WorldWideScience

Sample records for understorey plant community

  1. Driving factors behind the eutrophication signal in understorey plant communities of deciduous temperate forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verheyen, K.; Baeten, L.; Frenne, De P.; Bernhardt-Römermann, M.; Brunet, J.; Cornelis, J.; Decocq, G.; Eriksson, O.; Dierschke, H.; Hommel, P.W.F.M.

    2012-01-01

    1. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is expected to change forest understorey plant community composition and diversity, but results of experimental addition studies and observational studies are not yet conclusive. A shortcoming of observational studies, which are generally based on resurveys or

  2. Travelling to a former sea floor: colonization of forests by understorey plant species on land recently reclaimed from the sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierik, M.; Van Ruijven, J.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, F.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What are important forest characteristics determining colonization of forest patches by forest understorey species? Location: Planted forests on land recently reclaimed from the sea, the Netherlands. Methods: We related the distribution of forest specialist species in the understorey of

  3. Fire frequency, agricultural history and the multivariate control of pine savanna understorey plant diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph W. Veldman; Lars A. Brudvig; Ellen I. Damschen; John L. Orrock; W. Brett Mattingly; Joan L. Walker

    2014-01-01

    Question: Human-altered disturbance regimes and agricultural land uses are broadly associated with reduced plant species diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we seek to understand how fire frequency and agricultural land-use history influence savanna understorey plant diversity through complex relationships (i.e. indirect effects) among multiple...

  4. The effects of kelp harvesting on its regrowth and the understorey ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Marine Science ... Two years after harvesting whole plants (in two 100 × 20m lanes), biomass and density of kelp had recovered (similar in control and harvested lanes), and there were no detectable differences in the understorey communities, as measured by detrended correspondence analysis.

  5. Modelling the effect of habitat fragmentation on climate-driven migration of European forest understorey plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dullinger, S.; Dendoncker, N.; Gattringer, Andreas; Leitner, M.; Mang, Thomas; Moser, Dietmar; Mücher, C.A.; Plutzar, Christoph; Rounsevell, Mark; Willner, Wolfgang; Zimmerman, N.E.; Hülber, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Aim
    The rate of climate change might exceed the migration capacity of plants, particularly where habitats became fragmented by human land use. Except for some tree species, the extent to which habitat fragmentation decreases migration rates has nevertheless been little evaluated. Here, we

  6. Fire severity mediates climate-driven shifts in understorey community composition of black spruce stands of interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily L. Bernhardt; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin

    2011-01-01

    Question: How do pre-fire conditions (community composition and environmental characteristics) and climate-driven disturbance characteristics (fire severity) affect post-fire community composition in black spruce stands? Location: Northern boreal forest, interior Alaska. Methods: We compared plant community composition and environmental stand characteristics in 14...

  7. Phyllosphere nitrogen relations: reciprocal transfer of nitrogen between epiphyllous liverworts and host plants in the understorey of a lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanek, Wolfgang; Pörtl, Katja

    2005-05-01

    Epiphyllous bryophytes on tropical rainforest plants acquire nutrients from throughfall and free-living N2-fixing organisms, but may also depend directly on host leaf leachates. By contrast, after drying events bryophytes lose significant quantities of nutrients through leaching that can be taken up by host leaves. To assess a potential nutritional interdependency, nitrogen fluxes between epiphyllous liverworts and their host leaves (Carludovica drudei, Costus laevis, Dieffenbachia concinna, Pentagonia wendlandii) were quantified by in situ15N-labelling techniques in a lowland rainforest, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica. Depending on host species, epiphyllous bryophytes met between 1 and 57% of their N demand from host leaf leachates. Externally supplied 15N was taken up both by epiphylls and host leaves, but N from epiphyll leachates accounted for < 2.5% of host leaf N after 14 d. Long-term observations (180 d) demonstrated the highly dynamic nature of phyllosphere N of the investigated tropical rainforest understorey and an intermittent sink capacity of epiphyllous bryophytes.

  8. Plant communities on infertile soils are less sensitive to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen; Fernandez-Going, Barbara; Eskelinen, Anu; Copeland, Stella

    2015-11-01

    Much evidence suggests that plant communities on infertile soils are relatively insensitive to increased water deficit caused by increasing temperature and/or decreasing precipitation. However, a multi-decadal study of community change in the western USA does not support this conclusion. This paper tests explanations related to macroclimatic differences, overstorey effects on microclimate, variation in soil texture and plant functional traits. A re-analysis was undertaken of the changes in the multi-decadal study, which concerned forest understorey communities on infertile (serpentine) and fertile soils in an aridifying climate (southern Oregan) from 1949-1951 to 2007-2008. Macroclimatic variables, overstorey cover and soil texture were used as new covariates. As an alternative measure of climate-related change, the community mean value of specific leaf area was used, a functional trait measuring drought tolerance. We investigated whether these revised analyses supported the prediction of lesser sensitivity to climate change in understorey communities on infertile serpentine soils. Overstorey cover, but not macroclimate or soil texture, was a significant covariate of community change over time. It strongly buffered understorey temperatures, was correlated with less change and averaged >50 % lower on serpentine soils, thereby counteracting the lower climate sensitivity of understorey herbs on these soils. Community mean specific leaf area showed the predicted pattern of less change over time in serpentine than non-serpentine communities. Based on the current balance of evidence, plant communities on infertile serpentine soils are less sensitive to changes in the climatic water balance than communities on more fertile soils. However, this advantage may in some cases be lessened by their sparser overstorey cover. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  9. Effects of plant leachates from four boreal understorey species on soil N mineralization, and white spruce (Picea glauca) germination and seedling growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castells, Eva; Peñuelas, Josep; Valentine, David W

    2005-06-01

    Natural regeneration of white spruce (Picea glauca) after disturbance has been reported to be very poor. Here a study was made to determine whether C compounds released from understorey species growing together with white spruce could be involved in this regeneration failure, either by (1) changing soil nutrient dynamics, (2) inhibiting germination, and/or (3) delaying seedling growth. Foliage leachates were obtained from two shrubs (Ledum palustre and Empetrum hermaphroditum) and one bryophyte (Sphagnum sp.) with high phenolic compound concentrations that have been reported to depress growth of conifers in boreal forests, and, as a comparison, one bryophyte (Hylocomium splendens) with negligible phenolic compounds. Mineral soil from a white spruce forest was amended with plant leachates to examine the effect of each species on net N mineralization. Additionally, white spruce seeds and seedlings were watered with plant leachates to determine their effects on germination and growth. Leachates from the shrubs L. palustre and E. hermaphroditum contained high phenolic compound concentrations and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), while no detectable levels of C compounds were released from the bryophytes Sphagnum sp. or H. splendens. A decrease in net N mineralization was determined in soils amended with L. palustre or E. hermaphroditum leachates, and this effect was inversely proportional to the phenolic concentrations, DOC and leachate C/N ratio. The total percentage of white spruce germination and the growth of white spruce seedlings were similar among treatments. These results suggest that the shrubs L. palustre and E. hermaphroditum could negatively affect the performance of white spruce due to a decrease in soil N availability, but not by direct effects on plant physiology.

  10. Land-use history affects understorey plant species distributions in a large temperate-forest complex, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenning, J.-C.; Baktoft, Karen H.; Balslev, Henrik

    2009-01-01

    spatial, and 5 historical variables, and principal components analysis (PCA), redundancy analysis (RDA) as well as indicator species analysis. The historical variables were status as ancient (1805 AD) high forest, reclaimed bogs, ≤100 m from Bronze Age burial mounds, or former conifer plantation...... dispersal and a strong literature record as ancient-forest species, were still concentrated in areas that were high forest in 1805. Among the younger forests, there were clear floristic differences between those on reclaimed bogs and those not. Apparently remnant populations of wet-soil plants were still...

  11. Driving factors behind the eutrophication signal in understorey plant communities of deciduous temperate forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Verheyen, E.; Baeten, L.; De Frenne, P.; Brnhardt-Römermann, M.; Brunet, J.; Cornelis, J.; Decocq, G.; Dierschke, H.; Eriksson, O.; Hédl, Radim; Heinken, T.; Hermy, M.; Hommel, P.; Kirby, K.; Naaf, T.; Peterken, G.; Petřík, Petr; Pfadenhauer, J.; Van Calster, H.; Walther, G.-R.; Wulf, M.; Verstraeten, G.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 100, č. 2 (2012), s. 352-365 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600050812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : Ellenberg indicator values * forest management * large herbivores Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 5.431, year: 2012

  12. Comparative Study of Understorey Birds Diversity Inhabiting Lowland Rainforest Virgin Jungle Reserve and Regenerated Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezyan Nor Hashim

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A comparative study of understorey birds inhabiting different habitats, that is, virgin jungle reserve (VJR and regenerated forest (RF, was conducted in Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve and Selangor and Triang Forest Reserve, Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity of understorey birds in both habitats and the effects of forest regeneration on the understorey bird community. The mist-netting method was used to capture understorey birds inhabiting both habitats in both locations. Species composition and feeding guild indicated that understorey bird populations were similar in the two habitats. However, the number of secondary forest species such as Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra in VJR is increasing due to its proximity to RF. This study discovered that RFs in both study areas are not yet fully recovered. However, based on the range of species discovered, the RFs have conservation value and should be maintained because they harbour important forest species such as babblers and flycatchers. The assessment of the community structure of understorey birds in VJR and RF is important for forest management and conservation, especially where both habitats are intact.

  13. Comparative study of understorey birds diversity inhabiting lowland rainforest virgin jungle reserve and regenerated forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nor Hashim, Ezyan; Ramli, Rosli

    2013-01-01

    A comparative study of understorey birds inhabiting different habitats, that is, virgin jungle reserve (VJR) and regenerated forest (RF), was conducted in Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve and Selangor and Triang Forest Reserve, Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity of understorey birds in both habitats and the effects of forest regeneration on the understorey bird community. The mist-netting method was used to capture understorey birds inhabiting both habitats in both locations. Species composition and feeding guild indicated that understorey bird populations were similar in the two habitats. However, the number of secondary forest species such as Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) in VJR is increasing due to its proximity to RF. This study discovered that RFs in both study areas are not yet fully recovered. However, based on the range of species discovered, the RFs have conservation value and should be maintained because they harbour important forest species such as babblers and flycatchers. The assessment of the community structure of understorey birds in VJR and RF is important for forest management and conservation, especially where both habitats are intact.

  14. MBS Native Plant Communities

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Global environmental change effects on plant community composition trajectories depend upon management legacies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perring, Michael P; Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus; Baeten, Lander; Midolo, Gabriele; Blondeel, Haben; Depauw, Leen; Landuyt, Dries; Maes, Sybryn L; De Lombaerde, Emiel; Carón, Maria Mercedes; Vellend, Mark; Brunet, Jörg; Chudomelová, Markéta; Decocq, Guillaume; Diekmann, Martin; Dirnböck, Thomas; Dörfler, Inken; Durak, Tomasz; De Frenne, Pieter; Gilliam, Frank S; Hédl, Radim; Heinken, Thilo; Hommel, Patrick; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kirby, Keith J; Kopecký, Martin; Lenoir, Jonathan; Li, Daijiang; Máliš, František; Mitchell, Fraser J G; Naaf, Tobias; Newman, Miles; Petřík, Petr; Reczyńska, Kamila; Schmidt, Wolfgang; Standovár, Tibor; Świerkosz, Krzysztof; Van Calster, Hans; Vild, Ondřej; Wagner, Eva Rosa; Wulf, Monika; Verheyen, Kris

    2018-04-01

    The contemporary state of functional traits and species richness in plant communities depends on legacy effects of past disturbances. Whether temporal responses of community properties to current environmental changes are altered by such legacies is, however, unknown. We expect global environmental changes to interact with land-use legacies given different community trajectories initiated by prior management, and subsequent responses to altered resources and conditions. We tested this expectation for species richness and functional traits using 1814 survey-resurvey plot pairs of understorey communities from 40 European temperate forest datasets, syntheses of management transitions since the year 1800, and a trait database. We also examined how plant community indicators of resources and conditions changed in response to management legacies and environmental change. Community trajectories were clearly influenced by interactions between management legacies from over 200 years ago and environmental change. Importantly, higher rates of nitrogen deposition led to increased species richness and plant height in forests managed less intensively in 1800 (i.e., high forests), and to decreases in forests with a more intensive historical management in 1800 (i.e., coppiced forests). There was evidence that these declines in community variables in formerly coppiced forests were ameliorated by increased rates of temperature change between surveys. Responses were generally apparent regardless of sites' contemporary management classifications, although sometimes the management transition itself, rather than historic or contemporary management types, better explained understorey responses. Main effects of environmental change were rare, although higher rates of precipitation change increased plant height, accompanied by increases in fertility indicator values. Analysis of indicator values suggested the importance of directly characterising resources and conditions to better

  16. Defoliation and gender effects on fitness components in three congeneric and sympatric understorey palms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hernández-Barrios, J.C.; Anten, N.P.R.; Ackerly, D.D.

    2012-01-01

    1.Rain forest understorey perennial plants can be frequently exposed to leaf area losses induced by herbivory or physical damage from falling canopy debris. In dioecious species, tolerance to defoliation may differ between genders (e.g. females may suffer more than males), but this topic has so far

  17. Impact of global climate change and fire on the occurrence and function of understorey legumes in forest ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reverchon, Frederique; Xu, Zhihong; Blumfield, Timothy J.; Chen, Chengrong; Abdullah, Kadum M. [Griffith Univ., Nathan, QLD (Australia). Environmental Futures Centre and School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences

    2012-02-15

    The objective of this review was to provide a better understanding of how global climate change and fire influence the occurrence of understorey legumes and thereby biological nitrogen (N) fixation rates in forest ecosystems. Legumes are interesting models since they represent an interface between the soil, plant, and microbial compartments, and are directly linked to nutrient cycles through their ability to fix N. As such, they are likely to be affected by environmental changes. Biological N fixation has been shown to increase under enriched CO{sub 2} conditions, but is constrained by the availability of phosphorus and water. Climate change can also influence the species composition of legumes and their symbionts through warming, altered rainfall patterns, or changes in soil physicochemistry, which could modify the effectiveness of the symbiosis. Additionally, global climate change may increase the occurrence and intensity of forest wildfires thereby further influencing the distribution of legumes. The establishment of leguminous species is generally favored by fire, as is N{sub 2} fixation. This fixed N could therefore replenish the N lost through volatilization during the fire. However, fire may also generate shifts in the associated microbial community which could affect the outcome of the symbiosis. Understorey legumes are important functional species, and even when they cannot reasonably be expected to reestablish the nutrient balance in forest soils, they may be used as indicators to monitor nutrient fluxes and the response of forest ecosystems to changing environmental conditions. This would be helpful to accurately model ecosystem N budgets, and since N is often a limiting factor to plant growth and a major constraint on C storage in ecosystems, would allow us to assess more precisely the potential of these forests for C sequestration. (orig.)

  18. Shading and litter mediate the effects of soil fertility on the performance of an understorey herb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copeland, Stella M; Harrison, Susan P

    2016-11-01

    Soil fertility and topographic microclimate are common determinants of plant species distributions. However, biotic conditions also vary along these abiotic gradients, and may mediate their effects on plants. In this study, we investigated whether soils and topographic microclimate acted directly on the performance of a focal understorey plant, or indirectly via changing biotic conditions. We examined direct and indirect relationships between abiotic variables (soil fertility and topographic microclimate) and biotic factors (overstorey and understorey cover, litter depth and mycorrhizal colonization) and the occurrence, density and flowering of a common understorey herb, Trientalis latifolia, in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon, USA. We found that the positive effects of soil fertility on Trientalis occurrence were mediated by greater overstorey shading and deeper litter. However, we did not find any effects of topographic microclimate on Trientalis distribution that were mediated by the biotic variables we measured. The predictive success of Trientalis species distribution models with soils and topographic microclimate increased by 12 % with the addition of the biotic variables. Our results reinforce the idea that species distributions are the outcome of interrelated abiotic gradients and biotic interactions, and suggest that biotic conditions, such as overstorey density, should be included in species distribution models if data are available. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Climate-change impacts on understorey bamboo species and giant pandas in China's Qinling Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Viña, Andrés; Winkler, Julie A.; Li, Yu; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-03-01

    Climate change is threatening global ecosystems through its impact on the survival of individual species and their ecological functions. Despite the important role of understorey plants in forest ecosystems, climate impact assessments on understorey plants and their role in supporting wildlife habitat are scarce in the literature. Here we assess climate-change impacts on understorey bamboo species with an emphasis on their ecological function as a food resource for endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). An ensemble of bamboo distribution projections associated with multiple climate-change projections and bamboo dispersal scenarios indicates a substantial reduction in the distributional ranges of three dominant bamboo species in the Qinling Mountains, China during the twenty-first century. As these three species comprise almost the entire diet of the panda population in the region, the projected changes in bamboo distribution suggest a potential shortage of food for this population, unless alternative food sources become available. Although the projections were developed under unavoidable simplifying assumptions and uncertainties, they indicate potential challenges for panda conservation and underscore the importance of incorporating interspecific interactions into climate-change impact assessments and associated conservation planning.

  20. Height increment of understorey Norway spruces under different tree canopies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olavi Laiho

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Background Stands having advance regeneration of spruce are logical places to start continuous cover forestry (CCF in fertile and mesic boreal forests. However, the development of advance regeneration is poorly known. Methods This study used regression analysis to model the height increment of spruce understorey as a function of seedling height, site characteristics and canopy structure. Results An admixture of pine and birch in the main canopy improves the height increment of understorey. When the stand basal area is 20 m2ha-1 height increment is twice as fast under pine and birch canopies, as compared to spruce. Height increment of understorey spruce increases with increasing seedling height. Between-stand and within-stand residual variation in the height increment of understorey spruces is high. The increment of 1/6 fastest-growing seedlings is at least 50% greater than the average. Conclusions The results of this study help forest managers to regulate the density and species composition of the stand, so as to obtain a sufficient height development of the understorey. In pure and almost pure spruce stands, the stand basal area should be low for a good height increment of the understorey.

  1. Understorey bird abundance and diversity before and after a forest ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    layer and canopy cover. In the Eastern Arc Mountains, the effects of forest fires on avifauna, especially on forest interior bird species, have received little attention. In the Ulugurus the author has reported the negative affects of fire on understorey forest birds in the lower alti- tude Kimboza Forest Reserve (Werema 2014), but ...

  2. Seasonal variation in diversity and abundance of understorey birds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our findings suggest that in a situation where there is no natural forest, an exotic plantation with suitable indigenous understorey cover can help in protection of birds, including endemic and near-endemic species. Keywords: birds, conservation, Eastern Arc Mountains, plantation, seasonal altitudinal migration, seasons, ...

  3. Plant diversity and plant identity influence Fusarium communities in soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fusarium communities play important functional roles in soil and in-planta as pathogens, endophytes, and saprotrophs. This study tests how rhizosphere Fusarium communities may vary according to plant species, differences in species richness of the surrounding plant community, and soil physiochemical...

  4. Comparing Pixel and Object-Based Approaches to Map an Understorey Invasive Shrub in Tropical Mixed Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhura Niphadkar

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The establishment of invasive alien species in varied habitats across the world is now recognized as a genuine threat to the preservation of biodiversity. Specifically, plant invasions in understory tropical forests are detrimental to the persistence of healthy ecosystems. Monitoring such invasions using Very High Resolution (VHR satellite remote sensing has been shown to be valuable in designing management interventions for conservation of native habitats. Object-based classification methods are very helpful in identifying invasive plants in various habitats, by their inherent nature of imitating the ability of the human brain in pattern recognition. However, these methods have not been tested adequately in dense tropical mixed forests where invasion occurs in the understorey. This study compares a pixel-based and object-based classification method for mapping the understorey invasive shrub Lantana camara (Lantana in a tropical mixed forest habitat in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. Overall, a hierarchical approach of mapping top canopy at first, and then further processing for the understorey shrub, using measures such as texture and vegetation indices proved effective in separating out Lantana from other cover types. In the first method, we implement a simple parametric supervised classification for mapping cover types, and then process within these types for Lantana delineation. In the second method, we use an object-based segmentation algorithm to map cover types, and then perform further processing for separating Lantana. The improved ability of the object-based approach to delineate structurally distinct objects with characteristic spectral and spatial characteristics of their own, as well as with reference to their surroundings, allows for much flexibility in identifying invasive understorey shrubs among the complex vegetation of the tropical forest than that provided by the parametric classifier. Conservation practices

  5. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponisio, Lauren C; Wilkin, Kate; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kulhanek, Kelly; Cook, Lindsay; Thorp, Robbin; Griswold, Terry; Kremen, Claire

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may

  6. Light accelerates plant responses to warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Frenne, Pieter; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Francisco; De Schrijver, An; Coomes, David A; Hermy, Martin; Vangansbeke, Pieter; Verheyen, Kris

    2015-08-17

    Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. Nowhere is this more evident than in forests, where trees create environmental heterogeneity that shapes the dynamics of forest-floor communities(1-3). Observational evidence suggests that biotic responses to both anthropogenic global warming and nitrogen pollution may be attenuated by the shading effects of trees and shrubs(4-9). Here we show experimentally that tree shade is slowing down changes in below-canopy communities due to warming. We manipulated levels of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature and nitrogen, alone and in combination, in a temperate forest understorey over a 3-year period, and monitored the composition of the understorey community. Light addition, but not nitrogen enrichment, accelerated directional plant community responses to warming, increasing the dominance of warmth-preferring taxa over cold-tolerant plants (a process described as thermophilization(6,10-12)). Tall, competitive plants took greatest advantage of the combination of elevated temperature and light. Warming of the forest floor did not result in strong community thermophilization unless light was also increased. Our findings suggest that the maintenance of locally closed canopy conditions could reduce, at least temporarily, warming-induced changes in forest floor plant communities.

  7. Compositional stability of boreal understorey vegetation after overstorey harvesting across a riparian ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca L. MacDonald; Han Y.H. Chen; Samuel F. Bartels; Brian J. Palik; Ellie E. Prepas; Frank Gilliam

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Understanding factors that contribute to the stability of an ecosystem following harvesting is central to predicting responses of boreal ecosystems to increasing human disturbances.While the response of understorey vegetation to harvesting is well understood for upland sites, little is known about compositional stability of riparian understorey vegetation....

  8. THE EUROPEAN POSITION OF DUTCH PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A.M. JANSSEN

    2007-04-01

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

  9. Global change and terrestrial plant community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Serra-Diaz, Josep M; Syphard, Alexandra D; Regan, Helen M

    2016-04-05

    Anthropogenic drivers of global change include rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses and resulting changes in the climate, as well as nitrogen deposition, biotic invasions, altered disturbance regimes, and land-use change. Predicting the effects of global change on terrestrial plant communities is crucial because of the ecosystem services vegetation provides, from climate regulation to forest products. In this paper, we present a framework for detecting vegetation changes and attributing them to global change drivers that incorporates multiple lines of evidence from spatially extensive monitoring networks, distributed experiments, remotely sensed data, and historical records. Based on a literature review, we summarize observed changes and then describe modeling tools that can forecast the impacts of multiple drivers on plant communities in an era of rapid change. Observed responses to changes in temperature, water, nutrients, land use, and disturbance show strong sensitivity of ecosystem productivity and plant population dynamics to water balance and long-lasting effects of disturbance on plant community dynamics. Persistent effects of land-use change and human-altered fire regimes on vegetation can overshadow or interact with climate change impacts. Models forecasting plant community responses to global change incorporate shifting ecological niches, population dynamics, species interactions, spatially explicit disturbance, ecosystem processes, and plant functional responses. Monitoring, experiments, and models evaluating multiple change drivers are needed to detect and predict vegetation changes in response to 21st century global change.

  10. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J, RODWELL

    2002-01-01

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

  11. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. DRING

    2002-04-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    objective of this work was to study the vegetation structure, composition and Natural ... Vegetation classification was performed using PC - ORD for windows version 5.0. Five communities were recognized. Results showed that a total of 157 plant ..... Vegetation types and forest fire management in Ethiopia In: MOA & GTZ.

  13. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Shan-Shan; Dai, Zhi-Cong; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Si, Chun-Can; Huang, Ping; Wang, Rui-Ping; Zhong, Qiong-Xin; Du, Dao-Lin

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants.

  14. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B

    2012-12-07

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity-pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship.

  15. Predicting the structure of soil communities from plant community taxonomy, phylogeny, and traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Bardgett, Richard D; Wilkinson, Anna; Jackson, Benjamin G; Pritchard, William J; De Long, Jonathan R; Oakley, Simon; Mason, Kelly E; Ostle, Nicholas J; Johnson, David; Baggs, Elizabeth M; Fierer, Noah

    2018-03-09

    There are numerous ways in which plants can influence the composition of soil communities. However, it remains unclear whether information on plant community attributes, including taxonomic, phylogenetic, or trait-based composition, can be used to predict the structure of soil communities. We tested, in both monocultures and field-grown mixed temperate grassland communities, whether plant attributes predict soil communities including taxonomic groups from across the tree of life (fungi, bacteria, protists, and metazoa). The composition of all soil community groups was affected by plant species identity, both in monocultures and in mixed communities. Moreover, plant community composition predicted additional variation in soil community composition beyond what could be predicted from soil abiotic characteristics. In addition, analysis of the field aboveground plant community composition and the composition of plant roots suggests that plant community attributes are better predictors of soil communities than root distributions. However, neither plant phylogeny nor plant traits were strong predictors of soil communities in either experiment. Our results demonstrate that grassland plant species form specific associations with soil community members and that information on plant species distributions can improve predictions of soil community composition. These results indicate that specific associations between plant species and complex soil communities are key determinants of biodiversity patterns in grassland soils.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, D C; Le Page, Y; DeFries, R; Collatz, G J; Hurtt, G C

    2013-06-05

    Recent drought events underscore the vulnerability of Amazon forests to understorey fires. The long-term impact of fires on biodiversity and forest carbon stocks depends on the frequency of fire damages and deforestation rates of burned forests. Here, we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of understorey fires (1999-2010) and deforestation (2001-2010) in southern Amazonia using new satellite-based estimates of annual fire activity (greater than 50 ha) and deforestation (greater than 10 ha). Understorey forest fires burned more than 85 500 km(2) between 1999 and 2010 (2.8% of all forests). Forests that burned more than once accounted for 16 per cent of all understorey fires. Repeated fire activity was concentrated in Mato Grosso and eastern Pará, whereas single fires were widespread across the arc of deforestation. Routine fire activity in Mato Grosso coincided with annual periods of low night-time relative humidity, suggesting a strong climate control on both single and repeated fires. Understorey fires occurred in regions with active deforestation, yet the interannual variability of fire and deforestation were uncorrelated, and only 2.6 per cent of forests that burned between 1999 and 2008 were deforested for agricultural use by 2010. Evidence from the past decade suggests that future projections of frontier landscapes in Amazonia should separately consider economic drivers to project future deforestation and climate to project fire risk.

  18. Potential Population Genetic Consequences of Habitat Fragmentation in Central European Forest Trees and Associated Understorey Species—An Introductory Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Dobeš

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation threatens the maintenance of genetic diversity of affected populations. Assessment of the risks associated with habitat fragmentation is a big challenge as the change in population genetic diversity is a dynamic process, often acting over long time periods and depending on various characteristics pertaining to both species (life history traits and their populations (extrinsic characteristics. With this survey, we provide an introductory overview for persons who have to make or are interested in making predictions about the fate of forest-dwelling plant populations which have recently become fragmented and isolated from their main occurrences. We provide a concise introduction to the field of population genetics focusing on terms, processes and phenomena relevant to the maintenance of genetic diversity and vitality of plant populations. In particular the antagonistic effects of gene flow and random genetic drift are covered. A special chapter is devoted to Central European tree species (including the Carpathians which we treat in detail with reference to an extensive literature survey on population genetic studies assembled from the whole of Europe. We further provide an overview of the population biology of associated understorey species. We conclude with recommended steps to be taken for the evaluation of potential perils of habitat fragmentation or population thinning for the genetics of tree populations. The complexity of effects exerted by life history traits and extrinsic characteristics of populations suggest population genetic development is strongly situation dependent. Therefore, we recommend following a case-by-case approach ideally supported by computer simulations to predict future population genetic development of both trees and associated understorey species.

  19. Mutualistic rhizobia reduce plant diversity and alter community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Kane R

    2014-12-01

    Mutualistic interactions can be just as important to community dynamics as antagonistic species interactions like competition and predation. Because of their large effects on both abiotic and biotic environmental variables, resource mutualisms, in particular, have the potential to influence plant communities. Moreover, the effects of resource mutualists such as nitrogen-fixing rhizobia on diversity and community composition may be more pronounced in nutrient-limited environments. I experimentally manipulated the presence of rhizobia across a nitrogen gradient in early assembling mesocosm communities with identical starting species composition to test how the classic mutualism between nitrogen-fixing rhizobia and their legume host influence diversity and community composition. After harvest, I assessed changes in α-diversity, community composition, β-diversity, and ecosystem properties such as inorganic nitrogen availability and productivity as a result of rhizobia and nitrogen availability. The presence of rhizobia decreased plant community diversity, increased community convergence (reduced β-diversity), altered plant community composition, and increased total community productivity. These community-level effects resulted from rhizobia increasing the competitive dominance of their legume host Chamaecrista fasciculata. Moreover, different non-leguminous species responded both negatively and positively to the presence of rhizobia, indicating that rhizobia are driving both inhibitory and potentially facilitative effects in communities. These findings expand our understanding of plant communities by incorporating the effects of positive symbiotic interactions on plant diversity and composition. In particular, rhizobia that specialize on dominant plants may serve as keystone mutualists in terrestrial plant communities, reducing diversity by more than 40%.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Effect of power plant emissions on plant community structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, J.; Agrawal, M.; Narayan, D. (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (India))

    1994-06-01

    A field study was conducted around two coal-fired thermal power plants (TPP) to analyse the impact of their emission on the structure of herbaceous communities in a dry tropical area. Phytosociological studies reflected that Cassia tora, Cynodon dactylon and Dichanthium annulatum dominate at heavily polluted sites. Alsycarpus monilifer, Convolvulus pluricaulis, and Desmodium triflorum are uniformly distributed, whereas Paspalidium flavidum, Phyllanthus simplex, and Rungia repens are dominant at less polluted sites. On the basis of Importance Value Index, the species were classified as sensitive, intermediate and resistant to TPP emissions. Shannon-Wiener Index of species diversity, species richness and evenness were inversely related to the pollution load in the area. Significant negative correlation between ambient SO[sub 2] concentration and species diversity suggested selective elimination of sensitive species from the heavily polluted sites.

  2. Effect of power plant emissions on plant community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, J; Agrawal, M; Narayan, D

    1994-06-01

    A field study was conducted around two coal-fired thermal power plants (TPP) to analyse the impact of their emission on the structure of herbaceous communities in a dry tropical area. Phytosociological studies reflected that Cassia tora, Cynodon dactylon and Dichanthium annulatum dominate at heavily polluted sites. Alsycarpus monilifer, Convolvulus pluricaulis, and Desmodium triflorum are uniformly distributed, whereas Paspalidium flavidum, Phyllanthus simplex, and Rungia repens are dominant at less polluted sites. On the basis of Importance Value Index, the species were classified as sensitive, intermediate and resistant to TPP emissions. Shannon-Wiener Index of species diversity, species richness and evenness were inversely related, whereas concentration of dominance was directly related to the pollution load in the area. Significant negative correlation between ambient SO2 concentration and species diversity suggested selective elimination of sensitive species from the heavily polluted sites.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Reproductive isolation of sympatric forms of the understorey palm Geonoma macrostachys in western Amazonia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borchsenius, Finn; Lozada, Tannya; Knudsen, Jette T.

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of a mechanism for attaining reproductive isolation between two diverging populations is a key step in the speciation process. We studied phenotypic variation, genetic differentiation, spatial distribution and reproductive ecology in two sympatric forms of the understorey palm Geonoma...

  5. Within-stand variation in understorey vegetation affects fire behaviour in longleaf pine xeric sandhills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evelyn S. Wenk; G. Geoff Wang; Joan L. Walker

    2011-01-01

    The frequent fires typical of the longleaf pine ecosystem in the south-eastern USA are carried by live understorey vegetation and pine litter. Mature longleaf pine stands in the xeric sandhills region have a variable understory vegetation layer, creating several fuel complexes at the within-stand scale (20 m2). We identified three fuel complexes...

  6. Avian distribution in treefall gaps and understorey of terra firme forest in the lowland Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    JR WUNDERLE; MICHAEL R. WILLIG; LUIZA MAGALLI PINTO HENRIQUES

    2005-01-01

    We compared the bird distributions in the understorey of treefall gaps and sites with intact canopy in Amazonian terra firme forest in Brazil. We compiled 2216 mist-net captures (116 species) in 32 gap and 32 forest sites over 22.3 months. Gap habitats differed from forest habitats in having higher capture rates, total captures, species richness and diversity....

  7. Understorey fire propagation and tree mortality on adjacent areas to an Amazonian deforestation fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.A. Carvalho; C.A. Gurgel Veras; E.C. Alvarado; D.V. Sandberg; S.J. Leite; R. Gielow; E.R.C. Rabelo; J.C. Santos

    2010-01-01

    Fire characteristics in tropical ecosystems are poorly documented quantitatively in the literature. This paper describes an understorey fire propagating across the edges of a biomass burn of a cleared primary forest. The experiment was carried out in 2001 in the Amazon forest near Alta Floresta, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, as part of biomass burning experiments...

  8. Improved understorey bamboo cover mapping using a novel hybrid neural network and expert system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, T.; Skidmore, A.K.; Toxopeus, A.G.

    2009-01-01

    The giant panda is an obligate bamboo grazer. Therefore, the availability and abundance of understorey bamboo determines the quantity and quality of panda habitat. However, there is little or no information about the spatial distribution or abundance of bamboo underneath the forest canopy, due to

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration in three plant communities of a Rhigozum trichotomum habitat at Upington. Moore A., Van Eck J.A.J., Van Niekerk J.P., Robertson B.L.. Abstract. Evapotranspiration losses in three Rhigozum trichotomum plant communities namely, pure grass, pure R. trichotomum and a mixed stand of grass and R.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plant communities of the forests of southwestern Ethiopia were described based on floristic analysis of the data collected between February 1995 and May 1996. Floristic analysis is based on the cover-abundance values of both woody and herbaceous species. Plant community-environment relationship was assessed ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Colin; Dajoz, Isabelle; Meriguet, Jacques; Loreau, Michel

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Fontaine

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhang

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veen, G F; Olff, Han; Duyts, Henk; van der Putten, Wim H

    2010-03-01

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how grazing by vertebrate herbivores influences the soil nematode community composition of a floodplain grassland while we account for effects of grazing on plant community composition and abiotic soil properties. Nematodes are the most ubiquitous invertebrates in the soil. They include a variety of feeding types, ranging from microbial feeders to herbivores and carnivores, and they perform key functions in soil food webs. Our hypothesis was that grazing affects nematode community structure and composition through altering plant community structure and composition. Alternatively, we tested whether the effects of grazing may, directly or indirectly, run via changes in soil abiotic properties. We used a long-term field experiment containing plots with and without vertebrate grazers (cattle and rabbits). We compared plant and nematode community structure and composition, as well as a number of key soil abiotic properties, and we applied structural equation modeling to investigate four possible pathways by which grazing may change nematode community composition. Aboveground grazing increased plant species richness and reduced both plant and nematode community heterogeneity. There was a positive relationship between plant and nematode diversity indices. Grazing decreased the number of bacterial-feeding nematodes, indicating that in these grasslands, top-down control of plant production by grazing leads to bottom-up control in the basal part of the bacterial channel of the soil food web. According to the structural equation model, grazing had a strong effect on soil abiotic properties and plant community composition, whereas plant community composition was the main determinant of

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jędruszczak

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Influence of Plant Community Composition on Biomass Production in Planted Grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Henschell, Max A.; Webster, Christopher R.; Flaspohler, David J.; Fortin, Chad R.

    2015-01-01

    United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly

    2016-01-01

    exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species...... in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional...

  3. Spatial dynamics of understorey insectivorous birds and arthropods in a southeastern Brazilian Atlantic woodlot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MA. Manhães

    Full Text Available Spatial distribution and spatial relationships in capture rates of understorey insectivorous birds and density of arthropods were investigated in a patch of upper montane rain forest in Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil, from January to December 2004. The composition of the arthropod fauna collected was similar to that reported for other tropical forests, with predominance of Araneae, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Hemiptera non-Heteroptera. A total of 26 bird species were captured, among which the more common were Dysithamnus mentalis, Conopophaga lineata, Platyrinchus mystaceus, Basileuterus culicivorus and Sclerurus scansor. Variation in the bird capture rates among sampling net lines were not correlated with arthropod density. Rather, individual analyses of some bird species suggest that spatial distribution of understorey insectivorous birds is better explained by habitat type.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose de Jesus Navar Chaidez

    2009-06-01

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

  5. Influence of plant community composition on biomass production in planted grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henschell, Max A; Webster, Christopher R; Flaspohler, David J; Fortin, Chad R

    2015-01-01

    United States energy policy mandates increased use of renewable fuels. Restoring grasslands could contribute to a portion of this requirement through biomass harvest for bioenergy use. We investigated which plant community characteristics are associated with differences in biomass yield from a range of realistic native prairie plantings (n = 11; i.e., conservation planting, restoration, and wildlife cover). Our primary goal was to understand whether patterns in plant community composition and the Floristic Quality Index (FQI) were related to productivity as evidenced by dormant season biomass yield. FQI is an objective measure of how closely a plant community represents that of a pre-European settlement community. Our research was conducted in planted fields of native tallgrass prairie species, and provided a gradient in floristic quality index, species richness, species diversity, and species evenness in south-central Wisconsin during 2008 and 2009. We used a network of 15 randomly located 1 m2 plots within each field to characterize the plant community and estimate biomass yield by clipping the plots at the end of each growing season. While plant community composition and diversity varied significantly by planting type, biomass yield did not vary significantly among planting types (ANOVA; P >0.05). Biomass yield was positively correlated with plant community evenness, richness, C4 grass cover, and floristic quality index, but negatively correlated with plant species diversity in our multi-season multiple linear mixed effects models. Concordantly, plots with biomass yield in the lowest quartile (biomass yield plant community evenness and 9% lower FQI scores than those in the upper quartile (biomass yield > 5800 kh/ha). Our results suggest that promoting the establishment of fields with high species evenness and floristic quality may increase biomass yield, while simultaneously supporting biodiversity.

  6. Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    OpenAIRE

    Gupta, Vaibhav; Reinke, Karin; Jones, Simon; Wallace, Luke; Holden, Lucas

    2015-01-01

    Quantifying post-fire effects in a forested landscape is important to ascertain burn severity, ecosystem recovery and post-fire hazard assessments and mitigation planning. Reporting of such post-fire effects assumes significance in fire-prone countries such as USA, Australia, Spain, Greece and Portugal where prescribed burns are routinely carried out. This paper describes the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) to estimate and map change in the forest understorey following a prescribed bu...

  7. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Modelling asymmetric growth in crowded plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2010-01-01

    -asymmetric growth part, where growth is assumed to be proportional to a power function of the size of the individual, and a term that reduces the relative growth rate as a decreasing function of the individual plant size and the competitive interactions from other plants in the neighbourhood....

  9. Assessing Metrics for Estimating Fire Induced Change in the Forest Understorey Structure Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaibhav Gupta

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying post-fire effects in a forested landscape is important to ascertain burn severity, ecosystem recovery and post-fire hazard assessments and mitigation planning. Reporting of such post-fire effects assumes significance in fire-prone countries such as USA, Australia, Spain, Greece and Portugal where prescribed burns are routinely carried out. This paper describes the use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS to estimate and map change in the forest understorey following a prescribed burn. Eighteen descriptive metrics are derived from bi-temporal TLS which are used to analyse and visualise change in a control and fire-altered plot. Metrics derived are Above Ground Height-based (AGH percentiles and heights, point count and mean intensity. Metrics such as AGH50change, mean AGHchange and point countchange are sensitive enough to detect subtle fire-induced change (28%–52% whilst observing little or no change in the control plot (0–4%. A qualitative examination with field measurements of the spatial distribution of burnt areas and percentage area burnt also show similar patterns. This study is novel in that it examines the behaviour of TLS metrics for estimating and mapping fire induced change in understorey structure in a single-scan mode with a minimal fixed reference system. Further, the TLS-derived metrics can be used to produce high resolution maps of change in the understorey landscape.

  10. Patterns in the Fate of Production in Plant Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebrian, Just

    1999-10-01

    I examine, through an extensive compilation of published reports, the nature and variability of carbon flow (i.e., primary production, herbivory, detrital production, decomposition, export, and biomass and detrital storage) in a range of aquatic and terrestrial plant communities. Communities composed of more nutritional plants (i.e., higher nutrient concentrations) lose higher percentages of production to herbivores, channel lower percentages as detritus, experience faster decomposition rates, and, as a result, store smaller carbon pools. These results suggest plant palatability as a main limiting factor of consumer metabolical and feeding rates across communities. Hence, across communities, plant nutritional quality may be regarded as a descriptor of the importance of herbivore control on plant biomass ("top-down" control), the rapidity of nutrient and energy recycling, and the magnitude of carbon storage. These results contribute to an understanding of how much and why the trophic routes of carbon flow, and their ecological implications, vary across plant communities. They also offer a basis to predict the effects of widespread enhancement of plant nutritional quality due to large-scale anthropogenic eutrophication on carbon balances in ecosystems.

