its spatial distribution in the stream environment, considering their horizontal (margins or main channel and vertical (water column dimensions. The most frequent FTGs observed were Nocturnal invertebrate pickers (9 species, Diurnal channel drift feeders (8 spp., Diurnal surface pickers (7 spp., and Ambush and stalking predators (6 spp.. The FTGs herein defined enable a comparative analysis of the structure and composition of ichthyofauna in different basins and environmental conditions, which presents an alternative approach to the use of taxonomic structure in ecological studies. The ichthyofauna classification based in FTGs proposed in this study is compared to three other classifications, proposed by Sazima (1986, Sabino & Zuanon (1998 and Casatti et al. (2001.Este estudo teve como objetivo descrever a organização funcional da fauna de peixes de riachos do nordeste do estado do Pará, Brasil, com base em observações comportamentais das táticas alimentares das espécies. Sete igarapés foram amostrados entre junho e novembro de 2010 por técnicas de observações diretas durante sessões de mergulho livre, totalizando 91h 51min de observação, nos períodos diurno, crepuscular vespertino e noturno. Foram observadas 73 esp

  9. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  10. Influence of benthic macrofauna community shifts on ecosystem functioning in shallow estuaries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eKristensen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We identify how ecosystem functioning in shallow estuaries is affected by shifts in benthic fauna communities. We use the shallow estuary, Odense Fjord, Denmark, as a case study to test our hypotheses that (1 shifts in benthic fauna composition and species functional traits affect biogeochemical cycling with cascading effects on ecological functioning, which may (2 modulate pelagic primary productivity with feedbacks to the benthic system. Odense Fjord is suitable because it experienced dramatic shifts in benthic fauna community structure from 1998 to 2008. We focused on infaunal species with emphasis on three dominating burrow-dwelling polychaetes: the native Nereis (Hediste diversicolor and Arenicola marina, and the invasive Marenzelleria viridis. The impact of functional traits in the form of particle reworking and ventilation on biogeochemical cycles, i.e. sediment metabolism and nutrient dynamics, was determined from literature data. Historical records of summer nutrient levels in the water column of the inner Odense Fjord show elevated concentrations of NH4+ and NO3- (DIN during the years 2004-2006, exactly when the N. diversicolor population declined and A. marina and M. viridis populations expanded dramatically. In support of our first hypothesis, we show that excess NH4+ delivery from the benthic system during the A. marina and M. viridis expansion period enriched the overlying water in DIN and stimulated phytoplankton concentration. The altered benthic-pelagic coupling and stimulated pelagic production may, in support of our second hypothesis, have feedback to the benthic system by changing the deposition of organic material. We therefore advice to identify the exact functional traits of the species involved in a community shift before studying its impact on ecosystem functioning. We also suggest studying benthic community shifts in shallow environments to obtain knowledge about the drivers and controls before exploring deep

  11. Large herbivores affect forest ecosystem functions by altering the structure of dung beetle communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iida, Taichi; Soga, Masashi; Koike, Shinsuke

    2018-04-01

    Dramatic increases in populations of large mammalian herbivores have become a major ecological issue, particularly in the northern hemisphere, due to their substantial impacts on both animal and plant communities through processes such as grazing, browsing, and trampling. However, little is known about the consequences of these population explosions on ecosystem functions. Here, we experimentally investigated how the population density of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in temperate deciduous forest areas in Japan affected the decomposition of mammal dung by dung beetles, which is a key process in forest ecosystems. We measured a range of environmental variables (e.g., vegetation cover, soil hardness) and the dung decomposition rate, measured as the amount of deer dung decomposed during one week, and sampled dung beetles at 16 study sites with three different deer densities (high/intermediate/low). We then used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationships between deer density, environmental variables, the biomass of dung beetles (classified into small or large species), and the dung decomposition rate. We found that the biomass of small species increased with increasing deer density, whereas that of large species was not related to deer density. Furthermore, the dung decomposition rate was positively related to the biomass of small species but unrelated to that of large species. Overall, our results showed that an increase in deer density affects the decomposition rate of mammal dung by changing the structure of dung beetle communities (i.e., increasing the number of small dung beetles). Such an understanding of how increases in large herbivore populations affect ecosystem functions is important for accurately evaluating the ecological consequences of their overabundance and ultimately managing their populations appropriately.

  12. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  13. Changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning of a large, shallow Chinese lake during the 1950s, 1980s and 2000s

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kong, Xiangzhen; He, Wei; Liu, Wenxiu; Yang, Bin; Xu, Fuliu; Jørgensen, Sven Erik; Mooij, W.M.

    2016-01-01

    Food web structure dynamics and ecosystem functioning are strongly linked, and both are indispensable in evaluating ecosystem development in lakes under multiple anthropogenic stressors. However, model-based approaches concerning the changes in food web structure and ecosystem functioning in a

  14. The Stream-Catchment (StreamCat) and Lake-Catchment (LakeCat) Datasets: leveraging existing geospatial frameworks and data to characterize lotic and lentic ecosystems across the conterminous US for ecological and environmental modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/MethodsLake and stream conditions respond to both natural and human-related landscape features. Characterizing these features within contributing areas (i.e., delineated watersheds) of streams and lakes could improve our understanding of how biological conditi...

  15. Riparian zone hydrology and biogeochemistry as a function of stream evolution stage in glaciated landscapes of the US Northeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rook, S. P.; Vidon, P.; Walter, M. T.

    2011-12-01

    The management of riparian buffer strips is often regarded as one of the most economical and sustainable methods of managing non-point source pollution and water quality. However, current riparian management often follows a 'one size fits all' design, which fails to recognize the complexity of the many biogeochemical processes that regulate pollutant transformation and retention in these systems. This study addresses two critical gaps in knowledge: (1) How carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and iron cycles interact with one another (rather than individually). (2) How stream channel geometry and evolution regulate these nutrient cycles and greenhouse gas (GHG) dynamics in the near stream zone. This project specifically explores the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of riparian zones across a gradient of stream meander evolution stages, with the primary goal of understanding and predicting potential interactions between nutrient dynamics in these systems. Key research questions include: (1) How does stream meander curvature affect riparian zone hydrology? (2) How does stream meander curvature influence riparian zone biogeochemistry? (3) What relationships exist among N, P, Fe, and GHG dynamics? We instrumented three riparian sites near Ithaca, NY, with a dense network of wells, piezometers, and static chambers. These sites represent three riparian zones along three evolution stages of stream meanders: an inner meander, a straight stream section, and an outer bend of the stream with an oxbow lake formation. In spring through fall 2011, water samples and gas samples were collected at a tri-weekly bases at each of the three sites. Water samples were analyzed for oxidation-reduction potential, dissolved oxygen, temperature, FeII/FeIII, nutrients (NO3-, NH4+, PO43-) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). GHG fluxes at the soil-atmosphere interface were measured for N2O, CO2, and CH4 gases. We predict that stream curvature will significantly affect groundwater flow

  16. Responses in Arctic marine carbon cycle processes: conceptual scenarios and implications for ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen S. Findlay

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic Ocean is one of the fastest changing oceans, plays an important role in global carbon cycling and yet is a particularly challenging ocean to study. Hence, observations tend to be relatively sparse in both space and time. How the Arctic functions, geophysically, but also ecologically, can have significant consequences for the internal cycling of carbon, and subsequently influence carbon export, atmospheric CO2 uptake and food chain productivity. Here we assess the major carbon pools and associated processes, specifically summarizing the current knowledge of each of these processes in terms of data availability and ranges of rates and values for four geophysical Arctic Ocean domains originally described by Carmack & Wassmann (2006: inflow shelves, which are Pacific-influenced and Atlantic-influenced; interior, river-influenced shelves; and central basins. We attempt to bring together knowledge of the carbon cycle with the ecosystem within each of these different geophysical settings, in order to provide specialist information in a holistic context. We assess the current state of models and how they can be improved and/or used to provide assessments of the current and future functioning when observational data are limited or sparse. In doing so, we highlight potential links in the physical oceanographic regime, primary production and the flow of carbon within the ecosystem that will change in the future. Finally, we are able to highlight priority areas for research, taking a holistic pan-Arctic approach.

  17. Objective assessment of stream segregation abilities of CI users as a function of electrode separation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paredes Gallardo, Andreu; Madsen, Sara Miay Kim; Dau, Torsten

    Auditory streaming is a perceptual process by which the human auditory system organizes sounds from different sources into perceptually meaningful elements. Segregation of sound sources is important, among others, for understanding speech in noisy environments, which is especially challenging...

  18. Efficient Estimation of Dynamic Density Functions with Applications in Streaming Data

    KAUST Repository

    Qahtan, Abdulhakim Ali Ali

    2016-01-01

    application is to detect outliers in data streams from sensor networks based on the estimated PDF. The method detects outliers accurately and outperforms baseline methods designed for detecting and cleaning outliers in sensor data. The third application

  19. Synergy of extreme drought and shrub invasion reduce ecosystem functioning and resilience in water-limited climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldeira, Maria C.; Lecomte, Xavier; David, Teresa S.; Pinto, Joaquim G.; Bugalho, Miguel N.; Werner, Christiane

    2015-10-01

    Extreme drought events and plant invasions are major drivers of global change that can critically affect ecosystem functioning and alter ecosystem-atmosphere exchange. Invaders are expanding worldwide and extreme drought events are projected to increase in frequency and intensity. However, very little is known on how these drivers may interact to affect the functioning and resilience of ecosystems to extreme events. Using a manipulative shrub removal experiment and the co-occurrence of an extreme drought event (2011/2012) in a Mediterranean woodland, we show that native shrub invasion and extreme drought synergistically reduced ecosystem transpiration and the resilience of key-stone oak tree species. Ecosystem transpiration was dominated by the water use of the invasive shrub Cistus ladanifer, which further increased after the extreme drought event. Meanwhile, the transpiration of key-stone tree species decreased, indicating a competitive advantage in favour of the invader. Our results suggest that in Mediterranean-type climates the invasion of water spending species and projected recurrent extreme drought events may synergistically cause critical drought tolerance thresholds of key-stone tree species to be surpassed, corroborating observed higher tree mortality in the invaded ecosystems. Ultimately, this may shift seasonally water limited ecosystems into less desirable alternative states dominated by water spending invasive shrubs.

  20. From Patterns to Function in Living Systems: Dryland Ecosystems as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meron, Ehud

    2018-03-01

    Spatial patterns are ubiquitous in animate matter. Besides their intricate structure and beauty they generally play functional roles. The capacity of living systems to remain functional in changing environments is a question of utmost importance, but its intimate relationship to pattern formation is largely unexplored. Here, we address this relationship using dryland vegetation as a case study. Following a brief introduction to pattern-formation theory, we describe a mathematical model that captures several mechanisms of vegetation pattern formation and discuss ecological contexts that showcase different mechanisms. Using this model, we unravel the different vegetation patterns that keep dryland ecosystems viable along the rainfall gradient, identify multistability ranges where fronts separating domains of alternative stable states exist, and highlight the roles of front dynamics in mitigating or reversing desertification. The utility of satellite images in testing model predictions is discussed. An outlook on outstanding open problems concludes this paper.

  1. The use of soil quality indicators to assess soil functionality in restored semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, 1-day CO2 test, microbial activity, mine restoration, soil health, ecosystem services. Introduction Semi-arid and arid environments are highly vulnerable to land degradation and their restoration has commonly showed low rates of success (James et al., 2013). A systematic knowledge of soil functionality is critical to successful restoration of degraded ecosystems since approximately 80% of ecosystem services can be connected to soil functions. The assessment of soil functionality generally involves the evaluation of soil properties and processes as they relate to the ability of soil to function effectively as a component of a healthy ecosystem (Costantini et al., 2015) Using soil quality indicators may be a valuable approach to assess functionality of topsoil and novel substrates used in restoration (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2014; 2015). A key soil chemical indicator is soil organic C, that has been widely used as an attribute of soil quality because of the many functions that it provides and supports (Willaarts et al., 2015). However, microbial indicators can be more sensitive to disturbances and could be a valuable addition in soil assessment studies in restoration programs. Here, we propose a set of soil quality indicators to assess the soil status in restored soils (topsoil and waste material) of semi-arid environments. The study was conducted during March 2015 in the Pilbara biogeographical region (northwestern Australia) at an iron ore mine site rehabilitated in 2011. Methods Soil samples were collected from two sub-areas with different soil materials used as growth media: topsoil retrieved from nearby stockpiles and a lateritic waste material utilised for its erosive stability and physical competence. An undisturbed natural shrub-grassland ecosystem dominated by Triodia spp. and Acacia spp. representative of the restored area was selected as the analogue reference site. Soil physicochemical analysis were undertaken according to standard methods

  2. Atmo-metabolomics: a new measurement approach for investigating aerosol composition and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivas-Ubach, A.; Liu, Y.; Sardans, J.; Tfaily, M. M.; Kim, Y. M.; Bourrianne, E.; Paša-Tolić, L.; Penuelas, J.; Guenther, A. B.

