WorldWideScience

Sample records for vole herbivory electronic

  1. Prairie forb response to timing of vole herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Amy T; Howe, Henry F

    2009-05-01

    The timing of herbivory can be an important factor in the strength and direction of plant response to herbivore damage. To determine the effect of vole herbivory timing within a growing season on tallgrass prairie forbs, we used individual plant enclosures to limit vole access to three species, Desmanthus illinoensis, Echinacea purpurea, and Heliopsis helianthoides, in an experimental restoration in northern Illinois, USA. As part of a long-term experiment, we implemented five vole access treatments in 2003: (1) vole access for the entire growing season, (2) early-season access, (3) mid-season access, (4) late-season access, and (5) no vole access. We protected all plants from herbivory in the following growing season (2004) to test whether the effects of herbivory in one growing season carried over to the next. We also tested how restoration planting design, including seeding time (June or December) and density (35 or 350 seeds/m2 of each species) affected patterns of herbivory and plant recovery. Vole access for the entire growing season was most detrimental for the growth and reproduction of all three species. In contrast, vole access for a portion of the growing season had different effects on the three species: Desmanthus growth and reproduction was negatively affected by early-season access, Echinacea reproductive output was reduced by late-season access, and Heliopsis was not affected by early-, mid-, or late-season vole access. Negative effects of continual vole access carried over to the following growing season for Desmanthus and Heliopsis, but not for Echinacea. Effects of herbivory did not carry over to the next season for Echinacea and Heliopsis when plants were accessible to voles for only part of the growing season. In contrast, Desmanthus plants exposed to early-season herbivory in one year continued to produce fewer seeds per plant after being protected from vole herbivory for a growing season. Planting density and planting season had mixed effects

  2. Response of two prairie forbs to repeated vole herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Amy T; Howe, Henry F

    2011-04-01

    Vertebrate herbivores as diverse as ungulates, geese, and rabbits preferentially feed on plants that have previously experienced herbivory. Here, we ask whether smaller grassland "cryptic consumers" such as voles (Microtus ochrogaster and M. pennsylvanicus) preferentially clip (cut stems for access to leaves or seeds) or avoid previously clipped individuals of two tallgrass prairie species (Desmanthus illinoensis and Echinacea purpurea) within a growing season. Further, we ask how these plants respond to repeated clipping within a growing season, and whether the effects of this herbivory last into the subsequent growing season. Voles preferentially clipped stems of D. illinoensis and E. purpurea plants that had been previously clipped. The exception was indiscriminant clipping of stems of E. purpurea late in the growing season when its achenes, a favorite vole food, ripened. For D. illinoensis, repeated clipping resulted in a 59% reduction in biomass, 42% lower ratio of reproductive to vegetative biomass, and 57% fewer seeds produced per plant compared with unclipped plants. These effects lasted into the following growing season in which plants were protected from voles. In contrast, the only effect of repeated clipping for E. purpurea was that the number of achenes per plant was substantially reduced by three episodes of clipping. This effect did not carry over to the next growing season. Such differences in D. illinoensis and E. purpurea response to repeated stem clipping by voles offer insights into how these small rodents can effect major changes in composition and dominance in grassland communities.

  3. Silicon-based plant defences, tooth wear and voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calandra, Ivan; Zub, Karol; Szafrańska, Paulina A; Zalewski, Andrzej; Merceron, Gildas

    2016-02-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are hypothesized to drive vole population cycles through the grazing-induced production of phytoliths in leaves. Phytoliths act as mechanical defences because they deter herbivory and lower growth rates in mammals. However, how phytoliths impair herbivore performance is still unknown. Here, we tested whether the amount of phytoliths changes tooth wear patterns. If confirmed, abrasion from phytoliths could play a role in population crashes. We applied dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) to laboratory and wild voles. Lab voles were fed two pelleted diets with differing amounts of silicon, which produced similar dental textures. This was most probably due to the loss of food mechanical properties through pelletization and/or the small difference in silicon concentration between diets. Wild voles were trapped in Poland during spring and summer, and every year across a population cycle. In spring, voles feed on silica-rich monocotyledons, while in the summer they also include silica-depleted dicotyledons. This was reflected in the results; the amount of silica therefore leaves a traceable record in the dental microwear texture of voles. Furthermore, voles from different phases of population cycles have different microwear textures. We tentatively propose that these differences result from grazing-induced phytolith concentrations. We hypothesize that the high amount of phytoliths in response to intense grazing in peak years may result in malocclusion and other dental abnormalities, which would explain how these silicon-based plant defences help provoke population crashes. DMTA could then be used to reconstruct vole population dynamics using teeth from pellets or palaeontological material. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Vole and lemming activity observed from space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olofsson, Johan; Tømmervik, Hans; Callaghan, Terry V.

    2012-12-01

    Predicting the impacts of present global warming requires an understanding of the factors controlling plant biomass and production. The extent to which they are controlled by bottom-up drivers such as climate, nutrient and water availability, and by top-down drivers such as herbivory and diseases in terrestrial systems is still under debate. By annually recording plant biomass and community composition in grazed control plots and in herbivore-free exclosures, at 12 sites in a subArctic ecosystem, we were able to show that the regular interannual density fluctuations of voles and lemmings drive synchronous interannual fluctuations in the biomass of field-layer vegetation. Plant biomass in the field layer was between 12 and 24% lower the year after a vole peak than the year before, and the combined vole and lemming peaks are visible as a reduced normalized difference vegetation index in satellite images over a 770km2 area in the following year, despite the wide range of abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic forces that influence the vegetation. This strongly suggests that the cascading effect of rodents for the function and diversity of tundra plant communities needs to be included in our scenarios of how these ecosystems will respond to environmental changes.

  5. How expensive is vole damage?

    OpenAIRE

    Walther, B; Fülling, O.; Malevez, J.; Pelz, H.-J.

    2008-01-01

    Vole species, especially Arvicola terrestris and Microtus arvalis cause significant economical damage in organic pomiculture by gnawing the root system of trees. The importance of voles as pest organisms is well known. Nevertheless, the estimation of financial loss caused by voles is difficult for German fruit growers. We conducted a survey among organic fruit growers to get data on kind and amount of annual damage. Using the available publications and official statistics we calculated econom...

  6. Genetics of Aggression in Voles

    OpenAIRE

    Gobrogge, Kyle L.; Wang, Zuoxin

    2011-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are socially monogamous rodents that form pair bonds—a behavior composed of several social interactions including attachment with a familiar mate and aggression toward conspecific strangers. Therefore, this species has provided an excellent opportunity for the study of pair bonding behavior and its underlying neural mechanisms. In this chapter, we discuss the utility of this unique animal model in the study of aggression and review recent findings illustra...

  7. Field guide to red tree vole nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damon B. Lesmeister; James K. Swingle

    2017-01-01

    Surveys for red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus) nests require tree climbing because the species is a highly specialized arboreal rodent that live in the tree canopy of coniferous forests in western Oregon and northwestern California. Tree voles are associated with old coniferous forest (≥80 years old) that are structurally complex, but are often...

  8. Diabetes in Danish Bank Voles (M. glareolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schønecker, Bryan; Freimanis, Tonny; Sørensen, Irene Vejgaard

    2011-01-01

    , specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value, equalled 69%, 97%, 89%, and 89%, respectively. The relatively long survival of Danish PD bank voles suggests potentials for this model in future studies of the long-term complications of diabetes, of which some observations are mentioned......Previous studies have concluded that the development of polydipsia (PD, a daily water intake ≥21 ml) among captive Danish bank voles, is associated with the development of a type 1 diabetes (T1D), based on findings of hyperglycaemia, glucosuria, ketonuria/-emia, lipemia, destroyed beta cells...... as a practical and non-invasive tool to screen for voles with a high probability of hypeglycaemia. In addition, we discuss regional differences related to the development of diabetes in Scandinavian bank voles and the relevance of the Ljungan virus as proposed etiological agent. We found that median survival...

  9. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rypstra, Ann L; Buddle, Christopher M

    2013-02-23

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes.

  10. Herbivory, Predation, and Biological Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Terence M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Authors describe a set of controlled ecosystems that can be used to demonstrate the effects of herbivory on the health and growth of a plant population and of predation on the growth of a primary consumer population. The system also shows the effectiveness of biological pest control measures in a dramatic way. The construction of the ecosystems is…

  11. Herbivory increases diversification across insect clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Lapoint, Richard T; Whiteman, Noah K

    2015-09-24

    Insects contain more than half of all living species, but the causes of their remarkable diversity remain poorly understood. Many authors have suggested that herbivory has accelerated diversification in many insect clades. However, others have questioned the role of herbivory in insect diversification. Here, we test the relationships between herbivory and insect diversification across multiple scales. We find a strong, positive relationship between herbivory and diversification among insect orders. However, herbivory explains less variation in diversification within some orders (Diptera, Hemiptera) or shows no significant relationship with diversification in others (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Orthoptera). Thus, we support the overall importance of herbivory for insect diversification, but also show that its impacts can vary across scales and clades. In summary, our results illuminate the causes of species richness patterns in a group containing most living species, and show the importance of ecological impacts on diversification in explaining the diversity of life.

  12. Experimental infection of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with sheep scrapie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, CM; Schneider, Jay R.; Pedersen, Janice C.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are permissive to chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection, but their susceptibility to other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is poorly characterized. In this initial study, we intracerebrally challenged 6 meadow voles with 2 isolates of sheep scrapie. Three meadow voles acquired a TSE after the scrapie challenge and an extended incubation period. The glycoform profile of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in scrapie-sick voles remained similar to the sheep inocula, but differed from that of voles clinically affected by CWD. Vacuolization patterns and disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) deposition were generally similar in all scrapie-affected voles, except in the hippocampus, where PrP(Sc) staining varied markedly among the animals. Our results demonstrate that meadow voles can acquire a TSE after intracerebral scrapie challenge and that this species could therefore prove useful for characterizing scrapie isolates.

  13. Experimental infection of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) with sheep scrapie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Christina M; Schneider, Jay R; Pedersen, Joel A; Heisey, Dennis M; Johnson, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) are permissive to chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection, but their susceptibility to other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is poorly characterized. In this initial study, we intracerebrally challenged 6 meadow voles with 2 isolates of sheep scrapie. Three meadow voles acquired a TSE after the scrapie challenge and an extended incubation period. The glycoform profile of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) in scrapie-sick voles remained similar to the sheep inocula, but differed from that of voles clinically affected by CWD. Vacuolization patterns and disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) deposition were generally similar in all scrapie-affected voles, except in the hippocampus, where PrP(Sc) staining varied markedly among the animals. Our results demonstrate that meadow voles can acquire a TSE after intracerebral scrapie challenge and that this species could therefore prove useful for characterizing scrapie isolates.

  14. Taxonomic relationships among Phenacomys voles as inferred by cytochrome b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellinger, M.R.; Haig, S.M.; Forsman, E.D.; Mullins, T.D.

    2005-01-01

    Taxonomic relationships among red tree voles (Phenacomys longicaudus longicaudus, P. l. silvicola), the Sonoma tree vole (P. pomo), the white-footed vole (P. albipes), and the heather vole (P. intermedius) were examined using 664 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Results indicate specific differences among red tree voles, Sonoma tree voles, white-footed voles, and heather voles, but no clear difference between the 2 Oregon subspecies of red tree voles (P. l. longicaudus and P. l. silvicola). Our data further indicated a close relationship between tree voles and albipes, validating inclusion of albipes in the subgenus Arborimus. These 3 congeners shared a closer relationship to P. intermedius than to other arvicolids. A moderate association between porno and albipes was indicated by maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses. Molecular clock estimates suggest a Pleistocene radiation of the Arborimus clade, which is concordant with pulses of diversification observed in other murid rodents. The generic rank of Arborimus is subject to interpretation of data.

  15. Puumala Virus in Bank Voles, Lithuania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straková, Petra; Jagdmann, Sandra; Balčiauskas, Linas; Balčiauskienė, Laima; Drewes, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about the presence of human pathogenic Puumala virus (PUUV) in Lithuania. We detected this virus in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in a region of this country in which previously PUUV-seropositive humans were identified. Our results are consistent with heterogeneous distributions of PUUV in other countries in Europe. PMID:27983939

  16. Are water vole resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides following field treatments?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vein, Julie; Grandemange, Agnès; Cosson, Jean-François; Benoit, Etienne; Berny, Philippe J

    2011-08-01

    The anti-vitamin Ks (AVKs) are widely used to control rodent populations. They inhibit Vitamin K regeneration by the Vitamin K Epoxide Reductase (VKOR) and cause a fatal hemorrhagic syndrome. Because of repeated use, some populations of commensal rodents have expressed resistance to these compounds. In Franche-Comté (France), the water vole exhibits cyclic population outbreaks. A second generation AVK, bromadiolone, has been used for the last 20 years to control vole populations. The aim of this study is to determine whether these repeated treatments could have led to the development of resistance to AVKs in water vole populations. We conducted enzymatic and genetic studies on water voles trapped in treated and non treated plot. The results indicate that voles from the most heavily treated area exhibit enzymatic changes in VKOR activity hence arguing for resistance to AVKs and that an intronic haplotype on the vkorc1 gene seems to be associated with these enzymatic changes.

  17. Chromosomal evolution of Arvicolinae (Cricetidae, Rodentia). I. The genome homology of tundra vole, field vole, mouse and golden hamster revealed by comparative chromosome painting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitnikova, Natalia A; Romanenko, Svetlana A; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Perelman, Polina L; Fu, Beiyuan; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Serdukova, Natalya A; Golenishchev, Feodor N; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang; Graphodatsky, Alexander S

    2007-01-01

    Cross-species chromosome painting has become the mainstay of comparative cytogenetic and chromosome evolution studies. Here we have made a set of chromosomal painting probes for the field vole (Microtus agrestis) by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. Together with painting probes of golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and mouse (Mus musculus), the field vole probes have been hybridized onto the metaphases of the tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus). A comparative chromosome map between these two voles, golden hamster and mouse has been established based on the results of cross-species chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons. The sets of paints from the field vole, golden hamster and mouse identified a total of 27, 40 and 47 homologous autosomal regions, respectively, in the genome of tundra vole; 16, 41 and 51 fusion/fission rearrangements differentiate the karyotype of the tundra vole from the karyotypes of the field vole, golden hamster and mouse, respectively.

  18. Stimulation of serotonin (5-HT) activity reduces spontaneous stereotypies in female but not in male bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) Stereotyping female voles as a new animal model for human anxiety and mood disorders?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schønecker, Bryan; Heller, Knud Erik

    2003-01-01

    Bank voles, Stereotypies, Sex differences, Clozapine, Citalopram, Animal model, Anxiety, Mood disorders......Bank voles, Stereotypies, Sex differences, Clozapine, Citalopram, Animal model, Anxiety, Mood disorders...

  19. Herbivory and Stoichiometric Feedbacks to Primary Production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krumins, Jennifer Adams; Krumins, Valdis; Forgoston, Eric; Billings, Lora; van der Putten, Wim H.

    2015-01-01

    Established theory addresses the idea that herbivory can have positive feedbacks on nutrient flow to plants. Positive feedbacks likely emerge from a greater availability of organic carbon that primes the soil by supporting nutrient turnover through consumer and especially microbially-mediated metabo

  20. Lichen compounds restrain lichen feeding by bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nybakken, Line; Helmersen, Anne-Marit; Gauslaa, Yngvar; Selås, Vidar

    2010-03-01

    Some lichen compounds are known to deter feeding by invertebrate herbivores. We attempted to quantify the deterring efficiency of lichen compounds against a generalist vertebrate, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In two separate experiments, caged bank voles had the choice to feed on lichens with natural or reduced concentrations of secondary compounds. We rinsed air-dry intact lichens in 100% acetone to remove extracellular compounds non-destructively. In the first experiment, pairs of control and rinsed lichen thalli were hydrated and offered to the bank voles. Because the lichens desiccated fast, we ran a second experiment with pairs of ground control and compound-deficient thalli, each mixed with water to porridge. Eight and six lichen species were tested in the first and second experiment, respectively. In the first, bank voles preferred compound-deficient thalli of Cladonia stellaris and Lobaria pulmonaria, but did not discriminate between the other thallus pairs. This was likely a result of deterring levels of usnic and stictic acid in the control thalli. When lichens were served as porridge, significant preference was found for acetone-rinsed pieces of Cladonia arbuscula, C. rangiferina, Platismatia glauca, and Evernia prunastri. The increased preference was caused mainly by lower consumption of control thalli. Grinding and mixing of thallus structures prevented bank voles from selecting thallus parts with lower concentration of secondary compounds and/or strengthened their deterring capacity. We conclude that some lichen secondary compounds deter feeding by bank voles.

  1. Herbivory in the soft coral Sinularia flexibilis (Alcyoniidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccinetti, Chiara C.; Ricci, Roberta; Pennesi, Chiara; Radaelli, Giuseppe; Totti, Cecilia; Norici, Alessandra; Giordano, Mario; Olivotto, Ike

    2016-03-01

    Our work provides strong support for the hypothesis that Sinularia flexibilis ingests diatoms such as Thalassiosira pseudonana. We assessed algal ingestion by S. flexibilis through estimates of algal removal, histological analyses, scanning electron microscopy observations, and gene expression determination (18S and silicon transporter 1) by real time PCR. Cell counts are strongly suggestive of algal removal by the coral; light and scanning microscopy provide qualitative evidence for the ingestion of T. pseudonana by S. flexibilis, while molecular markers did not prove to be sufficiently selective/specific to give clear results. We thus propose that previous instances of inability of corals to ingest algae are reconsidered using different technical approach, before concluding that coral herbivory is not a general feature.

  2. Kinship, dispersal and hantavirus transmission in bank and common voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deter, J; Chaval, Y; Galan, M; Gauffre, B; Morand, S; Henttonen, H; Laakkonen, J; Voutilainen, L; Charbonnel, N; Cosson, J-F

    2008-01-01

    Hantaviruses are among the main emerging infectious agents in Europe. Their mode of transmission in natura is still not well known. In particular, social features and behaviours could be crucial for understanding the persistence and the spread of hantaviruses in rodent populations. Here, we investigated the importance of kinclustering and dispersal in hantavirus transmission by combining a fine-scale spatiotemporal survey (4 km2) and a population genetics approach. Two specific host-hantavirus systems were identified and monitored: the bank vole Myodes, earlier Clethrionomys glareolus--Puumala virus and the common vole Microtus arvalis--Tula virus. Sex, age and landscape characteristics significantly influenced the spatial distribution of infections in voles. The absence of temporal stability in the spatial distributions of viruses suggested that dispersal is likely to play a role in virus propagation. Analysing vole kinship from microsatellite markers, we found that infected voles were more closely related to each other than non-infected ones. Winter kin-clustering, shared colonies within matrilineages or delayed dispersal could explain this pattern. These two last results hold, whatever the host-hantavirus system considered. This supports the roles of relatedness and dispersal as general features for hantavirus transmission.

  3. Recurrent evolution of herbivory in small, cold-climate lizards: Breaking the ecophysiological rules of reptilian herbivory

    OpenAIRE

    Espinoza, Robert E.; Wiens, John J.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2004-01-01

    Herbivory has evolved in many groups of vertebrates, but it is rare among both extinct and extant nonavian reptiles. Among squamate reptiles, (lizards, snakes, and their relatives), 7,800 species are considered to be herbivorous, and herbivory is restricted to lizards. Here, we show that within a group of South American lizards (Liolaemidae, ≈170 species), herbivory has evolved more frequently than in all other squamates combined and at a rate estimated to be >65 times faster. Furthermore, in...

  4. Description of Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae from the snow vole Chionomys nivalis in France, with a review of anoplocephalid cestodes of snow voles in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haukisalmi V.

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available We describe Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae from the snow vole Chionomys nivalis in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, French Alps, compare it with several related species from rodents, and review the anoplocephalid cestodes of snow voles in Europe. Paranoplocephala yoccozi n. sp. is primarily distinguished from the related species by its large scolex of characteristic shape, robust neck region, and the structure of the cirrus sac, vitellarium and vagina. We show that the anoplocephalid cestodes of snow voles in Europe, representing the genera Anoplocephaloides and Paranoplocephala, include at least seven species. This fauna consists primarily of species that snow voles share with other voles inhabiting the high-mountain areas. Some of the species, including P. yoccozi n. sp., appear to have a very localized distribution, which is assumed to be a consequence of the historical fragmentation of snow vole populations.

  5. Fungal-mediated multitrophic interactions--do grass endophytes in diet protect voles from predators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna Saari

    Full Text Available Plant-associated micro-organisms such as mycotoxin-producing endophytes commonly have direct negative effects on herbivores. These effects may be carried over to natural enemies of the herbivores, but this has been rarely explored. We examined how feeding on Neotyphodium endophyte infected (E+ and endophyte free (E- meadow ryegrass (Scherodonus pratensis affects body mass, population size and mobility of sibling voles (Microtus levis, and whether the diet mediates the vulnerability of voles to least weasel (Mustela nivalis nivalis predation. Because least weasels are known to be olfactory hunters, we also examined whether they are able to distinguish olfactory cues of voles fed on E+ and E- diets. Neither body mass of voles nor population size differed between diets. However, contrary to our prediction, least weasels preyed more often on voles fed with E- grass than on voles fed with E+ grass. The mobility of voles fed on E+ grass was reduced compared to voles fed on E- grass, but this effect was unrelated to risk of predation. Least weasels appeared unable to distinguish between excrement odours of voles between the two treatments. Our results suggest that consumption of endophytic grass is not directly deleterious to sibling voles. What's more, consumption of endophytes appears to be advantageous to voles by reducing risk of mammalian predation. Our study is thus the first to demonstrate an effect of plant-associated microbial symbionts on herbivore-predator interactions in vertebrate communities.

  6. Fungal-mediated multitrophic interactions--do grass endophytes in diet protect voles from predators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saari, Susanna; Sundell, Janne; Huitu, Otso; Helander, Marjo; Ketoja, Elise; Ylönen, Hannu; Saikkonen, Kari

    2010-03-24

    Plant-associated micro-organisms such as mycotoxin-producing endophytes commonly have direct negative effects on herbivores. These effects may be carried over to natural enemies of the herbivores, but this has been rarely explored. We examined how feeding on Neotyphodium endophyte infected (E+) and endophyte free (E-) meadow ryegrass (Scherodonus pratensis) affects body mass, population size and mobility of sibling voles (Microtus levis), and whether the diet mediates the vulnerability of voles to least weasel (Mustela nivalis nivalis) predation. Because least weasels are known to be olfactory hunters, we also examined whether they are able to distinguish olfactory cues of voles fed on E+ and E- diets. Neither body mass of voles nor population size differed between diets. However, contrary to our prediction, least weasels preyed more often on voles fed with E- grass than on voles fed with E+ grass. The mobility of voles fed on E+ grass was reduced compared to voles fed on E- grass, but this effect was unrelated to risk of predation. Least weasels appeared unable to distinguish between excrement odours of voles between the two treatments. Our results suggest that consumption of endophytic grass is not directly deleterious to sibling voles. What's more, consumption of endophytes appears to be advantageous to voles by reducing risk of mammalian predation. Our study is thus the first to demonstrate an effect of plant-associated microbial symbionts on herbivore-predator interactions in vertebrate communities.

  7. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Amirpour Haredasht

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The bank vole (Myodes glareolus is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS called nephropathia epidemica (NE. Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%. The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ2 tests, p < 10−6. As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole’s population.

  8. Empathy in prairie voles: Is this the consolation prize?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demas, Gregory E; Jasnow, Aaron M

    2016-12-01

    Although it is well known that humans and great apes are capable of engaging in consolation, an affiliative behavior directed toward distressed individuals, it has largely been assumed that this form of empathy was restricted to species possessing more complex cognitive functions. Recently, however, Burkett and colleagues (Science, 351, 375-378, 2016) have provided intriguing evidence that consolation behavior may be present in a socially monogamous rodent, the prairie vole. They also provide data to implicate the neuropeptide oxytocin in the regulation of this behavior, which suggests conserved neuroendocrine mechanisms between prairie voles and humans.

  9. The 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle': application in a cerrado site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CA Gadotti

    Full Text Available Researchers may alter the ecology of their studied organisms, even carrying out apparently beneficial activities, as in herbivory studies, when they may alter herbivory damage. We tested whether visit frequency altered herbivory damage, as predicted by the 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle'. In a cerrado site, we established 80 quadrats, in which we sampled all woody individuals. We used four visit frequencies (high, medium, low, and control, quantifying, at the end of three months, herbivory damage for each species in each treatment. We did not corroborate the 'Herbivory Uncertainty Principle', since visiting frequency did not alter herbivory damage, at least when the whole plant community was taken into account. However, when we analysed each species separately, four out of 11 species presented significant differences in herbivory damage, suggesting that the researcher is not independent of its measurements. The principle could be tested in other ecological studies in which it may occur, such as those on animal behaviour, human ecology, population dynamics, and conservation.

  10. Variable effects of temperature on insect herbivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan P. Lemoine

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rising temperatures can influence the top-down control of plant biomass by increasing herbivore metabolic demands. Unfortunately, we know relatively little about the effects of temperature on herbivory rates for most insect herbivores in a given community. Evolutionary history, adaptation to local environments, and dietary factors may lead to variable thermal response curves across different species. Here we characterized the effect of temperature on herbivory rates for 21 herbivore-plant pairs, encompassing 14 herbivore and 12 plant species. We show that overall consumption rates increase with temperature between 20 and 30 °C but do not increase further with increasing temperature. However, there is substantial variation in thermal responses among individual herbivore-plant pairs at the highest temperatures. Over one third of the herbivore-plant pairs showed declining consumption rates at high temperatures, while an approximately equal number showed increasing consumption rates. Such variation existed even within herbivore species, as some species exhibited idiosyncratic thermal response curves on different host plants. Thus, rising temperatures, particularly with respect to climate change, may have highly variable effects on plant-herbivore interactions and, ultimately, top-down control of plant biomass.

  11. Recurrent evolution of herbivory in small, cold-climate lizards: breaking the ecophysiological rules of reptilian herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinoza, Robert E; Wiens, John J; Tracy, C Richard

    2004-11-30

    Herbivory has evolved in many groups of vertebrates, but it is rare among both extinct and extant nonavian reptiles. Among squamate reptiles, (lizards, snakes, and their relatives), 7,800 species are considered to be herbivorous, and herbivory is restricted to lizards. Here, we show that within a group of South American lizards (Liolaemidae, approximately 170 species), herbivory has evolved more frequently than in all other squamates combined and at a rate estimated to be >65 times faster. Furthermore, in contrast to other herbivorous lizards and to existing theory, most herbivorous liolaemids are small bodied and live in cool climates. Herbivory is generally thought to evolve only in reptile species that are large bodied, live in warm climates, and maintain high body temperatures. These three well known "rules" of herbivory are considered to form the bases of physiological constraints that explain the paucity of herbivorous reptile species. We suggest that the recurrent and paradoxical evolution of herbivory in liolaemids is explained by a combination of environmental conditions (promoting independent origins of herbivory in isolated cool-climate regions), ecophysiological constraints (requiring small body size in cool climates, yet high body temperatures for herbivores), and phylogenetic history. More generally, our study demonstrates how integrating information from ecophysiology and phylogeny can help to explain macroevolutionary trends.

  12. Bot fly parasitism of the red-backed vole: host survival, infection risk, and population growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemaître, Jérôme; Fortin, Daniel; Montiglio, Pierre-Olivier; Darveau, Marcel

    2009-03-01

    Parasites can play an important role in the dynamics of host populations, but empirical evidence remains sparse. We investigated the role of bot fly (Cuterebra spp.) parasitism in red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) by first assessing the impacts of the parasite on the probability of vole survival under stressful conditions as well as on the reproductive activity of females. We then identified the main factors driving both the individual risk of infection and the abundance of bot flies inside red-backed voles. Finally, we evaluated the impacts of bot fly prevalence on the growth rate of vole populations between mid-July and mid-August. Thirty-six populations of red-backed voles were sampled in the boreal forest of Québec, Canada. The presence and the abundance of parasites in voles, two host life history traits (sex and body condition), three indices of habitat complexity (tree basal area, sapling basal area, coarse woody debris volume), and vole abundance were considered in models evaluating the effects of bot flies on host populations. We found that the probability of survival of red-backed voles in live traps decreased with bot fly infection. Both the individual risk of infection and the abundance of bot flies in red-backed voles were driven mainly by vole abundance rather than by the two host life history traits or the three variables of habitat complexity. Parasitism had population consequences: bot fly prevalence was linked to a decrease in short-term growth rate of vole populations over the summer. We found that bot flies have the potential to reduce survival of red-backed voles, an effect that may apply to large portions of populations.

  13. Elk herbivory alters small mammal assemblages in high-elevation drainages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Elliott W R; Maron, John L; Martin, Thomas E

    2013-03-01

    Heavy herbivory by ungulates can substantially alter habitat, but the indirect consequences of habitat modification for animal assemblages that rely on that habitat are not well studied. This is a particularly important topic given that climate change can alter plant-herbivore interactions. We explored short-term responses of small mammal communities to recent exclusion of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) in high-elevation riparian drainages in northern Arizona, where elk impacts on vegetation have increased over the past quarter century associated with climate change. We used 10-ha elk exclosures paired with unfenced control drainages to examine how browsing influenced the habitat use, relative abundance, richness and diversity of a small mammal assemblage. We found that the small mammal assemblage changed significantly after 5 years of elk exclusion. Relative abundance of voles (Microtus mexicanus) increased in exclosure drainages, likely due to an increase in habitat quality. The relative abundances of woodrats (Neotoma neomexicana) and two species of mice (Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylii) decreased in the controls, while remaining stable in exclosures. The decline of mice in control drainages was likely due to the decline in shrub cover that they use. Thus, elk exclusion may have maintained or improved habitat for mice inside the exclosures while habitat quality and mouse abundance both declined outside the fences. Finally, small mammal species richness increased in the exclosures relative to the controls while species diversity showed no significant trends. Together, our results show that relaxation of heavy herbivore pressure by a widespread native ungulate can lead to rapid changes in small mammal assemblages. Moreover, exclusion of large herbivores can yield rapid responses by vegetation that may enhance or maintain habitat quality for small mammal populations. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.

  14. Development of genomic resources for the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster: construction of a BAC library and vole-mouse comparative cytogenetic map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young Larry J

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster is a premier animal model for understanding the genetic and neurological basis of social behaviors. Unlike other biomedical models, prairie voles display a rich repertoire of social behaviors including the formation of long-term pair bonds and biparental care. However, due to a lack of genomic resources for this species, studies have been limited to a handful of candidate genes. To provide a substrate for future development of genomic resources for this unique model organism, we report the construction and characterization of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC library from a single male prairie vole and a prairie vole-mouse (Mus musculus comparative cytogenetic map. Results We constructed a prairie vole BAC library (CHORI-232 consisting of 194,267 recombinant clones with an average insert size of 139 kb. Hybridization-based screening of the gridded library at 19 loci established that the library has an average depth of coverage of ~10×. To obtain a small-scale sampling of the prairie vole genome, we generated 3884 BAC end-sequences totaling ~2.8 Mb. One-third of these BAC-end sequences could be mapped to unique locations in the mouse genome, thereby anchoring 1003 prairie vole BAC clones to an orthologous position in the mouse genome. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH mapping of 62 prairie vole clones with BAC-end sequences mapping to orthologous positions in the mouse genome was used to develop a first-generation genome-wide prairie vole-mouse comparative cytogenetic map. While conserved synteny was observed between this pair of rodent genomes, rearrangements between the prairie vole and mouse genomes were detected, including a minimum of five inversions and 16 inter-chromosomal rearrangements. Conclusions The construction of the prairie vole BAC library and the vole-mouse comparative cytogenetic map represent the first genome-wide modern genomic resources developed for this

  15. Dioxin exposure in contaminated sawmill area: the use of molar teeth and bone of bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) and field vole (Microtus agrestis) as biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murtomaa, Mari; Tervaniemi, Olli-Matti; Parviainen, Juha; Ruokojärvi, Päivi; Tuukkanen, Juha; Viluksela, Matti

    2007-06-01

    Developmental disorders of teeth are among the most sensitive targets of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and -furan (PCDD/F) exposure. In rats, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) reduces dose-dependently the size of molars, most severely the third lower molars. Dioxins also have effects on developing bone, including altered bone mineral density as well as reduced bending breaking force and stiffness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of the third lower molar and long bones as biomarkers of PCDD/F exposure in two wild vole species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) and the field vole (Microtus agrestis) collected from a PCDD/F contaminated former sawmill area. Survey of soil and biota of the sawmill area indicated a PCDD/F contamination with a congener profile characteristic for the chlorophenol wood preservative Ky-5. The PCDD/F concentration in the bank vole was notably higher than in the field vole. The third molar of the bank vole was significantly smaller in dioxin-exposed animals compared to control group, while there was no difference between these two groups in the field vole. No significant alterations were observed in bone density and strength in either species except for reduced bending strength of the femur neck in bank vole males exposed to dioxins. Even though the bone changes are among the sensitive endpoints of dioxin-exposure, high variability due to age, size and gender limits their use as biomarkers of wildlife exposure. In conclusion, the size of molar teeth seems to be a sensitive and robust biomarker for PCDD/F exposure in wild bank vole populations and thus worth of further studies.

  16. Vole preference of bilberry along gradients of simulated moose density and site productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Simen; Andreassen, Harry P; Persson, Inga-Lill; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Danell, Kjell; Skarpe, Christina

    2011-12-01

    Browsing by large herbivores might either increase or decrease preference for the plant by other herbivores, depending on the plant response. Using a cafeteria test, we studied the preference by root voles (Microtus oeconomus [Pallas, 1776]) for bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) previously subjected to 4 levels of simulated moose (Alces alces [Linnaeus, 1758]) density. The different levels of moose density were simulated at population densities relevant for Fennoscandian conditions, in exclosures situated along a site productivity gradient. We expected: (i) voles to prefer bilberry from high productivity sites over low productivity sites; (ii) voles to prefer browsed bilberry, if plants allocate resources to compensatory growth or to avoid browsed bilberry if plants allocate resources to defense; (iii) these effects to increase with increasing simulated moose density; and (iv) the concentration of plant chemicals and the plant morphology to explain vole preference. Specifically, we predicted that voles would prefer: (i) plants with high nitrogen content; (ii) plants with low content of defensive substances; and (iii) tall plants with long shoots. Voles preferred bilberry from the high productivity sites compared to the low productivity sites. We also found an interaction between site productivity and simulated moose density, where voles preferred unbrowsed plants at low productivity sites and intermediate levels of browsing at high productivity sites. There was no effect of plant chemistry or morphology on vole preference. We conclude that moose browsing impacts the food preference of voles. With the current high densities of moose in Fennoscandia, this could potentially influence vole food selection and population dynamics over large geographical areas.

  17. Herbivory Network: An international, collaborative effort to study herbivory in Arctic and alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrio, I. C.; Hik, D. S.; Jónsdóttir, I. S.; Bueno, C. G.; Mörsdorf, M. A.; Ravolainen, V. T.

    2016-09-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are central to the functioning of tundra ecosystems, but their outcomes vary over space and time. Accurate forecasting of ecosystem responses to ongoing environmental changes requires a better understanding of the processes responsible for this heterogeneity. To effectively address this complexity at a global scale, coordinated research efforts, including multi-site comparisons within and across disciplines, are needed. The Herbivory Network was established as a forum for researchers from Arctic and alpine regions to collaboratively investigate the multifunctional role of herbivores in these changing ecosystems. One of the priorities is to integrate sites, methodologies, and metrics used in previous work, to develop a set of common protocols and design long-term geographically-balanced, coordinated experiments. The implementation of these collaborative research efforts will also improve our understanding of traditional human-managed systems that encompass significant portions of the sub-Arctic and alpine areas worldwide. A deeper understanding of the role of herbivory in these systems under ongoing environmental changes will guide appropriate adaptive strategies to preserve their natural values and related ecosystem services.

  18. Establishment of superovulation procedure in Japanese field vole, Microtus montebelli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kageyama, Atsuko; Tanaka, Minako; Morita, Mami; Ushijima, Hitoshi; Tomogane, Hiroshi; Okada, Konosuke

    2016-08-01

    Japanese field vole (Microtus montebelli) is a wild-derived rodent and have unique characteristic. Thus, these species have been expected as model animal. This study was performed to develop novel superovulation procedure for Japanese field vole. First, when 30 IU pregnant mare's serum gonadotropin (PMSG) and 30 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) were administrated 48 hours apart, females showed higher response to hCG compared with three concentrations of PMSG. Second, to effectively induce ovulation on females after vaginal opening, they were mated with vasectomized male instead of hCG administration. Average number of ovulated oocytes using PMSG mating (13.9 ± 1.9 oocytes) was higher than PMSG-hCG (control; 6.9 ± 2.3 oocytes) or PMSG-hCG mating (6.8 ± 0.8 oocytes). Finally, we attempted superovulation using GnRH agonist (GnRHa). With this treatment, we speculated that GnRHa might induce endogenous luteinizing hormone releasing to cause ovulation. Such superovulation was performed with 30 IU PMSG and different concentration of 20% polyvinylpyrrolidone-GnRHa (15, 30, 45, and 60 μg/kg). As results, average number of ovulated oocytes was highest with 30 μg/kg GnRHa (14.5 ± 4.1 oocytes). The numbers of ovulated oocytes of other concentrations were 5.0 ± 1.4 (15 μg/kg), 12.8 ± 2.7 (45 μg/kg), and 8.8 ± 3.7 oocytes (60 μg/kg). Nuclear status of most collected oocytes was the second meiotic division (range, 94.3%-100%). These superovulation procedures will be useful for development of in vitro culture systems and assisted reproductive technologies for not only Japanese field vole but also other voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. How predation and landscape fragmentation affect vole population dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalkvist, Trine; Sibly, Richard; Topping, Christopher John

    2011-01-01

    on vole population dynamics of making predators more specialised, of altering the breeding season, and increasing the level of habitat fragmentation. We found that fragmentation as well as the presence of specialist predators are necessary for the occurrence of population cycles. Habitat fragmentation...... to unravel in field experiments. We hope our results will help understand the reasons for cycle gradients observed in other areas. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of landscape fragmentation for population cycling and we recommend that the degree of fragmentation be more fully considered...

  20. How Predation and Landscape Fragmentation Affect Vole Population Dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalkvist, Trine; Sibly, Richard M.; Topping, Chris J.

    2011-01-01

    on vole population dynamics of making predators more specialised, of altering the breeding season, and increasing the level of habitat fragmentation. We found that fragmentation as well as the presence of specialist predators are necessary for the occurrence of population cycles. Habitat fragmentation...... to unravel in field experiments. We hope our results will help understand the reasons for cycle gradients observed in other areas. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of landscape fragmentation for population cycling and we recommend that the degree of fragmentation be more fully considered...

  1. Efficient transmission and characterization of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease strains in bank voles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romolo Nonno

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of prions between species is limited by the "species barrier," which hampers a full characterization of human prion strains in the mouse model. We report that the efficiency of primary transmission of prions from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients to a wild rodent species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, is comparable to that reported in transgenic mice carrying human prion protein, in spite of a low prion protein-sequence homology between man and vole. Voles infected with sporadic and genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease isolates show strain-specific patterns of spongiform degeneration and pathological prion protein-deposition, and accumulate protease-resistant prion protein with biochemical properties similar to the human counterpart. Adaptation of genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease isolates to voles shows little or no evidence of a transmission barrier, in contrast to the striking barriers observed during transmission of mouse, hamster, and sheep prions to voles. Our results imply that in voles there is no clear relationship between the degree of homology of the prion protein of the donor and recipient species and susceptibility, consistent with the view that the prion strain gives a major contribution to the species barrier. The vole is therefore a valuable model to study human prion diversity and, being susceptible to a range of animal prions, represents a unique tool for comparing isolates from different species.

  2. Efficient transmission and characterization of creutzfeldt-jakob disease strains in bank voles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of prions between species is limited by the "species barrier," which hampers a full characterization of human prion strains in the mouse model. We report that the efficiency of primary transmission of prions from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients to a wild rodent species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, is comparable to that reported in transgenic mice carrying human prion protein, in spite of a low prion protein-sequence homology between man and vole. Voles infected with sporadic and genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease isolates show strain-specific patterns of spongiform degeneration and pathological prion protein-deposition, and accumulate protease-resistant prion protein with biochemical properties similar to the human counterpart. Adaptation of genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease isolates to voles shows little or no evidence of a transmission barrier, in contrast to the striking barriers observed during transmission of mouse, hamster, and sheep prions to voles. Our results imply that in voles there is no clear relationship between the degree of homology of the prion protein of the donor and recipient species and susceptibility, consistent with the view that the prion strain gives a major contribution to the species barrier. The vole is therefore a valuable model to study human prion diversity and, being susceptible to a range of animal prions, represents a unique tool for comparing isolates from different species.

  3. Effects of short term bioturbation by common voles on biogeochemical soil variables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burkhard Wilske

    Full Text Available Bioturbation contributes to soil formation and ecosystem functioning. With respect to the active transport of matter by voles, bioturbation may be considered as a very dynamic process among those shaping soil formation and biogeochemistry. The present study aimed at characterizing and quantifying the effects of bioturbation by voles on soil water relations and carbon and nitrogen stocks. Bioturbation effects were examined based on a field set up in a luvic arenosol comprising of eight 50 × 50 m enclosures with greatly different numbers of common vole (Microtus arvalis L., ca. 35-150 individuals ha-1 mth-1. Eleven key soil variables were analyzed: bulk density, infiltration rate, saturated hydraulic conductivity, water holding capacity, contents of soil organic carbon (SOC and total nitrogen (N, CO2 emission potential, C/N ratio, the stable isotopic signatures of 13C and 15N, and pH. The highest vole densities were hypothesized to cause significant changes in some variables within 21 months. Results showed that land history had still a major influence, as eight key variables displayed an additional or sole influence of topography. However, the δ15N at depths of 10-20 and 20-30 cm decreased and increased with increasing vole numbers, respectively. Also the CO2 emission potential from soil collected at a depth of 15-30 cm decreased and the C/N ratio at 5-10 cm depth narrowed with increasing vole numbers. These variables indicated the first influence of voles on the respective mineralization processes in some soil layers. Tendencies of vole activity homogenizing SOC and N contents across layers were not significant. The results of the other seven key variables did not confirm significant effects of voles. Thus overall, we found mainly a first response of variables that are indicative for changes in biogeochemical dynamics but not yet of those representing changes in pools.

  4. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Elk herbivory alters small mammal assemblages in high elevation drainages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Elliott W.R.; Maron, John L.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2012-01-01

    Heavy herbivory by ungulates can substantially alter habitat, but the indirect consequences of habitat modification for animal assemblages that rely on that habitat are not well studied. This is a particularly important topic given that climate change can alter plant–herbivore interactions.

  7. Herbivory on freshwater and marine macrophytes : A review and perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Wood, Kevin A.; Pages, Jordi F.; Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Santamaria, Luis; Nolet, Bart A.; Hilt, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Until the 1990s, herbivory on aquatic vascular plants was considered to be of minor importance, and the predominant view was that freshwater and marine macrophytes did not take part in the food web: their primary fate was the detritivorous pathway. In the last 25 years, a substantial body of

  8. Herbivory on freshwater and marine macrophytes : A review and perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Wood, Kevin A.; Pages, Jordi F.; Veen, G. F. (Ciska); Christianen, Marjolijn J. A.; Santamaria, Luis; Nolet, Bart A.; Hilt, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Until the 1990s, herbivory on aquatic vascular plants was considered to be of minor importance, and the predominant view was that freshwater and marine macrophytes did not take part in the food web: their primary fate was the detritivorous pathway. In the last 25 years, a substantial body of evidenc

  9. 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.

  10. Co-infection of Borrelia afzelii and Bartonella spp. in bank voles from a suburban forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffet, Jean-Philippe; Marsot, Maud; Vaumourin, Elise; Gasqui, Patrick; Masséglia, Sébastien; Marcheteau, Elie; Huet, Dominique; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Pisanu, Benoit; Ferquel, Elisabeth; Halos, Lénaïg; Vourc'h, Gwenaël; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel

    2012-12-01

    We report the molecular detection of Borrelia afzelii (11%) and Bartonella spp. (56%) in 447 bank voles trapped in a suburban forest in France. Adult voles were infected by significantly more Borrelia afzelii than juveniles (pBartonella spp. between young and adult individuals (p=0.914). Six percent of the animals were co-infected by both bacteria. Analysis of the bank vole carrier status for either pathogen indicated that co-infections occur randomly (p=0.94, CI(95)=[0.53; 1.47]). Sequence analysis revealed that bank voles were infected by a single genotype of Borrelia afzelii and by 32 different Bartonella spp. genotypes, related to three known species specific to rodents (B. taylorii, B. grahamii and B. doshiae) and also two as yet unidentified Bartonella species. Our findings confirm that rodents harbor high levels of potential human pathogens; therefore, widespread surveillance should be undertaken in areas where humans may encounter rodents.

  11. Spontaneous emergence of overgrown molar teeth in a colony of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andrew H Jheon; Michaela Prochazkova; Michael Sherman; Devanand S Manoli; Nirao M Shah; Lawrence Carbone; Ophir Klein

    2015-01-01

    Continuously growing incisors are common to all rodents, which include the Microtus genus of voles. However, unlike many rodents, voles also possess continuously growing molars. Here, we report spontaneous molar defects in a population of Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). We identified bilateral protuberances on the ventral surface of the mandible in several voles in our colony. In some cases, the protuberances broke through the cortical bone. The mandibular molars became exposed and infected, and the maxillary molars entered the cranial vault. Visualisation upon soft tissue removal and microcomputed tomography (microCT) analyses confirmed that the protuberances were caused by the overgrowth of the apical ends of the molar teeth. We speculate that the unrestricted growth of the molars was due to the misregulation of the molar dental stem cell niche. Further study of this molar phenotype may yield additional insight into stem cell regulation and the evolution and development of continuously growing teeth.

  12. Amak Island trip report - notes on the Amak song sparrow and Amak vole

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Both the Amak Island song sparrow (Melospiza melodia amaka) and Amak vole (Microtus oeconomus amakensis) are currently category 2 candidate species under the...

  13. Landscape structure mediates the effects of a stressor on field vole populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalkvist, Trine; Sibly, Richard M.; Topping, Christopher John

    2013-01-01

    Spatio-temporal landscape heterogeneity has rarely been considered in population-level impact assessments. Here we test whether landscape heterogeneity is important by examining the case of a pesticide applied seasonally to orchards which may affect non-target vole populations, using a validated...... ecologically realistic and spatially explicit agent-based model. Voles thrive in unmanaged grasslands and untreated orchards but are particularly exposed to applied pesticide treatments during dispersal between optimal habitats. We therefore hypothesised that vole populations do better (1) in landscapes...... containing more grassland and (2) where areas of grassland are closer to orchards, but (3) do worse if larger areas of orchards are treated with pesticide. To test these hyposeses we made appropriate manipulations to a model landscape occupied by field voles. Pesticide application reduced model population...

  14. Experimental Infection of voles with Francisella tularensis indicates their amplification role in tularemia outbreaks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Rossow

    Full Text Available Tularemia outbreaks in humans have been linked to fluctuations in rodent population density, but the mode of bacterial maintenance in nature is unclear. Here we report on an experiment to investigate the pathogenesis of Francisella tularensis infection in wild rodents, and thereby assess their potential to spread the bacterium. We infected 20 field voles (Microtus agrestis and 12 bank voles (Myodes glareolus with a strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica isolated from a human patient. Upon euthanasia or death, voles were necropsied and specimens collected for histological assessment and identification of bacteria by immunohistology and PCR. Bacterial excretion and a rapid lethal clinical course with pathological changes consistent with bacteremia and tissue necrosis were observed in infected animals. The results support a role for voles as an amplification host of F. tularensis, as excreta and, in particular, carcasses with high bacterial burden could serve as a source for environmental contamination.

  15. A genetic linkage map and comparative mapping of the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young Larry J

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster is an emerging rodent model for investigating the genetics, evolution and molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Though a karyotype for the prairie vole has been reported and low-resolution comparative cytogenetic analyses have been done in this species, other basic genetic resources for this species, such as a genetic linkage map, are lacking. Results Here we report the construction of a genome-wide linkage map of the prairie vole. The linkage map consists of 406 markers that are spaced on average every 7 Mb and span an estimated ~90% of the genome. The sex average length of the linkage map is 1707 cM, which, like other Muroid rodent linkage maps, is on the lower end of the length distribution of linkage maps reported to date for placental mammals. Linkage groups were assigned to 19 out of the 26 prairie vole autosomes as well as the X chromosome. Comparative analyses of the prairie vole linkage map based on the location of 387 Type I markers identified 61 large blocks of synteny with the mouse genome. In addition, the results of the comparative analyses revealed a potential elevated rate of inversions in the prairie vole lineage compared to the laboratory mouse and rat. Conclusions A genetic linkage map of the prairie vole has been constructed and represents the fourth genome-wide high-resolution linkage map reported for Muroid rodents and the first for a member of the Arvicolinae sub-family. This resource will advance studies designed to dissect the genetic basis of a variety of social behaviors and other traits in the prairie vole as well as our understanding of genome evolution in the genus Microtus.

  16. Revisiting the “visible burrow system”: The impact of the group, social rank, and gender on voles under owl attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodek, Sivan; Eilam, David

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, corticosterone levels and behavior were compared between voles (Microtus socialis) that were attacked by a barn owl (Tyto alba) and voles that did not experience such attack. Both female and male voles were exposed to the owl either together with their group mates or when socially isolated. As hypothesized, corticosterone levels were higher in voles after the owl attack, and were higher in females than in males. However, blood corticosterone was higher in voles that experienced the attack in groups compared with the socially-isolated voles. The latter result seems enigmatic, since group members usually benefit from the “social buffering” conferred by their group-mates. It is suggested that contagious vigilance among group members accounts for the higher mean corticosterone level in grouped compared to socially-isolated voles, overshadowing the possible impact of social buffering. We also found a negative correlation between body mass and corticosterone level, with more high-mass voles showing low corticosterone levels compared with low mass voles. This finding accords with a previous study in which the behavior of high-mass voles was less affected by owl attack compared to low-mass voles. The novelty of the present results therefore lies in supporting, at the hormonal level, past behavioral findings in rats and voles, and in demonstrating that high-mass voles, by virtue of their physical strength and perhaps also their life experience, are less stressed by the owl attack and become the leaders and stabilizers of their groups.

  17. Prairie voles as a novel model of socially facilitated excessive drinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anacker, Allison M J; Loftis, Jennifer M; Kaur, Simranjit; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2011-01-01

    Social relationships strongly affect alcohol drinking in humans. Traditional laboratory rodents do not exhibit social affiliations with specific peers, and cannot adequately model how such relationships impact drinking. The prairie vole is a socially monogamous rodent used to study social bonds. The present study tested the prairie vole as a potential model for the effects of social affiliations on alcohol drinking. Same-sex adult sibling prairie voles were paired for five days, and then either separated into individual cages, or housed in pairs. Starting at the time of separation, the voles received unlimited access to alcohol in a two-bottle choice test versus water. Pair-housed siblings exhibited higher preference for alcohol, but not saccharin, than singly housed voles. There was a significant correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed by each member of a pair when they were housed together (r = 0.79), but not when housed apart (r = 0.20). Following automated analysis of circadian patterns of fluid consumption indicating peak fluid intake before and after the dark phase, a limited access two-hour two-bottle choice procedure was established. Drinking in this procedure resulted in physiologically relevant blood ethanol concentrations and increased Fos immunoreactivity in perioculomotor urocortin containing neurons (but not in nucleus accumbens or central nucleus of the amygdala). The high ethanol preference and sensitivity to social manipulation indicate that prairie voles can serve to model social influences on excessive drinking.

  18. BAC-based sequencing of behaviorally-relevant genes in the prairie vole.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A McGraw

    Full Text Available The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster is an important model organism for the study of social behavior, yet our ability to correlate genes and behavior in this species has been limited due to a lack of genetic and genomic resources. Here we report the BAC-based targeted sequencing of behaviorally-relevant genes and flanking regions in the prairie vole. A total of 6.4 Mb of non-redundant or haplotype-specific sequence assemblies were generated that span the partial or complete sequence of 21 behaviorally-relevant genes as well as an additional 55 flanking genes. Estimates of nucleotide diversity from 13 loci based on alignments of 1.7 Mb of haplotype-specific assemblies revealed an average pair-wise heterozygosity (8.4×10(-3. Comparative analyses of the prairie vole proteins encoded by the behaviorally-relevant genes identified >100 substitutions specific to the prairie vole lineage. Finally, our sequencing data indicate that a duplication of the prairie vole AVPR1A locus likely originated from a recent segmental duplication spanning a minimum of 105 kb. In summary, the results of our study provide the genomic resources necessary for the molecular and genetic characterization of a high-priority set of candidate genes for regulating social behavior in the prairie vole.

  19. Who are the bosses? Group influence on the behavior of voles following owl attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleiman, Michal; Bodek, Sivan; Eilam, David

    2014-10-01

    Individual members of a group must conform to the group norms, as they may otherwise become isolated from the group or the group may split. On the other hand, social groups usually comprise various social ranks and display a differential division of labor and consequently different behaviors. The present study was aimed at examining how the above factors are manifested in social voles that had experienced owl attack. Here, we reconfirm the findings of past studies: that grouped voles converge to display similar behavior after owl attack. In addition, we found that high-mass voles were more active in the open sectors of the experimental set-ups both before and after the owl attack, whereas low-mass voles dichotomized to those that increased and those that decreased their activity in the open following owl attack. Taking body mass as a proxy for social rank, it is suggested that as a consequence of their larger size and of their experience and physical strength, high-mass voles both presented an exemplary model for the low-mass voles and, accordingly, assumed leadership and stabilized their group's behavior. We also suggest a hypothetical model for the propagation of behavior in hierarchical groups.

  20. Phenomenon in the Evolution of Voles (Mammalia, Rodentia, Arvicolidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rekovets L. I.

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents analytical results of the study of adaptatiogenesis within the family Arvicolidae (Mammalia, Rodentia based of morphological changes of the most functional characters of their masticatory apparatus — dental system — through time. The main directions of the morphological differentiation in parallel evolution of the arvicolid tooth type within the Cricetidae and Arvicolidae during late Miocene and Pliocene were identified and substantiated. It is shown that such unique morphological structure as the arvicolid tooth type has provided a relatively high rate of evolution of voles and a wide range of their adaptive radiation, as well as has determined their taxonomic and ecological diversity. The optimality of the current state of this group and evaluation of evolutionary prospects of Arvicolidae were presented and substantiated here as a phenomenon in their evolution.

  1. Impact of Invertebrate Herbivory on Native Aquatic Macrophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    be seen in the non-treated leaves (b). 5 ERDC/TN APCRP-BC-9 August 2007 a Donacia spp., and the oviposition by various species of odonates ...1999). Figure 7. Odonate eggs on the underside of a P. nodosus leaf. After emergence, the leaf will be left with numerous holes. 7 ERDC/TN...Apparently, the dry biomass differences to P. nodosus were due to insect herbivory and non-consumptive damage such as odonate eggs. Figure 8

  2. In vitro culture and in vitro fertilization techniques for prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horie, Kengo; Hidema, Shizu; Hirayama, Takashi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2015-08-07

    Prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social animal and is a commonly used animal model for neuropsychopharmacological and psychiatric studies. To date, only a few reports on the development of transgenic prairie voles which was primarily due to the suboptimal development of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in prairie voles. Limitations in ART further hinder the development of genetically modified prairie voles such as the application of conventional gene targeting technologies using embryonic stem (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to generate chimeric prairie voles. Moreover, recent advancement in genome-editing tools such as transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to create gene targeting animal model and the development of ART in prairie voles is necessary for future development of novel transgenic prairie vole model. We have established efficient method for in vitro embryo culture and sperm cryopreservation with high fertilization rate. In G-1 PLUS and G-2 PLUS sequential culture condition, 81.0% (# of Blastocysts/total n) of one-cell embryos developed to blastocysts. In contrary, no embryos were developed to blastocyst stage in KSOM medium (0/total # of embryos in culture). In vitro fertilization rate using fresh and frozen-thawed sperm was 32.6% and 29.3%, respectively. This is the first report of IVF using cryopreserved prairie vole sperm. We employed mouse IVF methods in prairie voles and optimize culture conditions using human G-1/G-2 PLUS sequential culture method that resulted in high embryonic development rate. The development in vole reproductive technology will facilitate the generation of transgenic voles in the future.

  3. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-12-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and herbivorous), but its determinants in human-altered tropical landscapes are largely unknown. Using structural equation models, we assessed the direct and indirect effects of forest loss on insect herbivory in 40 landscapes (115 ha each) from two regions with contrasting land-use change trajectories in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. We considered landscape forest cover as an exogenous predictor and (1) forest structure, (2) abundance of predators (birds and arthropods), and (3) abundance of herbivorous arthropods as endogenous predictors of insect leaf damage. From 12 predicted pathways, 11 were significant and showed that (1) leaf damage increases with forest loss (direct effect); (2) leaf damage increases with forest loss through the simplification of vegetation structure and its associated dominance of herbivorous insects (indirect effect); and further demonstrate (3) a lack of top-down control of herbivores by predators (birds and arthropods). We conclude that forest loss favors insect herbivory by undermining the bottom-up control (presumably reduced plant antiherbivore defense mechanisms) in forests dominated by fast-growing pioneer plant species, and by improving the conditions required for herbivores proliferation. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Inducible defenses against herbivory and fouling in seaweeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Renato Crespo; Costa, Erica da Silva; Sudatti, Daniela Bueno; da Gama, Bernardo Antonio Perez

    2017-04-01

    Secondary metabolites play an important ecological role as a defense mechanism in seaweeds. Chemical defenses are well known to change in response to herbivory, but other driving factors, either biotic or abiotic, are often neglected. Epibiosis may not only reduce seaweed fitness, but also increase attractiveness to consumers, and thus defense production should also be triggered by epibionts. In this study, three Southwestern Atlantic seaweeds, Gracilaria cearensis, Pterocladiella capillacea (Rhodophyceae) and Codium decorticatum (Chlorophyceae) were investigated in laboratory bioassays designed to test whether the action of herbivory or simulated epibiosis influences chemical defenses. Crossed induction experiments were also performed in order to assess whether herbivore induction influences antifouling chemical defense, as well as whether epibiont induction would affect defense against herbivores. The effect of laboratory conditions on seaweeds in the absence of field stimuli was also investigated by comparing consumption of artificial food with extracts from acclimatized and non-acclimatized seaweeds (i.e., natural defense levels). Only the green seaweed C. decorticatum exhibited inducible antifouling defenses triggered by simulated epibiosis, but not by herbivores. In the other seaweeds there was no induction either by herbivory or simulated epibiosis. Acclimatization did not affect C. decorticatum defenses. However, non-acclimatized G. cearensis artificial foods were preferred over acclimatized ones, while extracts from acclimatized P. capillacea increased herbivore consumption, highlighting the need to acclimatize seaweeds before the main induction experiments. This is the first report of inducible defenses due to simulated fouling in seaweeds.

  5. Leaf mimicry in a climbing plant protects against herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianoli, Ernesto; Carrasco-Urra, Fernando

    2014-05-05

    Mimicry refers to adaptive similarity between a mimic organism and a model. Mimicry in animals is rather common, whereas documented cases in plants are rare, and the associated benefits are seldom elucidated [1, 2]. We show the occurrence of leaf mimicry in a climbing plant endemic to a temperate rainforest. The woody vine Boquila trifoliolata mimics the leaves of its supporting trees in terms of size, shape, color, orientation, petiole length, and/or tip spininess. Moreover, sequential leaf mimicry occurs when a single individual vine is associated with different tree species. Leaves of unsupported vines differed from leaves of climbing plants closely associated with tree foliage but did not differ from those of vines climbing onto leafless trunks. Consistent with an herbivory-avoidance hypothesis, leaf herbivory on unsupported vines was greater than that on vines climbing on trees but was greatest on vines climbing onto leafless trunks. Thus, B. trifoliolata gains protection against herbivory not merely by climbing and thus avoiding ground herbivores [3] but also by climbing onto trees whose leaves are mimicked. Unlike earlier cases of plant mimicry or crypsis, in which the plant roughly resembles a background or color pattern [4-7] or mimics a single host [8, 9], B. trifoliolata is able to mimic several hosts.

  6. Comparative distribution of central neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow (M. pennsylvanicus) vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Hitchcock, Leah N; Anacker, Allison M J; Young, Larry J; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2013-02-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been implicated as a modulator of social behavior, often in a species-specific manner. Comparative studies of closely related vole species are particularly useful for identifying neural systems involved in social behaviors in both voles and humans. In the present study, immunohistochemistry was performed to compare NPY-like immunoreactivity (-ir) in brain tissue of the socially monogamous prairie vole and non-monogamous meadow vole. Species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of regions including the cortex, extended amygdala, septal area, suprachiasmatic nucleus, and intergeniculate leaf. Meadow voles had higher NPY-ir in all these regions as compared to prairie voles. No differences were observed in the striatum or hippocampus. The extended amygdala and lateral septum are regions that play a key role in regulation of monogamous behaviors such as pair bonding and paternal care. The present study suggests NPY in these regions may be an additional modulator of these species-specific social behaviors. Meadow voles had moderately higher NPY-ir in a number of hypothalamic regions, especially in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Meadow voles also had much higher levels of NPY-ir in the intergeniculate leaflet, another key region in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Overall, species differences in NPY-ir were observed in a number of brain regions implicated in emotion, stress, circadian, and social behaviors. These findings provide additional support for a role for the NPY system in species-typical social behaviors.

  7. Revision of bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780 (Mammalia, Rodentia distribution in Serbia and Montenegro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paunović M.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The present article represents a complete review of all published data (with corrections on bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus distribution in Serbia and Montenegro. On the other hand, data of 63 unpublished records stored in the period from 1956 to 1983 in the Mammal Study Collection of the Natural History Museum, Belgrade had not been processed until now. In the period from 1992 to 2004, 29 new findings were recorded, 12 of them outside the currently known area of distribution. New data reveal a wider distribution of bank vole than was known until now, completing and partly modifying previous knowledge about this rodent's bionomy and ecology in Serbia and Montenegro. The occurrence of bank vole in the Prokletije Mountains, Kosovo and Metohija represents its highest known altitude in Europe (2500 m. On the basis of these new data and observations, we can conclude that bank vole is continuously present in small and linear fragments of autochthonous woodlands on plains and hills, and that there are no large discontinuities in its distribution in Serbia and Montenegro, as was assumed earlier. In efforts to preserve overall biological diversity, the example of the bank vole underlines the need to intensify protection and management of woodlands especially remaining fragments of forests on plains and in hills.

  8. Differential responses of herbivores and herbivory to management in temperate European beech.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Gossner

    Full Text Available Forest management not only affects biodiversity but also might alter ecosystem processes mediated by the organisms, i.e. herbivory the removal of plant biomass by plant-eating insects and other arthropod groups. Aiming at revealing general relationships between forest management and herbivory we investigated aboveground arthropod herbivory in 105 plots dominated by European beech in three different regions in Germany in the sun-exposed canopy of mature beech trees and on beech saplings in the understorey. We separately assessed damage by different guilds of herbivores, i.e. chewing, sucking and scraping herbivores, gall-forming insects and mites, and leaf-mining insects. We asked whether herbivory differs among different forest management regimes (unmanaged, uneven-aged managed, even-aged managed and among age-classes within even-aged forests. We further tested for consistency of relationships between regions, strata and herbivore guilds. On average, almost 80% of beech leaves showed herbivory damage, and about 6% of leaf area was consumed. Chewing damage was most common, whereas leaf sucking and scraping damage were very rare. Damage was generally greater in the canopy than in the understorey, in particular for chewing and scraping damage, and the occurrence of mines. There was little difference in herbivory among differently managed forests and the effects of management on damage differed among regions, strata and damage types. Covariates such as wood volume, tree density and plant diversity weakly influenced herbivory, and effects differed between herbivory types. We conclude that despite of the relatively low number of species attacking beech; arthropod herbivory on beech is generally high. We further conclude that responses of herbivory to forest management are multifaceted and environmental factors such as forest structure variables affecting in particular microclimatic conditions are more likely to explain the variability in herbivory

  9. Autolabelling of gamasid mites and fleas in nests of red voles in winter (according to radioisotope labelling data)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al' bov, S.A.; Lavrenchenko, L.A.; Nikolaeva, G.A.

    Data concerning trophic associations between gamasid mites and fleas in cohabitation with red voles in nests in winter were presented and discussed. Red voles (Cl. glareolus) were trapped, labelled with radioactive cobalt and radioactive glycine, released and traced with the aid of radiometers. H. nidi and C. penicilliger were found to be the most numerous among the mites and fleas in the winter nests of the voles and were the most actively feeding species. H. nidi and C. penicilliger numbers increased with the increase of time of use of the nests by the voles and had little relationship to the abundance of these species in the nests. Other species assumed that the connection between the gamasid mites, fleas and voles was topical rather than trophic. 11 references, 4 figures.

  10. Genes Involved in the Evolution of Herbivory by a Leaf-Mining, Drosophilid Fly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whiteman, Noah K.; Gloss, Andrew D.; Sackton, Timothy B.

    2012-01-01

    Herbivorous insects are among the most successful radiations of life. However, we know little about the processes underpinning the evolution of herbivory. We examined the evolution of herbivory in the fly, Scaptomyza flava, whose larvae are leaf miners on species of Brassicaceae, including the wi...

  11. Morphotype analysis of the sibling vole (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) casually introduced to the Russian Far East.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiunov, Mikhail Petrovich; Kartavtseva, Irina Vasiljevna; Lapin, Alexander Sergeevich

    2013-01-01

    Here, we present the morphotypic variety of the m1 and M3 teeth diagnostics for the recently formed isolated population of the sibling vole in Far Eastern Russia. In the Far Eastern population, the prevalence of the individuals with m1 with a complicated crown of the forward unpaired loop of the paraconid is characteristic. Namely, m1 in these individuals shows well-expressed sixth exterior and fifth interior salient angles. The structure of the M3 morphotypes is also unique in the sibling voles in Far Eastern Russia. The dominant morphotypes were typica (47 %) and simplex (45 %), whereas the abundance of the duplicata morphotype was 0.08 %. The frequencies of various m1 and M3 morphotypes found in casually introduced sibling voles in the Far East are not typical of any previously studied Microtus rossiaemeridionalis population.

  12. Infection of SARS-CoV on juvenile and adult Brandt's vole Microtus brandtii

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Hong; PENG Jingpian; DENG Wei; SHI Dazhao; BAO Linlin; WANG Dehua; ZHANG Binglin; QIN Chuan; ZHANG Zhibin

    2005-01-01

    We studied the infectious effect of SARS-CoV virus on juvenile and adult Brandt's Vole (Microtus brandtii) by nasal cavity spraying method (CCID50 is 105.7). SARS virus caused serious deaths in adults. The death adults demonstrated hemorrhage from mouth, nasal cavity and intestine, hemorrhageious interstitial pneumonia and gore in liver, spleen and kidney. The survival adults demonstrated local hemorrhagic spot in lung and emphysema, but the other organs showed no pathological abnormality. SARS virus caused no deaths in juveniles, but locomotion of infected juveniles became slower. In the early stage, there was local pneumonia in lung and SARS viruses were isolated from the pathological tissue. Only one control juvenile lived and the infected juvenile showed local pneumonia in lung. The results demonstrated that SARS-CoV infected Brandt's vole seriously and adults were more susceptive to SARS-CoV than juveniles. The Brandt's vole may be a potential animal model for SARS research.

  13. Intraspecific variation in the energetics of the Cabrera vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos-Frías, Elena; García-Perea, Rosa; Gisbert, Julio; Bozinovic, Francisco; Virgós, Emilio

    2015-12-01

    Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is an intensively topic studied in ecophysiology for the purpose of understanding energy budgets of the species, variations of energy expenditure during their diary activities and physiological acclimatization to the environment. Establishing how the metabolism is assembled to the environment can provide valuable data to improve conservation strategies of endangered species. In this sense, metabolic differences associated to habitats have been widely reported in the interspecific level, however little is known about the intraspecific view of BMR under an environmental gradient. In this study, we researched the effect of the habitat on metabolic rate of an Iberian endemic species: Iberomys cabrerae. Animals were captured in different subpopulations of its altitudinal range and their MR was studied over a thermal gradient. MR was analyzed through a Linear Mixed Model (LMM) in which, in addition to thermal effects, the bioclimatic zone and sex also influenced the metabolism of the species. The beginning of thermoneutrality zone was set on 26.5°C and RMR was 2.3ml O2g(-1)h(-1), intermediate between both bioclimatic zones. Supramediterranean subpopulations started the Tlc earlier (24.9°C) and had higher RMR than the mesomediterranean ones (26.9°C). The thermal environment together with primary productivity conditions could explain this difference in the metabolic behaviour of the Cabrera voles.

