WorldWideScience

Sample records for understory plant community

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  2. Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica N Spotswood

    Full Text Available Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species, temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery.

  11. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spotswood, Erica N; Bartolome, James W; Allen-Diaz, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species), temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery.

  12. The influence of canopy-layer composition on understory plant diversity in southern temperate forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Mestre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Understory plants represents the largest component of biodiversity in most forest ecosystems and plays a key role in forest functioning. Despite their importance, the influence of overstory-layer composition on understory plant diversity is relatively poorly understood within deciduous-evergreen broadleaved mixed forests. The aim of this work was to evaluate how tree overstory-layer composition influences on understory-layer diversity in three forest types (monospecific deciduous Nothofagus pumilio (Np, monospecific evergreen Nothofagus betuloides (Nb, and mixed N. pumilio-N. betuloides (M forests, comparing also between two geographical locations (coast and mountain to estimate differences at landscape level. Results We recorded 46 plant species: 4 ferns, 12 monocots, and 30 dicots. Canopy-layer composition influences the herb-layer structure and diversity in two different ways: while mixed forests have greater similarity to evergreen forests in the understory structural features, deciduous and mixed were similar in terms of the specific composition of plant assemblage. Deciduous pure stands were the most diverse, meanwhile evergreen stands were least diverse. Lack of exclusive species of mixed forest could represent a transition where evergreen and deciduous communities meet and integrate. Moreover, landscape has a major influence on the structure, diversity and richness of understory vegetation of pure and mixed forests likely associated to the magnitude and frequency of natural disturbances, where mountain forest not only had highest herb-layer diversity but also more exclusive species. Conclusions Our study suggests that mixed Nothofagus forest supports coexistence of both pure deciduous and pure evergreen understory plant species and different assemblages in coastal and mountain sites. Maintaining the mixture of canopy patch types within mixed stands will be important for conserving the natural patterns of understory plant

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Julia I.; Perakis, Steven; McKenzie, Sean C.; Lawrence, Caitlin E.; Puettmann, Klaus J.

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least 50% for most, but not all traits. Intraspecific variation in Δ15N, iWUE, leaf nitrogen content and root traits was high (47-70%) compared with most leaf traits and stem traits (13-38%).Δ15N varied primarily along gradients in abiotic conditions, while light and understory cover were relatively less important. iWUE was related primarily to light transmission, reflecting increases in photosynthesis relative to stomatal conductance. Leaf traits varied mainly as a function of light availability, with some reaction norms depending on understory cover. Plant height increased with understory cover, while stem specific density was related primarily to light. Resources, environmental conditions and understory cover did not contribute strongly to the observed variation in root traits.Gradients in resources, environmental conditions and competition all appear to control intraspecific variability in most traits to some extent. However, our results suggest that species cross-over (i.e., trait rank reversals) along the gradients measured here are generally not a concern.Intraspecific variability in understory plant species traits can be considerable. However, trait data collected under a narrow range of environmental conditions appears sufficient to establish species

  15. [Understory effects on overstory trees: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Zhong; Cai, Xiao Hu; Bao, Wei Kai; Chen, Huai; Pan, Hong Li

    2016-03-01

    Plant-plant interactions play a key role in regulating the composition and structure of communities and ecosystems. Studies of plant-plant interactions in forest ecosystems have traditionally concentrated on either tree-tree interactions or overstory species' impacts on understory plants. The possible effects of understory species on overstory trees have received less attention. We summarized the effects of understory species on soil physiological properties, soil fauna activities, leaf litter decomposition, and ecophysiology and growth of the overstory species. Then the effects of distur-bance on understory-overstory interactions were discussed. Finally, an ecophysiology-based concept model of understory effects on overstory trees was proposed. Understory removal experiments showed that the study area, overstory species age, soil fertility and understory species could significantly affect the understory-overstory interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  18. Forest understory plant and soil microbial response to an experimentally induced drought and heat-pulse event: the importance of maintaining the continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isabell von Rein; Arthur Gessler; Katrin Premke; Claudia Keitel; Andreas Ulrich; Zachary E. Kayler

    2016-01-01

    Drought duration and intensity are expected to increase with global climate change. How changes in water availability and temperature affect the combined plant–soil–microorganism response remains uncertain. We excavated soil monoliths from a beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest, thus keeping the understory plant–microbe communities intact, imposed an...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Limits to understory plant restoration following fuel-reduction treatments in a piñon-juniper woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redmond, Miranda D; Zelikova, Tamara J; Barger, Nichole N

    2014-11-01

    National fuel-reduction programs aim to reduce the risk of wildland fires to human communities and to restore forest and rangeland ecosystems to resemble their historical structure, function, and diversity. There are a number of factors, such as seed bank dynamics, post-treatment climate, and herbivory, which determine whether this latter goal may be achieved. Here, we examine the short-term (2 years) vegetation response to fuel-reduction treatments (mechanical mastication, broadcast burn, and pile burn) and seeding of native grasses on understory vegetation in an upland piñon-juniper woodland in southeast Utah. We also examine how wildlife herbivory affects the success of fuel-reduction treatments. Herbaceous cover increased in response to fuel-reduction treatments in all seeded treatments, with the broadcast burn and mastication having greater increases (234 and 160 %, respectively) in herbaceous cover than the pile burn (32 %). In the absence of seeding, herbaceous cover only increased in the broadcast burn (32 %). Notably, fuel-reduction treatments, but not seeding, strongly affected herbaceous plant composition. All fuel-reduction treatments increased the relative density of invasive species, especially in the broadcast burn, which shifted the plant community composition from one dominated by perennial graminoids to one dominated by annual forbs. Herbivory by wildlife reduced understory plant cover by over 40 % and altered plant community composition. If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, our study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon-juniper woodlands. Seed applications and wildlife exclosures further enhanced herbaceous cover following fuel-reduction treatments.

  1. Understory plant diversity in riparian alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal

    1997-01-01

    Stand structure, tree height growth, and understory plant diversity were assessed in five mixed alder-conifer stands after logging in southeast Alaska. Tree species composition ranged from 7- to 91-percent alder, and basal area ranged from 30 to 55 m2/ha. The alder exhibited rapid early height growth, but recent growth has slowed considerably. Some conifers have...

  2. Susceptibility to Phytophthora ramorum and inoculum production potential of some common eastern forest understory plant species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul W. Tooley; Marsha Browning

    2009-01-01

    Twenty-five plant species (21 genera, 14 families), which comprise a portion of the understory in forests of the Eastern United States, were evaluated for susceptibility to infection by Phytophthora ramorum. The degree to which P. ramorum is able to form sporangia and chlamydospores was also assessed on...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  4. Understory vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Sutherland; Todd F. Hutchinson; Jennifer L. Windus

    2003-01-01

    This chapter documents patterns of species composition and diversity within the understory vegetation layer and provides a species list for the four study areas in southern Ohio. Within each of 108 plots, we recorded the frequency of all vascular plant species in sixteen 2-m² quadrats. We recorded 297 species, including 187 forbs (176 perennials, 9 annuals, 2...

  5. Prescribed burning for understory restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth W. Outcalt

    2006-01-01

    Because the longleaf ecosystem evolved with and is adapted to frequent fire, every 2 to 8 years, prescribed burning is often useful for restoring understory communities to a diverse ground layer of grasses, herbs, and small shrubs. This restoration provides habitat for a number of plant and animal species that are restricted to or found mostly in longleaf pine...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Gallo

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim of study: The effects and interactions of shelterwood 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.Key words: plant species conservation; years after harvesting; forest management; Tierra del Fuego.

  7. 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.

  8. Plant community variability on a small area in southeastern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. MacCracken; Daniel W. Uresk; Richard M. Hansen

    1984-01-01

    Plant communities are inherently variable due to a number of environmental and biological forces. Canopy cover and aboveground biomass were determined for understory vegetation in plant communities of a prairie grassland-forest ecotone in southeastern Montana. Vegetation units were described using polar ordination and stepwise discriminant analysis. Nine of a total of...

  9. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores.

  10. Should Exotic Eucalyptus be Planted in Subtropical China: Insights from Understory Plant Diversity in Two Contrasting Eucalyptus Chronosequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Fan, Houbao; Liu, Wenfei; Huang, Guomin; Tang, Jianfu; Zeng, Ruijin; Huang, Jing; Liu, Zhanfeng

    2015-11-01

    Although Eucalyptus is widely planted in South China, whose effects on native biodiversity are unclear. The objective of this study was to quantify the richness and composition of understory plants in two contrasting Eucalyptus chronosequences in South China. One was in Zhangzhou City with plantation age of 2, 4, and 6 years after clear-cutting Chinese fir forests, while the other was in Heshan City with plantation age of 2, 3, and 24 years that reforested on barren lands. Results showed that the richness of understory plants and functional groups was not significantly altered in the Zhangzhou chronosequence, while increased in the 24-year-old plantations, with a significantly larger proportion of woody plants than the younger plantations for the Heshan chronosequence. Moreover, a higher richness of woody plants accompanied by a lower richness of herbaceous species was detected in the Zhangzhou chronosequence compared with the Heshan one. To balance the need for pulp production and plant diversity conservation, we suggest that intercropping approaches between exotic Eucalyptus plantations and native forests should be considered in the fast rotation Eucalyptus plantations. However, Eucalyptus plantations may be used as pioneer species to sustain ecosystem functioning for the degraded lands.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Understory plant diversity in mixed and pure plantations of jatropha curcas vs. native vegetation in the lower-middle reaches of the lancang-meikong river watershed, china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ou, G.L.; Ma, H.C.; Tang, J.R.

    2015-01-01

    22 plots at the Xiaoheijiang base, located in the lower-middle reaches of the Lancang-Meikong River in China, were investigated to analyze the understory biodiversity of Jatropha curcas plantations. Two kinds of mixed modes of J. curcas (mixed plantation with Macadamia integrifolia and mixed plantation with shrub species) and a pure plantation of J. curcas were planted, while the native vegetation served as a control. The plots were distributed along the gradients of forest management, succession and elevation by CCA analysis. Species richness was not significantly different for the different types of plantation, but the evenness of species could be affected, especially for the total community and the understory by planting J. curcas. The diversity and evenness indices of species were affected for the mixed plantation with different proportions of M. integrifolia, especially for the shrub layer, the Shannon diversity index and Pilou evenness index showed significant differences. And for the different mixed shrub species, only the Shannon diversity index and Pilou evenness index were significantly different. Finally, from the perspective of biological diversity, J.curcas plantation with shrub species would be a recommended planting model for ecological restoration in a dry-hot valley area, while J. curcas plantation with M. integrifolia would be an effective planting model to balance crop yield and food security. (author)

  18. Developing and Testing a Robust, Multi-Scale Framework for the Recovery of Longleaf Pine Understory Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-01

    effects on seed germination of native and invasive Eastern deciduous forest understory plants. Forest Ecology and Management 261:1401–1408. Estes, J...Defense, Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports (0704-0188), 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204...in longleaf pine savannas. Figure 3.3.2. Results of multivariate classification and regression tree analysis. Figure 3.3.3. Comparison of Classes

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Effects of thinning, burning, seeding, and slash arrangements on understory communities in pinyon-juniper woodlands of northern Arizona

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Irwin

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a dominant ecosystem in the American Southwest that have been increasing in density over the last century, generating concerns about the effects on wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and wildfire risk. We tested 16 treatment combinations designed to restore stands to historic conditions by examining the impact on understory plant richness and abundance. We thinned three sites comprised of different parent soil materials: limestone, sandstone, and basalt. Each site had one of four slash arrangements: piled, broadcast, clustered, or no thinning. Each of these arrangements received a different burning/seeding treatment: prescribed fire, seeding, prescribed fire and seeding, or none. This study corresponded with the driest period in the last 55 years, and plant species richness decreased by an average of 40% from the previous year in the control plots. Richness was significantly different due to slash arrangement at the basalt site only. Burning or seeding did not affect richness at any of the sites. Plant species abundance was generally low and not influenced by treatment or site. This study demonstrates that extensive ecosystem manipulation in the pinyon-juniper woodlands of northern Arizona did not affect understory richness or abundance the first year after treatment during a drought.

  3. Effects of thinning, burning, seeding, and slash arrangements on understory communities in pinyon-juniper woodlands of northern Arizona

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria R. Irwin

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Pinyon-juniper woodlands are a dominant ecosystem in the American Southwest that have been increasing in density over the last century, generating concerns about the effects on wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and wildfire risk. We tested 16 treatment combinations designed to restore stands to historic conditions by examining the impact on understory plant richness and abundance. We thinned three sites comprised of different parent soil materials: limestone, sandstone, and basalt. Each site had one of four slash arrangements: piled, broadcast, clustered, or no thinning. Each of these arrangements received a different burning/seeding treatment: prescribed fire, seeding, prescribed fire and seeding, or none. This study corresponded with the driest period in the last 55 years, and plant species richness decreased by an average of 40% from the previous year in the control plots. Richness was significantly different due to slash arrangement at the basalt site only. Burning or seeding did not affect richness at any of the sites. Plant species abundance was generally low and not influenced by treatment or site. This study demonstrates that extensive ecosystem manipulation in the pinyon-juniper woodlands of northern Arizona did not affect understory richness or abundance the first year after treatment during a drought.

  4. Understory Structure and Vascular Plant Diversity in Naturally Regenerated Deciduous Forests and Spruce Plantations on Similar Clear-Cuts: Implications for Forest Regeneration Strategy Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZhiQiang Fang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The active effect of natural regeneration on understory vegetation and diversity on clear-cut forestlands, in contrast to conifer reforestation, is still controversial. Here we investigated differences in understory vegetation by comparing naturally regenerated deciduous forests (NR and reforested spruce plantations (SP aged 20–40 years on 12 similar clear-cuts of subalpine old-growth spruce-fir forests from the eastern Tibetan Plateau. We found that 283 of the 334 vascular plant species recorded were present in NR plots, while only 264 species occurred in SP plots. This was consistent with richer species, higher cover, and stem (or shoot density of tree seedlings, shrubs, and ferns in the NR plots than in the SP plots. Moreover, understory plant diversity was limited under dense canopy cover, which occurred more frequently in the SP plots. Our findings implied that natural deciduous tree regeneration could better preserve understory vegetation and biodiversity than spruce reforestation after clear-cutting. This result further informed practices to reduce tree canopy cover for spruce plantations or to integrate natural regeneration and reforestation for clear-cuts in order to promote understory vegetation and species diversity conservation.

  5. Understory fern community structure, growth and spore production responses to a large-scale hurricane experiment in a Puerto Rico rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joanne M. Sharpe; Aaron B. Shiels

    2014-01-01

    Ferns are abundant in most rainforest understories yet their responses to hurricanes have not been well studied. Fern community structure, growth and spore production were monitored for two years before and five years after a large-scale experiment that simulated two key components of severe hurricane disturbance: canopy openness and debris deposition. The canopy was...

  6. [Litter decomposition and soil faunal diversity of two understory plant debris in the alpine timberline ecotone of western Sichuan in a snow cover season].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Run-lian; Chen, Ya-mei; Deng, Chang-chun; Yan, Wan-qin; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Yang

    2015-03-01

    In order to understand the relationship between litter decomposition and soil fauna diversity during snow cover season, litterbags with plant debris of Actinothuidium hookeri, Cystopteris montana, two representative understory plants in the alpine timberline ecotone, and their mixed litter were incubated in the dark coniferous forest, timberline and alpine meadow, respectively. After a snow cover season, the mass loss and soil fauna in litterbags were investigated. After decomposition with a snow cover season, alpine meadow showed the highest mass loss of plant debris in comparison with coniferous forest and timberline, and the mass loss of A. hookeri was more significant. The mixture of two plants debris accelerated the mass loss, especially in the timberline. A total of 968 soil invertebrates, which belonged to 5 classes, 10 orders and 35 families, were captured in litterbags. Acarina and Collembola were the dominant groups in plant debris. The numbers of individuals and groups of soil faunal communities in litter of timberline were higher than those of alpine meadow and dark coniferous forest. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that the groups of soil animals were related closely with the average temperature, and endemic species such as Isoptera and Geophilomorpha were observed only in coniferous forest, while Hemiptera and Psocoptera only in.the alpine meadow. The diversity of soil faunal community was more affected by plant debris varieties in the timberline than in the coniferous forest and alpine meadow. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the average temperature and snow depth explained 30.8% of the variation of litter mass loss rate, soil animals explained 8.3%, and altogether explained 34.1%. Snow was one of the most critical factors impacting the decomposition of A. hookeri and C. montana debris in the alpine timberline ecotone.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:28630802

  11. 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.

  12. Assessing plant community composition fails to capture impacts of white-tailed deer on native and invasive plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuzzo, Victoria; Dávalos, Andrea; Blossey, Bernd

    2017-07-01

    Excessive herbivory can have transformative effects on forest understory vegetation, converting diverse communities into depauperate ones, often with increased abundance of non-native plants. White-tailed deer are a problematic herbivore throughout much of eastern North America and alter forest understory community structure. Reducing (by culling) or eliminating (by fencing) deer herbivory is expected to return understory vegetation to a previously diverse condition. We examined this assumption from 1992 to 2006 at Fermilab (Batavia, IL) where a cull reduced white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) abundance in 1998/1999 by 90 % from 24.6 to 2.5/km 2 , and at West Point, NY, where we assessed interactive effects of deer, earthworms, and invasive plants using 30 × 30 m paired fenced and open plots in 12 different forests from 2009 to 2012. We recorded not only plant community responses (species presence and cover) within 1 m 2 quadrats, but also responses of select individual species (growth, reproduction). At Fermilab, introduced Alliaria petiolata abundance initially increased as deer density increased, but then declined after deer reduction. The understory community responded to the deer cull by increased cover, species richness and height, and community composition changed but was dominated by early successional native forbs. At West Point plant community composition was affected by introduced earthworm density but not deer exclusion. Native plant cover increased and non-native plant cover decreased in fenced plots, thus keeping overall plant cover similar. At both sites native forb cover increased in response to deer reduction, but the anticipated response of understory vegetation failed to materialize at the community level. Deer-favoured forbs ( Eurybia divaricata , Maianthemum racemosum , Polygonatum pubescens and Trillium recurvatum ) grew taller and flowering probability increased in the absence of deer. Plant community monitoring fails to capture

  13. 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...

  14. Species-specific associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flaviana Maluf Souza

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the occurrence of associations between overstory and understory tree species in a semideciduous tropical forest. We identified and measured all trees of nine canopy species with diameter at breast height ≥4.8 cm in a 10.24 ha plot and recorded all individuals beneath their canopies ("understory individuals" within the same diameter class. The total density of understory individuals did not significantly differ under different overstory species. One overstory species (Ceiba speciosa showed higher understory species richness compared with five other species. There was a strong positive association between three overstory species (Esenbeckia leiocarpa, Savia dictyocarpa, and C. speciosa and the density of seven understory species (Balfourodendron riedelianum, Chrysophyllum gonocarpum, E. leiocarpa, Holocalyx balansae, Machaerium stipitatum, Rhaminidium elaeocarpum, and S. dictyocarpa. These results probably reflect the outcome of a complex set of interactions including facilitation and competition, and further studies are necessary to better understand the magnitude and type of the effects of individual overstory species on understory species. The occurrence of species-specific associations shown here reinforces the importance of non-random processes in structuring plant communities and suggest that the influence of overstory species on understory species in high-diversity forests may be more significant than previously thought.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Nematode community shifts in response to experimental warming and canopy conditions are associated with plant community changes in the temperate-boreal forest ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Reich, Peter B; Fisichelli, Nicholas A; Stefanski, Artur; Cesarz, Simone; Dobies, Tomasz; Rich, Roy L; Hobbie, Sarah E; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2014-06-01

    Global climate warming is one of the key forces driving plant community shifts, such as range shifts of temperate species into boreal forests. As plant community shifts are slow to observe, ecotones, boundaries between two ecosystems, are target areas for providing early evidence of ecological responses to warming. The role of soil fauna is poorly explored in ecotones, although their positive and negative effects on plant species can influence plant community structure. We studied nematode communities in response to experimental warming (ambient, +1.7, +3.4 °C) in soils of closed and open canopy forest in the temperate-boreal ecotone of Minnesota, USA and calculated various established nematode indices. We estimated species-specific coverage of understory herbaceous and shrub plant species from the same experimental plots and tested if changes in the nematode community are associated with plant cover and composition. Individual nematode trophic groups did not differ among warming treatments, but the ratio between microbial-feeding and plant-feeding nematodes increased significantly and consistently with warming in both closed and open canopy areas and at both experimental field sites. The increase in this ratio was positively correlated with total cover of understory plant species, perhaps due to increased predation pressure on soil microorganisms causing higher nutrient availability for plants. Multivariate analyses revealed that temperature treatment, canopy conditions and nematode density consistently shaped understory plant communities across experimental sites. Our findings suggest that warming-induced changes in nematode community structure are associated with shifts in plant community composition and productivity in the temperate-boreal forest ecotones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kert R. Young

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Competition and facilitation structure plant communities under nurse tree canopies in extremely stressful environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Namazi, Ali A; El-Bana, Magdy I; Bonser, Stephen P

    2017-04-01

    Nurse plant facilitation in stressful environments can produce an environment with relatively low stress under its canopy. These nurse plants may produce the conditions promoting intense competition between coexisting species under the canopy, and canopies may establish stress gradients, where stress increases toward the edge of the canopy. Competition and facilitation on these stress gradients may control species distributions in the communities under canopies. We tested the following predictions: (1) interactions between understory species shift from competition to facilitation in habitats experiencing increasing stress from the center to the edge of canopy of a nurse plant, and (2) species distributions in understory communities are controlled by competitive interactions at the center of canopy, and facilitation at the edge of the canopy. We tested these predictions using a neighbor removal experiment under nurse trees growing in arid environments. Established individuals of each of four of the most common herbaceous species in the understory were used in the experiment. Two species were more frequent in the center of the canopy, and two species were more frequent at the edge of the canopy. Established individuals of each species were subjected to neighbor removal or control treatments in both canopy center and edge habitats. We found a shift from competitive to facilitative interactions from the center to the edge of the canopy. The shift in the effect of neighbors on the target species can help to explain species distributions in these canopies. Canopy-dominant species only perform well in the presence of neighbors in the edge microhabitat. Competition from canopy-dominant species can also limit the performance of edge-dominant species in the canopy microhabitat. The shift from competition to facilitation under nurse plant canopies can structure the understory communities in extremely stressful environments.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Mountain Plant Community Sentinels: AWOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanson, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain plant communities are thought to be sensitive to climate change. Because climatic gradients are steep on mountain slopes, the spatial response of plant communities to climate change should be compressed and easier to detect. These expectations have led to identifying mountain plant communities as sentinels for climate change. This idea has, however, been criticized. Two critiques, for alpine treeline and alpine tundra, are rehearsed and supplemented. The critique of alpine treeline as sentinel is bolstered with new model results on the confounding role of dispersal mechanisms and sensitivity to climatic volatility. In alpine tundra, for which background turnover rates have yet to be established, community composition may reflect environmental gradients only for extremes where effects of climate are most indirect. Both plant communities, while primarily determined by energy at broad scales, may respond to water as a proximate driver at local scales. These plant communities may not be in equilibrium with climate, and differently scaled time lags may mean that ongoing vegetation change may not signal ongoing climate change (or lack thereof). In both cases a double-whammy is created by scale dependence for time lags and for drivers leading to confusion, but these cases present opportunities for insights into basic ecology.