  11. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.; Duyts, H.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2010-01-01

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how

  12. Vertebrate herbivores influence soil nematodes by modifying plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Olff, Han; Duyts, Henk; van der Putten, Wim H.

    Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how

  13. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezemer, T Martijn; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Cronin, James T

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants can disrupt a range of trophic interactions in native communities. As a novel resource they can affect the performance of native insect herbivores and their natural enemies such as parasitoids and predators, and this can lead to host shifts of these herbivores and natural enemies. Through the release of volatile compounds, and by changing the chemical complexity of the habitat, invasive plants can also affect the behavior of native insects such as herbivores, parasitoids, and pollinators. Studies that compare insects on related native and invasive plants in invaded habitats show that the abundance of insect herbivores is often lower on invasive plants, but that damage levels are similar. The impact of invasive plants on the population dynamics of resident insect species has been rarely examined, but invasive plants can influence the spatial and temporal dynamics of native insect (meta)populations and communities, ultimately leading to changes at the landscape level.

  14. Indigenous plant-derived medicine used by ordinary community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Research on medical ethnobotany shows that ordinary community members in the rural areas have knowledge of self preventive care which is accomplished through administration of plant medicine to prevent the onset of disease and create a sense of well being. Several medicinal plants and traditional ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulian, Tiziana; Sacandé, Moctar; Mattana, Efisio

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Design of synthetic bacterial communities for predictable plant phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera Paredes, Sur; Gao, Tianxiang; Law, Theresa F; Finkel, Omri M; Mucyn, Tatiana; Teixeira, Paulo José Pereira Lima; Salas González, Isaí; Feltcher, Meghan E; Powers, Matthew J; Shank, Elizabeth A; Jones, Corbin D; Jojic, Vladimir; Dangl, Jeffery L; Castrillo, Gabriel

    2018-02-01

    Specific members of complex microbiota can influence host phenotypes, depending on both the abiotic environment and the presence of other microorganisms. Therefore, it is challenging to define bacterial combinations that have predictable host phenotypic outputs. We demonstrate that plant-bacterium binary-association assays inform the design of small synthetic communities with predictable phenotypes in the host. Specifically, we constructed synthetic communities that modified phosphate accumulation in the shoot and induced phosphate starvation-responsive genes in a predictable fashion. We found that bacterial colonization of the plant is not a predictor of the plant phenotypes we analyzed. Finally, we demonstrated that characterizing a subset of all possible bacterial synthetic communities is sufficient to predict the outcome of untested bacterial consortia. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to infer causal relationships between microbiota membership and host phenotypes and to use these inferences to rationally design novel communities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czesława Trąba

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Microbial Community Structure in the Rhizosphere of Rice Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breidenbach, Björn; Pump, Judith; Dumont, Marc G

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Microbial community structure in the rhizosphere of rice plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Björn eBreidenbach

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Mechanisms of Invasion Resistance of Aquatic Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petruzzella, Antonella; Manschot, Johan; van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; Grutters, Bart M. C.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive plant species are among the major threats to freshwater biodiversity. Few experimental studies have investigated whether native plant diversity can provide biotic resistance to invaders in freshwater ecosystems. At small spatial scales, invasion resistance may increase with plant species richness due to a better use of available resources, leaving less available for a potential invader (Complementarity effect) and/or the greater probability to have a highly competitive (or productive) native species in the community (Selection effect). In submerged aquatic plant communities, we tested the following hypotheses: (1) invader establishment success is greatest in the absence of a native plant community; (2) lower in plant communities with greater native species richness, due to complementary and/or selection effects; and (3) invader establishment success would be lowest in rooted plant communities, based on the limiting similarity theory as the invader is a rooted submerged species. In a greenhouse experiment, we established mesocosms planted with 0 (bare sediment), 1, 2, and 4 submerged plant species native to NW Europe and subjected these to the South African invader Lagarosiphon major (Ridl.) Moss. We used two rooted (Myriophyllum spicatum L., Potamogeton perfoliatus L.) and two non-rooted native species (Ceratophyllum demersum L., Utricularia vulgaris L.) representing two distinct functional groups considering their nutrient acquisition strategy which follows from their growth form, with, respectively, the sediment and water column as their main nutrient source. We found that the presence of native vegetation overall decreased the establishment success of an alien aquatic plant species. The strength of this observed biotic resistance increased with increasing species richness of the native community. Mainly due to a selection effect, the native biomass of mixed communities overyielded, and this further lowered the establishment success of the invader in our

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz

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

  3. Major plant communities of the Marakele National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. van Staden

    2005-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

    A novel method for measuring plant-plant interactions in undisturbed semi-natural and natural plant communities where it is difficult to distinguish individual plants is discussed. It is assumed that the ecological success of the different plant species in the plant community may be adequately....... The method allows direct measurements of the competitive effects of neighbouringzplants on plant performance and the estimation of parameters that describe the ecological processes of plantplant interactions during the growing season as well as the process of survival and recruitment between growing seasons....... Additionally, the presented method is suited for testing different ecological hypothesis on competitive interactions along environmental gradients, investigating the importance of competition, as well as predicting the likelihood of different ecological scenarios....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dicke, Marcel

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. THE CANOPY EFFECTS OF Prosopis juliflora (DC. AND Acacia tortilis (HAYNE TREES ON HERBACEOUS PLANTS SPECIES AND SOIL PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES IN NJEMPS FLATS, KENYA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry C. Kahi

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The canopy effects of an exotic and indigenous tree species on soil properties and understorey herbaceous plant species were investigated on the Njemps Flats, Baringo district, Kenya. Samples of soil and herbaceous plant species were obtained within the canopies of systematically selected P. juliflora (exotic and A. tortilis (indigenous trees, and from adjacent open areas. Standing biomass, frequency and cover of understorey plant species were significantly (P

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gormsen, D.; Hedlund, K.; Korthals, G. W.; Mortimer, S. R.; Pižl, Václav; Šmilauerová, M.; Sugg, E.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 40, 3-4 (2004), s. 123-128 ISSN 1164-5563 Grant - others:Evropská unie(XE) ENV4-CT95-0002 Keywords : earthworm community * plant community * land use Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.776, year: 2004

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Plant-associated microbes have specific beneficial functions and are considered key drivers for plant health. The bacterial community structure of healthy Anthurium andraeanum L. plants was studied by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing associated with different plant parts and the rhizosphere. A limited number of bacterial taxa, i.e., Sinorhizobium, Fimbriimonadales, and Gammaproteobacteria HTCC2089 were enriched in the A. andraeanum rhizosphere. Endophytes were more diverse in the roots than in the shoots, whereas all shoot endophytes were found in the roots. Streptomyces, Flavobacterium succinicans, and Asteroleplasma were only found in the roots, Variovorax paradoxus only in the stem, and Fimbriimonas 97%-OTUs only in the spathe, i.e., considered specialists, while Brevibacillus, Lachnospiraceae, Pseudomonas, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes were generalist and colonized all plant parts. The anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria Lachnospiraceae, Clostridium sp., and Clostridium bifermentans colonized the shoot system. Phylotypes belonging to Pseudomonas were detected in the rhizosphere and in the substrate (an equiproportional mixture of soil, cow manure, and peat), and dominated the endosphere. Pseudomonas included nine 97%-OTUs with different patterns of distribution and phylogenetic affiliations with different species. P. pseudoalcaligenes and P. putida dominated the shoots, but were also found in the roots and rhizosphere. P. fluorescens was present in all plant parts, while P. resinovorans, P. denitrificans, P. aeruginosa, and P. stutzeri were only detected in the substrate and rhizosphere. The composition of plant-associated bacterial communities is generally considered to be suitable as an indicator of plant health. PMID:27524305

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Foliar responses of understorey Abies lasiocarpa to different degrees of release cutting of Betula papyrifera and conifer mixed species stand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, J.R.; Letchford, T. [Ministry of Forests, Prince George, BC (Canada). Red Rock Research Station; Comeau, P.G. [BC Ministry of Forests, Victoria, BC (Canada); Coopersmith, D. [BC Ministry of Forests, Prince George, BC (Canada)

    2000-07-01

    Foliar responses of subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.) to thinning were studied in a 35-yr-old mixed stand of paper birch (Betula papyrifera Marsh.) and conifers. The stand regenerated naturally after a wildfire with a canopy dominated by paper birch (average height 9.8 m) and an understorey dominated by subalpine fir (average height 1.6 m). The stand was thinned to four densities of birch: 0, 600 and 1200 stems ha{sup -1} and control (Unthinned at 2300-6400 stems ha{sup -1}) in the autumn of 1995. The understorey conifers, mainly subalpine fir, were thinned to 1200 stems ha{sup -1}. The study used a completely randomized split-plot design. Three sample trees were systematically selected from each treatment replicate and each tree stratum (upper, intermediate and lower understorey). One-year-old and older age class needles were collected from one south-facing branch within the fifth whorl from the tree top. Thinning of paper birch significantly (p<0.001) increased leaf area and dry weight per 100 needles for intermediate and short trees except in the 0 birch treatment. Understorey subalpine fir trees in 600 stems ha{sup -1} birch (T3) had the largest leaf area and leaf dry weight per 100 1-yr-old needles. Specific leaf area (SLA) decreased from unthinned (T1) to 0 birch (T4). Lower understorey trees had the largest SLA. One-year-old needles had significantly higher N, P and K concentrations in all the thinning treatments. These responses are consistent with the shade tolerance of subalpine fir. The results suggest that when managing a paper birch-conifers mixed wood forest it may be of benefit to understorey conifers to leave a birch canopy as a nursing crop.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Temporal variation in the nitrogen uptake competition between plant community and soil microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legay, N.; Lavorel, S.; Personeni, E.; Bataillé, M. P.; Robson, T. M.; Clément, J. C.

    2012-04-01

    1. Subalpine grasslands are characterized by important seasonal variations and like in others cold environments, the existence of seasonal variations of nitrogen (N) dynamics is strongly plausible. It has been shown that plants and microbes were in competition for nitrogen acquisition mainly during the growing season and particularly at plant biomass peak. During snowmelt, plants could benefit from a decrease in competition potential by microbes given a greater N uptake and freeze-thaw cycles restricting microbial growth. In managed grasslands, these probable interactions are furthermore influenced by recent changes in management, and associated modifications in plant and microbial communities. A previous isotope tracing experiment during the biomass peak suggested that in more intensely managed grasslands, plants exerted a greater control over N cycling than microorganisms, and that soil N availability was stimulated by a greater nitrogen uptake by plants and microbes allowing nutrients to be more readily returned to the soil. 2. A pulse of 15N was added to estimate if the dynamics of N uptake between plants and microbes observed at the biomass peak was applicable at snowmelt. We also asked if the modifications of N dynamics observed depend on management activities across four different grassland types representing decreasing management intensities, from formerly cultivated terraces, either mown or only lightly grazed to unterraced permanent grasslands, either mown or only very lightly grazed. 3. In all grasslands, N pools of aboveground plants were smaller in May than in July while root N pools were greater, and the intrinsic plant uptake was 2 at 5 times weaker in May. N microbial pools were higher in May that in July, while microbial N uptake was 10 to 100 times smaller during snowmelt than at the biomass peak. In spite of the fact that microbial N pools were still larger than the plant N pool, in terms of plants vs microbes competition for N, a microbe N

  15. Response of native insect communities to invasive plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Response of Native Insect Communities to Invasive Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Quantitative description of woody plant communities: Part II ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Formulas for the calculation of spatial tree volume are given as computer compatible expressions and the calculation procedures are described.Language: English. Keywords: botany; Calculations; canopy spread; dry mass; evapotranspiration; Formulas; plant communities; production; spatial tree volume; Spatial tree ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biodiversity and stability of alpine meadow plant communities in relation to altitude gradient in three headwater resource regions. ... with the help of the degree of stability. Key words: Alpine meadow, Yangtze, Yellow and Yalu Tsangpo river source region, altitude gradient, species diversity, membership functions.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  20. Andean shrublands of Moquegua, South Peru: Prepuna plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montesinos, D.B.; Cleef, A.M.; Sykora, K.V.

    2012-01-01

    A syntaxonomic overview of shrubland vegetation in the southern Andean regions of Peru is presented. For each plant community, information is given on physiognomy, floristic diversity, ecology and geographical distribution. The shrub vegetation on the slopes of the upper Tambo river valley includes

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abundance data of species was used for species diversity, similarity, species richness estimation and plant community analysis. PC-ORD, CANOCO and EstimateS were used to analyze the data. A total of 321 species ... Keywords: floristic composition, ordination, rarefaction, species accumulation, species richness.

  2. A baseline classification of riparian woodland plant communities in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The plots were placed along a gradient from the main water body to the drier fringe of the riparian zone. Plant species present in each plot were recorded with their estimated percentage cover using the Braun–Blanquet cover abundance scale. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to determine vegetation communities.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Multiple climate drivers accelerate Arctic plant community senescence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-19

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

  6. Ecophysiological and foliar nitrogen concentration responses of understorey Acacia spp. and Eucalyptus sp. to prescribed burning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ling; Rao, Xingquan; Lu, Ping; Bai, Shahla Hosseini; Xu, Zhihong; Chen, Xiaoyang; Blumfield, Timothy; Xie, Jun

    2015-07-01

    Eucalyptus spp. is a dominant tree genus in Australia and most Eucalyptus spp. are canopy dominant species. In Australian natural forests, Eucalyptus spp. commonly are associated with understorey legumes which play a crucial role for ecological restoration owing to their nitrogen (N) fixing ability for replenishing the soil N lost after frequent prescribed burning. This study aimed to explore to what extent physiological responses of these species differ 7 and 12 years after last fire. Two most common understorey Acacia spp., Acacia leiocalyx and A. disparrima, as well as one non-leguminous Eucalyptus resinifera, were studied due to their dominance in the forest. Both A. leiocalyx and A. disparrima showed higher carbon (C) assimilation capacity, maximum photosynthetic capacity, and moderate foliar C/N ratio compared with E. resinifera. A. leiocalyx showed various advantages compared to A. disparrima such as higher photosynthetic capacity, adaptation to wider light range and higher foliar total N (TNmass). A. leiocalyx also relied on N2-fixing ability for longer time compared to A. disparrima. The results suggested that the two Acacia spp. were more beneficial to C and N cycles for the post burning ecosystem than the non-N2-fixing species E. resinifera. A. leiocalyx had greater contribution to complementing soil N cycle long after burning compared to A. disparrima.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss and hence understanding its impacts on community assembly and disassembly is an important topic in ecology. We studied the relationships between fragmentation and community assembly processes in the land-bridge island system of Thousand Island Lake in East China. We focused on the changes in species diversity and phylogenetic diversity that occurred between life stages of woody plants growing on these islands. The observed diversities were compared with the expected diversities from random null models to characterize assembly processes. Regression tree analysis was used to illustrate the relationships between island attributes and community assembly processes. We found that different assembly processes predominate in the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition (SS) vs. the saplings-to-trees transition (ST). Island area was the main attribute driving the assembly process in SS. In ST, island isolation was more important. Within a fragmented landscape, the factors driving community assembly processes were found to differ between life stage transitions. Environmental filtering had a strong effect on the seedlings-to-saplings life-stage transition. Habitat isolation and dispersal limitation influenced all plant life stages, but had a weaker effect on communities than area. These findings add to our understanding of the processes driving community assembly and species coexistence in the context of pervasive and widespread habitat loss and fragmentation. PMID:27427960

  9. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance toBromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

  10. [A phylogenetic analysis of plant communities of Teberda Biosphere Reserve].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulakov, A A; Egorov, A V; Onipchenko, V G

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of communities is based on the comparison of distances on the phylogenetic tree between species of a community under study and those distances in random samples taken out of local flora. It makes it possible to determine to what extent a community composition is formed by more closely related species (i.e., "clustered") or, on the opposite, it is more even and includes species that are less related with each other. The first case is usually interpreted as a result of strong influence caused by abiotic factors, due to which species with similar ecology, a priori more closely related, would remain: In the second case, biotic factors, such as competition, may come to the fore and lead to forming a community out of distant clades due to divergence of their ecological niches: The aim of this' study Was Ad explore the phylogenetic structure in communities of the northwestern Caucasus at two spatial scales - the scale of area from 4 to 100 m2 and the smaller scale within a community. The list of local flora of the alpine belt has been composed using the database of geobotanic descriptions carried out in Teberda Biosphere Reserve at true altitudes exceeding.1800 m. It includes 585 species of flowering plants belonging to 57 families. Basal groups of flowering plants are.not represented in the list. At the scale of communities of three classes, namely Thlaspietea rotundifolii - commumties formed on screes and pebbles, Calluno-Ulicetea - alpine meadow, and Mulgedio-Aconitetea subalpine meadows, have not demonstrated significant distinction of phylogenetic structure. At intra level, for alpine meadows the larger share of closely related species. (clustered community) is detected. Significantly clustered happen to be those communities developing on rocks (class Asplenietea trichomanis) and alpine (class Juncetea trifidi). At the same time, alpine lichen proved to have even phylogenetic structure at the small scale. Alpine (class Salicetea herbaceae) that

  11. Community-level plant-soil feedbacks explain landscape distribution of native and non-native plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmatiski, Andrew

    2018-02-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have gained attention for their potential role in explaining plant growth and invasion. While promising, most PSF research has measured plant monoculture growth on different soils in short-term, greenhouse experiments. Here, five soil types were conditioned by growing one native species, three non-native species, or a mixed plant community in different plots in a common-garden experiment. After 4 years, plants were removed and one native and one non-native plant community were planted into replicate plots of each soil type. After three additional years, the percentage cover of each of the three target species in each community was measured. These data were used to parameterize a plant community growth model. Model predictions were compared to native and non-native abundance on the landscape. Native community cover was lowest on soil conditioned by the dominant non-native, Centaurea diffusa , and non-native community cover was lowest on soil cultivated by the dominant native, Pseudoroegneria spicata . Consistent with plant growth on the landscape, the plant growth model predicted that the positive PSFs observed in the common-garden experiment would result in two distinct communities on the landscape: a native plant community on native soils and a non-native plant community on non-native soils. In contrast, when PSF effects were removed, the model predicted that non-native plants would dominate all soils, which was not consistent with plant growth on the landscape. Results provide an example where PSF effects were large enough to change the rank-order abundance of native and non-native plant communities and to explain plant distributions on the landscape. The positive PSFs that contributed to this effect reflected the ability of the two dominant plant species to suppress each other's growth. Results suggest that plant dominance, at least in this system, reflects the ability of a species to suppress the growth of dominant competitors

  12. Above-ground and below-ground competition between the willow Salix caprea L. and its understorey

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Hermová, M.; Tesnerová, C.; Rydlová, Jana; Frouz, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 1 (2016), s. 156-164 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-10377S; GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : Mycorrhizae * Roots * Succession * Understorey * Willow Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.924, year: 2016

  13. Quantifying understorey vegetation in the US Lake States: a proposed framework to inform regional forest carbon stocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew B. Russell; Anthony W. D' Amato; Bethany K. Schulz; Christopher W. Woodall; Grant M. Domke; John B. Bradford

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of understorey vegetation (UVEG) to forest ecosystem biomass and carbon (C) across diverse forest types has, to date, eluded quantification at regional and national scales. Efforts to quantify UVEG C have been limited to field-intensive studies or broad-scalemodelling approaches lacking fieldmeasurements. Although large-scale inventories of UVEG C are...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Obratov-Petković Dragica

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Plant community dynamics and restoring Louisiana's wetland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke-Sylvester, S. M.; Visser, J.

    2017-12-01

    We have developed a computational model of plant community dynamics. Our model is designed to evaluate the effects of management actions on the structure and health of Louisiana's coastal wetland plant communities. A number of projects have been initiated or proposed to preserve and restore this ecosystem while still allowing the area to support Louisiana's economy. These projects involve both modification of the flow of freshwater as well as restoring natural wetlands. Evaluating the long term effects of these projects is complex and involves numerous moving pieces operating over an extensive and diverse landscape. The situation is further complicated by in sea level rise and climate change associated with global warming. The vegetation model is part of a larger set of linked models that include hydrology and soil morphology. Using hydrological conditions projected by the linked hydrology models, we are able to evaluate the effects of anthropogenic and climatic changes on Louisiana's wetland plant communities. Unique features of our model include replacing the division of wetlands into coarse groups defined by salinity conditions with species level responses to environmental conditions and extending the spatial scale of modeling to encompass the entirety of Louisiana's Gulf coast. Model results showing the potential impact of alternative management and climate change scenarios are presented.

  17. Phytochemical diversity drives plant-insect community diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. Gonzalez; X. Zou

    1999-01-01

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hulsman, A

    1993-01-01

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

  20. The role of reproductive plant traits and biotic interactions in the dynamics of semi-arid plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pueyo, Y.; Kefi, S.; Diaz-Sierra, R.; Alados, C.L. y; Rietkerk, M.G.

    2010-01-01

    The dynamics of semi-arid plant communities are determined by the interplay between competition and facilitation among plants. The sign and strength of these biotic interactions depend on plant traits. However, the relationships between plant traits and biotic interactions, and the consequences for

  1. A solar thermal electric power plant for small communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holl, R. J.

    1979-01-01

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

  2. Effects of contaminated dredge spoils on wetland plant communities: A literature review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Paul M.; Garza, Eric L.; Butcher, Jason T.; Simon, Thomas P.

    2003-01-01

    Contaminated dredge spoil is a national concern due to its scope and effects on biota, water quality, and the physical environment. This literature review discusses the effects of contaminated dredge spoils on wetland plant communities. Plant communities naturally shift over time with changing environmental conditions. Addition of toxins and nutrients and changes in hydrology may influence plant community structure. The storage and disposal of nutrient and metal contaminated dredge spoils may cause shifts in nearby plant communities. Shifts in species composition and diversity may not be observed for decades after nutrient enrichment, causing any disturbance to remain undetected. Plant community shifts often have great amounts of inertia and are difficult to reverse.

  3. Primary forest dynamics in lowland dipterocarp forest at Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia, and the role of the understorey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newbery, D M; Kennedy, D N; Petol, G H; Madani, L; Ridsdale, C E

    1999-11-29

    Changes in species composition in two 4-ha plots of lowland dipterocarp rainforest at Danum, Sabah, were measured over ten years (1986-1996) for trees > or = 10 cm girth at breast height (gbh). Each included a lower-slope to ridge gradient. The period lay between two drought events of moderate intensity but the forest showed no large lasting responses, suggesting that its species were well adapted to this regime. Mortality and recruitment rates were not unusual in global or regional comparisons. The forest continued to aggrade from its relatively (for Sabah) low basal area in 1986 and, together with the very open upper canopy structure and an abundance of lianas, this suggests a forest in a late stage of recovery from a major disturbance, yet one continually affected by smaller recent setbacks. Mortality and recruitment rates were not related to population size in 1986, but across subplots recruitment was positively correlated with the density and basal area of small trees (10-change in mortality with increasing gbh: in the former it increased, in the latter it decreased. Forest processes are centred on this understorey quasi-stratum. The two replicate plots showed a high correspondence in the mortality, recruitment, population changes and growth rates of small trees for the 49 most abundant species in common to both. Overstorey species had higher rgrs than understorey ones, but both showed considerable ranges in mortality and recruitment rates. The supposed trade-off in traits, viz slower rgr, shade tolerance and lower population turnover in the understorey group versus faster potential growth rate, high light responsiveness and high turnover in the overstorey group, was only partly met, as some understorey species were also very dynamic. The forest at Danum, under such a disturbance-recovery regime, can be viewed as having a dynamic equilibrium in functional and structural terms. A second trade-off in shade-tolerance versus drought-tolerance is suggested for

  4. Abandoned floodplain plant communities along a regulated dryland river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, L. V.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; House, P. K.

    2014-01-01

    Rivers and their floodplains worldwide have changed dramatically over the last century because of regulation by dams, flow diversions and channel stabilization. Floodplains no longer inundated by river flows following dam-induced flood reduction comprise large areas of bottomland habitat, but the effects of abandonment on plant communities are not well understood. Using a hydraulic flow model, geomorphic mapping and field surveys, we addressed the following questions along the Bill Williams River, Arizona: (i) What per cent of the bottomland do abandoned floodplains comprise? and (ii) Are abandoned floodplains quantitatively different from adjacent xeric and riparian surfaces in terms of vegetation composition and surface sediment? We found that nearly 70% of active channel and floodplain area was abandoned following dam installation. Abandoned floodplains along the Bill Williams River tend to be similar to each other yet distinct from neighbouring habitats: they have been altered physically from their historic state, leading to distinct combinations of surface sediments, hydrology and plant communities. Abandoned floodplains may transition to xeric communities over time but are likely to retain some riparian qualities as long as there is access to relatively shallow ground water. With expected increases in water demand and drying climatic conditions in many regions, these surfaces and associated vegetation will continue to be extensive in riparian landscapes worldwide

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciszek Pawłowski

    2013-12-01

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

  6. [The conception of plants community: the history and the modern state of the art].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirkin, B M; Naumova, L G

    2015-01-01

    After discussion of many years about the nature of plants community, within the science dealing with vegetation the consensus is reached on pragmatic basis. Most researchers consider plants community as conditionally uniform contour marked out of the multi-dimensional continuum of any type of vegetation. Plants community is a generic notion, within the framework of which types with different models of organization are established. With any type of plants community organization model, the main factor of species association remains to be the ecotope which plays the role of an abiotic matrix. The main traits of a plants community are species composition, its structure, species interrelations, and functional parameters. The main types of species interrelations within a plants community appear to be competition and non-competitive formation of environment. The important role in organization of plant communities belongs to heterotrophic organisms such as phytophages, nitrogen-fixing procaryotes, mycorrhizal fungi, pathogens, and others.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlsen, T.M.

    1996-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Plant community and soil chemistry responses to long-term nitrogen inputs drive changes in alpine bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Xia; Knelman, Joseph E; Gasarch, Eve; Wang, Deli; Nemergut, Diana R; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial community composition and diversity was studied in alpine tundra soils across a plant species and moisture gradient in 20 y-old experimental plots with four nutrient addition regimes (control, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) or both nutrients). Different bacterial communities inhabited different alpine meadows, reflecting differences in moisture, nutrients and plant species. Bacterial community alpha-diversity metrics were strongly correlated with plant richness and the production of forbs. After meadow type, N addition proved the strongest determinant of bacterial community structure. Structural Equation Modeling demonstrated that tundra bacterial community responses to N addition occur via changes in plant community composition and soil pH resulting from N inputs, thus disentangling the influence of direct (resource availability) vs. indirect (changes in plant community structure and soil pH) N effects that have remained unexplored in past work examining bacterial responses to long-term N inputs in these vulnerable environments. Across meadow types, the relative influence of these indirect N effects on bacterial community structure varied. In explicitly evaluating the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of long-term N addition on bacterial communities, this study provides new mechanistic understandings of the interaction between plant and microbial community responses to N inputs amidst environmental change.

  11. Effect of industrial pollution on the distribution dynamics of radionuclides in boreal understorey ecosystems (EPORA). Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suomela, M.; Rahola, T.; Bergman, R.; Bunzl, K.; Jaakkola, T.

    1999-08-01

    The project EPORA 'Effects of Industrial Pollution on Distribution Dynamics of Radionuclides in Boreal Understorey Ecosystems' is a part of the Nuclear Fission Safety Research programme of the European Union. A suitable environment for the study was found in the surroundings of the Cu-Ni smelter in Monchegorsk, in NW Russia where the huge atmospheric emissions from the smelter have polluted the environment since the 1930's. Samples of soil, litter, plants and runoff water were taken. Total concentrations of the main pollutants, Ni and Cu, in the organic soil increased from about 10 mg kg -1 at the reference site in Finland to about 5000 mg kg -1 at the most polluted site in Russia. Similar trends were observed for exchangeable fractions and plant concentrations of the same elements. Concentrations of exchangeable K, Ca, and Mg in the organic soil decreased strongly with increased input of chemical pollutants. The radionuclides studied were 137 Cs, 90 Sr and 239+240 Pu, mainly originating from the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. The contribution of the Chernobyl derived 137 Cs deposition was about 10% but insignificant for the other nuclides. The activity distribution of all three radionuclides in the soil, their corresponding residence half-times as well as their aggregated trencher factors for various plants depended on the degree of pollution: Activity distribution: in the litter layer, the activity of all three radionuclides increased continually from the reference site to the most polluted site. This effect was most pronounced for 239+240 Pu and least for 90 Sr and could, at least partly, be explained by the increase of the thickness of this layer. In the root zone, the opposite effect was observed: the largest fraction of all radionuclides was found at the reference site. In the organic layer, the exchangeable fractions of 137 Cs, 90 Sr and 239+240 Pu decreased with increasing pollution. Residence half-times: in the root zone, the residence half-times of 90

  12. Distance and environmental difference in alpine plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. A Phloem-Feeding Insect Transfers Bacterial Endophytic Communities between Grapevine Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiàn Lòpez-Fernàndez

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial endophytes colonize the inner tissues of host plants through the roots or through discontinuities on the plant surface, including wounds and stomata. Little is known regarding a possible role of insects in acquiring and transmitting non-phytopathogenic microorganisms from plant to plant, especially those endophytes that are beneficial symbionts providing plant protection properties and homeostatic stability to the host. To understand the ecological role of insects in the transmission of endophytic bacteria, we used freshly hatched nymphs of the American sap-feeding leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus (vector to transfer microorganisms across grapevine plants. After contact with the vector, sink plants were colonized by a complex endophytic community dominated by Proteobacteria, highly similar to that present in source plants. A similar bacterial community, but with a higher ratio of Firmicutes, was found on S. titanus. Insects feeding only on sink plants transferred an entirely different bacterial community dominated by Actinobacteria, where Mycobacterium sp., played a major role. Despite the fact that insects dwelled mostly on plant stems, the bacterial communities in plant roots resembled more closely those inside and on insects, when compared to those of above-ground plant organs. We prove here the potential of insect vectors to transfer entire endophytic bacterial communities between plants. We also describe the role of plants and bacterial endophytes in establishing microbial communities in plant-feeding insects.

  14. A Phloem-Feeding Insect Transfers Bacterial Endophytic Communities between Grapevine Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lòpez-Fernàndez, Sebastiàn; Mazzoni, Valerio; Pedrazzoli, Federico; Pertot, Ilaria; Campisano, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial endophytes colonize the inner tissues of host plants through the roots or through discontinuities on the plant surface, including wounds and stomata. Little is known regarding a possible role of insects in acquiring and transmitting non-phytopathogenic microorganisms from plant to plant, especially those endophytes that are beneficial symbionts providing plant protection properties and homeostatic stability to the host. To understand the ecological role of insects in the transmission of endophytic bacteria, we used freshly hatched nymphs of the American sap-feeding leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus (vector) to transfer microorganisms across grapevine plants. After contact with the vector, sink plants were colonized by a complex endophytic community dominated by Proteobacteria, highly similar to that present in source plants. A similar bacterial community, but with a higher ratio of Firmicutes, was found on S. titanus. Insects feeding only on sink plants transferred an entirely different bacterial community dominated by Actinobacteria, where Mycobacterium sp., played a major role. Despite the fact that insects dwelled mostly on plant stems, the bacterial communities in plant roots resembled more closely those inside and on insects, when compared to those of above-ground plant organs. We prove here the potential of insect vectors to transfer entire endophytic bacterial communities between plants. We also describe the role of plants and bacterial endophytes in establishing microbial communities in plant-feeding insects. PMID:28555131

  15. Community leaders' perspectives on socio-economic impacts of power-plant development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1981-01-01

    The primary focus of this research effort was to identify and measure the socioeconomic impacts of power plant development on non-metropolitan host communities. A mail survey, distributed to community leaders in 100 power plant communities east of the Mississippi River, was utilized to gather information from 713 respondents. Community leaders were questioned as to the plant's impact on (a) community groups, (b) aspects of community life, (c) overall community acceptance and (d) attitudes toward power plant development. Overall, the trends and patterns of plant impact on the host communities were found to be largely positive. Specifically, local employment opportunities were generally enhanced with the advent of the power plant. Directly related to power plant development was the overall improvement of the local economic situation. Off-shoots from such in the economic area included related general improvements in the community quality of life. While the vast majority of community leaders responded with positive comments on power plant presence, adverse impacts were also mentioned. Negative comments focused on environmental problems, deterioration of roads and traffic conditions, and the possibility of nuclear accidents. Despite these negative impacts, almost two-thirds of the community leaders would definitely support the reconstruction of the same energy facility. Power plant development, therefore, is generally perceived as both a positive and beneficial asset for the host area. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and 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 soil communities that depend 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 precipitation in Tennessee (USA). 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 activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    CaraDonna, Paul J; Iler, Amy M; Inouye, David W

    2014-04-01

    Phenology--the timing of biological events--is highly sensitive to climate change. However, our general understanding of how phenology responds to climate change is based almost solely on incomplete assessments of phenology (such as first date of flowering) rather than on entire phenological distributions. Using a uniquely comprehensive 39-y flowering phenology dataset from the Colorado Rocky Mountains that contains more than 2 million flower counts, we reveal a diversity of species-level phenological shifts that bring into question the accuracy of previous estimates of long-term phenological change. For 60 species, we show that first, peak, and last flowering rarely shift uniformly and instead usually shift independently of one another, resulting in a diversity of phenological changes through time. Shifts in the timing of first flowering on average overestimate the magnitude of shifts in the timing of peak flowering, fail to predict shifts in the timing of last flowering, and underrepresent the number of species changing phenology in this plant community. Ultimately, this diversity of species-level phenological shifts contributes to altered coflowering patterns within the community, a redistribution of floral abundance across the season, and an expansion of the flowering season by more than I mo during the course of our study period. These results demonstrate the substantial reshaping of ecological communities that can be attributed to shifts in phenology.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Linkage of plant trait space to successional age and species richness in boreal forest understorey vegetation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kumordzi, B. B.; de Bello, Francesco; Freschet, G. T.; Bagousse-Pinguet, Y. L.; Lepš, J.; Wardle, D. A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 103, č. 6 (2015), s. 1610-1620 ISSN 0022-0477 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity and structure * functional diversity * trait overlap Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.180, year: 2015

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Migunova, Varvara D; Ackermann, Michael; Ruess, Liliane; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Kohout

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF community assembly during primary succession has so far received little attention. It remains therefore unclear, which of the factors, driving AMF community composition, are important during ecosystem development. We addressed this question on a large spoil heap, which provides a mosaic of sites in different successional stages under different managements. We selected 24 sites of c. 12, 20, 30, or 50 years in age, including sites with spontaneously developing vegetation and sites reclaimed by alder plantations. On each site, we sampled twice a year roots of the perennial rhizomatous grass Calamagrostis epigejos (Poaceae to determine AMF root colonization and diversity (using 454-sequencing, determined the soil chemical properties and composition of plant communities. AMF taxa richness was unaffected by site age, but AMF composition variation increased along the chronosequences. AMF communities were unaffected by soil chemistry, but related to the composition of neighboring plant communities of the sampled C. epigejos plants. In contrast, the plant communities of the sites were more distinctively structured than the AMF communities along the four successional stages. We conclude that AMF and plant community successions respond to different factors. AMF communities seem to be influenced by biotic rather than by abiotic factors and to diverge with successional age.

  5. Functional Diversity of Plant–Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dajoz, Isabelle; Meriguet, Jacques; Loreau, Michel

    2006-01-01

    Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant–pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability. PMID:16332160

  6. In situ observation of stomatal movements and gas exchange of Aegopodium podagraria L. in the understorey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, H; Kappen, L

    2000-10-01

    Observations of stomata in situ while simultaneously measuring CO(2) gas exchange and transpiration were made in field experiments with Aegopodium podagraria in a highly variable light climate in the understorey of trees. The low background photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) caused a slight opening of the stomata and no visible response to sporadic lightflecks. However, if lightflecks were frequent and brighter, slow opening movements were observed. Small apertures were sufficient to allow maximal photosynthetic rates. Therefore, the small apertures observed in low light usually only caused minor stomatal limitations of lightfleck photosynthesis. The response of stomata to step-wise changes in PPFD under different levels of leaf to air vapour pressure difference (Delta(W)) was observed under controlled conditions. High Delta(W) influenced the stomatal response only slightly by reducing stomatal aperture in low light and causing a slight reduction in the initial capacity to utilize high PPFD levels. Under continuous high PPFD, however, stomata opened to the same degree irrespective of Delta(W). Under high Delta(W), opening and closing responses to PPFD-changes were faster, which enabled a rapid removal of the small stomatal limitations of photosynthesis initially present in high Delta(W) after longer periods in low light. It is concluded that A. podagraria maintains a superoptimal aperture in low light which leads to a low instantaneous water use efficiency, but allows an efficient utilization of randomly occurring lightflecks.

  7. Comparing herbaceous plant communities in active and passive riparian restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Understanding the efficacy of passive (reduction or cessation of environmental stress and active (typically involving planting or seeding restoration strategies is important for the design of successful revegetation of degraded riparian habitat, but studies explicitly comparing restoration outcomes are uncommon. We sampled the understory herbaceous plant community of 103 riparian sites varying in age since restoration (0 to 39 years and revegetation technique (active, passive, or none to compare the utility of different approaches on restoration success across sites. We found that landform type, percent shade, and summer flow helped explain differences in the understory functional community across all sites. In passively restored sites, grass and forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age, but in actively restored sites forb cover and richness were inversely related to site age. Native cover and richness were lower with passive restoration compared to active restoration. Invasive species cover and richness were not significantly different across sites. Although some of our results suggest that active restoration would best enhance native species in degraded riparian areas, this work also highlights some of the context-dependency that has been found to mediate restoration outcomes. For example, since the effects of passive restoration can be quite rapid, this approach might be more useful than active restoration in situations where rapid dominance of pioneer species is required to arrest major soil loss through erosion. As a result, we caution against labeling one restoration technique as better than another. Managers should identify ideal restoration outcomes in the context of historic and current site characteristics (as well as a range of acceptable alternative states and choose restoration approaches that best facilitate the achievement of revegetation goals.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

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

  9. Plant pathogens structure arthropod communities across multiple spatial and temporal scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tack, A.J.M.; Dicke, M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant pathogens and herbivores frequently co-occur on the same host plants. Despite this, little is known about the impact of their interactions on the structure of plant-based ecological communities. Here, we synthesize evidence that indicates that plant pathogens may profoundly impact arthropod

  10. Exergetic Model of Secondary Successions for Plant Communities in Arid Chaco (Argentina)

    OpenAIRE

    Karlin, Marcos; Galán, Rodrigo; Contreras, Ana; Zapata, Ricardo; Coirini, Rubén; Ruiz Posse, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystems are open systems where energy fluxes produce modifications over plant communities. According to the state and transition model, plant formations are defined by changes in natural conditions and disturbs. Based on these changes, it is possible to define vectors that show the tendencies of the communities towards other states. Within the subregion of Arid Chaco, mature communities of Aspidosperma quebracho blanco represent the quasistable equilibrium communities or “climax,” similar ...

