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Sample records for understory plant community

  1. 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

  2. Dry coniferous forest restoration and understory plant diversity: The importance of community heterogeneity and the scale of observation

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    Erich Kyle Dodson; David W. Peterson

    2010-01-01

    Maintaining understory plant species diversity is an important management goal as forest restoration and fuel reduction treatments are applied extensively to dry coniferous forests of western North America. However, understory diversity is a function of both local species richness (number of species in a sample unit) and community heterogeneity (beta diversity) at...

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

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    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.

  4. Functional traits of the understory plant community of a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest across environmental gradients.

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    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.

  5. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities

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    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Collins, Cathy D.; Hahn, Philip G.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Veldman, Joseph W.; Walker, Joan L.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  6. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars A Brudvig

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities, and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes. Our study demonstrates

  7. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  8. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta Forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne C S McIntosh

    Full Text Available Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR of the forest floor microbial community environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide

  9. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

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    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  10. Understory vegetation leads to changes in soil acidity and in microbial communities 27 years after reforestation.

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    Fu, Xiaoli; Yang, Fengting; Wang, Jianlei; Di, Yuebao; Dai, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xinyu; Wang, Huimin

    2015-01-01

    Experiments with potted plants and removed understories have indicated that understory vegetation often affects the chemical and microbial properties of soil. In this study, we examined the mechanism and extent of the influence of understory vegetation on the chemical and microbial properties of soil in plantation forests. The relationships between the vegetational structure (diversity for different functional layers, aboveground biomass of understory vegetation, and species number) and soil properties (pH, microbial community structure, and levels of soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and inorganic nitrogen) were analyzed across six reforestation types (three pure needleleaf forests, a needle-broadleaf mixed forest, a broadleaf forest, and a shrubland). Twenty-seven years after reforestation, soil pH significantly decreased by an average of 0.95 across reforestation types. Soil pH was positively correlated with the aboveground biomass of the understory. The levels of total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids, and the fungal:bacterial ratios were similar in the shrubland and the broadleaf forest. Both the aboveground biomass of the understory and the diversity of the tree layer positively influenced the fungal:bacterial ratio. Improving the aboveground biomass of the understory could alleviate soil acidification. An increase in the aboveground biomass of the understory, rather than in understory diversity, enhanced the functional traits of the soil microbial communities. The replacement of pure plantations with mixed-species stands, as well as the enhancement of understory recruitment, can improve the ecological functions of a plantation, as measured by the alleviation of soil acidification and increased fungal dominance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Impact of ozone on understory plants of the aspen zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harward, M.R.; Treshow, M.

    1971-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to learn how ozone might affect the growth and reproduction of understory species of the aspen community, and thereby influence its stability and composition. Plants of 15 representative species of the aspen community were grown in chambers and fumigated 4 hours each day, 5 days per week throughout their growing seasons. These included: Achillea millifolium, Chenopodium album, Chenopodium fremontii, Cruciferae sp., Descurainia pinnata, Descurainia sp., Geranium fremontii, Isatis tinctoria, Ligusticum porteri, Lepidium virginicum, Madia glomerata, Polygonum aviculare, Polygonum douglasii, Phacelia heterophylla, Viola italica. Plants were exposed to 30 pphm, 15 pphm, ambient air reaching 5-7 pphm for 2 hours per day, and filtered air. The study was repeated for 3 seasons. Ambient air caused a significant reduction of total plant weight only of Lepidium virginicum. Six species produced fruit and seeds. At 15 pphm, seed production by Madia glomerata and Polygonum douglasii was significantly reduced. At 30 pphm, seed production was also reduced in Polygonum aviculare and Lepidium virginicum. The two most significant conclusions to emerge from the study were first that several species were more sensitive to ozone than might have been suspected. Second, this sensitivity varied sufficiently that major shifts in community composition would be probable following only a year or two of exposure. More tolerant species have no doubt already become dominant over more sensitive species in natural plant communities exposed to elevated ozone concentrations. It must be stressed that the species studied did not necessarily represent the most ozone sensitive members of the community, or the most tolerant.

  12. Post-Fire Peat Land Understory Plant in Rimba Panjang, Sumatera, Indonesia

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    Firdaus, L. N.; Nursal; Wulandari, Sri; Syafi'i, Wan; Fauziah, Yuslim

    2017-12-01

    The existence of understory plants during early post-fire succession is essential in term of natural post-fire ecological restoration. More than fifty percent of fire incidents in Riau, Sumatera, Indonesia occurred in shallow peat lands which have the huge impact on vegetation damage. This study aims to explore the understory plants species and diversity in post-fire peat land at Rimba Panjang, Kampar Regency, Sumatera, Indonesia. By using survey method, the observations were conducted on 150 plots which were distributed randomly over four locations based on the year after fire: 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2016. We found respectively 12, 14, 19 and 17 species at that sites with respective Shannon Wiener diversity index were 1.72, 2.00, 2.14 and 2.40. All the sites were dominated by Stenochlaena palustris (Burm.). Coverage percentage of understory vegetation were respectively 28.87%, 25.50%, 51.60% and 54.13%. Overall, we found 31 species of 17 familia. The result showed that the species composition, diversity index and coverage percentage of understory plant are likely to decrease in line with the length of time after the fire. Post peatland fires in Rimba Panjang are still having the characteristics of the peat swamp habitat which was dominated by Stenochlaena palustris (Burm.). Ecological restoration of that habitat is still possible, but it is necessary to consider technological and socio-economical aspects of local communities.

  13. Assessing tolerance of longleaf pine understory herbaceous plants to herbicide applications in a container nursery

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    D. Paul Jackson; Scott A. Enebak; James West; Drew Hinnant

    2015-01-01

    Renewed efforts in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem restoration has increased interest in the commercial production of understory herbaceous species. Successful establishment of understory herbaceous species is enhanced when using quality nursery-grown plants that have a better chance of survival after outplanting. Nursery growing practices have not been...

  14. Composition and diversity of understory plants in the tropical rain ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study assessed the composition and diversity pattern of understory in Oban division of CRNP with a view to established the contribution of the understory to diversity of the area. The study was conducted in four land use types: primary forest (core), secondary forest (buffer), farm fallow and plantation. Ten transects of ...

  15. Attempting to restore herbaceous understories in Wyoming big sagebrush communities with mowing and seeding

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    Shrub steppe communities with depleted perennial herbaceous understories need to be restored to increase resilience, provide quality wildlife habitat, and improve ecosystem function. Mowing has been applied to Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle &Young) steppe...

  16. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

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    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

  17. Differences in Plant Traits among N-fixing Trees in Hawaii Affect Understory Nitrogen Cycling

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    August-Schmidt, E.; D'Antonio, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixing trees are frequently used to restore soil functions to degraded ecosystems because they can increase soil organic matter and N availability. Although N-fixers are lumped into a single functional group, the quality and quantity of the plant material they produce and the rate at which they accrete and add N to the cycling pool likely vary. This talk will focus on the questions: (1) How does N-cycling differ among N-fixing tree species? And (2) Which plant traits are most important in distinguishing the soil N environment? To address these questions, we investigated planted stands of two Hawaiian native N-fixing trees (Acacia koa and Sophora chrysophylla) and `natural' stands of an invasive N-fixing tree (Morella faya) in burned seasonal submontane woodlands in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We measured the relative availability of nitrogen in the soil pool and understory plant community as well as characterizing the rate and amount of N cycling in these stands both in the field and using long term soil incubations in the laboratory. We found that N is cycled very differently under these three N-fixers and that this correlates with differences in their leaf traits. S. chrysophylla had the highest foliar %N and highest specific leaf area, and stands of these trees are associated with faster N-cycling, resulting in greater N availability compared to all other site types. Incubated S. chrysophylla soils mineralized almost twice as much N as any other soil type over the course of the experiment. The comparatively high-N environment under S. chrysophylla suggests that litter quality may be more important than litter quantity in determining nitrogen availability to the understory community.

  18. Infrared heater system for warming tropical forest understory plants and soils

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    Bruce A. Kimball; Aura M. Alonso-Rodríguez; Molly A. Cavaleri; Sasha C. Reed; Grizelle González; Tana E. Wood

    2018-01-01

    The response of tropical forests to global warming is one of the largest uncertainties in predicting the future carbon balance of Earth. To determine the likely effects of elevated temperatures on tropical forest understory plants and soils, as well as other ecosystems, an infrared (IR) heater system was developed to provide in situ warming for the Tropical Responses...

  19. Effects of an exotic plant invasion on native understory plants in a tropical dry forest.

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    Prasad, Ayesha E

    2010-06-01

    The dry forests of southern India, which are endangered tropical ecosystems and among the world's most important tiger (Panthera tigris) habitats, are extensively invaded by exotic plants. Yet, experimental studies exploring the impacts of these invasions on native plants in these forests are scarce. Consequently, little is known about associated implications for the long-term conservation of tigers and other biodiversity in these habitats. I studied the impacts of the exotic plant Lantana camara on understory vegetation in a dry-forest tiger habitat in southern India. I compared the richness, composition, and abundance of tree seedlings, herbs, and shrubs and the abundance of grass among plots in which Lantana was cleared or left standing. These plots were distributed across two blocks-livestock free and livestock grazed. Removal of Lantana had an immediate positive effect on herb-shrub richness in the livestock-free block, but had no effect on that of tree seedlings in either livestock block. Tree-seedling and herb-shrub composition differed significantly between Lantana treatment and livestock block, and Lantana removal significantly decreased survival of tree seedlings. Nevertheless, the absence of trees, in any stage between seedling and adult, indicates that Lantana may stall tree regeneration. Lantana removal decreased the abundance of all understory strata, probably because forage plants beneath Lantana are less accessible to herbivores, and plants in Lantana-free open plots experienced greater herbivory. Reduced access to forage in invaded habitats could negatively affect ungulate populations and ultimately compromise the ability of these forests to sustain prey-dependent large carnivores. Additional research focused on understanding and mitigating threats posed by exotic plants may be crucial to the long-term protection of these forests as viable tiger habitats.

  20. Characterizing drought-induced changes in active microbial communities and recently assimilated carbon transferred belowground in a forest understory

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    von Rein, Isabell; Kayler, Zachary; Gessler, Arthur

    2013-04-01

    Greenhouse gas induced global warming is expected to result in droughts of longer duration and higher intensity. Since droughts can disturb ecosystem interconnections, the investigation of ecosystem responses is crucial. Nonetheless, little is known about how changes in water availability affect ecosystem interconnections, e.g. the plant-microorganism response towards a drought event. We hypothesize that there is a shift in the microbial community structure and activity under drought when compared to a well-watered control. Moreover, we assume that changes seen at the microbial level are linked to plant carbon (C) assimilation and transport. We expect reduced C assimilation in plants under drought and a subsequent weakening in the coupling between the plant and belowground processes. How do microbial communities that depend on the rhizodeposited C provided by plants react to a reduction in exudate availability? To answer this question, three intact soil monoliths (70x70x20cm) with their natural understory vegetation were taken from a spruce forest in Hainich, Germany and transferred to a climate chamber. Half of the monoliths are exposed to drought whereas the other half is kept well-watered. The monoliths are pulse labeled with 13CO2 and the label is traced through the plant-soil system. Plants, roots and soil are sampled after labeling and analyzed for their isotopic composition. Pyrosequencing and PLFA-SIP (Phospholipid fatty acids stable isotope probing) are performed to detect changes in the microbial community structure and in the composition of the metabolically active microorganisms, respectively. We will discuss our first results concerning the effects of drought on understory carbon partitioning and the impact of drought on carbon availability to soil microorganisms.

  1. Site quality influence over understory plant diversity in old-growth and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallo, E. A.; Lencinas, M. V.; Martinez-Pastur, G. J.

    2013-05-01

    Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelter wood forest harvesting and site qualities over understory plant species diversity and composition were compared among primary and harvested Nothofagus pumilio forests. Area of study: Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), on three pure conditions (one and six year-old harvested, and primary without previous harvesting forests) and three site qualities (high, medium and low). Material and Methods: Understory richness and cover (%) were registered in five replicates of 1 hectare each per treatment. Taxonomic species were classified in categories (groups, origin and life forms). Two-way ANOVAs and multivariate analyses were conducted. Main results: Shelterwood harvesting and site quality significantly influenced understory cover and richness, which allow the introduction of native and exotic species and increasing of dicot and monocot covers. In dicots, monocots, exotics and total groups, higher richness and covers were related to time. Meanwhile, cover reached similar high values in all site qualities on dicot, native and total groups. On the other hand, monocot and exotic richness and cover remain similar in primary and recently harvested forests, and greatly increased in old harvested forests. Mosses and ferns were among the most sensitive groups. Research highlights: Impacts of shelterwood cut depend on site quality of the stands and time since harvesting occurs. For this, different site quality stands should received differential attention in the development of conservation strategies, as well as variations in the shelterwood implementation (as irregularity and patchiness) should be considered to better promote understory plant species conservation inside managed areas. (Author) 45 refs.

  2. Spatial Autocorrelation Patterns of Understory Plant Species in a Subtropical Rainforest at Lanjenchi, Southern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Wei Fan

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Many studies described relationships between plant species and intrinsic or exogenous factors, but few quantified spatial scales of species patterns. In this study, quantitative methods were used to explore the spatial scale of understory species (including resident and transient species, in order to identify the influential factors of species distribution. Resident species (including herbaceous species, climbers and tree ferns < 1 m high were investigated on seven transects, each 5-meter wide and 300-meter long, at Lanjenchi plot in Nanjenshan Reserve, southern Taiwan. Transient species (seedling of canopy, subcanopy and shrub species < 1 cm diameter at breast height were censused in three of the seven transects. The herb coverage and seedling abundance were calculated for each 5 × 5 m quadrat along the transects, and Moran’s I and Galiano’s new local variance (NLV indices were then used to identify the spatial scale of autocorrelation for each species. Patterns of species abundance of understory layer varied among species at fine scale within 50 meters. Resident species showed a higher proportion of significant autocorrelation than the transient species. Species with large size or prolonged fronds or stems tended to show larger scales in autocorrelation. However, dispersal syndromes and fruit types did not relate to any species’ spatial patterns. Several species showed a significant autocorrelation at a 180-meter class which happened to correspond to the local replicates of topographical features in hilltops. The spatial patterns of understory species at Lanjenchi plot are mainly influenced by species’ intrinsic traits and topographical characteristics.

  3. Breeding biology of an afrotropical forest understory bird community in northeastern Tanzania

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    Mkongewa, Victor J.; Newmark, William D.; Stanley, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

    Many aspects of the breeding biology of Afrotropical forest birds are poorly known. Here we provide a description based on the monitoring of 1461 active nests over eight breeding seasons about one or more aspects of the breeding biology for 28 coexisting understory bird species on the Amani Plateau in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Mean nest height and mean distance of nest from forest edge varied widely among species with most species constructing nests across a broad vertical and forest edge to interior gradient. However, there were important exceptions with all sunbird species and several dove and waxbill species constructing nests in close proximity to the forest edge. For 17 common species for which we recorded two or more active nests, mean clutch size across species was 1.9 eggs per clutch, the lowest site-specific mean clutch size yet reported for a tropical forest bird community. For nine bird species, a subset of the 17 common species, length of breeding season, defined as the difference between the earliest and latest recorded incubation onset date, ranged from 88–139 days. Most of these nine species displayed a unimodal distribution in incubation onset dates across a breeding season which extended from the end of August through middle January. In summary, a wide variation exists in most aspects of the breeding biology within an understory forest bird community in the East Usambara Mountains.