  7. Community attitudes toward nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peelle, E.

    1982-01-01

    Among the many effects of the accident at Three Mile Island are impacts upon other communities that currently host nuclear-power reactors. Because studies on communities' reactions not immediately available, this chapter reviews existing studies and speculates about possible effects. The patterns and variations in impacts on and responses of nuclear host communities have been the subject of studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) since 1972. This essay presents results from four post-licensing studies of host communities - Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Waterford, Connecticut (PL-1), and Brunswick, North Carolina, and Appling-Toombs counties, Georgia (PL-2) - along with case study and attitude survey information from two additional communities in which reactors are under construction: Hartsville, Tennessee, and Cherokee County, South Carolina. Differences and similarities between the sites have been assessed in terms of differences in input and social structure; factors affecting the generally favorable attitudes toward local nuclear plants are discussed

  8. Directed seed dispersal of Piper by Carollia perspicillata and its effect on understory plant diversity and folivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Diego; Kelm, Detlev H; Salazar, Diego

    2013-11-01

    Directed dispersal occurs when seeds are differentially deposited to sites where offspring survivorship is higher than at randomly chosen sites. Traditionally, characteristics of the dispersal target sites that could increase survivorship of the dispersed plants are thought to be intrinsic to the sites. If directed dispersal is constant over extended periods of time, however, it is likely that nonrandom patterns of dispersal could modify the ecological characteristics of the target site in ways that could increase survivorship and fitness of the dispersed plants. Here we report patterns of Piper diversity (richness, equitability, and similarity) and Piper folivory within plots near natural or artificial roosts of Carollia perspicillata vs. similar plots without bat roosts. Plots with bat roosts, both natural and artificial, had significantly higher Piper species diversity. Additionally, we found that plots with a higher Piper species diversity showed less specialist folivory, higher generalist folivory, and lower total herbivore leaf damage than plots with low Piper diversity. Finally, plots with bat roosts also showed less specialist folivory, lower generalist folivory, and lower total folivory when compared to plots without roosts. We propose that long-lasting nonrandom patterns of seed dispersal can change the local ecological characteristics of target sites via changes in plant diversity, and that these changes are likely to reduce the local rates of folivory and, therefore, increase seed and adult plant survivorship.

  9. 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 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.

  10. Understory Bird Communities in Amazonian Rainforest Fragments: Species Turnover through 25 Years Post-Isolation in Recovering Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stouffer, Philip C.; Johnson, Erik I.; Bierregaard, Richard O.; Lovejoy, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    Inferences about species loss following habitat conversion are typically drawn from short-term surveys, which cannot reconstruct long-term temporal dynamics of extinction and colonization. A long-term view can be critical, however, to determine the stability of communities within fragments. Likewise, landscape dynamics must be considered, as second growth structure and overall forest cover contribute to processes in fragments. Here we examine bird communities in 11 Amazonian rainforest fragments of 1–100 ha, beginning before the fragments were isolated in the 1980s, and continuing through 2007. Using a method that accounts for imperfect detection, we estimated extinction and colonization based on standardized mist-net surveys within discreet time intervals (1–2 preisolation samples and 4–5 post-isolation samples). Between preisolation and 2007, all fragments lost species in an area-dependent fashion, with loss of as few as <10% of preisolation species from 100-ha fragments, but up to 70% in 1-ha fragments. Analysis of individual time intervals revealed that the 2007 result was not due to gradual species loss beginning at isolation; both extinction and colonization occurred in every time interval. In the last two samples, 2000 and 2007, extinction and colonization were approximately balanced. Further, 97 of 101 species netted before isolation were detected in at least one fragment in 2007. Although a small subset of species is extremely vulnerable to fragmentation, and predictably goes extinct in fragments, developing second growth in the matrix around fragments encourages recolonization in our landscapes. Species richness in these fragments now reflects local turnover, not long-term attrition of species. We expect that similar processes could be operating in other fragmented systems that show unexpectedly low extinction. PMID:21731616

  11. Understory bird communities in Amazonian rainforest fragments: species turnover through 25 years post-isolation in recovering landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip C Stouffer

    Full Text Available Inferences about species loss following habitat conversion are typically drawn from short-term surveys, which cannot reconstruct long-term temporal dynamics of extinction and colonization. A long-term view can be critical, however, to determine the stability of communities within fragments. Likewise, landscape dynamics must be considered, as second growth structure and overall forest cover contribute to processes in fragments. Here we examine bird communities in 11 Amazonian rainforest fragments of 1-100 ha, beginning before the fragments were isolated in the 1980s, and continuing through 2007. Using a method that accounts for imperfect detection, we estimated extinction and colonization based on standardized mist-net surveys within discreet time intervals (1-2 preisolation samples and 4-5 post-isolation samples. Between preisolation and 2007, all fragments lost species in an area-dependent fashion, with loss of as few as <10% of preisolation species from 100-ha fragments, but up to 70% in 1-ha fragments. Analysis of individual time intervals revealed that the 2007 result was not due to gradual species loss beginning at isolation; both extinction and colonization occurred in every time interval. In the last two samples, 2000 and 2007, extinction and colonization were approximately balanced. Further, 97 of 101 species netted before isolation were detected in at least one fragment in 2007. Although a small subset of species is extremely vulnerable to fragmentation, and predictably goes extinct in fragments, developing second growth in the matrix around fragments encourages recolonization in our landscapes. Species richness in these fragments now reflects local turnover, not long-term attrition of species. We expect that similar processes could be operating in other fragmented systems that show unexpectedly low extinction.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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......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...... of azimuth and zenith angle intervals which contained points. We compared these estimates with field-based estimates using densiometer for 60 vegetation plots in forest. Finally, we compared ALS-based estimates of canopy cover and canopy closure to field-based estimates of understory light, based...

  13. Understory host plant and insect gall diversity changes across topographic habitats differing in nutrient and water stress in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest

    OpenAIRE

    JULIÃO, Genimar Rebouças; ALMADA, Emmanuel Duarte; COSTA, Flávia Regina Capellotto; CARNEIRO, Marco Antônio Alves; FERNANDES, G. Wilson

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Topographic gradients in terra firme forests are associated with pronounced changes in soil texture, soil nutrients and distance to the water-table, thereby creating different hydric and nutritional conditions for plants and their associated herbivore community. The aim of this study was to investigate galling species and host plant richness and gall species composition across topographic habitats differing in nutrient and water stress in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nineteen 250...

  14. Soil microbial community structure and function responses to successive planting of Eucalyptus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Falin; Zheng, Hua; Zhang, Kai; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Li, Huailin; Wu, Bing; Shi, Qian

    2013-10-01

    Many studies have shown soil degradation after the conversion of native forests to exotic Eucalyptus plantations. However, few studies have investigated the long-term impacts of short-rotation forestry practices on soil microorganisms. The impacts of Eucalyptus successive rotations on soil microbial communities were evaluated by comparing phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) abundances, compositions, and enzyme activities of native Pinus massoniana plantations and adjacent 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Eucalyptus plantations. The conversion from P. massoniana to Eucalyptus plantations significantly decreased soil microbial community size and enzyme activities, and increased microbial physiological stress. However, the PLFA abundances formed "u" shaped quadratic functions with Eucalyptus plantation age. Alternatively, physiological stress biomarkers, the ratios of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid and Gram+ to Gram- bacteria, formed "n"' shaped quadratic functions, and the ratio of cy17:0 to 16:1omega7c decreased with plantation age. The activities of phenol oxidase, peroxidase, and acid phosphatase increased with Eucalyptus plantation age, while the cellobiohydrolase activity formed "u" shaped quadratic functions. Soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, soil organic carbon, and understory cover largely explained the variation in PLFA profiles while soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, and understory cover explained most of the variability in enzyme activity. In conclusion, soil microbial structure and function under Eucalyptus plantations were strongly impacted by plantation age. Most of the changes could be explained by altered soil resource availability and understory cover associated with successive planting of Eucalyptus. Our results highlight the importance of plantation age for assessing the impacts of plantation conversion as well as the importance of reducing disturbance for plantation management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Nicholas; Kinkel, Linda; Kistler, H Corby

    2017-01-01

    Fusarium communities play important functional roles in soil and in plants as pathogens, endophytes, and saprotrophs. This study tests how rhizosphere Fusarium communities may vary with plant species, changes in the diversity of the surrounding plant community, and soil physiochemical characteristics. Fusarium communities in soil associated with the roots of two perennial prairie plant species maintained as monocultures or growing within polyculture plant communities were characterized using targeted metagenomics. Amplicon libraries targeting the RPB2 locus were generated from rhizosphere soil DNAs and sequenced using pyrosequencing. Sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and assigned a taxonomy using the Evolutionary Placement Algorithm. Fusarium community composition was differentiated between monoculture and polyculture plant communities, and by plant species in monoculture, but not in polyculture. Taxonomic classification of the Fusarium OTUs showed a predominance of F. tricinctum and F. oxysporum as well of the presence of a clade previously only found in the Southern Hemisphere. Total Fusarium richness was not affected by changes in plant community richness or correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics. However, OTU richness within two predominant phylogenetic lineages within the genus was positively or negatively correlated with soil physiochemical characteristics among samples within each lineage. This work shows that plant species, plant community richness, and soil physiochemical characteristics may all influence the composition and richness of Fusarium communities in soil.

  16. Understory vegetation response to mechanical mastication and other fuels treatments in a ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey M. Kane; J. Morgan Varner; Eric E. Knapp

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What influence does mechanical mastication and other fuel treatments have on: (1) canopy and forest floor response variables that influence understory plant development; (2) initial understory vegetation cover, diversity, and composition; and (3) shrub and non-native species density in a secondgrowth ponderosa pine forest....

  17. 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......, and woody species. The group of forest specialists may approach the richness of continuously forested sites after 60-80 years in non-fragmented plantations, but many forest species were sensitive to habitat fragmentation. Open-land species richness decreased during succession, while the richness of woody...

  18. Embracing community ecology in plant microbiome research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, F.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2018-01-01

    Community assembly is mediated by selection, dispersal, drift, and speciation. Environmental selection is mostly used to date to explain patterns in plant microbiome assembly, whereas the influence of the other processes remains largely elusive. Recent studies highlight that adopting community

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Plant succession and approaches to community restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    2005-01-01

    The processes of vegetation change over time, or plant succession, are also the processes involved in plant community restoration. Restoration efforts attempt to use designed disturbance, seedbed preparation and sowing methods, and selection of adapted and compatible native plant materials to enhance ecological function. The large scale of wildfires and weed invasion...

  2. 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

  3. Modelling asymmetric growth in crowded plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Seed bank characteristics of Dutch plant communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  6. 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...

  7. 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 (%...

  8. Ozone sensitivity of plants in natural communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treshow, M; Stewart, D

    1973-07-01

    Field fumigation studies conducted in grassland, oak, aspen, and conifer, communities established the injury threshold of prevalent plant species to ozone. Several important species, including Bromus tectorum, Quercus gambelii, and Populus tremuloides, were injured by a single 2-hours exposure to 15 pphM ozone. Over half the perennial forbs and woody species studied were visibly injured at concentrations of 30 pphM ozone or less. It is postulated that lower concentrations at prolonged or repeated exposures to ozone may impair growth and affect community vigor and stability. Continued exposure of natural plant communities to ozone is expected to initiate major shifts in the plant composition of communities. 10 references, 4 figures, 1 table.

  9. Plant-plant competition outcomes are modulated by plant effects on the soil bacterial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hortal, S; Lozano, Y M; Bastida, F; Armas, C; Moreno, J L; Garcia, C; Pugnaire, F I

    2017-12-19

    Competition is a key process that determines plant community structure and dynamics, often mediated by nutrients and water availability. However, the role of soil microorganisms on plant competition, and the links between above- and belowground processes, are not well understood. Here we show that the effects of interspecific plant competition on plant performance are mediated by feedbacks between plants and soil bacterial communities. Each plant species selects a singular community of soil microorganisms in its rhizosphere with a specific species composition, abundance and activity. When two plant species interact, the resulting soil bacterial community matches that of the most competitive plant species, suggesting strong competitive interactions between soil bacterial communities as well. We propose a novel mechanism by which changes in belowground bacterial communities promoted by the most competitive plant species influence plant performance and competition outcome. These findings emphasise the strong links between plant and soil communities, paving the way to a better understanding of plant community dynamics and the effects of soil bacterial communities on ecosystem functioning and services.

  10. 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...

  11. PLANT COMMUNITIES OF ALBANIA - A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. DRING

    2002-04-01

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

  12. 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

    Responses of the mycorrhizal fungal community in terrestrial ecosystems to global change factors are not well understood. However, virtually all land plants form symbiotic associations with mycorrhizal fungi, with approximately 20% of the plants' net primary production transported down...... by mycorrhizal and other root-associated fungi to global change factors of all the fungal types studied could have broad implications for plant community structure and biogeochemistry of subarctic ecosystems....

  13. Native plant community response to alien plant invasion and removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jara ANDREU

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Given the potential ecological impacts of invasive species, removal of alien plants has become an important management challenge and a high priority for environmental managers. To consider that a removal effort has been successful requires both, the effective elimination of alien plants and the restoration of the native plant community back to its historical composition and function. We present a conceptual framework based on observational and experimental data that compares invaded, non-invaded and removal sites to quantify invaders’ impacts and native plant recover after their removal. We also conduct a meta-analysis to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of plant invaders and the consequences of their removal on the native plant community, across a variety of ecosystems around the world. Our results that invasion by alien plants is responsible for a local decline in native species richness and abundance. Our analysis also provides evidence that after removal, the native vegetation has the potential to recover to a pre-invasion target state. Our review reveal that observational and experimental approaches are rarely used in concert, and that reference sites are scarcely employed to assess native species recovery after removal. However, we believe that comparing invaded, non-invaded and removal sites offer the opportunity to obtain scientific information with relevance for management.

  14. 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

  15. Nuclear power plant and the host community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsson, G

    1978-10-27

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good.

  16. Long-term deer exclusion has complex effects on a suburban forest understory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faison, Edward K.; Foster, David R.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Herbivory by deer is one of the leading biotic disturbances on forest understories (i.e., herbs, small shrubs, and small tree seedlings). A large body of research has reported declines in height, abundance, and reproductive capacity of forbs and woody plants coupled with increases in abundance of graminoids, ferns, and exotic species due to deer herbivory. Less clear is the extent to which (and the direction in which) deer alter herbaceous layer diversity, where much of the plant diversity in a forest occurs. We examined the effect of 15 y of deer exclusion on the understory of a suburban hardwood forest in Connecticut exposed to decades of intensive herbivory by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We compared species richness (at subplot and plot scale), individual species and life form group abundance (% cover), and community composition between grazed and exclosure plots, as well as between mesic and wet soil blocks. Forb cover was more than twice as abundant in exclosure as in grazed plots, whereas sedge (Carex spp.) cover was 28 times more abundant, and exotic species cover generally higher in grazed than in exclosure plots. Native and exotic species richness were both higher in grazed than exclosure plots at the subplot scale, and native herbaceous richness was higher in grazed plots at both spatial scales. In contrast, native shrub richness increased with deer exclusion at the plot scale. Our results suggest that deer exclusion had contrasting effects on species richness, depending on plant life form, but that overall richness of both exotic and native plants declined with deer exclusion. In addition, site heterogeneity remained an important driver of vegetation dynamics even in the midst of high deer densities.

  17. 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; 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. PMID:29377926

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Plant community responses to climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kongstad, J.

    2012-07-01

    ecosystem more resilient to the climatic treatments than expected. We also found that the amount of flowering culms of D. flexuosa increased in response to increased CO{sub 2}, whereas the seed germination success decreased. The bryophyte biomass and the nitrogen content decreased in response to nitrogen addition. Even such apparently minor changes might, given time, affect the plant composition and thereby possibly also the major ecosystem processes. Further, we observed changes in the aboveground plant composition in response to the climate manipulations at the Mols site, where C. vulgaris was regenerating after a disturbance. Here a decrease in biomass of the pioneer stage was seen, when subjected to the drought treatment compared to warmed and control treatments. I therefore conclude, that the stage of the C. vulgaris population as well as the magnitude and frequency of disturbances determine the effects of future climate change on the plant community in heathland ecosystems. (Author)

  2. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall’Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; de Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26954578

  5. Response of Vascular Plant Communities to Harvest in Southern Appalachian Mixed-Oak Forests: Two-Year Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan W. Wender; Sharon M. Hood; David W. Smith; Shepard M. Zedaker; David L. Loftis

    1999-01-01

    A long-term study has been established to monitor the effects of seven silvicultural prescriptions on vascular flora community attributes. Treatments include a control, understory vegetation control, group selection, two levels of shelterwoods, leave-tree, and clearcut. Second growing season. post-treatment results are compared to pre-harvest values for residual~...

  6. Effect of understory management on phenological responses of eastern black walnut on an alluvial Arkansas soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is commonly grown in agroforestry practices for nuts and/or timber with little knowledge of how understory herbage management might affect tree phenology. We compared black walnut plant type (variety and wild-type) for phenological response in date of budburst, leaf ...

  7. 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...

  8. Legacy effects overwhelm the short-term effects of exotic plant invasion and restoration on soil microbial community structure, enzyme activities, and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgersma, Kenneth J; Ehrenfeld, Joan G; Yu, Shen; Vor, Torsten

    2011-11-01

    Plant invasions can have substantial consequences for the soil ecosystem, altering microbial community structure and nutrient cycling. However, relatively little is known about what drives these changes, making it difficult to predict the effects of future invasions. In addition, because most studies compare soils from uninvaded areas to long-established dense invasions, little is known about the temporal dependence of invasion impacts. We experimentally manipulated forest understory vegetation in replicated sites dominated either by exotic Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), native Viburnums, or native Vacciniums, so that each vegetation type was present in each site-type. We compared the short-term effect of vegetation changes to the lingering legacy effects of the previous vegetation type by measuring soil microbial community structure (phospholipid fatty acids) and function (extracellular enzymes and nitrogen mineralization). We also replaced the aboveground litter in half of each plot with an inert substitute to determine if changes in the soil microbial community were driven by aboveground or belowground plant inputs. We found that after 2 years, the microbial community structure and function was largely determined by the legacy effect of the previous vegetation type, and was not affected by the current vegetation. Aboveground litter removal had only weak effects, suggesting that changes in the soil microbial community and nutrient cycling were driven largely by belowground processes. These results suggest that changes in the soil following either invasion or restoration do not occur quickly, but rather exhibit long-lasting legacy effects from previous belowground plant inputs.

  9. 78 FR 49831 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-15

    ... (Eugenia foetida), Thrinax (Amyris elemifera), marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides), wild coffee (Psychotria..., subcanopy, and understory; and (ii) Substrate with a thin layer of highly organic soil covering limestone or organic matter that accumulates on top of the underlying limestone rock; and (iii) A plant community of...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. Thermogravimetric analysis of forest understory grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas Elder; John S. Kush; Sharon M. Hermann

    2011-01-01

    Forest understory grasses are of significance in the initiation, establishment and maintenance of fire, whether used as a management tool or when occurring as wildfire. The fundamental thermal properties of such grasses are critical to their behavior in fire situations and have been investigated in the current work by the application of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA...

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Z.; Liu, R.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Bryant, J.P.; Kielland, K.; Stuart, Chapin F.; Swihart, R.K.

    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 its effort to whichever plant species is more common and accessible. In contrast, toxin-determined selective herbivory can drive plant succession toward dominance by the more toxic species, as previously documented in boreal forests and prairies. When the toxin concentrations in different plant species are similar, but species have different toxins with nonadditive effects, herbivores tend to diversify foraging efforts to avoid high intakes of any one toxin. This diversification leads the herbivore to focus more feeding on the less common plant species. Thus, uncommon plants may experience depensatory mortality from herbivory, reducing local species diversity. The depensatory effect of herbivory may inhibit the invasion of other plant species that are more palatable or have different toxins. These predictions were tested and confirmed in the Alaskan boreal forest. ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial and temporal variability of canopy cover and understory light in a Cerrado of Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JP. Lemos-Filho

    Full Text Available Canopy cover has significant effects on the understory environment, including upon light availability for seedling growth. The aim of the present study was to verify spatial heterogeneity and seasonal changes in the canopy cover of a dense Cerrado area, and their relationship to understory photosynthetic active radiation availability. Leaf area index (LAI values in the rainy season varied from 0.9 to 4.83, with 40% of the values ranging from 4.0 to 5.0, while in the dry season LAI varied from 0.74 to 3.3, with 53% of the values oscilating from 2.0 to 3.0. Understory light (Qi and the Lambert-Beer ratio (Qi/Qo were taken around noon on sunny days (between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. They were also statistically different (p < 0.01 between the dry and wet seasons, with 72% of sampled points in the rainy season presenting photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD values lower than 250 μmol.m-2/s around noon, whereas in the dry season, most PPFD values varied from 1500 to 1817 μmol.m-2/s , thus providing high light availability for understory plants. In most of the studied sites, understory plants did not even receive enough light for 50% of their photosynthetic capacity in the wet season. In contrast during the dry season, Qi/Qo values of 0.8 to 1.0 were observed in more than 50% of the points, thereby allowing for photosynthetic light saturation. Thus, light variability around noon was higher during the dry season than in the wet season, its heterogeneity being related to spatial complexity in the canopy cover.

  2. Nitrogen-addition effects on leaf traits and photosynthetic carbon gain of boreal forest understory shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmroth, Sari; Bach, Lisbet Holm; Nordin, Annika; Palmqvist, Kristin

    2014-06-01

    Boreal coniferous forests are characterized by fairly open canopies where understory vegetation is an important component of ecosystem C and N cycling. We used an ecophysiological approach to study the effects of N additions on uptake and partitioning of C and N in two dominant understory shrubs: deciduous Vaccinium myrtillus in a Picea abies stand and evergreen Vaccinium vitis-idaea in a Pinus sylvestris stand in northern Sweden. N was added to these stands for 16 and 8 years, respectively, at rates of 0, 12.5, and 50 kg N ha(-1) year(-1). N addition at the highest rate increased foliar N and chlorophyll concentrations in both understory species. Canopy cover of P. abies also increased, decreasing light availability and leaf mass per area of V. myrtillus. Among leaves of either shrub, foliar N content did not explain variation in light-saturated CO2 exchange rates. Instead photosynthetic capacity varied with stomatal conductance possibly reflecting plant hydraulic properties and within-site variation in water availability. Moreover, likely due to increased shading under P. abies and due to water limitations in the sandy soil under P. sylvestris, individuals of the two shrubs did not increase their biomass or shift their allocation between above- and belowground parts in response to N additions. Altogether, our results indicate that the understory shrubs in these systems show little response to N additions in terms of photosynthetic physiology or growth and that changes in their performance are mostly associated with responses of the tree canopy.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

    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...... abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects...... and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during...

  5. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (resilience to more severe disturbances. Modern deviations from historical conditions can alter ecosystem response to disturbances, thus restoring the historical disturbance regime may not be an appropriate strategy for all ecosystems.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2011-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Plant community mediation of ecosystem responses to global change factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2017-12-01

    Human alteration of the numerous environmental drivers affecting ecosystem processes is unprecedented in the last century, including changes in climate regimes and rapid increases in the availability of biologically active nitrogen (N). Plant communities may offer stabilizing or amplifying feedbacks mediating potential ecosystem responses to these alterations, and my research seeks to examine the conditions associated with when plant feedbacks are important for ecosystem change. My dissertation research focused on the unintended consequences of N deposition into natural landscapes, including alpine ecosystems which are particularly susceptible to adverse environmental impacts. In particular, I examined alpine plant and soil responses to N deposition 1) across multiple spatial scales throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains, 2) among diverse plant communities associated with unique environmental conditions common in the alpine of this region, and 3) among ecosystem pools of N contributing to stabilization of N inputs within those communities. I found that communities responded to inputs of N differently, often associated with traits of dominant plant species but these responses were intimately linked with the abiotic conditions of each independent community. Even so, statistical models predicting metrics of N processing in the alpine were improved by encompassing both abiotic and biotic components of the main community types.