    2016-12-01

    Aerosols play crucial roles in the processes controlling the composition of the atmosphere and the functioning of ecosystems. Gaining a deeper understanding of the chemical composition of aerosols is one of the major challenges for atmospheric and climate scientists and is beginning to be recognized as important for ecological research. Better comprehension of aerosol chemistry can potentially provide valuable information on atmospheric processes such as oxidation of organics and the production of cloud condensation nuclei as well as provide an approximation of the general status of an ecosystem through the measurement of certain stress biomarkers. In this study, we describe an efficient aerosol sampling method, the metabolite extraction and the analytical procedures for the chemical characterization of aerosols, namely, the atmo-metabolome. We used mass spectrometry (MS) coupled to liquid chromatography (LC-MS), gas chromatography (GC-MS) and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR-MS) to characterize the atmo-metabolome of two marked seasons; spring and summer. Our sampling and extraction methods demonstrated to be suitable for aerosol chemical characterization with any of the analytical platforms used in this study. The atmo-metabolome between spring and summer showed overall statistically differences. We identified several metabolites that can be attributed to pollen and other plant-related aerosols. Spring aerosols exhibit higher concentrations of metabolites linked to higher plant activity while summer samples had higher concentrations of metabolites that may reflect certain oxidative stresses in primary producers. Moreover, the elemental composition of aerosols showed clear different between seasons. Summer aerosols were generally higher in molecular weight and with higher O/C ratios, indicating higher oxidation levels and condensation of compounds relative to spring. Our method represents an advanced approach for characterizing the composition of

  3. Ecosystem and physiological scales of microbial responses to nutrients in a detritus-based stream: results of a 5-year continuous enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller Suberkropp; Vladislav Gulis; Amy D. Rosemond; Jonathan Benstead

    2010-01-01

    Our study examined the response of leaf detritus–associated microorganisms (both bacteria and fungi) to a 5-yr continuous nutrient enrichment of a forested headwater stream. Leaf litter dominates detritus inputs to such streams and, on a system wide scale, serves as the key substrate for microbial colonization. We determined physiological responses as microbial biomass...

  4. Multi-functional landscapes in semi arid environments: implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    O'Farrell, PJ

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available assessment with an ecosystem service assessment. Stakeholder engagement and expert consultation focussed our investigations on surface water, ground water, grazing and tourism as the key services in this region. The key ecosystem services and service hotspots...

  5. Multi-scale habitat modification by coexisting ecosystem engineers drives spatial separation of macrobenthic functional groups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Donadi, S.; van der Heide, T.; Piersma, T.; van der Zee, E.M.; Weerman, E.J.; van de Koppel, J.; Olff, H.; Devine, C.; Hernawan, U. E.; Boers, M.; Planthof, L.; Eriksson, B.K.

    2015-01-01

    By changing habitat conditions, ecosystem engineers increase niche diversity and have profound effects on the distribution and abundances of other organisms. Although many ecosystems contain several engineering species, it is still unclear how the coexistence of multiple engineers affects the

  6. Understanding deep roots and their functions in ecosystems: an advocacy for more unconventional research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, Alain; Maeght, Jean-Luc; Clément, Corentin; Montoroi, Jean-Pierre; Hartmann, Christian; Gonkhamdee, Santimaitree

    2016-01-01

    Background Deep roots are a common trait among a wide range of plant species and biomes, and are pivotal to the very existence of ecosystem services such as pedogenesis, groundwater and streamflow regulation, soil carbon sequestration and moisture content in the lower troposphere. Notwithstanding the growing realization of the functional significance of deep roots across disciplines such as soil science, agronomy, hydrology, ecophysiology or climatology, research efforts allocated to the study of deep roots remain incommensurate with those devoted to shallow roots. This is due in part to the fact that, despite technological advances, observing and measuring deep roots remains challenging. Scope Here, other reasons that explain why there are still so many fundamental unresolved questions related to deep roots are discussed. These include the fact that a number of hypotheses and models that are widely considered as verified and sufficiently robust are only partly supported by data. Evidence has accumulated that deep rooting could be a more widespread and important trait among plants than usually considered based on the share of biomass that it represents. Examples that indicate that plant roots have different structures and play different roles with respect to major biochemical cycles depending on their position within the soil profile are also examined and discussed. Conclusions Current knowledge gaps are identified and new lines of research for improving our understanding of the processes that drive deep root growth and functioning are proposed. This ultimately leads to a reflection on an alternative paradigm that could be used in the future as a unifying framework to describe and analyse deep rooting. Despite the many hurdles that pave the way to a practical understanding of deep rooting functions, it is anticipated that, in the relatively near future, increased knowledge about the deep rooting traits of a variety of plants and crops will have direct and tangible

  7. Common carp disrupt ecosystem structure and function through middle-out effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaemingk, Mark A.; Jolley, Jeffrey C.; Paukert, Craig P.; Willis, David W.; Henderson, Kjetil R.; Holland, Richard S.; Wanner, Greg A.; Lindvall, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Middle-out effects or a combination of top-down and bottom-up processes create many theoretical and empirical challenges in the realm of trophic ecology. We propose using specific autecology or species trait (i.e. behavioural) information to help explain and understand trophic dynamics that may involve complicated and non-unidirectional trophic interactions. The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) served as our model species for whole-lake observational and experimental studies; four trophic levels were measured to assess common carp-mediated middle-out effects across multiple lakes. We hypothesised that common carp could influence aquatic ecosystems through multiple pathways (i.e. abiotic and biotic foraging, early life feeding, nutrient). Both studies revealed most trophic levels were affected by common carp, highlighting strong middle-out effects likely caused by common carp foraging activities and abiotic influence (i.e. sediment resuspension). The loss of water transparency, submersed vegetation and a shift in zooplankton dynamics were the strongest effects. Trophic levels furthest from direct pathway effects were also affected (fish life history traits). The present study demonstrates that common carp can exert substantial effects on ecosystem structure and function. Species capable of middle-out effects can greatly modify communities through a variety of available pathways and are not confined to traditional top-down or bottom-up processes.

  8. Effects of physical and biogeochemical processes on aquatic ecosystems at the groundwater-surface water interface: An evaluation of a sulfate-impacted wild rice stream in Minnesota (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, G. H. C.; Yourd, A. R.; Myrbo, A.; Johnson, N.

    2015-12-01

    Significant uncertainty and variability in physical and biogeochemical processes at the groundwater-surface water interface complicate how surface water chemistry affects aquatic ecosystems. Questions surrounding a unique 10 mg/L sulfate standard for wild rice (Zizania sp.) waters in Minnesota are driving research to clarify conditions controlling the geochemistry of shallow sediment porewater in stream- and lake-beds. This issue raises the need and opportunity to carry out in-depth, process-based analysis into how water fluxes and coupled C, S, and Fe redox cycles interact to impact aquatic plants. Our study builds on a recent state-wide field campaign that showed that accumulation of porewater sulfide from sulfate reduction impairs wild rice, an annual grass that grows in shallow lakes and streams in the Great Lakes region of North America. Negative porewater sulfide correlations with organic C and Fe quantities also indicated that lower redox rates and greater mineral precipitation attenuate sulfide. Here, we focus on a stream in northern Minnesota that receives high sulfate loading from iron mining activity yet maintains wild rice stands. In addition to organic C and Fe effects, we evaluate the degree to which streambed hydrology, and in particular groundwater contributions, accounts for the active biogeochemistry. We collect field measurements, spanning the surrounding groundwater system to the stream, to constrain a reactive-transport model. Observations from seepage meters, temperature probes, and monitoring wells delineate upward flow that may lessen surface water impacts below the stream. Geochemical analyses of groundwater, porewater, and surface water samples and of sediment extractions reveal distinctions among the different domains and stream banks, which appear to jointly control conditions in the streambed. A model based on field conditions can be used to evaluate the relative the importance and the spatiotemporal scales of diverse flux and

  9. Linking the spatial patterns of organisms and abiotic factors to ecosystem function and management: insights from semi-arid environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. T. Maestre

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Numerous theoretical and modeling studies have demonstrated the ecological significance of the spatial patterning of organisms on ecosystem functioning and dynamics. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence that quantitatively shows how changes in the spatial patterns of the organisms forming biotic communities are directly related to ecosystem structure and functioning. In this article, I review a series of experiments and observational studies conducted in semi-arid environments from Spain (degraded calcareous shrubland, steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima, and gypsum shrublands to: 1 evaluate whether the spatial patterns of the dominant biotic elements in the community are linked to ecosystem structure and functioning, and 2 test if these patterns, and those of abiotic factors, can be used to improve ecosystem restoration. In the semiarid steppes we found a significant positive relationship between the spatial pattern of the perennial plant community and: i the water status of S. tenacissima and ii perennial species richness and diversity. Experimental plantings conducted in these steppes showed that S. tenacissima facilitated the establishment of shrub seedlings, albeit the magnitude and direction of this effect was dependent on rainfall conditions during the first yr after planting. In the gypsum shrubland, a significant, direct relationship between the spatial pattern of the biological soil crusts and surrogates of ecosystem functioning (soil bulk density and respiration was found. In a degraded shrubland with very low vegetation cover, the survival of an introduced population of the shrub Pistacia lentiscus showed marked spatial patterns, which were related to the spatial patterns of soil properties such as soil compaction and sand content. These results provide empirical evidence on the importance of spatial patterns for maintaining ecosystem structure and functioning in semi-arid ecosystems

  10. Ecological Production Functions Linking Multiple Stressors to Ecosystem Services – A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ecosystem services concept is being used to frame environmental protection goals that guide management of the risks of chemicals. Ecosystem services link changes in ecological systems to the benefits received by people. The use of ecosystem services in risk assessments and th...

  11. A novel framework for linking functional diversity of plants with other trophic levels for the quantification of ecosystem services.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lavorel, S.; Storkey, J.; Bardgett, R.D.; de Bello, Francesco; Berg, M. P.; Le Roux, X.; Moretti, M.; Mulder, Ch.; Pakeman, R. J.; Diaz, S.; Harrington, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 5 (2013), 942-948 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Functional trait * Ecosystem functioning * Biotic interactions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.372, year: 2013

  12. Exploring applications of GPR methodology and uses in determining floodplain function of restored streams in the Gulf Coastal Plain, Alabama

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckes, S. W.; Shepherd, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    Accurately characterizing subsurface structure and function of remediated floodplains is indispensable in understanding the success of stream restoration projects. Although many of these projects are designed to address increased storm water runoff due to urbanization, long term monitoring and assessment are often limited in scope and methodology. Common monitoring practices include geomorphic surveys, stream discharge, and suspended sediment loads. These data are comprehensive for stream monitoring but they do not address floodplain function in terms of infiltration and through flow. Developing noninvasive methods for monitoring floodplain moisture transfer and distribution will aid in current and future stream restoration endeavors. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been successfully used in other physiographic regions for noninvasive and continuous monitoring of (1) natural geomorphic environments including subsurface structure and landform change and (2) soil and turf management to monitor subsurface moisture content. We are testing the viability of these existing methods to expand upon the broad capabilities of GPR. Determining suitability will be done in three parts using GPR to (1) find known buried objects of typical materials used in remediation at measured depths, (2) understand GPR functionality in varying soil moisture content thresholds on turf plots, and (3) model reference, remediated, and impacted floodplains in a case study in the D'Olive Creek watershed located in Baldwin County, Alabama. We hypothesize that these methods will allow us to characterize moisture transfer from precipitation and runoff to the floodplain which is a direct function of floodplain health. The need for a methodology to monitor floodplains is widespread and with increased resolution and mobility, expanding GPR applications may help streamline remediation and monitoring practices.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Y. Mousawi Toghani

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Nutrient uptake and community metabolism in streams draining harvested and old-growth watersheds: A preliminary assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian H. Hill; Frank H. McCormick

    2004-01-01

    The effect of timber harvesting on streams is assessed using two measures of ecosystem function: nutrient spiraling and community metabolism. This research is being conducted in streams of the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and the redwood forests of northern California, in order to...