  14. Late Pleistocene voles (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from the Baranica Cave (Serbia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogićević, Katarina; Nenadić, Draženko; Mihailović, Dušan

    2012-02-01

    Baranica is a cave system situated in the south-eastern part of Serbia, four kilometers south to Knjaževac, on the right bank of the Trgovi\\vski Timok. The investigations in Baranica were conducted from 1994 to 1997 by the Faculty of Philosophy from Belgrade and the National Museum of Knjaževac. Four geological layers of Quaternary age were recovered. The abundance of remains of both large and small mammals was noticed in the early phase of the research. In this paper, the remains of eight vole species are described: Arvicola terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758), Chionomys nivalis (Martins, 1842), Microtus (Microtus) arvalis (Pallas, 1778) and Microtus (Microtus) agrestis (Linnaeus, 1761), Microtus (Stenocranius) gregalis (Pallas, 1779), Microtus (Terricola) subterraneus (de Sélys-Longchamps, 1836), Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) and Lagurus lagurus (Pallas, 1773). Among them, steppe and open area inhabitants prevail. Based on the evolutionary level and dimensions of the Arvicola terrestris molars, as well as the overall characteristics of the fauna, it was concluded that the deposits were formed in the last glacial period of the Late Pleistocene. These conclusions are rather consistent with the absolute dating of large mammal bones (23.520 ± 110 B.P. for Layer 2 and 35.780 ± 320 B.P. for Layer 4).

  15. [Ecology of indigenious arbovirus in Alsace. Tick Central European Encephalitis. I.--Complex Ixodes ricinus--bank voles. II.--Study of bank voles population immunity. III.--Virologic results in bank voles population (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatelain, J; Hannoun, C; Rodhain, F; Chatelain, J; Hannoun, C; Salmon, A M; Ardoin, P; Chatelain, J; Hannoun, C; Sureau, P

    1979-01-01

    I.--After showing that bank voles are parasited only by Ixodes ricinus larvae, the authors attempt to found different factors (demographic, biometric, and sexual) who favor individual parasitism. The authors conclude to absent of anti tick immunity for this rodent specie. II.--The search for anti-central european encephalitis antibodies (I.H.A.) are shown that 2 p. cent animals were immuns. Yearly and monthly chronologies of antibodies apparition are shown, factors favoring the growth of specific Central european encephalitis antibodies are discussed. III.--The Central european encephalitis tick viral infection of bank vole is studied according to the number of viral strains isolated from different viscera. The monthly chronology of this infection is shown.

  16. Responses of vegetation and soil microbial communities to warming and simulated herbivory in a subarctic heath

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Climate warming increases the cover of deciduous shrubs in arctic ecosystems and herbivory is also known to have a strong influence on the biomass and composition of vegetation. However, research combining herbivory with warming is largely lacking. Our study describes how warming and simulated he...... on microbial N immobilization. Our study demonstrates that effects of warming on soil microorganisms are likely to differ in the presence and absence of herbivores....... herbivory affect vegetation, soil nutrient concentrations and soil microbial communities after 10-13 years of exposure. 2 We established a factorial warming and herbivory-simulation experiment at a subarctic tundra heath in Kilpisj rvi, Finland, in 1994. Warming was carried out using the open-top chamber...... setup of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Wounding of the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus L. to simulate herbivory was carried out annually. We measured vegetation cover in 2003 and 2007, soil nutrient concentrations in 2003 and 2006, soil microbial respiration in 2003...

  17. Cholinesterase inhibition in meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus following field applications of Orthene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jett, D.A.

    1986-01-01

    Brain acetylcholinesterase activity in field-caught meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) was depressed after a field-spray of Orthene (acephate: acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester) by as much as 32% in 1982 and 38% in 1983. Short-term recovery was demonstrated and occurred in a time-dependent fashion in 1982. Plasma cholinesterase levels were move variable but also were depressed. Residues were detected in vegetation samples and in the gastrointestinal tracts of exposed voles. Residues in vegetation were diluted or absent 7 to 8 d following the treatment.

  18. Vertebrate herbivory in managed coastal wetlands: A manipulative experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, L.A.; Foote, A.L.

    1997-01-01

    Structural marsh management and nutria herbivory are both believed to strongly influence plant production in the brackish, deltaic marshes of coastal Louisiana, USA. Previous studies have tested the effects of structural management on aboveground biomass after implementing management, but very few studies have collected data before and after management. Thus, to test the effects of structural marsh management on Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl. and Scirpus americanus Pers., the aboveground biomass of both species was estimated before and after the construction of shallow, leveed impoundments. The water level in each impoundment was managed with a single flap-gated culvert fitted with a variable crest weir. Additionally, the influence of nutria grazing on aboveground biomass was measured by nondestructively sampling fenced (ungrazed) and unfenced (grazed) plots in both managed and unmanaged areas. While there was no significant difference in S. patens production between managed and unmanaged areas, marsh management negatively affected Sc. americanus production the two species also differed in their responses to grazing. Grazing dramatically reduced the sedge, Sc. americanus, while the grass, S. patens, remained at similar biomass levels in grazed and ungrazed plant stands. These findings support the belief that herbivory has a strong influence on plant production, but do not support the claim that management increases plant production in the deltaic marshes of Louisiana.

  19. Herbivory in a Mediterranean forest: browsing impact and plant compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Focardi, Stefano; Tinelli, Aleandro

    2005-11-01

    The compensatory response of plants to defoliation is likely to have important effects on plant-ungulate equilibria in forested ecosystems. We investigated the responses of six species of Mediterranean bushes to defoliation by wild ungulates, comparing an index of browsing impact with the productivity of plants in both open and exclusion plots. The data revealed a great diversity of plant responses to herbivory: Rubus ulmifolius was able to over-compensate and replace the lost tissues. Phillyrea latifolia exhibited a similar, albeit less evident, pattern, while Cistus salvifolius was severely damaged by browsing. Other species, such as Quercus ilex, Juncus acutus and Erica arborea, were not attacked to a large extent and suffered little or no harm. The results strongly suggest that Mediterranean ecosystems may tolerate large stocking rates of ungulates. However, the reduction of plant biomass due to browsing was very different in the six studied species, suggesting that when herbivory becomes severe the structure of the ecosystem will change with the more tolerant plants becoming more abundant. We can apply these results to improve management and conservation of relict coastal forests in the Mediterranean basin which are usually of small size and where decision-makers have to compromise between the conservation of plants and that of large mammals.

  20. Photosynthesis, growth and foliar herbivory of four Ardisia species (Myrsinaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jin; Chen, Jin

    2011-05-01

    Ardisia elliptica is an understory shrub endemic to Southeast Asia and has become a notorious invasive plant in Florida. In this study, we determined the photosynthetic capacity of A. elliptica and phylogenetically related species under four levels of irradiations. In addition, the levels of damage from natural insect herbivory of these four species under common garden conditions were investigated. The results show that A. elliptica had the higher photosynthetic capacity and the relative growth rate (RGR) which could be attributed to its high light-saturated photosynthetic rates ( Pmax), relatively low respiratory rate ( Rd) and the increasing specific leaf area (SLA) with decreasing irradiation. A. elliptica also exhibited high phenotypic plasticity for photosynthetic traits in response to different irradiations including LSPT, Pmax and RGR. Comparing to its congeners, A. elliptica suffered consistently severe damage from natural herbivory. Our results suggest that high photosynthetic capacity and high phenotypic plasticity could enable A. elliptica become a nuisance with the absence of natural enemies in introduced habitats, especially in those disturbed environments with high-light conditions.

  1. Indirect effects of herbivory on plant-pollinator interactions in invasive Lythrum salicaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell-Mercier, Jake L; Sargent, Risa D

    2015-05-01

    Herbivory can affect a plant's fitness in a variety of ways, including modifying the biotic interactions of the plant. In particular, when herbivory influences floral display, we hypothesize that pollinator visitation will be altered accordingly. Here we studied the indirect effects of feeding by two beetles, Neogalerucella calmariensis and N. pusilla, released as a biological control, on plant-pollinator interactions and fitness in the invasive plant, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). Two herbivory treatments (ambient and simulated) were applied to plants in a naturally occurring population of purple loosestrife. During flowering, traits of plants in the treatment and control groups were recorded. Data on pollinator visitation behavior was then collected after intense larval herbivory had ended. Plants exposed to herbivory treatments produced more flowers and inflorescences but flowered significantly later than those in the control group. Moreover, we found a significant, positive association of herbivory with the number of flowers probed by bumblebees and with the number of times a foraging pollinator moved among inflorescences on a single plant. No differences in female fitness (fruit or seed production) were detected. We conclude that herbivore-mediated differences in floral display traits impacted pollinator visitation behavior. However, as we discuss, differences in pollinator visitation did not translate into detectable differences in female reproductive success. We postulate that herbivory could influence other unmeasured aspects of fitness, such as seed quality or the number of seeds sired. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  2. Reading the Leaves' Palm: Leaf Traits and Herbivory along the Microclimatic Gradient of Forest Layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegel, Stephanie; Entling, Martin H; Mantilla-Contreras, Jasmin

    2017-01-01

    Microclimate in different positions on a host plant has strong direct effects on herbivores. But little is known about indirect effects due to changes of leaf traits. We hypothesized that herbivory increases from upper canopy to lower canopy and understory due to a combination of direct and indirect pathways. Furthermore, we hypothesized that herbivory in the understory differs between tree species in accordance with their leaf traits. We investigated herbivory by leaf chewing insects along the vertical gradient of mixed deciduous forest stands on the broad-leaved tree species Fagus sylvatica L. (European beech) with study sites located along a 140 km long transect. Additionally, we studied juvenile Acer pseudoplatanus L. (sycamore maple) and Carpinus betulus L. (hornbeam) individuals within the understory as a reference of leaf traits in the same microclimate. Lowest levels of herbivory were observed in upper canopies, where temperatures were highest. Temperature was the best predictor for insect herbivory across forest layers in our study. However, the direction was opposite to the generally known positive relationship. Herbivory also varied between the three tree species with lowest levels for F. sylvatica. Leaf carbon content was highest for F. sylvatica and probably indicates higher amounts of phenolic defense compounds. We conclude that the effect of temperature must have been indirect, whereby the expected higher herbivory was suppressed due to unfavorable leaf traits (lower nitrogen content, higher toughness and carbon content) of upper canopy leaves compared to the understory.

  3. Plants can benefit from herbivory: stimulatory effects of sheep saliva on growth of Leymus chinensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jushan Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plants and herbivores can evolve beneficial interactions. Growth factors found in animal saliva are probably key factors underlying plant compensatory responses to herbivory. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how animal saliva interacts with herbivory intensities and how saliva can mobilize photosynthate reserves in damaged plants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The study examined compensatory responses to herbivory and sheep saliva addition for the grass species Leymus chinensis in three experiments over three years. The first two experiments were conducted in a factorial design with clipping (four levels in 2006 and five in 2007 and two saliva treatment levels. The third experiment examined the mobilization and allocation of stored carbohydrates following clipping and saliva addition treatments. Animal saliva significantly increased tiller number, number of buds, and biomass, however, there was no effect on height. Furthermore, saliva effects were dependent on herbivory intensities, associated with meristem distribution within perennial grass. Animal saliva was found to accelerate hydrolyzation of fructans and accumulation of glucose and fructose. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results demonstrated a link between saliva and the mobilization of carbohydrates following herbivory, which is an important advance in our understanding of the evolution of plant responses to herbivory. Herbivory intensity dependence of the effects of saliva stresses the significance of optimal grazing management.

  4. Plants Can Benefit from Herbivory: Stimulatory Effects of Sheep Saliva on Growth of Leymus chinensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jushan; Wang, Ling; Wang, Deli; Bonser, Stephen P.; Sun, Fang; Zhou, Yifa; Gao, Ying; Teng, Xing

    2012-01-01

    Background Plants and herbivores can evolve beneficial interactions. Growth factors found in animal saliva are probably key factors underlying plant compensatory responses to herbivory. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about how animal saliva interacts with herbivory intensities and how saliva can mobilize photosynthate reserves in damaged plants. Methodology/Principal Findings The study examined compensatory responses to herbivory and sheep saliva addition for the grass species Leymus chinensis in three experiments over three years. The first two experiments were conducted in a factorial design with clipping (four levels in 2006 and five in 2007) and two saliva treatment levels. The third experiment examined the mobilization and allocation of stored carbohydrates following clipping and saliva addition treatments. Animal saliva significantly increased tiller number, number of buds, and biomass, however, there was no effect on height. Furthermore, saliva effects were dependent on herbivory intensities, associated with meristem distribution within perennial grass. Animal saliva was found to accelerate hydrolyzation of fructans and accumulation of glucose and fructose. Conclusions/Significance The results demonstrated a link between saliva and the mobilization of carbohydrates following herbivory, which is an important advance in our understanding of the evolution of plant responses to herbivory. Herbivory intensity dependence of the effects of saliva stresses the significance of optimal grazing management. PMID:22235277

  5. Developmental expression of estrogen receptor beta in the brain of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploskonka, Stephanie D; Eaton, Jennifer L; Carr, Michael S; Schmidt, Jennifer V; Cushing, Bruce S

    2016-03-01

    Here, for the first time, the expression of estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) is characterized in the brains of the highly prosocial prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). ERβ immunoreactivity was compared in weanlings (postnatal Day 21) and adult males and females. The results indicate several major findings. First, unlike ERα, ERβ expression is not sexually dimorphic. Second, the adult pattern of ERβ-IR is established at the time of weaning, as there were no age-dependent effects on distribution. Finally, ERβ does not appear to be as widely distributed in voles compared with rats and mice. High levels of ERβ-IR were observed in several regions/nuclei within the medial pre-optic area, ventrolateral pre-optic nuclei, and in the hypothalamus, especially in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. The visualization of ERβ in prairie voles is important as the socially monogamous prairie vole functions as a human relevant model system for studying the expression of social behavior and social deficit disorders. Future studies will now be able to determine the effect of treatments on the expression and/or development of ERβ in this highly social species.

  6. Sperm investment in male meadow voles is affected by the condition of the nearby male conspecifics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Ashlee A; Delbarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H

    2008-11-01

    Sperm competition occurs when 2 or more males copulate with a particular female during the same reproductive cycle, and their sperm compete to fertilize the female's available eggs. One strategy that male voles use to assess the risk and intensity of sperm competition involves responding to the presence of scent marks of conspecific males found near a sexually receptive female. Previously, we have shown that if a male vole copulated with a female while he was in the presence of the odors of another male he increased his sperm investment relative to his investment if another male's odors were not present. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that males assess differences in the relative quality of competing males and adjust their sperm investment accordingly. We did so by allowing males to copulate when they were exposed to the scent mark of a 24-h food-deprived male (low-quality male) or the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived (high-quality male). The data indicate that male meadow voles did not increase their sperm investment during copulation when exposed to the scent mark of a food-deprived male but did so when they were exposed to the scent mark of a male that was not food deprived. The results support the hypothesis that male voles are able to adjust sperm investment when they encounter the scent marks of males that differ in quality.

  7. Trace metals in soil vegetation, and voles from mine land treated with sewage sludge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alberici, T.M.; Sopper, W.E.; Storm, G.L.; Yahner, R.H.

    Trace-metal concentrations in soil, vegetation, and tissues of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were compared on a stripmined site reclaimed conventionally (control site) and with municipal sludge (treated site) in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in March and April 1983. With the exception of Zn concentrations in birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), reclamation with municipal sludge did not increase trace metal concentrations in soil, vegetation, or meadow voles in comparison to the site reclaimed conventionally. Zinc concentration in birdsfoot trefoil from the site reclaimed with sludge was higher than that from the site reclaimed conventionally but was below phytotoxic levels. Concentrations of Cu, Zn, Co, Cd, and Ni in vole tissues were not significantly different between control and treated sites. However, Cr concentrations in kidney and bone and Pb concentrations in liver and bone were higher on the control site than on the treated site. Stomach analyses indicated that meadow voles preferred tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceae L.) and quackgrass (Agropyron repens L.) to birdsfoot trefoil and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) 27 refs., 1 fig., 8 tabs.

  8. Laboratory model of adaptive radiation: a selection experiment in the bank vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowska, Edyta T; Baliga-Klimczyk, Katarzyna; Chrzaścik, Katarzyna M; Koteja, Paweł

    2008-01-01

    In a laboratory colony of a wild rodent, the bank vole Myodes (=Clethrionomys) glareolus, a multiway artificial selection experiment was applied to mimic evolution toward high aerobic metabolism achieved during locomotor activity, predatory behavior, and ability to cope with herbivorous diet. Four lines for each of the selection directions and four unselected control lines have been maintained. After three generations of within-family selection, the maximum rate of oxygen consumption achieved during swimming was 15% higher in the selected than in the control lines (least square means, adjusted for body mass: 252.0 vs. 218.6 mL O(2)/h, P = 0.0001). When fed a low-quality diet made of dried grass, voles from the lines selected for ability to cope with herbivorous diet lost about 0.7 g less mass than voles from the control lines (-2.44 vs. -3.16 g/4 d, P = 0.008). In lines selected for predatory behavior toward crickets, proportion of "predatory" individuals was higher than in the control lines (43.6% vs. 24.9%; P = 0.045), but "time to capture" calculated for the successful trials did not differ between the lines. The experiment continues, and the selected lines of voles will provide a unique model for testing hypotheses concerning correlated evolution of complex traits.

  9. Reproductive responses of male Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii) to 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) under short photoperiod

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Xin; Jiang, Lian Yu; Han, Mei; Ye, Man Hong; Wang, Ai Qin; Wei, Wan Hong; Yang, Sheng Mei

    2016-04-01

    The plant secondary metabolite 6-methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA) can stimulate and enhance animal reproduction. This compound has been successfully detected in Leymus chinensis, which is the main diet of Brandt's voles. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different 6-MBOA doses on the reproductive physiology of male Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. The results showed that 6-MBOA administration increased relative testis weight, regardless of the dose, but it had little effect on the body mass. Low and middle doses of 6-MBOA increased the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and testosterone in the serum and the mRNA levels of StAR and CYP11a1 in the testes. However, 6-MBOA did not cause any significant increase in the mRNA levels of KiSS-1, GPR54, and GnRH compared to those in the control group. The mRNA level of KiSS-1 in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was higher than that in the anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV). Collectively, our results demonstrated that the number of KiSS-1-expressing neurons located in the ARC was the highest, and that 6-MBOA, which might modulate the reproductive activity along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, had a dose-dependent stimulatory effect on the reproductive activity of Brandt's voles under a short photoperiod. Our study provided insights into the mechanism of 6-MBOA action and the factors influencing the onset of reproduction in Brandt's voles.

  10. Spontaneous expression of magnetic compass orientation in an epigeic rodent: the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveriusová, Ludmila; Němec, Pavel; Pavelková, Zuzana; Sedláček, František

    2014-07-01

    Magnetoreception has been convincingly demonstrated in only a few mammalian species. Among rodents, magnetic compass orientation has been documented in four species of subterranean mole rats and two epigeic (i.e. active above ground) species—the Siberian hamster and the C57BL/6J mouse. The mole rats use the magnetic field azimuth to determine compass heading; their directional preference is spontaneous and unimodal, and their magnetic compass is magnetite-mediated. By contrast, the primary component of orientation response is learned in the hamster and the mouse, but both species also exhibit a weak spontaneous bimodal preference in the natural magnetic field. To determine whether the magnetic compass of wild epigeic rodents features the same functional properties as that of laboratory rodents, we investigated magnetic compass orientation in the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Cricetidae, Rodentia). The voles exhibited a robust spontaneous bimodal directional preference, i.e. built nests and slept preferentially along the north-south axis, and deflected their directional preference according to a shift in the direction of magnetic north, clearly indicating that they were deriving directional information from the magnetic field. Thus, bimodal, axially symmetrical directional choice seems to be a common feature shared by epigeic rodents. However, spontaneous directional preference in the bank vole appeared to be more pronounced than that reported in the hamster and the mouse. These findings suggest that bank voles are well suited for future studies investigating the adaptive significance and mechanisms of magnetic orientation in epigeic rodents.

  11. FGF4 independent derivation of trophoblast stem cells from the common vole.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena V Grigor'eva

    Full Text Available The derivation of stable multipotent trophoblast stem (TS cell lines from preimplantation, and early postimplantation mouse embryos has been reported previously. FGF4, and its receptor FGFR2, have been identified as embryonic signaling factors responsible for the maintenance of the undifferentiated state of multipotent TS cells. Here we report the derivation of stable TS-like cell lines from the vole M. rossiaemeridionalis, in the absence of FGF4 and heparin. Vole TS-like cells are similar to murine TS cells with respect to their morphology, transcription factor gene expression and differentiation in vitro into derivatives of the trophectoderm lineage, and with respect to their ability to invade and erode host tissues, forming haemorrhagic tumours after subcutaneous injection into nude mice. Moreover, vole TS-like cells carry an inactive paternal X chromosome, indicating that they have undergone imprinted X inactivation, which is characteristic of the trophoblast lineage. Our results indicate that an alternative signaling pathway may be responsible for the establishment and stable proliferation of vole TS-like cells.

  12. Effects of vole fluctuations on the population dynamics of the barn owl Tyto alba

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, T.C.; Roos, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    Many predator species feed on prey that fluctuates in abundance from year to year. Birds of prey can face large fluctuations in food abundance i.e. small mammals, especially voles. These annual changes in prey abundance strongly affect the reproductive success and mortality of the individual predato

  13. Puumala hantavirus infections in bank vole populations: host and virus dynamics in Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reil, Daniela; Rosenfeld, Ulrike M; Imholt, Christian; Schmidt, Sabrina; Ulrich, Rainer G; Eccard, Jana A; Jacob, Jens

    2017-02-28

    In Europe, bank voles (Myodes glareolus) are widely distributed and can transmit Puumala virus (PUUV) to humans, which causes a mild to moderate form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, called nephropathia epidemica. Uncovering the link between host and virus dynamics can help to prevent human PUUV infections in the future. Bank voles were live trapped three times a year in 2010-2013 in three woodland plots in each of four regions in Germany. Bank vole population density was estimated and blood samples collected to detect PUUV specific antibodies. We demonstrated that fluctuation of PUUV seroprevalence is dependent not only on multi-annual but also on seasonal dynamics of rodent host abundance. Moreover, PUUV infection might affect host fitness, because seropositive individuals survived better from spring to summer than uninfected bank voles. Individual space use was independent of PUUV infections. Our study provides robust estimations of relevant patterns and processes of the dynamics of PUUV and its rodent host in Central Europe, which are highly important for the future development of predictive models for human hantavirus infection risk.

  14. Transgenerational consequences of plant responses to herbivory: an adaptive maternal effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, A A

    2001-05-01

    Herbivory has many effects on plants, ranging from shifts in primary processes such as photosynthesis, growth, and phenology to effects on defense against subsequent herbivores and other species interactions. In this study, I investigated the effects of herbivory on seed and seedling characteristics of several families of wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) to test the hypothesis that herbivory may affect the quality of offspring and the resistance of offspring to plant parasites. Transgenerational effects of herbivory may represent adaptive maternal effects or factors that constrain or amplify natural selection on progeny. Caterpillar (Pieris rapae) herbivory to greenhouse-grown plants caused plants in some families to produce smaller seeds and those in other families to produce larger seeds compared with undamaged controls. Seed mass was positively associated with probability of emergence in the field. The number of setose trichomes, a putative plant defense, was higher in the progeny of damaged plants in some families and lower in the progeny of damaged plants in other families. In a field experiment, plant families varied in their resistance to several herbivores and pathogens as well as in growth rate and time to flowering. Seeds from damaged parent plants were more likely to become infested with a plant virus. Although herbivory on maternal plants did not directly affect interactions of offspring with other plant parasites, seed mass influenced plant resistance to several attackers. Thus, herbivory affected seed characters, which mediated interactions between plants and their parasites. Finally, irrespective of seed mass, herbivory on maternal plants influenced components of progeny fitness, which was dependent on plant family. Natural selection may act on plant responses to herbivory that affect seedling-parasite interactions and, ultimately, fitness.

  15. Recruitment dynamics mediated by ungulate herbivory can affect species coexistence for tree seedling assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Yu Weng

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The best-known mechanism that herbivory affects species coexistence of tree seedlings is negative density-dependency driven by specialist natural enemies. However, in a forest with intense herbivory by non-specialists, what causes a diversifying seedling bank if rare species do not benefit from negative density-dependency in dominant species? We hypothesize that generalist herbivores can cause unevenly distributed species-specific mortality, which mediates recruitment dynamics and therefore affects species coexistence. To answer this question, we conducted a fence-control experiment in a montane cloud forest, Taiwan, and found that herbivorous damages were mainly caused by ungulates, which are generalists. We explored ungulate herbivory effects on recruitment dynamics by censusing tree seedling dynamics for three years. We found that herbivorous damages by ungulates significantly cause seedling death, mostly at their early stage of establishment. The percentage of death caused by herbivory varied among species. In particular, nurse plants and seedling initial height help shade-tolerant species to persist under such intense herbivory. Whereas, deaths caused by other factors occurred more often in older seedlings, with a consistent low percentage among species. We then tested species coexistence maintenance by dynamic modelling under different scenarios of ungulate herbivory. Raising percentages of death by herbivory changes relative species abundances by suppressing light-demanding species and increasing shade-tolerant species. Density-dependent mortality immediately after bursts of recruitments can suppress dominance of abundant species. With ungulate herbivory, fluctuating recruitment further prevent rare species from apparent competition induced by abundant species. Such bio-processes can interact with ungulate herbivory so that long-term coexistence can be facilitated.

  16. Nerium oleander indirect leaf photosynthesis and light harvesting reductions after clipping injury or Spodoptera eridania herbivory: high sensitivity to injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Kevin J

    2012-04-01

    Variable indirect photosynthetic rate (P(n)) responses occur on injured leaves after insect herbivory. It is important to understand factors that influence indirect P(n) reductions after injury. The current study examines the relationship between gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters with injury intensity (% single leaf tissue removal) from clipping or Spodoptera eridania Stoll (Noctuidae) herbivory on Nerium oleander L. (Apocynaceae). Two experiments showed intercellular [CO(2)] increases but P(n) and stomatal conductance reductions with increasing injury intensity, suggesting non-stomatal P(n) limitation. Also, P(n) recovery was incomplete at 3d post-injury. This is the first report of a negative exponential P(n) impairment function with leaf injury intensity to suggest high N. oleander leaf sensitivity to indirect P(n) impairment. Negative linear functions occurred between most other gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters with injury intensity. The degree of light harvesting impairment increased with injury intensity via lower (1) photochemical efficiency indicated lower energy transfer efficiency from reaction centers to PSII, (2) photochemical quenching indicated reaction center closure, and (3) electron transport rates indicated less energy traveling through PSII. Future studies can examine additional mechanisms (mesophyll conductance, carbon fixation, and cardenolide induction) to cause N. oleander indirect leaf P(n) reductions after injury. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  17. Introgression of mitochondrial DNA among Myodes voles: consequences for energetics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boratyński Zbyszek

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Introgression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA is among the most frequently described cases of reticulate evolution. The tendency of mtDNA to cross interspecific barriers is somewhat counter-intuitive considering the key function of enzymes that it encodes in the oxidative-phosphorylation process, which could give rise to hybrid dysfunction. How mtDNA reticulation affects the evolution of metabolic functions is, however, uncertain. Here we investigated how morpho-physiological traits vary in natural populations of a common rodent (the bank vole, Myodes glareolus and whether this variation could be associated with mtDNA introgression. First, we confirmed that M. glareolus harbour mtDNA introgressed from M. rutilus by analyzing mtDNA (cytochrome b, 954 bp and nuclear DNA (four markers; 2333 bp in total sequence variation and reconstructing loci phylogenies among six natural populations in Finland. We then studied geographic variation in body size and basal metabolic rate (BMR among the populations of M. glareolus and tested its relationship with mtDNA type. Results Myodes glareolus and its arctic neighbour, M. rutilus, are reciprocally monophyletic at the analyzed nuclear DNA loci. In contrast, the two northernmost populations of M. glareolus have a fixed mitotype that is shared with M. rutilus, likely due to introgressive hybridization. The analyses of phenotypic traits revealed that the body mass and whole-body, but not mass corrected, BMR are significantly reduced in M. glareolus females from northern Finland that also have the introgressed mitotype. Restricting the analysis to the single population where the mitotypes coexist, the association of mtDNA type with whole-body BMR remained but those with mass corrected BMR and body mass did not. Mitochondrial sequence variation in the introgressed haplotypes is compatible with demographic growth of the populations, but may also be a result of positive selection. Conclusion Our

  18. Selective Herbivory by an Invasive Cyprinid, the Rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kapuscinski, Kevin L [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; John, Farrell M [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Stehman, Stephen V [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Boyer, Gregory L [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Fernando, Danilo D [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Teece, Mark A [SUNY-ESF, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Tschaplinski, Timothy J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    1. Herbivory by non-native animals is a problem of growing concern globally, especially for ecosystems where significant native herbivores did not previously exist or have been replaced by non-natives. The rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) is an omnivorous cyprinid that has a nearly global longitudinal distribution due to human translocations, yet it is unknown whether the rudd feeds selectively among aquatic macrophyte species common to North American waters. 2. We tested a null hypothesis of non-selective feeding by rudds using five species of aquatic macrophytes: Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea canadensis, Najas flexilis, Stuckenia pectinata, and Vallisneria americana. Four rudds were placed in 15 different 890-L tanks and presented with known quantities of each macrophyte species (each tank serving as a block in a randomized complete block design). Each macrophyte bundle was weighed on six dates during a 13 d experiment. Differences in mean percent weight remaining among macrophyte species were tested using repeated measures analysis of variance. We also quantified differences among chemical attributes of the five macrophyte species and qualitatively determined if selective feeding by rudds was related to dry matter content (DMC), percent C by dry weight (%C), percent N by dry weight (%N), and the concentrations of total soluble proteins, two organic acids (aconitic and oxalic acid), total soluble phenolic compounds (<1,000 Da), nine soluble phenolic metabolites, and total phenolic compounds. 3. Selective feeding by rudds was evident, with the order of macrophyte removal (from highest to lowest) being: N. flexilis > E. canadensis > S. pectinata > V. americana > C. demersum. Selection was positively related to %C and atomic C:N, but not DMC, %N, or concentration of total soluble proteins, contrary to the expectation that rudds would select the most nutritious plants available. The concentration of aconitic acid was greatest in N. flexilis, a preferred macrophyte

  19. Effects of zooplankton herbivory on biomarker proxy records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grice, Kliti; Klein Breteler, Wim C. M.; Schouten, Stefan; Grossi, Vincent; de Leeuw, Jan W.; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    1998-12-01

    The stable carbon isotopic compositions of cholesterol, generally the most dominant sterol in the copepod Temora, bears the δ13C "signature" of its dietary precursor sterol when fed on Isochrysis galbana and Rhodomonas sp. The δ13C of cholesterol in the faecal pellets released from Temora longicornis fed on Rhodomonas sp. is identical to the δ13C of the sterols in the diet, indicating that no significant carbon isotopic fractionation effects occur when the copepod modifies eukaryotic precursor sterols to cholesterol. Furthermore, the ratio of long-chain alkenones and their stable carbon isotopic compositions in I. galbana were identical to those egested in faecal material. Thus Zooplankton herbivory does not invalidate the use of these alkenones as a proxy for sea surface temperature and pCO2.

  20. A continent-wide assessment of the form and intensity of large mammal herbivory in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Gareth P; Archibald, Sally; Bond, William J

    2015-11-27

    Megafaunal extinctions and a lack of suitable remote sensing technology impede our understanding of both the ecological legacy and current impacts of large mammal herbivores in the Earth system. To address this, we reconstructed the form and intensity of herbivory pressure across sub-Saharan Africa ~1000 years ago. Specifically, we modeled and mapped species-level biomass for 92 large mammal herbivores using census data, species distributions, and environmental covariates. Trait-based classifications of these species into herbivore functional types, and analyses of their biomass surfaces, reveal four ecologically distinct continental-scale herbivory regimes, characterized by internally similar forms and intensities of herbivory pressure. Associations between herbivory regimes, fire prevalence, soil nutrient status, and rainfall provide important insights into African ecology and pave the way for integrating herbivores into global-scale studies. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. The effect of insect herbivory on the growth and fitness of introduced Verbascum thapsus L

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Wilbur

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A majority of the plant species that are introduced into new ranges either do not become established, or become naturalized yet do not attain high densities and are thus considered ecologically and economically unproblematic. The factors that limit these relatively “benign” species are not well studied. The biotic resistance hypothesis predicts that herbivores, pathogens and competition reduce growth and reproduction of individual plants and so suppress population growth of non-native species. We explored the effect of insect herbivory and surrounding vegetation on growth and fitness of the non-native biennial plant Verbascum thapsus (common mullein in Colorado, USA. Mullein is widespread in its introduced North American range, yet is infrequently considered a management concern because populations are often ephemeral and restricted to disturbed sites. To evaluate the impact of insect herbivores on mullein performance, we reduced herbivory using an insecticide treatment and compared sprayed plants to those exposed to ambient levels of herbivory. Reducing herbivory increased survival from rosette to reproduction by 7%, from 70–77%. Of plants that survived, reducing herbivory increased plant area in the first year and plant height, the length of the reproductive spike, and seed set during the second year. Reducing herbivory also had a marked effect on plant fitness, increasing seed set by 50%, from about 48,000 seeds per plant under ambient herbivory to about 98,000 per plant under reduced herbivory. Our findings also highlight that the relationship between herbivory and performance is complex. Among plants exposed to ambient herbivory, we observed a positive relationship between damage and performance, suggesting that, as predicted by the plant vigor hypothesis, insect herbivores choose the largest plants for feeding when their choice is not restricted by insecticide treatment. In contrast to the strong effects of experimentally reduced

  2. Analysis of internal doses to Mole voles inhabiting the East-Ural radioactive trace

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malinovsky, G.; Yarmoshenko, I. [Institute of Industrial Ecology UB RAS (Russian Federation); Chibiryak, M.; Vasil' ev, A. [Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Substantial task of development of approaches to radiation protection of non-human biota is investigation of relationships of exposure to dose, and dose to effects. Small mammals inhabiting territory of the East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT) are affected to ionizing radiation for many generations after accident at Mayak plutonium production in 1957. According to results of numerous studies a number of effects of exposure are observed. It is remarkable that the revealed effects are both negative and adaptive. In particular, the analysis of the variability of morphological structures of the axial skull and lower jaw in the population of northern mole vole (Ellobius talpinus Pall.), the burrowing rodent inhabiting the EURT, is of great interest. At the same time there is no reliable assessment of the radiation doses to these animals. Earlier we developed the approach to assess internal doses to mouse-like rodents (mice and voles) caused by incorporated {sup 90}Sr, which is the main dose contributing radionuclide at the EURT. Dose assessments are based on the results of beta-radiometry of intact bone. Routine methods for measuring the activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr in skeleton require ashing of samples, however in morphometric studies the destruction of material should be avoided: the skulls of mole voles are stored in the environmental samples depository of IPAE. Coefficients linking results of beta-radiometry of intact bone and activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr in skull of mouse was obtained basing on comparison of results of beta-radiometry of intact bone and bone ash. Obtained coefficients cannot be directly applied for calculating activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr in mole vole skulls because they are significantly larger. Therefore the additional study is required to assess proper coefficient of conversion from beta-radiometry to activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr. Developed dose assessment procedure includes application of the published values of

  3. Landscape features and helminth co-infection shape bank vole immunoheterogeneity, with consequences for Puumala virus epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guivier, E; Galan, M; Henttonen, H; Cosson, J-F; Charbonnel, N

    2014-03-01

    Heterogeneity in environmental conditions helps to maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in ecosystems. As such, it may explain why the capacity of animals to mount immune responses is highly variable. The quality of habitat patches, in terms of resources, parasitism, predation and habitat fragmentation may, for example, trigger trade-offs ultimately affecting the investment of individuals in various immunological pathways. We described spatial immunoheterogeneity in bank vole populations with respect to landscape features and co-infection. We focused on the consequences of this heterogeneity for the risk of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) infection. We assessed the expression of the Tnf-α and Mx2 genes and demonstrated a negative correlation between PUUV load and the expression of these immune genes in bank voles. Habitat heterogeneity was partly associated with differences in the expression of these genes. Levels of Mx2 were lower in large forests than in fragmented forests, possibly due to differences in parasite communities. We previously highlighted the positive association between infection with Heligmosomum mixtum and infection with PUUV. We found that Tnf-α was more strongly expressed in voles infected with PUUV than in uninfected voles or in voles co-infected with the nematode H. mixtum and PUUV. H. mixtum may limit the capacity of the vole to develop proinflammatory responses. This effect may increase the risk of PUUV infection and replication in host cells. Overall, our results suggest that close interactions between landscape features, co-infection and immune gene expression may shape PUUV epidemiology.

  4. First record of herbivory of the invasive macrophyte Hedychium coronarium J. König (Zingiberaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Castro,Wagner Antonio Chiba de; Moitas,Marcel Loyo; Lobato,Gabriela Monteiro; Cunha-Santino,Marcela Bianchessi da; Matos,Dalva Maria da Silva

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species can cause structural and functional changes in their non-native habitats, such as changes in the trophic chain. We describe ramet herbivory of butterfly ginger, an aggressive aquatic weed in Brazil, by capybaras in a floodplain area of a Cerrado reserve. This is the first record of herbivory of H. coronarium in invaded areas. Capybaras could be using the butterfly ginger as habitat and as a food resource, which could cause changes in apparent competition between these invasiv...

  5. Within and Among Patch Variability in Patterns of Insect Herbivory Across a Fragmented Forest Landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothy Y Maguire

    Full Text Available Fragmentation changes the spatial patterns of landscapes in ways that can alter the flow of materials and species; however, our understanding of the consequences of this fragmentation and flow alteration for ecosystem processes and ecosystem services remains limited. As an ecological process that affects many ecosystem services and is sensitive to fragmentation, insect herbivory is a good model system for exploring the role of fragmentation, and the resulting spatial patterns of landscapes, in the provision of ecosystem services. To refine our knowledge of how changes in landscape pattern affect insect herbivory, we quantified the combined influence of among patch (patch area and patch connectivity and within patch (location within patch; canopy, edge, interior factors on amounts of insect herbivory in a fragmented forest landscape. We measured herbivory in 20 forest patches of differing size and connectivity in southern Quebec (Canada. Within each patch, herbivory was quantified at the interior, edge, and canopy of sugar maple trees during the spring and summer of 2011 and 2012. Results show that connectivity affects herbivory differently depending on the location within the patch (edge, interior, canopy, an effect that would have gone unnoticed if samples were pooled across locations. These results suggest considering structure at both the patch and within patch scales may help to elucidate patterns when studying the effects of fragmentation on ecosystem processes, with implications for the services they support.

  6. Disentangling fragmentation effects on herbivory in understory plants of longleaf pine savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levey, Douglas J; Caughlin, T Trevor; Brudvig, Lars A; Haddad, Nick M; Damschen, Ellen I; Tewksbury, Joshua J; Evans, Daniel M

    2016-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation affects species and their interactions through intertwined mechanisms that include changes to fragment area, shape, connectivity and distance to edge. Disentangling these pathways is a fundamental challenge of landscape ecology and will help identify ecological processes important for management of rare species or restoration of fragmented habitats. In a landscape experiment that manipulated connectivity, fragment shape, and distance to edge while holding fragment area constant, we examined how fragmentation impacts herbivory and growth of nine plant species in longleaf pine savanna. Probability of herbivory in open habitat was strongly dependent on proximity to forest edge for every species, increasing with distance to edge in six species (primarily grasses and annual forbs) and decreasing in three species (perennial forbs and a shrub). In the two species of perennial forbs, these edge effects were dependent on fragment shape; herbivory strongly decreased with distance to edge in fragments of two shapes, but not in a third shape. For most species, however, probability of herbivory was unrelated to connectivity or fragment shape. Growth was generally determined more strongly by leaf herbivory than by distance to edge, fragment shape, or connectivity. Taken together, these results demonstrate consistently strong edge effects on herbivory, one of the most important biotic factors determining plant growth and demography. Our results contrast with the generally inconsistent results of observational studies, likely because our experimental approach enabled us to tease apart landscape processes that are typically confounded.

  7. Interactive effect of herbivory and competition on the invasive plant Mikania micrantha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Xiao, Tao; Zhang, Qiong; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    A considerable number of host-specific biological control agents fail to control invasive plants in the field, and exploring the mechanism underlying this phenomenon is important and helpful for the management of invasive plants. Herbivory and competition are two of the most common biotic stressors encountered by invasive plants in their recipient communities. We predicted that the antagonistic interactive effect between herbivory and competition would weaken the effect of herbivory on invasive plants and result in the failure of herbivory to control invasive plants. To examine this prediction, thus, we conducted an experiment in which both invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-job i were grown together and subjected to herbivory-mimicking defoliation. Both defoliation and competition had significantly negative effects on the growth of the invader. However, the negative effect of 75% respective defoliation on the above- and below-ground biomass of Mikania micrantha was alleviated by presence of Coix lacryma-jobi. The negative effect of competition on the above- and below-ground biomass was equally compensated at 25%, 50% and 100% defoliation and overcompensated at 75% defoliation. The interactive effect was antagonistic and dependent on the defoliation intensity, with the maximum effect at 75% defoliation. The antagonistic interaction between defoliation and competition appears to be able to release the invader from competition, thus facilitating the invasiveness of Mikania, a situation that might make herbivory fail to inhibit the growth of invasive Mikania in the invaded community.

  8. The effects of vertebrate herbivory on plant community structure in the coastal marshes of the Pearl River, Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, K.L.; Grace, J.B.

    1995-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the impacts of herbivory by the introduced aquatic herbivore, nutria (Myocastor coypus), on three marsh communities of the Pearl River using fenced exclosures and control plots. Although total community above-ground biomass was reduced by 30% in the plots exposed to herbivory as compared to those protected from herbivory, we found species richness to be unaffected. When individual species were examined within each community,Panicum virgatum andAster subulatus were found to be significantly reduced by herbivory in the freshwater community,Panicum virgatum andVigna luteola were significantly increased by herbivory in the oligohaline community, and no species were significantly affected in the mesohaline community. We conclude that this herbivory has some specific effects on some plant species as well as having a general community effect.

  9. The influence of herbivory on pre- and postzygotic stages of reproduction following open, self, and outcross pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghyselen, Céline; Bonte, Dries; Brys, Rein

    2015-12-01

    Herbivory affects pollination success and reproductive output in plants. However, the different stages in the process from pollination to seed maturation have hardly been investigated within the context of herbivory. Herbivory might affect these stages via its effect on geitonogamous pollination and thereby the proportion of self pollen delivered to the stigma and/or via its effect on the nutritional capacity of the maternal plant. Plants of monocarpic Cynoglossum officinale were experimentally subjected to root herbivory and exposed to natural open pollination in combination with self and outcross hand pollination. We quantified pollen germination, pollen tube competition intensity, pollen tube attrition, fruit set, and seed initiation, abortion, and maturation. Although root herbivory did not affect pollen germination or pollen tube attrition, fruit set and seed initiation and maturation were negatively affected by herbivory, but for seed initiation only in the case of outcross- and open-pollinated flowers. The intensity of pollen tube competition positively affected seed initiation, but only in plants infested with the herbivore. Our study demonstrates that herbivory did not affect the early stages following pollination, but significantly impacted later postpollination stages such as fruit set and seed maturation and selection based on pollen tube competition intensity on zygote development. Our findings suggest that decreased nutritional capacity of the mother plant in response to root herbivory rather than herbivory effects on pollen quality was responsible for the lower fruit and seed production in infested plants. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  10. Implantation and early postimplantation development of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozdzeński, W; Mystkowska, E T

    1976-06-01

    The development of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus is described from implantation to the formation of the foetal membranes. The embryonic development of this species combines features of primitive rodent species, for example Geomys bursarius and highly specialized ones, for examples Mus musculus. The egg-cylinder is formed by invagination into the blastocoelic cavity of the inner cell mass and polar trophoblast overlying it; this resembles in many respects the early stages of development of primitive species. The fully formed egg-cylinder, however, resembles that of the mouse and the formation of foetal membranes is also similar to that in Muridae. It is concluded that in the bank vole and also in other rodents, the extra-embryonic ectoderm of the egg-cylinder is derived from the polar trophoblast rather than from the inner cell mass.

  11. [Blood system peculiarities in the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) under chronic environmental pollution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarakhtiĭ, É A; Mukhacheva, S V

    2011-01-01

    The parameters of peripheral blood and hemopoietic organs in mature and immature bank voles inhabiting a chemically polluted area were studied. Variability of the blood system parameters depending on the level of toxic load and the animals' reproductive status was determined. Alteration of the cell composition of erythrocytes and leucocytes, the structure of erythrocytes, and the hemoglobin fractions and leucocyte functions describe the adaptive response to the factors of a changed environment more than the concentration of leucocytes, erythrocytes, and blood hemoglobin.

  12. Female prairie vole mate-choice is affected by the males' birth litter composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, J Thomas

    2010-08-01

    Experimental testing and retrospective examination of breeding records were used to examine the influence of sex composition and/or size of males' birth litters on female mate-choice. Sexually naïve female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) avoided males derived from all-male litters, but showed no preference for, or aversion to, males from single-male litters or from more typical mixed-sex litters. Examination of the pregnancy status of females after two weeks of pairing with a male allowed us to estimate the probabilites of a pups' intrauterine position relative to siblings for various litter sizes. The typical prairie vole pup derived from a mixed-sex litter comprised of 4.4 pups, and had a 13% chance of being isolated from siblings in utero and a 22% chance of being between siblings in utero. Pups from single-sex litters tended to be larger at weaning than did pups from mixed-sex litters; however, male size did not influence female choice behavior. These results suggest that some aspect of the perinatal experience of prairie vole pups from single sex litters can influence social interactions later in life.

  13. [Helminth fauna of the bank vole myodes glareolus (Schreber, 1780) in the Kizhi Archipelago].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugmyrin, S V; Korosov, A V; Bespyatova, L A; Ieshko, E P

    2015-01-01

    The present study was aimed to examine the specific features of the helminth fauna in insular populations of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in the north of the species range. The material was collected in and nearby the Kizhi Archipelago (Lake Onega, 62°1' N 35°12' E) during August 1997, 2005-2007, 2012 and 2013. Small mammals were trapped on 23 islands (varying from 2 to 15,000 ha) and on the mainland. Helminthological met- hods were applied to examine 301 specimens of M glareolus. Fourteen helminth species were found: trematodes--Skrjabinoplagiorchis vigisi; cestodes--Paranoplocephala omphalodes, P. gracilis, Catenotaenia henttoneni, Taenia mustelae, Cladotaenia globife- ra, Spirometra erinacei; nematodes--Trichocephalus muris, Aonchotheca murissylvatici, Hepaticola hepatica, Heligmosomum mixtum, Heligmosomoides glareoli, Longistriata minuta, Syphacia petrusewiczi. The parasites S. vigisi, S. erinaci, H. hepatica and T. muris were identified in the bank vole in Karelia for the first time. Significant differences were detected between the helminth faunas of local insular populations of the bank vole. A distinctive feature of all small islands was that samples from them lacked the widespread pa- rasitic nematode Heligmosomum mixtum. The studies have confirmed the general trends observed in the parasite fauna of most isolated populations of small mammals: a poorer species diversity and high infestation rates with certain species of parasites. The Kizhi Archipelago is characterized by the specific high abundance of regionally rare parasite species (H hepatica, A. murissylvatici), and by the absence of common parasites (H. mixtum, H. glareoli).

  14. Adaptive evolution during an ongoing range expansion: the invasive bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas A; Perkins, Sarah E; Heckel, Gerald; Searle, Jeremy B

    2013-06-01

    Range expansions are extremely common, but have only recently begun to attract attention in terms of their genetic consequences. As populations expand, demes at the wave front experience strong genetic drift, which is expected to reduce genetic diversity and potentially cause 'allele surfing', where alleles may become fixed over a wide geographical area even if their effects are deleterious. Previous simulation models show that range expansions can generate very strong selective gradients on dispersal, reproduction, competition and immunity. To investigate the effects of range expansion on genetic diversity and adaptation, we studied the population genomics of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Ireland. The bank vole was likely introduced in the late 1920s and is expanding its range at a rate of ~2.5 km/year. Using genotyping-by-sequencing, we genotyped 281 bank voles at 5979 SNP loci. Fourteen sample sites were arranged in three transects running from the introduction site to the wave front of the expansion. We found significant declines in genetic diversity along all three transects. However, there was no evidence that sites at the wave front had accumulated more deleterious mutations. We looked for outlier loci with strong correlations between allele frequency and distance from the introduction site, where the direction of correlation was the same in all three transects. Amongst these outliers, we found significant enrichment for genic SNPs, suggesting the action of selection. Candidates for selection included several genes with immunological functions and several genes that could influence behaviour.

  15. Validation of the Puumala virus rapid field test for bank voles in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reil, D; Imholt, C; Rosenfeld, U M; Drewes, S; Fischer, S; Heuser, E; Petraityte-Burneikiene, R; Ulrich, R G; Jacob, J

    2017-02-01

    Puumala virus (PUUV) causes many human infections in large parts of Europe and can lead to mild to moderate disease. The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the only reservoir of PUUV in Central Europe. A commercial PUUV rapid field test for rodents was validated for bank-vole blood samples collected in two PUUV-endemic regions in Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg). A comparison of the results of the rapid field test and standard ELISAs indicated a test efficacy of 93-95%, largely independent of the origin of the antigens used in the ELISA. In ELISAs, reactivity for the German PUUV strain was higher compared to the Swedish strain but not compared to the Finnish strain, which was used for the rapid field test. In conclusion, the use of the rapid field test can facilitate short-term estimation of PUUV seroprevalence in bank-vole populations in Germany and can aid in assessing human PUUV infection risk.

  16. Reproductive potential of a vole pest (Arvicola scherman in Spanish apple orchards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aitor Somoano

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Fossorial water voles, Arvicola scherman, feed on tree roots causing important damages in European apple orchards. Since the intensity of crop damage produced by rodents ultimately depends on their inherent capacity to increase their population, the main goal of this study was to determine the reproductive potential of the subspecies A. scherman cantabriae in apple orchards from Asturias (NW Spain, where voles breed over the whole year. Our results were compared with those reported for the subspecies A. scherman monticola from the Spanish Pyrenees (where reproduction ceases in winter. Sexual characteristics, body condition, relative age class and number of embryos were recorded from 422 females caught in apple orchards along two years. We found pregnant females all along the year, which were able to produce a high number of litters per year (7.30 although litter size was relatively moderate (first year: 3.87 embryos/female; second year: 3.63 embryos/females. The potential number of pups per female and year (first year: 28.25; second year: 26.50 was substantially higher than that reported for Pyrenean voles, what is probably related with differences in the length of the breeding season and in life histories between subspecies. In our population, the number of implanted embryos correlated positively with the body condition of the mother. Our results reveal that management efforts should not be seasonal as they used to be so far and invite to explore the physiological consequences of management practices.

  17. [Growth, survival and herbivory of seedlings in Brosimum alicastrum (Moraceae), a species from the Neotropical undergrowth].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballina-Gómez, H S; Iriarte-Vivar, S; Orellana, R; Santiago, L S

    2008-12-01

    Growth responses, survival, and herbivory, on seedlings of Brosimum alicastrum were studied in a neotropical Mexican forest. We selected 122 seedlings and divided them into three groups assigned to defoliation treatments: control or 0 (n=21), 50 (n=51) and 90% (n=50). Every 4 months during two years we measured seedling growth (in terms of relative growth rate in biomass, leaf area growth, produced leaves and height growth) and survival. In addition, we evaluated every 12 months pathogen damage and insect herbivory using a 2 mm(-2) grid. Separately, we estimated mammal herbivory in 3-month old seedlings that were selected within a plot of 500 m x 10 m (N=1095). Pathogen damage and insect herbivory were evaluated within the same plot in 113 seedlings. We found that 50% defoliated seedlings showed compensatory responses in all growth parameters. Relative growth rate and height growth also had a compensatory response in seedlings at 90% defoliation. Relative growth rate and leaf area growth gradually decreased with time although height growth seedling showed an opposite pattern. Leaves produced were not affected by time. Estimated seedling survival probability increased with defoliation to a maximum of 97%, decreasing at 24 month to 37%. Mammal herbivory was more frequent and severe than herbivory caused by pathogens and insects. In some cases, mammal herbivory produced total defoliation. Compensatory growth in leaf area growth, produced leaves and height growth seedling suggest a synergic compensatory mechanism expressed in a whole-plant growth biomass (relative growth rate). Compensation and survival results suggest trade-offs at the leaf level, such as leaf area growth and produced leaves versus chemical defenses, respectively.

  18. Systematic analysis of rice (Oryza sativa) metabolic responses to herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamgir, Kabir Md; Hojo, Yuko; Christeller, John T; Fukumoto, Kaori; Isshiki, Ryutaro; Shinya, Tomonori; Baldwin, Ian T; Galis, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Plants defend against attack from herbivores by direct and indirect defence mechanisms mediated by the accumulation of phytoalexins and release of volatile signals, respectively. While the defensive arsenals of some plants, such as tobacco and Arabidopsis are well known, most of rice's (Oryza sativa) defence metabolites and their effectiveness against herbivores remain uncharacterized. Here, we used a non-biassed metabolomics approach to identify many novel herbivory-regulated metabolic signatures in rice. Most were up-regulated by herbivore attack while only a few were suppressed. Two of the most prominent up-regulated signatures were characterized as phenolamides (PAs), p-coumaroylputrescine and feruloylputrescine. PAs accumulated in response to attack by both chewing insects, i.e. feeding of the lawn armyworm (Spodoptera mauritia) and the rice skipper (Parnara guttata) larvae, and the attack of the sucking insect, the brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens, BPH). In bioassays, BPH insects feeding on 15% sugar solution containing p-coumaroylputrescine or feruloylputrescine, at concentrations similar to those elicited by heavy BPH attack in rice, had a higher mortality compared to those feeding on sugar diet alone. Our results highlight PAs as a rapidly expanding new group of plant defence metabolites that are elicited by herbivore attack, and deter herbivores in rice and other plants.

  19. The effects of herbivory on neighbor interactions along a coastal marsh gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, K.L.; Grace, J.B.; Marx, B.D.

    1997-01-01

    Many current theories of community function are based on the assumption that disturbances such as herbivory act to reduce the importance of neighbor interactions among plants. In this study, we examined the effects of herbivory (primarily by nutria, Myocastor coy-pus) on neighbor interactions between three dominant grasses in three coastal marsh communities, fresh, oligohaline, and mesohaline. The grasses studied were Panicum virgatum, Spartina patens, and Spartina alterniflora, which are dominant species in the fresh, oligohaline, and mesohaline marshes, respectively. Additive mixtures and monocultures of transplants were used in conjunction with exclosure fences to determine the impact of herbivory on neighbor interactions in the different marsh types. Herbivory had a strong effect on all three species and was important in all three marshes. In the absence of herbivores, the impact of neighbors was significant for two of the species (Panicum virgatum and Spartina patens) and varied considerably between environments, with competition intensifying for Panicum virgatum and decreasing for Spartina patens with increasing salinity. Indications of positive neighbor effects (mutualisms) were observed for both of these species, though in contrasting habitats and to differing degrees. In the presence of herbivores, however, competitive and positive effects were eliminated. Overall, then, it was observed that in this case, intense herbivory was able to override other biotic interactions such as competition and mutualism, which were not detectable in the presence of herbivores.

  20. Above- and belowground herbivory jointly impact defense and seed dispersal traits in Taraxacum officinale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Peña, Eduardo; Bonte, Dries

    2014-08-01

    Plants are able to cope with herbivores by inducing defensive traits or growth responses that allow them to reduce or avoid the impact of herbivores. Since above- and belowground herbivores differ substantially in life-history traits, for example feeding types, and their spatial distribution, it is likely that they induce different responses in plants. Moreover, strong interactive effects on defense and plant growth are expected when above- and belowground herbivores are jointly present. The strengths and directions of these responses have been scarcely addressed in the literature. Using Taraxacum officinale, the root-feeding nematode Meloidogyne hapla and the locust Schistocerca gregaria as a model species, we examined to what degree above- and belowground herbivory affect (1) plant growth responses, (2) the induction of plant defensive traits, that is, leaf trichomes, and (3) changes in dispersal-related seed traits and seed germination. We compared the performance of plants originating from different populations to address whether plant responses are conserved across putative different genotypes. Overall, aboveground herbivory resulted in increased plant biomass. Root herbivory had no effect on plant growth. Plants exposed to the two herbivores showed fewer leaf trichomes than plants challenged only by one herbivore and consequently experienced greater aboveground herbivory. In addition, herbivory had effects that reached beyond the individual plant by modifying seed morphology, producing seeds with longer pappus, and germination success.

  1. Responses of insect herbivores and herbivory to habitat fragmentation: a hierarchical meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossetti, María Rosa; Tscharntke, Teja; Aguilar, Ramiro; Batáry, Péter

    2017-02-01

    Loss and fragmentation of natural habitats can lead to alterations of plant-animal interactions and ecosystems functioning. Insect herbivory, an important antagonistic interaction is expected to be influenced by habitat fragmentation through direct negative effects on herbivore community richness and indirect positive effects due to losses of natural enemies. Plant community changes with habitat fragmentation added to the indirect effects but with little predictable impact. Here, we evaluated habitat fragmentation effects on both herbivory and herbivore diversity, using novel hierarchical meta-analyses. Across 89 studies, we found a negative effect of habitat fragmentation on abundance and species richness of herbivores, but only a non-significant trend on herbivory. Reduced area and increased isolation of remaining fragments yielded the strongest effect on abundance and species richness, while specialist herbivores were the most vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. These fragmentation effects were more pronounced in studies with large spatial extent. The strong reduction in herbivore diversity, but not herbivory, indicates how important common generalist species can be in maintaining herbivory as a major ecosystem process. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. A Study of Changes in Uterine Leucocytes During Early Pregnancy in the Mouse-vole Interspesific Pregnancies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Diah Tri Widayati; Tatsuya Tada; Naoko Inoue

    2008-01-01

    Mouse and vole embryos were allogeneically and xenogeneically transferred into pseudopregnant CD.1 and immunodeficient (seid)female mice,and we investigated the distribution of uterine leucocytes cells in the implantation sites on days 5,6,and 7 of pregnancy. Maerophages were evenly distributed in the endometrium on days 5-7.Neutrophils were rarely seen on days 5-7,but lymphocytes were found throughout the endometrium,often in groups associated with glands or the luminal epithelium.The number of uNK cells increased markedly at the mesometrial uriangle and the outer decidual area in the CD-1 uteri containing vole embryos;by contrast,seid uteri having vole embryos showed almost the same number as those having mouse embryos.Mast cells were present in large numbers at the myometrium,but rarely in the decidua in all types of pregnant uteri.Cells at the myometrium were more numerous in xenogeneic than in allogeneic transfer.Maay mast cells appeared in the inner decidua where xenogeneically transferred vole embryos were dead and aborted.These results suggest the possibility that uterine leucocytes mediate various immunological events in the mouse-vole interspesific pregnancies.

  3. Dopamine D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens are important for social attachment in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingrich, B; Liu, Y; Cascio, C; Wang, Z; Insel, T R

    2000-02-01

    The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a monogamous rodent that forms long-lasting pair bonds, has proven useful for the neurobiological study of social attachment. In the laboratory, pair bonds can be assessed by testing for a partner preference, a choice test in which pair-bonded voles regularly prefer their partner to a conspecific stranger. Studies reported here investigate the role of dopamine D2-like receptors (i.e., D2, D3, and D4 receptors) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) for the formation of a partner preference in female voles. Mating facilitated partner preference formation and associated with an approximately 50% increase in extracellular dopamine in the NAcc. Microinjection of the D2 antagonist eticlopride into the NAcc (but not the prelimbic cortex) blocked the formation of a partner preference in mating voles, whereas the D2 agonist quinpirole facilitated formation of a partner preference in the absence of mating. Taken together, these results suggest that D2-like receptors in the NAcc are important for the mediation of social attachments in female voles.

  4. Explaining bank vole cycles in southern Norway 1980-2004 from bilberry reports 1932-1977 and climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selås, Vidar

    2006-04-01

    Correlations between mast fruiting of bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and peak levels of Clethrionomys-voles have been reported from both Norway and Finland, but there has been a discussion whether this is a bottom-up or a top-down relationship. In a multiple regression model, 65% of the variation in a bilberry production index calculated from game reports from southern Norway 1932-1977 could be explained by the berry index of the two preceding years and climate factors acting during key stages of the flowering cycle. High vole populations in previous years did not contribute to explain the fluctuation in berry production. I used the selected model and climate data to predict bilberry production for the period 1978-2004. Predicted berry indices of the current and previous year explained 38% and the total amount of precipitation in May-June explained 16% of the variation in a log-transformed snap-trapping index of bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus 1980-2004. The vole index was not related to any of the climate variables used to predict berry production. This pattern supports the hypothesis that vole cycles are generated by changes in plant chemistry due to climate-synchronized mast fruiting.

  5. Long-term habitat selection and chronic root herbivory: explaining the relationship between periodical cicada density and tree growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Louie H; Karban, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) are insect herbivores that feed on host tree roots, but their distribution among hosts is determined largely by the oviposition of female cicadas in the previous generation. A pattern of decreasing tree growth rates with increasing cicada densities is predicted when considering the costs of chronic root herbivory, but the opposite pattern is expected when considering adaptive habitat selection. Here, we report observations indicating that the relationship between periodical cicada densities and host tree growth rates is hump shaped. We suggest that both herbivory and habitat selection are likely to be key processes explaining this pattern, resulting in regions of positive and negative correlation. These results suggest that the effects of cicada herbivory are most apparent at relatively high cicada densities, while habitat selection tends to distribute cicada herbivory on host trees that are able to compensate for cicada root herbivory up to threshold cicada densities.

  6. [Ecological aspects of infection of bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) with Trypanosoma (Herpetosoma) evotomys Hadwen, 1912].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbowiak, G; Wita, I

    2001-01-01

    The studies were carried out in Kosewo Górne in the Mazurian District (North-East region of Poland), in September 1995, September 1996 and between May 1997 and June 1998 each month. The animals were trapped in live traps, and after study they were marked and released. The infection of trypanosomes was detected using microhaematocrit centrifugation technique and in blood smears. The intensity of infection had the range from 50 to 150 000 individuals in 1 ml of blood. The maximal prevalence of infection was in August and September and there were 45% and 38% of infected voles respectively. The infection was detected also in May 1998, in other months the prevalence had low level. There were no individuals of bank vole infected in succeeding months. The females of bank vole are more often infected with trypanosomes than males.

  7. The roots of defense: plant resistance and tolerance to belowground herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M Watts

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is conclusive evidence that there are fitness costs of plant defense and that herbivores can drive selection for defense. However, most work has focused on above-ground interactions, even though belowground herbivory may have greater impacts on individual plants than above-ground herbivory. Given the role of belowground plant structures in resource acquisition and storage, research on belowground herbivores has much to contribute to theories on the evolution of plant defense. Pocket gophers (Geomyidae provide an excellent opportunity to study root herbivory. These subterranean rodents spend their entire lives belowground and specialize on consuming belowground plant parts. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared the root defenses of native forbs from mainland populations (with a history of gopher herbivory to island populations (free from gophers for up to 500,000 years. Defense includes both resistance against herbivores and tolerance of herbivore damage. We used three approaches to compare these traits in island and mainland populations of two native California forbs: 1 Eschscholzia californica populations were assayed to compare alkaloid deterrents, 2 captive gophers were used to test the palatability of E. californica roots and 3 simulated root herbivory assessed tolerance to root damage in Deinandra fasciculata and E. californica. Mainland forms of E. californica contained 2.5 times greater concentration of alkaloids and were less palatable to gophers than island forms. Mainland forms of D. fasciculata and, to a lesser extent, E. californica were also more tolerant of root damage than island conspecifics. Interestingly, undamaged island individuals of D. fasciculata produced significantly more fruit than either damaged or undamaged mainland individuals. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that mainland plants are effective at deterring and tolerating pocket gopher herbivory. Results also suggest

  8. Grassland productivity in response to nutrient additions and herbivory is scale-dependent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica A.H. Smithwick

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Vegetation response to nutrient addition can vary across space, yet studies that explicitly incorporate spatial pattern into experimental approaches are rare. To explore whether there are unique spatial scales (grains at which grass response to nutrients and herbivory is best expressed, we imposed a large (∼3.75 ha experiment in a South African coastal grassland ecosystem. In two of six 60 × 60 m grassland plots, we imposed a scaled sampling design in which fertilizer was added in replicated sub-plots (1 × 1 m, 2 × 2 m, and 4 × 4 m. The remaining plots either received no additions or were fertilized evenly across the entire area. Three of the six plots were fenced to exclude herbivory. We calculated empirical semivariograms for all plots one year following nutrient additions to determine whether the scale of grass response (biomass and nutrient concentrations corresponded to the scale of the sub-plot additions and compared these results to reference plots (unfertilized or unscaled and to plots with and without herbivory. We compared empirical semivariogram parameters to parameters from semivariograms derived from a set of simulated landscapes (neutral models. Empirical semivariograms showed spatial structure in plots that received multi-scaled nutrient additions, particularly at the 2 × 2 m grain. The level of biomass response was predicted by foliar P concentration and, to a lesser extent, N, with the treatment effect of herbivory having a minimal influence. Neutral models confirmed the length scale of the biomass response and indicated few differences due to herbivory. Overall, we conclude that interpretation of nutrient limitation in grasslands is dependent on the grain used to measure grass response and that herbivory had a secondary effect.

  9. Circumpolar arctic tundra biomass and productivity dynamics in response to projected climate change and herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qin; Epstein, Howard; Engstrom, Ryan; Walker, Donald

    2017-09-01

    Satellite remote sensing data have indicated a general 'greening' trend in the arctic tundra biome. However, the observed changes based on remote sensing are the result of multiple environmental drivers, and the effects of individual controls such as warming, herbivory, and other disturbances on changes in vegetation biomass, community structure, and ecosystem function remain unclear. We apply ArcVeg, an arctic tundra vegetation dynamics model, to estimate potential changes in vegetation biomass and net primary production (NPP) at the plant community and functional type levels. ArcVeg is driven by soil nitrogen output from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, existing densities of Rangifer populations, and projected summer temperature changes by the NCAR CCSM4.0 general circulation model across the Arctic. We quantified the changes in aboveground biomass and NPP resulting from (i) observed herbivory only; (ii) projected climate change only; and (iii) coupled effects of projected climate change and herbivory. We evaluated model outputs of the absolute and relative differences in biomass and NPP by country, bioclimate subzone, and floristic province. Estimated potential biomass increases resulting from temperature increase only are approximately 5% greater than the biomass modeled due to coupled warming and herbivory. Such potential increases are greater in areas currently occupied by large or dense Rangifer herds such as the Nenets-occupied regions in Russia (27% greater vegetation increase without herbivores). In addition, herbivory modulates shifts in plant community structure caused by warming. Plant functional types such as shrubs and mosses were affected to a greater degree than other functional types by either warming or herbivory or coupled effects of the two. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Grassland productivity in response to nutrient additions and herbivory is scale-dependent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Douglas C.; Naithani, Kusum J.

    2016-01-01

    Vegetation response to nutrient addition can vary across space, yet studies that explicitly incorporate spatial pattern into experimental approaches are rare. To explore whether there are unique spatial scales (grains) at which grass response to nutrients and herbivory is best expressed, we imposed a large (∼3.75 ha) experiment in a South African coastal grassland ecosystem. In two of six 60 × 60 m grassland plots, we imposed a scaled sampling design in which fertilizer was added in replicated sub-plots (1 × 1 m, 2 × 2 m, and 4 × 4 m). The remaining plots either received no additions or were fertilized evenly across the entire area. Three of the six plots were fenced to exclude herbivory. We calculated empirical semivariograms for all plots one year following nutrient additions to determine whether the scale of grass response (biomass and nutrient concentrations) corresponded to the scale of the sub-plot additions and compared these results to reference plots (unfertilized or unscaled) and to plots with and without herbivory. We compared empirical semivariogram parameters to parameters from semivariograms derived from a set of simulated landscapes (neutral models). Empirical semivariograms showed spatial structure in plots that received multi-scaled nutrient additions, particularly at the 2 × 2 m grain. The level of biomass response was predicted by foliar P concentration and, to a lesser extent, N, with the treatment effect of herbivory having a minimal influence. Neutral models confirmed the length scale of the biomass response and indicated few differences due to herbivory. Overall, we conclude that interpretation of nutrient limitation in grasslands is dependent on the grain used to measure grass response and that herbivory had a secondary effect. PMID:27920956

  11. Simulated herbivory does not constrain phenotypic plasticity to shade through ontogeny in a relict tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo, A; García, F M; Valladares, F; Pulido, F

    2016-07-01

    Ecological limits to phenotypic plasticity (PP), induced by simultaneous biotic and abiotic factors, can prevent organisms from exhibiting optimal plasticity, and in turn lead to decreased fitness. Herbivory is an important biotic stressor and may limit plant functional responses to challenging environmental conditions such as shading. In this study we investigated whether plant functional responses and PP to shade are constrained by herbivory, and whether such constraints are due to direct effects based on resource limitation by considering ontogeny. We used as a model system the relict tree Prunus lusitanica and implemented an indoor experiment to quantify the response of saplings of different ages to shade and herbivory. We measured five functional traits and quantitatively calculated PP. Results showed that herbivory did not constrain functional responses or PP to shade except for shoot:root ratio (SR), which, despite showing a high PP in damaged saplings, decreased under shade instead of increasing. Damaged saplings of older age did not exhibit reduced constraints on functional responses to shade and generally presented a lower PP than damaged saplings of younger age. Our findings suggest that herbivory-mediated constraints on plant plasticity to shade may not be as widespread as previously thought. Nonetheless, the negative effect of herbivory on SR plastic expression to shade could be detrimental for plant fitness. Finally, our results suggest a secondary role of direct effects (resource-based) on P. lusitanica plasticity limitation. Further studies should quantify plant resources in order to gain a better understanding of this seldom-explored subject.