  13. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  14. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  15. Rural and school community in appreciating knowledge on medical plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcílio Souza Carneiro

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Isolated communities in the urban environment still use medicinal plants, but such knowledge is not always passed on to new generations. In this scenario, we propose a study with students, teachers, and community residents from Córrego da Ema, Amontada, Ceará, Brazil, aiming to know the wisdom of medicinal plants in a small rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region. We interviewed the medicinal plant connoisseurs, named as local experts, by using the “snow ball” method. We applied questionnaires to investigate Elementary School students’ knowledge on medicinal plants (pre-tour. These actions provided a basis for planning guided-tours, activities aimed at 51 students, which we carried out along with the 10 experts and 2 local school teachers, whose results (post-tour were assessed by using the same pre-tour questionnaire. Most local experts were women (80%, their families had many people and low education level, factors that contribute to using medicinal plants. Experts cited 35 medicinal plant species. Students cited 24 pre-tour plant species and 28 post-tour plant species. Students increased their knowledge, as there was also a post-tour increase in therapeutic indications and preparation methods, as mentioned. The school played an important role in appreciating this intangible heritage, because it enabled actions involving formal and informal education.

  16. Unique competitive effects of lianas and trees in a tropical forest understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Alexandra; Tobin, Mike; Mangan, Scott; Schnitzer, Stefan A

    2015-02-01

    Lianas are an important component of tropical forests, contributing up to 25% of the woody stems and 35% of woody species diversity. Lianas invest less in structural support but more in leaves compared to trees of similar biomass. These physiological and morphological differences suggest that lianas may interact with neighboring plants in ways that are different from similarly sized trees. However, the vast majority of past liana competition studies have failed to identify the unique competitive effects of lianas by controlling for the amount of biomass removed. We assessed liana competition in the forest understory over the course of 3 years by removing liana biomass and an equal amount of tree biomass in 40 plots at 10 sites in a secondary tropical moist forest in central Panama. We found that growth of understory trees and lianas, as well as planted seedlings, was limited due to competitive effects from both lianas and trees, though the competitive impacts varied by species, season, and size of neighbors. The removal of trees resulted in greater survival of planted seedlings compared to the removal of lianas, apparently related to a greater release from competition for light. In contrast, lianas had a species-specific negative effect on drought-tolerant Dipteryx oleifera seedlings during the dry season, potentially due to competition for water. We conclude that, at local scales, lianas and trees have unique and differential effects on understory dynamics, with lianas potentially competing more strongly during the dry season, and trees competing more strongly for light.

  17. Understory response to disturbance: an investigation of prescribed burning and understory thinning treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin J. Dolan; George R. Parker

    2003-01-01

    Lack of disturbance in the Central Hardwood Region has caused a decrease in abundance of shade-intolerant species, such as oaks (Quercus spp.) and hickories (Carya spp.), in the forest understory, while shade-tolerant species have proliferated. The goal of this research is to determine how two disturbances, prescribed fire and...

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Genetic diversity within a dominant plant outweighs plant species diversity in structuring an arthropod community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

    Plant biodiversity is being lost at a rapid rate. This has spurred much interest in elucidating the consequences of this loss for higher trophic levels. Experimental tests have shown that both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can influence arthropod community structure. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in separate systems, so their relative importance is currently unresolved. Furthermore, potential interactions between the two levels of diversity, which likely occur in natural systems, have not been investigated. To clarify these issues, we conducted three experiments in a freshwater sand dune ecosystem. We (1) independently manipulated plant species diversity, (2) independently manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, and (3) jointly manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant and species diversity. We found that genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, more strongly influenced arthropod communities than plant species diversity, but this effect was dependent on the presence of other species. In species mixtures, A. breviligulata genetic diversity altered overall arthropod community composition, and arthropod richness and abundance peaked at the highest level of genetic diversity. Positive nonadditive effects of diversity were detected, suggesting that arthropods respond to emergent properties of diverse plant communities. However, in the independent manipulations where A. breviligulata was alone, effects of genetic diversity were weaker, with only arthropod richness responding. In contrast, plant species diversity only influenced arthropods when A. breviligulata was absent, and then only influenced herbivore abundance. In addition to showing that genetic diversity within a dominant plant species can have large effects on arthropod community composition, these results suggest that understanding how species

  2. Plant reproduction is altered by simulated herbicide drift to constructed 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...

  3. 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

  4. Functional plant types drive plant interactions in a Mediterranean mountain range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr eMacek

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Shrubs have both positive (facilitation and negative (competition effects on understory plants, the net interaction effect being modulated by abiotic conditions. Overall shrubs influence to great extent the structure of plant communities where they have significant presence. Interactions in a plant community are quite diverse but little is known about their variability and effects at community level. Here we checked the effects of co-occurring shrub species from different functional groups on a focal understory species, determining mechanisms driving interaction outcome, and tested whether effects measured on the focal species were a proxy for effects measured at the community level. Growth, physiological, and reproductive traits of Euphorbia nicaeensis, our focal species, were recorded on individuals growing in association with four dominant shrub species and in adjacent open areas. We also recorded community composition and environmental conditions in each microhabitat.Shrubs provided environmental conditions for plant growth, which contrasted with open areas, including moister soil, greater N content, higher air temperatures, and lower radiation. Shrub-associated individuals showed lower reproductive effort and greater allocation to growth, while most physiological traits remained unaffected. Euphorbia individuals were bigger and had more leaf N under N-fixing than under non-fixing species. Soil moisture was also higher under N-fixing shrubs; therefore soil conditions in the understory may counter reduced light conditions.There was a significant effect of species identity and functional types in the outcome of plant interactions with consistent effects at individual and community levels. The contrasting allocation strategies to reproduction and growth in Euphorbia plants, either associated or not with shrubs, showed high phenotypic plasticity and evidence its ability to cope with contrasting environmental conditions.

  5. Involvement of allelopathy in inhibition of understory growth in red pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato-Noguchi, Hisashi; Kimura, Fukiko; Ohno, Osamu; Suenaga, Kiyotake

    2017-11-01

    Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) forests are characterized by sparse understory vegetation although sunlight intensity on the forest floor is sufficient for undergrowth. The possible involvement of pine allelopathy in the establishment of the sparse understory vegetation was investigated. The soil of the red pine forest floor had growth inhibitory activity on six test plant species including Lolium multiflorum, which was observed at the edge of the forest but not in the forest. Two growth inhibitory substances were isolated from the soil and characterized to be 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid. Those compounds are probably formed by degradation process of resin acids. Resin acids are produced by pine and delivered into the soil under the pine trees through balsam and defoliation. Threshold concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid for the growth inhibition of L. multiflorum were 30 and 10μM, respectively. The concentrations of 15-hydroxy-7-oxodehydroabietate and 7-oxodehydroabietic acid in the soil were 312 and 397μM, respectively, which are sufficient concentrations to cause the growth inhibition because of the threshold. These results suggest that those compounds are able to work as allelopathic agents and may prevent from the invasion of herbaceous plants into the forests by inhibiting their growth. Therefore, allelopathy of red pine may be involved in the formation of the sparse understory vegetation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  8. Plant Communities Suitable for Green Roofs in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Gioannini

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In extensive green roof settings, plant communities can be more robust than monocultures. In addition, native plants might be hardier and more ecologically sound choices than non-native plants in green roof systems. The objectives of this research were to (1 compare the performance of plant communities with that of monocultures and (2 compare the growth of natives to non-natives in a simulated green roof setting. We conducted a two-year experiment at an outdoor site in a desert environment using four plant morphological types (groundcover, forb, succulent and grass. Native plants selected were Chrysactinia mexicana, Melampodium leucanthum, Euphorbia antisyphilitica, and Nassella tenuissima, and non-natives were Delosperma nubigenum, Stachys byzantina, Sedum kamtschiaticum and Festuca glauca. Plants were assigned randomly to either monoculture or community and grown in 1 m × 1 m custom-built trays filled with 15 cm of a proprietary blend of 50/20/30 lightweight aggregate/sand/compost (by volume. Native forb, Melampodium, in community had greater coverage for four of the five measurements in the first year over native forb in monoculture and non-native forb regardless of setting. Native forb coverage was also greater than non-native forb for three of the four measurements in year 2, regardless of setting. Coverage of native grass was significantly greater than non-native grasses throughout the experiment. Coverage was also greater for eight of nine measurements for native succulent over non-natives succulent. However, non-native groundcover coverage was significantly greater than native groundcover for seven of nine measurements. On 1 November 2016, relative water content (RWC for succulents (p = 0.0424 was greatest for native Euphorbia in monoculture at 88%. Native Euphorbia also had greater RWC than non-native Sedum on 4 April 2017 (78% and 4 July 2017 (80%. However, non-native Sedum had greater root length (6548 cm, root dry weight (12.1 g

  9. Plant Community Diversity After Herbicide Control of Spotted Knapweed

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Herbicides were applied to four west-central Montana sites with light to moderate spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa Lam.) infestations. Althought knapweed suppression was high, 2 years after the spraying the communities were not converted to grass monocultures. No large declines in plant diversity were caused by the herbicides, and small depressions were probably transitory. By the third year, diversity had increased.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. The nuclear power plant and the host community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsson, G.

    1978-01-01

    A councillor from a small Swedish community (Kaevlinge) in the vicinity of the Barsebaeck nuclear power plant describes the effects which the plant has had on neighbouring communities. The effect on the labour market has been small at Kaevlinge, both during routine operation and construction phases. This is however, a fairly densely populated area with a population of half a million in a radius of 30 km. The situation is different at Oskarshamn or Oesthammar. Neither has there been any special economic benefit, due to Swedish taxation laws. There has been little local anxiety due to the proximity of the nuclear power plant. Certain local planning problems have been caused by restricted zones and power cables. Cooperation between the local authorities and the utility has been good. (JIW)

  16. Effects of Trampling Limitation on Coastal Dune Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Understory Density Characteristics in Several Midlatitude Temperature Forests

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Krause, Paul

    2003-01-01

    Understory density can have impacts on such military activities as cross-country mobility, bivouac, cover and concealment, and line of sight Airborne sensors provide a fairly good mechanism for measuring the overstory...

  4. The role of plant mycorrhizal type and status in modulating the relationship between plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenkamp, Lena; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Davison, John; Gerz, Maret; Männistö, Minna; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin

    2018-01-25

    Interactions between communities of plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi shape fundamental ecosystem properties. Experimental evidence suggests that compositional changes in plant and AM fungal communities should be correlated, but empirical data from natural ecosystems are scarce. We investigated the dynamics of covariation between plant and AM fungal communities during three stages of grassland succession, and the biotic and abiotic factors shaping these dynamics. Plant communities were characterised using vegetation surveys. AM fungal communities were characterised by 454-sequencing of the small subunit rRNA gene and identification against the AM fungal reference database MaarjAM. AM fungal abundance was estimated using neutral-lipid fatty acids (NLFAs). Multivariate correlation analysis (Procrustes) revealed a significant relationship between plant and AM fungal community composition. The strength of plant-AM fungal correlation weakened during succession following cessation of grassland management, reflecting changes in the proportion of plants exhibiting different AM status. Plant-AM fungal correlation was strong when the abundance of obligate AM plants was high, and declined as the proportion of facultative AM plants increased. We conclude that the extent to which plants rely on AM symbiosis can determine how tightly communities of plants and AM fungi are interlinked, regulating community assembly of both symbiotic partners. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Mapping of aggregated floodplain plant communities using image fusion of CASI and LiDAR data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verrelst, J.; Geerling, G.W.; Sykora, K.V.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.

    2009-01-01

    Combined optical and laser altimeter data offer the potential to map and monitor plant communities based on their spectral and structural characteristics. A problem unresolved is, however, that narrowly defined plant communities, i.e. plant communities at a low hierarchical level of classification

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. The impact of plant chemical diversity on plant-herbivore interactions at the community level.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the role of diversity in ecosystem processes and species interactions is a central goal of ecology. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been hypothesized that when plant species diversity is reduced, loss of plant biomass to herbivores increases. Although long-standing, this hypothesis has received mixed support. Increasing plant chemical diversity with increasing plant taxonomic diversity is likely to be important for plant-herbivore interactions at the community level, but the role of chemical diversity is unexplored. Here we assess the effect of volatile chemical diversity on patterns of herbivore damage in naturally occurring patches of Piper (Piperaceae) shrubs in a Costa Rican lowland wet forest. Volatile chemical diversity negatively affected total, specialist, and generalist herbivore damage. Furthermore, there were differences between the effects of high-volatility and low-volatility chemical diversity on herbivore damage. High-volatility diversity reduced specialist herbivory, while low-volatility diversity reduced generalist herbivory. Our data suggest that, although increased plant diversity is expected to reduce average herbivore damage, this pattern is likely mediated by the diversity of defensive compounds and general classes of anti-herbivore traits, as well as the degree of specialization of the herbivores attacking those plants.

  11. Conceptual hierarchical modeling to describe wetland plant community organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, A.M.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Allen, T.F.H.

    2010-01-01

    Using multivariate analysis, we created a hierarchical modeling process that describes how differently-scaled environmental factors interact to affect wetland-scale plant community organization in a system of small, isolated wetlands on Mount Desert Island, Maine. We followed the procedure: 1) delineate wetland groups using cluster analysis, 2) identify differently scaled environmental gradients using non-metric multidimensional scaling, 3) order gradient hierarchical levels according to spatiotem-poral scale of fluctuation, and 4) assemble hierarchical model using group relationships with ordination axes and post-hoc tests of environmental differences. Using this process, we determined 1) large wetland size and poor surface water chemistry led to the development of shrub fen wetland vegetation, 2) Sphagnum and water chemistry differences affected fen vs. marsh / sedge meadows status within small wetlands, and 3) small-scale hydrologic differences explained transitions between forested vs. non-forested and marsh vs. sedge meadow vegetation. This hierarchical modeling process can help explain how upper level contextual processes constrain biotic community response to lower-level environmental changes. It creates models with more nuanced spatiotemporal complexity than classification and regression tree procedures. Using this process, wetland scientists will be able to generate more generalizable theories of plant community organization, and useful management models. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2009.

  12. 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

  13. Impacts of Panicum maximum Jacq. invasion and its manual weeding on the wood plant regeneration in the understory of a restoration site Efeitos da invasão por Panicum maximum Jacq. e do seu controle manual sobre a regeneração de plantas lenhosas no sub-bosque de um reflorestamento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Ribeiro de Andrade

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Responsible for considerable annual losses of biodiversity in natural ecosystems, invasive alien species cause important conservation problems, leading native species to local extinction. This study examined the relationship among the coverage of Guinea-grass (Panicum maximum Jacq., its manual weeding and the woody plant diversity of a restoration site. The site is a reforestation created using native species but due to spacing and species composition grass still dominates its understory more than 17 years after. Preliminary results showed that it is a barrier to the establishment of native species. In this study, we established 20 plots of 5m x 5m divided into two treatments, control and removal of P. maximum, to investigate the impact of manual weeding on the understory in a period of 90 days. Grass cover and canopy openness were also recorded. The grass cover had negative correlation with the abundance of plants, with the species richness and abundance of tree species. Canopy openness had a negative influence on the species richness, on abundance and richness of tree species, but not showed correlation with P. maximum. After grass removal, both abundance of seedling and species richness had no significant differences, so the manual weeding did not cause a negative impact in short time on the regeneration of the understory due to accidental native plant uprooting. However, a positive impact is expected only after a longer period of observation, after successive removals of invasive herbaceous and increased chance of colonization of the area by regenerating seedlings.Responsáveis por perdas anuais consideráveis na biodiversidade dos ecossistemas naturais, as espécies exóticas invasoras causam sérios problemas à conservação, levando muitas espécies à extinção local. Este estudo analisou o efeito da cobertura de capim-colonião (Panicum maximum Jacq. no sub-bosque de um reflorestamento dominado há mais de 17 anos por essa gram

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J

    2014-04-01

    Shrub canopies in semi-arid environments often produce positive effects on soil fertility, and on the richness and biomass of understorey plant communities. However, both positive and negative effects of shrub encroachment on plant and soil attributes have been reported at the landscape-level. The contrasting results between patch- and landscape-level effects in shrublands could be caused by differences in the degree of shrub encroachment or grazing pressure, both of which are likely to reduce the ability of individual shrubs to ameliorate their understorey environment.We examined how grazing and shrub encroachment (measured as landscape-level shrub cover) influence patch-level effects of shrubs on plant density, biomass and similarity in species composition between shrub understories and open areas, and on soil stability, nutrient cycling, and infiltration in two semi-arid Australian woodlands.Individual shrubs had consistently positive effects on all plant and soil variables (average increase of 23% for all variables). These positive patch-level effects persisted with increasing shrub cover up to our maximum of 50% cover. Heavy grazing negatively affected most of the variables studied (average decline of 11%). It also altered, for some variables, how individual shrubs affected their sub-canopy environment with increasing shrub cover. Thus for species density, biomass and soil infiltration, the positive effect of individual shrubs with increasing shrub cover diminished under heavy grazing. Our study refines predictions of the effects of woody encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning by showing that heavy grazing, rather than differences in shrub cover, explains the contrasting effects on ecosystem structure and function between individual shrubs and those in dense aggregations. We also discuss how species-specific traits of the encroaching species, such as their height or its ability to fix N, might influence the relationship between their patch

  17. Landscape patterns of understory composition and richness across a moisture and nitrogen mineralization gradient in Ohio (U.S.A.) Quercus forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd F. Hutchinson; Ralph E.J. Boerner; Louis R. Iverson; Steve Sutherland; Elaine Kennedy Sutherland

    1999-01-01

    This study quantified relationships of understory vascular plant species composition and richness along environmental gradients over a broad spatial scale in second-growth oak forests in eastern North America. Species frequencies were recorded in 108 25 x 25 m plots in four study sites extending over 70 km in southern Ohio, U.S.A. The plots were stratified into three...

  18. 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...

  19. 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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Interspecific nutrient transfer in a tallgrass prairie plant community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, L.E.F.; Hartnett, D.C.; Hetrick, B.A.D.; Schwab, A.P.

    1996-01-01

    Interplant nutrient transfer may be an important ecological process in grasslands, and may significantly influence plant neighborhood interactions. We investigated the potential for phosphorus transfer between the dominant grass Andropogon gerardii and several neighboring plant species in tallgrass prairie via a field 32PO4 labelling experiment. The mean amount of 32P received from donor shoots differed significantly among neighboring species and decreased with increasing distance from the donor. In general, forbs and cool-season C3 grasses received more labelled 32P than warm-season C4 grasses. Phosphorus transfer occurred over distances up to 0.5 m. The effects of species and distance on movement of phosphorus changed with increasing time after labelling. The relative mass of receiver and donor shoots did not affect amounts of 32P transfer. A benomyl fungicide treatment, applied to suppress mycorrhizal activity, likely did not affect existing vegetative hyphae and did not affect the amount of 32P transferred. These studies demonstrate that: (1) phosphorus is transferred among neighboring species in tallgrass prairie plant communities, (2) phosphorus may be transferred over significantly greater distances than reported in other grasslands, and (3) there is differential transfer among co-occurring species. Hypothesized mechanisms accounting for these patterns in tallgrass prairie include mycorrhizal hyphal interconnections and/or extensive and differential root and rhizosphere overlap among neighboring species

  2. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Fine-spatial scale predictions of understory species using climate- and LiDAR-derived terrain and canopy metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijland, Wiebe; Nielsen, Scott E.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Wulder, Michael A.; Stenhouse, Gordon B.

    2014-01-01

    Food and habitat resources are critical components of wildlife management and conservation efforts. The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) has diverse diets and habitat requirements particularly for understory plant species, which are impacted by human developments and forest management activities. We use light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data to predict the occurrence of 14 understory plant species relevant to bear forage and compare our predictions with more conventional climate- and land cover-based models. We use boosted regression trees to model each of the 14 understory species across 4435 km2 using occurrence (presence-absence) data from 1941 field plots. Three sets of models were fitted: climate only, climate and basic land and forest covers from Landsat 30-m imagery, and a climate- and LiDAR-derived model describing both the terrain and forest canopy. Resulting model accuracies varied widely among species. Overall, 8 of 14 species models were improved by including the LiDAR-derived variables. For climate-only models, mean annual precipitation and frost-free periods were the most important variables. With inclusion of LiDAR-derived attributes, depth-to-water table, terrain-intercepted annual radiation, and elevation were most often selected. This suggests that fine-scale terrain conditions affect the distribution of the studied species more than canopy conditions.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28473828

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair G Auffret

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

  9. 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....

  10. Evergreen understory dynamics in Coweeta forest, North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.M. Dobbs; Albert J. Parker

    2004-01-01

    A number of studies have elucidated the distributional patterns of various components of Southern Appalachian forests. The evergreen understory here is composed largely of a dominant ericaceous shrub, Rhododendron maximum L., which is believed to be expanding and inhibiting the development of other species with consequent impacts on overall forest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Pesticides from wastewater treatment plant effluents affect invertebrate communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münze, Ronald; Hannemann, Christin; Orlinskiy, Polina; Gunold, Roman; Paschke, Albrecht; Foit, Kaarina; Becker, Jeremias; Kaske, Oliver; Paulsson, Elin; Peterson, Märit; Jernstedt, Henrik; Kreuger, Jenny; Schüürmann, Gerrit; Liess, Matthias

    2017-12-01

    We quantified pesticide contamination and its ecological impact up- and downstream of seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in rural and suburban areas of central Germany. During two sampling campaigns, time-weighted average pesticide concentrations (c TWA ) were obtained using Chemcatcher® passive samplers; pesticide peak concentrations were quantified with event-driven samplers. At downstream sites, receiving waters were additionally grab sampled for five selected pharmaceuticals. Ecological effects on macroinvertebrate structure and ecosystem function were assessed using the biological indicator system SPEAR pesticides (SPEcies At Risk) and leaf litter breakdown rates, respectively. WWTP effluents substantially increased insecticide and fungicide concentrations in receiving waters; in many cases, treated wastewater was the exclusive source for the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid in the investigated streams. During the ten weeks of the investigation, five out of the seven WWTPs increased in-stream pesticide toxicity by a factor of three. As a consequence, at downstream sites, SPEAR values and leaf litter degradation rates were reduced by 40% and 53%, respectively. The reduced leaf litter breakdown was related to changes in the macroinvertebrate communities described by SPEAR pesticides and not to altered microbial activity. Neonicotinoids showed the highest ecological relevance for the composition of invertebrate communities, occasionally exceeding the Regulatory Acceptable Concentrations (RACs). In general, considerable ecological effects of insecticides were observed above and below regulatory thresholds. Fungicides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals contributed only marginally to acute toxicity. We conclude that pesticide retention of WWTPs needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Dynamics of Understory Shrub Biomass in Six Young Plantations of Southern Subtropical China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqi Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Understory shrubs are an important component of forest ecosystems and drive ecosystem processes, such as ecosystem carbon cycling. However, shrub biomass carbon stocks have rarely been reported, which limits our understanding of ecosystem C stock and cycling. In this study, we evaluated carbon accumulation of shrub species using allometric equations based on height and basal diameter in six subtropical plantations at the age of 1, 3, 4 and 6 years. The results showed that plantation type did not significantly affect the total biomass of shrubs, but it significantly affected the biomass of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, Ilex asprella, Clerodendrum fortunatum and Baeckea frutescens. The biomass of dominant shrub species R. tomentosa, I. asprella, Gardenia jasminoides and Melastoma candidum increased with stand age, while the biomass of C. fortunatum and B. frutescens decreased. The inconsistent biomass-time patterns of different shrub species may be the primary reason for the altered total shrub biomass in each plantation. Consequently, we proposed that R. tomentosa, I. asprella, G. jasminoides and M. candidum could be preferable for understory carbon accumulation and should be maintained or planted because of their important functions in carbon accumulation and high economic values in the young plantations of southern subtropical China.

  19. Arthropod prey of Wilson's Warblers in the understory of Douglas-fir forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, J.C.; Dugger, K.M.; Starkey, E.E.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of food resources is an important factor in avian habitat selection. Food resources for terrestrial birds often are closely related to vegetation structure and composition. Identification of plant species important in supporting food resources may facilitate vegetation management to achieve objectives for providing bird habitat. We used fecal analysis to describe the diet of adult Wilson's Warblers (Wilsonia pusilla) that foraged in the understory of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in western Oregon during the breeding season. We sampled arthropods at the same sites where diet data were collected, and compared abundance and biomass of prey among seven common shrub species. Wilson's Warblers ate more caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and Homoptera than expected based on availability. Deciduous shrubs supported higher abundances of arthropod taxa and size classes used as prey by Wilson's Warblers than did evergreen shrubs. The development and maintenance of deciduous understory vegetation in conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest may be fundamental for conservation of food webs that support breeding Wilson's Warblers and other shrub-associated, insectivorous songbirds.