  15. Effects of drought and irrigation on ecosystem functioning in a mature Scots pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobbertin, Matthias; Brunner, Ivano; Egli, Simon; Eilmann, Britta; Graf Pannatier, Eisabeth; Schleppi, Patrick; Zingg, Andreas; Rigling, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    Climate change is expected to increase temperature and reduce summer precipitation in Switzerland. To study the expected effects of increased drought in mature forests two different approaches are in general possible: water can be partially or completely removed from the ecosystems via above- or below-canopy roofs or water can be added to already drought-prone ecosystems. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. In our study water was added to a mature 90-year old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest with a few singe pubescent oaks (Quercus pubescens Willd.), located in the valley bottom of the driest region of Switzerland (Valais). In Valais, Scots pines are declining, usually with increased mortality rates following drought years. It was therefore of special interest to study here how water addition is changing forest ecosystem functioning. The irrigation experiment started in the summer of 2003. Out of eight 0.1 ha experimental plots, four were randomly selected for irrigation, the other four left as a control. Irrigation occurred during rainless nights between April and October, doubling the annual rainfall amount from 650 to 1300 mm. Irrigation water, taken from a near-by irrigation channel, added some nutrients to the plots, but nutrients which were deficient on the site, e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus, were not altered. Tree diameter, tree height and crown width were assessed before the start of the irrigation in winter 2002/2003 and after 7 years of the experiment in 2009/2010. Tree crown transparency (lack of foliage) and leaf area index (LAI) were annually assessed. Additionally, tree mortality was annually evaluated. Mycorrhizal fruit bodies were identified and counted at weekly intervals from 2003 until 2007. Root samples were taken in 2004 and 2005. In 2004 and 2005 wood formation of thirteen trees was analysed in weekly or biweekly intervals using the pinning method. These trees were felled in 2006 for stem, shoot and needle growth analysis

  16. Denitrification in agriculturally impacted streams: seasonal changes in structure and function of the bacterial community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Manis

    Full Text Available Denitrifiers remove fixed nitrogen from aquatic environments and hydrologic conditions are one potential driver of denitrification rate and denitrifier community composition. In this study, two agriculturally impacted streams in the Sugar Creek watershed in Indiana, USA with different hydrologic regimes were examined; one stream is seasonally ephemeral because of its source (tile drainage, whereas the other stream has permanent flow. Additionally, a simulated flooding experiment was performed on the riparian benches of the ephemeral stream during a dry period. Denitrification activity was assayed using the chloramphenicol amended acetylene block method and bacterial communities were examined based on quantitative PCR and terminal restriction length polymorphisms of the nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ and 16S rRNA genes. In the stream channel, hydrology had a substantial impact on denitrification rates, likely by significantly lowering water potential in sediments. Clear patterns in denitrification rates were observed among pre-drying, dry, and post-drying dates; however, a less clear scenario was apparent when analyzing bacterial community structure suggesting that denitrifier community structure and denitrification rate were not strongly coupled. This implies that the nature of the response to short-term hydrologic changes was physiological rather than increases in abundance of denitrifiers or changes in composition of the denitrifier community. Flooding of riparian bench soils had a short-term, transient effect on denitrification rate. Our results imply that brief flooding of riparian zones is unlikely to contribute substantially to removal of nitrate (NO3- and that seasonal drying of stream channels has a negative impact on NO3- removal, particularly because of the time lag required for denitrification to rebound. This time lag is presumably attributable to the time required for the denitrifiers to respond physiologically rather than a change

  17. Biofilm function and variability in a hydrothermal ecosystem: insights from environmental genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Raymond, J.; Shock, E. L.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to adapt to variable environmental conditions is key to survival for all organisms, but may be especially crucial to microorganisms in extreme environments such as hydrothermal systems. Streamer biofilm communities (SBCs) made up of thermophilic chemotrophic microorganisms are common in alkaline-chloride geothermal environments worldwide, but the in situ physiochemical growth parameters and requirements of SBCs are largely unknown [1]. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park's alkaline geyser basins support SBC growth. However, despite the relative geochemical homogeneity of source pools and widespread ecosystem suitability in these regions (as indicated by energetic profiling [2]), SBCs are not ubiquitous in these ecosystems. The ability of hydrothermal systems to support the growth of SBCs, the relationship between these geochemically driven environments and the microbes that live there, and the function of individuals in these communities are aspects that are adressed here by applying environmental genomics. Analysis of 16S rRNA and total membrane lipid extracts have revealed that community composition of SBCs in "Bison Pool" varies as a function of changing environmental conditions along the outflow channel. In addition, a significant crenarchaeal component was discovered in the "Bison Pool" SBCs. In general, the SBC bacterial diversity triples while the archaeal component varies little (from 3 to 2 genera) in a 5-10°C gradient with distance from the source. While these SBCs are low in overall diversity, the majority of the taxa identified represent uncultured groups of Bacteria and Archaea. As a result, the community function of these taxa and their role in the formation of the biofilms is unknown. However, recent genomic analysis from environmental DNA affords insight into the roles of specific organisms within SBCs at "Bison Pool," and integration of these data with an extensive corresponding geochemical dataset may indicate shifting community

  18. Assessment of corn and banana leaves as potential standardized substrates for leaf decomposition in streams affected by mountaintop removal coal mining, West Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mountaintop removal and valley filling is a method of coal mining that buries Central Appalachian headwater streams. A 2007 federal court ruling highlighted the need for measurement of both ecosystem structure and function when assessing streams for mitigaton. Rapid functional as...

  19. Life Cycle and Secondary Production of Four Species from Functional Feeding Groups in a Tropical Stream of South India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sankarappan Anbalagan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on life strategies of species from functional feeding groups (FFGs found in a tropical stream of the Sirumalai hills, South India. We examined the life cycle and secondary production of species of shredders (Lepidostoma nuburagangai, scrapers (Baetis sp., collectors (Choroterpes alagarensis, and predators (Neoperla biseriata. In addition, we studied the assemblage structure of functional feeding groups. We found the collectors occupied the highest percentage, followed in turn by scrapers, predators, and shredders. The diversity of FFGs was higher at riffle areas and assemblage with stream substrates differing in each functional group. An asynchronous life cycle was observed for Baetis, C. alagarensis, and N. biseriata, while L. nuburagangai was found in four to five generations per year. We acquired data on secondary production of scraper species of Baetis, which reached the highest values among all investigated species. This observation stresses the importance of scrapers as playing a key role in converting coarse particulate organic matter to fine particulate organic matter with low or high abundances of shredder population and maintaining the food chain in tropical streams.

  20. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    , nitrate accumulation, respiratory growth response, community level physiological profile and decomposition). Neither was there a direct effect of biodiversity on the variability of the processes, nor on the stability of decomposition when the soils were perturbed by heat or copper. The biodiversity of......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  1. Assessing biogeochemical cycling and transient storage of surface water in Eastern Siberian streams using short-term solute additions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Seybold, E.; Drake, T. W.; Bulygina, E. B.; Bunn, A. G.; Chandra, S.; Davydov, S.; Frey, K. E.; Holmes, R. M.; Sobczak, W. V.; Spektor, V. V.; Zimov, S. A.; Zimov, N.

    2009-12-01

    Recent studies highlight the role of stream networks in the processing of nutrient and organic matter inputs from the surrounding watershed. Clear evidence exists that streams actively regulate fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus from upland terrestrial ecosystems to downstream aquatic environments. This is of particular interest in Arctic streams because of the potential impact of permafrost thaw due to global warming on inputs of nutrients and organic matter to small streams high in the landscape. Knowledge of functional characteristics of these stream ecosystems is paramount to our ability to predict changes in stream ecosystems as climate changes. Biogeochemical models developed by stream ecologists, specifically nutrient spiraling models, provide a set of metrics that we used to assess nutrient processing rates in several streams in the Eastern Siberian Arctic. We quantified these metrics using solute addition experiments in which nitrogen and phosphorus were added simultaneously with chloride as a conservative tracer. We focused on 5 streams, three flowing across upland yedoma soils and two floodplain streams. Yedoma streams showed higher uptake of N than P, suggesting N limitation of biological processes, with large variation between these three streams in the severity of N limitation. Floodplain streams both showed substantially higher P uptake than N uptake, indicating strong P limitation. Given these results, it is probable that these two types of streams will respond quite differently to changes in nutrient and organic matter inputs as permafrost thaws. Furthermore, uptake was strongly linked to discharge and transient storage of surface water, measured using temporal patterns of the conservative tracer, with higher nutrient uptake in low discharge, high transient storage streams. Given the possibility that both discharge and nutrient inputs will increase as permafrost thaws, longer-term nutrient enrichment experiments are needed to develop

  2. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services - Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Schmidt

    Full Text Available Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision to 44% (food provision of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision to 91% (food provision of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests. Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support.

  3. Uncertainty of Monetary Valued Ecosystem Services – Value Transfer Functions for Global Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Stefan; Manceur, Ameur M.; Seppelt, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Growing demand of resources increases pressure on ecosystem services (ES) and biodiversity. Monetary valuation of ES is frequently seen as a decision-support tool by providing explicit values for unconsidered, non-market goods and services. Here we present global value transfer functions by using a meta-analytic framework for the synthesis of 194 case studies capturing 839 monetary values of ES. For 12 ES the variance of monetary values could be explained with a subset of 93 study- and site-specific variables by utilizing boosted regression trees. This provides the first global quantification of uncertainties and transferability of monetary valuations. Models explain from 18% (water provision) to 44% (food provision) of variance and provide statistically reliable extrapolations for 70% (water provision) to 91% (food provision) of the terrestrial earth surface. Although the application of different valuation methods is a source of uncertainty, we found evidence that assuming homogeneity of ecosystems is a major error in value transfer function models. Food provision is positively correlated with better life domains and variables indicating positive conditions for human well-being. Water provision and recreation service show that weak ownerships affect valuation of other common goods negatively (e.g. non-privately owned forests). Furthermore, we found support for the shifting baseline hypothesis in valuing climate regulation. Ecological conditions and societal vulnerability determine valuation of extreme event prevention. Valuation of habitat services is negatively correlated with indicators characterizing less favorable areas. Our analysis represents a stepping stone to establish a standardized integration of and reporting on uncertainties for reliable and valid benefit transfer as an important component for decision support. PMID:26938447

  4. Automatic monitoring of ecosystem structure and functions using integrated low-cost near surface sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Ryu, Y.; Jiang, C.; Hwang, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Near surface sensors are able to acquire more reliable and detailed information with higher temporal resolution than satellite observations. Conventional near surface sensors usually work individually, and thus they require considerable manpower from data collection through information extraction and sharing. Recent advances of Internet of Things (IoT) provides unprecedented opportunities to integrate various low-cost sensors as an intelligent near surface observation system for monitoring ecosystem structure and functions. In this study, we developed a Smart Surface Sensing System (4S), which can automatically collect, transfer, process and analyze data, and then publish time series results on public-available website. The system is composed of micro-computer Raspberry pi, micro-controller Arduino, multi-spectral spectrometers made from Light Emitting Diode (LED), visible and near infrared cameras, and Internet module. All components are connected with each other and Raspberry pi intelligently controls the automatic data production chain. We did intensive tests and calibrations in-lab. Then, we conducted in-situ observations at a rice paddy field and a deciduous broadleaf forest. During the whole growth season, 4S obtained landscape images, spectral reflectance in red, green, blue, and near infrared, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR), and leaf area index (LAI) continuously. Also We compared 4S data with other independent measurements. NDVI obtained from 4S agreed well with Jaz hyperspectrometer at both diurnal and seasonal scales (R2 = 0.92, RMSE = 0.059), and 4S derived fPAR and LAI were comparable to LAI-2200 and destructive measurements in both magnitude and seasonal trajectory. We believe that the integrated low-cost near surface sensor could help research community monitoring ecosystem structure and functions closer and easier through a network system.