  4. Growth responses of trees and understory plants to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical forest in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Tian

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Reactive nitrogen (N increase in the biosphere has been a noteworthy aspect of global change, producing considerable ecological effects on the functioning and dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems. A number of observational studies have explored responses of plants to experimentally simulated N enrichment in boreal and temperate forests. Here we investigate how the dominant trees and different understory plants respond to experimental N enrichment in a subtropical forest in China. We conducted a 3.4-year N fertilization experiment in an old-aged subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in eastern China with three treatment levels applied to nine 20 m  ×  20 m plots and replicated in three blocks. We divided the plants into trees, saplings, shrubs (including tree seedlings, and ground-cover plants (ferns according to the growth forms, and then measured the absolute and relative basal area increments of trees and saplings and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ferns. We further grouped individuals of the dominant tree species, Castanopsis eyrei, into three size classes to investigate their respective growth responses to the N fertilization. Our results showed that the plot-averaged absolute and relative growth rates of basal area and aboveground biomass of trees were not affected by N fertilization. Across the individuals of C. eyrei, the small trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height of 5–10 cm declined by 66.4 and 59.5 %, respectively, in N50 (50 kg N ha−1 yr−1 and N100 fertilized plots (100 kg N ha−1 yr−1, while the growth of median and large trees with a DBH of  >  10 cm did not significantly change with the N fertilization. The growth rate of small trees, saplings, and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ground-cover ferns decreased significantly in the N-fertilized plots. Our findings suggested that N might not be a limiting nutrient in this mature subtropical

  5. Growth responses of trees and understory plants to nitrogen fertilization in a subtropical forest in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Di; Li, Peng; Fang, Wenjing; Xu, Jun; Luo, Yongkai; Yan, Zhengbing; Zhu, Biao; Wang, Jingjing; Xu, Xiaoniu; Fang, Jingyun

    2017-07-01

    Reactive nitrogen (N) increase in the biosphere has been a noteworthy aspect of global change, producing considerable ecological effects on the functioning and dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems. A number of observational studies have explored responses of plants to experimentally simulated N enrichment in boreal and temperate forests. Here we investigate how the dominant trees and different understory plants respond to experimental N enrichment in a subtropical forest in China. We conducted a 3.4-year N fertilization experiment in an old-aged subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in eastern China with three treatment levels applied to nine 20 m × 20 m plots and replicated in three blocks. We divided the plants into trees, saplings, shrubs (including tree seedlings), and ground-cover plants (ferns) according to the growth forms, and then measured the absolute and relative basal area increments of trees and saplings and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ferns. We further grouped individuals of the dominant tree species, Castanopsis eyrei, into three size classes to investigate their respective growth responses to the N fertilization. Our results showed that the plot-averaged absolute and relative growth rates of basal area and aboveground biomass of trees were not affected by N fertilization. Across the individuals of C. eyrei, the small trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) of 5-10 cm declined by 66.4 and 59.5 %, respectively, in N50 (50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and N100 fertilized plots (100 kg N ha-1 yr-1), while the growth of median and large trees with a DBH of > 10 cm did not significantly change with the N fertilization. The growth rate of small trees, saplings, and the aboveground biomass of understory shrubs and ground-cover ferns decreased significantly in the N-fertilized plots. Our findings suggested that N might not be a limiting nutrient in this mature subtropical forest, and that the limitation of other nutrients in the forest

  6. Infrared heater system for warming tropical forest understory plants and soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimball, Bruce A; Alonso-Rodríguez, Aura M; Cavaleri, Molly A; Reed, Sasha C; González, Grizelle; Wood, Tana E

    2018-02-01

    The response of tropical forests to global warming is one of the largest uncertainties in predicting the future carbon balance of Earth. To determine the likely effects of elevated temperatures on tropical forest understory plants and soils, as well as other ecosystems, an infrared (IR) heater system was developed to provide in situ warming for the Tropical Responses to Altered Climate Experiment (TRACE) in the Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico. Three replicate heated 4-m-diameter plots were warmed to maintain a 4°C increase in understory vegetation compared to three unheated control plots, as sensed by IR thermometers. The equipment was larger than any used previously and was subjected to challenges different from those of many temperate ecosystem warming systems, including frequent power surges and outages, high humidity, heavy rains, hurricanes, saturated clayey soils, and steep slopes. The system was able to maintain the target 4.0°C increase in hourly average vegetation temperatures to within ± 0.1°C. The vegetation was heterogeneous and on a 21° slope, which decreased uniformity of the warming treatment on the plots; yet, the green leaves were fairly uniformly warmed, and there was little difference among 0-10 cm depth soil temperatures at the plot centers, edges, and midway between. Soil temperatures at the 40-50 cm depth increased about 3°C compared to the controls after a month of warming. As expected, the soil in the heated plots dried faster than that of the control plots, but the average soil moisture remained adequate for the plants. The TRACE heating system produced an adequately uniform warming precisely controlled down to at least 50-cm soil depth, thereby creating a treatment that allows for assessing mechanistic responses of tropical plants and soil to warming, with applicability to other ecosystems. No physical obstacles to scaling the approach to taller vegetation (i.e., trees) and larger plots were observed.

  7. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korfanta, N.M.; Newmark, W.D.; Kauffman, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss. Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (λ) estimates were < 1 for most species, suggesting that future population persistence even within large forest

  8. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korfanta, Nicole M; Newmark, William D; Kauffman, Matthew J

    2012-12-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss, Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (lambda) estimates were fragments, is uncertain in this biodiversity hotspot.

  9. Influence of light and soil moisture on Sierran mixed-conifer understory communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm North; Brian Oakley; Rob Fiegener; Andrew Gray; Michael. Barbour

    2005-01-01

    Sierra Nevada forests have high understory species richness yet we do not know which site factors influence herb and shrub distribution or abundance. We examined the understory of an old-growth mixed-conifer Sierran forest and its distribution in relation to microsite conditions. The forest has high species richness (98 species sampled), most of which are herbs with...

  10. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Rueda

    forest amount is of primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction.

  11. Ontogenetic stage, plant vigor and sex mediate herbivory loads in a dioecious understory herb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selaković, Sara; Vujić, Vukica; Stanisavljević, Nemanja; Jovanović, Živko; Radović, Svetlana; Cvetković, Dragana

    2017-11-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions can be mediated by plant apparency, defensive and nutritional quality traits that change through plant ontogeny, resulting in age-specific herbivory. In dioecious species, opposing allocation patterns in defense may lead to sex-biased herbivory. Here, we examine how onto stage and plant sex determine levels of herbivore damage in understory herb Mercurialis perennis under field conditions. We analyzed variation in plant size (height, total leaf area), physical (specific leaf area) and chemical (total phenolic and condensed tannins contents) defense, and nutritional quality (total water, soluble protein and nonstructural carbohydrate contents) during the shift from reproductive to post-reproductive stage. Furthermore, we explored correlations between the analyzed traits and levels of foliar damage. Post-reproductive plants had lower levels of chemical defense, and larger leaf area removed, in spite of having lower nutritive quality. Opposing patterns of intersexual differences were detected in protein and phenolic contents during reproductive stage, while in post-reproductive stage total leaf area was sexually dimorphic. Female-biased herbivory was apparent only after reproduction. Plant size parameters combined with condensed tannins content determined levels of foliar damage during post-reproductive stage, while the only trait covarying with herbivory in reproductive stage was total nonstructural carbohydrate content. Our results support claims of optimal defense theory - sensitive stage of reproduction was better defended. We conclude that different combinations of plant traits mediated interactions with herbivores in mature stages. Differences in reproductive allocation between the sexes may not immediately translate into different levels of damage, stressing the need for considering different ontogenetic stages when exploring sex bias in herbivory.

  12. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments.

  13. Whole-plant water flux in understory red maple exposed to altered precipitation regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Hanson, Paul J.; Tschaplinski, Tim J.

    1998-02-01

    Sap flow gauges were used to estimate whole-plant water flux for five stem-diameter classes of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) growing in the understory of an upland oak forest and exposed to one of three large-scale (0.64 ha) manipulations of soil water content. This Throughfall Displacement Experiment (TDE) used subcanopy troughs to intercept roughly 30% of the throughfall on a "dry" plot and a series of pipes to move this collected precipitation across an "ambient" plot and onto a "wet" plot. Saplings with a stem diameter larger than 10 cm lost water at rates 50-fold greater than saplings with a stem diameter of 1 to 2 cm (326 versus 6.4 mol H(2)O tree(-1) day(-1)). These size-class differences were driven largely by differences in leaf area and cross-sectional sapwood area, because rates of water flux expressed per unit leaf area (6.90 mol H(2)O m(-2) day(-1)) or sapwood area (288 mol H(2)O dm(-2) day(-1)) were similar among saplings of the five size classes. Daily and hourly rates of transpiration expressed per unit leaf area varied throughout much of the season, as did soil matrix potentials, and treatment differences due to the TDE were observed during two of the seven sampling periods. On July 6, midday rates of transpiration averaged 1.88 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "wet" plot, 1.22 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "ambient" plot, and 0.76 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "dry" plot. During the early afternoon of August 28, transpiration rates were sevenfold lower for saplings in the "dry" plot compared to saplings in the "wet" plot and 2.5-fold lower compared to saplings in the "ambient" plot. Treatment differences in crown conductance followed a pattern similar to that of transpiration, with values that averaged 60% lower for saplings in the "dry" plot compared to saplings in the "wet" plot and 35% lower compared to saplings in the "ambient" plot. Stomatal and boundary layer conductances were roughly equal in magnitude

  14. Horse grazing systems: understory biomass and plant biodiversity of a Pinus radiata stand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Rigueiro-Rodríguez

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Horse grazing systems may affect productivity and biodiversity of understory developed under Pinus radiata D. Don silvopastoral systems, while acting as a tool to reduce the risk of fire. This study compared continuous and rotational grazing systems effect upon biomass, fractions of stem, sprouts, leaves and woody parts of Ulex europaeus L. and alpha (Species Richness, Shannon-Wiener and beta (Jaccard and Magurran biodiversity for a period of four years in a P. radiata silvopastoral system. The experiment consisted of a randomized block design of two treatments (continuous and rotational grazing. Biomass, and species abundances were measured - biodiversity metrics were calculated based on these results for a two years of grazing and two years of post-grazing periods. Both continuous and rotational grazing systems were useful tools for reducing biomass and, therefore, fire risk. The rotational grazing system caused damage to the U. europaeus shrub, limiting its recovery once grazing was stopped. However, the more intensive grazing of U. europaeus plants under rotational had a positive effect on both alpha and beta biodiversity indexes due to the low capacity of food selection in the whole plot rather than continuous grazing systems. Biomass was not affected by the grazing system; however the rotational grazing system is more appropriate to reduce U. europaeus biomass and therefore forest fire risk at a long term and to enhance pasture biodiversity than the continuous grazing system.

  15. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae) on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avalos, Gerardo; Hoell, Kelly; Gardner, Jocelyn; Anderson, Scott; Lee, Conor

    2006-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple) is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 x 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee) and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1,285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14.78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44) compared to tree (3.67 plants/m2, S.D. = 3.44) and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/m2, S.D. = 2.13). There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p or = 2 m). The results show a clear role of S. jambos as an aggressive, invasive species within the Municipal Forest. This invasion is enhanced by both the ecological characteristics of the species and the fragmentation of the forest by coffee farming around the site. Among a variety of management possibilities, an ecosystem-level approach of manually removing S. jambos over time while replanting native species appears to be the preferred strategy, given the intended continued use of the Municipal Forest as a source

  16. Effects of herbaceous and woody plant control on longleaf pine growth and understory plant cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    James D. Haywood

    2013-01-01

    To determine if either herbaceous or woody plants are more competitive with longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) trees, four vegetation management treatments— check, herbaceous plant control (HPC), woody plant control (WPC), and HPC+WPC—were applied in newly established longleaf pine plantings in a randomized complete block design in two studies....

  17. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on...

  18. Physiological, morphological and allocational plasticity in understory deciduous trees: importance of plant size and light availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delagrange, Sylvain; Messier, Christian; Lechowicz, Martin J; Dizengremel, Pierre

    2004-07-01

    In a 4-year study, we investigated changes in leaf physiology, crown morphology and whole-tree biomass allocation in seedlings and saplings of shade-tolerant sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and intermediate shade-tolerant yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) growing in natural understory light (0.5 to 35% of full sunlight) or in understory light reduced by 50% with shade nets to simulate the effect of gap closure. Leaf physiological parameters were mainly influenced by the light gradient, whereas crown morphological and whole-tree allocational parameters were mainly influenced by tree size. No single physiological, morphological or allocational trait was identified that could explain the difference in shade tolerance between the species. Yellow birch had higher growth rates, biomass allocation to branches and leaf physiological plasticity and lower crown morphological plasticity in unmodified understory light than sugar maple. Sugar maple did not display significant physiological plasticity, but showed variation with tree size in both crown morphology and whole-tree biomass allocation. When sugar maple was small, a greater proportion of whole-tree biomass was allocated to roots. However, physiological differences between the species decreased with decreasing light and most morphological and allocational differences tended to disappear with increasing tree size, suggesting that many species differences in shade-tolerance are expressed mainly during the seedling stage. Understory trees of both species survived for 4 years under shade nets, possibly because of higher plasticity when small and the use of stored reserves when taller. Copyright 2004 Heron Publishing

  19. Interactions between plant size and canopy openness influence vital rates and life-history tradeoffs in two neotropical understory herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerband, Andrea C; Horvitz, Carol C

    2015-08-01

    • For tropical forest understory plants, the ability to grow, survive, and reproduce is limited by the availability of light. The extent to which reproduction incurs a survival or growth cost may change with light availability, plant size, and adaptation to shade, and may vary among similar species.• We estimated size-specific rates of growth, survival, and reproduction (vital rates), for two neotropical understory herbs (order Zingiberales) in a premontane tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. During three annual censuses we monitored 1278 plants, measuring leaf area, number of inflorescences, and canopy openness. We fit regression models of all vital rates and evaluated them over a range of light levels. The best fitting models were selected using Akaike's Information Criterion.• All vital rates were significantly influenced by size in both species, but not always by light. Increasing light resulted in higher growth and a higher probability of reproduction in both species, but lower survival in one species. Both species grew at small sizes but shrank at larger sizes. The size at which shrinkage began differed among species and light environments. Vital rates of large individuals were more sensitive to changes in light than small individuals.• Increasing light does not always positively influence vital rates; the extent to which light affects vital rates depends on plant size. Differences among species in their abilities to thrive under different light conditions and thus occupy distinct niches may contribute to the maintenance of species diversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  20. Understory Dwarf Bamboo Affects Microbial Community Structures and Soil Properties in a Betula ermanii Forest in Northern Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Bihe; Chen, Lei; Kasahara, Yasuhiro; Sumida, Akihiro; Ono, Kiyomi; Wild, Jan; Nagatake, Arata; Hatano, Ryusuke; Hara, Toshihiko

    2017-06-24

    In order to understand the relationships between understory bamboo and soil properties, we compared microbial community structures in the soil of a Betula ermanii boreal forest with Sasa kurilensis present and removed using high-throughput DNA sequencing. The presence of understory S. kurilensis strongly affected soil properties, including total carbon, total nitrogen, nitrate, and the C:N ratio as well as relative soil moisture. Marked differences were also noted in fungal and bacterial communities between plots. The relative abundance of the fungal phylum Ascomycota was 13.9% in the Sasa-intact plot and only 0.54% in the Sasa-removed plot. Among the Ascomycota fungi identified, the most prevalent were members of the family Pezizaceae. We found that the abundance of Pezizaceae, known to act as mycorrhizal fungi, was related to the amount of total carbon in the Sasa-intact plot. The relative abundance of Proteobacteria was significantly higher, whereas those of Planctomycetes and Actinobacteria were lower in the Sasa-intact plot than in the Sasa-removed plot. Furthermore, the results obtained suggest that some species of the phylum Planctomycetes are more likely to occur in the presence of S. kurilensis. Collectively, these results indicate that the presence of S. kurilensis affects microbial communities and soil properties in a B. ermanii boreal forest.

  1. Horse grazing systems: understory biomass and plant biodiversity of a Pinus radiata stand

    OpenAIRE

    Rigueiro-Rodríguez,Antonio; Mouhbi,Rabia; Santiago-Freijanes,José Javier; González-Hernández,María del Pilar; Mosquera-Losada,María Rosa

    2012-01-01

    Horse grazing systems may affect productivity and biodiversity of understory developed under Pinus radiata D. Don silvopastoral systems, while acting as a tool to reduce the risk of fire. This study compared continuous and rotational grazing systems effect upon biomass, fractions of stem, sprouts, leaves and woody parts of Ulex europaeus L. and alpha (Species Richness, Shannon-Wiener) and beta (Jaccard and Magurran) biodiversity for a period of four years in a P. radiata silvopastoral system....

  2. Influence of skid trails and haul roads on understory plant richness and composition in managed forest landscapes in Upper Michigan, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David S. Buckley; Thomas R. Crow; Elizabeth A. Nauertz; Kurt E. Schulz

    2003-01-01

    We evaluated impacts of disturbance in interior haul roads and skid trails on understory vegetation by documenting the areal extent of these features and plant composition along 10 m x 100 m belt transects. Ten belt transects were sampled in each of three comparable northern hardwood forests under even-aged management. These forests were approximately 80 years old and...

  3. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  4. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae outbreak in pine forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory J Pec

    Full Text Available The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown.

  5. 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...

  6. Effects of a wind farm installation on the understory bat community of a highly biodiverse tropical region in Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Briones-Salas

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Wind energy has rapidly become an important alternative among renewable energies, and it is generally considered clean. However, little is known about its impact at the level of ecological communities, especially in biodiversity hotspots. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a highly biodiverse region in Mesoamerica, and has the highest potential for generating wind energy in Mexico. To assess the effects of installing a wind farm on the understory bat community in a landscape of fragmented habitat, we assessed its diversity and composition over four stages of installation (site preparation, construction, and two stages of operation. We captured 919 bats belonging to 22 species. Species richness, functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity decreased during construction and the first stage of operation. However, these components of biodiversity increased during the second stage of operation, and species composition began to resemble that of the site preparation stage. No species considered as sensitive to disturbance was recorded at any stage. This is the first study to reveal the diversity of a Neotropical bat community after wind turbines begin to operate.