  20. Plant traits determine the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-García, Álvaro; Varela-Cervero, Sara; Vasar, Martti; Öpik, Maarja; Barea, José M; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción

    2017-12-01

    Functional diversity in ecosystems has traditionally been studied using aboveground plant traits. Despite the known effect of plant traits on the microbial community composition, their effects on the microbial functional diversity are only starting to be assessed. In this study, the phylogenetic structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities associated with plant species differing in life cycle and growth form, that is, plant life forms, was determined to unravel the effect of plant traits on the functional diversity of this fungal group. The results of the 454 pyrosequencing showed that the AM fungal community composition differed across plant life forms and this effect was dependent on the soil collection date. Plants with ruderal characteristics tended to associate with phylogenetically clustered AM fungal communities. By contrast, plants with resource-conservative traits associated with phylogenetically overdispersed AM fungal communities. Additionally, the soil collected in different seasons yielded AM fungal communities with different phylogenetic dispersion. In summary, we found that the phylogenetic structure, and hence the functional diversity, of AM fungal communities is dependent on plant traits. This finding adds value to the use of plant traits for the evaluation of belowground ecosystem diversity, functions and processes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Response of understory vegetation over 10 years after thinning in an old-growth cedar and cypress plantation overgrazed by sika deer in eastern Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Tamura

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Forest management strategies such as thinning have long been used to enhance ecosystem functions, especially in plantations. Thinning in plantations with high deer density, however, may not yield a desired increase in understory vegetation because deer graze on germinating plants after thinning. Here, we examine the changes in understory vegetation after thinning in plantations that have been overgrazed by sika deer to provide insight into the effects of thinning on ecosystem functions such as soil conservation and biological diversity. Methods We conducted our survey in the Tanzawa Mountains of eastern Japan. We surveyed the change in understory vegetation within and outside of three deer exclosures on a single slope with three levels of understory vegetation cover: sparse (1%, exclosure “US”, moderate (30%, exclosure “MM”, and dense (80%, exclosure “LD” over 10 years after a 30% thinning of an old-growth cedar and cypress plantation which was overgrazed by sika deer. Results Understory vegetation cover, biomass and species richness increased within and outside the “US” and “MM” exclosures after thinning, and biomass was greater within than outside the exclosures at 10 years after thinning. Unpalatable species dominated both “US” and “MM” exclosures before thinning, and trees and shrubs dominated within the exclosures over time after thinning. In contrast, unpalatable, grazing-tolerant, perennial, and annual species increased outside the “US” and “MM” exclosures. No noticeable changes were observed within and outside the “LD” exclosure when compared with the “US” and “MM” exclosures. Conclusions Our results suggest that thinning a stand by 30% based on volume resulted in an increase in understory vegetation cover mainly composed of both unpalatable and grazing-tolerant species in a plantation forest where understory vegetation is sparse or moderate and sika deer density is high. We

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Restructuring of endophytic bacterial communities in grapevine yellows-diseased and recovered Vitis vinifera L. plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-07-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Forests and Forest Cover - MDC_NaturalForestCommunity

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Local Govt | GIS Inventory — A point feature class of NFCs - Natural Forest Communities. Natural Forest Community shall mean all stands of trees (including their associated understory) which...

  14. 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.

  15. Changing expectations: a longitudinal study of community attitudes toward a nuclear power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughey, J.B.; Lounsbury, J.W.; Sundstrom, E.; Mattingly, T.J. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Initial and 5-year follow-up interviews were conducted with 213 residents of the host community for a nuclear power plant. The purpose was to determine possible changes in attitudes toward the plant and expectations about potential outcomes associated with construction. Large negative changes in attitudes toward the plant were noted and were accompanied most notably by decreased expectations of positive outcomes. The structure of the expectations remained essentially stable over the 5-year period. Perceptions of hazards, community disruption, and economic benefits as measured early in construction and during peak construction were found to be the best predictors of acceptance of the nuclear plant. Initial expectations were found to predict overall attitude toward the plant 5 years later. Results were discussed in terms of implications for social impact assessment, large-scale community change, and the predictability of community attitudes toward nuclear power plant construction

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Timmers, Ruud A.; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P. B. T. B.; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode–rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) w...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Krause-Jensen, D.

    1997-01-01

    Comparisons of photosynthesis in terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been impaired by differences in methods and time-scales of measurements. We compiled information on gross photosynthesis at high irradiance and photosynthetic efficiency at low irradiance from 109 published terrestrial studies...... communities probably due to more efficient light utilization and gas exchange in the terrestrial habitats. By contrast only small differences were found within different aquatic plant communities or within different terrestrial plant communities....... of forests, grasslands and crops and 319 aquatic studies of phytoplankton, macrophyte and attached microalgal communities to test if specific differences existed between the communities. Maximum gross photosynthesis and photosynthetic efficiency were systematically higher in terrestrial than in aquatic...

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years

  7. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

  8. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia D. Huebner

    2006-01-01

    Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders...

  9. 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.

  10. Productivity and cost of conventional understory biomass harvesting systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas E. Miller; Thomas J. Straka; Bryce J. Stokes; William Watson

    1987-01-01

    Conventional harvesting equipment was tested for removing forest understory biomass (energywood) for use as fuel. Two types of systems were tested--a one-pass system and a two-pass system. In the one-pass system, the energywood and pulpwood were harvested simultaneously. In the two-pass system, the energywood was harvested in a first pass through the stand, and the...

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may improve plant performance at disturbed sites, but inoculation may also suppress root colonization by native AMF and decrease the diversity of the root-colonizing AMF community. This has been shown for the roots of directly inoculated plants, but little is known about the stability of inoculation effects, and to which degree the inoculant and the inoculation-induced changes in AMF community composition spread into newly emerging seedlings that were not in direct contact with the introduced propagules. We addressed this topic in a greenhouse experiment based on the soil and native AMF community of a post-mining site. Plants were cultivated in compartmented pots with substrate containing the native AMF community, where AMF extraradical mycelium radiating from directly inoculated plants was allowed to inoculate neighboring plants. The abundances of the inoculated isolate and of native AMF taxa were monitored in the roots of the directly inoculated plants and the neighboring plants by quantitative real-time PCR. As expected, inoculation suppressed root colonization of the directly inoculated plants by other AMF taxa of the native AMF community and also by native genotypes of the same species as used for inoculation. In the neighboring plants, high abundance of the inoculant and the suppression of native AMF were maintained. Thus, we demonstrate that inoculation effects on native AMF propagate into plants that were not in direct contact with the introduced inoculum, and are therefore likely to persist at the site of inoculation. PMID:28738069

  13. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-08-30

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant species cover and litter characteristics were sampled at 18 successional forest plant communities along major roadways in Sichuan Basin, western China. Variation in litter across communities was assessed with principal component analysis (PCA) and species with the highest correlation to PCA axes were determined with Pearson's r coefficients. Plant communities with the longest time since road construction (i.e., 70 years) were distinctly different in litter total N and organic carbon compared to plant communities with a shorter disturbance history. We encountered 59 plant species across sampling plots, but only four rare species (i.e., frequency plant litter across heavily disturbed landscapes and how litter characteristics and rare plant species are correlated.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Rodrigues

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

  15. Litter Accumulation and Nutrient Content of Roadside Plant Communities in Sichuan Basin, China

    OpenAIRE

    He, Huiqin; Monaco, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    It is widely recognized that feedbacks exist between plant litter and plant community species composition, but this relationship is difficult to interpret over heterogeneous conditions typical of modified environments such as roadways. Given the need to expedite natural recovery of disturbed areas through restoration interventions, we characterized litter accumulation and nutrient content (i.e., organic carbon, total N, and P) and quantified their association with key plant species. Plant spe...

  16. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities

    OpenAIRE

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-01-01

    Background Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in ...

  17. Bottom-up and top-down effects on plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Lara; Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Sanders, Nate

    2016-01-01

    -down) and soil nitrogen (bottom-up) were manipulated over six years in an existing old-field community. We tracked plant α and β diversity - within plot richness and among plot biodiversity- and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) over the course of the experiment. We found that bottom-up factors...... affected ANPP while top-down factors influenced plant community structure. Across years, while N reduction lowered ANPP by 10%, N reduction did not alter ANPP relative to control plots. Further, N reduction lowered ANPP by 20% relative to N addition plots. On the other hand, the reduction of insect...... community composition via shifts in plant dominance....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Joseph Doyle

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    We characterize the diversity of nectar-living yeasts of a tropical host plant community at different hierarchical sampling levels, measure the associations between yeasts and nectariferous plants, and measure the effect of yeasts on nectar traits. Using a series of hierarchically nested sampling units, we extracted nectar from an assemblage of host plants that were representative of the diversity of life forms, flower shapes, and pollinator types in the tropical area of Yucatan, Mexico. Yeasts were isolated from single nectar samples; their DNA was identified, the yeast cell density was estimated, and the sugar composition and concentration of nectar were quantified using HPLC. In contrast to previous studies from temperate regions, the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in the plant community was characterized by a relatively high number of equally common species with low dominance. Analyses predict highly diverse nectar yeast communities in a relatively narrow range of tropical vegetation, suggesting that the diversity of yeasts will increase as the number of sampling units increases at the level of the species, genera, and botanical families of the hosts. Significant associations between specific yeast species and host plants were also detected; the interaction between yeasts and host plants impacted the effect of yeast cell density on nectar sugars. This study provides an overall picture of the diversity of nectar-living yeasts in tropical host plants and suggests that the key factor that affects the community-wide patterns of nectar traits is not nectar chemistry, but rather the type of yeasts interacting with host plants. PMID:28717591

  5. 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.

  6. Variability in understory evapotranspiration with overstory density in Siberian larch forests

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are changing rapidly in response to amplified rates of climate change. Increased vegetation productivity, altered ecosystem carbon and hydrologic cycling, and increased wildfire severity are among the key responses to changing permafrost and climate conditions. Boreal larch forests in northeastern Siberia are a critical but understudied ecosystem affected by these modifications. Understory vegetation in these ecosystems, which typically have low canopy cover, may account for half of all water fluxes. Despite the potential importance of the understory for ecosystem water exchange, there has been relatively little research examining variability in understory evapotranspiration in boreal larch forests. In particular, the water balance of understory shrubs and mosses is largely undefined and could provide insight on how understory vegetation and our changing climate interact. This is especially important because both observed increases in vegetation productivity and wildfire severity could lead to increases in forests density, altering the proportional contributions of over- and understory vegetation to whole ecosystem evapotranspiration. In order to better understand variability in understory evapotranspiration we measured in larch forests with differing overstory density and permafrost conditions that likely vary as a consequence of fire severity. We used the static chamber technique to measure fluxes across a range of understory vegetation types and environmental conditions. In general, we found that the understory vegetation in low density stands transpires more than that in high density stands. This tends to be correlated with a larger amount of aboveground biomass in the low density stands, and an increase in solar radiation, due to less shading by overstory trees. These results will help us to better understand water balances, evapotranspiration variability, and productivity changes associated with climate on understory vegetation. Additionally

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground-belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Geuverink, Elzemiek; Olff, Han; Schmid, Bernhard

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  11. Large grazers modify effects of aboveground–belowground interactions on small-scale plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Geuverink, E.; Olff, H.

    2012-01-01

    Aboveground and belowground organisms influence plant community composition by local interactions, and their scale of impact may vary from millimeters belowground to kilometers aboveground. However, it still poorly understood how large grazers that select their forage on large spatial scales

  12. Understory response to varying fire frequencies after 20 years of prescribed burning in an upland oak forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, J.A.; Hallgren, S.W.; Fuhlendorf, S.D.; Leslie, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems in the eastern United States that were shaped by fire over thousands of years of anthropogenic burning recently have been subjected to fire suppression resulting in significant changes in vegetation composition and structure and encroachment by invasive species. Renewed interest in use of fire to manage such ecosystems will require knowledge of effects of fire regime on vegetation. We studied the effects of one aspect of the fire regime, fire frequency, on biomass, cover and diversity of understory vegetation in upland oak forests prescribe-burned for 20 years at different frequencies ranging from zero to five fires per decade. Overstory canopy closure ranged from 88 to 96% and was not affected by fire frequency indicating high tolerance of large trees for even the most frequent burning. Understory species richness and cover was dominated by woody reproduction followed in descending order by forbs, C3 graminoids, C4 grasses, and legumes. Woody plant understory cover did not change with fire frequency and increased 30% from one to three years after a burn. Both forbs and C3 graminoids showed a linear increase in species richness and cover as fire frequency increased. In contrast, C4 grasses and legumes did not show a response to fire frequency. The reduction of litter by fire may have encouraged regeneration of herbaceous plants and helped explain the positive response of forbs and C3 graminoids to increasing fire frequency. Our results showed that herbaceous biomass, cover, and diversity can be managed with long-term prescribed fire under the closed canopy of upland oak forests. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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......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...

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The phyllosphere—the aerial surfaces of plants, including leaves—is a ubiquitous global habitat that harbors diverse bacterial communities. Phyllosphere bacterial communities have the potential to influence plant biogeography and ecosystem function through their influence on the fitness and function of their hosts, but the host attributes that drive community assembly in the phyllosphere are poorly understood. In this study we used high-throughput sequencing to quantify bacterial community structure on the leaves of 57 tree species in a neotropical forest in Panama. We tested for relationships between bacterial communities on tree leaves and the functional traits, taxonomy, and phylogeny of their plant hosts. Bacterial communities on tropical tree leaves were diverse; leaves from individual trees were host to more than 400 bacterial taxa. Bacterial communities in the phyllosphere were dominated by a core microbiome of taxa including Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. Host attributes including plant taxonomic identity, phylogeny, growth and mortality rates, wood density, leaf mass per area, and leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations were correlated with bacterial community structure on leaves. The relative abundances of several bacterial taxa were correlated with suites of host plant traits related to major axes of plant trait variation, including the leaf economics spectrum and the wood density–growth/mortality tradeoff. These correlations between phyllosphere bacterial diversity and host growth, mortality, and function suggest that incorporating information on plant–microbe associations will improve our ability to understand plant functional biogeography and the drivers of variation in plant and ecosystem function. PMID:25225376

  16. Effects of migratory geese on plant communities of an Alaskan salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacheis, Amy B.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ruess, Roger W.

    2001-01-01

    1. We studied the effects of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on two salt marsh plant communities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, a stopover area used during spring migration. From 1995 to 1997 we compared plant species composition and biomass on plots where geese were excluded from feeding with paired plots where foraging could occur. 2. Foraging intensity was low (650-1930 goose-days km-2) compared to other goose-grazing systems. 3. Canada geese fed mainly on above-ground shoots of Triglochin maritimum, Puccinellia spp. and Carex ramenskii, whereas the majority of the snow goose diet consisted of below-ground tissues of Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum. 4. Plant communities responded differently to goose herbivory. In the sedge meadow community, where feeding was primarily on above-ground shoots, there was no effect of grazing on the dominant species Carex ramenskii and Triglochin maritimum. In the herb meadow community, where snow geese fed on Plantago maritima roots and other below-ground tissues, there was a difference in the relative abundance of plant species between treatments. Biomass of Plantago maritima and Potentilla egedii was lower on grazed plots compared with exclosed, whereas biomass of Carex ramenskii was greater on grazed plots. There was no effect of herbivory on total standing crop biomass in either community. The variable effect of herbivory on Carex ramenskii between communities suggests that plant neighbours and competitive interactions are important factors in a species' response to herbivory. In addition, the type of herbivory (above- or below-ground) was important in determining plant community response to herbivory. 5. Litter accumulation was reduced in grazed areas compared with exclosed in both communities. Trampling of the previous year's litter into the soil surface by geese incorporated more litter into soils in grazed areas. 6. This study illustrates that even light herbivore

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Comparison of bacterial and fungal communities between natural and planted pine forests in subtropical China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Ming; Meng, Han; Li, Ke; Wan, Jia-Rong; Quan, Zhe-Xue; Fang, Chang-Ming; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Li, Bo

    2012-01-01

    To improve our understanding of the changes in bacterial and fungal diversity in natural pine and planted forests in subtropical region of China, we examined bacterial and fungal communities from a native and a nearby planted pine forest of the Mt. Lushan by constructing clone libraries of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. For bacterial communities, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria were dominant bacterial taxa in both two types of forest soils. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index, rarefaction curve analysis, and LibShuff analysis suggest that these two forests contained similar diversity of bacterial communities. Low soil acidity (pH ≈ 4) of our study forests might be one of the most important selection factors determining growth of acidophilic Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria. However, the natural forest harbored greater level of fungal diversity than the planted forest according to the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and rarefaction curve analysis. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota were dominant fungal taxa in the soils of natural and planted forests, respectively. Our results suggest that fungal community was more sensitive than the bacterial community in characterizing the differences in plant cover impacts on the microbial flora in the natural and planted forests. The natural and planted forests may function differently due to the differences in soil fungal diversity and relative abundance.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Abbott

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. A model for estimating understory vegetation response to fertilization and precipitation in loblolly pine plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis L. VanderSchaaf; Ryan W. McKnight; Thomas R. Fox; H. Lee Allen

    2010-01-01

    A model form is presented, where the model contains regressors selected for inclusion based on biological rationale, to predict how fertilization, precipitation amounts, and overstory stand density affect understory vegetation biomass. Due to time, economic, and logistic constraints, datasets of large sample sizes generally do not exist for understory vegetation. Thus...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Gerven, Luuk P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at

  16. Competition for Light and Nutrients in Layered Communities of Aquatic Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gerven, L.P.A.; de Klein, J.J.M.; Gerla, D.J.; Kooi, B.W.; Kuiper, J.J.; Mooij, W.M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at

  17. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerven, van Luuk P.A.; Klein, de Jeroen J.M.; Gerla, Daan J.; Kooi, Bob W.; Kuiper, Jan J.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2015-01-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that

  18. Hierarchical spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine B.; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus

    2009-01-01

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern of a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially a maxim...

  19. 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...... that plants with return sludge Side-Stream Hydrolysis (SSH) instead of the normal anaerobic process tank tended to have significantly fewer unwanted GAOs in contrast to many plants with traditional mainstream anaerobic tank and thus it was proposed that this system might be an effective strategy of control...

  20. Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake, A Guide to Identification, Communities, & Bird Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...

  1. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    OpenAIRE

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-01-01

    Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concen...

  2. The Root-Associated Microbial Community of the World's Highest Growing Vascular Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel, Roey; Conrad, Ralf; Dvorsky, Miroslav; Kopecky, Martin; Kotilínek, Milan; Hiiesalu, Inga; Schweingruber, Fritz; Doležal, Jiří

    2016-08-01

    Upward migration of plants to barren subnival areas is occurring worldwide due to raising ambient temperatures and glacial recession. In summer 2012, the presence of six vascular plants, growing in a single patch, was recorded at an unprecedented elevation of 6150 m.a.s.l. close to the summit of Mount Shukule II in the Western Himalayas (Ladakh, India). Whilst showing multiple signs of stress, all plants have managed to establish stable growth and persist for several years. To learn about the role of microbes in the process of plant upward migration, we analysed the root-associated microbial community of the plants (three individuals from each) using microscopy and tagged amplicon sequencing. No mycorrhizae were found on the roots, implying they are of little importance to the establishment and early growth of the plants. However, all roots were associated with a complex bacterial community, with richness and diversity estimates similar or even higher than the surrounding bare soil. Both soil and root-associated communities were dominated by members of the orders Sphingomonadales and Sphingobacteriales, which are typical for hot desert soils, but were different from communities of temperate subnival soils and typical rhizosphere communities. Despite taxonomic similarity on the order level, the plants harboured a unique set of highly dominant operational taxonomic units which were not found in the bare soil. These bacteria have been likely transported with the dispersing seeds and became part of the root-associated community following germination. The results indicate that developing soils act not only as a source of inoculation to plant roots but also possibly as a sink for plant-associated bacteria.

  3. Insect herbivory and plant adaptation in an early successional community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Fines, Daniel M; Bogdanowicz, Steve; Huber, Meret

    2018-05-01

    To address the role of insect herbivores in adaptation of plant populations and the persistence of selection through succession, we manipulated herbivory in a long-term field experiment. We suppressed insects in half of 16 plots over nine years and examined the genotypic structure and chemical defense of common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a naturally colonizing perennial apomictic plant. Insect suppression doubled dandelion abundance in the first few years, but had negligible effects thereafter. Using microsatellite DNA markers, we genotyped >2500 plants and demonstrate that insect suppression altered the genotypic composition of plots in both sampling years. Phenotypic and genotypic estimates of defensive terpenes and phenolics from the field plots allowed us to infer phenotypic plasticity and the response of dandelion populations to insect-mediated natural selection. The effects of insect suppression on plant chemistry were, indeed, driven both by plasticity and plant genotypic identity. In particular, di-phenolic inositol esters were more abundant in plots exposed to herbivory (due to the genotypic composition of the plots) and were also induced in response to herbivory. This field experiment thus demonstrates evolutionary sorting of plant genotypes in response to insect herbivores that was in same direction as the plastic defensive response within genotypes. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. 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.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Sunil

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Predictive occurrence models for coastal wetland plant communities: delineating hydrologic response surfaces with multinomial logistic regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding plant community zonation along estuarine stress gradients is critical for effective conservation and restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems. We related the presence of plant community types to estuarine hydrology at 173 sites across coastal Louisiana. Percent relative cover by species was assessed at each site near the end of the growing season in 2008, and hourly water level and salinity were recorded at each site Oct 2007–Sep 2008. Nine plant community types were delineated with k-means clustering, and indicator species were identified for each of the community types with indicator species analysis. An inverse relation between salinity and species diversity was observed. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) effectively segregated the sites across ordination space by community type, and indicated that salinity and tidal amplitude were both important drivers of vegetation composition. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) were used to predict the probability of occurrence of the nine vegetation communities as a function of salinity and tidal amplitude, and probability surfaces obtained from the MLR model corroborated the CCA results. The weighted kappa statistic, calculated from the confusion matrix of predicted versus actual community types, was 0.7 and indicated good agreement between observed community types and model predictions. Our results suggest that models based on a few key hydrologic variables can be valuable tools for predicting vegetation community development when restoring and managing coastal wetlands.

  7. Predictive occurrence models for coastal wetland plant communities: Delineating hydrologic response surfaces with multinomial logistic regression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snedden, Gregg A.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2013-02-01

    Understanding plant community zonation along estuarine stress gradients is critical for effective conservation and restoration of coastal wetland ecosystems. We related the presence of plant community types to estuarine hydrology at 173 sites across coastal Louisiana. Percent relative cover by species was assessed at each site near the end of the growing season in 2008, and hourly water level and salinity were recorded at each site Oct 2007-Sep 2008. Nine plant community types were delineated with k-means clustering, and indicator species were identified for each of the community types with indicator species analysis. An inverse relation between salinity and species diversity was observed. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) effectively segregated the sites across ordination space by community type, and indicated that salinity and tidal amplitude were both important drivers of vegetation composition. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) were used to predict the probability of occurrence of the nine vegetation communities as a function of salinity and tidal amplitude, and probability surfaces obtained from the MLR model corroborated the CCA results. The weighted kappa statistic, calculated from the confusion matrix of predicted versus actual community types, was 0.7 and indicated good agreement between observed community types and model predictions. Our results suggest that models based on a few key hydrologic variables can be valuable tools for predicting vegetation community development when restoring and managing coastal wetlands.

  8. 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.