  11. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  12. Do invasive plants structure microbial communities to accelerate decomposition in intermountain grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTee, Michael R; Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Dan; Rummel, Alexii; Ramsey, Philip W

    2017-12-01

    Invasive plants are often associated with greater productivity and soil nutrient availabilities, but whether invasive plants with dissimilar traits change decomposer communities and decomposition rates in consistent ways is little known. We compared decomposition rates and the fungal and bacterial communities associated with the litter of three problematic invaders in intermountain grasslands; cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum ), spotted knapweed ( Centaurea stoebe ) and leafy spurge ( Euphorbia esula ), as well as the native bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata ). Shoot and root litter from each plant was placed in cheatgrass, spotted knapweed, and leafy spurge invasions as well as remnant native communities in a fully reciprocal design for 6 months to see whether decomposer communities were species-specific, and whether litter decomposed fastest when placed in a community composed of its own species (referred to hereafter as home-field advantage-HFA). Overall, litter from the two invasive forbs, spotted knapweed and leafy spurge, decomposed faster than the native and invasive grasses, regardless of the plant community of incubation. Thus, we found no evidence of HFA. T-RFLP profiles indicated that both fungal and bacterial communities differed between roots and shoots and among plant species, and that fungal communities also differed among plant community types. Synthesis . These results show that litter from three common invaders to intermountain grasslands decomposes at different rates and cultures microbial communities that are species-specific, widespread, and persistent through the dramatic shifts in plant communities associated with invasions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    Plant communities play the leading role in transformation of soil. The need of studying former arable lands increases due to large number of abandoned lands in Russia. It is necessary to study mineralogical composition of soils involved into natural processes to understand the trends of their development after agricultural activities in the past. The aim of the study is to identify changes in mineralogical composition of soils under the influence of different plant communities. Soils were sampled in the south of Arkhangelsk region, Ustyansky district, near Akichkin Pochinok village. Soils are formed on clay moraine of Moscow glaciation. Soil profiles were dug on interfluve. We selected 4 plant communities on different stages of succession: upland meadow with domination of sod grasses (Phleum pratense, Agrostis tenuis), 16-year-old birch forest where dominants are herbaceous plants such as Poa sp., Chamerion angustiflium, Agrostis tenuis, 16-year-old spruce forest with no herbaceous vegetation and 70-year-old bilberry spruce forest with domination of Vaccinium myrtillus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea. To separate soil fractions mineral content. We noticed a clear differentiation of studied soils both in the content of fraction and composition of minerals. Mineralogical composition and major mineral phases correlation of profiles under 70 years and 16 years of spruce forests are different. Mineralogical content in upper part of profile under the young spruce is more differentiated than in old spruce forest: the amount of quartz and kaolinite increases in upper horizon, although in this case the overall pattern of profile formation of clay material during podzolization remains unchanged. There is more substantial desilting under the birch forest, compared with profile under the spruce of same age within top 50 cm. Under the meadow vegetation we've discovered differentiation in mineral composition. Upper horizons contain smectite phase and differ from the underlying

  14. Endophytic and rhizospheric bacterial communities isolated from the medicinal plants Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiellini, Carolina; Maida, Isabel; Emiliani, Giovanni; Mengoni, Alessio; Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Biffi, Sauro; Maggini, Valentina; Gori, Luigi; Vannacci, Alfredo; Gallo, Eugenia; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fani, Renato

    2014-09-01

    In this work we analyzed the composition and structure of cultivable bacterial communities isolated from the stem/leaf and root compartments of two medicinal plants, Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench and Echinacea angustifolia (DC.) Hell, grown in the same soil, as well as the bacterial community from their rhizospheric soils. Molecular PCR-based techniques were applied to cultivable bacteria isolated from the three compartments of the two plants. The results showed that the two plants and their respective compartments were characterized by different communities, indicating a low degree of strain sharing and a strong selective pressure within plant tissues. Pseudomonas was the most highly represented genus, together with Actinobacteria and Bacillus spp. The presence of distinct bacterial communities in different plant species and among compartments of the same plant species could account for the differences in the medicinal properties of the two plants. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  15. Plant migration and plant communities at the time of the “green Sahara”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watrin, Julie; Lézine, Anne-Marie; Hély, Christelle; Contributors

    2009-08-01

    Around 8500 cal years BP, at the time of the maximum of the African Humid Period, lakes and wetlands expanded in the present-day Sahara while large paleodrainages were formed or re-actived, in response to an orbitally-induced increase in monsoon rainfall. It has been suggested that the direct consequence of this increase in rainfall was the northward displacement of the Sahara/Sahel boundary, thought to have reached 23°N in central and eastern Africa. Here, we show a more complex situation characterized by an increase in biodiversity as the desert accommodated more humid-adapted species from tropical forests and wooded grasslands: tropical plant species now found some 400 to 500 km to the south probably entered the desert as gallery-forest formations along rivers and lakes where they benefited from permanent fresh water. At the same time, Saharan trees and shrubs persisted, giving rise to a vegetation that has no analogue today. In this article, we present distribution maps of selected plant species to show both the amplitude of the vegetation change compared to the present and the composition of the past plant communities. We also estimate the migration rate of tropical plant taxa to their northernmost position in the Sahara. This study is based on the use of several data sets: a data set of the modern plant distribution in northern Africa and a data set of modern and fossil pollen sites (from the African Pollen Database, http://fpd.mediasfrance.org/ and http://medias.obs-mip.fr/apd/).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas J Lembrechts

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purdy, Bruce J.; And Others

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Microhabitat of small mammals at ground and understorey levels in a deciduous, southern Atlantic Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GERUZA L. MELO

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Each animal species selects specific microhabitats for protection, foraging, or micro-climate. To understand the distribution patterns of small mammals on the ground and in the understorey, we investigated the use of microhabitats by small mammals in a deciduous forest of southern Brazil. Ten trap stations with seven capture points were used to sample the following microhabitats: liana, fallen log, ground litter, terrestrial ferns, simple-trunk tree, forked tree, and Piper sp. shrubs. Seven field phases were conducted, each for eight consecutive days, from September 2006 through January 2008. Four species of rodents (Akodon montensis, Sooretamys angouya, Oligoryzomys nigripes and Mus musculus and two species of marsupials (Didelphis albiventris and Gracilinanus microtarsus were captured. Captured species presented significant differences on their microhabitat use (ANOVA, p = 0.003, particularly between ground and understorey sites. Akodon montensis selected positively terrestrial ferns and trunks, S. angouya selected lianas, D. albiventris selected fallen trunks and Piper sp., and G. microtarsus choose tree trunks and lianas. We demonstrated that the local small-mammal assemblage does select microhabitats, with different types of associations between species and habitats. Besides, there is a strong evidence of habitat selection in order to diminish predation.Cada espécie animal pode apresentar seletividade por micro-habitats priorizando proteção, forrageio ou microclima. Para compreender os padrões de distribuição de pequenos mamíferos ao nível do solo e de sub-bosque, nós analisamos o uso de micro-habitat por pequenos mamíferos em uma floresta estacional no sul do Brasil. Dez estações amostrais com sete pontos de captura foram usadas para amostragem dos seguintes microhabitats: liana, tronco caído, solo apenas coberto por folhiço, solo coberto por samambaias, árvore com tronco simples, árvore com bifurcações e arbustos do g

  20. Feeding resource partitioning between two understorey insectivorous birds in a fragment of Neotropical cloud forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Manhães

    Full Text Available Abstract The food habits and niche overlap based on diet composition and prey size of two species of understorey insectivorous birds were investigated in an area of montane rain forest in the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. A total of 43 birds were captured: 33 individuals of Conopophaga lineata (Conopophagidae with 13 recaptures, and 10 individuals of Myiothlypis leucoblephara (Parulidae with 12 recaptures, from which were obtained respectively 33 and 10 fecal samples. Fragments of 16 groups of arthropods, plus insect eggs, were identified in these samples. Conopophaga lineata predominantly consumed Formicidae (32% and Isoptera (23.6%. However, the index of alimentary importance (AI of Isoptera (3.53 was lower than other groups such as Formicidae (AI = 61.88, Coleoptera (AI = 16.17, insect larvae (AI = 6.95 and Araneae (AI = 6.6. Myiothlypis leucoblephara predominantly consumed Formicidae (28.2% and Coleoptera (24.4%, although Coleoptera and Hymenoptera non-Formicidae had the highest values of AI (38.71 and 22.98 respectively. Differences in the proportions of the types of arthropods consumed by birds were not enough to reveal their separation into feeding niches (overlap = 0.618, p observed ≤ expected = 0.934, whereas differences in the use of resources was mainly due to the size of the prey (p<0.001, where C lineata, the species with the highest body mass (p<0.001 consumed larger prey. It is plausible that prey size is an axis of niche dimension that allows the coexistence of these species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer Williamson

    2012-03-01

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

  2. Developing Restoration Planting Mixes for Active Ski Slopes: A Multi-Site Reference Community Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Jennifer Williamson

    2012-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Links between plant and fungal communities across a deforestation chronosequence in the Amazon rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Paula, Fabiana S; Mirza, Babur S; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Nüsslein, Klaus; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2014-07-01

    Understanding the interactions among microbial communities, plant communities and soil properties following deforestation could provide insights into the long-term effects of land-use change on ecosystem functions, and may help identify approaches that promote the recovery of degraded sites. We combined high-throughput sequencing of fungal rDNA and molecular barcoding of plant roots to estimate fungal and plant community composition in soil sampled across a chronosequence of deforestation. We found significant effects of land-use change on fungal community composition, which was more closely correlated to plant community composition than to changes in soil properties or geographic distance, providing evidence for strong links between above- and below-ground communities in tropical forests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Ding

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

  8. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind...... turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our...

  9. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores define arthropod community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Posy E; Lamit, Louis J; Keith, Arthur R; Newcombe, George; Gehring, Catherine A; Whitham, Thomas G; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-07-01

    Plant resistance to pathogens or insect herbivores is common, but its potential for indirectly influencing plant-associated communities is poorly known. Here, we test whether pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and herbivory depend on plant resistance to pathogens and/or herbivores, and address the overarching interacting foundation species hypothesis that genetics-based interactions among a few highly interactive species can structure a much larger community. In a manipulative field experiment using replicated genotypes of two Populus species and their interspecific hybrids, we found that genetic variation in plant resistance to both pathogens and insect herbivores modulated the strength of pathogens' indirect effects on arthropod communities and insect herbivory. First, due in part to the pathogens' differential impacts on leaf biomass among the two Populus species and the hybrids, the pathogen most strongly impacted arthropod community composition, richness, and abundance on the pathogen-susceptible tree species. Second, we found similar patterns comparing pathogen-susceptible and pathogen-resistant genotypes within species. Third, within a plant species, pathogens caused a fivefold greater reduction in herbivory on insect-herbivore-susceptible plant genotypes than on herbivore-resistant genotypes, demonstrating that the pathogen-herbivore interaction is genotype dependent. We conclude that interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores can structure multitrophic communities, supporting the interacting foundation species hypothesis. Because these interactions are genetically based, evolutionary changes in genetic resistance could result in ecological changes in associated communities, which may in turn feed back to affect plant fitness.

  10. Changes in uranium plant community leaders' attitudes toward nuclear power: before and after TMI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winfield-Laird, I.; Hastings, M.; Cawley, M.E.

    1982-01-01

    The results of an investigation of the reactions of community leaders in nuclear power plant host communities toward nuclear power following the accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) are reported. Public and private sector officials were surveyed in ten general areas covering their attitudes toward and the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local plant impact on different community groups and aspects of community life. Information is compared with findings from a similar study conducted with the same community leaders prior to the TMI accident. The results indicate that community leaders' attitudes remained highly favorable toward the continued use of nuclear power. Three-fourths of the sample indicated that they would probably or definitely allow the continued use of nuclear power as compared to other fuel types, and the reassessment of the local majority still view the plant presence as having a positive impact on their communities. (author)

  11. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knelman, Joseph E; Graham, Emily B; Prevéy, Janet S; Robeson, Michael S; Kelly, Patrick; Hood, Eran; Schmidt, Steve K

    2018-01-01

    Past research demonstrating the importance plant-microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder) to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant-microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Janoušková

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.

    2009-01-01

    Plants respond to insect herbivory with the production of volatiles that attract carnivorous enemies of the herbivores, a phenomenon called indirect defence or 'plants crying for help'. Plants are under selection to maximize Darwinian fitness, and this can be done by making the right 'decisions'

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Ethnomedicinal plants used by the valaiyan community of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Currently the Government of India, realizing the value of the country\\'s vast range of medicinal plants, has embarked on a mission of documenting the traditional knowledge about medicinal plants and herbs. This investigation, in a small way, takes up the enumerationof plants with medicinal value, which are used by the ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Effect of industrial pollution on the distribution dynamics of radionuclides in boreal understorey ecosystems (EPORA). Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suomela, M.; Rahola, T. [Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki (Finland); Bergman, R. [National Defence Research Establishment (Sweden); Bunzl, K. [National Research Center for Environmental and Health (Germany); Jaakkola, T. [Helsinki Univ. (Finland). Radiochemical Lab.; Steinnes, E. [Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)

    1999-08-01

    The project EPORA 'Effects of Industrial Pollution on Distribution Dynamics of Radionuclides in Boreal Understorey Ecosystems' is a part of the Nuclear Fission Safety Research programme of the European Union. A suitable environment for the study was found in the surroundings of the Cu-Ni smelter in Monchegorsk, in NW Russia where the huge atmospheric emissions from the smelter have polluted the environment since the 1930's. Samples of soil, litter, plants and runoff water were taken. Total concentrations of the mainpollutants, Ni and Cu, in the organic soil increased from about 10 mg kg{sup -1} at the reference site in Finland to about 5000 mg kg{sup -1} at the most polluted site in Russia. Similar trends were observed for exchangeable fractions and plant concentrations of the same elements. Concentrations of exchangeable K, Ca, and Mg in the organic soil decreased strongly with increased input of chemical pollutants. The radionuclides studied were {sup 137}Cs, {sup 90}Sr and {sup 239+240}Pu, mainly originating from the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests. The contribution of the Chernobyl derived {sup 137}Cs deposition was about 10% but insignificant for the other nuclides. The activity distribution of all three radionuclides in the soil, their corresponding residence half-times as well as their aggregated trencher factors for various plants depended on the degree of pollution: Activity distribution: in the litter layer, the activity of all three radionuclides increased continually from the reference site to the most polluted site. This effect was most pronounced for {sup 239+240}Pu and least for {sup 90}Sr and could, at least partly, be explained by the increase of the thickness of this layer. In the root zone, the opposite effect was observed: the largest fraction of all radionuclides was found at the reference site. In the organic layer, the exchangeable fractions of {sup 137}Cs, {sup 90}Sr and {sup 239+240}Pu decreased with increasing pollution

  19. Impacts of Grazing Intensity and Plant Community Composition on Soil Bacterial Community Diversity in a Steppe Grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Tong-Bao; Du, Wei-Chao; Yuan, Xia; Yang, Zhi-Ming; Liu, Dong-Bo; Wang, De-Li; Yu, Li-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria play a key role in the ecological and evolutionary responses of agricultural ecosystems. Domestic herbivore grazing is known to influence soil bacterial community. However, the effects of grazing and its major driving factors on soil bacterial community remain unknown for different plant community compositions under increasing grazing intensity. Thus, to investigate soil bacterial community diversity under five plant community compositions (Grass; Leymus chinensis; Forb; L. chinensis & Forb; and Legume), we performed a four-year field experiment with different grazing intensity treatments (no grazing; light grazing, 4 sheep·ha-1; and heavy grazing, 6 sheep·ha-1) in a grassland in China. Total DNA was obtained from soil samples collected from the plots in August, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting were used to investigate soil bacterial community. The results showed that light grazing significantly increased indices of soil bacterial community diversity for the Forb and Legume groups but not the Grass and L. chinensis groups. Heavy grazing significantly reduced these soil bacterial diversity indices, except for the Pielou evenness index in the Legume group. Further analyses revealed that the soil N/P ratio, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (TN) and pH were the major environmental factors affecting the soil bacterial community. Our study suggests that the soil bacterial community diversity was influenced by grazing intensity and plant community composition in a meadow steppe. The present study provides a baseline assessment of the soil bacterial community diversity in a temperate meadow steppe.

  20. Sensitivity of understorey bird species in two different successional stages of the lowland Atlantic Forest, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Loures-Ribeiro

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The Atlantic Forest has a high destruction rate and there is little information available on some aspects of the neotropical bird biology. Changes in environment are important factors that affect the resources available to birds. We compared the species sensitivity level of understorey birds in two areas in distinct successional stages (primary and secondary sections. Two 100 ha plots of lowland Atlantic Forest were analysed between August and December 2006. Among 25 bird species recorded, thirteen had lower abundance in secondary forest, two in primary forest, and ten had not clear tendency. According to the criteria used, the percentages for species with low, and medium and high sensitivity to habitat change were 44% and 56%, respectively. The number of species was not associated with the endemism level or foraging strata. Results show the importance of knowing bird species' sensitivity level with regard to habitat modification, and not only forest fragmentation.A Floresta Atlântica apresenta uma alta taxa de destruição e pouca informação disponível de alguns aspectos da biologia da avifauna neotropical. Alterações do ambiente são fatores importantes que influenciam nos recursos disponíveis para as aves. Nós comparamos o nível de sensibilidade das espécies de aves do sub-bosque de dois trechos em diferentes estágios sucessionais (trechos de floresta primária e secundária. Dois trechos de 100 ha cada de Floresta Atlântica de baixada foram analisados entre agosto e dezembro de 2006. Entre as 25 espécies de aves analisadas, treze tiveram menor abundância no trecho de floresta secundária, duas na floresta primária, e dez não mostraram qualquer tendência. De acordo com os critérios adotados, as porcentagens de espécies que apresentaram sensibilidades baixa, e média e alta às alterações de habitat foram de 44% e 56%, respectivamente. O número de espécies afetadas não esteve associado ao grau de endemismo ou estrato de

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-07-01

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

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

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    Luis Abdala-Roberts

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

  3. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: plant communities and their importance to wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Edward Dealy; Donavin A. Leckenby; Diane M. Concannon

    1981-01-01

    Plant communities in the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon are described, and a field key is provided. The value of a plant community’s vertical and horizontal structure and the seasonal availability of its forage are examined in relation to wildlife habitat in managed rangelands. Further, the importance of individual and combined plant communities to wildlife in...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bachir Iffis

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iffis, Bachir; St-Arnaud, Marc; Hijri, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Interspecific Plant Interactions Reflected in Soil Bacterial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling in Primary Succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. Knelman

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Past research demonstrating the importance plant–microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem succession has focused on how plants condition soil microbial communities, impacting subsequent plant performance and plant community assembly. These studies, however, largely treat microbial communities as a black box. In this study, we sought to examine how emblematic shifts from early successional Alnus viridus ssp. sinuata (Sitka alder to late successional Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce in primary succession may be reflected in specific belowground changes in bacterial community structure and nitrogen cycling related to the interaction of these two plants. We examined early successional alder-conditioned soils in a glacial forefield to delineate how alders alter the soil microbial community with increasing dominance. Further, we assessed the impact of late-successional spruce plants on these early successional alder-conditioned microbiomes and related nitrogen cycling through a leachate addition microcosm experiment. We show how increasingly abundant alder select for particular bacterial taxa. Additionally, we found that spruce leachate significantly alters the composition of these microbial communities in large part by driving declines in taxa that are enriched by alder, including bacterial symbionts. We found these effects to be spruce specific, beyond a general leachate effect. Our work also demonstrates a unique influence of spruce on ammonium availability. Such insights bolster theory relating the importance of plant–microbe interactions with late-successional plants and interspecific plant interactions more generally.

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

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    Maria Jędruszczk

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Bacterial Communities of Two Parthenogenetic Aphid Species Cocolonizing Two Host Plants across the Hawaiian Islands ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ryan T.; Bressan, Alberto; Greenwell, April M.; Fierer, Noah

    2011-01-01

    Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) have been the focus of several studies with respect to their interactions with inherited symbionts, but bacterial communities of most aphid species are still poorly characterized. In this research, we used bar-coded pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities in aphids. Specifically, we examined the diversity of bacteria in two obligately parthenogenetic aphid species (the melon aphid, Aphis gossypii, and the cardamom aphid, Pentalonia caladii) cocolonizing two plant species (taro, Colocasia esculenta, and ginger, Alpinia purpurata) across four Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu). Results from this study revealed that heritable symbionts dominated the bacterial communities for both aphid species. The bacterial communities differed significantly between the two species, and A. gossypii harbored a more diverse bacterial community than P. caladii. The bacterial communities also differed across aphid populations sampled from the different islands; however, communities did not differ between aphids collected from the two host plants. PMID:21965398

  11. Bacterial communities of two parthenogenetic aphid species cocolonizing two host plants across the Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Ryan T; Bressan, Alberto; Greenwell, April M; Fierer, Noah

    2011-12-01

    Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) have been the focus of several studies with respect to their interactions with inherited symbionts, but bacterial communities of most aphid species are still poorly characterized. In this research, we used bar-coded pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities in aphids. Specifically, we examined the diversity of bacteria in two obligately parthenogenetic aphid species (the melon aphid, Aphis gossypii, and the cardamom aphid, Pentalonia caladii) cocolonizing two plant species (taro, Colocasia esculenta, and ginger, Alpinia purpurata) across four Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu). Results from this study revealed that heritable symbionts dominated the bacterial communities for both aphid species. The bacterial communities differed significantly between the two species, and A. gossypii harbored a more diverse bacterial community than P. caladii. The bacterial communities also differed across aphid populations sampled from the different islands; however, communities did not differ between aphids collected from the two host plants.

  12. Is fire exclusion in mountain big sagebrush communities prudent? Soil nutrient, plant diversity, and arthropod response to burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire has largely been excluded from many mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) communities. Land and wildlife managers are especially reluctant to reintroduce fire in mountain big sagebrush plant communities, especially those communities without significan...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Canto

    2017-07-01

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

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

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    Tao Zhang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of precipitation are likely to change significantly in the coming century, with important but poorly understood consequences for plant communities. Experimental and correlative studies may provide insight into expected changes, but little research has addressed the degree of concordance ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. The Community's research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    The programme, adopted by the Council of the European Communities, seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontaminations for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials (steel, concrete and graphite); large transport containers for radioactive waste arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; and influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  1. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Rapid plant evolution in the presence of an introduced species alters community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David Solance; Lau, Matthew K; Jacobs, Ryan; Monroy, Jenna A; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2015-10-01

    Because introduced species may strongly interact with native species and thus affect their fitness, it is important to examine how these interactions can cascade to have ecological and evolutionary consequences for whole communities. Here, we examine the interactions among introduced Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus canadensis nelsoni, a common native plant, Solidago velutina, and the diverse plant-associated community of arthropods. While introduced species are recognized as one of the biggest threats to native ecosystems, relatively few studies have investigated an evolutionary mechanism by which introduced species alter native communities. Here, we use a common garden design that addresses and supports two hypotheses. First, native S. velutina has rapidly evolved in the presence of introduced elk. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk flowered nearly 3 weeks before plants originating from sites without elk. Second, evolution of S. velutina results in a change to the plant-associated arthropod community. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk supported an arthropod community that had ~35 % fewer total individuals and a different species composition. Our results show that the impacts of introduced species can have both ecological and evolutionary consequences for strongly interacting species that subsequently cascade to affect a much larger community. Such evolutionary consequences are likely to be long-term and difficult to remediate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Samantha K; Newman, Gregory S

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Plant genotype shapes ant-aphid interactions: implications for community structure and indirect plant defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the mechanisms by which plant genotype shapes arthropod community structure. In a field experiment, we measured the effects of milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) genotype and ants on milkweed arthropods. Populations of the ant-tended aphid Aphis asclepiadis and the untended aphid Myzocallis asclepiadis varied eight- to 18-fold among milkweed genotypes, depending on aphid species and whether ants were present. There was no milkweed effect on predatory arthropods. Ants increased Aphis abundance 59%, decreased Myzocallis abundance 52%, and decreased predator abundance 56%. Milkweed genotype indirectly influenced ants via direct effects on Aphis and Myzocallis abundance. Milkweed genotype also modified ant-aphid interactions, influencing the number of ants attracted per Aphis and Myzocallis. While ant effects on Myzocallis were consistently negative, effects on Aphis ranged from antagonistic to mutualistic among milkweed genotypes. As a consequence of milkweed effects on ant-aphid interactions, ant abundance varied 13-fold among milkweed genotypes, and monarch caterpillar survival was negatively correlated with genetic variation in ant abundance. We speculate that heritable variation in milkweed phloem sap drives these effects on aphids, ants, and caterpillars. In summary, milkweed exerts genetic control over the interactions between aphids and an ant that provides defense against foliage-feeding caterpillars.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gentry Alwyn H.

    1986-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. Shifts in the potential distribution of Sky Island plant communities in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Kupfer; Jeff Balmat; Jacqueline L. Smith

    2005-01-01

    To examine potential responses of sky island ecosystem pattern to projected climate changes, we used topographic and climatic data to develop a predictive model of plant community distribution in Saguaro National Park East, AZ. Increasing temperatures led to an upslope movement of communities and increased the area of desert scrub at the expense of montane conifer...

  13. Synecology of species-rich plant communities on roadside verges in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaffers, A.P.; Sykora, K.V.

    2002-01-01

    Using a large number of physical and chemical soil measurements, biomass measurements, and other site conditions (e. g. management, shading, exposition), an accurate synecological description is given of 15 semi-natural, species-rich plant communities. The communities studied belong to 11 alliances,

  14. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 18, April (2016), EGU2016-8464 ISSN 1607-7962. [European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. 17.04.2016-22.04.2016, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : earthworms * succession * plant communities * Collembola communities * post-mining sites Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Global environmental change effects on plant community composition trajectories depend upon management legacies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perring, Michael P.; Bernhardt-Römermann, Markus; Baeten, Lander; Midolo, Gabriele; Blondeel, Haben; Depauw, Leen; Landuyt, Dries; Maes, Sybryn L.; Lombaerde, De Emiel; Carón, Maria Mercedes; Vellend, Mark; Brunet, Jörg; Chudomelová, Markéta; Decocq, Guillaume; Diekmann, Martin; Dirnböck, Thomas; Dörfler, Inken; Durak, Tomasz; Frenne, De Pieter; Gilliam, Frank S.; Hédl, Radim; Heinken, Thilo; Hommel, Patrick; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Kirby, Keith J.; Kopecký, Martin; Lenoir, Jonathan; Li, Daijiang; Máliš, František; Mitchell, Fraser J.G.; Naaf, Tobias; Newman, Miles; Petřík, Petr; Reczyńska, Kamila; Schmidt, Wolfgang; Standovár, Tibor; Świerkosz, Krzysztof; Calster, Van Hans; Vild, Ondřej; Wagner, Eva Rosa; Wulf, Monika; Verheyen, Kris

    2018-01-01

    The contemporary state of functional traits and species richness in plant communities depends on legacy effects of past disturbances. Whether temporal responses of community properties to current environmental changes are altered by such legacies is, however, unknown. We expect global environmental

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore-parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Fortuna, T.

    2012-01-01

    The introduction and/or spread of exotic organisms into new habitats is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect native communities, competing with and excluding other plants and disrupting a wide range of trophic interactions associated with

  19. Possible mechanisms underlying abundance and diversity responses of nematode communities to plant diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cortois, R.; Veen, G.F.; Duyts, H.; Abbas, M.; Strecker, T; Kostenko, O.; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scheu, S.; Gleixner, G.; De Deyn, G.B.; van der Putten, W.H.

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to influence the abundance and diversity of belowground biota; however, patterns are not well predictable and there is still much unknown about the driving mechanisms. We analyzed changes in soil nematode community composition as affected by long-term manipulations of plant

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Co-existing ericaceous plant species in a subarctic mire community share fungal root endophytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjøller, Rasmus; Olsrud, Maria; Michelsen, Anders

    2010-01-01

    the fungal composition in roots of co-existing ericaceous plants is scarce. In the present paper, the fungal community in roots of four ericaceous plant species, Empetrum hermaphroditum, Andromeda polifolia, Vaccinium uliginosum and Vaccinium vitis-idaea which often dominate subarctic heaths and mires...

  2. Litter accumulation and nutrient content of roadside plant communities in Sichuan Basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is widely recognized that plant community composition strongly influences plant litter, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. We characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic C, tota...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, C.; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, M.; Püschel, D.; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Patterns of precipitation are likely to change significantly in the coming century, with important but poorly understood consequences for plant communities. Experimental and correlative studies may provide insight into expected changes, but little research has addressed the degree of concordance ......, and suggest that transient dynamics may not reflect long-term shifts in functional diversity and community composition. We propose a model of community change that incorporates these differences between short- and long-term responses to climate change....

  7. Experimental restoration of a fen plant community after peat mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobbaert, D.; Rochefort, L.; Price, J.S. [Univ. Laval, Sainte-Foy (Canada). Dept. de Phytologie

    2004-11-01

    Methods: The effectiveness of introducing fen plants with the application of donor diaspore material was tested. The donor diaspore material, containing seeds, rhizomes, moss fragments, and other plant propagules, was collected from two different types of natural fens. We tested whether the application of straw mulch would increase fen species cover and biodiversity compared to control plots without straw mulch. Terrace levels of different peat depths (15 cm, 40 cm, and 56 cm) were created to test the effects of different environmental site conditions on the success of re-vegetation. Results: Applying donor seed bank from natural fens was found to significantly increase fen plant cover and richness after the two growing seasons. Straw mulch proved to significantly increase fen plant richness. The intermediate terrace level (40 cm) had the highest fen plant establishment. Compared to reference sites, the low terrace level (15 cm) was richer in base cations, whereas the high terrace level (56 cm) was much drier. Conclusions: The application of donor diaspore material was demonstrated as an effective technique for establishing vascular fen plants. Further rewetting measures are considered necessary at the restoration site to create a fen ecosystem rather than simply restoring some fen species (Location: Riviere-du-Loup peatland, southern Quebec, Canada at 100 m a.s.l.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Czesława Trąba

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja Sonnemann

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

  10. Lineage overwhelms environmental conditions in determining rhizosphere bacterial community structure in a cosmopolitan invasive plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Jennifer L; Kearns, Patrick J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Wigginton, Sara; Allen, Warwick J; Greenwood, Michael; Tran, Khang; Yu, Jennifer; Cronin, James T; Meyerson, Laura A

    2017-09-05

    Plant-microbe interactions play crucial roles in species invasions but are rarely investigated at the intraspecific level. Here, we study these interactions in three lineages of a globally distributed plant, Phragmites australis. We use field surveys and a common garden experiment to analyze bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of P. australis stands from native, introduced, and Gulf lineages to determine lineage-specific controls on rhizosphere bacteria. We show that within-lineage bacterial communities are similar, but are distinct among lineages, which is consistent with our results in a complementary common garden experiment. Introduced P. australis rhizosphere bacterial communities have lower abundances of pathways involved in antimicrobial biosynthesis and degradation, suggesting a lower exposure to enemy attack than native and Gulf lineages. However, lineage and not rhizosphere bacterial communities dictate individual plant growth in the common garden experiment. We conclude that lineage is crucial for determination of both rhizosphere bacterial communities and plant fitness.Environmental factors often outweigh host heritable factors in structuring host-associated microbiomes. Here, Bowen et al. show that host lineage is crucial for determination of rhizosphere bacterial communities in Phragmites australis, a globally distributed invasive plant.

  11. Endophytic bacterial communities in three arctic plants from low arctic fell tundra are cold-adapted and host-plant specific

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nissinen, Riitta M.; Mannisto, Minna K.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2012-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria inhabit internal plant tissues, and have been isolated from a large diversity of plants, where they form nonpathogenic relationships with their hosts. This study combines molecular and culture-dependent approaches to characterize endophytic bacterial communities of three

  12. Mechanisms Controlling the Plant Diversity Effect on Soil Microbial Community Composition and Soil Microbial Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellado Vázquez, P. G.; Lange, M.; Griffiths, R.; Malik, A.; Ravenek, J.; Strecker, T.; Eisenhauer, N.; Gleixner, G.

    2015-12-01

    Soil microorganisms are the main drivers of soil organic matter cycling. Organic matter input by living plants is the major energy and matter source for soil microorganisms, higher organic matter inputs are found in highly diverse plant communities. It is therefore relevant to understand how plant diversity alters the soil microbial community and soil organic matter. In a general sense, microbial biomass and microbial diversity increase with increasing plant diversity, however the mechanisms driving these interactions are not fully explored. Working with soils from a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment), we investigated how changes in the soil microbial dynamics related to plant diversity were explained by biotic and abiotic factors. Microbial biomass quantification and differentiation of bacterial and fungal groups was done by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis; terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to determine the bacterial diversity. Gram negative (G-) bacteria predominated in high plant diversity; Gram positive (G+) bacteria were more abundant in low plant diversity and saprotrophic fungi were independent from plant diversity. The separation between G- and G+ bacteria in relation to plant diversity was governed by a difference in carbon-input related factors (e.g. root biomass and soil moisture) between plant diversity levels. Moreover, the bacterial diversity increased with plant diversity and the evenness of the PLFA markers decreased. Our results showed that higher plant diversity favors carbon-input related factors and this in turn favors the development of microbial communities specialized in utilizing new carbon inputs (i.e. G- bacteria), which are contributing to the export of new C from plants to soils.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sher, Hassan; Al Yemeni, Mohammad

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  15. Effects of mammalian herbivore declines on plant communities: observations and experiments in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Helgen, Kristofer M; Goheen, Jacob R; Otárola-Castillo, Erik; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M; Young, Truman P; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-07-01

    1. Herbivores influence the structure and composition of terrestrial plant communities. However, responses of plant communities to herbivory are variable and depend on environmental conditions, herbivore identity and herbivore abundance. As anthropogenic impacts continue to drive large declines in wild herbivores, understanding the context dependence of herbivore impacts on plant communities becomes increasingly important. 2. Exclosure experiments are frequently used to assess how ecosystems reorganize in the face of large wild herbivore defaunation. Yet in many landscapes, declines in large wildlife are often accompanied by other anthropogenic activities, especially land conversion to livestock production. In such cases, exclosure experiments may not reflect typical outcomes of human-driven extirpations of wild herbivores. 3. Here, we examine how plant community responses to changes in the identity and abundance of large herbivores interact with abiotic factors (rainfall and soil properties). We also explore how effects of wild herbivores on plant communities differ between large-scale herbivore exclosures and landscape sites where anthropogenic activity has caused wildlife declines, often accompanied by livestock increases. 4. Abiotic context modulated the responses of plant communities to herbivore declines with stronger effect sizes in lower-productivity environments. Also, shifts in plant community structure, composition and species richness following wildlife declines differed considerably between exclosure experiments and landscape sites in which wild herbivores had declined and were often replaced by livestock. Plant communities in low wildlife landscape sites were distinct in both composition and physical structure from both exclosure and control sites in experiments. The power of environmental (soil and rainfall) gradients in influencing plant response to herbivores was also greatly dampened or absent in the landscape sites. One likely explanation for

  16. Rhizosphere microbial community structure in relation to root location and plant iron nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, C H; Crowley, D E

    2000-01-01

    Root exudate composition and quantity vary in relation to plant nutritional status, but the impact of the differences on rhizosphere microbial communities is not known. To examine this question, we performed an experiment with barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants under iron-limiting and iron-sufficient growth conditions. Plants were grown in an iron-limiting soil in root box microcosms. One-half of the plants were treated with foliar iron every day to inhibit phytosiderophore production and to alter root exudate composition. After 30 days, the bacterial communities associated with different root zones, including the primary root tips, nonelongating secondary root tips, sites of lateral root emergence, and older roots distal from the tip, were characterized by using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fingerprints generated by PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our results showed that the microbial communities associated with the different root locations produced many common 16S rDNA bands but that the communities could be distinguished by using correspondence analysis. Approximately 40% of the variation between communities could be attributed to plant iron nutritional status. A sequence analysis of clones generated from a single 16S rDNA band obtained at all of the root locations revealed that there were taxonomically different species in the same band, suggesting that the resolving power of DGGE for characterization of community structure at the species level is limited. Our results suggest that the bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are substantially different in different root zones and that a rhizosphere community may be altered by changes in root exudate composition caused by changes in plant iron nutritional status.

  17. Stubble field plant communities of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Skrajna

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The characteristics of communities found in unploughed stubble fields of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park and its agricultural buffer zone are presented in the paper. The association Echinochloo-Setarietum divided into a typical variant, the variant with Galinsoga parviflora, and the variant with Bidens tripartite, was the most frequently noted and floristically differentiated association. Patches of Digitarietum ischaemi were also frequently observed in stubble fields on the poorest habitats. Rarely, on fertile soils, small patches of floristically rich communities with Veronica agrestis were recorded. Periodically, excessively wet habitats were seldom occupied by the speciesrichest phytocoenoses of Centunculo-Anthoceretum punctati. Single patches of the community with Setaria pumila, the form with Aphanes arvensis, were observed only in the south-eastern part of the Park.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrer, Emily C; Goldberg, Deborah E

    2009-03-01

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

  19. Community Visions for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  20. Simulation of plant communities with a cellular automaton

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-08-01

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

  1. Traits related to species persistence and dispersal explain changes in plant communities subjected to habitat loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marini, Lorenzo; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Heikkinen, Risto

    2012-01-01

    -history traits and by recalculating standardized landscape measures from the original geographical data. We assessed the responses of plant species richness to habitat area, connectivity, plant life-history traits and their interactions using linear mixed models. Results We found that the negative effect......Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal...... in determining dynamics of species communities in fragmented landscapes is still limited. The primary aim of this study was to test how plant traits related to persistence and dispersal and their interactions modify plant species vulnerability to decreasing habitat area and increasing isolation. Location Five...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salo, Tiina; Gustafsson, Camilla; Boström, Christoffer

    2009-01-01

    Research on plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has mainly focused on terrestrial ecosystems, and our understanding of how plant species diversity and interactions affect processes in marine ecosystems is still limited. To investigate if plant species richness and composition influence...... plant productivity in brackish water angiosperm communities, a 14 wk field experiment was conducted. Using a replacement design with a standardized initial aboveground biomass, shoots of Zostera marina, Potamogeton filiformis and P. perfoliatus were planted on a shallow, sandy bottom in replicated...... production in bicultures in general, while a positive net effect was found in the P. perfoliatus and P. filiformis biculture. Despite the absence of significant results for other treatments and plant variables, a trend of positive complementarity and negative selection effects were present. Plant diversity...

  3. THE ROLE OF THERMAL REGIMEN IN TUNDRA PLANT COMMUNITY RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mineral extraction activities in the Arctic regions of the world produce long-lasting ecological disturbances. Assisted recovery from such disturbances may require restoration of the tundra thermal regime. We transplanted plugs of entire root zone and live tundra plants to a dist...

  4. Desert Southwest Community Tree Guide: Benefits, Costs and Strategic Planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greg McPherson; J.R. Simpson; P.J. Peper; S.E. Maco; Q. Xiao; E. Mulrean

    2004-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical large-, medium-, small-stature, deciduous trees (Fraxinus uhdei, Prosopis chilensis, Acacia farnesiana), as well as a conifer (Pinus halapensis). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard site or a public (street/park) site, a 40-year time frame, and...

  5. Ecological surveys of certain plant communities around urban areas ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It was also observed that certain edaphic and human activity, discharge of pollutants with out any pretreatment was found responsible for variation in the nature, structure and composition of vegetation. The plant growth and their continuity was in danger in many disturb areas, especially in some coastal areas where salinity ...

  6. Community of endophytic fungi from the medicinal and edible plant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    antimicrobial activity, and may represent a potential source of antibiotics for agriculture and/or pharmaceutical applications. Keywords: ... agriculture, pharmaceutical and the food industry. [3,4]. During the past two decades, many new ..... of co-evolution, fungal endophytes form a symbiotic relationship with their host plants.

  7. The delineation of plant communities in relatively homogenous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A relatively homogenous area of grassland was sampled by means of 2204 systematically place 0.5 m squared quadrats for the presence or absence of all vascular plants this data was processed by the method of normal association analysis which provided an hierarchical subdivision of the vegetation. This subdivision ...

  8. Earthworm abundance and distribution pattern in contrasting plant communities within a tropical wet forest in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. Gonzalez; X. Zou; A. Sabat; N. Fetcher

    1999-01-01

    Plant communities may impose strong control on soil fauna properties. We examined the abundance and distribution pattern of earthworms in two contrasting plant communities within a tropical wet forest in Puerto Rico. The Dacryodes community occurs in well-drained soils and is dominated by Dacryodes excels, Manilkara bidentata, Guarea guidonea, and Sloanea berteriana....

  9. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, D. B.; Fisher, R. A.; Wardle, D. A.

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C) balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil - such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts - each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge. Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future climate, many plant communities may shift towards dominance by fast growing plants which

  10. 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.

  11. Coal mining activities change plant community structure due to air pollution and soil degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.

  12. Effects of Host Plant Factors on the Bacterial Communities Associated with Two Whitefly Sibling Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Ming Su

    Full Text Available Although discrepancy in the specific traits and ecological characteristics of Bemisia tabaci between species are partially attributed to the B. tabaci-associated bacteria, the factors that affect the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacteria are not well-understood. We used the metagenomic approach to characterize the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community because the approach is an effective tool to identify the bacteria.To investigate the effects of the host plant and a virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV, on the bacterial communities of B. tabaci sibling species B and Q, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with whitefly B and Q collected from healthy cotton, healthy tomato, and TYLCV-infected tomato. The analysis used miseq-based sequencing of a variable region of the bacterial 16S rDNA gene. For the bacteria associated with B. tabaci, we found that the influence of the host plant species was greater than that of the whitefly cryptic species. With further analysis of host plants infected with the TYLCV, the virus had no significant effects on the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community.The effects of different plant hosts and TYLCV-infection on the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacterial communities were successfully analyzed in this study. To explain why B. tabaci sibling species with different host ranges differ in performance, the analysis of the bacterial community may be essential to the explanation.

  13. Effects of Host Plant Factors on the Bacterial Communities Associated with Two Whitefly Sibling Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Ming-Ming; Guo, Lei; Tao, Yun-Li; Zhang, You-Jun; Wan, Fang-Hao; Chu, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Although discrepancy in the specific traits and ecological characteristics of Bemisia tabaci between species are partially attributed to the B. tabaci-associated bacteria, the factors that affect the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacteria are not well-understood. We used the metagenomic approach to characterize the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community because the approach is an effective tool to identify the bacteria. To investigate the effects of the host plant and a virus, tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), on the bacterial communities of B. tabaci sibling species B and Q, we analyzed the bacterial communities associated with whitefly B and Q collected from healthy cotton, healthy tomato, and TYLCV-infected tomato. The analysis used miseq-based sequencing of a variable region of the bacterial 16S rDNA gene. For the bacteria associated with B. tabaci, we found that the influence of the host plant species was greater than that of the whitefly cryptic species. With further analysis of host plants infected with the TYLCV, the virus had no significant effects on the B. tabaci-associated bacterial community. The effects of different plant hosts and TYLCV-infection on the diversity of B. tabaci-associated bacterial communities were successfully analyzed in this study. To explain why B. tabaci sibling species with different host ranges differ in performance, the analysis of the bacterial community may be essential to the explanation.

  14. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. Wastewater treatment plant effluent introduces recoverable shifts in microbial community composition in urban streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledford, S. H.; Price, J. R.; Ryan, M. O.; Toran, L.; Sales, C. M.