  7. Effects of a wind farm installation on the understory bat community of a highly biodiverse tropical region in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones-Salas, Miguel; Lavariega, Mario C; Moreno, Claudia E

    2017-01-01

    Wind energy has rapidly become an important alternative among renewable energies, and it is generally considered clean. However, little is known about its impact at the level of ecological communities, especially in biodiversity hotspots. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is a highly biodiverse region in Mesoamerica, and has the highest potential for generating wind energy in Mexico. To assess the effects of installing a wind farm on the understory bat community in a landscape of fragmented habitat, we assessed its diversity and composition over four stages of installation (site preparation, construction, and two stages of operation). We captured 919 bats belonging to 22 species. Species richness, functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity decreased during construction and the first stage of operation. However, these components of biodiversity increased during the second stage of operation, and species composition began to resemble that of the site preparation stage. No species considered as sensitive to disturbance was recorded at any stage. This is the first study to reveal the diversity of a Neotropical bat community after wind turbines begin to operate.

  8. Understory plant diversity assessment of Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis plantations in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiu, J. X.

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability is a key objective for managers of both natural forests and plantations, and biodiversity assessments are important tools to improve conservation of endangered species. Szemao pine (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis is a native Chinese tree species used in plantations. This study evaluated differences in understory diversity among Szemao pine plantations (SP and other local current vegetation types: secondary evergreen forests (SE and abandoned farmlands (AF in Yunnan Province. Sampling was performed at three elevation ranges, where species richness, species cover, and environmental variables in the herb and shrub layers were measured. We found that indexes for average richness and Shannon–Wiener diversity were higher in SE than in SP, which were in turn higher than in AF, while the index for evenness was higher in SP. These indexes increased with elevation in SP and AF, but were higher at low and medium elevations in SE. Inclusion of environmental factors highlighted elevation differences, with water content (at herb layer and soil type (at shrub layer being the most significant variables. In conclusion, plantations of Szemao pine negatively affect understory diversity in Yunnan, and furthermore, only a few rare or threatened species could be found in the plantations. Nature reserves and transplanting could protect threatened species if established before plantations.La sostenibilidad es un objetivo clave para la gestión tanto de bosques naturales como de plantaciones, mientras que los estudios sobre biodiversidad constituyen herramientas muy útiles para mejorar la conservación de especies amenazadas. El pino Szemao (Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis es un árbol nativo de China que se usa en plantaciones. Este estudio evalúa la diversidad del sotobosque en plantaciones de pino Szemao (SP y otros tipos de vegetación local, como bosques secundarios perennifolios (SE y tierras de cultivo abandonadas (AF, en la provincia de

  9. Variation in Vegetation Structure and Soil Properties, and the Relation Between Understory Plants and Environmental Variables Under Different Phyllostachys pubescens Forests in Southeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Fan, Shaohui; Zhen, Lin

    2010-04-01

    Biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are key sustainable forestry objectives. Research on the effects of bamboo forest management on plant diversity and soil properties are therefore necessary in bamboo-growing regions, such as southeastern China’s Shunchang County, that have not been studied from this perspective. We analyzed the effects of different Phyllostachys pubescens proportions in managed forests on vegetation structure and soil properties using pure Cunninghamia lanceolata forests as a contrast, and analyzed the relation between understory plants and environmental variables (i.e., topography, stand and soil characteristics) by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The forest with 80% P. pubescens and 20% hardwoods (such as Phoebe bournei, Jatropha curcas, Schima superba) maintained the highest plant diversity and best soil properties, with significantly higher plant diversity than the C. lanceolata forest, and better soil physicochemical and biological properties. The distribution of understory plants is highly related to environmental factors. Silvicultural disturbance strongly influenced the ability of different bamboo forests to maintain biodiversity and soil quality under extensive management, and the forest responses to management were consistent with the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis (i.e., diversity and soil properties were best at intermediate disturbance levels). Our results suggest that biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are important management goals for sustainable bamboo management. To achieve those objectives, managers should balance the inputs and outputs of nutrients and protect understory plants by using appropriate fertilizer (e.g., organic fertilizer), adjusting stand structure, modifying utilization model and the harvest time, and controlling the intensity of culms and shoots harvests.

  10. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Avalos

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L. Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 X 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1 285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14,78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44 compared to tree (3.67 plants/ m2, S.D. = 3.44 and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/ m2, S.D. = 2.13. There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p La fragmentación del hábitat, junto con otros disturbios antropogénicos, aumentan la vulnerabilidad de los ambientes nativos a la invasión por especies exóticas, agresivas y sin controles ecológicos. Syzigium jambos (L. Alston (Myrtaceae, Manzana Rosa es una invasora importante que todavía está extendiendose en Hawaii, Las Antillas, Centro y Suramérica. Este estudio examina los efectos de S. jambos sobre la diversidad de plantas del sotobosque en un Bosque Húmedo Premontano de 25 ha en

  11. Functional Traits, Flocking Propensity, and Perceived Predation Risk in an Amazonian Understory Bird Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Ari E; Gomez, Juan P; Ponciano, José Miguel; Robinson, Scott K

    2016-05-01

    Within a community, different species might share similar predation risks, and, thus, the ability of species to signal and interpret heterospecific threat information may determine species' associations. We combined observational, experimental, and phylogenetic approaches to determine the extent to which evolutionary history and functional traits determined flocking propensity and perceived predation risk (response to heterospecific alarm calls) in a lowland Amazonian bird community. We predicted that small birds that feed myopically and out in the open would have higher flocking propensities and account for a higher proportion of positive responses to alarms. Using generalized linear models and the incorporation of phylogeny on data from 56 species, our results suggest that phylogenetic relationships alongside body size, foraging height, vegetation density, and response to alarm calls influence flocking propensity. Conversely, phylogenetic relationships did not influence response to heterospecific alarm calls. Among functional traits, however, foraging strategy, foraging density, and flocking propensity partially explained responses to alarm calls. Our results suggest that flocking propensity and perceived predation risk are positively related and that functional ecological traits and evolutionary history may explain certain species' associations.

  12. Effects of the interception of litterfall by the understory on carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations of South China.

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    Long Yang

    Full Text Available For the purposes of forest restoration, carbon (C fixation, and economic improvement, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla has been widely planted in South China. The understory of eucalyptus plantations is often occupied by a dense community of the fern Dicranopteris dichotoma, which intercepts tree canopy leaf litter before it reaches the ground. To understand the effects of this interception of litterfall on C cycling in eucalyptus plantations, we quantified the mass of intercepted litter and the influences of litterfall interception on litter decomposition and soil respiration. The total mass of E. urophylla litterfall collected on the understory was similar to that collected by the traditional litter trap method. All of the eucalyptus litterfall is intercepted by the D. dichotoma canopy. Of the litterfall that was intercepted by D. dichotoma, 20-40% and 60-80% was intercepted by the top (50-100 cm and bottom (0-50 cm of the understory canopy, respectively. Intercepted litterfall decomposed faster at the bottom of understory canopy (at the base of the plants than at the top, and decomposition was slower on the soil surface in the absence of understory than on any location in the understory canopy. Soil respiration was highest when both the understory and litter were present and was lowest when both the understory and litter were absent. These results indicate that litterfall interception changed carbon flow between aboveground and belowground through litter decomposition and soil respiration, which changed carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations. The effects of the understory on litter decomposition and soil respiration should be considered in ecosystem carbon models.

  13. Effects of the interception of litterfall by the understory on carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations of South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Long; Wang, Jun; Huang, Yuhui; Hui, Dafeng; Wen, Meili

    2014-01-01

    For the purposes of forest restoration, carbon (C) fixation, and economic improvement, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) has been widely planted in South China. The understory of eucalyptus plantations is often occupied by a dense community of the fern Dicranopteris dichotoma, which intercepts tree canopy leaf litter before it reaches the ground. To understand the effects of this interception of litterfall on C cycling in eucalyptus plantations, we quantified the mass of intercepted litter and the influences of litterfall interception on litter decomposition and soil respiration. The total mass of E. urophylla litterfall collected on the understory was similar to that collected by the traditional litter trap method. All of the eucalyptus litterfall is intercepted by the D. dichotoma canopy. Of the litterfall that was intercepted by D. dichotoma, 20-40% and 60-80% was intercepted by the top (50-100 cm) and bottom (0-50 cm) of the understory canopy, respectively. Intercepted litterfall decomposed faster at the bottom of understory canopy (at the base of the plants) than at the top, and decomposition was slower on the soil surface in the absence of understory than on any location in the understory canopy. Soil respiration was highest when both the understory and litter were present and was lowest when both the understory and litter were absent. These results indicate that litterfall interception changed carbon flow between aboveground and belowground through litter decomposition and soil respiration, which changed carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations. The effects of the understory on litter decomposition and soil respiration should be considered in ecosystem carbon models.

  14. Linking dominant Hawaiian tree species to understory development in recovering pastures via impacts on soils and litter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.

    2017-01-01

    Large areas of tropical forest have been cleared and planted with exotic grass species for use as cattle pasture. These often remain persistent grasslands after grazer removal, which is problematic for restoring native forest communities. It is often hoped that remnant and/or planted trees can jump-start forest succession; however, there is little mechanistic information on how different canopy species affect community trajectories. To investigate this, I surveyed understory communities, exotic grass biomass, standing litter pools, and soil properties under two dominant canopy trees—Metrosideros polymorpha (‘ōhi‘a) and Acacia koa (koa)—in recovering Hawaiian forests. I then used structural equation models (SEMs) to elucidate direct and indirect effects of trees on native understory. Native understory communities developed under ‘ōhi‘a, which had larger standing litter pools, lower soil nitrogen, and lower exotic grass biomass than koa. This pattern was variable, potentially due to historical site differences and/or distance to intact forest. Koa, in contrast, showed little understory development. Instead, data suggest that increased soil nitrogen under koa leads to high grass biomass that stalls native recruitment. SEMs suggested that indirect effects of trees via litter and soils were as or more important than direct effects for determining native cover. It is suggested that diverse plantings which incorporate species that have high carbon to nitrogen ratios may help ameliorate the negative indirect effects of koa on natural understory regeneration.

  15. Elephants in the understory: opposing direct and indirect effects of consumption and ecosystem engineering by megaherbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Kartzinel, Tyler R; Grabowski, Kathryn L; Shriver, Robert K; Hassan, Abdikadir A; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    Positive indirect effects of consumers on their resources can stabilize food webs by preventing overexploitation, but the coupling of trophic and non-trophic interactions remains poorly integrated into our understanding of community dynamics. Elephants engineer African savanna ecosystems by toppling trees and breaking branches, and although their negative effects on trees are well documented, their effects on small-statured plants remain poorly understood. Using data on 117 understory plant taxa collected over 7 yr within 36 1-ha experimental plots in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna, we measured the strength and direction of elephant impacts on understory vegetation. We found that elephants had neutral effects on most (83-89%) species, with a similar frequency of positive and negative responses among the remainder. Overall, estimated understory biomass was 5-14% greater in the presence of elephants across a range of rainfall levels. Whereas direct consumption likely accounts for the negative effects, positive effects are presumably indirect. We hypothesized that elephants create associational refuges for understory plants by damaging tree canopies in ways that physically inhibit feeding by other large herbivores. As predicted, understory biomass and species richness beneath elephant-damaged trees were 55% and 21% greater, respectively, than under undamaged trees. Experimentally simulated elephant damage increased understory biomass by 37% and species richness by 49% after 1 yr. Conversely, experimentally removing elephant damaged branches decreased understory biomass by 39% and richness by 30% relative to sham-manipulated trees. Camera-trap surveys revealed that elephant damage reduced the frequency of herbivory by 71%, whereas we detected no significant effect of damage on temperature, light, or soil moisture. We conclude that elephants locally facilitate understory plants by creating refuges from herbivory, which countervails the direct negative effects of

  16. Non-native grass invasion associated with increases in insect diversity in temperate forest understory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalf, Judith L.; Emery, Sarah M.

    2015-11-01

    Invasive plants can alter the structure and function of plant communities to such a degree that they can also have significant impacts on the insect communities. Because insects play an important role in many ecosystems, changes in these communities could have important implications, beyond their biodiversity value, for ecosystem function and diversity at other trophic levels. Microstegium vimineum is an annual C4 grass that is invasive in many eastern North American deciduous forests. Because this grass plays an important role in determining the plant community structure in the understory of these forests, it also has the potential to significantly alter understory insect communities. In this study we evaluated the relationship between M. vimineum and understory insect communities in a forest reserve in Kentucky, USA. Total insect abundance, richness and diversity showed a positive association with M. vimineum presence. Trophic analysis showed significantly higher abundances of herbivores where M. vimineum was present. Forb abundance, which serves as the primary food source for herbivorous insects in this system, was lower in sites invaded with M. vimineum. Invasion by this non-native was also associated with significant increases in aboveground plant biomass which was nearly 50% greater in invaded sites. These results indicate that the understory insect community may be responding to increased biomass rather than the loss of native forb food resources, which contradicts other studies that have examined relationships between M. vimineum invasion and insects. Our results provide evidence that invasive plants can provide benefits for other trophic levels, even when native plant biodiversity is lost.

  17. Performance and population dynamics of a native understory herb differ between young and old forest stands in the Southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle M. Jackson; Scott M. Pearson; Monica G. Turner

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., logging) can strongly affect the composition and structure of forest understory herb communities, with land-use legacies often persisting for decades or even centuries. Many studies of forest plant response to land-use history have focused on species distributions and abundances, and argued broadly for either dispersal or establishment...

  18. Effects of understory vegetation and litter on plant nitrogen (N, phosphorus (P, N:P ratio and their relationships with growth rate of indigenous seedlings in subtropical plantations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang

    Full Text Available Establishing seedlings in subtropical plantations is very important for forest health, succession and management. Information on seedling nutrient concentrations is essential for both the selection of suitable indigenous tree species to accelerate succession of the established plantation and sustainable forest management. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of nitrogen ([N], phosphorus ([P], and N:P ratio in leaves, stems and roots of seedlings of three indigenous tree species (Castanopsis chinensis, Michelia chapensis and Psychotria rubra transplanted with removing or retaining understory vegetation and litter at two typical subtropical forest plantations (Eucalyptus plantation and native species plantation. We also measured the relative growth rate (RGR of seedling height, and developed the relationships between RGR and leaf [N], [P] and N:P ratio. Results showed that treatments of understory vegetation and associated litter (i.e. removal or retained generally had no significant effects on leaf [N], [P], N:P ratio and RGR of the transplanted tree seedlings for the experimental period. But among different species, there were significant differences in nutrient concentrations. M. chapensis and P. rubra had higher [N] and [P] compared to C. chinensis. [N] and [P] also varied among different plant tissues with much higher values in leaves than in roots for all indigenous species. RGR of indigenous tree seedlings was mostly positively correlated with leaf [N] and [P], but negatively correlated with leaf N:P ratio. Considering the low [P] and high N:P ratio observed in the introduced indigenous tree seedlings, we propose that the current experimental plantations might be P limited for plant growth.

  19. The impact of forest roads on understory plant diversity in temperate hornbeam-beech forests of Northern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deljouei, Azade; Abdi, Ehsan; Marcantonio, Matteo; Majnounian, Baris; Amici, Valerio; Sohrabi, Hormoz

    2017-08-01

    Forest roads alter the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems, modifying temperature, humidity, wind speed, and light availability that, in turn, cause changes in plant community composition and diversity. We aim at investigating and comparing the diversity of herbaceous species along main and secondary forest roads in a temperate-managed hornbeam-beech forest, north of Iran. Sixteen transects along main and secondary forest roads were established (eight transects along main roads and eight along secondary roads). To eliminate the effect of forest type, all transects were located in Carpinetum-Fagetum forests, the dominant forest type in the study area. The total length of each transect was 200 m (100 m toward up slope and 100 m toward down slope), and plots were established along it at different distances from road edge. The diversity of herbaceous plant species was calculated in each plot using Shannon-Wiener index, species richness, and Pielou's index. The results showed that diversity index decreased when distance from road edge increases. This decreasing trend continued up to 60 m from forest road margin, and after this threshold, the index slightly increased. Depending on the type of road (main or secondary) as well as cut or fill slopes, the area showing a statistical different plant composition and diversity measured through Shannon-Wiener, species richness, and Pielou's index is up to 10 m. The length depth of the road edge effect found in main and secondary forest roads was small, but it could have cumulative effects on forest microclimate and forest-associated biota at the island scale. Forest managers should account for the effect of road buildings on plant communities.