  9. Invasion of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha (Cactaceae into plant communities of the Karadag Nature Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina V. Fateryga

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The results of a study of Opuntia humifusa and O. phaeacantha naturalised in the Karadag Nature Reserve (southeastern part of the Crimean Peninsula are presented. There, the largest coenopopulations of Opuntia plants are confined to the «biostation» territory (bordering with the park, administrative buildings and housing estate. Twelve localities were described in the Karadag Reserve. These differ by phytocoenotic characteristics, area and floristic composition. Seven localities include only O. humifusa plants; four ones include only O. phaeacantha individuals; and both the species are present on the twelfth locality. The total number of individuals of each species and ontogenetic structure of the population were studied in each locality. The total number of O. humifusa individuals in the Karadag Reserve is more than 600 plants within the «biostation» territory, while the total number of O. phaeacantha plants is about 400 individuals. Studying of the plant communities has been carried out according to the Braun-Blanquet method. Opuntia plants form derivate communities within degraded steppes, phryganoid-steppes, and semi-desert badland phytocoenoses almost at all studied localities. A significant number of synanthropic species (including alien plants was found within these communities. Opuntia plants are able to self-reproduce predominantly vegetatively. Self-seeding reproduction occurs less frequently. Both species can be considered as invasive plants because they have a high adaptive capacity.

  10. 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.

  11. Managing Understory Vegetation for Maintaining Productivity in Black Spruce Forests: A Synthesis within a Multi-Scale Research Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Joanisse

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustainable management of boreal ecosystems involves the establishment of vigorous tree regeneration after harvest. However, two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success in eastern boreal Canada. Ericaceous shrubs are recognized to rapidly dominate susceptible boreal sites after harvest. Such dominance reduces recruitment and causes stagnant conifer growth, lasting decades on some sites. Additionally, peat accumulation due to Sphagnum growth after harvest forces the roots of regenerating conifers out of the relatively nutrient rich and warm mineral soil into the relatively nutrient poor and cool organic layer, with drastic effects on growth. Shifts from once productive black spruce forests to ericaceous heaths or paludified forests affect forest productivity and biodiversity. Under natural disturbance dynamics, fires severe enough to substantially reduce the organic layer thickness and affect ground cover species are required to establish a productive regeneration layer on such sites. We succinctly review how understory vegetation influences black spruce ecosystem dynamics in eastern boreal Canada, and present a multi-scale research model to understand, limit the loss and restore productive and diverse ecosystems in this region. Our model integrates knowledge of plant-level mechanisms in the development of silvicultural tools to sustain productivity. Fundamental knowledge is integrated at stand, landscape, regional and provincial levels to understand the distribution and dynamics of ericaceous shrubs and paludification processes and to support tactical and strategic forest management. The model can be adapted and applied to other natural resource management problems, in other biomes.

  12. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. 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...... 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...... 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...

  15. Restoration of the Native Plant Communities in Longleaf Pine Landscapes on the Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    James D. Haywood; Alton Martin; Finis L. Harris; Michael L. Elliott-Smith

    1998-01-01

    In January 1993, the Kisatchie National Forest and Southern Research Station began monitoring the effects of various management practices on overstory and midstory trees, shrubs, and understory woody and herbaceous vegetation in several longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) stands. The monitoring of these stands is part of several Ecosystem...

  16. Advances in modeling trait-based plant community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Daniel C; Laughlin, David E

    2013-10-01

    In this review, we examine two new trait-based models of community assembly that predict the relative abundance of species from a regional species pool. The models use fundamentally different mathematical approaches and the predictions can differ considerably. Maxent obtains the most even probability distribution subject to community-weighted mean trait constraints. Traitspace predicts low probabilities for any species whose trait distribution does not pass through the environmental filter. Neither model maximizes functional diversity because of the emphasis on environmental filtering over limiting similarity. Traitspace can test for the effects of limiting similarity by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variation. The range of solutions in both models could be used to define the range of natural variability of community composition in restoration projects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Stubble field plant communities of the Mazowiecki Landscape Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Skrajna

    2012-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of water table position and plant functional group on plant community, aboveground production, and peat properties in a peatland mesocosm experiment (PEATcosm)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynette R. Potvin; Evan S. Kane; Rodney A. Chimner; Randall K. Kolka; Erik A. Lilleskov

    2015-01-01

    Aims Our objective was to assess the impacts of water table position and plant functional type on peat structure, plant community composition and aboveground plant production. Methods We initiated a full factorial experiment with 2 water table (WT) treatments (high and low) and 3 plant functional groups (PFG: sedge, Ericaceae,...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Life form succession in plant communities on colliery waste tips

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Down, C G

    1973-01-01

    Five disused colliery waste tips in the Somerset Coalfield, 12, 15, 21, 55 and 98 years old, respectively, were examined to determine the life forms of the naturally-occurring vascular plant species. Hemicryptophytes comprised between 68 and 79% of the number of species on each tip. Rosette hemicryptophytes comprised 31.8% of the species on the 12-year tip, declining to 11.8% on the 98-year tip. It is suggested that artificial planting of rosette hemicryptophytes may be beneficial in reclamation schemes. 3 tables.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

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

  5. [Relation between species distribution of plant community and soil factors under grazing in alpine meadow].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Yu Jie; Yang, Si Wei; Wang, Gui Zhen; Liu, Li; Du, Guo Zhen; Hua, Li Min

    2017-12-01

    The research selected the alpine meadow located in the northeastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to study the changes of vegetation community and soil properties under different grazing intensities, as well as the quantitative relation between the distribution patterns of plant species and the physical and chemical properties of soil. The results showed that the grazing caused the differentiation of the initial vegetation community with the dominant plants, Elymus nutans and Stipa grandis. In the plots with high and low grazing intensities, the dominant plants had changed to Kobresia humilis and Melissitus ruthenica, and E. nutans and Poa crymophila, respectively. With the increase of grazing intensity, the plant richness, importance value and biomass were significantly decreased. The sequence of plant species importance value in each plot against grazing intensity could be fitted by a logarithmic model. The number of required plant species was reduced while the importance value of the remaining plant species accounted for 50% of the importance value in the whole vegetation community. The available P, available K, soil compaction, soil water content, stable infiltration rate and large aggregate index were significantly changed with grazing intensity, however, the changes were different. The CCA ordination showed that the soil compaction was the key factor affecting the distribution pattern of the plant species under grazing. The variance decomposition indicated that the soil factors together explained 30.5% of the distribution of the plant species, in particular the soil physical properties alone explained 22.8% of the distribution of the plant species, which had the highest rate of contribution to the plant species distribution. The soil physical properties affected the distribution pattern of plant species on grazed alpine meadow.

  6. Dispersal and life span spectra in plant communities : a key to safe site dynamics, species coexistence and conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strykstra, RJ; Bekker, RM; Van Andel, J

    Dispersal and life span of individual plant species within five plant communities were assessed to obtain a characterization of these communities in this respect. Such a characterization is important in the context of restoration and maintenance. The most frequent species of five communities were

  7. Interior West community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu. Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  8. Central Florida community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Shannon N. Albers; Qingfu Xiao

    2010-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  9. 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...

  10. Lower Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula J. Peper; E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2009-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  11. Tropical community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelaine E. Vargas; Gregory E. McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Qingfu Xiao

    2008-01-01

    Even as they increase the beauty of our surroundings, trees provide us with a great many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest...

  12. Midwest community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Scott E. Maco; Shelley L. Gardner; Shauna K. Cozad; Qingfu Xiao

    2006-01-01

    This report quantifies benefits and costs for typical small, medium, and large deciduous (losing their leaves every autumn) trees: crabapple, red oak, and hackberry (see "Common and Scientific Names" section). The analysis assumed that trees were planted in a residential yard or public site (streetside or park) with a 60 percent survival rate over a 40-year...

  13. Northeast community tree guide: benefits, costs, and strategic planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; James R. Simpson; Paula J. Peper; Shelley L. Gardner; Kelaine E. Vargas; Qingfu Xiao

    2007-01-01

    Trees make our cities more attractive and provide many ecosystem services, including air quality improvement, energy conservation, stormwater interception, and atmospheric carbon dioxide reduction. These benefits must be weighed against the costs of maintaining trees, including planting, pruning, irrigation, administration, pest control, liability, cleanup, and removal...

  14. 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 ...

  15. Biotic constraints on the establishment and performance of native, naturalized, and invasive plants in Pacific Northwest (USA steppe and forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian M. Connolly

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Factors that cause differential establishment among naturalized, invasive, and native species are inadequately documented, much less often quantified among different communities. We evaluated the effects of seed addition and disturbance (i.e., understory canopy removal on the establishment and seedling biomass among two naturalized, two invasive, and two native species (1 forb, 1 grass in each group within steppe and low elevation forest communities in eastern Washington, USA. Establishment within each plant immigrant class was enhanced by seed addition: naturalized species showed the greatest difference in establishment between seed addition and no seed addition plots, native and invasive species establishment also increased following seed addition but not to the same magnitude as naturalized species. Within seed addition plots, understory canopy disturbance resulted in significant increases in plant establishment (regardless of plant immigration class relative to undisturbed plots and the magnitude of this effect was comparable between steppe and adjacent forest. However, regardless of disturbance treatment fewer invasive plants established in the forest than in the steppe, whereas native and naturalized plant establishment did not differ between the habitats. Individual biomass of naturalized species were consistently greater in disturbed (canopy removed versus undisturbed control plots and naturalized species were also larger in the steppe than in the forest at the time of harvest. Similar trends in plant size were observed for the native and invasive species, but the differences in biomass for these two immigration classes between disturbance treatments and between habitats were not significant. We found that strong limitations of non-native species is correlated with intact canopy cover within the forest understory, likely driven by the direct or indirect consequences of low light transmittance through the arboreal and understory canopy

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Changes in soil bacterial communities induced by the invasive plant Pennisetum setaceum in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Caballero, Gema; Caravaca, Fuensanta; del Mar Alguacil, María; Fernández-López, Manuel; José Fernández-González, Antonio; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Invasive alien species are considered as a global threat being among the main causes of biodiversity loss. Plant invasions have been extensively studied from different disciplines with the purpose of identifying predictor traits of invasiveness and finding solutions. However, less is known about the implication of the rhizosphere microbiota in these processes, even when it is well known the importance of the interaction between plant rhizosphere and microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine whether native and invasive plants support different bacterial communities in their rhizospheres and whether there are bacterial indicator species that might be contributing to the invasion process of these ecosystems. We carried out a study in five independent locations under Mediterranean semiarid conditions, where the native Hyparrhenia hirta is being displaced by Pennisetum setaceum, an aggressive invasive Poaceae and soil bacterial communities were amplified and 454-pyrosequenced. Changes in the composition and structure of the bacterial communities, owing to the invasive status of the plant, were detected when the richness and alpha-diversity estimators were calculated as well as when we analyzed the PCoA axes scores. The Indicator Species Analysis results showed a higher number of indicators for invaded communities at all studied taxonomic levels. In conclusion, the effect of the invasiveness and its interaction with the soil location has promoted shifts in the rhizosphere bacterial communities which might be facilitating the invader success in these ecosystems.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Planting Seeds to Grow Healthy Children: Strategic Community Partnerships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea-Planas, Jessica; Sullivan, Kelly; Tran, Hang; Cruz, Anna

    2018-02-01

    More than one third of U.S adults are considered obese, and childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Food security can influence obesity, in particular, within inner cities where access to healthy food is often limited. The use of a mobile food truck program (with refrigeration) was implemented in two large inner cities in Connecticut as part of an initiative aimed at helping low-income families with young children gain access to healthy food and nutrition education. Collaborating with community child care centers was used. The experiences of the families who participated in the program were assessed via focus groups. Main ideas derived from the focus groups were participant satisfaction with money saving suggestions, ideas for how to make healthier choices, and excitement about opportunities to receive foods that they would not normally buy. This innovative mobile food truck program demonstrated the value of strategic community partnerships to influence health.

  3. Facilitation between woody and herbaceous plants that associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in temperate European forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veresoglou, Stavros D; Wulf, Monika; Rillig, Matthias C

    2017-02-01

    In late-successional environments, low in available nutrient such as the forest understory, herbaceous plant individuals depend strongly on their mycorrhizal associates for survival. We tested whether in temperate European forests arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) woody plants might facilitate the establishment of AM herbaceous plants in agreement with the mycorrhizal mediation hypothesis. We used a dataset spanning over 400 vegetation plots in the Weser-Elbe region (northwest Germany). Mycorrhizal status information was obtained from published resources, and Ellenberg indicator values were used to infer environmental data. We carried out tests for both relative richness and relative abundance of herbaceous plants. We found that the subset of herbaceous individuals that associated with AM profited when there was a high cover of AM woody plants. These relationships were retained when we accounted for environmental filtering effects using path analysis. Our findings build on the existing literature highlighting the prominent role of mycorrhiza as a coexistence mechanism in plant communities. From a nature conservation point of view, it may be possible to promote functional diversity in the forest understory through introducing AM woody trees in stands when absent.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Effects of alien species Robinia pseudoacacia on plant community functional structure in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Duo Ju; Wen, Zhong Ming; Zhang, Jing; Tao, Yu; Zeng, Hong Wen; Tang, Yang

    2018-02-01

    To investigate the effects of the introduction of Robinia pseudoacacia on the functional structure of plant communities, we selected paired-plots of R. pseudoacacia communities and native plant communities across different vegetation zones, i.e., steppe zone, forest-steppe zone, forest zone in hilly-gully region of Loess Plateau, China. We measured several functional characteristics and then compared the functional structures of R. pseudoacacia and native plant communities in different vegetation zones. The results showed that the variation of the functional traits across different vegetation zones were consistent in R. pseudoacacia community and native plant community, including leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, leaf phosphorus concentration, specific leaf area, and leaf tissue density. The leaf carbon concentration, leaf nitrogen concentration, and specific leaf area of the R. pseudoacacia community were significantly higher than those of the native plant community. The trend of change that the functional diversity indices, i.e., FR ic , FE ve , FD iv , FD is , Rao of the R. pseudoacacia community and the native plant community with vegetation zones were different. The introduction of R. pseudoacacia enhanced the plant community functional diversity in the forest zone but reduced community functional diversity in the steppe zone.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Plant-pollinator interactions over 120 years: loss of species, co-occurrence, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkle, Laura A; Marlin, John C; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-03-29

    Using historic data sets, we quantified the degree to which global change over 120 years disrupted plant-pollinator interactions in a temperate forest understory community in Illinois, USA. We found degradation of interaction network structure and function and extirpation of 50% of bee species. Network changes can be attributed to shifts in forb and bee phenologies resulting in temporal mismatches, nonrandom species extinctions, and loss of spatial co-occurrences between extant species in modified landscapes. Quantity and quality of pollination services have declined through time. The historic network showed flexibility in response to disturbance; however, our data suggest that networks will be less resilient to future changes.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Diet of Wilson's warblers and distribution of arthropod prey in the understory of Douglas-fir forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Dugger, Kate; Starkey, Edward E.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of food resources is an important factor in avian habitat selection. Food resources for terrestrial birds often are closely related to vegetation structure and composition. Identification of plant species important in supporting food resources may facilitate vegetation management to achieve objectives for providing bird habitat. We used fecal analysis to describe the diet of adult Wilson's Warblers (Wilsonia pusilla) that foraged in the understory of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in western Oregon during the breeding season. We sampled arthropods at the same sites where diet data were collected, and compared abundance and biomass of prey among seven common shrub species. Wilson's Warblers ate more caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and Homoptera than expected based on availability. Deciduous shrubs supported higher abundances of arthropod taxa and size classes used as prey by Wilson's Warblers than did evergreen shrubs. The development and maintenance of deciduous understory vegetation in conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest may be fundamental for conservation of food webs that support breeding Wilson's Warblers and other shrub-associated, insectivorous songbirds.

  14. 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

  15. 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...... between these approaches. We synthesized results from four experimental water addition studies with a correlative analysis of community changes across a large natural precipitation gradient in the United States. We investigated whether community composition, summarized with plant functional traits......, responded similarly to increasing precipitation among studies and sites. In field experiments, increased precipitation favored species with small seed size,short leaf life span and high leaf nitrogen (N) concentration. However, with increasing precipitation along the natural gradient, community composition...

  16. 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

  17. Design of community biogas plant for cooking and lighting from cowdung (a proposal case study)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekki, Ibtisam I.

    1999-01-01

    A calculation design for community biogas plant was proposed for a village in Sudan consisting 100 families, each consisting of 6 persons (adult). Two children are equivalent to one person. Based on the requirement for cooking and lighting, the community biogas plant is deigned for production of total biogas of 360 m-3 gas per day. This volume of the gas will be produced from total dung per day of 6000kg. This amount of dung will expect to obtained from 600 cows. The actual digester volume equal to 60.5m-3. The layout of the plant was designed of two identical plants, each consisted of 3 digester, i.e. 6digesters will be needed.(Author)

  18. 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.

  19. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  20. Training of nuclear power plant personnel in the member states of the European Community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Misenta, R.; Matfield, R.S.; Volta, G.; Ancarani, A.; Lhoir, J.

    1981-01-01

    After the Three Mile Island accident the Commission of the European Communities undertook various actions in order to assess the status of the training of nuclear power plant personnel with particular attention to their training for incidents and accidents. This presentation attempts a review of the training situation in the six member states of the European Community together with some other European states, that are operating nuclear power plants. Schemes for the training of control room operators, shift leaders, major European training centres and simulator training will be described

  1. Allelopathy and resource competition: the effects of Phragmites australis invasion in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uddin, Md Nazim; Robinson, Randall William

    2017-12-01

    Phragmites australis, a ubiquitous wetland plant, has been considered one of the most invasive species in the world. Allelopathy appears to be one of the invasion mechanisms, however, the effects could be masked by resource competition among target plants. The difficulty of distinguishing allelopathy from resource competition among plants has hindered investigations of the role of phytotoxic allelochemicals in plant communities. This has been addressed via experiments conducted in both the greenhouse and laboratory by growing associated plants, Melaleuca ericifolia, Rumex conglomeratus, and model plant, Lactuca sativa at varying densities with the allelopathic plant, P. australis, its litter and leachate of P. australis litter. This study investigated the potential interacting influences of allelopathy and resource competition on plant growth-density relationships. In greenhouse, the root exudates mediated effects showed the strongest growth inhibition of M. ericifolia at high density whereas litter mediated results revealed increased growth at medium density treatments compared to low and high density. Again, laboratory experiments related to seed germination and seedling growth of L. sativa and R. conglomeratus exhibited phytotoxicity decreased showing positive growth as plant density increased and vice versa. Overall, the differential effects were observed among experiments but maximum individual plant biomass and some other positive effects on plant traits such as root and shoot length, chlorophyll content occurred at an intermediate density. This was attributed to the sharing of the available phytotoxin among plants at high densities which is compatible to density-dependent phytotoxicity model. The results demonstrated that plant-plant interference is the combined effect of allelopathy and resource competition with many other factors but this experimental design, target-neighbor mixed-culture in combination of plant grown at varying densities with varying

  2. Bacterial communities associated with culex mosquito larvae and two emergent aquatic plants of bioremediation importance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dagne Duguma

    Full Text Available Microbes are important for mosquito nutrition, growth, reproduction and control. In this study, we examined bacterial communities associated with larval mosquitoes and their habitats. Specifically, we characterized bacterial communities associated with late larval instars of the western encephalitis mosquito (Culextarsalis, the submerged portions of two emergent macrophytes (California bulrush, Schoenoplectuscalifornicus and alkali bulrush, Schoenoplectusmaritimus, and the associated water columns to investigate potential differential use of resources by mosquitoes in different wetland habitats. Using next-generation sequence data from 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions, the alpha diversity of mosquito gut microbial communities did not differ between pond mesocosms containing distinct monotypic plants. Proteobacteria, dominated by the genus Thorsellia (Enterobacteriaceae, was the most abundant phylum recovered from C. tarsalis larvae. Approximately 49% of bacterial OTUs found in larval mosquitoes were identical to OTUs recovered from the water column and submerged portions of the two bulrushes. Plant and water samples were similar to one another, both being dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia phyla. Overall, the bacterial communities within C. tarsalis larvae were conserved and did not change across sampling dates and between two distinct plant habitats. Although Thorsellia spp. dominated mosquito gut communities, overlap of mosquito gut, plant and water-column OTUs likely reveal the effects of larval feeding. Future research will investigate the role of the key indicator groups of bacteria across the different developmental stages of this mosquito species.

  3. 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)

  4. Local Plant Diversity Across Multiple Habitats Supports a Diverse Wild Bee Community in Pennsylvania Apple Orchards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammerer, Melanie A; Biddinger, David J; Rajotte, Edwin G; Mortensen, David A

    2016-02-01

    Wild pollinators supply essential, historically undervalued pollination services to crops and other flowering plant communities with great potential to ensure agricultural production against the loss of heavily relied upon managed pollinators. Local plant communities provision wild bees with crucial floral and nesting resources, but the distribution of floristic diversity among habitat types in North American agricultural landscapes and its effect on pollinators are diverse and poorly understood, especially in orchard systems. We documented floristic diversity in typical mid-Atlantic commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) orchards including the forest and orchard-forest edge ("edge") habitats surrounding orchards in a heterogeneous landscape in south-central Pennsylvania, USA. We also assessed the correlation between plant richness and orchard pollinator communities. In this apple production region, edge habitats are the most species rich, supporting 146 out of 202 plant species recorded in our survey. Plant species richness in the orchard and edge habitats were significant predictors of bee species richness and abundance in the orchard, as well as landscape area of the forest and edge habitats. Both the quantity and quality of forest and edges close to orchards play a significant role in provisioning a diverse wild bee community in this agroecosystem. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Ethnomedicinal plants of the Bauri tribal community of Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Protiva Rani; Islam, Md Tabibul; Mostafa, Mohd Nabil; Rahmatullah, Mohammed

    2013-01-01

    Bangladesh reportedly has more than 100 tribal communities; however, documentation of their medicinal practices is markedly absent. The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the little known Bauri tribe of Bangladesh, whose tribal medicinal practices are yet to be documented. The survey was carried out among the Bauri tribal community of Purbo Tila village in Moulvibazar District. The community is believed to be the only Bauri community in the country and had four tribal healers who continue their traditional medicinal practices. Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method where the healers took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants. Here they identified the plants and described their uses. The Bauri healers were observed to use 40 different plant species and one bird species for treatment of ailments such as fever, respiratory tract disorders, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, eye problems like cataract and conjunctivitis, jaundice, abscess, cardiovascular disorders, urinary problems, paralysis, dog bite, snake bite, helminthiasis, lesions on the tongue or lips and piles. Leaves were the major plant part used and constituted 38.3% of total uses followed by fruits at 14.9%. A review of the relevant scientific literature showed that a number of medicinal plants used by the Bauri healers possess pharmacological activities, which were in line with the traditional uses, thus validating their use by the Bauri tribe.

  6. 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

  7. Competition for light and nutrients in layered communities of aquatic plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gerven, Luuk P A; de Klein, Jeroen J M; Gerla, Daan J; Kooi, Bob W; Kuiper, Jan J; Mooij, Wolf M

    2015-07-01

    Dominance of free-floating plants poses a threat to biodiversity in many freshwater ecosystems. Here we propose a theoretical framework to understand this dominance, by modeling the competition for light and nutrients in a layered community of floating and submerged plants. The model shows that at high supply of light and nutrients, floating plants always dominate due to their primacy for light, even when submerged plants have lower minimal resource requirements. The model also shows that floating-plant dominance cannot be an alternative stable state in light-limited environments but only in nutrient-limited environments, depending on the plants' resource consumption traits. Compared to unlayered communities, the asymmetry in competition for light-coincident with symmetry in competition for nutrients-leads to fundamentally different results: competition outcomes can no longer be predicted from species traits such as minimal resource requirements ([Formula: see text] rule) and resource consumption. Also, the same two species can, depending on the environment, coexist or be alternative stable states. When applied to two common plant species in temperate regions, both the model and field data suggest that floating-plant dominance is unlikely to be an alternative stable state.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. Ecological effects of transgene persistence on plant communities in the presence and absence of drift levels of glyphosate herbicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2005, plant communities were constructed in outdoor sunlit chambers that contained 3 round tubs having a surface area of 1.2 m2 and a depth of 0.6 m. Six plant types were planted in triplicate using the same spatial arrangement in each tub. Three of the six plant types were se...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, Kyla M; Asner, Gregory P; Field, Christopher B

    2013-04-23

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits--leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content--across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46-61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Diversity reduces invasibility in experimental plant communities: the role of plant species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ruijven, J.; De Deyn, G.B.; Berendse, F.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies have presented experimental evidence that diversity reduces invasibility in grassland communities. The interpretation of these results has been disputed recently and it was proposed that sampling effects were responsible for the observed decrease of invasibility with diversity. The

  18. 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.