  5. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  6. Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community structure and functioning along a nitrogen enrichment gradient in an alpine meadow ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shengjing; Liu, Yongjun; Luo, Jiajia; Qin, Mingsen; Johnson, Nancy Collins; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Chai, Yuxing; Zhou, Xiaolong; Mao, Lin; Du, Guozhen; An, Lizhe; Feng, Huyuan

    2018-03-30

    Nitrogen (N) availability is increasing dramatically in many ecosystems, but the influence of elevated N on the functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in natural ecosystems is not well understood. We measured AM fungal community structure and mycorrhizal function simultaneously across an experimental N addition gradient in an alpine meadow that is limited by N but not by phosphorus (P). AM fungal communities at both whole-plant-community (mixed roots) and single-plant-species (Elymus nutans roots) scales were described using pyro-sequencing, and the mycorrhizal functioning was quantified using a mycorrhizal-suppression treatment in the field (whole-plant-community scale) and a glasshouse inoculation experiment (single-plant-species scale). Nitrogen enrichment progressively reduced AM fungal abundance, changed AM fungal community composition, and shifted mycorrhizal functioning towards parasitism at both whole-plant-community and E. nutans scales. N-induced shifts in AM fungal community composition were tightly linked to soil N availability and/or plant species richness, whereas the shifts in mycorrhizal function were associated with the communities of specific AM fungal lineages. The observed changes in both AM fungal community structure and functioning across an N enrichment gradient highlight that N enrichment of ecosystems that are not P-limited can induce parasitic mycorrhizal functioning and influence plant community structure and ecosystem sustainability. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Stream microbial diversity responds to environmental changes: Review and synthesis of existing research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia eZeglin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The importance of microbial activity to ecosystem function in aquatic ecosystems is well established, but microbial diversity has been less frequently addressed. This review and synthesis of the hundreds of published studies on stream microbial diversity shows that factors known to drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient availability, hydrology, metal contamination, contrasting land-use and temperature, also cause heterogeneity in bacterial diversity. Temporal heterogeneity in stream bacterial diversity was frequently observed, reflecting the dynamic nature of both stream ecosystems and microbial community composition. However, within-stream spatial differences in stream bacterial diversity were more commonly observed, driven specifically by different organic matter compartments. Bacterial phyla showed similar patterns in relative abundance with regard to compartment type across different streams. For example, surface water contained the highest relative abundance of Actinobacteria, while epilithon contained the highest relative abundance of Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. This suggests that contrasting physical and/or nutritional habitats characterized by different stream organic matter compartment types may select for certain bacterial lineages. When comparing the prevalence of physicochemical effects on stream bacterial diversity, effects of changing metal concentrations were most, while effects of differences in nutrient concentrations were least frequently observed. This may indicate that although changing nutrient concentrations do tend to affect microbial diversity, other environmental factors are more likely to alter stream microbial diversity and function. The common observation of connections between ecosystem process drivers and microbial diversity suggests that microbial taxonomic turnover could mediate ecosystem-scale responses to changing environmental conditions, including both microbial habitat distribution and

  8. Watershed to Local Scale Characteristics and Function of Intermittent and Ephemeral Streams on Military Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-31

    stream types in riparian plant community composition ( PerMANOVA ) and compositional variance (PermDISP...111 Table 5-3. Pairwise comparisons for differences in riparian plant community composition ( PerMANOVA ) among...multidimensional scaling ordination PerManova = permutational multivariate analysis of variance PC-Ord = computer program for multivariate statistics

  9. Continuous water quality monitoring to determine the cause of coral reef ecosystem degradation for coastal windward Oahu streams during 2002 (NODC Accession 0001070)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Kaneohe and Waimanalo streams on the windward side of the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands have been hardened to prevent flooding. The hardening process has...

  10. Continuous water quality monitoring to determine the cause of coral reef ecosystem degradation for coastal Windward Oahu streams during 2002 (NODC Accession 0001070)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Kaneohe and Waimanalo streams on the windward side of the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands have been hardened to prevent flooding. The hardening process has...

  11. A Quantitative Assessment of the Structure and Functions of a Mature Bottomland Hardwood Community: The Iatt Creek Ecosystem Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvin E. Meier; John A. Stanturf; Emile S. Gardiner; Paul B. Hamel; Melvin L. Warren

    1999-01-01

    We report our efforts, initiated in 1995, to quantify ecological processes and functions in a relatively undisturbed, mature hardwood forest. The 320-ha site is located in central Louisiana on the upper reaches of Iatt Creek, an anastomosing minor stream bottom. The forest is a mature sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.)-cherrybark oak (

  12. Urban Environment and Nature. A Methodological Proposal for Spaces’ Reconnection in an Ecosystem Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Prestamburgo

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Our main objective is to highlight the profound disconnect between natural and anthropic elements within urban areas, with particular reference to the morpho-functional dimensions of the urban and territorial pattern. Heterogeneity in the elements underpinning relations in urban environments, absent governing principles, predisposes to conditions of widespread dysfunction and inefficiency in the modalities of anthropic utilization of the various contexts. As a result, the functions inherent to ecological and natural networks tend to be undermined, negatively impacting the environment. To this end, this paper proposes the adoption of ecoducts, on the one hand as a means to support planning and a measure aimed at reactivating the complex functions typical of urban environments and, on the other hand, as a two-way correlation between anthropic and ecological interactions at the territorial scale. Finally, the analysis of an Italian case study will highlight the potential of such instruments in terms of creating an integrated eco-systemic service, capable of significantly contributing to long-term improvement in the quality of life of urban systems.

  13. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  14. Mediterranean-type ecosystems: the influence of biodiversity on their functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, George W.; Richardson, David M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Hobbs, Richard J.; Mooney, H.A.; Cushman, J.H.; Medina, E.; Sala, O.E.; Schulze, E.-D.

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystems in the Mediterranean-climate regions of the world have served as a unit for comparative ecological studies for over two decades. The cohesiveness of research in this set of widely distributed regions rests on the similarity of the climates where they occur, and the identifiable convergence in elements of their vegetation structure (Di Castri and Mooney 1973). In this chapter we review functional aspects of what have come to be known as Mediterranean-type ecosystems (METs) in the context of a concerned global interest in the sustainability of the human environment and its dependence on biological diversity. The approach we adopt here is to look for evidence that this biodiversity, for which some MTEs are renowned (Cowling, 1992; Hobbs, 1992), has an influence on processes which are important both for the maintenance of natural systems, and for providing "ecosystem services" with human utility. Almost a century ago, Schimper (1903) recognized the biological similarities between five widely separated regions characterized by Mediterranean-type climates, and much comparative work has been done on that basis since. These regions comprise the Mediterranean basin itself, a major portion of California, central Chile, the southwestern and southern extremities of South Africa, and parts of southwestern and southern Australia (Figure 7.1). The first attention paid to MTEs in terms of quantitative ecological research arose out of the International Biological Programme (IBP) of the 1960s and 1970s. Those efforts focused on comparisons between the Chilean and Californian systems (Mooney 1977), and dealt with parallel models of ecosystem processes, especially water flux (Fuentes et al 1995). Because of the already perceived similarities between vegetation in these and the other three regions, the project was soon extended to include all five regions. The first broad comparative overview was published as an anthology which considered the origins and the convergent

  15. Maintaining ecosystem resilience: functional responses of tree cavity nesters to logging in temperate forests of the Americas

    OpenAIRE

    Ibarra, Jose Tomas; Martin, Michaela; Cockle, Kristina L; Martin, Kathy

    2017-01-01

    Logging often reduces taxonomic diversity in forest communities, but little is known about how this biodiversity loss affects the resilience of ecosystem functions. We examined how partial logging and clearcutting of temperate forests influenced functional diversity of birds that nest in tree cavities. We used point-counts in a before-after-control-impact design to examine the effects of logging on the value, range, and density of functional traits in bird communities in Canada (21 species) a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Plant litter dynamics in the forest-stream interface: precipitation is a major control across tropical biomes

    OpenAIRE

    Tonin, Alan M.; Gon?alves, Jos? F.; Bambi, Paulino; Couceiro, Sheyla R. M.; Feitoza, Lorrane A. M.; Fontana, Lucas E.; Hamada, Neusa; Hepp, Luiz U.; Lezan-Kowalczuk, V?nia G.; Leite, Gustavo F. M.; Lemes-Silva, Aurea L.; Lisboa, Leonardo K.; Loureiro, Rafael C.; Martins, Renato T.; Medeiros, Adriana O.

    2017-01-01

    Riparian plant litter is a major energy source for forested streams across the world and its decomposition has repercussions on nutrient cycling, food webs and ecosystem functioning. However, we know little about plant litter dynamics in tropical streams, even?though the tropics occupy 40% of the Earth?s land surface. Here we investigated spatial and temporal (along a year cycle) patterns of litter inputs and storage in multiple streams of three tropical biomes in Brazil (Atlantic forest, Ama...

  19. Longitudinal Distribution of the Functional Feeding Groups of Aquatic Insects in Streams of the Brazilian Cerrado Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasil, L S; Juen, L; Batista, J D; Pavan, M G; Cabette, H S R

    2014-10-01

    We demonstrate that the distribution of the functional feeding groups of aquatic insects is related to hierarchical patch dynamics. Patches are sites with unique environmental and functional characteristics that are discontinuously distributed in time and space within a lotic system. This distribution predicts that the occurrence of species will be based predominantly on their environmental requirements. We sampled three streams within the same drainage basin in the Brazilian Cerrado savanna, focusing on waterfalls and associated habitats (upstream, downstream), representing different functional zones. We collected 2,636 specimens representing six functional feeding groups (FFGs): brushers, collector-gatherers, collector-filterers, shredders, predators, and scrapers. The frequency of occurrence of these groups varied significantly among environments. This variation appeared to be related to the distinct characteristics of the different habitat patches, which led us to infer that the hierarchical patch dynamics model can best explain the distribution of functional feeding groups in minor lotic environments, such as waterfalls.

  20. Evaluation of mangrove ecosystem service functions of Ximen Island Marine Specially Protected Areas in Yueqing Bay, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, D. G.; Sun, L.; Tan, Y. H.; Shi, A. Q.; Cheng, J.

    2017-08-01

    Taking the mangrove ecosystem of Ximen Island National Marine Specially Protected Areas as the research object, the ecological service value of the mangrove forest was evaluated and analyzed using a market value method, an ecological value method and a carbon tax method. The results showed that the ecosystem service value of the mangrove forest on Ximen Island is worth a total of 16,104,000 CNY/a. Among the value of individual ecosystem services, the direct value of material production function and leisure function reached 1,385,000 CNY/a, with a ratio of 8.6%. The indirect value of disturbance regulation, gas regulation, water purification, habitat function and culture research reached 14,719,000 CNY/a, with a ratio of 91.4%. Among the above sub-items, the proportion of disturbance regulation value, habitat function value and cultural research function value reached 78.8%, which reflects the important scientific value and ecological value of the Ximen Island mangrove ecosystem, especially its vital importance in providing a habitat for birds and playing a role in disaster prevention and mitigation.

  1. Ecoregions and stream morphology in eastern Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Splinter, D.K.; Dauwalter, D.C.; Marston, R.A.; Fisher, W.L.

    2010-01-01

    Broad-scale variables (i.e., geology, topography, climate, land use, vegetation, and soils) influence channel morphology. How and to what extent the longitudinal pattern of channel morphology is influenced by broad-scale variables is important to fluvial geomorphologists and stream ecologists. In the last couple of decades, there has been an increase in the amount of interdisciplinary research between fluvial geomorphologists and stream ecologists. In a historical context, fluvial geomorphologists are more apt to use physiographic regions to distinguish broad-scale variables, while stream ecologists are more apt to use the concept of an ecosystem to address the broad-scale variables that influence stream habitat. For this reason, we designed a study using ecoregions, which uses physical and biological variables to understand how landscapes influence channel processes. Ecoregions are delineated by similarities in geology, climate, soils, land use, and potential natural vegetation. In the fluvial system, stream form and function are dictated by processes observed throughout the fluvial hierarchy. Recognizing that stream form and function should differ by ecoregion, a study was designed to evaluate how the characteristics of stream channels differed longitudinally among three ecoregions in eastern Oklahoma, USA: Boston Mountains, Ozark Highlands, and Ouachita Mountains. Channel morphology of 149 stream reaches was surveyed in 1st- through 4th-order streams, and effects of drainage area and ecoregion on channel morphology was evaluated using multiple regressions. Differences existed (?????0.05) among ecoregions for particle size, bankfull width, and width/depth ratio. No differences existed among ecoregions for gradient or sinuosity. Particle size was smallest in the Ozark Highlands and largest in the Ouachita Mountains. Bankfull width was larger in the Ozark Highlands than in the Boston Mountains and Ouachita Mountains in larger streams. Width/depth ratios of the

  2. Stream invertebrate productivity linked to forest subsidies: 37 stream-years of reference and experimental data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, J Bruce; Eggert, Susan L; Meyer, Judy L; Webster, Jackson R