  20. Herbivory and drought generate short-term stochasticity and long-term stability in a savanna understory community.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    Rainfall and herbivory are fundamental drivers of grassland plant dynamics, yet few studies have examined long-term interactions between these factors in an experimental setting. Understanding such interactions is important, as rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic and native wild herbivores are being replaced by livestock. Livestock grazing and episodic low rainfall are thought to interact, leading to greater community change than either factor alone. We examined patterns of change and stability in herbaceous community composition through four dry periods, or droughts, over 15 years of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), which consists of six different combinations of cattle, native wild herbivores (e.g., zebras, gazelles), and mega-herbivores (giraffes, elephants). We used principal response curves to analyze the trajectory of change in each herbivore treatment relative to a common initial community and asked how droughts contributed to community change in these treatments. We examined three measures of stability (resistance, variability, and turnover) that correspond to different temporal scales and found that each had a different response to grazing. Treatments that included both cattle and wild herbivores had higher resistance (less net change over 15 years) but were more variable on shorter time scales; in contrast, the more lightly grazed treatments (no herbivores or wild herbivores only) showed lower resistance due to the accumulation of consistent, linear, short-term change. Community change was greatest during and immediately after droughts in all herbivore treatments. But, while drought contributed to directional change in the less grazed treatments, it contributed to both higher variability and resistance in the more heavily grazed treatments. Much of the community change in lightly grazed treatments (especially after droughts) was due to substantial increases in cover of the palatable grass Brachiaria lachnantha. These results

  1. Understory succession in post-agricultural oak plantations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brunet, Jörg; Valtinat, Karin; Mayr, Marian Lajos

    2011-01-01

    The herbaceous understory forms the richest stratum in temperate broadleaved forests in terms of plant diversity. Understanding the process of understory succession is thus of critical importance for the development of management guidelines for biodiversity restoration in post-agricultural planta......The herbaceous understory forms the richest stratum in temperate broadleaved forests in terms of plant diversity. Understanding the process of understory succession is thus of critical importance for the development of management guidelines for biodiversity restoration in post...... forested stands, which maintained differences in species composition. The development of a shrub layer seemed to imply a competitive advantage for forest specialists compared to generalist species. For successful recovery of a rich understory, we suggest that post-arable plantations should be established...

  2. 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.

  3. Introducing close-range photogrammetry for characterizing forest understory plant diversity and surface fuel structure at fine scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin C. Bright; E. Louise Loudermilk; Scott M. Pokswinski; Andrew T. Hudak; Joseph J. O' Brien

    2016-01-01

    Methods characterizing fine-scale fuels and plant diversity can advance understanding of plant-fire interactions across scales and help in efforts to monitor important ecosystems such as longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests of the southeastern United States. Here, we evaluate the utility of close-range photogrammetry for measuring fuels and plant...

  4. Mulching fuels treatments promote understory plant communities in three Colorado, USA, coniferous forest types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Fornwalt; Monique E. Rocca; Michael Battaglia; Charles C. Rhoades; Michael G. Ryan

    2017-01-01

    Mulching fuels treatments have been increasingly implemented by forest managers in the western USA to reduce crown fire hazard. These treatments use heavy machinery to masticate or chip unwanted shrubs and small-diameter trees and broadcast the mulched material on the ground. Because mulching treatments are relatively novel and have no natural analog, their ecological...

  5. The 2002 Hayman Fire - ecological benefit or catastrophe? An understory plant community perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula Fornwalt

    2013-01-01

    Fire has long been a keystone ecological process in Western forests. In ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)/Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests of the Colorado Front Range, historical fires are believed to have been "mixed severity" in nature. That means that these fires are believed to have typically burned within a range of severities from low severity...

  6. Afforesting agricultural lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (USA): effects of silvicultural methods on understory plant diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diane De Steven; Callie J. Schweitzer; Steven C. Hughes; John A. Stanturf

    2015-01-01

    To compare methods for bottomland hardwood reforestation on marginal farmlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, four afforestation treatments (natural colonization, sown oak acorns, planted oak seedlings, cottonwood–oak interplant) were established in 1995 on former soybean cropland. Natural, sown, and planted-oak plots were not managed after establishment....

  7. Herbivory and pollen limitation at the upper elevational range limit of two forest understory plants of eastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivest, Sébastien; Vellend, Mark

    2018-01-01

    Studies of species' range limits focus most often on abiotic factors, although the strength of biotic interactions might also vary along environmental gradients and have strong demographic effects. For example, pollinator abundance might decrease at range limits due to harsh environmental conditions, and reduced plant density can reduce attractiveness to pollinators and increase or decrease herbivory. We tested for variation in the strength of pollen limitation and herbivory by ungulates along a gradient leading to the upper elevational range limits of Trillium erectum (Melanthiaceae) and Erythronium americanum (Liliaceae) in Mont Mégantic National Park, Québec, Canada. In T. erectum, pollen limitation was higher at the range limit, but seed set decreased only slightly with elevation and only in one of two years. In contrast, herbivory of T. erectum increased from elevations to >60% at the upper elevational range limit. In E. americanum , we found no evidence of pollen limitation despite a significant decrease in seed set with elevation, and herbivory was low across the entire gradient. Overall, our results demonstrate the potential for relatively strong negative interactions (herbivory) and weak positive interactions (pollination) at plant range edges, although this was clearly species specific. To the extent that these interactions have important demographic consequences-highly likely for herbivory on Trillium , based on previous studies-such interactions might play a role in determining plant species' range limits along putatively climatic gradients.

  8. Waste heaps left by historical Zn-Pb ore mining are hotspots of species diversity of beech forest understory vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woch, Marcin W; Stefanowicz, Anna M; Stanek, Małgorzata

    2017-12-01

    Metalliferous mining and smelting industries are associated with very high levels of heavy metal(loid) contamination of the environment. Heavy metals have been proved to significantly influence the species diversity and composition of grassland communities, but little is known on their effects on forest understory vegetation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the presence of small heaps of waste rock left by historical Zn-Pb ore mining on understory vegetation. The heaps are scattered over vast areas of beech forests in southern Poland. Three types of study plots were established: (1) on waste heaps themselves, (2) in their vicinity (5-10m from the foot of the heaps, with no waste rock but potentially influenced by the heaps through drainage water), and (3) at least 100m from the foot of the heaps (pseudo-control). In all plots vegetation parameters, i.e., plant species number, cover and community composition, life forms and strategies, as well as basic soil properties were assessed. Although the heaps contained high concentrations of metals, namely Cd, Pb and Zn, they were characterised by higher cover and diversity of understory vegetation, including ancient forest and endangered species, in comparison to their surroundings. They were also characterised by the distinct species composition of their plant communities. This might have resulted from the beneficial influence of high pH and Ca content originating from waste rock composed of dolomite and calcite, as well as from increased habitat heterogeneity, e.g. soil skeleton and steeper slopes. Another important factor influencing the richness and composition of understory was tree cover, which relates to the light transmissibility of the canopy. Our study proved that the disturbance brought about by the former mining and processing of metal ores led to the formation of species-rich understory with high frequency and cover of naturally-valuable species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B

  9. Estimating Understory Temperatures Using MODIS LST in Mixed Cordilleran Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David N. Laskin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Satellite remote sensing provides a rapid and broad-scale means for monitoring vegetation phenology and its relationship with fluctuations in air temperature. Investigating the response of plant communities to climate change is needed to gain insight into the potentially detrimental effects on ecosystem processes. While many studies have used satellite-derived land surface temperature (LST as a proxy for air temperature, few studies have attempted to create and validate models of forest understory temperature (Tust, as it is obscured from these space-borne observations. This study worked to predict instantaneous values of Tust using daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS LST data over a 99,000 km2 study area located in the Rocky Mountains of western Alberta, Canada. Specifically, we aimed to identify the forest characteristics that improve estimates of Tust over using LST alone. Our top model predicted Tust to within a mean absolute error (MAE of 1.4 °C with an overall model fit of R2 = 0.89 over two growing seasons. Canopy closure and the LiDAR-derived standard deviation of canopy height metric were found to significantly improve estimations of Tust over MODIS LST alone. These findings demonstrate that canopy structure and forest stand-type function to differentiate understory air temperatures from ambient canopy temperature as seen by the sensor overhead.

  10. Trait variation and functional diversity maintenance of understory herbaceous species coexisting along an elevational gradient in Yulong Mountain, Southwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yahuang Luo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterizing trait variation across different ecological scales in plant communities has been viewed as a way to gain insights into the mechanisms driving species coexistence. However, little is known about how changes in intraspecific and interspecific traits across sites influence species richness and community assembly, especially in understory herbaceous communities. Here we partitioned the variance of four functional traits (maximum height, leaf thickness, leaf area and specific leaf area across four nested biological scales: individual, species, plot, and elevation to quantify the scale-dependent distributions of understory herbaceous trait variance. We also integrated the comparison of the trait variance ratios to null models to investigate the effects of different ecological processes on community assembly and functional diversity along a 1200-m elevational gradient in Yulong Mountain. We found interspecific trait variation was the main trait variation component for leaf traits, although intraspecific trait variation ranged from 10% to 28% of total variation. In particular, maximum height exhibited high plasticity, and intraspecific variation accounted for 44% of the total variation. Despite the fact that species composition varied across elevation and species richness decreased dramatically along the elevational gradient, there was little variance at our largest (elevation scale in leaf traits and functional diversity remained constant along the elevational gradient, indicating that traits responded to smaller scale influences. External filtering was only observed at high elevations. However, strong internal filtering was detected along the entire elevational gradient in understory herbaceous communities, possibly due to competition. Our results provide evidence that species coexistence in understory herbaceous communities might be structured by differential niche-assembled processes. This approach –– integrating different

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

    a suite of native wild herbivores (which included grazers, browsers, and mixed feeders) and cattle (mostly grazers) with respect to understory plant community composition, responses of individual plant species demonstrate that at the plant-population-level impacts of a single livestock species are not functionally identical to those of a diverse group of native herbivores. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. Monoterpene emissions from an understory species, Pteridium aquilinum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madronich, Monica B.; Greenberg, James P.; Wessman, Carol A.; Guenther, Alex B.

    2012-07-01

    Monoterpene emissions from the dominant understory species Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken fern) in a mixed temperate forest were measured in the field during the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008. The results showed that Bracken fern emitted monoterpenes at different rates depending if the plants were located in the understory or in open areas. Understory plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.002 to 13 μgC gdw-1 h-1. Open area plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.005 to 2.21 μgC gdw-1 h-1. During the summer of 2008 greenhouse studies were performed to complement the field studies. Only 3% of the greenhouse Bracken fern plants emitted substantial amounts of monoterpenes. The average emission, 0.15 μgC gdw-1 h-1 ± 0.9 μgC gdw-1 h-1, was much lower than that observed in the field. The factors controlling monoterpene emissions are not clear, but this study provides evidence of the potential importance of understory vegetation to ecosystem total hydrocarbon emissions and emphasizes the need for longer-term field studies.

  15. Photosynthetic responses to understory shade and elevated carbon dioxide concentration in 4 northern hardwood tree species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sefcik, L.T.; Zak, D.R.; Ellsworth, D.S.

    2006-01-01

    Stimulation of photosynthesis in response to elevated carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) varies among tree species and species groups. In this study, seedling responses to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) concentrations and solar irradiance over 2 growing seasons were investigated for shade tolerant Acer saccharum Marsh.; Fagus grandifolia J.F. Ehrh; and shade-intolerant Prunus serotina. Seedlings were exposed to a combination of elevated and ambient concentrations of CO 2 and understory shade in open-top chambers placed in a forest understory. It was observed that the elevated CO 2 treatment increased mean light-saturated net photosynthetic rates by 63 per cent in the shade-tolerant species and 67 per cent in the shade-intolerant species. When measured at the elevated CO 2 , long-term enhancement of photosynthesis was 10 per cent lower than the instantaneous enhancement observed in ambient-CO 2 -grown plants. As the growth irradiance increased, proportional enhancement due to elevated CO 2 decreased from 97 per cent for plants grown in deep shade to 47 per cent for plants grown in moderate shade. Results indicated that in nitrogen (N) limited northern temperate forests, trees grown in deep shade may display greater photosynthetic gains from a CO 2 enriched atmosphere than trees growing in more moderate shade, due to greater down-regulation. It was concluded that if elevated CO 2 levels promote the survival of shade-intolerant species in dim understory light, the future composition and dynamics of successional forest communities may be altered. 70 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  20. The formation of dense understory layers in the forest worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Alterations to natural herbivore and disturbance regimes often allow a select suite of forest understory plant species to dramatically spread and form persistent, mono-dominant thickets. Following their expansion, this newly established understory canopy can alter tree seedling recruitment rates and exert considerable control over the rate and direction of secondary...

  1. Multi-scale spatial controls of understory vegetation in Douglas-fir–western hemlock forests of western Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julia I. Burton; Lisa M. Ganio; Klaus J. Puettmann

    2014-01-01

    Forest understory vegetation is influenced by broad-scale variation in climate, intermediate scale variation in topography, disturbance and neighborhood interactions. However, little is known about how these multi-scale controls interact to influence observed spatial patterns. We examined relationships between the aggregated cover of understory plant species (%...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Airborne laser scanner (LiDAR) proxies for understory light conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alexander, Cici; Moeslund, Jesper Erenskjold; Bøcher, Peder Klith

    2013-01-01

    on the average Ellenberg indicator values for light for the plant species present in a given plot. The correlations of Ellenberg values with ALS-based canopy closure were higher (r2: 0.47) than those with ALS-based canopy cover (r2: 0.26) and densiometer readings (r2: 0.41) for the forest sites. ALS-based canopy......Canopy cover and canopy closure are two closely related measures of vegetation structure. They are used for estimating understory light conditions and their influence on a broad range of biological components in forest ecosystems, from the demography and population dynamics of individual species...... to community structure. Angular canopy closure is more closely related to the direct and indirect light experienced by a plant or an animal than vertical canopy cover, but more challenging to estimate. We used airborne laser scanner (ALS) data to estimate canopy cover for 210 5-m radius vegetation plots...

  6. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lars A. Brudvig; John L. Orrock; Ellen I. Damschen; Cathy D. Collins; Philip G. Hahn; W. Brett Mattingly; Joseph W. Veldman; Joan L. Walker

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions...

  7. 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.

  8. Plant Community Chemical Composition Influences Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) Intake by Sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroy, Kristen Y; St Clair, Samuel B; Burritt, Elizabeth A; Villalba, Juan J

    2017-08-01

    Nutrients and plant secondary compounds in aspen (Populus tremuloides) may interact with nutrients in the surrounding vegetation to influence aspen use by herbivores. Thus, this study aimed to determine aspen intake and preference by sheep in response to supplementary nutrients or plant secondary compounds (PSC) present in aspen trees. Thirty-two lambs were randomly assigned to one of four molasses-based supplementary feeds to a basal diet of tall fescue hay (N = 8) during three experiments. The supplements were as follows: (1) high-protein (60% canola meal), (2) a PSC (6% quebracho tannins), (3) 25% aspen bark, and (4) control (100% molasses). Supplements were fed from 0700 to 0900, then lambs were fed fresh aspen leaves collected from stands containing high (Experiment 1, 2) or low (Experiment 3) concentrations of phenolic glycosides (PG). In Experiment 2, lambs were simultaneously offered aspen, a forb (Lathyrus pauciflorus), and a grass (Bromus inermis) collected from the aspen understory. Animals supplemented with high protein or tannins showed greater intake of aspen leaves than animals supplemented with bark or the control diet (P tannins have a positive effect on protein nutrition and protein aids in PSC detoxification. Overall, animals supplemented with bark showed the lowest aspen intake, suggesting PSC in bark and aspen leaves had additive inhibitory effects on intake. In summary, these results suggest that not only the concentration but also the types and proportions of nutrients and chemical defenses available in the plant community influence aspen use by herbivores.

  9. 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.

  10. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess Nahanni Grainger

    Full Text Available Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest

  11. Responses of fungal root colonization, plant cover and leaf nutrients to long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 and warming in a subarctic birch forest understory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsrud, Maria; Carlsson, Bengt Å.; Svensson, Brita M.

    2010-01-01

    . To place the belowground results into an ecosystem context we also investigated how plant cover and nutrient concentrations in leaves responded to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and warming. The ErM colonization in ericaceous dwarf shrubs increased under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations....... The elevated CO2 did not affect total plant cover but the plant cover was increased under warming, which might be due to increased N availability in soil. FE colonization in grass roots decreased under enhanced CO2 and under warming, which might be due to increased root growth, to which the FE fungi could...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Impact of understory vegetation on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamic in aerially seeded Pinus massoniana plantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Ping; Zhao, Fang; Ning, Jinkui; Zhang, Ling; Ouyang, Xunzhi; Zang, Hao

    2018-01-01

    Understory vegetation plays a vital role in regulating soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) characteristics due to differences in plant functional traits. Different understory vegetation types have been reported following aerial seeding. While aerial seeding is common in areas with serious soil erosion, few studies have been conducted to investigate changes in soil C and N cycling as affected by understory vegetation in aerially seeded plantations. Here, we studied soil C and N characteristics under two naturally formed understory vegetation types (Dicranopteris and graminoid) in aerially seeded Pinus massoniana Lamb plantations. Across the two studied understory vegetation types, soil organic C was significantly correlated with all measured soil N variables, including total N, available N, microbial biomass N and water-soluble organic N, while microbial biomass C was correlated with all measured variables except soil organic C. Dicranopteris and graminoid differed in their effects on soil C and N process. Except water-soluble organic C, all the other C and N variables were higher in soils with graminoids. The higher levels of soil organic C, microbial biomass C, total N, available N, microbial biomass N and water-soluble organic N were consistent with the higher litter and root quality (C/N) of graminoid vegetation compared to Dicranopteris. Changes in soil C and N cycles might be impacted by understory vegetation types via differences in litter or root quality.

  16. The legacy of deer overabundance: long-term delays in herbaceous understory recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas H. Pendergast; Shane M. Hanlon; Zachary M. Long; Alex Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2016-01-01

    Decades of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus (Zimmermann, 1780)) overpopulation have dramatically homogenized forests across much of the eastern United States, creating depauperate forest understory communities. The rate at which these communities recover once deer browsing has been reduced remains an open question. We evaluate overbrowsing...