    2017-12-01

    New technologies are allowing for intense scrutiny of the impact of land use on microbial communities in stream networks. We used a combination of analytical chemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and targeted amplicon sequencing for a preliminary study on the impact of wastewater treatment plant effluent discharge on urban streams. Samples were collected on two dates above and below treatment plants on the Wissahickon Creek, and its tributary, Sandy Run, in Montgomery County, PA, USA. As expected, effluent was observed to be a significant source of nutrients and human and non-specific fecal associated taxa. There was an observed increase in the alpha diversity at locations immediately below effluent outflows, which contributed many taxa involved in wastewater treatment processes and nutrient cycling to the stream's microbial community. Unexpectedly, modeling of microbial community shifts along the stream was not controlled by concentrations of measured nutrients. Furthermore, partial recovery, in the form of decreasing abundances of bacteria and nutrients associated with wastewater treatment plant processes, nutrient cycling bacteria, and taxa associated with fecal and sewage sources, was observed between effluent sources. Antecedent moisture conditions impacted overall microbial community diversity, with higher diversity occurring after rainfall. These findings hint at resilience in stream microbial communities to recover from wastewater treatment plant effluent and are vital to understanding the impacts of urbanization on microbial stream communities.

  16. Ethnobotanical survey of food and medicinal plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai community in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimondo, Julia; Miaron, Jacob; Mutai, Peggoty; Njogu, Peter

    2015-12-04

    Pastoralist communities such as the Maasai are heavily reliant on traditional foods and medicines. This survey sought to identify traditional foods and/or medicinal plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai community living in Kenya. Ethnobotanical knowledge of traditional plants used as food and human/veterinary medicine was obtained using structured and semi-structured questionnaires administered through face to face interviews of key informants. A total of 30 species from 21 families and 25 genera were reportedly used as food and/or medicine by 48 respondents. The most commonly encountered genus was the Fabaceae. The growth forms encountered were tree (47%), shrub (33%) and herb (20%). Plants that were commonly mentioned by respondents were Salvadora persica (85%), Grewia villosa (52%), Ximenia americana (52%), Albizia anthelmintica (50%), Acacia robusta (46%) and Acacia nilotica (42%). The root/root bark was the most commonly used plant part (35%), followed by the stem/stem bark (30%), fruit (15%), leaves (11%) and whole plant (9%). Common ailments treated were stomach aches, constipation, back aches, joint aches, body pains and sexually transmitted infections. The plants were also used as tonics, digestives, and restoratives. It was evident that traditional medicine was the preferred health care system for the Ilkisonko Maasai community. It is important to document and use this knowledge in producing novel products that could improve nutrition and healthcare in rural communities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Comparison of riparian plant communities under four land management systems in southwestern Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paine, L.K.; Ribic, C.A.

    2002-01-01

    Riparian plant community composition is influenced by moisture, erosion, original native plant communities, and current and past land use. This study compared riparian plant communities under four types of management: woody buffer strip, grassy buffer strip, rotational grazing, and continuous grazing. Study sites were located along spring-fed streams in the unglaciated region of southwestern Wisconsin, USA. At each site, plant community surveys were conducted using a point transect method. Among the treatments, woody buffer strips, rotationally grazed and continuously grazed riparian areas had greater plant species richness than grassy buffer strips, and woody buffer strips had the greatest native plant species richness. Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) was prevalent in grassy buffer strips (44% of all observations), common in woody buffer strips (15%), and rare in sites that were rotationally or continuously grazed (3 and 5%, respectively). Pasture sites had greater proportions of native grasses and grass relatives and moderate levels of overall native species richness. Considered a water quality best management practice, well-managed rotational grazing may be a reasonable alternative to buffer strips which can contribute to protection and enhancement of native vegetation biodiversity. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Fungal Communities in Rhizosphere Soil under Conservation Tillage Shift in Response to Plant Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziting Wang

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Conservation tillage is an extensively used agricultural practice in northern China that alters soil texture and nutrient conditions, causing changes in the soil microbial community. However, how conservation tillage affects rhizosphere and bulk soil fungal communities during plant growth remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect of long-term (6 years conservation (chisel plow, zero and conventional (plow tillage during wheat growth on the rhizosphere fungal community, using high-throughput sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS gene and quantitative PCR. During tillering, fungal alpha diversity in both rhizosphere and bulk soil were significantly higher under zero tillage compared to other methods. Although tillage had no significant effect during the flowering stage, fungal alpha diversity at this stage was significantly different between rhizosphere and bulk soils, with bulk soil presenting the highest diversity. This was also reflected in the phylogenetic structure of the communities, as rhizosphere soil communities underwent a greater shift from tillering to flowering compared to bulk soil communities. In general, less variation in community structure was observed under zero tillage compared to plow and chisel plow treatments. Changes in the relative abundance of the fungal orders Capnodiales, Pleosporales, and Xylariales contributed the highest to the dissimilarities observed. Structural equation models revealed that the soil fungal communities under the three tillage regimes were likely influenced by the changes in soil properties associated with plant growth. This study suggested that: (1 differences in nutrient resources between rhizosphere and bulk soils can select for different types of fungi thereby increasing community variation during plant growth; (2 tillage can alter fungal communities' variability, with zero tillage promoting more stable communities. This work suggests that long-term changes in

  19. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community

    OpenAIRE

    CaraDonna, Paul J.; Iler, Amy M.; Inouye, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal timing of biological events, phenology, is one of the strongest bioindicators of climate change. Our general understanding of phenological responses to climate change is based almost solely on the first day on which an event is observed, limiting our understanding of how ecological communities may be responding as a whole. Using a unique long-term record of flowering phenology from Colorado, we find that the number of species changing their flowering times likely has been underestima...

  20. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E Kuramae

    Full Text Available We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA templates. We detected no significant differences in soil fungal diversity and community structure associated with different plant cultivars. However, DNA-based analyses yielded lower fungal OTU richness as compared to RNA-based analyses. Clear differences in fungal community structure were also observed in relation to sampling time and the nucleic acid pool targeted (DNA versus RNA. The most abundant soil fungi, as recovered by DNA-based methods, did not necessary represent the most "active" fungi (as recovered via RNA. Interestingly, RNA-derived community compositions at t1 were highly similar to DNA-derived communities at t2, based on presence/absence measures of OTUs. We recovered large proportions of fungal sequences belonging to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and Basidiomycota, especially at the RNA level, suggesting that these important and potentially beneficial fungi are not affected by the plant cultivars nor by GM traits (Bt toxin production. Our results suggest that even though DNA- and RNA-derived soil fungal communities can be very different at a given time, RNA composition may have a predictive power of fungal community development through time.

  1. The Upper Mississippi River floodscape: spatial patterns of flood inundation and associated plant community distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Yin, Yao; Hoy, Erin E.

    2016-01-01

    Questions How is the distribution of different plant communities associated with patterns of flood inundation across a large floodplain landscape? Location Thirty-eight thousand nine hundred and seventy hectare of floodplain, spanning 320 km of the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). Methods High-resolution elevation data (Lidar) and 30 yr of daily river stage data were integrated to produce a ‘floodscape’ map of growing season flood inundation duration. The distributions of 16 different remotely sensed plant communities were quantified along the gradient of flood duration. Results Models fitted to the cumulative frequency of occurrence of different vegetation types as a function of flood duration showed that most types exist along a continuum of flood-related occurrence. The diversity of community types was greatest at high elevations (0–10 d of flooding), where both upland and lowland community types were found, as well as at very low elevations (70–180 d of flooding), where a variety of lowland herbaceous communities were found. Intermediate elevations (20–60 d of flooding) tended to be dominated by floodplain forest and had the lowest diversity of community types. Conclusions Although variation in flood inundation is often considered to be the main driver of spatial patterns in floodplain plant communities, few studies have quantified flood–vegetation relationships at broad scales. Our results can be used to identify targets for restoration of historical hydrological regimes or better anticipate hydro-ecological effects of climate change at broad scales.

  2. Biomass, Leaf Area, and Resource Availability of Kudzu Dominated Plant Communities Following Herbicide Treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.T. Rader

    2001-10-01

    Kudzu is an exotic vine that threatens the forests of the southern U.S. Five herbicides were tested with regard to their efficacy in controlling kudzu, community recover was monitored, and interactions with planted pines were studied. The sites selected were old farm sites dominated by kudzu.These were burned following herbicide treatment. The herbicides included triclopyr, clopyralid, metsulfuron, tebuthiuron, and picloram plus 2,4-D. Pine seedlings were planted the following year. Regression equations were developed for predicting biomass and leaf area. Four distinct plant communities resulted from the treatments. The untreated check continued to be kudzu dominated. Blackberry dominated the clopyradid treatment. Metsulfron, trychlopyr and picloram treated sites resulted in herbaceous dominated communities. The tebuthiuron treatment maintained all vegetation low.

  3. Plant Communities Rather than Soil Properties Structure Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities along Primary Succession on a Mine Spoil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krüger, Claudia; Kohout, Petr; Janoušková, Martina; Püschel, David; Frouz, J.; Rydlová, Jana

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 8, APR 20 (2017), s. 1-16, č. článku 719. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-10377S; GA ČR GA15-05466S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * community ecology * fungal and plant succession Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  4. Ignored fungal community in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants: diversity and altitudinal characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Lihua; Li, Yi; Xu, Lingling; Wang, Peifang; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Chao; Cai, Wei; Wang, Linqiong

    2017-02-01

    Fungi are important contributors to the various functions of activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs); however, the diversity and geographic characteristics of fungal populations have remained vastly unexplored. Here, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and 454 pyrosequencing were combined to investigate the abundance and diversity of the activated sludge fungal communities from 18 full-scale municipal WWTPs in China. Phylogenetic taxonomy revealed that the members of the fungal communities were assigned to 7 phyla and 195 genera. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota were the most abundant phyla, dominated by Pluteus, Wickerhamiella, and Penicillium. Twenty-three fungal genera, accounting for 50.1 % of the total reads, were shared by 18 WWTPs and constituted a core fungal community. The fungal communities presented similar community diversity but different community structures across the WWTPs. Significant distance decay relationships were observed for the dissimilarity in fungal community structure and altitudinal distance between WWTPs. Additionally, the community evenness increased from 0.25 to 0.7 as the altitude increased. Dissolved oxygen and the C/N ratio were determined to be the most dominant contributors to the variation in fungal community structure via redundancy analysis. The observed data demonstrated the diverse occurrence of fungal species and gave a marked view of fungal community characteristics based on the previously unexplored fungal communities in activated sludge WWTPs.

  5. Siting Issues for Solar Thermal Power Plants with Small Community Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbeck, J. J.; Ireland, S. J.

    1978-01-01

    Technologies for solar thermal plants are being developed to provide energy alternatives for the future. Implementation of these plants requires consideration of siting issues as well as power system technology. While many conventional siting considerations are applicable, there is also a set of unique siting issues for solar thermal plants. Early experimental plants will have special siting considerations. The siting issues associated with small, dispersed solar thermal power plants in the 1 to 10 MWe power range for utility/small community applications are considered. Some specific requirements refer to the first 1 MWe engineering experiment for the Small Power Systems Applications (SPSA) Project. The siting issues themselves are discussed in three categories: (1) system resource requirements, (2) environmental effects on the system, and (3) potential impact of the plant on the environment. Within these categories, specific issues are discussed in a qualitative manner. Examples of limiting factors for some issues are taken from studies of other solar systems.

  6. Use of Medical Plants in Schools Communities from Sinop, Mato Grosso.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: This study was conducted in Sinop, Mato Grosso, on two school communities. It was applied semi-structured questionnaires with questions focused on socioeconomic and the use of medicinal plants. It has as finality proved the effective use of medicinal plants on the everyday and a levy of the most used plant. The general profile of the respondents has shown that the women detain the major part of the knowledge, and that pass this uses to the future generations and friends, and find these plants on specialty stores, backyards, supermarket, root stores, bush and fairs. The plants that were found more frequently was (Ruta graveolens L., Babosa (Aloe vera L., Erva-Cidreira (Lippia alba Mill., Erva-Santa-Maria (Chenopodium ambrosioides L., Boldo (Plectranthus amboinicus Spreng., Hortel(Menta x vilosa Huds. e Terramicina (Alternanthera dentata Moench..Keywords: medical plants, Sinop, school.

  7. Microbe-mediated plant-soil feedback in pioneer stages of secondary succession causes long-lasting historical contingency effects in plant community composition.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Bezemer, T.M.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Soil microbes and soil fauna have been assumed to play a key role in interspecific plant competition and successional community development. It has been suggested that plants can influence their performance by changing the composition of their associated soil communities. Such feedback effects may

  8. Evapotranspiration over spatially extensive plant communities in the Big Cypress National Preserve, southern Florida, 2007-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, W. Barclay; Lopez, Christian D.; Duever, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) was quantified over plant communities within the Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) using the eddy covariance method for a period of 3 years from October 2007 to September 2010. Plant communities selected for study included Pine Upland, Wet Prairie, Marsh, Cypress Swamp, and Dwarf Cypress. These plant communities are spatially extensive in southern Florida, and thus, the ET measurements described herein can be applied to other humid subtropical locations such as the Everglades.

  9. Climate change effects on plant biomass alter dominance patterns and community evenness in an experimental old-field ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Souza, Lara [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Norby, Richard J [ORNL; Weltzin, Jake [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Classen, Aimee T [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)

    2010-01-01

    Atmospheric and climatic change can alter plant biomass production and plant community composition. However, we know little about how climate change-induced alterations in biomass production affect plant community composition. To better understand how climate change will alter both individual plant species and community biomass we manipulated atmospheric [CO2], air temperature and precipitation in a constructed old-field ecosystem. Specifically, we compared the responses of dominant and subdominant species to our treatments, and explored how changes in plant dominance patterns alter community evenness over two years. Our study resulted in four major findings: 1) All treatments, elevated [CO2], warming and increased precipitation, increased plant biomass and the effects were additive rather than interactive, 2) Plant species differed in their response to the treatments, resulting in shifts in the proportional biomass of individual species, which altered the plant community composition; however, the plant community response was largely driven by the responses of the dominant species, 3) Precipitation explained most of the variation in plant community composition among treatments, and 4) Changes in precipitation caused a shift in the dominant species proportional biomass that resulted in higher community evenness in the dry relative to wet treatments. Interestingly, compositional and evenness responses of the subdominant community to the treatments did not always follow the responses of the whole plant community. Our data suggest that changes in plant dominance patterns and community evenness are an important part of community responses to climate change, and generally, that compositional shifts can have important consequences for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems.

  10. Shrub invasion decreases diversity and alters community stability in northern Chihuahuan Desert plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Báez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Global climate change is rapidly altering species range distributions and interactions within communities. As ranges expand, invading species change interactions in communities which may reduce stability, a mechanism known to affect biodiversity. In aridland ecosystems worldwide, the range of native shrubs is expanding as they invade and replace native grassland vegetation with significant consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. METHODOLOGY: We used two long-term data sets to determine the effects of shrub encroachment by Larrea tridentata on subdominant community composition and stability in formerly native perennial grassland dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda in New Mexico, USA. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results indicated that Larrea invasion decreased species richness during the last 100 years. We also found that over shorter temporal scales species-poor subdominant communities in areas invaded by Larrea were less stable (more variable in time compared to species rich communities in grass-dominated vegetation. Compositional stability increased as cover of Bouteloua increased and decreased as cover of Larrea increased. SIGNIFICANCE: Changes in community stability due to altered interspecific interactions may be one mechanism by which biodiversity declines in grasslands following shrub invasion. As global warming increases, shrub encroachment into native grasslands worldwide will continue to alter species interactions and community stability both of which may lead to a decline in biodiversity.

  11. Shrub invasion decreases diversity and alters community stability in northern Chihuahuan Desert plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L

    2008-06-04

    Global climate change is rapidly altering species range distributions and interactions within communities. As ranges expand, invading species change interactions in communities which may reduce stability, a mechanism known to affect biodiversity. In aridland ecosystems worldwide, the range of native shrubs is expanding as they invade and replace native grassland vegetation with significant consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We used two long-term data sets to determine the effects of shrub encroachment by Larrea tridentata on subdominant community composition and stability in formerly native perennial grassland dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda in New Mexico, USA. Our results indicated that Larrea invasion decreased species richness during the last 100 years. We also found that over shorter temporal scales species-poor subdominant communities in areas invaded by Larrea were less stable (more variable in time) compared to species rich communities in grass-dominated vegetation. Compositional stability increased as cover of Bouteloua increased and decreased as cover of Larrea increased. Changes in community stability due to altered interspecific interactions may be one mechanism by which biodiversity declines in grasslands following shrub invasion. As global warming increases, shrub encroachment into native grasslands worldwide will continue to alter species interactions and community stability both of which may lead to a decline in biodiversity.

  12. Underwater measurements of carbon dioxide evolution in marine plant communities: A new method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, João; Feijóo, Pedro; Santos, Rui

    2008-07-01

    We developed a new methodology to determine CO 2 fluxes in intertidal and shallow subtidal plant communities, namely seagrasses, both when the plants are submerged and when they are air-exposed. The apparatus comprises closed incubation chambers and a gas exchange column, designed to remove carbon dioxide from the water. Different types of incubation chambers were designed and built to adapt the system to distinct environments and incubation requirements. The methodology was tested under a comprehensive range of situations and its advantages and limitations are discussed. Overall, the method provides precise measurements of community carbon dioxide fluxes, through a fast and non-intrusive process, allowing repeatable in situ measurements of carbon uptake both in submerged and air-exposed conditions. As the experimental apparatus is identical, directly comparable measurements of air-exposed and submerged community production may be obtained, allowing sound estimates of daily carbon budgets of intertidal and shallow subtidal communities.

  13. The Communities' research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

    This is the first progress report of the European Community's programme (1979-1983) of research on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It shows the status of the programme on 31 December 1980. The programme seeks to promote a number of research and development projects as well as the identification of guiding principles. The projects concern the following subjects: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontamination for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific waste materials: steel, concrete and graphite; large transport containers for radioactive was produced in the dismantling of nuclear power plants; estimation of the quantities of radioactive wastes arising from decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  14. Species-specific effects of woody litter on seedling emergence and growth of herbaceous plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kadri Koorem

    Full Text Available The effect of litter on seedling establishment can influence species richness in plant communities. The effect of litter depends on amount, and also on litter type, but relatively little is known about the species-specific effects of litter. We conducted a factorial greenhouse experiment to examine the effect of litter type, using two woody species that commonly co-occur in boreonemoral forest--evergreen spruce (Picea abies, deciduous hazel (Corylus avellana, and a mixture of the two species--and litter amount--shallow (4 mm, deep (12 mm and leachate--on seedling emergence and biomass of three understorey species. The effect of litter amount on seedling emergence was highly dependent on litter type; while spruce needle litter had a significant negative effect that increased with depth, seedling emergence in the presence of hazel broadleaf litter did not differ from control pots containing no litter. Mixed litter of both species also had a negative effect on seedling emergence that was intermediate compared to the single-species treatments. Spruce litter had a marginally positive (shallow or neutral effect (deep on seedling biomass, while hazel and mixed litter treatments had significant positive effects on biomass that increased with depth. We found non-additive effects of litter mixtures on seedling biomass indicating that high quality hazel litter can reduce the negative effects of spruce. Hazel litter does not inhibit seedling emergence; it increases seedling growth, and creates better conditions for seedling growth in mixtures by reducing the suppressive effect of spruce litter, having a positive effect on understorey species richness.

  15. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  16. Landscape-scale variation in plant community composition of an African savanna from airborne species mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldeck, C A; Colgan, M S; Féret, J B; Levick, S R; Martin, R E; Asner, G P

    2014-01-01

    Information on landscape-scale patterns in species distributions and community types is vital for ecological science and effective conservation assessment and planning. However, detailed maps of plant community structure at landscape scales seldom exist due to the inability of field-based inventories to map a sufficient number of individuals over large areas. The Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) collected hyperspectral and lidar data over Kruger National Park, South Africa, and these data were used to remotely identify > 500 000 tree and shrub crowns over a 144-km2 landscape using stacked support vector machines. Maps of community compositional variation were produced by ordination and clustering, and the importance of hillslope-scale topo-edaphic variation in shaping community structure was evaluated with redundancy analysis. This remote species identification approach revealed spatially complex patterns in woody plant communities throughout the landscape that could not be directly observed using field-based methods alone. We estimated that topo-edaphic variables representing catenal sequences explained 21% of species compositional variation, while we also uncovered important community patterns that were unrelated to catenas, indicating a large role for other soil-related factors in shaping the savanna community. Our results demonstrate the ability of airborne species identification techniques to map biodiversity for the evaluation of ecological controls on community composition over large landscapes.

  17. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Uteseny, Karoline; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Previous field observations indicated that earthworms promote late-successional plant species and reduce collembolan numbers at post-mining sites in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic). Here, we established a laboratory pot experiment to test the effect of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny and Lumbricus rubellus Hoffm.) and litter of low, medium, and high quality (the grass Calamagrostis epigejos, the willow Salix caprea, and the alder Alnus glutinosa, respectively) on late successional plants (grasses Arrhenatherum elatius and Agrostis capillaris, legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium medium, and non-leguminous dicots Centaurea jacea and Plantago lanceolata) in spoil substrate originating from Sokolov post-mining sites and naturally inhabited by abundant numbers of Collembola. The earthworms increased plant biomass, especially that of the large-seeded A. elatius, but reduced the number of plant individuals, mainly that of the small-seeded A. capillaris and both legumes. Litter quality affected plant biomass, which was highest with S. caprea litter, but did not change the number of plant individuals. Litter quality did not modify the effect of earthworms on plants; the effect of litter quality and earthworms was only additive. Species composition of Collembola community was altered by litter quality, but earthworms reduced the number of individuals, increased the number of species, and increased species evenness consistently across the litter qualities. Because the results of this experiment were consistent with the field observations, we conclude that earthworms help drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities on post-mining sites.

  18. Phyllosphere microbiota composition and microbial community transplantation on lettuce plants grown indoors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas R; Marco, Maria L

    2014-08-12

    The aerial surfaces of plants, or phyllosphere, are microbial habitats important to plant and human health. In order to accurately investigate microbial interactions in the phyllosphere under laboratory conditions, the composition of the phyllosphere microbiota should be representative of the diversity of microorganisms residing on plants in nature. We found that Romaine lettuce grown in the laboratory contained 10- to 100-fold lower numbers of bacteria than age-matched, field-grown lettuce. The bacterial diversity on laboratory-grown plants was also significantly lower and contained relatively higher proportions of Betaproteobacteria as opposed to the Gammaproteobacteria-enriched communities on field lettuce. Incubation of field-grown Romaine lettuce plants in environmental growth chambers for 2 weeks resulted in bacterial cell densities and taxa similar to those on plants in the field but with less diverse bacterial populations overall. In comparison, the inoculation of laboratory-grown Romaine lettuce plants with either freshly collected or cryopreserved microorganisms recovered from field lettuce resulted in the development of a field-like microbiota on the lettuce within 2 days of application. The survival of an inoculated strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 was unchanged by microbial community transfer; however, the inoculation of E. coli O157:H7 onto those plants resulted in significant shifts in the abundance of certain taxa. This finding was strictly dependent on the presence of a field-associated as opposed to a laboratory-associated microbiota on the plants. Phyllosphere microbiota transplantation in the laboratory will be useful for elucidating microbial interactions on plants that are important to agriculture and microbial food safety. The phyllosphere is a habitat for a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria with significant relevance to plant and human health. Some indigenous epiphytic bacteria might affect the persistence of human food

  19. [Influence of Submerged Plants on Microbial Community Structure in Sediment of Hongze Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ding-yu; Zhang, Ting-xi; Dong, Dan-ping; Li, De-fang; Wang, Guo-xiang

    2016-05-15

    Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) method was applied to analyze the influence of submerged plants on sediment microbial community structure, in order to investigate the changes of sediment microbial community structure for different kinds of the submerged plants in different growth periods. Particularly, Potamogeton crispus L., Potamogeton pectinatus L and the mixed group were chosen as the typical submerged plants in Hongze Lake for investigation in this paper. The results indicated that the change of total PLFAs in different periods was significant, on the contrary, the PLFA change for different groups in the same period was insignificant. The values of G⁺ PLFA/G⁻ PLFA in the submerged plant group were also highly related to the different growth periods, which demonstrated that the root function of the submerged plant had a severe impact on the microbial community in sediment. Furthermore, some environmental factors, such as Temperature, pH, TOC and DO, were correlated to characteristic phospholipid of PLFAs in sediment, which means the environmental factors could also affect the microbial community structure.

  20. Seasonal Variations in the Structure of Phytoplankton Communities near Nuclear Power Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.-K.; Choi, H.-C.; Moon, H.-T.

    2015-01-01

    To investigate effects of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plants on the surrounding marine environment, especially on the phytoplankton community, environmental data gained by seasonal survey around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants during the periods of 11 years from 1999 to 2009 were analysed. The data used were from environmental survey and assessment around Hanbit and Hanul nuclear power plants of Korea during the period of 11 years from 1999 to 2009. The purposes of this study are (1) to evaluate the effect of operation of nuclear power plants on phytoplankton community, (2) to find out whether the thermal discharge affected negatively phytoplankton community, and (3) to evaluate the difference of thermal discharge influence on phytoplankton community between West and East coastal area, Korea. Through this study, (1) quantitative evaluation of the effect of thermal discharge effluent on marine ecology, especially on abundance and biomass of phytoplankton were performed, (2) found that depending on the season, the effect of thermal discharge effluent from nuclear power plant on the marine environment is not always negative (i.e. warm water may increase or prevent decline of abundance in seasons with low temperature such as winter in Hanbit area), and (3) found that same thermal discharge effluent rate to different marine environments, such as west and east coast of Korea, does not result in same effect on the marine ecosystem. (author)

  1. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Socioeconomic impacts of nuclear power plant siting: a case study of two New England communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purdy, B.J.

    1976-01-01

    An examination is presented of the social, economic and political/institutional impacts of two operating nuclear power complexes on two New England communities. The work is one of a series planned to broaden knowledge of the effects of large energy-generating facilities upon the social structure of local communities. Its primary objectives are to investigate and assess social and economic impacts resulting from construction and operation of nuclear power plants and to generate hypotheses about such impacts for future testing

  3. Relationships between phyllosphere bacterial communities and plant functional traits in a neotropical forest

    OpenAIRE

    Kembel, Steven W.; O’Connor, Timothy K.; Arnold, Holly K.; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Wright, S. Joseph; Green, Jessica L.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we sequenced bacterial communities present on tree leaves in a neotropical forest in Panama, to quantify the poorly understood relationships between bacterial biodiversity on leaves (the phyllosphere) vs. host tree attributes. Bacterial community structure on leaves was highly correlated with host evolutionary relatedness and suites of plant functional traits related to host ecological strategies for resource uptake and growth/mortality tradeoffs. The abundance of several bacter...

  4. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland)

    OpenAIRE

    Mateusz Wilk; Agnieszka Banach; Julia Pawłowska; Marta Wrzosek

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2). The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the E...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sauve, Alix Marianne Carine; Thébault, Elisa; Pocock, Michael J. O.; Fontaine, Colin

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical dat...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 7 (2017), s. 1-21, č. článku e0181525. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH14285 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : inoculation * arbuscular mycorrhiza * community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (UEB-Q) OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany; Plant sciences, botany (UEB-Q) Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  7. An introduced predator alters Aleutian Island plant communities by thwarting nutrient subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, J.L.; Estes, J.A.; Croll, D.A.; Danner, E.M.; Elmendorf, S.C.; Buckelew, S.L.

    2006-01-01

    The ramifying effects of top predators on food webs traditionally have been studied within the framework of trophic cascades. Trophic cascades are compelling because they embody powerful indirect effects of predators on primary production. Although less studied, indirect effects of predators may occur via routes that are not exclusively trophic. We quantified how the introduction of foxes onto the Aleutian Islands transformed plant communities by reducing abundant seabird populations, thereby disrupting nutrient subsidies vectored by seabirds from sea to land. We compared soil and plant fertility, plant biomass and community composition, and stable isotopes of nitrogen in soil, plants, and other organisms on nine fox-infested and nine historically fox-free islands across the Aleutians. Additionally, we experimentally augmented nutrients on a fox-infested island to test whether differences in plant productivity and composition between fox-infested and fox-free islands could have arisen from differences in nutrient inputs between island types. Islands with historical fox infestations had soils low in phosphorus and nitrogen and plants low in tissue nitrogen. Soils, plants, slugs, flies, spiders, and bird droppings on these islands had low d15N values indicating that these organisms obtained nitrogen from internally derived sources. In contrast, soils, plants, and higher trophic level organisms on fox-free islands had elevated d15N signatures indicating that they utilized nutrients derived from the marine environment. Furthermore, soil phosphorus (but not nitrogen) and plant tissue nitrogen were higher on fox-free than fox-infested islands. Nutrient subsidized fox-free islands supported lush, high biomass plant communities dominated by graminoids. Fox-infested islands were less graminoid dominated and had higher cover and biomass of low-lying forbs and dwarf shrubs. While d15N profiles of soils and plants and graminoid biomass varied with island size and distance from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-28

    Shui communities of southwest China have an extensive history of using wild plants as starters (Xiaoqu) to prepare fermented beverages that serve important roles in interpersonal relationships and cultural events. While the practice of using wild plants as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages was once prevalent throughout China, this tradition has seen a decline nationally since the 1930s. The traditional technique of preparing fermented beverages from wild plant starters remains well preserved in the Shui communities in southwest China and provides insight on local human-environment interactions and conservation of plant biodiversity for cultural purposes. The present study sought to examine the ethnobotany of wild plants used as starters for the preparation of fermented beverages including an inventory of plants used as a starter in liquor fermentation and associated knowledge and practices. Field surveys were carried out that consisted of semi-structured surveys and plant species inventories. One hundred forty-nine informants in twenty Shui villages were interviewed between July 2012 and October 2014 to document knowledge associated with wild plants used as a liquor fermentation starter. The inventories involved plant voucher specimens and taxonomic identification of plant collections. A total of 103 species in 57 botanical families of wild plants were inventoried and documented that are traditionally used as starters for preparing fermented beverages by Shui communities. The majority of the species (93.2%) have multiple uses in addition to being used as a starter with medicinal purposes being the most prevalent. Shui women are the major harvesters and users of wild plants used as starters for preparing fermented beverages and transfer knowledge orally from mother to daughter. Findings from this study can serve as a basis for future investigation on fermented beverages and foods and associated knowledge and cultural practices. However, with rapid

  9. Rhizobacterial Community Structures Associated with Native Plants Grown in Chilean Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorquera, Milko A; Maruyama, Fumito; Ogram, Andrew V; Navarrete, Oscar U; Lagos, Lorena M; Inostroza, Nitza G; Acuña, Jacquelinne J; Rilling, Joaquín I; de La Luz Mora, María

    2016-10-01

    Chile is topographically and climatically diverse, with a wide array of diverse undisturbed ecosystems that include native plants that are highly adapted to local conditions. However, our understanding of the diversity, activity, and role of rhizobacteria associated with natural vegetation in undisturbed Chilean extreme ecosystems is very poor. In the present study, the combination of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 454-pyrosequencing approaches was used to describe the rhizobacterial community structures of native plants grown in three representative Chilean extreme environments: Atacama Desert (ATA), Andes Mountains (AND), and Antarctic (ANT). Both molecular approaches revealed the presence of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria as the dominant phyla in the rhizospheres of native plants. Lower numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed in rhizosphere soils from ATA compared with AND and ANT. Both approaches also showed differences in rhizobacterial community structures between extreme environments and between plant species. The differences among plant species grown in the same environment were attributed to the higher relative abundance of classes Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. However, further studies are needed to determine which environmental factors regulate the structures of rhizobacterial communities, and how (or if) specific bacterial groups may contribute to the growth and survival of native plants in each Chilean extreme environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Pollination and herbivory networks have mainly been studied separately, highlighting their distinct structural characteristics and the related processes and dynamics. However, most plants interact with both pollinators and herbivores, and there is evidence that both types of interaction affect each other. Here we investigated the way plants connect these mutualistic and antagonistic networks together, and the consequences for community stability. Using an empirical data set, we show that the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks is not random and promotes community stability. Analyses of the structure of binary and quantitative networks show different results: the plants' generalism with regard to pollinators is positively correlated to their generalism with regard to herbivores when considering binary interactions, but not when considering quantitative interactions. We also show that plants that share the same pollinators do not share the same herbivores. However, the way plants connect pollination and herbivory networks promotes stability for both binary and quantitative networks. Our results highlight the relevance of considering the diversity of interaction types in ecological communities, and stress the need to better quantify the costs and benefits of interactions, as well as to develop new metrics characterizing the way different interaction types are combined within ecological networks. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Mutualism between co-introduced species facilitates invasion and alters plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Kirsten M.; Robinson, Jennifer M.; Meadley Dunphy, Shannon A.; Frederickson, Megan E.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized mutualisms are often predicted to be resilient to changes in partner identity. Variation in mutualism-related traits between native and invasive species however, can exacerbate the spread of invasive species (‘invasional meltdown’) if invasive partners strongly interact. Here we show how invasion by a seed-dispersing ant (Myrmica rubra) promotes recruitment of a co-introduced invasive over native ant-dispersed (myrmecochorous) plants. We created experimental communities of invasive (M. rubra) or native ants (Aphaenogaster rudis) and invasive and native plants and measured seed dispersal and plant recruitment. In our mesocosms, and in laboratory and field trials, M. rubra acted as a superior seed disperser relative to the native ant. By contrast, previous studies have found that invasive ants are often poor seed dispersers compared with native ants. Despite belonging to the same behavioural guild, seed-dispersing ants were not functionally redundant. Instead, native and invasive ants had strongly divergent effects on plant communities: the invasive plant dominated in the presence of the invasive ant and the native plants dominated in the presence of the native ant. Community changes were not due to preferences for coevolved partners: variation in functional traits of linked partners drove differences. Here, we show that strongly interacting introduced mutualists can be major drivers of ecological change. PMID:25540283

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Antibiotic resistance differentiates Echinacea purpurea endophytic bacterial communities with respect to plant organs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengoni, Alessio; Maida, Isabel; Chiellini, Carolina; Emiliani, Giovanni; Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Fondi, Marco; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fani, Renato

    2014-10-01

    Recent findings have shown that antibiotic resistance is widespread in multiple environments and multicellular organisms, as plants, harboring rich and complex bacterial communities, could be hot spot for emergence of antibiotic resistances as a response to bioactive molecules production by members of the same community. Here, we investigated a panel of 137 bacterial isolates present in different organs of the medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea, aiming to evaluate if different plant organs harbor strains with different antibiotic resistance profiles, implying then the presence of different biological interactions in the communities inhabiting different plant organs. Data obtained showed a large antibiotic resistance variability among strains, which was strongly related to the different plant organs (26% of total variance, P antibiotic resistance pattern was present also when a single genus (Pseudomonas), ubiquitous in all organs, was analyzed and no correlation of antibiotic resistance pattern with genomic relatedness among strains was found. In conclusion, we speculate that antibiotic resistance patterns are tightly linked to the type of plant organ under investigation, suggesting the presence of differential forms of biological interaction in stem/leaves, roots and rhizosphere. Copyright © 2014 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Impacts of nuclear power plant developments on community service capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krannich, R.S.

    1978-03-01

    With the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969 a legislative mandate was established to assess ''socioeconomic'' as well as environmental consequences of large-scale development projects. However, the developing literature base in the area of socioeconomics has exhibited a pronounced tendency to stress social and economic pathologies associated with the so-called ''boom town'' syndrome. While boom growth and associated problems do appear to provide relevant conceptualizations of the socioeconomic impacts of energy resource development projects in geographically isolated sectors of the western United States, the argument is presented that such a perspective is generally inappropriate when assessing the consequences of nuclear power plant developments. Survey data on 21 nuclear generating facilities are analyzed in order to provide a comparative perspective on socioeconomic consequences and factors which may influence their relative importance

  15. Forest Plant and Bird Communities in the Lau Group, Fiji

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human

  16. Forest plant and bird communities in the Lau Group, Fiji.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Franklin

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km², Nayau (18.4 km², and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km², islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity.All trees > 5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m² each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness. Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba.Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human disturbance.

  17. Defoliation effects on seed dispersal and seedling recruitment in a tropical rain forest understorey palm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lent, van J.; Hernandez-Barrios, J.C.; Anten, N.P.R.; Martinez-Ramos, M.

    2014-01-01

    1. Assessing the demographic effects of leaf area losses in perennial plants is important to determine population resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Yet, while impacts of defoliation on vital rates of adult plants have been well documented, consequences for seed dispersal and

  18. Metagenomic characterization of biofilter microbial communities in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Seungdae; Hammes, Frederik; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2018-01-01

    Microorganisms inhabiting filtration media of a drinking water treatment plant can be beneficial, because they metabolize biodegradable organic matter from source waters and those formed during disinfection processes, leading to the production of biologically stable drinking water. However, which microbial consortia colonize filters and what metabolic capacity they possess remain to be investigated. To gain insights into these issues, we performed metagenome sequencing and analysis of microbial communities in three different filters of a full-scale drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). Filter communities were sampled from a rapid sand filter (RSF), granular activated carbon filter (GAC), and slow sand filter (SSF), and from the Schmutzdecke (SCM, a biologically active scum layer accumulated on top of SSF), respectively. Analysis of community phylogenetic structure revealed that the filter bacterial communities significantly differed from those in the source water and final effluent communities, respectively. Network analysis identified a filter-specific colonization pattern of bacterial groups. Bradyrhizobiaceae were abundant in GAC, whereas Nitrospira were enriched in the sand-associated filters (RSF, SCM, and SSF). The GAC community was enriched with functions associated with aromatics degradation, many of which were encoded by Rhizobiales (∼30% of the total GAC community). Predicting minimum generation time (MGT) of prokaryotic communities suggested that the GAC community potentially select fast-growers (<15 h of MGT) among the four filter communities, consistent with the highest dissolved organic matter removal rate by GAC. Our findings provide new insights into the community phylogenetic structure, colonization pattern, and metabolic capacity that potentially contributes to organic matter removal achieved in the biofiltration stages of the full-scale DWTP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Habitat template approach for green roofs using a native rocky sea coast plant community in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagase, Ayako; Tashiro-Ishii, Yurika

    2018-01-15

    The present study examined whether it is possible to simulate a local herbaceous coastal plant community on a roof, by studying the natural habitats of rocky sea coast plants and their propagation and performance on a green roof. After studying the natural habitat of coastal areas in Izu peninsula, a germination and cutting transplant study was carried out using herbaceous plants from the Jogasaki sea coast. Many plant species did not germinate at all and the use of cuttings was a better method than direct seeding. The green roof was installed in the spring of 2012 in Chiba city. Thirteen plant species from the Jogasaki sea coast, which were successfully propagated, were planted in three kinds of substrate (15 cm depth): pumice, roof tile and commercial green roof substrate. The water drainage was restricted and a reservoir with 5 cm depth of water underlaid the substrate to simulate a similar growing environment to the sea coast. Volcanic rocks were placed as mulch to create a landscape similar to that on the Jogasaki sea coast. Plant coverage on the green roof was measured every month from June 2012 to October 2014. All plants were harvested and their dry shoot weight was measured in December 2014. The type of substrate did not cause significant differences in plant survival and dry shoot weight. Sea coast plant species were divided into four categories: vigorous growth; seasonal change; disappearing after a few years; limited growth. Understanding the ecology of natural habitats was important to simulating a local landscape using native plant communities on the green roof. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: An assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

    This paper evaluates both the ideas and empirical evidence pertaining to the control of species density in herbaceous plant communities. While most theoretical discussions of species density have emphasized the importance of habitat productivity and disturbance regimes, many other factors (e.g. species pools, plant litter accumulation, plant morphology) have been proposed to be important. A review of literature presenting observations on the density of species in small plots (in the vicinity of a few square meters or less), as well as experimental studies, suggests several generalizations: (1) Available data are consistent with an underlying unimodal relationship between species density and total community biomass. While variance in species density is often poorly explained by predictor variables, there is strong evidence that high levels of community biomass are antagonistic to high species density. (2) Community biomass is just one of several factors affecting variations in species density. Multivariate analyses typically explain more than twice as much variance in species density as can be explained by community biomass alone. (3) Disturbance has important and sometimes complex effects on species density. In general, the evidence is consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis but exceptions exist and effects can be complex. (4) Gradients in the species pool can have important influences on patterns of species density. Evidence is mounting that a considerable amount of the observed variability in species density within a landscape or region may result from environmental effects on the species pool. (5) Several additional factors deserve greater consideration, including time lags, species composition, plant morphology, plant density and soil microbial effects. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of the primary factors controlling species density is presented here. This model suggests that species density is controlled by the effects of

  1. Summer Freezing Resistance: A Critical Filter for Plant Community Assemblies in Mediterranean High Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pescador, David S; Sierra-Almeida, Ángela; Torres, Pablo J; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-01-01

    Assessing freezing community response and whether freezing resistance is related to other functional traits is essential for understanding alpine community assemblages, particularly in Mediterranean environments where plants are exposed to freezing temperatures and summer droughts. Thus, we characterized the leaf freezing resistance of 42 plant species in 38 plots at Sierra de Guadarrama (Spain) by measuring their ice nucleation temperature, freezing point (FP), and low-temperature damage (LT50), as well as determining their freezing resistance mechanisms (i.e., tolerance or avoidance). The community response to freezing was estimated for each plot as community weighted means (CWMs) and functional diversity (FD), and we assessed their relative importance with altitude. We established the relationships between freezing resistance, growth forms, and four key plant functional traits (i.e., plant height, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content (LDMC), and seed mass). There was a wide range of freezing resistance responses and more than in other alpine habitats. At the community level, the CWMs of FP and LT50 responded negatively to altitude, whereas the FD of both traits increased with altitude. The proportion of freezing-tolerant species also increased with altitude. The ranges of FP and LT50 varied among growth forms, and only leaf dry matter content was negatively correlated with freezing-resistance traits. Summer freezing events represent important abiotic filters for assemblies of Mediterranean high mountain communities, as suggested by the CWMs. However, a concomitant summer drought constraint may also explain the high freezing resistance of species that thrive in these areas and the lower FD of freezing resistance traits at lower altitudes. Leaves with high dry matter contents may maintain turgor at lower water potential and enhance drought tolerance in parallel to freezing resistance. This adaptation to drought seems to be a general prerequisite for plants

  2. Plant community responses to simultaneous changes in temperature, nitrogen availability, and invasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise S Gornish

    Full Text Available Increasing rates of change in climate have been observed across the planet and have contributed to the ongoing range shifts observed for many species. Although ecologists are now using a variety of approaches to study how much and through what mechanisms increasing temperature and nutrient pollution may influence the invasions inherent in range shifts, accurate predictions are still lacking.In this study, we conducted a factorial experiment, simultaneously manipulating warming, nitrogen addition and introduction of Pityopsis aspera, to determine how range-shifting species affect a plant community. We quantified the resident community using ordination scores, then used structural equation modeling to examine hypotheses related to how plants respond to a network of experimental treatments and environmental variables. Variation in soil pH explained plant community response to nitrogen addition in the absence of invasion. However, in the presence of invasion, the direct effect of nitrogen on the community was negligible and soil moisture was important for explaining nitrogen effects. We did not find effects of warming on the native plant community in the absence of invasion. In the presence of invasion, however, warming had negative effects on functional richness directly and invasion and herbivory explained the overall positive effect of warming on the plant community.This work highlights the variation in the biotic and abiotic factors responsible for explaining independent and collective climate change effects over a short time scale. Future work should consider the complex and non-additive relationships among factors of climate change and invasion in order to capture more ecologically relevant features of our changing environment.