    2015-05-01

    Riparian habitats provide detrital subsidies of varying quantities and qualities to recipient ecosystems. We used long-term data from three reference streams (covering 24 stream-years) and 13-year whole-stream organic matter manipulations to investigate the influence of terrestrial detrital quantity and quality on benthic invertebrate community structure, abundance, biomass, and secondary production in rockface (RF) and mixed substrates (MS) of forested headwater streams. Using a mesh canopy covering the entire treatment stream, we examined effects of litter ex'clusion, small- and large-wood removal, and addition of artificial wood (PVC) and leaves of varying quality on organic matter standing crops and invertebrate community structure and function. We assessed differences in functional feeding group distribution between substrate types as influenced by organic matter manipulations and long-term patterns of predator and prey production in manipulated vs. reference years. Particulate organic matter standing crops in MS of the treatment stream declined drastically with each successive year of litter exclusion, approaching zero after three years. Monthly invertebrate biomass and annual secondary production was positively related to benthic organic matter in the MS habitats. Rockface habitats exhibited fewer changes than MS habitats across all organic matter manipulations. With leaf addition, the patterns of functional group distribution among MS and RF habitats returned to patterns seen in reference streams. Secondary production per unit organic matter standing crop was greatest for the leaf addition period, followed by the reference streams, and significantly less for the litter exclusion and wood removal periods. These data indicate that the limited organic matter remaining in the stream following litter exclusion and wood removal was more refractory than that in the reference streams, whereas the added leaf material was more labile and readily converted into

  3. A metagenomic snapshot of taxonomic and functional diversity in an alpine glacier cryoconite ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Pachebat, Justin A; Swain, Martin; Hegarty, Matt; Rassner, Sara M E; Hodson, Andrew J; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L; Sattler, Birgit

    2013-01-01

    Cryoconite is a microbe–mineral aggregate which darkens the ice surface of glaciers. Microbial process and marker gene PCR-dependent measurements reveal active and diverse cryoconite microbial communities on polar glaciers. Here, we provide the first report of a cryoconite metagenome and culture-independent study of alpine cryoconite microbial diversity. We assembled 1.2 Gbp of metagenomic DNA sequenced using an Illumina HiScanSQ from cryoconite holes across the ablation zone of Rotmoosferner in the Austrian Alps. The metagenome revealed a bacterially-dominated community, with Proteobacteria (62% of bacterial-assigned contigs) and Bacteroidetes (14%) considerably more abundant than Cyanobacteria (2.5%). Streptophyte DNA dominated the eukaryotic metagenome. Functional genes linked to N, Fe, S and P cycling illustrated an acquisitive trend and a nitrogen cycle based upon efficient ammonia recycling. A comparison of 32 metagenome datasets revealed a similarity in functional profiles between the cryoconite and metagenomes characterized from other cold microbe–mineral aggregates. Overall, the metagenomic snapshot reveals the cryoconite ecosystem of this alpine glacier as dependent on scavenging carbon and nutrients from allochthonous sources, in particular mosses transported by wind from ice-marginal habitats, consistent with net heterotrophy indicated by productivity measurements. A transition from singular snapshots of cryoconite metagenomes to comparative analyses is advocated. (letter)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  5. Functional Responses and Resilience of Boreal Forest Ecosystem after Reduction of Deer Density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachand, Marianne; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Moretti, Marco; Aubin, Isabelle; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D.; Poulin, Monique

    2014-01-01

    The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada). Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years. PMID:24587362

  6. Functional responses and resilience of boreal forest ecosystem after reduction of deer density.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Bachand

    Full Text Available The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada. Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years.

  7. Restoring ecosystem functions and services by overcoming soil threats - The case of Mt. Hekla area in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorsson, Johann; Petursdottir, Thorunn

    2015-04-01

    Soils are one of the main fundamental bodies of terrestrial ecosystems. Soil functions contribute substantially to the ecosystem services humans and all other living beings depend on. Current soil threats are in most cases related to anthropogenic impacts and derived environmental pressures. For instance, overexploitation has in many cases damaged ecosystem resilience, affected current equilibrium and caused severe soil degradation. The resulting dysfunctional ecosystems are incapable of providing necessary ecosystem services. In such cases ecosystem restoration is necessary to restore ecosystem functions and ecological succession. The Mt. Hekla area in Iceland is an example of land suffering from accelerated erosion amplified by anthropogenic impacts. The area is 900 km2 located in South Iceland in the vicinity of the volcano Mt. Hekla. Today over 40% of the area is classified as eroded but historical documents indicate that vast part of the area were fertile and vegetated at the time of settlement, 1100 years ago; hence was able to withstand the geological disturbances occurring prior to the arrival of man as is obvious from the pristine woody patches still remaining. Severe soil degradation followed the large-scale deforestation and overgrazing that took place within the area. The initial land degradation event is considered to have occurred in the 11th century, but has been ongoing since then in several episodes. The Þjórsá glacial river flows through the area and carries enormous amounts of sediments every year. After the deforestation, the ecosystem resilience was damaged and the land left exposed to the elements. Eventually large scale wind erosion started, followed with water erosion and increased impact of freeze-thaw processes. The Soil Conservation Service of Iceland started working in the area in the early 20th century and land reclamation operations have been ongoing until this day. Considerable successes have been made as is manifested in the fact

  8. Chemical changes to leaf litter from trees grown under elevated CO2 and the implications for microbial utilization in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rier, S. T.; Tuchman, N. C.; Wetzel, R. G.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of elevated carbon dioxide on the chemistry and subsequent response of stream microorganisms growing on leaf litter of three riparian tree species (quaking aspen, white willow and sugar maple) were studied. Results showed that the effects were species-specific, i.e. aspen leaves contained high concentrations of lignin, maple leafs contained higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds and willow leaves contained higher concentrations of carbohydrate-bound condensed tannins. Initially, the higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds in maple leaves were rapidly leached in stream water, but overall, the impact of altered leaf chemistry on riparian trees grown under elevated carbon dioxide was clearly variable; no strongly suppressed microbial activity during stream incubation was observed. Any evidence of suppression observed, was species-specific. 49 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs

  9. Impacts of exotic mangrove forests and mangrove deforestation on carbon remineralization and ecosystem functioning in marine sediments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sweetman, A.; Middelburg, J.J.; Berle, A.M.; Bernardino, A.F.; Schander, C.; Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Smith, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate how mangrove invasion and removal can modify short-term benthic carbon cycling and ecosystem functioning, we used stable-isotopically labeled algae as a deliberate tracer to quantify benthic respiration and C-flow over 48 h through macrofauna and bacteria in sediments collected from (1)

  10. Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SHAHABUDDIN

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Shahabuddin (2011 Effect of land use change on ecosystem function of dung beetles: experimental evidence from Wallacea Region in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 12: 177-181. The deforestation of tropical forests and their subsequent conversion to human-dominated land-use systems is one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss. However clear understanding of the links between ecological functions and biodiversity is needed to evaluate and predict the true environmental consequences of human activities. This study provided experimental evidence comparing ecosystem function of dung beetles across a land use gradient ranging from natural tropical forest and agroforestry systems to open cultivated areas in Central Sulawesi. Therefore, standardized dung pats were exposed at each land-use type to assess dung removal and parasite suppression activity by dung beetles. The results showed that ecosystem function of dung beetles especially dung burial activity were remarkably disrupted by land use changes from natural forest to open agricultural area. Dung beetles presence enhanced about 53% of the total dung removed and reduced about 83% and 63% of fly population and species number respectively, indicating a pronounce contribution of dung beetles in our ecosystem.

  11. Ecological function as a target for ecosystem-based management: Defining when change matters in decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for both direct and indirect drivers of ecological change for decision making. Just as with direct management of a resource, EBM requires a definition of management thresholds that define when change in function is sufficient to merit ma...

  12. A review of earthworm impact on soil function and ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blouin, M.; Hodson, M.E.; Delgado, E.A.; Baker, G.; Brussaard, L.; Butt, K.R.; Dai, J.; Dendooven, L.; Peres, G.; Tondoh, J.E.; Cluzeau, D.; Brun, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is responsible for the provision of many ecosystem services; human well-being is based on these services, and consequently on biodiversity. In soil, earthworms represent the largest component of the animal biomass and are commonly termed ecosystem engineers'. This review considers the

  13. An experiment framework to identify community functional components driving ecosystem processes and services delivery.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dias, A.; Berg, M.P.; de Bello, F.; van Oosten, A.R.; Bila, K.; Moretti, M.

    2013-01-01

    There is a growing consensus that the distribution of species trait values in a community can greatly determine ecosystem processes and services delivery. Two distinct components of community trait composition are hypothesized to chiefly affect ecosystem processes: (i) the average trait value of the

  14. Use of environmental functions to communicate the values of a mangrove ecosystem under different management regimes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gilbert, A.J.; Janssen, R.

    1998-01-01

    Mangroves are part of rich ecosystems providing a variety of environmental goods and services. Underestimation of their value and of the impacts of human activities is a major factor contributing to the widespread loss and degradation of ecosystems. Economists frequently receive the blame for such

  15. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; hide

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  16. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...... fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids...

  17. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreejata Bandopadhyay

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  18. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Martin-Closas, Lluis; Pelacho, Ana M; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films) and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  19. Direct and indirect effects of copper-contaminated sediments on the functions of model freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardham, Stephanie; Chariton, Anthony A; Hose, Grant C

    2015-01-01

    Copper is acutely toxic to, and directly affects, primary producers and decomposers, which are key players in essential processes such as the nutrient cycle in freshwater ecosystems. Even though the indirect effects of metals (for example effects due to changes in species interactions) may be more common than direct effects, little is known about the indirect effects of copper on primary producers and decomposers. The effects of copper on phytoplankton, macrophytes, periphyton and organic matter decomposition in an outdoor lentic mesocosm facility were assessed, and links between the responses examined. Copper directly decreased macrophyte growth, subsurface organic matter decomposition, and the potential for high phytoplankton Chlorophyll a concentrations. However, periphyton cover and organic matter decomposition on the surface of the sediment were stimulated by the presence of copper. These latter responses were attributed to indirect effects, due to a reduction in grazing pressure from snails, particularly Physa acuta, in the higher copper-contaminated mesocosms. This permitted the growth of periphyton and other heterotrophs, ultimately increasing decomposition at the sediment surface. The present study demonstrates the pronounced influence indirect effects may have on ecological function, findings that may not be observed in traditional laboratory studies (which utilize single species or simplistic communities).

  20. Planning Water Resources in an Agroforest Ecosystem for Improvement of Regional Ecological Function Under Uncertainties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueting Zeng

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, an agroforestry ecosystem project (AEP is developed for confronting the conflict between agricultural development and forest protection. A fuzzy stochastic programming with Laplace scenario analysis (FSL is proposed for planning water resources in an AEP issue under uncertainties. FSL can not only deal with spatial and temporal variations of hydrologic elements and meteorological conditions; but also handle uncertainties that are expressed in terms of probability, possibility distributions and fuzzy sets; meanwhile, policy scenario analysis with Laplace’s criterion (PSL is introduced to handle probability of each scenario occurrence under the supposition of no data available. The developed FSL can be applied to an AEP issue in Xixian county, located in north of China. The result of ecological effects, water allocation patterns, pollution mitigation schemes and system benefits under various scenarios are obtained, which can support policymakers adjusting current strategy to improve regional ecological function with cost-effective and sustainable manners. Meanwhile, it can support generating a robust water plan for regional sustainability in an AEP issue under uncertainties.

  1. Ants: Major Functional Elements in Fruit Agro-Ecosystems and Biological Control Agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lamine Diamé

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ants are a very diverse taxonomic group. They display remarkable social organization that has enabled them to be ubiquitous throughout the world. They make up approximately 10% of the world’s animal biomass. Ants provide ecosystem services in agrosystems by playing a major role in plant pollination, soil bioturbation, bioindication, and the regulation of crop-damaging insects. Over recent decades, there have been numerous studies in ant ecology and the focus on tree cropping systems has given added importance to ant ecology knowledge. The only missing point in this knowledge is the reasons underlying difference between the positive and negative effects of ants in tree cropping systems. This review article provides an overview of knowledge of the roles played by ants in orchards as functional elements, and on the potential of Oecophylla weaver ants as biological control agents. It also shows the potential and relevance of using ants as an agro-ecological diagnosis tool in orchards. Lastly, it demonstrates the potential elements which may determine the divergent negative and positive of their effects on cropping systems.

  2. Long term prevention of disturbance induces the collapse of a dominant species without altering ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qiang; Wu, Honghui; Wang, Zhengwen; Flynn, Dan F B; Yang, Hao; Lü, Fumei; Smith, Melinda; Han, Xingguo

    2015-09-21

    Limitation of disturbances, such as grazing and fire, is a key tool for nature reserve management and ecological restoration. While the role of these disturbances in shaping ecosystem structure and functioning has been intensively studied, less is known about the consequences of long-term prevention of grazing and fire. Based on a 31-year study, we show that relative biomass of the dominant grass, Leymus chinensis, of grasslands in northern China declined dramatically, but only after 21 years of exclusion of fire and grazing. However, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) did not decline accordingly due to compensatory responses of several subdominant grass species. The decline in dominance of L. chinensis was not related to gradually changing climate during the same period, whereas experimentally imposed litter removal (simulating fire), mowing (simulating grazing), fire and moderate grazing enhanced dominance of L. chinensis significantly. Thus, our findings show that disturbances can be critical to maintain the dominance of key grass species in semiarid grassland, but that the collapse of a dominant species does not necessarily result in significant change in ANPP if there are species in the community capable of compensating for loss of a dominant.

  3. Introduction. Antarctic ecology: from genes to ecosystems. Part 2. Evolution, diversity and functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alex D; Murphy, Eugene J; Johnston, Nadine M; Clarke, Andrew

    2007-12-29

    The Antarctic biota has evolved over the last 100 million years in increasingly isolated and cold conditions. As a result, Antarctic species, from micro-organisms to vertebrates, have adapted to life at extremely low temperatures, including changes in the genome, physiology and ecological traits such as life history. Coupled with cycles of glaciation that have promoted speciation in the Antarctic, this has led to a unique biota in terms of biogeography, patterns of species distribution and endemism. Specialization in the Antarctic biota has led to trade-offs in many ecologically important functions and Antarctic species may have a limited capacity to adapt to present climate change. These include the direct effects of changes in environmental parameters and indirect effects of increased competition and predation resulting from altered life histories of Antarctic species and the impacts of invasive species. Ultimately, climate change may alter the responses of Antarctic ecosystems to harvesting from humans. The unique adaptations of Antarctic species mean that they provide unique models of molecular evolution in natural populations. The simplicity of Antarctic communities, especially from terrestrial systems, makes them ideal to investigate the ecological implications of climate change, which are difficult to identify in more complex systems.

  4. Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora gonapodyides differently colonize and contribute to decay of California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) leaf litter in stream ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamyar Aram; David M. Rizzo

    2017-01-01

    The prevalence of Phytophthora species in surface waters has earned increasing attention in the past decades, in great part as a result of “stream monitoring” programs for detection and monitoring of Phytophthora ramorum and other invasive species. The potential for Phytophthora ...

  5. Assessing Lost Ecosystem Service Benefits Due to Mining-Induced Stream Degradation in the Appalachian Region: Economic Approaches to Valuing Recreational Fishing Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sport fishing is a popular activity for Appalachian residents and visitors. The region’s coldwater streams support a strong regional outdoor tourism industry. We examined the influence of surface coal mining, in the context of other stressors, on freshwater sport fishing in...

  6. Tree-Based Ecosystem Approaches (TBEAs as Multi-Functional Land Management Strategies—Evidence from Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyuki Iiyama

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Densely populated rural areas in the East African Highlands have faced significant intensification challenges under extreme population pressure on their land and ecosystems. Sustainable agricultural intensification, in the context of increasing cropping intensities, is a prerequisite for deliberate land management strategies that deliver multiple ecosystem goods (food, energy, income sources, etc. and services (especially improving soil conditions on the same land, as well as system resilience, if adopted at scale. Tree based ecosystem approaches (TBEAs are among such multi-functional land management strategies. Knowledge on the multi-functionality of TBEAs and on their scaling up, however, remains severely limited due to several methodological challenges. This study aims at offering an analytical perspective to view multi-functional TBEAs as an integral part of sustainable agricultural intensification. The study proposes a conceptual framework to guide the analysis of socio-economic data and applies it to cross-site analysis of TBEAs in extremely densely populated Rwanda. Heterogeneous TBEAs were identified across Rwanda’s different agro-ecological zones to meet locally-specific smallholders’ needs for a set of ecosystem goods and services on the same land. The sustained adoption of TBEAs would be guaranteed if farmers subjectively recognize their compatibility and synergy with sustainable intensification of existing farming systems, supported by favorable institutional conditions.

  7. The long term response of stream flow to climatic warming in headwater streams of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy B. Jones; Amanda J. Rinehart

    2010-01-01

    Warming in the boreal forest of interior Alaska will have fundamental impacts on stream ecosystems through changes in stream hydrology resulting from upslope loss of permafrost, alteration of availability of soil moisture, and the distribution of vegetation. We examined stream flow in three headwater streams of the Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed (CPCRW) in...

  8. Crayfish impact desert river ecosystem function and litter-dwelling invertebrate communities through association with novel detrital resources.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric K Moody

    Full Text Available Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species are being replaced by drought-tolerant plant species as water availability decreases. Additionally, introduced omnivorous crayfish, which feed upon primary producers, allochthonous detritus, and benthic invertebrates, can impact communities at multiple levels through both direct and indirect effects mediated by drought-tolerant plants. We tested the impact of both virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis and litter type on benthic invertebrates and the effect of crayfish on detrital resources across a gradient of riparian vegetation drought-tolerance using field cages with leaf litter bags in the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. Virile crayfish increased breakdown rate of novel drought-tolerant saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima, but did not impact breakdown of drought-tolerant seepwillow (Baccharis salicifolia or hydric Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii and Gooding's willow (Salix goodingii. Effects on invertebrate diversity were observed at the litter bag scale, but no effects were found at the cage scale. Crayfish decreased alpha diversity of colonizing macroinvertebrates, but did not affect beta diversity. In contrast, the drought-tolerant litter treatment decreased beta diversity relative to hydric litter. As drought-tolerant species become more abundant in riparian zones, their litter will become a larger component of the organic matter budget of desert streams which may serve to homogenize the litter-dwelling community and support elevated populations of virile crayfish. Through impacts at multiple trophic levels, crayfish have a significant effect on desert stream ecosystems.

  9. Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long-term observations to advance process-based understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, William R.; Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Swenson, Sean C.; Suding, Katharine N.

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic factors structure plant community composition and ecosystem function across many different spatial scales. Often, such variation is considered at regional or global scales, but here we ask whether ecosystem-scale simulations can be used to better understand landscape-level variation that might be particularly important in complex terrain, such as high-elevation mountains. We performed ecosystem-scale simulations by using the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5 to better understand how the increased length of growing seasons may impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes in an alpine tundra landscape. The model was forced with meteorological data and validated with observations from the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Program site. Our results demonstrate that CLM is capable of reproducing the observed carbon, water, and energy fluxes for discrete vegetation patches across this heterogeneous ecosystem. We subsequently accelerated snowmelt and increased spring and summer air temperatures in order to simulate potential effects of climate change in this region. We found that vegetation communities that were characterized by different snow accumulation dynamics showed divergent biogeochemical responses to a longer growing season. Contrary to expectations, wet meadow ecosystems showed the strongest decreases in plant productivity under extended summer scenarios because of disruptions in hydrologic connectivity. These findings illustrate how Earth system models such as CLM can be used to generate testable hypotheses about the shifting nature of energy, water, and nutrient limitations across space and through time in heterogeneous landscapes; these hypotheses may ultimately guide further experimental work and model development.

  10. Assessing the protection function of Alpine forest ecosystems using BGC modelling theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pötzelsberger, E.; Hasenauer, H.; Petritsch, R.; Pietsch, S. A.

    2009-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the protection function of forests in Alpine areas by modelling the flux dynamics (water, carbon, nutrients) within a watershed as they may depend on the vegetation pattern and forest management impacts. The application case for this study was the catchment Schmittenbach, located in the province of Salzburg. Data available covered the hydrology (rainfall measurements from 1981 to 1998 and runoff measurements at the river Schmittenbach from 1981 to 2005), vegetation dynamics (currently 69% forest, predominantly Norway Spruce). The method of simulating the forest growth and water outflow was validated. For simulations of the key ecosystem processes (e.g. photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen allocation in the different plant parts, litter fall, mineralisation, tree water uptake, transpiration, rainfall interception, evaporation, snow accumulation and snow melt, outflow of spare water) the biogeochemical ecosystem model Biome-BGC was applied. Relevant model extensions were the tree species specific parameter sets and the improved thinning regime. The model is sensitive to site characteristics and needs daily weather data and information on the atmospheric composition, which makes it sensitive to higher CO2-levels and climate change. For model validation 53 plots were selected covering the full range of site quality and stand age. Tree volume and soil was measured and compared with the respective model results. The outflow for the watershed was predicted by combining the simulated forest-outflow (derived from plot-outflow) with the outflow from the non-forest area (calculated with a fixed outflow/rainfall coefficient (OC)). The analysis of production and water related model outputs indicated that mechanistic modelling can be used as a tool to assess the performance of Alpine protection forests. The Water Use Efficiency (WUE), the ratio of Net primary production (NPP) and Transpiration, was found the highest for juvenile stands (

  11. Changes of ecosystem functions in a Mediterranean shrubland exposed for eight years to prolonged summer droughts

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Dato, Giovanbattista; de Angelis, Paolo; Cesaraccio, Carla; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Duce, Pierpaolo; Sirca, Costantino; Spano, Donatella; Beier, Claus

    2010-05-01

    Where water is a limiting factor, like in arid and semiarid shrubland ecosystems of the Mediterranean basin, soil moisture, strengthen by high temperatures, is the key limiting factor controlling biogeochemical cycles. During the drought season, the unavailable water reduces plant growth, litter decomposition and microbial soil respiration. In order to assess the impacts of precipitation reduction on Mediterranean shrublands, a natural community has been exposed since 2001 to prolonged summer droughts by means of mobile plastic roofs, covering three experimental plots (20 m2) during rain events, in spring and in autumn. Three additional plots were used as control. The vegetation reaches a maximum height of 1.0 m and the main shrub species are Cistus monspeliensis, Helichrysum italicum and Dorycnium pentaphyllum. Bare soil constitutes about 20% of the plot surface. The aim of this paper is to summarize the impact of the treatment on the plant community structure and on ecosystem functions, after 8 years of experimentation. A general increase of vegetation cover was observed in the whole community during the years, as result of a natural process of recolonisation. This positive temporal pattern was mainly observed in the control plots, whereas in the drought treatment it was less evident and practically null in the year 2003. At species-specific level, a clear negative effect of drought treatment was observed for C. monspeliensis. Moreover, anticipated drought reduced C assimilation and induced an earlier change of leaf morphology in Cistus. These effects produced the reduction of LAI and of whole plant productivity. The seasonal pattern of soil CO2 efflux was characterized by higher rates during the wet vegetative season (autumn-spring) and lower rates during the dry non-vegetative season (summer). Significant negative effects were occasionally recorded during the period with the treatment turned on. The relation of soil respiration with temperature and soil water

  12. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  13. Functional Role of Native and Invasive Filter-Feeders, and the Effect of Parasites: Learning from Hypersaline Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Marta I; Paredes, Irene; Lebouvier, Marion; Green, Andy J

    2016-01-01

    Filter-feeding organisms are often keystone species with a major influence on the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Studies of filtering rates in such taxa are therefore vital in order to understand ecosystem functioning and the impact of natural and anthropogenic stressors such as parasites, climate warming and invasive species. Brine shrimps Artemia spp. are the dominant grazers in hypersaline systems and are a good example of such keystone taxa. Hypersaline ecosystems are relatively simplified environments compared with much more complex freshwater and marine ecosystems, making them suitable model systems to address these questions. The aim of this study was to compare feeding rates at different salinities and temperatures between clonal A. parthenogenetica (native to Eurasia and Africa) and the invasive American brine shrimp A. franciscana, which is excluding native Artemia from many localities. We considered how differences observed in laboratory experiments upscale at the ecosystem level across both spatial and temporal scales (as indicated by chlorophyll-a concentration and turbidity). In laboratory experiments, feeding rates increased at higher temperatures and salinities in both Artemia species and sexes, whilst A. franciscana consistently fed at higher rates. A field study of temporal dynamics revealed significantly higher concentrations of chlorophyll-a in sites occupied by A. parthenogenetica, supporting our experimental findings. Artemia parthenogenetica density and biomass were negatively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration at the spatial scale. We also tested the effect of cestode parasites, which are highly prevalent in native Artemia but much rarer in the invasive species. The cestodes Flamingolepis liguloides and Anomotaenia tringae decreased feeding rates in native Artemia, whilst Confluaria podicipina had no significant effect. Total parasite prevalence was positively correlated with turbidity. Overall, parasites are likely to reduce

  14. Diversity and abundance of dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scaraebidae) at several different ecosystem functions in Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Din, Abdullah Muhaimin Mohammad; Yaakop, Salmah; Hazmi, Izfa Riza

    2015-09-01

    Dung beetles has known for its bioindicator characteristic. Sensitive towards forest disturbance, dung beetles population and diversity will be less in disturbed and modified area. The objective of this study is to evaluate the diversity and distribution of dung beetles in different type of ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia. Fifteen baited pitfall traps aligned in three transects were used in this study. Samples were collected after 24 h and repeated three time collections and identified afterwards. Two ecosystem types were selected, which are forested and agricultural ecosystem (livestock and plantation). A total of 4249 individuals, 47 species, in 11 genera was successfully collected from all localities. The H' index for Fraser Hill, Langkawi, Bangi Reserve Forest, Selangor (HSB), Sungkai Reserve Forest, Perak (SRF), Chini Lake, Bera Lake, chicken farm, goat farm, Longan plantation, and palm oil plantation were 1.58, 1.74, 2.17, 2.63, 1.80, 1.52, 1.63, 0.46, 0.00 and 1.98 respectively.Forest ecosystem, SRF shows the highest abundance (1486 individuals) and diversity, while for agricultural ecosystem,palm oil plantation shows the highest with 273 individuals and 16 species. Based onDetrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) shows two groups that separate forest ecosystem with the agricultural ecosystem, with palm oil is the nearest to the forest. Palm oil ecosystem can sustain a dung beetles population due to the area can provide the requirements for the dung beetles to survive, such as food which comes from local domestic cows, shade from sunlight provide by the palm oil trees, and ground cover from small plants and shrubs.Even though modified ecosystem should have lower diversity of dung beetles, but some factors must be measured as well in order to have a better point of view.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    The 'two-layer' and 'pulse-reserve' hypotheses were developed 30 years ago and continue to serve as the standard for many experiments and modeling studies that examine relationships between primary productivity and rainfall variability in aridlands. The two-layer hypothesis considers two important plant functional types (FTs) and predicts that woody and herbaceous plants are able to co-exist in savannas because they utilize water from different soil layers (or depths). The pulse-reserve model addresses the response of individual plants to precipitation and predicts that there are 'biologically important' rain events that stimulate plant growth and reproduction. These pulses of precipitation may play a key role in long-term plant function and survival (as compared to seasonal or annual rainfall totals as per the two-layer model). In this paper, we re-evaluate these paradigms in terms of their generality, strengths, and limitations. We suggest that while seasonality and resource partitioning (key to the two-layer model) and biologically important precipitation events (key to the pulse-reserve model) are critical to understanding plant responses to precipitation in aridlands, both paradigms have significant limitations. Neither account for plasticity in rooting habits of woody plants, potential delayed responses of plants to rainfall, explicit precipitation thresholds, or vagaries in plant phenology. To address these limitations, we integrate the ideas of precipitation thresholds and plant delays, resource partitioning, and plant FT strategies into a simple 'threshold-delay' model. The model contains six basic parameters that capture the nonlinear nature of plant responses to pulse precipitation. We review the literature within the context of our threshold-delay model to: (i) develop testable hypotheses about how different plant FTs respond to pulses; (ii) identify weaknesses in the current state-of-knowledge; and (iii) suggest future research directions that will

  16. Power and limitation of soil properties as predictors of rangeland health and ecosystem functioning in a Northern mixed-grass prairie[Abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil properties are thought to affect rangeland ecosystem functioning (e.g. primary productivity, hydrology), and thus soil variables that are consistently correlated with key ecosystem functions may be general indicators of rangeland health. We summarize results from several studies in mixed-grass...

  17. A new method for large-scale assessment of change in ecosystem functioning in relation to land degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horion, Stephanie; Ivits, Eva; Verzandvoort, Simone; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2017-04-01

    Ongoing pressures on European land are manifold with extreme climate events and non-sustainable use of land resources being amongst the most important drivers altering the functioning of the ecosystems. The protection and conservation of European natural capital is one of the key objectives of the 7th Environmental Action Plan (EAP). The EAP stipulates that European land must be managed in a sustainable way by 2020 and the UN Sustainable development goals define a Land Degradation Neutral world as one of the targets. This implies that land degradation (LD) assessment of European ecosystems must be performed repeatedly allowing for the assessment of the current state of LD as well as changes compared to a baseline adopted by the UNCCD for the objective of land degradation neutrality. However, scientifically robust methods are still lacking for large-scale assessment of LD and repeated consistent mapping of the state of terrestrial ecosystems. Historical land degradation assessments based on various methods exist, but methods are generally non-replicable or difficult to apply at continental scale (Allan et al. 2007). The current lack of research methods applicable at large spatial scales is notably caused by the non-robust definition of LD, the scarcity of field data on LD, as well as the complex inter-play of the processes driving LD (Vogt et al., 2011). Moreover, the link between LD and changes in land use (how land use changes relates to change in vegetation productivity and ecosystem functioning) is not straightforward. In this study we used the segmented trend method developed by Horion et al. (2016) for large-scale systematic assessment of hotspots of change in ecosystem functioning in relation to LD. This method alleviates shortcomings of widely used linear trend model that does not account for abrupt change, nor adequately captures the actual changes in ecosystem functioning (de Jong et al. 2013; Horion et al. 2016). Here we present a new methodology for

  18. Tundra biome research in Alaska: the structure and function of cold-dominated ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.; West, G.C.

    1970-11-01

    The objective of the Tundra Biome Program is to acquire a basic understanding of tundra, both alpine and arctic, and taiga. Collectively these are referred to as the cold-dominated ecosystems. The program's broad objectives are threefold: To develop a predictive understanding of how the wet arctic tundra ecosystem operates, particularly as exemplified in the Barrow, Alaska, area; to obtain the necessary data base from the variety of cold-dominated ecosystem types represented in the United States, so that their behavior can be modeled and simulated, and the results compared with similar studies underway in other circumpolar countries; to bring basic environmental knowledge to bear on problems of degradation, maintenance, and restoration of the temperature-sensitive and cold-dominated tundra/taiga ecosystems. (GRA)

  19. Protecting the environment for development: Linking ecosystem structure & function and development outcomes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Claassen, Marius

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available edition of National Water Resource Strategy sets out to ensure that South Africa's aquatic ecosystems are protected effectively at different levels in accordance with the classification system, and that decisions concerning levels of protection take...

  20. Jaw lever analysis of Hawaiian gobioid stream fishes: a simulation study of morphological diversity and functional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maie, Takashi; Schoenfuss, Heiko L; Blob, Richard W

    2009-08-01

    Differences in feeding behavior and performance among the five native Hawaiian gobioid stream fishes (Sicyopterus stimpsoni, Lentipes concolor, Awaous guamensis, Stenogobius hawaiiensis, and Eleotris sandwicensis) have been proposed based on the skeletal anatomy of their jaws and dietary specialization. However, performance of the feeding apparatus likely depends on the proportions and configurations of the jaw muscles and the arrangement of the jaw skeleton. We used a published mathematical model of muscle function to evaluate potential differences in jaw closing performance and their correlations with morphology among these species. For example, high output force calculated for the adductor mandibulae muscles (A2 and A3) of both A. guamensis and E. sandwicensis matched expectations based on the morphology of these species because these muscles are larger than in the other species. In contrast, Stenogobius hawaiiensis exhibited an alternative morphological strategy for achieving high relative output forces of both A2 and A3, in which the placement and configuration of the muscles conveyed high mechanical advantage despite only moderate cross-sectional areas. These differing anatomical pathways to similar functional performance suggest a pattern of many-to-one mapping of morphology to performance. In addition, a functional differentiation between A2 and A3 was evident for all species, in which A2 was better suited for producing forceful jaw closing and A3 for rapid jaw closing. Thus, the diversity of feeding performance of Hawaiian stream gobies seems to reflect a maintenance of functional breadth through the retention of some primitive traits in combination with novel functional capacities in several species. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Global meta-analysis of leaf area index in wetlands indicates uncertainties in understanding of their ecosystem function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dronova, I.; Taddeo, S.; Foster, K.

    2017-12-01

    Projecting ecosystem responses to global change relies on the accurate understanding of properties governing their functions in different environments. An important variable in models of ecosystem function is canopy leaf area index (LAI; leaf area per unit ground area) declared as one of the Essential Climate Variables in the Global Climate Observing System and extensively measured in terrestrial landscapes. However, wetlands have been largely under-represented in these efforts, which globally limits understanding of their contribution to carbon sequestration, climate regulation and resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. This study provides a global synthesis of >350 wetland-specific LAI observations from 182 studies and compares LAI among wetland ecosystem and vegetation types, biomes and measurement approaches. Results indicate that most wetland types and even individual locations show a substantial local dispersion of LAI values (average coefficient of variation 65%) due to heterogeneity of environmental properties and vegetation composition. Such variation indicates that mean LAI values may not sufficiently represent complex wetland environments, and the use of this index in ecosystem function models needs to incorporate within-site variation in canopy properties. Mean LAI did not significantly differ between direct and indirect measurement methods on a pooled global sample; however, within some of the specific biomes and wetland types significant contrasts between these approaches were detected. These contrasts highlight unique aspects of wetland vegetation physiology and canopy structure affecting measurement principles that need to be considered in generalizing canopy properties in ecosystem models. Finally, efforts to assess wetland LAI using remote sensing strongly indicate the promise of this technology for cost-effective regional-scale modeling of canopy properties similar to terrestrial systems. However, such efforts urgently require more

  2. Considering direct and indirect habitat influences on stream biota in eco-geomorphology research to better understand, model, and manage riverine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cienciala, P.; Nelson, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    The field of fluvial eco-geomorphology strives to improve the understanding of interactions between physical and biological processes in running waters. This body of research has greatly contributed to the advancement of integrated river science and management. Arguably, the most popular research themes in eco-geomorphology include hydrogemorphic controls of habitat quality and effects of disturbances such as floods, sediment transport events or sediment accumulation. However, in contrast to the related field of ecology, the distinction between direct and indirect mechanisms which may affect habitat quality and biotic response to disturbance has been poorly explored in eco-geomorphic research. This knowledge gap poses an important challenge for interpretations of field observations and model development. In this research, using the examples of benthic invertebrates and fish, we examine the importance of direct and indirect influences that geomorphic and hydraulic processes may exert on stream biota. We also investigate their implications for modeling of organism-habitat relationships. To achieve our goal, we integrate field and remote sensing data from montane streams in the Pacific Northwest region with habitat models. Preliminary results indicate that indirect hydrogeomorphic influences of stream organisms, such as those mediated by altered availability of food resources, can be as important as direct influences (e.g. physical disturbance). We suggest that these findings may also have important implications for modeling of riverine habitat.

  3. Maintaining ecosystem resilience: functional responses of tree cavity nesters to logging in temperate forests of the Americas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra, José Tomás; Martin, Michaela; Cockle, Kristina L; Martin, Kathy

    2017-06-30

    Logging often reduces taxonomic diversity in forest communities, but little is known about how this biodiversity loss affects the resilience of ecosystem functions. We examined how partial logging and clearcutting of temperate forests influenced functional diversity of birds that nest in tree cavities. We used point-counts in a before-after-control-impact design to examine the effects of logging on the value, range, and density of functional traits in bird communities in Canada (21 species) and Chile (16 species). Clearcutting, but not partial logging, reduced diversity in both systems. The effect was much more pronounced in Chile, where logging operations removed critical nesting resources (large decaying trees), than in Canada, where decaying aspen Populus tremuloides were retained on site. In Chile, logging was accompanied by declines in species richness, functional richness (amount of functional niche occupied by species), community-weighted body mass (average mass, weighted by species densities), and functional divergence (degree of maximization of divergence in occupied functional niche). In Canada, clearcutting did not affect species richness but nevertheless reduced functional richness and community-weighted body mass. Although some cavity-nesting birds can persist under intensive logging operations, their ecosystem functions may be severely compromised unless future nest trees can be retained on logged sites.

  4. Taking a closer look: disentangling effects of functional diversity on ecosystem functions with a trait-based model across hierarchy and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holzwarth, Frédéric; Rüger, Nadja; Wirth, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has progressed from the detection of relationships to elucidating their drivers and underlying mechanisms. In this context, replacing taxonomic predictors by trait-based measures of functional composition (FC)-bridging functions of species and of ecosystems-is a widely used approach. The inherent challenge of trait-based approaches is the multi-faceted, dynamic and hierarchical nature of trait influence: (i) traits may act via different facets of their distribution in a community, (ii) their influence may change over time and (iii) traits may influence processes at different levels of the natural hierarchy of organization. Here, we made use of the forest ecosystem model 'LPJ-GUESS' parametrized with empirical trait data, which creates output of individual performance, community assembly, stand-level states and processes. To address the three challenges, we resolved the dynamics of the top-level ecosystem function 'annual biomass change' hierarchically into its various component processes (growth, leaf and root turnover, recruitment and mortality) and states (stand structures, water stress) and traced the influence of different facets of FC along this hierarchy in a path analysis. We found an independent influence of functional richness, dissimilarity and identity on ecosystem states and processes and hence biomass change. Biodiversity effects were only positive during early succession and later turned negative. Unexpectedly, resource acquisition (growth, recruitment) and conservation (mortality, turnover) played an equally important role throughout the succession. These results add to a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects and place a caveat on simplistic approaches omitting hierarchical levels when analysing BEF relationships. They support the view that BEF relationships experience dramatic shifts over successional time that should be acknowledged in mechanistic theories.

  5. How do land-based salmonid farms affect stream ecology?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tello, A.; Corner, R.A.; Telfer, T.C.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing research is highlighting the fact that streams provide crucial ecosystem services through the biogeochemical and ecological processes they sustain. Freshwater land-based salmonid farms commonly discharge their effluents into low order, headwater streams, partly due to the fact that adequate freshwater resources for production are commonly found in undisturbed areas. We review the effects of salmonid farm effluents on different biological components of stream ecosystems. Relevant considerations related to the temporal and spatial scales of effluent discharge and ecological effects are discussed. These highlight the need to characterize the patterns of stressor discharge when assessing environmental impacts and designing ecological effects studies. The potential role of multiple stressors in disrupting ecosystem structure and function is discussed with an emphasis on aquaculture veterinary medicines. Further research on the effects of veterinary medicines using relevant exposure scenarios would significantly contribute to our understanding of their impact in relation to other effluent stressors. - This article reviews the effects of aquaculture effluents on stream ecosystems with an emphasis on veterinary medicines and the temporal patterns of effluent discharge.

  6. Stress differentially impacts reserve pools and root exudation: implications for ecosystem functioning and carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landhäusser, Simon; Karst, Justine; Wiley, Erin; Gaster, Jacob

    2016-04-01

    Environmental stress can influence carbon assimilation and the accumulation and distribution of carbon between growth, reserves, and exudation; however, it is unclear how these processes vary by different stress types. Partitioning of carbon to growth and reserves in plants might also vary between different organs. Roots reserves are of particular interest as they link the plant with the soil carbon cycle through exudation. Simple models of diffusion across concentration gradients predict the more C reserves in roots, the more C should be exuded from roots. However, the mechanisms underlying the accumulation and loss of C from roots may differ depending on the stress experienced by the plants. In a controlled study we tested whether different types of stresses (shade, cold soil, and drought) have differential effects on the distribution, abundance, and form (sugar vs. starch) of carbohydrates in seedlings, and whether these changes alone could explain differences in root exudation between stress types. Non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentration and pool sizes varied by stress type and between organs. Mass-specific C exudation increased with fine root sugar concentration; however, stress type affected exudation independently of reserve concentration. Seedlings exposed to cold soils exuded the most C on a per root mass basis followed by shade and drought. Through 13C labeling, we also found that depending on the stress type, aspen seedlings may be less able to control the loss of C to the soil compared with unstressed seedlings, resulting in more C leaked to the rhizosphere. The loss of C beyond that predicted by simple concentration gradients might have important implications for ecosystem functioning and carbon balance. If stressed plants lose proportionally more carbon to the soil, existing interactions between plants and soils may decouple under stress, and may include unexpected C fluxes between trees, soils and the atmosphere with a changing climate.

  7. Potential of satellite-derived ecosystem functional attributes to anticipate species range shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz-Segura, Domingo; Lomba, Angela; Sousa-Silva, Rita; Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Alves, Paulo; Georges, Damien; Vicente, Joana R.; Honrado, João P.

    2017-05-01

    In a world facing rapid environmental changes, anticipating their impacts on biodiversity is of utmost relevance. Remotely-sensed Ecosystem Functional Attributes (EFAs) are promising predictors for Species Distribution Models (SDMs) by offering an early and integrative response of vegetation performance to environmental drivers. Species of high conservation concern would benefit the most from a better ability to anticipate changes in habitat suitability. Here we illustrate how yearly projections from SDMs based on EFAs could reveal short-term changes in potential habitat suitability, anticipating mid-term shifts predicted by climate-change-scenario models. We fitted two sets of SDMs for 41 plant species of conservation concern in the Iberian Peninsula: one calibrated with climate variables for baseline conditions and projected under two climate-change-scenarios (future conditions); and the other calibrated with EFAs for 2001 and projected annually from 2001 to 2013. Range shifts predicted by climate-based models for future conditions were compared to the 2001-2013 trends from EFAs-based models. Projections of EFAs-based models estimated changes (mostly contractions) in habitat suitability that anticipated, for the majority (up to 64%) of species, the mid-term shifts projected by traditional climate-change-scenario forecasting, and showed greater agreement with the business-as-usual scenario than with the sustainable-development one. This study shows how satellite-derived EFAs can be used as meaningful essential biodiversity variables in SDMs to provide early-warnings of range shifts and predictions of short-term fluctuations in suitable conditions for multiple species.

  8. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  9. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Do stage-specific functional responses of consumers dampen the effects of subsidies on trophic cascades in streams?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Takuya; Watanabe, Katsutoshi

    2014-07-01

    Resource subsidies often weaken trophic cascades in recipient communities via consumers' functional response to the subsidies. Consumer populations are commonly stage-structured and may respond to the subsidies differently among the stages yet less is known about how this might impact the subsidy effects on the strength of trophic cascades in recipient systems. We show here, using a large-scale field experiment, that the stage structure of a recipient consumer would dampen the effects of terrestrial invertebrate subsidies on the strength of trophic cascade in streams. When a high input rate of the terrestrial invertebrates was available, both large and small fish stages switched their diet to the terrestrial subsidy, which weakened the trophic cascade in streams. However, when the input rate of the terrestrial invertebrates was at a moderate level, the terrestrial subsidy did not weaken the trophic cascade. This discrepancy was likely due to small fish stages being competitively excluded from feeding on the subsidy by larger stages of fish and primarily foraging on benthic invertebrates under the moderate input level. Although previous studies using single fish stages have clearly demonstrated that the terrestrial invertebrate input equivalent to our moderate input rate weakened the trophic cascade in streams, this subsidy effect might be overestimated given small fish stage may not switch their diet to the subsidy under competition with large fish stage. Given the ubiquity of consumer stage structure and interaction among consumer stages, the effects we saw might be widespread in nature, requiring future studies that explicitly involve consumer's stage structure into community ecology. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  11. Stream Classification Tool User Manual: For Use in Applications in Hydropower-Related Evironmental Mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McManamay, Ryan A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Troia, Matthew J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); DeRolph, Christopher R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Samu, Nicole M. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Stream classifications are an inventory of different types of streams. Classifications help us explore similarities and differences among different types of streams, make inferences regarding stream ecosystem behavior, and communicate the complexities of ecosystems. We developed a nested, layered, and spatially contiguous stream classification to characterize the biophysical settings of stream reaches within the Eastern United States (~ 900,000 reaches). The classification is composed of five natural characteristics (hydrology, temperature, size, confinement, and substrate) along with several disturbance regime layers, and each was selected because of their relevance to hydropower mitigation. We developed the classification at the stream reach level using the National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 1 (1:100k scale). The stream classification is useful to environmental mitigation for hydropower dams in multiple ways. First, it creates efficiency in the regulatory process by creating an objective and data-rich means to address meaningful mitigation actions. Secondly, the SCT addresses data gaps as it quickly provides an inventory of hydrology, temperature, morphology, and ecological communities for the immediate project area, but also surrounding streams. This includes identifying potential reference streams as those that are proximate to the hydropower facility and fall within the same class. These streams can potentially be used to identify ideal environmental conditions or identify desired ecological communities. In doing so, the stream provides some context for how streams may function, respond to dam regulation, and an overview of specific mitigation needs. Herein, we describe the methodology in developing each stream classification layer and provide a tutorial to guide applications of the classification (and associated data) in regulatory settings, such as hydropower (re)licensing.

  12. Convergence of the effect of root hydraulic functioning and root hydraulic redistribution on ecosystem water and carbon balance across divergent forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    domec, J.; King, J. S.; Ogée, J.; Noormets, A.; Warren, J.; Meinzer, F. C.; Sun, G.; Jordan-Meille, L.; Martineau, E.; Brooks, R. J.; Laclau, J.; Battie Laclau, P.; McNulty, S.

    2012-12-01

    INVITED ABSTRACT: Deep root water uptake and hydraulic redistribution (HR) play a major role in forest ecosystems during drought, but little is known about the impact of climate change on root-zone processes influencing HR and its consequences on water and carbon fluxes. Using data from two old growth sites in the western USA, two mature sites in the eastern USA, one site in southern Brazil, and simulations with the process-based model MuSICA, our objectives were to show that HR can 1) mitigate the effects of soil drying on root functioning, and 2) have important implications for carbon uptake and net ecosystem exchange (NEE). In a dry, old-growth ponderosa pine (USA) and a eucalyptus stand (Brazil) both characterized by deep sandy soils, HR limited the decline in root hydraulic conductivity and increased dry season tree transpiration (T) by up to 30%, which impacted NEE through major increases in gross primary productivity (GPP). The presence of deep-rooted trees did not necessarily imply high rates of HR unless soil texture allowed large water potential gradients to occur, as was the case in the wet old-growth Douglas-fir/mixed conifer stand. At the Duke mixed hardwood forest characterized by a shallow clay-loam soil, modeled HR was low but not negligible, representing annually up to 10% of T, and maintaining root conductance high. At this site, in the absence of HR, it was predicted that annual GPP would have been diminished by 7-19%. At the coastal loblolly pine plantation, characterized by deep organic soil, HR limited the decline in shallow root conductivity by more than 50% and increased dry season T by up to 40%, which increased net carbon gain by the ecosystem by about 400 gC m-2 yr-1, demonstrating the significance of HR in maintaining the stomatal conductance and assimilation capacity of the whole ecosystem. Under future climate conditions (elevated atmospheric [CO2] and temperature), HR is predicted to be reduced by up to 50%; reducing the resilience of

  13. Streams with Strahler Stream Order

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Stream segments with Strahler stream order values assigned. As of 01/08/08 the linework is from the DNR24K stream coverages and will not match the updated...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximei Zhang

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

  15. Mapping Drought Sensitivity of Ecosystem Functioning in Mountainous Watersheds: Spatial Heterogeneity and Geological-Geomorphological Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, H. M.; Steefel, C. F.; Williams, K. H.; Hubbard, S. S.; Enquist, B. J.; Steltzer, H.; Sarah, T.

    2016-12-01

    Mountainous watersheds in the Upper Colorado River Basin play a critical role in supplying water and nutrients to western North America. Ecosystem functioning in those regions - including plant dynamics and biogeochemical cycling - is known to be limited by water availability. Under the climate change, early snowmelt and increasing temperature are expected to intensify the drought conditions in early growing seasons. Although the impact of early-season drought has been documented in plot-scale experiments, ascertaining its significance in mountainous watersheds is challenging given the highly heterogeneous nature of the systems with complex terrain and diverse plant functional types (PFTs). The objectives of this study are (1) to map the regions where the plant dynamics are relatively more sensitive to drought conditions based on historical satellite and climate data, and (2) to identify the environmental controls (e.g., geomorphology, elevation, geology, snow and PFT) on drought sensitivity. We characterize the spatial heterogeneity of drought sensitivity in four watersheds (a 15 x 15 km domain) near the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, USA. Following previous plot-scale studies, we first define the drought sensitivity based on annual peak NDVI (Landsat 5) and climatic datasets. Non-parametric tree-based machine learning methods are used to identify the significant environmental controls, using high-resolution LiDAR digital elevation map and peak snow-water-equivalent distribution from NASA airborne snow observatory. Results show that the drought sensitivity is negatively correlated with elevation, suggesting increased water limitations in lower elevation (less snow, higher temperature). The drought sensitivity is more spatially variable in shallow-rooted plant types, affected by local hydrological conditions. We also found geomorphological and geological controls, such as high sensitivity in the steep well-drained glacial moraine regions. Our

  16. Are riparian forest reserves sources of invertebrate biodiversity spillover and associated ecosystem functions in oil palm landscapes?</