  17. Changes in Patterns of Understory Leaf Phenology and Herbivory following Hurricane Damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilar Angulo-Sandoval; H. Fernandez-Marin; J. K. Zimmerman; T. M. Aide

    2004-01-01

    Hurricanes are important disturbance events in many forested ecosystems. They can have strong effects on both forest structure and animal populations, and yet few studies have considered the impacts on plant–animal interactions. Reduction of canopy cover by severe winds increases light availability to understory plants, providing an opportunity for increased growth. An...

  18. Understory vegetation as a useful predictor of natural regeneration and canopy dynamics in Pinus sylvestris forests in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucci, Gabriele; Borghetti, Marco

    The relations between understory vegetation, canopy characteristics and natural regeneration have been studied in natural Scots pine forests growing in sub-Mediterranean conditions in Italy. Multivariate ordination techniques (detrended correspondence analysis, DCA, and detrended canonical correspondence analysis, DCCA) have been applied to extract vegetation gradients. The first four DCA axes accounted for 41% of the total variation in vegetation data and DCA ordination patterns have been interpreted by the variability of forest stands, ranging from pioneer pine communities to closed pine stands mixed with hardwood species. Characteristic indicator values (CIVs), computed by understory species abundance using the ELLENBERG'S species scores, have been tentatively used as estimators of environmental variability. Relating vegetation gradients extracted by DCA to CIVs allowed further interpretation of the multivariate ordination patterns. Geographic and edaphic factors had only a minor effect on plant communities in the present study. The competition exerted in mixed stands by hardwood species seems to be the main limiting factor for Scots pine recruitment in the study area. Multivariate synthetic variable and CIVs were found to predict a large proportion of variation in Scots pine recruitment. The application of CIVs for predicting ecological meaningful conditions and their use as a tool for management decisions is discussed.

  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. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onice Teresinha Dall'Oglio

    Full Text Available The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order.

  4. 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

  5. Understory cover and biomass indices predictions for forest ecosystems of the Northwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasile A. Suchar; Nicholas L. Crookston

    2010-01-01

    The understory community is a critical component of many processes of forest ecosystems. Cover and biomass indices of shrubs and herbs of forested ecosystems of Northwestern United States are presented. Various forest data were recorded for 10,895 plots during a Current Vegetation Survey, over the National Forest lands of entire Pacific Northwest. No significant...

  6. Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; environmental consequences fact sheet 10: The Understory Response Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Sutherland; Melanie Miller

    2005-01-01

    The Understory Response Model is a species-specific computer model that qualitatively predicts change in total species biomass for grasses, forbs, and shrubs after thinning, prescribed fire, or wildfire. The model examines the effect of fuels management on plant survivorship and reproduction. This fact sheet identifies the intended users and uses, required inputs, what...

  7. Short-term effects of spring prescribed burning on the understory vegetation of a Pinushalepensis forest in Northeastern Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Laura; Duguy, Beatriz; Nadal-Sala, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    Since the 1970s, fire regimes have been modified in the Northern Mediterranean region due to profound landscape changes mostly driven by socioeconomic factors, such as rural abandonment and large-scale plantations. Both fuel accumulation and the increasing vegetation spatial continuity, combined with the expansion of the wildland-urban interface, have enhanced fire risk and the occurrence of large wildfires. This situation will likely worsen under the projected aridity increase resulting from climate change. Higher fire recurrences, in particular, are expected to cause changes in vegetation composition or structure and affect ecosystems' resilience to fire, which may lead to further land degradation. Prescribed burning is a common fuel reduction technique used for fire prevention, but for conservation and restoration purposes as well. It is still poorly accepted in the Mediterranean region since constrained by critical knowledge gaps about, in particular, its effects on the ecosystems (soil, vegetation). We studied the short-term (10months) effects on the understory vegetation of a spring prescribed burning conducted in a Pinushalepensis forest in Mediterranean climate (Northeastern Spain). Our results show that the understory plant community recovered after the burning without short term significant changes in either species richness, diversity, or floristic composition. Most vegetation structural characteristics were modified though. The burning strongly reduced shrub height, shrub and herbaceous percentage covers, and aerial shrub phytomass; especially its living fine fraction, thus resulting in a less flammable community. The treatment proved to be particularly effective for the short term control of Ulexparviflorus, a highly flammable seeder species. Moreover, the strong reduction of seeder shrubs frequency in relation to resprouters' likely promoted the resilience to fire of this plant community. From a fuel-oriented perspective, the burning caused a strong

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Effect of fire on understory birds of a gallery forest in central Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, M A; Cavalcanti, R B

    1996-11-01

    Habitat burning may cause significant population and community changes in animals and plants, specially when the humans increase fire frequency. We mist-netted the understory birds of a gallery forest from the cerrado region of central Brazil before and after a fire of unknown cause which burned the Ecological Reserve of the University of Brasília, Brasília, DF, in September 1987. We conducted mist-netting mostly during the morning, using 12 mist-nets distributed on 2.5 ha in the interior and border of the forest. We captured 137 individuals of 37 species, 51 individuals of 21 species during 135.5 net/h before the fire, and 98 individuals of 33 species during 233 net/h after the fire. The bird community as a whole did not change after the fire. The observed changes in the bird community were related to the type of habitat used by some species of birds than to their diet. Species typical to gallery forests are probably less adapted to habitat burning than species that occur in other habitats and may be suffering a decrease or a disturbance in their population structure, revealing an important problem of cerrado bird conservation.

  17. Community structures of Mesostigmata, Prostigmata and Oribatida in broad-leaved regeneration forests and conifer plantations of various ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Motohiro; Okabe, Kimiko; Fukuyama, Kenji; Makino, Shun'ichi; Okochi, Isamu; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Goto, Hideaki; Mizoguchi, Takeo; Sakata, Tadashi

    2013-04-01

    The community structures of Mesostigmata, Prostigmata, and Oribatida in the soil of broad-leaved regeneration forests and conifer plantations of various ages were assessed alongside soil and plant environmental variables using three response metrics (density, species richness, and species-abundance distribution). The density and species richness of mites recovered swiftly after clear-cutting or replanting. Oribatid mites dominated the soil mite communities in terms of densities and species richness for both forest types. Soil mite communities in broad-leaved forests was related to forest age, the crown tree communities index, and forest-floor litter weight. In contrast, soil mite communities in the conifer plantation sites were related to various indices of understory plants. The development of the understory plants was synchronized with the silvicultural schedules, including a closed canopy and thinning. Such a conifer plantation management may affect indirectly the community of mites.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Alice Boyle

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive phenologies of plants are constrained by climate in highly seasonal regions. In contrast, plants growing in wet tropical forests are freed from many abiotic constraints, which in canopy tree communities lead to a rich diversity of phenological patterns within and among individuals, species and communities. However, basic descriptions of tropical phenological patterns and the processes that shape them are rare. Here, we document the individual-, population-, and landscape-level phenological patterns of two dominant families of understory woody plants important to avian frugivores, the Melastomataceae and Rubiaceae, along an elevational transect in Costa Rica. The 226 individual plants belonging to 35 species in this study, varied in the number of reproductive bouts/year, and the timing, duration, and synchrony of reproductive stages. This variation was not related to factors related to their interactions with mutualists and antagonists, nor did it appear to be constrained by phylogeny. Diverse phenological patterns among species led to relatively aseasonal patterns at the community and landscape level. Overall, evidence for biotic processes shaping temporal patterns of fruiting phenology was weak or absent. These findings reveal a number of unexplained patterns, and suggest that factors shaping phenology in relatively aseasonal forests operate in idiosyncratic ways at the species level.En regiones con marcada estacionalidad, los patrones fenológicos de las plantas están limitados por el clima. Por el contrario, las plantas que crecen en bosques húmedos tropicales, no tienen tantas limitaciones abióticas y es por esto que el dosel presenta una diversidad muy rica en los patrones fenológicos de individuos, especies y comunidades. Sin embargo, es muy escasa la información sobre la descripción básica de los patrones fenológicos tropicales y de los procesos que los afectan. En este documento, presentamos los patrones fenol

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Restoring forest herb communities through landscape-level deer herd reductions: Is recovery limited by legacy effects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Susan L. Stout; David S. deCalesta; Timothy G. Pierson

    2010-01-01

    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) overbrowsing has altered plant species diversity throughout deciduous forest understories in eastern North America. Here we report on a landscape-level (306 km2) project in Pennsylvania, USA that tracked the herbaceous community response to deer herd reductions. From 2001 to 2007, we...

  5. Understory bamboo discrimination using a winter image

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    In this study, a new approach is presented that combines forest phenology and Landsat vegetation indices to estimate evergreen understory bamboo coverage in a mixed temperate forest. It was found that vegetation indices, especially the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from

  6. Long-term regional shifts in plant community composition are largely explained by local deer impact experiments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie Frerker

    Full Text Available The fact that herbivores and predators exert top-down effects to alter community composition and dynamics at lower trophic levels is no longer controversial, yet we still lack evidence of the full nature, extent, and longer-term effects of these impacts. Here, we use results from a set of replicated experiments on the local impacts of white-tailed deer to evaluate the extent to which such impacts could account for half-century shifts in forest plant communities across the upper Midwest, USA. We measured species' responses to deer at four sites using 10-20 year-old deer exclosures. Among common species, eight were more abundant outside the exclosures, seven were commoner inside, and 16 had similar abundances in- and outside. Deer herbivory greatly increased the abundance of ferns and graminoids and doubled the abundance of exotic plants. In contrast, deer greatly reduced tree regeneration, shrub cover (100-200 fold in two species, plant height, plant reproduction, and the abundance of forbs. None of 36 focal species increased in reproduction or grew taller in the presence of deer, contrary to expectations. We compared these results to data on 50-year regional shifts in species abundances across 62 sites. The effects of herbivory by white-tailed deer accurately account for many of the long-term regional shifts observed in species' abundances (R2 = 0.41. These results support the conjecture that deer impacts have driven many of the regional shifts in forest understory cover and composition observed in recent decades. Our ability to link results from shorter-term, local experiments to regional long-term studies of ecological change strengthens the inferences we can draw from both approaches.

  7. 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...

  8. Understory species richness in an urban forest fragment, Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Ramos de Souza

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study characterizes the floristic composition of the understory of Parque Estadual de Dois Irmãos, (08°01’15.1”S and 34°56’3.2”W, an area of about 370ha characterized as a lowland ombrophilous dense forest. The study included individuals with heights of up to 4.0m, such as treelets, shrubs, sub-bushes and terricolous herb plants, in fertile conditions. The collections were made every two weeks along a period of 24 months. A total of 108 species, belonging to 86 genera and 49 families, were recorded. The families with the highest number of species were Rubiaceae (14, Fabaceae (9 Melastomataceae (8, Asteraceae (8, Myrtaceae (6, and Poaceae (4. The Fabaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae and Rubiaceae presented the highest number of understory species in this fragment. Generally, among the studies made in the Atlantic forest areas in Pernambuco, the presence of a set of tree species common to these forests is evidenced.

  9. Comunidade de aves de sub-bosque em uma área de entorno do Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Understory bird community in a surrounded area of Itatiaia National Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliana R. Maia-Gouvêa

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho foi realizado em mata secundária no Município de Itatiaia, Estado do Rio de Janeiro (22º30'S e 44º30'W próximo ao Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, com o objeitvo de descrever a comunidade de aves ali presente. Foram amostrados três tipos vegetacionais distintos: reflorestamento, bosque e pomar, tendo sido realizadas 19 excursões entre 1984 e 1999. As aves foram amostradas através de capturas com redes de neblina e anilhamento, tendo sido utilizadas de 15 a 31 redes de 12 x 2 m e malha 36 mm. Foram também obtidas medidas morfométricas (comprimento total, asa, bico, cauda e tarso e dados biológicos (sexo, idade reprodução e muda. Depois de 5.621,79 horas-rede, foi registrado um total de 553 capturas, com 71 recapturas (12,84%; 417 indivíduos foram anilhados, e 65 beija-flores deixaram de ser marcados por falta de anilhas específicas. A comunidade estudada esteve representada por 77 espécies e 18 famílias, apresentando índice de diversidade H' = -1,594 e a curva do coletor com tendência à estabilização. As famílias com maior número de espécies foram Emberizidae (n = 21; 27,27% e Tyrannidae (n = 15; 19,48%. As espécies com maior abundância relativa foram Turdus leucomelas (n = 40; 9,59% e Turdus rufiventris (n = 36; 8,63%. Seis das espécies amostradas (7,8% são endêmicas do bioma Mata Atlântica. Na estação chuvosa foram amostradas 68 espécies, e na estação seca, 42; e as capturas estiveram relacionadas com as chuvas (rs = -0,6778; p = 0,05. O período reprodutivo ocorreu de outubro a março estando correlacionado com o início da estação chuvosa (rs = -0,702; p = 0,052.This study was conduced in a second growth woodland close to Itatiaia National Park (22º30'S e 44º30'W, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, and aimed to describe the understory bird community living in this area. We sampled three different vegetation types, reforestation, wood and orchard, through 19 field trips between 1984 and 1999. Birds

  10. Impacts of cwd on understory biodiversity in forest ecosystems in the qinling mountains, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, J.; Wei, X.; Shang, Z.; Cheng, F.; Hu, Z.; Zheng, X.; Zhang, S.

    2015-01-01

    The stocks and characteristics of coarse woody debris (CWD) are expected to reflect forest stand features. However, despite their importance, there have been no reports of CWD stocks and characteristics in the Qinling Mountains. We measured the CWD stocks in different CWD types, decay classes and diameter classes of the five forest types in the Qinling Mountains. The highest biomass of CWD was the Pinus tabulaeformis forest (12.57 t-hm /sup -2/), occupied 5.66 percentage in the biomass of this forest, the lowest occupied 1.03 percentage in Betula albo-sinensis forest (1.82 t-hm /sup -2/). Our results revealed that there was a strong correlation between CWD and forest biomass. When the CWD biomass were 9.9 t-hm /sup -2/ and 11.6 hm /sup -2/, the biomass of Pinus armandi forest and P. tabulaeformis forest reached maximum, respectively. CWD is particularly important for biodiversity, but the importance of CWD in the control of diversity in forest systems has not been fully appreciated and certainly has not been evaluated intensively within China, especially in Qinling forests. In our research, we used species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H), Simpson index (D) and Pielou evenness index (J) to assess the diversity of plant community. According to our analysis, we found 1) the effect of CWD biomass on these a diversity index was dependent on tree, shrub and herb in the five forest types, 2) the impacts of CWD biomass on understory biodiversity were more obvious, 3) With the increase of CWD biomass, the species richness (S), Shannon-Wiener index (H) and Simpson index (D) of understory increased significantly. Our results suggested that there was a relatively lower CWD biomass in the Qinling Mountains, but it had significant effects on forest biomass and diversity of plant community. Reserving CWD was important for eco-forestry, but how many and how characteristic of CWD should be retained need further research. Development of CWD reasonable strategies was

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Classification and ordination of understory vegetation using multivariate techniques in the Pinus wallichiana forests of Swat Valley, northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Inayat Ur; Khan, Nasrullah; Ali, Kishwar

    2017-04-01

    An understory vegetation survey of the Pinus wallichiana-dominated temperate forests of Swat District was carried out to inspect the structure, composition and ecological associations of the forest vegetation. A quadrat method of sampling was used to record the floristic and phytosociological data necessary for the analysis using 300 quadrats of 10 × 10 m each. Some vegetation parameters viz. frequency and density for trees (overstory vegetation) as well as for the understory vegetation were recorded. The results revealed that in total, 92 species belonging to 77 different genera and 45 families existed in the area. The largest families were Asteraceae, Rosaceae and Lamiaceae with 12, ten and nine species, respectively. Ward's agglomerative cluster analysis for tree species resulted in three floristically and ecologically distinct community types along different topographic and soil variables. Importance value indices (IVI) were also calculated for understory vegetation and were subjected to ordination techniques, i.e. canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). DCA bi-plots for stands show that most of the stands were scattered around the centre of the DCA bi-plot, identified by two slightly scattered clusters. DCA for species bi-plot clearly identified three clusters of species revealing three types of understory communities in the study area. Results of the CCA were somewhat different from the DCA showing the impact of environmental variables on the understory species. CCA results reveal that three environmental variables, i.e. altitude, slope and P (mg/kg), have a strong influence on distribution of stands and species. Impact of tree species on the understory vegetation was also tested by CCA which showed that four tree species, i.e. P. wallichiana A.B. Jackson, Juglans regia Linn., Quercus dilatata Lindl. ex Royle and Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex Lamb.) G. Don, have strong influences on associated understory vegetation. It

  14. 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...

  15. 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....