  3. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  4. Importance of earthworm-seed interactions for the composition and structure of plant communities: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forey, Estelle; Barot, Sébastien; Decaëns, Thibaud; Langlois, Estelle; Laossi, Kam-Rigne; Margerie, Pierre; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-11-01

    Soil seed bank composition and dynamics are crucial elements for the understanding of plant population and community ecology. Earthworms are increasingly recognized as important dispersers and predators of seeds. Through direct and indirect effects they influence either positively or negatively the establishment and survival of seeds and seedlings. Seedling establishment is affected by a variety of earthworm-mediated mechanisms, such as selective seed ingestion and digestion, acceleration or deceleration of germination, and seed transport. Earthworm casts deposited on the soil surface and the entrance of earthworm burrows often contain viable seeds and constitute important regeneration niches for plant seedlings and therefore likely favour specific seed traits. However, the role of earthworms as seed dispersers, mediators of seed bank dynamics and seed predators has not been considered in concert. The overall effect of earthworms on plant communities remains little understood. Most knowledge is based on laboratory studies on temperate species and future work has to explore the biological significance of earthworm-seed interactions under more natural conditions. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on earthworm-seed interactions and discuss factors determining these interactions. We highlight that this interaction may be an underappreciated, yet major driving force for the dynamics of soil seed banks and plant communities which most likely have experienced co-evolutionary processes. Despite the experimental bias, we hypothesize that the knowledge gathered in the present review is of crucial relevance for restoration and conservation ecology. For instance, as earthworms emerge as successful and ubiquitous invaders in various ecosystems, the summarized information might serve as a basis for realistic estimations and modelling of consequences on native plant communities. We depict promising directions of future research and point to the need to consider

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-30

    Wild plants are used as food for human populations where people still depend on natural resources to survive. This study aimed at identifying wild plants and edible uses known in four rural communities of the Pantanal-Brazil, estimating the use value and understanding how distance to the urban areas, gender, age and number of different environments available in the vicinity can influence the knowledge and use of these plants by local people. Data on edible plants with known uses by communities were obtained through semi-structured interviews. A form with standardized information was used for all communities in order to obtain comparable data for analysis. For the quantitative analysis of the factors that could influence the number of species known by the population, a generalized linear model (GLM) was conducted using a negative binomial distribution as the data consisted of counts (number of citations). A total of 54 wild species were identified with food uses, included in 44 genera and 30 families of angiosperms. Besides food use, the species are also known as medicine, bait, construction, technology and other. The species with the highest use value was Acrocomia aculeata. Older people, aged more than 60 years, and those living in more remote communities farther from cities know more wild edible plants. Statistical analysis showed no difference regarding gender or number of vegetation types available in the vicinity and the number of plants known by locals. This study indicated more knowledge retained in communities more distant from the urban area, indifference in distribution of knowledge between genders and the higher cultural competence of elderly people in respect to knowledge of wild edible botanicals.

  6. Negative per capita effects of two invasive plants, Lythrum salicaria and Phalaris arundinacea, on the moth diversity of wetland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schooler, S S; McEvoy, P B; Hammond, P; Coombs, E M

    2009-06-01

    Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect the diversity of plant communities. However, little is known about the effect of invasive plants on the diversity at other trophic levels. In this study, we examine the per capita effects of two invasive plants, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), on moth diversity in wetland communities at 20 sites in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Prior studies document that increasing abundance of these two plant species decreases the diversity of plant communities. We predicted that this reduction in plant diversity would result in reduced herbivore diversity. Four measurements were used to quantify diversity: species richness (S), community evenness (J), Brillouin's index (H) and Simpson's index (D). We identified 162 plant species and 156 moth species across the 20 wetland sites. The number of moth species was positively correlated with the number of plant species. In addition, invasive plant abundance was negatively correlated with species richness of the moth community (linear relationship), and the effect was similar for both invasive plant species. However, no relationship was found between invasive plant abundance and the three other measures of moth diversity (J, H, D) which included moth abundance in their calculation. We conclude that species richness within, and among, trophic levels is adversely affected by these two invasive wetland plant species.

  7. Ecological assembly rules in plant communities--approaches, patterns and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Davison, John; Dubuis, Anne; Guisan, Antoine; Lepš, Jan; Lindborg, Regina; Moora, Mari; Pärtel, Meelis; Pellissier, Loic; Pottier, Julien; Vittoz, Pascal; Zobel, Kristjan; Zobel, Martin

    2012-02-01

    Understanding how communities of living organisms assemble has been a central question in ecology since the early days of the discipline. Disentangling the different processes involved in community assembly is not only interesting in itself but also crucial for an understanding of how communities will behave under future environmental scenarios. The traditional concept of assembly rules reflects the notion that species do not co-occur randomly but are restricted in their co-occurrence by interspecific competition. This concept can be redefined in a more general framework where the co-occurrence of species is a product of chance, historical patterns of speciation and migration, dispersal, abiotic environmental factors, and biotic interactions, with none of these processes being mutually exclusive. Here we present a survey and meta-analyses of 59 papers that compare observed patterns in plant communities with null models simulating random patterns of species assembly. According to the type of data under study and the different methods that are applied to detect community assembly, we distinguish four main types of approach in the published literature: species co-occurrence, niche limitation, guild proportionality and limiting similarity. Results from our meta-analyses suggest that non-random co-occurrence of plant species is not a widespread phenomenon. However, whether this finding reflects the individualistic nature of plant communities or is caused by methodological shortcomings associated with the studies considered cannot be discerned from the available metadata. We advocate that more thorough surveys be conducted using a set of standardized methods to test for the existence of assembly rules in data sets spanning larger biological and geographical scales than have been considered until now. We underpin this general advice with guidelines that should be considered in future assembly rules research. This will enable us to draw more accurate and general

  8. Recovery of plant communities after ecological restoration of forestry-drained peatlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haapalehto, Tuomas; Juutinen, Riikka; Kareksela, Santtu; Kuitunen, Markku; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Vuori, Hilja; Kotiaho, Janne S

    2017-10-01

    Ecological restoration is expected to reverse the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Due to the low number of well-replicated field studies, the extent to which restoration recovers plant communities, and the factors underlying possible shortcomings, are not well understood even in medium term. We compared the plant community composition of 38 sites comprising pristine, forestry-drained, and 5 or 10 years ago restored peatlands in southern Finland, with special interest in understanding spatial variation within studied sites, as well as the development of the numbers and the abundances of target species. Our results indicated a recovery of community composition 5-10 years after restoration, but there was significant heterogeneity in recovery. Plant communities farthest away from ditches were very similar to their pristine reference already 10 years after restoration. In contrast, communities in the ditches were as far from the target as the drained communities. The recovery appears to be characterized by a decline in the number and abundance of species typical to degraded conditions, and increase in the abundance of characteristic peatland species. However, we found no increase above the drained state in the number of characteristic peatland species. Our results suggest that there is a risk of drawing premature conclusions on the efficiency of ecological restoration with the current practice of short-term monitoring. Our results also illustrate fine-scale within-site spatial variability in the degradation and recovery of the plant communities that should be considered when evaluating the success of restoration. Overall, we find the heterogeneous outcome of restoration observed here promising. However, low recovery in the number of characteristic species demonstrates the importance of prioritizing restoration sites, and addressing the uncertainty of recovery when setting restoration targets. It appears that it is easier to eradicate unwanted species

  9. Associations between Mycobacterium ulcerans and aquatic plant communities of West Africa: implications for Buruli ulcer disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Mollie; Williamson, Heather; Benbow, M Eric; Kimbirauskas, Ryan; Quaye, Charles; Boakye, Daniel; Small, Pamela; Merritt, Richard

    2014-06-01

    Numerous studies have associated Buruli ulcer (BU) disease with disturbed aquatic habitats; however, the natural reservoir, distribution, and transmission of the pathogen, Mycobacterium ulcerans, remain unknown. To better understand the role of aquatic plants in the ecology of this disease, a large-scale survey was conducted in waterbodies of variable flow throughout three regions of Ghana, Africa. Our objectives were to characterize plant communities and identify potential relationships with M. ulcerans and other mycolactone-producing mycobacteria (MPM). Waterbodies with M. ulcerans had significantly different aquatic plant communities, with submerged terrestrial plants identified as indicators of M. ulcerans presence. Mycobacterium ulcerans and MPM were detected on 14 plant taxa in emergent zones from both lotic and lentic waterbodies in endemic regions; however, M. ulcerans was not detected in the non-endemic Volta region. These findings support the hypothesis that plants provide substrate for M. ulcerans colonization and could act as potential indicators for disease risk. These findings also suggest that M. ulcerans is a widespread environmental bacteria species, but that it is absent or reduced in regions of low disease incidence. A better understanding is needed regarding the mechanistic associations among aquatic plants and M. ulcerans for identifying the mode of transmission of BU disease.

  10. Medicinal wild plant knowledge and gathering patterns in a Mapuche community from North-western Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estomba, Diego; Ladio, Ana; Lozada, Mariana

    2006-01-03

    Medicinal plant use has persisted as a long standing tradition in the Mapuche communities of Southern Argentina and Chile. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in the rural Curruhuinca community located near the mountain city of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina. Semi-structured interviews were carried out on 22 families in order to examine the present use of medicinal plants and their reputed therapeutic effects. Ecological variables, such as distance to the gathering site and biogeographical origin were also analyzed. Our results showed that the Curruhuinca dwellers cited 89 plant species for medicinal purposes, both of native and exotic origin. They know about 47 native plants, of which they use 40, and they know of 42 exotic medicinal plants of which they use 34. A differential pattern was observed given that only native species, relevant for the traditional Mapuche medicine, were collected at more distant gathering sites. The interviewees mentioned 268 plant usages. Those most frequently reported had therapeutic value for treating digestive ailments (33%), as analgesic/anti-inflammatory (25%) and antitusive (13%). Native species were mainly cited as analgesics, and for gynecological, urinary and "cultural syndrome" effects, whereas exotic species were mainly cited for digestive ailments. The total number of medicinal plants known and used by the interviewees was positively correlated with people's age, indicating that this ancient knowledge tends to disappear in the younger generations.

  11. Plant community diversity influences allocation to direct chemical defence in Plantago lanceolata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Mraja

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Forecasting the consequences of accelerating rates of changes in biodiversity for ecosystem functioning requires a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between the structure of biological communities and variation in plant functional characteristics. So far, experimental data of how plant species diversity influences the investment of individual plants in direct chemical defences against herbivores and pathogens is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used Plantago lanceolata as a model species in experimental grasslands differing in species richness and composition (Jena Experiment to investigate foliar concentrations of the iridoid glycosides (IG, catalpol and its biosynthetic precursor aucubin. Total IG and aucubin concentrations decreased, while catalpol concentrations increased with increasing plant diversity in terms of species or functional group richness. Negative plant diversity effects on total IG and aucubin concentrations correlated with increasing specific leaf area of P. lanceolata, suggesting that greater allocation to light acquisition reduced the investment into these carbon-based defence components. In contrast, increasing leaf nitrogen concentrations best explained increasing concentrations of the biosynthetically more advanced IG, catalpol. Observed levels of leaf damage explained a significant proportion of variation in total IG and aucubin concentrations, but did not account for variance in catalpol concentrations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results clearly show that plants growing in communities of varying species richness and composition differ in their defensive chemistry, which may modulate plant susceptibility to enemy attack and consequently their interactions with higher trophic level organisms.

  12. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANAND S. BISHT

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisht AS, Sharma KD. 2014. Plants utilization by the communities of Bharsar and adjoining area of Pauri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversitas 15: 92-98. Garhwal Himalaya possesses luxuriant a varied vegetation with in the Himalaya region. Almost every plant has economic value in the form of shelter, food, water, medicine, fuel and industrial products and fodder. Surveys were conducted in entire Bharsar, Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, India in order to get information on traditional uses of plants by local inhabitants. A total of 169 plants were collected of which 40 species of vegetables, 19 species of forest and agroforestry, 24 species of ornamental flower, 71 species of less known medicinal plants and 15 species of agricultural crops were found economically important as they are used by the people frequently for various purposes.

  13. The effect of drought on four plant communities in the northern Mojave Desert

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schultz, B.W. [Desert Research Inst., Reno, NV (United States); Ostler, W.K. [EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Desert plant communities contain many perennial plant species that are well adapted to arid environments; therefore, one would intuitively believe that perennial desert species readily survive drought conditions. Abundant research on plant-soil-water relationships in North American deserts has shown that many species can maintain water uptake and growth when the soil-water potential is low. Little research, however, has focused on how prolonged drought conditions affect plant species in vegetation associations in desert ecosystems. A prolonged and widespread drought occurred in much of the western United States, including the Northern Mojave Desert, from 1987 through 1991. During this drought period vegetation characterization studies, initiated in 1990, by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, allowed EG and G Energy Measurements to collect data that could be used to infer how both desert vegetation associations and desert plant species reacted to a prolonged drought. This paper presents the preliminary results.

  14. The most used medicinal plants by communities in Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka, Southwestern Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randrianarivony, Tabita N; Ramarosandratana, Aro Vonjy; Andriamihajarivo, Tefy H; Rakotoarivony, Fortunat; Jeannoda, Vololoniaina H; Randrianasolo, Armand; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2017-03-09

    This paper reports a study undertaken in three remote communities (Mahaboboka, Amboronabo, Mikoboka), located in Sakaraha, Southwestern Madagascar. Not only villages are far away from sanitary infrastructures and doctors but drugs and consulting fees are unaffordable to villagers. They rely essentially on natural resources for health care as for most of rural areas in Madagascar. This paper aims to document medicinal plants used by communities in Sakaraha and to present the most important plant species used in traditional medicine. Semi - structured interview was conducted within 214 informants in 34 villages of the study area. Different ailments encountered in the site study were classified in various categories. For data analysis, frequency of citation (Fq), Informant Consensus Factor (Fic), Fidelity Level (FL) and Use Value (UV) were assessed to find agreement among informants about the use of plants as remedies. Mann-Whitney, Kruskall-Wallis and Spearman correlation tests were performed to determine use of medicinal plants following social status of informants. A total of 235 medicinal plant species belonging to 198 genera and 75 families were inventoried. The richest families in species used for medicinal purposes were: Fabaceae, Apocynaceae, Rubiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae, and Poaceae. Plant species cited by informants were used to treat 76 various ailments classified in 13 categories. Leaves and leafy twigs were the most used plant parts and decoction was the mostly cited way of preparation of these medicinal plants species. In average, local people cited 6.7 ± 6.03 medicinal taxa among them, Cedrelopsis grevei is the most cited medicinal plants (Fq. 0.28). With Cedrelopsis grevei (UV = 0.48), Henonia scoparia (UV = 0.43) are mostly used species. Leonotis nepetifolia (FL = 96%) and Strychnos henningsii (FL = 92%) are plant species claimed by high percentage of informants to treat the Digestive System Disorder. This study

  15. Species distribution modelling for plant communities: Stacked single species or multivariate modelling approaches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emilie B. Henderson; Janet L. Ohmann; Matthew J. Gregory; Heather M. Roberts; Harold S.J. Zald

    2014-01-01

    Landscape management and conservation planning require maps of vegetation composition and structure over large regions. Species distribution models (SDMs) are often used for individual species, but projects mapping multiple species are rarer. We compare maps of plant community composition assembled by stacking results from many SDMs with multivariate maps constructed...

  16. Various Plants of Traditional Rituals: Ethnobotanical Research Among The Baduy Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Iskandar

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of recent studies in many places of developing countries it has been revealed that the practices of conservation of biodiversity has strongly determined by traditional ecological knowledge, and beliefs or cosmos. The aim of the study namely to elucidate; (1 some traditional rituals in the swidden management system of the Baduy community; (2 various plants that have been  used for performing some rituals in the swidden management system of the Baduy community; and (3 some functions of various plants that have been used in the rituals of the swidden management system of the Baduy community. A qualitative method with ethnobotanical approach was applied in this study. The result of study shows that 9 kinds of the traditional rituals that have been predominantly undertaken by the Baduy community in the management of swidden farming system. At least 50 plant species representing 28 families have been used for those performing traditional rituals. The main function of plants in the rituals is considered as the symbolic meaning and rational function. The result of study has been considered very important that the traditional ecological knowledge and beliefs must be considered to conserve biological diversity.   

  17. Independent Effects of Invasive Shrubs and Deer Herbivory on Plant Community Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S. Ward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Both invasive species and deer herbivory are recognized as locally important drivers of plant community dynamics. However, few studies have examined whether their effects are synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. At three study areas in southern New England, we examined the interaction of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann herbivory and three levels of invasive shrub control over seven growing seasons on the dynamics of nine herbaceous and shrub guilds. Although evidence of synergistic interactions was minimal, the separate effects of invasive shrub control and deer herbivory on plant community composition and dynamics were profound. Plant communities remained relatively unchanged where invasive shrubs were not treated, regardless if deer herbivory was excluded or not. With increasing intensity of invasive shrub control, native shrubs and forbs became more dominant where deer herbivory was excluded, and native graminoids became progressively more dominant where deer herbivory remained severe. While deer exclusion and intensive invasive shrub control increased native shrubs and forbs, it also increased invasive vines. Restoring native plant communities in areas with both established invasive shrub thickets and severe deer browsing will require an integrated management plan to eliminate recalcitrant invasive shrubs, reduce deer browsing intensity, and quickly treat other opportunistic invasive species.

  18. Year-round behaviour of soil microarthropod communities under plant protection product application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vaj, C.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Vighi, M.

    2014-01-01

    The use of plant protection products (PPPs) in agro-environments can lead to undesired exposure of non-target organisms in non-target compartments. A year-round field survey was conducted in a vineyard in Northern Italy, for monitoring the changes in the structure of soil microarthropod communities

  19. Does the edge effect influence plant community structure in a tropical dry forest?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diogo Gallo Oliveira

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Edge effects are considered a key factor in regulating the structure of plant communities in different ecosystems. However, regardless to few studies, edge influence does not seem to be decisive in semiarid regions such as the Brazilian tropical dry forest known as Caatinga but this issue remains inconclusive. The present study tests the null hypothesis that the plant community of shrubs and trees does not change in its structure due to edge effects. Twenty-four plots (20 x 20 m were set up in a fragment of Caatinga, in which 12 plots were in the forest edges and 12 plots were inside the fragment. Tree richness, abundance and species composition did not differ between edge and interior plots. The results of this study are in agreement with the pattern previously found for semiarid environments and contrasts with previous results obtained in different environments such as Rainforests, Savanna and Forest of Araucaria, which indicate abrupt differences between the border and interior of the plant communities in these ecosystems, and suggest that the community of woody plants of the Caatinga is not ecologically affected by the presence of edges.

  20. Plant community responses to livestock grazing: An assessment of alternative management practices in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew R. Loeser; Thomas D. Sisk; Timothy E. Crews

    2001-01-01

    One of the most prevalent land-use practices in the American Southwest, and one of the most contentious issues among land-use policymakers, is the grazing of domestic livestock. In an effort to contribute scientific understanding to this debate, we have designed experiments comparing the effects of alternative grazing regimes on plant communities. In a semiarid...

  1. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  2. Plant secondary metabolite-induced shifts in bacterial community structure and degradative ability in contaminated soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Uhlík, O.; Musilová, L.; Rídl, Jakub; Hroudová, Miluše; Vlček, Čestmír; Koubek, J.; Holečková, M.; Mackova, M.; Macek, T.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 97, č. 20 (2013), s. 9245-9256 ISSN 0175-7598 Grant - others:EK(XE) 265946; GA MŠk(CZ) ME10041 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : plant secondary metabolites (PSM) * bacterial community * metabolic activity * bioremediation * pyrosequencing Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.811, year: 2013

  3. Possible mechanisms underlying abundance and diversity responses of nematode communities to plant diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cortois, R.; Veen, G.F.; Duyts, Henk; Abbas, Maike; Strecker, Tanja; Kostenko, Olga; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scheu, Stefan; Gleixner, Gerd; Deyn, De Gerlinde B.; Putten, van der Wim H.

    2017-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to influence the abundance and diversity of belowground biota; however, patterns are not well predictable and there is still much unknown about the driving mechanisms. We analyzed changes in soil nematode community composition as affected by long-term manipulations of

  4. Control of Boreal Forest Soil Microbial Communities and Processes by Plant Secondary Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leewis, M. C.; Leigh, M. B.

    2016-12-01

    Plants release an array of secondary plant metabolites (SPMEs), which vary widely between plant species/progenies and may drive shifts in soil microbial community structure and function. We hypothesize that SPMEs released through litterfall and root turnover in the boreal forest control ecosystem carbon cycling by inhibiting microbial decomposition processes, which are overcome partially by increased aromatic biodegradation of microbial communities that also fortuitously prime soils for accelerated biodegradation of contaminants. Soils and litter (stems, roots, senescing leaves) were collected from 3 different birch progenies from Iceland, Finland, and Siberia that have been reported to contain different SPME content (low, medium, high, respectively) due to differences in herbivory pressure over their natural history, as well as black spruce, all growing in a long-term common tree garden at the Kevo Subarctic Field Research Institute, Finland. We characterized the SPME content of these plant progenies and used a variety of traditional microbiological techniques (e.g., enzyme assays, litter decomposition and contaminant biodegradation rates) and molecular techniques (e.g., high-throughput amplicon sequencing for bacteria and fungi) to assess how different levels of SPMEs may correlate to shifts in microbial community structure and function. Microbial communities (bacterial and fungal) significantly varied in composition as well as leaf litter and diesel biodegradation rates, in accordance with the phytochemistry of the trees present. This study offers novel, fundamental information about phytochemical controls on ecosystem processes, resilience to contaminants, and microbial decomposition processes.

  5. Restoration of native plant communities infested by invasive weeds -- Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Rice

    2000-01-01

    Invasive alien weeds established themselves on the Sawmill Creek Research Natural Area, harming elk feeding grounds and threatening the integrity of the native plant community. Management enacted herbicide control over several growing seasons, resulting in greater elk winter forage on study plots. Monitoring the long-term effects of herbicide as a restoration tool...

  6. Plant community composition after 75 years of sustained grazing intensity treatments in shortgrass steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant community responses to livestock grazing lack conformity across studies, even those conducted within similar ecosystems. Variability in outcomes is often related to the strong influences of short-term weather patterns, mid-term climatic cycles, differences in the timing and intensity of grazin...

  7. Plants impact structure and function of bacterial communities in Arctic soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kumar, Manoj; Mannisto, Minna K.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Nissinen, Riitta M.

    Microorganisms are prime drivers of ecosystem functions in the Arctic, and they are essential for vegetation succession. However, very little is known about the phylogenetic and functional diversities of the bacterial communities associated with Arctic plants, especially in low organic matter soils.

  8. Blue oak plant communities of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark I. Borchert; Nancy D. Cunha; Patricia C. Krosse; Marcee L. Lawrence

    1993-01-01

    An ecological classification system has been developed for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service. As part of that classification effort, blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodlands and forests of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties in Los Padres National Forest were classified into I3 plant communities using...

  9. The Effects of Disturbance History on Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.

  10. Resurvey of historical vegetation plots: a tool for understanding long-term dynamics of plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hédl, Radim; Brnhardt-Römermann, M.; Grytnes, J.-A.; Jurasinski, G.; Ewald, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 2 (2017), s. 161-163 ISSN 1402-2001 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : global change * plant communities * plot resurveys Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.474, year: 2016

  11. Negative Plant–Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rídl, Jakub; Kolář, Michal; Strejček, M.; Strnad, Hynek; Štursa, P.; Pačes, Jan; Macek, T.; Uhlík, O.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, JUN 24 (2016), č. článku 995. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-28283S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : microbial community structure * plants * fertilization * contaminated soil * functional potential Subject RIV: EB - Gene tics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  13. Tracking fungal community responses to maize plants by DNA- and RNA-based pyrosequencing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, E.E.; Verbruggen, E.; Hillekens, R.H.E.; De Hollander, M.; Röling, W.F.M.; Van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Kowalchuk, G.A.

    2013-01-01

    We assessed soil fungal diversity and community structure at two sampling times (t1 = 47 days and t2 = 104 days of plant age) in pots associated with four maize cultivars, including two genetically modified (GM) cultivars by high-throughput pyrosequencing of the 18S rRNA gene using DNA and RNA

  14. the use of indigenous plants as food by a rural community

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this short contribution the author, a Masters in Environmental Education student, introduces his research into a rural community's knowledge about, attitudes towards and extensive use of plants which grow wild in their locality, with specific reference to their diet. Taking an ethnographic approach to the study of peo-.

  15. The use of indigenous plants as food by a rural community in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this short contribution the author, a Masters in Environmental Education student, introduces his research into a rural community's knowledge about, attitudes towards and extensive use of plants which grow wild in their locality, with specific reference to their diet. Taking an ethnographic approach to the study of people's ...

  16. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J; Sanders, Nathan J; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-02-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: "dispersal lags" affecting plant species' spread along elevational gradients, "establishment lags" following their arrival in recipient communities, and "extinction lags" of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species' range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Lags in the response of mountain plant communities to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M.; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I.; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-01-01

    Rapid climatic changes and increasing human influence at high elevations around the world will have profound impacts on mountain biodiversity. However, forecasts from statistical models (e.g. species distribution models) rarely consider that plant community changes could substantially lag behind climatic changes, hindering our ability to make temporally realistic projections for the coming century. Indeed, the magnitudes of lags, and the relative importance of the different factors giving rise to them, remain poorly understood. We review evidence for three types of lag: “dispersal lags” affecting plant species’ spread along elevational gradients, “establishment lags” following their arrival in recipient communities, and “extinction lags” of resident species. Variation in lags is explained by variation among species in physiological and demographic responses, by effects of altered biotic interactions, and by aspects of the physical environment. Of these, altered biotic interactions could contribute substantially to establishment and extinction lags, yet impacts of biotic interactions on range dynamics are poorly understood. We develop a mechanistic community model to illustrate how species turnover in future communities might lag behind simple expectations based on species’ range shifts with unlimited dispersal. The model shows a combined contribution of altered biotic interactions and dispersal lags to plant community turnover along an elevational gradient following climate warming. Our review and simulation support the view that accounting for disequilibrium range dynamics will be essential for realistic forecasts of patterns of biodiversity under climate change, with implications for the conservation of mountain species and the ecosystem functions they provide. PMID:29112781

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Wisz, Mary S; Strandberg, Beate; Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the world, herbicides and fertilizers change species composition in agricultural communities, but how do the cumulative effects of these chemicals impact the functional and phylogenetic structure of non-targeted communities when they drift into adjacent semi-natural habitats? Based on long-term experiment we show that fertilizer and herbicides (glyphosate) have contrasting effects on functional structure, but can increase phylogenetic diversity in semi-natural plant communities. We found that an increase in nitrogen promoted an increase in the average specific leaf area and canopy height at the community level, but an increase in glyphosate promoted a decrease in those traits. Phylogenetic diversity of plant communities increased when herbicide and fertilizer were applied together, likely because functional traits facilitating plant success in those conditions were not phylogenetically conserved. Species richness also decreased with increasing levels of nitrogen and glyphosate. Our results suggest that predicting the cumulative effects of agrochemicals is more complex than anticipated due to their distinct selection of traits that may or may not be conserved phylogenetically. Precautionary efforts to mitigate drift of agricultural chemicals into semi-natural habitats are warranted to prevent unforeseeable biodiversity shifts. (paper)

  19. Forecasting climate change impacts to plant community composition in the Sonoran Desert region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Webb, Robert H.; Belnap, Jayne; Hubbard, J. Andrew; Swann, Don E.; Rutman, Sue

    2012-01-01

    Hotter and drier conditions projected for the southwestern United States can have a large impact on the abundance and composition of long-lived desert plant species. We used long-term vegetation monitoring results from 39 large plots across four protected sites in the Sonoran Desert region to determine how plant species have responded to past climate variability. This cross-site analysis identified the plant species and functional types susceptible to climate change, the magnitude of their responses, and potential climate thresholds. In the relatively mesic mesquite savanna communities, perennial grasses declined with a decrease in annual precipitation, cacti increased, and there was a reversal of the Prosopis velutina expansion experienced in the 20th century in response to increasing mean annual temperature (MAT). In the more xeric Arizona Upland communities, the dominant leguminous tree, Cercidium microphyllum, declined on hillslopes, and the shrub Fouquieria splendens decreased, especially on south- and west-facing slopes in response to increasing MAT. In the most xeric shrublands, the codominant species Larrea tridentata and its hemiparasite Krameria grayi decreased with a decrease in cool season precipitation and increased aridity, respectively. This regional-scale assessment of plant species response to recent climate variability is critical for forecasting future shifts in plant community composition, structure, and productivity.

  20. Functional traits of the understory plant community of a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest across environmental gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Gregory M; Anderson, Steven M; Ungberg, Eric A; Wright, Justin P

    2017-08-01

    Understanding and predicting the response of plant communities to environmental changes and disturbances such as fire requires an understanding of the functional traits present in the system, including within and across species variability, and their dynamics over time. These data are difficult to obtain as few studies provide comprehensive information for more than a few traits or species, rarely cover more than a single growing season, and usually present only summary statistics of trait values. As part of a larger study seeking to understand the dynamics of plant communities in response to different prescribed fire regimes, we measured the functional traits of the understory plant communities located in over 140 permanent plots spanning strong gradients in soil moisture in a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest in North Carolina, USA, over a four-year period from 2011 and 2014. We present over 120,000 individual trait measurements from over 130 plant species representing 91 genera from 47 families. We include data on the following 18 traits: specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf area, leaf length, leaf width, leaf perimeter, plant height, leaf nitrogen, leaf carbon, leaf carbon to nitrogen ratio, water use efficiency, time to ignition, maximum flame height, maximum burn temperature, mass-specific burn time, mass-specific smolder time, branching architecture, and the ratio of leaf matter consumed by fire. We also include information on locations, soil moisture, relative elevation, soil bulk density, and fire histories for each site. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  2. Mechanisms underlying plant sexual dimorphism in multi-trophic arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petry, William K; Perry, Kayla I; Fremgen, Aleshia; Rudeen, Sarahi K; Lopez, Mitchell; Dryburgh, John; Mooney, Kailen A

    2013-09-01

    A growing body of research documents the importance of plant genetic effects on arthropod community structure. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are often unclear. Additionally, plant genetic effects have largely been quantified in common gardens, thus inflating the estimates of their importance by minimizing levels of natural variation. Using Valeriana edulis, a dioecious plant with genetically based sex determination, we conducted surveys and experiments on wild-grown individuals to document field patterns of arthropod association between the sexes and the mechanisms underlying these plant genetic effects. Three years of surveys revealed strong and consistent sex-biased arthropod association in wild-grown plants: female plants supported 4-fold, 1.5-fold, and 4-fold higher densities of aphids, aphid predators, and aphid-tending ants, respectively, compared to males. There was mixed evidence that the female bias for aphids was due to higher plant quality, while we found no difference between plant sexes in aphid preference or the top-down effects of predators and tending ants. Female bias for ants was due to both the greater attractiveness of female plants (direct effect mediated by floral nectar) and an independent, weaker effect of higher aphid abundance on females (density-mediated indirect effect). Conversely, the female bias for predators was driven solely by the greater attractiveness of female plants. We did not find interaction modification, i.e., ant-aphid and predator-aphid interactions were equivalent between plant sexes. Plant sex explained 0.24%, 2.28%, and 4.42% of the variance in aphids, predators, and ants, respectively, values comparable to but slightly weaker than those previously reported from common-garden studies. In contrast to the prediction of diminished plant genetic effects with increasing trophic level, we show how weak indirect effects on predators and parasitoids (via herbivores) can be complemented by strong direct

  3. An Index for Measuring Functional Diversity in Plant Communities Based on Neural Network Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naiqi Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Functional diversity in plant communities is a key driver of ecosystem processes. The effective methods for measuring functional diversity are important in ecological studies. A new method based on neural network, self-organizing feature map (SOFM index, was put forward and described. A case application to the study of functional diversity of Phellodendron amurense communities in Xiaolongmen Forest Park of Beijing was carried out in this paper. The results showed that SOFM index was an effective method in the evaluation of functional diversity and its change in plant communities. Significant nonlinear correlations of SOFM index with the common used methods, FAD, MFAD, FDp, FDc, FRic, and FDiv indices, also proved that SOFM index is useful in the studies of functional diversity.

  4. Effects of an Introduced Aquatic Plant, Hydrilla verticillata, on Benthic Communities in the Upper Chesapeake Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posey, Martin H.; Wigand, Cathleen; Stevenson, J. Court

    1993-11-01

    The introduced submersed aquatic plant, Hydrilla verticillata, is currently spreading in the Chesapeake Bay, and is colonizing previously unvegetated areas and displacing native flora. To examine the effects of this invasion, we compared faunal densities between Hydrilla beds and unvegetated sand areas. Transplants of Hydrilla and sampling from natural Hydrilla and unvegetated patches indicate that this plant enhances the abundances of a variety of benthic fauna. Among two clam species transplanted into Hydrilla patches and adjacent unvegetated areas, one demonstrated enhanced survival within Hydrilla patches while the other exhibited reduced tissue growth. Similarly, the growth form of Hydrilla may have been affected by clam presence. Dissolved oxygen, sediment characteristics, and sediment resuspension also varied between Hydrilla and unvegetated areas. The spread of Hydrilla in the Chesapeake Bay clearly has significant, though complex, effects on the bottom community. Such effects emphasize the potential importance of introduced plants in altering community characteristics.

  5. Ecology meets plant physiology: herbivore-induced plant responses and their indirect effects on arthropod communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sabelis, M.W.; Takabayashi, J.; Janssen, A.; Kant, M.R.; van Wijk, M.; Sznajder, B.; Aratchige, N.S.; Lesna, I.; Belliure, B.; Schuurink, R.C.; Ohgushi, T.; Craig, T.P.; Price, P.W.

    2007-01-01

    Herbivory by arthropods induces a wealth of changes in the primary and secondary chemistry of plants (Karban and Baldwin 1997, Constabel 1999, Agrawal et al. 1999, Kessler and Baldwin 2002). These chemical changes in turn do not only affect the inducer, but also other herbivore species attacking the

  6. Climate legacy and lag effects on dryland plant communities in the southwestern U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunting, Erin; Munson, Seth M.; Villarreal, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This study examines the relationship between climate and vegetation condition using a time-series of Landsat imagery across grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We improve on poorly understood inter-annual climate-vegetation relationships by exploring how the responses of different plant communities depend on climate legacies (>12 months) and lag behind shorter-term (3–12 month) changes in water availability. Our results show a prolonged drying trend on the Colorado Plateau since the early 1990s that was punctuated in several years by intense droughts. In areas that experienced sustained dry conditions or a drying trend, vegetation greenness (a proxy for production) increased linearly when conditions were interrupted by wetting events. In contrast, in areas that experienced sustained wet conditions or a wetting trend, vegetation greenness was weakly or not related to wetting events, indicating that production may saturate if vegetation experiences sufficient water availability. Shrubland and woodland communities had stronger relationships with climate at long lags (6–12 months) and many maintained greenness under sustained water deficit, whereas grassland communities had stronger relationships at short lags (3–6 months) and lost greenness even in periods of short-term drought. The results of our study show the importance of identifying climate legacies and lags when assessing indicators of ecological drought, which can be used to improve forecasts of which plant communities will be vulnerable under future climate change.

  7. Relationships between plant community functioning and soil carbon stocks in permanent mowed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson, Solène; Tasseta, Elise; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Amiaud, Bernard; Cliquet, Jean-Bernard; Klumpp, Katja; Louault, Frédérique; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands represent the most widespread ecosystems on the surface of the earth and provide many ecosystem services. They are managed by farmers in order to produce provisioning services through forage production. They also offer regulation services for the humankind such as carbon (C) storage. According to their management, grasslands may constitute a C source or a sink. Plants control both C input through photosynthesis and C output release directly via their own respiration and indirectly via soil microflora respiration through organic matter mineralization. Plants can thus be considered as a gas stream center. To better understand the role of vegetation on soil C stocks, the P2C "Plant Pilot Carbon" project aims at evaluate C stocks in mowed permanent grasslands characterized by various edaphic and climatic conditions and identify the drivers (vegetation composition, plant community functioning, management, history) of soil C stocks. We focused on 32 grasslands selected over two French Regional Natural Parks (Normandy-Maine / Lorraine) and an experimental farm (ACBB SOERE, Theix, Auvergne). We measured then their floristic composition as well as their functional composition through a trait based approach. Leaf traits (SLA, LDMC, LNC, LC/N) were measured at the plant community level (community weighed mean traits) and soil C stocks were analyzed in the top soil (0-10 cm) and in a deeper layer (10-30 cm). The grassland sampling has allowed to obtain a great variability of both soil C stocks and plant community functioning which give the opportunity to assess the relationships between C stocks and vegetation considering climatic, edaphic and management parameters

  8. Effects of plant genotype and growth stage on the betaproteobacterial communities associated with different potato cultivars in two fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inceoglu, Ozgul; Falcao Salles, J.; van Overbeek, L.; van Elsas, J.D.

    Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are dynamic and susceptible to changes in plant conditions. Among the bacteria, the betaproteobacteria play key roles in nutrient cycling and plant growth promotion, and hence the dynamics of their community structures in the rhizosphere should be

  9. Effects of Plant Genotype and Growth Stage on the Betaproteobacterial Communities Associated with Different Potato Cultivars in Two Fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Inceoglu, O.; Salles, J.F.; Overbeek, van L.S.; Elsas, van J.D.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial communities in the rhizosphere are dynamic and susceptible to changes in plant conditions. Among the bacteria, the betaproteobacteria play key roles in nutrient cycling and plant growth promotion, and hence the dynamics of their community structures in the rhizosphere should be

  10. Medicinal, Aromatic and Cosmetic (MAC) plants for community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation in Bali, Indonesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leurs, Liesbeth Nathalie

    2010-01-01

    The general aim of this ethno-botanical study is to document, describe and analyse the Balinese community members’ knowledge, belief and practices with regard to medicinal, aromatic and cosmetic (MAC) plants in relation to community health and bio-cultural diversity conservation of MAC plants. This

  11. Neighbourhood structure and light availability influence the variations in plant design of shrubs in two cloud forests of different successional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán Q, J Antonio; Cordero, Roberto A

    2016-07-01

    Plant design refers to the construction of the plant body or its constituent parts in terms of form and function. Although neighbourhood structure is recognized as a factor that limits plant survival and species coexistence, its relative importance in plant design is not well understood. We conducted field research to analyse how the surrounding environment of neighbourhood structure and related effects on light availability are associated with changes in plant design in two understorey plants (Palicourea padifolia and Psychotria elata) within two successional stages of a cloud forest in Costa Rica. Features of plant neighbourhood physical structure and light availability, estimated using hemispherical photographs, were used as variables that reflect the surrounding environment. Measures of plant biomechanics, allometry, branching and plant slenderness were used as functional plant attributes that reflect plant design. We propose a framework using a partial least squares path model and used it to test this association. The multidimensional response of plant design of these species suggests that decreases in the height-based factor of safety and increases in mechanical load and developmental stability are influenced by increases in maximum height of neighbours and a distance-dependence interference index more than neighbourhood plant density or neighbour aggregation. Changes in plant branching and slenderness are associated positively with light availability and negatively with canopy cover. Although it has been proposed that plant design varies according to plant density and light availability, we found that neighbour size and distance-dependence interference are associated with changes in biomechanics, allometry and branching, and they must be considered as key factors that contribute to the adaptation and coexistence of these plants in this highly diverse forest community. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany

  12. Leaf-litter microfungal community on poor fen plant debris in Torfy Lake area (Central Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateusz Wilk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to initially evaluate the species diversity of microfungi growing on litter of 15 plant species occurring on the poor fen and neighbouring area of the Torfy Lake, Masovian voivodeship, Poland. The lake is located near the planned road investment (construction of the Warsaw southern express ring road S2. The place is biologically valuable as there are rare plant communities from Rhynchosporion albae alliance protected under the Habitats Directive adopted by the European Union. On the examined plant debris 73 taxa of fungi were recorded (3 basidiomycetes, 13 ascomycetes, 2 zygomycetes, 43 anamorphic ascomycetes, 12 unidentified. Two of them, Dicranidion sp. and Wentiomyces sp. are presented here as new to Poland. Among the plant species examined, the litter of Rhododendron tomentosum harbored the highest number of fungal taxa (16. The highest percents of substrate-specific microfungi (i.e. recorded only on one plant species was noted on R. tomentosum (81.3 %, and Pteridium aquilinum (75%. It is emphasized that the lake area should be protected not only because of rare plant community but also because of the uniqueness and diversity of mycobiota.

  13. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  14. Annual glyphosate treatments alter growth of unaffected bentgrass (Agrostis weeds and plant community composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collin W Ahrens

    Full Text Available Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB and redtop (RT, where the glyphosate resistance (GR trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities.

  15. Annual Glyphosate Treatments Alter Growth of Unaffected Bentgrass (Agrostis) Weeds and Plant Community Composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W.; Auer, Carol A.

    2012-01-01

    Herbicide resistance is becoming more common in weed ecotypes and crop species including turfgrasses, but current gaps in knowledge limit predictive ecological risk assessments and risk management plans. This project examined the effect of annual glyphosate applications on the vegetative growth and reproductive potential of two weedy bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (CB) and redtop (RT), where the glyphosate resistance (GR) trait was mimicked by covering the bentgrass plants during glyphosate application. Five field plots were studied in habitats commonly inhabited by weedy bentgrasses including an agricultural hayfield, natural meadow, and wasteland. Results showed that annual glyphosate treatment improved bentgrass survivorship, vegetative growth, and reproductive potential compared with bentgrass in unsprayed subplots. In the second year of growth, RT plants had an 86-fold increase in flower number in glyphosate-treated subplots versus controls, while CB plants had a 20-fold increase. At the end of the three year study, plant community composition had changed in glyphosate-treated subplots in hayfield and meadow plots compared to controls. Soils in subplots receiving glyphosate had higher nitrate concentrations than controls. This is the first study to mimic the GR trait in bentgrass plants with the goal of quantifying bentgrass response to glyphosate selection pressure and understanding the impacts on surrounding plant communities. PMID:23226530

  16. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  17. Bacterial Communities and Antibiotic Resistance Communities in a Full-Scale Hospital Wastewater Treatment Plant by High-Throughput Pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youngho Ahn

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The community of whole microbes and antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB in hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTP receiving domestic wastewater (DWW and hospital wastewater (HWW was investigated. Samples from an influent of a secondary clarifier, at each treatment train, were characterized for the whole microbial community and ARB on the antibiotic resistance database, based on high-throughput pyrosequencing. The pyrosequencing analysis revealed that the abundance of Bacteroidetes in the DWW sample was higher (~1.6 times than in the HWW sample, whereas the abundance of Proteobacteria in the HWW sample was greater than in the DWW sample. At the top twenty of the genus level, distinct genera were observed—Saprospiraceae in the DWW and Zoogloea in the HWW. Apart from the top twenty genera, minor genera showed various antibiotic resistance types based on the antibiotic resistance gene database.

  18. Ammonia oxidizing bacteria community dynamics in a pilot-scale wastewater treatment plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chemoautotrophic ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB have the metabolic ability to oxidize ammonia to nitrite aerobically. This metabolic feature has been widely used, in combination with denitrification, to remove nitrogen from wastewater in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs. However, the relative influence of specific deterministic environmental factors to AOB community dynamics in WWTP is uncertain. The ecological principles underlying AOB community dynamics and nitrification stability and how they are related are also poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The community dynamics of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB in a pilot-scale WWTP were monitored over a one-year period by Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP. During the study period, the effluent ammonia concentrations were almost below 2 mg/L, except for the first 60 days, indicting stable nitrification. T-RFLP results showed that, during the test period with stable nitrification, the AOB community structures were not stable, and the average change rate (every 15 days of AOB community structures was 10% ± 8%. The correlations between T-RFLP profiles and 10 operational and environmental parameters were tested by Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA and Mantel test. The results indicated that the dynamics of AOB community correlated most strongly with Dissolved Oxygen (DO, effluent ammonia, effluent Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD and temperature. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study suggests that nitrification stability is not necessarily accompanied by a stable AOB community, and provides insight into parameters controlling the AOB community dynamics within bioreactors with stable nitrification.

  19. Soil Microbial Communities and Gas Dynamics Contribute to Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Nitrogen Uptake and Transfer to Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestrin, R.; Harrison, M. J.; Lehmann, J.

    2016-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associate with most terrestrial plants and influence ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry. There is evidence that AMF play a role in soil nitrogen cycling, in part by taking up nitrogen and transferring it to plants. However, many aspects of this process are poorly understood, including the factors that control fungal access to nitrogen stored in soil organic matter. In this study, we used stable isotopes and root exclusion to track nitrogen movement from organic matter into AMF and host plants. AMF significantly increased total plant biomass and nitrogen content, but both AMF and other soil microbes seemed to compete with plants for nitrogen. Surprisingly, gaseous nitrogen species also contributed significantly to plant nitrogen content under alkaline soil conditions. Our current experiments investigate whether free-living microbial communities that have evolved under a soil nitrogen gradient influence AMF access to soil organic nitrogen and subsequent nitrogen transfer to plants. This research links interactions between plants, mycorrhizal symbionts, and free-living microbes with terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics.

  20. Plant domestication and the assembly of bacterial and fungal communities associated with strains of the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Lynch, Ryan C; Kane, Nolan C; Fierer, Noah

    2017-04-01

    Root and rhizosphere microbial communities can affect plant health, but it remains undetermined how plant domestication may influence these bacterial and fungal communities. We grew 33 sunflower (Helianthus annuus) strains (n = 5) that varied in their extent of domestication and assessed rhizosphere and root endosphere bacterial and fungal communities. We also assessed fungal communities in the sunflower seeds to investigate the degree to which root and rhizosphere communities were influenced by vertical transmission of the microbiome through seeds. Neither root nor rhizosphere bacterial communities were affected by the extent of sunflower domestication, but domestication did affect the composition of rhizosphere fungal communities. In particular, more modern sunflower strains had lower relative abundances of putative fungal pathogens. Seed-associated fungal communities strongly differed across strains, but several lines of evidence suggest that there is minimal vertical transmission of fungi from seeds to the adult plants. Our results indicate that plant-associated fungal communities are more strongly influenced by host genetic factors and plant breeding than bacterial communities, a finding that could influence strategies for optimizing microbial communities to improve crop yields. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by communities of Northern Kordofan region, Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suleiman, Mohamed Hammad Adam

    2015-12-24

    The present study provides significant ethnopharmacological information on plant species used in North Kordofan region, western Sudan. The study was undertaken with an aim to document the medicinal uses of the species known to some Northern Kordofan communities. The study was conducted between 2012 and 2013. The plants were identified and voucher specimens prepared. Information was collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 258 informants (195 men and 63 women). In addition, the use value (UV) of the species was determined and the informant consensus factor (ICF) was calculated for the medicinal plants researched in the study. Further analysis was carried out to compare results with previous studies from the study area and other regions of Sudan. A total of 44 plant species representing 24 families were found to be commonly used in the treatment of 73 different human health problems. The families most represented were Leguminosae (18%), Caesalpiniaceae (9%), Malvaceae (9%), Asclepiadaceae (6.8%) and Combretaceae (6.8%). The highest number of plant species are used against digestive system disorders (23 species) followed by microbial infections (21 species) and dermatology (19 species). Among all the plant parts leaves (20%), roots (19%), fruits and bark (14% each) were the most preferred plant parts used by the informants. There was strong agreement among the informants as to the usages of the plants (informant consensus factor 0.63-0.93). The most important plants on the basis of use-value were Acacia nilotica, Acacia seyal, Balanites aegyptiaca, Cassia occidentalis, Cassia senna, Guiera senegalensis and Tamarindus indica. This study has helped to document information that may otherwise be lost to future generations. This is the first ethnobotanical study in which statistical calculations about plants are carried out by means of the ICF and UV methods in the study area. Plants with high ICF and UV values should be subjected for further phytochemical and

  2. The legacy of plant invasions: changes in the soil seed bank of invaded plant communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gioria, Margherita; Pyšek, Petr

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2016), s. 40-53 ISSN 0006-3568 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-13491S; GA ČR GB14-36079G Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant invasions * soil seed bank * impact Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour Impact factor: 5.378, year: 2016

  3. Environmental filtering drives the shape and breadth of the seed germination niche in coastal plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, Eduardo; Pérez-Arcoiza, Adrián; Prieto, José Alberto; Díaz, Tomás E

    2017-05-01

    A phylogenetic comparative analysis of the seed germination niche was conducted in coastal plant communities of western Europe. Two hypotheses were tested, that (1) the germination niche shape (i.e. the preference for a set of germination cues as opposed to another) would differ between beaches and cliffs to prevent seedling emergence in the less favourable season (winter and summer, respectively); and (2) the germination niche breadth (i.e. the amplitude of germination cues) would be narrower in the seawards communities, where environmental filtering is stronger. Seeds of 30 specialist species of coastal plant communities were collected in natural populations of northern Spain. Their germination was measured in six laboratory treatments based on field temperatures. Germination niche shape was estimated as the best germination temperature. Germination niche breadth was calculated using Pielou's evenness index. Differences between plant communities in their germination niche shape and breadth were tested using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression (PGLS). Germination niche shape differed between communities, being warm-cued in beaches (best germination temperature = 20 °C) and cold-cued in cliffs (14 °C). Germination niche was narrowest in seawards beaches (Pielou's index = 0·89) and broadest in landwards beaches (0·99). Cliffs had an intermediate germination niche breadth (0·95). The relationship between niche and plant community had a positive phylogenetic signal for shape (Pagel's λ = 0·64) and a negative one for breadth (Pagel's λ = -1·71). Environmental filters shape the germination niche to prevent emergence in the season of highest threat for seedling establishment. The germination niche breadth is narrower in the communities with stronger environmental filters, but only in beaches. This study provides empirical support to a community-level generalization of the hypotheses about the environmental drivers of the germination

  4. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Mediterranean coastal dune systems: Which abiotic factors have the most influence on plant communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruocco, Matteo; Bertoni, Duccio; Sarti, Giovanni; Ciccarelli, Daniela

    2014-08-01

    Mediterranean coastal dunes are dynamic and heterogeneous ecosystems characterised by a strong interaction between abiotic and biotic factors. The present study aimed to adopt a multidisciplinary approach - integrating data on dune morphology, sediment texture and soil parameters as well as shoreline trend - in order to define which are the abiotic factors that most affect the distribution and composition of Mediterranean plant dune communities. The study was carried out in two protected areas, located in central Italy, subjected to different shoreline trends in recent years. 75 plots were identified along eleven randomly positioned cross-shore transects, starting from the beach continuing up to the plant communities of the backdunes. In each plot floristic and environmental data - such as distance to the coastline, plot altitude, inclination, shoreline trend, mean grain-size, sorting, pH, conductivity and organic matter concentration - were collected. The analyses revealed significant changes of vegetational cover, dune morphology and geopedological features along the coast-to-inland gradient. Relationships between vegetation composition and environmental factors were investigated through Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Four factors - distance to the coastline, mean grain-size, shoreline trend and organic matter - were found to be closely correlated with the floristic composition of plant communities. Finally, soil properties were highlighted as the most determinant factors of community zonation in these Mediterranean coastal dune ecosystems. These results could be taken into account by local managers in conservation actions such as protecting the eroding foredunes as well as in artificial dune reconstructions.

  6. Relations of alpine plant communities across environmental gradients: Multilevel versus multiscale analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Alpine plant communities vary, and their environmental covariates could influence their response to climate change. A single multilevel model of how alpine plant community composition is determined by hierarchical relations is compared to a separate examination of those relations at different scales. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling of species cover for plots in four regions across the Rocky Mountains created dependent variables. Climate variables are derived for the four regions from interpolated data. Plot environmental variables are measured directly and the presence of thirty-seven site characteristics is recorded and used to create additional independent variables. Multilevel and best subsets regressions are used to determine the strength of the hypothesized relations. The ordinations indicate structure in the assembly of plant communities. The multilevel analyses, although revealing significant relations, provide little explanation; of the site variables, those related to site microclimate are most important. In multiscale analyses (whole and separate regions), different variables are better explanations within the different regions. This result indicates weak environmental niche control of community composition. The weak relations of the structure in the patterns of species association to the environment indicates that either alpine vegetation represents a case of the neutral theory of biogeography being a valid explanation or that it represents disequilibrium conditions. The implications of neutral theory and disequilibrium explanations are similar: Response to climate change will be difficult to quantify above equilibrium background turnover.

  7. Resistance and resilience of tundra plant communities to disturbance by winter seismic vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felix, N.A.; Raynolds, M.K.; Jorgenson, J.C.; DuBois, K.E.

    1992-01-01

    Effects of winter seismic exploration on arctic tundra were evaluated on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, four to five growing seasons after disturbance. Plant cover, active layer depths, and track depression were measured at plots representing major tundra plant communities and different levels of initial disturbance. Results are compared with the initial effects reported earlier. Little resilience was seen in any vegetation type, with no clearly decreasing trends in community dissimilarity. Active layer depths remained greater on plots in all nonriparian vegetation types, and most plots still had visible trails. Decreases in plant cover persisted on most plots, although a few species showed recovery or increases in cover above predisturbance level. Moist sedge-shrub tundra and dryas terraces had the largest community dissimilarities initially, showing the least resistance to high levels of winter vehicle disturbance. Community dissimilarity continued to increase for five seasons in moist sedge-shrub tundra, with species composition changing to higher sedge cover and lower shrub cover. The resilience amplitude may have been exceeded on four plots which had significant track depression

  8. Insect-plant interactions: new pathways to a better comprehension of ecological communities in Neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del-Claro, Kleber; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena M

    2009-01-01

    The causal mechanisms shaping and structuring ecological communities are among the most important themes in ecology. The study of insect-plant interactions in trophic nets is pointed out as basic to improve our knowledge on this issue. The cerrado tropical savanna, although extremely diverse, distributed in more than 20% of the Brazilian territory and filled up with rich examples of multitrophic interactions, is underexplored in terms of biodiversity interaction. Here, this ecosystem is suggested as valuable to the study of insect-plant interactions whose understanding can throw a new light at the ecological communities' theory. Three distinct systems: extrafloral nectary plants or trophobiont herbivores and the associated ant fauna; floral herbivores-predators-pollinators; and plants-forest engineers and associated fauna, will serve as examples to illustrate promising new pathways in cerrado. The aim of this brief text is to instigate young researchers, mainly entomologists, to initiate more elaborated field work, including experimental manipulations in multitrophic systems, to explore in an interactive way the structure that maintain preserved viable communities in the Neotropical savanna.

  9. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  10. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration. The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  11. Plant communities as drivers of soil respiration: pathways, mechanisms, and significance for global change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. B. Metcalfe

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon (C balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. However, developing a mechanistic understanding of the determinants of R is complicated by the presence of multiple different sources of respiratory C within soil – such as soil microbes, plant roots and their mycorrhizal symbionts – each with their distinct dynamics and drivers. In this review, we synthesize relevant information from a wide spectrum of sources to evaluate the current state of knowledge about plant community effects on R, examine how this information is incorporated into global climate models, and highlight priorities for future research. Despite often large variation amongst studies and methods, several general trends emerge.

    Mechanisms whereby plants affect R may be grouped into effects on belowground C allocation, aboveground litter properties and microclimate. Within vegetation types, the amount of C diverted belowground, and hence R, may be controlled mainly by the rate of photosynthetic C uptake, while amongst vegetation types this should be more dependent upon the specific C allocation strategies of the plant life form. We make the case that plant community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on R in natural systems. Individual species impacts on R may be largest where the species accounts for most of the biomass in the ecosystem, has very distinct traits to the rest of the community and/or modulates the occurrence of major natural disturbances. We show that climate vegetation models incorporate a number of pathways whereby plants can affect R, but that simplifications regarding allocation schemes and drivers of litter decomposition may limit model accuracy. We also suggest that under a warmer future

  12. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in

  13. Land-use history augments environment-plant community relationship strength in a Puerto Rican wet forest

    OpenAIRE

    Hogan, James Aaron; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Uriarte, Maria; Turner, Benjamin L.; Thompson, Jill

    2016-01-01

    1. Environmental heterogeneity influences the species composition of tropical forests, with implications for patterns of diversity and species coexistence in these hyperdiverse communities. Many studies have examined how variability in soil nutrients and topography influence plant community composition, with differing results. None have quantified the relative contribution of environmental heterogeneity versus endogenous processes to variability in forest community composition over time and w...

  14. Plants used for treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by the Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gairola, Sumeet; Sharma, Jyotsana; Gaur, R D; Siddiqi, T O; Painuli, R M

    2013-12-12

    Dysentery and diarrhoea are major causes of morbidity and mortality in rural communities of developing world. The Bhoxa community is an important primitive indigenous community of Uttarakhand, India. In this paper we have tried to scientifically enumerate ethnomedicinal plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, and discuss their antidiarrhoeal properties in the light of previous ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical studies. To record plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea, and to discuss antidiarrhoeal and antimicrobial properties of the recorded plants. Ethnomedicinal survey was conducted in different villages of Bhoxa community located in district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Thirty Bhoxa traditional healers were interviewed to collect information on plants used by them for treating dysentery and diarrhoea. For each of the recorded plant species the use value (UV) and fidelity level (FL) was calculated. Detailed literature survey was conducted to summarize ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical information on the medicinal plants listed in the present study. Fifty medicinal plants (45 genera and 30 families) were used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, among which 27 species were used for dysentery, 41 for diarrhoea and 18 for both dysentery and diarrhoea. Three plants viz., Dioscorea bulbifera L., Euphorbia thymifolia L. and Prunus persica (L.) Stokes, recorded in the present survey have been reported for the first time in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by any indigenous communities in India. FL and UV values revealed that most preferred species for the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by Bhoxa community are Euphorbia hirta L. followed by Holarrhena pubescens Wall., Helicteres isora L. and Cassia fistula L. Earlier pharmacological

  15. Functional Divergence in CO2 Exchange Among Vascular Plant Communities in a Temperate Ombrotrophic Peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Derrick Y. F.; Roulet, Nigel T.; Moore, Tim R.; Humphreys, Elyn R.

    2013-04-01

    Plant functional types (PFTs) are used to classify vegetation into groups that demonstrate similar responses to changes in environmental conditions. In this study, we investigated the potential for differentiating CO2 exchange among three vascular plant communities (Chamaedaphne, Maianthemum/Ledum, and Eriophorum) with different dominant species and microclimatic characteristics at the Mer Bleue bog in Canada. Using an automatic chamber system, we examined the seasonal patterns of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), gross ecosystem production (GEP), and ecosystem respiration (ER), as well as the responses of GEP and ER to changing environmental and biotic conditions among communities in 2009. While seasonal mean NEE were similar among the three plant communities, seasonal mean GEP and ER were significantly lower in the Maianthemum/Ledum community owing to the lower green biomass and higher water table. Based on the parameterized GEP models, we detected a significant decrease in effective quantum yield in the order of Eriophorum > Chamaedaphne > Maianthemum/Ledum community, indicating the most efficient photosynthetic activity in sedges at lower light levels. The rate of linear increase in GEP with vascular green area index was considerably lower in the Maianthemum/Ledum community, in relation to the high specific leaf area of forb foliage. We found that maximum gross photosynthesis (Pmax) per unit ground area had a clear seasonal pattern with a single peak in mid-summer, but Pmax per unit green area varied much less over time. This suggests that the temporal changes in community-level Pmax are predominantly controlled by variations in green area rather than variations in photosynthetic capacity per unit green area. The ER model parameters were significantly different among communities, with the highest temperature sensitivity of ER in the Eriophorum community. The three communities each represent a distinct PFT as their CO2 exchange processes respond to environmental

  16. Soil microbial community composition changes according to the tillage practice and plant development stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degrune, Florine; Dufrêne, Marc; Colinet, Gilles; Taminiau, Bernard; Hiel, Marie-Pierre; Daube, Georges; Vandenbol, Micheline

    2015-04-01

    Soil microorganisms are abundant and diverse and can have both beneficial and adverse effects on crop growth. Some, such as plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae, are well known to favor crop productivity and plant health. They are notably involved in key processes such as improving plant nutrient acquisition, and they also play major roles in stimulating plant growth and protecting plants against pathogens by producing bioactive substances. Conversely, both agricultural practices and the plant development stage are known to influence the physical and chemical properties of the soil and hence the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms. Here we investigated the impact of both tillage practice (conventional versus reduced tillage) and plant development stage (germination versus flowering) on the microbial community composition of an agricultural soil supporting a faba bean crop. Samples were taken at a depth of 15-20 cm from a silty soil in Belgium. For bacteria, we observed significant shifts in community composition according to both factors. Some changes were strongly related to the plant development stage and others to the tillage practice. Some taxa, including Gemmatimonas, Xanthomonadaceae, and Sinobacteraceae, showed a higher relative abundance at the flowering stage than at the germination stage, but no effect of tillage practice. Other taxa, including Flovobacterium, Chitinophaga, and Luteolibacter, showed a higher relative abundance under conventional tillage than under reduced tillage, but no change according to the stage of plant development. For fungi, significant shifts in community composition were observed according to the plant development stage. No effect of tillage practice was observed. The relative abundances of certain taxa, including Chaetomium and Clavicipitaceae, were higher during germination than during flowering, whereas other taxa, including Minimedusa and Teberdinia, showed a higher relative abundance during

  17. Ecology of some mire and bog plant communities in the Western Italian Alps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgio BUFFA

    2003-02-01

    Full Text Available During a mire vegetation study, conducted mainly in the subalpine-alpine sector of the Western Italian Alps, the ecology of several plant communities and numerous moss species of this kind of vegetation was evaluated. The study area covered the Piedmontese sector of the Graian Alps, the eastern sector of the Aosta Valley as well as certain localities of the Pennine Alps, the Canavese district and the Maritime Alps. They have a rocky substratum representative of the various regional lithologies and include the main sectors characterised by the highest precipitation. Three hundred and twenty two relevées were made using the phytosociological method and the pH and the conductivity of the water table and its depth were measured directly. Cluster Analysis allowed a classification of the samples and the identification of various groups of plant communities. Ordination performed by DCA and CCA allowed us to identify the ecological features of the various plant communities by using the values of the main environmental parameters, measured directly in the field, and certain climatic parameters (altitude and mean annual precipitation available. The use of climatic parameters is an important result for identifying communities which show greater oceanicity, something that is underlined also by the presence of indicator species such as Sphagnum papillosum and S. subnitens. Furthermore the communities are arranged in a "poor-rich" gradient, and are also profoundly influenced by depth to water table which is inversely correlated to the pH. Therefore we find certain kinds of communities all with a very low water table and which are little affected by its chemistry. Other groups share the fact that the water table is outcropping or near the surface and are distinguishable for their pH values and conductivity. We discuss the different response of the bryophytes and vascular plants of these communities to the environmental parameters considered, in light of their

  18. Interactive effects between plant functional types and soil factors on tundra species diversity and community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iturrate-Garcia, Maitane; O'Brien, Michael J; Khitun, Olga; Abiven, Samuel; Niklaus, Pascal A; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-11-01

    Plant communities are coupled with abiotic factors, as species diversity and community composition both respond to and influence climate and soil characteristics. Interactions between vegetation and abiotic factors depend on plant functional types (PFT) as different growth forms will have differential responses to and effects on site characteristics. However, despite the importance of different PFT for community assembly and ecosystem functioning, research has mainly focused on vascular plants. Here, we established a set of observational plots in two contrasting habitats in northeastern Siberia in order to assess the relationship between species diversity and community composition with soil variables, as well as the relationship between vegetation cover and species diversity for two PFT (nonvascular and vascular). We found that nonvascular species diversity decreased with soil acidity and moisture and, to a lesser extent, with soil temperature and active layer thickness. In contrast, no such correlation was found for vascular species diversity. Differences in community composition were found mainly along soil acidity and moisture gradients. However, the proportion of variation in composition explained by the measured soil variables was much lower for nonvascular than for vascular species when considering the PFT separately. We also found different relationships between vegetation cover and species diversity according the PFT and habitat. In support of niche differentiation theory, species diversity and community composition were related to edaphic factors. The distinct relationships found for nonvascular and vascular species suggest the importance of considering multiple PFT when assessing species diversity and composition and their interaction with edaphic factors. Synthesis : Identifying vegetation responses to edaphic factors is a first step toward a better understanding of vegetation-soil feedbacks under climate change. Our results suggest that incorporating

  19. Effects of Nonnative Ungulate Removal on Plant Communities and Soil Biogeochemistry in Tropical Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, R. J.; Litton, C. M.; Giardina, C. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Non-native ungulates have substantial impacts on native ecosystems globally, altering both plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. Across tropical and temperate ecosystems, land managers fence and remove non-native ungulates to conserve native biodiversity, a costly management action, yet long-term outcomes are not well quantified. Specifically, knowledge gaps include: (i) the magnitude and time frame of plant community recovery; (ii) the response of non-native invasive plants; and (iii) changes to soil biogeochemistry. In 2010, we established a series of paired ungulate presence vs. removal plots that span a 20 yr. chronosequence in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii to quantify the impacts and temporal legacy of feral pig removal on plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. We also compared soil biogeochemistry in targeted areas of low and high feral pig impact. Our work shows that both native and non-native vegetation respond positively to release from top-down control following removal of feral pigs, but species of high conservation concern recover only if initially present at the time of non-native ungulate removal. Feral pig impacts on soil biogeochemistry appear to last for at least 20 years following ungulate removal. We observed that both soil physical and chemical properties changed with feral pig removal. Soil bulk density and volumetric water content decreased while extractable base cations and inorganic N increased in low vs. high feral pig impact areas. We hypothesize that altered soil biogeochemistry facilitates continued invasions by non-native plants, even decades after non-native ungulate removal. Future work will concentrate on comparisons between wet and dry forest ecosystems and test whether manipulation of soil nutrients can be used to favor native vs. non-native plant establishment.

  20. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher C M; Martins, Dino J; Pelaez, Julianne N; Billen, Johan P J; Pringle, Anne; Frederickson, Megan E; Pierce, Naomi E

    2017-03-15

    Three ant species nest obligately in the swollen-thorn domatia of the African ant-plant Vachellia ( Acacia ) drepanolobium , a model system for the study of ant-defence mutualisms and species coexistence. Here we report on the characteristic fungal communities generated by these ant species in their domatia. First, we describe behavioural differences between the ant species when presented with a cultured fungal isolate in the laboratory. Second, we use DNA metabarcoding to show that each ant species has a distinctive fungal community in its domatia, and that these communities remain characteristic of the ant species over two Kenyan sampling locations separated by 190 km. Third, we find that DNA extracted from female alates of Tetraponera penzigi and Crematogaster nigriceps contained matches for most of the fungal metabarcodes from those ant species' domatia, respectively. Fungal hyphae and other debris are also visible in sections of these alates' infrabuccal pockets. Collectively, our results indicate that domatium fungal communities are associated with the ant species occupying the tree. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of such ant-specific fungal community-level differences on the same myrmecophytic host species. These differences may be shaped by ant behaviour in the domatia, and by ants vectoring fungi when they disperse to establish new colonies. The roles of the fungi with respect to the ants and their host plant remain to be determined. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area.

  3. [Distribution of soil carbon storage in different saltmarsh plant communities in Chongming Dongtan wetland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ge; Ge, Zhen-Ming; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: The high productivity of saltmarsh vegetation in coastal wetlands plays an important role on the formation of soil carbon pool. This paper studied the biomass difference, the spatiotemporal dynamics and vertical distribution of soil carbon storage in three dominant saltmarsh plant communities, i. e., Phragmites australis, Spartina alterniflora and Scirpus mariqueter in the Chongming Dongtan wetland, in the Yangtze Estuary. The results indicated that the gross biomass in the three saltmarsh plant communities was in the order of S. alterniflora (5750.7 g x m(-2)) > P. australis (4655.1 g x m(-2)) > S. mariqueter (812.7 g x m(-2)). The aboveground biomass was the highest in summer and autumn, and the underground biomass was the highest in winter. The soil carbon storage (0-50 cm) was the lowest in spring, gradually increased, and was the highest in winter. The annual increment of soil carbon storage decreased from the high tidal zone to the low tidal zone, and was in the order of P. australis community (711. 8 g x m(-2)) > S. alterniflora community (646.2 g x m(-2)) > S. mariqueter community (185.3 g x m(-2)) > bare mudflat (65.6 g x m(-2)). The highest value was in the 25-30 cm, 10-15 cm, 30-35 cm and 30-40 cm soil layers for bare mudflat and the S. mariqueter, S. alterniflora and P. australis communities, respectively. There was a significant linear relationship between the soil carbon storage and the underground biomass in the different saltmarsh communities.

  4. Chemical and physical environmental conditions underneath mat- and canopy-forming macroalgae, and their effects on understorey corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudine Hauri

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Disturbed coral reefs are often dominated by dense mat- or canopy-forming assemblages of macroalgae. This study investigated how such dense macroalgal assemblages change the chemical and physical microenvironment for understorey corals, and how the altered environmental conditions affect the physiological performance of corals. Field measurements were conducted on macroalgal-dominated inshore reefs in the Great Barrier Reef in quadrats with macroalgal biomass ranging from 235 to 1029 g DW m(-2 dry weight. Underneath mat-forming assemblages, the mean concentration of dissolved oxygen was reduced by 26% and irradiance by 96% compared with conditions above the mat, while concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and soluble reactive phosphorous increased by 26% and 267%, respectively. The difference was significant but less pronounced under canopy-forming assemblages. Dissolved oxygen declined and dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity increased with increasing algal biomass underneath mat-forming but not under canopy-forming assemblages. The responses of corals to conditions similar to those found underneath algal assemblages were investigated in an aquarium experiment. Coral nubbins of the species Acropora millepora showed reduced photosynthetic yields and increased RNA/DNA ratios when exposed to conditions simulating those underneath assemblages (pre-incubating seawater with macroalgae, and shading. The magnitude of these stress responses increased with increasing proportion of pre-incubated algal water. Our study shows that mat-forming and, to a lesser extent, canopy-forming macroalgal assemblages alter the physical and chemical microenvironment sufficiently to directly and detrimentally affect the metabolism of corals, potentially impeding reef recovery from algal to coral-dominated states after disturbance. Macroalgal dominance on coral reefs therefore simultaneously represents a consequence and cause of coral reef degradation.

  5. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Joanne; Brouwer, Nynke; Harrington, David; Gaikwad, Jitendra; Heron, Ronald; Yaegl Community Elders; Ranganathan, Shoba; Vemulpad, Subramanyam; Jamie, Joanne

    2012-01-06

    Documentation of Australian bush medicines is of utmost importance to the preservation of this disappearing and invaluable knowledge. This collaboration between the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales (NSW), Australia and an academic institution, demonstrates an effective means of preserving and adding value to this information. Questionnaire-guided interviews were performed with community Elders under a framework of participatory action research. Medicinal plant knowledge was collated in a handbook to aid interviews and to be used as an ongoing resource by the community. Specimens for all non-cultivar plants that were discussed were collected and deposited in herbaria with unique voucher numbers. This medicinal knowledge was checked against the literature for reports of related use and studies of biological activity. Nineteen Elders were interviewed, leading to discussions on fifty four plant preparations used for medicinal purposes. These plant preparations involved thirty two plants coming from twenty one families, reflecting the botanical diversity of the area. The plants retained in the Yaegl pharmacopoeia correspond to their accessibility and ease of preparation, reflected in their ongoing utilisation. Several plant uses did not appear elsewhere in the literature. This study is the first comprehensive documentation of the medicinal knowledge of the Yaegl Aboriginal community. It has been conducted using participatory action research methods and adds to the recorded customary knowledge of the region. The customary medicinal knowledge retained by the Yaegl Aboriginal community is related to the evolving needs of the community and accessibility of plants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Francine Rubin; A.R. Palmer

    1996-01-01

    The major plant communities of the Karoo National Park are described using the methods of the Zurich-Montpellier school of phytosociology, to assist with the formulation of a management strategy for the park. The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands. Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands. Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients within the study area have a direct impact on gradients in the vegetation. High elevat...

  8. Impact of invasive plants on the species richness, diversity and composition of invaded communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hejda, Martin; Pyšek, Petr; Jarošík, Vojtěch

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 97, č. 3 (2009), s. 393-403 ISSN 0022-0477 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Evropská komise(XE) GOCE-CT-2003–506675; Evropská komise(XE) KBBE-212459 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : impact * neophyte * plant community Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.690, year: 2009

  9. Experimental warming increases herbivory by leaf-chewing insects in an alpine plant community

    OpenAIRE

    Birkemoe, Tone; Bergmann, Saskia; Hasle, Toril Elisabet; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Climate warming is predicted to affect species and trophic interactions worldwide, and alpine ecosystems are expected to be especially sensitive to changes. In this study, we used two ongoing climate warming (open?top chambers) experiments at Finse, southern Norway, to examine whether warming had an effect on herbivory by leaf?chewing insects in an alpine Dryas heath community. We recorded feeding marks on the most common vascular plant species in warmed and control plots at two expe...

  10. Optimization of diagnostic microarray for application in analysing landfill methanotroph communities under different plant covers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stralis-Pavese, Nancy; Sessitsch, Angela; Weilharter, Alexandra; Reichenauer, Thomas; Riesing, Johann; Csontos, József; Murrell, J Colin; Bodrossy, Levente

    2004-04-01

    Landfill sites are responsible for 6-12% of global methane emission. Methanotrophs play a very important role in decreasing landfill site methane emissions. We investigated the methane oxidation capacity and methanotroph diversity in lysimeters simulating landfill sites with different plant vegetations. Methane oxidation rates were 35 g methane m-2 day-1 or higher for planted lysimeters and 18 g methane m-2 day-1 or less for bare soil controls. Best methane oxidation, as displayed by gas depth profiles, was found under a vegetation of grass and alfalfa. Methanotroph communities were analysed at high throughput and resolution using a microbial diagnostic microarray targeting the particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) gene of methanotrophs and functionally related bacteria. Members of the genera Methylocystis and Methylocaldum were found to be the dominant members in landfill site simulating lysimeters. Soil bacterial communities in biogas free control lysimeters, which were less abundant in methanotrophs, were dominated by Methylocaldum. Type Ia methanotrophs were found only in the top layers of bare soil lysimeters with relatively high oxygen and low methane concentrations. A competetive advantage of type II methanotrophs over type Ia methanotrophs was indicated under all plant covers investigated. Analysis of average and individual results from parallel samples was used to identify general trends and variations in methanotroph community structures in relation to depth, methane supply and plant cover. The applicability of the technology for the detection of environmental perturbations was proven by an erroneous result, where an unexpected community composition detected with the microarray indicated a potential gas leakage in the lysimeter being investigated.

  11. Medicinal plants used by the Tamang community in the Makawanpur district of central Nepal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Luitel, D. R.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Timsina, Binu; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-11 ISSN 1746-4269 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073; GA ČR GP13-10850P Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Makawanpur district * Medicinal plants * Pharmacology * Phytochemistry * Tamang community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.000, year: 2014

  12. Seed density significantly affects species richness and composition in experimental plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Münzbergová

    Full Text Available Studies on the importance of seed arrival for community richness and composition have not considered the number of seeds arriving and its effect on species richness and composition of natural communities is thus unknown. A series of experimental dry grassland communities were established. All communities were composed of the same 44 species in exactly the same proportions on two substrates using three different seed densities.The results showed that seed density had an effect on species richness only at the beginning of the experiment. In contrast, the effects on species composition persisted across the entire study period. The results do not support the prediction that due to higher competition for light in nutrient-rich soil, species richness will be the highest in the treatment with the lowest seed density. However, the prevalence of small plants in the lowest seed density supported the expectation that low seed density guarantees low competition under high soil nutrients. In the nutrient-poor soil, species richness was the highest at the medium seed density, indicating that species richness reflects the balance between competition and limitations caused by the availability of propagules or their ability to establish themselves. This medium seed density treatment also contained the smallest plants.The results demonstrate that future seed addition experiments need to consider the amount of seed added so that it reflects the amount of seed that is naturally found in the field. Differences in seed density, mimicking different intensity of the seed rain may also explain differences in the composition of natural communities that cannot be attributed to habitat conditions. The results also have important implications for studies regarding the consequences of habitat fragmentation suggesting that increasing fragmentation may change species compositions not only due to different dispersal abilities but also due to differential response of plants to

  13. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Tankwa- Karoo National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francine Rubin

    1998-08-01

    Full Text Available Apart from Acocks (1988 there are no published descriptions of the vegetation of the greater Tanqua and Doring River drainage basin (Bayer et al. 1993. A botanical and physical description of the Tankwa- Karoo National Park (TKRNP which occurs in Veldtype 31b (Acocks 1988 is provided. The three dominant geological formations, older glacigenic deposits of the Dwyka Group, followed by the succession of siliciclas- tic sediments of the Permian Ecca Group, with flat dolerite sills and dykes, underlie eight distinct plant communities. The plant communities can be divided into large open plains dominated by Galenia africana and Tripteris sp. in the erosion rills, Malephora luteola and Augea capensis common in the low lying areas and Zygophyllum microcarpum, Brownanthus ciliatus and Galenia crystallina common on the more shaly concave plains and low shale hills. Slightly elevated rocky areas are dominated by Ruschia cf. robusta, Ruschia spinosa communities, while crusts of stemless mesembs such as Rhinephyllum macra denium, Hereroa fimbriata and Cheiridopsis acuminata are found on the desert paved areas. Annual Asteraceae covers all the denuded and sparsely vegetated areas after good winter rains while annual mesembs colonise on the more sodic sites. A total of 259 plant species were collected sporadically over a period of eight years, this includes 65 succulents and seven species endemic to the Tanqua Karoo and immediate adjacent area of the Roggeveld Mountain Range and Sutherland. Four Tanqua Karoo endemic species were found in the park.

  14. Herbivore community promotes trait evolution in a leaf beetle via induced plant response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utsumi, Shunsuke; Ando, Yoshino; Roininen, Heikki; Takahashi, Jun-ichi; Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2013-03-01

    Several recent studies have emphasised that community composition alters species trait evolution. Here, we demonstrate that differences in composition of local herbivore communities lead to divergent trait evolution of the leaf beetle Plagiodera versicolora through plant-mediated indirect interactions. Our field surveys, genetic analyses and community-manipulation experiments show that herbivore community composition determines the degree of herbivore-induced regrowth of willows (Salicaceae), which in turn, promotes the divergent evolution of feeding preference in the leaf beetle from exclusive preference for new leaves to a lack of preference among leaf-age types. Regrowth intensity depends both on the differential response of willows to different herbivore species and the integration of those herbivore species in the community. Because herbivore-induced regrowth involves phenological changes in new leaf production, leaf beetle populations develop divergent feeding preferences according to local regrowth intensity. Therefore, herbivore community composition shapes the selection regime for leaf beetle evolution through trait-mediated indirect interactions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Effects of a ciliate protozoa predator on microbial communities in pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea leaves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor K Paisie

    Full Text Available The aquatic communities found within the water filled leaves of the pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, have a simple trophic structure providing an ideal system to study microscale interactions between protozoan predators and their bacterial prey. In this study, replicate communities were maintained with and without the presence of the bactivorous protozoan, Colpoda steinii, to determine the effects of grazing on microbial communities. Changes in microbial (Archaea and Bacteria community structure were assessed using iTag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The microbial communities were similar with and without the protozoan predator, with>1000 species. Of these species, Archaea were negligible, with Bacteria comprising 99.99% of the microbial community. The Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most dominant phyla. The addition of a protozoan predator did not have a significant effect on microbial evenness nor richness. However, the presence of the protozoan did cause a significant shift in the relative abundances of a number of bacterial species. This suggested that bactivorous protozoan may target specific bacterial species and/or that certain bacterial species have innate mechanisms by which they evade predators. These findings help to elucidate the effect that trophic structure perturbations have on predator prey interactions in microbial systems.

  16. Above–belowground herbivore interactions in mixed plant communities are influenced by altered precipitation patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Michael William Ryalls

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Root- and shoot-feeding herbivores have the capacity to influence one another by modifying the chemistry of the shared host plant. This can alter rates of nutrient mineralisation and uptake by neighbouring plants and influence plant–plant competition, particularly in mixtures combining grasses and legumes. Root herbivory-induced exudation of nitrogen (N from legume roots, for example, may increase N acquisition by co-occurring grasses, with knock-on effects on grassland community composition. Little is known about how climate change may affect these interactions, but an important and timely question is how will grass–legume mixtures respond in a future with an increasing reliance on legume N mineralisation in terrestrial ecosystems. Using a model grass–legume mixture, this study investigated how simultaneous attack on lucerne (Medicago sativa by belowground weevils (Sitona discoideus and aboveground aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum affected a neighbouring grass (Phalaris aquatica when subjected to drought, ambient and elevated precipitation. Feeding on rhizobial nodules by weevil larvae enhanced soil water retention under ambient and elevated precipitation, but only when aphids were absent. While drought decreased nodulation and root N content in lucerne, grass root and shoot chemistry were unaffected by changes in precipitation. However, plant communities containing weevils but not aphids showed increased grass height and N concentrations, most likely associated with the transfer of N from weevil-attacked lucerne plants containing more nodules and higher root N concentrations compared with insect-free plants. Drought decreased aphid abundance by 54% but increased total and some specific amino acid concentrations (glycine, lysine, methionine, tyrosine, cysteine, histidine, arginine, aspartate and glutamate, suggesting that aphid declines were being driven by other facets of drought (e.g. reduced phloem hydraulics. The presence of weevil larvae

  17. Host preference of the hemiparasite Struthanthus flexicaulis (Loranthaceae in ironstone outcrop plant communities, southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Alves Mourão

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Struthanthus flexicaulis is a hemiparasite abundant in ironstone outcrops in southeast Brazil. We evaluated its host preference among species of the plant community, taking into account the abundance and foliage cover of the hosts. The importance of each species in the community and the mortality caused by the parasite were assessed based on a quantitative survey in 10 strips measuring 1m x 50m. The 10,290 individuals belonged to 42 species. Only 15 had a relative abundance in the plant community greater than 1%, of which 12 showed vestiges of parasitism. More than 80% of deaths in the community were associated with parasitism. Non-infected individuals had significantly less mortality rates (7% than those infected (83% (²= 1102.4, df = 1, p < 0.001. The observed infestation was different from the expected both regarding relative host abundance (²= 714.2, df = 11, p<0.001 and foliage cover (²= 209.2, df = 11, p<0.001. Struthanthus flexicaulis preferredMimosa calodendron, a legume attractive to avian seed dispersers. The interaction is maintained and intensified not only by the birds, who deposit innumerous seeds on the hosts branches, but also very likely by the ability of M. calodendron to fix nitrogen, thereby enhancing the mistletoe's development.

  18. Species diversity of plant communities from territories with natural origin radionuclides contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaneva, A.V.; Belykh, E.S.; Maystrenko, T.A.; Grusdev, B.I.; Zainullin, V.G.; Vakhrusheva, O.M. [Institute of Biology, Komi Scientific Center, Ural Division of RAS, Syktyvkar, 167982 (Russian Federation); Oughton, D. [Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas (Norway)

    2014-07-01

    Since plants dominate every landscape, the impact of any environmental stressor on plants can directly affect the structure and function of an ecosystem, resulting in decreased primary productivity and degradation of wildlife habitat. The investigation goal of the present research was to study how vascular plant species' composition at a former radium mining site could be related to i) soil contamination with heavy metals and uranium and thorium decay chain radionuclides and ii) soil agrochemical properties. Between the 1930's and 1950's, the commercial extraction of radium, storage of the uranium mill tailings and radium production wastes, together with deactivation of the site with a mixture of sand and gravel completely destroyed plant communities in the vicinity of Vodny settlement (Komi Republic, Russia). The plant cover recovery started more than 60 years ago, and resulted in overgrowing with common grassland plant species. Three meadow sites were investigated, one with low contamination (on the territory of former radium production plant), one with high contamination (waste storage cell) and a reference sites out of the radiochemical plant zone of influence, but with similar natural conditions. Geo-botanical descriptions revealed 134 vascular plant species from 34 families in the meadow communities studied. The greatest richness was seen for Poaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Fabaceae families; others had 1-5 species. The highest richness in diversity was seen at reference sites with 95 vascular plant species. 87 species were registered on low contaminated sites and 75 species on high contaminated. Perennial herbs were the dominant life form on all the studied meadow communities. Arboreal species expansion in vegetation was noted at both experimental and reference sites. Shannon index calculations indicated a significant (p<0.05) decrease in species diversity on sample areas of the highly contaminated radioactive waste storage cell. Mean values

  19. Community emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents: A selected and partially annotated bibliography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youngen, G.

    1988-10-01

    The role of responding to emergencies at nuclear power plants is often considered the responsibility of the personnel onsite. This is true for most, if not all, of the incidents that may happen during the course of the plant`s operating lifetime. There is however, the possibility of a major accident occurring at anytime. Major nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have taught their respective countries and communities a significant lesson in local emergency preparedness and response. Through these accidents, the rest of the world can also learn a great deal about planning, preparing and responding to the emergencies unique to nuclear power. This bibliography contains books, journal articles, conference papers and government reports on emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents. It does not contain citations for ``onsite`` response or planning, nor does it cover the areas of radiation releases from transportation accidents. The compiler has attempted to bring together a sampling of the world`s collective written experience on dealing with nuclear reactor accidents on the sate, local and community levels. Since the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, that written experience has grown enormously.

  20. Bacterial Community Structure Shifted by Geosmin in Granular Activated Carbon System of Water Treatment Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Ngoc Dung; Lee, Eun-Hee; Chae, Seon-Ha; Cho, Yongdeok; Shin, Hyejin; Son, Ahjeong

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the presence of geosmin in water and the bacterial community structure within the granular activated carbon (GAC) system of water treatment plants in South Korea. GAC samples were collected in May and August of 2014 at three water treatment plants (Sungnam, Koyang, and Yeoncho in Korea). Dissolved organic carbon and geosmin were analyzed before and after GAC treatment. Geosmin was found in raw water from Sungnam and Koyang water treatment plants but not in that from Yeoncho water treatment plant. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the 16S rRNA clone library indicated that the bacterial communities from the Sungnam and Koyang GAC systems were closely related to geosmin-degrading bacteria. Based on the phylogenetic tree and multidimensional scaling plot, bacterial clones from GAC under the influence of geosmin were clustered with Variovorax paradoxus strain DB 9b and Comamonas sp. DB mg. In other words, the presence of geosmin in water might have inevitably contributed to the growth of geosmin degraders within the respective GAC system.

  1. Spatial Patterns of Species Diversity and Phylogenetic Structure of Plant Communities in the Tianshan Mountains, Arid Central Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Xiang Zhang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Tianshan Mountains, located in arid Central Asia, have a humid climate and are biodiversity hotspots. Here, we aimed to clarify whether the pattern of species diversity and the phylogenetic structure of plant communities is affected by environmental variables and glacial refugia. In this study, plant community assemblies of 17 research sites with a total of 35 sample plots were investigated at the grassland/woodland boundaries on the Tianshan Mountains. Community phylogeny of these plant communities was constructed based on two plant DNA barcode regions. The indices of phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic community structure were calculated for these sample plots. We first estimated the correlation coefficients between species richness (SR and environmental variables as well as the presence of glacial refugia. We then mapped the significant values of indices of community phylogeny (PD, RPD, NRI, and NTI to investigate the correlation between community phylogeny and environmental structure or macrozones in the study area. The results showed that a significantly higher value of SR was obtained for the refugial groups than for the colonizing groups (P < 0.05; presence of refugia and environmental variables were highly correlated to the pattern of variation in SR. Indices of community phylogeny were not significantly different between refugial and colonizing regions. Comparison with the humid western part showed that plant communities in the arid eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains tended to display more significant phylogenetic overdispersion. The variation tendency of the PhyloSor index showed that the increase in macro-geographical and environmental distance did not influence obvious phylogenetic dissimilarities between different sample plots. In conclusion, glacial refugia and environmental factors profoundly influenced the pattern of SR, but community phylogenetic structure was not affected by glacial refugia among different plant

  2. Ethnopharmacological survey on medicinal plants used in herbal drinks among the traditional communities of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Mushtaq; Khan, Muhammad Pukhtoon Zada; Mukhtar, Anam; Zafar, Muhammad; Sultana, Shazia; Jahan, Sarwat

    2016-05-26

    There is very limited information regarding medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Pakistan, for treating wide-ranging diseases. Current study provides significant ethnopharmacological information, both qualitative and quantitative on medical plants in Pakistan and the pharmacological importance of herbal drinks, especially in the discovery of new drugs. The current ethnomedicinal field study was conducted from various traditional communities of Pakistan to document usage of medicinal plants as herbal drinks. Data was collected through field interviews from local people and using semi-structured questionnaires. Data was analyzed using quantitative indices such as UV (use value), RFC (Relative frequency of citation), and FL (Fidelity level). The present study recorded 217 plant species belonging to 174 genera and 69 families used in herbal drinks preparations. Major herbal preparations include decoctions, infusions and juice. According to use reports, significant species were Aloe vera, Artemisia fragrans, Allium cepa, Senegalia catechu, Alternanthera sessilis, Malva ludwigii, Arnebia benthamii, Cichorium intybus, Coccinia grandis, Dalbergia sissoo. Major ailment treated with herbal drinks include heartburn, fever, diarrhea, hypertension, and others. Use value (UV) varies from 0.23 to 0.02, with Mentha arvensis (0.23) having the highest value of UV followed by Mentha longifolia (0.22), Plantago lanceolate (0.19), Achillea millefolium (0.18), Coriandrum sativum (0.18), Justicia adhatoda and Malva sylvestris (0.17). Values of RFC varies from 0.28 to 0.09 while Fidelity level (FL) among plants varies from 37.5 to 100. Alternanthera sessilis, Oxytropis lapponica, Millettia pinnata and Salvia bucharica had the highest FL value (100). The use of medicinal plants is prevalent in traditional communities of Pakistan. Different herbal preparations are in common practice including various herbal drinks a common tradition and much favoured herbal preparation in terms

  3. CO2 enrichment accelerates successional development of an understory plant community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souza, Lara [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Belote, R. Travis Travis [Wilderness Society, The; Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Weltzin, Jake [ORNL; Norby, Richard J [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide ([CO{sub 2}]) may influence forest successional development and species composition of understory plant communities by altering biomass production of plant species of functional groups. Here, we describe how elevated [CO{sub 2}] (eCO{sub 2}) affects aboveground biomass within the understory community of a temperate deciduous forest at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) facility in eastern Tennessee, USA. We asked if (i) CO{sub 2} enrichment affected total understory biomass and (ii) whether total biomass responses could be explained by changes in understory species composition or changes in relative abundance of functional groups through time. The FACE experiment started in 1998 with three rings receiving ambient [CO{sub 2}] (aCO{sub 2}) and two rings receiving eCO{sub 2}. From 2001 to 2003, we estimated species-specific, woody versus herbaceous and total aboveground biomass by harvesting four 1 x 0.5-m subplots within the established understory plant community in each FACE plot. In 2008, we estimated herbaceous biomass as previously but used allometric relationships to estimate woody biomass across two 5 x 5-m quadrats in each FACE plot. Across years, aboveground biomass of the understory community was on average 25% greater in eCO{sub 2} than in aCO{sub 2} plots. We could not detect differences in plant species composition between aCO{sub 2} and eCO{sub 2} treatments. However, we did observe shifts in the relative abundance of plant functional groups, which reflect important structural changes in the understory community. In 2001-03, little of the understory biomass was in woody species; herbaceous species made up 94% of the total understory biomass across [CO{sub 2}] treatments. Through time, woody species increased in importance, mostly in eCO{sub 2}, and in 2008, the contribution of herbaceous species to total understory biomass was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  5. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francine Rubin

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available The major plant communities of the Karoo National Park are described using the methods of the Zurich-Montpellier school of phytosociology, to assist with the formulation of a management strategy for the park. The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands. Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands. Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients within the study area have a direct impact on gradients in the vegetation. High elevation (1 800 m, and relatively high rainfall (406 mm montane grasslands occupy communities dominated by grasses (Merxmuellera disticha, Themeda triandra and woody species (Diospyros austro-africana, Elytropappus rhinocerotis, Euryops annae, Passerina montana. The increasing aridity away from the escarpment edge in a northerly direction is steep, and Montane Karoo dwarf shrublands replace these mesic communities. Species such as Eriocephalus ericoides, Rosenia oppositifolia and Pteronia tricephala dominate. At lower elevation (800 m the precipitation is very low (175 mm and uncertain (coefficient of variation of 78 . The substrata influence the vegetation, with the sandy substrata of the drainage lines supporting more woody taxa (Acacia karroo, Lycium cinereum and grasses (Hyparrhenia hirta, Stipagrostis namaquensis, Cenchrus ciliaris. Moving away from the mesic environment of the riparian zone, rapid desiccation occurs and the most xeric communities are encountered, dominated by Stipagrostis obtusa, S. ciliata and Pent-da incana. This document provides descriptions of the general communities and their associated landscape, lithology and soils.

  6. Plant stimulation of soil microbial community succession: how sequential expression mediates soil carbon stabilization and turnover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firestone, Mary [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    It is now understood that most plant C is utilized or transformed by soil microorganisms en route to stabilization. Hence the composition of microbial communities that mediate decomposition and transformation of root C is critical, as are the metabolic capabilities of these communities. The change in composition and function of the C-transforming microbial communities over time in effect defines the biological component of soil C stabilization. Our research was designed to test 2 general hypotheses; the first two hypotheses are discussed first; H1: Root-exudate interactions with soil microbial populations results in the expression of enzymatic capacities for macromolecular, complex carbon decomposition; and H2: Microbial communities surrounding roots undergo taxonomic succession linked to functional gene activities as roots grow, mature, and decompose in soil. Over the term of the project we made significant progress in 1) quantifying the temporal pattern of root interactions with the soil decomposing community and 2) characterizing the role of root exudates in mediating these interactions.

  7. Resource heterogeneity, soil fertility, and species diversity: effects of clonal species on plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eilts, J Alexander; Mittelbach, Gary G; Reynolds, Heather L; Gross, Katherine L

    2011-05-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in soil resources is widely thought to promote plant species coexistence, and this mechanism figures prominently in resource-ratio models of competition. However, most experimental studies have found that nutrient enhancements depress diversity regardless of whether nutrients are uniformly or heterogeneously applied. This mismatch between theory and empirical pattern is potentially due to an interaction between plant size and the scale of resource heterogeneity. Clonal plants that spread vegetatively via rhizomes or stolons can grow large and may integrate across resource patches, thus reducing the positive effect of small-scale resource heterogeneity on plant species richness. Many rhizomatous clonal species respond strongly to increased soil fertility, and they have been hypothesized to drive the descending arm of the hump-shaped productivity-diversity relationship in grasslands. We tested whether clonals reduce species richness in a grassland community by manipulating nutrient heterogeneity, soil fertility, and the presence of rhizomatous clonal species in a 6-year field experiment. We found strong and consistent negative effects of clonals on species richness. These effects were greatest at high fertility and when soil resources were applied at a scale at which rhizomatous clonals could integrate across resource patches. Thus, we find support for the hypothesis that plant size and resource heterogeneity interact to determine species diversity.

  8. The soil and plant determinants of community structures of the dominant actinobacteria in Marion Island terrestrial habitats, Sub-Antarctica

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Sanyika, TW

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available are largely uncharacterized. Actinobacteria have diverse ecological functions related to soil and plant functioning. This study was aimed at characterizing the diversity and community structures of the dominant actinobacteria in the distinct habitats...

  9. Moving forward on facilitation research : Response to changing environments and effects on the diversity, functioning and evolution of plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Smit, Christian; Maestre, Fernando T

    Once seen as anomalous, facilitative interactions among plants and their importance for community structure and functioning are now widely recognized. The growing body of modelling, descriptive and experimental studies on facilitation covers a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic systems

  10. Endophytic bacterial communities in three arctic plants from low arctic fell tundra are cold-adapted and host-plant specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissinen, Riitta M; Männistö, Minna K; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2012-11-01

    Endophytic bacteria inhabit internal plant tissues, and have been isolated from a large diversity of plants, where they form nonpathogenic relationships with their hosts. This study combines molecular and culture-dependent approaches to characterize endophytic bacterial communities of three arcto-alpine plant species (Oxyria digyna, Diapensia lapponica and Juncus trifidus) sampled in the low Arctic (69°03'N). Analyses of a 325 bacterial endophyte isolates, as well as seven clone libraries, revealed a high diversity. In particular, members of the Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, and Proteobacteria were found. The compositions of the endophytic bacterial communities were dependent on host-plant species as well as on snow cover at sampling sites. Several bacterial genera were found to be associated tightly with specific host-plant species. In particular, Sphingomonas spp. were characteristic for D. lapponica and O. digyna, and their phylogenetic grouping corresponded to the host plant. Most of the endophyte isolates grew well and retained activity at +4 °C, and isolate as well as clone library sequences were often highly similar to sequences from bacteria from cold environments. Taken together, this study shows that arctic plants harbour a diverse community of bacterial endophytes, a portion of which seems to be tightly associated with specific plant species. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M R; Jonckheere, W; Knegt, B; Lemos, F; Liu, J; Schimmel, B C J; Villarroel, C A; Ataide, L M S; Dermauw, W; Glas, J J; Egas, M; Janssen, A; Van Leeuwen, T; Schuurink, R C; Sabelis, M W; Alba, J M

    2015-06-01

    exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities "inhabiting" a plant. Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant's resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Succession Stages of Tundra Plant Communities Following Wildfire Disturbance in Arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, A. L.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Mack, M. C.; Jones, B. M.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid climate change is affecting climate-sensitive disturbance regimes throughout the world. In particular, the impacts of climate change on Arctic disturbance regimes are poorly understood because landscape-scale disturbances are infrequent or occur in remote localities. Wildfire in Arctic Alaska is presently limited by ignition source and favorable burn weather. With rapid climate change, a lengthening growing season, and subsequent increase in plant biomass and productivity, wildfire frequency and annual area burned in tundra ecosystems is expected to increase over the next century. Yet, post-fire tundra vegetation succession is inadequately characterized except at a few point locations. We identify succession stages of tussock tundra communities following wildfire using a chronosequence of 65 relevés in 10 tundra fire scars (1971-2011) and nearby unburned tundra from sites on the Seward Peninsula and northern foothills of the Brooks Range. We used the Braun-Blanquét approach to classify plant communities, and applied nonmetric multidimentional scaling (NMDS) to identify ecological gradients underlying community differentiation. The ordination revealed a clear differentiation between unburned and burned tundra communities. Ecological gradients, reflected by ordination axes, correspond to fire history (e.g., time since last fire, number of times burned, burn severity) and a complex productivity gradient. Post-fire species richness is less than unburned tundra; primarily reflected as a decrease in lichen species and turnover of bryophyte species immediately post-fire. Species richness of grasses increases post-fire and is greatest in communities that burned more than once in the past 30 years. Shrub cover and total aboveground biomass are greatest in repeat burn sites. We review and discuss our results focusing on the implications of a changing tundra fire regime, its effect on vegetation succession trajectories, and subsequent rates of carbon sequestration and

  13. Crops in silico: A community wide multi-scale computational modeling framework of plant canopies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, V.; Christensen, A.; Borkiewic, K.; Yiwen, X.; Ellis, A.; Panneerselvam, B.; Kannan, K.; Shrivastava, S.; Cox, D.; Hart, J.; Marshall-Colon, A.; Long, S.

    2016-12-01

    Current crop models predict a looming gap between supply and demand for primary foodstuffs over the next 100 years. While significant yield increases were achieved in major food crops during the early years of the green revolution, the current rates of yield increases are insufficient to meet future projected food demand. Furthermore, with projected reduction in arable land, decrease in water availability, and increasing impacts of climate change on future food production, innovative technologies are required to sustainably improve crop yield. To meet these challenges, we are developing Crops in silico (Cis), a biologically informed, multi-scale, computational modeling framework that can facilitate whole plant simulations of crop systems. The Cis framework is capable of linking models of gene networks, protein synthesis, metabolic pathways, physiology, growth, and development in order to investigate crop response to different climate scenarios and resource constraints. This modeling framework will provide the mechanistic details to generate testable hypotheses toward accelerating directed breeding and engineering efforts to increase future food security. A primary objective for building such a framework is to create synergy among an inter-connected community of biologists and modelers to create a realistic virtual plant. This framework advantageously casts the detailed mechanistic understanding of individual plant processes across various scales in a common scalable framework that makes use of current advances in high performance and parallel computing. We are currently designing a user friendly interface that will make this tool equally accessible to biologists and computer scientists. Critically, this framework will provide the community with much needed tools for guiding future crop breeding and engineering, understanding the emergent implications of discoveries at the molecular level for whole plant behavior, and improved prediction of plant and ecosystem

  14. You grow where you're planted: Community building in Colstrip, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David Ramsey

    The expansion of energy production in the 1970s resulted in the construction of large extraction and power production facilities in many parts of the American West. Boomtowns almost always accompanied these enterprises. Colstrip, Montana, became the focus of a wide variety of social and environmental controversies when the Montana Power Company began strip mining operations and power plant construction in the early 1970s. Nevertheless, a sense of community attachment in Colstrip has steadily grown. Increased participation in public affairs, often in response to challenges made to the community, has accompanied the integration of Colstrip's residents in the non-economic environments of families, churches, recreation, and school-related activities. Researchers in the 1970s and early '80s often took the view that rapid development disrupts long-standing patterns of community attachment and integration. Using a model derived from Ferdinand Tonnies' Gemeinschaft-Gesell schaft continuum, these researchers undertook to demonstrate the folly of the energy companies' activities. The decline of community has frequently appeared as a theme in sociology and history. Yet the venerable but erroneous and largely sentimental theoretical perspective used by some early social impact assessment researchers did not accurately represent the processes at work in Colstrip and places like it. I suggest that Colstrip demonstrates an evolutionary continuum, but precisely the opposite of Tonnies' proposition. The feeling of attachment and home we call community is a growth-oriented phenomenon, not a simply a passive object subject only to decline. Colstrip, where sociologists found community lacking, is now found by the historian as the model of community.

  15. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. AIMS: To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. METHODS: 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. RESULTS: High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO, ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD. Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA, a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25% and operational parameters (23%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  16. Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine by the communities of Mount Hermon, Lebanon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baydoun, Safaa; Chalak, Lamis; Dalleh, Helena; Arnold, Nelly

    2015-09-15

    Medicinal plant species in Lebanon are experiencing severe threats because of various environmental conditions, human expansion footprints and recent growing global demand. Organized research and information on indigenous medicinal plants and knowledge have been very limited and little efforts have been invested to develop a complete inventory for native medicinal plants and associated traditional knowledge in the country. Recognized as a key biodiversity area of the Mediterranean Basin, Mount Hermon hosts important richness of medicinal plants that has been traditionally used in treatment of many illnesses since generations. Novel knowledge gathered by the present investigation is important in preserving indigenous knowledge of Mount Hermon community and revitalizing traditional herbal medicines. Ethnopharmacological information was collected by semi-structured interviews with 53 native informants (herbalists, traditional healers, midwives and local adult villagers) in 13 towns and villages surrounding Mount Hermon. The interviews were conducted through guided field visits and discussion groups whilst collecting plants specimens. Taxonomical identification of plant species was based on the determination keys of the "New Flora of Lebanon and Syria" and specimens were deposited at the herbarium of the Research Center for Environment and Development at Beirut Arab University. The results obtained indicate that 124 plant species of Mount flora are still used in traditional medicine by the local communities as an important source of primary health care and treatment of a wide range of different illnesses. These species belonged to 42 families and 102 genera. Compositae (19 species), Labiatae (18 species), Rosaceae (11) and Umbelliferae (11) formed the dominant families. Informants' Consensus Factor (FIC) analysis revealed that among the 14 illness categories used, respiratory (0.94), gastrointestinal and renal (0.93), genital systems (0.92) had the highest FIC values

  17. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana; Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A.; Garbisu, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

  18. The movement ecology and dynamics of plant communities in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damschen, Ellen I; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Levey, Douglas J; Orrock, John L; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2008-12-09

    A conceptual model of movement ecology has recently been advanced to explain all movement by considering the interaction of four elements: internal state, motion capacity, navigation capacities, and external factors. We modified this framework to generate predictions for species richness dynamics of fragmented plant communities and tested them in experimental landscapes across a 7-year time series. We found that two external factors, dispersal vectors and habitat features, affected species colonization and recolonization in habitat fragments and their effects varied and depended on motion capacity. Bird-dispersed species richness showed connectivity effects that reached an asymptote over time, but no edge effects, whereas wind-dispersed species richness showed steadily accumulating edge and connectivity effects, with no indication of an asymptote. Unassisted species also showed increasing differences caused by connectivity over time, whereas edges had no effect. Our limited use of proxies for movement ecology (e.g., dispersal mode as a proxy for motion capacity) resulted in moderate predictive power for communities and, in some cases, highlighted the importance of a more complete understanding of movement ecology for predicting how landscape conservation actions affect plant community dynamics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

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

  1. Primary sand-dune plant community and soil properties during the west-coast India monsoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willis A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available A seven-station interrupted belt transect was established that followed a previously observed plant zonation pattern across an aggrading primary coastal dune system in the dry tropical region of west-coast India. The dominant weather pattern is monsoon from June to November, followed by hot and dry winter months when rainfall is scarce. Physical and chemical soil characteristics in each of the stations were analysed on five separate occasions, the first before the onset of monsoon, three during and the last post-monsoon. The plant community pattern was confirmed by quadrat survey. A pH gradient decreased with distance from the shoreline. Nutrient concentrations were deficient, increasing only in small amounts until the furthest station inland. At that location, there was a distinct and abrupt pedological transition zone from psammite to humic soils. There was a significant increase over previous stations in mean organic matter, ammonium nitrate and soil-water retention, although the increase in real terms was small. ANOVA showed significant variation in electrical conductivity, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sodium concentrations over time. There was no relationship between soil chemistry characteristics and plant community structure over the transect. Ipomoea pes-caprae and Spinifex littoreus were restricted to the foredunes, the leguminous forb Alysicarpus vaginalis and Perotis indica to the two stations furthest from the strand. Ischaemum indicum, a C4 perennial grass species adopting an ephemeral strategy was, in contrast, ubiquitous to all stations.

  2. Location of Bioelectricity Plants in the Madrid Community Based on Triticale Crop: A Multicriteria Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Romero

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a work whose objective is, first, to quantify the potential of the triticale biomass existing in each of the agricultural regions in the Madrid Community through a crop simulation model based on regression techniques and multiple correlation. Second, a methodology for defining which area has the best conditions for the installation of electricity plants from biomass has been described and applied. The study used a methodology based on compromise programming in a discrete multicriteria decision method (MDM context. To make a ranking, the following criteria were taken into account: biomass potential, electric power infrastructure, road networks, protected spaces, and urban nuclei surfaces. The results indicate that, in the case of the Madrid Community, the Campiña region is the most suitable for setting up plants powered by biomass. A minimum of 17,339.9 tons of triticale will be needed to satisfy the requirements of a 2.2 MW power plant. The minimum range of action for obtaining the biomass necessary in Campiña region would be 6.6 km around the municipality of Algete, based on Geographic Information Systems. The total biomass which could be made available in considering this range in this region would be 18,430.68 t.

  3. Moderation is best: effects of grazing intensity on plant--flower visitor networks in Mediterranean communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaro, Amparo; Tscheulin, Thomas; Devalez, Jelle; Nakas, Georgios; Stefanaki, Anastasia; Hanlidou, Effie; Petanidou, Theodora

    2016-04-01

    The structure of pollination networks is an important indicator of ecosystem stability and functioning. Livestock grazing is a frequent land use practice that directly affects the abundance and diversity of flowers and pollinators and, therefore, may indirectly affect the structure of pollination networks. We studied how grazing intensity affected the structure of plant-flower visitor networks along a wide range of grazing intensities by sheep and goats, using data from 11 Mediterranean plant-flower visitor communities from Lesvos Island, Greece. We hypothesized that intermediate grazing might result in higher diversity as predicted by the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis, which could in turn confer more stability to the networks. Indeed, we found that networks at intermediate grazing intensities were larger, more generalized, more modular, and contained more diverse and even interactions. Despite general responses at the network level, the number of interactions and selectiveness of particular flower visitor and plant taxa in the networks responded differently to grazing intensity, presumably as a consequence of variation in the abundance of different taxa with grazing. Our results highlight the benefit of maintaining moderate levels of livestock grazing by sheep and goats to preserve the complexity and biodiversity of the rich Mediterranean communities, which have a long history of grazing by these domestic animals.

  4. Fungal Communities Including Plant Pathogens in Near Surface Air Are Similar across Northwestern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mogens Nicolaisen

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Information on the diversity of fungal spores in air is limited, and also the content of airborne spores of fungal plant pathogens is understudied. In the present study, a total of 152 air samples were taken from rooftops at urban settings in Slagelse, DK, Wageningen NL, and Rothamsted, UK together with 41 samples from above oilseed rape fields in Rothamsted. Samples were taken during 10-day periods in spring and autumn, each sample representing 1 day of sampling. The fungal content of samples was analyzed by metabarcoding of the fungal internal transcribed sequence 1 (ITS1 and by qPCR for specific fungi. The metabarcoding results demonstrated that season had significant effects on airborne fungal communities. In contrast, location did not have strong effects on the communities, even though locations were separated by up to 900 km. Also, a number of plant pathogens had strikingly similar patterns of abundance at the three locations. Rooftop samples were more diverse than samples taken above fields, probably reflecting greater mixing of air from a range of microenvironments for the rooftop sites. Pathogens that were known to be present in the crop were also found in air samples taken above the field. This paper is one of the first detailed studies of fungal composition in air with the focus on plant pathogens and shows that it is possible to detect a range of pathogens in rooftop air samplers using metabarcoding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Elena

    2017-11-01

    The research is dedicated to the study of the impact of heavy metals (As, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn) found in plant samples on photosynthetic pigments in anthropogenic roadside plant communities. In the process of research, the anthropogenic load intensity for the selected sites (1 toxicity but also on its concentration. A high level was noted for Pb (7.2-10.6), Cr (2.6-4.5), As (0.1-0.9) and Sr (9.4-12.1) mg/kg. The inverse relation between the heavy metal and photosynthetic pigment concentrations was revealed. The research showed that the concentration of chlorophyll a, b and carotenoids changes depending on the growing conditions. Carotenoids are less vulnerable to the negative impact of heavy metals as compared to chlorophylls. A higher concentration of carotenoids is noted in stressing environment. On the one hand, it decreases stress effect; on the other hand, it performs a protective function by preventing destruction of chlorophyll molecules and other organic substances. The obtained data may be used to forecast dynamics of plant populations and communities in the polluted areas and to monitor conditions of natural ecosystems.

  6. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity.

  7. Community emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents: A selected and partially annotated bibliography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Youngen, G.

    1988-10-01

    The role of responding to emergencies at nuclear power plants is often considered the responsibility of the personnel onsite. This is true for most, if not all, of the incidents that may happen during the course of the plant's operating lifetime. There is however, the possibility of a major accident occurring at anytime. Major nuclear accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have taught their respective countries and communities a significant lesson in local emergency preparedness and response. Through these accidents, the rest of the world can also learn a great deal about planning, preparing and responding to the emergencies unique to nuclear power. This bibliography contains books, journal articles, conference papers and government reports on emergency response to nuclear power plant accidents. It does not contain citations for ''onsite'' response or planning, nor does it cover the areas of radiation releases from transportation accidents. The compiler has attempted to bring together a sampling of the world's collective written experience on dealing with nuclear reactor accidents on the sate, local and community levels. Since the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, that written experience has grown enormously

  8. Land-use legacies and present fire regimes interact to mediate herbivory by altering the neighboring plant community.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    Past and present human activities, such as historic agriculture and fire suppression, are widespread and can create depauperate plant communities. Although many studies show that herbivory on focal plants depends on the density of herbivores or the composition of the surrounding plant community, it is unclear whether anthropogenic changes to plant communities alter herbivory. We tested the hypothesis that human activities that alter the plant community lead to subsequent changes in herbivory. At 20 sites distributed across 80 300 hectares, we conducted a field experiment that manipulated insect herbivore access (full exclosures and pseudo-exclosures) to four focal plant species in longleaf pine woodlands with diff erent land-use histories (post-agricultural sites or non-agricultural sites) and degrees of fi re frequency (frequent and infrequent). Plant cover, particularly herbaceous cover, was lower in post-agricultural and fi re suppressed woodlands. Density of the dominant insect herbivore at our site (grasshoppers) was positively related to plant cover. Herbivore access reduced biomass of the palatable forb Solidago odora in frequently burned post-agricultural sites and in infrequently burned non-agricultural woodlands and increased mortality of another forb (Pityopsis graminifolia ), but did not aff ect two other less palatable species ( Schizachyrium scoparium and Tephrosia virginiana ). Herbivory on S. odora exhibited a hump-shaped response to plant cover, with low herbivory at low and high levels of plant cover. Herbivore density had a weak negative effect on herbivory. These findings suggest that changes in plant cover related to past and present human activities can modify damage rates on focal S. odora plants by altering grasshopper foraging behavior rather than by altering local grasshopper density. The resulting changes in herbivory may have the potential to limit natural recovery or restoration eff orts by reducing the establishment or performance of

  9. Mountain pastures of Qilian Shan: plant communities, grazing impact and degradation status (Gansu province, NW China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranova, Alina; Schickhoff, Udo; Shunli, Wang; Ming, Jin

    2015-04-01

    Qilian Mountains are the water source region for the low arid reaches of HeiHe river basin (Gansu province, NW China). Due to overstocking and overgrazing during the last decades adverse ecological ef¬fects, in particular on soil properties and hydrological cycle, are to be expected in growing land areas. Vegetation cover is very important to prevent erosion process and to sustain stable subsurface runoff and ground water flow. The aim of this research is to identify plant communities, detecting grazing-induced and spatially differentiated changes in vegetation patterns, and to evaluate status of pasture land degradation.The study area is located in the spring/autumn pasture area of South Qilian Mountains between 2600-3600 m a.s.l., covering five main vegetation types: spruce forest, alpine shrubland, shrubby grassland, mountain grassland, degraded mountain grassland. In order to analyze gradual changes in vegetation patterns along altitudinal and grazing gradients and to classify related plant communities, quantitative and qualitative relevé data were collected (coverage, species composition, abundance of unpalatable plants, plant functional types, etc.). Vegetation was classified using hierarchical cluster analyses. Indirect Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to analyze variation in relationships between vegetation, environmental factors, and grazing impact. According to DCA results, distribution of the plant communities was strongly affected by altitude and exposition. Grassland floristic gradients showed greater dependence on grazing impact, which correlated contrarily with soil organic content, soil moisture and pH. Highest numbers of species richness and alpha diversity were detected in alpine shrubland vegetation type. Comparing the monitoring data for the recent nine years, a trend of deterioration, species successions and shift in dominant species becomes obvious. Species indicating degrading site environmental conditions were identified

  10. Mechanisms and ecological consequences of plant defence induction and suppression in herbivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, M. R.; Jonckheere, W.; Knegt, B.; Lemos, F.; Liu, J.; Schimmel, B. C. J.; Villarroel, C. A.; Ataide, L. M. S.; Dermauw, W.; Glas, J. J.; Egas, M.; Janssen, A.; Van Leeuwen, T.; Schuurink, R. C.; Sabelis, M. W.; Alba, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    give rise to exploitative competition and facilitation within ecological communities “inhabiting” a plant. Conclusions Herbivores have evolved diverse strategies, which are not mutually exclusive, to decrease the negative effects of plant defences in order to maximize the conversion of plant material into offspring. Numerous adaptations have been found in herbivores, enabling them to dismantle or bypass defensive barriers, to avoid tissues with relatively high levels of defensive chemicals or to metabolize these chemicals once ingested. In addition, some herbivores interfere with the onset or completion of induced plant defences, resulting in the plant’s resistance being partly or fully suppressed. The ability to suppress induced plant defences appears to occur across plant parasites from different kingdoms, including herbivorous arthropods, and there is remarkable diversity in suppression mechanisms. Suppression may strongly affect the structure of the food web, because the ability to suppress the activation of defences of a communal host may facilitate competitors, whereas the ability of a herbivore to cope with activated plant defences will not. Further characterization of the mechanisms and traits that give rise to suppression of plant defences will enable us to determine their role in shaping direct and indirect interactions in food webs and the extent to which these determine the coexistence and persistence of species. PMID:26019168

  11. Interspecific variation of the bacterial community structure in the phyllosphere of the three major plant components of mangrove forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armando Cavalcante Franco Dias

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove forests encompass a group of trees species that inhabit the intertidal zones, where soil is characterized by the high salinity and low availability of oxygen. The phyllosphere of these trees represent the habitat provided on the aboveground parts of plants, supporting in a global scale, a large and complex microbial community. The structure of phyllosphere communities reflects immigration, survival and growth of microbial colonizers, which is influenced by numerous environmental factors in addition to leaf physical and chemical properties. Here, a combination of culture-base methods with PCR-DGGE was applied to test whether local or plant specific factors shape the bacterial community of the phyllosphere from three plant species (Avicenia shaueriana, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle, found in two mangroves. The number of bacteria in the phyllosphere of these plants varied between 3.62 x 10(4 in A. schaeriana and 6.26 x 10³ in R. mangle. The results obtained by PCR-DGGE and isolation approaches were congruent and demonstrated that each plant species harbor specific bacterial communities in their leaves surfaces. Moreover, the ordination of environmental factors (mangrove and plant species, by redundancy analysis (RDA, also indicated that the selection exerted by plant species is higher than mangrove location on bacterial communities at phyllosphere.

  12. [Edge effect of the plant community structure on land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Xiao-Fei; Yuan, Jin-Feng; Hu, Guang; Xu, Gao-Fu; Yu, Ming-Jian

    2014-01-01

    The research was conducted on 29 land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake (TIL), where long-term monitoring plots were set up during 2009-2010. The community attributes including species richness, Shannon index, plant mean height, plant mean diameter at breast height (DBH) and plant density along the edge-interior gradient from edge to interior forest were calculated to investigate the edge effect. The results showed that the species richness and Shannon index were affected through the whole gradient (larger than 50 m), while the range of edge effect was 20-30 m on mean plant height, and 10 m on plant density and mean DBH. Community attributes differed significantly among the edge gradients. The species richness and Shannon index peaked at the intermediate edge gradient. Plant density decreased and plant mean height increased along the edge to interior gradient. All five community attributes were significantly associated with the edge gradient, also different functional groups, evergreen or deciduous species, trees or shrubs, shade tolerant or shade intolerant species, were differentially influenced by the edge effect. It was demonstrated the influence of edge effect on the fragmented forest community varied with community attributes and functional groups.

  13. Response of herbaceous plant community diversity and composition to overstorey harvest within riparian management zones in Northern Hardwoods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric K. Zenner; Michelle A. Martin; Brian J. Palik; Jerilynn E. Peck; Charles R. Blinn

    2013-01-01

    Partial timber harvest within riparian management zones (RMZs) may permit active management of riparian forests while protecting stream ecosystems, but impacts on herbaceous communities are poorly understood. We compared herbaceous plant community abundance, diversity and composition in RMZs along small streams in northern Minnesota, USA, among four treatments before...

  14. Interactions of fire and nonnative species across an elevation/plant community gradient in Hawaii volcanoes national park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alison Ainsworth; J. Boone Kauffman

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species interacting with fires pose a relatively unknown, but potentially serious, threat to the tropical forests of Hawaii. Fires may create conditions that facilitate species invasions, but the degree to which this occurs in different tropical plant communities has not been quantified. We documented the survival and establishment of plant species for 2 yr...

  15. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Outline specifications of cogeneration plant; continued

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    Specifications are presented for the electrical equipment, site preparation, building construction and mechanical systems for a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota campus. This power plant will supply steam and electrical power to a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  16. Bacterial community structure and variation in a full-scale seawater desalination plant for drinking water production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belila, A.; El-Chakhtoura, J.; Otaibi, N.; Muyzer, G.; Gonzalez-Gil, G.; Saikaly, P.E.; van Loosdrecht, M.C.M.; Vrouwenvelder, J.S.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial processes inevitably play a role in membrane-based desalination plants, mainly recognized as membrane biofouling. We assessed the bacterial community structure and diversity during different treatment steps in a full-scale seawater desalination plant producing 40,000 m3/d of drinking

  17. Ethnobotanical study on medicinal plants in the community of Curral Velho, Luís Correia, Piauí, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jairla Lima Araujo

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The use of plants as medication in the state of Piauí, Brazil, has been a common practice passed from generation to generation. This study aimed to analyze the use of medicinal plants by residents of the community Curral Velho, in the municipality of Luís Correia, northern Piauí, Brazil, contributing to register and preserve the traditional botanical knowledge of the community under study and, as a consequence, the state’s. The survey of plant species used as a therapeutic resource was conducted through interviews with a semi-structured questionnaire applied to 38 informants. The plants were collected for scientific identification. Use value (UV, informant consensus factor (ICF, and relative importance (RI of species were determined. We registered 62 species, belonging to 38 families and 57 genera, and the Fabaceae family stood out. Aristolochia triangularis, Petiveria alliaceae, and Stachytarpheta cayennensis had the highest use values (UV = 3.0, and Turnera subulata was the most versatile. Out of the 10 bodily systems identified, those with higher concentration of medicinal species are related to the most ordinary illnesses as general signs (inflammation, fever, respiratory tract diseases, and genitourinary tract diseases. This survey enabled the identification of some relevant aspects concerning the use and knowledge of medicinal plants in the community under study. The diversity of medicinal plants known and the availability of plants in the very community suggest a correlation between use/knowledge of medicinal plants and their availability.

  18. Contributions of gopher mound and casting disturbances to plant community structure in a Cascade Range meadow complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Case; C.B. Halpern; S.A. Levin

    2013-01-01

    Pocket gophers (Geomyidae) are major agents of disturbance in North American grasslands. Gopher mounds bury existing plants and influence community structure through various mechanisms. However, in mountain meadows that experience winter snowpack, gophers also create winter castings, smaller tube-shaped deposits, previously ignored in studies of plant–gopher...

  19. Mitigating Community Impacts of Energy Development: Some Examples for Coal and Nuclear Generating Plants in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peelle, Elizabeth

    The Hartsville, Tennessee nuclear reactor site, the coal plant at Wheatland, Wyoming, and the nuclear plant at Skagit, Washington have mitigation plans developed in response to a federal, state, and local regulatory agency, respectively; the three mitigation plans aim at internalizing community-level social costs and benefits during the…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Preliminary design of cogeneration plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    The preliminary design of a dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota is described. This coal-fired plant will produce steam and electric power for a grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. (LCL)

  2. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  3. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José M. Andrade

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers “Hampiyachakkuna” in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers.

  4. Ethnobotany of Indigenous Saraguros: Medicinal Plants Used by Community Healers "Hampiyachakkuna" in the San Lucas Parish, Southern Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, José M; Lucero Mosquera, Hernán; Armijos, Chabaco

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the results of an ethnobotanical survey on the use of medicinal plants by community healers "Hampiyachakkuna" in the San Lucas Parish, province of Loja, Ecuador. A particular ethnic group, the indigenous Saraguros, inhabits this region. This study reports 183 plant species used in 75 different curative therapies by the Saraguro healers.

  5. Phylogenetic Structure of Plant Communities: Are Polyploids Distantly Related to Co-occurring Diploids?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Gaynor

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Polyploidy is widely acknowledged to have played an important role in the evolution and diversification of vascular plants. However, the influence of genome duplication on population-level dynamics and its cascading effects at the community level remain unclear. In part, this is due to persistent uncertainties over the extent of polyploid phenotypic variation, and the interactions between polyploids and co-occurring species, and highlights the need to integrate polyploid research at the population and community level. Here, we investigate how community-level patterns of phylogenetic relatedness might influence escape from minority cytotype exclusion, a classic population genetics hypothesis about polyploid establishment, and population-level species interactions. Focusing on two plant families in which polyploidy has evolved multiple times, Brassicaceae and Rosaceae, we build upon the hypothesis that the greater allelic and phenotypic diversity of polyploids allow them to successfully inhabit a different geographic range compared to their diploid progenitor and close relatives. Using a phylogenetic framework, we specifically test (1 whether polyploid species are more distantly related to diploids within the same community than co-occurring diploids are to one another, and (2 if polyploid species tend to exhibit greater ecological success than diploids, using species abundance in communities as an indicator of successful establishment. Overall, our results suggest that the effects of genome duplication on community structure are not clear-cut. We find that polyploid species tend to be more distantly related to co-occurring diploids than diploids are to each other. However, we do not find a consistent pattern of polyploid species being more abundant than diploid species, suggesting polyploids are not uniformly more ecologically successful than diploids. While polyploidy appears to have some important influences on species co-occurrence in

  6. Influence of weather variables and plant communities on grasshopper density in the Southern Pampas, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wysiecki, María Laura; Arturi, Marcelo; Torrusio, Sandra; Cigliano, María Marta

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the influence of weather (precipitation and temperature) and plant communities on grasshopper density over a 14-year period (1996-2009) in Benito Juárez County, Southern Pampas, Argentina. Total density strongly varied among plant communities. Highest values were registered in 2001 and 2003 in highly disturbed pastures and in 2002 and 2009 in halophilous grasslands. Native grasslands had the lowest density values. Seasonal precipitation and temperature had no significant effect on total grasshopper density. Dichroplus elongatus (Giglio-Tos) (Orthoptera: Acridoidea), Covasacris pallidinota (Bruner), Dichroplus pratensis Bruner, Scotussa lemniscata Stål, Borellia bruneri (Rehn) and Dichroplus maculipennis (Blanchard) comprised, on average, 64% of the grasshopper assemblages during low density years and 79% during high density years. Dichroplus elongatus, S. lemniscata and C. pallidinota were the most abundant species in 2001, 2002 and 2003, while D. elongatus, B. brunneri and C. pallidinota in 2009. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis, mixed feeders species, were positively affected by summer rainfall. This suggests that the increase in summer precipitation had a positive effect on the quantity and quality forage production, affecting these grasshopper populations. Scotussa lemniscata and C. pallidinota were negatively affected by winter and fall temperature, possibly affecting the embryonic development before diapause and hatching. Dichroplus elongatus and D. pratensis were associated with highly disturbed pastures, S. lemniscata with pastures and B. bruneri and D. maculipennis with halophilous grasslands. Covasacris pallidinota was closely associated with halophilous grasslands and moderately disturbed pastures. Weather conditions changed over the years, with 2001, 2002 and 2003 having excessive rainfall while 2008 and 2009 were the driest years since the study started. We suggest that although seasonal precipitation and

  7. Characterization of bacterial community dynamics in a full-scale drinking water treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cuiping; Ling, Fangqiong; Zhang, Minglu; Liu, Wen-Tso; Li, Yuxian; Liu, Wenjun

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of microbial communities in drinking water systems is vital to securing the microbial safety of drinking water. The objective of this study was to comprehensively characterize the dynamics of microbial biomass and bacterial communities at each step of a full-scale drinking water treatment plant in Beijing, China. Both bulk water and biofilm samples on granular activated carbon (GAC) were collected over 9months. The proportion of cultivable cells decreased during the treatment processes, and this proportion was higher in warm season than cool season, suggesting that treatment processes and water temperature probably had considerable impact on the R2A cultivability of total bacteria. 16s rRNA gene based 454 pyrosequencing analysis of the bacterial community revealed that Proteobacteria predominated in all samples. The GAC biofilm harbored a distinct population with a much higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria than water samples. Principle coordinate analysis and one-way analysis of similarity indicated that the dynamics of the microbial communities in bulk water and biofilm samples were better explained by the treatment processes rather than by sampling time, and distinctive changes of the microbial communities in water occurred after GAC filtration. Furthermore, 20 distinct OTUs contributing most to the dissimilarity among samples of different sampling locations and 6 persistent OTUs present in the entire treatment process flow were identified. Overall, our findings demonstrate the significant effects that treatment processes have on the microbial biomass and community fluctuation and provide implications for further targeted investigation on particular bacteria populations. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-28

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

  9. Quantitative distribution of aquatic plant and animal communities in the Forsmark-area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kautsky, H.; Plantman, P.; Borgiel, M. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Systems Ecology

    1999-12-15

    This report is a part of the SKB project 'SAFE'. The aim of SAFE is to update the previous safety analysis of SFR-1. SFR is for the repository of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The aim of this report is to provide background information of the quantitative distribution of macroscopic (>1 mm) plants and animals on the sea floor (the phytobenthic communities) above the SFR. The phytobenthic plant and animal communities in the Bothnian Sea may constitute over half of the total production of the ecosystem in the coastal zone. Data will be used in a simulation model of the area. The attached plant and animal communities of the sea floor can be the major component to find radioactive isotopes when a leakage should occur from the SFR below the investigated area. Their ability to bioaccumulate the isotopes and the abundance of the plants and animals might to a large extent determine the amount of radionuclides that could be retained in the biological system. This might then affect the form of further dispersal of the radionuclides over larger areas, whether they are kept within and accumulated in the food chain or retained in the sediments or diluted in the water column. In the investigated area divers described the sea floor substrate and the dominating plant and animal communities along transect lines. In addition, the divers collected quantitative samples. Three transects were placed just above SFR, and two transects were placed from the shore of islands adjacent to SFR. In total, divers collected 54 quantitative samples. Also, divers collected 6 sediment cores for analysis of the organic contents and chlorophylla. The results from the divers estimates of plant and animal species distribution and cover degree, as well as the quantitative samples, indicated the area being fairly rich. An eroded moraine (boulders, stones, gravel and sand) dominated the substrate with occasional rock outcrops. At several sites, on the hard, more stable substrates

  10. Bottom-up and top-down effects on plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Lara; Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Sanders, Nate

    2016-01-01

    Top-down effects of herbivores and bottom-up effects of nutrients shape productivity and diversity across ecosystems, yet their single and combined effects on spatial and temporal beta diversity is unknown. We established a field experiment in which the abundance of insect herbivores (top...... herbivores did not alter plant richness (α diversity) yet consistently promoted Shannon's evenness, relative to plots where insect herbivores were present. Further, insect herbivores promoted spatial-temporal β diversity. Overall, we found that the relative importance of top-down and bottom-up controls......-down) and soil nitrogen (bottom-up) were manipulated over six years in an existing old-field community. We tracked plant α and β diversity - within plot richness and among plot biodiversity- and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) over the course of the experiment. We found that bottom-up factors...

  11. Impacts of extreme winter warming events on plant physiology in a sub-Arctic heath community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokhorst, Stef; Bjerke, Jarle W; Davey, Matthew P; Taulavuori, Kari; Taulavuori, Erja; Laine, Kari; Callaghan, Terry V; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2010-10-01

    frequent in some regions of the Arctic and that may ultimately drive plant community shifts. Copyright © Physiologia Plantarum 2010.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J. C.

    2017-12-01

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

  13. Pilot Experimentation with Complete Mixing Anoxic Reactors to Improve Sewage Denitrification in Treatment Plants in Small Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Massimo Raboni; Vincenzo Torretta; Paolo Viotti; Giordano Urbini

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports the results of two sewage treatment tests in a community of 15,000 inhabitants. The sewage treatment plant is subject to strong fluctuations in load (BOD 5 , COD, TKN), and in particular in the BOD 5 /TKN ratio. These fluctuations adversely affect the biological denitrification, as demonstrated by many pilot and real-scale plants. The plants we tested were subjected to two treatment types: anoxic-aerobic and simultaneous denitrification. Both processes are designed for comp...

  14. Grid connected integrated community energy system. Phase II: final stage 2 report. Outline specifications of cogeneration plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-03-22

    Specifications are presented for major components of the dual-purpose power plant to be located on the University of Minnesota campus. This power plant will supply steam and electric power to a proposed grid-connected Integrated Community Energy System. The capital costs and capital budget for the power plant and specifications for auxiliary equipment, such as the interconnecting heat tunnel, are included. (LCL)

  15. Comprehensive dataset of the medicinal plants used by a Tashelhit speaking community in the High Atlas, Morocco

    OpenAIRE

    Teixidor-Toneu, Irene; Martin, Gary J.; Ouhammou, Ahmed; Puri, Rajindra K.; Hawkins, Julie A.

    2016-01-01

    This dataset describes medicinal plants used in a poorly studied area of Morocco: the High Atlas mountains, inhabited by Ishelhin people, the southern Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) ethnic group, ?An ethnomedicinal survey of a Tashelhit-speaking community in the High Atlas, Morocco? (Teixidor-Toneu et al., 2016) [1]. It includes a comprehensive list of the plants used in the commune, as well as details on the plant voucher specimens collected and a glossary of Tashelhit terminology relevant to the...

  16. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  17. Indoor-biofilter growth and exposure to airborne chemicals drive similar changes in plant root bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Jacob A; Hu, Yi; Chau, Linh; Pauliushchyk, Margarita; Anastopoulos, Ioannis; Anandan, Shivanthi; Waring, Michael S

    2014-08-01

    Due to the long durations spent inside by many humans, indoor air quality has become a growing concern. Biofiltration has emerged as a potential mechanism to clean indoor air of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are typically found at concentrations higher indoors than outdoors. Root-associated microbes are thought to drive the functioning of plant-based biofilters, or biowalls, converting VOCs into biomass, energy, and carbon dioxide, but little is known about the root microbial communities of such artificially grown plants, how or whether they differ from those of plants grown in soil, and whether any changes in composition are driven by VOCs. In this study, we investigated how bacterial communities on biofilter plant roots change over time and in response to VOC exposure. Through 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, we compared root bacterial communities from soil-grown plants with those from two biowalls, while also comparing communities from roots exposed to clean versus VOC-laden air in a laboratory biofiltration system. The results showed differences in bacterial communities between soil-grown and biowall-grown plants and between bacterial communities from plant roots exposed to clean air and those from VOC-exposed plant roots. Both biowall-grown and VOC-exposed roots harbored enriched levels of bacteria from the genus Hyphomicrobium. Given their known capacities to break down aromatic and halogenated compounds, we hypothesize that these bacteria are important VOC degraders. While different strains of Hyphomicrobium proliferated in the two studied biowalls and our lab experiment, strains were shared across plant species, suggesting that a wide range of ornamental houseplants harbor similar microbes of potential use in living biofilters. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. [Plant communities in the terrestrial-aquatic transition zone in the paramo of Chingaza, Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Mumm, Udo; Vargas Ríos, Orlando

    2012-03-01

    Plant communities in the terrestrial-aquatic transition zone in the paramo of Chingaza, Colombia. High Andean paramo ecosystems are an important water resource for many towns, and major cities in this region. The aquatic and wetland vegetation of different paramo lakes, pond, swamps and bogs was studied according to the classical phytosociological approach, which is based on homogenous stands, but excludes any border phenomena or transitional zone. The present research aimed at determining the aquatic and wetland vegetation along different moisture gradients. A total of 89 species in 30 transects were reported, of which Crassula venezuelensis, Carex honplandii, Callitriche nubigena, Eleocharis macrostachya, Ranunculus flagelliformis, R. nubigenus, Eleocharis stenocarpa, Galium ascendens y Alopecurus aequalis were present in more than one third of the transects. Numerical classification and indicator species analysis resulted in the definition of the next 18 communities: 1) Calamagrostis effusa, 2) Sphagnum cuspidatum, 3) Cyperus rufus, 4) Eleocharis stenocarpa, 5) Carex acutata, 6) Poa annua,7) Valeriana sp., 8) Ranunculus flagelliformis, 9) Carex bonplandii, 10) Festuca andicola. 11) Muhlenbergia fustigiata, 12) Elatine paramoana, 13) Isoëtes palmeri, 14) Crassula venezuelensis, 15) Lilaeopsis macloviana, 16) Callitriche nubigena, 17) Potamogeton paramoanus and 18) Potamogeton illinoensis. The ordination of communities reveals the presence of three different aquatic-terrestrial gradients which are related to the life form structure of species that characterized the various communities. We concluded that patchiness and heterogeneity of the vegetation is mainly the result of alterations caused by human activities (burning, cattle raise and material extraction for road and dam construction).

  19. Species-driven phases and increasing structure in early-successional plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaplata, Markus K; Winter, Susanne; Fischer, Anton; Kollmann, Johannes; Ulrich, Werner

    2013-01-01

    Successional phases describe changes in ecological communities that proceed in steps rather than continuously. Despite their importance for the understanding of ecosystem development, there still exists no reliable definition of phases and no quantitative measure of phase transitions. In order to obtain these data, we investigated primary succession in an artificial catchment (6 ha) in eastern Germany over a period of 6 years. The data set consists of records of plant species and their cover values, and initial substrate properties, both from plots in a regular grid (20 m × 20 m) suitable for spatial data analysis. Community assembly was studied by analyses of species co-occurrence and nestedness. Additionally, we correlated lognormal and log series distributions of species abundance to each community. We here introduce a new general method for detection of successional phases based on the degree of transient spatial homogeneity in the study system. Spatially coherent vegetation patterns revealed nonoverlapping partitions within this sequence of primary succession and were characterized as two distinct ecological phases. Patterns of species co-occurrence were increasingly less random, and hence the importance of demographic stochasticity and neutral community assembly decreased during the study period. Our findings highlight the spatial dimension of successional phases and quantify the degree of change between these steps. They are an element for advancing a more reliable terminology of ecological successions.

  20. Stochastic species turnover and stable coexistence in a species-rich, fire-prone plant community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilfried Thuiller

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms that maintain diversity is important for managing ecosystems for species persistence. Here we used a long-term data set to understand mechanisms of coexistence at the local and regional scales in the Cape Floristic Region, a global hotspot of plant diversity. We used a dataset comprising 81 monitoring sites, sampled in 1966 and again in 1996, and containing 422 species for which growth form, regeneration mode, dispersal distance and abundances at both the local (site and meta-community scales are known. We found that species presence and abundance were stable at the meta-community scale over the 30 year period but highly unstable at the local scale, and were not influenced by species' biological attributes. Moreover, rare species were no more likely to go extinct at the local scale than common species, and that alpha diversity in local communities was strongly influenced by habitat. We conclude that stochastic environmental fluctuations associated with recurrent fire buffer populations from extinction, thereby ensuring stable coexistence at the meta-community scale by creating a "neutral-like" pattern maintained by niche-differentiation.

  1. Development programmes in rural communities affected by industrial sites. The case of nuclear plants in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuncal, A.

    2000-01-01

    A socioeconomic analysis performed for rural communities affected by industrial sites, namely for the case of nuclear power plants in Spain a common proposal for all the European countries is made. Existence of a common European program that could cover the following aspects: Creation of a Committee to enhance the participation in decision making process on different aspects, information policies, security, transport, waste management, investments, economic development; Contract between local authorities, State and companies responsibilities and financing; Legal framework of political organization; common socio-economic program including environment, employment, companies activities, responsibilities, taxes

  2. Estimating the Transfer Range of Plasmids Encoding Antimicrobial Resistance in a Wastewater Treatment Plant Microbial Community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Liguan; Dechesne, Arnaud; He, Zhiming

    2018-01-01

    Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been suggested as reservoirs and sources of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment. In a WWTP ecosystem, human enteric and environmental bacteria are mixed and exposed to pharmaceutical residues, potentially favoring genetic exchange and thus...... sludge microbial community was challenged in standardized filter matings with one of three multidrug resistance plasmids (pKJK5, pB10, and RP4) harbored by Escherichia coli or Pseudomonas putida. Different donor–plasmid combinations had distinct transfer frequencies, ranging from 3 to 50 conjugation...

  3. Open-source multispectral remote sensing data for the investigation of plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Komarova Anna

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In the article the possibilities of the multispectral remote sensing data to study the plant communities are shown. The usage of open-source data in visual and infrared spectral bands is considered. The possible ways to receive free satellite images in different resolutions, the main methods of their analysis as well as the characteristics and the area of application of these images are presented. The information is specified with the examples of the projects realized at the GIS-Lab and Forest Unit of Greenpeace Russia.

  4. Development of Soil Characteristics and Plant Communities On Reclaimed and Unreclaimed Spoil Heaps After Coal Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cudlín, Ondřej; Řehák, Zdeněk; Cudlín, Pavel

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to compare soil characteristics, plant communities and the rate of selected ecosystem function performance on reclaimed and unreclaimed plots (left for spontaneous succession) of different age on spoil heaps. Twelve spoil heaps (three circle plots of radius 12.5 m) near the town Kladno in north-west direction from Prague, created after deep coal mining, were compared. Five mixed soil samples from organo-mineral horizons in each plot were analysed for total content of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. In addition, active soil pH (pHH2O) was determined. Plant diversity was determined by vegetation releves. The biodiversity value of the habitat according to the Habitat Valuation Method was assessed and the rate of evapotranspiration function by the Method of Valuation Functions and Services of Ecosystems in the Czech Republic were determined. The higher organo-mineral layers and higher amount of total nitrogen content were found on the older reclaimed and unreclaimed plots than in younger plots. The number of plant species and the total contents of carbon and nitrogen were significantly higher at the unreclaimed plots compared to reclaimed plots. The biodiversity values and evapotranspiration function rate were also higher on unreclaimed plots. From this perspective, it is possible to recommend using of spontaneous succession, together with routine reclamation methods to restore habitats after coal mining. Despite the relatively high age of vegetation in some of selected plots (90 years), both the reclaimed and unreclaimed plots have not reached the stage of potential vegetation near to natural climax. Slow development of vegetation was probably due to unsuitable substrate of spoil heaps and a lack of plant and tree species of natural forest habitats in this area. However, it is probable that vegetation communities on observed spoil heaps in both type of management (reclaimed and unreclaimed) will achieve the stage of natural climax and they

  5. Climate Effects on Plant Range Distributions and Community Structure of Pacific Northwest Prairies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bridgham, Scott D. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Johnson, Bart [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States)

    2013-09-26

    was negatively impacted by increased temperatures, but for species planted north of their current range, increased temperature was neutral. However, for surviving plants climate treatments and site-specific factors (e.g., nutrient availability) were the strongest predictors of plant growth and seed set. When recruitment and plant growth are considered together, increased temperatures are negative within a species current range but beyond this range they become positive. Germination was the most critical stage for plant response across all sites and climate treatments. Our results underscore the importance of including plant vital rates into models that are examining climate change effects on plant ranges. Warming altered plant community composition, decreased diversity, and increased total cover, with warmed northern communities over time becoming more like ambient communities further south. In particular, warming increased the cover of annual introduced species, suggesting that the observed biogeographic pattern of increasing invasion by this plant functional group in US West Coast prairies as one moves further south is at least in part due to climate. Our results suggest that with the projected increase in drought severity with climate change, Pacific Northwest prairies may face an increase of invasion by annuals, similar to what has been observed in California, resulting in novel species assemblages and shifts in functional composition, which in turn may alter ecosystem function. Warming generally increased nutrient availability and plant productivity across all sites. The seasonality of soil respiration responses to heating were strongly dependent on the Mediterranean climate gradient in the PNW, with heating responses being generally positive during periods of adequate soil moisture and becoming neutral to negative during periods of low soil moisture. The asynchrony between temperature and precipitation may make soils less sensitive to warming. Precipitation

  6. Diversity and aggregation patterns of plant species in a grass community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Li

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Both composition and aggregation patterns of species in a community are the outcome of community self-organizing. In this paper we conducted analysis on species diversity and aggregation patterns of plant species in a grass community, Zhuhai, China. According to the sampling survey, in total of 47 plant species, belonging to 16 families, were found. Compositae had 10 species (21.3%, seconded by Gramineae (9 species, 19.1%, Leguminosae (6 species, 12.8%, Cyperaceae (4 species, 8.5%, and Malvaceae (3 species, 6.4%. The results revealed that the means of aggregation indices Iδ, I and m*/m were 21.71, 15.71 and 19.89 respectively and thus individuals of most of plant species strongly followed aggregative distribution. Iwao analysis indicated that both individuals of all species and clumps of all individuals of all species followed aggregative distribution. Taylor's power law indicated that individuals of all species followed aggregative distribution and aggregation intensity strengthened as the increase of mean density. We held that the strong aggregation intensity of a species has been resulted from the strong adaptation ability to the environment, the strong interspecific competition ability and the earlier establishment of the species. Fitting goodness of the mean, I, Iδ, m*/m with probability distributions demonstrated that the mean (density, I, Iδ, and m*/m over all species followed Weibull distribution rather than normal distribution. Lophatherum gracile, Paederia scandens (Lour. Merr., Eleusine indica, and Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart. Griseb. were mostly aggregative, and Oxalis sp., Eleocharis plantagineiformis, Vernonia cinerea (L. Less., and Sapium sebiferum (L. Roxb, were mostly uniform in the spatial distribution. Importance values (IV showed that Cynodon dactylon was the most important species, seconded by Desmodium triflorum (L. DC., Cajanus scarabaeoides (L. Benth., Paspalum scrobiculatum L., and Rhynchelytrum repens. Oxalis

  7. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-11-01

    Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. This study develops a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which was used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Snow cover in the French Alps was mapped at 15-m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was fitted for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation data at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots, including species richness, community-weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content. Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared without led to an average gain in R(2) of 0·26 and reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. The results show that in alpine environments high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. The results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response of alpine

  8. A Community-Based Culture Collection for Targeting Novel Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria from the Sugarcane Microbiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaderson Silveira Leite Armanhi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The soil-plant ecosystem harbors an immense microbial diversity that challenges investigative approaches to study traits underlying plant-microbe association. Studies solely based on culture-dependent techniques have overlooked most microbial diversity. Here we describe the concomitant use of culture-dependent and -independent techniques to target plant-beneficial microbial groups from the sugarcane microbiome. The community-based culture collection (CBC approach was used to access microbes from roots and stalks. The CBC recovered 399 unique bacteria representing 15.9% of the rhizosphere core microbiome and 61.6–65.3% of the endophytic core microbiomes of stalks. By cross-referencing the CBC (culture-dependent with the sugarcane microbiome profile (culture-independent, we designed a synthetic community comprised of naturally occurring highly abundant bacterial groups from roots and stalks, most of which has been poorly explored so far. We then used maize as a model to probe the abundance-based synthetic inoculant. We show that when inoculated in maize plants, members of the synthetic community efficiently colonize plant organs, displace the natural microbiota and dominate at 53.9% of the rhizosphere microbial abundance. As a result, inoculated plants increased biomass by 3.4-fold as compared to uninoculated plants. The results demonstrate that abundance-based synthetic inoculants can be successfully applied to recover beneficial plant microbes from plant microbiota.

  9. Soil and biomass carbon pools in model communities of tropical plants under elevated CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnone, J A; Körner, Ch

    1995-09-01

    The experimental data presented here relate to the question of whether terrestrial ecosystems will sequester more C in their soils, litter and biomass as atmospheric CO 2 concentrations rise. Similar to our previous study with relatively fertile growth conditions (Körner and Arnone 1992), we constructed four rather nutrient-limited model communities of moist tropical plant species in greenhouses (approximately 7 m 2 each). Plant communities were composed of seven species (77 individuals per community) representing major taxonomic groups and various life forms found in the moist tropics. Two ecosystems were exposed to 340 μl CO 2 l -1 and two to 610 μl l -1 for 530 days of humid tropical growth conditions. In order to permit precise determination of C deposition in the soil, plant communities were initially established in C-free unwashed quartz sand. Soils were then amended with known amounts of organic matter (containing C and nutrients). Mineral nutrients were also supplied over the course of the experiment as timed-release full-balance fertilizer pellets. Soils represented by far the largest repositories for fixed C in all ecosystems. Almost 5 times more C (ca. 80% of net C fixation) was sequestered in the soil than in the biomass, but this did not differ between CO 2 treatments. In addition, at the whole-ecosystem level we found a remarkably small and statistically non-significant increase in C sequestration (+4%; the sum of C accretion in the soil, biomass, litter and necromass). Total community biomass more than quadrupled during the experiment, but at harvest was, on average, only 8% greater (i.e. 6% per year; n.s.) under elevated CO 2 , mainly due to increased root biomass (+15%, P=0.12). Time courses of leaf area index of all ecosystems suggested that canopy expansion was approaching steady state by the time systems were harvested. Net primary productivity (NPP) of all ecosystems-i.e. annual accumulation of biomass, necromass, and leaf litter (but not

  10. Herbivores shape woody plant communities in the Kruger National Park: Lessons from three long-term exclosures

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    Benjamin J. Wigley

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of grazers in determining vegetation community compositions and structuring plant communities is well recognised in grassy systems. The role of browsers in affecting savanna woody plant communities is less clear. We used three long-term exclosures in the Kruger National Park to determine the effect of browsers on species compositions and population structures of woody communities. Species assemblages, plant traits relating to browsing and soil nutrients were compared inside and outside of the exclosures. Our results showed that browsers directly impact plant species distributions, densities and population structures by actively selecting for species with traits which make them desirable to browsers. Species with high leaf nitrogen, low total phenolic content and low acid detergent lignin appeared to be favoured by herbivores and therefore tend to be rare outside of the exclosures. This study also suggested that browsers have important indirect effects on savanna functioning, as the reduction of woody cover can result in less litter of lower quality, which in turn can result in lower soil fertility. However, the magnitude of browser effects appeared to depend on inherent soil fertility and climate. Conservation implications: Browsers were shown to have significant impacts on plant communities. They have noticeable effects on local species diversity and population structure, as well as soil nutrients. These impacts are shown to be related to the underlying geology and climate. The effects of browsers on woody communities were shown to be greater in low rainfall, fertile areas compared to high rainfall, infertile soils.

  11. The Community's research and development programme on decommissioning of nuclear power plants. Fourth annual progress report (year 1983)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1985-01-01

    This is the fourth progress report of the European Community's program. (1979-83) of research on decommissioning of nuclear power plants. It covers the year 1983 and follows the 1980, 1981 and 1982 reports (EUR 7440, EUR 8343, EUR 8962). The present report describes the further progress of research and contains a large amount of results. For a majority of the 51 research contracts composing the 1979-83 programme, work was completed by the end of 1983; the conclusions drawn from this work are in this report. The European Community's program deals with the following fields: long-term integrity of buildings and systems; decontamination for decommissioning purposes; dismantling techniques; treatment of specific wastes materials (steel, concrete and graphite); large transport containers for radioactive waste produced in the dismantling of nuclear power plants; estimation of the quantities of radioactive waste arising from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the Community; influence of nuclear power plant design features on decommissioning

  12. Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

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    Mohammad O. Faruque

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study documents information on significant ethnomedicinal plants, which was collected from the traditional healers of three indigenous communities of Bangladesh. The documented data were quantitatively analyzed for the first time in this area. The information was obtained through open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires. The benefits, importance and coverage of ethnomedicine were expressed through several quantitative indices including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF, Use Value (UV, Frequency of Citation (FC, Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC and Relative Importance Index (RI. The agreement of homogeneity between the present and previous studies and among the indigenous communities was evaluated using the Jaccard Index (JI. A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, which were distributed in 132 genera under 62 families, were documented from 174 informants. Of these, 128 plants were native and 31 were exotic. Of a majority of documented species, herbs and leaves were the most utilized plant parts for the preparation of ethnomedicines (45.28% whereas pastes (63.03% were the most popular formulations. Among the documented species, the dominant families were the Asteraceae (14 species and the Lamiaceae (12 species. The highest ICF value was 0.77 for digestive system disorders. Based on UVs, the five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species in the study area were Duabanga grandiflora (0.43, Zingiber officinale (0.41, Congea tomentosa (0.40, Matricaria chamomilla (0.33 and Engelhardtia spicata (0.28. The highest RFC was recorded for Rauvolfia serpentina (0.25. The highest RI value was calculated for both Scoparia dulcis and Leucas aspera (0.83. Importantly, 16 species were reported with new therapeutic uses and to our knowledge, 7 species described herein have never been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied, viz: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, C. tomentosa, E. spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia and

  13. Quantitative Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants Used by Indigenous Communities in the Bandarban District of Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faruque, Mohammad O.; Uddin, Shaikh B.; Barlow, James W.; Hu, Sheng; Dong, Shuang; Cai, Qian; Li, Xiaohua; Hu, Xuebo

    2018-01-01

    This study documents information on significant ethnomedicinal plants, which was collected from the traditional healers of three indigenous communities of Bangladesh. The documented data were quantitatively analyzed for the first time in this area. The information was obtained through open-ended, semi-structured questionnaires. The benefits, importance and coverage of ethnomedicine were expressed through several quantitative indices including Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Use Value (UV), Frequency of Citation (FC), Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) and Relative Importance Index (RI). The agreement of homogeneity between the present and previous studies and among the indigenous communities was evaluated using the Jaccard Index (JI). A total of 159 ethnomedicinal plant species, which were distributed in 132 genera under 62 families, were documented from 174 informants. Of these, 128 plants were native and 31 were exotic. Of a majority of documented species, herbs and leaves were the most utilized plant parts for the preparation of ethnomedicines (45.28%) whereas pastes (63.03%) were the most popular formulations. Among the documented species, the dominant families were the Asteraceae (14 species) and the Lamiaceae (12 species). The highest ICF value was 0.77 for digestive system disorders. Based on UVs, the five most commonly used ethnomedicinal plant species in the study area were Duabanga grandiflora (0.43), Zingiber officinale (0.41), Congea tomentosa (0.40), Matricaria chamomilla (0.33) and Engelhardtia spicata (0.28). The highest RFC was recorded for Rauvolfia serpentina (0.25). The highest RI value was calculated for both Scoparia dulcis and Leucas aspera (0.83). Importantly, 16 species were reported with new therapeutic uses and to our knowledge, 7 species described herein have never been ethnobotanically and pharmacologically studied, viz: Agastache urticifolia, Asarum cordifolium, C. tomentosa, E. spicata, Hypserpa nitida, Merremia vitifolia and

  14. Responses to ammonium and nitrate additions by boreal plants and their natural enemies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nordin, Annika [Umeaa Plant Science Centre, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-901 83 Umeaa (Sweden)]. E-mail: annika.nordin@genfys.slu.se; Strengbom, Joachim [Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeaa University, SE-901 87 Umeaa (Sweden)]. E-mail: joachim.strengbom@ebc.uu.se; Ericson, Lars [Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Umeaa University, SE-901 87 Umeaa (Sweden)]. E-mail: lars.ericson@eg.umu.se

    2006-05-15

    Separate effects of ammonium (NH{sub 4} {sup +}) and nitrate (NO{sub 3} {sup -}) on boreal forest understorey vegetation were investigated in an experiment where 12.5 and 50.0 kg nitrogen (N) ha{sup -1} year{sup -1} was added to 2 m{sup 2} sized plots during 4 years. The dwarf-shrubs dominating the plant community, Vaccinium myrtillus and V. vitis-idaea, took up little of the added N independent of the chemical form, and their growth did not respond to the N treatments. The grass Deschampsia flexuosa increased from the N additions and most so in response to NO{sub 3} {sup -}. Bryophytes took up predominately NH{sub 4} {sup +} and there was a negative correlation between moss N concentration and abundance. Plant pathogenic fungi increased from the N additions, but showed no differences in response to the two N forms. Because the relative contribution of NH{sub 4} {sup +} and NO{sub 3} {sup -} to the total N deposition on a regional scale can vary substantially, the N load a habitat can sustain without substantial changes in the biota should be set considering specific vegetation responses to the predominant N form in deposition. - Biota will respond to nitrogen deposition depending on the form of nitrogen.

  15. Using Plant Functional Traits and Phylogenies to Understand Patterns of Plant Community Assembly in a Seasonal Tropical Forest in Lao PDR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manichanh Satdichanh

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits reflect different evolutionary responses to environmental variation, and among extant species determine the outcomes of interactions between plants and their environment, including other plant species. Thus, combining phylogenetic and trait-based information can be a powerful approach for understanding community assembly processes across a range of spatial scales. We used this approach to investigate tree community composition at Phou Khao Khouay National Park (18°14'-18°32'N; 102°38'- 102°59'E, Laos, where several distinct forest types occur in close proximity. The aim of our study was to examine patterns of plant community assembly across the strong environmental gradients evident at our site. We hypothesized that differences in tree community composition were being driven by an underlying gradient in soil conditions. Thus, we predicted that environmental filtering would predominate at the site and that the filtering would be strongest on sandier soil with low pH, as these are the conditions least favorable to plant growth. We surveyed eleven 0.25 ha (50x50 m plots for all trees above 10 cm dbh (1221 individual trees, including 47 families, 70 genera and 123 species and sampled soils in each plot. For each species in the community, we measured 11 commonly studied plant functional traits covering both the leaf and wood economic spectrum traits and we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree for 115 of the species in the community using rbcL and matK sequences downloaded from Genebank (other species were not available. Finally we compared the distribution of trait values and species at two scales (among plots and 10x10m subplots to examine trait and phylogenetic community structures. Although there was strong evidence that an underlying soil gradient was determining patterns of species composition at the site, our results did not support the hypothesis that the environmental filtering dominated community assembly processes

  16. The community ecology of isoprene emissions from terrestrial plants and implications for other phytogenic volatiles (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerdau, M.; Fuentes, J. D.; Shugart, H. H.

    2013-12-01

    In the 1960's Frits Went published some of the first English language descriptions of volatile organic carbon (VOC) emissions from plants. Within 15 years it was well understood that the dominant phytogenic VOC was isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene). The years that followed saw a host of studies on the physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of isoprene emissions, and many of the most important controls at these scales have been elucidated and incorporated into large-scale models of isoprene emissions to the atmosphere. In addition, extensive surveys of isoprene emissions from high latitude, temperate, and tropical ecosystems have consistently found enormous variations in emissions across taxa, and the mechanisms underlying this variability remain the largest unknown in current models of isoprene emissions. We integrate community ecological modeling with isoprene emissions modeling to develop a predictive model of isoprene emissions across decadal to centennial time scales. The model combines an individual-based model of forest succession that includes architectural and biodiversity changes over succession after disturbance with a species-based canopy-scale emissions model. We parameterize this model for the southeastern United States, a region that is well studied both in terms of forests succession and in terms of isoprene emission. Our results highlight the sensitivity of isoprene emissions to successional stage and species composition. From this effort we predict that the largest impacts of global environmental change on isoprene emissions will occur through effects on community composition and structure rather than through direct impacts on primary and secondary metabolism. We also predict that land use and disturbance history will continue to have dramatic impacts on isoprene emissions from terrestrial ecosystems through their effects on canopy structure and community composition, even in the face of climate change and nutrient deposition. We suggest

  17. Eubacteria and archaea communities in seven mesophile anaerobic digester plants in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abendroth, Christian; Vilanova, Cristina; Günther, Thomas; Luschnig, Olaf; Porcar, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Only a fraction of the microbial species used for anaerobic digestion in biogas production plants are methanogenic archaea. We have analyzed the taxonomic profiles of eubacteria and archaea, a set of chemical key parameters, and biogas production in samples from nine production plants in seven facilities in Thuringia, Germany, including co-digesters, leach-bed, and sewage sludge treatment plants. Reactors were sampled twice, at a 1-week interval, and three biological replicates were taken in each case. A complex taxonomic composition was found for both eubacteria and archaea, both of which strongly correlated with digester type. Plant-degrading Firmicutes as well as Bacteroidetes dominated eubacteria profiles in high biogas-producing co-digesters; whereas Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes were the major phyla in leach-bed and sewage sludge digesters. Methanoculleus was the dominant archaea genus in co-digesters, whereas Methanosarcina and Methanosaeta were the most abundant methanogens in leachate from leach-bed and sewage sludge digesters, respectively. This is one of the most comprehensive characterizations of the microbial communities of biogas-producing facilities. Bacterial profiles exhibited very low variation within replicates, including those of semi-solid samples; and, in general, low variation in time. However, facility type correlated closely with the bacterial profile: each of the three reactor types exhibited a characteristic eubacteria and archaea profile. Digesters operated with solid feedstock, and high biogas production correlated with abundance of plant degraders (Firmicutes) and biofilm-forming methanogens (Methanoculleus spp.). By contrast, low biogas-producing sewage sludge treatment digesters correlated with high titers of volatile fatty acid-adapted Methanosaeta spp.

  18. Evolutionary conservatism explains increasing relatedness of plant communities along a flooding gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Lee, William G

    2017-01-01

    Abiotic filters have been found either to increase or reduce evolutionary relatedness in plant communities, making it difficult to generalize responses of this major feature of biodiversity to future environmental change. Here, we hypothesized that the responses of phylogenetic structure to environmental change ultimately depend on how species have evolved traits for tolerating the resulting abiotic changes. Working within ephemeral wetlands, we tested whether species were increasingly related as flooding duration intensified. We also identified the mechanisms underlying increased relatedness by measuring root aerenchyma volume (RAV), a trait which promotes waterlogging tolerance. We found that species-specific responses to flooding explained most of the variation in occurrence for 63 vascular plant species across 5170 plots. For a subset of 22 species, we attributed these responses to variation in RAV. Large RAV specifically increased occurrence when flooding lasted for longer time periods, because large RAV reduced above-ground biomass loss. As large RAV was evolutionarily conserved within obligate wetland species, communities were more phylogenetically related as flooding increased. Our study shows how reconstructing the evolutionary history of traits that influence the responses of species to environmental change can help to predict future patterns in phylogenetic structure. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Microbial community analysis of switchgrass planted and unplanted soil microcosms displaying PCB dechlorination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yi; Meggo, Richard; Hu, Dingfei; Schnoor, Jerald L; Mattes, Timothy E

    2015-08-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) pose potential risks to human and environmental health because they are carcinogenic, persistent, and bioaccumulative. In this study, we investigated bacterial communities in soil microcosms spiked with PCB 52, 77, and 153. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was employed to improve overall PCB removal, and redox cycling (i.e., sequential periods of flooding followed by periods of no flooding) was performed in an effort to promote PCB dechlorination. Lesser chlorinated PCB transformation products were detected in all microcosms, indicating the occurrence of PCB dechlorination. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clone library analysis showed that PCB spiking, switchgrass planting, and redox cycling affected the microbial community structure. Putative organohalide-respiring Chloroflexi populations, which were not found in unflooded microcosms, were enriched after 2 weeks of flooding in the redox-cycled microcosms. Sequences classified as Geobacter sp. were detected in all microcosms and were most abundant in the switchgrass-planted microcosm spiked with PCB congeners. The presence of possible organohalide-respiring bacteria in these soil microcosms suggests that they play a role in PCB dechlorination therein.

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