  12. Sex-related differences in reproductive allocation, growth, defense and herbivory in three dioecious neotropical palms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica Cepeda-Cornejo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Frequently, in dioecious plants, female plants allocate more resources to reproduction than male plants. Therefore it is expected that asymmetrical allocation to reproduction may lead to a reproduction-growth tradeoff, whereby female plants grow less than male plants, but invest more in defenses and thus experience lower herbivory than male plants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We tested these expectations by comparing resource allocation to reproduction, growth and defense and its consequences on herbivory in three sympatric dioecious Chamaedorea palms (C. alternans, C. pinnatifrons and C. ernesti-augusti using a pair-wise design (replicated male/female neighboring plants in a Mexican tropical rain forest. Our findings support the predictions. Biomass allocation to reproduction in C. pinnatifrons was 3-times higher in female than male plants, consistent with what is known in C. alternans and C. ernesti-augusti. Growth (height and leaf production rate and biomass production was higher in male plants of all three species. Female plants of the three species had traits that suggest greater investment in defense, as they had 4-16% tougher leaves, and 8-18% higher total phenolic compounds concentration. Accordingly, female plants sustained 53-78% lower standing herbivory and 49-87% lower herbivory rates than male plants. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggests that resource allocation to reproduction in the studied palms is more costly to female plants and this leads to predictable intersexual differences in growth, defense and herbivory. We conclude that resource allocation to reproduction in plants can have important consequences that influence their interaction with herbivores. Since herbivory is recognized as an important selective force in plants, these results are of significance to our understanding of plant defense evolution.

  13. Impairment of leaf photosynthesis after insect herbivory or mechanical injury on common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, K J; Haile, F J; Peterson, R K D; Higley, L G

    2008-10-01

    Insect herbivory has variable consequences on plant physiology, growth, and reproduction. In some plants, herbivory reduces photosynthetic rate (Pn) activity on remaining tissue of injured leaves. We sought to better understand the influence of leaf injury on Pn of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca (Asclepiadaceae), leaves. Initially, we tested whether Pn reductions occurred after insect herbivory or mechanical injury. We also (1) examined the duration of photosynthetic recovery, (2) compared mechanical injury with insect herbivory, (3) studied the relationship between leaf Pn with leaf injury intensity, and (4) considered uninjured leaf compensatory Pn responses neighboring an injured leaf. Leaf Pn was significantly reduced on mechanically injured or insect-fed leaves in all reported experiments except one, so some factor(s) (cardiac glycoside induction, reproductive investment, and water stress) likely interacts with leaf injury to influence whether Pn impairment occurs. Milkweed tussock moth larval herbivory, Euchaetes egle L. (Arctiidae), impaired leaf Pn more severely than mechanical injury in one experiment. Duration of Pn impairment lasted > 5 d to indicate high leaf Pn sensitivity to injury, but Pn recovery occurred within 13 d in one experiment. The degree of Pn reduction was more severe from E. egle herbivory than similar levels of mechanical tissue removal. Negative linear relationships characterized leaf Pn with percentage tissue loss from single E. egle-fed leaves and mechanically injured leaves and suggested that the signal to trigger leaf Pn impairment on remaining tissue of an injured leaf was amplified by additional tissue loss. Finally, neighboring uninjured leaves to an E. egle-fed leaf had a small (approximately 10%) degree of compensatory Pn to partly offset tissue loss and injured leaf Pn impairment.

  14. Genetic diversity increases insect herbivory on oak saplings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bastien Castagneyrol

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence from community genetics studies suggests that ecosystem functions supported by plant species richness can also be provided by genetic diversity within plant species. This is not yet true for the diversity-resistance relationship as it is still unclear whether damage by insect herbivores responds to genetic diversity in host plant populations. We developed a manipulative field experiment based on a synthetic community approach, with 15 mixtures of one to four oak (Quercus robur half-sib families. We quantified genetic diversity at the plot level by genotyping all oak saplings and assessed overall damage caused by ectophagous and endophagous herbivores along a gradient of increasing genetic diversity. Damage due to ectophagous herbivores increased with the genetic diversity in oak sapling populations as a result of higher levels of damage in mixtures than in monocultures for all families (complementarity effect rather than because of the presence of more susceptible oak genotypes in mixtures (selection effect. Assemblages of different oak genotypes would benefit polyphagous herbivores via improved host patch location, spill over among neighbouring saplings and diet mixing. By contrast, genetic diversity was a poor predictor of the abundance of endophagous herbivores, which increased with individual sapling apparency. Plant genetic diversity may not provide sufficient functional contrast to prevent tree sapling colonization by specialist herbivores while enhancing the foraging of generalist herbivores. Long term studies are nevertheless required to test whether the effect of genetic diversity on herbivory change with the ontogeny of trees and local adaptation of specialist herbivores.

  15. Gut microbes may facilitate insect herbivory of chemically defended plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Tobin J; Bowers, M Deane

    2015-09-01

    The majority of insect species consume plants, many of which produce chemical toxins that defend their tissues from attack. How then are herbivorous insects able to develop on a potentially poisonous diet? While numerous studies have focused on the biochemical counter-adaptations to plant toxins rooted in the insect genome, a separate body of research has recently emphasized the role of microbial symbionts, particularly those inhabiting the gut, in plant-insect interactions. Here we outline the "gut microbial facilitation hypothesis," which proposes that variation among herbivores in their ability to consume chemically defended plants can be due, in part, to variation in their associated microbial communities. More specifically, different microbes may be differentially able to detoxify compounds toxic to the insect, or be differentially resistant to the potential antimicrobial effects of some compounds. Studies directly addressing this hypothesis are relatively few, but microbe-plant allelochemical interactions have been frequently documented from non-insect systems-such as soil and the human gut-and thus illustrate their potential importance for insect herbivory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for insect diversification and coevolution with plants; for example, evolutionary transitions to host plant groups with novel allelochemicals could be initiated by heritable changes to the insect microbiome. Furthermore, the ecological implications extend beyond the plant and insect herbivore to higher trophic levels. Although the hidden nature of microbes and plant allelochemicals make their interactions difficult to detect, recent molecular and experimental techniques should enable research on this neglected, but likely important, aspect of insect-plant biology.

  16. Microzooplankton herbivory and community structure in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Eun Jin; Jiang, Yong; Lee, SangHoon

    2016-01-01

    We examined microzooplankton abundance, community structure, and grazing impact on phytoplankton in the Amundsen Sea, Western Antarctica, during the early austral summer from December 2010 to January 2011. Our study area was divided into three regions based on topography, hydrographic properties, and trophic conditions: (1) the Oceanic Zone (OZ), with free sea ice and low phytoplankton biomass dominated by diatoms; (2) the Sea Ice Zone (SIZ), covered by heavy sea ice with colder water, lower salinity, and dominated by diatoms; and (3) the Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP), with high phytoplankton biomass dominated by Phaeocystis antarctica. Microzooplankton biomass and communities associated with phytoplankton biomass and composition varied among regions. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates (HDF) were the most significant grazers in the ASP and OZ, whereas ciliates co-dominated with HDF in the SIZ. Microzooplankton grazing impact is significant in our study area, particularly in the ASP, and consumed 55.4-107.6% of phytoplankton production (average 77.3%), with grazing impact increasing with prey and grazer biomass. This result implies that a significant proportion of the phytoplankton production is not removed by sinking or other grazers but grazed by microzooplankton. Compared with diatom-based systems, Phaeocystis-based production would be largely remineralized and/or channeled through the microbial food web through microzooplankton grazing. In these waters the major herbivorous fate of phytoplankton is likely mediated by the microzooplankton population. Our study confirms the importance of herbivorous protists in the planktonic ecosystems of high latitudes. In conclusion, microzooplankton herbivory may be a driving force controlling phytoplankton growth in early summer in the Amundsen Sea, particularly in the ASP.

  17. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells With Six Reprogramming Factors From Prairie Vole, Which Is an Animal Model for Social Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, Masafumi; Hirayama, Takashi; Horie, Kengo; Kiyono, Tohru; Donai, Kenichiro; Takeda, Satoru; Nishimori, Katsuhiko; Fukuda, Tomokazu

    2016-01-01

    Prairie voles show strong pair bonding with their mating partners, and they demonstrate parental behavior toward their infants, indicating that the prairie vole is a unique animal model for analysis of molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Until a recent study, the signaling pathway of oxytocin was thought to be critical for the social behavior of prairie voles, but neuron-specific functional research may be necessary to identify the molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Prairie vole pluripotent stem cells of high quality are essential to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of social behaviors. Generation of high-quality induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) would help to establish a genetically modified prairie vole, including knockout and knock-in models, based on the pluripotency of iPSCs. Thus, we attempted to establish high-quality prairie vole-derived iPSCs (pv-iPSCs) in this study. We constructed a polycistronic reprogramming vector, which included six reprograming factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-myc, Lin28, and Nanog). Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of six reprogramming factors, which included Oct3/4 with the transactivation domain (TAD) of MyoD. Implantation of the pv-iPSCs into immunodeficient mice caused a teratoma with three germ layers. Furthermore, the established pv-iPSCs tested positive for stem cell markers, including alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-1, and dependence on leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Our data indicate that our newly established pv-iPSCs may be a useful tool for genetic analysis of social behavior.

  18. Molecular characterization of hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) from Taiwan voles (Microtus kikuchii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yi-Fan; Chou, Chung-Hsi; Lin, En-Chung; Chiu, Chih-Hsien

    2011-02-01

    Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) is a transcription factor that senses and adapts cells to hypoxic environmental conditions. HIF-1 is composed of an oxygen-regulated α subunit (HIF-1α) and a constitutively expressed β subunit (HIF-1β). Taiwan voles (Microtus kikuchii) are an endemic species in Taiwan, found only in mountainous areas greater than 2000m above sea level. In this study, the full-length HIF-1α cDNA was cloned and sequenced from liver tissues of Taiwan voles. We found that HIF-1α of Taiwan voles had high sequence similarity to HIF-1α of other species. Sequence alignment of HIF-1α functional domains indicated basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) and C-terminal transactivation (TAD-C) domains were conserved among species, but sequence variations were found between the oxygen-dependent degradation domains (ODDD). To measure Taiwan vole HIF-1α responses to hypoxia, animals were challenged with cobalt chloride, and HIF-1α mRNA and protein expression in brain, lung, heart, liver, kidney, and muscle was assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Upon induction of hypoxic stress with cobalt chloride, an increase in HIF-1α mRNA levels was detected in lung, heart, kidney, and muscle tissue. In contrast, protein expression levels showed greater variation between individual animals. These results suggest that the regulation of HIF-1α may be important to the Taiwan vole under cobalt chloride treatments. But more details regarding the evolutionary effect of environmental pressure on HIF-1α primary sequence, HIF-1α function and regulation in Taiwan voles remain to be identified.

  19. The importance of bank vole density and rainy winters in predicting nephropathia epidemica incidence in Northern Sweden.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Khalil

    Full Text Available Pathogenic hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus are rodent-borne viruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS in Eurasia. In Europe, there are more than 10,000 yearly cases of nephropathia epidemica (NE, a mild form of HFRS caused by Puumala virus (PUUV. The common and widely distributed bank vole (Myodes glareolus is the host of PUUV. In this study, we aim to explain and predict NE incidence in boreal Sweden using bank vole densities. We tested whether the number of rainy days in winter contributed to variation in NE incidence. We forecast NE incidence in July 2013-June 2014 using projected autumn vole density, and then considering two climatic scenarios: 1 rain-free winter and 2 winter with many rainy days. Autumn vole density was a strong explanatory variable of NE incidence in boreal Sweden in 1990-2012 (R2 = 79%, p<0.001. Adding the number of rainy winter days improved the model (R2 = 84%, p<0.05. We report for the first time that risk of NE is higher in winters with many rainy days. Rain on snow and ground icing may block vole access to subnivean space. Seeking refuge from adverse conditions and shelter from predators, voles may infest buildings, increasing infection risk. In a rainy winter scenario, we predicted 812 NE cases in boreal Sweden, triple the number of cases predicted in a rain-free winter in 2013/2014. Our model enables identification of high risk years when preparedness in the public health sector is crucial, as a rainy winter would accentuate risk.

  20. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

  1. Intracerebral Borna disease virus infection of bank voles leading to peripheral spread and reverse transcription of viral RNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Maria Kinnunen

    Full Text Available Bornaviruses, which chronically infect many species, can cause severe neurological diseases in some animal species; their association with human neuropsychiatric disorders is, however, debatable. The epidemiology of Borna disease virus (BDV, as for other members of the family Bornaviridae, is largely unknown, although evidence exists for a reservoir in small mammals, for example bank voles (Myodes glareolus. In addition to the current exogenous infections and despite the fact that bornaviruses have an RNA genome, bornavirus sequences integrated into the genomes of several vertebrates millions of years ago. Our hypothesis is that the bank vole, a common wild rodent species in traditional BDV-endemic areas, can serve as a viral host; we therefore explored whether this species can be infected with BDV, and if so, how the virus spreads and whether viral RNA is transcribed into DNA in vivo.We infected neonate bank voles intracerebrally with BDV and euthanized them 2 to 8 weeks post-infection. Specific Ig antibodies were detectable in 41%. Histological evaluation revealed no significant pathological alterations, but BDV RNA and antigen were detectable in all infected brains. Immunohistology demonstrated centrifugal spread throughout the nervous tissue, because viral antigen was widespread in peripheral nerves and ganglia, including the mediastinum, esophagus, and urinary bladder. This was associated with viral shedding in feces, of which 54% were BDV RNA-positive, and urine at 17%. BDV nucleocapsid gene DNA occurred in 66% of the infected voles, and, surprisingly, occasionally also phosphoprotein DNA. Thus, intracerebral BDV infection of bank vole led to systemic infection of the nervous tissue and viral excretion, as well as frequent reverse transcription of the BDV genome, enabling genomic integration. This first experimental bornavirus infection in wild mammals confirms the recent findings regarding bornavirus DNA, and suggests that bank voles are

  2. Intracerebral Borna disease virus infection of bank voles leading to peripheral spread and reverse transcription of viral RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnunen, Paula Maria; Inkeroinen, Hanna; Ilander, Mette; Kallio, Eva Riikka; Heikkilä, Henna Pauliina; Koskela, Esa; Mappes, Tapio; Palva, Airi; Vaheri, Antti; Kipar, Anja; Vapalahti, Olli

    2011-01-01

    Bornaviruses, which chronically infect many species, can cause severe neurological diseases in some animal species; their association with human neuropsychiatric disorders is, however, debatable. The epidemiology of Borna disease virus (BDV), as for other members of the family Bornaviridae, is largely unknown, although evidence exists for a reservoir in small mammals, for example bank voles (Myodes glareolus). In addition to the current exogenous infections and despite the fact that bornaviruses have an RNA genome, bornavirus sequences integrated into the genomes of several vertebrates millions of years ago. Our hypothesis is that the bank vole, a common wild rodent species in traditional BDV-endemic areas, can serve as a viral host; we therefore explored whether this species can be infected with BDV, and if so, how the virus spreads and whether viral RNA is transcribed into DNA in vivo.We infected neonate bank voles intracerebrally with BDV and euthanized them 2 to 8 weeks post-infection. Specific Ig antibodies were detectable in 41%. Histological evaluation revealed no significant pathological alterations, but BDV RNA and antigen were detectable in all infected brains. Immunohistology demonstrated centrifugal spread throughout the nervous tissue, because viral antigen was widespread in peripheral nerves and ganglia, including the mediastinum, esophagus, and urinary bladder. This was associated with viral shedding in feces, of which 54% were BDV RNA-positive, and urine at 17%. BDV nucleocapsid gene DNA occurred in 66% of the infected voles, and, surprisingly, occasionally also phosphoprotein DNA. Thus, intracerebral BDV infection of bank vole led to systemic infection of the nervous tissue and viral excretion, as well as frequent reverse transcription of the BDV genome, enabling genomic integration. This first experimental bornavirus infection in wild mammals confirms the recent findings regarding bornavirus DNA, and suggests that bank voles are capable of

  3. Effects of neonatal paternal deprivation or early deprivation on anxiety and social behaviors of the adults in mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Rui; Tai, Fadao; An, Shucheng; Zhang, Xia; Broders, Hugh

    2009-11-01

    This study examined whether neonatal paternal deprivation (PD: father was removed and pups were raised just by mother) or early deprivation (ED: pups were raised by both parents except separated from not only the dam but also the peers for three hours a day from PND 0 to 13) has long-term effects on anxiety and social behaviors of adult mandarin voles. Newborn mandarin voles of F2 generation were randomly assigned to one of three groups: bi-parental care (PC: pups were raised by both parents), PD and ED. The parental care behaviors of F1 generation were observed at the age of 0, 13 and 21 days (PND 0, 13, 21) of F2 generation of PC and PD groups. Moreover, each mandarin vole of F2 generation received an open field test and a social interaction test on PND 70 and PND 75, respectively. No significant differences of parental behavior were observed between mothers and fathers from PC families, showing typical parental behavior of socially monogamous rodents. In addition, no significant differences of maternal behaviors were found between mothers from PC and PD families, indicating no maternal compensation towards pups for the absence of the paternal care. In the open field test, mandarin voles from both PD and ED families displayed higher levels of anxiety and lower locomotor activity, relative to offspring of PC family. In the social interaction test, both PD and ED mandarin voles also showed lower levels of social behavior and higher levels of anxiety. Thus, both PD and ED significantly increase anxiety and reduce social behavior of adult mandarin voles, suggesting that variation in parental investment may lead to variation in anxiety and social behaviors in rodents with different mating systems.

  4. The importance of bank vole density and rainy winters in predicting nephropathia epidemica incidence in Northern Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Hussein; Olsson, Gert; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Hjertqvist, Marika; Magnusson, Magnus; Löfvenius, Mikaell Ottosson; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) are rodent-borne viruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia. In Europe, there are more than 10,000 yearly cases of nephropathia epidemica (NE), a mild form of HFRS caused by Puumala virus (PUUV). The common and widely distributed bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the host of PUUV. In this study, we aim to explain and predict NE incidence in boreal Sweden using bank vole densities. We tested whether the number of rainy days in winter contributed to variation in NE incidence. We forecast NE incidence in July 2013-June 2014 using projected autumn vole density, and then considering two climatic scenarios: 1) rain-free winter and 2) winter with many rainy days. Autumn vole density was a strong explanatory variable of NE incidence in boreal Sweden in 1990-2012 (R2 = 79%, p<0.001). Adding the number of rainy winter days improved the model (R2 = 84%, p<0.05). We report for the first time that risk of NE is higher in winters with many rainy days. Rain on snow and ground icing may block vole access to subnivean space. Seeking refuge from adverse conditions and shelter from predators, voles may infest buildings, increasing infection risk. In a rainy winter scenario, we predicted 812 NE cases in boreal Sweden, triple the number of cases predicted in a rain-free winter in 2013/2014. Our model enables identification of high risk years when preparedness in the public health sector is crucial, as a rainy winter would accentuate risk.

  5. Self-grooming induced by sexual chemical signals in male root voles (Microtus oeconomus Pallas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Honghao; Yue, Pengpeng; Sun, Ping; Zhao, Xinquan

    2010-03-01

    Sniffing is one-way animals collect chemical signals, and many males self-groom when they encounter the odor of opposite-sex conspecifics. We tested the hypothesis that sexual chemical signals from females can induce self-grooming behavior in male root voles (Microtus oeconomus Pallas). Specifically, we investigated the sniffing pattern of male root voles in response to odors from the head, trunk, and tail areas of lactating and non-lactating females. The self-grooming behavior of males in response to female individual odorant stimuli was documented, and the relationship between self-grooming and sniffing of odors from the head, trunk, and tails areas were analyzed. Sniffing pattern results showed that males are most interested in odors from the head area, and more interested in odors from the tail as compared to the trunk area. Males displayed different sniffing and self-grooming behaviors when they were exposed to odors from lactating females as compared to non-lactating females. Males also spent more time sniffing and engaged in more sniffing behaviors in response to odors from the lactating females' tail area as compared to the same odors from non-lactating females. Similarly, males spent more time self-grooming and engaged in more self-grooming behaviors in the presence of individual odors from lactating females as compared to individual odors from non-lactating females. Partial correlation analyses revealed that the frequency of self-grooming was significantly correlated with the frequency of tail area sniffs. Results from this experiment suggest that sexual attractiveness of lactating females is stronger than that of non-lactating females. Furthermore, the partial correlation analysis demonstrated that self-grooming in males is induced by odors from the tail area of females. Collectively, these results support the hypothesis that sexual chemical signals from females can induce self-grooming behavior in male root voles. Self-grooming may also reflect the

  6. Is reproduction costly? No increase of oxidative damage in breeding bank voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ołdakowski, Łukasz; Piotrowska, Zaneta; Chrzaácik, Katarzyna M; Sadowska, Edyta T; Koteja, Paweł; Taylor, Jan R E

    2012-06-01

    According to life-history theory, investment in reproduction is associated with costs, which should appear as decreased survival to the next reproduction or lower future reproductive success. It has been suggested that oxidative stress may be the proximate mechanism of these trade-offs. Despite numerous studies of the defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS) during reproduction, very little is known about the damage caused by ROS to the tissues of wild breeding animals. We measured oxidative damage to lipids and proteins in breeding bank vole (Myodes glareolus) females after rearing one and two litters, and in non-breeding females. We used bank voles from lines selected for high maximum aerobic metabolic rates (which also had high resting metabolic rates and food intake) and non-selected control lines. The oxidative damage was determined in heart, kidneys and skeletal muscles by measuring the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, as markers of lipid peroxidation, and carbonyl groups in proteins, as markers of protein oxidation. Surprisingly, we found that the oxidative damage to lipids in kidneys and muscles was actually lower in breeding than in non-breeding voles, and it did not differ between animals from the selected and control lines. Thus, contrary to our predictions, females that bred suffered lower levels of oxidative stress than those that did not reproduce. Elevated production of antioxidant enzymes and the protective role of sex hormones may explain the results. The results of the present study do not support the hypothesis that oxidative damage to tissues is the proximate mechanism of reproduction costs.

  7. Social isolation impairs adult neurogenesis in the limbic system and alters behaviors in female prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberwirth, Claudia; Liu, Yan; Jia, Xixi; Wang, Zuoxin

    2012-09-01

    Disruptions in the social environment, such as social isolation, are distressing and can induce various behavioral and neural changes in the distressed animal. We conducted a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that long-term social isolation affects brain plasticity and alters behavior in the highly social prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). In Experiment 1, adult female prairie voles were injected with a cell division marker, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU), and then same-sex pair-housed (control) or single-housed (isolation) for 6 weeks. Social isolation reduced cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation and altered cell death in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the amygdala. In addition, social isolation reduced cell proliferation in the medial preoptic area and cell survival in the ventromedial hypothalamus. These data suggest that long-term social isolation affects distinct stages of adult neurogenesis in specific limbic brain regions. In Experiment 2, isolated females displayed higher levels of anxiety-like behaviors in both the open field and elevated plus maze tests and higher levels of depression-like behavior in the forced swim test than controls. Further, isolated females showed a higher level of affiliative behavior than controls, but the two groups did not differ in social recognition memory. Together, our data suggest that social isolation not only impairs cell proliferation, survival, and neuronal differentiation in limbic brain areas, but also alters anxiety-like, depression-like, and affiliative behaviors in adult female prairie voles. These data warrant further investigation of a possible link between altered neurogenesis within the limbic system and behavioral changes.

  8. Autonomic substrates of the response to pups in male prairie voles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M Kenkel

    Full Text Available Caregiving by nonparents (alloparenting and fathers is a defining aspect of human social behavior, yet this phenomenon is rare among mammals. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster spontaneously exhibit high levels of alloparental care, even in the absence of reproductive experience. In previous studies, exposure to a pup was selectively associated with increased activity in oxytocin and vasopressin neurons along with decreased plasma corticosterone. In the present study, physiological, pharmacological and neuroanatomical methods were used to explore the autonomic and behavioral consequences of exposing male prairie voles to a pup. Reproductively naïve, adult male prairie voles were implanted with radiotransmitters used for recording ECG, temperature and activity. Males responded with a sustained increase in heart-rate during pup exposure. This prolonged increase in heart rate was not explained by novelty, locomotion or thermoregulation. Although heart rate was elevated during pup exposure, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA did not differ between these males and males exposed to control stimuli indicating that vagal inhibition of the heart was maintained. Blockade of beta-adrenergic receptors with atenolol abolished the pup-induced heart rate increase, implicating sympathetic activity in the pup-induced increase in heart rate. Blockade of vagal input to the heart delayed the males' approach to the pup. Increased activity in brainstem autonomic regulatory nuclei was also observed in males exposed to pups. Together, these findings suggest that exposure to a pup activates both vagal and sympathetic systems. This unique physiological state (i.e. increased sympathetic excitation of the heart, while maintaining some vagal cardiac tone associated with male caregiving behavior may allow males to both nurture and protect infants.

  9. Comparative toxicity of acephate in laboratory mice, white-footed mice, and meadow voles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattner, B.A.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1984-01-01

    The LD50 (95% confidence limits) of the organophosphorus insecticide acephate was estimated to be 351, 380, and 321 mg/kg (295?416, 280?516, and 266?388 mg/kg) for CD-1 laboratory mice (Mus musculus), white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis), and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), respectively. In a second study, these species were provided mash containing 0, 25, 100, and 400 ppm acephate for five days. Brain and plasma cholinesterase activities were reduced in a dose-dependent manner to a similar extent in the three species (inhibition of brain acetyl-cholinesterase averaged for each species ranged from 13 to 22% at 25 ppm, 33 to 42% at 100 ppm, and 56 to 57% at 400 ppm). Mash intake, body or liver weight, plasma enzyme activities (alkaline phosphatase, alanine and aspartate aminotransferase), hepatic enzyme activities (aniline hydroxylase, 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase, and glutathione S-transferase), and cytochrome content (P-450 and b5) were not affected by acephate ingestion, although values differed among species. In a third experiment, mice and voles received 400 ppm acephate for 5 days followed by untreated food for up to 2 weeks. Mean inhibition of brain acetylcholin-esterase for the three species ranged from 47 to 58% on day 5, but by days 12 and 19, activity had recovered to 66 to 76% and 81 to 88% of concurrent control values. These findings indicate that CD-1 laboratory mice, white-footed mice, and meadow voles are equally sensitive to acephate when maintained under uniform laboratory conditions. Several factors (e.g., behavior, food preference, habitat) could affect routes and degree of exposure in the field, thereby rendering some species of wild rodents ecologically more vulnerable to organophosphorus insecticides.

  10. Estimation of thyroid gland state of voles natural populations from increased radioactive background territories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raskosha, O.; Ermakova, O.; Kaneva, A. [Institute of Biology of Komi Scientific Center, Ural Division of Russian Academy of Science (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Investigation of effects caused in biological objects by chronic low-intensity radiation in their natural habitats is one of the most important problems of modern radioecology. The aim of our work - complex estimation of state of thyroid gland of voles inhabiting increased radioactive background territories. We investigated tundra voles (Microtus oeconomus Pall.) that were sampled at different stages of population cycle from the experimental and the control sites in the Uhta region of the Komi Republic, Russia. Experimental site contamination resulted from commercial extraction od radium between the 1930's and 1950's. Irradiation exposure dose at the site was 50-2000 mR/h (at the control site 10-15 mR/h). Complex estimation of thyroid was made by histological, morpho-metrical, radioimmunological and cytogenetic methods. Results showed high sensitivity of thyroid gland of tundra voles from chronically irradiated natural populations. We found reliable changes in morphological features of thyroid, in the level of thyroidal hormones and increased frequency of cells with micro-nucleuses in animals sampled from the experimental site as compared with the control ones. It was also showed, that chronic exposure of ionizing irradiation at the same range of absorbed doses can cause different effects in animals depending on sex, age and the stage of population cycle. This confirms the need of including these biological factors to analysis of low doses effects in the natural populations during radioecological studies. Investigations were supported by RFBR grants No. 13-04-01750? and No. 13-04-90351-RBUa. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  11. Early Intranasal Vasopressin Administration Impairs Partner Preference in Adult Male Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trenton C. Simmons

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Research supports a modulatory role for arginine vasopressin (AVP in the expression of socially motivated behaviors in mammals. The acute effects of AVP administration are demonstrably pro-social across species, providing the justification for an ever-increasing measure of clinical interest over the last decade. Combining these results with non-invasive intranasal delivery results in an attractive system for offering intranasal AVP (IN-AVP as a therapeutic for the social impairments of children with autism spectrum disorder. But, very little is known about the long-term effects of IN-AVP during early development. In this experiment, we explored whether a single week of early juvenile administration of IN-AVP (low = 0.05 IU/kg, medium = 0.5 IU/kg, high = 5.0 IU/kg could impact behavior across life in prairie voles. We found increases in fecal boli production during open field and novel object recognition testing for the medium dose in both males and females. Medium-dose females also had significantly more play bouts than control when exposed to novel conspecifics during the juvenile period. Following sexual maturity, the medium and high doses of IN-AVP blocked partner preference formation in males, while no such impairment was found for any of the experimental groups in females. Finally, the high-dose selectively increased adult male aggression with novel conspecifics, but only after extended cohabitation with a mate. Our findings confirm that a single week of early IN-AVP treatment can have organizational effects on behavior across life in prairie voles. Specifically, the impairments in pair-bonding behavior experienced by male prairie voles should raise caution when the prosocial effects of acute IN-AVP demonstrated in other studies are extrapolated to long-term treatment.

  12. Evidence that bank vole PrP is a universal acceptor for prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bank voles are uniquely susceptible to a wide range of prion strains isolated from many different species. To determine if this enhanced susceptibility to interspecies prion transmission is encoded within the sequence of the bank vole prion protein (BVPrP, we inoculated Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice, which express BVPrP containing either methionine or isoleucine at polymorphic codon 109, with 16 prion isolates from 8 different species: humans, cattle, elk, sheep, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and meadow voles. Efficient disease transmission was observed in both Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice. For instance, inoculation of the most common human prion strain, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD subtype MM1, into Tg(M109 mice gave incubation periods of ∼200 days that were shortened slightly on second passage. Chronic wasting disease prions exhibited an incubation time of ∼250 days, which shortened to ∼150 days upon second passage in Tg(M109 mice. Unexpectedly, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant CJD prions caused rapid neurological dysfunction in Tg(M109 mice upon second passage, with incubation periods of 64 and 40 days, respectively. Despite the rapid incubation periods, other strain-specified properties of many prion isolates--including the size of proteinase K-resistant PrPSc, the pattern of cerebral PrPSc deposition, and the conformational stability--were remarkably conserved upon serial passage in Tg(M109 mice. Our results demonstrate that expression of BVPrP is sufficient to engender enhanced susceptibility to a diverse range of prion isolates, suggesting that BVPrP may be a universal acceptor for prions.

  13. Habitat fragmentation, vole population fluctuations, and the ROMPA hypothesis: An experimental test using model landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

    Increased habitat fragmentation leads to smaller size of habitat patches and to greater distance between patches. The ROMPA hypothesis (ratio of optimal to marginal patch area) uniquely links vole population fluctuations to the composition of the landscape. It states that as ROMPA decreases (fragmentation increases), vole population fluctuations will increase (including the tendency to display multi-annual cycles in abundance) because decreased proportions of optimal habitat result in greater population declines and longer recovery time after a harsh season. To date, only comparative observations in the field have supported the hypothesis. This paper reports the results of the first experimental test. I used prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, and mowed grassland to create model landscapes with 3 levels of ROMPA (high with 25% mowed, medium with 50% mowed and low with 75% mowed). As ROMPA decreased, distances between patches of favorable habitat (high cover) increased owing to a greater proportion of unfavorable (mowed) habitat. Results from the first year with intensive live trapping indicated that the preconditions for operation of the hypothesis existed (inversely density dependent emigration and, as ROMPA decreased, increased per capita mortality and decreased per capita movement between optimal patches). Nevertheless, contrary to the prediction of the hypothesis that populations in landscapes with high ROMPA should have the lowest variability, 5 years of trapping indicated that variability was lowest with medium ROMPA. The design of field experiments may never be perfect, but these results indicate that the ROMPA hypothesis needs further rigorous testing. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  14. Taphonomic alterations by the rodent species woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum) upon human skeletal remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokines, James T

    2015-12-01

    This forensic case report describes the taphonomic effects of woodland vole (Microtus pinetorum) upon a set of skeletonized human remains recovered in Massachusetts, USA. Remains of an individual of this rodent species were discovered where it had been nesting inside the human cranium. Fine, parallel grooves indicative of small rodent gnawing were noted on multiple postcranial elements, and all isolated grooves were consistent in size with the incisors of this species. Other taphonomic alterations to these remains include some gnawing damage and dispersal by large carnivores. This case represents the first report of this rodent species affecting human remains. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Latitudinal variation in resistance and tolerance to herbivory in the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria is related to intensity of herbivory and plant phenology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehndal, L; Ågren, J

    2015-03-01

    Both the length of the growing season and the intensity of herbivory often vary along climatic gradients, which may result in divergent selection on plant phenology, and on resistance and tolerance to herbivory. In Sweden, the length of the growing season and the number of insect herbivore species feeding on the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria decrease from south to north. Previous common-garden experiments have shown that northern L. salicaria populations develop aboveground shoots earlier in the summer and finish growth before southern populations do. We tested the hypotheses that resistance and tolerance to damage vary with latitude in L. salicaria and are positively related to the intensity of herbivory in natural populations. We quantified resistance and tolerance of populations sampled along a latitudinal gradient by scoring damage from natural herbivores and fitness in a common-garden experiment in the field and by documenting oviposition and feeding preference by specialist leaf beetles in a glasshouse experiment. Plant resistance decreased with latitude of origin, whereas plant tolerance increased. Oviposition and feeding preference in the glasshouse and leaf damage in the common-garden experiment were negatively related to damage in the source populations. The latitudinal variation in resistance was thus consistent with reduced selection from herbivores towards the northern range margin of L. salicaria. Variation in tolerance may be related to differences in the timing of damage in relation to the seasonal pattern of plant growth, as northern genotypes have developed further than southern have when herbivores emerge in early summer.

  16. Beyond the Mediterranean peninsulas: evidence of central European glacial refugia for a temperate forest mammal species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deffontaine, V; Libois, R; Kotlík, P; Sommer, R; Nieberding, C; Paradis, E; Searle, J B; Michaux, J R

    2005-05-01

    This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, a European rodent species strongly associated with forest habitat. We used sequences of 1011 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene from 207 bank voles collected in 62 localities spread throughout its distribution area. Our results reveal the presence of three Mediterranean (Spanish, Italian and Balkan) and three continental (western, eastern and 'Ural') phylogroups. The endemic Mediterranean phylogroups did not contribute to the post-glacial recolonization of much of the Palaearctic range of species. Instead, the major part of this region was apparently recolonized by bank voles that survived in glacial refugia in central Europe. Moreover, our phylogeographic analyses also reveal differentiated populations of bank voles in the Ural mountains and elsewhere, which carry the mitochondrial DNA of another related vole species, the ruddy vole (Clethrionomys rutilus). In conclusion, this study demonstrates a complex phylogeographic history for a forest species in Europe which is sufficiently adaptable that, facing climate change, survives in relict southern and northern habitats. The high level of genetic diversity characterizing vole populations from parts of central Europe also highlights the importance of such regions as a source of intraspecific genetic biodiversity.

  17. Influence of photoperiod and sex on locomotor behavior of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) in an automated light-dark 'anxiety' test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossenkopp, Klaus-Peter; van Anders, Sari M; Engeland, Christopher G; Kavaliers, Martin

    2005-10-01

    This study examined the influence of photoperiod on affective behavior (anxiety) of adult male and female meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), maintained in either a long or short day photoperiod, when tested in an automated (VersaMax) light-dark test. The light-dark test is based on an innate aversion of rodents to novel, brightly illuminated spaces and has been used with laboratory raised species, such as mice, to assess anxiety and/or fear related behaviors. Male and female meadow voles, housed either in a long day (LD: 16 h light) or short day (SD: 8 h light) photoperiod, were tested in the light-dark apparatus for 30 min on 3 consecutive days. All animals spent significantly (p dark chamber. LD voles, especially females, spent significantly less time in the brightly lit area than did SD voles. Both horizontal and vertical movements occurred less frequently per unit time in the dark area relative to the light, but only in the LD voles. LD female voles were the least active group in the dark area on the first test day but the most active group in the light area, despite spending the least amount of time in this area on the second and third test days. The present results show that LD voles exhibit more anxiety related behaviors in this test situation than do SD voles. LD females avoided the brightly lit area the most, particularly when the apparatus was novel. Thus, both photoperiod and sex influence situation-based anxiety in this species. These findings suggest that meadow voles are an excellent animal model in which to examine the role of gonadal hormones, and their modulation of defence related neural systems, in the induction of anxiety.

  18. Plant defense, herbivory, and the growth of Cordia alliodora trees and their symbiotic Azteca ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Gordon, Deborah M

    2012-11-01

    The effects of herbivory on plant fitness are integrated over a plant's lifetime, mediated by ontogenetic changes in plant defense, tolerance, and herbivore pressure. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, plants provide nesting space and food for ants, and ants defend plants against herbivores. The benefit to the plant of sustaining the growth of symbiotic ant colonies depends on whether defense by the growing ant colony outpaces the plant's growth in defendable area and associated herbivore pressure. These relationships were investigated in the symbiotic mutualism between Cordia alliodora trees and Azteca pittieri ants in a Mexican tropical dry forest. As ant colonies grew, worker production remained constant relative to ant-colony size. As trees grew, leaf production increased relative to tree size. Moreover, larger trees hosted lower densities of ants, suggesting that ant-colony growth did not keep pace with tree growth. On leaves with ants experimentally excluded, herbivory per unit leaf area increased exponentially with tree size, indicating that larger trees experienced higher herbivore pressure per leaf area than smaller trees. Even with ant defense, herbivory increased with tree size. Therefore, although larger trees had larger ant colonies, ant density was lower in larger trees, and the ant colonies did not provide sufficient defense to compensate for the higher herbivore pressure in larger trees. These results suggest that in this system the tree can decrease herbivory by promoting ant-colony growth, i.e., sustaining space and food investment in ants, as long as the tree continues to grow.

  19. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Pareja

    Full Text Available There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  20. Herbivory on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Ascherson in contrasting Spanish Mediterranean habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cebrian, J.; Duarte, C.M.; Marbà, N.

    1996-01-01

    We assess the magnitude and variability of herbivory (i.e. leaf consumption and sloughing caused by herbivore bites) on the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa along the Spanish Mediterranean coast and test the hypothesis that this is higher in meadows growing in sheltered bays than in exposed, open zones. To

  1. Ungulate herbivory modifies the effects of climate change on mountain forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Didion, M.P.; Kupferschmid, A.D.; Wolf, A.; Bugmann, H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent temperature observations suggest a general warming trend that may be causing the range of tree species to shift to higher latitudes and altitudes. Since biotic interactions such as herbivory can change tree species composition, it is important to understand their contribution to vegetation

  2. Herbivory by a Phloem-feeding insect inhibits floral volatile production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pareja, Martin; Qvarfordt, Erika; Webster, Ben; Mayon, Patrick; Pickett, John; Birkett, Michael; Glinwood, Robert

    2012-01-01

    There is extensive knowledge on the effects of insect herbivory on volatile emission from vegetative tissue, but little is known about its impact on floral volatiles. We show that herbivory by phloem-feeding aphids inhibits floral volatile emission in white mustard Sinapis alba measured by gas chromatographic analysis of headspace volatiles. The effect of the Brassica specialist aphid Lipaphis erysimi was stronger than the generalist aphid Myzus persicae and feeding by chewing larvae of the moth Plutella xylostella caused no reduction in floral volatile emission. Field observations showed no effect of L. erysimi-mediated floral volatile emission on the total number of flower visits by pollinators. Olfactory bioassays suggested that although two aphid natural enemies could detect aphid inhibition of floral volatiles, their olfactory orientation to infested plants was not disrupted. This is the first demonstration that phloem-feeding herbivory can affect floral volatile emission, and that the outcome of interaction between herbivory and floral chemistry may differ depending on the herbivore's feeding mode and degree of specialisation. The findings provide new insights into interactions between insect herbivores and plant chemistry.

  3. Spatially distinct responses within willow to bark stripping by deer: effects on insect herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Motonobu; Nakamura, Masahiro

    2015-10-01

    Within individual plants, cervid herbivory may cause positive or negative plant-mediated effects on insect herbivores, depending on where it occurs. Using a combination of field observations and artificial bark-stripping experiments in Hokkaido, Japan, we examined the plant-mediated effects of bark stripping by sika deer ( Cervus nippon yesoensis) on insect herbivory in two spatially distinct parts of willow ( Salix udensis) trees: resprouting leaves below bark-stripping wounds and canopy leaves above. Natural and artificial bark stripping stimulated resprouting from trunks below wounds. Resprouting leaves on bark-stripped trees had lower total phenolics, condensed tannin, and C/N ratios than did canopy leaves on control trees. Herbivory rates were higher in resprouting leaves on bark-stripped trees than in canopy leaves on controls. Conversely, above-wound canopy leaves on bark-stripped trees had higher total phenolics than did those on controls, while herbivory rates were lower in the canopy leaves of bark-stripped trees than in those on controls. These results demonstrate that plant-mediated effects of bark stripping diverge between plant tissues below and above wounds in individual willow trees. We submit that focusing on multiple plant parts can elucidate plant-mediated effects at the whole-plant scale.

  4. Synergistic interactions between leaf beetle herbivory and fire enhance tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drus, Gail M.; Dudley, Tom L.; Antonio, Carla M.; Even, Thomas J.; Brooks, Matt L.; Matchett, J.R.

    2014-01-01

    The combined effects of herbivory and fire on plant mortality were investigated using prescribed burns of tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima Lebed) exposed to herbivory by the saltcedar leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae: Diorhabda carinulata Desbrocher). Tamarix stands in the Humboldt Sink (NV, USA) were divided into three treatments: summer burn (August 2006), fall burn (October 2006) and control (unburned), and litter depth was manipulated to vary fire intensity within burn seasons. A gradient of existing herbivory impact was described with three plant condition metrics prior to fire: reduced proportions of green canopy, percent root crown starch sampled at the height of the growing season (August 2006), and percent root crown starch measured during dormancy (December 2006). August root crown starch concentration and proportion green canopy were strongly correlated, although the proportion green canopy predicted mortality better than August root crown starch. December root crown starch concentration was more depleted in unburned trees and in trees burned during the summer than in fall burn trees. Mortality in summer burned trees was higher than fall burned trees due to higher fire intensity, but December root crown starch available for resprouting in the spring was also lower in summer burned trees. The greatest mortality was observed in trees with the lowest December root crown starch concentration which were exposed to high fire intensity. Disproportionate changes in the slope and curvature of prediction traces as fire intensity and December starch reach reciprocal maximum and minimum levels indicate that beetle herbivory and fire intensity are synergistic.

  5. Effects of fire and herbivory on the stability of savanna ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Langevelde, F; van de Vijver, CADM; Kumar, L; van de Koppel, J; de Ridder, N; van Andel, J; Skidmore, AK; Hearne, JW; Stroosnijder, L; Bond, WJ; Prins, HHT; Rietkerk, M; Vijver, Claudius A.D.M. van de; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Hearne, John W.; Bond, William J.; Lauenroth, W.K.

    2003-01-01

    Savanna ecosystems are characterized by the co-occurrence of trees and grasses. In this paper, we argue that the balance between trees and grasses is, to a large extent,determined by the indirect interactive effects of herbivory and fire. These effects are based on the positive feedback between fuel

  6. The ghost of herbivory past: slow defence relaxation in the chlorophyte Scenedesmus obliquus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacobus VIJVERBERG

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The freshwater chlorophyte Scenedesmus obliquus (Turpin Kützing produces colonies as an inducible defence against herbivores. We investigated the dynamics of Scenedesmus colony formation and disintegration in response to the density of the herbivorous rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus in large-scale mesocosms. Additional bioassays were performed to investigate Scenedesmus colony disintegration under different light regimes. In the mesocosm experiment, colony formation took place rapidly, but relaxation towards the initial size took relatively long (>10 d after cessation of herbivory. In the bioassays, in the absence of infochemicals, colonies disintegrated almost immediately in the dark (1-1.5 d, within 4 d under a photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D and between 8 and 12 days under full light. Colony disintegration times in the mesocosm experiment were substantially longer as compared to treatments with the same photoperiod (L:D 16:8 in the bioassays. So after a peak of herbivory, the 'ghost of herbivory past', i.e. the remaining infochemicals, may continue to induce colony formation, causing an additional lengthening of colony disintegration times and associated fitness costs (higher sedimentation loss rates. This indicates that costs of colony formation are not only important during the induction phase, but may be even more important during the relaxation phase. We compared these sedimentation costs to the costs of herbivory for differently sized Scenedesmus, and found a clear trade-off pattern for these costs.

  7. Effects of herbivory on the reproductive effort of 4 prairie perennials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley Kate L

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Herbivory can affect every aspect of a plant's life. Damaged individuals may show decreased survivorship and reproductive output. Additionally, specific plant species (legumes and tissues (flowers are often selectively targeted by herbivores, like deer. These types of herbivory influence a plant's growth and abundance. The objective of this study was to identify the effects of leaf and meristem removal (simulated herbivory within an exclosure on fruit and flower production in four species (Rhus glabra, Rosa arkansana, Lathyrus venosus, and Phlox pilosa which are known targets of deer herbivory. Results Lathyrus never flowered or went to seed, so we were unable to detect any treatment effects. Leaf removal did not affect flower number in the other three species. However, Phlox, Rosa, and Rhus all showed significant negative correlations between seed mass and leaf removal. Meristem removal had a more negative effect than leaf removal on flower number in Phlox and on both flower number and seed mass in Rosa. Conclusions Meristem removal caused a greater response than defoliation alone in both Phlox and Rosa, which suggests that meristem loss has a greater effect on reproduction. The combination of leaf and meristem removal as well as recruitment limitation by deer, which selectively browse for these species, is likely to be one factor contributing to their low abundance in prairies.

  8. Dealing with double trouble: consequences of single and double herbivory in Brassica juncea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathur, V.; Tytgat, T.O.G.; Graaf, de R.M.; Kalia, V.; Reddy, A.S.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dam, van N.M.

    2013-01-01

    In their natural environment, plants are often attacked simultaneously by many insect species. The specificity of induced plant responses that is reported after single herbivore attacks may be compromised under double herbivory and this may influence later arriving herbivores. The present study focu

  9. The effect of structurally complex corals and herbivory on the dynamics of Halimeda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Sanguino, Carolina; Lovelock, Catherine; Mumby, Peter J.

    2016-06-01

    The calcareous green alga Halimeda is a key contributor to carbonate sediment production on coral reefs. As herbivores have a direct negative effect on the abundance of Halimeda, protection from herbivory is critical for Halimeda growth. Branching corals such as Acropora are likely to provide refugia for Halimeda from grazers, yet studies are scarce. Here, we investigated the vulnerability of two Halimeda species to herbivory using fish exclusion cages and assessed the contribution of coral structural complexity to seasonal changes in Halimeda biomass and morphometrics. While up to 50 % Halimeda abundance was depleted outside cages due to herbivory and the exclusion of large herbivores resulted in an increase in net growth up to threefold, Halimeda recruitment was positively affected by herbivory, more than two times greater outside cages. However, these responses differed between species and seasons; only one species was affected in winter but not summer. Coral structural complexity facilitated an increase of total algal biomass particularly in summer. At the individual level, thalli growing inside the Acropora canopy were always significantly larger (thallus biomass, volume and height) than those growing in exposed areas. We estimated that the carbonate production of Halimeda was nearly three times greater inside refuges provided by Acropora. Because Halimeda species differ in growth rates and susceptibility to grazing, we predict that the ongoing degradation of the habitat complexity provided by branching corals will alter Halimeda community structure and its contribution to local sediment budgets.

  10. Effects of resource competition and herbivory on plant performance along a natural productivity gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Der Wal, R; Egas, M; Bakker, J; van der Veen, A.

    2000-01-01

    1 The effects of resource competition and herbivory on a target species, Triglochin maritima, were studied along a productivity gradient of vegetation biomass in a temperate salt marsh. 2 Transplants were used to measure the impact of grazing, competition and soil fertility over two growing seasons.

  11. Dealing with double trouble: consequences of single and double herbivory in Brassica juncea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathur, V.; Tytgat, T.O.G.; Graaf, de R.M.; Kalia, V.; Reddy, A.S.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dam, van N.M.

    2013-01-01

    In their natural environment, plants are often attacked simultaneously by many insect species. The specificity of induced plant responses that is reported after single herbivore attacks may be compromised under double herbivory and this may influence later arriving herbivores. The present study

  12. Ungulate herbivory modifies the effects of climate change on mountain forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Didion, M.P.; Kupferschmid, A.D.; Wolf, A.; Bugmann, H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent temperature observations suggest a general warming trend that may be causing the range of tree species to shift to higher latitudes and altitudes. Since biotic interactions such as herbivory can change tree species composition, it is important to understand their contribution to vegetation ch

  13. Forest loss increases insect herbivory levels in human-altered landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonov, Pavel; Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Cazetta, Eliana; Andrade, Edyla Ribeiro de; Rocha-Santos, Larissa; Inforzato, Igor; Gomes, Francisco Sanches; Faria, Deborah

    2016-11-01

    Insect herbivory has been observed to be affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, although the mechanisms by which these anthropogenic disturbances affect this process are not well understood. To aid in clarifying this issue, we assessed the relation between forest cover and leaf damage caused by herbivorous insects on a representative tropical forest understory plant family, the Rubiaceae. We measured leaf area loss of Rubiaceae plants in 20 forest sites located in the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and also tested whether variation in forest cover, abundance of insectivorous birds (predators) and of Rubiaceae plants (resources) could explain the observed variation in leaf damage. Herbivory levels varied between 2.6 and 12.5 percent leaf area lost and increased with decreasing forest cover, whereas the other explanatory variables did not provide additional explanatory power. Therefore, forest loss appears to be the main driver of changes in local herbivory, and ecological processes such as top-down and bottom-up control may not account for the deforestation-related increase in herbivory levels. Other mechanisms, for example leaf quality and/or the influence of the adjoining land uses, have to be explored in future studies.

  14. Ungulate herbivory modifies the effects of climate change on mountain forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Didion, M.P.; Kupferschmid, A.D.; Wolf, A.; Bugmann, H.

    2011-01-01

    Recent temperature observations suggest a general warming trend that may be causing the range of tree species to shift to higher latitudes and altitudes. Since biotic interactions such as herbivory can change tree species composition, it is important to understand their contribution to vegetation ch

  15. Chronic metals ingestion by prairie voles produces sex-specific deficits in social behavior: an animal model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, J Thomas; Hood, Amber N; Chen, Yue; Cobb, George P; Wallace, David R

    2010-11-12

    We examined the effects of chronic metals ingestion on social behavior in the normally highly social prairie vole to test the hypothesis that metals may interact with central dopamine systems to produce the social withdrawal characteristic of autism. Relative to water-treated controls, 10 weeks of chronic ingestion of either Hg(++) or Cd(++) via drinking water significantly reduced social contact by male voles when they were given a choice between isolation or contact with an unfamiliar same-sex conspecific. The effects of metals ingestion were specific to males: no effects of metals exposure were seen in females. Metals ingestion did not alter behavior of males allowed to choose between isolation or their familiar cage-mates, rather than strangers. We also examined the possibility that metals ingestion affects central dopamine functioning by testing the voles' locomotor responses to peripheral administration of amphetamine. As with the social behavior, we found a sex-specific effect of metals on amphetamine responses. Males that consumed Hg(++) did not increase their locomotor activity in response to amphetamine, whereas similarly treated females and males that ingested only water significantly increased their locomotor activities. Thus, an ecologically relevant stimulus, metals ingestion, produced two of the hallmark characteristics of autism - social avoidance and a male-oriented bias. These results suggest that metals exposure may contribute to the development of autism, possibly by interacting with central dopamine function, and support the use of prairie voles as a model organism in which to study autism.

  16. Flooding ecology of voles, mice and shrews: the importance of geomorphological and vegetational heterogeneity in river floodplains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijnhoven, S.; Velde, G. van der; Leuven, R.S.E.W.; Smits, A.J.M.

    2005-01-01

    Since voles, mice and shrews are important animals in food chains of river floodplains, there is a need for data on their spatial and temporal distribution in periodically flooded areas. During a live trapping study between two successive floods in an embanked river floodplain, the ’Afferdensche en

  17. Post-Hoc Pattern-Oriented Testing and Tuning of an Existing Large Model: Lessons from the Field Vole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Topping, Christopher John; Dalkvist, Trine; Grimm, Volker

    2012-01-01

    develop an existing agent-based model of the field vole (Microtus agrestis), which was developed and tested within the ALMaSS framework. This framework is complex because it includes a high-resolution representation of the landscape and its dynamics, of the individual’s behavior, and of the interaction...

  18. Novel, species-typical esters from preputial glands of sympatric voles,Microtus montanus andM. pennsylvanicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, C J; Moore, R E; Bartelt, R J; Jackson, L L

    1988-01-01

    Olfactory signals may facilitate species recognition between the sympatric voles,Microtus montanus andM. pennsylvanicus. In an effort to isolate and identify compounds that might contribute to such a chemical communication system, the preputial glands of those voles have been examined. Morphological examinations show both vole species possess preputial glands; however, the glands ofM. montanus are much larger than those ofM. pennsylvanicus. Gas Chromatographie analysis revealed that the preputial glands ofM. montanus contain a series of species-typical lipids that are not found inM. pennsylvanicus. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, the species-typical lipids were identified as esters of branched, saturated, and unsaturated C5 and C4 alcohols and straight-chain C16, and "iso" branched C17 fatty acids. This is the first description of such esters from mammalian tissues. The results are discussed relative to the possibility that the species-typical esters act as species recognition cues for the sympatric voles.

  19. Female host sex-biased parasitism with the rodent stomach nematode Mastophorus muris in wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzybek, Maciej; Bajer, Anna; Behnke-Borowczyk, Jolanta; Al-Sarraf, Mohammed; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2015-02-01

    Abundance and prevalence of helminth infections often differ between host sexes, and are usually biased in favor of males. Relatively few cases of female-biased parasitism have been reported. We sampled bank voles in three woodland sites in N.E. Poland over 11 years at 3-4-year intervals, and assessed their parasite burdens. Prevalence and abundance of the stomach nematode Mastophorus muris were consistently higher among females. Among adult female bank voles from the two sites that showed the highest prevalence with M. muris, both prevalence and abundance were significantly higher in lactating bank voles, but not pregnant animals, and the effect of lactation was evident in both sites, in all four surveys, and in both age classes. Although the magnitude of the effect of lactation varied between years, it was not confounded by any significant interactions with other factors. We hypothesize that mature and reproductively active female bank voles are subject to higher exposure compared with males of similar age, as a consequence of the increased content of invertebrates in their diet, including the intermediate hosts of M. muris, required to meet the higher increased energy and protein demands of nursing litters throughout the summer months.

  20. Temporal niche switching and reduced nest attendance in response to heat dissipation limits in lactating common voles (Microtus arvalis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Vinne, Vincent; Simons, Mirre J.P.; Reimert, Inonge; Gerkema, Menno P.

    2014-01-01

    According to the heat dissipation limit theory, maximum metabolic turnover is limited by the capacity of the body to dissipate excess heat. Small mammals, including common voles (Microtus arvalis), face a heat dissipation limitation during lactation. Pup growth and milk production are reduced under

  1. Ongoing ultradian activity rhythms in the common vole, Microtus arvalis, during deprivations of food, water and rest

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerkema, Menno P.; Leest, Floris van der

    1991-01-01

    The timing mechanism underlying ultradian (2-3 h) activity patterns in the common vole, Microtus arvalis, was studied using behavioural deprivation experiments. These were aimed at distinguishing between a homeostatic control mechanism, in which the rhythmic behaviour itself is part of the causal lo

  2. Phase Control of Ultradian Feeding Rhythms in the Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) : The Roles of Light and the Circadian System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerkema, Menno P.; Daan, Serge; Wilbrink, Marieke; Hop, Martina W.; Leest, Floris van der

    1993-01-01

    In their ultradian (2- to 3-hr) feeding rhythm, common voles show intraindividual synchrony from day to day, as well as interindividual synchrony between members of the population, even at remote distances. This study addresses the question of how resetting of the ultradian rhythm, a prerequisite fo

  3. Recovering More than Tree Cover: Herbivores and Herbivory in a Restored Tropical Dry Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October) in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae) and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae) were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees). Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp.) was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 –fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and disturbed sites

  4. Indirect effects of ecosystem engineering combine with consumer behaviour to determine the spatial distribution of herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Riley, Megan E; Cannizzo, Zachary J; Feller, Ilka C

    2017-07-10

    Ecosystem engineers alter environments by creating, modifying or destroying habitats. The indirect impacts of ecosystem engineering on trophic interactions should depend on the combination of the spatial distribution of engineered structures and the foraging behaviour of consumers that use these structures as refuges. In this study, we assessed the indirect effects of ecosystem engineering by a wood-boring beetle in a neotropical mangrove forest system. We identified herbivory patterns in a dwarf mangrove forest on the archipelago of Twin Cays, Belize. Past wood-boring activity impacted more than one-third of trees through the creation of tree holes that are now used, presumably as predation or thermal refuge, by the herbivorous mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii. The presence of these refuges had a significant impact on plant-animal interactions; herbivory was more than fivefold higher on trees influenced by tree holes relative to those that were completely isolated from these refuges. Additionally, herbivory decreased exponentially with increasing distance from tree holes. We use individual-based simulation modelling to demonstrate that the creation of these herbivory patterns depends on a combination of the use of engineered tree holes for refuge by tree crabs, and the use of two behaviour patterns in this species-site fidelity to a "home tree," and more frequent foraging near their home tree. We demonstrate that understanding the spatial distribution of herbivory in this system depends on combining both the use of ecosystem engineering structures with individual behavioural patterns of herbivores. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  5. Cascading effects of early-season herbivory on late-season herbivores and their parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Cumplido, Johnattran; Glauser, Gaetan; Benrey, Betty

    2016-05-01

    There is an increasing awareness that herbivory by one insect species induces changes in a plant that affect the performance of other herbivore species that feed on the same plant. However, previous studies of interspecies interactions mediated by plant defense responses have rarely taken into account different insect guilds or the third trophic level. Using a combination of field and laboratory experiments, we examined how early-season herbivory in lima bean plants (Phaseolus lunatus) by the leaf-chewing herbivore Cerotoma ruficornis and the bean pod weevil Apion godmani affects the abundance and performance of the seed beetle Zabrotes subfasciatus and that of its parasitoid Stenocorse bruchivora, which occurs on the plants at the end of the growing season. In addition, we determined the consequences of early-season herbivore-induced defenses on plant performance. We hypothesized that early-season induction would affect plant reproduction and, hence, would alter the suitability of seeds for late-season seed-eating beetles, and that this would in turn alter the vulnerability of these seed beetles to parasitoids. We found strong support for these hypotheses. In the field, early-season herbivory negatively affected plant reproduction and seeds of these plants suffered lower levels of infestation by seed-eating beetles, which in turn suffered less parasitism. Laboratory assays with field-collected seeds confirmed that the performance of beetles and parasitoids was lower on seeds from plants that had been subjected to early-season herbivory. Further analyses revealed that seeds produced by control plants were larger, heavier, and had a higher concentration of cyanogenic glycosides and total protein content than seeds from plants subjected to herbivory. Our results provide insight into how direct and indirect interactions between and within different trophic levels affect the dynamics and structure of complex communities.

  6. Recovering more than tree cover: herbivores and herbivory in a restored tropical dry forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris Juan-Baeza

    Full Text Available Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees. Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp. was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 -fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and

  7. Plant allocation of carbon to defense as a function of herbivory, light and nutrient availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Ju, Shu; Liu, Rongsong; Bryant, John P.; Gourley, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    We use modeling to determine the optimal relative plant carbon allocations between foliage, fine roots, anti-herbivore defense, and reproduction to maximize reproductive output. The model treats these plant components and the herbivore compartment as variables. Herbivory is assumed to be purely folivory. Key external factors include nutrient availability, degree of shading, and intensity of herbivory. Three alternative functional responses are used for herbivory, two of which are variations on donor-dependent herbivore (models 1a and 1b) and one of which is a Lotka–Volterra type of interaction (model 2). All three were modified to include the negative effect of chemical defenses on the herbivore. Analysis showed that, for all three models, two stable equilibria could occur, which differs from most common functional responses when no plant defense component is included. Optimal strategies of carbon allocation were defined as the maximum biomass of reproductive propagules produced per unit time, and found to vary with changes in external factors. Increased intensity of herbivory always led to an increase in the fractional allocation of carbon to defense. Decreases in available limiting nutrient generally led to increasing importance of defense. Decreases in available light had little effect on defense but led to increased allocation to foliage. Decreases in limiting nutrient and available light led to decreases in allocation to reproduction in models 1a and 1b but not model 2. Increases in allocation to plant defense were usually accompanied by shifts in carbon allocation away from fine roots, possibly because higher plant defense reduced the loss of nutrients to herbivory.

  8. Recovering more than tree cover: herbivores and herbivory in a restored tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juan-Baeza, Iris; Martínez-Garza, Cristina; Del-Val, Ek

    2015-01-01

    Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tree species growing in 4-year-old experimental restoration plots in a tropical dry forest at Sierra de Huautla, in Morelos, Mexico. The study was carried out during the rainy season of 2010 (July-October) in eleven 50 x 50 m plots in three different habitats: cattle-excluded, cattle-excluded with restoration plantings, and cattle grazing plots. At the beginning of the rainy season, 10 juveniles of Heliocarpus pallidus (Malvaceae) and Ipomoea pauciflora (Convolvulaceae) were selected in each plot (N = 110 trees). Herbivory was measured in 10 leaves per plant at the end of the rainy season. To evaluate richness and abundance of lepidopteran larvae, all plants were surveyed monthly. Herbivory was similar among habitats and I. pauciflora showed a higher percentage of herbivory. A total of 868 lepidopteran larvae from 65 morphospecies were recorded. The family with the highest number of morphospecies (9 sp.) was Geometridae, while the most abundant family was Saturnidae, with 427 individuals. Lepidopteran richness and abundance were significantly higher in H. pallidus than in I. pauciflora. Lepidopteran richness was significantly higher in the cattle-excluded plots, while abundance was significantly higher in the non-excluded plots. After four years of cattle exclusion and the establishment of plantings, lepidopteran richness increased 20 -fold in the excluded plots compared to the disturbed areas, whereas herbivory levels were equally high in both restored and disturbed sites

  9. Chronic social isolation enhances reproduction in the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Adam N; Carter, C Sue; Cushing, Bruce S

    2016-06-01

    Chronic stressors are generally considered to disrupt reproduction and inhibit mating. Here we test the hypothesis that a chronic stressor, specifically social isolation, can facilitate adaptive changes that enhance/accelerate reproductive effort. In general, monogamous species display high levels of prosociality, delayed sexual maturation, and greater parental investment in fewer, higher quality offspring compared with closely related polygynous species. We predicted that chronic social isolation would promote behavioral and neurochemical patterns in prairie voles associated with polygyny. Male and female prairie voles were isolated for four weeks and changes in mating behavior, alloparental care, estrogen receptor (ER) α expression and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in brain regions regulating sociosexual behavior were examined. In males, isolation accelerated copulation, increased ERα in the medial amygdala (MEApd) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTpm), and reduced TH expression in the MEApd and BSTpm, but had no effect on alloparental behavior. In females, isolation resulted in more rapid estrus induction and reduced TH expression in the MEApd and BSTpm, but had no effect on estradiol sensitivity or ERα expression. The results support the hypothesis that ERα expression in the MEApd and BSTpm is a critical determinant of male copulatory behavior and/or mating system. The lack of change in alloparental behavior suggests that changes in prosocial behavior are selective and regulated by different mechanisms. The results also suggest that TH in the MEApd and BSTpm may play a critical role in determining mating behavior in both sexes.

  10. Male prairie voles with different avpr1a microsatellite lengths do not differ in courtship behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Brittney M; Solomon, Nancy G; Noe, Douglas A; Keane, Brian

    2016-07-01

    Females are generally expected to be selective when choosing their social and sexual partners. In a previous laboratory study, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) showed significant social and sexual preferences for males with longer microsatellite DNA within the avpr1a gene encoding the vasopressin 1a receptor, as predicted if females select mates whose parental behaviour should increase female reproductive success. We tested the hypothesis that males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles exhibit differences in courtship behaviour, which could act as cues for female mate preference. The only behavioural difference we detected between males with short versus long avpr1a microsatellite alleles in mate preference trials was that males with short avpr1a microsatellite alleles sniffed the anogenital region of females more frequently during the first two days of the trials. Our results did not strongly support the hypothesis that a male's avpr1a genotype predicts the courtship behaviours we measured and suggests that other courtship behaviours or traits, such as odour and vocalizations, may be more important to female prairie voles when choosing mates. Additional studies using a wider array of species are needed to assess the degree to which male mammal courtship behaviour provides information on mate quality to females.

  11. Accumulation of lead and organochlorine residues in captive American kestrels fed pine voles from apple orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stendell, R.C.; Beyer, W.N.; Stehn, R.A.

    1989-01-01

    Pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) were collected from pesticide-treated orchards in New York and fed to 3 captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) for 60 days to evaluate potential hazards from soil-borne persistent insecticides. Three control kestrels were fed uncontaminated laboratory mice (Mus musculus). The pine voles contained an average of 38 ppm lead, 48 ppm DDE and 1.2 ppm dieldrin (dry weight). The kestrels accumulated sublethal amounts of lead (1 ppm lead wet weight) in their livers. In contrast, DDE and dieldrin accumulated in the tissues and brains of kestrels to toxicologically significant concentrations. Control kestrels remained healthy and accumulated insignificant concentrations of the contaminants. The results indicated raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination by organochlorine pesticides. raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination byorganochlorine pesticides. lead wet weight) in their livers.

  12. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring.

  13. Genetic variation and population dispersal of Yangtze voles Microtus fortis calamorum in the Dongting Lake region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zongming GUO; Pengfei SONG; Cong GUO; Zhaobin SONG; Yong WANG; Bo LI; Meiwen ZHANG; Jianghong RAN

    2012-01-01

    To understand genetic variation and population dispersal in the Yangtze vole Microtusfortis calamorum distributed in the Dongting Lake region,144 individuals were collected from six habitat patches.The mitochondrial DNA control region was sequenced and 17 haplotypes were observed.Of the six investigated populations,haplotype and nucleotide diversities of those from larger patches were higher than those from smaller patches.Nonparametric correlation analysis showed that patch size had a positive correlation with haplotype diversity (r =0.943,P < 0.01).A neighbour-joining tree of the 17 hapiotypes showed no geographic genetic structure among the six populations.Analysis of isolation by distance showed that genetic differentiation among the six populations was not positively related to geographic distance.Analysis of mismatch distribution indicated that the voles had passed through a population expansion.The pattern of haplotype distribution in the Changsha population suggests that the population was established by a founder effect [Current Zoology 58 (2):211-220,2012].

  14. Interspecific relations of parasites of bank vole Myodes glareolus (Schreber, 1780

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bugmyrin Sergey

    2012-12-01

    Adaptation to coexistence had a tendency to the balancing of a pathogenic action of a parasite complex with an immunophysiological status of the host. The observed frequency distribution of the number of parasites in the bank vole complies with a lognormal distribution (Fig. 1. The analysis of co-occurrence of bank vole parasites showed that the presence or absence of one parasite in the host does not affect the presence of another. The results on the co-occurrence of parasites indicate that they don’t influence each other negatively (Table 1. Correlation of abundance in the concurrent infections were statistically reliable (p<0.05 for 6 of 55 examined parasite pairs. There were H. glareoly – I. trianguliceps (Pearson's correlation coefficient: 0.21, I. persulcatus - Hi. isabellinus (0.12, I. persulcatus – Ct. uncinatus (0.35, Hg. nidi - E. stabularis (0.13, E. stabularis - M. rectangulatus (0.25, M. rectangulatus - P. silvatici (0.52. All significant associations were positive (Table 2–4. It might be explained by the similar requirements of the parasites to the conditions of their habitat.

  15. Application of grain baits to control common vole Microtus arvalis (Pallas, 1778 in alfalfa crops, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jokić G.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to compare the efficacies of conventional (cholecalciferol and bromadiolone and new (sodium selenite rodenticides, applied in the grain bait formulation on the whole-grain of wheat (Triticum aestivum and triticale (Triticasecale in alfalfa crops, experiments were conducted at two sites near Belgrade, Serbia, in the spring of 2009, using a standard EPPO method. The presence of rodent populations, their spatial distribution and density indices were evaluated by pretreatment census and rodenticide efficacy by counting active holes, 14 and 28 days after treatment. The average Microtus arvalis numbers of 158/ha and 184/ha were found to cause 7.4% and 9.6% alfalfa green biomass yield decreases, respectively. Twenty-eight days after treatment, the average efficacy of grain bait formulation (on wheat and triticale grains of sodium selenite and cholecalciferol was 81%, while bromadiolone which had a higher efficiency, 85%, in the control of the common vole in alfalfa crops. The analysis of variance (ANOVA showed that the origin of active substances, bases and associated interactions a.s x based on the efficacy-investigated grain baits did not have a statistically significant impact on the expression efficiency of the tested baits. Triticale grains can be used as carriers of active substances, sodium selenite, cholecalciferol or bromadiolone in preparation baits. Control of M. arvalis with the new rodenticide, sodium selenite, gave efficacy results about equal to that of cholecalciferol and bromadiolone and, therefore, provided a possible alternative rodenticide for vole control in alfalfa.

  16. Emotional attachment of pre-weaning pups to mothers and fathers in mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhixiong; Zhang, Shuwei; Yu, Chengjun; Li, Yani; Jia, Rui; Tai, Fadao

    2017-02-01

    Studies into the effects of maternal and paternal deprivation on the brain and behavior are traditionally done on animals from postnatal day 0 to 14 when parents display high levels of licking and grooming. Deprivation experiments that reveal attachment conducted during this period are confounded because physiological and emotional deprivation occur simultaneously. Whether rodent pups of greater physiological independence from postnatal 14 to 21days show emotional attachment towards mothers and fathers remains unclear. Here we establish a new animal model for attachment experiments in animals 14-21days old using monogamous mandarin voles (Microtus mandarinus). Levels of emotional attachment of pups from postnatal 14 to 21days were measured using preference tests. Pups spent more time in contact with their mothers, more time approaching, sniffing, climbing and walking near their mothers, and emitted more calls on their mother's side compared to an unknown female. They also showed a preference for their fathers over an unknown male. While pups displayed attachment to both their mothers and fathers, levels directed towards mothers were higher in tests when mothers and fathers were presented simultaneously. These results indicate that mandarin voles can be used as an animal model to investigate the effects of early emotional attachment disruption on the adult brain and behavior.

  17. Effect of copper exposure on reproductive ability in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miska-Schramm, Agata; Kruczek, Małgorzata; Kapusta, Joanna

    2014-10-01

    The amount of copper in natural ecosystems is steadily increasing, due to human activities. It accumulates in plants, posing a threat to herbivores. In polluted areas the population density of small rodents is observed to be lower. The decline in rodent numbers may be caused by increased mortality or diminished fertility. This study examined the effect of copper on the reproductive activity of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), a small rodent which during foraging often wanders into fields where it might be exposed to pollution. The animals were treated with solutions of 0, 150 or 600 ppm Cu. After 12 weeks of exposure the quality and quantity of the male's sperm was tested. To assess morphological development we compared the experimental groups for body weight, the weight of the male's testes and accessory sex glands, the female's uterus, and the number of matured ovary follicles in tested females. At both doses, copper administration led to lower sperm count and caused sperm head anomalies. The higher dose compromised sperm tail membrane integrity, viability and motility. No effect of copper on morphological development was observed in males, and only the lower dose increased testes weight. In females the higher dose had a negative effect on morphological development, and the lower dose increased uterus weight. No effect of copper on ovarian follicle number was found. For the first time, the morphology of the most typical ovarian follicles of the bank vole is presented.

  18. Proliferation and apoptosis in early molar morphogenesis-- voles as models in odontogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setkova, Jana; Lesot, Herve; Matalova, Eva; Witter, Kirsti; Matulova, Petra; Misek, Ivan

    2006-01-01

    Proliferation and apoptosis play crucial roles in the development of multicellular organisms. Their precise balance is necessary for tissue homeostasis throughout life. The developing dentition is a suitable model to study proliferation and apoptosis during embryogenesis, but the corresponding studies have been carried out principally in the mouse. The present study aimed to examine proliferation and apoptosis in the vole (Microtus sp., Rodentia) during the early morphogenesis of the first upper molar and compare it to what is known from the mouse. To this end, apoptosis and proliferation were investigated using histology and computer-aided 3D reconstruction. Mitoses accumulated predominantly in the developing cervical loop. Apoptosis during early odontogenesis showed highly specific spatio-temporal patterns in the dental epithelium. Apoptotic bodies were localised in non-dividing cell populations. They accumulated in the same places as described in the mouse: antemolar vestiges (ED 12.5 15.5), enamel knot (ED 14.5 15.5), stalk and palatally along the whole first molar tooth germ longitudinal axis (ED 15 - 15.5). Early tooth development in the field vole, including the distribution of apoptosis and mitosis, is very similar to that reported in the mouse, with the exception of the antemolar region. The microtine antemolar vestige is preserved longer than the murine one. It is conceivable that additional distinct differences in morphogenetic processes appear later in tooth development.

  19. Regulation of body mass and adiposity in the field vole, Microtus agrestis: a model of leptin resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Król, Elzbieta; Speakman, John R

    2007-02-01

    Adult mammals are typically highly resistant to perturbations in their energy balance. In obese humans, however, this control appears to be lost. Apart from a few exceptional cases, this loss of control occurs despite appropriate levels of circulating leptin -- suggesting that elevated adiposity may be a consequence of failure to respond to the leptin signal: leptin resistance. When cold-acclimated male field voles (Microtus agrestis) are transferred from short (SD, 8 h light) to long (LD, 16 h light) photoperiods, they increase dramatically in body mass and fatness for about 4 weeks. After this period, their mass stabilizes at a new plateau about 25% higher than animals maintained in SD. The increase in adiposity is not caused by significant increases in food intake, but reflects an increase in digestive efficiency. Measures of circulating leptin reveal that the increased adiposity is matched by increased circulating leptin. By infusing voles with exogenous leptin, we have demonstrated that SD voles are leptin sensitive (reducing both body mass and food intake), whereas LD animals are leptin resistant. Voles may therefore be a useful model for understanding the process of leptin resistance. The change in leptin sensitivity in voles was not associated with changes in the levels of gene expression of the orexogenic or anorexogenic neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide Y, agouti-related peptide, POMC and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, measured in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). During the phase that body mass was increasing, however, there was a transient increase in the ARC expression of suppressor of cytokine signalling-3 (SOCS3). These data suggest that the changes in the expression of SOCS3 in the ARC may be involved in leptin resistance. However, the mechanism by which these changes may be linked to alterations in digestive efficiency that underpin the changes in adiposity, or how the differences are signalled by changes in photoperiod

  20. Measuring animal welfare within a reintroduction: an assessment of different indices of stress in water voles Arvicola amphibius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merryl Gelling

    Full Text Available Reintroductions are an increasingly common conservation restoration tool; however, little attention has hitherto been given to different methods for monitoring the stress encountered by reintroduced individuals. We compared ten potential measures of stress within four different categories (neuroendocrine, cell function, body condition and immune system function as proxies for animal welfare in water voles being reintroduced to the Upper Thames region, Oxfordshire, UK. Captive-bred voles were assessed pre-release, and each month post-release for up to five months. Wild-born voles were captured in the field and assessed from two months post-release. Plasma corticosteroid, hydration and body condition of captive-bred voles differed between their pre-release measures and both their first ("short-term" recapture, and their final recapture ("long-term" release, however only body condition and immunocompetence measured using the Nitroblue Tetrazolium (NBT test were significantly different post-release between the first and last recaptures. Captive-bred animals had lower fat reserves, higher weight/length ratios and better immunocompetence (NBT than did wild-born voles. Captive-bred males had higher ectoparasite burdens compared to wild-born males and, as reintroduction site quality decreased, became less hydrated. These observations indicate that some methods can identify changes in the stress response in individuals, highlighting areas of risk in a reintroduction programme. In addition, a single measure may not provide a full picture of the stress experienced; instead, a combination of measures of different physiological systems may give a more complete indication of stress during the reintroduction process. We highlight the need to monitor stress in reintroductions using measures from different physiological systems to inform on possible animal welfare improvements and thus the overall success rate of reintroductions.

  1. Metal exposure and effects in voles and small birds near a mining haul road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumbaugh, William G.; Mora, Miguel A.; May, Thomas W.; Phalen, David N.

    2010-01-01

    Voles and small passerine birds were live-captured near the Delong Mountain Regional Transportation System (DMTS) haul road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument in northwest Alaska to assess metals exposure and sub-lethal biological effects. Similar numbers of animals were captured from a reference site in southern Cape Krusenstern National Monument for comparison. Histopathological examination of selected organs, and analysis of cadmium, lead, and zinc concentrations in liver and blood samples were performed. Voles and small birds captured from near the haul road had about 20 times greater blood and liver lead concentrations and about three times greater cadmium concentrations when compared to those from the reference site, but there were no differences in zinc tissue concentrations. One vole had moderate metastatic mineralization of kidney tissue, otherwise we observed no abnormalities in internal organs or DNA damage in the blood of any of the animals. The affected vole also had the greatest liver and blood Cd concentration, indicating that the lesion might have been caused by Cd exposure. Blood and liver lead concentrations in animals captured near the haul road were below concentrations that have been associated with adverse biological effects in other studies; however, subtle effects resulting from lead exposure, such as the suppression of the activity of certain enzymes, cannot be ruled out for some individual animals. Results from our 2006 reconnaissance-level study indicate that overall, voles and small birds obtained from near the DMTS road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument were not adversely affected by metals exposure; however, because of the small sample size and other uncertainties, continued monitoring of lead and cadmium in terrestrial habitats near the DMTS road is advised.

  2. Hierarchical spatial segregation of two Mediterranean vole species: the role of patch-network structure and matrix composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pita, Ricardo; Lambin, Xavier; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    According to ecological theory, the coexistence of competitors in patchy environments may be facilitated by hierarchical spatial segregation along axes of environmental variation, but empirical evidence is limited. Cabrera and water voles show a metapopulation-like structure in Mediterranean farmland, where they are known to segregate along space, habitat, and time axes within habitat patches. Here, we assess whether segregation also occurs among and within landscapes, and how this is influenced by patch-network and matrix composition. We surveyed 75 landscapes, each covering 78 ha, where we mapped all habitat patches potentially suitable for Cabrera and water voles, and the area effectively occupied by each species (extent of occupancy). The relatively large water vole tended to be the sole occupant of landscapes with high habitat amount but relatively low patch density (i.e., with a few large patches), and with a predominantly agricultural matrix, whereas landscapes with high patch density (i.e., many small patches) and low agricultural cover, tended to be occupied exclusively by the small Cabrera vole. The two species tended to co-occur in landscapes with intermediate patch-network and matrix characteristics, though their extents of occurrence were negatively correlated after controlling for environmental effects. In combination with our previous studies on the Cabrera-water vole system, these findings illustrated empirically the occurrence of hierarchical spatial segregation, ranging from within-patches to among-landscapes. Overall, our study suggests that recognizing the hierarchical nature of spatial segregation patterns and their major environmental drivers should enhance our understanding of species coexistence in patchy environments.

  3. Bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and house mice (Mus musculus musculus; M. m. domesticus) in Europe are each parasitized by their own distinct species of Aspiculuris (Nematoda, Oxyurida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behnke, J M; Stewart, A; Bajer, A; Grzybek, M; Harris, P D; Lowe, A; Ribas, A; Smales, L; Vandegrift, K J

    2015-10-01

    The molecular phylogeny and morphology of the oxyuroid nematode genus Aspiculuris from voles and house mice has been examined. Worms collected from Myodes glareolus in Poland, Eire and the UK are identified as Aspiculuris tianjinensis, previously known only from China, while worms from Mus musculus from a range of locations in Europe and from laboratory mice, all conformed to the description of Aspiculuris tetraptera. Worms from voles and house mice are not closely related and are not derived from each other, with A. tianjinensis being most closely related to Aspiculuris dinniki from snow voles and to an isolate from Microtus longicaudus in the Nearctic. Both A. tianjinensis and A. tetraptera appear to represent recent radiations within their host groups; in voles, this radiation cannot be more than 2 million years old, while in commensal house mice it is likely to be less than 10,000 years old. The potential of Aspiculuris spp. as markers of host evolution is highlighted.

  4. Population differentiation and the effects of herbivory and sand compaction on the subterranean growth of a desert lily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-R, Natalia; Ward, David; Saltz, David

    2006-01-01

    Differences in level of herbivory can select for local adaptation and genetic differentiation of plant populations in different environments. Mean bulb depth of the desert lily Pancratium sickenbergeri, differs considerably among populations differing in the level of herbivory by the dorcas gazelle. The gazelle digs in the sand to remove most of the bulb of the lily. Deeper bulbs have less material removed by herbivory than shallow bulbs and have higher fitness. A possible confounding factor is the degree of sand compaction, which may retard the downward growth of the bulb. We conducted a common garden experiment with 2 sand types with seeds from source populations with different levels of herbivory. There was a large genetic difference among populations. Two of 3 analyses indicated that there was an interaction between population and sand type, indicating that there is a heritable component of plasticity.

  5. Spatial Patterns in Herbivory on a Coral Reef Are Influenced by Structural Complexity but Not by Algal Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergés, Adriana; Vanderklift, Mathew A.; Doropoulos, Christopher; Hyndes, Glenn A.

    2011-01-01

    Background Patterns of herbivory can alter the spatial structure of ecosystems, with important consequences for ecosystem functions and biodiversity. While the factors that drive spatial patterns in herbivory in terrestrial systems are well established, comparatively less is known about what influences the distribution of herbivory in coral reefs. Methodology and Principal Findings We quantified spatial patterns of macroalgal consumption in a cross-section of Ningaloo Reef (Western Australia). We used a combination of descriptive and experimental approaches to assess the influence of multiple macroalgal traits and structural complexity in establishing the observed spatial patterns in macroalgal herbivory, and to identify potential feedback mechanisms between herbivory and macroalgal nutritional quality. Spatial patterns in macroalgal consumption were best explained by differences in structural complexity among habitats. The biomass of herbivorous fish, and rates of herbivory were always greater in the structurally-complex coral-dominated outer reef and reef flat habitats, which were also characterised by high biomass of herbivorous fish, low cover and biomass of macroalgae and the presence of unpalatable algae species. Macroalgal consumption decreased to undetectable levels within 75 m of structurally-complex reef habitat, and algae were most abundant in the structurally-simple lagoon habitats, which were also characterised by the presence of the most palatable algae species. In contrast to terrestrial ecosystems, herbivory patterns were not influenced by the distribution, productivity or nutritional quality of resources (macroalgae), and we found no evidence of a positive feedback between macroalgal consumption and the nitrogen content of algae. Significance This study highlights the importance of seascape-scale patterns in structural complexity in determining spatial patterns of macroalgal consumption by fish. Given the importance of herbivory in maintaining the

  6. Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

    OpenAIRE

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Härdtle, Werner; Assmann, Thorsten; Li, Ying; Ma, Keping; von Oheimb, Goddert; Zhang, Jiayong

    2015-01-01

    Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random vs. non-random species loss. We assessed herbivore damage and its effects on tree growth in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and non-random extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. In cont...

  7. The effect of chronic seaweed subsidies on herbivory: plant-mediated fertilization pathway overshadows lizard-mediated predator pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Spiller, David A; Takimoto, Gaku; Yang, Louie H; Wright, Amber N; Schoener, Thomas W

    2013-08-01

    Flows of energy and materials link ecosystems worldwide and have important consequences for the structure of ecological communities. While these resource subsidies typically enter recipient food webs through multiple channels, most previous studies focussed on a single pathway of resource input. We used path analysis to evaluate multiple pathways connecting chronic marine resource inputs (in the form of seaweed deposits) and herbivory in a shoreline terrestrial ecosystem. We found statistical support for a fertilization effect (seaweed increased foliar nitrogen content, leading to greater herbivory) and a lizard numerical response effect (seaweed increased lizard densities, leading to reduced herbivory), but not for a lizard diet-shift effect (seaweed increased the proportion of marine-derived prey in lizard diets, but lizard diet was not strongly associated with herbivory). Greater seaweed abundance was associated with greater herbivory, and the fertilization effect was larger than the combined lizard effects. Thus, the bottom-up, plant-mediated effect of fertilization on herbivory overshadowed the top-down effects of lizard predators. These results, from unmanipulated shoreline plots with persistent differences in chronic seaweed deposition, differ from those of a previous experimental study of the short-term effects of a pulse of seaweed deposition: while the increase in herbivory in response to chronic seaweed deposition was due to the fertilization effect, the short-term increase in herbivory in response to a pulse of seaweed deposition was due to the lizard diet-shift effect. This contrast highlights the importance of the temporal pattern of resource inputs in determining the mechanism of community response to resource subsidies.

  8. Transcriptome analysis of food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory in a typical vertebrate herbivore, grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella

    OpenAIRE

    He, Shan; Liang, Xu-Fang; Li, Ling; Sun, Jian; Wen, Zheng-Yong; Cheng, Xiao-Yan; Li, Ai-Xuan; Cai, Wen-Jing; He, Yu-Hui; Wang, Ya-ping; Tao, Ya-Xiong; Yuan, Xiao-Chen

    2015-01-01

    Background Although feeding behavior and food habit are ecologically and economically important properties, little is known about formation and evolution of herbivory. Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is an ecologically appealing model of vertebrate herbivore, widely cultivated in the world as edible fish or as biological control agents for aquatic weeds. Grass carp exhibits food habit transition from carnivory to herbivory during development. However, currently little is known about the ...

  9. Sexual and Asexual Reproduction of Salix sitchensis and the Influence of Beaver (Castor canadensis) Herbivory on Reproductive Success

    OpenAIRE

    Travis G. Gerwing; Alyssa M. Allen Gerwing; Rapaport, Eric; Alström-Rapaport, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    The influence of beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) herbivory on Salix reproduction, specifically the stimulation of asexual reproduction via browsed stem fragments, is relatively unknown. This study aimed to determine if beaver herbivory stimulates asexual reproduction of riparian willows and results in mature populations dominated by clones. The survival of seedlings and asexual propagules produced by beaver browse in populations of the riparian willow Salix sitchensis (Sanson in Bongard) were...

  10. Increasing oxytocin receptor expression in the nucleus accumbens of pre-pubertal female prairie voles enhances alloparental responsiveness and partner preference formation as adults

    OpenAIRE

    Keebaugh, Alaine C.; Young, Larry J.

    2011-01-01

    Oxytocin receptors (OXTR) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) promote alloparental behavior and partner preference formation in female prairie voles. Within the NAcc there is significant individual variation in OXTR binding and virgin juvenile and adult females with a high density of OXTR in the NAcc display an elevated propensity to engage in alloparental behavior toward novel pups. Over-expression of OXTR in the NAcc of adult female prairie voles using viral vector gene transfer facilitates par...

  11. Herbivory on temperate rainforest seedlings in sun and shade: resistance, tolerance and habitat distribution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Salgado-Luarte

    Full Text Available Differential herbivory and/or differential plant resistance or tolerance in sun and shade environments may influence plant distribution along the light gradient. Embothrium coccineum is one of the few light-demanding tree species in the temperate rainforest of southern South America, and seedlings are frequently attacked by insects and snails. Herbivory may contribute to the exclusion of E. coccineum from the shade if 1 herbivory pressure is greater in the shade, which in turn can result from shade plants being less resistant or from habitat preferences of herbivores, and/or 2 consequences of damage are more detrimental in the shade, i.e., shade plants are less tolerant. We tested this in a field study with naturally established seedlings in treefall gaps (sun and forest understory (shade in a temperate rainforest of southern Chile. Seedlings growing in the sun sustained nearly 40% more herbivore damage and displayed half of the specific leaf area than those growing in the shade. A palatability test showed that a generalist snail consumed ten times more leaf area when fed on shade leaves compared to sun leaves, i.e., plant resistance was greater in sun-grown seedlings. Herbivore abundance (total biomass was two-fold greater in treefall gaps compared to the forest understory. Undamaged seedlings survived better and showed a slightly higher growth rate in the sun. Whereas simulated herbivory in the shade decreased seedling survival and growth by 34% and 19%, respectively, damaged and undamaged seedlings showed similar survival and growth in the sun. Leaf tissue lost to herbivores in the shade appears to be too expensive to replace under the limiting light conditions of forest understory. Following evaluations of herbivore abundance and plant resistance and tolerance in contrasting light environments, we have shown how herbivory on a light-demanding tree species may contribute to its exclusion from shade sites. Thus, in the shaded forest understory

  12. Yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis and bank voles (Myodes glareolus as zoomonitors of environmental contamination at a polluted area in Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jančová Alena

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Free-living wild rodents are often used as zoomonitors of environmental contamination. In the present study, accumulation of cadmium (Cd, copper (Cu, iron (Fe, and zinc (Zn in critical organs of yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis and bank voles (Myodes glareolus trapped in a polluted area in Nováky, Slovakia was investigated. Methods Yellow-necked mice (n = 8 and bank voles (n = 10 were collected using standard theriological methods for wood ecosystems. All animals were adult males in good physical condition. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Fe, and Zn in the liver, kidney, and bone were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results The highest concentrations of Cd and Zn were found in the bone of both species while Cu and Fe accumulated mainly in kidney or liver. Significant higher concentrations of Cd and Cu were detected in the liver of bank voles than in yellow-necked mice. Similar significant higher levels of Cd and Zn were found in the bone of bank voles. In contrast, significant higher concentrations of Cu and Fe were present in the kidney of yellow-necked mice. Conclusions In the yellow-necked mouse and bank vole, bone seems to accumulate Cd and Zn following prolonged exposure. On the contrary, kidney and liver store Cu and Fe after a long-term environmental exposure. In the present study, bank voles seemed to be more heavy metal loaded zoomonitors than yellow-necked mice.

  13. The evolutionary radiation of Arvicolinae rodents (voles and lemmings: relative contribution of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA phylogenies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paradis Emmanuel

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitochondrial and nuclear genes have generally been employed for different purposes in molecular systematics, the former to resolve relationships within recently evolved groups and the latter to investigate phylogenies at a deeper level. In the case of rapid and recent evolutionary radiations, mitochondrial genes like cytochrome b (CYB are often inefficient for resolving phylogenetic relationships. One of the best examples is illustrated by Arvicolinae rodents (Rodentia; Muridae, the most impressive mammalian radiation of the Northern Hemisphere which produced voles, lemmings and muskrats. Here, we compare the relative contribution of a nuclear marker – the exon 10 of the growth hormone receptor (GHR gene – to the one of the mitochondrial CYB for inferring phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of arvicoline rodents. Results The analysis of GHR sequences improves the overall resolution of the Arvicolinae phylogeny. Our results show that the Caucasian long-clawed vole (Prometheomys schaposnikowi is one of the basalmost arvicolines, and confirm that true lemmings (Lemmus and collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx are not closely related as suggested by morphology. Red-backed voles (Myodini are found as the sister-group of a clade encompassing water vole (Arvicola, snow vole (Chionomys, and meadow voles (Microtus and allies. Within the latter, no support is recovered for the generic recognition of Blanfordimys, Lasiopodomys, Neodon, and Phaiomys as suggested by morphology. Comparisons of parameter estimates for branch lengths, base composition, among sites rate heterogeneity, and GTR relative substitution rates indicate that CYB sequences consistently exhibit more heterogeneity among codon positions than GHR. By analyzing the contribution of each codon position to node resolution, we show that the apparent higher efficiency of GHR is due to their third positions. Although we focus on speciation events spanning the last

  14. Mitogenomic phylogenetics of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, a model system for studying end-glacial colonization of Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipi, Karolína; Marková, Silvia; Searle, Jeremy B; Kotlík, Petr

    2015-01-01

    We have revisited the mtDNA phylogeny of the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus based on Sanger and next-generation Illumina sequencing of 32 complete mitochondrial genomes. The bank vole is a key study species for understanding the response of European fauna to the climate change following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and one of the most convincing examples of a woodland mammal surviving in cryptic northern glacial refugia in Europe. The genomes sequenced included multiple representatives of each of the eight bank vole clades previously described based on cytochrome b (cob) sequences. All clades with the exception of the Basque - likely a misidentified pseudogene clade - were highly supported in all phylogenetic analyses and the relationships between the clades were resolved with high confidence. Our data extend the distribution of the Carpathian clade, the marker of a northern glacial refugium in the Carpathian Mountains, to include Britain and Fennoscandia (but not adjacent areas of continental Europe). The Carpathian sub-clade that colonized Britain and Fennoscandia had a somewhat different history from the sub-clade currently found in or close to the Carpathians and may have derived from a more north-westerly refugial area. The two bank vole populations that colonized Britain at the end of the last glaciation are for the first time linked with particular continental clades, the first colonists with the Carpathian clade and the second colonists with the western clade originating in a more southerly refugium in the vicinity of the Alps. We however found no evidence that a functional divergence of proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome promoted the partial genetic replacement of the first colonists by the second colonists detected previously in southern Britain. We did identify one codon site that changed more often and more radically in the tree than expected and where the observed amino acid change may affect the reductase activity of the cytochrome bc1

  15. Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in the haemoparasite community of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in NE Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, Anna; Welc-Falęciak, Renata; Bednarska, Małgorzata; Alsarraf, Mohammed; Behnke-Borowczyk, Jolanta; Siński, Edward; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2014-08-01

    Long-term field studies on parasite communities are rare but provide a powerful insight into the ecological and evolutionary processes shaping host-parasite interactions. The aim of our study was to identify the principal factors regulating long-term trends in the haemoparasite communities of bank voles, and to this end, we sampled three semi-isolated populations of bank voles (n = 880) in 1999, 2002, 2006 and 2010 in the Mazury lake district region of NE Poland. Overall, 90.8 % of the bank voles harboured at least one of the species of haemoparasites studied. Whilst overall prevalence (all species combined) did not vary significantly between the surveys, different temporal changes were detected among voles in each of the three sites. In voles from Urwitałt, prevalence increased consistently with successive surveys, whereas in Tałty, the peak years were 2002 and 2006, and in Pilchy, prevalence oscillated without a clear pattern. Across the study, bank voles harboured a mean of 1.75 ± 0.034 haemoparasite species, and species richness remained stable with no significant between-year fluctuations or trends. However, each of the five constituent species/genera showed a different pattern of spatio-temporal changes. The overall prevalence of Babesia microti was 4.9 %, but this varied significantly between years peaking in 2006 and declining again by 2010. For Bartonella spp., overall prevalence was 38.7 %, and this varied with year of study, but the temporal pattern of changes differed among the three sites. The overall prevalence of Haemobartonella (Mycoplasma) was 68.3 % with an increase in prevalence with year of study in all three sites. Hepatozoon erhardovae had an overall prevalence of 46.8 % but showed a marked reduction with each successive year of the study, and this was consistent in all three sites. The overall prevalence of Trypanosoma evotomys was 15.4 % varying significantly between sites, but showing temporal stability. While overall prevalence

  16. Plant architecture and growth response of kudzu (fabaceae: Fabaceae) to simulated insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frye, M J; Hough-Goldstein, J

    2013-10-01

    Kudzu [Pueraria montana variety lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. M. Almeida] plant architecture and growth were compared for plants subjected to 4 wk of simulated herbivory (75% leaf cutting) and no damage. Simulated herbivory reduced above-ground and root biomass by 40 and 47%, respectively, whereas total vine length and average length of the 10 longest vines were reduced by 48 and 43%, respectively, compared with control plants. Plant architecture was also affected, with damaged plants showing a significantly reduced proportion of primary vines, shorter secondary vines, and reduced average internode distances compared with the control plants. In natural situations, these changes would reduce the ability of kudzu to compete for light and other resources by affecting the plant's climbing habit.

  17. Sharply increased insect herbivory during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currano, Ellen D.; Wilf, Peter; Wing, Scott L.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Lovelock, Elizabeth C.; Royer, Dana L.

    2008-01-01

    The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 55.8 Ma), an abrupt global warming event linked to a transient increase in pCO2, was comparable in rate and magnitude to modern anthropogenic climate change. Here we use plant fossils from the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming to document the combined effects of temperature and pCO2 on insect herbivory. We examined 5,062 fossil leaves from five sites positioned before, during, and after the PETM (59–55.2 Ma). The amount and diversity of insect damage on angiosperm leaves, as well as the relative abundance of specialized damage, correlate with rising and falling temperature. All reach distinct maxima during the PETM, and every PETM plant species is extensively damaged and colonized by specialized herbivores. Our study suggests that increased insect herbivory is likely to be a net long-term effect of anthropogenic pCO2 increase and warming temperatures. PMID:18268338

  18. Modelling the loss of genetic diversity in vole populations in a spatially and temporally varying environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Topping, Christopher John; Østergaard, Siri; Pertoldi, Cino

    2003-01-01

    a genetically explicit individual-based model (IBM) coupled to a dynamic landscape model was used to obtain measures for the genetic status of simulated vole populations. The rate of loss of expected heterozygosity (He) was calculated for simulated populations using two levels of spatial and temporal...... heterogeneity. Results showed that both spatial and temporal heterogeneity exerted an influence on the rate of loss of genetic diversity, but the precise effect was a balance between the effects of population sub-structuring, the frequency of founder effects and population size. These were in turn related...... of heterozygosity was corrected for the harmonic mean of the population size, the rate of loss was almost identical in the four scenarios. Unlike classical genetic models, IBMs are flexible enough to mimic real population processes under a range of environmental and behavioural conditions. We conclude that IBMs...

  19. Drinking alcohol has sex-dependent effects on pair bond formation in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anacker, Allison M J; Ahern, Todd H; Hostetler, Caroline M; Dufour, Brett D; Smith, Monique L; Cocking, Davelle L; Li, Ju; Young, Larry J; Loftis, Jennifer M; Ryabinin, Andrey E

    2014-04-22

    Alcohol use and abuse profoundly influences a variety of behaviors, including social interactions. In some cases, it erodes social relationships; in others, it facilitates sociality. Here, we show that voluntary alcohol consumption can inhibit male partner preference (PP) formation (a laboratory proxy for pair bonding) in socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Conversely, female PP is not inhibited, and may be facilitated by alcohol. Behavior and neurochemical analysis suggests that the effects of alcohol on social bonding are mediated by neural mechanisms regulating pair bond formation and not alcohol's effects on mating, locomotor, or aggressive behaviors. Several neuropeptide systems involved in the regulation of social behavior (especially neuropeptide Y and corticotropin-releasing factor) are modulated by alcohol drinking during cohabitation. These findings provide the first evidence to our knowledge that alcohol has a direct impact on the neural systems involved in social bonding in a sex-specific manner, providing an opportunity to explore the mechanisms by which alcohol affects social relationships.

  20. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Chinese scrub vole (Neodon irene).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Longqing; Fan, Zhenxin; Yue, Hao; Zhang, Xiuyue; Liu, Yang; Sun, Zhiyu; Liu, Shaoying; Yue, Bisong

    2011-06-01

    The Chinese scrub vole (Neodon irene) belongs to the subfamily Arvicolinae, which is restricted to mountain areas at high altitudes (2800-4000). In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of N. irene. It was determined to be 16,367 bases. The nucleotide sequence data of 12 heavy-strand protein-coding genes of N. irene and other 22 rodents were used for phylogenetic analysis. Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum likelihood (ML) were used. Both the BI and ML trees demonstrated that Microtus rossiaemeridionalis and Microtus kikuchii did not cluster together with each other. On the contrary, M. rossiaemeridionalis showed close relationship with N. irene. In the present study, only one sequence from Neodon and two sequences from Microtus were included in the phylogenetic analysis which should contribute to the unusual relationship. Therefore, in order to better understand the phylogenetic relationship within Rodentia, more rodents' complete mitochondrial genomes are required.

  1. Prey selection of Tawny owls (Strix aluco) on Yellow necked mouse and Bank Vole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsom, H. M.; Sunde, P.; Overskaug, K.

    As predators owls may have a strong impact on mortality of their favourite prey, and may therefore act as important selective agents on their prey species. Little is known, however, about whether owls choose prey randomly or if some prey items suffer a higher risk of predation due to certain life...... history traits. The aim of this master thesis study was to investigate any prey selection of tawny owls on two prey species, yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Our hypotheses were that the level of exposure might differ between prey items of different sex......, age, and size, causing some individuals to suffer a higher risk of predation from tawny owls than others.The results suggest that males suffer a higher risk of predation from tawny owls than females, and that the different age groups may also experience different risk of predation. It also suggests...

  2. Nematofauna of bank vole: Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780 from Mt. Fruška gora (Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjelić-Čabrilo Olivera N.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The nematofauna of bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus was analyzed for the first time from samples collected in our country. The specimens were collected in Fruška Gora National Park (locality of Brankovac. The number of collected specimens was 138, and infestation with seven nematode species was determined: Heligmosomum mixtum (Schulz, 1954, Heligmosomoides glareoli (Baylis, 1928, Syphacia petrusewiczi (Bernard, 1966, S. stroma (Linstow, 1884, Capillaria murissylvatici (Dieseng, 1851, Trichocephalus muris Schrank, 1788, and Aspiculuris tetraptera (Nitzsch, 1821. The species Heligmosomum mixtum, Heligmosomoides glareoli, and Syphacia petrusewiczi represent the first records for the territory of our country. The species best represented in the sample were H. glareoli and S. petrusewiczi. There were no statistically significant differences between the sexes of host species regarding the prevalence, mean intensity, or mean abundance of parasite invasion.

  3. Entraide bénévole Suisse - Thaïlande

    CERN Multimedia

    Staff Association

    2011-01-01

    Qui sommes-nous ? Une équipe de bénévoles désireux d’améliorer le quotidien de familles productrices, au sud-est de la Thaïlande, en vous offrant une production artisanale d’excellentes épices et tisanes de première qualité. CULTIVÉES SANS PESTICIDES NI ENGRAIS. Nous vous offrons plus de 30 moyens de prendre soin de vous et de ceux que vous aimez! Rejoignez-nous sur : www.saveursdusiam.net  Nous serons le jeudi 1er décembre dans le Bâtiment principal de 10 h 00 à 16 h 00. Les Saveurs du Siam sont parties intégrantes de la FONDATION HOPE-HOUSE «SAWATDI» www.hopehouse.ch

  4. Interactions among vegetation, climate, and herbivory control greenhouse gas fluxes in a subarctic coastal wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, K. C.; Leffler, A. J.; Beard, K. H.; Schmutz, J. A.; Choi, R. T.; Welker, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    High-latitude ecosystems are experiencing the most rapid climate changes globally, and in many areas these changes are concurrent with shifts in patterns of herbivory. Individually, climate and herbivory are known to influence biosphere-atmosphere greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange; however, the interactive effects of climate and herbivory in driving GHG fluxes have been poorly quantified, especially in coastal systems that support large populations of migratory waterfowl. We investigated the magnitude and the climatic and physical controls of GHG exchange within the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska across four distinct vegetation communities formed by herbivory and local microtopography. Net CO2 flux was greatest in the ungrazed Carex meadow community (3.97 ± 0.58 [SE] µmol CO2 m-2 s-1), but CH4 flux was greatest in the grazed community (14.00 ± 6.56 nmol CH4 m-2 s-1). The grazed community is also the only vegetation type where CH4 was a larger contributor than CO2 to overall GHG forcing. We found that vegetation community was an important predictor of CO2 and CH4 exchange, demonstrating that variation in regional gas exchange is best explained when the effect of grazing, determined by the difference between grazed and ungrazed communities, is included. Further, we identified an interaction between temperature and vegetation community, indicating that grazed regions could experience the greatest increases in CH4 emissions with warming. These results suggest that future GHG fluxes could be influenced by both climate and by changes in herbivore population dynamics that expand or contract the vegetation community most responsive to future temperature change.

  5. Genetic Based Plant Resistance and Susceptibility Traits to Herbivory Influence Needle and Root Litter Nutrient Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Classen, Aimee T [ORNL; Chapman, Samantha K. [Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD; Whitham, Thomas G [Northern Arizona University; Hart, Stephen C [Northern Arizona University; Koch, George W [Northern Arizona University

    2007-01-01

    It is generally assumed that leaf and root litter decomposition have similar drivers and that nutrient release from these substrates is synchronized. Few studies have examined these assumptions, and none has examined how plant genetics (i.e., plant susceptibility to herbivory) could affect these relationships. Here we examine the effects of herbivore susceptibility and resistance on needle and fine root litter decomposition of pi on pine, Pinus edulis. The study population consists of individual trees that are either susceptible or resistant to herbivory by the pi on needle scale, Matsucoccus acalyptus, or the stem-boring moth, Dioryctria albovittella. Genetic analyses and experimental removals and additions of these insects have identified trees that are naturally resistant and susceptible to these insects. These herbivores increase the chemical quality of litter inputs and alter soil microclimate, both of which are important decomposition drivers. Our research leads to four major conclusions: Herbivore susceptibility and resistance effects on 1) needle litter mass loss and phosphorus (P) retention in moth susceptible and resistant litter are governed by microclimate, 2) root litter nitrogen (N) and P retention, and needle litter N retention are governed by litter chemical quality, 3) net nutrient release from litter can reverse over time, 4) root and needle litter mass loss and nutrient release are determined by location (above- vs. belowground), suggesting that the regulators of needle and root decomposition differ at the local scale. Understanding of decomposition and nutrient retention in ecosystems requires consideration of herbivore effects on above- and belowground processes and how these effects may be governed by plant genotype. Because an underlying genetic component to herbivory is common to most ecosystems of the world and herbivory may increase in climatic change scenarios, it is important to evaluate the role of plant genetics in affecting carbon and

  6. Combined effects of extreme climatic events and elevation on nutritional quality and herbivory of Alpine plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Leingärtner

    Full Text Available Climatic extreme events can cause the shift or disruption of plant-insect interactions due to altered plant quality, e.g. leaf carbon to nitrogen ratios, and phenology. However, the response of plant-herbivore interactions to extreme events and climatic gradients has been rarely studied, although climatic extremes will increase in frequency and intensity in the future and insect herbivores represent a highly diverse and functionally important group. We set up a replicated climate change experiment along elevational gradients in the German Alps to study the responses of three plant guilds and their herbivory by insects to extreme events (extreme drought, advanced and delayed snowmelt versus control plots under different climatic conditions on 15 grassland sites. Our results indicate that elevational shifts in CN (carbon to nitrogen ratios and herbivory depend on plant guild and season. CN ratios increased with altitude for grasses, but decreased for legumes and other forbs. In contrast to our hypotheses, extreme climatic events did not significantly affect CN ratios and herbivory. Thus, our study indicates that nutritional quality of plants and antagonistic interactions with insect herbivores are robust against seasonal climatic extremes. Across the three functional plant guilds, herbivory increased with nitrogen concentrations. Further, increased CN ratios indicate a reduction in nutritional plant quality with advancing season. Although our results revealed no direct effects of extreme climatic events, the opposing responses of plant guilds along elevation imply that competitive interactions within plant communities might change under future climates, with unknown consequences for plant-herbivore interactions and plant community composition.

  7. Parasite Removal, but Not Herbivory, Deters Future Parasite Attachment on Tomato

    OpenAIRE

    Tjiurutue, Muvari Connie; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Lynn S. Adler

    2016-01-01

    Plants face many antagonistic interactions that occur sequentially. Often, plants employ defense strategies in response to the initial damage that are highly specific and can affect interactions with subsequent antagonists. In addition to herbivores and pathogens, plants face attacks by parasitic plants, but we know little about how prior herbivory compared to prior parasite attachment affects subsequent host interactions. If host plants can respond adaptively to these different damage types,...

  8. Epiphyte presence and seagrass species identity influence rates of herbivory in Mediterranean seagrass meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Méndez, Candela; Ferrero-Vicente, Luis Miguel; Prado, Patricia; Heck, Kenneth L.; Cebrián, Just; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2015-03-01

    Herbivory on Mediterranean seagrass species is generally low compared to consumption of some other temperate and tropical species of seagrasses. In this study we: (1) investigate the feeding preference of the two dominant Mediterranean seagrass herbivores, the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the fish Sarpa salpa, on Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa and (2) elucidate the role of epiphytes in herbivore choices. We assessed consumption rates by tethering seagrass shoots, and preferences by food choice experiments with the following paired combinations: 1) Epiphytized leaves of both C. nodosa vs. P. oceanica (CE vs PE); 2) Non-epiphytized leaves of C. nodosa vs. P. oceanica (CNE vs. PNE); 3) Epiphytized vs non-epiphytized leaves of C. nodosa (CE vs. CNE) and 4) Epiphytized vs non-epiphytized leaves of P. oceanica (PE vs PNE). We found that preference for C. nodosa was weak for S. salpa, but strong for P. lividus, the species responsible for most consumption at our study. Overall both herbivores showed preference for epiphytized leaves. The higher nutritional quality of C. nodosa leaves and epiphytes together with the high coverage and diversity of the epiphyte community found on its leaves help explain the higher levels of herbivory recorded on epiphyted leaves of C. nodosa. Other factors such as seagrass accessibility, herbivore mobility and size, and behavioral responses to predation risks, may also affect the intensity of seagrass herbivory, and studies addressing the interactions with these factors are needed to improve our understanding of the nature, extent and implications of herbivory in coastal ecosystems.

  9. Recovering More than Tree Cover: Herbivores and Herbivory in a Restored Tropical Dry Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Iris Juan-Baeza; Cristina Martínez-Garza; Ek Del-Val

    2015-01-01

    Intense and chronic disturbance may arrest natural succession, reduce environmental quality and lead to ecological interaction losses. Where natural succession does not occur, ecological restoration aims to accelerate this process. While plant establishment and diversity is promoted by restoration, few studies have evaluated the effect of restoration activities on ecological processes and animal diversity. This study assessed herbivory and lepidopteran diversity associated with two pioneer tr...

  10. Early experiences can alter the size of cortical fields in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seelke, A.M.H.; Yuan, S.-M.; Perkeybile, A.M.; Krubitzer, L.A.; Bales, K.L.

    2016-01-01

    The neocortex of the prairie vole is composed of three well-defined sensory areas and one motor area: primary somatosensory, visual, auditory areas and the primary motor area respectively. The boundaries of these cortical areas are identifiable very early in development, and have been thought to resist alteration by all but the most extreme physical or genetic manipulations. Here we assessed the extent to which the boundaries of sensory/motor cortical areas can be altered by exposing young prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) to a chronic stimulus, high or low levels of parental contact, or an acute stimulus, a single dose of saline, oxytocin (OT), or oxytocin antagonist on the day of birth. When animals reached adulthood, their brains were removed, the cortex was flattened, cut parallel to the pial surface, and stained for myelin to identify the architectonic boundaries of sensory and motor areas. We measured the overall proportion of cortex that was myelinated, as well as the proportion of cortex devoted to the sensory and motor areas. Both the chronic and acute manipulations were linked to significant alterations in areal boundaries of cortical fields, but the areas affected differed with different conditions. Thus, differences in parental care and early exposure to OT can both change cortical organization, but their effects are not identical. Furthermore, the effects of both manipulations were sexually dimorphic, with a greater number of statistically significant differences in females than in males. These results indicate that early environmental experience, both through exposure to exogenous neuropeptides and parental contact, can alter the size of cortical fields.

  11. Pika and vole mitochondrial genomes increase support for both rodent monophyly and glires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu-Hsin; Waddell, Peter J; Penny, David

    2002-07-10

    Complete mitochondrial genomes are reported for a pika (Ochotona collaris) and a vole (Volemys kikuchii) then analysed together with 35 other mitochondrial genomes from mammals. With standard phylogenetic methods the pika joins with the other lagomorph (rabbit) and the vole with the other murid rodents (rat and mouse). In addition, with hedgehog excluded, the seven rodent genomes consistently form a homogeneous group in the unrooted placental tree. Except for uncertainty of the position of tree shrew, the clade Glires (monophyletic rodents plus lagomorphs) is consistently found. The unrooted tree obtained by ProtML (Protein Maximum Likelihood, a program in MOLPHY) is compatible with a reclassification of mammals [Syst. Biol. 48, 1-5 (1999)] which is also supported by other recent studies. However, when this tree is rooted with marsupials plus platypus, the outgroup often joins the lineage leading to the three murid rodents, so the rodents are no longer monophyletic. Apart from misplacing the root, the presence of the outgroups also distorts other parts of the unrooted tree. Either constraining the tree to maintain rodents monophyletic, or omitting murids, maintains the ingroup tree and sees the outgroup join on the edge to Xenarthra, to Afrotheria, or to these two groups together. This emphasises the importance of carrying out both an unrooted and a rooted analysis. It is known from cancer research that murid rodents have reduced activity in some DNA repair mechanisms and this alters their substitution pattern - this may be the case for mitochnodrial DNA as well. Comparing nucleotide compositions may identify taxa that differ in aspects of their DNA repair mechanisms.

  12. Population sex-ratio affecting behavior and physiology of overwintering bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipari, Saana; Haapakoski, Marko; Klemme, Ines; Palme, Rupert; Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2016-05-15

    Many boreal rodents are territorial during the breeding season but during winter become social and aggregate for more energy efficient thermoregulation. Communal winter nesting and social interactions are considered to play an important role for the winter survival of these species, yet the topic is relatively little explored. Females are suggested to be the initiators of winter aggregations and sometimes reported to survive better than males. This could be due to the higher social tolerance observed in overwintering females than males. Hormonal status could also affect winter behavior and survival. For instance, chronic stress can have a negative effect on survival, whereas high gonadal hormone levels, such as testosterone, often induce aggressive behavior. To test if the winter survival of females in a boreal rodent is better than that of males, and to assess the role of females in the winter aggregations, we generated bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations of three different sex ratios (male-biased, female-biased and even density) under semi-natural conditions. We monitored survival, spatial behavior and hormonal status (stress and testosterone) during two winter months. We observed no significant differences in survival between the sexes or among populations with differing sex-ratios. The degree of movement area overlap was used as an indicator of social tolerance and potential communal nesting. Individuals in male biased populations showed a tendency to be solitary, whereas in female biased populations there was an indication of winter aggregation. Females living in male-biased populations had higher stress levels than the females from the other populations. The female-biased sex-ratio induced winter breeding and elevated testosterone levels in males. Thus, our results suggest that the sex-ratio of the overwintering population can lead to divergent overwintering strategies in bank voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Excretion and measurement of corticosterone and testosterone metabolites in bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipari, Saana; Ylönen, Hannu; Palme, Rupert

    2017-03-01

    The bank vole is a commonly used model species in behavioral and ecophysiological studies. Thus, presenting a validated method for noninvasive monitoring of corticosterone and testosterone secretion is of high relevance. Here, we evaluated the effect of time of day and an ACTH challenge test on measured fecal corticosterone (FCM) and testosterone (FTM) metabolites in both sexes. Furthermore, we performed radiometabolism experiments for both steroids and sexes to study metabolism and excretion of (3)H-corticosterone and (3)H-testosterone. FCM and FTM were analysed with a 5α-pregnane-3β,11β,21-triol-20-one enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a testosterone (measuring 17β-hydroxyandrostanes) EIA, respectively. Males had significantly higher FCM levels than females and their main excretion route was via the feces (∼72%), whereas females excreted nearly equal portions in both feces and urine. For testosterone the main excretion route was via the feces in both sexes (∼80%). The time course of excretion was similar in both sexes, but for the first time a significant difference between injected steroids was found: Corticosterone was excreted faster than testosterone, both in urine (median of peak levels: 4h vs 6h) and feces (6h vs 8h). Several metabolites were present in the feces and the tested EIAs reacted with some of them. Time of day had a significant effect on measured fecal steroid metabolites. As expected, males had significantly higher FTM levels than females. ACTH administration significantly increased FCM values; peaks were observed 4-8h after injection. In conclusion, both tested EIAs proved suited for a noninvasive measurement of glucocorticoids and androgens in bank voles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Identification of subpopulations of prairie voles differentially susceptible to peer influence to decrease high alcohol intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M.J. Anacker

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Peer influences are critical in the decrease of alcohol (ethanol abuse and maintenance of abstinence. We previously developed an animal model of inhibitory peer influences on ethanol drinking using prairie voles and here sought to understand whether this influential behavior was due to specific changes in drinking patterns and to variation in a microsatellite sequence in the regulatory region of the vasopressin receptor 1a gene (avpr1a. Adult prairie voles’ drinking patterns were monitored in a lickometer apparatus that recorded each lick a subject exhibited during continuous access to water and 10% ethanol during periods of isolation, pair housing of high and low drinkers, and subsequent isolation. Analysis of fluid consumption confirmed previous results that high drinkers typically decrease ethanol intake when paired with low drinkers, but that a subset of voles do not decrease. Analysis of bout structure revealed differences in the number of ethanol drinking bouts in the subpopulations of high drinkers when paired with low drinkers. Lickometer drinking patterns analyzed by visual and by cross-correlation analyses demonstrated that pair housing did not increase the rate of subjects drinking in bouts occurring at the same time. The length of the avpr1a microsatellite did not predict susceptibility to peer influence or any other drinking behaviors. In summary, subpopulations of high drinkers were identified by fluid intake and number of drinking bouts, which did or did not lower their ethanol intake when paired with a low drinking peer, and these subpopulations should be explored for testing the efficacy of treatments to decrease ethanol use in groups that are likely to be responsive to different types of therapy.

  15. Identification of variables contributing to superovulation efficiency for production of transgenic prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keebaugh, Alaine C; Modi, Meera E; Barrett, Catherine E; Jin, Chengliu; Young, Larry J

    2012-07-27

    The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is an emerging animal model for biomedical research because of its rich sociobehavioral repertoire. Recently, lentiviral transgenic technology has been used to introduce the gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) into the prairie vole germline. However, the efficiency of transgenesis in this species is limited by the inability to reliably produce large numbers of fertilized embryos. Here we examined several factors that may contribute to variability in superovulation success including, age and parentage of the female, and latency to mating after being placed with the male. Females produced from 5 genetically distinct breeder lines were treated with 100 IU of pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) and immediately housed with a male separated by a perforated Plexiglas divider. Ovulation was induced 72 hr later with 30 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and 2 hrs later mating was allowed. Superovulation was most efficient in young females. For example, females aged 6-11 weeks produced more embryos (14 +/- 1.4 embryos) as compared to females aged 12-20 weeks (4 +/- 1.6 embryos). Females aged 4-5 weeks did not produce embryos. Further, females that mated within 15 min of male exposure produced significantly more embryos than those that did not. Interestingly, there was a significant effect of parentage. For example, 12 out of 12 females from one breeder pair superovulated (defined as producing 5 or more embryos), while only 2 out of 10 females for other lines superovulated. The results of this work suggest that age and genetic background of the female are the most important factors contributing to superovulation success and that latency to mating is a good predictor of the number of embryos to be recovered. Surprisingly we found that cohabitation with the male prior to mating is not necessary for the recovery of embryos but is necessary to recover oocytes. This information will dramatically reduce the number of

  16. Life-long shedding of Puumala hantavirus in wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voutilainen, Liina; Sironen, Tarja; Tonteri, Elina; Bäck, Anne Tuiskunen; Razzauti, Maria; Karlsson, Malin; Wahlström, Maria; Niemimaa, Jukka; Henttonen, Heikki; Lundkvist, Åke

    2015-06-01

    The knowledge of viral shedding patterns and viraemia in the reservoir host species is a key factor in assessing the human risk of zoonotic viruses. The shedding of hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) by their host rodents has widely been studied experimentally, but rarely in natural settings. Here we present the dynamics of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) shedding and viraemia in naturally infected wild bank voles (Myodes glareolus). In a monthly capture-mark-recapture study, we analysed 18 bank voles for the presence and relative quantity of PUUV RNA in the excreta and blood from 2 months before up to 8 months after seroconversion. The proportion of animals shedding PUUV RNA in saliva, urine and faeces peaked during the first month after seroconversion, but continued throughout the study period with only a slight decline. The quantity of shed PUUV in reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) positive excreta was constant over time. In blood, PUUV RNA was present for up to 7 months but both the probability of viraemia and the virus load declined with time. Our findings contradict the current view of a decline in virus shedding after the acute phase and a short viraemic period in hantavirus infection - an assumption widely adopted in current epidemiological models. We suggest the life-long shedding as a means of hantaviruses to survive over host population bottlenecks, and to disperse in fragmented habitats where local host and/or virus populations face temporary extinctions. Our results indicate that the kinetics of pathogens in wild hosts may differ considerably from those observed in laboratory settings.

  17. Response of an invasive liana to simulated herbivory: implications for its biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghu, S.; Dhileepan, K.; Treviño, M.

    2006-05-01

    Pre-release evaluation of the efficacy of biological control agents is often not possible in the case of many invasive species targeted for biocontrol. In such circumstances simulating herbivory could yield significant insights into plant response to damage, thereby improving the efficiency of agent prioritisation, increasing the chances of regulating the performance of invasive plants through herbivory and minimising potential risks posed by release of multiple herbivores. We adopted this approach to understand the weaknesses herbivores could exploit, to manage the invasive liana, Macfadyena unguis-cati. We simulated herbivory by damaging the leaves, stem, root and tuber of the plant, in isolation and in combination. We also applied these treatments at multiple frequencies. Plant response in terms of biomass allocation showed that at least two severe defoliation treatments were required to diminish this liana's climbing habit and reduce its allocation to belowground tuber reserves. Belowground damage appears to have negligible effect on the plant's biomass production and tuber damage appears to trigger a compensatory response. Plant response to combinations of different types of damage did not differ significantly to that from leaf damage. This suggests that specialist herbivores in the leaf-feeding guild capable of removing over 50% of the leaf tissue may be desirable in the biological control of this invasive species.

  18. Impacts of simulated herbivory on volatile organic compound emission profiles from coniferous plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faiola, C. L.; Jobson, B. T.; VanReken, T. M.

    2015-01-01

    The largest global source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere is from biogenic emissions. Plant stressors associated with a changing environment can alter both the quantity and composition of the compounds that are emitted. This study investigated the effects of one global change stressor, increased herbivory, on plant emissions from five different coniferous species: bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), blue spruce (Picea pungens), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), grand fir (Abies grandis), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Herbivory was simulated in the laboratory via exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA), a herbivory proxy. Gas-phase species were measured continuously with a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector (GC-MS-FID). Stress responses varied between the different plant types and even between experiments using the same set of saplings. The compounds most frequently impacted by the stress treatment were alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, 1,8-cineol, beta-myrcene, terpinolene, limonene, and the cymene isomers. Individual compounds within a single experiment often exhibited a different response to the treatment from one another.

  19. Impacts of simulated herbivory on VOC emission profiles from coniferous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. L. Faiola

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The largest global source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs in the atmosphere is from biogenic emissions. Plant stressors associated with a changing environment can alter both the quantity and composition of the compounds that are emitted. This study investigated the effects of one global change stressor, increased herbivory, on plant emissions from five different coniferous species: bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata, blue spruce (Picea pungens, western redcedar (Thuja plicata, grand fir (Abies grandis, and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsugas menziesii. Herbivory was simulated in the laboratory via exogenous application of methyl jasmonate, an herbivory proxy. Gas-phase species were measured continuously with a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector (GC-MS-FID. Stress responses varied between the different plant types and even between experiments using the same set of saplings. The compounds most frequently impacted by the stress treatment were alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, 1,8-cineol, beta-myrcene, terpinolene, limonene, and the cymene isomers. Individual compounds within a single experiment often exhibited a different response to the treatment from one another.

  20. Impacts of simulated herbivory on VOC emission profiles from coniferous plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faiola, C. L.; Jobson, B. T.; VanReken, T. M.

    2014-09-01

    The largest global source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere is from biogenic emissions. Plant stressors associated with a changing environment can alter both the quantity and composition of the compounds that are emitted. This study investigated the effects of one global change stressor, increased herbivory, on plant emissions from five different coniferous species: bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata), blue spruce (Picea pungens), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), grand fir (Abies grandis), and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsugas menziesii). Herbivory was simulated in the laboratory via exogenous application of methyl jasmonate, an herbivory proxy. Gas-phase species were measured continuously with a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer and flame ionization detector (GC-MS-FID). Stress responses varied between the different plant types and even between experiments using the same set of saplings. The compounds most frequently impacted by the stress treatment were alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, 1,8-cineol, beta-myrcene, terpinolene, limonene, and the cymene isomers. Individual compounds within a single experiment often exhibited a different response to the treatment from one another.

  1. Herbivory, plant resistance, and climate in the tree ring record: interactions distort climatic reconstructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trotter, R Talbot; Cobb, Neil S; Whitham, Thomas G

    2002-07-23

    To understand climate change, dendrochronologists have used tree ring analyses to reconstruct past climates, as well as ecological processes such as herbivore population dynamics. Such reconstructions, however, have been hindered by a lack of experiments that separate the influences of confounding impacts on tree rings, such as herbivores and the interactions of multiple factors. Our long-term experiments with scale insects on resistant and susceptible pines demonstrate three major points that are important to the application of this commonly used tool. (i) Herbivory reduced tree ring growth by 25-35%. (ii) The impact on ring growth distorted climate reconstruction, resulting in the overestimation of past moisture levels by more than 2-fold. Our data suggest that, if distortion because of herbivory has been a problem in previous reconstructions, estimates of the magnitude of recent climate changes are likely to be conservative. (iii) Our studies support a detectible plant resistance x herbivore x climate interaction in the tree ring record. Because resistance and susceptibility to herbivory are known to be genetically based in many systems, the potential exists to incorporate plant genetics into the field of dendrochronology, where it may be used to screen distortions from the tree ring record.

  2. Cucumis melo microRNA expression profile during aphid herbivory in a resistant and susceptible interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattar, Sampurna; Song, Yan; Anstead, James A; Sunkar, Ramanjulu; Thompson, Gary A

    2012-06-01

    Aphis gossypii resistance in melon (Cucumis melo) is due to the presence of a single dominant virus aphid transmission (Vat) gene belonging to the nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat family of resistance genes. Significant transcriptional reprogramming occurs in Vat(+) plants during aphid infestation as metabolism shifts to respond to this biotic stress. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of many biotic stress responses. The role of miRNAs was investigated in response to aphid herbivory during both resistant and susceptible interactions. Small RNA (smRNA) libraries were constructed from bulked leaf tissues of a Vat(+) melon line following early and late aphid infestations. Sequence analysis indicated that the expression profiles of conserved and newly identified miRNAs were altered during different stages of aphid herbivory. These results were verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments in both resistant Vat(+) and susceptible Vat(-) interactions. The comparative analyses revealed that most of the conserved miRNA families were differentially regulated during the early stages of aphid infestation in the resistant and susceptible interactions. Along with the conserved miRNA families, 18 cucurbit-specific miRNAs were expressed during the different stages of aphid herbivory. The comparison of the miRNA profiles in the resistant and susceptible interactions provides insight into the miRNA-dependent post-transcriptional gene regulation in Vat-mediated resistance.

  3. Tolerance to deer herbivory and resistance to insect herbivores in the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puentes, A; Johnson, M T J

    2016-01-01

    The evolution of plant defence in response to herbivory will depend on the fitness effects of damage, availability of genetic variation and potential ecological and genetic constraints on defence. Here, we examine the potential for evolution of tolerance to deer herbivory in Oenothera biennis while simultaneously considering resistance to natural insect herbivores. We examined (i) the effects of deer damage on fitness, (ii) the presence of genetic variation in tolerance and resistance, (iii) selection on tolerance, (iv) genetic correlations with resistance that could constrain evolution of tolerance and (v) plant traits that might predict defence. In a field experiment, we simulated deer damage occurring early and late in the season, recorded arthropod abundances, flowering phenology and measured growth rate and lifetime reproduction. Our study showed that deer herbivory has a negative effect on fitness, with effects being more pronounced for late-season damage. Selection acted to increase tolerance to deer damage, yet there was low and nonsignificant genetic variation in this trait. In contrast, there was substantial genetic variation in resistance to insect herbivores. Resistance was genetically uncorrelated with tolerance, whereas positive genetic correlations in resistance to insect herbivores suggest there exists diffuse selection on resistance traits. In addition, growth rate and flowering time did not predict variation in tolerance, but flowering phenology was genetically correlated with resistance. Our results suggest that deer damage has the potential to exert selection because browsing reduces plant fitness, but limited standing genetic variation in tolerance is expected to constrain adaptive evolution in O. biennis.

  4. Ungulate herbivory on alpine willow in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Schoenecker, K.A.; Amburg, L.K.V.

    2011-01-01

    In many areas of the Rocky Mountains, elk (Cervus elaphus) migrate from low-elevation mountain valleys during spring to high-elevation subalpine and alpine areas for the summer. Research has focused on the impacts of elk herbivory on winter-range plant communities, particularly on woody species such as willow and aspen; however, little information is available on the effects of elk herbivory on alpine willows. In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of south central Colorado, select alpine areas appear to receive high levels of summer elk herbivory, while other areas are nearly unbrowsed. In 2005 and 2008, we measured willow height, cover, and utilization on sites that appeared to be used heavily by elk, as well as on sites that appeared to be used lightly, to determine differences between these communities over time. We found less willow cover and shorter willows at sites that received higher levels of browsing compared to those that had lower levels of browsing. Human recreational use was greater at lightly browsed sites than at highly browsed sites. From 2005 to 2008, willow utilization declined, and willow cover and height increased at sites with heavy browsing, likely owing to ownership change of adjacent valley land which led to (1) removal of grazing competition from, cattle at valley locations and (2) increased human use in alpine areas, which displaced elk. We discuss the implications of increased human use and climate change on elk use of these alpine habitats. ?? 2011.

  5. A fungal endophyte helps plants to tolerate root herbivory through changes in gibberellin and jasmonate signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosme, Marco; Lu, Jing; Erb, Matthias; Stout, Michael Joseph; Franken, Philipp; Wurst, Susanne

    2016-08-01

    Plant-microbe mutualisms can improve plant defense, but the impact of root endophytes on below-ground herbivore interactions remains unknown. We investigated the effects of the root endophyte Piriformospora indica on interactions between rice (Oryza sativa) plants and its root herbivore rice water weevil (RWW; Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus), and how plant jasmonic acid (JA) and GA regulate this tripartite interaction. Glasshouse experiments with wild-type rice and coi1-18 and Eui1-OX mutants combined with nutrient, jasmonate and gene expression analyses were used to test: whether RWW adult herbivory above ground influences subsequent damage caused by larval herbivory below ground; whether P. indica protects plants against RWW; and whether GA and JA signaling mediate these interactions. The endophyte induced plant tolerance to root herbivory. RWW adults and larvae acted synergistically via JA signaling to reduce root growth, while endophyte-elicited GA biosynthesis suppressed the herbivore-induced JA in roots and recovered plant growth. Our study shows for the first time the impact of a root endophyte on plant defense against below-ground herbivores, adds to growing evidence that induced tolerance may be an important root defense, and implicates GA as a signal component of inducible plant tolerance against biotic stress.

  6. Patterns in soil fertility and root herbivory interact to influence fine-root dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Glen N; Jones, Robert H

    2006-03-01

    Fine-scale soil nutrient enrichment typically stimulates root growth, but it may also increase root herbivory, resulting in trade-offs for plant species and potentially influencing carbon cycling patterns. We used root ingrowth cores to investigate the effects of microsite fertility and root herbivory on root biomass in an aggrading upland forest in the coastal plain of South Carolina, USA. Treatments were randomly assigned to cores from a factorial combination of fertilizer and insecticide. Soil, soil fauna, and roots were removed from the cores at the end of the experiment (8-9 mo), and roots were separated at harvest into three diameter classes. Each diameter class responded differently to fertilizer and insecticide treatments. The finest roots (root biomass, were the only ones to respond significantly to both treatments, increasing when fertilizer and when insecticide were added (each P root-feeding insects have a strong influence on root standing crop with stronger herbivore impacts on finer roots and within more fertile microsites. Thus, increased vulnerability to root herbivory is a potentially significant cost of root foraging in nutrient-rich patches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Limits to sustained energy intake. XXIII. Does heat dissipation capacity limit the energy budget of lactating bank voles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowska, Edyta T; Król, Elżbieta; Chrzascik, Katarzyna M; Rudolf, Agata M; Speakman, John R; Koteja, Paweł

    2016-03-01

    Understanding factors limiting sustained metabolic rate (SusMR) is a central issue in ecological physiology. According to the heat dissipation limit (HDL) theory, the SusMR at peak lactation is constrained by the maternal capacity to dissipate body heat. To test that theory, we shaved lactating bank voles (Myodes glareolus) to experimentally elevate their capacity for heat dissipation. The voles were sampled from lines selected for high aerobic exercise metabolism (A; characterized also by increased basal metabolic rate) and unselected control lines (C). Fur removal significantly increased the peak-lactation food intake (mass-adjusted least square means ± s.e.; shaved: 16.3 ± 0.3 g day(-1), unshaved: 14.4 ± 0.2 g day(-1); Plines. Thus, the experimental evolution model did not reveal a difference in the limiting mechanism between animals with inherently different metabolic rates.

  9. Land-use legacies and present fire regimes interact to mediate herbivory by altering the neighboring plant community.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hahn, Philip G. [University of Wisconsin; Orrock, John L. [University of Wisconsin

    2015-04-01

    Past and present human activities, such as historic agriculture and fire suppression, are widespread and can create depauperate plant communities. Although many studies show that herbivory on focal plants depends on the density of herbivores or the composition of the surrounding plant community, it is unclear whether anthropogenic changes to plant communities alter herbivory. We tested the hypothesis that human activities that alter the plant community lead to subsequent changes in herbivory. At 20 sites distributed across 80 300 hectares, we conducted a field experiment that manipulated insect herbivore access (full exclosures and pseudo-exclosures) to four focal plant species in longleaf pine woodlands with diff erent land-use histories (post-agricultural sites or non-agricultural sites) and degrees of fi re frequency (frequent and infrequent). Plant cover, particularly herbaceous cover, was lower in post-agricultural and fi re suppressed woodlands. Density of the dominant insect herbivore at our site (grasshoppers) was positively related to plant cover. Herbivore access reduced biomass of the palatable forb Solidago odora in frequently burned post-agricultural sites and in infrequently burned non-agricultural woodlands and increased mortality of another forb (Pityopsis graminifolia ), but did not aff ect two other less palatable species ( Schizachyrium scoparium and Tephrosia virginiana ). Herbivory on S. odora exhibited a hump-shaped response to plant cover, with low herbivory at low and high levels of plant cover. Herbivore density had a weak negative effect on herbivory. These findings suggest that changes in plant cover related to past and present human activities can modify damage rates on focal S. odora plants by altering grasshopper foraging behavior rather than by altering local grasshopper density. The resulting changes in herbivory may have the potential to limit natural recovery or restoration eff orts by reducing the establishment or performance of

  10. It is raining mice and voles: which weather conditions influence the activity of Apodemus flavicollis and Myodes glareolus?

    OpenAIRE

    Wróbel, Aleksandra; Bogdziewicz, Michał

    2015-01-01

    Rodents constitute a crucial part of food chains in many ecosystems; thus, changes in their activity might influence many other species in the community. Moreover, daily variations in activity appear to be an important adaptation, helping rodents to cope with fluctuating intensity of predation pressure and food availability. We investigated how the nightly activity of the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) changes with weather conditions. Increased...

  11. Male and female meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus respond differently to scent marks from the top- middle-, and bottom-scent donors of an over-mark

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H. FERKIN, Nicholas J. HOBBS, Benjamin D. FERKIN, Adam C.FERKIN, Daniel A. FERKIN

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that individuals responded preferentially to the mark of the top-scent donor relative to that of the bottom-scent donor of an over-mark. However, terrestrial mammals are likely to encounter over-marks consisting of the scent marks of more than two same-sex conspecifics in the intersections of runways, near the nests of sexually receptive female conspecifics, and inside and along the borders of the territories of conspecifics. We determined how meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, respond to the marks of the top-, middle-, and bottom-scent donors of an over-mark. We tested the hypothesis that voles exposed to an over-mark will respond preferentially to the scent marks that were deposited more recently, the scent marks that were on top or near the top of the over-mark, compared to the scent marks that were deposited earlier or near the bottom of the over-mark. Voles spent more time investigating the mark of the top-scent donor than that of the either the middle- or bottom-scent donor. However, males but not female voles spent more time investigating the middle-scent mark than the bottom-scent mark. We also tested the hypothesis that voles evaluate and respond to over-marks differently from single scent marks. Voles spent more time investigating the marks of the top-, middle-, and bottom-scent donors compared to scent marks that were not part of the over-mark. Voles can distinguish among the overlapping scent marks of three scent donors and sex differences exist in the values they appear to attach to each of these scent marks [Current Zoology 57 (4: 441–448, 2011].

  12. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster): Territorial aggression does not accompany induced social preference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blondel, Dimitri V; Phelps, Steven M

    2016-11-01

    Corticosterone (CORT) is a stress-related steroid hormone found in vertebrates, and is known to interact with behavior. In the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), acute stress and specifically acute CORT administration have been shown to facilitate male social preference for a familiar female, and this effect has been described as facilitation of the monogamous pair bond. It is possible, however, that the effects of stress on social preference may initially represent a short-term coping strategy. Here we test whether the effect of acute CORT administration extends to territoriality, a defining component of the prairie vole monogamous suite of behaviors. Onset of territoriality would provide further support for an induced pair bond, whereas no increase in aggression would suggest an initial coping response. Using acute exogenous CORT injections followed by behavioral trials, we found a facilitation of social preference, but we did not find increased aggression. This result suggests that the social preference that develops in response to CORT is at least in part a coping response rather than facilitation of comprehensive monogamous pair bond behavior. Our results are consistent with previous studies both within prairie voles and across other taxa that suggest that social contact may be involved in the regulation of stress responses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Re-feeding food-deprived male meadow voles affects the sperm allocation of their rival males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, Ashlee A; Delbarco-Trillo, Javier; Ferkin, Michael H

    2012-12-01

    An individual's nutritional status affects the manner in which same- and opposite-sex conspecifics respond to that individual, which may affect their fitness. Male meadow voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, increase their sperm allocation if they encounter the scent mark of an unfamiliar male that is not nutritionally challenged. If, however, the scent mark comes from a male that has been food deprived for 24 hours, stud male voles do not increase their sperm allocation. Food deprived males may be viewed as being lower quality and a reduced risk of sperm competition by rival males. We hypothesized that stud males in promiscuous mating systems tailor their sperm allocations depending on whether rival males have been food deprived and then re-fed. We predicted that newly re-fed males will be considered a strong risk of sperm competition because of the potentially high fitness and survival costs associated with food deprivation in males, and that they will cause stud males to increase their sperm allocation. Our results, however, showed that the recovery period from 24 hours of food deprivation was a relatively slow process. It took between 96 hours and 336 hours of re-feeding male scent donors that were food deprived for 24 hours to induce stud males to increase their sperm allocation to levels comparable to when scent donors were not food deprived. Stud male voles may be conserving the amount of sperm allocated until the male scent donors have recovered from food deprivation and subsequent re-feeding.

  14. Photoperiod-Dependent Effects of 4-tert-Octylphenol on Adherens and Gap Junction Proteins in Bank Vole Seminiferous Tubules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Hejmej

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study we evaluated in vivo and in vitro effects of 4-tert-octylphenol (OP on the expression and distribution of adherens and gap junction proteins, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and connexin 43 (Cx43, in testes of seasonally breeding rodents, bank voles. We found that in bank vole testes expression and distribution of N-cadherin, β-catenin, and Cx43 were photoperiod dependent. Long-term treatment with OP (200 mg/kg b.w. resulted in the reduction of junction proteins expressions (P<0.05, P<0.01 and their delocalization in the testes of males kept in long photoperiod, whereas in short-day animals slight increase of Cx43 (P<0.05, N-cadherin, and β-catenin (statistically nonsignificant levels was observed. Effects of OP appeared to be independent of FSH and were maintained during in vitro organ culture, indicating that OP acts directly on adherens and gap junction proteins in the testes. An experiment performed using an antiestrogen ICI 182,780 demonstrated that the biological effects of OP on β-catenin and Cx43 involve an estrogen receptor-mediated response. Taken together, in bank vole organization of adherens and gap junctions and their susceptibility to OP are related to the length of photoperiod. Alterations in cadherin/catenin and Cx43-based junction may partially result from activation of estrogen receptor α and/or β signaling pathway.

  15. Microevolution of Puumala hantavirus during a complete population cycle of its host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Razzauti

    Full Text Available Microevolution of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV was studied throughout a population cycle of its host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus. We monitored PUUV variants circulating in the host population in Central Finland over a five-year period that included two peak-phases and two population declines. Of 1369 bank voles examined, 360 (26.3% were found infected with PUUV. Partial sequences of each of the three genome segments were recovered (approx. 12% of PUUV genome from 356 bank voles. Analyses of these sequences disclosed the following features of PUUV evolution: 1 nucleotide substitutions are mostly silent and deduced amino acid changes are mainly conservative, suggesting stabilizing selection at the protein level; 2 the three genome segments accumulate mutations at a different rate; 3 some of the circulating PUUV variants are frequently observed while others are transient; 4 frequently occurring PUUV variants are composed of the most abundant segment genotypes (copious and new transient variants are continually generated; 5 reassortment of PUUV genome segments occurs regularly and follows a specific pattern of segments association; 6 prevalence of reassortant variants oscillates with season and is higher in the autumn than in the spring; and 7 reassortants are transient, i.e., they are not competitively superior to their parental variants. Collectively, these observations support a quasi-neutral mode of PUUV microevolution with a steady generation of transient variants, including reassortants, and preservation of a few preferred genotypes.

  16. Influence of Genotype, Environment, and Gypsy Moth Herbivory on Local and Systemic Chemical Defenses in Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubert-Nason, Kennedy F; Couture, John J; Major, Ian T; Constabel, C Peter; Lindroth, Richard L

    2015-07-01

    Numerous studies have explored the impacts of intraspecific genetic variation and environment on the induction of plant chemical defenses by herbivory. Relatively few, however, have considered how those factors affect within-plant distribution of induced defenses. This work examined the impacts of plant genotype and soil nutrients on the local and systemic phytochemical responses of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) to defoliation by gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar). We deployed larvae onto foliage on individual tree branches for 15 days and then measured chemistry in leaves from: 1) branches receiving damage, 2) undamaged branches of insect-damaged trees, and 3) branches of undamaged control trees. The relationship between post-herbivory phytochemical variation and insect performance also was examined. Plant genotype, soil nutrients, and damage all influenced phytochemistry, with genotype and soil nutrients being stronger determinants than damage. Generally, insect damage decreased foliar nitrogen, increased levels of salicinoids and condensed tannins, but had little effect on levels of a Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, TI3. The largest damage-mediated tannin increases occurred in leaves on branches receiving damage, whereas the largest salicinoid increases occurred in leaves of adjacent, undamaged branches. Foliar nitrogen and the salicinoid tremulacin had the strongest positive and negative relationships, respectively, with insect growth. Overall, plant genetics and environment concomitantly influenced both local and systemic phytochemical responses to herbivory. These findings suggest that herbivory can contribute to phytochemical heterogeneity in aspen foliage, which may in turn influence future patterns of herbivory and nutrient cycling over larger spatial scales.

  17. Defense pattern of Chinese cork oak across latitudinal gradients: influences of ontogeny, herbivory, climate and soil nutrients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Jian-Feng; Gao, Wen-Qiang; Deng, Yun-Peng; Ni, Yan-Yan; Xiao, Yi-Hua; Kang, Feng-Feng; Wang, Qi; Lei, Jing-Pin; Jiang, Ze-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of latitudinal patterns in plant defense and herbivory is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern ecosystem functioning and for predicting their responses to climate change. Using a widely distributed species in East Asia, Quercus variabilis, we aim to reveal defense patterns of trees with respect to ontogeny along latitudinal gradients. Six leaf chemical (total phenolics and total condensed tannin concentrations) and physical (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and dry mass concentration) defensive traits as well as leaf herbivory (% leaf area loss) were investigated in natural Chinese cork oak (Q. variabilis) forests across two ontogenetic stages (juvenile and mature trees) along a ~14°-latitudinal gradient. Our results showed that juveniles had higher herbivory values and a higher concentration of leaf chemical defense substances compared with mature trees across the latitudinal gradient. In addition, chemical defense and herbivory in both ontogenetic stages decreased with increasing latitude, which supports the latitudinal herbivory-defense hypothesis and optimal defense theory. The identified trade-offs between chemical and physical defense were primarily determined by environmental variation associated with the latitudinal gradient, with the climatic factors (annual precipitation, minimum temperature of the coldest month) largely contributing to the latitudinal defense pattern in both juvenile and mature oak trees.

  18. Response of the coral reef benthos and herbivory to fishery closure management and the 1998 ENSO disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R

    2008-02-01

    The hypothesis that herbivory is higher in areas without fishing and will increase the rate at which hard coral communities return to pre-disturbance conditions was tested in and out of the marine protected areas (MPA) of Kenya after the 1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Herbivory was estimated by assay and biomass methods, and both methods indicated higher herbivory in fishery closures. Despite higher herbivory, the effect of the ENSO disturbance was larger within these closures, with reefs undergoing a temporary transition from dominance by hard and soft coral to a temporary dominance of turf and erect algae that ended in the dominance of calcifying algae, massive Porites, Pocillopora and a few faviids six years after the disturbance. The fished reefs changed the least but had a greater cover of turf and erect algae and sponge shortly after the disturbance. Higher herbivory in the fishery closures reduced the abundance and persistence of herbivore-susceptible erect algae and created space and appropriate substratum for recruiting corals. Nonetheless, other post-settlement processes may have had strong influences such that annual rates of coral recovery were low ( approximately 2%) and not different between the management regimes. Recovery, as defined as and measured by the return to pre-disturbance coral cover and the dominant taxa, was slower in fishery closures than unmanaged reefs.

  19. Defense pattern of Chinese cork oak across latitudinal gradients: influences of ontogeny, herbivory, climate and soil nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Jian-Feng; Gao, Wen-Qiang; Deng, Yun-Peng; Ni, Yan-Yan; Xiao, Yi-Hua; Kang, Feng-Feng; Wang, Qi; Lei, Jing-Pin; Jiang, Ze-Ping

    2016-06-01

    Knowledge of latitudinal patterns in plant defense and herbivory is crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern ecosystem functioning and for predicting their responses to climate change. Using a widely distributed species in East Asia, Quercus variabilis, we aim to reveal defense patterns of trees with respect to ontogeny along latitudinal gradients. Six leaf chemical (total phenolics and total condensed tannin concentrations) and physical (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and dry mass concentration) defensive traits as well as leaf herbivory (% leaf area loss) were investigated in natural Chinese cork oak (Q. variabilis) forests across two ontogenetic stages (juvenile and mature trees) along a ~14°-latitudinal gradient. Our results showed that juveniles had higher herbivory values and a higher concentration of leaf chemical defense substances compared with mature trees across the latitudinal gradient. In addition, chemical defense and herbivory in both ontogenetic stages decreased with increasing latitude, which supports the latitudinal herbivory-defense hypothesis and optimal defense theory. The identified trade-offs between chemical and physical defense were primarily determined by environmental variation associated with the latitudinal gradient, with the climatic factors (annual precipitation, minimum temperature of the coldest month) largely contributing to the latitudinal defense pattern in both juvenile and mature oak trees.

  20. Soil removed by voles of the genus Pitymys in the Spanish Pyrenees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borghi, C. E.

    1990-12-01

    Full Text Available The erosiogenic activity of Pyrenean mountain voles is studied following the measures taken in an experimental plot in the Western Pyrenees. An easy model for estimating the volume and weight of soil carried to the surface by voles is presented and used to quantify this amount in natural conditions. Fossorial Pyrenean rodents seem to dislodge well over 6Tm/ha.yr of soil on the colonized areas above the timberline. The four stages (new, recent, old, and vegetated of the evolution of soil heaps are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to evaluate the rate of horizontal sediment transport due to the direct action of voles, with a maximum result of 17 cm3/cm.yr, quite comparable to pure geoclimatic rates.

    [es] Se estudia la actividad de movimiento del suelo de los roedores pirenaicos del género Pitymys, a partir de los datos obtenidos en una parcela experimental situada en los Pirineos Occidentales. Se presenta un modelo sencillo para estimar la cantidad de tierra removida a partir de medidas que pueden tomarse fácilmente en el campo, y se emplea dicho modelo para evaluar esta magnitud en condiciones naturales. Al parecer, los roedores subterráneos pueden sacar al exterior más de 6 Tm de tierra por hectárea y año en las zonas epiforestales que colonizan. También se discute la evolución del suelo removido y sus condiciones para la erosión por escorrentía. Finalmente se intenta evaluar la tasa de transporte horizontal del sedimento debida a los animales, que resulta ser de hasta 17 cm3 por cm y año, un valor claramente comparable con los debidos a agentes geoclimáticos.
    [fr] On a étudié l'activité fouisseuse des campagnols pyrénéens du genre Pitymys, d'après les données recueillies dans une enclosure expérimentale située dans les Pyrénées de l'Ouest. On présente un modèle simple permettant d'estimer la quantité de sol mue par les campagnols a partir de mésurements qu

  1. Adler hantavirus, a new genetic variant of Tula virus identified in Major's pine voles (Microtus majori) sampled in southern European Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tkachenko, Evgeniy A; Witkowski, Peter T; Radosa, Lukas; Dzagurova, Tamara K; Okulova, Nataliya M; Yunicheva, Yulia V; Vasilenko, Ludmila; Morozov, Vyacheslav G; Malkin, Gennadiy A; Krüger, Detlev H; Klempa, Boris

    2015-01-01

    Although at least 30 novel hantaviruses have been recently discovered in novel hosts such as shrews, moles and even bats, hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) are primarily known as rodent-borne human pathogens. Here we report on identification of a novel hantavirus variant associated with a rodent host, Major's pine vole (Microtus majori). Altogether 36 hantavirus PCR-positive Major's pine voles were identified in the Krasnodar region of southern European Russia within the years 2008-2011. Initial partial L-segment sequence analysis revealed novel hantavirus sequences. Moreover, we found a single common vole (Microtusarvalis) infected with Tula virus (TULV). Complete S- and M-segment coding sequences were determined from 11 Major's pine voles originating from 8 trapping sites and subjected to phylogenetic analyses. The data obtained show that Major's pine vole is a newly recognized hantavirus reservoir host. The newfound virus, provisionally called Adler hantavirus (ADLV), is closely related to TULV. Based on amino acid differences to TULV (5.6-8.2% for nucleocapsid protein, 9.4-9.5% for glycoprotein precursor) we propose to consider ADLV as a genotype of TULV. Occurrence of ADLV and TULV in the same region suggests that ADLV is not only a geographical variant of TULV but a host-specific genotype. High intra-cluster nucleotide sequence variability (up to 18%) and geographic clustering indicate long-term presence of the virus in this region.

  2. Identification of variables contributing to superovulation efficiency for production of transgenic prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keebaugh Alaine C

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster is an emerging animal model for biomedical research because of its rich sociobehavioral repertoire. Recently, lentiviral transgenic technology has been used to introduce the gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP into the prairie vole germline. However, the efficiency of transgenesis in this species is limited by the inability to reliably produce large numbers of fertilized embryos. Here we examined several factors that may contribute to variability in superovulation success including, age and parentage of the female, and latency to mating after being placed with the male. Methods Females produced from 5 genetically distinct breeder lines were treated with 100 IU of pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG and immediately housed with a male separated by a perforated Plexiglas divider. Ovulation was induced 72 hr later with 30 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG and 2 hrs later mating was allowed. Results Superovulation was most efficient in young females. For example, females aged 6-11 weeks produced more embryos (14 +/- 1.4 embryos as compared to females aged 12-20 weeks (4 +/- 1.6 embryos. Females aged 4-5 weeks did not produce embryos. Further, females that mated within 15 min of male exposure produced significantly more embryos than those that did not. Interestingly, there was a significant effect of parentage. For example, 12 out of 12 females from one breeder pair superovulated (defined as producing 5 or more embryos, while only 2 out of 10 females for other lines superovulated. Conclusions The results of this work suggest that age and genetic background of the female are the most important factors contributing to superovulation success and that latency to mating is a good predictor of the number of embryos to be recovered. Surprisingly we found that cohabitation with the male prior to mating is not necessary for the recovery of embryos but is necessary to recover

  3. Interactive effects of herbivory and competition intensity determine invasive plant performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Carrillo, Juli; Ding, Jianqing; Siemann, Evan

    2012-10-01

    Herbivory can reduce plant fitness, and its effects can be increased by competition. Though numerous studies have examined the joint effects of herbivores and competitors on plant performance, these interactive effects are seldom considered in the context of plant invasions. Here, we examined variation in plant performance within a competitive environment in response to both specialist and generalist herbivores using Chinese tallow as a model species. We combined tallow plants from native and invasive populations to form all possible pairwise combinations, and designated invasive populations as stronger neighbours and native populations as weaker neighbours. We found that when no herbivory was imposed, invasive populations always had higher total biomass than natives, regardless of their neighbours, which is consistent with our assumption of increased competitive ability. Defoliation by either generalist or specialist herbivores suppressed plant growth but the effects of specialists were generally stronger for invasive populations. Invasive populations had their lowest biomass when fed upon by specialists while simultaneously competing with stronger neighbours. The root/shoot ratios of invasive populations were lower than those of native populations under almost all conditions, and invasive plants were taller than native plants overall, especially when herbivores were present, suggesting that invasive populations may adopt an "aboveground first" strategy to cope with herbivory and competition. These results suggest that release from herbivores, especially specialists, improves an invader's performance and helps to increase its competitive ability. Therefore, increasing interspecific competition intensity by planting a stronger neighbour while simultaneously releasing a specialist herbivore may be an especially effective method of managing invasive plants.

  4. The origin of herbivory on land: Initial patterns of plant tissue consumption by arthropods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CONRAD LABANDEIRA

    2007-01-01

    The early fossil record of terrestrial arthropod herbivory consists of two pulses.The first pulse was concentrated during the latest Silurian to Early Devonian (417 to 403 Ma),and consists of the earliest evidence for consumption of sporangia and stems (and limited fungivore borings). Herbivorization of most of these tissues was rapid, representing 0 to 20 million-year (m.y.) lags from the earliest occurrences of these organs in the fossil record to their initial consumption (Phase 1). For approximately the next 75 m.y., there was a second,more histologically varied origination and expansion of roots, leaves, wood and seeds,whose earliest evidence for herbivorization occurred from the Middle-Late Mississippian boundary to the Middle Pennsylvanian (327 to 309 Ma). The appearance of this second herbivory pulse during the later Paleozoic (Phase 2) is accompanied by major lags of 98 to 54 m.y. between times of appearance of each of the four organ and tissue types and their subsequent herbivory. Both pulses provide a context for three emerging questions. First is an explanation for the contrast between the near instantaneous consumption of plant tissues during Phase 1, versus the exceptionally long lags between the earliest occurrences of plant tissues and their subsequent herbivorization during Phase 2. Second is the identity of arthropod herbivores for both phases. Third is the cause behind the overwhelming targeting of seed-fern plant hosts during Phase 2. Regardless of the answers to these questions, the trace fossil record of plant-arthropod associations provides primary ecological data that remain unaddressed by the body-fossil record alone.

  5. Effects of flooding, salinity and herbivory on coastal plant communities, Louisiana, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, L.; Grace, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    Flooding and salinity stress are predicted to increase in coastal Louisiana as relative sea level rise (RSLR) continues in the Gulf of Mexico region. Although wetland plant species are adapted to these stressors, questions persist as to how marshes may respond to changed abiotic variables caused by RSLR, and how herbivory by native and non-native mammals may affect this response. The effects of altered flooding and salinity on coastal marsh communities were examined in two field experiments that simultaneously manipulated herbivore pressure. Marsh sods subjected to increased or decreased flooding (by lowering or raising sods, respectively), and increased or decreased salinity (by reciprocally transplanting sods between a brackish and fresh marsh), were monitored inside and outside mammalian herbivore exclosures for three growing seasons. Increased flooding stress reduced species numbers and biomass; alleviating flooding stress did not significantly alter species numbers while community biomass increased. Increased salinity reduced species numbers and biomass, more so if herbivores were present. Decreasing salinity had an unexpected effect: herbivores selectively consumed plants transplanted from the higher-salinity site. In plots protected from herbivory, decreased salinity had little effect on species numbers or biomass, but community composition changed. Overall, herbivore pressure further reduced species richness and biomass under conditions of increased flooding and increased salinity, supporting other findings that coastal marsh species can tolerate increasingly stressful conditions unless another factor, e.g., herbivory, is also present. Also, species dropped out of more stressful treatments much faster than they were added when stresses were alleviated, likely due to restrictions on dispersal. The rate at which plant communities will shift as a result of changed abiotic variables will determine if marshes remain viable when subjected to RSLR.

  6. Pyric herbivory: rewilding landscapes through the recoupling of fire and grazing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Engle, David M; Kerby, Jay; Hamilton, Robert

    2009-06-01

    Our understanding of fire and grazing is largely based on small-scale experimental studies in which treatments are uniformly applied to experimental units that are considered homogenous. Any discussion of an interaction between fire and grazing is usually based on a statistical approach that ignores the spatial and temporal interactions on complex landscapes. We propose a new focus on the ecological interaction of fire and grazing in which each disturbance is spatially and temporally dependent on the other and results in a landscape where disturbance is best described as a shifting mosaic (a landscape with patches that vary with time since disturbance) that is critical to ecological structure and function of many ecosystems. We call this spatiotemporal interaction pyric herbivory (literal interpretation means grazing driven by fire). Pyric herbivory is the spatial and temporal interaction of fire and grazing, where positive and negative feedbacks promote a shifting pattern of disturbance across the landscape. We present data we collected from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in the southern Great Plains of North America that demonstrates that the interaction between free-roaming bison (Bison bison) and random fires promotes heterogeneity and provides the foundation for biological diversity and ecosystem function of North American and African grasslands. This study is different from other studies of fire and grazing because the fires we examined were random and grazing animals were free to roam and select from burned and unburned patches. For ecosystems across the globe with a long history of fire and grazing, pyric herbivory with any grazing herbivore is likely more effective at restoring evolutionary disturbance patterns than a focus on restoring any large vertebrate while ignoring the interaction with fire and other disturbances.

  7. The role of genetic and chemical variation of Pinus sylvestris seedlings in influencing slug herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly-Wapstra, Julianne M; Iason, Glenn R; Thoss, Vera

    2007-05-01

    This study investigated the genetic and chemical basis of resistance of Pinus sylvestris seedlings to herbivory by a generalist mollusc, Arion ater. Using feeding trials with captive animals, we examined selective herbivory by A. ater of young P. sylvestris seedlings of different genotypes and correlated preferences with seedling monoterpene levels. We also investigated the feeding responses of A. ater to artificial diets laced with two monoterpenes, Delta(3)-carene and alpha-pinene. Logistic regression indicated that two factors were the best predictors of whether seedlings in the trial would be consumed. Individual slug variation (replicates) was the most significant factor in the model; however, alpha-pinene concentration (also representing beta-pinene, Delta(3)-carene and total monoterpenes due to multicollinearity) of needles was also a significant factor. While A. ater did not select seedlings on the basis of family, seedlings not eaten were significantly higher in levels of alpha-pinene compared to seedlings that were consumed. We also demonstrated significant genetic variation in alpha-pinene concentration of seedlings between different families of P. sylvestris. Nitrogen and three morphological seedling characteristics (stem length, needle length and stem diameter) also showed significant genetic variation between P. sylvestris families. Artificial diets laced with high (5 mg g(-1) dry matter) quantities of either Delta(3)-carene or alpha-pinene, were eaten significantly less than control diets with no added monoterpenes, supporting the results of the seedling feeding trial. This study demonstrates that A. ater selectively feed on P. sylvestris seedlings and that this selection is based, in part, on the monoterpene concentration of seedlings. These results, coupled with significant genetic variation in alpha-pinene concentration of seedlings and evidence that slug herbivory is detrimental to P. sylvestris fitness, are discussed as possible evidence for A

  8. Effects of herbivory, nutrients, and reef protection on algal proliferation and coral growth on a tropical reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasher, Douglas B; Engel, Sebastian; Bonito, Victor; Fraser, Gareth J; Montoya, Joseph P; Hay, Mark E

    2012-05-01

    Maintaining coral reef resilience against increasing anthropogenic disturbance is critical for effective reef management. Resilience is partially determined by how processes, such as herbivory and nutrient supply, affect coral recovery versus macroalgal proliferation following disturbances. However, the relative effects of herbivory versus nutrient enrichment on algal proliferation remain debated. Here, we manipulated herbivory and nutrients on a coral-dominated reef protected from fishing, and on an adjacent macroalgal-dominated reef subject to fishing and riverine discharge, over 152 days. On both reefs, herbivore exclusion increased total and upright macroalgal cover by 9-46 times, upright macroalgal biomass by 23-84 times, and cyanobacteria cover by 0-27 times, but decreased cover of encrusting coralline algae by 46-100% and short turf algae by 14-39%. In contrast, nutrient enrichment had no effect on algal proliferation, but suppressed cover of total macroalgae (by 33-42%) and cyanobacteria (by 71% on the protected reef) when herbivores were excluded. Herbivore exclusion, but not nutrient enrichment, also increased sediment accumulation, suggesting a strong link between herbivory, macroalgal growth, and sediment retention. Growth rates of the corals Porites cylindrica and Acropora millepora were 30-35% greater on the protected versus fished reef, but nutrient and herbivore manipulations within a site did not affect coral growth. Cumulatively, these data suggest that herbivory rather than eutrophication plays the dominant role in mediating macroalgal proliferation, that macroalgae trap sediments that may further suppress herbivory and enhance macroalgal dominance, and that corals are relatively resistant to damage from some macroalgae but are significantly impacted by ambient reef condition.

  9. Seasonal regulation of herbivory and nutrient effects on macroalgal recruitment and succession in a Florida coral reef

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Duran

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Herbivory and nutrient enrichment are drivers of benthic dynamics of coral reef macroalgae; however, their impact may vary seasonally. In this study we evaluated the effects of herbivore pressure, nutrient availability and potential propagule supply on seasonal recruitment and succession of macroalgal communities on a Florida coral reef. Recruitment tiles, replaced every three months, and succession tiles, kept in the field for nine months, were established in an ongoing factorial nutrient enrichment-herbivore exclusion experiment. The ongoing experiment had already created very different algal communities across the different herbivory and nutrient treatments. We tracked algal recruitment, species richness, and species abundance through time. Our results show seasonal variation in the effect of herbivory and nutrient availability on recruitment of coral reef macroalgae. In the spring, when there was higher macroalgal species richness and abundance of recruits, herbivory appeared to have more control on macroalgal community structure than did nutrients. In contrast, there was no effect of either herbivory or nutrient enrichment on macroalgal communities on recruitment tiles in cooler seasons. The abundance of recruits on tiles was positively correlated with the abundance of algal in the ongoing, established experiment, suggesting that propagule abundance is likely a strong influence on algal recruitment and early succession. Results of the present study suggest that abundant herbivorous fishes control recruitment and succession of macroalgae, particularly in the warm season when macroalgal growth is higher. However, herbivory appears less impactful on algal recruitment and community dynamics in cooler seasons. Ultimately, our data suggest that the timing of coral mortality (e.g., summer vs. winter mortality and freeing of benthic space may strongly influence the dynamics of algae that colonize open space.

  10. Herbivory and growth in terrestrial and aquatic populations of amphibious stream plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Jacobsen, Dean

    2002-01-01

    to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of aerial and submerged life. 2. Terrestrial populations had higher area shoot density, biomass and leaf production than aquatic populations, while leaf turnover rate and longevity were the same. Terrestrial populations experienced lower percentage grazing loss of leaf......1. Many amphibious plant species grow in the transition between terrestrial and submerged vegetation in small lowland streams. We determined biomass development, leaf turnover rate and invertebrate herbivory during summer in terrestrial and aquatic populations of three amphibious species...

  11. Reproduction, aging and mortality rate in social subterranean mole voles (Ellobius talpinus Pall.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novikov, E; Kondratyuk, E; Petrovski, D; Titova, T; Zadubrovskaya, I; Zadubrovskiy, P; Moshkin, M

    2015-12-01

    Eusocial subterranean rodents of the Bathyergidae family have enormous longevity. The long lifespan of these species is associated with negligible senescence, that is, an absence of the signs of age-related deterioration in physical condition. The question arises as to whether these features are unique to eusocial Bathyergids or typical of other social subterranean rodents as well. In the present study, we analysed data from observations of a social subterranean Microtinae rodent, the northern mole vole (Ellobius talpinus Pall.), which, like mole-rats, has reproductive skew. Among the individuals captured in the wild and maintained in captivity, females that reproduced lived significantly longer than non-breeding females. We did not find any changes in muscle strength with age in any of the demographic groups studied. Faecal glucocorticoid concentrations before death were significantly higher in non-breeding females than in breeding females and males. Increased adrenocortical activity may be one mechanism responsible for the decreased lifespan of non-reproducing individuals of social subterranean rodents. We conclude that the patterns of aging, although different in some respects, are generally common for social subterranean rodents of different taxonomic groups.

  12. Description of Paranoplocephala etholeni n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae in the meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus, with a synopsis of Paranoplocephala s. l. in Holarctic rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haukisalmi V.

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Paranoplocephala etholeni n. sp., parasitizing the meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus in Alaska and Wisconsin, USA is described. Paranoplocephala etholeni is morphologically most closely related to the Nearctic Paranoplocephala ondatrae (Rausch, 1948. Available data suggest that P. etholeni is a host-specific, locally rare species that may have a wide but sporadic geographical distribution in North America. The finding of P. ondatrae-like cestodes in Microtus spp. suggests that this poorly known species may actually be a parasite of voles rather than muskrat (type host. A tabular synopsis of all the known species of Paranoplocephala s. l. in the Holarctic region with their main morphological features is presented.

  13. Population, Environmental, and Community Effects on Local Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus) Puumala Virus Infection in an Area with Low Human Incidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tersago, K; Schreurs, A; Linard, C

    2008-01-01

    regard the combination of a dilution effect, a possible threshold density that depends on local conditions, and a higher fragmentation of suitable bank vole habitat in our study area as plausible explanations for the sparse occurrence of PUUV infection and low prevalence detected. Thus, beside human...... habitat and tested for anti-PUUV IgG. Infection data were related to individual bank vole features, population demography, and environmental variables. Rare occurrence of PUUV infection was found and PUUV prevalence was low compared with data from the high NE incidence area in southern Belgium. Small...

  14. Effects of generalist herbivory on resistance and resource allocation by the invasive plant, Phytolacca americana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Ding, Jianqing

    2016-04-01

    Successful invasions by exotic plants are often attributed to a loss of co-evolved specialists and a re-allocation of resources from defense to growth and reproduction. However, invasive plants are rarely completely released from insect herbivory because they are frequently attacked by generalists in their introduced ranges. The novel generalist community may also affect the invasive plant's defensive strategies and resource allocation. Here, we tested this hypothesis using American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.), a species that has become invasive in China, which is native to North America. We examined resistance, tolerance, growth and reproduction of plant populations from both China and the USA when plants were exposed to natural generalist herbivores in China. We found that leaf damage was greater for invasive populations than for native populations, indicating that plants from invasive ranges had lower resistance to herbivory than those from native ranges. A regression of the percentage of leaf damage against mass showed that there was no significant difference in tolerance between invasive and native populations, even though the shoot, root, fruit and total mass were larger for invasive populations than for native populations. These results suggest that generalist herbivores are important drivers mediating the defensive strategies and resource allocation of the invasive American pokeweed. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  15. Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) seedlings in a high-CO2 world: from physiology to herbivory

    KAUST Repository

    Hernán, Gema

    2016-12-01

    Under future increased CO2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities. In this study we determined the effects of experimental exposure to current and future predicted CO2 concentrations on the physiology, size and defense strategies against herbivory in the earliest life stage of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The photosynthetic performance of seedlings, assessed by fluorescence, improved under increased pCO2 conditions after 60 days, although these differences disappeared after 90 days. Furthermore, these plants exhibited bigger seeds and higher carbon storage in belowground tissues, having thus more resources to tolerate and recover from stressors. Of the several herbivory resistance traits measured, plants under high pCO2 conditions had a lower leaf N content but higher sucrose. These seedlings were preferred by herbivorous sea urchins in feeding trials, which could potentially counteract some of the positive effects observed.

  16. Evolutionary changes in plant tolerance against herbivory through a resurrection experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustos-Segura, C; Fornoni, J; Núñez-Farfán, J

    2014-03-01

    Both theoretical and empirical works have highlighted the difference in the evolutionary implications of host resistance and tolerance against their enemies. However, it has been difficult to show evolutionary changes in host defences in natural populations; thus, evaluating theoretical predictions of simultaneous evolution of defences remains a challenge. We studied the evolutionary changes in traits related to resistance and tolerance against herbivory in a natural plant population using seeds from two collections made in a period of 20 years. In a common garden experiment, we compared defensive traits of ancestral (1987) and descendant (2007) subpopulations of the annual plant Datura stramonium that shows genetic variation for tolerance and to which the specialist herbivore Lema daturaphila is locally adapted. We also examined the effects of different plant genotypes on the herbivore for testing the plant genetic variation in resistance. Based on the response to the contemporary herbivore populations, results revealed a nonsignificant response in plant resistance traits (herbivore consumption, foliar trichomes and tropane alkaloids), but a significant one in tolerance. The survival of herbivores in laboratory experiments depended on the plant genotype, which suggests genetic variation in plant resistance. Although we cannot identify the selective agent for the change nor exclude genetic drift, the results are consistent with the expectation that when resistance fails to control herbivory, tolerance should play a more important role in the evolution of the interaction. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  17. Lobelia siphilitica plants that escape herbivory in time also have reduced latex production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L Parachnowitsch

    Full Text Available Flowering phenology is an important determinant of a plant's reproductive success. Both assortative mating and niche construction can result in the evolution of correlations between phenology and other reproductive, functional, and life history traits. Correlations between phenology and herbivore defence traits are particularly likely because the timing of flowering can allow a plant to escape herbivory. To test whether herbivore escape and defence are correlated, we estimated phenotypic and genetic correlations between flowering phenology and latex production in greenhouse-grown Lobelia siphilitica L. (Lobeliaceae. Lobelia siphilitica plants that flower later escape herbivory by a specialist pre-dispersal seed predator, and thus should invest fewer resources in defence. Consistent with this prediction, we found that later flowering was phenotypically and genetically correlated with reduced latex production. To test whether herbivore escape and latex production were costly, we also measured four fitness correlates. Flowering phenology was negatively genetically correlated with three out of four fitness estimates, suggesting that herbivore escape can be costly. In contrast, we did not find evidence for costs of latex production. Generally, our results suggest that herbivore escape and defence traits will not evolve independently in L. siphilitica.

  18. Emerging role of roots in plant responses to aboveground insect herbivory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vamsi J.Nalam; Jyoti Shah; Punya Nachappa

    2013-01-01

    Plants have evolved complex biochemical mechanisms to counter threats from insect herbivory.Recent research has revealed an important role of roots in plant responses to above ground herbivory (AGH).The involvement of roots is integral to plant resistance and tolerance mechanisms.Roots not only play an active role in plant defenses by acting as sites for biosynthesis of various toxins and but also contribute to tolerance by storing photoassimilates to enable future regrowth.The interaction of roots with beneficial soilborne microorganisms also influences the outcome of the interaction between plant and insect herbivores.Shoot-to-root communication signals are critical for plant response to AGH.A better understanding of the role of roots in plant response to AGH is essential in order to develop a comprehensive picture of plant-insect interactions.Here,we summarize the current status of research on the role of roots in plant response to AGH and also discuss possible signals involved in shoot-to-root communication.

  19. Fifty million years of herbivory on coral reefs: fossils, fish and functional innovations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellwood, D. R.; Goatley, C. H. R.; Brandl, S. J.; Bellwood, O.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of ecological processes on coral reefs was examined based on Eocene fossil fishes from Monte Bolca, Italy and extant species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Using ecologically relevant morphological metrics, we investigated the evolution of herbivory in surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) and rabbitfishes (Siganidae). Eocene and Recent surgeonfishes showed remarkable similarities, with grazers, browsers and even specialized, long-snouted forms having Eocene analogues. These long-snouted Eocene species were probably pair-forming, crevice-feeding forms like their Recent counterparts. Although Eocene surgeonfishes likely played a critical role as herbivores during the origins of modern coral reefs, they lacked the novel morphologies seen in modern Acanthurus and Siganus (including eyes positioned high above their low-set mouths). Today, these forms dominate coral reefs in both abundance and species richness and are associated with feeding on shallow, exposed algal turfs. The radiation of these new forms, and their expansion into new habitats in the Oligocene–Miocene, reflects the second phase in the development of fish herbivory on coral reefs that is closely associated with the exploitation of highly productive short algal turfs. PMID:24573852

  20. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  1. Water quality and herbivory interactively drive coral-reef recovery patterns in American Samoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Houk

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Compared with a wealth of information regarding coral-reef recovery patterns following major disturbances, less insight exists to explain the cause(s of spatial variation in the recovery process. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study quantifies the influence of herbivory and water quality upon coral reef assemblages through space and time in Tutuila, American Samoa, a Pacific high island. Widespread declines in dominant corals (Acropora and Montipora resulted from cyclone Heta at the end of 2003, shortly after the study began. Four sites that initially had similar coral reef assemblages but differential temporal dynamics four years following the disturbance event were classified by standardized measures of 'recovery status', defined by rates of change in ecological measures that are known to be sensitive to localized stressors. Status was best predicted, interactively, by water quality and herbivory. Expanding upon temporal trends, this study examined if similar dependencies existed through space; building multiple regression models to identify linkages between similar status measures and local stressors for 17 localities around Tutuila. The results highlighted consistent, interactive interdependencies for coral reef assemblages residing upon two unique geological reef types. Finally, the predictive regression models produced at the island scale were graphically interpreted with respect to hypothesized site-specific recovery thresholds. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Cumulatively, our study purports that moving away from describing relatively well-known patterns behind recovery, and focusing upon understanding causes, improves our foundation to predict future ecological dynamics, and thus improves coral reef management.

  2. A new North American therizinosaurid and the role of herbivory in 'predatory' dinosaur evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Gillette, David D; Albright, L Barry; Titus, Alan L

    2009-10-07

    Historically, ecomorphological inferences regarding theropod (i.e. 'predatory') dinosaurs were guided by an assumption that they were singularly hypercarnivorous. A recent plethora of maniraptoran discoveries has produced evidence challenging this notion. Here, we report on a new species of maniraptoran theropod, Nothronychus graffami sp. nov. Relative completeness of this specimen permits a phylogenetic reassessment of Therizinosauria-the theropod clade exhibiting the most substantial anatomical evidence of herbivory. In the most comprehensive phylogenetic study of the clade conducted to date, we recover Therizinosauria as the basalmost maniraptoran lineage. Using concentrated changes tests, we present evidence for correlated character evolution among herbivorous and hypercarnivorous taxa and propose ecomorphological indicators for future interpretations of diet among maniraptoran clades. Maximum parsimony optimizations of character evolution within our study indicate an ancestral origin for dietary plasticity and facultative herbivory (omnivory) within the clade. These findings suggest that hypercarnivory in paravian dinosaurs is a secondarily derived dietary specialization and provide a potential mechanism for the invasion of novel morpho- and ecospace early in coelurosaurian evolution-the loss of obligate carnivory and origin of dietary opportunism.

  3. Seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) seedlings in a high-CO2 world: from physiology to herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernán, Gema; Ramajo, Laura; Basso, Lorena; Delgado, Antonio; Terrados, Jorge; Duarte, Carlos M.; Tomas, Fiona

    2016-01-01

    Under future increased CO2 concentrations, seagrasses are predicted to perform better as a result of increased photosynthesis, but the effects in carbon balance and growth are unclear and remain unexplored for early life stages such as seedlings, which allow plant dispersal and provide the potential for adaptation under changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, the outcome of the concomitant biochemical changes in plant-herbivore interactions has been poorly studied, yet may have important implications in plant communities. In this study we determined the effects of experimental exposure to current and future predicted CO2 concentrations on the physiology, size and defense strategies against herbivory in the earliest life stage of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The photosynthetic performance of seedlings, assessed by fluorescence, improved under increased pCO2 conditions after 60 days, although these differences disappeared after 90 days. Furthermore, these plants exhibited bigger seeds and higher carbon storage in belowground tissues, having thus more resources to tolerate and recover from stressors. Of the several herbivory resistance traits measured, plants under high pCO2 conditions had a lower leaf N content but higher sucrose. These seedlings were preferred by herbivorous sea urchins in feeding trials, which could potentially counteract some of the positive effects observed. PMID:27905514

  4. Captive housing during water vole (Arvicola terrestris reintroduction: does short-term social stress impact on animal welfare?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merryl Gelling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Animals captive bred for reintroduction are often housed under conditions which are not representative of their preferred social structure for at least part of the reintroduction process. Specifically, this is most likely to occur during the final stages of the release programme, whilst being housed during transportation to the release site. The degree of social stress experienced by individuals during this time may negatively impact upon their immunocompetence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined two measure of stress--body weight and Leukocyte Coping Capacity (LCC--to investigate the effects of group size upon captive-bred water voles destined for release within a reintroduction program. Water voles were housed in laboratory cages containing between one and eight individuals. LCC scores were negatively correlated with group size, suggesting that individuals in larger groups experienced a larger degree of immuno-suppression than did individuals housed in smaller groups or individually. During the course of the study mean body weights increased, in contrast to expectations from a previous study. This was attributed to the individuals sampled being sub-adults and thus growing in length and weight during the course of the investigation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The reintroduction process will inevitably cause some stress to the release cohort. However, for water voles we conclude that the stress experienced may be reduced by decreasing group size within captive colony and/or transportation housing practises. These findings are of significance to other species' reintroductions, in highlighting the need to consider life-history strategies when choosing housing systems for animals being maintained in captivity prior to release to the wild. A reduction in stress experienced at the pre-release stage may improve immunocompetence and thus animal welfare and initial survival post-release.

  5. Woodland recovery after suppression of deer: cascade effects for small mammals, wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus and bank voles (Myodes glareolus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma R Bush

    Full Text Available Over the past century, increases in both density and distribution of deer species in the Northern Hemisphere have resulted in major changes in ground flora and undergrowth vegetation of woodland habitats, and consequentially the animal communities that inhabit them. In this study, we tested whether recovery in the vegetative habitat of a woodland due to effective deer management (from a peak of 0.4-1.5 to <0.17 deer per ha had translated to the small mammal community as an example of a higher order cascade effect. We compared deer-free exclosures with neighboring open woodland using capture-mark-recapture (CMR methods to see if the significant difference in bank vole (Myodes glareolus and wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus numbers between these environments from 2001-2003 persisted in 2010. Using the multi-state Robust Design method in program MARK we found survival and abundance of both voles and mice to be equivalent between the open woodland and the experimental exclosures with no differences in various metrics of population structure (age structure, sex composition, reproductive activity and individual fitness (weight, although the vole population showed variation both locally and temporally. This suggests that the vegetative habitat--having passed some threshold of complexity due to lowered deer density--has allowed recovery of the small mammal community, although patch dynamics associated with vegetation complexity still remain. We conclude that the response of small mammal communities to environmental disturbance such as intense browsing pressure can be rapidly reversed once the disturbing agent has been removed and the vegetative habitat is allowed to increase in density and complexity, although we encourage caution, as a source/sink dynamic may emerge between old growth patches and the recently disturbed habitat under harsh conditions.

  6. Morphological diversity of mole vole mono- and polymorphic populations: Does Chernov's "compensation principle" work within a population?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasil'ev, A G; Bolshakov, V N; Evdokimov, N G; Sineva, N V

    2016-05-01

    The ecological "compensation principle" enunciated by Yu.I. Chernov, who suggested a higher level of compensatory diversity in communities depleted in composition, proved to be also applicable to a single population, as demonstrated in a model rodent species, mole vole with mono- and polymorphic coat color, using the methods of geometric morphometrics. The mandible shape diversity was significantly increased in the monomorphic as compared to polymorphic populations, in which the division of foraging activities between animals of different morphs led to a suppression of general morphological diversity.

  7. Invading from the garden? A comparison of leaf herbivory for exotic and native plants in natural and ornamental settings

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Stephen F.Matter; Adam M.Stein; Richard Stokes; Brandy S.Wilkerson; Jessica R.Brzyski; Christopher J.Harrison; Sara Hyams; Clement Loo; Jessica Loomis; Hannah R.Lubbers; Leeann Seastrum; Trevor I.Stamper

    2012-01-01

    The enemies release hypothesis proposes that exotic species can become invasive by escaping from predators and parasites in their novel environment.Agrawal et al.(Enemy release? An experiment with congeneric plant pairs and diverse above-and below-ground enemies.Ecology,86,2979-2989) proposed that areas or times in which damage to introduced species is low provide opportunities for the invasion of native habitat.We tested whether ornamental settings may provide areas with low levels of herbivory for trees and shrubs,potentially facilitating invasion success.First,we compared levels of leaf herbivory among native and exotic species in ornamental and natural settings in Cincinnati,Ohio,United States.In the second study,we compared levels of herbivory for invasive and noninvasive exotic species between natural and ornamental settings.We found lower levels of leaf damage for exotic species than for native species; however,we found no differences in the amount of leaf damage suffered in ornamental or natural settings.Our results do not provide any evidence that ornamental settings afford additional release from herbivory for exotic plant species.

  8. Sugarcane Serine Peptidase Inhibitors, Serine Peptidases, and Clp Protease System Subunits Associated with Sugarcane Borer (Diatraea saccharalis) Herbivory and Wounding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Ane H.; Mingossi, Fabiana B.; Dias, Renata O.; Franco, Flávia P.; Vicentini, Renato; Mello, Marcia O.; Moura, Daniel S.; Silva-Filho, Marcio C.

    2016-01-01

    Sugarcane’s (Saccharum spp.) response to Diatraea saccharalis (F.) (Lepidoptera: (Crambidae) herbivory was investigated using a macroarray spotted with 248 sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) encoding serine peptidase inhibitors, serine peptidases. and Clp protease system subunits. Our results showed that after nine hours of herbivory, 13 sugarcane genes were upregulated and nine were downregulated. Among the upregulated genes, nine were similar to serine peptidase inhibitors and four were similar to Bowman-Birk Inhibitors (BBIs). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these sequences belong to a phylogenetic group of sugarcane BBIs that are potentially involved in plant defense against insect predation. The remaining four upregulated genes included serine peptidases and one homolog to the Arabidopsis AAA+ chaperone subunit ClpD, which is a member of the Clp protease system. Among the downregulated genes, five were homologous to serine peptidases and four were homologous to Arabidopsis Clp subunits (three homologous to Clp AAA+ chaperones and one to a ClpP-related ClpR subunit). Although the roles of serine peptidase inhibitors in plant defenses against herbivory have been extensively investigated, the roles of plant serine peptidases and the Clp protease system represent a new and underexplored field of study. The up- and downregulated D. saccharalis genes presented in this study may be candidate genes for the further investigation of the sugarcane response to herbivory. PMID:27598134

  9. Leaf-fracture properties correlated with nutritional traits in nine Australian seagrass species: implications for susceptibility to herbivory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de los Santos, C.B.; Brun, F.G.; Onoda, Y.; Cambridge, M.L.; Bouma, T.J.; Vergara, J.J.; Pérez-Lloréns, J.L.

    2012-01-01

    Seagrasses are exposed to the constant risk of structural damage due to abiotic factors, such as waves and currents, and biotic factors, e. g. herbivory. Leaf mechanical resistance is therefore essential in protecting plants from structural failure and may also have ecological consequences. For exam

  10. Plant compensatory growth in aspen seedlings: the role of frequency and intensity of herbivory and resource availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadir Erbilgin; David A. Galvez; Bin Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Plant ecologists have debated the mechanisms used by plants to cope with the impact of herbivore damage for more than a century. During that time, plant resistance mechanisms, which reduce the amount of herbivore damage before and during herbivory, have received most of the attention, while plant tolerance mechanisms, which may minimize the impacts of damage after...

  11. Predictable spatial escapes from herbivory: how do these affect the evolution of herbivore resistance in tropical marine communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Mark E

    1984-11-01

    Between-habitat differences in macrophyte consumption by herbivorous fishes were examined on three Caribbean and two Indian Ocean coral reefs. Transplanted sections of seagrasses were used as a bioassay to compare removal rates in reef-slope, reef-flat, sand-plain, and lagoon habitats. Herbivore susceptibility of fifty-two species of seaweeds from these habitats was also measured in the field. Seagrass consumption on shallow reef slopes was always significantly greater than on shallow reef flats, deep sand plains, or sandy lagoons. Reef-slope seaweeds were consistently resistant to herbivory while reef-flat seaweeds were consistently very susceptible to herbivory. This pattern supports the hypothesis that defenses against herbivores are costly in terms of fitness and are selected against in habitats with predictably low rates of herbivory.Sand-plain and lagoon seaweeds showed a mixed response when placed in habitats with high herbivore pressure; most fleshy red seaweeds were eaten rapidly, most fleshy green seaweeds were eaten at intermediate rates, and most calcified green seaweeds were avoided or eaten at very low rates. Differences in susceptibility between red and green seaweeds from sand-plain or lagoon habitats may result from differential competitive pressures experienced by these seaweed groups or from the differential probability of being encountered by herbivores. The susceptibility of a species to removal by herbivorous fishes was relatively consistent between reefs. Preferences of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum were also similar to those of the fish guilds.Unique secondary metabolites were characteristic of almost all of the most herbivore resistant seaweeds. However, some of the herbivore susceptible species also contain chemicals that have been proposed as defensive compounds. Genera such as Sargassum, Turbinaria, Thalassia, Halodule, and Thalassodendron, which produce polyphenolics or phenolic acids, were consumed at high to intermediate rates

  12. Among-population variation in tolerance to larval herbivory by Anthocharis cardamines in the polyploid herb Cardamine pratensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malin A E König

    Full Text Available Plants have two principal defense mechanisms to decrease fitness losses to herbivory: tolerance, the ability to compensate fitness after damage, and resistance, the ability to avoid damage. Variation in intensity of herbivory among populations should result in variation in plant defense levels if tolerance and resistance are associated with costs. Yet little is known about how levels of tolerance are related to resistance and attack intensity in the field, and about the costs of tolerance. In this study, we used information about tolerance and resistance against larval herbivory by the butterfly Anthocharis cardamines under controlled conditions together with information about damage in the field for a large set of populations of the perennial plant Cardamine pratensis. Plant tolerance was estimated in a common garden experiment where plants were subjected to a combination of larval herbivory and clipping. We found no evidence of that the proportion of damage that was caused by larval feeding vs. clipping influenced plant responses. Damage treatments had a negative effect on the three measured fitness components and also resulted in an earlier flowering in the year after the attack. Tolerance was related to attack intensity in the population of origin, i.e. plants from populations with higher attack intensity were more likely to flower in the year following damage. However, we found no evidence of a relationship between tolerance and resistance. These results indicate that herbivory drives the evolution for increased tolerance, and that changes in tolerance are not linked to changes in resistance. We suggest that the simultaneous study of tolerance, attack intensity in the field and resistance constitutes a powerful tool to understand how plant strategies to avoid negative effects of herbivore damage evolve.

  13. Sapling herbivory, invertebrate herbivores and predators across a natural tree diversity gradient in Germany's largest connected deciduous forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobek, Stephanie; Scherber, Christoph; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tscharntke, Teja

    2009-05-01

    Tree species-rich forests are hypothesised to be less susceptible to insect herbivores, but so far herbivory-diversity relationships have rarely been tested for tree saplings, and no such study has been published for deciduous forests in Central Europe. We expected that diverse tree communities reduce the probability of detection of host plants and increase abundance of predators, thereby reducing herbivory. We examined levels of herbivory suffered by beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and maple saplings (Acer pseudoplatanus L. and Acer platanoides L.) across a tree species diversity gradient within Germany's largest remaining deciduous forest area, and investigated whether simple beech or mixed stands were less prone to damage caused by herbivorous insects. Leaf area loss and the frequency of galls and mines were recorded for 1,040 saplings (>13,000 leaves) in June and August 2006. In addition, relative abundance of predators was assessed to test for potential top-down control. Leaf area loss was generally higher in the two species of maple compared to beech saplings, while only beech showed a decline in damage caused by leaf-chewing herbivores across the tree diversity gradient. No significant patterns were found for galls and mines. Relative abundance of predators on beech showed a seasonal response and increased on species-rich plots in June, suggesting higher biological control. We conclude that, in temperate deciduous forests, herbivory-tree diversity relationships are significant, but are tree species-dependent with bottom-up and top-down control as possible mechanisms. In contrast to maple, beech profits from growing in a neighbourhood of higher tree richness, which implies that species identity effects may be of greater importance than tree diversity effects per se. Hence, herbivory on beech appeared to be mediated bottom-up by resource concentration in the sampled forest stands, as well as regulated top-down through biocontrol by natural enemies.

  14. Litter size variation in hypothalamic gene expression determines adult metabolic phenotype in Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-Ying Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Early postnatal environments may have long-term and potentially irreversible consequences on hypothalamic neurons involved in energy homeostasis. Litter size is an important life history trait and negatively correlated with milk intake in small mammals, and thus has been regarded as a naturally varying feature of the early developmental environment. Here we investigated the long-term effects of litter size on metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide mRNA expression involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, using the offspring reared from large (10-12 and small (3-4 litter sizes, of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii, a rodent species from Inner Mongolia grassland in China. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hypothalamic leptin signaling and neuropeptides were measured by Real-Time PCR. We showed that offspring reared from small litters were heavier at weaning and also in adulthood than offspring from large litters, accompanied by increased food intake during development. There were no significant differences in serum leptin levels or leptin receptor (OB-Rb mRNA in the hypothalamus at weaning or in adulthood, however, hypothalamic suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3 mRNA in adulthood increased in small litters compared to that in large litters. As a result, the agouti-related peptide (AgRP mRNA increased in the offspring from small litters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings support our hypothesis that natural litter size has a permanent effect on offspring metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide expression, and suggest central leptin resistance and the resultant increase in AgRP expression may be a fundamental mechanism underlying hyperphagia and the increased risk of overweight in pups of small litters. Thus, we conclude that litter size may be an important and central determinant of metabolic fitness in adulthood.

  15. Intergenerational transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin and vasopressin receptor distribution in the prairie vole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M Perkeybile

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Variation in the early environment has the potential to permanently alter offspring behavior and development. We have previously shown that naturally occurring variation in biparental care of offspring in the prairie vole is related to differences in social behavior of the offspring. It was not, however, clear whether the behavioral differences seen between offspring receiving high compared to low amounts of parental care were the result of different care experiences or were due to shared genetics with their high-contact or low-contact parents. Here we use cross-fostering methods to determine the mode of transmission of alloparental behavior and oxytocin receptor (OTR and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR binding from parent to offspring. Offspring were cross-fostered or in-fostered on postnatal day 1 and parental care received was quantified in the first week postpartum. At weaning, offspring underwent an alloparental care test and brains were then collected from all parents and offspring to examine OTR and V1aR binding. Results indicate that alloparental behavior of offspring was predicted by the parental behavior of their rearing parents. Receptor binding for both OTR and V1aR tended to be predicted by the genetic mothers for female offspring and by the genetic fathers for male offspring. These findings suggest a different role of early experience and genetics in shaping behavior compared to receptor distribution and support the notion of sex-dependent outcomes, particularly in the transmission of receptor binding patterns.

  16. Chemical defenses of the tropical marine seaweed Canistrocarpus cervicornis against herbivory by sea urchin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Éverson Miguel Bianco

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on the defensive chemical properties of the marine tropical brown seaweed Canistrocarpus cervicornis against herbivory. A natural concentration of dichloromethane crude extract (DCE obtained from this seaweed significantly inhibited feeding by the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. The major metabolite isolated from this active DCE extract was identified as the (4R,7R,14S-4α,7α-diacetoxy-14-hydroxydolast-1(15,8-diene that strongly inhibited feeding by the same sea urchin. This result suggests that the dolastane diterpenes class may constitute the defensive system of C. cervicornis against herbivory, and probably also of that of other brown seaweeds endowed with a biosynthetic pathway capable of producing compounds of the dolastane-type, a typical skeleton found in Dyctioteae species worldwide. This is the first report showing this compound-type (dolastane diterpenes as a chemical defense against herbivory in marine seaweeds. This study constitutes an additional report broadening the known spectrum of action and roles of secondary metabolites of the C. cervicornis and Dyctioteae species.Este artigo demonstra a química defensiva anti-herbivoria da macroalga parda marinha Canistrocarpus cervicornis. Em sua concentração natural, o extrato bruto em diclorometano (DCE inibiu significativamente o consumo alimentar do ouriço-do-mar Lytechinus variegatus. Deste extrato em DCE foi isolado o metabólito majoritário identificado como o diterpeno (4R,7R,14S-4α,7α-diacetoxi-14-hidroxidolasta-1(15,8-dieno. Esses resultados comprovam que diterpenos da classe dolastano podem compor o sistema defensivo anti-herbivoria de C. cervircornis e, supostamente, o de outras algas pardas capazes de produzi-los, uma vez que são composto típicos encontrados em esqueletos de Dyctiotas em todo o mundo. Este é o primeiro estudo demonstrando a ação anti-herbivoria desta classe de metabolitos (diterpenos dolastanos em macroalgas marinhas. Tais

  17. Organismal effects of pesticide exposure on meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) living in golf course ecosystems: developmental instability, clinical hematology, body condition, and blood parasitology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopper, Loren D; Mineau, Pierre

    2004-06-01

    This is the second of two articles reporting the results of a nonlethal biomonitoring study that quantified the effects of pesticide exposure on meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) living in golf course ecosystems of the Ottawa/Gatineau region (ON and PQ, Canada, respectively). In the present article, we describe results of measurements regarding developmental instability (e.g., fluctuating asymmetry), congenital birth defects (e.g., skeletal terata), clinical hematology (e.g., differential counts), general body condition (e.g., body mass-length relationships), and blood parasite load (Trypanosoma sp. and Bartonella spp.). Voles were captured during the year 2001 to 2003 at six golf courses and two reference sites. Once voles were fully sedated using isoflurane, blood was collected, radiographs taken, and morphometric measurements recorded. Three animals from each course were euthanized to determine body burdens of historically used organochlorine (OC) and metal-based pesticides. Exposure to in-use pesticides was determined from detailed golf course pesticide-use records. None of the endpoints measured was significantly related to body burdens of OC pesticides and metals historically used, nor did any endpoint significantly vary among capture sites in relation to total pesticide application to the capture site or to the number of days since the last application of pesticide. Based on these findings, it appears that voles from golf courses were no less healthy than their conspecifics from reference sites.

  18. Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina D Orrú

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230 is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far--a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested.

  19. Bank Vole Prion Protein As an Apparently Universal Substrate for RT-QuIC-Based Detection and Discrimination of Prion Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orrú, Christina D; Groveman, Bradley R; Raymond, Lynne D; Hughson, Andrew G; Nonno, Romolo; Zou, Wenquan; Ghetti, Bernardino; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Caughey, Byron

    2015-06-01

    Prions propagate as multiple strains in a wide variety of mammalian species. The detection of all such strains by a single ultrasensitive assay such as Real Time Quaking-induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) would facilitate prion disease diagnosis, surveillance and research. Previous studies have shown that bank voles, and transgenic mice expressing bank vole prion protein, are susceptible to most, if not all, types of prions. Here we show that bacterially expressed recombinant bank vole prion protein (residues 23-230) is an effective substrate for the sensitive RT-QuIC detection of all of the different prion types that we have tested so far--a total of 28 from humans, cattle, sheep, cervids and rodents, including several that have previously been undetectable by RT-QuIC or Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification. Furthermore, comparison of the relative abilities of different prions to seed positive RT-QuIC reactions with bank vole and not other recombinant prion proteins allowed discrimination of prion strains such as classical and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy, classical and atypical Nor98 scrapie in sheep, and sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Comparison of protease-resistant RT-QuIC conversion products also aided strain discrimination and suggested the existence of several distinct classes of prion templates among the many strains tested.

  20. Cold exposure inhibits hypothalamic Kiss-1 gene expression, serum leptin concentration, and delays reproductive development in male Brandt's vole ( Lasiopodomys brandtii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiang; Lin, Yi; Zhang, Xue-Ying; Wang, De-Hua

    2015-06-01

    Cold commonly affects growth and reproductive development in small mammals. Here, we test the hypothesis that low ambient temperature will affect growth and puberty onset, associated with altered hypothalamic Kiss-1 gene expression and serum leptin concentration in wild rodents. Male Brandt's voles ( Lasiopodomys brandtii) were exposed to cold (4 ± 1 °C) and warm (23 ± 1 °C) conditions from the birth and sacrificed on different developmental stages (day 26, day 40, day 60, and day 90, respectively). Brandt's voles increased the thermogenic capacity of brown adipose tissue, mobilized body fat, decreased serum leptin levels, and delayed the reproductive development especially on day 40 in the cold condition. They increased food intake to compensate for the high energy demands in the cold. The hypothalamic Kiss-1 gene expression on day 26 was decreased, associated with lower wet testis mass and testis testosterone concentration on day 40, in the cold-exposed voles compared to that in the warm. Serum leptin was positively correlated with body fat, testis mass, and testosterone concentration. These data suggested that cold exposure inhibited hypothalamic Kiss-1 gene expression during the early stage of development, decreased serum leptin concentration, and delayed reproductive development in male Brandt's voles.

  1. Increased radiation from Chernobyl decreases the expression of red colouration in natural populations of bank voles (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Lehmann, Philipp; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-11-21

    Pheomelanin is a pink to red version of melanin pigment deposited in skin and hair. Due to its bright colour, pheomelanin plays a crucial function in signalling, in particular sexual signalling. However, production of pheomelanin, as opposed to its dark alternative, eumelanin, bears costs in terms of consumption of antioxidants important for protection of DNA against naturally produced reactive oxidative species. Therefore, decreased expression of pheomelanin is expected in organisms exposed to severe oxidative stress such as that caused by exposure to chronic ionizing radiation. We tested if variable exposure to radiation among natural populations of bank voles Myodes glareolus in Chernobyl affected expression of red colouration in their dorsal fur. The relative redness of dorsal fur was positively correlated with weight, but also negatively correlated with the level of background radiation. These results suggest that the development of the natural red colouration in adult bank voles is affected by ionizing background radiation, and potentially causing elevated levels of oxidative stress. Reduced production of pheomelanin allows more antioxidants to mitigate the oxidative stress caused by radiation. However, changing natural animal colouration for physiological reasons can have ecological costs, if e.g. it causes mismatch with habitat colouration and conspicuousness for predators.

  2. Between the Balkans and the Baltic: Phylogeography of a Common Vole Mitochondrial DNA Lineage Limited to Central Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stojak, Joanna; McDevitt, Allan D.; Herman, Jeremy S.; Kryštufek, Boris; Uhlíková, Jitka; Purger, Jenő J.; Lavrenchenko, Leonid A.; Searle, Jeremy B.; Wójcik, Jan M.

    2016-01-01

    The common vole (Microtus arvalis) has been a model species of small mammal for studying end-glacial colonization history. In the present study we expanded the sampling from central and eastern Europe, analyzing contemporary genetic structure to identify the role of a potential ‘northern glacial refugium’, i.e. a refugium at a higher latitude than the traditional Mediterranean refugia. Altogether we analyzed 786 cytochrome b (cytb) sequences (representing mitochondrial DNA; mtDNA) from the whole of Europe, adding 177 new sequences from central and eastern Europe, and we conducted analyses on eight microsatellite loci for 499 individuals (representing nuclear DNA) from central and eastern Europe, adding data on 311 new specimens. Our new data fill gaps in the vicinity of the Carpathian Mountains, the potential northern refugium, such that there is now dense sampling from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea. Here we present evidence that the Eastern mtDNA lineage of the common vole was present in the vicinity of this Carpathian refugium during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Younger Dryas. The Eastern lineage expanded from this refugium to the Baltic and shows low cytb nucleotide diversity in those most northerly parts of the distribution. Analyses of microsatellites revealed a similar pattern but also showed little differentiation between all of the populations sampled in central and eastern Europe. PMID:27992546

  3. From home range dynamics to population cycles: validation and realism of a common vole population model for pesticide risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Magnus

    2013-04-01

    Despite various attempts to establish population models as standard tools in pesticide risk assessment, population models still receive limited acceptance by risk assessors and authorities in Europe. A main criticism of risk assessors is that population models are often not, or not sufficiently, validated. Hence the realism of population-level risk assessments conducted with such models remains uncertain. We therefore developed an individual-based population model for the common vole, Microtus arvalis, and demonstrate how population models can be validated in great detail based on published data. The model is developed for application in pesticide risk assessment, therefore, the validation covers all areas of the biology of the common vole that are relevant for the analysis of potential effects and recovery after application of pesticides. Our results indicate that reproduction, survival, age structure, spatial behavior, and population dynamics reproduced from the model are comparable to field observations. Also interannual population cycles, which are frequently observed in field studies of small mammals, emerge from the population model. These cycles were shown to be caused by the home range behavior and dispersal. As observed previously in the field, population cycles in the model were also stronger for longer breeding season length. Our results show how validation can help to evaluate the realism of population models, and we discuss the importance of taking field methodology and resulting bias into account. Our results also demonstrate how population models can help to test or understand biological mechanisms in population ecology.

  4. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Almeida

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  5. Ants visit nectaries of Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae in a Brazilian rainforest: effects on herbivory and pollination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida A. M.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Epidendrum denticulatum (Orchidaceae produces nectar on the petioles of buds, flowers, and fruits (extrafloral nectaries but no nectar is found on its flowers, and it is probably a deceptive species. In the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest, some aspects of both the ecology and behavior of Camponotus sericeiventris (Formicinae and Ectatomma tuberculatum (Ponerinae, two ant species foraging on E. denticulatum extrafloral nectaries, were investigated. Both experiments, using termites as baits and field observations, suggest that these ant species are able to prevent reproductive organ herbivory, without affecting pollinator behaviour. Since a low fruit set is often cited as a characteristic of the family, especially for deceptive species, ants attracted to orchid inflorescences protect reproductive structures and increase the probability of pollination success. Epidendrum denticulatum flowers were visited and probably pollinated by Heliconius erato (Nymphalidae and Euphyes leptosema (Hesperiidae.

  6. Effects of selenium accumulation on phytotoxicity, herbivory, and pollination ecology in radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hladun, Kristen R; Parker, David R; Tran, Khoa D; Trumble, John T

    2013-01-01

    Selenium (Se) has contaminated areas in the western USA where pollination is critical to the functioning of both agricultural and natural ecosystems, yet we know little about how Se can impact pollinators. In a two-year semi-field study, the weedy plant Raphanus sativus (radish) was exposed to three selenate treatments and two pollination treatments to evaluate the effects on pollinator-plant interactions. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollinators were observed to readily forage on R. sativus for both pollen and nectar despite high floral Se concentrations. Se treatment increased both seed abortion (14%) and decreased plant biomass (8-9%). Herbivory by birds and aphids was reduced on Se-treated plants, indicating a potential reproductive advantage for the plant. Our study sheds light on how pollutants such as Se can impact the pollination ecology of a plant that accumulates even moderate amounts of Se.

  7. Time-course of micronucleated erythrocytes in response to whole-body gamma irradiation in a model mammalian species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolich, Igor I; Savina, Natalya V; Ryabokon, Nadezhda I

    2011-01-01

    The time course of the formation of micronucleated polychromatic (MNPCEs) and normochromatic erythrocytes (MNNCEs) in the bone marrow of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber), a model mouse-like species, was studied using the standard micronucleus test at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 and 48 hr following whole-body acute γ-irradiation at a dose of 0.5 Gy. Based on the existing literature on laboratory mice, it was suggested that such a dose will not have significant effect on erythroid cell proliferation in the bank vole and hence on the time course of the rise of micronucleated cells. In total, ∼905,000 polychromatic (PCEs) and normochromatic erythrocytes (NCEs) from 82 adult bank voles were analyzed. Although the mean frequencies of MNNCEs were too low to allow for the correct assessment of their time course, an analysis of PCEs showed an increasing rate of MNPCE appearance at 6 hr that reached a maximum at 18-24 hr after irradiation and subsequently decreased. Because the kinetics of MNPCEs reflects the process of erythropoiesis, the current results regarding the time points of appearance of radiation-induced MNPCEs provide the first information on the prolongation of one of the terminal stages of erythrocyte formation in bank vole specimens, namely the stage of maturation of PCEs from erythroblasts. Moreover, the observed time-course data, as well as the low-background frequencies of MNPCEs and characteristic level of PCEs response to radiation, showed similarities between the two model species: bank vole (this study) and laboratory mice (literature data).

  8. Time series analysis performed on nephropathia epidemica in humans of northern Sweden in relation to bank vole population dynamic and the NAO index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palo, R Thomas

    2009-04-01

    Time series analysis was performed on two data series of human nephropathia epidemica (NE) infections in northern Sweden between the years 1959-1975 and 1985-2006. The analysis confirms that the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), the main reservoir species, shows regular peaks in population density approximately every fourth year. The periodicity in NE cases of the more recent time period (1985-2006) is 2.8-3.3 years and the older period shows a periodicity ranging 3.4-4.2 years, but this is not significantly different from that expected by vole dynamics. A comparison of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index between the two periods reveals higher mean winter NAO index in the period 1985-2006 than in 1959-1975. No difference was found in frequency of the NAO index between the older period (2.8-3.4 years) compared with the recent period (2.4-2.8 years). Cross-correlation revealed a delayed effect by NAO index on vole abundance but a multivariate model showed that NAO index did not explain the variation in NE cases. Vole index was the only factor that contributed significantly to the variation in numbers of NE cases and that no climate effect could be detected. The climate signal from NAO index does not appear to significantly affect the human NE cases and this suggests that the transmission of disease to man is not particularly sensitive to variations in weather factors. The results favour the hypothesis that higher NAO index will not increase the likelihood of virus transmission from voles to man in northern Sweden under present climatic conditions.

  9. Comparison of perimeter trap crop varieties: effects on herbivory, pollination, and yield in butternut squash.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, L S; Hazzard, R V

    2009-02-01

    Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) is a method of integrated pest management (IPM) in which the main crop is surrounded with a perimeter trap crop that is more attractive to pests. Blue Hubbard (Cucurbita maxima Duch.) is a highly effective trap crop for butternut squash (C. moschata Duch. ex Poir) attacked by striped cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum Fabricius), but its limited marketability may reduce adoption of PTC by growers. Research comparing border crop varieties is necessary to provide options for growers. Furthermore, pollinators are critical for cucurbit yield, and the effect of PTC on pollination to main crops is unknown. We examined the effect of five border treatments on herbivory, pollination, and yield in butternut squash and manipulated herbivory and pollination to compare their importance for main crop yield. Blue Hubbard, buttercup squash (C. maxima Duch.), and zucchini (C. pepo L.) were equally attractive to cucumber beetles. Border treatments did not affect butternut leaf damage, but butternut flowers had the fewest beetles when surrounded by Blue Hubbard or buttercup squash. Yield was highest in the Blue Hubbard and buttercup treatments, but this effect was not statistically significant. Native bees accounted for 87% of pollinator visits, and pollination did not limit yield. There was no evidence that border crops competed with the main crop for pollinators. Our results suggest that both buttercup squash and zucchini may be viable alternatives to Blue Hubbard as borders for the main crop of butternut squash. Thus, growers may have multiple border options that reduce pesticide use, effectively manage pests, and do not disturb mutualist interactions with pollinators.

  10. Environmental and genetic control of insect abundance and herbivory along a forest elevational gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garibaldi, Lucas A; Kitzberger, Thomas; Chaneton, Enrique J

    2011-09-01

    Environmental conditions and plant genotype may influence insect herbivory along elevational gradients. Plant damage would decrease with elevation as temperature declines to suboptimal levels for insects. However, host plants at higher elevations may exhibit traits that either reduce or enhance leaf quality to insects, with uncertain net effects on herbivory. We examined folivory, insect abundance and leaf traits along six replicated elevational ranges in Nothofagus pumilio forests of the northern Patagonian Andes, Argentina. We also conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment between low- and high-elevation sites to test the extent of environmental and plant genetic control on insect abundance and folivory. We found that insect abundance, leaf size and specific leaf area decreased, whereas foliar phosphorous content increased, from low-, through mid- to high-elevation sites. Path analysis indicated that changes in both insect abundance and leaf traits were important in reducing folivory with increasing elevation and decreasing mean temperature. At both planting sites, plants from a low-elevation origin experienced higher damage and supported greater insect loads than plants from a high-elevation origin. The differences in leaf damage between sites were twofold larger than those between plant origins, suggesting that local environment was more important than host genotype in explaining folivory patterns. Different folivore guilds exhibited qualitatively similar responses to elevation. Our results suggest an increase in insect folivory on high-elevation N. pumilio forests under future climate warming scenarios. However, in the short-term, folivory increases might be smaller than expected from insect abundance only because at high elevations herbivores would encounter more resistant tree genotypes.

  11. Assessing the Impacts of Herbivory on Plant Silica Accumulation across a Global Network of Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, K.

    2015-12-01

    Plants, especially grasses, have a profound impact on the biogeochemical cycling of silicon. Silicic acid (Si(OH)4) in soil water is absorbed by plant roots, transported via the transpiration stream, and deposited as solid silica (SiO2) phytoliths in leaf tissue. Evidence indicates that plant phytolith accumulation may have evolved as an anti-herbivore strategy, and modern studies reveal that these silica particles are abrasive to animal mouthparts and can interfere with digestion. Furthermore, several studies have shown that grasses have the ability to respond to insect and mammal herbivory by modifying the amount of silicon they absorb from soil, a property known as inducible defense. However, herbivory studies remain largely limited to a laboratory setting, and research in natural systems has only been conducted at a regional spatial scale. To address whether these localized patterns persist at the global scale, we utilized data from a network of 40 grassland sites occurring on six continents. Vegetation samples including grasses, forbs, and litter, were collected in and out of 6m x 6m herbivore exclosures by a team of collaborating scientists for an on-going research effort known as the Nutrient Network (NutNet). We utilized near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to create a calibration for plant silica which allowed for the rapid analysis of more than 1000 samples. Preliminary analyses indicate that silica content of grasses was higher outside of exclosures, where herbivores had access to vegetation. Our data reveal that herbivores play a significant role in modifying plant silicon uptake, and hence, the rates of silicon cycling in grasslands across the globe.

  12. Low Herbivory among Targeted Reforestation Sites in the Andean Highlands of Southern Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Marc-Oliver; Fiedler, Konrad

    2016-01-01

    Insect herbivory constitutes an important constraint in the viability and management of targeted reforestation sites. Focusing on young experimental stands at about 2000 m elevation in southern Ecuador, we examined foliar damage over one season as a function of tree species and habitat. Native tree species (Successional hardwood: Cedrela montana and Tabebuia chrysantha; fast-growing pioneer: Heliocarpus americanus) have been planted among prevailing local landcover types (abandoned pasture, secondary shrub vegetation, and a Pinus patula plantation) in 2003/4. Plantation trees were compared to conspecifics in the spontaneous undergrowth of adjacent undisturbed rainforest matched for height and foliar volume. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that H. americanus as a pioneer species suffers more herbivory compared to the two successional tree species, and that damage is inversely related to habitat complexity. Overall leaf damage caused by folivorous insects (excluding leafcutter ants) was low. Average leaf loss was highest among T. chrysantha (7.50% ± 0.19 SE of leaf area), followed by H. americanus (4.67% ± 0.18 SE) and C. montana (3.18% ± 0.15 SE). Contrary to expectations, leaf area loss was highest among trees in closed-canopy natural rainforest, followed by pine plantation, pasture, and secondary shrub sites. Harvesting activity of leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex sp.) was strongly biased towards T. chrysantha growing in open habitat (mean pasture: 2.5%; shrub: 10.5%) where it could result in considerable damage (> 90.0%). Insect folivory is unlikely to pose a barrier for reforestation in the tropical Andean mountain forest zone at present, but leafcutter ants may become problematic if local temperatures increase in the wake of global warming.

  13. Low Herbivory among Targeted Reforestation Sites in the Andean Highlands of Southern Ecuador.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc-Oliver Adams

    Full Text Available Insect herbivory constitutes an important constraint in the viability and management of targeted reforestation sites. Focusing on young experimental stands at about 2000 m elevation in southern Ecuador, we examined foliar damage over one season as a function of tree species and habitat. Native tree species (Successional hardwood: Cedrela montana and Tabebuia chrysantha; fast-growing pioneer: Heliocarpus americanus have been planted among prevailing local landcover types (abandoned pasture, secondary shrub vegetation, and a Pinus patula plantation in 2003/4. Plantation trees were compared to conspecifics in the spontaneous undergrowth of adjacent undisturbed rainforest matched for height and foliar volume. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that H. americanus as a pioneer species suffers more herbivory compared to the two successional tree species, and that damage is inversely related to habitat complexity. Overall leaf damage caused by folivorous insects (excluding leafcutter ants was low. Average leaf loss was highest among T. chrysantha (7.50% ± 0.19 SE of leaf area, followed by H. americanus (4.67% ± 0.18 SE and C. montana (3.18% ± 0.15 SE. Contrary to expectations, leaf area loss was highest among trees in closed-canopy natural rainforest, followed by pine plantation, pasture, and secondary shrub sites. Harvesting activity of leafcutter ants (Acromyrmex sp. was strongly biased towards T. chrysantha growing in open habitat (mean pasture: 2.5%; shrub: 10.5% where it could result in considerable damage (> 90.0%. Insect folivory is unlikely to pose a barrier for reforestation in the tropical Andean mountain forest zone at present, but leafcutter ants may become problematic if local temperatures increase in the wake of global warming.

  14. An aeroponic culture system for the study of root herbivory on Arabidopsis thaliana

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Plant defense against herbivory has been studied primarily in aerial tissues. However, complex defense mechanisms have evolved in all parts of the plant to combat herbivore attack and these mechanisms are likely to differ in the aerial and subterranean environment. Research investigating defense responses belowground has been hindered by experimental difficulties associated with the accessibility and quality of root tissue and the lack of bioassays using model plants with altered defense profiles. Results We have developed an aeroponic culture system based on a calcined clay substrate that allows insect herbivores to feed on plant roots while providing easy recovery of the root tissue. The culture method was validated by a root-herbivore system developed for Arabidopsis thaliana and the herbivore Bradysia spp. (fungus gnat). Arabidopsis root mass obtained from aeroponically grown plants was comparable to that from other culture systems, and the plants were morphologically normal. Bradysia larvae caused considerable root damage resulting in reduced root biomass and water absorption. After feeding on the aeroponically grown root tissue, the larvae pupated and emerged as adults. Root damage of mature plants cultivated in aeroponic substrate was compared to that of Arabidopsis seedlings grown in potting mix. Seedlings were notably more susceptible to Bradysia feeding than mature plants and showed decreased overall growth and survival rates. Conclusions A root-herbivore system consisting of Arabidopsis thaliana and larvae of the opportunistic herbivore Bradysia spp. has been established that mimics herbivory in the rhizosphere. Bradysia infestation of Arabidopsis grown in this culture system significantly affects plant performance. The culture method will allow simple profiling and in vivo functional analysis of root defenses such as chemical defense metabolites that are released in response to belowground insect attack. PMID:21392399

  15. When Forest become carbon sources: Impact of herbivory on carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schafer, K. V.; Clark, K. L.; Skowronski, N. S.

    2008-12-01

    Traditionally forests are thought to be carbon sinks and are becoming important trading commodities in the carbon trading markets. However, disturbances such as fire, hurricanes and herbivory can lead to forests being sources rather than sinks of carbon. Here, we investigate the carbon balance of an oak/pine forest in the New Jersey Pine Barrens under herbivory attack in summer 2007. Net primary productivity (NPP) was reduced to ca 70% of previous year NPP (535 g m-2 a-1 in 2006) and canopy net assimilation (AnC), as modeled with the Canopy Conductance Constrained Carbon Assimilation model (4C-A), was reduced to ca 65 % of previous year (1335 g m-2 a-1 in 2006) AnC or ca 1015 g C m-2 a-1. Although the trees were defoliated for only 15 % of the normal annual growing season, the impact amounted to ca 30 % of C accumulation loss when integrated over the year. Overall NPP in 2007 was ca 378 g C m-2 a-1 with 50 % of NPP being allocated to foliage production which constitutes a short term carbon pool. On an ecosystem level net ecosystem exchange amounted to a release of 293 g C m-2 a-1 thus becoming a carbon source over the course of the year rather than being a sink for C. The overall impact of the defoliation spanned 21% of upland forests (320 km2) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens thus representing a significant amount of overall C being emitted back to the atmosphere rather than being accumulated in the biosphere.

  16. Data compilations for primary production, herbivory, decomposition, and export for different types of marine communities, 1962-2002 (NCEI Accession 0054500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is a compilation of published data on primary production, herbivory, and nutrient content of primary producers in pristine communities of...

  17. Drought and root herbivory interact to alter the response of above-ground parasitoids to aphid infested plants and associated plant volatile signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Tariq

    Full Text Available Multitrophic interactions are likely to be altered by climate change but there is little empirical evidence relating the responses of herbivores and parasitoids to abiotic factors. Here we investigated the effects of drought on an above/below-ground system comprising a generalist and a specialist aphid species (foliar herbivores, their parasitoids, and a dipteran species (root herbivore.We tested the hypotheses that: (1 high levels of drought stress and below-ground herbivory interact to reduce the performance of parasitoids developing in aphids; (2 drought stress and root herbivory change the profile of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs emitted by the host plant; (3 parasitoids avoid ovipositing in aphids feeding on plants under drought stress and root herbivory. We examined the effect of drought, with and without root herbivory, on the olfactory response of parasitoids (preference, plant volatile emissions, parasitism success (performance, and the effect of drought on root herbivory. Under drought, percentage parasitism of aphids was reduced by about 40-55% compared with well watered plants. There was a significant interaction between drought and root herbivory on the efficacy of the two parasitoid species, drought stress partially reversing the negative effect of root herbivory on percent parasitism. In the absence of drought, root herbivory significantly reduced the performance (e.g. fecundity of both parasitoid species developing in foliar herbivores. Plant emissions of VOCs were reduced by drought and root herbivores, and in olfactometer experiments parasitoids preferred the odour from well-watered plants compared with other treatments. The present work demonstrates that drought stress can change the outcome of interactions between herbivores feeding above- and below-ground and their parasitoids, mediated by changes in the chemical signals from plants to parasitoids. This provides a new insight into how the structure of terrestrial

  18. The devil to pay: a cost of mutualism with Myrmelachista schumanni ants in 'devil's gardens' is increased herbivory on Duroia hirsuta trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederickson, Megan E; Gordon, Deborah M

    2007-04-22

    'Devil's gardens' are nearly pure stands of the myrmecophyte, Duroia hirsuta, that occur in Amazonian rainforests. Devil's gardens are created by Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which nest in D. hirsuta trees and kill other plants using formic acid as an herbicide. Here, we show that this ant-plant mutualism has an associated cost; by making devil's gardens, M. schumanni increases herbivory on D. hirsuta. We measured standing leaf herbivory on D. hirsuta trees and found that they sustain higher herbivory inside than outside devil's gardens. We also measured the rate of herbivory on nursery-grown D. hirsuta saplings planted inside and outside devil's gardens in ant-exclusion and control treatments. We found that when we excluded ants, herbivory on D. hirsuta was higher inside than outside devil's gardens. These results suggest that devil's gardens are a concentrated resource for herbivores. Myrmelachista schumanni workers defend D. hirsuta against herbivores, but do not fully counterbalance the high herbivore pressure in devil's gardens. We suggest that high herbivory may limit the spread of devil's gardens, possibly explaining why devil's gardens do not overrun Amazonian rainforests.

  19. The role of the water voles (Arvicola, Rodentia in the Quatemary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiz Bustos, A.

    1999-04-01

    Full Text Available Arvicolids are rodents which have molars with a morphology formed by a sequence of enamel folds similar to the curve y = sin f(x. The morphology of the crown of the first lower molar (mi of living species of Arvicola (large voles is identified with six criteria, irrespective of tooth size. When rootless arvicolid fossil communities are analysed, it can be seen that the mi morphology of Arvicola is present in those communities represented by specimens of small size at the beginning of the Quaternary. Before this data was known, the presence of Arvicola communities could only be detected in the second half of the Quaternary, when the specimens were comparable to the large size characterising living species. The existence of communities of small-sized Arvicola at the beginning of the Quaternary implies that the mi of Arvicola undergoes a continuous and accelerated growth throughout the entire Quatemary, which allows representatives the genus to be used as a chronological tool. These data mean that it is necessary to change the concept of the genus Allophaiomys and to formulate a new classification to reflect evolutionary relationships of quatemary arvicolids.Los arvicólidos son roedores que tienen la morfología de la corona de los dientes formada por una secuencia de pliegues de esmalte que se asemeja a la curva y=sen f(x. Las especies actuales del género Arvicola cumplen en la morfología del molar mI, seis criterios que son independientes de la talla. El examen de las poblaciones de arvicólidos sin raíz, procedentes del Pleistoceno inferior, indica la existencia de molares con una morfología idéntica a la de los ejemplares vivos de Arvicola, pero con menor talla. La existencia de esta identidad permite proponer la hipótesis de poblaciones primitivas del género Arvicola con pequeña talla durante el Pleistoceno Inferior. Estas han pasado desapercibidas entre las poblaciones de Allophaiomys. a causa de su identidad morfológica entre ambos

  20. Methyl jasmonate increases the tropane alkaloid scopolamine and reduces natural herbivory in Brugmansia suaveolens: is scopolamine responsible for plant resistance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arab, A; Alves, M N; Sartoratto, A; Ogasawara, D C; Trigo, J R

    2012-02-01

    The tropane alkaloid (TA) scopolamine is suggested to protect Brugmansia suaveolens (Solanaceae) against herbivorous insects. To test this prediction in a natural environment, scopolamine was induced by methyl jasmonate (MJ) in potted plants which were left 10 days in the field. MJ-treated plants increased their scopolamine concentration in leaves and herbivory decreased. These findings suggest a cause-effect relationship. However, experiments in laboratory showed that scopolamine affect differently the performance of the specialist larvae of the ithomiine butterfly Placidina euryanassa (C. Felder & R. Felder) and the generalist fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith): the specialist that sequester this TA from B. suaveolens leaves was not negatively affected, but the generalist was. Therefore, scopolamine probably acts only against insects that are not adapted to TAs. Other compounds that are MJ elicited may also play a role in plant resistance against herbivory by generalist and specialist insects, and deserve future investigations.

  1. The oldest caseid synapsid from the Late Pennsylvanian of Kansas, and the evolution of herbivory in terrestrial vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisz, Robert R; Fröbisch, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    The origin and early evolution of amniotes (fully terrestrial vertebrates) led to major changes in the structure and hierarchy of terrestrial ecosystems. The first appearance of herbivores played a pivotal role in this transformation. After an early bifurcation into Reptilia and Synapsida (including mammals) 315 Ma, synapsids dominated Paleozoic terrestrial vertebrate communities, with the herbivorous caseids representing the largest vertebrates on land. Eocasea martini gen. et sp. nov., a small carnivorous caseid from the Late Carboniferous, extends significantly the fossil record of Caseidae, and permits the first clade-based study of the origin and initial evolution of herbivory in terrestrial tetrapods. Our results demonstrate for the first time that large caseid herbivores evolved from small, non-herbivorous caseids. This pattern is mirrored by three other clades, documenting multiple, independent, but temporally staggered origins of herbivory and increase in body size among early terrestrial tetrapods, leading to patterns consistent with modern terrestrial ecosystem.

  2. High tolerance to salinity and herbivory stresses may explain the expansion of Ipomoea cairica to salt marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive plants are often confronted with heterogeneous environments and various stress factors during their secondary phase of invasion into more stressful habitats. A high tolerance to stress factors may allow exotics to successfully invade stressful environments. Ipomoea cairica, a vigorous invader in South China, has recently been expanding into salt marshes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To examine why this liana species is able to invade a stressful saline environment, we utilized I. cairica and 3 non-invasive species for a greenhouse experiment. The plants were subjected to three levels of salinity (i.e., watered with 0, 4 and 8 g L(-1 NaCl solutions and simulated herbivory (0, 25 and 50% of the leaf area excised treatments. The relative growth rate (RGR of I. cairica was significantly higher than the RGR of non-invasive species under both stress treatments. The growth performance of I. cairica was not significantly affected by either stress factor, while that of the non-invasive species was significantly inhibited. The leaf condensed tannin content was generally lower in I. cairica than in the non-invasive I. triloba and Paederia foetida. Ipomoea cairica exhibited a relatively low resistance to herbivory, however, its tolerance to stress factors was significantly higher than either of the non-invasive species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first study examining the expansion of I. cairica to salt marshes in its introduced range. Our results suggest that the high tolerance of I. cairica to key stress factors (e.g., salinity and herbivory contributes to its invasion into salt marshes. For I. cairica, a trade-off in resource reallocation may allow increased resources to be allocated to tolerance and growth. This may contribute to a secondary invasion into stressful habitats. Finally, we suggest that I. cairica could spread further and successfully occupy salt marshes, and countermeasures based on herbivory could be

  3. Efficacy of plastic mesh tubes in reducing herbivory damage by the invasive nutria (Myocastor coypus) in an urban restoration site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheffels, Trevor R.; Systma, Mark D.; Carter, Jacoby; Taylor, Jimmy D.

    2014-01-01

    The restoration of stream corridors is becoming an increasingly important component of urban landscape planning, and the high cost of these projects necessitates the need to understand and address potential ecological obstacles to project success. The nutria(Myocastor coypus) is an invasive, semi-aquatic rodent native to South America that causes detrimental ecological impacts in riparian and wetland habitats throughout its introduced range, and techniques are needed to reduce nutria herbivory damage to urban stream restoration projects. We assessed the efficacy of standard Vexar® plastic mesh tubes in reducing nutria herbivory damage to newly established woody plants. The study was conducted in winter-spring 2009 at Delta Ponds, a 60-ha urban waterway in Eugene, Oregon. Woody plants protected by Vexar® tubes demonstrated 100% survival over the 3-month initial establishment period, while only 17% of unprotected plantings survived. Nutria demonstrated a preference for black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp trichocarpa) over red osier dogwood (Cornussericea) and willow (Salix spp). Camera surveillance showed that nutria were more active in unprotected rather than protected treatments. Our results suggest that Vexar® plastic mesh tubing can be an effective short-term herbivory mitigation tool when habitat use by nutria is low. Additionally, planting functionally equivalent woody plant species that are less preferred by nutria, and other herbivores, may be another method for reducing herbivory and improving revegetation success. This study highlights the need to address potential wildlife damage conflicts in the planning process for stream restoration in urban landscapes.

  4. The Effect of Bark Borer Herbivory on BVOC Emissions in Boreal Forests and Implications for SOA Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faiola, Celia; Joutsensaari, Jorma; Holopainen, Jarmo; Yli-Juuti, Taina; Kokkola, Harri; Blande, James; Guenther, Alex; Virtanen, Annele

    2015-04-01

    Herbivore outbreaks are expected to increase as a result of climate change. These outbreaks can have significant effects on the emissions of biogenic volatile organic compound (BVOC) from vegetation, which contribute to the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). We have synthesized the published results investigating changes to BVOC emissions from herbivory by the pine weevil, Hylobius abietis--a bark borer herbivore. Previous lab experiments have shown that bark borer herbivory on Scots pine trees increases monoterpene emissions 4-fold and sesquiterpene emissions 7-fold. Norway spruce exhibits a similar response. The BVOCs most impacted were linalool, beta-phellandrene, limonene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrcene, and sesquiterpenes like beta-farnesene, beta-bourbonene, and longifolene. The quantitative results from these studies were used to estimate potential impacts of bark borer herbivory on BVOC emissions at a regional scale using the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN). MEGAN was run under baseline and herbivore outbreak conditions for a typical boreal forest environment in spring. Emissions output from MEGAN was used to run a microphysical box model to estimate the SOA formation potential under baseline and outbreak conditions. This estimate could provide us with an upper limit to the potential impact of bark borer outbreaks on SOA formation in a boreal forest.

  5. Losses of leaf area owing to herbivory and early senescence in three tree species along a winter temperature gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Zurdo, P.; Escudero, A.; Nuñez, R.; Mediavilla, S.

    2016-11-01

    In temperate climates, evergreen leaves have to survive throughout low temperature winter periods. Freezing and chilling injuries can lead to accelerated senescence of part of the leaf surface, which contributes to a reduction of the lifespan of the photosynthetic machinery and of leaf lifetime carbon gain. Low temperatures are also associated with changes in foliar chemistry and morphology that affect consumption by herbivores. Therefore, the severity of foliar area losses caused by accelerated senescence and herbivory can change along winter temperature gradients. The aim of this study is to analyse such responses in the leaves of three evergreen species ( Quercus ilex, Q. suber and Pinus pinaster) along a climatic gradient. The leaves of all three species presented increased leaf mass per area (LMA) and higher concentrations of structural carbohydrates in cooler areas. Only the two oak species showed visible symptoms of damage caused by herbivory, this being less intense at the coldest sites. The leaves of all three species presented chlorotic and necrotic spots that increased in size with leaf age. The foliar surface affected by chlorosis and necrosis was larger at the sites with the coldest winters. Therefore, the effects of the winter cold on the lifespan of the photosynthetic machinery were contradictory: losses of leaf area due to accelerated senescence increased, but there was a decrease in losses caused by herbivory. The final consequences for carbon assimilation strongly depend on the exact timing of the appearance of the damage resulting from low temperature and grazing by herbivores.

  6. Herbivory and arbuscular mycorrhiza in natural populations of Datura stramonium L.: correlation with the availability of nutrients in the soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Aguilar-Chama

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Trophic interactions impose important costs to their host plants, affecting patterns of resource allocation. The relationship between host and consumers is also influenced by the availability of resources, e. g., soil nutrients. In this study, we explored the relationship among mycorrhiza-plant-herbivore in natural populations of Datura stramonium and their correlation with the content of phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon in the soil. We estimated the vegetative and reproductive biomass of plants, the arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and the level of herbivory in populations of D. stramonium. The local abundance of D. stramonium was negatively related to the content of phosphorus in the soil. In contrast, soil carbon concentration affected positively the vegetative and reproductive mass of D. stramonium, although it was negatively correlated with the specific leaf area (SLA. Of the trophic interactions only herbivory was significantly correlated with the SLA and no relationship was detected between the two interaction types. The lack of significant response of mycorrhizae to the soil nutrients concentration, plant performance, and herbivory may result from the stochasticity in the availability of mycorrhizal inoculum (identity and abundance in the populations studied.

  7. Selective predation of tawny owls (Strix aluco) on yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Forsom, Heidi Malene; Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman

    2012-01-01

    Differential predation on certain classes of individuals within prey populations might make owls strong selective agents on their prey. We investigated selective predation of tawny owls (Strix aluco) on yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis, A.f.) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus, M.g.) for two...... years by comparing prey from owl nests with live-trapped individuals. The owls killed significantly more male M.g. (73%) than females, but not more than expected from traps (57%). For A.f., owls selected adults in favour of subadults, and for adults, individuals with longer femurs. Adult males of A.......f. killed by owls had significantly heavier testes in relation their size than the trapped males. Prey selection did not correlate with size-adjusted body or spleen mass. Owl-killed A.f. had higher prevalences of the intestinal helminth Heligmosomoides sp. than trapped individuals, but hosted similar...

  8. Selective Predation of Tawny Owls (Strix aluco) on Yellow-Necked Mice (Apodemus flavicollis) and Bank Voles (Myodes glareolus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sunde, Peter; Forsom, Heidi Malene; Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman

    2012-01-01

    Differential predation on certain classes of individuals within prey populations might make owls strong selective agents on their prey. We investigated selective predation of tawny owls (Strix aluco) on yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis, A.f.) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus, M.g.) for two...... years by comparing prey from owl nests with live-trapped individuals. The owls killed significantly more male M.g. (73%) than females, but not more than expected from traps (57%). For A.f., owls selected adults in favour of subadults, and for adults, individuals with longer femurs. Adult males of A.......f. killed by owls had significantly heavier testes in relation their size than the trapped males. Prey selection did not correlate with size-adjusted body or spleen mass. Owl-killed A.f. had higher prevalences of the intestinal helminth Heligmosomoides sp. than trapped individuals, but hosted similar...

  9. Vole Population Fluctuations: Why and When?%田鼠种群波动的原因和时间

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lowell L. Getz

    2005-01-01

    本文总结了橙腹田鼠(Microtus ochrogaster)和草原田鼠(M. pennsylvanicus)25年的种群统计学研究结果和结论.探讨了田鼠种群波动周期性、诱发种群波动以及导致波动期间峰值变异的因素.并对种群存活值和繁殖活动的作用进行了分析和评价.根据两种田鼠种群波动周期性、波动峰值出现的时间以及特定年份峰值的高度等特征,证明两物种波动均具有不稳定性.两种田鼠存活值的变化是由特定年份是否发生波动以及波动峰值出现的时间决定.增加初始阶段的种群密度及时间长度是造成两种动物种群波动峰值不同的主要原因.橙腹田鼠种群停止增长的原因是存活值降低,而草原田鼠则是繁殖活动减少.据推测,与种群波动初始密度相关的种群死亡率的差异是由捕食者的净效应(Net effect)决定的,调控两种群密度的因素均为非密度的其它生态学因子.由于特定年份田鼠种群捕食压力的不确定性,导致了橙腹田鼠和草原田鼠种群波动的不稳定性.%In this paper I summarize the results and conclusions of a 25-year study of demography of the prairie vole(Microtus ochrogaster), and meadow vole (M. pennsylvanicus).The roles of survival and reproduction are evaluated in respect to why population fluctuations occur some years and not others, what initiates a population fluctuation, and what is responsible for the variation in the peak density among population fluctuations. Population fluctuations of both species were erratic in respect to annual occurrence, the time of the peak density of fluctuations within years, and the hight of peak the density a given year. For both species, changes in survival appeared to be responsible for whether a fluctuation occurred a given year and the time of the peak density of a fluctuation. Population density at the beginning of the increase phase and length of the increase were most responsible for variation in peak

  10. Sheep grazing causes shift in sex ratio and cohort structure of Brandt's vole: Implication of their adaptation to food shortage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Hou, Xianglei; Wan, Xinrong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has been demonstrated to affect the population abundance of small rodents in grasslands, but the causative mechanism of grazing on demographic parameters, particularly the age structure and sex ratio, is rarely investigated. In this study, we examined the effects of sheep grazing on the cohort structure and sex ratio of Brandt's vole (Lasiopodomys brandtii) in Inner Mongolia of China by using large manipulative experimental enclosures during 2010-2013. Our results indicated that sheep grazing significantly decreased the proportion of the spring-born cohort, but increased the proportion of the summer-born cohort. Grazing increased the proportion of males in both spring and summer cohorts. In addition, we found a negative relation between population density and the proportion of the overwinter cohort. Our results suggest that a shift in the cohort structure and the sex ratio may be an important strategy for small rodents to adapt to changes in food resources resulting from livestock grazing.

  11. MKT500 week 10 Assignment 4 Part d Your Marketing Plan latest 2015   Vole Auto Inc

    OpenAIRE

    Laynebaril

    2017-01-01

    MKT500 week 10 Assignment 4 Part d Your Marketing Plan latest 2015   Vole Auto Inc                 Click Link Below To Buy: http://hwcampus.com/shop/mkt500-week-10-assignment-4/                  Or Visit www.hwcampus.com   Assignment 4: Part D: Your Marketing Plan – Video Presentation( previous assignment attached which you have to refernce to).   Due Week 10 and worth 200 points   Imagine that you are pitching your hypothetical service-based company’s mark...

  12. Effects of Canada goose herbivory on the tidal freshwater wetlands in Anacostia Park, 2009-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krafft, Cairn C.; Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Hammerschlag, Richard S.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivory has played a major role in dictating vegetation abundance and species composition at Kingman Marsh in Anacostia Park, Washington, D.C., since restoration of this tidal freshwater wetland was initiated in 2000. The diverse and robust vegetative cover that developed in the first year post-reconstruction experienced significant decimation in the second year, after the protective fencing was removed, and remained suppressed throughout the five-year study period. In June 2009 a herbivory study was initiated to document the impacts of herbivory by resident and nonmigratory Canada geese (Branta canadensis) to vegetation at Kingman Marsh. Sixteen modules consisting of paired fenced plots and unfenced control plots were constructed. Eight of the modules were installed in vegetated portions of the restoration site that had been protected over time by pre-existing fencing, while the remaining eight modules were placed in portions of the site that had not been protected over time and were basically unvegetated at the start of the experiment. Exclosure fencing was sufficiently elevated from the substrate level to allow access to other herbivores such as fish and turtles, while hopefully excluding mature Canada geese. The study was designed with an initial exclosure elevation of 20 cm. This elevation was chosen based on the literature, as adequate to exclude mature Canada geese, while maximizing access to other herbivores such as fish and turtles. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the differences between paired fenced and unfenced control plots for a number of variables including total vegetative cover. Differences in total vegetative cover were not statistically significant for the baseline data collected in June 2009. By contrast, two months after the old protective fencing was removed from the initially-vegetated areas to allow Canada geese access to the unfenced control plots, total vegetative cover had declined dramatically in the

  13. Parasite diversity at the Holarctic nexus: species of Arostrilepis (Eucestoda: Hymenolepididae) in voles and lemmings (Cricetidae: Arvicolinae) from greater Beringia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarikov, Arseny A; Galbreath, Kurt E; Hoberg, Eric P

    2013-01-23

    Previously unrecognized species of hymenolepidid cestodes attributable to Arostrilepis Mas-Coma & Tenora, 1997 in arvicoline rodents from the greater Beringian region and western North America are described. Discovery and characterization of these tapeworms contributes to the recognition of a complex of cryptic species distributed across the Holarctic region. Three species are proposed: Arostrilepis gulyaevi sp. n. is named for cestodes in Myodes rufocanus from the Republic of Buryatia, southeastern Siberia and from the Khabarovskiy Kray, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, and Magadanskaya Oblast', Russian Far East (western Beringia); A. cooki sp. n. is named for cestodes in Myodes gapperi from British Columbia, Canada and Montana, USA; and A. rauschorum sp. n. is named for cestodes in Microtus oeconomus, M. longicaudus, M. pennsylvanicus and M. xanthognathus from the Brooks Range, Seward Peninsula, north-central interior, and Arctic coastal plains of Alaska (eastern Beringia) and Montana, USA. Consistent with recent studies defining diversity in the genus, the form, size, and spination (pattern, shape and size) of the cirrus are diagnostic; species are further distinguished by the relative position and length of the cirrus sac, and arrangement of the testes. Assessment of genetic data from the cytochrome b gene of mitochondrial DNA complements differentiation of this complex based on morphological attributes and confirms known species diversity within the genus. New data for geographical distribution and host specificity of known Arostrilepis spp. indicate that 3 of 12 recognized species have Holarctic distributions extending across Beringia. These include Arostrilepis beringiensis (Kontrimavichus & Smirnova, 1991) in lemmings (species of Lemmus and Synaptomys), A. cf. janickii Makarikov & Kontrimavichus, 2011 in root voles (M. oeconomus) MAKARIKOV ET AL. 402 · Zootaxa 3608 (6) © 2013 Magnolia Press and A. macrocirrosa Makarikov, Gulyaev & Kontrimavichus, 2011 in red

  14. Climate, herbivory, and fire controls on tropical African forest for the last 60ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivory, Sarah J.; Russell, James

    2016-09-01

    The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in Africa was drier than today and was followed by rapid step-wise climate changes during the last deglacial period. In much of Africa, these changes led to a drastic reduction of lowland forest area during the LGM, followed by recolonization of the lowlands by forest and woodland in concert with regional warming and wetting. However, the history of southeastern African vegetation contrasts with that observed further north. In particular, forest expansion appears to have occurred in southeastern Africa during episodes of high-latitude northern hemisphere cooling. Although vegetation history in Africa is generally assumed to relate purely to climate, previous studies have not addressed potential feedbacks between climate, vegetation, and disturbance regimes (fire, herbivory) that may create tipping points in ecosystems. This climate-vegetation history has profound implications for our understanding of the modern architecture of lowland and highland forests, both thought to be at risk from future climate change. Here we present analyses of fossil pollen, charcoal, and Sporormiella (dung fungus) on a continuous 60 kyr record from central Lake Tanganyika, Southeast Africa, that illustrates the interplay of climate and disturbance regimes in shaping vegetation composition and structure. We observe that extensive forests dominated the region during the last glacial period despite evidence of decreased rainfall. At the end of the LGM, forest opening at ∼17.5 ka followed warming temperatures but preceded rising precipitation, suggesting that temperature-induced water stress and disturbance from fire and herbivory affected initial landscape transformation. Our Sporormiella record indicates that mega-herbivore populations increased at the early Holocene. This higher animal density increased plant species richness and encouraged landscape heterogeneity until the mid-Holocene. At this time, regional drying followed by the onset of the Iron Age

  15. Consequences of insect herbivory on grape fine root systems with different growth rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauerle, T L; Eissenstat, D M; Granett, J; Gardner, D M; Smart, D R

    2007-07-01

    Herbivory tolerance has been linked to plant growth rate where plants with fast growth rates are hypothesized to be more tolerant of herbivory than slower-growing plants. Evidence supporting this theory has been taken primarily from observations of aboveground organs but rarely from roots. Grapevines differing in overall rates of new root production, were studied in Napa Valley, California over two growing seasons in an established vineyard infested with the sucking insect, grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae Fitch). The experimental vineyard allowed for the comparison of two root systems that differed in rates of new root tip production (a 'fast grower', Vitis berlandieri x Vitis rupestris cv. 1103P, and a slower-growing stock, Vitis riparia x Vitis rupestris cv. 101-14 Mgt). Each root system was grafted with a genetically identical shoot system (Vitis vinifera cv. Merlot). Using minirhizotrons, we did not observe any evidence of spatial or temporal avoidance of insect populations by root growth. Insect infestations were abundant throughout the soil profile, and seasonal peaks in phylloxera populations generally closely followed peaks in new root production. Our data supported the hypothesis that insect infestation was proportional to the number of growing tips, as indicated by similar per cent infestation in spite of a threefold difference in root tip production. In addition, infested roots of the fast-growing rootstock exhibited somewhat shorter median lifespans (60 d) than the slower-growing rootstock (85 d). Lifespans of uninfested roots were similar for the two rootstocks (200 d). As a consequence of greater root mortality of younger roots, infested root populations in the fast-growing rootstock had an older age structure. While there does not seem to be a trade-off between potential growth rate and relative rate of root infestation in these cultivars, our study indicates that a fast-growing root system may more readily shed infested roots that are

  16. Above- and belowground responses of Arctic tundra ecosystems to altered soil nutrients and mammalian herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Laura; Moore, John C; Shaver, Gauis R; Simpson, Rodney T; Johnson, David R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and observation indicate that changes in the rate of primary production can alter the balance between the bottom-up influences of plants and resources and the top-down regulation of herbivores and predators on ecosystem structure and function. The exploitation ecosystem hypothesis (EEH) posited that as aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) increases, the additional biomass should support higher trophic levels. We developed an extension of EEH to include the impacts of increases in ANPP on belowground consumers in a similar manner as aboveground, but indirectly through changes in the allocation of photosynthate to roots. We tested our predictions for plants aboveground and for phytophagous nematodes and their predators belowground in two common arctic tundra plant communities subjected to 11 years of increased soil nutrient availability and/or exclusion of mammalian herbivores. The less productive dry heath (DH) community met the predictions of EEH aboveground, with the greatest ANPP and plant biomass in the fertilized plots protected from herbivory. A palatable grass increased in fertilized plots while dwarf evergreen shrubs and lichens declined. Belowground, phytophagous nematodes also responded as predicted, achieving greater biomass in the higher ANPP plots, whereas predator biomass tended to be lower in those same plots (although not significantly). In the higher productivity moist acidic tussock (MAT) community, aboveground responses were quite different. Herbivores stimulated ANPP and biomass in both ambient and enriched soil nutrient plots; maximum ANPP occurred in fertilized plots exposed to herbivory. Fertilized plots became dominated by dwarf birch (a deciduous shrub) and cloudberry (a perennial forb); under ambient conditions these two species coexist with sedges, evergreen dwarf shrubs, and Sphagnum mosses. Phytophagous nematodes did not respond significantly to changes in ANPP, although predator biomass was greatest in control plots. The

  17. Herbivory of wild Manduca sexta causes fast down-regulation of photosynthetic efficiency in Datura wrightii: an early signaling cascade visualized by chlorophyll fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron-Gafford, Greg A; Rascher, Uwe; Bronstein, Judith L; Davidowitz, Goggy; Chaszar, Brian; Huxman, Travis E

    2012-09-01

    Plants experiencing herbivory suffer indirect costs beyond direct loss of leaf area, but differentially so based on the herbivore involved. We used a combination of chlorophyll fluorescence imaging and gas exchange techniques to quantify photosynthetic performance, the efficiency of photochemistry, and heat dissipation to examine immediate and longer-term physiological responses in the desert perennial Datura wrightii to herbivory by tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. Herbivory by colony-reared larvae yielded no significant reduction in carbon assimilation, whereas herbivory by wild larvae induced a fast and spreading down-regulation of photosynthetic efficiency, resulting in significant losses in carbon assimilation in eaten and uneaten leaves. We found both an 89 % reduction in net photosynthetic rates in herbivore-damaged leaves and a whole-plant response (79 % decrease in undamaged leaves from adjacent branches). Consequently, herbivory costs are higher than previously estimated in this well-studied plant-insect interaction. We used chlorophyll fluorescence imaging to elucidate the mechanisms of this down-regulation. Quantum yield decreased up to 70 % in a small concentric band surrounding the feeding area within minutes of the onset of herbivory. Non-photochemical energy dissipation by the plant to avoid permanent damage was elevated near the wound, and increased systematically in distant areas of the leaf away from the wound over subsequent hours. Together, the results underscore not only potential differences between colony-reared and wild-caught herbivores in experimental studies of herbivory but also the benefits of quantifying physiological responses of plants in unattacked leaves.

  18. Interaction Effect Between Herbivory and Plant Fertilization on Extrafloral Nectar Production and on Seed Traits: An Experimental Study With Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2016-08-01

    It is known that the release of volatile chemicals by many plants can attract the natural enemies of herbivorous insects. Such indirect interactions are likely when plants produce nectar from their extrafloral nectaries, and particularly when the production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) is induced by herbivory. In the present study, we conducted experiments to test whether foliar herbivory inflicted by Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Noctuidae) increases nectar production by extrafloral nectaries on one of its host plants, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Due to the current economic importance of R. communis, we also investigated whether the following seed traits-water content, dry mass, and essential oil production-are negatively affected by herbivory. Finally, we tested whether or not nectar production and seed traits are influenced by plant fertilization (plant quality). We found that nectar production was increased after herbivory, but it was not affected by the type of fertilization. Seed dry mass was higher in plants that were subjected to full fertilization, without herbivory; plants maintained in low fertilization conditions, however, had higher seed mass when subjected to herbivory. The same inverted pattern was observed for oil production. Therefore, our results suggest that EFN production in R. communis may act as an indirect defense strategy against herbivores, and that there is a trade-off between reproduction and plant growth when low-fertilized plants are subjected to herbivory. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Is there a missing link? Effects of root herbivory on plant-pollinator interactions and reproductive output in a monocarpic species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghyselen, C; Bonte, D; Brys, R

    2016-01-01

    Herbivores can have a major influence on plant fitness. The direct impact of herbivory on plant reproductive output has long been studied, and recently also indirect effects of herbivory on plant traits and pollinator attraction have received increasing attention. However, the link between these direct and indirect effects has seldom been studied. In this study, we investigated effects of root herbivory on plant and floral traits, pollination success and reproductive outcome in the monocarpic perennial Cynoglossum officinale. We exposed 119 C. officinale plants to a range of root herbivore damage by its specialist herbivore Mogulones cruciger. We assessed the effect of herbivory on several plant traits, pollinator foraging behaviour and reproductive output, and to elucidate the link between these last two we also quantified pollen deposition and pollen tube growth and applied a pollination experiment to test whether seed set was pollen-limited. Larval root herbivory induced significant changes in plant traits and had a negative impact on pollinator visitation. Infested plants were reduced in size, had fewer flowers and received fewer pollinator visits at plant and flower level than non-infested plants. Also, seed set was negatively affected by root herbivory, but this could not be attributed to pollen limitation since neither stigmatic pollen loads and pollen tube growth nor the results of the hand-pollination experiment differed between infested and non-infested plants. Our observations demonstrate that although herbivory may induce significant changes in flowering behaviour and resulting plant-pollinator interactions, it does not necessarily translate into higher rates of pollen limitation. The observed reductions in reproductive output following infection can mainly be attributed to higher resource limitation compared to non-infested plants.

  20. Nontarget herbivory by a weed biocontrol insect is limited to spillover, reducing the chance of population-level impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catton, Haley A; Lalonde, Robert G; De Clerck-Floate, Rosemarie A

    2015-03-01

    Insects approved for classical biocontrol of weeds are often capable of using close relatives of their target weed for feeding, oviposition, or larval development, with reduced preference and performance. When nontarget herbivory occurs and is suspected to reduce survival, growth, or fecundity of individual plants, and insects are capable of reproducing on their nontarget host, characterization of spatial and temporal patterns of the occurrence and intensity of herbivory is valuable for predicting potential population-level effects. Here, we perform a novel post-release manipulative field experiment with a root-feeding biocontrol weevil, Mogulones crucifer, released in Canada to control the rangeland weed Cynoglossum officinale, to test for its ability to establish on the nontarget plant Hackelia micrantha. After Cynoglossum, M. crucifer exhibits its highest preference for and performance on Hackelia spp. We released M. crucifer on Canadian rangeland sites with naturally occurring populations of H. micrantha growing interspersed with the target weed or in the near absence of the target weed. Adult weevil feeding on surrounding plants was monitored for three summers after release (years 0, 1, and 2), and, subsequently, subsets of plants were destructively sampled to determine M. crucifer oviposition levels. Additional oviposition and larval development data were obtained from seven non-experimental sites where weevils were released zero, three, or four years earlier. M. crucifer was not detected on experimental sites without C. officinale after two years, and nontarget herbivory was restricted to rare, low-level spillover. Visible evidence of adult herbivory (i.e., scars on shoots) was associated with oviposition in 90% of targets but only 30% of nontarget plants. We infer, through ecological refuge theory, that nontarget population-level impacts from M. crucifer spillover are unlikely because of temporal, spatial, and probabilistic refuges from herbivory, and make

  1. Population-level consequences of herbivory, changing climate, and source-sink dynamics on a long-lived invasive shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Klinken, R D; Pichancourt, J B

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived plant species are highly valued environmentally, economically, and socially, but can also cause substantial harm as invaders. Realistic demographic predictions can guide management decisions, and are particularly valuable for long-lived species where population response times can be long. Long-lived species are also challenging, given population dynamics can be affected by factors as diverse as herbivory, climate, and dispersal. We developed a matrix model to evaluate the effects of herbivory by a leaf-feeding biological control agent released in Australia against a long-lived invasive shrub (mesquite, Leguminoseae: Prosopis spp.). The stage-structured, density-dependent model used an annual time step and 10 climatically diverse years of field data. Mesquite population demography is sensitive to source-sink dynamics as most seeds are consumed and redistributed spatially by livestock. In addition, individual mesquite plants, because they are long lived, experience natural climate variation that cycles over decadal scales, as well as anthropogenic climate change. The model therefore explicitly considered the effects of both net dispersal and climate variation. Herbivory strongly regulated mesquite populations through reduced growth and fertility, but additional mortality of older plants will be required to reach management goals within a reasonable time frame. Growth and survival of seeds and seedlings were correlated with daily soil moisture. As a result, population dynamics were sensitive to rainfall scenario, but population response times were typically slow (20-800 years to reach equilibrium or extinction) due to adult longevity. Equilibrium population densities were expected to remain 5% higher, and be more dynamic, if historical multi-decadal climate patterns persist, the effect being dampened by herbivory suppressing seed production irrespective of preceding rainfall. Dense infestations were unlikely to form under a drier climate, and required net

  2. Contemporary radiation doses to mice and voles inhabiting East-Ural Radioactive Trace

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malinovsky, Georgy P.; Yarmoshenko, Ilia V. [Institute of Industrial Ecology UB RAS, 620219, 20, Sophy Kovalevskoy St., Ekaterinburg (Russian Federation); Starichenko, Vera I.; Chibiryak, Mikhail V. [Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UB RAS, 620144, 202, 8 Marta St., Ekaterinburg (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT) is the radioactively contaminated territory formed after accidental explosion at nuclear waste storage facility of Mayak nuclear plant in 1957. Contemporary doses were estimated for the mice and voles, that were trapped by staff of IPAE at two sites in 2000-s. The site 1 is situated directly close to the territory of the plant. Contemporary surface {sup 90}Sr contamination is 24-40 MBq/m{sup 2}. The site 2 is located as far as 6 km to the north-east from the site 1 (3.1-8.1 MBq/m{sup 2}). Fifty years after accident long-lived {sup 90}Sr is most significant contributor to terrestrial animal's exposure. Skeletal activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr was measured utilising developed nondestructive method of bone beta-radiometry. To estimate radiation doses the strontium biokinetic model and dosimetric model for mouse-like rodent were designed. Skeletal activity concentration of {sup 90}Sr for animals trapped at site 1: 44-1249 Bq/g, mean 592 Bq/g; at site 2: 4-124 Bq/g, mean 32 Bq/g. Following parameters were selected as indicators of exposure: whole body dose (WBD) accumulated during 45 days, skeletal dose accumulated during 45 days and WBD rate on the last day before trapping. As can be seen in the table, there is a full agreement of the radiation dose and the level of surface contamination. For the animals inhabiting the most contaminated site mean WBD rate is close to 1 mGy/day. It can be reliably concluded that considering both internal and external exposures the dose rate exceeds 1 mGr/day in average. Publication 108 ICRP suggests derived consideration reference level (DCRL) for small mammals in a range 0.1-1 mGy/day. Thus in the most contaminated part of the EURT WBD rate exceeds the upper limit of the DCRL. Radiation doses on the second site are significantly lower. Mean WBD rate is below 0.1 mGy/day. At the same time, the WBD rate exceeds 0.1 mGy/day (lower limit of the DCRL) for approximately 40 % of animals from the

  3. Le recrutement et la fidélisation des bénévoles retraités par les associations

    OpenAIRE

    Gourmelen, Andrea; Guillemot, Samuel; Privat, Hélène; Urien, Bertrand; Le Gall-Ely, Marine

    2014-01-01

    National audience; En raison du temps libre engendré par l’arrêt de l’activité professionnelle, les retraités deviennent une cible très convoitée par les associations à la recherche de bénévoles. Cependant, ils sont souvent considérés comme un segment homogène, d’où des difficultés de recrutement et de fidélisation par les associations. Pour y remédier, cet article propose une typologie de bénévoles retraités sur la base de leurs motivations et de caractéristiques psychosociales liées au viei...

  4. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-09

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  5. Invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides suffers more severe herbivory pressure than native competitors in recipient communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Haihao; Dong, Xianru; Wang, Ligong; Chen, Xiuwen; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2016-11-01

    Host-enemy interactions are vital mechanisms that explain the success or failure of invasive plants in new ranges. We surveyed the defoliation of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides and co-occurring native plants on two islands during different seasons over three consecutive years and measured the leaf nitrogen content and the C/N ratio of each plant species. To evaluate the effects of herbivory on A. philoxeroides, an herbivore exclosure experiment was conducted. We found that the mean defoliation of A. philoxeroides was higher than that of native plants, regardless of whether the dominant species was A. philoxeroides or native plants. A. philoxeroides defoliation increased significantly as the months progressed, whereas the defoliation of the total population of native plants was constant. The leaf nitrogen content was positively correlated with defoliation, and it was highest in A. philoxeroides. Additionally, A. philoxeroides in the herbivore exclusion treatment showed an increase in shoot biomass and total shoot length. Our study revealed that native generalist herbivores prefer the invasive plant to the natives because of the higher leaf nitrogen content. These results support the biotic resistance hypothesis, suggesting that native herbivore species can limit the population spread of invasive plants.

  6. Identification of QTL in soybean underlying resistance to herbivory by Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica, Newman).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesudas, C R; Sharma, H; Lightfoot, D A

    2010-07-01

    Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] was one of the most important legume crops in the world in 2010. Japanese beetles (JB; Popillia japonica, Newman) in the US were an introduced and potentially damaging insect pest for soybean. JBs are likely to spread across the US if global warming occurs. Resistance to JB in soybean was previously reported only in plant introductions. The aims here were to identify loci underlying resistance to JB herbivory in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross of Essex x Forrest cultivars (EF94) and to correlate those with loci with factors that confer insect resistance in soybean cultivars. The RIL population was used to map 413 markers, 238 satellite markers and 177 other DNA markers. Field data were from two environments over 2 years. Pest severity (PS) measured defoliation on a 0-9 scale. Pest incidence (PI) was the percentage of plants within each RIL with beetles on them. Antibiosis and antixenosis data were from feeding assays with detached leaves in petri plates. Five QTL were detected for the mean PS field trait (16% root knot nematode (LG F) but not other major loci underlying resistance to nematode or insect pests (LGs G, H and M).

  7. Direct and Pollinator-Mediated Effects of Herbivory on Strawberry and the Potential for Improved Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muola, Anne; Weber, Daniela; Malm, Lisa E; Egan, Paul A; Glinwood, Robert; Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Stenberg, Johan A

    2017-01-01

    The global decline in pollinators has partly been blamed on pesticides, leading some to propose pesticide-free farming as an option to improve pollination. However, herbivores are likely to be more prevalent in pesticide-free environments, requiring knowledge of their effects on pollinators, and alternative crop protection strategies to mitigate any potential pollination reduction. Strawberry leaf beetles (SLB) Galerucella spp. are important strawberry pests in Northern Europe and Russia. Given that SLB attack both leaf and flower tissue, we hypothesized pollinators would discriminate against SLB-damaged strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca, cultivar 'Rügen'), leading to lower pollination success and yield. In addition we screened the most common commercial cultivar 'Rügen' and wild Swedish F. vesca genotypes for SLB resistance to assess the potential for inverse breeding to restore high SLB resistance in cultivated strawberry. Behavioral observations in a controlled experiment revealed that the local pollinator fauna avoided strawberry flowers with SLB-damaged petals. Low pollination, in turn, resulted in smaller more deformed fruits. Furthermore, SLB-damaged flowers produced smaller fruits even when they were hand pollinated, showing herbivore damage also had direct effects on yield, independent of indirect effects on pollination. We found variable resistance in wild woodland strawberry to SLB and more resistant plant genotypes than the cultivar 'Rügen' were identified. Efficient integrated pest management strategies should be employed to mitigate both direct and indirect effects of herbivory for cultivated strawberry, including high intrinsic plant resistance.

  8. Direct and Pollinator-Mediated Effects of Herbivory on Strawberry and the Potential for Improved Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Muola

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The global decline in pollinators has partly been blamed on pesticides, leading some to propose pesticide-free farming as an option to improve pollination. However, herbivores are likely to be more prevalent in pesticide-free environments, requiring knowledge of their effects on pollinators, and alternative crop protection strategies to mitigate any potential pollination reduction. Strawberry leaf beetles (SLB Galerucella spp. are important strawberry pests in Northern Europe and Russia. Given that SLB attack both leaf and flower tissue, we hypothesized pollinators would discriminate against SLB-damaged strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca, cultivar ‘Rügen’, leading to lower pollination success and yield. In addition we screened the most common commercial cultivar ‘Rügen’ and wild Swedish F. vesca genotypes for SLB resistance to assess the potential for inverse breeding to restore high SLB resistance in cultivated strawberry. Behavioral observations in a controlled experiment revealed that the local pollinator fauna avoided strawberry flowers with SLB-damaged petals. Low pollination, in turn, resulted in smaller more deformed fruits. Furthermore, SLB-damaged flowers produced smaller fruits even when they were hand pollinated, showing herbivore damage also had direct effects on yield, independent of indirect effects on pollination. We found variable resistance in wild woodland strawberry to SLB and more resistant plant genotypes than the cultivar ‘Rügen’ were identified. Efficient integrated pest management strategies should be employed to mitigate both direct and indirect effects of herbivory for cultivated strawberry, including high intrinsic plant resistance.

  9. Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hettenhausen, Christian; Li, Juan; Zhuang, Huifu; Sun, Huanhuan; Xu, Yuxing; Qi, Jinfeng; Zhang, Jingxiong; Lei, Yunting; Qin, Yan; Sun, Guiling; Wang, Lei; Baldwin, Ian T; Wu, Jianqiang

    2017-08-08

    Cuscuta spp. (i.e., dodders) are stem parasites that naturally graft to their host plants to extract water and nutrients; multiple adjacent hosts are often parasitized by one or more Cuscuta plants simultaneously, forming connected plant clusters. Metabolites, proteins, and mRNAs are known to be transferred from hosts to Cuscuta, and Cuscuta bridges even facilitate host-to-host virus movement. Whether Cuscuta bridges transmit ecologically meaningful signals remains unknown. Here we show that, when host plants are connected by Cuscuta bridges, systemic herbivory signals are transmitted from attacked plants to unattacked plants, as revealed by the large transcriptomic changes in the attacked local leaves, undamaged systemic leaves of the attacked plants, and leaves of unattacked but connected hosts. The interplant signaling is largely dependent on the jasmonic acid pathway of the damaged local plants, and can be found among conspecific or heterospecific hosts of different families. Importantly, herbivore attack of one host plant elevates defensive metabolites in the other systemic Cuscuta bridge-connected hosts, resulting in enhanced resistance against insects even in several consecutively Cuscuta-connected host plants over long distances (> 100 cm). By facilitating plant-to-plant signaling, Cuscuta provides an information-based means of countering the resource-based fitness costs to their hosts.

  10. Stem parasitic plant Cuscuta australis (dodder) transfers herbivory-induced signals among plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hettenhausen, Christian; Li, Juan; Zhuang, Huifu; Sun, Huanhuan; Xu, Yuxing; Qi, Jinfeng; Zhang, Jingxiong; Lei, Yunting; Qin, Yan; Sun, Guiling; Wang, Lei; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2017-01-01

    Cuscuta spp. (i.e., dodders) are stem parasites that naturally graft to their host plants to extract water and nutrients; multiple adjacent hosts are often parasitized by one or more Cuscuta plants simultaneously, forming connected plant clusters. Metabolites, proteins, and mRNAs are known to be transferred from hosts to Cuscuta, and Cuscuta bridges even facilitate host-to-host virus movement. Whether Cuscuta bridges transmit ecologically meaningful signals remains unknown. Here we show that, when host plants are connected by Cuscuta bridges, systemic herbivory signals are transmitted from attacked plants to unattacked plants, as revealed by the large transcriptomic changes in the attacked local leaves, undamaged systemic leaves of the attacked plants, and leaves of unattacked but connected hosts. The interplant signaling is largely dependent on the jasmonic acid pathway of the damaged local plants, and can be found among conspecific or heterospecific hosts of different families. Importantly, herbivore attack of one host plant elevates defensive metabolites in the other systemic Cuscuta bridge-connected hosts, resulting in enhanced resistance against insects even in several consecutively Cuscuta-connected host plants over long distances (> 100 cm). By facilitating plant-to-plant signaling, Cuscuta provides an information-based means of countering the resource-based fitness costs to their hosts. PMID:28739895

  11. Plant responses to insect herbivory: interactions between photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species and hormonal signalling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerchev, Pavel I; Fenton, Brian; Foyer, Christine H; Hancock, Robert D

    2012-02-01

    Under herbivore attack plants mount a defence response characterized by the accumulation of secondary metabolites and inhibitory proteins. Significant changes are observed in the transcriptional profiles of genes encoding enzymes of primary metabolism. Such changes have often been interpreted in terms of a requirement for an increased investment of resources to 'fuel' the synthesis of secondary metabolites. While enhanced secondary metabolism undoubtedly exerts an influence on primary metabolism, accumulating evidence suggests that rather than stimulating photosynthesis insect herbivory reduces photosynthetic carbon fixation and this response occurs by a re-programming of gene expression. Within this context, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reductant/oxidant (redox) signalling play a central role. Accumulating evidence suggests that ROS signalling pathways are closely interwoven with hormone-signalling pathways in plant-insect interactions. Here we consider how insect infestation impacts on the stress signalling network through effects on ROS and cellular redox metabolism with particular emphasis on the roles of ROS in the plant responses to phloem-feeding insects.

  12. Mating behavior induces changes of expression of Fos protein, plasma testosterone and androgen receptors in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) of the male mandarin vole Microtus mandarinus

    OpenAIRE

    Fengqin HE, Fadao TAI

    2009-01-01

    In order to investigate the neuroendocrine mechanism of the mating behavior in the adult male mandarin voles Microtus mandarinus, the radioimmunoassay (RIA) and immunohistochemistry methods were used to investigate the differences in plasma testosterone (T) concentrations and distribution of T immunoreactive neurons (T-IRs), androgen receptor immunoreactive neurons (AR-IRs) and Fos protein immunoreactive neurons (Fos-IRs) in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) and the main olfactory bulb (MOB)...

  13. Is It All in the Family? The Effects of Early Social Structure on Neural-Behavioral Systems of Prairie Voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    OpenAIRE

    Greenberg, GD; Van Westerhuyzen, JA; Bales, KL; Trainor, BC

    2012-01-01

    The transition to parenthood is generally associated with a reduction in anxiety or anxiety-like behavior across a wide range of species. In some species, juveniles provide supplementary parental care for younger siblings, a behavior known as alloparenting. Although the fitness consequences of alloparenting behavior have been a focus of evolutionary research, less is known about how alloparenting behavior impacts affective states. In the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)...

  14. Mycobacterium microti tuberculosis in its maintenance host, the field vole (Microtus agrestis): characterization of the disease and possible routes of transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipar, A; Burthe, S J; Hetzel, U; Rokia, M Abo; Telfer, S; Lambin, X; Birtles, R J; Begon, M; Bennett, M

    2014-09-01

    The field vole (Microtus agrestis) is a known maintenance host of Mycobacterium microti. Previous studies have shown that infected animals develop tuberculosis. However, the disease is also known in cats and is sporadically reported from humans and other mammalian species. We examined trapped field voles from an endemic area, using a range of diagnostic approaches. These confirmed that a combination of gross and histological examination with culture is most appropriate to identify the true prevalence of the disease, which was shown to be more than 13% at times when older animals that have previously been shown to be more likely to develop the disease dominate the population. The thorough pathological examination of diseased animals showed that voles generally develop systemic disease with most frequent involvement of spleen and liver, followed by skin, lymph nodes, and lungs. The morphology of the lesions was consistent with active disease, and their distribution suggested skin wounds or oral and/or aerogenic infection as the main portal of entry. The demonstration of mycobacteria in open skin lesions, airways, and salivary glands indicated bacterial shedding from the skin and with sputum and saliva. This suggests not only the environment but also direct contact and devouring as likely sources of infection.

  15. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells of Microtus levis x Microtus arvalis Vole Hybrids: Conditions Necessary for Their Generation and Self-Renewal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigor’eva, E. V.; Shevchenko, A. I.; Medvedev, S. P.; Mazurok, N. A.; Zhelezova, A. I.; Zakian, S. M.

    2015-01-01

    Every year, the list of mammalian species for which cultures of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are generated increases. PSCs are a unique tool for extending the limits of experimental studies and modeling different biological processes. In this work, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from the hybrids of common voles Microtus levis and Microtus arvalis, which are used as model objects to study genome organization on the molecular-genetic level and the mechanisms of X-chromosome inactivation, have been generated. Vole iPSCs were isolated and cultured in a medium containing cytokine LIF, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), ascorbic acid, and fetal bovine serum. Undifferentiated state of vole iPSCs is maintained by activation of their endogenous pluripotency genes – Nanog, Oct4, Sox2, Sall4, and Esrrb. The cells were able to maintain undifferentiated state for at least 28 passages without change in their morphology and give rise to three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm) upon differentiation. PMID:26798492

  16. The protective effects of social bonding on behavioral and pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity to chronic mild stress in prairie voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, Neal; Appleton, Katherine M; Johnson, Alan Kim; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Wardwell, Joshua; Murphy, Rachel; Bishop, Christina; Knecht, Alison; Grippo, Angela J

    2017-03-01

    Positive social interactions may protect against stress. This study investigated the beneficial effects of pairing with a social partner on behaviors and neuroendocrine function in response to chronic mild stress (CMS) in 13 prairie vole pairs. Following 5 days of social bonding, male and female prairie voles were exposed to 10 days of CMS (mild, unpredictable stressors of varying durations, for instance, strobe light, white noise, and damp bedding), housed with either the social partner (paired group) or individually (isolated group). Active and passive behavioral responses to the forced swim test (FST) and tail-suspension test (TST), and plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone, were measured in all prairie voles following the CMS period. Both female and male prairie voles housed with a social partner displayed lower durations of passive behavioral responses (immobility, a maladaptive behavioral response) in the FST (mean ± SEM; females: 17.3 ± 5.4 s; males: 9.3 ± 4.6 s) and TST (females: 56.8 ± 16.4 s; males: 40.2 ± 11.3 s), versus both sexes housed individually (females, FST: 98.6 ± 12.9 s; females, TST: 155.1 ± 19.3 s; males, FST: 92.4 ± 14.1 s; males, TST: 158.9 ± 22.0 s). Female (but not male) prairie voles displayed attenuated plasma stress hormones when housed with a male partner (ACTH: 945 ± 24.7 pg/ml; corticosterone: 624 ± 139.5 ng/ml), versus females housed individually (ACTH: 1100 ± 23.2 pg/ml; corticosterone: 1064 ± 121.7 ng/ml). These results may inform understanding of the benefits of social interactions on stress resilience. Lay Summary: Social stress can lead to depression. The study of social bonding and stress using an animal model will inform understanding of the protective effects of social bonds. This study showed that social bonding in a rodent model can protect against behavioral responses to stress, and may

  17. Mechanisms driving diversity-productivity relationships differ between exotic and native communities and are affected by gastropod herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korell, Lotte; Schmidt, Robin; Bruelheide, Helge; Hensen, Isabell; Auge, Harald

    2016-04-01

    Biodiversity experiments have shown that productivity usually increases with plant species richness. However, most of those studies disregarded the importance of trophic interactions to the diversity-productivity relationship, and focused on the loss of native species while ignoring invasions by exotic species. Yet, as functional complementarity and the impact of plant antagonists are likely to differ between native and exotic communities, the diversity-productivity relationship may change when native communities are invaded by exotic species. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to test how diversity effects, evenness, and productivity differed between exotic and native assemblages of grassland plants, and how these communities were influenced by slug herbivory. In line with other experiments, we found higher productivity in exotic than in native communities. However, different mechanisms (complementarity vs. selection effect) contributed to the positive diversity-productivity relationships in exotic vs. native communities. Against expectations, native communities showed much lower evenness and a greater selection effect, suggesting that competitive dominance among native species may be even stronger than among exotic species. Slug herbivory decreased productivity independently of species origin and species diversity. However, exotic communities showed a threefold higher complementarity effect than native communities in the absence of slugs, which was mainly driven by differences in the responses of native and exotic legumes and nonleguminous herbs. Our results imply that underlying mechanisms for the positive diversity-productivity relationship differ between native and exotic communities in the early stages of community development, and that differential responses of plant functional groups to generalist herbivory can contribute to this pattern.

  18. Greening of the Arctic: Partitioning Warming Versus Reindeer Herbivory for Willow Populations on Yamal Peninsula, Northwest Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Kumpula, T.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic warming has been linked to observed increases in tundra shrub cover and growth in recent decades on the basis of significant relationships between deciduous shrub growth/biomass and temperature. These vegetation trends have been linked to Arctic sea-ice decline and thus to the sea-ice/albedo feedback known as Arctic amplification. However, the interactions between climate, sea ice, tundra vegetation and herbivores remain poorly understood. Recently we revealed a 50-year growth response over a >100,000 km2 area to a rise in summer temperature for willow (Salix lanata), one the most abundant shrub genera at and north of the continental treeline and an important source of reindeer forage in spring, summer and autumn. We demonstrated that whereas plant productivity is related to sea ice in late spring, the growing season peak responds to persistent synoptic-scale air masses over West Siberia associated with Fennoscandian weather systems through the Rossby wave train. Substrate was important for biomass accumulation, yet a strong correlation between growth and temperature encompasses all observed soil types. Vegetation was especially responsive to temperature in early summer. However, the role of herbivory was not addressed. The present data set explores the relationship between long-term herbivory and growth trends of shrubs experiencing warming in recent decades. Semi-domestic reindeer managed by indigenous Nenets nomads occur at high densities in summer on exposed ridge tops and graze heavily on prostrate and low erect willows. A few meters away in moderately sloped landslides tall willows remain virtually ungrazed as their canopies have grown above the browse line of ca. 180 cm. Here we detail the responses of neighboring shrub populations with and without intensive herbivory yet subject to the same decadal warming trend.

  19. Seagrass Herbivory Levels Sustain Site-Fidelity in a Remnant Dugong Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elrika D'Souza

    Full Text Available Herds of dugong, a largely tropical marine megaherbivore, are known to undertake long-distance movements, sequentially overgrazing seagrass meadows in their path. Given their drastic declines in many regions, it is unclear whether at lower densities, their grazing is less intense, reducing their need to travel between meadows. We studied the effect of the feeding behaviour of a small dugong population in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, India to understand how small isolated populations graze seagrasses. In the seven years of our observation, all recorded dugongs travelled either solitarily or in pairs, and their use of seagrasses was limited to 8 meadows, some of which were persistently grazed. These meadows were relatively large, contiguous and dominated by short-lived seagrasses species. Dugongs consumed approximately 15% of meadow primary production, but there was a large variation (3-40% of total meadow production in consumption patterns between meadows. The impact of herbivory was relatively high, with shoot densities c. 50% higher inside herbivore exclosures than in areas exposed to repeated grazing. Our results indicate that dugongs in the study area repeatedly graze the same meadows probably because the proportion of primary production consumed reduces shoot density to levels that are still above values that can trigger meadow abandonment. This ability of seagrasses to cope perhaps explains the long-term site fidelity shown by individual dugongs in these meadows. The fact that seagrass meadows in the archipelago are able to support dugong foraging requirements allows us to clearly identify locations where this remnant population persists, and where urgent management efforts can be directed.

  20. Herbivory and drought interact to enhance spatial patterning and diversity in a savanna understory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porensky, Lauren M; Wittman, Sarah E; Riginos, Corinna; Young, Truman P

    2013-10-01

    The combination of abiotic stress and consumer stress can have complex impacts on plant community structure. Effective conservation and management of semi-arid ecosystems requires an understanding of how different stresses interact to structure plant communities. We explored the separate and combined impacts of episodic drought, livestock grazing, and wild ungulate herbivory on species co-occurrence and diversity patterns in a relatively productive, semi-arid Acacia savanna. Specifically, we analyzed 9 years of biannual plant community data from the Kenya long-term exclosure experiment, a broad-scale manipulative experiment that has excluded different combinations of large mammalian herbivores from 18 4-ha plots since 1995. During droughts, we observed low species diversity and random species co-occurrence patterns. However, when rain followed a major drought, areas exposed to moderate cattle grazing displayed high species diversity and evidence of significant species aggregation. These patterns were not apparent in the absence of cattle, even if other large herbivores were present. To explore possible mechanisms, we examined patterns separately for common and rare species. We found that aggregation patterns were likely driven by rare species responding similarly to the availability of open micro-sites. Our results indicate that in a productive, fire-suppressed savanna, the combination of periodic drought and moderate cattle grazing can enhance plant biodiversity and fine-scale spatial heterogeneity by opening up space for species that are otherwise rare or cryptic. Our findings also emphasize that domestic herbivores can have significantly stronger impacts on plant community dynamics than wild herbivores, even in an ecosystem with a long history of grazing.

  1. The impact of the absence of aliphatic glucosinolates on insect herbivory in Arabidopsis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jules Beekwilder

    Full Text Available Aliphatic glucosinolates are compounds which occur in high concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassicaceae species. They are important for the resistance of the plant to pest insects. Previously, the biosynthesis of these compounds was shown to be regulated by transcription factors MYB28 and MYB29. We now show that MYB28 and MYB29 are partially redundant, but in the absence of both, the synthesis of all aliphatic glucosinolates is blocked. Untargeted and targeted biochemical analyses of leaf metabolites showed that differences between single and double knock-out mutants and wild type plants were restricted to glucosinolates. Biosynthesis of long-chain aliphatic glucosinolates was blocked by the myb28 mutation, while short-chain aliphatic glucosinolates were reduced by about 50% in both the myb28 and the myb29 single mutants. Most remarkably, all aliphatic glucosinolates were completely absent in the double mutant. Expression of glucosinolate biosynthetic genes was slightly but significantly reduced by the single myb mutations, while the double mutation resulted in a drastic decrease in expression of these genes. Since the myb28myb29 double mutant is the first Arabidopsis genotype without any aliphatic glucosinolates, we used it to establish the relevance of aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis to herbivory by larvae of the lepidopteran insect Mamestra brassicae. Plant damage correlated inversely to the levels of aliphatic glucosinolates observed in those plants: Larval weight gain was 2.6 fold higher on the double myb28myb29 mutant completely lacking aliphatic glucosinolates and 1.8 higher on the single mutants with intermediate levels of aliphatic glucosinolates compared to wild type plants.

  2. The impact of the absence of aliphatic glucosinolates on insect herbivory in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beekwilder, Jules; van Leeuwen, Wessel; van Dam, Nicole M; Bertossi, Monica; Grandi, Valentina; Mizzi, Luca; Soloviev, Mikhail; Szabados, Laszlo; Molthoff, Jos W; Schipper, Bert; Verbocht, Hans; de Vos, Ric C H; Morandini, Piero; Aarts, Mark G M; Bovy, Arnaud

    2008-04-30

    Aliphatic glucosinolates are compounds which occur in high concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassicaceae species. They are important for the resistance of the plant to pest insects. Previously, the biosynthesis of these compounds was shown to be regulated by transcription factors MYB28 and MYB29. We now show that MYB28 and MYB29 are partially redundant, but in the absence of both, the synthesis of all aliphatic glucosinolates is blocked. Untargeted and targeted biochemical analyses of leaf metabolites showed that differences between single and double knock-out mutants and wild type plants were restricted to glucosinolates. Biosynthesis of long-chain aliphatic glucosinolates was blocked by the myb28 mutation, while short-chain aliphatic glucosinolates were reduced by about 50% in both the myb28 and the myb29 single mutants. Most remarkably, all aliphatic glucosinolates were completely absent in the double mutant. Expression of glucosinolate biosynthetic genes was slightly but significantly reduced by the single myb mutations, while the double mutation resulted in a drastic decrease in expression of these genes. Since the myb28myb29 double mutant is the first Arabidopsis genotype without any aliphatic glucosinolates, we used it to establish the relevance of aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis to herbivory by larvae of the lepidopteran insect Mamestra brassicae. Plant damage correlated inversely to the levels of aliphatic glucosinolates observed in those plants: Larval weight gain was 2.6 fold higher on the double myb28myb29 mutant completely lacking aliphatic glucosinolates and 1.8 higher on the single mutants with intermediate levels of aliphatic glucosinolates compared to wild type plants.

  3. Interspecific variation in compensatory regrowth to herbivory associated with soil nutrients in three Ficus (Moraceae saplings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Zhao

    Full Text Available Plant compensatory regrowth is an induced process that enhances plant tolerance to herbivory. Plant behavior against herbivores differs between species and depends on resource availability, thus making general predictions related to plant compensatory regrowth difficult. To understand how soil nutrients determine the degree of compensatory regrowth for different plant species, we selected saplings of three Ficus species and treated with herbivore insects and artificial injury in both glasshouse conditions and in the field at two soil nutrient levels. Compensatory regrowth was calculated by biomass, relative growth rate and photosynthetic characteristics. A similar pattern was found in both the glasshouse and in the field for species F. hispida, where overcompensatory regrowth was triggered only under fertile conditions, and full compensatory regrowth occurred under infertile conditions. For F. auriculata, overcompensatory regrowth was stimulated only under infertile conditions and full compensatory regrowth occurred under fertile conditions. Ficus racemosa displayed full compensatory regrowth in both soil nutrient levels, but without overcompensatory regrowth following any of the treatments. The three Ficus species differed in biomass allocation following herbivore damage and artificial injury. The root/shoot ratio of F. hispida decreased largely following herbivore damage and artificial injury, while the root/shoot ratio for F. auriculata increased against damage treatments. The increase of shoot and root size for F. hispida and F. auriculata, respectively, appeared to be caused by a significant increase in photosynthesis. The results indicated that shifts in biomass allocation and increased photosynthesis are two of the mechanisms underlying compensatory regrowth. Contrasting patterns among the three Ficus species suggest that further theoretical and empirical work is necessary to better understand the complexity of the plant responses to

  4. Short-term herbivory has long-term consequences in warmed and ambient high Arctic tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Chelsea J.; Cutting, Helen; Alatalo, Juha; Cooper, Elisabeth

    2017-02-01

    , underlying ecosystem processes are beginning to change. In addition, even short bouts of intense herbivory can have long-term consequences for some species in these communities.

  5. Sediments influence accumulation of two macroalgal species through novel but differing interactions with nutrients and herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clausing, Rachel J.; Bittick, Sarah Joy; Fong, Caitlin R.; Fong, Peggy

    2016-12-01

    Despite increasing concern that sediment loads from disturbed watersheds facilitate algal dominance on tropical reefs, little is known of how sediments interact with two primary drivers of algal communities, nutrients and herbivory. We examined the effects of sediment loads on the thalli of two increasingly abundant genera of macroalgae, Galaxaura and Padina, in a bay subject to terrestrial sediment influx in Mo'orea, French Polynesia. Field experiments examining (1) overall effects of ambient sediments and (2) interacting effects of sediments (ambient/removal) and herbivores (caged/uncaged) demonstrated that sediments had strong but opposite effects on both species' biomass accumulation. Sediment removal increased accumulation of Padina boryana Thivy 50% in the initial field experiment but had no effect in the second; rather, in a novel interaction, herbivores overcompensated for increases in tissue nutrient stores that occurred with sediments loads, likely by preferential consumption of nutrient-rich meristematic tissues. Despite negative effects of sediments on biomass, Padina maintained rapid growth across treatments in both experiments. In contrast, positive growth in Galaxaura divaricata Kjellman only occurred with ambient sediment loads. In mesocosm experiments testing interactions of added nutrients and sediments on growth, Galaxaura grew at equivalent rates with sediments (collected from thalli on the reef) as with additions of nitrate and phosphate, suggesting sediments provide a nutrient subsidy. For Padina, however, the only effect was a 50% reduction in growth with sediment. Overall, retention of thallus sediments creates a positive feedback that Galaxaura appears to require to sustain net growth, while Padina merely tolerates sediments. These results indicate that sediments can modify nutrient and herbivore control of algae in ways that differ among species, with the potential for strong and unexpected effects on the abundance and composition of

  6. Testing for the effects and consequences of mid paleogene climate change on insect herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torsten Wappler

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Eocene, a time of fluctuating environmental change and biome evolution, was generally driven by exceptionally warm temperatures. The Messel (47.8 Ma and Eckfeld (44.3 Ma deposits offer a rare opportunity to take a census of two, deep-time ecosystems occurring during a greenhouse system. An understanding of the long-term consequences of extreme warming and cooling events during this interval, particularly on angiosperms and insects that dominate terrestrial biodiversity, can provide insights into the biotic consequences of current global climatic warming. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compare insect-feeding damage within two middle Eocene fossil floras, Messel and Eckfeld, in Germany. From these small lake deposits, we studied 16,082 angiosperm leaves and scored each specimen for the presence or absence of 89 distinctive and diagnosable insect damage types (DTs, each of which was allocated to a major functional feeding group, including four varieties of external foliage feeding, piercing- and-sucking, leaf mining, galling, seed predation, and oviposition. Methods used for treatment of presence-absence data included general linear models and standard univariate, bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show an unexpectedly high diversity and level of insect feeding than comparable, penecontemporaneous floras from North and South America. In addition, we found a higher level of herbivory on evergreen, rather than deciduous taxa at Messel. This pattern is explained by a ca. 2.5-fold increase in atmospheric CO(2 that overwhelmed evergreen antiherbivore defenses, subsequently lessened during the more ameliorated levels of Eckfeld times. These patterns reveal important, previously undocumented features of plant-host and insect-herbivore diversification during the European mid Eocene.

  7. Interspecific variation in compensatory regrowth to herbivory associated with soil nutrients in three Ficus (Moraceae) saplings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jin; Chen, Jin

    2012-01-01

    Plant compensatory regrowth is an induced process that enhances plant tolerance to herbivory. Plant behavior against herbivores differs between species and depends on resource availability, thus making general predictions related to plant compensatory regrowth difficult. To understand how soil nutrients determine the degree of compensatory regrowth for different plant species, we selected saplings of three Ficus species and treated with herbivore insects and artificial injury in both glasshouse conditions and in the field at two soil nutrient levels. Compensatory regrowth was calculated by biomass, relative growth rate and photosynthetic characteristics. A similar pattern was found in both the glasshouse and in the field for species F. hispida, where overcompensatory regrowth was triggered only under fertile conditions, and full compensatory regrowth occurred under infertile conditions. For F. auriculata, overcompensatory regrowth was stimulated only under infertile conditions and full compensatory regrowth occurred under fertile conditions. Ficus racemosa displayed full compensatory regrowth in both soil nutrient levels, but without overcompensatory regrowth following any of the treatments. The three Ficus species differed in biomass allocation following herbivore damage and artificial injury. The root/shoot ratio of F. hispida decreased largely following herbivore damage and artificial injury, while the root/shoot ratio for F. auriculata increased against damage treatments. The increase of shoot and root size for F. hispida and F. auriculata, respectively, appeared to be caused by a significant increase in photosynthesis. The results indicated that shifts in biomass allocation and increased photosynthesis are two of the mechanisms underlying compensatory regrowth. Contrasting patterns among the three Ficus species suggest that further theoretical and empirical work is necessary to better understand the complexity of the plant responses to herbivore damage.

  8. Algal growth and species composition under experimental control of herbivory, phosphorus and coral abundance in Glovers Reef, Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R; Cokos, B A; Sala, E

    2002-06-01

    The proliferation of algae on disturbed coral reefs has often been attributed to (1) a loss of large-bodied herbivorous fishes, (2) increases in sea water nutrient concentrations, particularly phosphorus, and (3) a loss of hard coral cover or a combination of these and other factors. We performed replicated small-scale caging experiments in the offshore lagoon of Glovers Reef atoll, Belize where three treatments had closed-top (no large-bodied herbivores) and one treatment had open-top cages (grazing by large-bodied herbivores). Closed-top treatments simulated a reduced-herbivory situation, excluding large fishes but including small herbivorous fishes such as damselfishes and small parrotfishes. Treatments in the closed-top cages included the addition of high phosphorus fertilizer, live branches of Acropora cervicornis and a third unmanipulated control treatment. Colonization, algal biomass and species composition on dead A. palmata "plates" were studied weekly for 50 days in each of the four treatments. Fertilization doubled the concentration of phosphorus from 0.35 to 0.77 microM. Closed-top cages, particularly the fertilizer and A. cervicornis additions, attracted more small-bodied parrotfish and damselfish than the open-top cages such that there was moderate levels of herbivory in closed-top cages. The open-top cages did, however, have a higher abundance of the chemically and morphologically defended erect algal species including Caulerpa cupressoides, Laurencia obtusa, Dictyota menstrualis and Lobophora variegata. The most herbivore-resistant calcareous green algae (i.e. Halimeda) were, however, uncommon in all treatments. Algal biomass increased and fluctuated simultaneously in all treatments over time, but algal biomass, as measured by wet, dry and decalcified weight, did not differ greatly between the treatments with only marginally higher biomass (p cervicornis suppressed algal colonization compared to the unmanipulated controls. Instead, the herbivore

  9. Plant phenolics as chemical defenses: Effects of natural phenolics on survival and growth of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, R L; Batzli, G O

    1984-02-01

    Very few studies have shown experimentally that plant chemical defenses actually reduce the performance of individual mammalian herbivores, much less the density of mammalian populations. We investigated the effects of representatives of three classes of plant phenoiics on the survival and growth of prairie voles by incorporating the compounds into artificial diets and feeding them to weanlings for three weeks. At low levels of protein, both quercetin (a flavonoid) and tannic acid (a hydrolyzable tannin) caused reduced growth rates; no effect occurred at high levels of protein. Quebracho (a condensed tannin) inhibited feeding and thus was lethal at all levels of protein. These results indicate that plant phenolics are likely to influence the performance and dynamics of natural populations of microtine rodents by reducing the quality of available forage. The hypothesis that the primary mode of action of the phenoiics is the reduction of digestibility of protein was not supported. The reduced growth caused by both quercetin and tannic acid could be attributed primarily to their toxicity. The effect of quebracho resulted from reduced intake (unpalatability).

  10. A new permanent cell line derived from the bank vole (Myodes glareolus as cell culture model for zoonotic viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herzog Sibylle

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Approximately 60% of emerging viruses are of zoonotic origin, with three-fourths derived from wild animals. Many of these zoonotic diseases are transmitted by rodents with important information about their reservoir dynamics and pathogenesis missing. One main reason for the gap in our knowledge is the lack of adequate cell culture systems as models for the investigation of rodent-borne (robo viruses in vitro. Therefore we established and characterized a new cell line, BVK168, using the kidney of a bank vole, Myodes glareolus, the most abundant member of the Arvicolinae trapped in Germany. Results BVK168 proved to be of epithelial morphology expressing tight junctions as well as adherence junction proteins. The BVK168 cells were analyzed for their infectability by several arbo- and robo-viruses: Vesicular stomatitis virus, vaccinia virus, cowpox virus, Sindbis virus, Pixuna virus, Usutu virus, Inkoo virus, Puumalavirus, and Borna disease virus (BDV. The cell line was susceptible for all tested viruses, and most interestingly also for the difficult to propagate BDV. Conclusion In conclusion, the newly established cell line from wildlife rodents seems to be an excellent tool for the isolation and characterization of new rodent-associated viruses and may be used as in vitro-model to study properties and pathogenesis of these agents.

  11. Negative relationships between cellular immune response, Mhc class II heterozygosity and secondary sexual trait in the montane water vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charbonnel, Nathalie; Bryja, Josef; Galan, Maxime; Deter, Julie; Tollenaere, Charlotte; Chaval, Yannick; Morand, Serge; Cosson, Jean-François

    2010-05-01

    Heterogeneities in immune responsiveness may affect key epidemiological parameters and the dynamics of pathogens. The roles of immunogenetics in these variations remain poorly explored. We analysed the influence of Major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes and epigamic traits on the response to phytohaemagglutinin in males from cyclic populations of the montane water vole (Arvicola scherman). Besides, we tested the relevance of lateral scent glands as honest signals of male quality. Our results did not corroborate neither the hypotheses of genome-wide heterozygosity-fitness correlation nor the Mhc heterozygote advantage. We found a negative relationship between Mhc hetetozygosity and response to phytohaemagglutinin, mediated by a specific Mhc homozygous genotype. Our results therefore support the hypothesis of the Arte-Dqa-05 homozygous genotype being a 'good' Mhc variant in terms of immunogenetic quality. The development of the scent glands seems to be an honest signal for mate choice as it is negatively correlated with helminth load. The 'good gene' hypothesis was not validated as Arte-Dqa-05 homozygous males did not exhibit larger glands. Besides, the negative relationship observed between the size of these glands and the response to phytohaemagglutinin, mainly for Mhc homozygotes, corroborates the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis. The Mhc variants associated with larger glands remain yet to be determined.

  12. Long-term spatiotemporal stability and dynamic changes in helminth infracommunities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) in NE Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzybek, Maciej; Bajer, Anna; Bednarska, Małgorzata; Al-Sarraf, Mohammed; Behnke-Borowczyk, Jolanta; Harris, Philip D; Price, Stephen J; Brown, Gabrielle S; Osborne, Sarah-Jane; Siński, Edward; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2015-12-01

    Parasites are considered to be an important selective force in host evolution but ecological studies of host-parasite systems are usually short-term providing only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We have conducted four surveys of helminths of bank voles at three ecologically similar woodland sites in NE Poland, spaced over a period of 11 years, to assess the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. Some measures of infracommunity structure maintained relative stability: the rank order of prevalence and abundance of Heligmosomum mixtum, Heligmosomoides glareoli and Mastophorus muris changed little between the four surveys. Other measures changed markedly: dynamic changes were evident in Syphacia petrusewiczi which declined to local extinction, while the capillariid Aonchotheca annulosa first appeared in 2002 and then increased in prevalence and abundance over the remaining three surveys. Some species are therefore dynamic and both introductions and extinctions can be expected in ecological time. At higher taxonomic levels and for derived measures, year and host-age effects and their interactions with site are important. Our surveys emphasize that the site of capture is the major determinant of the species contributing to helminth community structure, providing some predictability in these systems.

  13. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F B; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-12-14

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future.

  14. Biodiversity as a multidimensional construct: a review, framework and case study of herbivory's impact on plant biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naeem, S.; Prager, Case; Weeks, Brian; Varga, Alex; Flynn, Dan F. B.; Griffin, Kevin; Muscarella, Robert; Palmer, Matthew; Wood, Stephen; Schuster, William

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity is inherently multidimensional, encompassing taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic, genetic, landscape and many other elements of variability of life on the Earth. However, this fundamental principle of multidimensionality is rarely applied in research aimed at understanding biodiversity's value to ecosystem functions and the services they provide. This oversight means that our current understanding of the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss is limited primarily to what unidimensional studies have revealed. To address this issue, we review the literature, develop a conceptual framework for multidimensional biodiversity research based on this review and provide a case study to explore the framework. Our case study specifically examines how herbivory by whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) alters the multidimensional influence of biodiversity on understory plant cover at Black Rock Forest, New York. Using three biodiversity dimensions (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity) to explore our framework, we found that herbivory alters biodiversity's multidimensional influence on plant cover; an effect not observable through a unidimensional approach. Although our review, framework and case study illustrate the advantages of multidimensional over unidimensional approaches, they also illustrate the statistical and empirical challenges such work entails. Meeting these challenges, however, where data and resources permit, will be important if we are to better understand and manage the consequences we face as biodiversity continues to decline in the foreseeable future. PMID:27928041

  15. Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of male fall webworm moths (Hyphantria cunea to Herbivory-induced mulberry (Morus alba leaf volatiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Tang

    Full Text Available Volatile organic compounds (VOCs were collected from damaged and intact mulberry leaves (Morus alba L., Moraceae and from Hyphantria cunea larvae by headspace absorption with Super Q columns. We identified their constituents using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and evaluated the responses of male H. cunea antennae to the compounds using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection coupled with electroantennographic detection. Eleven VOC constituents were found to stimulate antennae of male H. cunea moths: β-ocimene, hexanal, cis-3-hexenal, limonene, trans-2-hexenal, cyclohexanone, cis-2-penten-1-ol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone, trans-3-hexen-1-ol, and 2,4-dimethyl-3-pentanol. Nine of these chemicals were released by intact, mechanically-damaged, and herbivore-damaged leaves, while cis-2-penten-1-ol was released only by intact and mechanically-damaged leaves and β-ocimene was released only by herbivore-damaged leaves. Results from wind tunnel experiments conducted with volatile components indicated that male moths were significantly more attracted to herbivory-induced volatiles than the solvent control. Furthermore, male moths' attraction to a sex pheromone lure was increased by herbivory-induced compounds and β-ocimene, but reduced by cis-2-penten-1-ol. A proof long-range field trapping experiment showed that the efficiency of sex pheromone lures in trapping male moths was increased by β-ocimene and reduced by cis-2-penten-1-ol.

  16. Turnabout Is Fair Play: Herbivory-Induced Plant Chitinases Excreted in Fall Armyworm Frass Suppress Herbivore Defenses in Maize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Swayamjit; Alves, Patrick C M S; Ahmad, Imtiaz; Gaffoor, Iffa; Acevedo, Flor E; Peiffer, Michelle; Jin, Shan; Han, Yang; Shakeel, Samina; Felton, Gary W; Luthe, Dawn S

    2016-05-01

    The perception of herbivory by plants is known to be triggered by the deposition of insect-derived factors such as saliva and oral secretions, oviposition materials, and even feces. Such insect-derived materials harbor chemical cues that may elicit herbivore and/or pathogen-induced defenses in plants. Several insect-derived molecules that trigger herbivore-induced defenses in plants are known; however, insect-derived molecules suppressing them are largely unknown. In this study, we identified two plant chitinases from fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) larval frass that suppress herbivore defenses while simultaneously inducing pathogen defenses in maize (Zea mays). Fall armyworm larvae feed in enclosed whorls of maize plants, where frass accumulates over extended periods of time in close proximity to damaged leaf tissue. Our study shows that maize chitinases, Pr4 and Endochitinase A, are induced during herbivory and subsequently deposited on the host with the feces. These plant chitinases mediate the suppression of herbivore-induced defenses, thereby increasing the performance of the insect on the host. Pr4 and Endochitinase A also trigger the antagonistic pathogen defense pathway in maize and suppress fungal pathogen growth on maize leaves. Frass-induced suppression of herbivore defenses by deposition of the plant-derived chitinases Pr4 and Endochitinase A is a unique way an insect can co-opt the plant's defense proteins for its own benefit. It is also a phenomenon unlike the induction of herbivore defenses by insect oral secretions in most host-herbivore systems.

  17. Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of male fall webworm moths (Hyphantria cunea) to Herbivory-induced mulberry (Morus alba) leaf volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Rui; Zhang, Jin Ping; Zhang, Zhong Ning

    2012-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were collected from damaged and intact mulberry leaves (Morus alba L., Moraceae) and from Hyphantria cunea larvae by headspace absorption with Super Q columns. We identified their constituents using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and evaluated the responses of male H. cunea antennae to the compounds using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection coupled with electroantennographic detection. Eleven VOC constituents were found to stimulate antennae of male H. cunea moths: β-ocimene, hexanal, cis-3-hexenal, limonene, trans-2-hexenal, cyclohexanone, cis-2-penten-1-ol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, 4-hydroxy-4-methyl-2-pentanone, trans-3-hexen-1-ol, and 2,4-dimethyl-3-pentanol. Nine of these chemicals were released by intact, mechanically-damaged, and herbivore-damaged leaves, while cis-2-penten-1-ol was released only by intact and mechanically-damaged leaves and β-ocimene was released only by herbivore-damaged leaves. Results from wind tunnel experiments conducted with volatile components indicated that male moths were significantly more attracted to herbivory-induced volatiles than the solvent control. Furthermore, male moths' attraction to a sex pheromone lure was increased by herbivory-induced compounds and β-ocimene, but reduced by cis-2-penten-1-ol. A proof long-range field trapping experiment showed that the efficiency of sex pheromone lures in trapping male moths was increased by β-ocimene and reduced by cis-2-penten-1-ol.

  18. Costs and Tradeoffs of Resistance and Tolerance to Belowground Herbivory in Potato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Etzel; Díaz, Maria Fernanda; Bernal, Hugo; Ñustez, Carlos Eduardo; Thaler, Jennifer; Jander, Georg; Poveda, Katja

    2017-01-01

    The success of sustainable crop production depends on our ability to select or create varieties that can allocate resources to both growth and defence. However, breeding efforts have emphasized increases in yields but have partially neglected defence traits against pests. Estimating the costs of multiple defences against tuber herbivores and the tradeoffs among them, as well as understanding the relationship between yield and multiple defences is still unknown but relevant to both basic and applied ecology. Using twenty commercial potato varieties available in Colombia and the tuber herbivore Tecia solanivora, we tested whether high yielding varieties show a reduction in three types of defence: constitutive and induced resistance, as well as tolerance. Specifically, we determined (1) the costs in terms of yield of all three defences, (2) the possible tradeoffs among them, and (3) if oviposition preference was related to the expression of these defences. We detected no costs in terms of yield of constitutive and induced resistance to tuber damage. We did, however, find evidence of costs of being able to tolerate tuber herbivory. While we found no tradeoffs among any of the estimated defences, there was a positive correlation between aboveground compensatory growth and tolerance in terms of tuber production, suggesting that after damage there are no shifts in the allocation of resources from aboveground to belowground biomass. Finally, we found that females laid more eggs on those varieties with the lowest level of constitutive resistance. In conclusion our findings suggest that in potatoes, breeding for higher yields has not caused any reduction in constitutive or induced resistance to tuber damage. This is not the case for tolerance where those varieties with higher yields are also less likely to tolerate tuber damage. Given the high incidence of tuber pests in Colombia, selecting for higher tolerance could allow for high productivity in the presence of herbivores

  19. Herbivory of sympatric elk and cattle on Lincoln National Forest, south-central New Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather H. Halbritter

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background Wildlife and livestock grazing are important products of forest ecosystems, but can be controversial. Herbivory by North American elk and domestic cattle is a contentious management issue throughout western North America, often driving management proposals to decrease cattle and elk numbers based on perceived overutilization of forages. Such observations are often site level rather than landscape, and may confuse ecological sustainability with desired conditions. Methods We used line transects to document vegetation composition, structure, and grazing and browsing utilization for 4 key habitat types: mountain meadows, aspen, thinned conifer, and burned conifer on Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, USA. We documented relative habitat use of these types by elk, mule deer, and cattle and modeled relative use on residual grass biomass of mountain meadows and browse utilization of forested types. We determined diets and diet quality of elk and cattle to assess degree of competition. Results Use of grasses in meadows was below management thresholds, and combined elk, cattle, and deer relative habitat use accounted for < 14 % of the variance in residual stubble height of Poa pratensis, the most abundant grass. Palatable browse was limited in habitat types (< 107 stems·ha -1 , use was generally high, and elk presence was correlated with the majority of browsing. Elk and cattle diets did not significantly overlap (Schoener’s index 0.54–0.57; elk fed primarily on deciduous shrubs (34 %–55 % of annual diets and cattle on grass (72 %–77 %. Digestibility and crude protein levels of cattle diets and body condition of elk indicated high quality diets for cattle and marginal–good quality diets for elk. Conclusions At observed stocking levels and densities, cattle and elk were not competing for forage based on diet similarity, nor were key habitat types being used beyond sustainable levels. Low browse availability indicates that

  20. Aspen Ecology in Rocky Mountain National Park: Age Distribution, Genetics, and the Effects of Elk Herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigenfuss, Linda C.; Binkley, Dan; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Romme, William H.; Yin, Tongming; DiFazio, Stephen; Singer, Francis J.

    2008-01-01

    very intense herbivory by elk and harsh environmental conditions. Conservation efforts through fencing protection and decreased elk browsing pressure are already being planned as part of the park's new elk management plan. If these efforts are undertaken, conditions that encourage stem recruitment to the tree canopy will likely result and the continued survival of these aspen stands will be enhanced.

  1. Costs and Tradeoffs of Resistance and Tolerance to Belowground Herbivory in Potato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Maria Fernanda; Bernal, Hugo; Ñustez, Carlos Eduardo; Thaler, Jennifer; Jander, Georg

    2017-01-01

    The success of sustainable crop production depends on our ability to select or create varieties that can allocate resources to both growth and defence. However, breeding efforts have emphasized increases in yields but have partially neglected defence traits against pests. Estimating the costs of multiple defences against tuber herbivores and the tradeoffs among them, as well as understanding the relationship between yield and multiple defences is still unknown but relevant to both basic and applied ecology. Using twenty commercial potato varieties available in Colombia and the tuber herbivore Tecia solanivora, we tested whether high yielding varieties show a reduction in three types of defence: constitutive and induced resistance, as well as tolerance. Specifically, we determined (1) the costs in terms of yield of all three defences, (2) the possible tradeoffs among them, and (3) if oviposition preference was related to the expression of these defences. We detected no costs in terms of yield of constitutive and induced resistance to tuber damage. We did, however, find evidence of costs of being able to tolerate tuber herbivory. While we found no tradeoffs among any of the estimated defences, there was a positive correlation between aboveground compensatory growth and tolerance in terms of tuber production, suggesting that after damage there are no shifts in the allocation of resources from aboveground to belowground biomass. Finally, we found that females laid more eggs on those varieties with the lowest level of constitutive resistance. In conclusion our findings suggest that in potatoes, breeding for higher yields has not caused any reduction in constitutive or induced resistance to tuber damage. This is not the case for tolerance where those varieties with higher yields are also less likely to tolerate tuber damage. Given the high incidence of tuber pests in Colombia, selecting for higher tolerance could allow for high productivity in the presence of herbivores

  2. Patterns of growth, development and herbivory of Palicourea rigida are affected more by sun/shade conditions than by Cerrado phytophysiognomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Fernandes Moura

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Plant development is influenced by several abiotic factors, which in turn influence morphological traits and life history. We investigated whether leaf area, herbivory, toughness, fluctuating asymmetry, structural complexity and the number of inflorescences of Palicourea rigida are influenced by sun/shade conditions or by Cerrado phytophysiognomy (typical cerrado or rupestrian field. We expected to find greater structural complexity, leaf toughness and more inflorescences in sun plants; shaded plants were expected to exhibit a greater degree of fluctuating asymmetry (an index of plant stress, reduced leaf toughness and greater herbivory. As for phytophysiognomies, we expected to find higher levels of leaf toughness and reduced structural complexity in plants from the rupestrian field. We sampled plants in the sun and shade from both phytophysiognomies. Leaf area, toughness, herbivory and fluctuating asymmetry, were influenced more by sun/shade conditions than phytophysiognomy; leaf toughness was the only variable to show greater values in conditions of sun. Our results indicate that exposure to sunlight is not a requirement for increased plant development, but plants in shade are experiencing stress, as shown by increased fluctuating asymmetry; increased leaf area, which is a strategy to compensate for lower light exposure for plants and higher herbivory, which depicts lower toughness.

  3. Vegetation succession and herbivory in a salt marsh: changes induced by sea level rise and silt deposition along an elevational gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; De Leeuw, J.; Bakker, J.P.; Platerink, R.J.; Van Wijnen, H.J.; De Munck, W.

    1997-01-01

    1 The relationships between soil development, vertical vegetation zonation, vegetation succession and herbivory by Brent geese, Branta bernicla, were studied in a coastal salt marsh. We were able to analyse up to 100 years of salt marsh development by comparing sites where vegetation succession had

  4. Vegetation succession and herbivory in a salt marsh : changes induced by sea level rise and silt deposition along an elevational gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H; De Leeuw, J; Bakker, JP; Platerink, RJ; Van Wijnen, HJ; De Munck, W

    1997-01-01

    1 The relationships between soil development, vertical vegetation zonation, vegetation succession and herbivory by Brent geese, Branta bernicla, were studied in a coastal salt marsh. We were able to analyse up to 100 years of salt marsh development by comparing sites where vegetation succession had

  5. Release from native herbivores facilitates the persistence of invasive marine algae: A biogeographical comparison of the relative contribution of nutrients and herbivory to invasion success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Smith, T.B.; Dailer, M.L.; Smith, C.M.

    2009-01-01

    The effect of herbivory and nutrient enrichment on the growth of invasive and native macroalgal species was simultaneously studied in two biogeographic regions: the Caribbean and Hawaii. Herbivores suppressed growth of invasive algae in their native (Caribbean) and invaded range (Hawaii), but

  6. Top-down control of herbivory by birds and bats in the canopy of temperate broad-leaved oaks (Quercus robur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan M Böhm

    Full Text Available The intensive foraging of insectivorous birds and bats is well known to reduce the density of arboreal herbivorous arthropods but quantification of collateral leaf damage remains limited for temperate forest canopies. We conducted exclusion experiments with nets in the crowns of young and mature oaks, Quercus robur, in south and central Germany to investigate the extent to which aerial vertebrates reduce herbivory through predation. We repeatedly estimated leaf damage throughout the vegetation period. Exclusion of birds and bats led to a distinct increase in arthropod herbivory, emphasizing the prominent role of vertebrate predators in controlling arthropods. Leaf damage (e.g., number of holes differed strongly between sites and was 59% higher in south Germany, where species richness of vertebrate predators and relative oak density were lower compared with our other study site in central Germany. The effects of bird and bat exclusion on herbivory were 19% greater on young than on mature trees in south Germany. Our results support previous studies that have demonstrated clear effects of insectivorous vertebrates on leaf damage through the control of herbivorous arthropods. Moreover, our comparative approach on quantification of leaf damage highlights the importance of local attributes such as tree age, forest composition and species richness of vertebrate predators for control of arthropod herbivory.

  7. Herbivory and habitat association of tree seedlings in lowland evergreen rainforest on white-sand and terra-firme in the upper Rio Negro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stropp, J.; van der Sleen, Peter; Quesada, C.A.; ter Steege, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Background: It has been proposed that the interaction between herbivory and soil nutrient availability drives habitat association of tree species in Peruvian Amazonia. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence that this interaction holds across other Amazonian regions. Aims: We address this knowl

  8. Release from native herbivores facilitates the persistence of invasive marine algae: A biogeographical comparison of the relative contribution of nutrients and herbivory to invasion success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Smith, T.B.; Dailer, M.L.; Smith, C.M.

    2009-01-01

    The effect of herbivory and nutrient enrichment on the growth of invasive and native macroalgal species was simultaneously studied in two biogeographic regions: the Caribbean and Hawaii. Herbivores suppressed growth of invasive algae in their native (Caribbean) and invaded range (Hawaii), but despit

  9. Formation of the unusual semivolatile Diterpene Rhizathalene by the Arabidopsis Class I Terpene Synthase TPS08 in the root stele is involved in defense against belowground herbivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secondary metabolites are major constituents of plant defense against herbivore attack. Relatively little is known about the cell type-specific formation and anti-herbivore activities of secondary compounds in roots despite the substantial impact of root herbivory on plant performance and fitness. ...

  10. Accumulation of point mutations and reassortment of genomic RNA segments are involved in the microevolution of Puumala hantavirus in a bank vole (Myodes glareolus) population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razzauti, Maria; Plyusnina, Angelina; Henttonen, Heikki; Plyusnin, Alexander

    2008-07-01

    The genetic diversity of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) was studied in a local population of its natural host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). The trapping area (2.5 x 2.5 km) at Konnevesi, Central Finland, included 14 trapping sites, at least 500 m apart; altogether, 147 voles were captured during May and October 2005. Partial sequences of the S, M and L viral genome segments were recovered from 40 animals. Seven, 12 and 17 variants were detected for the S, M and L sequences, respectively; these represent new wild-type PUUV strains that belong to the Finnish genetic lineage. The genetic diversity of PUUV strains from Konnevesi was 0.2-4.9 % for the S segment, 0.2-4.8 % for the M segment and 0.2-9.7 % for the L segment. Most nucleotide substitutions were synonymous and most deduced amino acid substitutions were conservative, probably due to strong stabilizing selection operating at the protein level. Based on both sequence markers and phylogenetic clustering, the S, M and L sequences could be assigned to two groups, 'A' and 'B'. Notably, not all bank voles carried S, M and L sequences belonging to the same group, i.e. S(A)M(A)L(A) or S(B)M(B)L(B). A substantial proportion (8/40, 20 %) of the newly characterized PUUV strains possessed reassortant genomes such as S(B)M(A)L(A), S(A)M(B)L(B) or S(B)M(A)L(B). These results suggest that at least some of the PUUV reassortants are viable and can survive in the presence of their parental strains.

  11. Inbreeding avoidance drives consistent variation of fine-scale genetic structure caused by dispersal in the seasonal mating system of Brandt's voles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Hui Liu

    Full Text Available Inbreeding depression is a major evolutionary and ecological force influencing population dynamics and the evolution of inbreeding-avoidance traits such as mating systems and dispersal. Mating systems and dispersal are fundamental determinants of population genetic structure. Resolving the relationships among genetic structure, seasonal breeding-related mating systems and dispersal will facilitate our understanding of the evolution of inbreeding avoidance. The goals of this study were as follows: (i to determine whether females actively avoided mating with relatives in a group-living rodent species, Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii, by combined analysis of their mating system, dispersal and genetic structure; and (ii to analyze the relationships among the variation in fine-genetic structure, inbreeding avoidance, season-dependent mating strategies and individual dispersal. Using both individual- and population-level analyses, we found that the majority of Brandt's vole groups consisted of close relatives. However, both group-specific FISs, an inbreeding coefficient that expresses the expected percentage rate of homozygosity arising from a given breeding system, and relatedness of mates showed no sign of inbreeding. Using group pedigrees and paternity analysis, we show that the mating system of Brandt's voles consists of a type of polygyny for males and extra-group polyandry for females, which may decrease inbreeding by increasing the frequency of mating among distantly-related individuals. The consistent variation in within-group relatedness, among-group relatedness and fine-scale genetic structures was mostly due to dispersal, which primarily occurred during the breeding season. Biologically relevant variation in the fine-scale genetic structure suggests that dispersal during the mating season may be a strategy to avoid inbreeding and drive the polygynous and extra-group polyandrous mating system of this species.

  12. Medium-term temporal stability of the helminth component community structure in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) from the Mazury Lake District region of Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, A; Behnke, J M; Pawełczyk, A; Kuliś, K; Sereda, M J; Siński, E

    2005-02-01

    The structure of helminth communities in wild rodents is subject to seasonal variation, and is dependent on host age within years. Although between-year variation has been monitored, seldom has it been assessed rigorously by appropriate multifactorial analysis with potentially confounding factors taken into account. In this study we tested the null hypothesis that despite seasonal, host age and sex effects, helminth communities should show relative stability between years. Over a period of 3 years (1998-2000) we sampled bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) populations (total n = 250) at 2 points in the year: in spring, at the start of the breeding season, and in autumn, after the cessation of breeding. In spite of seasonal differences and strong age effects, the between-year effects were surprisingly small. Measures of component community structure (Berger-Parker dominance index, the dominant species, S. petrusewiczi) did not vary, or varied only slightly from year to year. The majority of measures of infracommunity structure [Brillouin's index of diversity, prevalence of all helminths combined, prevalence and abundance of H. mixtum (the most prevalent helminth), mean species richness] did not differ significantly between years when other factors such as age, sex and seasonal variation had been taken into account. Some between-year variations were found (at the component community level, Simpson's index of diversity; at the infracommunity level, prevalence and abundance of S. petrusewiczi and abundance of all helminths combined), but even these were modest in comparison to seasonal and age differences, and were primarily attributable to S. petrusewiczi. We conclude that despite dynamic within-year fluctuations, helminth communities in bank voles in this region of Poland show relative stability across years. The sporadic occurrence of individual platyhelminths at low prevalence, makes little difference to the overall structure, which is largely maintained by the key

  13. Red-backed vole brain promotes highly efficient in vitro amplification of abnormal prion protein from macaque and human brains infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemecek, Julie; Nag, Nabanita; Carlson, Christina M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Asher, David M.; Gregori, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    Rapid antemortem tests to detect individuals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) would contribute to public health. We investigated a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to amplify abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE) from highly diluted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)-infected human and macaque brain homogenates, seeking to improve the rapid detection of PrPTSE in tissues and blood. Macaque vCJD PrPTSE did not amplify using normal macaque brain homogenate as substrate (intraspecies PMCA). Next, we tested interspecies PMCA with normal brain homogenate of the southern red-backed vole (RBV), a close relative of the bank vole, seeded with macaque vCJD PrPTSE. The RBV has a natural polymorphism at residue 170 of the PrP-encoding gene (N/N, S/S, and S/N). We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on amplification of human and macaque vCJD PrPTSE. Meadow vole brain (170N/N PrP genotype) was also included in the panel of substrates tested. Both humans and macaques have the same 170S/S PrP genotype. Macaque PrPTSE was best amplified with RBV 170S/S brain, although 170N/N and 170S/N were also competent substrates, while meadow vole brain was a poor substrate. In contrast, human PrPTSE demonstrated a striking narrow selectivity for PMCA substrate and was successfully amplified only with RBV 170S/S brain. These observations suggest that macaque PrPTSE was more permissive than human PrPTSE in selecting the competent RBV substrate. RBV 170S/S brain was used to assess the sensitivity of PMCA with PrPTSE from brains of humans and macaques with vCJD. PrPTSE signals were reproducibly detected by Western blot in dilutions through 10-12 of vCJD-infected 10% brain homogenates. This is the first report showing PrPTSE from vCJD-infected human and macaque brains efficiently amplified with RBV brain as the substrate. Based on our estimates, PMCA showed a sensitivity that might be sufficient to detect PrPTSE in v

  14. Red-backed vole brain promotes highly efficient in vitro amplification of abnormal prion protein from macaque and human brains infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Nemecek

    Full Text Available Rapid antemortem tests to detect individuals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE would contribute to public health. We investigated a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA to amplify abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE from highly diluted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD-infected human and macaque brain homogenates, seeking to improve the rapid detection of PrP(TSE in tissues and blood. Macaque vCJD PrP(TSE did not amplify using normal macaque brain homogenate as substrate (intraspecies PMCA. Next, we tested interspecies PMCA with normal brain homogenate of the southern red-backed vole (RBV, a close relative of the bank vole, seeded with macaque vCJD PrP(TSE. The RBV has a natural polymorphism at residue 170 of the PrP-encoding gene (N/N, S/S, and S/N. We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on amplification of human and macaque vCJD PrP(TSE. Meadow vole brain (170N/N PrP genotype was also included in the panel of substrates tested. Both humans and macaques have the same 170S/S PrP genotype. Macaque PrP(TSE was best amplified with RBV 170S/S brain, although 170N/N and 170S/N were also competent substrates, while meadow vole brain was a poor substrate. In contrast, human PrP(TSE demonstrated a striking narrow selectivity for PMCA substrate and was successfully amplified only with RBV 170S/S brain. These observations suggest that macaque PrP(TSE was more permissive than human PrP(TSE in selecting the competent RBV substrate. RBV 170S/S brain was used to assess the sensitivity of PMCA with PrP(TSE from brains of humans and macaques with vCJD. PrP(TSE signals were reproducibly detected by Western blot in dilutions through 10⁻¹² of vCJD-infected 10% brain homogenates. This is the first report showing PrP(TSE from vCJD-infected human and macaque brains efficiently amplified with RBV brain as the substrate. Based on our estimates, PMCA showed a sensitivity that might be sufficient to detect Pr

  15. Do females influence paternal responsiveness in male prairie voles Microtus ochrogaster by increasing the salience of infant odors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damaris-Lois LANG YAMOAH,Wilhemina LARYEA, Fiker FASSIL, Maryam BAMSHAD

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Male prairie voles become more responsive to infants following cohabitation with a female. Exposure to female sensory cues prior to offspring birth may influence male paternal tendencies by modifying his response to infant odors in particular or to odors in general. To test these hypotheses, males were housed with an unfamiliar female or a same-sex sibling for 13 days then examined for their response towards either live infants or infant-like inanimate objects covered with one of three odors: water, infant, sub-adult. We recorded the number of males that retrieved and manipulated the infants or odor-covered objects and measured the frequency and duration of time males spent attending to them or engaged in other non-social activities. Female-Cohabited males approached the container holding infant-odor covered objects faster than Male-Cohabited males, but showed no differences in time spent manipulating those objects. Males in both groups spent more time manipulating live infants than odor-covered objects. However, Female-Cohabited subjects were more likely to manipulate odor-covered objects as well as live infants than Male-Cohabited subjects. Additionally, the frequency of self-grooming in Female-Cohabited males was higher for water-covered objects compared to Male-Cohabited males. In presence of water and live infants, Female-Cohabited males groomed themselves with greater frequency than in presence of infant odor or sub-adult odor. The data suggest that female cues increase the male’s sensitivity to infant odors and enhance the salience of non-social odors [Current Zoology 58 (3: 317–325, 2013].

  16. Early rearing experience is related to altered aggression and vasopressin production following chronic social isolation in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkeybile, Allison M; Bales, Karen L

    2015-04-15

    Parent-offspring interactions early in life can permanently shape the developmental path of those offspring. Manipulation of maternal care has long been used to alter the early-life environment of infants and impacts their later social behavior, aggression, and physiology. More recently, naturally occurring variation in maternal licking and grooming behavior has been shown to result in differences in social behavior and stress physiology in adult offspring. We have developed a model of natural variation in biparental care in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and have demonstrated an association between the amount of early care received and later social behavior. In this study, we investigate the relationship between early life care and later aggression and neuroendocrine responses following chronic social isolation. Male and female offspring were reared by their high-contact (HC) or low-contact (LC) parents, then housed for 4 weeks post-weaning in social isolation. After 4 weeks, half of these offspring underwent an intrasexual aggression test. Brains and plasma were collected to measure corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (AVP) immunoreactivity and plasma corticosterone (CORT). Male offspring of LC parents engaged in more aggressive behavior in the intrasexual aggression test compared to HC males. Female offspring of HC parents had higher plasma CORT levels after chronic social isolation and increases in the number and density of AVP-immunopositive cells in the supraoptic nucleus following an intrasexual aggression test. These findings show that the impact of early life biparental care on behavior and HPA activity following a social stressor is both sex-dependent and early experience-specific.

  17. Testicular steroid metabolism in juvenile bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber) exposed to different photoperiods: an in vitro study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tänkä, K M; Teräväinen, T; Wallgren, H

    1983-09-01

    Juvenile male bank voles (18-22 days of age) were either sacrificed immediately (Group C) or subjected first to a long (18L:6D, lights on 0600-2400; Group L) or a short (6L:18D, lights on 0800-1400; Group S) photoperiod for 1 week. The animal were killed by decapitation, the gonads were excised, and minced, and the conversion of [4-14C]pregnenolone (delta 3P) and [4-14C]dehydroepiandrosterone (DHA) to metabolites was studied in vitro. The radioactive steroids formed were separated and identified by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The conversion of delta 3P to C19-steroids increased markedly from 35 (Group C) to 86% (Group L) during the first week in the long photoperiod whereas in the short photoperiod a decrease to 14.42% (Group S) was observed. The reduced production of C19-steroids in the more inactive testes was accompanied by the accumulation of progesterone (delta 4P) (52.98% Group S and 24.9% Group C) and small amounts of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17 alpha-OH-delta 4P) (2.5 and 4.5%, respectively), whereas in Group L only trace amounts of these metabolites were encountered. No marked differences in the metabolism of [4-14C]DHA between the photoperiodic groups were observed. These results seem to indicate that at least in vitro marked changes in C17-C20-lyase and/or 17 alpha-hydroxylase activities occur in this seasonally breeding species during testicular maturation and photoperiodically induced regression.

  18. Do females influence paternal responsiveness in male prairie voles Microtus ochrogaster by increasing the salience of infant odors?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Damaris-Lois LANG YAMOAH; Wilhemina LARYEA; Fiker FASSIL; Maryam BAMSHAD

    2013-01-01

    Male prairie voles become more responsive to infants following cohabitation with a female.Exposure to female sensory cues prior to offspring birth may influence male paternal tendencies by modifying his response to infant odors in particular or to odors in general.To test these hypotheses,males were housed with an unfamiliar female or a same-sex sibling for 13 days then examined for their response towards either live infants or infant-like inanimate objects covered with one of three odors:water,infant,sub-adult.We recorded the number of males that retrieved and manipulated the infants or odor-covered objects and measured the frequency and duration of time males spent attending to them or engaged in other non-social activities.Female-Cohabited males approached the container holding infant-odor covered objects faster than Male-Cohabited males,but showed no differences in time spent manipulating those objects.Males in both groups spent more time manipulating live infants than odor-covered objects.However,Female-Cohabited subjects were more likely to manipulate odor-covered objects as well as live infants than Male-Cohabited subjects.Additionally,the frequency of self-grooming in Female-Cohabited males was higher for water-covered objects compared to Male-Cohabited males.In presence of water and live infants,Female-Cohabited males groomed themselves with greater frequency than in presence of infant odor or sub-adult odor.The data suggest that female cues increase the male's sensitivity to infant odors and enhance the salience of non-social odors.

  19. Prisoners in their habitat? Generalist dispersal by habitat specialists: a case study in southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Centeno-Cuadros

    Full Text Available Habitat specialists inhabiting scarce and scattered habitat patches pose interesting questions related to dispersal such as how specialized terrestrial mammals do to colonize distant patches crossing hostile matrices. We assess dispersal patterns of the southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus, a habitat specialist whose habitat patches are distributed through less than 2% of the study area (overall 600 km² and whose populations form a dynamic metapopulational network. We predict that individuals will require a high ability to move through the inhospitable matrix in order to avoid genetic and demographic isolations. Genotypes (N = 142 for 10 microsatellites and sequences of the whole mitochondrial Control Region (N = 47 from seven localities revealed a weak but significant genetic structure partially explained by geographic distance. None of the landscape models had a significant effect on genetic structure over that of the Euclidean distance alone and no evidence for efficient barriers to dispersal was found. Contemporary gene flow was not severely limited for A. sapidus as shown by high migration rates estimates (>10% between non-neighbouring areas. Sex-biased dispersal tests did not support differences in dispersal rates, as shown by similar average axial parent-offspring distances, in close agreement with capture-mark-recapture estimates. As predicted, our results do not support any preferences of the species for specific landscape attributes on their dispersal pathways. Here, we combine field and molecular data to illustrate how a habitat specialist mammal might disperse like a habitat generalist, acquiring specific long-distance dispersal strategies as an adaptation to patchy, naturally fragmented, heterogeneous and unstable habitats.

  20. A Note on the Distribution and Geographical Variation of the Gray-sided Vole ( Clethrionomys rufocanus Sund., 1846-1847 in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davaa Lkhagvasuren

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a new distribution record for the Gray-sided vole found in an isolated birch forest in southern Mongolia, at Ih Bogd mountain. This represents a very remote and isolated population of this species from its main range of forested areas. Morphological characters were used to determine the morphological variation of Gray-sided vole in the investigated southern population in comparison with two other populations: one from Honin nuga (Hentii mountain range and the other from Hangai mountains. We revealed fi ve distinct morphotypes based on the fur coloration patterns. Two morphotypes were found in the isolated Ih Bogd population, while there were two morphotypes for the Hentii and one for the Hangai population. Moreover, based on the nine standard skull measurements, we found a marginally signi fi cant difference among the three populations, indicating that there are detectable differences. However, the discriminant function analysis was moderate in classifying the three populations. This small variation may be explained by our limited sample sizes (6-15 individuals per population and possibly by the fact that the southern population of this species may have been isolated only for a short time.

  1. Effects of paternal deprivation on cocaine-induced behavioral response and hypothalamic oxytocin immunoreactivity and serum oxytocin level in female mandarin voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianli; Fang, Qianqian; Yang, Chenxi

    2017-09-15

    Early paternal behavior plays a critical role in behavioral development in monogamous species. The vast majority of laboratory studies investigating the influence of parental behavior on cocaine vulnerability focus on the effects of early maternal separation. However, comparable studies on whether early paternal deprivation influences cocaine-induced behavioral response are substantially lacking. Mandarin vole (Microtus mandarinus) is a monogamous rodent with high levels of paternal care. After mandarin vole pups were subjected to early paternal deprivation, acute cocaine- induced locomotion, anxiety- like behavior and social behavior were examined in 45day old female pups, while hypothalamic oxytocin immunoreactivity and serum oxytocin level were also assessed. We found that cocaine increased locomotion and decreased social investigation, contact behavior and serum oxytocin level regardless of paternal care. Cocaine increased anxiety levels and decreased oxytocin immunoreactive neurons of the paraventricular nuclei and supraoptic nuclei in the bi-parental care group, whilst there were no specific effects in the paternal deprivation group. These results indicate that paternal deprivation results in different behavioral response to acute cocaine exposure in adolescents, which may be in part associated with the alterations in oxytocin immunoreactivity and peripheral OT level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The long-term effect of cadmium exposure through food on the postnatal development of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber, 1780).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Białońska, Dobrosława; Zakrzewska, Marta; Sawicka-Kapusta, Katarzyna; Konior, Magdalena

    2002-01-01

    Cadmium is well known for its toxicity to the animal body. However, its effect on pregnancy and the development of young animals is still not well understood. This study examined such effects, using bank voles captured from the wild to make the results closer to those which could be expected in the natural environment. One group of animals was fed 7 microg g(-1) cadmium in the food, a second 35 microg g(-1), and a third no cadmium, as a control. The concentrations of cadmium in the whole bodies of young bank voles were determined on the 3rd, 5th, or 10th day of life. The cadmium level in the bodies of animals exposed to 35 microg g(-1) of cadmium was significantly higher than in those from either the control group or the group receiving 7 microg g(-1) of cadmium, which did not differ from each other. The cadmium level did not change with animal age in any of the study groups. Concentrations of Zn, Cu, and Fe were also determined in the whole body of young animals, as cadmium is known to disturb the metabolism of these essential metals through antagonistic activity. Both Cu and Fe levels were negatively correlated with cadmium concentrations, while a positive correlation was found between zinc and cadmium in the young animal bodies. Also found was higher offspring mortality in the group receiving 35 microg g(-1) of cadmium in food. There was no difference in young animal body weight between the study groups.

  3. Coat color and its effect on preference for the scent marks of opposite-sex conspecifics in the meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ashlee A. VAUGHN; Antedra A. FINGER; Porshia E. GIBBS; Michael H. FERKIN

    2012-01-01

    Many mammal species can distinguish between opposite-sex conspecifics that differ in a certain trait.In that coat coloration is associated with differences in physiological and behavioral traits,coat color may affect the attractiveness of odor cues produced by conspecifics.Individuals may be able to respond preferentially to eonspecifics with a particular coat color.In the present study,we test the hypothesis that scent marks of brown and blond voles differ in their attractiveness to male and female conspecifics.Male voles and brown females did not discriminate between blond- and brown-coated opposite-sex conspecifics suggesting that they are neither selecting potential mates dissociatively nor associatively.However,blond females behaved as if the scent marks of blond males were more attractive than were the scent marks of brown males.Our data suggest that blond females who are already conspicuous to predators,may select blond males as mates because they do not appreciably increase the risk of detection to predators,particularly avian predators.Moreover,because these conspicuous males have survived to mate they may have good genes that reflect their relatively higher quality [Current Zoology 58 (2):221-227,2012].

  4. Effects of an MHC-DRB genotype and allele number on the load of gut parasites in the bank vole Myodes glareolus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloch, Agnieszka; Babik, Wiesław; Bajer, Anna; Siński, Edward; Radwan, Jacek

    2010-03-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes code for the proteins responsible for pathogen recognition. The MHC class II DRB gene is multiplicated in the bank vole, Myodes glareolus, with different numbers of loci found in different individuals. Possessing large numbers of loci should increase the probability of pathogen recognition, but according to the optimality hypothesis, there is a cost of possessing too many MHC alleles. Using 454 technology, we determined the individual DRB allelic diversity and related it to the load of intestinal parasites in voles collected from three sites separated by a distance of 12 to 27 km. The analysis of six microsatellite loci revealed significant population structure (F(ST) = 0.07). The sites differed significantly in the prevalence and abundance of nematode species as well. We found two significant associations between MHC alleles and the intensity of the infection with the most prevalent nematode, Aspiculuris tetraptera. One of these associations was population-specific. This result suggests that the directions of selection can differ between populations connected by a low level of gene flow, which may contribute to the maintenance of high DRB allele diversity. In accordance with the optimality hypothesis, individuals with an intermediate number of alleles carried the lowest number of nematode species and had the lowest prevalence of A. tetraptera. However, the intensity of infection with A. tetraptera was linearly and negatively associated with the number of alleles.

  5. De novo transcriptome assembly facilitates characterisation of fast-evolving gene families, MHC class I in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migalska, M; Sebastian, A; Konczal, M; Kotlík, P; Radwan, J

    2017-04-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a central role in the adaptive immune response and is the most polymorphic gene family in vertebrates. Although high-throughput sequencing has increasingly been used for genotyping families of co-amplifying MHC genes, its potential to facilitate early steps in the characterisation of MHC variation in nonmodel organism has not been fully explored. In this study we evaluated the usefulness of de novo transcriptome assembly in characterisation of MHC sequence diversity. We found that although de novo transcriptome assembly of MHC I genes does not reconstruct sequences of individual alleles, it does allow the identification of conserved regions for PCR primer design. Using the newly designed primers, we characterised MHC I sequences in the bank vole. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial MHC I coding sequence (2-4 exons) of the bank vole revealed a lack of orthology to MHC I of other Cricetidae, consistent with the high gene turnover of this region. The diversity of expressed alleles was characterised using ultra-deep sequencing of the third exon that codes for the peptide-binding region of the MHC molecule. High allelic diversity was demonstrated, with 72 alleles found in 29 individuals. Interindividual variation in the number of expressed loci was found, with the number of alleles per individual ranging from 5 to 14. Strong signatures of positive selection were found for 8 amino acid sites, most of which are inferred to bind antigens in human MHC, indicating conservation of structure despite rapid sequence evolution.

  6. Enough is enough: the effects of symbiotic ant abundance on herbivory, growth, and reproduction in an African acacia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Todd M; Brody, Alison K

    2013-03-01

    Understanding how cooperative interactions evolve and persist remains a central challenge in biology. Many mutualisms are thought to be maintained by "partner fidelity feedback," in which each partner bases their investment on the benefits they receive. Yet, we know little about how benefits change as mutualists vary their investment, which is critical to understanding the balance between mutualism and antagonism in any given partnership. Using an obligate ant-plant mutualism, we manipulated the density of symbiotic acacia ants (Crematogaster mimosae) and examined how the costs and benefits to Acacia drepanolobium trees scaled with ant abundance. Benefits of ants to plants saturated with increasing ant abundance for protection from branch browsing by elephants and attack by branch galling midges, while varying linearly for protection from cerambycid beetles. In addition, the risk of catastrophic whole-tree herbivory by elephants was highest for trees with very low ant abundance. However, there was no relationship between ant abundance and herbivory by leaf-feeding invertebrates, nor by vertebrate browsers such as giraffe, steinbuck, and Grant's gazelle. Ant abundance did not significantly influence rates of branch growth on acacias, but there was a significant negative relationship between ant abundance and the number of fruits produced by host plants, suggesting that maintaining high-density ant colonies is costly. Because benefits to plants largely saturated with increasing colony size, while costs to plant reproduction increased, we suggest that ant colonies may achieve abundances that are higher than optimal for host plants. Our results highlight the conflicts of interest inherent in many mutualisms, and demonstrate the value of examining the shape of curves relating costs and benefits within these globally important interactions.

  7. The composite effect of transgenic plant volatiles for acquired immunity to herbivory caused by inter-plant communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muroi, Atsushi; Ramadan, Abdelaziz; Nishihara, Masahiro; Yamamoto, Masaki; Ozawa, Rika; Takabayashi, Junji; Arimura, Gen-ichiro

    2011-01-01

    A blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from plants induced by herbivory enables the priming of defensive responses in neighboring plants. These effects may provide insights useful for pest control achieved with transgenic-plant-emitted volatiles. We therefore investigated, under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions, the priming of defense responses in plants (lima bean and corn) by exposing them to transgenic-plant-volatiles (VOCos) including (E)-β-ocimene, emitted from transgenic tobacco plants (NtOS2) that were constitutively overexpressing (E)-β-ocimene synthase. When lima bean plants that had previously been placed downwind of NtOS2 in an open-flow tunnel were infested by spider mites, they were more defensive to spider mites and more attractive to predatory mites, in comparison to the infested plants that had been placed downwind of wild-type tobacco plants. This was similarly observed when the NtOS2-downwind maize plants were infested with Mythimna separata larvae, resulting in reduced larval growth and greater attraction of parasitic wasps (Cotesia kariyai). In a greenhouse experiment, we also found that lima bean plants (VOCos-receiver plants) placed near NtOS2 were more attractive when damaged by spider mites, in comparison to the infested plants that had been placed near the wild-type plants. More intriguingly, VOCs emitted from infested VOCos-receiver plants affected their conspecific neighboring plants to prime indirect defenses in response to herbivory. Altogether, these data suggest that transgenic-plant-emitted volatiles can enhance the ability to prime indirect defenses via both plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications.

  8. The composite effect of transgenic plant volatiles for acquired immunity to herbivory caused by inter-plant communications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Muroi

    Full Text Available A blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs emitted from plants induced by herbivory enables the priming of defensive responses in neighboring plants. These effects may provide insights useful for pest control achieved with transgenic-plant-emitted volatiles. We therefore investigated, under both laboratory and greenhouse conditions, the priming of defense responses in plants (lima bean and corn by exposing them to transgenic-plant-volatiles (VOCos including (E-β-ocimene, emitted from transgenic tobacco plants (NtOS2 that were constitutively overexpressing (E-β-ocimene synthase. When lima bean plants that had previously been placed downwind of NtOS2 in an open-flow tunnel were infested by spider mites, they were more defensive to spider mites and more attractive to predatory mites, in comparison to the infested plants that had been placed downwind of wild-type tobacco plants. This was similarly observed when the NtOS2-downwind maize plants were infested with Mythimna separata larvae, resulting in reduced larval growth and greater attraction of parasitic wasps (Cotesia kariyai. In a greenhouse experiment, we also found that lima bean plants (VOCos-receiver plants placed near NtOS2 were more attractive when damaged by spider mites, in comparison to the infested plants that had been placed near the wild-type plants. More intriguingly, VOCs emitted from infested VOCos-receiver plants affected their conspecific neighboring plants to prime indirect defenses in response to herbivory. Altogether, these data suggest that transgenic-plant-emitted volatiles can enhance the ability to prime indirect defenses via both plant-plant and plant-plant-plant communications.

  9. More than one way to be an herbivore: convergent evolution of herbivory using different digestive strategies in prickleback fishes (Stichaeidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, Donovan P; Sung, Aaron; Jhaveri, Parth; Agnihotri, Ritika

    2015-06-01

    In fishes, the evolution of herbivory has occured within a spectrum of digestive strategies, with two extremes on opposite ends: (i) a rate-maximization strategy characterized by high intake, rapid throughput of food through the gut, and little reliance on microbial digestion or (ii) a yield-maximization strategy characterized by measured intake, slower transit of food through the gut, and more of a reliance on microbial digestion in the hindgut. One of these strategies tends to be favored within a given clade of fishes. Here, we tested the hypothesis that rate or yield digestive strategies can arise in convergently evolved herbivores within a given lineage. In the family Stichaeidae, convergent evolution of herbivory occured in Cebidichthys violaceus and Xiphister mucosus, and despite nearly identical diets, these two species have different digestive physiologies. We found that C. violaceus has more digesta in its distal intestine than other gut regions, has comparatively high concentrations (>11 mM) of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA, the endpoints of microbial fermentation) in its distal intestine, and a spike in β-glucosidase activity in this gut region, findings that, when coupled to long retention times (>20 h) of food in the guts of C. violaceus, suggest a yield-maximizing strategy in this species. X. mucosus showed none of these features and was more similar to its sister taxon, the omnivorous Xiphister atropurpureus, in terms of digestive enzyme activities, gut content partitioning, and concentrations of SCFA in their distal intestines. We also contrasted these herbivores and omnivores with other sympatric stichaeid fishes, Phytichthys chirus (omnivore) and Anoplarchus purpurescens (carnivore), each of which had digestive physiologies consistent with the consumption of animal material. This study shows that rate- and yield-maximizing strategies can evolve in closely related fishes and suggests that resource partitioning can play out on the level of

  10. Gastrophysa polygoni herbivory on Rumex confertus: single leaf VOC induction and dose dependent herbivore attraction/repellence to individual compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piesik, Dariusz; Wenda-Piesik, Anna; Kotwica, Karol; Łyszczarz, Alicja; Delaney, Kevin J

    2011-11-15

    We report large induction (>65(fold) increases) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a single leaf of the invasive weed mossy sorrel, Rumex confertus Willd. (Polygonaceae), by herbivory of the dock leaf beetle, Gastrophysa polygoni L. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). The R. confertus VOC blend induced by G. polygoni herbivory included two green leaf volatiles ((Z)-3-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl acetate) and three terpenes (linalool, ß-caryophyllene, (E)-ß-farnesene). Uninjured leaves produced small constitutive amounts of the GLVs and barely detectable amounts of the terpenes. A Y-tube olfactometer bioassay revealed that both sexes of adult G. polygoni were attracted to (Z)-3-hexenal and (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl acetate at a concentration of 300 ng h(-1). No significant G. polygoni attraction or repellence was detected for any VOC at other concentrations (60 and 1500 ng h(-1)). Yet, G. polygoni males and females were significantly repelled by (or avoided) at the highest test concentration (7500 ng h(-1)) of both GLVs and (E)-ß-farnesene. Mated male and female G. polygoni might be attracted to injured R. confertus leaves, but might avoid R. confertus when VOC concentrations (especially the terpene (E)-ß-farnesene) suggest high overall plant injury from conspecifics, G. viridula, or high infestations of other herbivores that release (E)-ß-farnesene (e.g., aphids). Tests in the future will need to examine G. polygoni responses to VOCs emitted directly from uninjured (constitutive) and injured (induced) R. confertus, and examine whether R. confertus VOC induction concentrations increase with greater tissue removal on a single leaf and/or the number of leaves with feeding injury.

  11. Epiphytes and nutrient contents influence Sarpa salpa herbivory on Caulerpa spp vs. seagrass species in Mediterranean meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marco-Méndez, Candela; Ferrero-Vicente, Luis Miguel; Prado, Patricia; Sánchez-Lizaso, Jose Luis

    2017-01-01

    Mediterranean seagrass ecosystems are endangered by increased colonization of Caulerpa species, which may replace them, affecting key ecosystem processes. The fish Sarpa salpa (L.) is one of the main macroherbivores in the western Mediterranean seagrass meadows which is known to feed on a wide range of macroalgae such as Caulerpa species. In order to elucidate if this consumption could minimize the spread of invasive species, during summer-autumn 2012, we investigate the importance of S. salpa herbivory pressure on C. prolifera and C. cylindracea compared to Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa in a mixed meadow. A combination of field experiments and dietary analyses were used to investigate consumption rates, dietary contributions, and feeding preferences for the different macrophytes, including the role of epiphytes and nutrient contents in mediating fish herbivory. In summer, C. nodosa was the most consumed macrophyte (12.75 ± 3.43 mg WW·d-1), probably influenced by higher fish densities, higher nutritional quality of leaves and epiphytes, and by differences in epiphyte composition. Feeding observations suggest that fish may have a variable diet, although with a consistent selection of mixed patches with C. nodosa and C. prolifera. Indeed, food choice experiments suggest that when seagrass leaves are not epiphytized, fish prefer feeding on C. prolifera. Gut content and stable isotopic analyses supported the dietary importance of epiphytes and C. prolifera but also suggested that C. cylindracea could occasionally be an important food item for S. salpa. Our results highlight the role of epiphytes in S. salpa feeding decisions but also suggest that C. nodosa and C. prolifera may have an important contribution to fish diet. The variability in S. salpa diet confirm the need to carry out multiple approach studies for a better understanding of its potential influence over different macrophytes species.

  12. Arthropod assemblage related to volatile cues in flowering wheat: interaction between aphid herbivory and soil conditions as induction factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenardis, Adriana E; Szpeiner, Alfonsina; Ghersa, Claudio M

    2014-04-01

    Volatile cues released by plants play an important role in plant-insect interactions and are influenced by pests or soil conditions affecting plant metabolism. Field microcosm experiments were used to characterize arthropod spontaneous assemblies in homogenous unstressed wheat patches exposed to volatile cues coming from wheat plants with different levels of stress. The design was a factorial completely randomized block design with three replications. Source wheat pots combined two stress factors: 1) soil degradation level: high and low, and 2) aphid herbivory: with (A) and without (B). Eighteen experimental units consisted of source stressed wheat pots, connected by tubes conducting the volatile cues to sink wheat patches. These patches were located at the end of the tubes placed in a flowering wheat field. Arthropod assemblies on wheat sinks were different between years and they were associated to the source cues. Soil condition was the main discriminating factor among arthropods when a clear contrast between high and low soil degradation was observed, whereas aphid herbivory was the main discriminating factor when soil condition effects were absent. Main soil properties related with arthropods assembly were Mg and K in the first year and cation exchange capacity, total nitrogen, and pH in the second year of experiment. According to this study, spontaneous arthropod distributions in the homogeneous, unstressed wheat patch responded to the volatile cues coming from wheat sources growing in particular soil conditions. It is possible to suggest that soil-plant-herbivore interactions change wheat cues and this phenomenon produces significant differences in neighboring arthropod community structure.

  13. Future warming and acidification effects on anti-fouling and anti-herbivory traits of the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus (Phaeophyceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raddatz, Stefanie; Guy-Haim, Tamar; Rilov, Gil; Wahl, Martin

    2017-02-01

    Human-induced ocean warming and acidification have received increasing attention over the past decade and are considered to have substantial consequences for a broad range of marine species and their interactions. Understanding how these interactions shift in response to climate change is particularly important with regard to foundation species, such as the brown alga Fucus vesiculosus. This macroalga represents the dominant habitat former on coastal rocky substrata of the Baltic Sea, fulfilling functions essential for the entire benthic community. Its ability to withstand extensive fouling and herbivory regulates the associated community and ecosystem dynamics. This study tested the interactive effects of future warming, acidification, and seasonality on the interactions of a marine macroalga with potential foulers and consumers. F. vesiculosus rockweeds were exposed to different combinations of conditions predicted regionally for the year 2100 (+∆5°C, +∆700 μatm CO2 ) using multifactorial long-term experiments in novel outdoor benthic mesocosms ("Benthocosms") over 9-12-week periods in four seasons. Possible shifts in the macroalgal susceptibility to fouling and consumption were tested using consecutive bioassays. Algal susceptibility to fouling and grazing varied substantially among seasons and between treatments. In all seasons, warming predominantly affected anti-fouling and anti-herbivory interactions while acidification had a subtle nonsignificant influence. Interestingly, anti-microfouling activity was highest during winter under warming, while anti-macrofouling and anti-herbivory activities were highest in the summer under warming. These contrasting findings indicate that seasonal changes in anti-fouling and anti-herbivory traits may interact with ocean warming in altering F. vesiculosus community composition in the future.

  14. The variable effects of soil nitrogen availability and insect herbivory on aboveground and belowground plant biomass in an old-field ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blue, Jarrod D; Souza, Lara; Classen, Aimée T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-11-01

    Nutrient availability and herbivory can regulate primary production in ecosystems, but little is known about how, or whether, they may interact with one another. Here, we investigate how nitrogen availability and insect herbivory interact to alter aboveground and belowground plant community biomass in an old-field ecosystem. In 2004, we established 36 experimental plots in which we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) availability and insect abundance in a completely randomized plot design. In 2009, after 6 years of treatments, we measured aboveground biomass and assessed root production at peak growth. Overall, we found a significant effect of reduced soil N availability on aboveground biomass and belowground plant biomass production. Specifically, responses of aboveground and belowground community biomass to nutrients were driven by reductions in soil N, but not additions, indicating that soil N may not be limiting primary production in this ecosystem. Insects reduced the aboveground biomass of subdominant plant species and decreased coarse root production. We found no statistical interactions between N availability and insect herbivory for any response variable. Overall, the results of 6 years of nutrient manipulations and insect removals suggest strong bottom-up influences on total plant community productivity but more subtle effects of insect herbivores on aspects of aboveground and belowground production.

  15. Les enjeux de la fidélisation bénévole dans les grandes associations : la Croix-Rouge française

    OpenAIRE

    Rachel Maalouly

    2013-01-01

    La fidélisation au sein des entreprises dites classiques est une question d'actualité très présente en ressources humaines. La fidélisation au sein des associations des bénévoles est un sujet d'actualité. La plupart des études traitent des moyens de fidéliser ces ressources, très peu considèrent les enjeux de la fidélisation au sein de ces entreprises de l'économie sociale. L'objet de notre travail est de mieux comprendre ces enjeux au sein des grandes associations telle que la Croix-Rouge fr...

  16. Multiple parasites mediate balancing selection at two MHC class II genes in the fossorial water vole: insights from multivariate analyses and population genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tollenaere, C; Bryja, J; Galan, M; Cadet, P; Deter, J; Chaval, Y; Berthier, K; Ribas Salvador, A; Voutilainen, L; Laakkonen, J; Henttonen, H; Cosson, J-F; Charbonnel, N

    2008-09-01

    We investigated the factors mediating selection acting on two MHC class II genes (DQA and DRB) in water vole (Arvicola scherman) natural populations in the French Jura Mountains. Population genetics showed significant homogeneity in allelic frequencies at the DQA1 locus as opposed to neutral markers (nine microsatellites), indicating balancing selection acting on this gene. Moreover, almost exhaustive screening for parasites, including gastrointestinal helminths, brain coccidia and antibodies against viruses responsible for zoonoses, was carried out. We applied a co-inertia approach to the genetic and parasitological data sets to avoid statistical problems related to multiple testing. Two alleles, Arte-DRB-11 and Arte-DRB-15, displayed antagonistic associations with the nematode Trichuris arvicolae, revealing the potential parasite-mediated selection acting on DRB locus. Selection mechanisms acting on the two MHC class II genes thus appeared different. Moreover, overdominance as balancing selection mechanism was showed highly unlikely in this system.

  17. [A modular approach to studying of fluctuating asymmetry of complex morphological structures in rodents with the mandible of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Arvicolinae, Rodentia) as an example].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ialkovskaia, L É; Borodin, A V; Fominykh, M A

    2014-01-01

    The expediency of a modular approach to estimating fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of complex morphological structures was shown using the mandible of the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber, 1780) as an example. FA of the shape of two mandibular regions (modules) defined developmentally and functionally, was assessed by means of geometric morphometrics. The differences between mandibular regions in the FA levels were found for both individual landmarks and integral indices of asymmetry. Regardless of age, gender or sampling year, FA estimates obtained for posterior region including part of the ramus and processes were higher than those for anterior region including the diastemal area. The results suggest that modularity of complex morphological structures should be taken into account when analyzing FA.

  18. Sex differences, effects of male presence and coordination of nest visits in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) during the immediate postnatal period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcguire, B.; Parker, E.; Bemis, W.E.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about sex differences in parental behavior of biparental mammals and if mates in such species coordinate care of young. We studied parental care displayed by prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) under seminatural laboratory conditions during the first 3 d of life of their offspring. Through direct observations and videotaping, we monitored members of male-female pairs to determine if sex differences in early parental behavior exist and if mothers and fathers coordinate visits to the nest. To assess the impact of fathers on survival of pups and behavior of mothers, we also examined parental care displayed by single females toward their young. Male and female members of breeding pairs differed dramatically in degree of parental care. Females spent more time in the nest with young and licked them more frequently than did males. Additionally, females maintained the nest more frequently than did males, whereas they maintained runways less frequently. Although coordination of visits to the nest was not perfect between members of pairs, pups of pairs were left alone for less time than were pups of single females. Parental behavior displayed by paired and single females did not differ, nor did survival of their young to day 3 or 15. We suggest that provision of ample space and cover to vole parents rearing young in captivity promotes expression of sex differences in parental behavior, but that even seminatural conditions are not sufficient to yield benefits of father presence to survival of young. Under more challenging conditions, such as cold temperatures or presence of predators, benefits of father presence might emerge.

  19. Maternal corticosterone but not testosterone level is associated with the ratio of second-to-fourth digit length (2D:4D) in field vole offspring (Microtus agrestis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Thomas; Laaksonen, Toni; Huitu, Otso; Helle, Samuli

    2010-03-30

    The steroid environment encountered by a foetus can strongly affect its post-natal physiology and behaviour. It has been proposed that steroid concentrations experienced in utero could be estimated from adults by measuring their second-to-fourth digit length ratio (2D:4D). However, there is still little direct evidence that intra-uterine steroid levels affect individual 2D:4D. We examined whether maternal pre-pregnancy testosterone and corticosterone levels (as estimates of intra-uterine testosterone and corticosterone exposure) affected the 2D:4D of pups in non-domesticated field voles (Microtus agrestis), measured by X-rays at the age of weaning (21 days). Furthermore, for the first time in a non-human species, we studied whether testosterone and corticosterone levels correlated with 2D:4D in adult females. We found that the maternal pre-pregnancy level of testosterone was not associated with offspring 2D:4D in either the left or the right paw. Instead, maternal pre-pregnancy corticosterone level was positively correlated with offspring 2D:4D in the right paw, but unrelated to 2D:4D in the left paw. In addition, the 2D:4D of adult females was not associated with either their circulating testosterone or corticosterone levels. Our results suggest that in field voles maternally administered testosterone is not a major determinant of offspring 2D:4D, whereas maternal stress appears to account for some of the variation in the 2D:4D of their offspring.

  20. Mating behavior induces changes of expression of Fos protein, plasma testosterone and androgen receptors in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB of the male mandarin vole Microtus mandarinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengqin HE, Fadao TAI

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to investigate the neuroendocrine mechanism of the mating behavior in the adult male mandarin voles Microtus mandarinus, the radioimmunoassay (RIA and immunohistochemistry methods were used to investigate the differences in plasma testosterone (T concentrations and distribution of T immunoreactive neurons (T-IRs, androgen receptor immunoreactive neurons (AR-IRs and Fos protein immunoreactive neurons (Fos-IRs in the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB and the main olfactory bulb (MOB following exposure to clean hard-wood shavings (control group, soiled bedding (exposure group or contact with an estrous female (mating group. Results showed that plasma T concentration was significantly higher in the mating group than that in the exposure group, and both the mating group and the exposure group displayed significantly higher plasma T concentration than the control group. T-IRs, AR-IRs and Fos-IRs were investigated with the immunohistochemistry method in granule cell (GC and mitral cell (MC of the MOB and the AOB in the three groups. There were significantly more T-IRs, AR-IRs and Fos-IRs in MC and GC of the AOB in the mating group than that in the exposure group or the control group. T-IRs, AR-IRs and Fos-IRs did not show significant differences between the exposure group and the control group. Furthermore, obvious differences in MC and GC of the MOB were not found among the three groups. The results confirm that both changes of T and AR in the AOB might be underlying mating behavior in the adult male mandarin voles [Current Zoology 55 (4: 288–295, 2009].

  1. Factors affecting the component community structure of haemoparasites in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) from the Mazury Lake District region of Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, A; Pawelczyk, A; Behnke, J M; Gilbert, F S; Sinski, E

    2001-01-01

    The prevalence and abundance of infections with haemoparasites were studied over a 3 year period in Clethrionomys glareolus (bank vole, n = 420) sampled from forests in the NE of Poland. Total species richness was 5 (Prevalence = Haemobartonella sp. 63.1%, Bartonella grahamii 27.4%, Hepatozoon erhardovae 31.4%, Trypanosoma evotomys 15% and Babesia microti 1.0%) with 81.9% of the voles carrying at least 1 species and a mean infracommunity species richness of 1.4. Variation in species richness was determined primarily by season and year, and the interaction of these factors. The observed frequency distribution of infracommunity species richness did not differ from that predicted by a null model, suggesting that there were no marked associations between the species. Analyses of prevalence and abundance of infection with each species in turn, revealed that overall the principal causes of variation were temporal and seasonal and their interaction, intrinsic factors such as age and sex playing only a minor role. However, the relative importance of specific extrinsic, and rarely intrinsic, factors varied and was distinct for each of the species in the study. Prevalence data revealed 4 sets of 2-way associations between species, mostly varyingly dependent on combinations of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Analysis of quantitative associations suggested 4 sets of positive 2-way interactions, 3 of which remained after controlling for the effect of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on the abundance of each species, but only one could be unequivocally accepted (Haemobartonella sp. +B. grahamii) after correction for multiple comparisons. These data are discussed in the context of the changing ecological profiles in this region of Eastern Europe and, in a wider context, in relation to current understanding of the factors which shape component community structures of haemoparasites in wild rodents.

  2. Ecological evaluation of the abundance and effects of elk herbivory in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 1994-1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Francis J.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.

    2002-01-01

    Severa l Nationa l Park Service units in the Intennountain region possess a number ofclosely related management needs relative to the abundance of wild ungulates and their herbivory effects on plants and ecosystem processes. In 1993, the then National Biological Service (NBS) - now U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Discipline (USGS, BRD)­ initiated a series of research studies in four park units in the Intennountain West., into the abundance and effects of ungulates on park ecosystems. Each of these parks received a number of similar research study elements inclUding: (a) a number of new ungulate grazing exclosures (n = 12-21 exclosures per park); (b) aerial survey sightability models to estimate population Si7..e5 of ungUlates; (e) measures of biomass production and consumption rates near the exclosures and across the landscape; (d) studies of the effects of the grazing on plant abundance, species diversity, and ecosystem effects; and (e) computer model simu lations (SAVANNA) ofthe effects on the ecosystem and plant resources ofdifferent ungulate management scenarios. One park unit, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, re<:eived funding from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, BRD) and parallel funding from NPS foran intensive research study of the effects of elk on the park ecosystems.

  3. The effect of climate manipulations on the herbivory of the pest slug Deroceras reticulatum (Müller, 1774) (Pulmonata: Agriolimacidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Danasoury, H.; Iglesias-Piñeiro, J.; Córdoba, M.

    2016-10-01

    The pestiferous status of the terrestrial slug Deroceras reticulatum and the strong dependence of its biology and ecology on climatic factors have driven research on the potential responses of the slug to predicted scenarios of climate change. Here, we report two short-term experiments performed outdoors, under seminatural conditions, to assess the behavioural response of D. reticulatum to different climate manipulations in terms of herbivory, by measuring over 7 days the damage inflicted by slug populations to lettuce seedlings. The climate manipulations tested emulate predicted climatic conditions for northwest Spain, specifically winter warming and increased summer rainfall, in contrast respectively with normal winter conditions and summer without rain conditions. In a winter experiment, we compared a normal winter treatment with a winter warming treatment; with respect to the normal winter treatment, the winter warming treatment was characterised by higher temperature, lower relative humidity and the absence of rainfall. In a summer experiment, we compared a summer drought treatment with an increased summer rainfall treatment; with respect to the summer drought treatment, the increased summer rainfall treatment was characterised by the presence of rainfall, while the conditions of temperature and relative humidity were similar in both treatments. Neither winter warming nor increased summer rainfall did lead to a significant increase on the number of seedlings damaged by the slugs. However, with both treatments, we found a moderate increase on the amount of damage suffered by the seedlings. The results are discussed in the context of the potential responses of D. reticulatum to future climatic conditions.

  4. Butterfly Larval Host Plant use in a Tropical Urban Context: Life History Associations, Herbivory, and Landscape Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiple, Ashish D.; Khurad, Arun M.; Dennis, Roger L. H.

    2011-01-01

    This study examines butterfly larval host plants, herbivory and related life history attributes within Nagpur City, India. The larval host plants of 120 butterfly species are identified and their host specificity, life form, biotope, abundance and perennation recorded; of the 126 larval host plants, most are trees (49), with fewer herbs (43), shrubs (22), climbers (7) and stem parasites (2). They include 89 wild, 23 cultivated, 11 wild/cultivated and 3 exotic plant species; 78 are perennials, 43 annuals and 5 biannuals. Plants belonging to Poaceae and Fabaceae are most widely used by butterfly larvae. In addition to distinctions in host plant family affiliation, a number of significant differences between butterfly families have been identified in host use patterns: for life forms, biotopes, landforms, perennation, host specificity, egg batch size and ant associations. These differences arising from the development of a butterfly resource database have important implications for conserving butterfly species within the city area. Differences in overall butterfly population sizes within the city relate mainly to the number of host plants used, but other influences, including egg batch size and host specificity are identified. Much of the variation in population size is unaccounted for and points to the need to investigate larval host plant life history and strategies as population size is not simply dependent on host plant abundance. PMID:21864159

  5. Low amounts of herbivory by root-knot nematodes affect microbial community dynamics and carbon allocation in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poll, Julia; Marhan, Sven; Haase, Susan; Hallmann, Johannes; Kandeler, Ellen; Ruess, Liliane

    2007-12-01

    Increased carbon translocation to the rhizosphere via 'leakage' induced by low amounts of plant parasitic nematodes can foster microorganisms. The effects of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita on microbial biomass (C(mic)) and community structure (phospholipid fatty acids) in the rhizosphere of barley were studied. Inoculation densities of 2000, 4000, and 8000 nematodes were well below the threshold level for plant damage. A (13)CO(2) pulse-labelling was performed to assess the distribution of assimilated (13)C in the rhizosphere. Infection with M. incognita increased the carbon concentration in shoots, and enhanced root biomass slightly. The presence of nematodes did not affect microbial biomass, but significantly changed the allocation of the recent photosynthate. Less plant carbon was sequestered by microorganisms with increasing nematode abundance. Microbial community structure was distinctly altered in the early stages of the plant-nematode interactions. Both, bacteria and fungi, showed a positive response with 2000, and a negative one with 4000 and 8000 M. incognita added. The results suggest that low-level root herbivory still imposes a considerable carbon demand, and that proliferation of microorganisms due to increased rhizodeposition may be short-termed. The carbon flow to rhizosphere microbial communities is likely dependent on the specific nematode-plant association and the developmental stage of the nematode in the host.

  6. [Biological effects in natural populations of small rodents in radiation-polluted territories. Dynamics of chromosome aberration frequency in a number of generations of European bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goncharova, R I; Riabokon', N I

    1998-01-01

    The dynamics of chromosome aberration frequency in bone marrow cells of many generations (14) of bank vole living in the radioactive trace of the Chernobyl catastrophe (1986-1992) has been analysed. The study revealed that the chromosome aberration frequency in voles in the areas with radio-contamination density 220 and 1526 kBq/m2 (for 137Cs) significantly exceeds the control level 3-7 times over the whole period under investigation. The dynamics of the frequency of structural chromosome injuries from 1986 to 1991-1992 is characterised by the tendency to increase in all populations inhabiting the areas with various radio-contamination density (8-1526 kBq/m2).

  7. Light, stress and herbivory : from photoprotection to trophic interactions using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism

    OpenAIRE

    Frenkel, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Photosynthesis is the most important process for nearly all life on earth. Photosynthetic organisms capture and transfer light energy from the sun into chemical energy which in turn provides a resource base for heterotrophic organisms. Natural light regimes are irregular and vary over magnitudes. At a certain light intensity, metabolic processes cannot keep up with the electron flow produced by the primary photoreactions, and thus reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. ROS are highly rea...

  8. Assessment of metals exposure and sub-lethal effects in voles and small birds captured near the DeLong Mountain Regional Transportation System Road, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska, 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumbaugh, William G.; Mora, Miguel A.; May, Thomas W.

    2008-01-01

    Voles (n=6) and small ground-nesting birds (n=12) were live-captured near the DeLong Mountain Regional Transportation System haul road in Cape Krusenstern National Monument in northwest Alaska in 2006 to assess metals exposure and sub-lethal biological effects. Similar numbers of animals were captured from a reference site in southern Cape Krusenstern National Monument for comparison. Histopathological examination of selected organs, blood analysis, and analysis for aluminum, barium, cadmium, lead, and zinc concentrations in liver and blood samples were performed. Voles and small birds captured from near the haul road had about 20 times greater blood and liver lead concentrations and about 3 times greater cadmium concentrations when compared to those from the reference site. Barium and zinc tissue concentrations of animals collected from different sites were not remarkably different, and aluminum concentrations were below the reporting limits in most samples. There was no clear evidence of serious sub-lethal biological effects such as lesions in internal organs or DNA damage in blood in any of the animals. Accordingly, blood and liver lead concentrations in animals captured near the haul road generally were less than tissue concentration thresholds associated with serious biological effects reported from other studies; however, subtle effects resulting from lead exposure, such as the suppression of the activity of certain enzymes, cannot be ruled out for those animals nearest the haul road. Notably, liver lead concentrations of voles and small birds at the reference location were considerably less than those previously reported for similar animals at reference sites in other parts of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Results from this reconnaissance-level study indicate that voles and small birds inhabiting this area are not suffering serious biological effects as a result of metals exposure; however, continued monitoring of lead and other metals is

  9. Effect of nitrogen and water treatment on leaf chemistry in horsenettle (Solanum carolinense), and relationship to herbivory by flea beetles (Epitrix spp.) and tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cipollini, Martin L; Paulk, Eric; Cipollini, Donald F

    2002-12-01

    We studied the interaction between plants (horsenettle; Solanum carolinense) and herbivorous insects (flea beetles; Epitrix spp., and tobacco hornworm; Manduca sexta) by focusing on three questions: (1) Does variation in nitrogen availability affect leaf chemistry as predicted by the carbon-nutrient balance (CNB) hypothesis? (2) Does variation in plant treatment and leaf chemistry affect insect feeding? (3) Is there an interaction between the insect herbivores that is mediated by variation in leaf chemistry? For three successive years (1998-2001), we grew a set of clones of 10 maternal plants under two nitrogen treatments and two water treatments. For each plant in the summer of 2000, we assayed herbivory by hornworms in both indoor (detached leaf) and outdoor (attached leaf) assays, as well as ambient flea beetle damage. Estimates of leaf material consumed were made via analysis of digitized leaf images. We also assayed leaves for total protein, phenolic, and glycoalkaloid content, and for trypsin inhibitor, polyphenol oxidase, and peroxidase activity. Despite strong effects of nitrogen treatment on growth and reproduction, only total protein responded as predicted by CNB. Leaf phenolic levels were increased by nitrogen treatment, polyphenol oxidase activity was decreased, and other leaf parameters were unaffected. Neither hornworm nor flea beetle herbivory could be related to plant treatment or genotype or to variation in any of the six leaf chemical parameters. A negative relationship between flea beetle and hornworm herbivory was found, but was not apparently mediated by any of the measured leaf chemicals. Because leaf resistance was maintained in low nitrogen plants at the apparent expense of growth and reproduction, our results support the concept of a fitness cost of defense, as predicted by the optimal defense hypothesis.

  10. Vegetation change (1988–2010 in Camdeboo National Park (South Africa, using fixed-point photo monitoring: The role of herbivory and climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mmoto L. Masubelele

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Fixed-point photo monitoring supplemented by animal census data and climate monitoring potential has never been explored as a long-term monitoring tool for studying vegetation change in the arid and semi-arid national parks of South Africa. The long-term (1988–2010, fixed-point monitoring dataset developed for the Camdeboo National Park, therefore, provides an important opportunity to do this. Using a quantitative estimate of the change in vegetation and growth form cover in 1152 fixed-point photographs, as well as series of step-point vegetation surveys at each photo monitoring site, this study documented the extent of vegetation change in the park in response to key climate drivers, such as rainfall, as well as land use drivers such as herbivory by indigenous ungulates. We demonstrated the varied response of vegetation cover within three main growth forms (grasses, dwarf shrubs [< 1 m] and tall shrubs [> 1 m] in three different vegetation units and landforms (slopes, plains, rivers within the Camdeboo National Park since 1988. Sites within Albany Thicket and Dwarf Shrublands showed the least change in vegetation cover, whilst Azonal vegetation and Grassy Dwarf Shrublands were more dynamic. Abiotic factors such as drought and flooding, total annual rainfall and rainfall seasonality appeared to have the greatest influence on growth form cover as assessed from the fixed-point photographs. Herbivory appeared not to have had a noticeable impact on the vegetation of the Camdeboo National Park as far as could be determined from the rather coarse approach used in this analysis and herbivore densities remained relatively low over the study duration.Conservation implications: We provided an historical assessment of the pattern of vegetation and climatic trends that can help evaluate many of South African National Parks’ biodiversity monitoring programmes, especially relating to habitat change. It will help arid parks in assessing the trajectories of

  11. Herbivory and Competition of Tibetan Steppe Vegetation in Winter Pasture: Effects of Livestock Exclosure and Plateau Pika Reduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard B Harris

    Full Text Available Rangeland degradation has been identified as a serious concern in alpine regions of western China on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP. Numerous government-sponsored programs have been initiated, including many that feature long-term grazing prohibitions and some that call for eliminating pastoralism altogether. As well, government programs have long favored eliminating plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae, assumed to contribute to degraded conditions. However, vegetation on the QTP evolved in the presence of herbivory, suggesting that deleterious effects from grazing are, to some extent, compensated for by reduced plant-plant competition. We examined the dynamics of common steppe ecosystem species as well as physical indicators of rangeland stress by excluding livestock and reducing pika abundance on experimental plots, and following responses for 4 years. We established 12 fenced livestock exclosures within pastures grazed during winter by local pastoralists, and removed pikas on half of these. We established paired, permanent vegetation plots within and outside exclosures and measured indices of erosion and biomass of common plant species. We observed modest restoration of physical site conditions (reduced bare soil, erosion, greater vegetation cover with both livestock exclusion and pika reduction. As expected in areas protected from grazing, we observed a reduction in annual productivity of plant species avoided by livestock and assumed to compete poorly when protected from grazing. Contrary to expectation, we observed similar reductions in annual productivity among palatable, perennial graminoids under livestock exclusion. The dominant grass, Stipa purpurea, displayed evidence of density-dependent growth, suggesting that intra-specific competition exerted a regulatory effect on annual production in the absence of grazing. Complete grazing bans on winter pastures in steppe habitats on the QTP may assist in the recovery of highly eroded pastures

  12. The Arabidopsis immune regulator SRFR1 dampens defences against herbivory by Spodoptera exigua and parasitism by Heterodera schachtii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Phuong Dung T; Pike, Sharon; Wang, Jianying; Nepal Poudel, Arati; Heinz, Robert; Schultz, Jack C; Koo, Abraham J; Mitchum, Melissa G; Appel, Heidi M; Gassmann, Walter

    2016-05-01

    Plants have developed diverse mechanisms to fine tune defence responses to different types of enemy. Cross-regulation between signalling pathways may allow the prioritization of one response over another. Previously, we identified SUPPRESSOR OF rps4-RLD1 (SRFR1) as a negative regulator of ENHANCED DISEASE SUSCEPTIBILITY1 (EDS1)-dependent effector-triggered immunity against the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 expressing avrRps4. The use of multiple stresses is a powerful tool to further define gene function. Here, we examined whether SRFR1 also impacts resistance to a herbivorous insect in leaves and to a cyst nematode in roots. Interestingly, srfr1-1 plants showed increased resistance to herbivory by the beet army worm Spodoptera exigua and to parasitism by the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii compared with the corresponding wild-type Arabidopsis accession RLD. Using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to measure the transcript levels of salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonate/ethylene (JA/ET) pathway genes, we found that enhanced resistance of srfr1-1 plants to S. exigua correlated with specific upregulation of the MYC2 branch of the JA pathway concurrent with suppression of the SA pathway. In contrast, the greater susceptibility of RLD was accompanied by simultaneously increased transcript levels of SA, JA and JA/ET signalling pathway genes. Surprisingly, mutation of either SRFR1 or EDS1 increased resistance to H. schachtii, indicating that the concurrent presence of both wild-type genes promotes susceptibility. This finding suggests a novel form of resistance in Arabidopsis to the biotrophic pathogen H. schachtii or a root-specific regulation of the SA pathway by EDS1, and places SRFR1 at an intersection between multiple defence pathways. © 2015 THE AUTHORS MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY PUBLISHED BY BRITISH SOCIETY FOR PLANT PATHOLOGY AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  13. The effects of herbivory by a mega- and mesoherbivore on tree recruitment in sand forest, South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D D Georgette Lagendijk

    Full Text Available Herbivory by megaherbivores on woody vegetation in general is well documented; however studies focusing on the individual browsing effects of both mega- and mesoherbivore species on recruitment are scarce. We determined these effects for elephant Loxodonta africana and nyala Tragelaphus angasii in the critically endangered Sand Forest, which is restricted to east southern Africa, and is conserved mainly in small reserves with high herbivore densities. Replicated experimental treatments (400 m(2 in a single forest patch were used to exclude elephant, or both elephant and nyala. In each treatment, all woody individuals were identified to species and number of stems, diameter and height were recorded. Results of changes after two years are presented. Individual tree and stem densities had increased in absence of nyala and elephant. Seedling recruitment (based on height and diameter was inhibited by nyala, and by elephant and nyala in combination, thereby preventing recruitment into the sapling stage. Neither nyala or elephant significantly reduced sapling densities. Excluding both elephant and nyala in combination enhanced recruitment of woody species, as seedling densities increased, indicating that forest regeneration is impacted by both mega- and mesoherbivores. The Sand Forest tree community approached an inverse J-shaped curve, with the highest abundance in the smaller size classes. However, the larger characteristic tree species in particular, such as Newtonia hildebrandtii, were missing cohorts in the middle size classes. When setting management goals to conserve habitats of key importance, conservation management plans need to consider the total herbivore assemblage present and the resulting browsing effects on vegetation. Especially in Africa, where the broadest suite of megaherbivores still persists, and which is currently dealing with the 'elephant problem', the individual effects of different herbivore species on recruitment and

  14. Beneficial effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean yield mediated by reduced insect herbivory under field conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazza, Carlos A; Giménez, Patricia I; Kantolic, Adriana G; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2013-03-01

    Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B: 280-315 nm) has damaging effects on cellular components and macromolecules. In plants, natural levels of UV-B can reduce leaf area expansion and growth, which can lead to reduced productivity and yield. UV-B can also have important effects on herbivorous insects. Owing to the successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol, current models predict that clear-sky levels of UV-B radiation will decline during this century in response to ozone recovery. However, because of climate change and changes in land use practices, future trends in UV doses are difficult to predict. In the experiments reported here, we used an exclusion approach to study the effects of solar UV-B radiation on soybean crops, which are extensively grown in many areas of the world that may be affected by future variations in UV-B radiation. In a first experiment, performed under normal management practices (which included chemical pest control), we found that natural levels of UV-B radiation reduced soybean yield. In a second experiment, where no pesticides were applied, we found that solar UV-B significantly reduced insect herbivory and, surprisingly, caused a concomitant increase in crop yield. Our data support the idea that UV-B effects on agroecosystems are the result of complex interactions involving multiple trophic levels. A better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the anti-herbivore effect of UV-B radiation may be used to design crop varieties with improved adaptation to the cropping systems that are likely to prevail in the coming decades in response to agricultural intensification.

  15. A revision of the distribution of Cabrera’s vole (Microtus cabrerae Thomas 1906 in Andalusia (southern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Garrido-García

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper consists of a revision of existing records of Cabrera’s Vole Microtus cabrerae in Andalusia (south of Spain and provides new data from a survey of both previously investigated and new areas. Cabrera’s voles were found at only three of the 17 previously known localities, whilst the species may be in fact extinct in 12 localities. Our results suggest that the species could have disappeared from the central part of the province of Granada. Nevertheless, fieldwork revealed 138 new localities in 24 UTM 10x10 km squares scattered throughout the Cazorla-Segura Mountains and the extreme north of the provinces of Almería and Granada. In 13 of these squares, the presence of the species was confirmed by the capture of 16 specimens. Despite the new localities discovered, the species should still be considered as ‘Critically Endangered’ in Andalusia. Riassunto Revisione della distribuzione dell'arvicola di Cabrera (Microtus cabrerae Thomas 1906 in Andalusia (Spagna meridionale Il presente articolo consiste di una revisione dei dati disponibili sull'arvicola di Cabrera Microtus cabrerae in Andalusia (Spagna meridionale e fornisce dati originali ottenuti tramite un'indagine svolta sia in aree già investigate, sia in aree mai monitorate in precedenza. L'arvicola di Cabrera è stata individuata solo in 3 delle 17 località segnalate in letteratura, mentre in 12 di esse potrebbe essere estinta. I risultati ottenuti suggeriscono che la specie sia attualmente scomparsa dalla porzione centrale della provincia di Granada. Tuttavia, le indagini hanno permesso di rilevare la presenza della specie in 138 nuove località distribuite in 24 quadrati UTM 10x10 km corrispondenti alla cetena montuosa di Cazorla-Segura e all'estrema parte settentrionale delle province di Almeria e Granada. In 13 quadrati la presenza è stata confermata tramite la cattura di 16

  16. Silencing ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase expression does not disrupt nitrogen allocation to defense after simulated herbivory in Nicotiana attenuata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Mariana A; Ullmann-Zeunert, Lynn; Wielsch, Natalie; Bartram, Stefan; Svatoš, Aleš; Baldwin, Ian T; Groten, Karin

    2013-01-01

    Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/ oxygenase (RuBisCO) is the most abundant protein on the planet and in addition to its central role in photosynthesis it is thought to function as a nitrogen (N)-storage protein and a potential source of N for defense biosynthesis in plants. In a recent study in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata, we showed that the decrease in absolute N invested in soluble proteins and RuBisCO elicited by simulated herbivory was much larger than the N-requirements of nicotine and phenolamide biosynthesis; (15)N flux studies revealed that N for defensive phenolamide synthesis originates from recently assimilated N rather than from RuBisCO turnover. Here we show that a transgenic line of N. attenuata silenced in the expression of RuBisCO (asRUB) invests similar or even larger amounts of N into phenolamide biosynthesis compared with wild type plants, consistent with our previous conclusion that recently assimilated N is channeled into phenolamide synthesis after elicitation. We suggest that the decrease in leaf proteins after simulated herbivory is a tolerance mechanism, rather than a consequence of N-demand for defense biosynthesis.

  17. Testing for the induction of anti-herbivory defences in four Portuguese macroalgae by direct and water-borne cues of grazing amphipods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hee Young; Cruz, Joana; Treitschke, Michaela; Wahl, Martin; Molis, Markus

    2007-09-01

    Herbivory is a key factor in regulating plant biomass, thereby driving ecosystem performance. Algae have developed multiple adaptations to cope with grazers, including morphological and chemical defences. In a series of experiments we investigated whether several species of macroalgae possess anti-herbivore defences and whether these could be regulated to demand, i.e. grazing events. The potential of direct grazing on defence induction was assessed for two brown ( Dictyopteris membranacea, Fucus vesiculosus) and two red seaweeds ( Gelidium sesquipedale, Sphaerococcus coronopifolius) from São Rafael and Ria Formosa, Portugal. Bioassays conducted with live algal pieces and agar-based food containing lipophilic algal extracts were used to detect changes in palatability after exposure to amphipod attacks (=treatment phase). Fucus vesiculosus was the only species significantly reducing palatability in response to direct amphipod-attacks. This pattern was observed in live F. vesiculosus pieces and agar-based food containing a lipophilic extract, suggesting that lipophilic compounds produced during the treatment phase were responsible for the repulsion of grazers. Water-borne cues of grazed F. vesiculosus as well as non-grazing amphipods also reduced palatability of neighbouring conspecifics. However, this effect was only observed in live tissues of F. vesiculosus. This study is the first to show that amphipods, like isopods, are capable to induce anti-herbivory defences in F. vesiculosus and that a seasonally variable effectiveness of chemical defences might serve as a dynamic control in alga-herbivore interactions.

  18. Response of Rice to Insect Elicitors and the Role of OsJAR1 in Wound and Herbivory-Induced JA-IIe Accumulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kaori Fukumoto; Kabir Md Alamgir; Yuko Yamashita; Izumi C.Mori; Hideyuki Matsuura; Ivan Galis

    2013-01-01

    Plants produce jasmonic acid (JA) and its amino acid conjugate,jasmonoyI-L-isoleucine (JA-IIe) as major defense signals in response to wounding and herbivory.In rice (Oryza sativa),JA and JA-IIe rapidly increased after mechanical damage,and this increase was further amplified when the wounds were treated with oral secretions from generalist herbivore larvae,lawn armyworms (Spodoptera mauritia),revealing for the first time active perception mechanisms of herbivore-associated elicitor(s) in rice.In the rice genome,two OsJAR genes can conjugate JA and IIe and form JA-IIe in vitro; however,their function in herbivoryinduced accumulation of JA-IIe has not been investigated.By functional characterization of TOS17 retrotrensposon-tagged Osjar1 plants and their response to simulated herbivory,we show that OsJAR1 is essential for JA-IIe production in herbivore-attacked,field-grown plants.In addition,OsJAR1 was required for normal seed development in rice under field conditions.Our results suggest that OsJAR1 possesses at least two major functions in rice defense and development that cannot be complemented by the additional OsJAR2 gene function,although this gene previously showed overlapping enzyme activity in vitro.

  19. Does inter-plant variation in sprouting time affect the growth/reproduction trade-off and herbivory in a tropical tree species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcilio Fagundes

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The timing of phenological events varies within and among populations, affecting the performance of individual plants differently. We evaluated the effects of relative variation in sprouting time on the display of reproductive events, vegetative growth and herbivory in Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae. A total of 93 trees of C. langsdorffii was monitored daily to determine their sprouting time. We collected ten terminal branches of each plant to evaluate vegetative growth, production of defense compounds and insect herbivore damage. The sprouting time for the studied population lasted 67 days. Variation in sprouting time did not affect the probability of plants to enter the reproductive stage. Plants that entered the reproductive stage showed greater vegetative biomass. Variation in sprouting time had a negative relationship with branch growth and a positive relationship with the number of leaflets. Leaf phenol concentration did not vary in relation to sprouting time or plant phenology, but herbivory was higher in plants that sprouted later. The relationships among plant sprouting time, vegetative development and display of reproductive stage in C. langsdorffii are discussed. The results of this study also suggest that early sprouting prior to the rainy season is a strategy used by C. langsdorffii to escape herbivores attacks.

  20. Electronics and electronic systems

    CERN Document Server

    Olsen, George H

    1987-01-01

    Electronics and Electronic Systems explores the significant developments in the field of electronics and electronic devices. This book is organized into three parts encompassing 11 chapters that discuss the fundamental circuit theory and the principles of analog and digital electronics. This book deals first with the passive components of electronic systems, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors. These topics are followed by a discussion on the analysis of electronic circuits, which involves three ways, namely, the actual circuit, graphical techniques, and rule of thumb. The remaining p

  1. Criterion-referenced evaluation of day one clinical competencies of veterinary students: VOLES-the VMTH (Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital) Online Evaluation System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeck, Steven; Wall, Judy A; Smith, Bradford P; Wilson, W David; Walsh, Donal A

    2012-01-01

    This article describes an extensive online criterion-referenced evaluation system for the assessment of veterinary students' achievement during their final year's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (or equivalent) clinical education. Data are reported for the 2001 to 2009 University of California at Davis veterinary graduates, for a total of more than 1,100 students. These criterion-referenced evaluations extensively document the level of clinical skills attained and demonstrated during the individual clinical rotations that comprise the fourth-year curriculum. On average, in each of the 17,500 clinical rotations undertaken during this time period, student performance was assessed in at least 11 separate areas of skills, knowledge, and professional attributes. This provided more than 200,000 criterion-referenced judgments of the individual clinical attributes of graduates over nine years. The system is based on a previously detailed and validated definition of the skills, knowledge, and professional attributes that students should have demonstrated before graduation. The extensive database that this system has provided has established that this system, termed VOLES (VMTH [Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital] On-Line Evaluation System), is an effective tool to assess the clinical capabilities of veterinary students and their achievement of the "Day One" skills required for entering clinical practice. These expected proficiencies are balanced according to the differing expectations that each area of veterinary clinical practice demands.

  2. 根田鼠母体摄食经历对幼体食物选择的影响%Effects of foraging experience of root vole maternity on food selection of offspring

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李俊年; 杨冬梅; 陶双伦; 邓凯东

    2012-01-01

    Social learning is a phenotype of plastic behavior of animals, which enables the individuals to acquire adaptive behavior patterns suitable for local habitats. However, the transmission of food preference from vole maternity to its offspring has largely been ignored. Taking the root vole in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau as test object, a laboratory experiment was conducted, with the foods treated with 0.01% glucide or 0.1% fruit juice supplied to the vole maternity during its late pregnancy period and lactation, and to the offspring after weaned, aimed to observe the food preferences of the offspring. The results demonstrated that the weaned voles preferred the food items that their mothers had during pregnancy and lactation. Root vole lived in the environment with dramatic seasonal variation, and, for the weaned voles, learning the food preferences of their mothere was a phenotype of plastic behavior, being advantageous to acquire the adaptive behavior patterns suitable for local habitats.%社会学习是动物的一种可塑性行为表型,能使动物个体获得提高其适合度的行为模式.母体对幼体的食性形成具有重要的影响.本文以栖息于青藏高原的根田鼠作为研究对象,在实验室条件下,根田鼠母体怀孕后期及哺乳期分别供给以0.01%糖精或0.1%橘子汁处理的食物,当幼体断乳时,同时供给断乳幼体糖精和橘子汁分别处理的食物,测定其食物选择.结果表明:根田鼠母体在怀孕期和哺乳期摄食经橘子汁处理的食物,断乳幼体在同时供给经橘子汁处理的食物和糖精处理的食物时,断乳幼体喜食经橘子汁处理的食物;而母体在怀孕期和哺乳期摄食经糖精处理的食物,断乳幼体在同时供给根田鼠断乳幼体经橘子汁处理和糖精处理的食物时,断乳幼体喜食经糖精处理的食物.说明根田鼠在断乳后仍喜食母体在怀孕期和哺乳期摄食过的食物种类.根田鼠栖息于季

  3. 雌、雄草原田鼠外周骨骼肌肌球蛋白重链的表达%Myosin heavy chain expression in peripheral muscles of male and female prairie voles Microtus ochrogaster

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andrew C. FRY; Michael H. FERKIN; Brian K. SCHILLING; Stuart T. LEONARD; Matthew P. HARBER; Martyn R. RUBIN; J.Chadwick SMITH

    2008-01-01

    已往的研究对于实验室应用的各种啮齿类动物,如大鼠和小鼠骨骼肌蛋白表达的特性已有报道.然而,至今不清楚其它啮齿类动物如野生鼠骨骼肌蛋白的表达或性双态性的特征,而这些野生鼠的行为学、形态学及生理学特点均已有报道.已知骨骼肌的肌球蛋白重链(MHC)成分与其功能特性有关.我们研究了草原田鼠的肱三头肌、胫骨前肌、腓肠肌和比目鱼肌MHC蛋白表达的性别特性.应用SDS聚丙烯酰胺凝胶电泳法测定MHC Ⅰ型、Ⅱa型、Ⅱd/x和Ⅱb型的蛋白表达相对含量.结果表明:与雌鼠相比,雄鼠的比目鱼肌湿重较大,胫骨前肌的MHC Ⅱa蛋白量表达较高.未见骨骼肌重量及MHC蛋白表达含量在雌雄鼠间的性别差异.血中睾酮的浓度差异可能不影响外周骨骼肌蛋白的表达特性.然而,与过去在大鼠、兔和小鼠中的已报道的结果相比,草原田鼠骨骼肌MHC的表达显示了更多异质性.推测这可能与草原田鼠和其它小型哺乳类动物生存的自然环境和功能需要有关.%Previous research has reported skeletal muscle protein expression characteristics for laboratory strains of various rodents, such as rats and mice. However, we do not know the muscle protein expression or sexual dimorphism characteristics of skeletal muscle for other rodents such as voles, for which the behavior, morphology, and physiology have been documented. Myosin heavy chain (MHC) content in skeletal muscle is related to functional characteristics. This study investigated sex characteristics (male,n=6; female,n=8) for MHC expression for triceps brachii, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles in prairie voles. Relative (%) MHC protein expression was determined via SDS-PAGE for types Ⅰ, Ⅱa, Ⅱd/x, and Ⅱb MHC isoforms. Male voles had greater soleus wet weight and greater Ⅱa MHC expression for tibialis anterior as compared to those of female voles. Skeletal muscle

  4. Dietary tannic acid modulate sodium balance in root voles (Microtus oeconomus)%食物单宁酸对根田鼠(Microtus oeconomus)钠平衡的作用

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李俊年; 陶双伦; 刘季科

    2008-01-01

    验证了单宁酸能引起植食性哺乳动物钠平衡的假设.在两种食物蛋白质水平条件下,测定了摄食含0%,3%和6%单宁酸食物的根田鼠的钠平衡和肾上腺肾小球的大小.结果表明,食物单宁酸能显著影响根田鼠的钠平衡,钠的丢失主要通过尿液.同时,单宁酸能显著影响试验个体的肾上腺肾小球的体积.初步研究显示,植食性哺乳动物对摄入的植物次生化合物的解毒引起机体钠平衡失调,而非植物次生化合物的消化抑制作用所致.%This tested the hypotheis that tannic acid can cause an imbalance of ma mmmalian hebivors.The sodium balance and the size of the zona glomerulosa of the adrenal gland was measured in root voles fed a diet containing either low or high proteins supplemented with 0, 3, or 6% of tannic acid. Relative areas of adrenal regions (zona glomerulosa, combined zona fasciculata and zona reticularis (ZFZR)) of voles fed diets containing 6% of tannic acid were increased by 9% and 7.8% for low and high protein groups, respectively, compared with those in animals fed the control diets. ZFZR/cortex of voles fed a low or high protein diet containing 3% of tannic acid were increased by 14.31% and 6.5%, respectively, as compared with those of control groups. The results indicate that addition of tannic acid to a diet can significantly induce sodium excretion mainly through urine in root voles, which may affect sodium homeostasis. These results also suggest that detoxification rather than inhibition of digestibility may primarily contribute to the sodium imbalance of mammalian herbivores that are ingesting plant secondary compounds.

  5. Comparative study of interphase cell death and severity of bone marrow aplasia in bank voles of the Moscow suburbs and C57B1 mice under the influence of ionizing radiation. [Whole-body x irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samokhvalova, N.S.; Popova, M.F.; Domareva, O.P.; Suvorova, E.A.

    1978-01-01

    Interphase of bone marrow cells, which may reach significant dimensions according to some researchers, is one of the criteria of radiation lesion to the marrow. The method of estimating the total number of nuclear cells in animal bone marrow also makes it possible to gain an idea about the severity of tissue destruction. The objective of this work was to study interphase cell death and severity of aplasia in the bone marrow of bank voles of the Moscow suburbs and C57B1 mice after exposing these animals to x rays.

  6. The impact of early life family structure on adult social attachment, alloparental behavior, and the neuropeptide systems regulating affiliative behaviors in the monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd H Ahern

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Early social attachments lie at the heart of emotional and social development in many mammals, including humans. In nature, monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster experience considerable natural variation in early social attachment opportunities due to differences in family structure (e.g., single-mothers, solitary breeding pairs, and communal groups. We exploited some of this natural variation in family structure to examine the influence of early social environment on the development of adult social behavior. First, we characterized the parental care received by pups reared biparentally (BP or by a single-mother (SM in the laboratory. Second, we examined whether BP- and SM-reared offspring differed in adult nurturing, bonding, and emotional behaviors. Finally, we investigated the effects of rearing condition on neuropeptide systems that regulate adult social behavior (oxytocin, vasopressin, and corticotropin-releasing factor [CRF]. Observations revealed that SM-reared pups were exposed more frequently (P<0.01, licked and groomed less (P<0.01, and matured more slowly (P<0.01 than BP-reared pups. In adulthood, there were striking socio-behavioral differences: SM-reared females showed low spontaneous, pup-directed alloparental behavior (P<0.01 and both males and females from the SM-reared condition showed delayed partner preference formation. While rearing did not impact neuropeptide receptor densities in the ventral forebrain as we predicted, SM-reared animals, particularly females, had increased OT content (P<0.01 and greater dorsal raphe CRF2 densities (P<0.05 and both measures correlated with licking and grooming experienced during the first 10 days of life. These results suggest that naturalistic variation in social rearing conditions can introduce diversity into adult nurturing and attachment behaviors.

  7. Effects of the insecticide, orthene, on unconfined populations of the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus). I. Capture/recapture procedures; II. Residues and cholinesterase inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jett, D.A.

    1983-01-01

    In 1982 and 1983. the population demography of M. pennsylvanicus was not altered significantly by single or double applications of Orthene. Although inconsistencies in population size, survival, and recruitment were not explained by differences between control and experimental grids in breeding, emigration, interspecific competition, or pesticide-induced mortality, there may have been fundamental microhabitat differences between grids in both years, and this is supported by prespray data. Slight differences between grids may also reflect the random error associated with the models used to estimate parameters. No evidence was found to indicate an effect on relative weight change or average distances moved. The level of brain AChE in 1982 during sequential days after spraying was significantly lower than control levels. However, this inhibition was not enough to cause direct mortality. Recovery of brain AChe was gradual, probably reflecting continual re-exposure through the diet. Acephate and methamidophos residues were present in the vegetation collected from sprayed areas immediately following treatment, but were reduced or absent after 8 days. AChE inhibition in 1982 and 1983 extended beyond the disappearance of residues in the vegetation. Residues were only present in the G.l. tracts of voles collected immediately following treatment due to rapid metabolism and excretion. Levels in the vegetation and G.l. tracts in 1982 and 1983 were well below the rat oral LD50 of acephate. It is concluded that Orthene applied at recommended levels, in a single or double treatment, should not affect unconfined populations of M. pennsylvanicus in Maryland old-field habitats. Furthermore, this study confirms this method as a sensitive means to determine the overall impact of insecticides on wildlife populations. However, caution must be exercised to insure that all control and experimental areas are closely scrutinized for habitat differences.

  8. Sox9 gene regulation and the loss of the XY/XX sex-determining mechanism in the mole vole Ellobius lutescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagheri-Fam, Stefan; Sreenivasan, Rajini; Bernard, Pascal; Knower, Kevin C; Sekido, Ryohei; Lovell-Badge, Robin; Just, Walter; Harley, Vincent R

    2012-01-01

    In most mammals, the Y chromosomal Sry gene initiates testis formation within the bipotential gonad, resulting in male development. SRY is a transcription factor and together with SF1 it directly up-regulates the expression of the pivotal sex-determining gene Sox9 via a 1.3-kb cis-regulatory element (TESCO) which contains an evolutionarily conserved region (ECR) of 180 bp. Remarkably, several rodent species appear to determine sex in the absence of Sry and a Y chromosome, including the mole voles Ellobius lutescens and Ellobius tancrei, whereas Ellobius fuscocapillus of the same genus retained Sry. The sex-determining mechanisms in the Sry-negative species remain elusive. We have cloned and sequenced 1.1 kb of E. lutescens TESCO which shares 75% sequence identity with mouse TESCO indicating that testicular Sox9 expression in E. lutescens might still be regulated via TESCO. We have also cloned and sequenced the ECRs of E. tancrei and E. fuscocapillus. While the three Ellobius ECRs are highly similar (94-97% sequence identity), they all display a 14-bp deletion (Δ14) removing a highly conserved SOX/TCF site. Introducing Δ14 into mouse TESCO increased both basal activity and SF1-mediated activation of TESCO in HEK293T cells. We propose a model whereby Δ14 may have triggered up-regulation of Sox9 in XX gonads leading to destabilization of the XY/XX sex-determining mechanism in Ellobius. E. lutescens/E. tancrei and E. fuscocapillus could have independently stabilized their sex determination mechanisms by Sry-independent and Sry-dependent approaches, respectively.

  9. Mercury in soil, earthworms and organs of voles Myodes glareolus and shrew Sorex araneus in the vicinity of an industrial complex in Northwest Russia (Cherepovets).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komov, V T; Ivanova, E S; Poddubnaya, N Y; Gremyachikh, V A

    2017-03-01

    The characteristic properties of uptake and distribution of mercury in terrestrial ecosystems have received much lesser attention compared to aquatic particularly in Russia. Terrestrial ecosystems adjacent to large industrial manufactures-potential sources of mercury inflow into the environment frequently remain unstudied. This is the first report on mercury (Hg) levels in the basic elements of terrestrial ecosystems situated close to a large metallurgical complex.Mean values of mercury concentration (mg Hg/kg dry weight) in the vicinity of city of Cherepovets were the following: 0.056 ± 0.033-in the humus layer of soil; 0.556 ± 0.159-in earthworms; in the organs of voles Myodes glareolus (kidneys-0.021 ± 0.001; liver-0.014 ± 0.003; muscle-0.014 ± 0.001; brain-0.008 ± 0.002); in the organs of shrew Sorex araneus (kidneys-0.191 ± 0.016; liver-0.124 ± 0.011; muscle-0.108 ± 0.009; brain-0.065 ± 0.000). Correlation dependences between Hg content in soil and earthworms (r s  = 0.85, p < 0.01) as well as soil and all studied shrews' organs (rs = 0.44-0.58; p ≤ 0.01) were found.The results obtained evidence for a strong trophic link in the bioaccumulation of Hg in terrestrial food webs. Despite the vicinity to a large metallurgical complex, mercury content in the studied objects was significantly lower than values of corresponding parameters in the soils and biota from industrial (polluted) areas of Great Britain, the USA, and China.

  10. An ecological analysis of the herbivory-elicited JA burst and its metabolism: plant memory processes and predictions of the moving target model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Stork

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Rapid herbivore-induced jasmonic acid (JA accumulation is known to mediate many induced defense responses in vascular plants, but little is known about how JA bursts are metabolized and modified in response to repeated elicitations, are propagated throughout elicited leaves, or how they directly influence herbivores. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found the JA burst in a native population of Nicotiana attenuata to be highly robust despite environmental variation and we examined the JA bursts produced by repeated elicitations with Manduca sexta oral secretions (OS at whole- and within-leaf spatial scales. Surprisingly, a 2(nd OS-elicitation suppressed an expected JA burst at both spatial scales, but subsequent elicitations caused more rapid JA accumulation in elicited tissue. The baseline of induced JA/JA-Ile increased with number of elicitations in discrete intervals. Large veins constrained the spatial spread of JA bursts, leading to heterogeneity within elicited leaves. 1(st-instar M. sexta larvae were repelled by elicitations and changed feeding sites. JA conjugated with isoleucine (JA-Ile translates elicitations into defense production (e.g., TPIs, but conjugation efficiency varied among sectors and depended on NaWRKY3/6 transcription factors. Elicited TPI activity correlated strongly with the heterogeneity of JA/JA-Ile accumulations after a single elicitation, but not repeated elicitations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Ecologically informed scaling of leaf elicitation reveals the contribution of repeated herbivory events to the formation of plant memory of herbivory and the causes and importance of heterogeneity in induced defense responses. Leaf vasculature, in addition to transmitting long-distance damage cues, creates heterogeneity in JA bursts within attacked leaves that may be difficult for an attacking herbivore to predict. Such unpredictability is a central tenet of the Moving Target Model of defense, which posits that

  11. Volatile Organic Compounds Induced by Herbivory of the Soybean Looper Chrysodeixis includens in Transgenic Glyphosate-Resistant Soybean and the Behavioral Effect on the Parasitoid, Meteorus rubens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strapasson, Priscila; Pinto-Zevallos, Delia M; Da Silva Gomes, Sandra M; Zarbin, Paulo H G

    2016-08-01

    Transgenic soybean plants (RR) engineered to express resistance to glyphosate harbor a variant of the enzyme EPSPS (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) involved in the shikimic acid pathway, the biosynthetic route of three aromatic amino acids: phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan. The insertion of the variant enzyme CP4 EPSPS confers resistance to glyphosate. During the process of genetic engineering, unintended secondary effects are likely to occur. In the present study, we quantified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted constitutively or induced in response to herbivory by the soybean looper Chrysodeixis includens in transgenic soybean and its isogenic (untransformed) line. Since herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) are known to play a role in the recruitment of natural enemies, we assessed whether changes in VOC profiles alter the foraging behavior of the generalist endoparasitic larval parasitoid, Meteorus rubens in the transgenic line. Additionally, we assessed whether there was a difference in plant quality by measuring the weight gain of the soybean looper. In response to herbivory, several VOCs were induced in both the conventional and the transgenic line; however, larger quantities of a few compounds were emitted by transgenic plants. Meteorus rubens females were able to discriminate between the odors of undamaged and C. includens-damaged plants in both lines, but preferred the odors emitted by herbivore-damaged transgenic plants over those emitted by herbivore-damaged conventional soybean plants. No differences were observed in the weight gain of the soybean looper. Our results suggest that VOC-mediated tritrophic interactions in this model system are not negatively affected. However, as the preference of the wasps shifted towards damaged transgenic plants, the results also suggest that genetic modification affects that tritrophic interactions in multiple ways in this model system.

  12. The effect of area size and predation on the time to extinction of prairie vole populations. simulation studies via SERDYCA: a Spatially-Explicit Individual-Based Model of Rodent Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T

    2003-11-21

    We present a spatially-explicit individual-based computational model of rodent dynamics, customized for the prairie vole species, M. Ochrogaster. The model is based on trophic relationships and represents important features such as territorial competition, mating behavior, density-dependent predation and dispersal out of the modeled spatial region. Vegetation growth and vole fecundity are dependent on climatic components. The results of simulations show that the model correctly predicts the overall temporal dynamics of the population density. Time-series analysis shows a very good match between the periods corresponding to the peak population density frequencies predicted by the model and the ones reported in the literature. The model is used to study the relation between persistence, landscape area and predation. We introduce the notions of average time to extinction (ATE) and persistence frequency to quantify persistence. While the ATE decreases with decrease of area, it is a bell-shaped function of the predation level: increasing for 'small' and decreasing for 'large' predation levels.

  13. Hard electronics; Hard electronics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-03-01

    In the fields of power conversion devices and broadcasting/communication amplifiers, high power, high frequency and low losses are desirable. Further, for electronic elements in aerospace/aeronautical/geothermal surveys, etc., heat resistance to 500degC is required. Devices which respond to such hard specifications are called hard electronic devices. However, with Si which is at the core of the present electronics, the specifications cannot fully be fulfilled because of the restrictions arising from physical values. Accordingly, taking up new device materials/structures necessary to construct hard electronics, technologies to develop these to a level of IC were examined and studied. They are a technology to make devices/IC of new semiconductors such as SiC, diamond, etc. which can handle higher temperature, higher power and higher frequency than Si and also is possible of reducing losses, a technology to make devices of hard semiconducter materials such as a vacuum microelectronics technology using ultra-micro/high-luminance electronic emitter using negative electron affinity which diamond, etc. have, a technology to make devices of oxides which have various electric properties, etc. 321 refs., 194 figs., 8 tabs.

  14. Electronic Cigarettes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... New FDA Regulations Text Size: A A A Electronic Cigarettes Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery operated products designed ... more about: The latest news and events about electronic cigarettes on this FDA page Electronic cigarette basics ...

  15. The Electron

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomson, George

    1972-01-01

    Electrons are elementary particles of atoms that revolve around and outside the nucleus and have a negative charge. This booklet discusses how electrons relate to electricity, some applications of electrons, electrons as waves, electrons in atoms and solids, the electron microscope, among other things.

  16. Herbaceous species diversity patterns across various treatments of herbivory and fire along the sodic zone of the Nkuhlu exclosures, Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helga van Coller

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding relationships between large herbivores and plant species diversity in dynamic riparian zones is critical to biodiversity conservation. The Nkuhlu exclosures in the Kruger National Park (KNP provided opportunity to investigate spatial heterogeneity patterns within riparian zones, as well as how these patterns are affected by fire and herbivory. A monitoring project was initiated to answer questions about the dynamics of the herbaceous layer and was aimed at determining, (1 whether there exists meaningful variance in herbaceous plant species richness and diversity across different treatments in the ecologically sensitive sodic zone and (2 whether an increase in herbaceous biomass, an artefact of herbivory and fire exclusion, suppresses herbaceous plant species diversity and richness. Herbaceous vegetation was sampled in two 1 m2 circular sub-plots in the eastern and western corners of 81 fixed plots. The biomass of each plot was estimated with a disc pasture meter (DPM diagonally with the plot. DPM-readings were converted to kg/ha, according to the latest conversions for the Lowveld Savanna. Species richness and biomass showed significant variance across treatments, whereas no significant variation in herbaceous species diversity was perceived. Combined treatment of fire absence and herbivore presence contributed to higher forb species richness in the sodic zone. Biomass is significantly higher in fully fenced areas where herbivores are excluded, as opposed to the open and partially fenced areas. Although no significant variation was recorded for diversity across treatments, lowest diversity was recorded in the absence of all herbivores, especially in combination with fire treatment. Therefore herbivores are essential in sustaining herbaceous plant species richness in the sodic zone, whilst no significant results were found with regard to their effect on species diversity. Although statistically non-significant, fire seems to

  17. Hard electronics; Hard electronics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    Hard material technologies were surveyed to establish the hard electronic technology which offers superior characteristics under hard operational or environmental conditions as compared with conventional Si devices. The following technologies were separately surveyed: (1) The device and integration technologies of wide gap hard semiconductors such as SiC, diamond and nitride, (2) The technology of hard semiconductor devices for vacuum micro- electronics technology, and (3) The technology of hard new material devices for oxides. The formation technology of oxide thin films made remarkable progress after discovery of oxide superconductor materials, resulting in development of an atomic layer growth method and mist deposition method. This leading research is expected to solve such issues difficult to be easily realized by current Si technology as high-power, high-frequency and low-loss devices in power electronics, high temperature-proof and radiation-proof devices in ultimate electronics, and high-speed and dense- integrated devices in information electronics. 432 refs., 136 figs., 15 tabs.

  18. 棕色田鼠两个地域野生种群的行为比较%Intraspecific behavioral variation in two populations of wild-caught Mandarin voles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    袁爱芳; 邰发道; 贾蕊; 翟培源; 曾爽艳; 于鹏; Hughie Broders

    2009-01-01

    小型哺乳动物能够通过行为策略的进化适应周围的环境.其中,种内社会组织也可随环境参数的变化而变化.河南灵宝程村气候干燥、海拔高,而新郑则气候湿润、海拔低.来自河南灵宝程村的棕色田鼠种群和来自新郑的种群是否在社会行为、情绪、以及性二型上有所差别,目前还不清楚.本研究中,我们通过旷场实验和熟悉选择试验比较了两个种群的情绪、运动能力以及对熟悉鼠和陌生鼠的选择.统计结果表明,程村种群的雌性个体比雄性个体重,而新郑种群的雄性体重比程村种群的重.在旷场实验中,程村种群比新郑种群表现出较多的焦虑样行为.配偶选择实验中,新郑种群不论雌雄都表现出了对陌生异性的喜好.程村种群雄性则更愿意选择熟悉的个体.而且,程村的雌性待在陌生箱攻击陌生鼠的时间远大于熟悉鼠.以上结果表明,两个野生种群在体重、情绪以及对熟悉鼠和陌生鼠选择上都表现出了明显的种群间差异.%Small mammals are likely to be able to accommodate to localized environmental shifts through the evolution of alternative behavioral strategies. Intraspecific social systems may vary considerably among populations of a species as a result of changing environmental conditions. This study examined whether behavioral traits of socially monogamous mandarin voles( Microtus mandarinus), differed between two populations (Chengcun and Xinzheng) characterized by different environmental features, namely altitude and amount of precipitation.Body mass, anxiety, locomotor activity, and partner preference of the two populations were compared. Females in the Chengcun population were much heavier compared with males. However, Xinzheng males were significantly heavier than Chengcun males. Voles in the Chengcun population spent a significantly longer period of time in the central area of an open field compared with animals in the Xinzheng

  19. Convergence in mycorrhizal fungal communities due to drought, plant competition, parasitism and susceptibility to herbivory: Consequences for fungi and host plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A. Gehring

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Plants and mycorrhizal fungi influence each other’s abundance, diversity and distribution. How other biotic interactions affect the mycorrhizal symbiosis is less well understood. Likewise, we know little about the effects of climate change on the fungal component of the symbiosis or its function. We synthesized our long-term studies on the influence of mistletoe parasites, insect herbivores, competing trees, and drought on the ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with a foundation tree species of the southwestern United States, pinyon pine (Pinus edulis, and described how these changes feed back to affect host plant performance. We found that drought and all three of the biotic interactions studied resulted in similar shifts in ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition, demonstrating a convergence of the community towards dominance by a few closely related fungal taxa. Ectomycorrhizal fungi responded similarly to each of these stressors resulting in a predictable trajectory of community disassembly, consistent with ecological theory. Although we predicted that the fungal communities associated with trees stressed by drought, herbivory, competition, and parasitism would be poor mutualists, we found the opposite pattern in field studies. Our results suggest that climate change and the increased importance of herbivores, competitors and parasites that can be associated with it, may ultimately lead to reductions in ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity, but that the remaining fungal community may be beneficial to host trees under the current climate and the warmer, drier climate predicted for the future.

  20. Honing in on phenotypes: comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography of herbivory-induced volatile emissions and novel opportunities for system-level analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaquerel, Emmanuel; Baldwin, Ian T

    2013-01-01

    Plant volatile organic compound (VOC) production requires a complex network of biochemical pathways, which, although well mapped from a biochemical point of view, remains only partly understood with regard to its physiological and genetic regulation. Additionally, although analytical procedures for plant VOC measurement have become increasingly faster and more sensitive in recent years, pinpointing relevant shifts in VOC production from the thousands of molecular fragments that are generated by modern mass spectrometer instruments remains challenging. Here we discuss novel opportunities for system-wide analysis provided by the implementation of non-targeted data processing and multivariate statistics in VOC analysis. We illustrate the value of implementing non-targeted data processing with examples of recent findings from our group on the interactive control exerted by salivary components of a lepidopteran herbivore, Manduca sexta, on herbivory-induced VOC emissions in the wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata. Finally, we briefly discuss the use of multi-platform data integration for probing the nature of metabolic and regulatory systems underlying VOC emissions.

  1. Copper and herbivory lead to priming and synergism in phytohormones and plant volatiles in the absence of salicylate-jasmonate antagonism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostás, Michael; Winter, Thorsten R.; Borkowski, Lena; Zeier, Jürgen

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic stress factors can interfere with the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and thus disrupt chemical communication channels between plants and other organisms. We investigated whether copper (Cu) stress alone or in conjunction with insect damage modifies the kinetics of (1) VOCs, (2) the VOC-inducing phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) and (3) its putative antagonist salicylic acid (SA). Hydroponically grown Zea mays exposed to 10 and 80 µM of Cu showed no increases in JA or VOC levels in the absence of herbivory. However when challenged by herbivores, Cu (80 µM) caused ROS generation in root tissues and primed for increased JA accumulation and VOC emission in leaves. SA synthesis was equally primed but higher concentrations were also apparent before insects started feeding. In contrast, plants grown at 10 µM Cu did not differ from controls. These results show that abiotic and biotic stresses result in concentration-dependent, non-additive defense responses. Further support is given to the notion that JA-SA antagonism is absent in Z. mays. PMID:23518582

  2. Simulated herbivory in chickpea causes rapid changes in defense pathways and hormonal transcription networks of JA/ethylene/GA/auxin within minutes of wounding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Saurabh Prakash; Srivastava, Shruti; Goel, Ridhi; Lakhwani, Deepika; Singh, Priya; Asif, Mehar Hasan; Sane, Aniruddha P

    2017-03-16

    Chickpea (C. arietinum L.) is an important pulse crop in Asian and African countries that suffers significant yield losses due to attacks by insects like H. armigera. To obtain insights into early responses of chickpea to insect attack, a transcriptomic analysis of chickpea leaves just 20 minutes after simulated herbivory was performed, using oral secretions of H. armigera coupled with mechanical wounding. Expression profiles revealed differential regulation of 8.4% of the total leaf transcriptome with 1334 genes up-regulated and 501 down-regulated upon wounding at log2-fold change (|FC| ≤ -1 and ≥1) and FDR value ≤ 0.05. In silico analysis showed the activation of defenses through up-regulation of genes of the phenylpropanoid pathway, pathogenesis, oxidases and CYTP450 besides differential regulation of kinases, phosphatases and transcription factors of the WRKY, MYB, ERFs, bZIP families. A substantial change in the regulation of hormonal networks was observed with up-regulation of JA and ethylene pathways and suppression of growth associated hormone pathways like GA and auxin within 20 minutes of wounding. Secondary qPCR comparison of selected genes showed that oral secretions often increased differential expression relative to mechanical damage alone. The studies provide new insights into early wound responses in chickpea.