  16. Inter- and under-canopy soil water, leaf-level and whole-plant gas exchange dynamics of a semi-arid perennial C4 grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamerlynck, Erik P; Scott, Russell L; Susan Moran, M; Schwander, Andrea M; Connor, Erin; Huxman, Travis E

    2011-01-01

    It is not clear if tree canopies in savanna ecosystems exert positive or negative effects on soil moisture, and how these might affect understory plant carbon balance. To address this, we quantified rooting-zone volumetric soil moisture (θ(25 cm)), plant size, leaf-level and whole-plant gas exchange of the bunchgrass, bush muhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), growing under and between mesquite (Prosopis velutina) in a southwestern US savanna. Across two contrasting monsoon seasons, bare soil θ(25 cm) was 1.0-2.5% lower in understory than in the intercanopy, and was consistently higher than in soils under grasses, where θ(25 cm) was similar between locations. Understory plants had smaller canopy areas and volumes with larger basal diameters than intercanopy plants. During an above-average monsoon, intercanopy and understory plants had similar seasonal light-saturated leaf-level photosynthesis (A(net-sat)), stomatal conductance (g(s-sat)), and whole-plant aboveground respiration (R(auto)), but with higher whole-plant photosynthesis (GEP(plant)) and transpiration (T(plant)) in intercanopy plants. During a below-average monsoon, intercanopy plants had higher diurnally integrated GEP(plant), R(auto), and T(plant). These findings showed little evidence of strong, direct positive canopy effects to soil moisture and attendant plant performance. Rather, it seems understory conditions foster competitive dominance by drought-tolerant species, and that positive and negative canopy effects on soil moisture and community and ecosystem processes depends on a suite of interacting biotic and abiotic factors.

  17. 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.

  18. Resource Limitations Influence Growth and Vigor of Idaho Fescue, a Common Understory Species in Pacific Northwest Ponderosa Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig A. Carr

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in under-canopy resource availability associated with elevated ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. abundance can negatively influence understory vegetation. Experimental evidence linking under-canopy resource availability and understory vegetation is scarce. Yet this information would be beneficial in developing management strategies to recover desired understory species. We tested the effects of varying nitrogen (N and light availability on Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer, the dominant understory species in ponderosa pine/Idaho fescue plant associations in eastern Oregon. In a greenhouse experiment, two levels of N (50 kg∙N∙ha−1 and 0 kg∙N∙ha−1 and shade (80% shade and 0% shade were applied in a split-plot design to individual potted plants grown in soil collected from high abundance pine stands. Plants grown in unshaded conditions produced greater root (p = 0.0027 and shoot (p = 0.0017 biomass and higher cover values (p = 0.0378 compared to those in the shaded treatments. The addition of N had little effect on plant growth (p = 0.1602, 0.5129, and 0.0853 for shoot biomass, root biomass, and cover, respectively, suggesting that soils in high-density ponderosa pine stands that lack understory vegetation were not N deficient and Idaho fescue plants grown in these soils were not N limited. Management activities that increase under-canopy light availability will promote the conditions necessary for Idaho fescue recovery. However, successful restoration may be constrained by a lack of residual fescue or the invasion of more competitive understory vegetation.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m 3  ha -1 , respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Comparative life history and physiology of two understory Neotropical herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulkey, Stephen S; Smith, Alan P; Wright, S Joseph

    1991-10-01

    Demography and physiology of two broad-leaved understory tropical herbs (Marantaceae) were studied in gaps and shaded understory in large-scale irrigated and control treatments during the dry season at Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. Because photosynthetic acclimation potential may not predict light environments where tropical species are found, we studied a suite of physiological features to determine if they uniquely reflect the distribution of each species. Calathea inocephala and Pleiostachya pruinosa grow and reproduce in gaps, persist in shade, and have equivalent rates of leaf production. Calathea leaves survived 2 to 3 times as long as leaves of Pleiostachya and plants of Pleiostachya were 6 to 8 times more likely to die as plants of Calathea during 3.5 years of study. Pleiostachya had lowest survival in shade and when not irrigated during the dry season, while Calathea survived well in both habitats and both treatments. Pleiostachya had higher photosynthetic capacity and stomatal conductance than Calathea and acclimated to gaps by producing leaves with higher photosynthetic capacity. Calathea had lower mesophyll CO 2 concentrations than Pleiostachya. Both species had similar dark respiration rates and light compensation points, and water-use and nitrogen-use efficiencies were inversely related between species. Species showed no differences in leaf osmotic potentials at full turgor. Calathea roots were deeper and had tuberous swellings.Leaf-level assimilation and potential water loss are consistent with where these species are found, but photosynthetic acclimation to high light does not reflect both species' abilities to grow and reproduce in gaps. Pleiostachya's gap-dependent, rapid growth and reproduction require high rates of carbon gain in short-lived leaves, which can amortize their cost quickly. High rates of water loss are associated with reduced longevity during drought. Calathea's roots may confer greater capacitance, while its leaves are

  13. Contributions of understory and/or overstory vegetations to soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities in Eucalyptus monocultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jie; Wan, Songze; Zhang, Chenlu; Liu, Zhanfeng; Zhou, Lixia; Fu, Shenglei

    2014-01-01

    Ecological interactions between aboveground and belowground biodiversity have received many attentions in the recent decades. Although soil biodiversity declined with the decrease of plant diversity, many previous studies found plant species identities were more important than plant diversity in controlling soil biodiversity. This study focused on the responses of soil biodiversity to the altering of plant functional groups, namely overstory and understory vegetations, rather than plant diversity gradient. We conducted an experiment by removing overstory and/or understory vegetation to compare their effects on soil microbial phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and nematode diversities in eucalyptus monocultures. Our results indicated that both overstory and understory vegetations could affect soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities, which manifested as the decrease in Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') and Pielou evenness index (J) and the increase in Simpson dominance index (λ) after vegetation removal. Soil microclimate change explained part of variance of soil biodiversity indices. Both overstory and understory vegetations positively correlated with soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities. In addition, the alteration of soil biodiversity might be due to a mixing effect of bottom-up control and soil microclimate change after vegetation removal in the studied plantations. Given the studied ecosystem is common in humid subtropical and tropical region of the world, our findings might have great potential to extrapolate to large scales and could be conducive to ecosystem management and service.

  14. Contributions of understory and/or overstory vegetations to soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities in Eucalyptus monocultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Zhao

    Full Text Available Ecological interactions between aboveground and belowground biodiversity have received many attentions in the recent decades. Although soil biodiversity declined with the decrease of plant diversity, many previous studies found plant species identities were more important than plant diversity in controlling soil biodiversity. This study focused on the responses of soil biodiversity to the altering of plant functional groups, namely overstory and understory vegetations, rather than plant diversity gradient. We conducted an experiment by removing overstory and/or understory vegetation to compare their effects on soil microbial phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA and nematode diversities in eucalyptus monocultures. Our results indicated that both overstory and understory vegetations could affect soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities, which manifested as the decrease in Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H' and Pielou evenness index (J and the increase in Simpson dominance index (λ after vegetation removal. Soil microclimate change explained part of variance of soil biodiversity indices. Both overstory and understory vegetations positively correlated with soil microbial PLFA and nematode diversities. In addition, the alteration of soil biodiversity might be due to a mixing effect of bottom-up control and soil microclimate change after vegetation removal in the studied plantations. Given the studied ecosystem is common in humid subtropical and tropical region of the world, our findings might have great potential to extrapolate to large scales and could be conducive to ecosystem management and service.

  15. 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.

  16. 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....

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. On the formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2006-01-01

    The mechanistic basis underpinning forest succession is the gap-phase paradigm in which overstory disturbance interacts with seedling and sapling shade tolerance to determine successional trajectories. The theory, and ensuing simulation models, typically assume that understory plants have little impact on the advance regeneration layer's composition. We challenge...

  1. Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Wang, Shunzhong; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Plantation and secondary forests form increasingly important components of the global forest cover, but our current knowledge about their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is limited. We surveyed understory plant and carabid species assemblages at three distinct regions in

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Restoring Southern Pine Forests Ecosystems: Plant Community Response to Mechanical Midstory History Reduction and Prescribed Fire on Sandhills at Fort Benning Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale Brockway; Kenneth W. Outcalt; Becky L. Estes

    2003-01-01

    Developed during periods of fire exclusion, dense midstory vegetation, that reduces understory plant diversity (competitive shading) and increases the risk of damaging Wildfire (fuel ladder from ground to canopy), has impeded restoration efforts to safely reintroduce prescribed burning in southern pine ecosystems. Our study evaluated the effects of midstory reduction...

  7. Short-term light and leaf photosynthetic dynamics affect estimates of daily understory photosynthesis in four tree species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumburg, Elke; Ellsworth, David S

    2002-04-01

    Instantaneous measurements of photosynthesis are often implicitly or explicitly scaled to longer time frames to provide an understanding of plant performance in a given environment. For plants growing in a forest understory, results from photosynthetic light response curves in conjunction with diurnal light data are frequently extrapolated to daily photosynthesis (A(day)), ignoring dynamic photosynthetic responses to light. In this study, we evaluated the importance of two factors on A(day) estimates: dynamic physiological responses to photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD); and time-resolution of the PPFD data used for modeling. We used a dynamic photosynthesis model to investigate how these factors interact with species-specific photosynthetic traits, forest type, and sky conditions to affect the accuracy of A(day) predictions. Increasing time-averaging of PPFD significantly increased the relative overestimation of A(day) similarly for all study species because of the nonlinear response of photosynthesis to PPFD (15% with 5-min PPFD means). Depending on the light environment characteristics and species-specific dynamic responses to PPFD, understory tree A(day) can be overestimated by 6-42% for the study species by ignoring these dynamics. Although these overestimates decrease under cloudy conditions where direct sunlight and consequently understory sunfleck radiation is reduced, they are still significant. Within a species, overestimation of A(day) as a result of ignoring dynamic responses was highly dependent on daily sunfleck PPFD and the frequency and irradiance of sunflecks. Overall, large overestimates of A(day) in understory trees may cause misleading inferences concerning species growth and competition in forest understories with sunlight. We conclude that comparisons of A(day) among co-occurring understory species in deep shade will be enhanced by consideration of sunflecks by using high-resolution PPFD data and understanding the physiological

  8. Estimating aboveground live understory vegetation carbon in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kristofer D.; Domke, Grant M.; Russell, Matthew B.; Walters, Brian; Hom, John; Peduzzi, Alicia; Birdsey, Richard; Dolan, Katelyn; Huang, Wenli

    2017-12-01

    Despite the key role that understory vegetation plays in ecosystems and the terrestrial carbon cycle, it is often overlooked and has few quantitative measurements, especially at national scales. To understand the contribution of understory carbon to the United States (US) carbon budget, we developed an approach that relies on field measurements of understory vegetation cover and height on US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) subplots. Allometric models were developed to estimate aboveground understory carbon. A spatial model based on stand characteristics and remotely sensed data was also applied to estimate understory carbon on all FIA plots. We found that most understory carbon was comprised of woody shrub species (64%), followed by nonwoody forbs and graminoid species (35%) and seedlings (1%). The largest estimates were found in temperate or warm humid locations such as the Pacific Northwest and southeastern US, thus following the same broad trend as aboveground tree biomass. The average understory aboveground carbon density was estimated to be 0.977 Mg ha-1, for a total estimate of 272 Tg carbon across all managed forest land in the US (approximately 2% of the total aboveground live tree carbon pool). This estimate is more than twice as low as previous FIA modeled estimates that did not rely on understory measurements, suggesting that this pool may currently be overestimated in US National Greenhouse Gas reporting.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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

  5. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    habitat research and management. The success here to map bamboo has important implications for giant panda conservation and provides a good foundation for developing methods to map the spatial distributions of understory plant species. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of bamboo is necessary to accurately measure the quantity and landscape characteristics of giant panda habitat. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  6. 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

  7. The Frequency and Fate of Understory Forest Fires in Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, D. C.; le page, Y.; Wang, D.; Chen, Y.; Randerson, J. T.; Collatz, G. J.; Giglio, L.; Hurtt, G. C.; DeFries, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    Fires for deforestation or agricultural management frequently escape their intended boundaries and burn standing Amazon forests. The extent and frequency of understory forest fires are critical to assess forest carbon emissions and the long-term legacy of understory fires in Amazonia. Patterns of understory fire activity under current climate conditions also offer a blueprint for potential changes in Amazon forests under scenarios of future climate and land use. Here, we estimated of the extent and frequency of understory forest fires for the entire arc of deforestation in southern Amazonia using a time series of annual Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Understory forest fires burned more than 80,000 km2 during 1999-2010. Fires were widespread along the southern and eastern extents of Amazon forests during the four years with highest fire activity (1999, 2005, 2007, 2010). The interannual variability in understory fires offered new insights into fire-climate dynamics in Amazonia over a range of temporal scales, based on the combination of burned area, MODIS active fire detections, and reanalysis climate data. Initial fire exposure reduces aboveground carbon stocks, and frequent fires are one possible mechanism for long-term changes the structure of Amazon forests. Repeated burning was concentrated in southeastern Amazonia, and >95% of all repeated fires occurred in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará. Forests that burned two or more times during this period accounted for 16% of understory fire activity. Finally, deforestation of burned forests was rare, suggesting that forest degradation from understory fires was an independent source of carbon emissions during this period. Modeling the time scales of carbon loss and recovery in burned forests is therefore critical to estimate the net carbon emissions from these fires. The results of this study suggest that understory fires operate as a large-scale edge effect in Amazonia, as

  8. 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.

  9. 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,

  10. Contrasting structure and composition of the understory in species-rich tropical rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaFrankie, James V; Ashton, Peter S; Chuyong, George B; Co, Leonardo; Condit, Richard; Davies, Stuart J; Foster, Robin; Hubbell, Stephen P; Kenfack, David; Lagunzad, Daniel; Losos, Elizabeth C; Nor, Noor Supardi Md; Tan, Sylvester; Thomas, Duncan W; Valencia, Renato; Villa, Gorky

    2006-09-01

    In large samples of trees > or = 1 cm dbh (more than 1 million trees and 3000 species), in six lowland tropical forests on three continents, we assigned species with >30 individuals to one of six classes of stature at maturity (SAM). We then compared the proportional representation of understory trees (1-2 cm dbh) among these classes. The understory of the three Asian sites was predominantly composed of the saplings of large-canopy trees whereas the African and American sites were more richly stocked with trees of the smaller SAM classes. Differences in class representation were related to taxonomic families that were present exclusively in one continent or another. Families found in the Asian plots but not in the American plot (e.g., Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae) were predominantly species of the largest SAM classes, whereas families exclusive to the American plots (e.g., Melastomataceae sensu stricto, Piperaceae, and Malvaceae [Bombacacoidea]) were predominantly species of small classes. The African plot was similar to Asia in the absence of those American families rich in understory species, while similar to America in lacking the Asian families rich in canopy species. The numerous understory species of Africa were chiefly derived from families shared with Asia and/or America. The ratio of saplings (1-2 cm dbh) to conspecific canopy trees (>40 cm dbh) was lower in American plots than in the Asian plots. Possible explanations for these differences include phenology, moisture and soil fertility regimes, phyletic constraints, and the role of early successional plants in forest development. These results demonstrate that tropical forests that appear similar in tree number, basal area, and the family taxonomy of canopy trees nonetheless differ in ecological structure in ways that may impact the ecology of pollinators, dispersers, and herbivores and might reflect fundamental differences in canopy tree regeneration.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. The interplay of plant and animal disease in a changing landscape: the role of sudden aspen decline in moderating Sin Nombre virus prevalence in natural deer mouse populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, Erin M; Korb, Julie; Bombaci, Sara; McLean, Nellie; Ghachu, Joni; Hart, Lacey; Kelly, Ashley; Jara-Molinar, Edlin; O'Brien, Colleen; Wright, Kimberly

    2012-06-01

    We examined how climate-mediated forest dieback regulates zoonotic disease prevalence using the relationship between sudden aspen decline (SAD) and Sin Nombre virus (SNV) as a model system. We compared understory plant community structure, small mammal community composition, and SNV prevalence on 12 study sites within aspen forests experiencing levels of SAD ranging from 95.0% crown fade. Our results show that sites with the highest levels of SAD had reduced canopy cover, stand density, and basal area, and these differences were reflected by reductions in understory vegetation cover. Conversely, sites with the highest levels of SAD had greater understory standing biomass, suggesting that vegetation on these sites was highly clustered. Changes in forest and understory vegetation structure likely resulted in shifts in small mammal community composition across the SAD gradient, as we found reduced species diversity and higher densities of deer mice, the primary host for SNV, on sites with the highest levels of SAD. Sites with the highest levels of SAD also had significantly greater SNV prevalence compared to sites with lower levels of SAD, which is likely a result of their abundance of deer mice. Collectively, results of our research provide strong evidence to show SAD has considerable impacts on vegetation community structure, small mammal density and biodiversity and the prevalence of SNV.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Floristic conservation value, nested understory floras, and the development of second-growth forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spyreas, Greg; Matthews, Jeffrey W

    2006-08-01

    Nestedness analysis can reveal patterns of plant composition and diversity among forest patches. For nested floral assemblages, the plants occupying any one patch are a nested subset of the plants present in successively more speciose patches. Elimination of sensitive understory plants with human disturbance is one of several mechanisms hypothesized to generate nonrandom, nested floral distributions. Hypotheses explaining distributions of understory plants remain unsubstantiated across broad landscapes of varying forest types and disturbance histories. We sampled the vegetation of 51 floodplain and 55 upland forests across Illinois (USA) to examine how the diversity, composition, and nestedness of understory floras related to their overstory growth and structure (basal area), and their overall floristic conservation value (mean C). We found that plant assemblages were nested with respect to site species richness, such that rare plants indicated diverse forests. Floras were also nested with respect to site mean C and basal area (BA). However, in an opposite pattern from what we had expected, floras of high-BA stands were nested subsets of those of low-BA stands. A set of early-successional plants restricted to low-BA stands, and more importantly, the absence of a set of true forest plants in high-BA stands, accounted for this pattern. Additionally, we observed a decrease in species richness with increasing BA. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that recovery of true forest plants does not occur concurrently with overstory regeneration following massive anthropogenic disturbance. Nestedness by site mean C indicates that high conservation value (conservative) plants co-occur in highly diverse stands; these forests are assumed to be less disturbed historically. Because site mean C was uncorrelated with BA, BA-neutral disturbances such as livestock usage are suggested as accounting for between-site differences in mean C. When considered individually

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Restoring Native Forest Understory: The Influence of Ferns and Light in a Hawaiian Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Shallenberger

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration is an increasingly important component of sustainable land management. We explore potential facilitative relationships for enhancing the cost-effectiveness of restoring native forest understory, focusing on two factors: (1 overstory shade and (2 possible facilitation by a fern (Dryopteris wallichiana, one of few native colonists of pasture in our montane Hawaiˈi study system. We planted 720 understory tree seedlings and over 4000 seeds of six species under six planting treatments: a full factorial combination of low, medium and high light, situating plantings in either the presence or absence of a mature fern. After three years, 75% of outplanted seedlings survived. Seedling survivorship was significantly higher in the presence of a fern (79% vs. 71% without a fern and in medium and low light conditions (81% vs. 64% in high light. Relative height was highest at low to medium light levels. After 2.2 years, 2.8% of the planted seeds germinated. We observed no significant differences in seed germination relative to light level or fern presence. Analyzing several approaches, we found nursery germination of seeds followed by outplanting ca. 20% less costly than direct seeding in the field. This study opens new questions about facilitation mechanisms that have the potential to increase the extent and effectiveness of restoration efforts.