  19. Inter-plant communication through mycorrhizal networks mediates complex adaptive behaviour in plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzelak, Monika A; Asay, Amanda K; Pickles, Brian J; Simard, Suzanne W

    2015-05-15

    Adaptive behaviour of plants, including rapid changes in physiology, gene regulation and defence response, can be altered when linked to neighbouring plants by a mycorrhizal network (MN). Mechanisms underlying the behavioural changes include mycorrhizal fungal colonization by the MN or interplant communication via transfer of nutrients, defence signals or allelochemicals. We focus this review on our new findings in ectomycorrhizal ecosystems, and also review recent advances in arbuscular mycorrhizal systems. We have found that the behavioural changes in ectomycorrhizal plants depend on environmental cues, the identity of the plant neighbour and the characteristics of the MN. The hierarchical integration of this phenomenon with other biological networks at broader scales in forest ecosystems, and the consequences we have observed when it is interrupted, indicate that underground 'tree talk' is a foundational process in the complex adaptive nature of forest ecosystems. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Summer freezing resistance: a critical filter for plant community assemblies in Mediterranean high mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez Pescador

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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, 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, 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 functional diversity 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 the leaf dry matter content correlated negatively 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 functional diversity 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

  3. Soil-landform-plant communities relationships of a periglacial landscape at Potter Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2014-08-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of Maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on monitoring climate change in Maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated in Potter Peninsula, King George Island, Maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a Quickbird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities at Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils with greater moisture or poorly drained, and acid to neutral pH, are favourable for mosses subformations. Saline, organic-matter rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felseenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens, at the highest surface. Lichens subformations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  4. Soil-landform-plant-community relationships of a periglacial landscape on Potter Peninsula, maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poelking, E. L.; Schaefer, C. E. R.; Fernandes Filho, E. I.; de Andrade, A. M.; Spielmann, A. A.

    2015-05-01

    Integrated studies on the interplay between soils, periglacial geomorphology and plant communities are crucial for the understanding of climate change effects on terrestrial ecosystems of maritime Antarctica, one of the most sensitive areas to global warming. Knowledge on physical environmental factors that influence plant communities can greatly benefit studies on the monitoring of climate change in maritime Antarctica, where new ice-free areas are being constantly exposed, allowing plant growth and organic carbon inputs. The relationship between topography, plant communities and soils was investigated on Potter Peninsula, King George Island, maritime Antarctica. We mapped the occurrence and distribution of plant communities and identified soil-landform-vegetation relationships. The vegetation map was obtained by classification of a QuickBird image, coupled with detailed landform and characterization of 18 soil profiles. The sub-formations were identified and classified, and we also determined the total elemental composition of lichens, mosses and grasses. Plant communities on Potter Peninsula occupy 23% of the ice-free area, at different landscape positions, showing decreasing diversity and biomass from the coastal zone to inland areas where sub-desert conditions prevail. There is a clear dependency between landform and vegetated soils. Soils that have greater moisture or are poorly drained, and with acid to neutral pH, are favourable for moss sub-formations. Saline, organic-matter-rich ornithogenic soils of former penguin rookeries have greater biomass and diversity, with mixed associations of mosses and grasses, while stable felsenmeers and flat rocky cryoplanation surfaces are the preferred sites for Usnea and Himantormia lugubris lichens at the highest surface. Lichens sub-formations cover the largest vegetated area, showing varying associations with mosses.

  5. 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

  6. 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).

  7. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S; Barber, Nicholas A; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

  8. Spatial point process analysis for a plant community with high biodiversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Illian, Janine; Møller, Jesper; Waagepetersen, Rasmus Plenge

    A complex multivariate spatial point pattern for a plant community with high biodiversity is modelled using a hierarchical multivariate point process model. In the model, interactions between plants with different post-fire regeneration strategies are of key interest. We consider initially...... a maximum likelihood approach to inference where problems arise due to unknown interaction radii for the plants. We next demonstrate that a Bayesian approach provides a flexible framework for incorporating prior information concerning the interaction radii. From an ecological perspective, we are able both...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

    Understanding the impacts of plant community characteristics on soil carbon dioxide efflux (R) is a key prerequisite for accurate prediction of the future carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. 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. Plant species consistently exhibit cohesive suites of traits, linked to contrasting life history strategies, which exert a variety of impacts on R. As such, we propose that plant community shifts towards dominance by fast growing plants with nutrient rich litter could provide a major, though often neglected, positive feedback to climate change. Within vegetation types, belowground carbon flux will mainly be controlled by photosynthesis, while amongst vegetation types this flux will be more dependent upon the specific characteristics of the plant life form. We also make the case that community composition, rather than diversity, is usually the dominant control on ecosystem processes 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, 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. This situation could, however, be relatively easily improved with targeted experimental and field studies. Finally, we identify key gaps in knowledge and recommend them as priorities for future work. These include the patterns of photosynthate partitioning amongst belowground components, ecosystem level effects of individual plant traits

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T J; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-06-12

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  13. Evolution in plant populations as a driver of ecological changes in arthropod communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marc T.J.; Vellend, Mark; Stinchcombe, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Heritable variation in traits can have wide-ranging impacts on species interactions, but the effects that ongoing evolution has on the temporal ecological dynamics of communities are not well understood. Here, we identify three conditions that, if experimentally satisfied, support the hypothesis that evolution by natural selection can drive ecological changes in communities. These conditions are: (i) a focal population exhibits genetic variation in a trait(s), (ii) there is measurable directional selection on the trait(s), and (iii) the trait(s) under selection affects variation in a community variable(s). When these conditions are met, we expect evolution by natural selection to cause ecological changes in the community. We tested these conditions in a field experiment examining the interactions between a native plant (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community (more than 90 spp.). Oenothera biennis exhibited genetic variation in several plant traits and there was directional selection on plant biomass, life-history strategy (annual versus biennial reproduction) and herbivore resistance. Genetically based variation in biomass and life-history strategy consistently affected the abundance of common arthropod species, total arthropod abundance and arthropod species richness. Using two modelling approaches, we show that evolution by natural selection in large O. biennis populations is predicted to cause changes in the abundance of individual arthropod species, increases in the total abundance of arthropods and a decline in the number of arthropod species. In small O. biennis populations, genetic drift is predicted to swamp out the effects of selection, making the evolution of plant populations unpredictable. In short, evolution by natural selection can play an important role in affecting the dynamics of communities, but these effects depend on several ecological factors. The framework presented here is general and can be applied to other systems to

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Waste processing plant eco-auditing system for minimization of environmental risk: European Communities regulatory proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brunetti, N.

    1993-01-01

    This paper delineates a system of process control and monitoring checks to be applied to municipal-industrial waste processing and disposal plants to ensure their energy efficient, environmentally safe and reliable operation. In line with European Communities environmental protection strategies, this eco-auditing system requires the preparation of environmental impacts statements on a regular basis during plant operation, as well as, prior to plant start-up. Continuous plant environmental compatibility evaluations are to ascertain: material and energy inputs and outputs; the composition and amounts of exhaust gases released into the atmosphere and the integrity of treatment liquids; control and monitoring instrumentation reliability. The implementation of the auditing system is to be carried out under the supervision of authorized auditing personnel. Waste processing and disposal plants are to make maximum use of energy and materials recovery processes so as to minimize energy consumption and risk to the environment

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diogo Gallo Oliveira

    2013-04-01

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

  20. The Effects of Disturbance History on Ground-Layer Plant Community Composition in British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ton

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities are sensitive to perturbations and may display alternative recovery pathways depending on disturbance history. In sub-boreal lodgepole pine forests of central interior British Columbia, Canada, fire and logging are two widespread landscape disturbances that overlap in many regions. We asked whether cumulative, short-interval disturbance from logging and fire resulted in different ground-layer plant communities than resulted from fire alone. Using field-collected data, we compared the taxonomic composition and functional traits of 3-year old plant communities that were either harvested 6-to-13 years prior, or not harvested prior to being burned in a large stand-replacing fire. The taxonomic composition diverged between the two treatments, driven primarily by differences in a few key indicator species such as Petasites frigidus and Vaccinium membranaceum. Analysis of individual species’ morphological traits indicated that only a few species vary in size in relation to disturbance history. Our data suggest that a history of forest harvest leaves a subtle footprint on post-fire ground-layer plant communities at early stages of succession.

  1. Establishment of different riparian plant communities from the same soil seed bank

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ter Heerdt, Gerhardus

    2016-01-01

    This thesis shows that weather conditions during the first year of establishment, strongly affect the composition of riparian plant communities. This is one of the factors determining if some goals of the Water Framework Directive and Natura 2000, reed beds and accompanying bird species, can be met.

  2. Phytosociology and plant community utilisation by vervet monkeys of the Blydeberg Conservancy, Limpopo Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Barret

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The plant communities of the Blydeberg Conservancy were investigated as part of a research project on the foraging ecology of vervet monkeys Cercopithecus aethiops pygerythrus (senso lato in mixed lowveld bushveld and sour lowveld bushveld areas. To date there are no formal management plans for vervet monkeys. This is attributed to the limited knowledge of vervets and their utilisation of and impacts on ecosystems. From a TWINSPAN classification refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, ten plant communities that can be placed into four major groups were identified. A classification and description of these communities, including a vegetation map are presented. Diagnostic species as well as prominent and less conspicuous species of tree, shrub, herb and grass strata are outlined. Of the ten available plant communities, the vervets utilised only six during the study period. There was an abundant supply of various food sources throughout the year, with movement patterns mostly coinciding with the fruiting times of several tree and other plant species.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Agtmaal, M.; Straathof, A.L.; Termorshuizen, Aad J; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; De Boer, W.

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  6. 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 - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  7. Volatile-mediated suppression of plant pathogens is related to soil properties and microbial community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agtmaal, van Maaike; Straathof, Angela L.; Termorshuizen, Aad; Lievens, Bart; Hoffland, Ellis; Boer, de Wietse

    2018-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the soil microbial community produces a suite of volatile organic compounds that suppress plant pathogens. However, it remains unknown which soil properties and management practices influence volatile-mediated pathogen suppression. The aim of this study was to

  8. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldo Compagnoni; Charles B. Halpern

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Squared Euclidean distance: a statistical test to evaluate plant community change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond D. Ratliff; Sylvia R. Mori

    1993-01-01

    The concepts and a procedure for evaluating plant community change using the squared Euclidean distance (SED) resemblance function are described. Analyses are based on the concept that Euclidean distances constitute a sample from a population of distances between sampling units (SUs) for a specific number of times and SUs. With different times, the distances will be...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Phyllosphere Microbiota Composition and Microbial Community Transplantation on Lettuce Plants Grown Indoors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Thomas R.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:25118240

  18. Endemic plants harbour specific Trichoderma communities with an exceptional potential for biocontrol of phytopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachow, Christin; Berg, Christian; Müller, Henry; Monk, Jana; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-10-10

    Trichoderma strains exhibit enormous potential for applications in biotechnology, in particular as biocontrol agents against pathogens. However, little is known about the diversity of plant-associated Trichoderma communities at a global scale and their antagonistic spectrum. In order to gather information about structure and function, we compared Trichoderma biomes of endemic (Aeonium, Diospyros, Hebe, Rhododendron) and cosmopolitan plants (Zea mays) in a global study encompassing the area Northwest Africa to New Zealand via the European Alps and Madagascar. At the quantitative level we found no differences between cosmopolitan and endemic plants. Statistically significant differences were detected at the qualitative level: Trichoderma populations of endemic plants were highly specific and diverse with hot spots appearing in Madagascar and New Zealand. By contrast, maize plants from all sites shared the majority of Trichoderma species (65.5%). Interestingly, the high above ground biodiversity in ecosystems containing endemic plants was confirmed by a high below ground Trichoderma diversity. Despite the differences, we found a global Trichoderma core community shared by all analysed plants, which was dominated by T. koningii and T. koningiopsis. Amplicon-based network analyses revealed a high similarity between maize Trichoderma grown world-wide and distinct populations of endemic plants. Furthermore, Trichoderma strains from endemic plants showed a higher antagonistic activity against fungal pathogens compared to maize-associated strains. Our results showed that endemic plants are associated with a specific Trichoderma microbiome which possesses a high antagonistic activity indicating that it has potential to be used for biocontrol purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Indigenous uses of ethnomedicinal plants among forest-dependent communities of Northern Bengal, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raj, Antony Joseph; Biswakarma, Saroj; Pala, Nazir A; Shukla, Gopal; Vineeta; Kumar, Munesh; Chakravarty, Sumit; Bussmann, Rainer W

    2018-01-26

    Traditional knowledge on ethnomedicinal plant is slowly eroding. The exploration, identification and documentation on utilization of ethnobotanic resources are essential for restoration and preservation of ethnomedicinal knowledge about the plants and conservation of these species for greater interest of human society. The study was conducted at fringe areas of Chilapatta Reserve Forest in the foothills of the eastern sub-Himalayan mountain belts of West Bengal, India, from December 2014 to May 2016. Purposive sampling method was used for selection of area. From this area which is inhabited by aboriginal community of Indo-Mongoloid origin, 400 respondents including traditional medicinal practitioners were selected randomly for personal interview schedule through open-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire covered aspects like plant species used as ethnomedicines, plant parts used, procedure for dosage and therapy. A total number of 140 ethnomedicinal species was documented, in which the tree species (55) dominated the lists followed by herbs (39) and shrubs (30). Among these total planted species used for ethnomedicinal purposes, 52 species were planted, 62 species growing wild or collected from the forest for use and 26 species were both wild and planted. The present study documented 61 more planted species as compared to 17 planted species documented in an ethnomedicinal study a decade ago. The documented species were used to treat 58 human diseases/ailments including nine species used to eight diseases/ailments of domestic animals. Stomach-related problems were treated by maximum number of plants (40 species) followed by cuts and wounds with 27 plant species and least with one species each for 17 diseases or ailments. Maximum number of 12 diseases/ailments was cured by Melia azedarach followed by Centella asiatica and Rauvolfia serpentina which were used to cure 11 diseases/ailments each. The list of 140 plant species indicates that the Chilapatta Reserve Forest

  20. 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

  1. Use and management of traditional medicinal plants by Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Around 80% of the people of Ethiopia are estimated to be relying on medicinal plants for the treatment of different types of human health problems. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse the use and management of medicinal plants used for the treatment of human health problems by the Maale and Ari communities in southern Ethiopia. Methods Quantitative and qualitative ethnobotanical field inquiries and analytical methods including individual and focus group discussions (18), observations, individual interviews (n = 74), preference ranking and paired comparison were used. Data were collected in three study sites and from two markets; the latter surveyed every 15 days from February 2011 to February 2012. Results A total of 128 medicinal plant species, belonging to 111 genera and 49 families, used as herbal medicine by Maale and Ari communities were documented. Predominantly harvested plant parts were leaves, which are known to have relatively low impact on medicinal plant resources. Species with high familiarity indices included Solanum dasyphyllum, Indigofera spicata, Ruta chalepensis, Plumbago zeylanica and Meyna tetraphylla. Low Jaccards similarity indices (≤ 0.33) indicated little correspondence in medicinal plant use among sites and between ethnic communities. The dominant ways of medicinal plant knowledge acquisition and transfer is vertical: from parents to children through oral means. Gender and site significantly influenced the number of human medicinal plants known currently in the study sites. Age was only a factor of significance in Maale. Marketing of medicinal plants harvested from wild and semi-wild stands is not common. Expansion of agricultural land and lack of cultivation efforts by local communities are mentioned by locals to affect the availability of medicinal plant resources. Conclusion S. dasyphyllum, I. spicata, P. zeylanica, M. tetraphylla, and Oxalis radicosa need to be considered for phytochemical and

  2. Water Source Utilization of Hammock and Pine Rockland Plant Communities in the Everglades, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, A. K.; Sternberg, L.; Miralles-Wilhelm, F.

    2007-12-01

    South Florida has a mosaic of plant communities resulting from topographical differences, spatially varying hydroperiods and fire. The only plant communities not flooded in the wet season are hardwood hammocks and often pine rocklands. Natural fires burn off litter accumulated in pine rocklands, with the exception of organic matter in sinkholes in the limestone bedrock. This relative lack of soil is thought to constrain pineland plants in the Everglades to depend upon groundwater that is typically low in nutrients. In contrast, adjoining hardwood hammocks have accumulated an organic soil layer that traps rainwater and nutrients. Plants in hammocks may be able to utilize this water and thereby access nutrients present in the litter. Hammocks are thus viewed as localized areas of high nutrients and instances of vegetation feedback upon the oligotrophic everglades landscape enabling establishment and survival of flood-intolerant tropical hardwood species. This study examines water source use and couples it to foliar nutrient concentrations of plants found in hammocks and pinelands. We examined the δ2H and δ18O of stem waters in plants in Everglades National Park and compared those with the δ2H and δ18O of potential water sources. In the wet season hammock plants accessed both groundwater and water in the surface organic soil layer while in the dry season they relied more on groundwater. A similar seasonal shift was observed in pineland plants; however groundwater constituted a much higher proportion of total water uptake throughout the year under observation. Concomitant with differential water utilization by hammock and pineland plant communities, we observed hammock plants having a significantly higher annual mean foliar N and P concentration than pineland plants. Most hammock species are intolerant of flooded soils and are thus constrained by the high water table in the wet season, yet access the lowered groundwater table in the dry season due to drying up of

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M.; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Burgess, Treena I.; Essl, Franz; Haider, Sylvia; Kueffer, Christoph; McDougall, Keith; Milbau, Ann; Nuñez, Martin A.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Rew, Lisa J.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2018-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C R S; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C; Piccolo, Marisa C; Peixoto, Raquel S; Greer, Charles W; Rosado, Alexandre S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  8. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

    Full Text Available Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies, Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  9. Plant and Bird Presence Strongly Influences the Microbial Communities in Soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C.; Piccolo, Marisa C.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Greer, Charles W.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific. PMID:23840411

  10. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridl, Jakub; Kolar, Michal; Strejcek, Michal; Strnad, Hynek; Stursa, Petr; Paces, Jan; Macek, Tomas; Uhlik, Ondrej

    2016-01-01

    Plant-microbe interactions are of particular importance in polluted soils. This study sought to determine how selected plants (horseradish, black nightshade and tobacco) and NPK mineral fertilization shape the structure of soil microbial communities in legacy contaminated soil and the resultant impact of treatment on the soil microbial community functional potential. To explore these objectives, we combined shotgun metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon high throughput sequencing with data analysis approaches developed for RNA-seq. We observed that the presence of any of the selected plants rather than fertilization shaped the microbial community structure, and the microbial populations of the root zone of each plant significantly differed from one another and/or from the bulk soil, whereas the effect of the fertilizer proved to be insignificant. When we compared microbial diversity in root zones versus bulk soil, we observed an increase in the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria or Bacteroidetes, taxa which are commonly considered copiotrophic. Our results thus align with the theory that fast-growing, copiotrophic, microorganisms which are adapted to ephemeral carbon inputs are enriched in the vegetated soil. Microbial functional potential indicated that some genetic determinants associated with signal transduction mechanisms, defense mechanisms or amino acid transport and metabolism differed significantly among treatments. Genetic determinants of these categories tend to be overrepresented in copiotrophic organisms. The results of our study further elucidate plant-microbe relationships in a contaminated environment with possible implications for the phyto/rhizoremediation of contaminated areas.

  11. THE CONCENTRATION OF PHOTOSINTHESIS PIGMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANT COMMUNITIES IN TOBOLSK TOWN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Еlena Ivanovna Popova

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthesis means a lot in the life of a plant body. For the normal photosynthesis process it is necessary to have certain external and internal conditions. The topic of the research is the study of photosynthesis pigments in anthropogenic plant communities. The aim of our work was to study the pigment composition plants of anthropogenic phytocenoses. Methods: we have used the spectrophotometric method to define the concentration of pigments. Results: the research has shown that the concentration of a – chlorophyll, b – chlorophyll and carotenoids changes depending on the site conditions. The maximal concentration of a and b chlorophyll is found on less polluted areas. High carotenoid concentration was found in stress anthropogenic conditions. On the one hand, this carotenoid concentration decreases the stress effect. On the other hand it fulfils the protection function, preventing the chlorophyll molecules and other organic substances from destruction. In the research you will find the species composition of vascular plants on the sites under research. Jaccard’s coefficient of community has been defined. Field of application of results: the data can be used to predict the dynamics of populations and communities of plants in the contaminated areas and monitor the status of natural ecosystems.

  12. Enhancement of understory productivity by asynchronous phenology with overstory competitors in a temperate deciduous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolly, William M; Nemani, Ramakrishna; Running, Steven W

    2004-09-01

    Some saplings and shrubs growing in the understory of temperate deciduous forests extend their periods of leaf display beyond that of the overstory, resulting in periods when understory radiation, and hence productivity, are not limited by the overstory canopy. To assess the importance of the duration of leaf display on the productivity of understory and overstory trees of deciduous forests in the north eastern United States, we applied the simulation model, BIOME-BGC with climate data for Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA and mean ecophysiological data for species of deciduous, temperate forests. Extension of the overstory leaf display period increased overstory leaf area index (LAI) by only 3 to 4% and productivity by only 2 to 4%. In contrast, extending the growing season of the understory relative to the overstory by one week in both spring and fall, increased understory LAI by 35% and productivity by 32%. A 2-week extension of the growing period in both spring and fall increased understory LAI by 53% and productivity by 55%.

  13. [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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Ruud A; Rothballer, Michael; Strik, David P B T B; Engel, Marion; Schulz, Stephan; Schloter, Michael; Hartmann, Anton; Hamelers, Bert; Buisman, Cees

    2012-04-01

    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 the competition for electron donor in a PMFC. This paper characterises the anode-rhizosphere bacterial community of a Glyceria maxima (reed mannagrass) PMFC. Electrochemically active bacteria (EAB) were located on the root surfaces, but they were more abundant colonising the graphite granular electrode. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria dominated the area where most of the EAB were found, indicating that the current was probably generated via the hydrolysis of cellulose. Due to the presence of oxygen and nitrate, short-chain fatty acid-utilising denitrifiers were the major competitors for the electron donor. Acetate-utilising methanogens played a minor role in the competition for electron donor, probably due to the availability of graphite granules as electron acceptors.

  15. Local temperatures inferred from plant communities suggest strong spatial buffering of climate warming across Northern Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenoir, Jonathan; Graae, Bente; Aarrestad, Per

    2013-01-01

    -change impacts. Is this local spatial buffering restricted to topographically complex terrains? To answer this, we here study fine-grained thermal variability across a 2500-km wide latitudinal gradient in Northern Europe encompassing a large array of topographic complexities. We first combined plant community...... data, Ellenberg temperature indicator values, locally measured temperatures (LmT) and globally interpolated temperatures (GiT) in a modelling framework to infer biologically relevant temperature conditions from plant assemblages within community-inferred temperatures: CiT). We...... temperature indicator values in combination with plant assemblages explained 46-72% of variation in LmT and 92-96% of variation in GiT during the growing season (June, July, August). Growing-season CiT range within 1-km(2) units peaked at 60-65°N and increased with terrain roughness, averaging 1.97 °C (SD = 0...

  16. Climate interacts with soil to produce beta diversity in Californian plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Harrison, S P; Anacker, B L; Safford, H D

    2013-09-01

    Spatially distinct communities can arise through interactions and feedbacks between abiotic and biotic factors. We suggest that, for plants, patches of infertile soils such as serpentine may support more distinct communities from those in the surrounding non-serpentine matrix in regions where the climate is more productive (i.e., warmer and/or wetter). Where both soil fertility and climatic productivity are high, communities may be dominated by plants with fast-growing functional traits, whereas where either soils or climate impose low productivity, species with stress-tolerant functional traits may predominate. As a result, both species and functional composition may show higher dissimilarity between patch and matrix in productive climates. This pattern may be reinforced by positive feedbacks, in which higher plant growth under favorable climate and soil conditions leads to higher soil fertility, further enhancing plant growth. For 96 pairs of sites across a 200-km latitudinal gradient in California, we found that the species and functional dissimilarities between communities on infertile serpentine and fertile non-serpentine soils were higher in more productive (wetter) regions. Woody species had more stress-tolerant functional traits on serpentine than non-serpentine soil, and as rainfall increased, woody species functional composition changed toward fast-growing traits on non-serpentine, but not on serpentine soils. Soil organic matter increased with rainfall, but only on non-serpentine soils, and the difference in organic matter between soils was positively correlated with plant community dissimilarity. These results illustrate a novel mechanism wherein climatic productivity is associated with higher species, functional, and landscape-level dissimilarity (beta diversity).

  17. Restructuring of Endophytic Bacterial Communities in Grapevine Yellows-Diseased and Recovered Vitis vinifera L. Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Daniela; Casati, Paola; Crepaldi, Paola; Daffonchio, Daniele; Quaglino, Fabio; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Bianco, Piero Attilio

    2011-01-01

    Length heterogeneity-PCR assays, combined with statistical analyses, highlighted that the endophytic bacterial community associated with healthy grapevines was characterized by a greater diversity than that present in diseased and recovered plants. The findings suggest that phytoplasmas can restructure the bacterial community by selecting endophytic strains that could elicit a plant defense response. PMID:21622794

  18. Influence of flooding and landform properties on riparian plant communities in an old-growth northern hardwood watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. Charles Goebel; Kurt S. Pregitzer; Brian J. Palik

    2012-01-01

    In most forested landscapes, the organization of plant communities across stream valleys is thought to be regulated by a complex set of interactions including flooding, landform properties, and vegetation. However, few studies have directly examined the relative influence of frequent and infrequent flooding, as well as landform properties, on riparian plant community...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Traditional uses of medicinal plants used by Indigenous communities for veterinary practices at Bajaur Agency, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Muhammad Abdul; Khan, Amir Hasan; Adnan, Muhammad; Ullah, Habib

    2018-01-29

    The pastoral lifestyle of Indigenous communities of Bajaur Agency is bringing them close to natural remedies for treating their domestic animals. Several studies have been conducted across the globe describing the importance of traditional knowledge in veterinary care. Therefore, this study was planned with the aim to record knowledge on ethnoveterinary practices from the remote areas and share sit with other communities through published literature. Data was gathered from community members through semi-structured interviews and analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to evaluate the consent of current ethnoveterinary practices among the local people. In total, 73 medicinal plants were recorded under the ethnoveterinary practices. Most widely used medicinal plants with maximum use reports (URs) were Visnaga daucoides Gaertn., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Solanum virginianum L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Glycyrrhiza glabra L., and Curcuma longa L. New medicinal values were found with confidential level of citations for species including Heracleum candicans and Glycerhiza glabra. Family Apiaceae was the utmost family with high number (7 species) of medicinal plants. Maximum number of medicinal plants (32) was used for gastric problems. High Fic was recorded for dermatological (0.97) followed by reproductive (0.93) and gastrointestinal disorders (0.92). The main route of remedies administration was oral. Current study revealed that the study area has sufficient knowledge on ethnoveterinary medicinal plants. This knowledge is in the custody of nomadic grazers, herders, and aged community members. Plants with new medicinal uses need to be validated phytochemically and pharmacologically for the development of new alternative drugs for veterinary purposes.

  2. Wild plant species growing closely connected in a subalpine meadow host distinct root-associated bacterial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Aleklett

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant roots are known to harbor large and diverse communities of bacteria. It has been suggested that plant identity can structure these root-associated communities, but few studies have specifically assessed how the composition of root microbiota varies within and between plant species growing under natural conditions. We assessed the community composition of endophytic and epiphytic bacteria through high throughput sequencing using 16S rDNA derived from root tissues collected from a population of a wild, clonal plant (Orange hawkweed–Pilosella aurantiaca as well as two neighboring plant species (Oxeye daisy–Leucanthemum vulgare and Alsike clover–Trifolium hybridum. Our first goal was to determine if plant species growing in close proximity, under similar environmental conditions, still hosted unique root microbiota. Our results showed that plants of different species host distinct bacterial communities in their roots. In terms of community composition, Betaproteobacteria (especially the family Oxalobacteraceae were found to dominate in the root microbiota of L. vulgare and T. hybridum samples, whereas the root microbiota of P. aurantiaca had a more heterogeneous distribution of bacterial abundances where Gammaproteobacteria and Acidobacteria occupied a larger portion of the community. We also explored the extent of individual variance within each plant species investigated, and found that in the plant species thought to have the least genetic variance among individuals (P. aurantiaca still hosted just as diverse microbial communities. Whether all plant species host their own distinct root microbiota and plants more closely related to each other share more similar bacterial communities still remains to be fully explored, but among the plants examined in this experiment there was no trend that the two species belonging to the same family shared more similarities in terms of bacterial community composition.

  3. Strong shift in the diazotrophic endophytic bacterial community inhabiting rice (Oryza sativa) plants after flooding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, Lucía; Fernández Scavino, Ana

    2015-09-01

    Flooding impacts soil microbial communities, but its effect on endophytic communities has rarely been explored. This work addresses the effect of flooding on the abundance and diversity of endophytic diazotrophic communities on rice plants established in a greenhouse experiment. The nifH gene was significantly more abundant in roots after flooding, whereas the nifH gene copy numbers in leaves were unaffected and remained low. The PCA (principal component analysis) of T-RFLP (terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) profiles indicated that root communities of replicate plots were more similar and diverse after flooding than before flooding. The nifH libraries obtained by cloning and 454 pyrosequencing consistently showed a remarkable shift in the diazotrophic community composition after flooding. Gammaproteobacteria (66-98%), mainly of the genus Stenotrophomonas, prevailed in roots before flooding, whereas Betaproteobacteria was the dominant class (26-34%) after flooding. A wide variety of aerotolerant and anaerobic diazotrophic bacteria (e.g. Dechloromonas, Rhodopseudomonas, Desulfovibrio, Geobacter, Chlorobium, Spirochaeta, Selenomonas and Dehalobacter) with diverse metabolic traits were retrieved from flooded rice roots. These findings suggest that endophytic communities could be significantly impacted by changes in plant-soil conditions derived from flooding during rice cropping. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26500621

  8. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po-Ju eKe

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Local wisdom of Cikondang village community in the utilization of medicinal plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulyani, Y.; Munandar, A.; Nuraeni, E.

    2018-05-01

    This study aims to analyze local wisdom Cikondang community in the use of medicinal plants. This research used qualitative method with emic and ethical approach to explain the relationship of public knowledge about the type and utilization of medicinal plants in the view of science. Determination of respondents conducted by purposive sampling, taken 30% of the total respondent. The data of the knowledge of the use of medicinal plants obtained through interview techniques as many as 39 respondents. Cikondang people know 27 known medicinal plants and commonly used. Zingiberaceae family has a type that is more widely used as a medicinal plant. The most widely used plant part is leaf and medicinal plant processing which mostly done by boiling. The species with the highest value of use is owned by Curcuma longa L. with a value of 4.28, which states important species / priorities, while the species with the lowest SUV value is Aracchis hypogaea L. of 0.15, which states species are less important and can be replaced by other plants.

  14. Realistic diversity loss and variation in soil depth independently affect community-level plant nitrogen use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selmants, Paul C; Zavaleta, Erika S; Wolf, Amelia A

    2014-01-01

    Numerous experiments have demonstrated that diverse plant communities use nitrogen (N) more completely and efficiently, with implications for how species conservation efforts might influence N cycling and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most such experiments have randomly manipulated species richness and minimized environmental heterogeneity, two design aspects that may reduce applicability to real ecosystems. Here we present results from an experiment directly comparing how realistic and randomized plant species losses affect plant N use across a gradient of soil depth in a native-dominated serpentine grassland in California. We found that the strength of the species richness effect on plant N use did not increase with soil depth in either the realistic or randomized species loss scenarios, indicating that the increased vertical heterogeneity conferred by deeper soils did not lead to greater complementarity among species in this ecosystem. Realistic species losses significantly reduced plant N uptake and altered N-use efficiency, while randomized species losses had no effect on plant N use. Increasing soil depth positively affected plant N uptake in both loss order scenarios but had a weaker effect on plant N use than did realistic species losses. Our results illustrate that realistic species losses can have functional consequences that differ distinctly from randomized losses, and that species diversity effects can be independent of and outweigh those of environmental heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning. Our findings also support the value of conservation efforts aimed at maintaining biodiversity to help buffer ecosystems against increasing anthropogenic N loading.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Antiprotozoal activity of medicinal plants used by Iquitos-Nauta road communities in Loreto (Peru).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vásquez-Ocmín, Pedro; Cojean, Sandrine; Rengifo, Elsa; Suyyagh-Albouz, Soulaf; Amasifuen Guerra, Carlos A; Pomel, Sébastien; Cabanillas, Billy; Mejía, Kember; Loiseau, Philippe M; Figadère, Bruno; Maciuk, Alexandre

    2018-01-10

    In the Peruvian Amazon, the use of medicinal plants is a common practice. However, there is few documented information about the practical aspects of their use and few scientific validation. The starting point for this work was a set of interviews of people living in rural communities from the Peruvian Amazon about their uses of plants. Protozoan diseases are a public health issue in the Amazonian communities, who partly cope with it by using traditional remedies. Validation of these traditional practices contributes to public health care efficiency and may help identify new antiprotozoal compounds. to inventory and validate the use of medicinal plants by rural people of Loreto region. Rural mestizos were interviewed about traditional medication of parasite infections with medicinal plants. Ethnopharmacological surveys were undertaken in two villages along Iquitos-Nauta road (Loreto region, Peru), namely 13 de Febrero and El Dorado communities. Forty-six plants were collected according to their traditional use for the treatment of parasitic diseases, 50 ethanolic extracts (different parts for some of the plants) were tested in vitro on Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 sensitive strain and W2 chloroquine resistant strain), Leishmania donovani LV9 strain and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Cytotoxic assessment (HUVEC cells) of the active extracts was performed. Two of the most active plants were submitted to preliminary bioguided fractionation to ascertain and explore their activities. From the initial plants list, 10 were found to be active on P. falciparum, 15 on L. donovani and 2 on the three parasites. The ethanolic extract from Costus curvibracteatus (Costaceae) leaves and Grias neuberthii (Lecythidaceae) bark showed strong in vitro activity on P. falciparum (sensitive and resistant strain) and L. donovani and moderate activity on T. brucei gambiense. The Amazonian forest communities in Peru represents a source of knowledge on the use of medicinal plants. In this work

  18. Exploring the plant-associated bacterial communities in Medicago sativa L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pini Francesco

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant-associated bacterial communities caught the attention of several investigators which study the relationships between plants and soil and the potential application of selected bacterial species in crop improvement and protection. Medicago sativa L. is a legume crop of high economic importance as forage in temperate areas and one of the most popular model plants for investigations on the symbiosis with nitrogen fixing rhizobia (mainly belonging to the alphaproteobacterial species Sinorhizobium meliloti. However, despite its importance, no studies have been carried out looking at the total bacterial community associated with the plant. In this work we explored for the first time the total bacterial community associated with M. sativa plants grown in mesocosms conditions, looking at a wide taxonomic spectrum, from the class to the single species (S. meliloti level. Results Results, obtained by using Terminal-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP analysis, quantitative PCR and sequencing of 16 S rRNA gene libraries, showed a high taxonomic diversity as well as a dominance by members of the class Alphaproteobacteria in plant tissues. Within Alphaproteobacteria the families Sphingomonadaceae and Methylobacteriaceae were abundant inside plant tissues, while soil Alphaproteobacteria were represented by the families of Hyphomicrobiaceae, Methylocystaceae, Bradyirhizobiaceae and Caulobacteraceae. At the single species level, we were able to detect the presence of S. meliloti populations in aerial tissues, nodules and soil. An analysis of population diversity on nodules and soil showed a relatively low sharing of haplotypes (30-40% between the two environments and between replicate mesocosms, suggesting drift as main force shaping S. meliloti population at least in this system. Conclusions In this work we shed some light on the bacterial communities associated with M. sativa plants, showing that Alphaproteobacteria may

  19. Interferences between Sphagnum and vascular plants: effects on plant community structure and peat formation

    OpenAIRE

    Malmer, Nils; Albinsson, C; Svensson, B M; Wallén, Bo

    2003-01-01

    The interference between vascular plants and peat mosses with respect to nitrogen and phosphorus was studied in a fertilization experiment and with respect to competition for light in a removal experiment in poor fens with either soligenous or topogenous hydrology using Narthecium ossifragum (L.) Huds. and three species of Sphagnum sect. Sphagnum as targets. Adding fertilizer either on the moss surface or below it confirmed the hypotheses of an asymmetric competition for nutrients, viz. that ...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Interactions for pollinator visitation and their consequences for reproduction in a plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Ørjan

    2012-08-01

    Competition and facilitation in species interactions attract much attention in ecology, but their relative importance has seldom been evaluated in a community context. We assessed competitive and facilitative interactions for pollinator visitation among co-flowering species in a plant community, investigated the subsequent consequences for plant reproduction, and investigated whether effects could be trait-based. We removed the flowers of two species attractive to pollinators, in two separate experiments and assessed the effects on pollinator visitation rates and components of reproductive success in 11 co-flowering focal herb species. Overall, most focal species appear not to interact with the removal species with respect to pollinator visitation and subsequent reproduction (neutral interactions). Three focal species in the community had significantly higher reproductive responses (fruit production and seed weight) in the presence of the attractive removal species (facilitative interactions), but species interaction effects were less pronounced in species' flower visitation rates. A community-wide meta-analysis demonstrated that the two experiments did not have a significant effect on either facilitation or competition, and that there was no overall correlation between effect sizes for visitation and reproduction. Based on species-specific responses, it seems likely that floral traits such as similar flower colors contribute to interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation and, in particular, that high pollinator dependence for plant reproduction, and associated pollen limitation, may contribute to subsequent interaction effects on reproduction in the focal species.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Aim Habitat fragmentation is a major driver of biodiversity loss but it is insufficiently known how much its effects vary among species with different life-history traits; especially in plant communities, the understanding of the role of traits related to species persistence and dispersal in dete...... rural landscapes in NW Europe, mitigating the spatial isolation of remaining grasslands should be accompanied by restoration measures aimed at improving habitat quality for low competitors, abiotically dispersed and perennial, clonal species.......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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant-plant-hemipteran symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Moreau, Corrie S

    2017-03-15

    Ants have long been renowned for their intimate mutualisms with trophobionts and plants and more recently appreciated for their widespread and diverse interactions with microbes. An open question in symbiosis research is the extent to which environmental influence, including the exchange of microbes between interacting macroorganisms, affects the composition and function of symbiotic microbial communities. Here we approached this question by investigating symbiosis within symbiosis. Ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses are hallmarks of tropical ecosystems that produce persistent close contact among the macroorganism partners, which then have substantial opportunity to exchange symbiotic microbes. We used metabarcoding and quantitative PCR to examine community structure of both bacteria and fungi in a Neotropical ant-plant-scale-insect symbiosis. Both phloem-feeding scale insects and honeydew-feeding ants make use of microbial symbionts to subsist on phloem-derived diets of suboptimal nutritional quality. Among the insects examined here, Cephalotes ants and pseudococcid scale insects had the most specialized bacterial symbionts, whereas Azteca ants appeared to consume or associate with more fungi than bacteria, and coccid scale insects were associated with unusually diverse bacterial communities. Despite these differences, we also identified apparent sharing of microbes among the macro-partners. How microbial exchanges affect the consumer-resource interactions that shape the evolution of ant-plant-hemipteran symbioses is an exciting question that awaits further research. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Water table and species identity outweigh carbon and nitrogen availability in a softwater plant community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderhaeghe, Floris; Smolders, Alfons J. P.; Roelofs, Jan G. M.; Hoffmann, Maurice

    2013-02-01

    Performance of aquatic macrophytes is driven by many environmental factors, and a major challenge is to understand how aquatic macrophyte communities are structured in various environments. In softwater lakes in Western Europe, hydrological state (submersed/emersed), carbon dioxide and ammonium levels and species interactions are considered as driving forces in structuring amphibious plant communities. In this study we aimed at evaluating the relative importance of these factors for four species in a competitive neighbourhood. Softwater lake habitat was simulated during one growing season in laboratory conditions, mimicking water level fluctuation, photoperiod and temperature. Artificial communities consisted of small populations of four softwater macrophyte species: Luronium natans, Baldellia ranunculoides ssp. repens, Eleocharis multicaulis and Hydrocotyle vulgaris. These communities were subjected to two levels of carbon dioxide and ammonium. Additionally, monocultures of Baldellia and Eleocharis were grown at a higher nutrient level combination in order to measure their competitive response in a community. Time (hydrological state) and species identity turned out to be the only consistently significant factors determining community composition. Plant performance was clearly species-dependent, while carbon dioxide and ammonium did not have major effects. The competitive response was significant in both Eleocharis and Baldellia. Competition intensity was highest in the emersed state. Carbon dioxide had a supplementary effect on the within-species performance in Luronium, Baldellia and Eleocharis, with high carbon dioxide level mainly resulting in more flowers and more stolons. Community outcomes and competitive responses in aquatic macrophytes appear difficult to predict, because of mixed life strategies and morphological and functional plasticity. We conclude that hydrological state was the only important environmental factor. The identity of the species that

  10. 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

  11. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörsdorf, Martin A; Ravolainen, Virve T; Støvern, Leif Einar; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Jónsdóttir, Ingibjörg Svala; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2015-01-01

    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 ecology as only rules

  12. Definition of sampling units begets conclusions in ecology: the case of habitats for plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin A. Mörsdorf

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, expert knowledge on habitat characteristics is often used to define sampling units such as study sites. Ecologists are especially prone to such approaches when prior sampling frames are not accessible. Here we ask to what extent can different approaches to the definition of sampling units influence the conclusions that are drawn from an ecological study? We do this by comparing a formal versus a subjective definition of sampling units within a study design which is based on well-articulated objectives and proper methodology. Both approaches are applied to tundra plant communities in mesic and snowbed habitats. For the formal approach, sampling units were first defined for each habitat in concave terrain of suitable slope using GIS. In the field, these units were only accepted as the targeted habitats if additional criteria for vegetation cover were fulfilled. For the subjective approach, sampling units were defined visually in the field, based on typical plant communities of mesic and snowbed habitats. For each approach, we collected information about plant community characteristics within a total of 11 mesic and seven snowbed units distributed between two herding districts of contrasting reindeer density. Results from the two approaches differed significantly in several plant community characteristics in both mesic and snowbed habitats. Furthermore, differences between the two approaches were not consistent because their magnitude and direction differed both between the two habitats and the two reindeer herding districts. Consequently, we could draw different conclusions on how plant diversity and relative abundance of functional groups are differentiated between the two habitats depending on the approach used. We therefore challenge ecologists to formalize the expert knowledge applied to define sampling units through a set of well-articulated rules, rather than applying it subjectively. We see this as instrumental for progress in

  13. Antihyperlipidemic activity of the medicinal plants among Kadazan and Dusun communities in Sabah, Malaysia: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Mohamed Mohamed Koriem

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Sabah is one of the 13 states within the Federation of Malaysia and is located in the northernmost part of Borneo. It is the second largest state in Malaysia with a landmass of approximately 7.4 million hectares. The total forested area is 4.7 million hectares. Sabah, being part of Borneo, is rich in plant biodiversity. There is also an abundance of medicinal plants and other plants for everyday use. There is a great awarness regarding association between low density lipoprotein reduction and decreased cardiovascular disease mortality. The antihyperlipidaemic activity of herbs plays an important role in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases, which is the top disease that causes mortality all over the world. Lipid-lowering activity of medicinal plant for phytomedicine research and drug development for such a disease are now focused all over the world. A plant-based diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and legumes and low in saturated fat is an effective prescription for anyone with more severe atherosclerosis. Howerver, there are few herbs available that provide some protection for persons with the above disease. The antihyperlipidaemia property in plant plays a vital role to reduce atherosclerosis. Thus, there is an increasing search for the lipid lowering agents from natural origin. In this review an attempt has been made to give an overview of the antihyperlipidemic activity in traditional medicinal plants found widely in Kadazan and Dusun communities in Sabah, Malaysia. The antihyperlipidemic activity of the traditional medicinal plants in these communities is more helpful for the development of new drugs used in the protection against dyslipidemia or atherosclerosis.

  14. Plants used for treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by the Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gairola, Sumeet; Sharma, Jyotsana; Gaur, R D; Siddiqi, T O; Painuli, R M

    2013-12-12

    Dysentery and diarrhoea are major causes of morbidity and mortality in rural communities of developing world. The Bhoxa community is an important primitive indigenous community of Uttarakhand, India. In this paper we have tried to scientifically enumerate ethnomedicinal plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, and discuss their antidiarrhoeal properties in the light of previous ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical studies. To record plants and herbal preparations used by Bhoxa community of district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea, and to discuss antidiarrhoeal and antimicrobial properties of the recorded plants. Ethnomedicinal survey was conducted in different villages of Bhoxa community located in district Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Thirty Bhoxa traditional healers were interviewed to collect information on plants used by them for treating dysentery and diarrhoea. For each of the recorded plant species the use value (UV) and fidelity level (FL) was calculated. Detailed literature survey was conducted to summarize ethnomedicinal, pharmacological, microbiological and phytochemical information on the medicinal plants listed in the present study. Fifty medicinal plants (45 genera and 30 families) were used by Bhoxa community to treat dysentery and diarrhoea, among which 27 species were used for dysentery, 41 for diarrhoea and 18 for both dysentery and diarrhoea. Three plants viz., Dioscorea bulbifera L., Euphorbia thymifolia L. and Prunus persica (L.) Stokes, recorded in the present survey have been reported for the first time in treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by any indigenous communities in India. FL and UV values revealed that most preferred species for the treatment of dysentery and diarrhoea by Bhoxa community are Euphorbia hirta L. followed by Holarrhena pubescens Wall., Helicteres isora L. and Cassia fistula L. Earlier pharmacological

  15. 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

  16. Receding Water Line and Interspecific Competition Determines Plant Community Composition and Diversity in Wetlands in Beijing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengjun; Gong, Huili; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-induced wetland degradation has accelerated in recent years, not only resulting in reduced ecosystem services but also greatly affecting the composition and diversity of wetland plant communities. To date, the knowledge of the differences in community parameters and their successional trends in degraded wetlands remains scarce. Here based on remote sensing images, geographic information system technology, and statistical methods, we produced a successional gradient map of the Yeyahu Wetland Nature Reserve in Beijing, which has experienced a steady decline in water level in recent decades. In addition, we analyzed community composition and diversity along with each identified gradient. The results showed that community diversity decreases while dominance increases with the progress of succession, with the highest diversity occurring during the early stage of succession. Moreover, the community demonstrates greater similarity among subareas during later successional stages, and the similarity coefficients calculated from the important value (IV) of each species are more accurate. Correlation analysis showed that the impact of soil factors on diversity was not significant at a subarea scale, although these nutrients showed an increasing trend with the community succession. Furthermore, the IVs of the dominant species had a particularly significant impact on diversity, showing a significantly negative correlation with diversity indices and a significantly positive correlation with dominance indices. Further analysis showed that the retreat of water level resulted from sustained drought and local human activities was a major extrinsic driving force resulting in observed differences in the community successional stages, which resulted in differences in community composition and diversity. On the other hand, interspecific competition was the main intrinsic mechanism, which significantly influenced the IVs of the dominant species and community diversity

  17. Taxonomic and Functional Responses of Soil Microbial Communities to Annual Removal of Aboveground Plant Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xue; Zhou, Xishu; Hale, Lauren; Yuan, Mengting; Feng, Jiajie; Ning, Daliang; Shi, Zhou; Qin, Yujia; Liu, Feifei; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liu, Xueduan; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-01-01

    Clipping, removal of aboveground plant biomass, is an important issue in grassland ecology. However, few studies have focused on the effect of clipping on belowground microbial communities. Using integrated metagenomic technologies, we examined the taxonomic and functional responses of soil microbial communities to annual clipping (2010–2014) in a grassland ecosystem of the Great Plains of North America. Our results indicated that clipping significantly (P microbial respiration rates. Annual temporal variation within the microbial communities was much greater than the significant changes introduced by clipping, but cumulative effects of clipping were still observed in the long-term scale. The abundances of some bacterial and fungal lineages including Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were significantly (P microbial communities were significantly correlated with soil respiration and plant productivity. Intriguingly, clipping effects on microbial function may be highly regulated by precipitation at the interannual scale. Altogether, our results illustrated the potential of soil microbial communities for increased soil organic matter decomposition under clipping land-use practices. PMID:29904372

  18. An integrated metagenome and -proteome analysis of the microbial community residing in a biogas production plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortseifen, Vera; Stolze, Yvonne; Maus, Irena; Sczyrba, Alexander; Bremges, Andreas; Albaum, Stefan P; Jaenicke, Sebastian; Fracowiak, Jochen; Pühler, Alfred; Schlüter, Andreas

    2016-08-10

    To study the metaproteome of a biogas-producing microbial community, fermentation samples were taken from an agricultural biogas plant for microbial cell and protein extraction and corresponding metagenome analyses. Based on metagenome sequence data, taxonomic community profiling was performed to elucidate the composition of bacterial and archaeal sub-communities. The community's cytosolic metaproteome was represented in a 2D-PAGE approach. Metaproteome databases for protein identification were compiled based on the assembled metagenome sequence dataset for the biogas plant analyzed and non-corresponding biogas metagenomes. Protein identification results revealed that the corresponding biogas protein database facilitated the highest identification rate followed by other biogas-specific databases, whereas common public databases yielded insufficient identification rates. Proteins of the biogas microbiome identified as highly abundant were assigned to the pathways involved in methanogenesis, transport and carbon metabolism. Moreover, the integrated metagenome/-proteome approach enabled the examination of genetic-context information for genes encoding identified proteins by studying neighboring genes on the corresponding contig. Exemplarily, this approach led to the identification of a Methanoculleus sp. contig encoding 16 methanogenesis-related gene products, three of which were also detected as abundant proteins within the community's metaproteome. Thus, metagenome contigs provide additional information on the genetic environment of identified abundant proteins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of Nonnative Ungulate Removal on Plant Communities and Soil Biogeochemistry in Tropical Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, R. J.; Litton, C. M.; Giardina, C. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Non-native ungulates have substantial impacts on native ecosystems globally, altering both plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. Across tropical and temperate ecosystems, land managers fence and remove non-native ungulates to conserve native biodiversity, a costly management action, yet long-term outcomes are not well quantified. Specifically, knowledge gaps include: (i) the magnitude and time frame of plant community recovery; (ii) the response of non-native invasive plants; and (iii) changes to soil biogeochemistry. In 2010, we established a series of paired ungulate presence vs. removal plots that span a 20 yr. chronosequence in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii to quantify the impacts and temporal legacy of feral pig removal on plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. We also compared soil biogeochemistry in targeted areas of low and high feral pig impact. Our work shows that both native and non-native vegetation respond positively to release from top-down control following removal of feral pigs, but species of high conservation concern recover only if initially present at the time of non-native ungulate removal. Feral pig impacts on soil biogeochemistry appear to last for at least 20 years following ungulate removal. We observed that both soil physical and chemical properties changed with feral pig removal. Soil bulk density and volumetric water content decreased while extractable base cations and inorganic N increased in low vs. high feral pig impact areas. We hypothesize that altered soil biogeochemistry facilitates continued invasions by non-native plants, even decades after non-native ungulate removal. Future work will concentrate on comparisons between wet and dry forest ecosystems and test whether manipulation of soil nutrients can be used to favor native vs. non-native plant establishment.

  20. Responses of prairie arthropod communities to fire and fertilizer: Balancing plant and arthropod conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, M.K.; Rogers, W.E.; Siemann, E.; Grace, J.

    2007-01-01

    Fire is an important tool for limiting woody plant invasions into prairies, but using fire management to maintain grassland plant communities may inadvertently reduce arthropod diversity. To test this, we established twenty-four 100 m2 plots in a tallgrass prairie in Galveston County, Texas, in spring 2000. Plots were assigned a fire (no burn, one time burn [2000], two time burn [2000, 2001]) and fertilization treatment (none, NPK addition) in a full factorial design. Fertilization treatments allowed us to examine the effects of fire at a different level of productivity. We measured plant cover by species and sampled arthropods with sweep nets during the 2001 growing season. Path analysis indicated that fertilization reduced while annual fires increased arthropod diversity via increases and decreases in woody plant abundance, respectively. There was no direct effect of fire on arthropod diversity or abundance. Diptera and Homoptera exhibited particularly strong positive responses to fires. Lepidoptera had a negative response to nutrient enrichment. Overall, the negative effects of fire on the arthropod community were minor in contrast to the strong positive indirect effects of small-scale burning on arthropod diversity if conservation of particular taxa is not a priority. The same fire regime that minimized woody plant invasion also maximized arthropod diversity.

  1. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in the community of Santa Rita, Ituiutaba – Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaucieli Siqueira Parreira Alves

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper aimed to inventory the plants used in popular medicine by members of the rural community of Santa Rita, in the town of Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The evaluation was carried out through interviews, with a semi-structured questionnaire and subsequent collection of the plants indicated by informants. One conducted 47 interviews and 127 species were listed, belonging to 55 Angiosperm families. For obtaining the quantitative data, one calculated the percentage of the Main Use Concordance (cMUC of each species; for identifying the therapeutic indications with greater importance, one used the Informant Consensus Factor (ICF. The cMUC showed that 5.5% of the plants mentioned are widely used by the community. The predominant botanical families registered were Lamiaceae and Asteraceae, with 14 and 13 records, respectively. The indication of predominant use mainly involved illnesses related to an emotional disorder, as indicated by the ICF. One emphasizes that 60.7% of the plants mentioned in this paper are exotic species; thus, there’s a need for further studies in order to catalogue knowledge on the medicinal plants which are native to this region.

  2. Plant selenium hyperaccumulation- Ecological effects and potential implications for selenium cycling and community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R Jason B; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2018-04-25

    Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation occurs in ~50 plant taxa native to seleniferous soils in Western USA. Hyperaccumulator tissue Se levels, 1000-15,000 mg/kg dry weight, are typically 100 times higher than surrounding vegetation. Relative to other species, hyperaccumulators also transform Se more into organic forms. We review abiotic and biotic factors influencing soil Se distribution and bioavailability, soil being the source of the Se in hyperaccumulators. Next, we summarize the fate of Se in plants, particularly hyperaccumulators. We then extensively review the impact of plant Se accumulation on ecological interactions. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of Se hyperaccumulators on local community composition and Se cycling. Selenium (hyper)accumulation offers ecological advantages: protection from herbivores and pathogens and competitive advantage over other plants. The extreme Se levels in and around hyperaccumulators create a toxic environment for Se-sensitive ecological partners, while offering a niche for Se-resistant partners. Through these dual effects, hyperaccumulators may influence species composition in their local environment, as well as Se cycling. The implied effects of Se hyperaccumulation on community assembly and local Se cycling warrant further investigations into the contribution of hyperaccumulators and general terrestrial vegetation to global Se cycling and may serve as a case study for how trace elements influence ecological processes. Furthermore, understanding ecological implications of plant Se accumulation are vital for safe implementation of biofortification and phytoremediation, technologies increasingly implemented to battle Se deficiency and toxicity. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Riparian plant community responses to increased flooding: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garssen, Annemarie G; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Verhoeven, Jos T A; Soons, Merel B

    2015-08-01

    A future higher risk of severe flooding of streams and rivers has been projected to change riparian plant community composition and species richness, but the extent and direction of the expected change remain uncertain. We conducted a meta-analysis to synthesize globally available experimental evidence and assess the effects of increased flooding on (1) riparian adult plant and seedling survival, (2) riparian plant biomass and (3) riparian plant species composition and richness. We evaluated which plant traits are of key importance for the response of riparian plant species to flooding. We identified and analysed 53 papers from ISI Web of Knowledge which presented quantitative experimental results on flooding treatments and corresponding control situations. Our meta-analysis demonstrated how longer duration of flooding, greater depth of flooding and, particularly, their combination reduce seedling survival of most riparian species. Plant height above water level, ability to elongate shoots and plasticity in root porosity were decisive for adult plant survival and growth during longer periods of flooding. Both 'quiescence' and 'escape' proved to be successful strategies promoting riparian plant survival, which was reflected in the wide variation in survival (full range between 0 and 100%) under fully submerged conditions, while plants that protrude above the water level (>20 cm) almost all survive. Our survey confirmed that the projected increase in the duration and depth of flooding periods is sufficient to result in species shifts. These shifts may lead to increased or decreased riparian species richness depending on the nutrient, climatic and hydrological status of the catchment. Species richness was generally reduced at flooded sites in nutrient-rich catchments and sites that previously experienced relatively stable hydrographs (e.g. rain-fed lowland streams). Species richness usually increased at sites in desert and semi-arid climate regions (e.g. intermittent

  4. Ecosystem engineers on plants: indirect facilitation of arthropod communities by leaf-rollers at different scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Camila; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2013-07-01

    Ecosystem engineering is a process by which organisms change the distribution of resources and create new habitats for other species via non-trophic interactions. Leaf-rolling caterpillars can act as ecosystem engineers because they provide shelter to secondary users. In this study, we report the influence of leaf-rolling caterpillars on speciose tropical arthropod communities along both spatial scales (leaf-level and plant-level effects) and temporal scales (dry and rainy seasons). We predict that rolled leaves can amplify arthropod diversity at both the leaf and plant levels and that this effect is stronger in dry seasons, when arthropods are prone to desiccation. Our results show that the abundance, richness, and biomass of arthropods within several guilds increased up to 22-fold in naturally and artificially created leaf shelters relative to unaltered leaves. These effects were observed at similar magnitudes at both the leaf and plant scales. Variation in the shelter architecture (funnel, cylinders) did not influence arthropod parameters, as diversity, abundance, orbiomass, but rolled leaves had distinct species composition if compared with unaltered leaves. As expected, these arthropod parameters on the plants with rolled leaves were on average approximately twofold higher in the dry season. Empty leaf rolls and whole plants were rapidly recolonized by arthropods over time, implying a fast replacement of individuals; within 15-day intervals the rolls and plants reached a species saturation. This study is the first to examine the extended effects of engineering caterpillars as diversity amplifiers at different temporal and spatial scales. Because shelter-building caterpillars are ubiquitous organisms in tropical and temperate forests, they can be considered key structuring elements for arthropod communities on plants.

  5. Community development on 35-year-old planted minespoil banks in Pennsylvania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuster, W S; Hutnik, R J

    1987-07-01

    Invading plant communities were studied in 1982 on a series of 35-year old strip-mine test plantings in the main bituminous region of Pennsylvania. Ten of the original 22 sites were evaluated; the others had been significantly disturbed or destroyed. The sites varied in mean pH, in survival and basal area of the planted trees and in the species planted. The study involved 24 plots of the following species: eastern white pine (Pine strobus), red pine (Pinus resinosa), Japanese larch (Laprix leptolepis), red oak (Quercus rubra), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), white ash (Fraxinus americana), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and hybrid poplar (Populus hyb.) and seven plots where plantings were unsuccessful (control plots). In the cluster analysis of invading communities described by a modified Braun-Blanquet scale, strong clustering trends were evident by both site and planted species. Clustering by sites was most pronounced for those sites with extremes of soil pH. There was also strong clustering among pine plots and among some hardwood plots. Species richness was higher on white ash, red oak, Japanese larch and control plots than on white pine plots. Black cherry (Prunus serotina) was the most common of the 169 invading species and was especially numerous on black locust plots. Aspens (Populus sp.) were also common invaders, especially on pine and ash plots. These species, along with pin cherry (Prunus Pennsylvanica) and the planted black locust are declining in importance, whereas black cherry, red maple (Acer rubrum) and slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) are increasing. Invading oaks (Quercus sp.), hickories (Carya sp.) and a few sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia) suggest future successional changes. 26 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  7. Ordination of self-organizing feature map neural networks and its application to the study of plant communities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jintun ZHANG; Dongping MENG; Yuexiang XI

    2009-01-01

    A self-organizing feature map (SOFM) neural network is a powerful tool in analyzing and solving complex, non-linear problems. According to its features, a SOFM is entirely compatible with ordination studies of plant communities. In our present work, mathematical principles, and ordination techniques and procedures are introduced. A SOFM ordination was applied to the study of plant communities in the middle of the Taihang mountains. The ordination was carried out by using the NNTool box in MATLAB. The results of 68 quadrats of plant communities were distributed in SOFM space. The ordination axes showed the ecological gradients clearly and provided the relationships between communities with ecological meaning. The results are consistent with the reality of vegetation in the study area. This suggests that SOFM ordination is an effective technique in plant ecology. During ordination procedures, it is easy to carry out clustering of communities and so it is beneficial for combining classification and ordination in vegetation studies.

  8. Concentration of petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination shapes fungal endophytic community structure in plant roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume eBourdel

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Plant-root inhabiting fungi are a universal phenomenon found in all ecosystems where plants are able to grow, even in harsh environments. Interactions between fungi and plant roots can vary widely from mutualism to parasitism depending on many parameters. The role of fungal endophytes in phytoremediation of polluted sites, and characterization of the endophytic diversity and community assemblages in contaminated areas remain largely unexplored. In this study, we investigated the composition of endophytic fungal communities in the roots of two plant species growing spontaneously in petroleum-contaminated sedimentation basins of a former petro-chemical plant. The three adjacent basins showed a highly heterogeneous patterns of pollutant concentrations. We combined a culture-based isolation approach with the pyrosequencing of fungal ITS ribosomal DNA. We selected two species, Eleocharis erythropoda Steud. and Populus balsamifera L., and sampled three individuals of each species from each of three adjacent basins, each with a different concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons. We found that contamination level significantly shaped endophytic fungal diversity and community composition in E. erythropoda, with only 9.9% of these fungal Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs retrieved in all three basins. However, fungal community structure associated with P. balsamifera remained unaffected by the contamination level with 28.2% of fungal OTUs shared among all three basins. This could be explained by the smaller differences of pollutant concentrations in the soil around our set of P. balsamifera sampless compared to that around our set of E. erythropoda samples. Our culture-based approach allowed isolation of 11 and 30 fungal endophytic species from surface-sterilized roots of E. erythropoda and P. balsamifera, respectively. These isolates were ribotyped using ITS, and all were found in pyrosequensing datasets. Our results demonstrate that extreme levels of

  9. An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Joanne; Brouwer, Nynke; Harrington, David; Gaikwad, Jitendra; Heron, Ronald; Yaegl Community Elders; Ranganathan, Shoba; Vemulpad, Subramanyam; Jamie, Joanne

    2012-01-06

    Documentation of Australian bush medicines is of utmost importance to the preservation of this disappearing and invaluable knowledge. This collaboration between the Yaegl Aboriginal community in northern New South Wales (NSW), Australia and an academic institution, demonstrates an effective means of preserving and adding value to this information. Questionnaire-guided interviews were performed with community Elders under a framework of participatory action research. Medicinal plant knowledge was collated in a handbook to aid interviews and to be used as an ongoing resource by the community. Specimens for all non-cultivar plants that were discussed were collected and deposited in herbaria with unique voucher numbers. This medicinal knowledge was checked against the literature for reports of related use and studies of biological activity. Nineteen Elders were interviewed, leading to discussions on fifty four plant preparations used for medicinal purposes. These plant preparations involved thirty two plants coming from twenty one families, reflecting the botanical diversity of the area. The plants retained in the Yaegl pharmacopoeia correspond to their accessibility and ease of preparation, reflected in their ongoing utilisation. Several plant uses did not appear elsewhere in the literature. This study is the first comprehensive documentation of the medicinal knowledge of the Yaegl Aboriginal community. It has been conducted using participatory action research methods and adds to the recorded customary knowledge of the region. The customary medicinal knowledge retained by the Yaegl Aboriginal community is related to the evolving needs of the community and accessibility of plants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effect of long-term understory prescribed burning on standing and down dead woody material in dry upland oak forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo, John A.; Hallgren, S.W.; Leslie,, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Dead woody material, long ignored or viewed as a nuisance for forest management, has gained appreciation for its many roles in the forest including wildlife habitat, nutrient storage and cycling, energy for trophic webs, protection of soil, fuel for fire and carbon storage. The growing interest in managing dead woody material has created strong demand for greater understanding of factors controlling amounts and turnover. Prescribed burning, an important management tool, may have strong effects of dead woody material given fire’s capacity to create and consume dead woody material. We determined effects of long-term understory prescribed burning on standing and down woody material in upland oak forests in south-central North America. We hypothesized that as frequency of fire increased in these stands the amount of deadwood would decrease and the fine woody material would decrease more rapidly than coarse woody material. The study was conducted in forests dominated by post oak (Quercus stellata) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) in wildlife management areas where understory prescribed burning had been practiced for over 20 years and the range of burn frequencies was 0 (unburned) fires per decade (FPD) to 4.6 FPD. The amount of deadwood was low compared with more productive forests in southeastern North America. The biomass (24.7 Mg ha-1) and carbon stocks (11.7 Mg ha-1) were distributed among standing dead (22%), coarse woody debris (CWD, dia. > 7.5 cm., 12%), fine woody debris (FWD, dia. prescribed burning influenced the amount and size distribution of standing and down dead woody material. There were two explanations for the lack of a detectable effect. First, a high incidence of severe weather including ice storms and strong winds that produce large amounts of deadwood intermittently in an irregular pattern across the landscape may preclude detecting a strong effect of understory prescribed burning. Second, fire suppression during the first one-half of the

  11. The physical environment and major plant communities of the Karoo National Park, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Francine Rubin; A.R. Palmer

    1996-01-01

    The major plant communities of the Karoo National Park are described using the methods of the Zurich-Montpellier school of phytosociology, to assist with the formulation of a management strategy for the park. The vegetation physiognomy consists of Montane Karoo grassy shrublands. Karoo grassy dwarf shrublands. Karoo succulent dwarf shrublands and riparian thicket. Steep elevation and precipitation gradients within the study area have a direct impact on gradients in the vegetation. High elevat...

  12. Plant community structure regulates responses of prairie soil respiration to decadal experimental warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xia; Shi, Zheng; Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Sherry, Rebecca A; Luo, Yiqi

    2015-10-01

    Soil respiration is recognized to be influenced by temperature, moisture, and ecosystem production. However, little is known about how plant community structure regulates responses of soil respiration to climate change. Here, we used a 13-year field warming experiment to explore the mechanisms underlying plant community regulation on feedbacks of soil respiration to climate change in a tallgrass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. Infrared heaters were used to elevate temperature about 2 °C since November 1999. Annual clipping was used to mimic hay harvest. Our results showed that experimental warming significantly increased soil respiration approximately from 10% in the first 7 years (2000-2006) to 30% in the next 6 years (2007-2012). The two-stage warming stimulation of soil respiration was closely related to warming-induced increases in ecosystem production over the years. Moreover, we found that across the 13 years, warming-induced increases in soil respiration were positively affected by the proportion of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) contributed by C3 forbs. Functional composition of the plant community regulated warming-induced increases in soil respiration through the quantity and quality of organic matter inputs to soil and the amount of photosynthetic carbon (C) allocated belowground. Clipping, the interaction of clipping with warming, and warming-induced changes in soil temperature and moisture all had little effect on soil respiration over the years (all P > 0.05). Our results suggest that climate warming may drive an increase in soil respiration through altering composition of plant communities in grassland ecosystems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Assessing Metal Exposures in a Community near a Cement Plant in the Northeast U.S.

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao Dong; Michael S. Bank; John D. Spengler

    2015-01-01

    Cement production is a major source of metals and metalloids in the environment, while exposures to metals and metalloids may impact human health in the surrounding communities. We recruited 185 participants living in the vicinity of a cement plant in the northeast U.S., and measured the levels of aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and selenium (Se) in blood and Hg in hair samples from them. A questionnaire was used to assess potential sources of Hg exposure...

  14. Medicinal plants used by the Tamang community in the Makawanpur district of central Nepal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Luitel, D. R.; Rokaya, Maan Bahadur; Timsina, Binu; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-11 ISSN 1746-4269 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073; GA ČR GP13-10850P Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Makawanpur district * Medicinal plants * Pharmacology * Phytochemistry * Tamang community Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.000, year: 2014

  15. Climate Variability Structures Plant Community Dynamics in Mediterranean Restored and Reference Tidal Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan E. Chapple

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In Mediterranean regions and other areas with variable climates, interannual weather variability may impact ecosystem dynamics, and by extension ecological restoration projects. Conditions at reference sites, which are often used to evaluate restoration projects, may also be influenced by weather variability, confounding interpretations of restoration outcomes. To better understand the influence of weather variability on plant community dynamics, we explore change in a vegetation dataset collected between 1990 and 2005 at a historic tidal wetland reference site and a nearby tidal wetland restoration project initiated in 1976 in California’s San Francisco (SF Bay. To determine the factors influencing reference and restoration trajectories, we examine changes in plant community identity in relation to annual salinity levels in the SF Bay, annual rainfall, and tidal channel structure. Over the entire study period, both sites experienced significant directional change away from the 1990 community. Community change was accelerated following low salinity conditions that resulted from strong El Niño events in 1994–1995 and 1997–1998. Overall rates of change were greater at the restoration site and driven by a combination of dominant and sub-dominant species, whereas change at the reference site was driven by sub-dominant species. Sub-dominant species first appeared at the restoration site in 1996 and incrementally increased during each subsequent year, whereas sub-dominant species cover at the reference site peaked in 1999 and subsequently declined. Our results show that frequent, long-term monitoring is needed to adequately capture plant community dynamics in variable Mediterranean ecosystems and demonstrate the need for expanding restoration monitoring and timing restoration actions to match weather conditions.

  16. Effects of a ciliate protozoa predator on microbial communities in pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea leaves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor K Paisie

    Full Text Available The aquatic communities found within the water filled leaves of the pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, have a simple trophic structure providing an ideal system to study microscale interactions between protozoan predators and their bacterial prey. In this study, replicate communities were maintained with and without the presence of the bactivorous protozoan, Colpoda steinii, to determine the effects of grazing on microbial communities. Changes in microbial (Archaea and Bacteria community structure were assessed using iTag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The microbial communities were similar with and without the protozoan predator, with>1000 species. Of these species, Archaea were negligible, with Bacteria comprising 99.99% of the microbial community. The Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most dominant phyla. The addition of a protozoan predator did not have a significant effect on microbial evenness nor richness. However, the presence of the protozoan did cause a significant shift in the relative abundances of a number of bacterial species. This suggested that bactivorous protozoan may target specific bacterial species and/or that certain bacterial species have innate mechanisms by which they evade predators. These findings help to elucidate the effect that trophic structure perturbations have on predator prey interactions in microbial systems.

  17. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podadera, Diego S.; Engel, Vera L.; Parrotta, John A.; Machado, Deivid L.; Sato, Luciane M.; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species ( Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economi