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Understory biomass from southern pine forests as a fuel source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ku, T.T. [Univ. of Arkansas, Monticello, AR (United States); Baker, J.B. [USDA Forest Service, Monticello, AR (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The energy crisis in the US in the late 1970s led to accelerated research on renewable energy resources. The use of woody biomass, harvested from pine forests in the southern US, as a renewable energy source would not only provide an efficient energy alternative to forest industries, but its use would also reduce understory competition and accelerate growth of overstory crop trees. This study was initiated in the early 1980s to investigate the feasibility and applicability of the use of understory vegetation as a possible energy fuel resource. All woody understory vegetation [<14 cm (<5.5 in) in dbh], on 0.2 ha (0.5 ac) plots that represented a range of stand/site conditions of pine stands located in twelve southern Arkansas counties and two northern Louisiana parishes were characterized, quantified, and harvested. Based on the biomass yield from 720 subplots nested within 40 main plots, the top five dominant species in the understory, based on number and size were: Red maple, red oaks, pines, sweetgum, and winged elm. Some other species occurring, but in smaller proportions, were flowering dogwood, beautyberry, white oaks, black gum, wax myrtle, hickories, persimmon, and ashes. Most of these species are deciduous hardwoods that provide high BTU output upon burning. The average yield of chipped understory biomass was 23.5 T/ha with no difference occurring between summer and winter harvests. A predictive model of understory biomass production was developed using a step-wise multivariate regression analysis. In relation to forest type, high density pine stands produced 53% more understory biomass than high density pine-hardwood stands. The average moisture content of biomass was significantly lower when harvested in winter than when harvested in summer.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Five-year growth responses of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western redcedar seedlings to manipulated levels of overstory and understory competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    T.B. Harrington

    2006-01-01

    Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western redcedar seedlings were planted in 2001 within clearcuts, shelterwoods, or thinned stands of second-growth Douglas-fir. Understory vegetation was left untreated or removed to provide areas of vegetation control (AVC) of 0, 50, or 100 percent of seedling growing space. Third-year stem volume of seedlings growing in clearcuts...

  17. Direct and indirect effects of a dense understory on tree seedling recruitment in temperate forests: habitat-mediated predation versus competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro A. Royo; Walter P. Carson

    2008-01-01

    In forests characterized by a dense woody and herbaceous understory layer, seedling recruitment is often directly suppressed via interspecific competition. Alternatively, these dense layers may indirectly lower tree recruitment by providing a haven for seed and seedling predators that prey on neighboring plant species. To simultaneously...

  18. LEAF AREA INDEX (LAI) CHANGE DETECTION ON LOBLOLLY PINE FOREST STANDS WITH COMPLETE UNDERSTORY REMOVAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    The confounding effect of understory vegetation contributions to satellite derived estimates of leaf area index (LAI) was investigated on two loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest stands located in the southeastern United States. Previous studies have shown that understory can a...

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Examining spring phenology of forest understory using digital photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang Liang; Mark D. Schwartz; Songlin. Fei

    2011-01-01

    Phenology is an important indicator of forest health in relation to energy/nutrient cycles and species interactions. Accurate characterization of forest understory phenology is a crucial part of forest phenology observation. In this study, ground plots set up in a temperate mixed forest in Wisconsin were observed with a visible-light digital camera during spring 2007....

  13. Little response of true fir saplings to understory shrub removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    William W. Oliver; Fabian C.C. Uzoh

    2002-01-01

    The ability of white fir and California red fir to become established, persist, and eventually dominate montane shrub fields is well known. When the firs have eventually dominated do the understory shrubs continue to inhibit growth? In a small study in the southern Cascade Range of northeastern California, we tested the growth response of a thinned stand of saplings to...

  14. 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/).

  15. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Water is one of the key factors driving ecosystem productivity, especially in water-limited ecosystems. Thus a separation of these component fluxes is needed to gain a functional understanding on the development of net ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Oxygen isotope signatures are valuable tracers for such water movements within the ecosystem because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water in the soil and vegetation. Here, a novel approach was used (Dubbert et al., 2013), combining a custom build flow-through gas-exchange branch chamber with a Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland where two vegetation layers respond differently to drought: oak-trees (Quercus suber L.) avoid drought due to their access to ground water while herbaceous plants survive the summer as seeds. We used this approach to quantify the impact of the understory herbaceous vegetation on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes throughout the year and disentangle how ET components of the ecosystem relate to carbon dioxide exchange. Partitioning ecosystem ET and NEE into its three sources revealed that understory vegetation contributed markedly to ecosystem ET and gross primary production (GPP; max. 43 and 51%, respectively). It reached similar water-use efficiencies (WUE) as cork-oak trees and significantly contributed to the ecosystem sink-strength in spring and fall. The understory vegetation layer further strongly inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish ecosystem WUE during water-limited times (Dubbert et al., 2014a). Although, during most of the year, interactions with trees neither facilitated nor hampered the development of the understory vegetation, strong competition for water could be observed at the end of the growing period, which shortened the life-cycle of understory plants and significantly reduced the carbon uptake of the ecosystem in spring (Dubbert et al., 2014b). Finally, herbaceous understory

  16. The effect of land-use on the diversity and mass-abundance relationships of understory avian insectivores in Sri Lanka and southern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreekar, Rachakonda; Srinivasan, Umesh; Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Manage Goodale, Uromi; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-06-25

    Understory avian insectivores are especially sensitive to deforestation, although regional differences in how these species respond to human disturbance may be linked to varying land-use histories. South Asia experienced widespread conversion of forest to agriculture in the nineteenth century, providing a comparison to tropical areas deforested more recently. In Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, we compared understory insectivores to other guilds, and to insectivores with different vertical strata preferences, both inside mixed-species flocks and for the whole bird community. Overall species richness did not change across the land-use gradient, although there was substantial turnover in species composition between land-use types. We found that the proportion of species represented by insectivores was ~1.14 times higher in forest compared to agriculture, and the proportion of insectivores represented by understory species was ~1.32 times higher in forests. Mass-abundance relationships were very different when analyzed on mixed-species flocks compared to the total community, perhaps indicating reduced competition in these mutualisms. We show that South Asia fits the worldwide pattern of understory insectivores declining with increased land-use intensity, and conclude that these species can be used globally as indicator and/or umbrella species for conservation across different disturbance time scales.

  17. Driving Factors of Understory Evapotranspiration within a Siberian Larch Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobio, A.; Loranty, M. M.; Kropp, H.; Pena, H., III; Alexander, H. D.; Natali, S.; Kholodov, A. L.; Spawn, S.; Farmer, S.

    2017-12-01

    Amplified rates of climate change are causing alterations in vegetation productivity, hydrologic cycling, and wildfire severity and intensity in arctic ecosystems. Boreal larch forests in northeastern Siberia are a critical but understudied ecosystem that are affected by these modifications. These forests cover 2.5 million km2 with densities ranging from spare to thick. The current average canopy cover is at around 17% and is expected to increase with the observed increases in vegetation productivity and wildfire. These projected changes in forest density can alter the proportional contributions of over- and understory vegetation to whole ecosystem evapotranspiration. Low density boreal forests have much higher rates of understory evapotranspiration and can contribute as much as 80% to total ecosystem evapotranspiration, while the understory in high density forests is responsible for only around 15% of total ecosystem evapotranspiration. The objective of this research is to understand why there are changes in understory evapotranspiration with varying overstory density by looking at light levels, biomass, vegetation, and air and soil differences. To better learn about these differences in understory evapotranspiration in boreal larch forests the driving factors of evapotranspiration were measured within a burn scar with varying densities of high, medium, and low. Water fluxes were conducted using the static chamber technique under different environmental conditions. Furthermore, controlling factors of evapotranspiration such as photosynethically active radiation, vapor pressure deficit, soil moisture, moss cover, biomass, and leaf area index were measured or derived. In general, we found that low density areas have highest rates of evapotranspiration due to larger amount of biomass, and increased access to light, despite low levels of soil moisture. These results can help us understand how and why total ecosystem water exchange will change in boreal larch forests

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Patterns of Understory Diversity in Mixed Coniferous Forests of Southern California Impacted by Air Pollution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edith B. Allen

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The forests of the San Bernardino Mountains have been subject to ozone and nitrogen (N deposition for some 60 years. Much work has been done to assess the impacts of these pollutants on trees, but little is known about how the diverse understory flora has fared. Understory vegetation has declined in diversity in response to elevated N in the eastern U.S. and Europe. Six sites along an ozone and N deposition gradient that had been part of a long-term study on response of plants to air pollution beginning in 1973 were resampled in 2003. Historic ozone data and leaf injury scores confirmed the gradient. Present-day ozone levels were almost half of these, and recent atmospheric N pollution concentrations confirmed the continued air pollution gradient. Both total and extractable soil N were higher in sites on the western end of the gradient closer to the urban source of pollution, pH was lower, and soil carbon (C and litter were higher. The gradient also had decreasing precipitation and increasing elevation from west to east. However, the dominant tree species were the same across the gradient.

  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. 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.

  4. Elevated native terrestrial snail abundance and diversity in association with an invasive understory shrub, Berberis thunbergii, in a North American deciduous forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utz, Ryan M.; Pearce, Timothy A.; Lewis, Danielle L.; Mannino, Joseph C.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive terrestrial plants often substantially reshape environments, yet how such invasions affect terrestrial snail assemblages remains understudied. We investigated how snail assemblages in deciduous forest soils with dense Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), an invasive shrub in eastern North America, differ from forest areas lacking the shrub. Leaf litter and soil samples were collected from forest patches with dense B. thunbergii understories and adjacent control areas within two exurban forest tracts in western Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Snails were identified to species and quantified by standard diversity metrics. Contrary to our expectations, snails were significantly more abundant and diverse in B. thunbergii-invaded areas. Despite differences in abundance, the snail community composition did not differ between invaded and control habitats. The terrestrial snail assemblage we observed, which was composed entirely of native species, appears to respond favorably to B. thunbergii invasion and therefore may not be negatively impacted by physicochemical changes to soils typically observed in association with the plant. Such findings could reflect the fact that B. thunbergii likely creates more favorable habitat for snails by creating cooler, more humid, and more alkaline soil environments. However, the snail assemblages we retrieved may consist mostly of species with high tolerance to environmental degradation due to a legacy of land use change and acid deposition in the region.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Prescribed burning and clear-cutting effects on understory vegetation in a Pinus canariensis stand (Gran Canaria).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arévalo, José Ramón; Fernández-Lugo, Silvia; García-Domínguez, Celia; Naranjo-Cigala, Agustín; Grillo, Federico; Calvo, Leonor

    2014-01-01

    Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The main objective is to analyze the effects of prescribed burning on the understory vegetation composition as well as on the soil characteristics of a reforested stand of Pinus canariensis. The study attempts to identify the effects of the preburning treatment of cutting understory vegetation on the floristic parameters of the vegetation community. This study was carried out for two years following a prescribed fire in a Canarian pine stand. Cutting and burning treatment affected species composition and increased diversity. Burnt and cut plots were characterized by a diverse array of herbaceous species and by a lower abundance of Teline microphylla (endemic legume), although burning apparently induced its germination. Cut treatment was more consistently differentiated from the control plots than burnt treatment. Soil K decreased after both treatments, pH slightly decreased after cutting, while P and Ca increased after fire. From an ecological point of view, prescribed burning is a better management practice than cutting the woody species of the understory. However, long-term studies would be necessary to evaluate the effects of fire intensity, season and frequency in which the prescribed burning is applied.

  9. Prescribed Burning and Clear-Cutting Effects on Understory Vegetation in a Pinus canariensis Stand (Gran Canaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ramón Arévalo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Prescribed fires are a powerful tool for reducing fire hazards by decreasing amounts of fuel. The main objective is to analyze the effects of prescribed burning on the understory vegetation composition as well as on the soil characteristics of a reforested stand of Pinus canariensis. The study attempts to identify the effects of the preburning treatment of cutting understory vegetation on the floristic parameters of the vegetation community. This study was carried out for two years following a prescribed fire in a Canarian pine stand. Cutting and burning treatment affected species composition and increased diversity. Burnt and cut plots were characterized by a diverse array of herbaceous species and by a lower abundance of Teline microphylla (endemic legume, although burning apparently induced its germination. Cut treatment was more consistently differentiated from the control plots than burnt treatment. Soil K decreased after both treatments, pH slightly decreased after cutting, while P and Ca increased after fire. From an ecological point of view, prescribed burning is a better management practice than cutting the woody species of the understory. However, long-term studies would be necessary to evaluate the effects of fire intensity, season and frequency in which the prescribed burning is applied.

  10. Relative role of understory and overstory in carbon and nitrogen cycling in a southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, P.T.; Van Miegroet, H. [Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Dept. of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center; Nicholas, N.S. [Yosemite National Park, El Portal, CA (United States). Resources Management and Science Div.

    2007-12-15

    This study examined pools and fluxes of biomass, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in the overstory and understory of a southern Appalachian red spruce and Fraser fir forest after adelgid-induced fir mortality and spruce windthrow. Standing biomass and fluxes of all growth forms from periodic stand inventories, vegetation surveys, and allometric equations were estimated. Plant- and tissue-specific C and N concentrations were used to calculate total C and N pools and fluxes. Results of the study showed that total aboveground biomass re-attained values observed before the disturbances. Overstory biomass production and N uptake exceeded values observed in earlier reports. The woody overstory accounted for 3 per cent of all aboveground biomass as well as 10 per cent of annual productivity, and 19 per cent of total N uptake. It was concluded that the N-rich understory vegetation plays a significant role in N cycling, and contributed to overall productivity of the system. Further research is needed to examine the relationships between the over- and understories in order to investigate future changes in nutrient cycling. 60 refs., 2 tabs., 4 figs.

  11. Spatial Heterogeneity of the Forest Canopy Scales with the Heterogeneity of an Understory Shrub Based on Fractal Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine K. Denny

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Spatial heterogeneity of vegetation is an important landscape characteristic, but is difficult to assess due to scale-dependence. Here we examine how spatial patterns in the forest canopy affect those of understory plants, using the shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis (L. Nutt. as a focal species. Evergreen and deciduous forest canopy and buffaloberry shrub presence were measured with line-intercept sampling along ten 2-km transects in the Rocky Mountain foothills of west-central Alberta, Canada. Relationships between overstory canopy and understory buffaloberry presence were assessed for scales ranging from 2 m to 502 m. Fractal dimensions of both canopy and buffaloberry were estimated and then related using box-counting methods to evaluate spatial heterogeneity based on patch distribution and abundance. Effects of canopy presence on buffaloberry were scale-dependent, with shrub presence negatively related to evergreen canopy cover and positively related to deciduous cover. The effect of evergreen canopy was significant at a local scale between 2 m and 42 m, while that of deciduous canopy was significant at a meso-scale between 150 m and 358 m. Fractal analysis indicated that buffaloberry heterogeneity positively scaled with evergreen canopy heterogeneity, but was unrelated to that of deciduous canopy. This study demonstrates that evergreen canopy cover is a determinant of buffaloberry heterogeneity, highlighting the importance of spatial scale and canopy composition in understanding canopy-understory relationships.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. ESTABLISHMENT TECHNIQUES FOR TROPICAL LEGUMES IN THE UNDERSTORY OF A EUCALYPTUS PLANTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luiza Franceschi Nicodemo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated establishment methods for a mixture of herbaceous forage legumes [Centrosema acutifolium, Clitoria ternatea, Pueraria phaseoloides, Stylosanthes Campo Grande (Stylosanthes capitata + S. macrocephala, Calopogonium mucunoides, Lablab purpureus, Arachis pintoi, and Aeschynomene villosa] under the shade of an Eucalyptus grandis plantation submitted to thinning (40% 8 years after planting in Anhembi, São Paulo (22°40'S, 48°10'W, altitude of 455 m. The experiment started in December 2008 and consisted of the comparison of the following four types of seed incorporation by light disc harrowing: (1 broadcast sowing without seed incorporation; disc harrowing before (2 or after (3 planting, and (4 disc harrowing before and after planting. Ninety days after planting, the number of legume plants/m2 and the percentage of ground cover by the plants varied between the treatments tested; however, the treatments had no effect on the dry matter accumulation of forage legumes. Disc harrowing before planting yielded superior results compared to the treatments without disc harrowing and disc harrowing after planting. At the end of the experimental period, the plots contained Arachis, Centrosema, Stylosanthes, and Pueraria. The dry matter accumulated by Centrosema corresponded to 73% of total dry matter yield of the plots. The participation of Arachis, Centrosema and Stylosanthes in final dry matter composition of the plots varied according to establishment method. The advantages of the use of species mixtures rather than monocultures in the understory of forest plantations were discussed.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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'

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J.A. Werger

    1973-07-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Abdala-Roberts

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jędruszczk

    2013-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azucena Canto

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhang

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

  20. LBA-ECO CD-05 Forest Understory Fuel Loads, Paragominas, Para, Brazil: 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: This data set contains estimates of understory fuel loads (forest litter) at six locations near Paragominas in Northeastern Amazonia. Samples were...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Edge effects on growth and biomass partitioning of an Amazonian understory herb (Heliconia acuminata; Heliconiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruna, Emilio M; de Andrade, Ana Segalin

    2011-10-01

    After deforestation, environmental changes in the remaining forest fragments are often most intense near the forest edge, but few studies have evaluated plant growth or plasticity of plant growth in response to edge effects. In a 2-year common garden experiment, we compared biomass allocation and growth of Heliconia acuminata with identical genotypes grown in 50 × 35 m common gardens on a 25-year-old edge and in a forest interior site. Genetically identical plants transplanted to the forest edge and understory exhibited different patterns of growth and biomass allocation. However, individuals with identical genotypes in the same garden often had very different responses. Plants on forest edges also had higher growth rates and increased biomass at the end of the experiment, almost certainly due to the increased light on the forest edge. With over 70000 km of forest edge created annually in the Brazilian Amazon, phenotypic plasticity may play an important role in mediating plant responses to these novel environmental conditions.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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,

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Wang, Shunzhong; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2015-02-01

    Plantation and secondary forests form increasingly important components of the global forest cover, but our current knowledge about their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is limited. We surveyed understory plant and carabid species assemblages at three distinct regions in temperate northeastern China, dominated by mature forest (Changbaishan Nature Reserve, sampled in 2011 and 2012), secondary forest (Dongling Mountain, sampled in 2011 and 2012), and forest plantation habitats (Bashang Plateau, sampled in 2006 and 2007), respectively. The α-diversity of both taxonomic groups was highest in plantation forests of the Bashang Plateau. Beetle α-diversity was lowest, but plant and beetle species turnover peaked in the secondary forests of Dongling Mountain, while habitats in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve showed the lowest turnover rates for both taxa. Changbaishan Nature Reserve harbored the highest proportion of forest specialists. Our results suggest that in temperate regions of northern China, the protected larch plantation forest established over extensive areas might play a considerable role in maintaining a high biodiversity in relation to understory herbaceous plant species and carabid assemblages, which can be seen as indicators of forest disturbance. The high proportion of phytophagous carabids and the rarity of forest specialists reflect the relatively homogenous, immature status of the forest ecosystems on the Bashang Plateau. China's last remaining large old-growth forests like the ones on Changbaishan represent stable, mature ecosystems which require particular conservation attention.

  9. 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

  10. 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,

  11. 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

  12. 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....

  13. 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.)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The ghosts of trees past: savanna trees create enduring legacies in plant species composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlheber, Karen A; Crispin, Kimberly L; Anton, Cassidy; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-09-01

    Isolated trees in savannas worldwide are known to modify their local environment and interact directly with neighboring plants. Less is known about how related tree species differ in their impacts on surrounding communities, how the effects of trees vary between years, and how composition might change following loss of the tree. To address these knowledge gaps, we explored the following questions: How do savanna trees influence the surrounding composition of herbaceous plants? Is the influence of trees consistent across different species and years? How does this change following the death of the tree? We surveyed herbaceous species composition and environmental attributes surrounding living and dead evergreen and deciduous Quercus trees in California (USA) savannas across several years that differed in their total precipitation. Oak trees of all species created distinct, homogenous understory communities dominated by exotic grasses across several sites. The composition of the low-diversity understory communities showed less interannual variation than open grassland, despite a two-fold difference in precipitation between the driest and wettest year. Vegetation composition was correlated with variation in soil properties, which were strongly affected by trees. Oaks also influenced the communities beyond the edge of the crown, but this depended on site and oak species. Low-diversity understory communities persisted up to 43 years following the death of the tree. A gradual decline in the effect of trees on the physical, environment following death did not result in vegetation becoming more similar to open grassland over time. The presence of long-lasting legacies of past tree crowns highlights the difficulty of assigning control of the current distribution of herbaceous species in grassland to their contemporary environment.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  4. Overstory and understory development in thinned and underplanted Oregon Coast Range Douglas-fir stands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.S. Chan; D.J. Larson; K.G. Maas-Hebner; W.H. Emmingham; S.R. Johnston; D.A. Mikowski

    2006-01-01

    This study examined thinning effects on overstory and understory development for 8 years after treatment. Three 30- to 33-year-old Oregon Coast Range plantations were partitioned into four overstory treatments: (1) unthinned (~550 trees/ha) (2) light thin (~250 trees/ha), (3) moderate thin (~150 trees/ha), and (4) heavy thin (~75 trees/ha). Two understory treatments...

  5. Early understory biomass response to organic matter removal and soil compaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix Jr. Ponder

    2008-01-01

    In the Missouri Ozarks, 6 and 8 years after treatment, understory biomass differences between bole only harvesting (BO) and whole-tree plus forest floor harvesting were not different; neither were there understory biomass differences between no compaction and severe compaction. Separation of the biomass into broad species categories (trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials...

  6. Dwarf Mistletoe on Red Fir . . . infection and control in understory stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert F. Scharpf

    1969-01-01

    Height and age of understory red fir (Abies magnifica A. Murr.) were related to dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobiilm campylopodum f. abietinum) infection from the surrounding overstory red fir on four National Forests in California. Percentage of trees infected and intensity of infection increased significantly as height of understory...

  7. Evapotranspiration from understory vegetation in an eastern Siberian boreal larch forest, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iida, S.; Ohta, T.; Matsumoto, K.; Nakai, T.; Kuwada, T.; Konovov, A.V.; Maximov, T.C.; van der Molen, M.K.; Dolman, A.J.; Tanaka, H.; Yabuki, H.

    2009-01-01

    We measured evapotranspiration in an eastern Siberian boreal forest, in which the understory was cowberry and the overstory was larch, during the entire growing seasons of 2005 and 2006. We compared evapotranspiration from the understory vegetation above the forest floor E

  8. Understory vegetation data quality assessment for the Interior West Forest and Inventory Analysis program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul L. Patterson; Renee A. O' Brien

    2011-01-01

    The Interior West Forest Inventory and Analysis (IW-FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service collects field data on understory vegetation structure that have broad applications. In IW-FIA one aspect of quality assurance is assessed based on the repeatability of field measurements. The understory vegetation protocol consists of two suites of measurements; (1) the...

  9. Tradeoffs in overstory and understory aboveground net primary productivity in southwestern ponderosa pine stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyla E. Sabo; Stephen C. Hart; Carolyn Hull Sieg; John Duff Bailey

    2008-01-01

    Previous studies in ponderosa pine forests have quantified the relationship between overstory stand characteristics and understory production using tree measurements such as basal area. We built on these past studies by evaluating the tradeoff between overstory and understory aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in southwestern ponderosa pine forests at the...

  10. Wood and understory production under a range of ponderosa pine stocking levels, Black Hills, South Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Uresk; Carleton B. Edminster; Kieth E. Severson

    2000-01-01

    Stemwood and understory production (kg ha-1) were estimated during 3 nonconsecutive years on 5 growing stock levels of ponderosa pine including clearcuts and unthinned stands. Stemwood production was consistently greater at mid- and higher pine stocking levels, and understory production was greater in stands with less pine; however, there were no...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    -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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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....

  3. The environment, not space, dominantly structures the landscape patterns of the richness and composition of the tropical understory vegetation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yue-Hua Hu

    Full Text Available The mechanisms driving the spatial patterns of species richness and composition are essential to the understanding of biodiversity. Numerous studies separately identify the contributions of the environment (niche process and space (neutral process to the species richness or composition at different scales, but few studies have investigated the contributions of both types of processes in the two types of data at the landscape scale. In this study, we partitioned the spatial variations in all, exotic and native understory plant species richness and composition constrained by environmental variables and space in 134 plots that were spread across 10 counties in Hainan Island in southern China. The 134 plots included 70 rubber (Hevea brasiliensis plantation plots, 50 eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla plantation plots, and 14 secondary forest plots. RDA based variation partitioning was run to assess the contribution of environment and space to species richness and composition. The results showed that the environmental variables alone explained a large proportion of the variations in both the species richness and composition of all, native, and exotic species. The RDA results indicated that overstory composition (forest type here plays a leading role in determining species richness and composition patterns. The alpha and beta diversities of the secondary forest plots were markedly higher than that of the two plantations. In conclusion, niche differentiation processes are the principal mechanisms that shape the alpha and beta diversities of understory plant species in Hainan Island.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. M. Urtado

    2013-03-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Recuperation of the Terra Firme Forest Understory Bird Fauna Eight Years after a Wildfire in Eastern Acre, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Lemos da Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the characteristics of the understory bird fauna of four fragments of terra firme forest in eastern Acre, Brazil, that were impacted by wildfires in 2005. The study investigated the species richness and the composition of trophic guilds using mist-netting on eight transects (four in burned plots and four in control plots in the same forest fragments. Eight plots (0.12 ha were also established parallel to each transect to record the number of live trees (DBH ≥ 10 cm, palms, and dead trees. Bamboo stems were quantified in 0.024 ha subplots. No significant difference was found between burned and control plots in the species richness or abundance of birds, nor was any significant pattern found in the NMDS ordination of the composition of the communities or guilds. The Principal Components Analysis (PCA found that the burned plots were physiognomically distinct, due principally to the number of bamboo stems and dead trees. Multiple regressions based on the PCA scores and bird species richness and abundance found no significant trends. The findings of the present study indicate that the understory bird assemblage of the areas affected by a single wildfire in 2005 had almost totally recuperated eight years after this event.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.   

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Negative Plant–Soil Feedback and Positive Species Interaction in a Herbaceous Plant Community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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-.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of Pinus flexilis on the dynamics and structure of plant communities on the northern Rocky Mountain front, and, Training biologists for emerging niches in non-traditional jobs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumeister, Dayna Marie

    My research examines the relative importance of interacting mechanisms (amelioration of wind, provision of shade, accumulation of snow pack, and alteration of soil characteristics) governing facilitation between Pinus flexilis and two understory species, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Ribes cereum in Montana. Survival of understory species was greatest beneath P. flexilis at a leeward site (Pseudotsuga, 38% and Ribes, 63%), and lowest in the open at a windward site (2% and 6%, respectively). The effects of wind amelioration, shade provision, and snowdrift accumulation were separated experimentally and after two years, shade was of overwhelming importance for the survival of both species. Once shade was provided, effects of wind amelioration and increased snow pack increased survival, suggesting a hierarchical functioning of mechanisms. High winter mortality of Pseudotsuga suggests P. flexilis canopies may prevent photoinhibition and winter desiccation through reduction of light and insulation from variable temperatures. High summer mortality of Ribes suggests P. flexilis canopies may reduce transpiration through lowering leaf temperatures, thereby decreasing vapor pressure deficits. In this system, several mechanisms governing facilitation operated simultaneously, but in a hierarchical manner of relative importance thereby determining the overall effect of P. flexilis on understory plants. I also studied facilitation and secondary succession by examining understory species composition beneath individual P. flexilis and in P. flexilis stands. As P. flexilis trees and stands aged, understory species richness increased, as did cover of forbs and shrubs, but cover of grasses decreased. Stands currently dominated by P. flexilis are shifting towards dominance by Pseudotsuga primarily in mesic sites, with corresponding increases in litter and shrub cover and decreases in grasses and P. flexilis recruitment. Since the 1860's succession from grasslands to forest on the Front has

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. BOREAS TE-09 in situ Understory Spectral Reflectance within the NSA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Contains forest understory spectral reflectance data collected by BOREAS TE-09 at the ground level in the Old Jack Pine, Young Jack Pine nd Young Aspen boreal forest...

  14. BOREAS TE-09 in situ Understory Spectral Reflectance within the NSA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: Contains forest understory spectral reflectance data collected by BOREAS TE-09 at the ground level in the Old Jack Pine, Young Jack Pine nd Young Aspen...

  15. LBA-ECO CD-05 Forest Understory Fuel Loads, Paragominas, Para, Brazil: 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains estimates of understory fuel loads (forest litter) at six locations near Paragominas in Northeastern Amazonia. Samples were collected from...

  16. Static terrestrial laser scanning of juvenile understory trees for field phenotyping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huanhuan; Lin, Yi

    2014-11-01

    This study was to attempt the cutting-edge 3D remote sensing technique of static terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) for parametric 3D reconstruction of juvenile understory trees. The data for test was collected with a Leica HDS6100 TLS system in a single-scan way. The geometrical structures of juvenile understory trees are extracted by model fitting. Cones are used to model trunks and branches. Principal component analysis (PCA) is adopted to calculate their major axes. Coordinate transformation and orthogonal projection are used to estimate the parameters of the cones. Then, AutoCAD is utilized to simulate the morphological characteristics of the understory trees, and to add secondary branches and leaves in a random way. Comparison of the reference values and the estimated values gives the regression equation and shows that the proposed algorithm of extracting parameters is credible. The results have basically verified the applicability of TLS for field phenotyping of juvenile understory trees.

  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. [Effects of understory removal on soil greenhouse gas emissions in Carya cathayensis stands].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Juan; Chen, Xue-shuang; Wu, Jia-sen; Jiang, Pei-kun; Zhou, Guo-mo; Li, Yong-fu

    2015-03-01

    CO2, N2O and CH4 are important greenhouse gases, and soils in forest ecosystems are their important sources. Carya cathayensis is a unique tree species with seeds used for high-grade dry fruit and oil production. Understory vegetation management plays an important role in soil greenhouse gases emission of Carya cathayensis stands. A one-year in situ experiment was conducted to study the effects of understory removal on soil CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions in C. cathayensis plantation by closed static chamber technique and gas chromatography method. Soil CO2 flux had a similar seasonal trend in the understory removal and preservation treatments, which was high in summer and autumn, and low in winter and spring. N2O emission occurred mainly in summer, while CH4 emission showed no seasonal trend. Understory removal significantly decreased soil CO, emission, increased N2O emission and CH4 uptake, but had no significant effect on soil water soluble organic carbon and microbial biomass carbon. The global warming potential of soil greenhouse gases emitted in the understory removal. treatment was 15.12 t CO2-e . hm-2 a-1, which was significantly lower than that in understory preservation treatment (17.04 t CO2-e . hm-2 . a-1).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Effect of shading by the table coral Acropora Hyacinthus on understory corals. [Acropora; Pocillopora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stimson, J.

    1985-02-01

    Field surveys at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, show that coral density and diversity is much lower beneath Acropora table corals than in adjacent unshaded areas. Additionally, the understory community is predominantly composed of massive and encrusting species, while branching Acropora and Pocillopora predominate in unshaded areas. Results of experiments in which coral fragments were transferred to the shade of table Acropora and to adjacent unshaded areas show that shading slows the growth and leads to higher mortality of branching species, while massive and encrusting species are unaffected. Light measurements made beneath table Acropora show that illumination and irradiance values fall to levels at which most hermatypic corals do not occur. The fast-growing but fragile table Acropora are abundant in a wide variety of atoll habitats and grow rapidly to form a canopy approx. = 50 cm above the substrate. However, table Acropora also have high mortality rates, so that there is continuous production of unshaded areas. The growth and death of tables thus create local disturbances, and the resulting patchwork of recently shaded and unshaded areas may enhance coral diversity in areas of high coral cover.

  14. 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

  15. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Distinctive fungal communities in an obligate African ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov