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Sample records for assess plant diversity

  1. A Brief Review of Molecular Techniques to Assess Plant Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Arif, Ibrahim A.; Bakir, Mohammad A.; Khan, Haseeb A.; Al Farhan, Ahmad H.; Al Homaidan, Ali A.; Bahkali, Ali H.; Sadoon, Mohammad Al; Shobrak, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Massive loss of valuable plant species in the past centuries and its adverse impact on environmental and socioeconomic values has triggered the conservation of plant resources. Appropriate identification and characterization of plant materials is essential for the successful conservation of plant resources and to ensure their sustainable use. Molecular tools developed in the past few years provide easy, less laborious means for assigning known and unknown plant taxa. These techniques answer many new evolutionary and taxonomic questions, which were not previously possible with only phenotypic methods. Molecular techniques such as DNA barcoding, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have recently been used for plant diversity studies. Each technique has its own advantages and limitations. These techniques differ in their resolving power to detect genetic differences, type of data they generate and their applicability to particular taxonomic levels. This review presents a basic description of different molecular techniques that can be utilized for DNA fingerprinting and molecular diversity analysis of plant species. PMID:20559503

  2. PLANT DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat change statistics and species-area curves were used to estimate the effects of alternative future scenarios for agriculture on plant diversity in Iowa farmlands. Study areas were two watersheds in central Iowa of about 50 and 90 square kilometers, respectively. Future s...

  3. Assessing the diversity of bacterial communities associated with plants

    PubMed Central

    Andreote, Fernando Dini; Azevedo, João Lúcio; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2009-01-01

    Plant–bacteria interactions result from reciprocal recognition between both species. These interactions are responsible for essential biological processes in plant development and health status. Here, we present a review of the methodologies applied to investigate shifts in bacterial communities associated with plants. A description of techniques is made from initial isolations to culture-independent approaches focusing on quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction in real time (qPCR), Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), clone library construction and analysis, the application of multivariate analyses to microbial ecology data and the upcoming high throughput methodologies such as microarrays and pyrosequencing. This review supplies information about the development of traditional methods and a general overview about the new insights into bacterial communities associated with plants. PMID:24031382

  4. Evolution & Diversity in Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Lorentz C.

    1988-01-01

    Summarizes recent findings that help in understanding how evolution has brought about the diversity of plant life that presently exists. Discusses basic concepts of evolution, diversity and classification, the three-line hypothesis of plant evolution, the origin of fungi, and the geologic time table. Included are 31 references. (CW)

  5. Palaeo plant diversity in subtropical Africa - ecological assessment of a conceptual model of climate-vegetation interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groner, V. P.; Claussen, M.; Reick, C.

    2015-07-01

    We here critically re-assess a conceptual model dealing with the potential effect of plant diversity on climate-vegetation feedback, and provide an improved version adjusted to plant types that prevailed during the African Humid Period (AHP). Our work contributes to the understanding of the timing and abruptness of vegetation decline at the end of the AHP, investigated by various working groups during the past two decades using a wide range of model and palaeoproxy reconstruction approaches. While some studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation at the end of the AHP, others suggested a gradual decline. Claussen et al. (2013) introduced a new aspect in the discussion, proposing that plant diversity in terms of moisture requirements could affect the strength of climate-vegetation feedback. In a conceptual model study, the authors illustrated that high plant diversity could stabilize an ecosystem, whereas a reduction in plant diversity might allow for an abrupt regime shift under gradually changing environmental conditions. Based on recently published pollen data and the current state of ecological literature, we evaluate the representation of climate-vegetation feedback in this conceptual approach, and put the suggested conclusions into an ecological context. In principle, the original model reproduces the main features of different plant types interacting together with climate although vegetation determinants other than precipitation are neglected. However, the model cannot capture the diversity of AHP vegetation. Especially tropical gallery forest taxa, indirectly linked to local precipitation, are not appropriately represented. In order to fill the gaps in the description of plant types regarding AHP diversity, we modify the original model in four main aspects. First, the growth ranges in terms of moisture requirements are extended by upper limits to represent full environmental envelopes. Second, data-based AHP plant types replace the hypothetical plant

  6. Assessing Diverse Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Courtland C.

    This keynote address begins with examples that underscore how profoundly the issues of multiculturalism and diversity impact the consciousness of society at the end of the 20th century. Changes in assessment that can lead to assessment for change in a culturally diverse society are based on the ideas that "assessment as a process must be…

  7. Importance of Genetic Diversity Assessment in Crop Plants and Its Recent Advances: An Overview of Its Analytical Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Govindaraj, M.; Vetriventhan, M.; Srinivasan, M.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable

  8. Palaeo plant diversity in subtropical Africa - ecological assessment of a conceptual model of climate-vegetation interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groner, V. P.; Claussen, M.; Reick, C.

    2015-10-01

    We critically reassess a conceptual model here, dealing with the potential effect of plant diversity on climate-vegetation feedback, and we provide an improved version adjusted to plant types that prevailed during the African Humid Period (AHP). Our work contributes to the understanding of the timing and abruptness of vegetation decline at the end of the AHP, investigated by various working groups during the past 2 decades using a wide range of model and palaeo-proxy reconstruction approaches. While some studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation at the end of the AHP, others suggested a gradual decline. Claussen et al. (2013) introduced a new aspect in the discussion, proposing that plant diversity in terms of moisture requirements could affect the strength of climate-vegetation feedback. In a conceptual model study, the authors illustrated that high plant diversity could stabilize an ecosystem, whereas a reduction in plant diversity might allow for an abrupt regime shift under gradually changing environmental conditions. In the light of recently published pollen data and the current state of ecological literature, the conceptual model by Claussen et al. (2013) reproduces the main features of different plant types interacting together with climate, but it does not capture the reconstructed diversity of AHP vegetation. Especially tropical gallery forest taxa, indirectly linked to local precipitation, are not appropriately represented. With a new model version adjusted to AHP vegetation, we can simulate a diverse mosaic-like environment as reconstructed from pollen, and we observe a stabilizing effect of high functional diversity on vegetation cover and precipitation. Sensitivity studies with different combinations of plant types highlight the importance of plant composition on system stability, and the stabilizing or destabilizing potential a single plant type may inherit. The model's simplicity limits its application; however, it provides a useful tool to

  9. Socioeconomics drive urban plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Diane; Gries, Corinna; Zhu, Weixing; Fagan, William F.; Redman, Charles L.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Nelson, Amy L.; Martin, Chris; Kinzig, Ann

    2003-01-01

    Spatial variation in plant diversity has been attributed to heterogeneity in resource availability for many ecosystems. However, urbanization has resulted in entire landscapes that are now occupied by plant communities wholly created by humans, in which diversity may reflect social, economic, and cultural influences in addition to those recognized by traditional ecological theory. Here we use data from a probability-based survey to explore the variation in plant diversity across a large metropolitan area using spatial statistical analyses that incorporate biotic, abiotic, and human variables. Our prediction for the city was that land use, along with distance from urban center, would replace the dominantly geomorphic controls on spatial variation in plant diversity in the surrounding undeveloped Sonoran desert. However, in addition to elevation and current and former land use, family income and housing age best explained the observed variation in plant diversity across the city. We conclude that a functional relationship, which we term the “luxury effect,” may link human resource abundance (wealth) and plant diversity in urban ecosystems. This connection may be influenced by education, institutional control, and culture, and merits further study. PMID:12847293

  10. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. Resource availability controls fungal diversity across a plant diversity gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldrop, M.P.; Zak, D.R.; Blackwood, C.B.; Curtis, C.D.; Tilman, D.

    2006-01-01

    Despite decades of research, the ecological determinants of microbial diversity remain poorly understood. Here, we test two alternative hypotheses concerning the factors regulating fungal diversity in soil. The first states that higher levels of plant detritus production increase the supply of limiting resources (i.e. organic substrates) thereby increasing fungal diversity. Alternatively, greater plant diversity increases the range of organic substrates entering soil, thereby increasing the number of niches to be filled by a greater array of heterotrophic fungi. These two hypotheses were simultaneously examined in experimental plant communities consisting of one to 16 species that have been maintained for a decade. We used ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA), in combination with cloning and sequencing, to quantify fungal community composition and diversity within the experimental plant communities. We used soil microbial biomass as a temporally integrated measure of resource supply. Plant diversity was unrelated to fungal diversity, but fungal diversity was a unimodal function of resource supply. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that plant diversity showed a relationship to fungal community composition, although the occurrence of RISA bands and operational taxonomic units (OTUs) did not differ among the treatments. The relationship between fungal diversity and resource availability parallels similar relationships reported for grasslands, tropical forests, coral reefs, and other biotic communities, strongly suggesting that the same underlying mechanisms determine the diversity of organisms at multiple scales. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Curvilinear Effects of Invasive Plants on Plant Diversity: Plant Community Invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m×5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants. PMID:25426856

  13. Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Kehrli, Patrik; Aebi, Alexandre; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2012-01-01

    Wildflower strips are used to increase natural enemies of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity on farmland. Mollusks, especially slugs, can affect the vegetation development in these strips considerably. Although recent theoretical work suggests that more diverse plant communities will exhibit greater resistance against herbivore pressure, empirical studies are scarce. We conducted a semi-natural experiment in wildflower strips, manipulating trophic structure (reduction in herbivorous mollusks and reduction in major predators) and plant diversity (2, 6, 12, 20 and 24 sown species). This design allowed us to assess the effect of plant diversity, biomass and composition on mollusks, and vice versa, the effect of mollusc abundance on vegetation. Seven species of mollusks were found in the strips, with the slugs Arion lusitanicus, Deroceras reticulatum and Deroceras panormitanum being most frequent. We found a negative relationship between plant diversity and mollusk abundance, which was due predominantly to a decrease in the agricultural pest species A. lusitanicus. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that plant diversity can reduce the impact of herbivores. However, plant identity also had an effect on mollusks, and accounted for a much larger fraction of the variation in mollusk communities than biodiversity effects. While overall plant diversity decreased during the 3 years of the study, in the final year the highest plant diversity was found in the plots where mollusk populations were experimentally reduced. We conclude that selective feeding by generalist herbivores leads to changes in plant community composition and hence reduced plant diversity. Our results highlight the importance of plant biodiversity as protection against generalist herbivores, which if abundant can in the long term negatively impact plant diversity, driving the system along a “low plant diversity – high mollusk abundance” trajectory. PMID:23145332

  14. How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laliberté, Etienne; Grace, James B.; Huston, Michael A.; Lambers, Hans; Teste, François P.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Wardle, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Some of the most species-rich plant communities occur on ancient, strongly weathered soils, whereas those on recently developed soils tend to be less diverse. Mechanisms underlying this well-known pattern, however, remain unresolved. Here, we present a conceptual model describing alternative mechanisms by which pedogenesis (the process of soil formation) might drive plant diversity. We suggest that long-term soil chronosequences offer great, yet largely untapped, potential as 'natural experiments' to determine edaphic controls over plant diversity. Finally, we discuss how our conceptual model can be evaluated quantitatively using structural equation modeling to advance multivariate theories about the determinants of local plant diversity. This should help us to understand broader-scale diversity patterns, such as the latitudinal gradient of plant diversity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the role of diversity in ecosystem processes and species interactions is a central goal of ecology. For plant-herbivore interactions, it has been hypothesized that when plant species diversity is reduced, loss of plant biomass to herbivores increases. Although long-standing, this hypothesis has received mixed support. Increasing plant chemical diversity with increasing plant taxonomic diversity is likely to be important for plant-herbivore interactions at the community level, but the role of chemical diversity is unexplored. Here we assess the effect of volatile chemical diversity on patterns of herbivore damage in naturally occurring patches of Piper (Piperaceae) shrubs in a Costa Rican lowland wet forest. Volatile chemical diversity negatively affected total, specialist, and generalist herbivore damage. Furthermore, there were differences between the effects of high-volatility and low-volatility chemical diversity on herbivore damage. High-volatility diversity reduced specialist herbivory, while low-volatility diversity reduced generalist herbivory. Our data suggest that, although increased plant diversity is expected to reduce average herbivore damage, this pattern is likely mediated by the diversity of defensive compounds and general classes of anti-herbivore traits, as well as the degree of specialization of the herbivores attacking those plants. PMID:27129320

  16. Fungal phylogenetic diversity drives plant facilitation.

    PubMed

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Segarra-Moragues, J G; Valiente-Banuet, A; Verdú, M

    2016-06-01

    Plant-plant facilitation is a crucial ecological process, as many plant species (facilitated) require the presence of an established individual (nurse) to recruit. Some plant facilitative interactions disappear during the ontogenetic development of the facilitated plant but others persist, even when the two plants are adults. We test whether the persistence of plant facilitative interactions is explained by the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi that the nurse and the facilitated species add to the shared rhizosphere. We classify plant facilitative interactions as persistent and non-persistent interactions and quantify the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic and non-mutualistic fungi added by the plant species to the shared rhizosphere. Our results show that the facilitated species add less phylogenetic diversity of non-mutualistic fungi when plant facilitative interactions persist than when they do not persist. However, persistent and non-persistent facilitative interactions did not differ in the phylogenetic diversity of mutualistic fungi added by the facilitated species to the shared rhizosphere. Finally, the fungal phylogenetic diversity added by the nurse to the shared rhizosphere did not differ between persistent and non-persistent interactions. This study suggests that considering the fungal associates of the plant species involved in facilitative interactions can shed light on the mechanisms of persistence for plant-plant interactions. PMID:26915080

  17. Cenozoic plant diversity in the neotropics.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Carlos; Rueda, Milton J; Mora, Germán

    2006-03-31

    Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the high levels of plant diversity in the Neotropics today, but little is known about diversification patterns of Neotropical floras through geological time. Here, we present the longest time series compiled for palynological plant diversity of the Neotropics (15 stratigraphic sections, 1530 samples, 1411 morphospecies, and 287,736 occurrences) from the Paleocene to the early Miocene (65 to 20 million years ago) in central Colombia and western Venezuela. The record shows a low-diversity Paleocene flora, a significantly more diverse early to middle Eocene flora exceeding Holocene levels, and a decline in diversity at the end of the Eocene and early Oligocene. A good correlation between diversity fluctuations and changes in global temperature was found, suggesting that tropical climate change may be directly driving the observed diversity pattern. Alternatively, the good correspondence may result from the control that climate exerts on the area available for tropical plants to grow. PMID:16574860

  18. Rapid plant diversity assessment using a pixel nested plot design: A case study in Beaver Meadows, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kalkhan, M.A.; Stafford, E.J.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Geospatial statistical modelling and thematic maps have recently emerged as effective tools for the management of natural areas at the landscape scale. Traditional methods for the collection of field data pertaining to questions of landscape were developed without consideration for the parameters of these applications. We introduce an alternative field sampling design based on smaller unbiased random plot and subplot locations called the pixel nested plot (PNP). We demonstrate the applicability of the PNP design of 15 m x 15 m to assess patterns of plant diversity and species richness across the landscape at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA in a time (cost)-efficient manner for field data collection. Our results produced comparable results to a previous study in the Beaver Meadow study (BMS) area within RMNP, where there was a demonstrated focus of plant diversity. Our study used the smaller PNP sampling design for field data collection which could be linked to geospatial information data and could be used for landscape-scale analyses and assessment applications. In 2003, we established 61 PNP in the eastern region of RMNP. We present a comparison between this approach using a sub-sample of 19 PNP from this data set and 20 of Modified Whittaker nested plots (MWNP) of 20 m x 50 m that were collected in the BMS area. The PNP captured 266 unique plant species while the MWNP captured 275 unique species. Based on a comparison of PNP and MWNP in the Beaver Meadows area, RMNP, the PNP required less time and area sampled to achieve a similar number of species sampled. Using the PNP approach for data collection can facilitate the ecological monitoring of these vulnerable areas at the landscape scale in a time- and therefore cost-effective manner. ?? 2007 The Authors.

  19. Variation in tidal wetland plant diversity and composition within and among coastal estuaries: assessing the relative importance of environmental gradients

    EPA Science Inventory

    Question: Does wetland plant composition vary more by estuarine type (differentiated by the degree of riverine versus oceanic influence) or habitat type within estuaries (defined by US National Wetlands Inventory [NWI] marsh classes)? Location: Oregon estuaries: Netarts Bay, ...

  20. Plant diversity effects on root decomposition in grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hongmei; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; de Kroon, Hans; Gessler, Arthur; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    understand the negative diversity-root decomposition relationship we additionally aim to unravel the true predictors of the diversity effect. We use morphological and chemical traits of community bulk roots to specify the root substrate quality effect. We use soil physical and chemical conditions as well as diversity and abundance of soil decomposers to describe the effect of the soil decomposition environment. Moreover, plant diversity is included as species richness, functional group richness and measures of functional diversity calculated with a large set of traits for all 60 species of the Jena Experiment. Using structural equation modeling (SEM) we integrate all this information to assess the individual pathways controlling the negative diversity-root decomposition relationship to promote our mechanistic understanding of increased soil C accumulation in more diverse grassland plant communities.

  1. Relationships between Spatial Metrics and Plant Diversity in Constructed Freshwater Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Brandt, Erika C; Petersen, John E; Grossman, Jake J; Allen, George A; Benzing, David H

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of plant species and their distribution in space are both thought to have important effects on the function of wetland ecosystems. However, knowledge of the relationships between plant species and spatial diversity remains incomplete. In this study, we investigated relationships between spatial pattern and plant species diversity over a five year period following the initial restoration of experimental wetland ecosystems. In 2003, six identical and hydrologically-isolated 0.18 ha wetland "cells" were constructed in former farmland in northeast Ohio. The systems were subjected to planting treatments that resulted in different levels of vascular plant species diversity among cells. Plant species diversity was assessed through annual inventories. Plant spatial pattern was assessed by digitizing low-altitude aerial photographs taken at the same time as the inventories. Diversity metrics derived from the inventories were significantly related to certain spatial metrics derived from the photographs, including cover type diversity and contagion. We found that wetlands with high cover type diversity harbor higher plant species diversity than wetlands with fewer types of patches. We also found significant relationships between plant species diversity and spatial patterning of patch types, but the direction of the effect differed depending on the diversity metric used. Links between diversity and spatial pattern observed in this study suggest that high-resolution aerial imagery may provide wetland scientists with a useful tool for assessing plant diversity. PMID:26296205

  2. Relationships between Spatial Metrics and Plant Diversity in Constructed Freshwater Wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Jake J.; Allen, George A.; Benzing, David H.

    2015-01-01

    The diversity of plant species and their distribution in space are both thought to have important effects on the function of wetland ecosystems. However, knowledge of the relationships between plant species and spatial diversity remains incomplete. In this study, we investigated relationships between spatial pattern and plant species diversity over a five year period following the initial restoration of experimental wetland ecosystems. In 2003, six identical and hydrologically-isolated 0.18 ha wetland “cells” were constructed in former farmland in northeast Ohio. The systems were subjected to planting treatments that resulted in different levels of vascular plant species diversity among cells. Plant species diversity was assessed through annual inventories. Plant spatial pattern was assessed by digitizing low-altitude aerial photographs taken at the same time as the inventories. Diversity metrics derived from the inventories were significantly related to certain spatial metrics derived from the photographs, including cover type diversity and contagion. We found that wetlands with high cover type diversity harbor higher plant species diversity than wetlands with fewer types of patches. We also found significant relationships between plant species diversity and spatial patterning of patch types, but the direction of the effect differed depending on the diversity metric used. Links between diversity and spatial pattern observed in this study suggest that high-resolution aerial imagery may provide wetland scientists with a useful tool for assessing plant diversity. PMID:26296205

  3. A hierarchical perspective of plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sarr, Daniel; Hibbs, D.E.; Huston, M.

    2005-01-01

    Predictive models of plant diversity have typically focused on either a landscapea??s capacity for richness (equilibrium models), or on the processes that regulate competitive exclusion, and thus allow species to coexist (nonequilibrium models). Here, we review the concepts and purposes of a hierarchical, multiscale model of the controls of plant diversity that incorporates the equilibrium model of climatic favorability at macroscales, nonequilibrium models of competition at microscales, and a mixed model emphasizing environmental heterogeneity at mesoscales. We evaluate the conceptual model using published data from three spatially nested datasets: (1) a macroscale analysis of ecoregions in the continental and western U.S.; (2) a mesoscale study in California; and (3) a microscale study in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon and California. At the macroscale (areas from 3889 km2 to 638,300 km2), climate (actual evaporation) was a strong predictor of tree diversity (R2 = 0.80), as predicted by the conceptual model, but area was a better predictor for vascular plant diversity overall (R2 = 0.38), which suggests different types of plants differ in their sensitivity to climatic controls. At mesoscales (areas from 1111 km2 to 15,833 km2 ), climate was still an important predictor of richness (R2 = 0.52), but, as expected, topographic heterogeneity explained an important share of the variance (R2 = 0.19), showed positive correlations with diversity of trees, shrubs, and annual and perennial herbs, and was the primary predictor of shrub and annual plant species richness. At microscales (0.1 ha plots), spatial patterns of diversity showed a clear unimodal pattern along a climatea??driven productivity gradient and a negative relationship with soil fertility. The strong decline in understory and total diversity at the most productive sites suggests that competitive controls, as predicted, can override climatic controls at this scale. We conclude that this hierarchical

  4. A hierarchical perspective of plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Sarr, Daniel A; Hibbs, David E; Huston, Michael A

    2005-06-01

    Predictive models of plant diversity have typically focused on either a landscape's capacity for richness (equilibrium models), or on the processes that regulate competitive exclusion, and thus allow species to coexist (nonequilibrium models). Here, we review the concepts and purposes of a hierarchical, multiscale model of the controls of plant diversity that incorporates the equilibrium model of climatic favorability at macroscales, nonequilibrium models of competition at microscales, and a mixed model emphasizing environmental heterogeneity at mesoscales. We evaluate the conceptual model using published data from three spatially nested datasets: (1) a macroscale analysis of ecoregions in the continental and western U.S.; (2) a mesoscale study in California; and (3) a microscale study in the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon and California. At the macroscale (areas from 3889 km2 to 638,300 km2), climate (actual evaporation) was a strong predictor of tree diversity (R2 = 0.80), as predicted by the conceptual model, but area was a better predictor for vascular plant diversity overall (R2 = 0.38), which suggests different types of plants differ in their sensitivity to climatic controls. At mesoscales (areas from 1111 km2 to 15,833 km2), climate was still an important predictor of richness (R2 = 0.52), but, as expected, topographic heterogeneity explained an important share of the variance (R2 = 0.19) showed positive correlations with diversity of trees, shrubs, and annual and perennial herbs, and was the primary predictor of shrub and annual plant species richness. At microscales (0.1 ha plots), spatial patterns of diversity showed a clear unimodal pattern along a climate-driven productivity gradient and a negative relationship with soil fertility. The strong decline in understory and total diversity at the most productive sites suggests that competitive controls, as predicted, can override climatic controls at this scale. We conclude that this hierarchical, multiscale

  5. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    PubMed

    Kershaw, H Maureen; Morris, Dave M; Fleming, Robert L; Luckai, Nancy J

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types. PMID:26092048

  6. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kershaw, H. Maureen; Morris, Dave M.; Fleming, Robert L.; Luckai, Nancy J.

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types.

  7. DNA from soil mirrors plant taxonomic and growth form diversity.

    PubMed

    Yoccoz, N G; Bråthen, K A; Gielly, L; Haile, J; Edwards, M E; Goslar, T; Von Stedingk, H; Brysting, A K; Coissac, E; Pompanon, F; Sønstebø, J H; Miquel, C; Valentini, A; De Bello, F; Chave, J; Thuiller, W; Wincker, P; Cruaud, C; Gavory, F; Rasmussen, M; Gilbert, M T P; Orlando, L; Brochmann, C; Willerslev, E; Taberlet, P

    2012-08-01

    Ecosystems across the globe are threatened by climate change and human activities. New rapid survey approaches for monitoring biodiversity would greatly advance assessment and understanding of these threats. Taking advantage of next-generation DNA sequencing, we tested an approach we call metabarcoding: high-throughput and simultaneous taxa identification based on a very short (usually <100 base pairs) but informative DNA fragment. Short DNA fragments allow the use of degraded DNA from environmental samples. All analyses included amplification using plant-specific versatile primers, sequencing and estimation of taxonomic diversity. We tested in three steps whether degraded DNA from dead material in soil has the potential of efficiently assessing biodiversity in different biomes. First, soil DNA from eight boreal plant communities located in two different vegetation types (meadow and heath) was amplified. Plant diversity detected from boreal soil was highly consistent with plant taxonomic and growth form diversity estimated from conventional above-ground surveys. Second, we assessed DNA persistence using samples from formerly cultivated soils in temperate environments. We found that the number of crop DNA sequences retrieved strongly varied with years since last cultivation, and crop sequences were absent from nearby, uncultivated plots. Third, we assessed the universal applicability of DNA metabarcoding using soil samples from tropical environments: a large proportion of species and families from the study site were efficiently recovered. The results open unprecedented opportunities for large-scale DNA-based biodiversity studies across a range of taxonomic groups using standardized metabarcoding approaches. PMID:22507540

  8. Plant Functional Diversity and Species Diversity in the Mongolian Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Background The Mongolian steppe is one of the most important grasslands in the world but suffers from aridization and damage from anthropogenic activities. Understanding structure and function of this community is important for the ecological conservation, but has seldom been investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, a total of 324 quadrats located on the three main types of Mongolian steppes were surveyed. Early-season perennial forbs (37% of total importance value), late-season annual forbs (33%) and late-season perennial forbs (44%) were dominant in meadow, typical and desert steppes, respectively. Species richness, diversity and plant functional type (PFT) richness decreased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes, but evenness increased; PFT diversity in the desert and meadow steppes was higher than that in typical steppe. However, above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) was far lower in desert steppe than in the other two steppes. In addition, the slope of the relationship between species richness and PFT richness increased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes. Similarly, with an increase in species diversity, PFT diversity increased more quickly in both the desert and typical steppes than that in meadow steppe. Random resampling suggested that this coordination was partly due to a sampling effect of diversity. Conclusions/Significance These results indicate that desert steppe should be strictly protected because of its limited functional redundancy, which its ecological functioning is sensitive to species loss. In contrast, despite high potential forage production shared by the meadow and typical steppes, management of these two types of steppes should be different: meadow steppe should be preserved due to its higher conservation value characterized by more species redundancy and higher spatial heterogeneity, while typical steppe could be utilized moderately because its dominant grass genus Stipa is resistant to

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Wild pollinators supply essential, historically undervalued pollination services to crops and other flowering plant communities with great potential to ensure agricultural production against the loss of heavily relied upon managed pollinators. Local plant communities provision wild bees with crucial floral and nesting resources, but the distribution of floristic diversity among habitat types in North American agricultural landscapes and its effect on pollinators are diverse and poorly understood, especially in orchard systems. We documented floristic diversity in typical mid-Atlantic commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) orchards including the forest and orchard-forest edge ("edge") habitats surrounding orchards in a heterogeneous landscape in south-central Pennsylvania, USA. We also assessed the correlation between plant richness and orchard pollinator communities. In this apple production region, edge habitats are the most species rich, supporting 146 out of 202 plant species recorded in our survey. Plant species richness in the orchard and edge habitats were significant predictors of bee species richness and abundance in the orchard, as well as landscape area of the forest and edge habitats. Both the quantity and quality of forest and edges close to orchards play a significant role in provisioning a diverse wild bee community in this agroecosystem. PMID:26385933

  10. Diverse urban plantings managed with sufficient resource availability can increase plant productivity and arthropod diversity

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Jonathon N.; Loh, Susan; Braggion, Ligia; Cameron, Stephen; Firn, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Buildings structures and surfaces are explicitly being used to grow plants, and these “urban plantings” are generally designed for aesthetic value. Urban plantings also have the potential to contribute significant “ecological values” by increasing urban habitat for animals such as arthropods and by increasing plant productivity. In this study, we evaluated how the provision of these additional ecological values is affected by plant species richness; the availability of essential resources for plants, such as water, light, space; and soil characteristics. We sampled 33 plantings located on the exterior of three buildings in the urban center of Brisbane, Australia (subtropical climatic region) over 2, 6 week sampling periods characterized by different temperature and rainfall conditions. Plant cover was estimated as a surrogate for productivity as destructive sampling of biomass was not possible. We measured weekly light levels (photosynthetically active radiation), plant CO2 assimilation, soil CO2 efflux, and arthropod diversity. Differences in plant cover were best explained by a three-way interaction of plant species richness, management water regime and sampling period. As the richness of plant species increased in a planter, productivity and total arthropod richness also increased significantly—likely due to greater habitat heterogeneity and quality. Overall we found urban plantings can provide additional ecological values if essential resources are maintained within a planter such as water, light and soil temperature. Diverse urban plantings that are managed with these principles in mind can contribute to the attraction of diverse arthropod communities, and lead to increased plant productivity within a dense urban context. PMID:25400642

  11. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide.

    PubMed

    Prober, Suzanne M; Leff, Jonathan W; Bates, Scott T; Borer, Elizabeth T; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W Stanley; Lind, Eric M; Seabloom, Eric W; Adler, Peter B; Bakker, Jonathan D; Cleland, Elsa E; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Mitchell, Charles E; Risch, Anita C; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J; Williams, Ryan J; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground-belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m(2) plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity. PMID:25430889

  12. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  13. Assessment of Functional EST-SSR Markers (Sugarcane) in Cross-Species Transferability, Genetic Diversity among Poaceae Plants, and Bulk Segregation Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ul Haq, Shamshad; Kumar, Pradeep; Singh, R. K.; Verma, Kumar Sambhav; Bhatt, Ritika; Sharma, Meenakshi; Kachhwaha, Sumita; Kothari, S. L.

    2016-01-01

    Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are important resource for gene discovery, gene expression and its regulation, molecular marker development, and comparative genomics. We procured 10000 ESTs and analyzed 267 EST-SSRs markers through computational approach. The average density was one SSR/10.45 kb or 6.4% frequency, wherein trinucleotide repeats (66.74%) were the most abundant followed by di- (26.10%), tetra- (4.67%), penta- (1.5%), and hexanucleotide (1.2%) repeats. Functional annotations were done and after-effect newly developed 63 EST-SSRs were used for cross transferability, genetic diversity, and bulk segregation analysis (BSA). Out of 63 EST-SSRs, 42 markers were identified owing to their expansion genetics across 20 different plants which amplified 519 alleles at 180 loci with an average of 2.88 alleles/locus and the polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged from 0.51 to 0.93 with an average of 0.83. The cross transferability ranged from 25% for wheat to 97.22% for Schlerostachya, with an average of 55.86%, and genetic relationships were established based on diversification among them. Moreover, 10 EST-SSRs were recognized as important markers between bulks of pooled DNA of sugarcane cultivars through BSA. This study highlights the employability of the markers in transferability, genetic diversity in grass species, and distinguished sugarcane bulks. PMID:27340568

  14. Assessment of Functional EST-SSR Markers (Sugarcane) in Cross-Species Transferability, Genetic Diversity among Poaceae Plants, and Bulk Segregation Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ul Haq, Shamshad; Kumar, Pradeep; Singh, R K; Verma, Kumar Sambhav; Bhatt, Ritika; Sharma, Meenakshi; Kachhwaha, Sumita; Kothari, S L

    2016-01-01

    Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are important resource for gene discovery, gene expression and its regulation, molecular marker development, and comparative genomics. We procured 10000 ESTs and analyzed 267 EST-SSRs markers through computational approach. The average density was one SSR/10.45 kb or 6.4% frequency, wherein trinucleotide repeats (66.74%) were the most abundant followed by di- (26.10%), tetra- (4.67%), penta- (1.5%), and hexanucleotide (1.2%) repeats. Functional annotations were done and after-effect newly developed 63 EST-SSRs were used for cross transferability, genetic diversity, and bulk segregation analysis (BSA). Out of 63 EST-SSRs, 42 markers were identified owing to their expansion genetics across 20 different plants which amplified 519 alleles at 180 loci with an average of 2.88 alleles/locus and the polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged from 0.51 to 0.93 with an average of 0.83. The cross transferability ranged from 25% for wheat to 97.22% for Schlerostachya, with an average of 55.86%, and genetic relationships were established based on diversification among them. Moreover, 10 EST-SSRs were recognized as important markers between bulks of pooled DNA of sugarcane cultivars through BSA. This study highlights the employability of the markers in transferability, genetic diversity in grass species, and distinguished sugarcane bulks. PMID:27340568

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Species interaction mechanisms maintain grassland plant species diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Theory has outpaced empirical research in pursuit of identifying mechanisms maintaining species diversity. Here we demonstrate how data from diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments can be used to test maintenance of diversity theory. We predict that grassland plant diversity can be maintained by...

  17. PLANT DIVERSITY OF WESTERN CHITWAN FLORISTIC APPROACH

    PubMed Central

    Dangol, D. R.; Shivakoti, G. P.

    2012-01-01

    This paper identifies and documents the plant biodiversity of western Chitwan, Nepal. Specifically, our attention was focussed on the plants of forests, grasslands and common lands based on our “Reciprocal Relation of Population and Environment Study Project” conducted during January-April 1996. This species-diversity of trees, shrubs and herbaceous flora was recorded from 117, 117, and 1049 sampling quadrats of 10×10, 3×3 and 1×1 m2, respectively. The flora of our study plots contains 236 species that belong to 191 genera and 66 families. Of 236 species of plants, 119, 113, 59, 35 and 119 species were recorded from Tikauli forest, National Park forest, forests along the Narayani river, grasslands of National Park and common lands of the western Chitwan, respectively. Dicotyledons represent 184 (77.97%) species of the total flora species followed by monocotyledons (46 spp., 19.49%) and ferns (6 spp., 2.54%), respectively. The five largest families are Leguminosae (38 spp.), Poaceae (27 spp.), Asteraceae (22 spp.), Rubiaceae (10 spp.), and Scrophulariaceae (9 spp.). Hedyotis, Grewia and Lindernia, each with 4 spp., are the most speciose genera in the flora. PMID:22899874

  18. Straight Talk about Cognitive Assessment and Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frisby, Craig L.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses three reasons explaining heightened interest in alternative assessment in the context of diversity issues in school psychology: inadequacy of traditional test use with language populations for whom tests were not designed; the hope that alternative assessment will eliminate, reduce, or camouflage average score differences between…

  19. Decomposer diversity and identity influence plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Reich, Peter B; Isbell, Forest

    2012-10-01

    Plant productivity and other ecosystem functions often increase with plant diversity at a local scale. Alongside various plant-centered explanations for this pattern, there is accumulating evidence that multi-trophic interactions shape this relationship. Here, we investigated for the first time if plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are mediated or driven by decomposer animal diversity and identity using a double-diversity microcosm experiment. We show that many ecosystem processes and ecosystem multifunctionality (herbaceous shoot biomass production, litter removal, and N uptake) were affected by both plant and decomposer diversity, with ecosystem process rates often being maximal at intermediate to high plant and decomposer diversity and minimal at both low plant and decomposer diversity. Decomposers relaxed interspecific plant competition by enlarging chemical (increased N uptake and surface-litter decomposition) and spatial (increasing deep-root biomass) habitat space and by promoting plant complementarity. Anecic earthworms and isopods functioned as key decomposers; although decomposer diversity effects did not solely rely on these two decomposer species, positive plant net biodiversity and complementarity effects only occurred in the absence of isopods and the presence of anecic earthworms. Using a structural equation model, we explained 76% of the variance in plant complementarity, identified direct and indirect effect paths, and showed that the presence of key decomposers accounted for approximately three-quarters of the explained variance. We conclude that decomposer animals have been underappreciated as contributing agents of plant diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Elevated decomposer performance at high plant diversity found in previous experiments likely positively feeds back to plant performance, thus contributing to the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:23185884

  20. Exotic plant species invade hot spots of native plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Binkley, D.; Chong, G.W.; Kalkhan, M.A.; Schell, L.D.; Bull, K.A.; Otsuki, Y.; Newman, G.; Bashkin, M.; Yowhan, S.

    1999-01-01

    Some theories and experimental studies suggest that areas of low plant species richness may be invaded more easily than areas of high plant species richness. We gathered nested-scale vegetation data on plant species richness, foliar cover, and frequency from 200 1-m2 subplots (20 1000-m2 modified-Whittaker plots) in the Colorado Rockies (USA), and 160 1-m2 subplots (16 1000-m2 plots) in the Central Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota (USA) to test the generality of this paradigm. At the 1-m2 scale, the paradigm was supported in four prairie types in the Central Grasslands, where exotic species richness declined with increasing plant species richness and cover. At the 1-m2 scale, five forest and meadow vegetation types in the Colorado Rockies contradicted the paradigm; exotic species richness increased with native-plant species richness and foliar cover. At the 1000-m2 plot scale (among vegetation types), 83% of the variance in exotic species richness in the Central Grasslands was explained by the total percentage of nitrogen in the soil and the cover of native plant species. In the Colorado Rockies, 69% of the variance in exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots was explained by the number of native plant species and the total percentage of soil carbon. At landscape and biome scales, exotic species primarily invaded areas of high species richness in the four Central Grasslands sites and in the five Colorado Rockies vegetation types. For the nine vegetation types in both biomes, exotic species cover was positively correlated with mean foliar cover, mean soil percentage N, and the total number of exotic species. These patterns of invasibility depend on spatial scale, biome and vegetation type, spatial autocorrelation effects, availability of resources, and species-specific responses to grazing and other disturbances. We conclude that: (1) sites high in herbaceous foliar cover and soil fertility, and hot spots of plant diversity (and

  1. Environmental correlates of plant diversity in Korean temperate forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Černý, Tomáš; Doležal, Jiří; Janeček, Štěpán; Šrůtek, Miroslav; Valachovič, Milan; Petřík, Petr; Altman, Jan; Bartoš, Michael; Song, Jong-Suk

    2013-02-01

    Mountainous areas of the Korean Peninsula are among the biodiversity hotspots of the world's temperate forests. Understanding patterns in spatial distribution of their species richness requires explicit consideration of different environmental drivers and their effects on functionally differing components. In this study, we assess the impact of both geographical and soil variables on the fine-scale (400 m2) pattern of plant diversity using field data from six national parks, spanning a 1300 m altitudinal gradient. Species richness and the slopes of species-area curves were calculated separately for the tree, shrub and herb layer and used as response variables in regression tree analyses. A cluster analysis distinguished three dominant forest communities with specific patterns in the diversity-environment relationship. The most widespread middle-altitude oak forests had the highest tree richness but the lowest richness of herbaceous plants due to a dense bamboo understory. Total richness was positively associated with soil reaction and negatively associated with soluble phosphorus and solar radiation (site dryness). Tree richness was associated mainly with soil factors, although trees are frequently assumed to be controlled mainly by factors with large-scale impact. A U-shaped relationship was found between herbaceous plant richness and altitude, caused by a distribution pattern of dwarf bamboo in understory. No correlation between the degree of canopy openness and herb layer richness was detected. Slopes of the species-area curves indicated the various origins of forest communities. Variable diversity-environment responses in different layers and communities reinforce the necessity of context-dependent differentiation for the assessment of impacts of climate and land-use changes in these diverse but intensively exploited regions.

  2. The primary control on ancient land plant diversity is climate

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, A. . Dept. of Geology)

    1993-03-01

    Reproductive strategy and competition have been proposed as determinants of ancient land plant diversity. However climate is the primary control on modern plant productivity and diversity and may be the primary control on ancient diversity. For Silurian through Mid-Carboniferous land plants, the most profound diversity collapse and the greatest diversity increase occurred during times of global climate change. In the middle to late Frasnian, land plant diversity fell precipitously and remained low through the middle Famennian. Global warming probably triggered this event. Climate models suggest global warming at the end of Frasnian; the cosmopolitan faunas and floras of the Famennian indicate a uniform global climate. The diverse floras of the late Givetian and early Frasnian show pronounced latitudinal differentiation which disappeared after the diversity collapse. The depauperate floras of the late Frasnian--middle Famennian fall into two or three biogeographic units, each of which spans a large paleolatitudinal range. Land plant diversity remained constant during the Early Carboniferous and rose dramatically at the Mid-Carboniferous boundary at the onset of, and perhaps in response to, Southern Hemisphere glaciation. Polar glaciation contributes to ever wet, ever warm tropical climate because polar high pressure zones confine the intertropical convergence zone to a narrow latitudinal belt near the equator. As land plant diversity rose, the paleoequatorial coal belt of the Late Carboniferous became established, suggesting a correlation between increases in land plant diversity and tropical precipitation.

  3. Plant diversity increases soil microbial activity and soil carbon storage.

    PubMed

    Lange, Markus; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sierra, Carlos A; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christoph; Griffiths, Robert I; Mellado-Vázquez, Perla G; Malik, Ashish A; Roy, Jacques; Scheu, Stefan; Steinbeiss, Sibylle; Thomson, Bruce C; Trumbore, Susan E; Gleixner, Gerd

    2015-01-01

    Plant diversity strongly influences ecosystem functions and services, such as soil carbon storage. However, the mechanisms underlying the positive plant diversity effects on soil carbon storage are poorly understood. We explored this relationship using long-term data from a grassland biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and radiocarbon ((14)C) modelling. Here we show that higher plant diversity increases rhizosphere carbon inputs into the microbial community resulting in both increased microbial activity and carbon storage. Increases in soil carbon were related to the enhanced accumulation of recently fixed carbon in high-diversity plots, while plant diversity had less pronounced effects on the decomposition rate of existing carbon. The present study shows that elevated carbon storage at high plant diversity is a direct function of the soil microbial community, indicating that the increase in carbon storage is mainly limited by the integration of new carbon into soil and less by the decomposition of existing soil carbon. PMID:25848862

  4. Opposing phylogenetic diversity gradients of plant and soil bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Goberna, Marta; Navarro-Cano, Jose A; Verdú, Miguel

    2016-02-24

    Plants and soil microbes show parallel patterns of species-level diversity. Diverse plant communities release a wider range of organics that are consumed by more microbial species. We speculated, however, that diversity metrics accounting for the evolutionary distance across community members would reveal opposing patterns between plant and soil bacterial phylogenetic diversity. Plant phylogenetic diversity enhances plant productivity and thus expectedly soil fertility. This, in turn, might reduce bacterial phylogenetic diversity by favouring one (or a few) competitive bacterial clade. We collected topsoils in 15 semi-arid plant patches and adjacent low-cover areas configuring a plant phylodiversity gradient, pyrosequenced the 16S rRNA gene to identify bacterial taxa and analysed soil fertility parameters. Structural equation modelling showed positive effects of both plant richness and phylogenetic diversity on soil fertility. Fertility increased bacterial richness but reduced bacterial phylogenetic diversity. This might be attributed to the competitive dominance of a lineage based on its high relative fitness. This suggests biotic interactions as determinants of the soil bacterial community assembly, while emphasizing the need to use phylogeny-informed metrics to tease apart the processes underlying the patterns of diversity. PMID:26888037

  5. Personality assessments as a workforce diversity tool.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sandra K; Sord, Brandy; Griffin, Caleigh; Borges, Lora

    2008-01-01

    * Employee recruitment, retention, and workforce diversity are essential ingredients in a successful radiology department. Since potential new hires and existing employees do not come with labels which accurately describe their innate characteristics, radiology managers need to use objective tools such as personality assessments in order to properly evaluate prospective employment candidates. * These tools have traditionally been under utilized in the healthcare industry, but when used as part of a complete employee selection program they have the potential of ensuring a cohesive radiology department filled with diverse and skilled professionals. * Legal concerns and time constraints withstanding, use of personality assessments as a workforce diversity tool will aid in building an integrated department culture which values the varying skills and attributes of every employee. The result is a radiology department with high levels of employee retention and satisfaction. PMID:18431938

  6. Assessing Nutritional Diversity of Cropping Systems in African Villages

    PubMed Central

    DeClerck, Fabrice; Diru, Willy; Fanzo, Jessica; Gaynor, Kaitlyn; Lambrecht, Isabel; Mudiope, Joseph; Mutuo, Patrick K.; Nkhoma, Phelire; Siriri, David; Sullivan, Clare; Palm, Cheryl A.

    2011-01-01

    Background In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Methods and Findings Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. Conclusion This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are generated and strategies for

  7. Language, Diversity, and Assessment in Mathematics Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berenson, Sarah B.

    1997-01-01

    Examines the theoretical framework of psychologist Lev Vygotsky with regard to communication tools, cognition, and socio-cultural effects on these tools. Reports the results of several studies of students' word meanings of division by adapting Luria's instruments for alternative assessments. Discusses the implications of socio-cultural diversity,…

  8. Microbes on mountainsides: Contrasting elevational patterns of bacterial and plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Jessica A.; Lamanna, Christine; Morlon, Hélène; Kerkhoff, Andrew J.; Enquist, Brian J.; Green, Jessica L.

    2008-01-01

    The study of elevational diversity gradients dates back to the foundation of biogeography. Although elevational patterns of plant and animal diversity have been studied for centuries, such patterns have not been reported for microorganisms and remain poorly understood. Here, in an effort to assess the generality of elevational diversity patterns, we examined soil bacterial and plant diversity along an elevation gradient. To gain insight into the forces that structure these patterns, we adopted a multifaceted approach to incorporate information about the structure, diversity, and spatial turnover of montane communities in a phylogenetic context. We found that observed patterns of plant and bacterial diversity were fundamentally different. While bacterial taxon richness and phylogenetic diversity decreased monotonically from the lowest to highest elevations, plants followed a unimodal pattern, with a peak in richness and phylogenetic diversity at mid-elevations. At all elevations bacterial communities had a tendency to be phylogenetically clustered, containing closely related taxa. In contrast, plant communities did not exhibit a uniform phylogenetic structure across the gradient: they became more overdispersed with increasing elevation, containing distantly related taxa. Finally, a metric of phylogenetic beta-diversity showed that bacterial lineages were not randomly distributed, but rather exhibited significant spatial structure across the gradient, whereas plant lineages did not exhibit a significant phylogenetic signal. Quantifying the influence of sample scale in intertaxonomic comparisons remains a challenge. Nevertheless, our findings suggest that the forces structuring microorganism and macroorganism communities along elevational gradients differ. PMID:18695215

  9. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

  10. Positive interactions between herbivores and plant diversity shape forest regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Cook-Patton, Susan C.; LaForgia, Marina; Parker, John D.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of herbivores and diversity on plant communities have been studied separately but rarely in combination. We conducted two concurrent experiments over 3 years to examine how tree seedling diversity, density and herbivory affected forest regeneration. One experiment factorially manipulated plant diversity (one versus 15 species) and the presence/absence of deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We found that mixtures outperformed monocultures only in the presence of deer. Selective browsing on competitive dominants and associational protection from less palatable species appear responsible for this herbivore-driven diversity effect. The other experiment manipulated monospecific plant density and found little evidence for negative density dependence. Combined, these experiments suggest that the higher performance in mixture was owing to the acquisition of positive interspecific interactions rather than the loss of negative intraspecific interactions. Overall, we emphasize that realistic predictions about the consequences of changing biodiversity will require a deeper understanding of the interaction between plant diversity and higher trophic levels. If we had manipulated only plant diversity, we would have missed an important positive interaction across trophic levels: diverse seedling communities better resist herbivores, and herbivores help to maintain seedling diversity. PMID:24718763

  11. Pathogens and insect herbivores drive rainforest plant diversity and composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Robert; Gallery, Rachel E; Gripenberg, Sofia; Gurr, Sarah J; Narayan, Lakshmi; Addis, Claire E; Freckleton, Robert P; Lewis, Owen T

    2014-02-01

    Tropical forests are important reservoirs of biodiversity, but the processes that maintain this diversity remain poorly understood. The Janzen-Connell hypothesis suggests that specialized natural enemies such as insect herbivores and fungal pathogens maintain high diversity by elevating mortality when plant species occur at high density (negative density dependence; NDD). NDD has been detected widely in tropical forests, but the prediction that NDD caused by insects and pathogens has a community-wide role in maintaining tropical plant diversity remains untested. We show experimentally that changes in plant diversity and species composition are caused by fungal pathogens and insect herbivores. Effective plant species richness increased across the seed-to-seedling transition, corresponding to large changes in species composition. Treating seeds and young seedlings with fungicides significantly reduced the diversity of the seedling assemblage, consistent with the Janzen-Connell hypothesis. Although suppressing insect herbivores using insecticides did not alter species diversity, it greatly increased seedling recruitment and caused a marked shift in seedling species composition. Overall, seedling recruitment was significantly reduced at high conspecific seed densities and this NDD was greatest for the species that were most abundant as seeds. Suppressing fungi reduced the negative effects of density on recruitment, confirming that the diversity-enhancing effect of fungi is mediated by NDD. Our study provides an overall test of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and demonstrates the crucial role that insects and pathogens have both in structuring tropical plant communities and in maintaining their remarkable diversity. PMID:24463522

  12. Dosimetry for animals and plants: contending with biota diversity.

    PubMed

    Ulanovsky, A

    2016-06-01

    Diversity of living organisms and their environmental radiation exposure conditions represents a special challenge for non-human dosimetry. In order to contend with such diversity, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has: (a) set up points of reference by providing dose conversion coefficients (DCCs) for reference entities known as 'Reference Animals and Plants' (RAPs); and (b) used dosimetric models that pragmatically assume simple body shapes with uniform composition and density, homogeneous internal contamination, a limited set of idealised external radiation sources, and truncation of the radioactive decay chains. This pragmatic methodology has been further developed and extended systematically. Significant methodological changes include: a new extended approach for assessing doses of external exposure for terrestrial animals, transition to the contemporary ICRP radionuclide database, assessment-specific consideration of the contribution of radioactive progeny to dose coefficients of parent nuclides, and the use of generalised allometric relationships in the estimation of biokinetic or metabolic parameters. The new methodological developments resulted in a revision of the DCCs for RAPs. Tables of the dose coefficients have now been complemented by a web-based software tool, which can be used to calculate a user-specific DCC for an organism of arbitrary mass and shape, located at user-defined height above the ground, and for an arbitrary radionuclide and its radioactive progeny. PMID:26984904

  13. Power Plant Water Intake Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeitoun, Ibrahim H.; And Others

    1980-01-01

    In order to adequately assess the impact of power plant cooling water intake on an aquatic ecosystem, total ecosystem effects must be considered, rather than merely numbers of impinged or entrained organisms. (Author/RE)

  14. In the footsteps of Vavilov: plant diversity then and now

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    N. I. Vavilov’s theories direct present day global activities in plant science, breeding, and conservation. His expeditions around the world located centers of diversity of crop evolution. Vavilov was one of the earliest scientists to realize that wild genetic diversity could be lost, through geneti...

  15. T Plant hazards assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Broz, R.E.

    1994-09-27

    This document establishes the technical basis in support of Emergency Planning activities for the T Plant on the Hanford Site. The document represents an acceptable interpretation of the implementing guidance document for DOE ORDER 5500.3A. Through this document, the technical basis for the development of facility specific Emergency Action Levels and the Emergency Planning Zone is demonstrated.

  16. B Plant hazards assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Broz, R.E.

    1994-09-23

    This document establishes the technical basis in support of Emergency Planning Activities for B Plant on the Hanford Site. The document represents an acceptable interpretation of the implementing guidance document for DOE Order 5500.3A. Through this document, the technical basis for the development of facility specific , Emergency Action Levels and the Emergency Planning Zone is demonstrated.

  17. Shrines in Central Italy conserve plant diversity and large trees.

    PubMed

    Frascaroli, Fabrizio; Bhagwat, Shonil; Guarino, Riccardo; Chiarucci, Alessandro; Schmid, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Sacred natural sites (SNS) are instances of biocultural landscapes protected for spiritual motives. These sites frequently host important biological values in areas of Asia and Africa, where traditional resource management is still upheld by local communities. In contrast, the biodiversity value of SNS has hardly been quantitatively tested in Western contexts, where customs and traditions have relatively lost importance due to modernization and secularization. To assess whether SNS in Western contexts retain value for biodiversity, we studied plant species composition at 30 SNS in Central Italy and compared them with a paired set of similar but not sacred reference sites. We demonstrate that SNS are important for conserving stands of large trees and habitat heterogeneity across different land-cover types. Further, SNS harbor higher plant species richness and a more valuable plant species pool, and significantly contribute to diversity at the landscape scale. We suggest that these patterns are related not only to pre-existent features, but also to traditional management. Conservation of SNS should take into account these specificities, and their cultural as well as biological values, by supporting the continuation of traditional management practices. PMID:26701326

  18. Plant genotypic diversity reduces the rate of consumer resource utilization

    PubMed Central

    McArt, Scott H.; Thaler, Jennifer S.

    2013-01-01

    While plant species diversity can reduce herbivore densities and herbivory, little is known regarding how plant genotypic diversity alters resource utilization by herbivores. Here, we show that an invasive folivore—the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)—increases 28 per cent in abundance, but consumes 24 per cent less foliage in genotypic polycultures compared with monocultures of the common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). We found strong complementarity for reduced herbivore damage among plant genotypes growing in polycultures and a weak dominance effect of particularly resistant genotypes. Sequential feeding by P. japonica on different genotypes from polycultures resulted in reduced consumption compared with feeding on different plants of the same genotype from monocultures. Thus, diet mixing among plant genotypes reduced herbivore consumption efficiency. Despite positive complementarity driving an increase in fruit production in polycultures, we observed a trade-off between complementarity for increased plant productivity and resistance to herbivory, suggesting costs in the complementary use of resources by plant genotypes may manifest across trophic levels. These results elucidate mechanisms for how plant genotypic diversity simultaneously alters resource utilization by both producers and consumers, and show that population genotypic diversity can increase the resistance of a native plant to an invasive herbivore. PMID:23658201

  19. Severe plant invasions can increase mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean M; Rosendahl, Søren; Ramsey, Philip W

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge)—but not cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)—support a higher abundance and diversity of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) than multi-species native plant communities. The higher AMF richness associated with knapweed and spurge is unlikely due to a co-invasion by AMF, because a separate sampling showed that individual native forbs hosted a similar AMF abundance and richness as exotic forbs. Native grasses associated with fewer AMF taxa, which could explain the reduced AMF richness in native, grass-dominated communities. The three invasive plant species harbored distinct AMF communities, and analyses of co-occurring native and invasive plants indicate that differences were partly driven by the invasive plants and were not the result of pre-invasion conditions. Our results suggest that invasions by mycotrophic plants that replace poorer hosts can increase AMF abundance and richness. The high AMF richness in monodominant plant invasions also indicates that the proposed positive relationship between above and belowground diversity is not always strong. Finally, the disparate responses among exotic plants and consistent results between grasses and forbs suggest that AMF respond more to plant functional group than plant provenance. PMID:23486251

  20. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hertzog, Lionel R.; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Ebeling, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas

  1. Experimental Manipulation of Grassland Plant Diversity Induces Complex Shifts in Aboveground Arthropod Diversity.

    PubMed

    Hertzog, Lionel R; Meyer, Sebastian T; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Ebeling, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas

  2. Is plant temporal beta diversity of field margins related to changes in management practices?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alignier, Audrey; Baudry, Jacques

    2016-08-01

    Field margins have considerable ecological significance in agriculture-dominated landscapes by supporting biodiversity and associated services. However, agricultural changes during mid-20th century led to their drastic loss with a serious threat for biodiversity. Using time-series data, we aimed to get better insights into processes underlying plant patterns of field margins through time by i) quantifying plant temporal beta diversity components, ii) assessing whether the observed changes in plant communities can be related to changes in management practices applied to field margins. During the springs of 1994, 1998 and 2001, we surveyed plant communities and management practices of the same 116 field margins in three contrasted landscapes. We estimated temporal beta diversity in plant communities and partitioned it into its two dissimilarity resultant components, accounting for replacement of species (i.e. turnover) and for the nested gain or loss of species (i.e. nestedness). We then tested whether the observed changes in plant communities between 1994 and 1998 and, between 1998 and 2001 were related to changes in management practices using linear models. Plant communities of field margins exhibited strong temporal beta diversity dominated by turnover. Temporal turnover in plant communities was partly related to changes in management practices, i.e., a decrease of grazing concomitant to an increase of herbicide spraying. However, relationships were not consistent between all landscape contexts nor time period, suggesting that other unmeasured deterministic or stochastic processes could be driving the observed plant patterns. Taken together, our results suggest that maintaining a wide diversity of field margins with contrasted management contribute to maintaining plant diversity at a landscape scale. They underline the value of investigating plant temporal diversity patterns using time-series data and thus, the need to develop long-term studies making it possible

  3. Assessment of Genetic Diversity of Sweet Potato in Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Bonilla, Lorraine; Cuevas, Hugo E.; Montero-Rojas, Milly; Bird-Pico, Fernando; Luciano-Rosario, Dianiris; Siritunga, Dimuth

    2014-01-01

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is the seventh most important food crop due to its distinct advantages, such as adaptability to different environmental conditions and high nutritional value. Assessing the genetic diversity of this important crop is necessary due to the constant increase of demand for food and the need for conservation of agricultural and genetic resources. In Puerto Rico (PR), the genetic diversity of sweet potato has been poorly understood, although it has been part of the diet since Pre-Columbus time. Thus, 137 landraces from different localities around PR were collected and subjected to a genetic diversity analysis using 23 SSR-markers. In addition, 8 accessions from a collection grown in Gurabo, PR at the Agricultural Experimental Station (GAES), 10 US commercial cultivars and 12 Puerto Rican accessions from the USDA repository collection were included in this assessment. The results of the analysis of the 23 loci showed 255 alleles in the 167 samples. Observed heterozygosity was high across populations (0.71) while measurements of total heterozygosity revealed a large genetic diversity throughout the population and within populations. UPGMA clustering method revealed two main clusters. Cluster 1 contained 12 PR accessions from the USDA repository collection, while cluster 2 consisted of PR landraces, US commercial cultivars and the PR accessions from GAES. Population structure analysis grouped PR landraces in five groups including four US commercial cultivars. Our study shows the presence of a high level of genetic diversity of sweet potato across PR which can be related to the genetic makeup of sweet potato, human intervention and out-crossing nature of the plant. The history of domestication and dispersal of sweet potato in the Caribbean and the high levels of genetic diversity found through this study makes sweet potato an invaluable resource that needs to be protected and further studied. PMID:25551388

  4. Combined use of a new SNP-based assay and multilocus SSR markers to assess genetic diversity of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca infecting citrus and coffee plants.

    PubMed

    Montes-Borrego, Miguel; Lopes, Joao R S; Jiménez-Díaz, Rafael M; Landa, Blanca B

    2015-03-01

    Two haplotypes of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca (Xfp) that correlated with their host of origin were identified in a collection of 90 isolates infecting citrus and coffee plants in Brazil, based on a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the gyrB sequence. A new single-nucleotide primer extension (SNuPE) protocol was designed for rapid identification of Xfp according to the host source. The protocol proved to be robust for the prediction of the Xfp host source in blind tests using DNA from cultures of the bacterium, infected plants, and insect vectors allowed to feed on Xfp-infected citrus plants. AMOVA and STRUCTURE analyses of microsatellite data separated most Xfp populations on the basis of their host source, indicating that they were genetically distinct. The combined use of the SNaPshot protocol and three previously developed multilocus SSR markers showed that two haplotypes and distinct isolates of Xfp infect citrus and coffee in Brazil and that multiple, genetically different isolates can be present in a single orchard or infect a single tree. This combined approach will be very useful in studies of the epidemiology of Xfp-induced diseases, host specificity of bacterial genotypes, the occurrence of Xfp host jumping, vector feeding habits, etc., in economically important cultivated plants or weed host reservoirs of Xfp in Brazil and elsewhere. PMID:26415663

  5. Nutritive value in relation to plant species diversity of pastures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Planting forage mixtures may benefit pasture herbage production; however, changes in botanical composition could cause unstable nutritive value. Data from two grazing studies and a farm survey were used to examine how plant species diversity influenced herbage nutritive value. In one grazing study,...

  6. Secondary bacterial symbiont community in aphids responds to plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Zytynska, Sharon E; Meyer, Sebastian T; Sturm, Sarah; Ullmann, Wiebke; Mehrparvar, Mohsen; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-03-01

    Biodiversity is important for ecosystem functioning and biotic interactions. In experimental grasslands, increasing plant species richness is known to increase the diversity of associated herbivores and their predators. If these interactions can also involve endosymbionts that reside within a plant or animal host is currently unknown. In plant-feeding aphids, secondary bacterial symbionts can have strong fitness effects on the host, e.g. resistance to natural enemies or fungal pathogens. We examined the secondary symbiont community in three species of aphid, each feeding on a unique host plant across experimental plots that varied in plant species richness. Aphids were collected in May and June, and the symbiont community identified using species-specific PCR assays. Aphis fabae aphids were found to host six different symbiont species with individual aphids co-hosting up to four symbionts. Uroleucon jaceae and Macrosiphum rosae hosted two and three symbiont species, respectively. We found that, at the aphid population level, increasing plant species richness increased the diversity of the aphid symbiont community, whereas at the individual aphid level, the opposite was found. These effects are potentially driven by varying selective pressures across different plant communities of varying diversities, mediated by defensive protection responses and a changing cost-benefit trade-off to the aphid for hosting multiple secondary symbionts. Our work extends documented effects of plant diversity beyond visible biotic interactions to changes in endosymbiont communities, with potentially far-reaching consequences to related ecosystem processes. PMID:26603858

  7. Plant Species Diversity and Pasture Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers face many challenges in pasture management, such as evolving agri-environmental schemes to protect natural resources, and need new management techniques to remain sustainable. Ecological research indicates that increased plant biodiversity benefits ecosystem functions such as primary product...

  8. Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment of Plant Identification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conejo, Ricardo; Garcia-Viñas, Juan Ignacio; Gastón, Aitor; Barros, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

    Developing plant identification skills is an important part of the curriculum of any botany course in higher education. Frequent practice with dried and fresh plants is necessary to recognize the diversity of forms, states, and details that a species can present. We have developed a web-based assessment system for mobile devices that is able to…

  9. Plant Diversity Impacts Decomposition and Herbivory via Changes in Aboveground Arthropods

    PubMed Central

    Ebeling, Anne; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Abbas, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lange, Markus; Scherber, Christoph; Vogel, Anja; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2014-01-01

    Loss of plant diversity influences essential ecosystem processes as aboveground productivity, and can have cascading effects on the arthropod communities in adjacent trophic levels. However, few studies have examined how those changes in arthropod communities can have additional impacts on ecosystem processes caused by them (e.g. pollination, bioturbation, predation, decomposition, herbivory). Therefore, including arthropod effects in predictions of the impact of plant diversity loss on such ecosystem processes is an important but little studied piece of information. In a grassland biodiversity experiment, we addressed this gap by assessing aboveground decomposer and herbivore communities and linking their abundance and diversity to rates of decomposition and herbivory. Path analyses showed that increasing plant diversity led to higher abundance and diversity of decomposing arthropods through higher plant biomass. Higher species richness of decomposers, in turn, enhanced decomposition. Similarly, species-rich plant communities hosted a higher abundance and diversity of herbivores through elevated plant biomass and C:N ratio, leading to higher herbivory rates. Integrating trophic interactions into the study of biodiversity effects is required to understand the multiple pathways by which biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. PMID:25226237

  10. High plant diversity in Eocene South America: Evidence from Patagonia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilf, P.; Cuneo, N.R.; Johnson, K.R.; Hicks, J.F.; Wing, S.L.; Obradovich, J.D.

    2003-01-01

    Tropical South America has the highest plant diversity of any region today, but this richness is usually characterized as a geologically recent development (Neogene or Pleistocene). From caldera-lake beds exposed at Laguna del Hunco in Patagonia, Argentina, paleolatitude ???47??S, we report 102 leaf species. Radioisotopic and paleomagnetic analyses indicate that the flora was deposited 52 million years ago, the time of the early Eocene climatic optimum, when tropical plant taxa and warm, equable climates reached middle latitudes of both hemispheres. Adjusted for sample size, observed richness exceeds that of any other Eocene leaf flora, supporting an ancient history of high plant diversity in warm areas of South America.

  11. Phytochrome diversity in green plants and the origin of canonical plant phytochromes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fay-Wei; Melkonian, Michael; Rothfels, Carl J.; Villarreal, Juan Carlos; Stevenson, Dennis W.; Graham, Sean W.; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Pryer, Kathleen M.; Mathews, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are red/far-red photoreceptors that play essential roles in diverse plant morphogenetic and physiological responses to light. Despite their functional significance, phytochrome diversity and evolution across photosynthetic eukaryotes remain poorly understood. Using newly available transcriptomic and genomic data we show that canonical plant phytochromes originated in a common ancestor of streptophytes (charophyte algae and land plants). Phytochromes in charophyte algae are structurally diverse, including canonical and non-canonical forms, whereas in land plants, phytochrome structure is highly conserved. Liverworts, hornworts and Selaginella apparently possess a single phytochrome, whereas independent gene duplications occurred within mosses, lycopods, ferns and seed plants, leading to diverse phytochrome families in these clades. Surprisingly, the phytochrome portions of algal and land plant neochromes, a chimera of phytochrome and phototropin, appear to share a common origin. Our results reveal novel phytochrome clades and establish the basis for understanding phytochrome functional evolution in land plants and their algal relatives. PMID:26215968

  12. Phytochrome diversity in green plants and the origin of canonical plant phytochromes.

    PubMed

    Li, Fay-Wei; Melkonian, Michael; Rothfels, Carl J; Villarreal, Juan Carlos; Stevenson, Dennis W; Graham, Sean W; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu; Pryer, Kathleen M; Mathews, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Phytochromes are red/far-red photoreceptors that play essential roles in diverse plant morphogenetic and physiological responses to light. Despite their functional significance, phytochrome diversity and evolution across photosynthetic eukaryotes remain poorly understood. Using newly available transcriptomic and genomic data we show that canonical plant phytochromes originated in a common ancestor of streptophytes (charophyte algae and land plants). Phytochromes in charophyte algae are structurally diverse, including canonical and non-canonical forms, whereas in land plants, phytochrome structure is highly conserved. Liverworts, hornworts and Selaginella apparently possess a single phytochrome, whereas independent gene duplications occurred within mosses, lycopods, ferns and seed plants, leading to diverse phytochrome families in these clades. Surprisingly, the phytochrome portions of algal and land plant neochromes, a chimera of phytochrome and phototropin, appear to share a common origin. Our results reveal novel phytochrome clades and establish the basis for understanding phytochrome functional evolution in land plants and their algal relatives. PMID:26215968

  13. Accelerating global access to plant diversity information.

    PubMed

    Lughadha, Eimear Nic; Miller, Chuck

    2009-11-01

    Botanic gardens play key roles in the development and dissemination of plant information resources. Drivers for change have included progress in information technology, growing public expectations of electronic access and international conservation policy. Great advances have been made in the quantity, quality and accessibility of plant information in digital form and the extent to which information from multiple providers can be accessed through a single portal. However, significant challenges remain to be addressed in making botanic gardens resources maximally accessible and impactful, not least the overwhelming volume of material which still awaits digitisation. The year 2010 represents an opportunity for botanic gardens to showcase their collaborative achievements in delivery of electronic plant information and reinforce their relevance to pressing environmental issues. PMID:19836991

  14. Putting the Plants Back into Plant Ecology: Six Pragmatic Models for Understanding and Conserving Plant Diversity

    PubMed Central

    KEDDY, PAUL

    2005-01-01

    • Background There is a compelling need to protect natural plant communities and restore them in degraded landscapes. Activities must be guided by sound scientific principles, practical conservation tools, and clear priorities. With perhaps one-third of the world's flora facing extinction, scientists and conservation managers will need to work rapidly and collaboratively, recognizing each other's strengths and limitations. As a guide to assist managers in maintaining plant diversity, six pragmatic models are introduced that are already available. Although theoretical models continue to receive far more space and headlines in scientific journals, more managers need to understand that pragmatic, rather than theoretical, models have the most promise for yielding results that can be applied immediately to plant communities. • Six Pragmatic Models For each model, key citations and an array of examples are provided, with particular emphasis on wetlands, since ‘wet and wild’ was my assigned theme for the Botanical Society of America in 2003. My own work may seem rather prominent, but the application and refinement of these models has been a theme for me and my many students over decades. The following models are reviewed: (1) species–area: larger areas usually contain more species; (2) species–biomass: plant diversity is maximized at intermediate levels of biomass; (3) centrifugal organization: multiple intersecting environmental gradients maintain regional landscape biodiversity; (4) species–frequency: a few species are frequent while most are infrequent; (5) competitive hierarchies: in the absence of constraints, large canopy-forming species dominate patches of landscape, reducing biological diversity; and (6) intermediate disturbance: perturbations such as water level fluctuations, fire and grazing are essential for maintaining plant diversity. • Conclusions The good news is that managers faced with protecting or restoring landscapes already have this

  15. Diversity begets diversity: host expansions and the diversification of plant-feeding insects

    PubMed Central

    Janz, Niklas; Nylin, Sören; Wahlberg, Niklas

    2006-01-01

    Background Plant-feeding insects make up a large part of earth's total biodiversity. While it has been shown that herbivory has repeatedly led to increased diversification rates in insects, there has been no compelling explanation for how plant-feeding has promoted speciation rates. There is a growing awareness that ecological factors can lead to rapid diversification and, as one of the most prominent features of most insect-plant interactions, specialization onto a diverse resource has often been assumed to be the main process behind this diversification. However, specialization is mainly a pruning process, and is not able to actually generate diversity by itself. Here we investigate the role of host colonizations in generating insect diversity, by testing if insect speciation rate is correlated with resource diversity. Results By applying a variant of independent contrast analysis, specially tailored for use on questions of species richness (MacroCAIC), we show that species richness is strongly correlated with diversity of host use in the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Furthermore, by comparing the results from reciprocal sister group selection, where sister groups were selected either on the basis of diversity of host use or species richness, we find that it is likely that diversity of host use is driving species richness, rather than vice versa. Conclusion We conclude that resource diversity is correlated with species richness in the Nymphalidae and suggest a scenario based on recurring oscillations between host expansions – the incorporation of new plants into the repertoire – and specialization, as an important driving force behind the diversification of plant-feeding insects. PMID:16420707

  16. Increasing land-use intensity decreases floral colour diversity of plant communities in temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Binkenstein, Julia; Renoult, Julien P; Schaefer, H Martin

    2013-10-01

    To preserve biodiversity and ecosystem functions in a globally changing world it is crucial to understand the effect of land use on ecosystem processes such as pollination. Floral colouration is known to be central in plant-pollinator interactions. To date, it is still unknown whether land use affects the colouration of flowering plant communities. To assess the effect of land use on the diversity and composition of flower colours in temperate grasslands, we collected data on the number of flowering plant species, blossom cover and flower reflectance spectra from 69 plant communities in two German regions, Schwäbische Alb (SA) and Hainich-Dün (HD). We analysed reflectance data of flower colours as they are perceived by honeybees and studied floral colour diversity based upon spectral loci of each flowering plant species in the Maxwell triangle. Before the first mowing, flower colour diversity decreased with increasing land-use intensity in SA, accompanied by a shift of mean flower colours of communities towards an increasing proportion of white blossom cover in both regions. By changing colour characteristics of grasslands, we suggest that increasing land-use intensity can affect the flower visitor fauna in terms of visitor behaviour and diversity. These changes may in turn influence plant reproduction in grassland plant communities. Our results indicate that land use is likely to affect communication processes between plants and flower visitors by altering flower colour traits. PMID:23568710

  17. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation.

    PubMed

    Borer, Elizabeth T; Seabloom, Eric W; Gruner, Daniel S; Harpole, W Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Adler, Peter B; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S; Brudvig, Lars A; Buckley, Yvonne M; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cleland, Elsa E; Crawley, Michael J; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Leakey, Andrew D B; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Melbourne, Brett A; Mitchell, Charles E; Moore, Joslin L; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R; Orrock, John L; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M; Pyke, David A; Risch, Anita C; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D; Stevens, Carly J; Sullivan, Lauren L; Williams, Ryan J; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Justin P; Yang, Louie H

    2014-04-24

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light. PMID:24670649

  18. Analysis of plant diversity with retrotransposon-based molecular markers

    PubMed Central

    Kalendar, R; Flavell, A J; Ellis, T H N; Sjakste, T; Moisy, C; Schulman, A H

    2011-01-01

    Retrotransposons are both major generators of genetic diversity and tools for detecting the genomic changes associated with their activity because they create large and stable insertions in the genome. After the demonstration that retrotransposons are ubiquitous, active and abundant in plant genomes, various marker systems were developed to exploit polymorphisms in retrotransposon insertion patterns. These have found applications ranging from the mapping of genes responsible for particular traits and the management of backcrossing programs to analysis of population structure and diversity of wild species. This review provides an insight into the spectrum of retrotransposon-based marker systems developed for plant species and evaluates the contributions of retrotransposon markers to the analysis of population diversity in plants. PMID:20683483

  19. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Alder, Peter B.; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W.; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Orrock, John L.; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Williams, Ryan J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  20. Modeling Forest Structure and Vascular Plant Diversity in Piedmont Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakkenberg, C.

    2014-12-01

    When the interacting stressors of climate change and land cover/land use change (LCLUC) overwhelm ecosystem resilience to environmental and climatic variability, forest ecosystems are at increased risk of regime shifts and hyperdynamism in process rates. To meet the growing range of novel biotic and environmental stressors on human-impacted ecosystems, the maintenance of taxonomic diversity and functional redundancy in metacommunities has been proposed as a risk spreading measure ensuring that species critical to landscape ecosystem functioning are available for recruitment as local systems respond to novel conditions. This research is the first in a multi-part study to establish a dynamic, predictive model of the spatio-temporal dynamics of vascular plant diversity in North Carolina Piedmont mixed forests using remotely sensed data inputs. While remote sensing technologies are optimally suited to monitor LCLUC over large areas, direct approaches to the remote measurement of plant diversity remain a challenge. This study tests the efficacy of predicting indices of vascular plant diversity using remotely derived measures of forest structural heterogeneity from aerial LiDAR and high spatial resolution broadband optical imagery in addition to derived topo-environmental variables. Diversity distribution modelling of this sort is predicated upon the idea that environmental filtering of dispersing species help define fine-scale (permeable) environmental envelopes within which biotic structural and compositional factors drive competitive interactions that, in addition to background stochasticity, determine fine-scale alpha diversity. Results reveal that over a range of Piedmont forest communities, increasing structural complexity is positively correlated with measures of plant diversity, though the nature of this relationship varies by environmental conditions and community type. The diversity distribution model is parameterized and cross-validated using three high

  1. Effects of plant identity and diversity on the dietary choice of a soil-living insect herbivore.

    PubMed

    Schallhart, Nikolaus; Tusch, Manuel Josef; Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Traugott, Michael

    2012-12-01

    Plant identity and diversity influence herbivore communities in many different ways. While it is well known how they affect the feeding preferences of aboveground herbivores, this information is lacking for soil ecosystems, where examining plant-herbivore trophic interactions is difficult. We performed a mesocosm experiment assessing how plant identity and diversity affect the food choice of Agriotes larvae, which are soil-living generalist herbivores. We offered four plant species, (maize, a grass, a legume, and a forb) at varying combinations and diversity levels to these larvae, and analyzed their feeding behavior using stable isotopes. We hypothesized that (1) their food choice is driven by preference for certain plant species rather than by root abundance and that (2) the preference for specific plants changes with increasing plant diversity. We found that larvae preferred the grass and legume but avoided maize and the forb. Whether a plant was preferred or avoided was independent of diversity, but the extent of avoidance or preference changed with increasing plant diversity. Our findings reveal that the dietary choice of soil-living generalist herbivores is determined by plant-specific traits rather than root abundance. Our data also suggest that soil herbivore feeding preferences are modulated by plant diversity. PMID:23431595

  2. Diversity Strategies for Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Richard Thomas; Belles, Randy; Cetiner, Mustafa Sacit; Holcomb, David Eugene; Korsah, Kofi; Loebl, Andy; Mays, Gary T; Muhlheim, Michael David; Mullens, James Allen; Poore III, Willis P; Qualls, A L; Wilson, Thomas L; Waterman, Michael E.

    2010-02-01

    This report presents the technical basis for establishing acceptable mitigating strategies that resolve diversity and defense-in-depth (D3) assessment findings and conform to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements. The research approach employed to establish appropriate diversity strategies involves investigation of available documentation on D3 methods and experience from nuclear power and nonnuclear industries, capture of expert knowledge and lessons learned, determination of best practices, and assessment of the nature of common-cause failures (CCFs) and compensating diversity attributes. The research described in this report does not provide guidance on how to determine the need for diversity in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs. Rather, the scope of this report provides guidance to the staff and nuclear industry after a licensee or applicant has performed a D3 assessment per NUREG/CR-6303 and determined that diversity in a safety system is needed for mitigating the consequences of potential CCFs identified in the evaluation of the safety system design features. Succinctly, the purpose of the research described in this report was to answer the question, 'If diversity is required in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs, how much diversity is enough?' The principal results of this research effort have identified and developed diversity strategies, which consist of combinations of diversity attributes and their associated criteria. Technology, which corresponds to design diversity, is chosen as the principal system characteristic by which diversity criteria are grouped to form strategies. The rationale for this classification framework involves consideration of the profound impact that technology-focused design diversity provides. Consequently, the diversity usage classification scheme involves three families of strategies: (1) different technologies, (2) different approaches within the same

  3. Assessment of molecular diversity and population structure of the Ethiopian sorghum [Sorghum bicolor L. (Moench)] germplasm collection maintained by the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System using SSR markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genetic diversity and population structure present in the Ethiopian sorghum collection maintained at the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has not been studied. In addition, 83% of the accessions in the Ethiopian collection lack passport information which has constrained their eval...

  4. Plant Diversity Surpasses Plant Functional Groups and Plant Productivity as Driver of Soil Biota in the Long Term

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M.; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Conclusions/Significance Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. PMID:21249208

  5. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems. PMID:26781165

  6. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m(2) quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems. PMID:26781165

  7. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems.

  8. Plant diversity effects on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon uptake: a controlled environment (Ecotron) and modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Roy, Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Effects of species and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon fluxes have been rarely assessed simultaneously. Here we present the results from an experiment that combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/ monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment ("The Jena Experiment") and a modelling approach. We aimed at (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (4 vs. 16 species) on day- and night-time ecosystem water vapor fluxes and carbon uptake, (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model, and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor vapor and CO2 fluxes using plant functional trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. The SW model indicated that at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while at higher species richness the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a production-related water flux) increased. This led to an increased carbon gain per amount of water vapor loss (i.e. increased water use efficiency). While the LAI controlled the carbon and water fluxes, we also found that the diversity of plant functional traits, and in particular of leaf nitrogen concentration are potential important predictors of ecosystem transpiration and carbon uptake and consequently significantly contributed to increase in water use efficiency in communities with higher plant diversity.

  9. Nematicide impacts on nematodes and feedbacks on plant productivity in a plant diversity gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Ackermann, Michael; Gass, Svenja; Klier, Matthias; Migunova, Varvara; Nitschke, Norma; Ruess, Liliane; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2010-09-01

    A major issue in current ecological research is the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Although several studies reported a positive diversity - productivity relationship, the role of soil animals has been largely neglected. Nematodes are among the most widespread and important herbivores causing substantial yield losses in agriculture; however, impacts of nematodes on the diversity - productivity relationship in semi-natural plant communities have not been investigated until today. In the framework of the Jena Experiment (Thuringia, Germany) we established control and nematicide treated subplots to manipulate nematode densities on plots varying in plant species (1-16) and functional group richness (1-4). We explored the interacting effects of nematicide application and plant diversity on the main trophic groups of nematodes and on aboveground plant productivity. Nematicide application reduced the number of nematodes significantly, particularly that of plant feeders and predators. The negative impact of nematicide application on plant and bacterial feeders depended however on the diversity of the plant community. Total plant shoot biomass tended to decrease in the presence of ambient nematode densities. In detail, nematode effects varied however with plant functional group identity by reducing only the shoot biomass of herbs significantly but not that of legumes. Furthermore, the shoot biomass of grasses tended to decrease in the presence of ambient nematode densities. In contrast to total shoot biomass, nematodes decreased grass shoot biomass only in high diverse but not in low diverse plant communities. Thus, the present study for the first time highlights that nematodes likely modify the community structure und functions of semi-natural plant communities by altering the competition between plant functional groups and by attenuating the diversity - productivity relationship.

  10. Facilitation contributes to Mediterranean woody plant diversity but does not shape the diversity-productivity relationship along aridity gradients.

    PubMed

    Rey, Pedro J; Alcántara, Julio M; Manzaneda, Antonio J; Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M

    2016-07-01

    The diversity-productivity relationship (humped-back model (HBM)) and the stress-gradient (SGH) hypotheses may be connected when productivity is limited primarily by aridity. We analytically connect both hypotheses and assess the contribution of facilitation to woody plant richness along the aridity gradient of the Western Mediterranean floristic region. We monitored regeneration niches of woody plants, obtaining rarefied species richness and plant relative interaction indices in 54 forests and scrublands in a 1750-km geographical range across Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands. We verified the monotonic increase in facilitation with aridity postulated by SGH and the humped-shape pattern of species richness expected from HBM, which became manifest after expanding the aridity gradient or crossing vegetation types. Along the gradient, interaction balance turned into facilitation earlier in forest than in scrublands. The effects of aridity and interaction balance on species diversity were additive rather than interdependent. Facilitation is an important driver of woody species richness at macroecological scales because it added up to diversity in most sites, with enhanced contribution with increased stress. The HBM was not shaped by species interactions. Results suggest that facilitation may act in Mediterranean vegetation buffering against critical transitions between states allowing woody plant communities to cope with the rise in aridity expected with global warming. PMID:26959084

  11. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF QUADRATS FOR MEASURING VASCULAR PLANT DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quadrats are widely used for measuring characteristics of vascular plant communities. It is well recognized that quadrat size affects measurements of frequency and cover. The ability of quadrats of varying sizes to adequately measure diversity has not been established. An exha...

  12. Running up the scale: From plant traits to beta diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Landscape ecologists often consider a hierarchy of scales, from individual species to communities to landscapes. Beta diversity can anchor a conceptual framework linking major concepts in ecology, building from plant physiological and structural traits that determine the fundamental niche, through c...

  13. PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY, ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION, AND PASTURE MANAGEMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland farmers face new challenges in pasture management including improving sustainability, reducing inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, and protecting soil resources. Managing plant diversity within and among pastures may be one tool to aid producers in meeting these new challenges. Pasture e...

  14. Diversity in Plant Breeding: A New Conceptual Framework.

    PubMed

    Litrico, Isabelle; Violle, Cyrille

    2015-10-01

    Faced with an accelerating rate of environmental change and the associated need for a more sustainable, low-input agriculture, the urgent new challenge for crop science is to find ways to introduce greater diversity to cropping systems. However, there is a dearth of generic formalism in programs seeking to diversify crops. In this opinion, we propose a new framework, derived from ecological theory, that should enable diversity targets to be incorporated into plant-breeding programs. While ecological theory provides criteria for maintaining diversity and optimizing the production of mixtures, such criteria are rarely fully realized in natural ecosystems. Conversely, crop breeding should optimize both agronomic value and the ability of plants to perform and live alongside one another. This framework represents an opportunity to develop more sustainable crops and also a radical new way to apply ecological theory to cropping systems. PMID:26440430

  15. Genotypic and phenotypic diversity in populations of plant-probiotic Pseudomonas spp. colonizing roots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco

    2008-01-01

    Several soil microorganisms colonizing roots are known to naturally promote the health of plants by controlling a range of plant pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. The use of theses antagonistic microorganisms, recently named plant-probiotics, to control plant-pathogenic fungi is receiving increasing attention, as they may represent a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides. Many years of research on plant-probiotic microorganisms (PPM) have indicated that fluorescent pseudomonads producing antimicrobial compounds are largely involved in the suppression of the most widespread soilborne pathogens. Phenotype and genotype analysis of plant-probiotic fluorescent pseudomonads (PFP) have shown considerable genetic variation among these types of strains. Such variability plays an important role in the rhizosphere competence and the biocontrol ability of PFP strains. Understanding the mechanisms by which genotypic and phenotypic diversity occurs in natural populations of PFP could be exploited to choose those agricultural practices which best exploit the indigenous PFP populations, or to isolate new plant-probiotic strains for using them as inoculants. A number of different methods have been used to study diversity within PFP populations. Because different resolutions of the existing microbial diversity can be revealed depending on the approach used, this review first describes the most important methods used for the assessment of fluorescent Pseudomonas diversity. Then, we focus on recent data relating how differences in genotypic and phenotypic diversity within PFP communities can be attributed to geographic location, climate, soil type, soil management regime, and interactions with other soil microorganisms and host plants. It becomes evident that plant-related parameters exert the strongest influence on the genotypic and phenotypic variations in PFP populations.

  16. Arctic plant diversity in the Early Eocene greenhouse

    PubMed Central

    Harrington, Guy J.; Eberle, Jaelyn; Le-Page, Ben A.; Dawson, Mary; Hutchison, J. Howard

    2012-01-01

    For the majority of the Early Caenozoic, a remarkable expanse of humid, mesothermal to temperate forests spread across Northern Polar regions that now contain specialized plant and animal communities adapted to life in extreme environments. Little is known on the taxonomic diversity of Arctic floras during greenhouse periods of the Caenozoic. We show for the first time that plant richness in the globally warm Early Eocene (approx. 55–52 Myr) in the Canadian High Arctic (76° N) is comparable with that approximately 3500 km further south at mid-latitudes in the US western interior (44–47° N). Arctic Eocene pollen floras are most comparable in richness with today's forests in the southeastern United States, some 5000 km further south of the Arctic. Nearly half of the Eocene, Arctic plant taxa are endemic and the richness of pollen floras implies significant patchiness to the vegetation type and clear regional richness of angiosperms. The reduced latitudinal diversity gradient in Early Eocene North American plant species demonstrates that extreme photoperiod in the Arctic did not limit taxonomic diversity of plants. PMID:22072610

  17. High plant diversity in Eocene South America: evidence from Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Wilf, Peter; Cúneo, N Rubén; Johnson, Kirk R; Hicks, Jason F; Wing, Scott L; Obradovich, John D

    2003-04-01

    Tropical South America has the highest plant diversity of any region today, but this richness is usually characterized as a geologically recent development (Neogene or Pleistocene). From caldera-lake beds exposed at Laguna del Hunco in Patagonia, Argentina, paleolatitude approximately 47 degrees S, we report 102 leaf species. Radioisotopic and paleomagnetic analyses indicate that the flora was deposited 52 million years ago, the time of the early Eocene climatic optimum, when tropical plant taxa and warm, equable climates reached middle latitudes of both hemispheres. Adjusted for sample size, observed richness exceeds that of any other Eocene leaf flora, supporting an ancient history of high plant diversity in warm areas of South America. PMID:12677065

  18. Plant expansins: diversity and interactions with plant cell walls

    PubMed Central

    Cosgrove, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Expansins were discovered two decades ago as cell wall proteins that mediate acid-induced growth by catalyzing loosening of plant cell walls without lysis of wall polymers. In the interim our understanding of expansins has gotten more complex through bioinformatic analysis of expansin distribution and evolution, as well as through expression analysis, dissection of the upstream transcription factors regulating expression, and identification of additional classes of expansin by sequence and structural similarities. Molecular analyses of expansins from bacteria have identified residues essential for wall loosening activity and clarified the bifunctional nature of expansin binding to complex cell walls. Transgenic modulation of expansin expression modifies growth and stress physiology of plants, but not always in predictable and even understandable ways. PMID:26057089

  19. Assessing foliar ascorbate content in the rice diversity panel 1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Early spring plantings of rice can have poor stands due to cold temperatures. Our previous studies have shown that high vitamin C (ascorbate AsA) Arabidopsis lines are tolerant to cold stress. The rice diversity panel 1 (RDP1) represents the genetic diversity of Oryza sativa and has been extensively...

  20. Phosphorus source alters host plant response to ectomycorrhizal diversity.

    PubMed

    Baxter, James W; Dighton, John

    2005-11-01

    We examined the influence of phosphorus source and availability on host plant (Pinus rigida) response to ectomycorrhizal diversity under contrasting P conditions. An ectomycorrhizal richness gradient was established with equimolar P supplied as either inorganic phosphate or organic inositol hexaphosphate. We measured growth and N and P uptake of individual P. rigida seedlings inoculated with one, two, or four species of ectomycorrhizal fungi simultaneously and without mycorrhizas in axenic culture. Whereas colonization of P. rigida by individual species of ectomycorrhizal fungi decreased with increasing fungal richness, colonization of all species combined increased. Plant biomass and N content increased across the ectomycorrhizal richness gradient in the organic but not the inorganic P treatment. Plants grown under organic P conditions had higher N concentration than those grown under inorganic P conditions, but there was no effect of richness. Phosphorus content of plants grown in the organic P treatment increased with increasing ectomycorrhizal richness, but there was no response in the inorganic P treatment. Phosphorus concentration was higher in plants grown at the four-species richness level in the organic P treatment, but there was no effect of diversity under inorganic P conditions. Overall, few ectomycorrhizal composition effects were found on plant growth or nutrient status. Phosphatase activities of individual ectomycorrhizal fungi differed under organic P conditions, but there was no difference in total root system phosphatase expression between the inorganic or organic P treatments or across richness levels. Our results provide evidence that plant response to ectomycorrhizal diversity is dependent on the source and availability of P. PMID:15809869

  1. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Schmidt, Ruth; Ramadan, Elshahat M; Bauer, Rudolf; Berg, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however, the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is (i) to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, (ii) to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and (iii) to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L., and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.) cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants' flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome. PMID:24391634

  2. COPII Paralogs in Plants: Functional Redundancy or Diversity?

    PubMed

    Chung, Kin Pan; Zeng, Yonglun; Jiang, Liwen

    2016-09-01

    In eukaryotes, the best-described mechanism of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) export is mediated by coat protein complex II (COPII) vesicles, which comprise five conserved cytosolic components [secretion-associated, Ras-related protein 1 (Sar1), Sec23-24, and Sec13-31]. In higher organisms, multiple paralogs of COPII components are created due to gene duplication. However, the functional diversity of plant COPII subunit isoforms remains largely elusive. Here we summarize and discuss the latest findings derived from studies of various arabidopsis COPII subunit isoforms and their functional diversity. We also put forward testable hypotheses on distinct populations of COPII vesicles performing unique functions in ER export in developmental and stress-related pathways in plants. PMID:27317568

  3. [Plant diversity of different replaced communities after Eupatorium adenophorum removal].

    PubMed

    Wang, Chongyun; Liu, Wenyao; Liu, Lunhui; Cui, Jianwu

    2006-03-01

    Plant diversity of different replaced communities after Eupatorium adenophorum removal. WANG In this paper, an investigation on the structure, species composition and plant diversity of replaced communities after the removal of invasive E. adenophorum at the beginning of 1980s was made in the Shuangbo County of Yunnan Province, with local aged Pinus yunnanensis and unmanaged E. adenophorum forests as the reference. The results showed that in replaced communities, the richness, Shannon-Wiener, Simpson, and Pielou evenness indices values of woody species were 25 to approximately 28, 1.06 to approximately 2.34, 0.36 to approximately 0.86 and 0.32 to approximately 0.73, and those of herb species were 6 to approximately 8, 1.51 to approximately 1.97, 0.74 to approximately 0.84 and 0.84 to approximately 0.90, respectively. In unmanaged E. adenophorum community, the corresponding indices values of woody species were 3, 0.14, 0.10 and 0.13, and those of herb species were 3, 0.09, 0.03 and 0.08, respectively, being much lower than those of the replaced communities. The replaced communities dominated by fast-growing tree species in E. adenophorum forest developed through a 20 years rehabilitation period, under which, there was a clear understory layer dominated by native species. The density and growth rate of E. adenophorum was inhibited in the replaced communities. In comparison with the E. adenophorum community, the plant diversity of replaced communities was greatly increased. Among the replaced communities, P. yunnanensis + Schima wallichii + Eucalyptus globules community had the greatest plant diversity, but the replaced communities had lower plant diversity than the aged P. yunnanensis, with 42, 2.88, 0.92 and 0.77 for woody species, and 8, 2.08, 0.86 and 0.90 for herb species, respectively. It was suggested that more attention should be paid to conserve the rehabilitated communities, especially the P. yunnanensis plantation built on the degraded lands invaded by E

  4. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation.

    SciTech Connect

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; et al, et al

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles1,2 and herbivore communities3–7 are affecting global biodiversity dramatically2. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems8,9. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  5. The microbiome of medicinal plants: diversity and importance for plant growth, quality and health

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Schmidt, Ruth; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; Bauer, Rudolf; Berg, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    Past medicinal plant research primarily focused on bioactive phytochemicals, however, the focus is currently shifting due to the recognition that a significant number of phytotherapeutic compounds are actually produced by associated microbes or through interaction with their host. Medicinal plants provide an enormous bioresource of potential use in modern medicine and agriculture, yet their microbiome is largely unknown. The objective of this review is (i) to introduce novel insights into the plant microbiome with a focus on medicinal plants, (ii) to provide details about plant- and microbe-derived ingredients of medicinal plants, and (iii) to discuss possibilities for plant growth promotion and plant protection for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. In addition, we also present a case study performed both to analyse the microbiome of three medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L., and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.) cultivated on organically managed Egyptian desert farm and to develop biological control strategies. The soil microbiome of the desert ecosystem was comprised of a high abundance of Gram-positive bacteria of prime importance for pathogen suppression under arid soil conditions. For all three plants, we observed a clearly plant-specific selection of the microbes as well as highly specific diazotrophic communities that overall identify plant species as important drivers in structural and functional diversity. Lastly, native Bacillus spec. div. strains were able to promote plant growth and elevate the plants’ flavonoid production. These results underline the numerous links between the plant-associated microbiome and the plant metabolome. PMID:24391634

  6. Dynamic Assessment of Diverse Children: A Tutorial.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez-Clellen, Vera F.; Pena, Elizabeth

    2001-01-01

    Dynamic assessment methods are compared with respect to their assessment applications. An assessment protocol recommended for the identification of language disorder versus differences is then described. Examples of two Spanish-English bilingual children show how the protocol may be useful to assess children's language-learning potential and to…

  7. Inter-varietal interactions among plants in genotypically diverse mixtures tend to decrease herbivore performance.

    PubMed

    Grettenberger, Ian M; Tooker, John F

    2016-09-01

    Much research has explored the effects of plant species diversity on herbivore populations, but far less has considered effects of plant genotypic diversity, or how abiotic stressors, like drought, can modify effects. Mechanisms by which plant genotypic diversity affects herbivore populations remain largely unresolved. We used greenhouse studies with a model system of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) to determine whether the genotypic diversity of a plant's neighborhood influences performance and fitness of herbivores on a focal plant and if drought changes the influence of neighborhood diversity. Taken across all varieties we tested, plant-plant interactions in diverse neighborhoods reduced aphid performance and generated associational resistance, although effects on aphids depended on variety identity. In diverse mixtures, drought stress greatly diminished the genotypic diversity-driven reduction in aphid performance. Neighborhood diversity influenced mother aphid size, and appeared to partially explain how plant-plant interactions reduced the number of offspring produced in mixtures. Plant size did not mediate effects on aphid performance, although neighborhood diversity reduced plant mass across varieties and watering treatments. Our results suggest inter-varietal interactions in genotypic mixtures can affect herbivore performance in the absence of herbivore movement and that abiotic stress may diminish any effects. Accounting for how neighborhood diversity influences resistance of an individual plant to herbivores will help aid development of mixtures of varieties for managing insect pests and clarify the role of plant genotypic diversity in ecosystems. PMID:27170329

  8. Macroevolution and the biological diversity of plants and herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial biodiversity is dominated by plants and the herbivores that consume them, and they are one of the major conduits of energy flow up to higher trophic levels. Here, we address the processes that have generated the spectacular diversity of flowering plants (>300,000 species) and insect herbivores (likely >1 million species). Long-standing macroevolutionary hypotheses have postulated that reciprocal evolution of adaptations and subsequent bursts of speciation have given rise to much of this biodiversity. We critically evaluate various predictions based on this coevolutionary theory. Phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states has revealed evidence for escalation in the potency or variety of plant lineages' chemical defenses; however, escalation of defense has been moderated by tradeoffs and alternative strategies (e.g., tolerance or defense by biotic agents). There is still surprisingly scant evidence that novel defense traits reduce herbivory and that such evolutionary novelty spurs diversification. Consistent with the coevolutionary hypothesis, there is some evidence that diversification of herbivores has lagged behind, but has nevertheless been temporally correlated with that of their host-plant clades, indicating colonization and radiation of insects on diversifying plants. However, there is still limited support for the role of host-plant shifts in insect diversification. Finally, a frontier area of research, and a general conclusion of our review, is that community ecology and the long-term evolutionary history of plant and insect diversification are inexorably intertwined. PMID:19815508

  9. United in Diversity: Mechanosensitive Ion Channels in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Eric S.; Schlegel, Angela M.; Haswell, Elizabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels are a common mechanism for perceiving and responding to mechanical force. This class of mechanoreceptors is capable of transducing membrane tension directly into ion flux. In plant systems, MS ion channels have been proposed to play a wide array of roles, from the perception of touch and gravity to the osmotic homeostasis of intracellular organelles. Three families of plant MS ion channels have been identified: the MscS-like (MSL), Mid1-complementing activity (MCA), and two-pore potassium (TPK) families. Channels from these families vary widely in structure and function, localize to multiple cellular compartments, and conduct chloride, calcium, and/or potassium ions. However, they are still likely to represent only a fraction of the MS ion channel diversity in plant systems. PMID:25494462

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26067836

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the diversity and distribution of endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and stems of four vascular plant species in the High Arctic using 454 pyrosequencing with fungal-specific primers targeting the ITS region. Endophytic fungal communities showed high diversity. The 76,691 sequences obtained belonged to 250 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Of these OTUs, 190 belonged to Ascomycota, 50 to Basidiomycota, 1 to Chytridiomycota, and 9 to unknown fungi. The dominant orders were Helotiales, Pleosporales, Capnodiales, and Tremellales, whereas the common known fungal genera were Cryptococcus, Rhizosphaera, Mycopappus, Melampsora, Tetracladium, Phaeosphaeria, Mrakia, Venturia, and Leptosphaeria. Both the climate and host-related factors might shape the fungal communities associated with the four Arctic plant species in this region. These results suggested the presence of an interesting endophytic fungal community and could improve our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26067836

  12. Diversity of endophytic enterobacteria associated with different host plants.

    PubMed

    Torres, Adalgisa Ribeiro; Araújo, Welington Luiz; Cursino, Luciana; Hungria, Mariangela; Plotegher, Fábio; Mostasso, Fábio Luís; Azevedo, João Lúcio

    2008-08-01

    Fifty-three endophytic enterobacteria isolates from citrus, cocoa, eucalyptus, soybean, and sugar cane were evaluated for susceptibility to the antibiotics ampicillin and kanamycin, and cellulase production. Susceptibility was found on both tested antibiotics. However, in the case of ampicillin susceptibility changed according to the host plant, while all isolates were susceptible to kanamycin. Cellulase production also changed according to host plants. The diversity of these isolates was estimated by employing BOX-PCR genomic fingerprints and 16S rDNA sequencing. In total, twenty-three distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified by employing a criterion of 60% fingerprint similarity as a surrogate for an OTU. The 23 OTUs belong to the Pantoea and Enterobacter genera, while their high diversity could be an indication of paraphyletic classification. Isolates representing nine different OTUs belong to Pantoea agglomerans, P. ananatis, P. stewartii, Enterobacter sp., and E. homaechei. The results of this study suggest that plant species may select endophytic bacterial genotypes. It has also become apparent that a review of the Pantoea/Enterobacter genera may be necessary. PMID:18758726

  13. Earthworms and legumes control litter decomposition in a plant diversity gradient.

    PubMed

    Milcu, Alexandru; Partsch, Stephan; Scherber, Christoph; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Scheu, Stefan

    2008-07-01

    The role of species and functional group diversity of primary producers for decomposers and decomposition processes is little understood. We made use of the "Jena Biodiversity Experiment" and tested the hypothesis that increasing plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and functional group diversity (1, 2, 3, and 4 groups) beneficially affects decomposer density and activity and therefore the decomposition of plant litter material. Furthermore, by manipulating the densities of decomposers (earthworms and springtails) within the plant diversity gradient we investigated how the interactions between plant diversity and decomposer densities affect the decomposition of litter belonging to different plant functional groups (grasses, herbs, and legumes). Positive effects of increasing plant species or functional group diversity on earthworms (biomass and density) and microbial biomass were mainly due to the increased incidence of legumes with increasing diversity. Neither plant species diversity nor functional group diversity affected litter decomposition, However, litter decomposition varied with decomposer and plant functional group identity (of both living plants and plant litter). While springtail removal generally had little effect on decomposition, increased earthworm density accelerated the decomposition of nitrogen-rich legume litter, and this was more pronounced at higher plant diversity. The results suggest that earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) and legumes function as keystone organisms for grassland decomposition processes and presumably contribute to the recorded increase in primary productivity with increasing plant diversity. PMID:18705374

  14. Plant diversity increases spatio-temporal niche complementarity in plant-pollinator interactions.

    PubMed

    Venjakob, Christine; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Ebeling, Anne; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing biodiversity decline impairs ecosystem processes, including pollination. Flower visitation, an important indicator of pollination services, is influenced by plant species richness. However, the spatio-temporal responses of different pollinator groups to plant species richness have not yet been analyzed experimentally. Here, we used an experimental plant species richness gradient to analyze plant-pollinator interactions with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. We observed four pollinator functional groups (honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies) in experimental plots at three different vegetation strata between sunrise and sunset. Visits were modified by plant species richness interacting with time and space. Furthermore, the complementarity of pollinator functional groups in space and time was stronger in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that high plant diversity should ensure stable pollination services, mediated via spatio-temporal niche complementarity in flower visitation. PMID:27069585

  15. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on (13)C natural abundances.

    PubMed

    Klaus, Valentin H; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F; Hänsel, Falk; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ(13)C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier (13)C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of (13)C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ(13)C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ(13)C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ(13)C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change. PMID:27220098

  16. Diversity, classification and function of the plant protein kinase superfamily

    PubMed Central

    Lehti-Shiu, Melissa D.; Shiu, Shin-Han

    2012-01-01

    Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase repertoire, or kinome, is in general significantly larger than other eukaryotes, ranging in size from 600 to 2500 members. This large variation in kinome size is mainly due to the expansion and contraction of a few families, particularly the receptor-like kinase/Pelle family. A number of protein kinases reside in highly conserved, low copy number families and often play broadly conserved regulatory roles in metabolism and cell division, although functions of plant homologues have often diverged from their metazoan counterparts. Members of expanded plant kinase families often have roles in plant-specific processes and some may have contributed to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, non-adaptive explanations, such as kinase duplicate subfunctionalization and insufficient time for pseudogenization, may also contribute to the large number of seemingly functional protein kinases in plants. PMID:22889912

  17. Enhanced interannual precipitation variability increases plant functional diversity that in turn ameliorates negative impact on productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

    Although precipitation interannual variability is projected to increase due to climate change, effects of changes in precipitation variance have received considerable less attention than effects of changes in the mean state of climate. Interannual precipitation variability effects on functional diversity and its consequences for ecosystem functioning are assessed here using a 6-year rainfall manipulation experiment. Five precipitation treatments were switched annually resulting in increased levels of precipitation variability while maintaining average precipitation constant. Functional diversity showed a positive response to increased variability due to increased evenness. Dominant grasses decreased and rare plant functional types increased in abundance because grasses showed a hump-shaped response to precipitation with a maximum around modal precipitation, whereas rare species peaked at high precipitation values. Increased functional diversity ameliorated negative effects of precipitation variability on primary production. Rare species buffered the effect of precipitation variability on the variability in total productivity because their variance decreases with increasing precipitation variance. PMID:26437913

  18. Alpine cushion plants inhibit the loss of phylogenetic diversity in severe environments.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, B J; Cavieres, L A; Callaway, R M; Cook, B J; Kikvidze, Z; Lortie, C J; Michalet, R; Pugnaire, F I; Schöb, C; Xiao, S; Zaitchek, B; Anthelme, F; Björk, R G; Dickinson, K; Gavilán, R; Kanka, R; Maalouf, J-P; Noroozi, J; Parajuli, R; Phoenix, G K; Reid, A; Ridenour, W; Rixen, C; Wipf, S; Zhao, L; Brooker, R W

    2013-04-01

    Biotic interactions can shape phylogenetic community structure (PCS). However, we do not know how the asymmetric effects of foundation species on communities extend to effects on PCS. We assessed PCS of alpine plant communities around the world, both within cushion plant foundation species and adjacent open ground, and compared the effects of foundation species and climate on alpha (within-microsite), beta (between open and cushion) and gamma (open and cushion combined) PCS. In the open, alpha PCS shifted from highly related to distantly related with increasing potential productivity. However, we found no relationship between gamma PCS and climate, due to divergence in phylogenetic composition between cushion and open sub-communities in severe environments, as demonstrated by increasing phylo-beta diversity. Thus, foundation species functioned as micro-refugia by facilitating less stress-tolerant lineages in severe environments, erasing a global productivity - phylogenetic diversity relationship that would go undetected without accounting for this important biotic interaction. PMID:23346919

  19. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality

    PubMed Central

    Popper, Zoë A.; Ralet, Marie-Christine; Domozych, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Background Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes. Furthermore, wall components have applications within food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, fibres (e.g. for textiles and paper) and building materials and have long been an active topic of research. As shown in the 27 papers in this Special Issue, as the major deposit of photosynthetically fixed carbon, and therefore energy investment, cell walls are of undisputed importance to the organisms that possess them, the photosynthetic eukaryotes (plants and algae). The complexities of cell wall components along with their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment are becoming increasingly revealed. Scope The importance of plant and algal cell walls and their individual components to the function and survival of the organism, and for a number of industrial applications, are illustrated by the breadth of topics covered in this issue, which includes papers concentrating on various plants and algae, developmental stages, organs, cell wall components, and techniques. Although we acknowledge that there are many alternative ways in which the papers could be categorized (and many would fit within several topics), we have organized them as follows: (1) cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, (2) cell wall diversity, and (3) application of new technologies to cell walls. Finally, we will consider future directions within plant cell wall research. Expansion of the industrial uses of cell walls and potentially novel uses of cell wall components are both avenues likely to direct future research activities. Fundamentally, it is the continued progression from characterization (structure, metabolism, properties and localization) of individual cell wall components through to defining their roles in almost every

  20. Plant and bird diversity in natural forests and in native and exotic plantations in NW Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proença, Vânia M.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Guilherme, João; Vicente, Luís

    2010-03-01

    Forest ecosystems have been subjected to continuous dynamics between deforestation and forestation. Assessing the effects of these processes on biodiversity could be essential for conservation planning. We analyzed patterns of species richness, diversity and evenness of plants and birds in patches of natural forest of Quercus spp. and in stands of native Pinus pinaster and exotic Eucalyptus globulus in NW Portugal. We analyzed data of forest and non-forest species separately, at the intra-patch, patch and inter-patch scales. Forest plant richness, diversity and evenness were higher in oak forest than in pine and eucalypt plantations. In total, 52 species of forest plants were observed in oak forest, 33 in pine plantation and 28 in eucalypt plantation. Some forest species, such as Euphorbia dulcis, Omphalodes nitida and Eryngium juresianum, were exclusively or mostly observed in oak forest. Forest bird richness and diversity were higher in both oak and pine forests than in eucalypt forest; evenness did not differ among forests. In total, 16 species of forest birds were observed in oak forest, 18 in pine forest and 11 in eucalypt forest. Species such as Certhia brachydactyla, Sitta europaea and Dendrocopos major were common in oak and/or pine patches but were absent from eucalypt stands. Species-area relationships of forest plants and forest birds in oak patches had consistently a higher slope, at both the intra and inter-patch scales, than species-area relationships of forest species in plantations and non-forest species in oak forest. These findings demonstrate the importance of oak forest for the conservation of forest species diversity, pointing the need to conserve large areas of oak forest due to the apparent vulnerability of forest species to area loss. Additionally, diversity patterns in pine forest were intermediate between oak forest and eucalypt forest, suggesting that forest species patterns may be affected by forest naturalness.

  1. How generalist herbivores exploit belowground plant diversity in temperate grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Belowground herbivores impact plant performance, thereby inducing changes in plant community composition, which potentially leads to cascading effects onto higher trophic levels and ecosystem processes and productivity. Among soil-living insects, external root-chewing generalist herbivores have the strongest impact on plants. However, the lack of knowledge on their feeding behaviour under field conditions considerably hampers achieving a comprehensive understanding of how they affect plant communities. Here, we address this gap of knowledge by investigating the feeding behaviour of Agriotes click beetle larvae, which are common generalist external root-chewers in temperate grassland soils. Utilizing diagnostic multiplex PCR to assess the larval diet, we examined the seasonal patterns in feeding activity, putative preferences for specific plant taxa, and whether species identity and larval instar affect food choices of the herbivores. Contrary to our hypothesis, most of the larvae were feeding-active throughout the entire vegetation period, indicating that the grassland plants are subjected to constant belowground feeding pressure. Feeding was selective, with members of Plantaginaceae and Asteraceae being preferred; Apiaceae were avoided. Poaceae, although assumed to be most preferred, had an intermediate position. The food preferences exhibited seasonal changes, indicating a fluctuation in plant traits important for wireworm feeding choice. Species- and instar-specific differences in dietary choice of the Agriotes larvae were small, suggesting that species and larval instars occupy the same trophic niche. According to the current findings, the food choice of these larvae is primarily driven by plant identity, exhibiting seasonal changes. This needs to be considered when analysing soil herbivore–plant interactions. PMID:24188592

  2. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  3. 36 CFR 219.9 - Diversity of plant and animal communities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area. Compliance... species as set forth in paragraph (b). The plan must provide for the diversity of plant and animal... diversity of native tree species similar to that existing in the plan area. (b) Additional,...

  4. 36 CFR 219.9 - Diversity of plant and animal communities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area. Compliance... species as set forth in paragraph (b). The plan must provide for the diversity of plant and animal... diversity of native tree species similar to that existing in the plan area. (b) Additional,...

  5. Plant diversity drives soil microbial biomass carbon in grasslands irrespective of global environmental change factors.

    PubMed

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Milcu, Alexandru; Manning, Pete; Niklaus, Pascal A; Roscher, Christiane; Power, Sally; Reich, Peter B; Scheu, Stefan; Tilman, David; Ai, Fuxun; Guo, Hongyan; Ji, Rong; Pierce, Sarah; Ramirez, Nathaly Guerrero; Richter, Annabell Nicola; Steinauer, Katja; Strecker, Tanja; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-11-01

    Soil microbial biomass is a key determinant of carbon dynamics in the soil. Several studies have shown that soil microbial biomass significantly increases with plant species diversity, but it remains unclear whether plant species diversity can also stabilize soil microbial biomass in a changing environment. This question is particularly relevant as many global environmental change (GEC) factors, such as drought and nutrient enrichment, have been shown to reduce soil microbial biomass. Experiments with orthogonal manipulations of plant diversity and GEC factors can provide insights whether plant diversity can attenuate such detrimental effects on soil microbial biomass. Here, we present the analysis of 12 different studies with 14 unique orthogonal plant diversity × GEC manipulations in grasslands, where plant diversity and at least one GEC factor (elevated CO2 , nutrient enrichment, drought, earthworm presence, or warming) were manipulated. Our results show that higher plant diversity significantly enhances soil microbial biomass with the strongest effects in long-term field experiments. In contrast, GEC factors had inconsistent effects with only drought having a significant negative effect. Importantly, we report consistent non-significant effects for all 14 interactions between plant diversity and GEC factors, which indicates a limited potential of plant diversity to attenuate the effects of GEC factors on soil microbial biomass. We highlight that plant diversity is a major determinant of soil microbial biomass in experimental grasslands that can influence soil carbon dynamics irrespective of GEC. PMID:26118993

  6. Development and Initial Psychometric Assessment of the Plant Attitude Questionnaire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fančovičová, Jana; Prokop, Pavol

    2010-10-01

    Plants are integral parts of ecosystems which determine life on Earth. People's attitudes toward them are however, largely overlooked. Here we present initial psychometric assessment of self-constructed Plant Attitude Scale (PAS) that was administered to a sample of 310 Slovakian students living in rural areas aged 10-15 years. The final version of PAS consists from 29 Likert-scale items that were loaded to four distinct dimensions (Interest, Importance, Urban trees and Utilization). Mean scores revealed that Slovakian students lack positive attitudes toward plants and that gender had no effect on their mean attitude scores. Living in a family with a garden was associated with a more positive attitude toward plants. Further correlative research on diverse samples containing urban children and experimental research examining the impact of gardening in schools on student attitudes toward plants is required.

  7. Soil stability and plant diversity in eco-engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böll, Albert; Gerber, Werner; Rickli, Christian; Graf, Frank

    2010-05-01

    Slopes affected by superficial sliding and subsequently re-stabilised with eco-engineering measures were investigated, particularly related to soil stability and plant diversity. The sites are situated in three different areas of beech-fir-spruce forest associations of the higher montane zone of Switzerland. Climatic and site characteristics, in paraticular soil properties after the sliding event, of the three investigation areas are very similar. However, the number of species (shrubs and trees) used for the initial planting as well as the year of application of the eco-engineering measures differ substantially. In the investigation area Dallenwil-Wirzweli the biological measures taken in 1981 were restricted to one tree species, namely White Alder (Alnus incana). In Klosters, where measures were taken in 1983 as well as in the Arieschbach valley, where eco-engineering was applied in 1998, the initial planting consisted of 15 species either. Investigations in 2005/2006 revealed neither obvious differences among the three areas nor distinct correlations related to the diversity of the initial planting on the on hand and the development of the vegetation cover and soil stability on the other hand. During the available time of development, the soil aggregate stability increased by 30 to 39%. Compared to the corresponding climax association, the relative values of soil aggregate stability varied between 90 and 120%. Concurrently, the dry unit weight decreased between 1.1 and 3.1 kN/m3. The cumulative vegetation cover varied from 110 to 150%. Due to processes of soil development a distinct shift in the grain size distribution was noticed, from a well sorted gravel with clay and sand (GW-GC) to a silty gravel with sand (GM) in Dallenwil-Wirzweli and a silty to clayey gravel with sand (GC-GM) in Klosters and the Arieschbach valley. Furthermore, in all three investigation areas succession processes were observed that are comparable to average rates of natural secondary

  8. Impacts of weather on long-term patterns of plant richness and diversity vary with location and management.

    PubMed

    Jonas, Jayne L; Buhl, Deborah A; Symstad, Amy J

    2015-09-01

    Better understanding the influence of precipitation and temperature on plant assemblages is needed to predict the effects of climate change. Many studies have examined the relationship between plant productivity and weather (primarily precipitation), but few have directly assessed the relationship between plant richness or diversity and weather despite their increased use as metrics of ecosystem condition. We focus on the grasslands of central North America, which are characterized by high temporal climatic variability. Over the next 100 years, these grasslands are predicted to experience further increased variability in growing season precipitation, as well as increased temperatures, due to global climate change. We assess the portion of interannual variability of richness and diversity explained by weather, how relationships between these metrics and weather vary among plant assemblages, and which aspects of weather best explain temporal variability. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess relationships between long-term plant richness and diversity patterns and a priori weather covariates using six data sets from four grasslands. Weather explained up to 49% and 63% of interannual variability in total plant species richness and diversity, respectively. However, richness and diversity responses to specific weather variables varied both among sites and among experimental treatments within sites. In general, we found many instances in which temperature was of equal or greater importance as precipitation, as well as evidence of the importance of lagged effects and precipitation or temperature variability. Although precipitation has been shown to be a key driver of productivity in grasslands, our results indicate that increasing temperatures alone, without substantial changes in precipitation patterns, could have measurable effects on Great Plains grassland plant assemblages and biodiversity metrics. Our results also suggest that richness and diversity

  9. Impacts of weather on long-term patterns of plant richness and diversity vary with location and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonas, Jayne L.; Buhl, Deborah A.; Symstad, Amy J.

    2015-01-01

    Better understanding the influence of precipitation and temperature on plant assemblages is needed to predict the effects of climate change. Many studies have examined the relationship between plant productivity and weather (primarily precipitation), but few have directly assessed the relationship between plant richness or diversity and weather despite their increased use as metrics of ecosystem condition. We focus on the grasslands of central North America, which are characterized by high temporal climatic variability. Over the next 100 years, these grasslands are predicted to experience further increased variability in growing season precipitation, as well as increased temperatures, due to global climate change. We assess 1) the portion of interannual variability of richness and diversity explained by weather, 2) how relationships between these metrics and weather vary among plant assemblages, and 3) which aspects of weather best explain temporal variability. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess relationships between long-term plant richness and diversity patterns and a priori weather covariates using six datasets from four grasslands. Weather explained up to 49% and 63% of interannual variability in total plant species richness and diversity, respectively. However, richness and diversity responses to specific weather variables varied both among sites and among experimental treatments within sites. In general, we found many instances in which temperature was of equal or greater importance as precipitation, as well as evidence of the importance of lagged effects and precipitation or temperature variability. Although precipitation has been shown to be a key driver of productivity in grasslands, our results indicate that increasing temperatures alone, without substantial changes in precipitation patterns, could have measurable effects on Great Plains grassland plant assemblages and biodiversity metrics. Our results also suggest that richness and

  10. Genomic diversity of Pseudomonas spp. isolated from aerial or root surfaces of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Among the diverse strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas chlororaphis inhabiting plant surfaces are those that protect plants from infection by pathogens. To explore the diversity of these bacteria, we derived genomic sequences of seven strains that suppress plant disease. Along with t...

  11. Assessing diversity and quality in primary care through the multimethod assessment process (MAP).

    PubMed

    Kairys, Jo Ann; Orzano, John; Gregory, Patrice; Stroebel, Christine; DiCicco-Bloom, Barbara; Roemheld-Hamm, Beatrix; Kobylarz, Fred A; Scott, John G; Coppola, Lisa; Crabtree, Benjamin F

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. health care system serves a diverse population, often resulting in significant disparities in delivery and quality of care. Nevertheless, most quality improvement efforts fail to systematically assess diversity and associated disparities. This article describes application of the multimethod assessment process (MAP) for understanding disparities in relation to diversity, cultural competence, and quality improvement in clinical practice. MAP is an innovative quality improvement methodology that integrates quantitative and qualitative techniques and produces a system level understanding of organizations to guide quality improvement interventions. A demonstration project in a primary care practice illustrates the utility of MAP for assessing diversity. PMID:12938252

  12. Tiger Team assessment of the Pinellas Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-05-01

    This Document contains findings identified during the Tiger Team Compliance Assessment of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Pinellas Plant, Pinellas County, Florida. The assessment wa directed by the Department's Office of Environment, Safety, and Health (ES H) from January 15 to February 2, 1990. The Pinellas Tiger Team Compliance Assessment is comprehensive in scope. It covers the Environment Safety and Health, and Management areas and determines the plant's compliance with applicable Federal (including DOE), State, and local regulations and requirements.

  13. Plant diversity and root traits benefit physical properties key to soil function in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Gould, Iain J; Quinton, John N; Weigelt, Alexandra; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity loss impairs ecosystem functioning, including important effects on soil. Most studies that have explored plant diversity effects belowground, however, have largely focused on biological processes. As such, our understanding of how plant diversity impacts the soil physical environment remains limited, despite the fundamental role soil physical structure plays in ensuring soil function and ecosystem service provision. Here, in both a glasshouse and a long-term field study, we show that high plant diversity in grassland systems increases soil aggregate stability, a vital structural property of soil, and that root traits play a major role in determining diversity effects. We also reveal that the presence of particular plant species within mixed communities affects an even wider range of soil physical processes, including hydrology and soil strength regimes. Our results indicate that alongside well-documented effects on ecosystem functioning, plant diversity and root traits also benefit essential soil physical properties. PMID:27459206

  14. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought

    PubMed Central

    Isbell, Forest; Manning, Pete; Connolly, John; Bruelheide, Helge; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; de Luca, Enrica; Griffin, John N.; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtech; Loreau, Michel; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Mori, Akira S.; Naeem, Shahid; Palmborg, Cecilia; Polley, H. Wayne; Reich, Peter B.; Schmid, Bernhard; Siebenkäs, Alrun; Seabloom, Eric; Thakur, Madhav P.; Tilman, David; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-01-01

    Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources—soil nutrients or water—to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in complementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function. PMID:27114579

  15. Bacterial diversity and composition in the fluid of pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Yayoi; Chaffron, Samuel; Salcher, Michaela M; Shimizu-Inatsugi, Rie; Kobayashi, Masaki J; Diway, Bibian; von Mering, Christian; Pernthaler, Jakob; Shimizu, Kentaro K

    2015-07-01

    Pitchers are modified leaves used by carnivorous plants for trapping prey. Their fluids contain digestive enzymes from the plant and they harbor abundant microbes. In this study, the diversity of bacterial communities was assessed in Nepenthes pitcher fluids and the composition of the bacterial community was compared to that in other environments, including the phyllosphere of Arabidopsis, animal guts and another pitcher plant, Sarracenia. Diversity was measured by 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. A total of 232,823 sequences were obtained after chimera and singleton removal that clustered into 3260 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (3% dissimilarity), which were taxonomically distributed over 17 phyla, 25 classes, 45 orders, 100 families, and 195 genera. Pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization yielded similar estimates of community composition. Most pitchers contained high proportions of unique OTUs, and only 22 OTUs (<0.6%) were shared by ≥14/16 samples, suggesting a unique bacterial assemblage in each pitcher at the OTU level. Diversity analysis at the class level revealed that the bacterial communities of both opened and unopened pitchers were most similar to that of Sarracenia and to that in the phyllosphere. Therefore, the bacterial community in pitchers may be formed by environmental filtering and/or by phyllosphere bacteria. PMID:26138047

  16. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought.

    PubMed

    Craven, Dylan; Isbell, Forest; Manning, Pete; Connolly, John; Bruelheide, Helge; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; de Luca, Enrica; Griffin, John N; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtech; Loreau, Michel; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Palmborg, Cecilia; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Schmid, Bernhard; Siebenkäs, Alrun; Seabloom, Eric; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-05-19

    Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources-soil nutrients or water-to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in complementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function. PMID:27114579

  17. Application of diversity to regional ecological assessment: a review with recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Levenson, J.B.; Stearns, F.W.

    1980-03-01

    Species diversity is frequently considered a primary indicator of ecosystem health, stability, and resilience. As such, species diversity is commonly the major criterion upon which environmental impact statements and ecological assessments are based. This report describes the theoretical development and refinement of the concept of ecological diversity and the various mathematical expressions of diversity. Advantages and disadvantages of each diversity expression are discussed. The application and interpretation of diversity indices for different spatial scales (e.g., specific sites and regional assessments) and variables (e.g., species diversity, habitat diversity, landscape diversity) are contrasted. Recommendations indicate the appropriate diversity indices for regional ecological assessments.

  18. Diversity and use of ethno-medicinal plants in the region of Swat, North Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Due to its diverse geographical and habitat conditions, northern Pakistan harbors a wealth of medicinal plants. The plants and their traditional use are part of the natural and cultural heritage of the region. This study was carried out to document which medicinal plant species and which plant parts are used in the region of Swat, which syndrome categories are particularly concerned, and which habitat spectrum is frequented by collectors. Finally, we assessed to which extent medicinal plants are vulnerable due to collection and habitat destruction. Methods An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken in the Miandam area of Swat, North Pakistan. Data were collected through field assessment as well as from traditional healers and locals by means of personal interviews and semi-structured questionnaires. Results A total of 106 ethno-medicinal plant species belonging to 54 plant families were recorded. The most common growth forms were perennial (43%) and short-lived herbs (23%), shrubs (16%), and trees (15%). Most frequently used plant parts were leaves (24%), fruits (18%) and subterranean parts (15%). A considerable proportion of the ethno-medicinal plant species and remedies concerns gastro-intestinal disorders. The remedies were mostly prepared in the form of decoction or powder and were mainly taken orally. Eighty out of 106 ethno-medicinal plants were indigenous. Almost 50% of the plants occurred in synanthropic vegetation while slightly more than 50% were found in semi-natural, though extensively grazed, woodland and grassland vegetation. Three species (Aconitum violaceum, Colchicum luteum, Jasminum humile) must be considered vulnerable due to excessive collection. Woodlands are the main source for non-synanthropic indigenous medicinal plants. The latter include many range-restricted taxa and plants of which rhizomes and other subterranean parts are dug out for further processing as medicine. Conclusion Medicinal plants are still widely used for treatment

  19. Diversity in preoperative-assessment data collection, a literature review.

    PubMed

    Ahmadian, Leila; Cornet, Ronald; van Klei, Wilton A; de Keizer, Nicolette F

    2008-01-01

    The appropriate anesthetic techniques and care during and after operation rely on data gathered during the preoperative assessment. Because various people are involved, standardization of this process is important. This paper provides a systematic literature review about which data items are collected in the preoperative assessment. Thirty-two relevant articles were found by PubMed search. To categorize data SNOMED CT concepts are used, resulting in 13 categories totaling 540 data items. The two largest categories of data were "past history of clinical finding", and "physical examination procedure" with 251 and 75 data items respectively. Our study showed a high diversity of data items in the preoperative assessment. Because of the diversity of patients and treatment options available one undisputed preoperative assessment data set is hard to define. However, to solve the problem of exchangeability of the information at least anesthesiologists should use a same core set of data. PMID:18487719

  20. Assessing Students' Ideas about Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barman, Charles R.; Stein, Mary; Barman, Natalie S.; McNair, Shannan

    2002-01-01

    Presents an interview protocol used to identify and evaluate students' conceptions of plants which is an invitation to participate in the third national study exploring elementary students' science conceptions. (YDS)

  1. Assessment of a Diversity Assignment in a PR Principles Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallicano, Tiffany Derville; Stansberry, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

    This study assesses an assignment for incorporating diversity into the principles of public relations course. The assignment is tailored to the challenges of using an active learning approach in a large lecture class. For the assignment, students write a goal, objectives, strategies, an identification of tactics, and evaluation plans for either…

  2. Assessment of genetic diversity of sweet potato in Puerto Rico

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is the seventh most important food crop due to its distinct advantages, such as adaptability to different environmental conditions and high nutritional value. Assessing the genetic diversity of this important crop is necessary due to the constant increase of demand ...

  3. Using Qualitative Methods to Assess Diverse Institutional Cultures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Museus, Samuel D.

    2007-01-01

    This article focuses on describing how institutional researchers can use qualitative cultural assessments to better understand the role that their campus cultures play in shaping individual and group behaviors and experiences. A special emphasis is given to the implications of institutional diversity in the processes of designing and conducting…

  4. Assessing genetic diversity in Valencia peanut germplasm using SSR markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Valencia peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.ssp. fastigiata var. fastigiata) are well known for their in-shell market value. Assessment of genetic diversity of the available Valencia germplasm is key to the success of developing improved cultivars with desirable agronomic and quality traits. In the pres...

  5. Assessing Diversity among Latinos: Results from the NLAAS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guarnaccia, Peter J.; Pincay, Igda Martinez; Alegria, Margarita; Shrout, Patrick E.; Lewis-Fernandez, Roberto; Canino, Glorisa

    2007-01-01

    This article provides a profile of a range of important variables for assessing diversity among different Latino groups from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). The NLAAS is a nationally representative study of the mental health needs and mental health services use of the Latino population of the United States. The NLAAS employs…

  6. New Teacher Standards and Learner Diversity: Ideas for Authentic Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, John; Benton, Janet

    Changing views about learning and schooling affect teacher preparation programs. The paper examines how Kentucky's standards for new teachers relate to addressing learner diversity, explaining how the Kentucky Education Reform Act is a model for affecting statewide change, particularly regarding methods of assessment and examination of learner…

  7. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. PMID:26439435

  8. Green Plants in the Red: A Baseline Global Assessment for the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants.

    PubMed

    Brummitt, Neil A; Bachman, Steven P; Griffiths-Lee, Janine; Lutz, Maiko; Moat, Justin F; Farjon, Aljos; Donaldson, John S; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Meagher, Thomas R; Albuquerque, Sara; Aletrari, Elina; Andrews, A Kei; Atchison, Guy; Baloch, Elisabeth; Barlozzini, Barbara; Brunazzi, Alice; Carretero, Julia; Celesti, Marco; Chadburn, Helen; Cianfoni, Eduardo; Cockel, Chris; Coldwell, Vanessa; Concetti, Benedetta; Contu, Sara; Crook, Vicki; Dyson, Philippa; Gardiner, Lauren; Ghanim, Nadia; Greene, Hannah; Groom, Alice; Harker, Ruth; Hopkins, Della; Khela, Sonia; Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Lindon, Heather; Lockwood, Helen; Loftus, Christine; Lombrici, Debora; Lopez-Poveda, Lucia; Lyon, James; Malcolm-Tompkins, Patricia; McGregor, Kirsty; Moreno, Laura; Murray, Linda; Nazar, Keara; Power, Emily; Quiton Tuijtelaars, Mireya; Salter, Ruth; Segrott, Robert; Thacker, Hannah; Thomas, Leighton J; Tingvoll, Sarah; Watkinson, Gemma; Wojtaszekova, Katerina; Nic Lughadha, Eimear M

    2015-01-01

    Plants provide fundamental support systems for life on Earth and are the basis for all terrestrial ecosystems; a decline in plant diversity will be detrimental to all other groups of organisms including humans. Decline in plant diversity has been hard to quantify, due to the huge numbers of known and yet to be discovered species and the lack of an adequate baseline assessment of extinction risk against which to track changes. The biodiversity of many remote parts of the world remains poorly known, and the rate of new assessments of extinction risk for individual plant species approximates the rate at which new plant species are described. Thus the question 'How threatened are plants?' is still very difficult to answer accurately. While completing assessments for each species of plant remains a distant prospect, by assessing a randomly selected sample of species the Sampled Red List Index for Plants gives, for the first time, an accurate view of how threatened plants are across the world. It represents the first key phase of ongoing efforts to monitor the status of the world's plants. More than 20% of plant species assessed are threatened with extinction, and the habitat with the most threatened species is overwhelmingly tropical rain forest, where the greatest threat to plants is anthropogenic habitat conversion, for arable and livestock agriculture, and harvesting of natural resources. Gymnosperms (e.g. conifers and cycads) are the most threatened group, while a third of plant species included in this study have yet to receive an assessment or are so poorly known that we cannot yet ascertain whether they are threatened or not. This study provides a baseline assessment from which trends in the status of plant biodiversity can be measured and periodically reassessed. PMID:26252495

  9. Green Plants in the Red: A Baseline Global Assessment for the IUCN Sampled Red List Index for Plants

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths-Lee, Janine; Lutz, Maiko; Moat, Justin F.; Farjon, Aljos; Donaldson, John S.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Meagher, Thomas R.; Albuquerque, Sara; Aletrari, Elina; Andrews, A. Kei; Atchison, Guy; Baloch, Elisabeth; Barlozzini, Barbara; Brunazzi, Alice; Carretero, Julia; Celesti, Marco; Chadburn, Helen; Cianfoni, Eduardo; Cockel, Chris; Coldwell, Vanessa; Concetti, Benedetta; Contu, Sara; Crook, Vicki; Dyson, Philippa; Gardiner, Lauren; Ghanim, Nadia; Greene, Hannah; Groom, Alice; Harker, Ruth; Hopkins, Della; Khela, Sonia; Lakeman-Fraser, Poppy; Lindon, Heather; Lockwood, Helen; Loftus, Christine; Lombrici, Debora; Lopez-Poveda, Lucia; Lyon, James; Malcolm-Tompkins, Patricia; McGregor, Kirsty; Moreno, Laura; Murray, Linda; Nazar, Keara; Power, Emily; Quiton Tuijtelaars, Mireya; Salter, Ruth; Segrott, Robert; Thacker, Hannah; Thomas, Leighton J.; Tingvoll, Sarah; Watkinson, Gemma; Wojtaszekova, Katerina; Nic Lughadha, Eimear M.

    2015-01-01

    Plants provide fundamental support systems for life on Earth and are the basis for all terrestrial ecosystems; a decline in plant diversity will be detrimental to all other groups of organisms including humans. Decline in plant diversity has been hard to quantify, due to the huge numbers of known and yet to be discovered species and the lack of an adequate baseline assessment of extinction risk against which to track changes. The biodiversity of many remote parts of the world remains poorly known, and the rate of new assessments of extinction risk for individual plant species approximates the rate at which new plant species are described. Thus the question ‘How threatened are plants?’ is still very difficult to answer accurately. While completing assessments for each species of plant remains a distant prospect, by assessing a randomly selected sample of species the Sampled Red List Index for Plants gives, for the first time, an accurate view of how threatened plants are across the world. It represents the first key phase of ongoing efforts to monitor the status of the world’s plants. More than 20% of plant species assessed are threatened with extinction, and the habitat with the most threatened species is overwhelmingly tropical rain forest, where the greatest threat to plants is anthropogenic habitat conversion, for arable and livestock agriculture, and harvesting of natural resources. Gymnosperms (e.g. conifers and cycads) are the most threatened group, while a third of plant species included in this study have yet to receive an assessment or are so poorly known that we cannot yet ascertain whether they are threatened or not. This study provides a baseline assessment from which trends in the status of plant biodiversity can be measured and periodically reassessed. PMID:26252495

  10. Biotic and Abiotic Properties Mediating Plant Diversity Effects on Soil Microbial Communities in an Experimental Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities. PMID:24816860

  11. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    PubMed

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities. PMID:24816860

  12. Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment of Plant Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conejo, Ricardo; Garcia-Viñas, Juan Ignacio; Gastón, Aitor; Barros, Beatriz

    2016-04-01

    Developing plant identification skills is an important part of the curriculum of any botany course in higher education. Frequent practice with dried and fresh plants is necessary to recognize the diversity of forms, states, and details that a species can present. We have developed a web-based assessment system for mobile devices that is able to pose appropriate questions according to the location of the student. A student's location can be obtained using the device position or by scanning a QR code attached to a dried plant sheet in a herbarium or to a fresh plant in an arboretum. The assessment questions are complemented with elaborated feedback that, according to the students' responses, provides indications of possible mistakes and correct answers. Three experiments were designed to measure the effectiveness of the formative assessment using dried and fresh plants. Three questionnaires were used to evaluate the system performance from the students' perspective. The results clearly indicate that formative assessment is objectively effective compared to traditional methods and that the students' attitudes towards the system were very positive.

  13. Plant and Soil Responses to High and Low Diversity Grassland Restoration Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bach, Elizabeth M.; Baer, Sara G.; Six, Johan

    2012-02-01

    The USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has predominantly used only a few species of dominant prairie grasses (CP2 practice) to reduce soil erosion, but recently has offered a higher diversity planting practice (CP25) to increase grassland habitat quality. We quantified plant community composition in CP25 and CP2 plantings restored for 4 or 8 years and compared belowground properties and processes among restorations and continuously cultivated soils in southeastern Nebraska, USA. Relative to cultivated soils, restoration increased soil microbial biomass ( P = 0.033), specifically fungi ( P < 0.001), and restored soils exhibited higher rates of carbon (C) mineralization ( P = 0.010). High and low diversity plantings had equally diverse plant communities; however, CP25 plantings had greater frequency of cool-season (C3) grasses ( P = 0.007). Older (8 year) high diversity restorations contained lower microbial biomass ( P = 0.026), arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) biomass ( P = 0.003), and C mineralization rates ( P = 0.028) relative to 8 year low diversity restorations; older plantings had greater root biomass than 4 year plantings in all restorations ( P = 0.001). Low diversity 8 year plantings contained wider root C:N ratios, and higher soil microbial biomass, microbial community richness, AMF biomass, and C mineralization rate relative to 4 year restorations ( P < 0.050). Net N mineralization and nitrification rates were lower in 8 year than 4 year high diversity plantings ( P = 0.005). We attributed changes in soil C and N pools and fluxes to increased AMF associated with C4 grasses in low diversity plantings. Thus, reduced recovery of AMF in high diversity plantings restricted restoration of belowground microbial diversity and microbially-mediated soil processes over time.

  14. Overstory structure and soil nutrients effect on plant diversity in unmanaged moist tropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gautam, Mukesh Kumar; Manhas, Rajesh Kumar; Tripathi, Ashutosh Kumar

    2016-08-01

    Forests with intensive management past are kept unmanaged to restore diversity and ecosystem functioning. Before perpetuating abandonment after protracted restitution, understanding its effect on forest vegetation is desirable. We studied plant diversity and its relation with environmental variables and stand structure in northern Indian unmanaged tropical moist deciduous forest. We hypothesized that post-abandonment species richness would have increased, and the structure of contemporary forest would be heterogeneous. Vegetation structure, composition, and diversity were recorded, in forty 0.1 ha plots selected randomly in four forest ranges. Three soil samples per 0.1 ha were assessed for physicochemistry, fine sand, and clay mineralogy. Contemporary forest had less species richness than pre-abandonment reference period. Fourteen species were recorded as either seedling or sapling, suggesting reappearance or immigration. For most species, regeneration was either absent or impaired. Ordination and multiple regression results showed that exchangeable base cations and phosphorous affected maximum tree diversity and structure variables. Significant correlations between soil moisture and temperature, and shrub layer was observed, besides tree layer correspondence with shrub richness, suggesting that dense overstory resulting from abandonment through its effect on soil conditions, is responsible for dense shrub layer. Herb layer diversity was negatively associated with tree layer and shrub overgrowth (i.e. Mallotus spp.). Protracted abandonment may not reinforce species richness and heterogeneity; perhaps result in high tree and shrub density in moist deciduous forests, which can impede immigrating or reappearing plant species establishment. This can be overcome by density/basal area reduction strategies, albeit for both tree and shrub layer.

  15. AfroDb: a select highly potent and diverse natural product library from African medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Ntie-Kang, Fidele; Zofou, Denis; Babiaka, Smith B; Meudom, Rolande; Scharfe, Michael; Lifongo, Lydia L; Mbah, James A; Mbaze, Luc Meva'a; Sippl, Wolfgang; Efange, Simon M N

    2013-01-01

    Computer-aided drug design (CADD) often involves virtual screening (VS) of large compound datasets and the availability of such is vital for drug discovery protocols. We assess the bioactivity and "drug-likeness" of a relatively small but structurally diverse dataset (containing >1,000 compounds) from African medicinal plants, which have been tested and proven a wide range of biological activities. The geographical regions of collection of the medicinal plants cover the entire continent of Africa, based on data from literature sources and information from traditional healers. For each isolated compound, the three dimensional (3D) structure has been used to calculate physico-chemical properties used in the prediction of oral bioavailability on the basis of Lipinski's "Rule of Five". A comparative analysis has been carried out with the "drug-like", "lead-like", and "fragment-like" subsets, as well as with the Dictionary of Natural Products. A diversity analysis has been carried out in comparison with the ChemBridge diverse database. Furthermore, descriptors related to absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity (ADMET) have been used to predict the pharmacokinetic profile of the compounds within the dataset. Our results prove that drug discovery, beginning with natural products from the African flora, could be highly promising. The 3D structures are available and could be useful for virtual screening and natural product lead generation programs. PMID:24205103

  16. Plant diversity and identity effects on predatory nematodes and their prey

    PubMed Central

    Kostenko, Olga; Duyts, Henk; Grootemaat, Saskia; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2015-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that both plant diversity and plant identity can influence the level of predation and predator abundance aboveground. However, how the level of predation in the soil and the abundance of predatory soil fauna are related to plant diversity and identity remains largely unknown. In a biodiversity field experiment, we examined the effects of plant diversity and identity on the infectivity of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, Heterorhabditis and Steinernema spp.), which prey on soil arthropods, and abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs, which are predators of other nematode groups. To obtain a comprehensive view of the potential prey/food availability, we also quantified the abundance of soil insects and nonpredatory nematodes and the root biomass in the experimental plots. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate possible pathways by which plant diversity and identity may affect EPN infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs. Heterorhabditis spp. infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs were not directly related to plant diversity or the proportion of legumes, grasses and forbs in the plant community. However, Steinernema spp. infectivity was higher in monocultures of Festuca rubra and Trifolium pratense than in monocultures of the other six plant species. SEM revealed that legumes positively affected Steinernema infectivity, whereas plant diversity indirectly affected the infectivity of HeterorhabditisEPNs via effects on the abundance of soil insects. The abundance of prey (soil insects and root-feeding, bacterivorous, and fungivorous nematodes) increased with higher plant diversity. The abundance of prey nematodes was also positively affected by legumes. These plant community effects could not be explained by changes in root biomass. Our results show that plant diversity and identity effects on belowground biota (particularly soil nematode community) can differ between organisms that belong to the

  17. Plant diversity and identity effects on predatory nematodes and their prey.

    PubMed

    Kostenko, Olga; Duyts, Henk; Grootemaat, Saskia; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Bezemer, T Martijn

    2015-02-01

    There is considerable evidence that both plant diversity and plant identity can influence the level of predation and predator abundance aboveground. However, how the level of predation in the soil and the abundance of predatory soil fauna are related to plant diversity and identity remains largely unknown. In a biodiversity field experiment, we examined the effects of plant diversity and identity on the infectivity of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, Heterorhabditis and Steinernema spp.), which prey on soil arthropods, and abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs, which are predators of other nematode groups. To obtain a comprehensive view of the potential prey/food availability, we also quantified the abundance of soil insects and nonpredatory nematodes and the root biomass in the experimental plots. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate possible pathways by which plant diversity and identity may affect EPN infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs. Heterorhabditis spp. infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs were not directly related to plant diversity or the proportion of legumes, grasses and forbs in the plant community. However, Steinernema spp. infectivity was higher in monocultures of Festuca rubra and Trifolium pratense than in monocultures of the other six plant species. SEM revealed that legumes positively affected Steinernema infectivity, whereas plant diversity indirectly affected the infectivity of HeterorhabditisEPNs via effects on the abundance of soil insects. The abundance of prey (soil insects and root-feeding, bacterivorous, and fungivorous nematodes) increased with higher plant diversity. The abundance of prey nematodes was also positively affected by legumes. These plant community effects could not be explained by changes in root biomass. Our results show that plant diversity and identity effects on belowground biota (particularly soil nematode community) can differ between organisms that belong to the

  18. Soil fungal pathogens and the relationship between plant diversity and productivity.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Marler, Marilyn; Klironomos, John N; Cleveland, Cory C

    2011-01-01

    One robust result from many small-scale experiments has been that plant community productivity often increases with increasing plant diversity. Most frequently, resource-based or competitive interactions are thought to drive this positive diversity-productivity relationship. Here, we ask whether suppression of plant productivity by soil fungal pathogens might also drive a positive diversity-productivity relationship. We created plant assemblages that varied in diversity and crossed this with a ± soil fungicide treatment. In control (non-fungicide treated) assemblages there was a strong positive relationship between plant diversity and above-ground plant biomass. However, in fungicide-treated assemblages this relationship disappeared. This occurred because fungicide increased plant production by an average of 141% at the lower ends of diversity but boosted production by an average of only 33% at the higher ends of diversity, essentially flattening the diversity-productivity curve. These results suggest that soil pathogens might be a heretofore unappreciated driver of diversity-productivity relationships. PMID:21073641

  19. 36 CFR 219.9 - Diversity of plant and animal communities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Diversity of plant and animal communities. 219.9 Section 219.9 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PLANNING National Forest System Land Management Planning § 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities. This section adopts...

  20. Are herbage yield and yield stability affected by plant species diversity in sown pasture mixtures?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A tenet of plant biodiversity theory in grasslands is that increased diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production as a result of increased plant species diversity would be beneficial. In this study, I combined ...

  1. How diverse are diversity assessment methods? A comparative analysis and benchmarking of molecular descriptor space.

    PubMed

    Koutsoukas, Alexios; Paricharak, Shardul; Galloway, Warren R J D; Spring, David R; Ijzerman, Adriaan P; Glen, Robert C; Marcus, David; Bender, Andreas

    2014-01-27

    Chemical diversity is a widely applied approach to select structurally diverse subsets of molecules, often with the objective of maximizing the number of hits in biological screening. While many methods exist in the area, few systematic comparisons using current descriptors in particular with the objective of assessing diversity in bioactivity space have been published, and this shortage is what the current study is aiming to address. In this work, 13 widely used molecular descriptors were compared, including fingerprint-based descriptors (ECFP4, FCFP4, MACCS keys), pharmacophore-based descriptors (TAT, TAD, TGT, TGD, GpiDAPH3), shape-based descriptors (rapid overlay of chemical structures (ROCS) and principal moments of inertia (PMI)), a connectivity-matrix-based descriptor (BCUT), physicochemical-property-based descriptors (prop2D), and a more recently introduced molecular descriptor type (namely, "Bayes Affinity Fingerprints"). We assessed both the similar behavior of the descriptors in assessing the diversity of chemical libraries, and their ability to select compounds from libraries that are diverse in bioactivity space, which is a property of much practical relevance in screening library design. This is particularly evident, given that many future targets to be screened are not known in advance, but that the library should still maximize the likelihood of containing bioactive matter also for future screening campaigns. Overall, our results showed that descriptors based on atom topology (i.e., fingerprint-based descriptors and pharmacophore-based descriptors) correlate well in rank-ordering compounds, both within and between descriptor types. On the other hand, shape-based descriptors such as ROCS and PMI showed weak correlation with the other descriptors utilized in this study, demonstrating significantly different behavior. We then applied eight of the molecular descriptors compared in this study to sample a diverse subset of sample compounds (4%) from an

  2. Plant-Dependent Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity of Antagonistic Rhizobacteria Isolated from Different Verticillium Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Gabriele; Roskot, Nicolle; Steidle, Anette; Eberl, Leo; Zock, Angela; Smalla, Kornelia

    2002-01-01

    To study the effect of plant species on the abundance and diversity of bacterial antagonists, the abundance, the phenotypic diversity, and the genotypic diversity of rhizobacteria isolated from potato, oilseed rape, and strawberry and from bulk soil which showed antagonistic activity towards the soilborne pathogen Verticillium dahliae Kleb. were analyzed. Rhizosphere and soil samples were taken five times over two growing seasons in 1998 and 1999 from a randomized field trial. Bacterial isolates were obtained after plating on R2A (Difco, Detroit, Mich.) or enrichment in microtiter plates containing high-molecular-weight substrates followed by plating on R2A. A total of 5,854 bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of strawberry, potato, or oilseed rape or bulk soil from fallow were screened by dual testing for in vitro antagonism towards Verticillium. The proportion of isolates with antagonistic activity was highest for strawberry rhizosphere (9.5%), followed by oilseed rape (6.3%), potato (3.7%), and soil (3.3%). The 331 Verticillium antagonists were identified by their fatty acid methyl ester profiles. They were characterized by testing their in vitro antagonism against other pathogenic fungi; their glucanolytic, chitinolytic, and proteolytic activities; and their BOX-PCR fingerprints. The abundance and composition of Verticillium antagonists was plant species dependent. A rather high proportion of antagonists from the strawberry rhizosphere was identified as Pseudomonas putida B (69%), while antagonists belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae (Serratia spp., Pantoea agglomerans) were mainly isolated from the rhizosphere of oilseed rape. For P. putida A and B plant-specific genotypes were observed, suggesting that these bacteria were specifically enriched in each rhizosphere. PMID:12089011

  3. Plant-dependent genotypic and phenotypic diversity of antagonistic rhizobacteria isolated from different Verticillium host plants.

    PubMed

    Berg, Gabriele; Roskot, Nicolle; Steidle, Anette; Eberl, Leo; Zock, Angela; Smalla, Kornelia

    2002-07-01

    To study the effect of plant species on the abundance and diversity of bacterial antagonists, the abundance, the phenotypic diversity, and the genotypic diversity of rhizobacteria isolated from potato, oilseed rape, and strawberry and from bulk soil which showed antagonistic activity towards the soilborne pathogen Verticillium dahliae Kleb. were analyzed. Rhizosphere and soil samples were taken five times over two growing seasons in 1998 and 1999 from a randomized field trial. Bacterial isolates were obtained after plating on R2A (Difco, Detroit, Mich.) or enrichment in microtiter plates containing high-molecular-weight substrates followed by plating on R2A. A total of 5,854 bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of strawberry, potato, or oilseed rape or bulk soil from fallow were screened by dual testing for in vitro antagonism towards VERTICILLIUM: The proportion of isolates with antagonistic activity was highest for strawberry rhizosphere (9.5%), followed by oilseed rape (6.3%), potato (3.7%), and soil (3.3%). The 331 Verticillium antagonists were identified by their fatty acid methyl ester profiles. They were characterized by testing their in vitro antagonism against other pathogenic fungi; their glucanolytic, chitinolytic, and proteolytic activities; and their BOX-PCR fingerprints. The abundance and composition of Verticillium antagonists was plant species dependent. A rather high proportion of antagonists from the strawberry rhizosphere was identified as Pseudomonas putida B (69%), while antagonists belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae (Serratia spp., Pantoea agglomerans) were mainly isolated from the rhizosphere of oilseed rape. For P. putida A and B plant-specific genotypes were observed, suggesting that these bacteria were specifically enriched in each rhizosphere. PMID:12089011

  4. Climate-suitable planting as a strategy for maintaining forest productivity and functional diversity.

    PubMed

    Duveneck, Matthew J; Scheller, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low- and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-as-usual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have

  5. Diversity in plant hydraulic traits explains seasonal and inter-annual variations of vegetation dynamics in seasonally dry tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiangtao; Medvigy, David; Powers, Jennifer S; Becknell, Justin M; Guan, Kaiyu

    2016-10-01

    We assessed whether diversity in plant hydraulic traits can explain the observed diversity in plant responses to water stress in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs). The Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2) was updated with a trait-driven mechanistic plant hydraulic module, as well as novel drought-phenology and plant water stress schemes. Four plant functional types were parameterized on the basis of meta-analysis of plant hydraulic traits. Simulations from both the original and the updated ED2 were evaluated against 5 yr of field data from a Costa Rican SDTF site and remote-sensing data over Central America. The updated model generated realistic plant hydraulic dynamics, such as leaf water potential and stem sap flow. Compared with the original ED2, predictions from our novel trait-driven model matched better with observed growth, phenology and their variations among functional groups. Most notably, the original ED2 produced unrealistically small leaf area index (LAI) and underestimated cumulative leaf litter. Both of these biases were corrected by the updated model. The updated model was also better able to simulate spatial patterns of LAI dynamics in Central America. Plant hydraulic traits are intercorrelated in SDTFs. Mechanistic incorporation of plant hydraulic traits is necessary for the simulation of spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation dynamics in SDTFs in vegetation models. PMID:27189787

  6. Environmental Conditions Influence the Plant Functional Diversity Effect on Potential Denitrification

    PubMed Central

    Sutton-Grier, Ariana E.; Wright, Justin P.; McGill, Bonnie M.; Richardson, Curtis

    2011-01-01

    Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plant diversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plant diversity on microbial activity. In a field experiment in a restored wetland, we examined the role of plant trait diversity (or functional diversity, (FD)) and its interactions with natural levels of variability of soil properties, on a microbial process, denitrification potential (DNP). We demonstrated that FD significantly affected microbial DNP through its interactions with soil conditions; increasing FD led to increased DNP but mainly at higher levels of soil resources. Our results suggest that the effect of species diversity on ecosystem functioning may depend on environmental factors such as resource availability. Future biodiversity experiments should examine how natural levels of environmental variability impact the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem functioning. PMID:21311768

  7. Ground Layer Plant Species Turnover and Beta Diversity in Southern-European Old-Growth Forests

    PubMed Central

    Sabatini, Francesco Maria; Burrascano, Sabina; Tuomisto, Hanna; Blasi, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Different assembly processes may simultaneously affect local-scale variation of species composition in temperate old-growth forests. Ground layer species diversity reflects chance colonization and persistence of low-dispersal species, as well as fine-scale environmental heterogeneity. The latter depends on both purely abiotic factors, such as soil properties and topography, and factors primarily determined by overstorey structure, such as light availability. Understanding the degree to which plant diversity in old-growth forests is associated with structural heterogeneity and/or to dispersal limitation will help assessing the effectiveness of silvicultural practices that recreate old-growth patterns and structures for the conservation or restoration of plant diversity. We used a nested sampling design to assess fine-scale species turnover, i.e. the proportion of species composition that changes among sampling units, across 11 beech-dominated old-growth forests in Southern Europe. For each stand, we also measured a wide range of environmental and structural variables that might explain ground layer species turnover. Our aim was to quantify the relative importance of dispersal limitation in comparison to that of stand structural heterogeneity while controlling for other sources of environmental heterogeneity. For this purpose, we used multiple regression on distance matrices at the within-stand extent, and mixed effect models at the extent of the whole dataset. Species turnover was best predicted by structural and environmental heterogeneity, especially by differences in light availability and in topsoil nutrient concentration and texture. Spatial distances were significant only in four out of eleven stands with a relatively low explanatory power. This suggests that structural heterogeneity is a more important driver of local-scale ground layer species turnover than dispersal limitation in southern European old-growth beech forests. PMID:24748155

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

    SciTech Connect

    Crutsinger, Greg; Reynolds, Nicholas; Classen, Aimee T; Sanders, Dr. Nathan James

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Plant diversity and conservation in China: planning a strategic bioresource for a sustainable future.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hongwen

    2011-01-01

    China is one of the richest countries for plant diversity with approximately 33 000 vascular plant species, ranking second in the world. However, the plant diversity in China is increasingly threatened, with an estimated 4000–5000 plant species being threatened or on the verge of extinction, making China, proportionally, one of the highest priorities for global plant biodiversity conservation. Coming in the face of the current ecological crisis, it is timely that China has launched China's Strategy for Plant Conservation (CSPC). China has increasingly recognized the importance of plant diversity in efforts to conserve and sustainably use its plant diversity. More than 3000 nature reserves have been established, covering approximately 16% of the land surface of China. These natural reserves play important roles in plant conservation, covering more than 85% of types of terrestrial natural ecosystems, 40% of types of natural wetlands, 20% of native forests and 65% of natural communities of vascular plants. Meanwhile, the flora conserved in botanical gardens is also extensive. A recent survey shows that the 10 largest botanical gardens have living collections of 43 502 taxa, with a total of 24 667 species in ex situ conservation. These provide an important reserve of plant resources for sustainable economic and social development in China. Plant diversity is the basis for bioresources and sustainable utilization. The 21st century is predicted to be an era of bio-economy driven by advances of bioscience and biotechnology. Bio-economy may become the fourth economy form after agricultural, industrial, and information and information technology economies, having far-reaching impacts on sustainable development in agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, light industry, food supply and health care and other micro-economy aspects. Thus, a strategic and forward vision for conservation of plant diversity and sustainable use of plant resources in the 21st century is of

  10. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  11. Assessing Diversity among Latinos: Results from the NLAAS

    PubMed Central

    Guarnaccia, Peter J.; Pincay, Igda Martinez; Alegria, Margarita; Shrout, Patrick; Lewis-Fernandez, Roberto; Canino, Glorisa

    2009-01-01

    This paper provides a profile of a range of important variables for assessing diversity among different Latino groups from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). The NLAAS is a nationally representative study of the mental health needs and mental health services use of the Latino population of the United States. The NLAAS employs a stratified area probability sampling design. There are 2,554 respondents in the Latino portion of the NLAAS. The paper demonstrates through a detailed presentation of a wide range of variables the diverse experiences of Latino groups in their encounters with U.S. culture. Language use and migration experiences show considerable variability both within and across Latino groups and are promising areas for analysis of their mental health consequences. PMID:19672330

  12. Assessment of bacterial diversity during composting of agricultural byproducts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Composting is microbial decomposition of biodegradable materials and it is governed by physicochemical, physiological and microbiological factors. The importance of microbial communities (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) during composting is well established. However, the microbial diversity during composting may vary with the variety of composting materials and nutrient supplements. Therefore, it is necessary to study the diversity of microorganisms during composting of different agricultural byproducts like wheat bran, rice bran, rice husk, along with grass clippings and bulking agents. Here it has been attempted to assess the diversity of culturable bacteria during composting of agricultural byproducts. Results The culturable bacterial diversity was assessed during the process by isolating the most prominent bacteria. Bacterial population was found to be maximum during the mesophilic phase, but decreased during the thermophilic phase and declined further in the cooling and maturation phase of composting. The bacterial population ranged from 105 to 109 cfu g-1 compost. The predominant bacteria were characterized biochemically, followed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The isolated strains, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative groups belonged to the order Burkholderiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinobacteriales and Bacillales, which includes genera e.g. Staphylococcus, Serratia, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Terribacillus, Lysinibacillus Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas. Genera like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax, Comamonas and some new species of Bacillus were also identified for the first time from the compost made from agricultural byproducts. Conclusion The use of appropriate nitrogen amendments and bulking agents in composting resulted in good quality compost. The culture based strategy enabled us to isolate some novel bacterial isolates like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas first time from agro-byproducts compost

  13. Metabolic activity and genetic diversity of microbial communities inhabiting the rhizosphere of halophyton plants.

    PubMed

    Bárány, Agnes; Szili-Kovács, Tibor; Krett, Gergely; Füzy, Anna; Márialigeti, Károly; Borsodi, Andrea K

    2014-09-01

    A preliminary study was conducted to compare the community level physiological profile (CLPP) and genetic diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities of four plant species growing nearby Kiskunság soda ponds, namely Böddi-szék, Kelemen-szék and Zab-szék. CLPP was assessed by MicroResp method using 15 different substrates while Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to analyse genetic diversity of bacterial communities. The soil physical and chemical properties were quite different at the three sampling sites. Multivariate statistics (PCA and UPGMA) revealed that Zab-szék samples could be separated according to their genetic profile from the two others which might be attributed to the geographical location and perhaps the differences in soil physical properties. Böddi-szék samples could be separated from the two others considering the metabolic activity which could be explained by their high salt and low humus contents. The number of bands in DGGE gels was related to the metabolic activity, and positively correlated with soil humus content, but negatively with soil salt content. The main finding was that geographical location, soil physical and chemical properties and the type of vegetation were all important factors influencing the metabolic activity and genetic diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities. PMID:25261946

  14. Allozyme diversity in the endangered pitcher plant Sarracenia rubra ssp. Alabamensis (Sarraceniaceae) and its close relative S. rubra ssp. rubra.

    PubMed

    Godt, M; Hamrick, J

    1998-06-01

    Genetic variability in the federally endangered pitcher plant Sarracenia rubra ssp. alabamensis was assessed in eight Alabama populations using starch gel electrophoresis. Ten populations of the more widespread Sarracenia rubra ssp. rubra were sampled in the southeastern United States for comparison. Fifteen allozyme loci representing 13 enzyme systems were scored for each species. In contrast to S. oreophila and S. jonesii, two previously analyzed endangered pitcher plants, genetic diversity was high for both S. rubra subspecies. Within ssp. alabamensis the percentage polymorphic loci (Ps) was 80.0, the mean number of alleles per polymorphic locus was (APs) = 2.58, and expected heterozygosity (Hes) was 0.209. Genetic diversity was slightly lower for ssp. rubra (Ps = 73.3, APs = 2.91, and Hes = 0.177). The proportion of total genetic diversity found among populations was fairly low for both species (GST = 0.09 for ssp. alabamensis and 0.14 for ssp. rubra). Little genetic divergence has occurred between the two subspecies as indicated by the lack of diagnostic alleles, the proportion of total genetic diversity between taxa (GST = 0.09), and the genetic identity estimate (I = 0.90). The relatively high genetic diversity found for ssp. alabamensis indicates that the maintenance of its evolutionary potential is possible if population sizes are maintained or increased. Low levels of genetic diversity found within small Georgia ssp. rubra populations indicate that genetic erosion may increase extinction risks for these populations. PMID:21684964

  15. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  16. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  17. Relationships between plant diversity and grasshopper diversity and abundance in the Little Missouri National Grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A continuing challenge in Orthoptera ecology is to understand what determines grasshopper species diversity at a given site. In this study, the objective was to determine if variation in grasshopper abundance and diversity between 23 sites in western North Dakota (USA) could be explained by variatio...

  18. Positive effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses in a tropical tree species.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  19. Positive Effects of Plant Genotypic and Species Diversity on Anti-Herbivore Defenses in a Tropical Tree Species

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  20. Habitat fragmentation, tree diversity, and plant invasion interact to structure forest caterpillar communities.

    PubMed

    Stireman, John O; Devlin, Hilary; Doyle, Annie L

    2014-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasive species are two of the most prominent threats to terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies have examined how these factors interact to influence the diversity of natural communities, particularly primary consumers. Here, we examined the effects of forest fragmentation and invasion of exotic honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii, Caprifoliaceae) on the abundance and diversity of the dominant forest herbivores: woody plant-feeding Lepidoptera. We systematically surveyed understory caterpillars along transects in 19 forest fragments over multiple years in southwestern Ohio and evaluated how fragment area, isolation, tree diversity, invasion by honeysuckle and interactions among these factors influence species richness, diversity and abundance. We found strong seasonal variation in caterpillar communities, which responded differently to fragmentation and invasion. Abundance and richness increased with fragment area, but these effects were mitigated by high levels of honeysuckle, tree diversity, landscape forest cover, and large recent changes in area. Honeysuckle infestation was generally associated with decreased caterpillar abundance and diversity, but these effects were strongly dependent on other fragment traits. Effects of honeysuckle on abundance were moderated when fragment area, landscape forest cover and tree diversity were high. In contrast, negative effects of honeysuckle invasion on caterpillar diversity were most pronounced in fragments with high tree diversity and large recent increases in area. Our results illustrate the complex interdependencies of habitat fragmentation, plant diversity and plant invasion in their effects on primary consumers and emphasize the need to consider these processes in concert to understand the consequences of anthropogenic habitat change for biodiversity. PMID:25015121

  1. Disentangling direct and indirect effects of experimental grassland management and plant functional-group manipulation on plant and leafhopper diversity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Plant biodiversity can affect trophic interactions in many ways, including direct bottom-up effects on insects, but is negatively affected by agricultural intensification. Grassland intensification promotes plant productivity, resulting in changes in plant community composition, and impacts on higher trophic levels. Here, we use a novel grassland management experiment combining manipulations of cutting and fertilization with experimental changes in plant functional group composition (independent of management effects) to disentangle the direct and indirect effects of agricultural management on insect herbivore diversity and abundance. We used leafhoppers as model organisms as they are a key insect taxon in grasslands and react rapidly to management changes. Leafhoppers were sampled between May and September 2010 using standardized sweep netting and pan traps. Results Plant diversity, functional group composition and management regime in grasslands affected leafhopper species richness and abundance. Higher cutting frequencies directly led to decreasing leafhopper species richness, presumably due to the higher disturbance frequency and the reduction in food-resource heterogeneity. In contrast, fertilizer application had only a small indirect negative effect via enhanced aboveground plant biomass, reduced plant diversity and changes in functional group composition. The manipulated increase in grass cover had contrasting direct and indirect effects on leafhopper species richness: grass cover directly increased leafhopper species richness, but negatively affected plant diversity, which in turn was positively related to leafhopper species richness. In conclusion, insect diversity is driven in complex direct and indirect ways by grassland management, including changes in functional group composition. Conclusions The availability of preferred food sources and the frequency of disturbance are important direct and indirect drivers of leafhopper species richness

  2. Ecological effects of roads on the plant diversity of coastal wetland in the Yellow River Delta.

    PubMed

    Li, Yunzhao; Yu, Junbao; Ning, Kai; Du, Siyao; Han, Guangxuan; Qu, Fanzhu; Wang, Guangmei; Fu, Yuqin; Zhan, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The 26 sample sites in 7 study plots adjacent to asphalt road and earth road in coastal wetland in the Yellow River Delta were selected to quantify plant diversity using quadrat sampling method in plant bloom phase of July and August 2012. The indice of β T and Jaccard's coefficient were applied to evaluate the species diversity. The results showed that the plant diversities and alien plants were high in the range of 0-20 m to the road verge. There were more exotics and halophytes in plots of asphalt roadside than that of earth roadside. However, proportion of halophytes in habitats of asphalt roadsides was lower than that of earth roadside. By comparing β-diversity, there were more common species in the asphalt roadsides than that in the earth roadsides. The similarity of plant communities in studied plots of asphalt roadsides and earth roadsides increased with increasing the distance to road verge. The effect range of roads for plant diversity in study region was about 20 m to road verge. Our results indicate that the construction and maintenance of roads in wetland could increase the plant species diversities of communities and risk of alien species invasion. PMID:25147872

  3. Ecological Effects of Roads on the Plant Diversity of Coastal Wetland in the Yellow River Delta

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yunzhao; Du, Siyao; Han, Guangxuan; Qu, Fanzhu; Wang, Guangmei; Fu, Yuqin; Zhan, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The 26 sample sites in 7 study plots adjacent to asphalt road and earth road in coastal wetland in the Yellow River Delta were selected to quantify plant diversity using quadrat sampling method in plant bloom phase of July and August 2012. The indice of βT and Jaccard's coefficient were applied to evaluate the species diversity. The results showed that the plant diversities and alien plants were high in the range of 0–20 m to the road verge. There were more exotics and halophytes in plots of asphalt roadside than that of earth roadside. However, proportion of halophytes in habitats of asphalt roadsides was lower than that of earth roadside. By comparing β-diversity, there were more common species in the asphalt roadsides than that in the earth roadsides. The similarity of plant communities in studied plots of asphalt roadsides and earth roadsides increased with increasing the distance to road verge. The effect range of roads for plant diversity in study region was about 20 m to road verge. Our results indicate that the construction and maintenance of roads in wetland could increase the plant species diversities of communities and risk of alien species invasion. PMID:25147872

  4. Plant Wide Assessment for SIFCO Industries, Inc.

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly Kissock, Arvind Thekdi et. al.

    2005-07-06

    Sifco Industries carreid out a plant wide energy assessment under a collaborative program with the U.S. Department of Energy during October 2004 to September 2005. During the year, personnel from EIS, E3M, DPS, BuyCastings.Com, and Sifco plant facilities and maintenance personnel, as a team collected energy use, construction, process, equipment and operational information about the plant. Based on this information, the team identified 13 energy savings opportunities. Near term savings opportunities have a total potential savings of about $1,329,000 per year and a combined simple payback of about 11 months. Implementation of these recommendations would reduce CO2 emissions by about 16,000,000 pounds per year, which would reduce overall plant CO2 emissions by about 45%. These totals do not include another $830,000 per year in potential savings with an estimated 9-month payback, from converting the forging hammers from steam to compressed air.

  5. Forest species diversity reduces disease risk in a generalist plant pathogen invasion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haas, Sarah E.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Rizzo, David M.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2011-01-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that biodiversity loss can increase disease transmission, yet our understanding of the 'diversity-disease hypothesis' for generalist pathogens in natural ecosystems is limited. We used a landscape epidemiological approach to examine two scenarios regarding diversity effects on the emerging plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum across a broad, heterogeneous ecoregion: (1) an amplification effect exists where disease risk is greater in areas with higher plant diversity due to the pathogen's wide host range, or (2) a dilution effect where risk is reduced with increasing diversity due to lower competency of alternative hosts. We found evidence for pathogen dilution, whereby disease risk was lower in sites with higher species diversity, after accounting for potentially confounding effects of host density and landscape heterogeneity. Our results suggest that although nearly all plants in the ecosystem are hosts, alternative hosts may dilute disease transmission by competent hosts, thereby buffering forest health from infectious disease.

  6. Exploring Genetic Diversity in Plants Using High-Throughput Sequencing Techniques.

    PubMed

    Onda, Yoshihiko; Mochida, Keiichi

    2016-08-01

    Food security has emerged as an urgent concern because of the rising world population. To meet the food demands of the near future, it is required to improve the productivity of various crops, not just of staple food crops. The genetic diversity among plant populations in a given species allows the plants to adapt to various environmental conditions. Such diversity could therefore yield valuable traits that could overcome the food-security challenges. To explore genetic diversity comprehensively and to rapidly identify useful genes and/or allele, advanced high-throughput sequencing techniques, also called next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, have been developed. These provide practical solutions to the challenges in crop genomics. Here, we review various sources of genetic diversity in plants, newly developed genetic diversity-mining tools synergized with NGS techniques, and related genetic approaches such as quantitative trait locus analysis and genome-wide association study. PMID:27499684

  7. Psychometric Evaluation of Lexical Diversity Indices: Assessing Length Effects

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Heather Harris; Green, Samuel B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Several novel techniques have been developed recently to assess the breadth of a speaker's vocabulary exhibited in a language sample. The specific aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the validity of the scores generated by different lexical diversity (LD) estimation techniques. Four techniques were explored: D, Maas, measure of textual lexical diversity, and moving-average type–token ratio. Method Four LD indices were estimated for language samples on 4 discourse tasks (procedures, eventcasts, story retell, and recounts) from 442 adults who are neurologically intact. The resulting data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results The scores for measure of textual lexical diversity and moving-average type–token ratio were stronger indicators of the LD of the language samples. The results for the other 2 techniques were consistent with the presence of method factors representing construct-irrelevant sources. Conclusion These findings offer a deeper understanding of the relative validity of the 4 estimation techniques and should assist clinicians and researchers in the selection of LD measures of language samples that minimize construct-irrelevant sources. PMID:25766139

  8. Decline in exotic tree density facilitates increased plant diversity: the experience from Melaleuca quinquenervia invaded wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Australian tree Melaleuca quinquenervia (melaleuca) formed dense monocultural forests several decades after invading Florida and the Caribbean islands. These dominant forests have displaced native vegetation in sensitive wetland systems. We hypothesized that native plant diversity would increa...

  9. High plant diversity in Oregon tidal wetlands and multiple threats to its persistence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Tidal wetlands in the Pacific Northwest occur in coastal estuaries differing widely in size, relative freshwater inputs, and degree of watershed development. To better understand patterns of plant diversity in tidal wetlands across the region and potential climate change effects ...

  10. Microbiome interplay: plants alter microbial abundance and diversity within the built environment

    PubMed Central

    Mahnert, Alexander; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    The built indoor microbiome has importance for human health. Residents leave their microbial fingerprint but nothing is known about the transfer from plants. Our hypothesis that indoor plants contribute substantially to the microbial abundance and diversity in the built environment was experimentally confirmed as proof of principle by analyzing the microbiome of the spider plant Chlorophytum comosum in relation to their surroundings. The abundance of Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota (fungi) increased on surrounding floor and wall surfaces within 6 months of plant isolation in a cleaned indoor environment, whereas the microbial abundance on plant leaves and indoor air remained stable. We observed a microbiome shift: the bacterial diversity on surfaces increased significantly but fungal diversity decreased. The majority of cells were intact at the time of samplings and thus most probably alive including diverse Archaea as yet unknown phyllosphere inhabitants. LEfSe and network analysis showed that most microbes were dispersed from plant leaves to the surrounding surfaces. This led to an increase of specific taxa including spore-forming fungi with potential allergic potential but also beneficial plant-associated bacteria, e.g., Paenibacillus. This study demonstrates for the first time that plants can alter the microbiome of a built environment, which supports the significance of plants and provides insights into the complex interplay of plants, microbiomes and human beings. PMID:26379656

  11. Nuclear power plant security assessment technical manual.

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, Sharon L.; Whitehead, Donnie Wayne; Potter, Claude S., III

    2007-09-01

    This report (Nuclear Power Plant Security Assessment Technical Manual) is a revision to NUREG/CR-1345 (Nuclear Power Plant Design Concepts for Sabotage Protection) that was published in January 1981. It provides conceptual and specific technical guidance for U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission nuclear power plant design certification and combined operating license applicants as they: (1) develop the layout of a facility (i.e., how buildings are arranged on the site property and how they are arranged internally) to enhance protection against sabotage and facilitate the use of physical security features; (2) design the physical protection system to be used at the facility; and (3) analyze the effectiveness of the PPS against the design basis threat. It should be used as a technical manual in conjunction with the 'Nuclear Power Plant Security Assessment Format and Content Guide'. The opportunity to optimize physical protection in the design of a nuclear power plant is obtained when an applicant utilizes both documents when performing a security assessment. This document provides a set of best practices that incorporates knowledge gained from more than 30 years of physical protection system design and evaluation activities at Sandia National Laboratories and insights derived from U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission technical staff into a manual that describes a development and analysis process of physical protection systems suitable for future nuclear power plants. In addition, selected security system technologies that may be used in a physical protection system are discussed. The scope of this document is limited to the identification of a set of best practices associated with the design and evaluation of physical security at future nuclear power plants in general. As such, it does not provide specific recommendations for the design and evaluation of physical security for any specific reactor design. These best practices should be applicable to the design and

  12. Modeling terrestrial carbon and water dynamics across climatic gradients: does plant trait diversity matter?

    PubMed

    Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Burlando, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Plant trait diversity in many vegetation models is crudely represented using a discrete classification of a handful of 'plant types' (named plant functional types; PFTs). The parameterization of PFTs reflects mean properties of observed plant traits over broad categories ignoring most of the inter- and intraspecific plant trait variability. Taking advantage of a multivariate leaf-trait distribution (leaf economics spectrum), as well as documented plant drought strategies, we generate an ensemble of hypothetical species with coordinated attributes, rather than using few PFTs. The behavior of these proxy species is tested using a mechanistic ecohydrological model that translates plant traits into plant performance. Simulations are carried out for a range of climates representative of different elevations and wetness conditions in the European Alps. Using this framework we investigate the sensitivity of ecosystem response to plant trait diversity and compare it with the sensitivity to climate variability. Plant trait diversity leads to highly divergent vegetation carbon dynamics (fluxes and pools) and to a lesser extent water fluxes (transpiration). Abiotic variables, such as soil water content and evaporation, are only marginally affected. These results highlight the need for revising the representation of plant attributes in vegetation models. Probabilistic approaches, based on observed multivariate whole-plant trait distributions, provide a viable alternative. PMID:26389742

  13. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Doethideomycetes Fungi

    SciTech Connect

    Ohm, Robin A.; Feau, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Schoch, Conrad L.; Horwitz, Benjamin A.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Condon, Bradford J.; Copeland, Alex C.; Dhillon, Braham; Glaser, Fabien; Hesse, Cedar N.; Kosti, Idit; LaButti, Kurt; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan; Salamov, Asaf A.; Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Ciuffetti, Lynda; Hamelin, Richard C.; Kema, Gert H. J.; Lawrence, Christopher; Scott, James A.; Spatafora, Joseph W.; Turgeon, B. Gillian; de Wit, Pierre J. G. M.; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2012-03-13

    The class of Dothideomycetes is one of the largest and most diverse groups of fungi. Many are plant pathogens and pose a serious threat to agricultural crops grown for biofuel, food or feed. Most Dothideomycetes have only a single host and related species can have very diverse host plants. Eighteen genomes of Dothideomycetes have currently been sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute and other sequencing centers. Here we describe the results of comparative analyses of the fungi in this group.

  14. Diverse Lifestyles and Strategies of Plant Pathogenesis Encoded in the Genomes of Eighteen Dothideomycetes

    SciTech Connect

    Ohm, Robin A.; Feau, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Schoch, Conrad L.; Horwitz, Benjamin A.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Condon, Bradford J.; Copeland, Alex C.; Dhillon, Braham; Glaser, Fabian; Hesse, Cedar N.; Kosti, Idit; LaButti, Kurt; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan; Salamov, Asaf A.; Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Ciuffetti, Lynda; Hamelin, Richard C.; Kema, Gert H. J.; Lawrence, Christopher; Scott, James A.; Spatafora, Joseph W.; Turgeon, B. Gillian; de Wit, Pierre J. G. M.; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2013-03-05

    The class of Dothideomycetes is one of the largest and most diverse groups of fungi. Many are plant pathogens and pose a serious threat to agricultural crops that are grown for biofuel, food or feed. Most Dothideomycetes have only a single host plant, and related species can have very diverse hosts. Eighteen genomes of Dothideomycetes have currently been sequenced by the Joint Genome Institute and other sequencing centers. Here we describe the results of comparative analyses of the fungi in this group.

  15. Pathways of nutrient loading and impacts on plant diversity in a New York peatland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drexler, J.Z.; Bedford, B.L.

    2002-01-01

    Nutrient loading is a subtle, yet serious threat to the preservation of high diversity wetlands such as peatlands. Pathways of nutrient loading and impacts on plant diversity in a small peatland in New York State, USA were determined by collecting and analyzing a suite of hydrogeological, hydro-chemical, soil, and vegetation data. Piezometer clusters within an intensive network constituted hydro-chemical sampling points and focal points for randomly selected vegetation quadrats and soil-coring locations. Hydrogeological data and nutrient analyses showed that P and K loading occurred chiefly by means of overland flow from an adjacent farm field, whereas N loading occurred predominantly through ground-water flow from the farm field. Redundancy analysis and polynomial regression showed that nutrients, particularly total P in peat, total K in peat, extractable NH4-N, and NO3-N flux in ground water, were strongly negatively correlated with plant diversity measures at the site. No other environmental variables except vegetation measures associated with eutrophication demonstrated such a strong relationship with plant diversity. Nitrate loading over 4 mg m -2 day-1 was associated with low plant diversity, and Ca fluxes between 80 and 130 mg m-2 day-1 were associated with high plant diversity. Areas in the site with particularly low vascular plant and bryophyte species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity (H') occurred adjacent to the farm field and near a hillside spring. High H' and species richness of vascular plants and bryophytes occurred in areas that were further removed from agriculture, contained no highly dominant vegetation, and were situated directly along the ground-water flow paths of springs. These areas were characterized by relatively constant water levels and consistent, yet moderate fluxes of base cations and nutrients. Overall, this study demonstrates that knowledge of site hydrogeology is crucial for determining potential pathways of nutrient loading

  16. Genomic Diversity of Biocontrol Strains of Pseudomonas spp. Isolated from Aerial or Root Surfaces of Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The striking ecological, metabolic, and biochemical diversity of Pseudomonas has intrigued microbiologists for many decades. To explore the genomic diversity of biocontrol strains of Pseudomonas spp., we derived high quality draft sequences of seven strains known to suppress plant disease. The str...

  17. Plant diversity induces a shift of DOC concentration over time - results from long term and large scale experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Markus; Gleixner, Gerd

    2016-04-01

    Plant diversity has been demonstrated as a crucial factor for soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. The horizontal SOC formation in turn is strongly impacted by the relative small but consistent flow of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in soils. In this process, pore water leaches plant material and already stored SOC while simultaneously these leachates are transported downwards. However, there is a big uncertainty about the drivers of DOC flux; in particular about the importance of biological processes. We investigated the impact of plant diversity and other biotic drivers on DOC concentrations and total DOC fluxes (concentration × sampled water amount). In addition, we considered abiotic factors such as weather and soil conditions to assess the relative importance of biotic and abiotic drivers and how their importance changes over time. We used a comprehensive data set, gathered in the frame of the long-term biodiversity experiment "The Jena Experiment". Permanent monitoring started directly after establishment of the field site in 2002 and is still running. This enabled us to trace the impact of plant communities with their increasing establishment over the time on DOC concentration. We found the amount of sampled pore water best explained by rainfall, while it was not related to plant associated variables. Directly after establishing the experimental site, DOC concentrations were highest and then decreasing with time. In the first period of the experiment plant diversity had no or even a slightly negative impact on DOC concentrations. The direction of the plant diversity effect on DOC concentrations changed over time; namely in later phases we observed highest DOC concentrations on plots with high plant diversity. Moreover, DOC concentrations were negatively affected by increased amounts of sampled pore water indicating a dilution effect. Even though this impact was highly significant; its effect size was even less pronounced at later time points. In summary

  18. Surface erosion at disturbed alpine sites: effects of vegetation cover and plant diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, C.; Pohl, M.; Alewell, C.; Körner, C.; Buttler, A.; Rixen, C.

    2009-04-01

    The relationship between plant diversity and soil stability in disturbed alpine terrain is poorly studied. In this paper, we investigated the influence of plant cover and diversity on water run-off and sediment yield on ski slopes. Rainfall simulations were conducted on a micro-scale (25 x 25 cm) to be able to replicate plots with different degrees of vegetation cover. We selected plots with 10%, 30% and 60% of vegetation cover containing different combinations of plant diversities: (i) grass, (ii) herb, (iii) moss/ lichen, and all combinations of these plant groups. Each combination was replicated five times with an applied rain intensity of 375 ml min-1 for about 5 minutes. As could be expected, percent vegetation cover had a large effect on surface erosion: sediment yield decreased with increasing vegetation cover. However, within the plots with 60% cover, sediment yield was lower at higher plant diversity and functional group diversity. The findings of this study support the view that beside the re-establishment of a closed vegetation cover, plant diversity is a relevant factor to reduce surface erosion at disturbed sites in alpine ecosystems.

  19. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Judith X.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future. PMID:25902509

  20. β-Diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan

    PubMed Central

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity –possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and

  1. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  2. Single nucleotide polymorphisms for assessing genetic diversity in castor bean (Ricinus communis)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is an agricultural crop and garden ornamental that is widely cultivated and has been introduced worldwide. Understanding population structure and the distribution of castor bean cultivars has been challenging because of limited genetic variability. We analyzed the population genetics of R. communis in a worldwide collection of plants from germplasm and from naturalized populations in Florida, U.S. To assess genetic diversity we conducted survey sequencing of the genomes of seven diverse cultivars and compared the data to a reference genome assembly of a widespread cultivar (Hale). We determined the population genetic structure of 676 samples using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 48 loci. Results Bayesian clustering indicated five main groups worldwide and a repeated pattern of mixed genotypes in most countries. High levels of population differentiation occurred between most populations but this structure was not geographically based. Most molecular variance occurred within populations (74%) followed by 22% among populations, and 4% among continents. Samples from naturalized populations in Florida indicated significant population structuring consistent with local demes. There was significant population differentiation for 56 of 78 comparisons in Florida (pairwise population ϕPT values, p < 0.01). Conclusion Low levels of genetic diversity and mixing of genotypes have led to minimal geographic structuring of castor bean populations worldwide. Relatively few lineages occur and these are widely distributed. Our approach of determining population genetic structure using SNPs from genome-wide comparisons constitutes a framework for high-throughput analyses of genetic diversity in plants, particularly in species with limited genetic diversity. PMID:20082707

  3. Plant growth promotion potential is equally represented in diverse grapevine root-associated bacterial communities from different biopedoclimatic environments.

    PubMed

    Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Fusi, Marco; Cherif, Ameur; Abou-Hadid, Ayman; El-Bahairy, Usama; Borin, Sara; Sorlini, Claudia; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    Plant-associated bacteria provide important services to host plants. Environmental factors such as cultivar type and pedoclimatic conditions contribute to shape their diversity. However, whether these environmental factors may influence the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of the root-associated bacteria is not widely understood. To address this issue, the diversity and PGP potential of the bacterial assemblage associated with the grapevine root system of different cultivars in three Mediterranean environments along a macrotransect identifying an aridity gradient were assessed by culture-dependent and independent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE, the structure of endosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities was highly diverse (P = 0.03) and was associated with a cultivar/latitudinal/climatic effect. Despite being diverse, the bacterial communities associated with Egyptian grapevines shared a higher similarity with the Tunisian grapevines than those cultivated in North Italy. A similar distribution, according to the cultivar/latitude/aridity gradients, was observed for the cultivable bacteria. Many isolates (23%) presented in vitro multiple stress resistance capabilities and PGP activities, the most frequent being auxin synthesis (82%), insoluble phosphate solubilisation (61%), and ammonia production (70%). The comparable numbers and types of potential PGP traits among the three different environmental settings indicate a strong functional homeostasis of beneficial bacteria associated with grape root. PMID:23878810

  4. Plant Growth Promotion Potential Is Equally Represented in Diverse Grapevine Root-Associated Bacterial Communities from Different Biopedoclimatic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Fusi, Marco; Cherif, Ameur; Abou-Hadid, Ayman; El-Bahairy, Usama; Sorlini, Claudia; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    Plant-associated bacteria provide important services to host plants. Environmental factors such as cultivar type and pedoclimatic conditions contribute to shape their diversity. However, whether these environmental factors may influence the plant growth promoting (PGP) potential of the root-associated bacteria is not widely understood. To address this issue, the diversity and PGP potential of the bacterial assemblage associated with the grapevine root system of different cultivars in three Mediterranean environments along a macrotransect identifying an aridity gradient were assessed by culture-dependent and independent approaches. According to 16S rRNA gene PCR-DGGE, the structure of endosphere and rhizosphere bacterial communities was highly diverse (P = 0.03) and was associated with a cultivar/latitudinal/climatic effect. Despite being diverse, the bacterial communities associated with Egyptian grapevines shared a higher similarity with the Tunisian grapevines than those cultivated in North Italy. A similar distribution, according to the cultivar/latitude/aridity gradients, was observed for the cultivable bacteria. Many isolates (23%) presented in vitro multiple stress resistance capabilities and PGP activities, the most frequent being auxin synthesis (82%), insoluble phosphate solubilisation (61%), and ammonia production (70%). The comparable numbers and types of potential PGP traits among the three different environmental settings indicate a strong functional homeostasis of beneficial bacteria associated with grape root. PMID:23878810

  5. Genetic diversity in populations of plants with different breeding and dispersal strategies in a free-flowing boreal river system.

    PubMed

    Lundqvist, E; Andersson, E

    2001-01-01

    We have studied the genetic diversity of three plant species: Angelica archangelica (Apiacieae), Bistorta vivipara (Polygonaceae) and Viscaria alpina (Caryophyllaceae) along the free-flowing Vindel River in northern Sweden. The plants differ in reproductive strategy. A archangelica and V. alpina are insect pollinated outbreeders while B. vivipara reproduces with apomixis through bulbils. The seeds of A. archangelica may float for over a year, while the propagules (seeds and bulbils, respectively) of V. alpina and B. vivipara float for less than two days. Genetic diversity was assessed using starch gel electrophoresis. The clonal diversity of B. vivipara measured by Simpson's index (D) ranged between 0.78 and 0.99. Only a few clones were shared between localities. The average percentages polymorphic loci and mean He based on polymorphic loci for V. alpina over all localities were 23.1 and 0.15, respectively. Wright's F-statistics showed a significant overall deficit of heterozygotes. The diversity of A. archangelica was found to increase downstream. Genetic diversity of each species is sufficiently high to be used in studies on hydrochory. Dispersal appears to be related to the floating ability of progagules. PMID:12035618

  6. Plant Diversity and Multifunctional Management of Grassland Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managing for multiple ecosystem functions and services requires greater ecosystem diversity and complexity. Complex ecosystems, such as forage and grazing lands, may provide multiple benefits and require multiple species. In this paper, I provide a brief perspective from our research conducted in th...

  7. [Agrobacterium rubi strains from blueberry plants are highly diverse].

    PubMed

    Abrahamovich, Eliana; López, Ana C; Alippi, Adriana M

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of a collection of Agrobacterium rubi strains isolated from blueberries from different regions of Argentina was studied by conventional microbiological tests and molecular techniques. Results from biochemical and physiological reactions, as well as from rep-PCR and RFLP analysis of PCR-amplified 23S rDNA showed high phenotypic and genotypic intraspecific variation. PMID:25444133

  8. Photosynthetic diversity meets biodiversity: the C4 plant example.

    PubMed

    Sage, Rowan F; Stata, Matt

    2015-01-01

    Physiological diversification reflects adaptation for specific environmental challenges. As the major physiological process that provides plants with carbon and energy, photosynthesis is under strong evolutionary selection that gives rise to variability in nearly all parts of the photosynthetic apparatus. Here, we discuss how plants, notably those using C4 photosynthesis, diversified in response to environmental challenges imposed by declining atmospheric CO2 content in recent geological time. This reduction in atmospheric CO2 increases the rate of photorespiration and reduces photosynthetic efficiency. While plants have evolved numerous mechanisms to compensate for low CO2, the most effective are the carbon concentration mechanisms of C4, C2, and CAM photosynthesis; and the pumping of dissolved inorganic carbon, mainly by algae. C4 photosynthesis enables plants to dominate warm, dry and often salinized habitats, and to colonize areas that are too stressful for most plant groups. Because C4 lineages generally lack arborescence, they cannot form forests. Hence, where they predominate, C4 plants create a different landscape than would occur if C3 plants were to predominate. These landscapes (mostly grasslands and savannahs) present unique selection environments that promoted the diversification of animal guilds able to graze upon the C4 vegetation. Thus, the rise of C4 photosynthesis has made a significant contribution to the origin of numerous biomes in the modern biosphere. PMID:25264020

  9. Potential benefits of plant diversity on vegetated roofs: a literature review.

    PubMed

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; Bauerle, Taryn L

    2012-09-15

    Although vegetated green roofs can be difficult to establish and maintain, they are an increasingly popular method for mitigating the negative environmental impacts of urbanization. Most green roof development has focused on maximizing green roof performance by planting one or a few drought-tolerant species. We present an alternative approach, which recognizes green roofs as dynamic ecosystems and employs a diversity of species. We draw links between the ecological and green roof literature to generate testable predictions about how increasing plant diversity could improve short- and long-term green roof functioning. Although we found few papers that experimentally manipulated diversity on green roofs, those that did revealed ecological dynamics similar to those in more natural systems. However, there are many unresolved issues. To improve overall green roof performance, we should (1) elucidate the links among plant diversity, structural complexity, and green roof performance, (2) describe feedback mechanisms between plant and animal diversity on green roofs, (3) identify species with complementary traits, and (4) determine whether diverse green roof communities are more resilient to disturbance and environmental change than less diverse green roofs. PMID:22575204

  10. Diversity dynamics of silurian-early carboniferous land plants in South china.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Conghui; Wang, Deming; Wang, Qi; Benton, Michael J; Xue, Jinzhuang; Meng, Meicen; Zhao, Qi; Zhang, Jing

    2013-01-01

    New megafossil and microfossil data indicate four episodes in the diversification of Silurian-Early Carboniferous land plants of South China, a relatively continuous regional record. Plant diversity increased throughout, but the rising curve was punctuated by three major falls. There were peaks of origination in the Ludlow-Pragian, Givetian, late Famennian and Visean and peaks of extinction in the Pragian-Emsian, Givetian and early Tournaisian. Speciation and extinction rates were highest in the Lochkovian-Pragian and became progressively lower in subsequent stages. High correlation coefficients indicate that these events are associated with the availability of land habitat contingent on eustatic variations and increasing numbers of cosmopolitan genera. Meanwhile, proportions of endemic genera declined gradually. Due to less endemism and more migrations, both speciation and species extinction rates reduced. The changes of diversity and the timing of the three extinctions of land plants in South China are similar to those known already from Laurussia. However, the largest events in the Lochkovian-Pragian and subsequent smaller ones have not been seen in the global pattern of plant evolution. These land plant events do not correspond well temporally with those affecting land vertebrates or marine invertebrates. In South China, the diversity curve of land plants is generally opposite to that of marine faunas, showing a strong effect of eustatic variations. The increasing diversity of both land vertebrates and plants was punctuated above the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary, known as Romer's Gap, implying common underlying constraints on macroevolution of land animals and plants. PMID:24073276

  11. Plant Species Diversity and Distribution in Pastures of the Northeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grazed pastures in the northeastern United contain far more than planted forage species. These species may contribute to forage production, but they may also detract from forage production or palatability. As the first step toward identifying the role of plant diversity in forage systems, we collect...

  12. Diversity Dynamics of Silurian–Early Carboniferous Land Plants in South China

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Conghui; Wang, Deming; Wang, Qi; Benton, Michael J.; Xue, Jinzhuang; Meng, Meicen; Zhao, Qi; Zhang, Jing

    2013-01-01

    New megafossil and microfossil data indicate four episodes in the diversification of Silurian–Early Carboniferous land plants of South China, a relatively continuous regional record. Plant diversity increased throughout, but the rising curve was punctuated by three major falls. There were peaks of origination in the Ludlow–Pragian, Givetian, late Famennian and Visean and peaks of extinction in the Pragian–Emsian, Givetian and early Tournaisian. Speciation and extinction rates were highest in the Lochkovian–Pragian and became progressively lower in subsequent stages. High correlation coefficients indicate that these events are associated with the availability of land habitat contingent on eustatic variations and increasing numbers of cosmopolitan genera. Meanwhile, proportions of endemic genera declined gradually. Due to less endemism and more migrations, both speciation and species extinction rates reduced. The changes of diversity and the timing of the three extinctions of land plants in South China are similar to those known already from Laurussia. However, the largest events in the Lochkovian–Pragian and subsequent smaller ones have not been seen in the global pattern of plant evolution. These land plant events do not correspond well temporally with those affecting land vertebrates or marine invertebrates. In South China, the diversity curve of land plants is generally opposite to that of marine faunas, showing a strong effect of eustatic variations. The increasing diversity of both land vertebrates and plants was punctuated above the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary, known as Romer's Gap, implying common underlying constraints on macroevolution of land animals and plants. PMID:24073276

  13. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are dramatically altering global biodiversity. Theory predicts these changes to be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive excl...

  14. Diversity of use and local knowledge of wild edible plant resources in Nepal

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Wild edible plants (WEP) provide staple and supplement foods, as well as cash income to local communities, thus favouring food security. However, WEP are largely ignored in land use planning and implementation, economic development, and biodiversity conservation. Moreover, WEP-related traditional knowledge is rapidly eroding. Therefore, we designed this study to fulfill a part of the knowledge gap by providing data on diversity, traditional knowledge, economic potential, and conservation value of WEP from Nepal. Methods The information was collected through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Percentage of general utility of the plants among the study communities was evaluated using the Chi-square (χ2) test of homogeneity. High priority species were identified after consultation with the local stakeholders followed by scoring based on defined criteria. Pairwise ranking was used to assess ethnoecological knowledge to identify the threats to WEP. Results We documented 81 species belonging to Angiosperms (74), Pteridophytes (5), and Fungi (2). Most of the species were used as fruits (44 species) followed by vegetables (36). Almost half of the species (47%) were also used for purposes other than food. From the species with market value (37% of the total), 10 were identified as high priority species. Pairwise ranking revealed that WEP are threatened mostly by habitat destruction, land-use change and over-harvesting. Some of these plants are crop wild relatives and could thus be used for crop improvement. Interestingly, our study also revealed that young people who spend most of the time in the forest as herdsmen are particularly knowledgeable of wild fruit plants. Conclusion We provide empirical evidence from a relatively large area of Nepal about diversity and status of WEP, as well as methodological insights about the proper knowledge holders to consult. Regarding the unique and important knowledge they have on WEP, young people should be

  15. Soil fertility increases with plant species diversity in a long-term biodiversity experiment.

    PubMed

    Dybzinski, Ray; Fargione, Joseph E; Zak, Donald R; Fornara, Dario; Tilman, David

    2008-11-01

    Most explanations for the positive effect of plant species diversity on productivity have focused on the efficiency of resource use, implicitly assuming that resource supply is constant. To test this assumption, we grew seedlings of Echinacea purpurea in soil collected beneath 10-year-old, experimental plant communities containing one, two, four, eight, or 16 native grassland species. The results of this greenhouse bioassay challenge the assumption of constant resource supply; we found that bioassay seedlings grown in soil collected from experimental communities containing 16 plant species produced 70% more biomass than seedlings grown in soil collected beneath monocultures. This increase was likely attributable to greater soil N availability, which had increased in higher diversity communities over the 10-year-duration of the experiment. In a distinction akin to the selection/complementarity partition commonly made in studies of diversity and productivity, we further determined whether the additive effects of functional groups or the interactive effects of functional groups explained the increase in fertility with diversity. The increase in bioassay seedling biomass with diversity was largely explained by a concomitant increase in N-fixer, C4 grass, forb, and C3 grass biomass with diversity, suggesting that the additive effects of these four functional groups at higher diversity contributed to enhance N availability and retention. Nevertheless, diversity still explained a significant amount of the residual variation in bioassay seedling biomass after functional group biomass was included in a multiple regression, suggesting that interactions also increased fertility in diverse communities. Our results suggest a mechanism, the fertility effect, by which increased plant species diversity may increase community productivity over time by increasing the supply of nutrients via both greater inputs and greater retention. PMID:18690478

  16. Tityus serrulatus venom peptidomics: assessing venom peptide diversity.

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Ferraz, Karla K F; Borges, Márcia H; Richardson, Michael; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C

    2008-10-01

    MALDI-TOF-TOF and de novo sequencing were employed to assess the Tityus serrulatus venom peptide diversity. Previous works has shown the cornucopia of molecular masses, ranging from 800 to 3000Da, present in the venom from this and other scorpions species. This work reports the identification/sequencing of several of these peptides. The majority of the peptides found were fragments of larger venom toxins. For instance, 28 peptides could be identified as fragments from Pape proteins, 10 peptides corresponded to N-terminal fragments of the TsK beta (scorpine-like) toxin and fragments of potassium channel toxins (other than the k-beta) were sequenced as well. N-terminal fragments from the T. serrulatus hypotensins-I and II and a novel hypotensin-like peptide could also be found. This work also reports the sequencing of novel peptides without sequence similarities to other known molecules. PMID:18718845

  17. Assessment of phytoplankton diversity as an indicator of water quality

    SciTech Connect

    Yergeau, S.E.; Lang, A.; Teeters, R.

    1997-08-01

    For the measurement of water quality in freshwater systems, there are established indices using macroinvertebrate larvae. There is no such comparable measure for marine and estuarine environments. A phytoplankton diversity index (PDI), whose basic form was conceived by Dr. Ruth Gyure of Save the Sound, Inc., is being investigated as a possible candidate to rectify this situation. Phytoplankton were chosen as the indicators of water quality since algae have short generation times and respond quickly to changing water quality conditions. The methodologies involved in this initial assessment of the PDI are incorporated into the Adopt-a-Harbor water quality monitoring program and its associated laboratory. The virtues of the procedures are that they are simple and quick to use, suitable for trained volunteers to carry out, easily reproducible, and amenable to quality assurance checks.

  18. Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Palmer, G

    2015-04-01

    Plants are commonly listed as invasive species, presuming that they cause harm at both global and regional scales. Approximately 40% of all species listed as invasive within Britain are plants. However, invasive plants are rarely linked to the national or global extinction of native plant species. The possible explanation is that competitive exclusion takes place slowly and that invasive plants will eventually eliminate native species (the "time-to-exclusion hypothesis"). Using the extensive British Countryside Survey Data, we find that changes to plant occurrence and cover between 1990 and 2007 at 479 British sites do not differ between native and non-native plant species. More than 80% of the plant species that are widespread enough to be sampled are native species; hence, total cover changes have been dominated by native species (total cover increases by native species are more than nine times greater than those by non-native species). This implies that factors other than plant "invasions" are the key drivers of vegetation change. We also find that the diversity of native species is increasing in locations where the diversity of non-native species is increasing, suggesting that high diversities of native and non-native plant species are compatible with one another. We reject the time-to-exclusion hypothesis as the reason why extinctions have not been observed and suggest that non-native plant species are not a threat to floral diversity in Britain. Further research is needed in island-like environments, but we question whether it is appropriate that more than three-quarters of taxa listed globally as invasive species are plants. PMID:25831537

  19. Non-native plants add to the British flora without negative consequences for native diversity

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Chris D.; Palmer, G.

    2015-01-01

    Plants are commonly listed as invasive species, presuming that they cause harm at both global and regional scales. Approximately 40% of all species listed as invasive within Britain are plants. However, invasive plants are rarely linked to the national or global extinction of native plant species. The possible explanation is that competitive exclusion takes place slowly and that invasive plants will eventually eliminate native species (the “time-to-exclusion hypothesis”). Using the extensive British Countryside Survey Data, we find that changes to plant occurrence and cover between 1990 and 2007 at 479 British sites do not differ between native and non-native plant species. More than 80% of the plant species that are widespread enough to be sampled are native species; hence, total cover changes have been dominated by native species (total cover increases by native species are more than nine times greater than those by non-native species). This implies that factors other than plant “invasions” are the key drivers of vegetation change. We also find that the diversity of native species is increasing in locations where the diversity of non-native species is increasing, suggesting that high diversities of native and non-native plant species are compatible with one another. We reject the time-to-exclusion hypothesis as the reason why extinctions have not been observed and suggest that non-native plant species are not a threat to floral diversity in Britain. Further research is needed in island-like environments, but we question whether it is appropriate that more than three-quarters of taxa listed globally as invasive species are plants. PMID:25831537

  20. Initial assessment of natural diversity in Mexican fig landraces.

    PubMed

    García-Ruiz, M T; Mendoza-Castillo, V M; Valadez-Moctezuma, E; Muratalla-Lúa, A

    2013-01-01

    The common fig (Ficus carica L.) was introduced into Mexico by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the 16th century. It is widely assumed that Mexican figs are the Spanish cultivar Black Mission. We collected and propagated 12 fig plants from six landraces from different states in Central Mexico that represent different climate. All of them were grown in a greenhouse at Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, in the State of Mexico. During the experimental period, the greenhouse had an average temperature and relative humidity of 29.2° ± 5.4°C (SEM) and 78.1 ± 6.7% (SEM), respectively. Morphological characterization was done following a selected set of quantitative and qualitative descriptors established by the IPGRI. DNA analysis was based on a combination of ISSR and RFLP markers. We observed great diversity mainly in fruit weight (28.1-96.2 g), fruit shape (ovoid, pyriform), and neck length (0.97-3.80 cm), which could not be explained by environmental conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. The Nei and Li/Dice similarity coefficient between landraces was determined by cluster analysis using the UPGMA method. Based on the morphological characterization and DNA fingerprinting data presented in this study, our results showed that after hundreds of years, black figs have adapted to local environmental condition in Central Mexico, yielding at least six clearly distinct landraces that represent valuable and previously undescribed genetic diversity. We also suggested names for those landraces according to their location and established a basis for further agronomic and molecular characterization of fig landraces. PMID:24085455

  1. Biodiversity assessment among two Nebraska prairies: a comparison between traditional and phylogenetic diversity indices

    PubMed Central

    Aust, Shelly K.; Ahrendsen, Dakota L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth’s biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species’ evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics. New information In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and

  2. Simulated climate-vegetation interaction in semi-arid regions affected by plant diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claussen, M.; Bathiany, S.; Brovkin, V.; Kleinen, T.

    2013-11-01

    The end of the African Humid Period between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago was associated with large changes in precipitation and vegetation cover. Sediment records from Lake Yoa, Chad, show a gradual decline in precipitation and fluctuation in vegetation over this interval, and have been suggested to demonstrate a weak interaction between climate and vegetation. However, interpretation of these data has neglected the potential effects of plant diversity on the stability of the climate-vegetation system. Here we use a conceptual model that represents plant diversity in terms of moisture requirement. Some of the plant types simulated are sensitive to changes in precipitation, which alone would lead to an unstable system with the possibility of abrupt changes. Other plants are more resilient, resulting in a stable system that changes gradually. We demonstrate that plant diversity tends to attenuate the instability of the interaction between climate and sensitive plant types, whereas it reduces the stability of the interaction between climate and less-sensitive plant types. Hence, despite large sensitivities of individual plant types to precipitation, a gradual decline in precipitation and shift in mean vegetation cover can occur. However, we suggest that the system could become unstable if some plant types were removed or introduced, leading to an abrupt regime shift.

  3. A phylogenetic perspective on the distribution of plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Donoghue, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    Phylogenetic studies are revealing that major ecological niches are more conserved through evolutionary history than expected, implying that adaptations to major climate changes have not readily been accomplished in all lineages. Phylogenetic niche conservatism has important consequences for the assembly of both local communities and the regional species pools from which these are drawn. If corridors for movement are available, newly emerging environments will tend to be filled by species that filter in from areas in which the relevant adaptations have already evolved, as opposed to being filled by in situ evolution of these adaptations. Examples include intercontinental disjunctions of tropical plants, the spread of plant lineages around the Northern Hemisphere after the evolution of cold tolerance, and the radiation of northern alpine plants into the Andes. These observations highlight the role of phylogenetic knowledge and historical biogeography in explanations of global biodiversity patterns. They also have implications for the future of biodiversity. PMID:18695216

  4. Environmental Quality and Fertility: The Effects of Plant Density, Species Richness, and Plant Diversity on Fertility Limitation *

    PubMed Central

    Brauner-Otto, Sarah R.

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between the environment and population has been of concern for centuries and climate change is making this an even more pressing area of study. In poor rural areas declining environmental conditions may elicit changes in family related behaviors. This paper explores this relationship in rural Nepal looking specifically at how plant density, species richness, and plant diversity are related to women’s fertility limitation behavior. Taking advantage of a unique data set with detailed micro-level environmental measures and individual fertility behavior I link geographically weighted measures of flora at one point in time to women’s later contraceptive use as a way to examine this complex relationship. I find a significant, positive relationship between plant density, species richness, and plant diversity and the timing of contraceptive use. Women in poor environmental conditions are less likely to terminate childbearing, or do so later, and therefore more likely to have larger families. PMID:25593378

  5. The Wilhelmine E. Key 1994 invitational Lecture. Plant genetic diversity and the struggle to measure selection.

    PubMed

    Clegg, M T

    1997-01-01

    The fundamental research program of population genetics has been to seek a quantitative assessment of the role of the various forces of evolution in shaping patterns of genetic variation. This goal has been pursued on both empirical and theoretical fronts. The introduction of biochemical and molecular techniques into population genetics more than 25 years ago revealed vast stores of genetic variation within populations. This level of genetic diversity is difficult to reconcile with balancing selection, and as a consequence, recent thinking has emphasized the role of mutation and genetic random drift as the primary determinants of genetic diversity. The resulting neutral theory of molecular evolution has dominated population genetic thought for more than 20 years. Nonadaptive theories have also emphasized the role of deleterious mutations in driving evolutionary change. New insights into the relative importance of selection and genetic random drift can now be obtained from samples of DNA sequences of genes drawn from within species. The elaboration of coalescence theory, together with the accumulation of data on gene genealogies, permits an integration over relatively long periods of evolutionary time. The ability to integrate over long periods of evolutionary time permits the detection of small selection intensities and it reveals some information about the mode of selection. When the genealogy is consistent with a neutral process, the effective population size can be estimated, as can the age of the coalescent, thus providing new empirical approaches to the estimation of these important parameters. Applications of these approaches in plant population genetics are still in their infancy, but they have already provided new insights into effective population sizes and they are beginning to illustrate how selection for domestication has affected plant genomes. PMID:9048442

  6. Phylogenetic diversity of plants alters the effect of species richness on invertebrate herbivory

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Long-standing ecological theory proposes that diverse communities of plants should experience a decrease in herbivory. Yet previous empirical examinations of this hypothesis have revealed that plant species richness increases herbivory in just as many systems as it decreases it. In this study, I ask whether more insight into the role of plant diversity in promoting or suppressing herbivory can be gained by incorporating information about the evolutionary history of species in a community. In an old field system in southern Ontario, I surveyed communities of plants and measured levels of leaf damage on 27 species in 38 plots. I calculated a measure of phylogenetic diversity (PSE) that encapsulates information about the amount of evolutionary history represented in each of the plots and looked for a relationship between levels of herbivory and both species richness and phylogenetic diversity using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) that could account for variation in herbivory levels between species. I found that species richness was positively associated with herbivore damage at the plot-level, in keeping with the results from several other recent studies on this question. On the other hand, phylogenetic diversity was associated with decreased herbivory. Importantly, there was also an interaction between species richness and phylogenetic diversity, such that plots with the highest levels of herbivory were plots which had many species but only if those species tended to be closely related to one another. I propose that these results are the consequence of interactions with herbivores whose diets are phylogenetically specialized (for which I introduce the term cladophage), and how phylogenetic diversity may alter their realized host ranges. These results suggest that incorporating a phylogenetic perspective can add valuable additional insight into the role of plant diversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale. PMID:23825795

  7. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments

    PubMed Central

    Martinson, Holly M.; Bergmann, Erik J.; Venugopal, P. Dilip; Riley, Christopher B.; Shrewsbury, Paula M.; Raupp, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests. PMID:27581756

  8. Invasive stink bug favors naïve plants: Testing the role of plant geographic origin in diverse, managed environments.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Holly M; Bergmann, Erik J; Venugopal, P Dilip; Riley, Christopher B; Shrewsbury, Paula M; Raupp, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    With the introduction and establishment of exotic species, most ecosystems now contain both native and exotic plants and herbivores. Recent research identifies several factors that govern how specialist herbivores switch host plants upon introduction. Predicting the feeding ecology and impacts of introduced generalist species, however, remains difficult. Here, we examine how plant geographic origin, an indicator of shared co-evolutionary history, influences patterns of host use by a generalist, invasive herbivore, while accounting for variation in plant availability. The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is a highly polyphagous Asian herbivore and an economically important invasive pest in North America and Europe. In visual surveys of 220 plant taxa in commercial nurseries in Maryland, USA, H. halys was more abundant on non-Asian plants and selected these over Asian plants. The relationship between the relative use of plants and their availability was strongly positive but depended also on plant origin at two of our three sites, where the higher relative use of non-Asian plants was greatest for highly abundant taxa. These results highlight the importance of considering both plant origin and relative abundance in understanding the selection of host plants by invasive generalist herbivores in diverse, natural and urban forests. PMID:27581756

  9. INCREASING NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY IN CRESTED WHEATGRASS STANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crested wheatgrass was introduced to North America to improve degraded rangelands and has proven to be a successful revegetation species due to its ease of establishment, strong competitive ability, and grazing tolerance. However, crested wheatgrass may form monotypic stands with low plant diversit...

  10. Genetic diversity, plant adaptation regions, and gene pools of switchgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a perennial grass native to the North American tallgrass prairie and broadly adapted to the central and eastern USA. Movement of plant materials throughout this region creates the potential of contaminating local gene pools with genes that are not native to a locale. The objective o...

  11. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S

    2013-11-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity. PMID:24789385

  12. Biomass and diversity of dry alpine plant communities along altitudinal gradients in the Himalayas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Namgail, T.; Rawat, G.S.; Mishra, C.; van Wieren, S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    A non-linear relationship between phytodiversity and altitude has widely been reported, but the relationship between phytomass and altitude remains little understood. We examined the phytomass and diversity of vascular plants along altitudinal gradients on the dry alpine rangelands of Ladakh, western Himalaya. We used generalized linear and generalized additive models to assess the relationship between these vegetation parameters and altitude. We found a hump-shaped relationship between aboveground phytomass and altitude. We suspect that this is engendered by low rainfall and trampling/excessive grazing at lower slopes by domestic livestock, and low temperature and low nutrient levels at higher slopes. We also found a unimodal relationship between plant species-richness and altitude at a single mountain as well as at the scale of entire Ladakh. The species-richness at the single mountain peaked between 5,000 and 5,200 m, while it peaked between 3,500 and 4,000 m at entire Ladakh level. Perhaps biotic factors such as grazing and precipitation are, respectively, important in generating this pattern at the single mountain and entire Ladakh. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  13. Fire and grazing impacts on plant diversity and alien plant invasions in the southern Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Lubin, D.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Patterns of native and alien plant diversity in response to disturbance were examined along an elevational gradient in blue oak savanna, chaparral, and coniferous forests. Total species richness, alien species richness, and alien cover declined with elevation, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2. We found no support for the hypothesis that community diversity inhibits alien invasion. At the 1-m2 point scale, where we would expect competitive interactions between the largely herbaceous flora to be most intense, alien species richness as well as alien cover increased with increasing native species richness in all communities. This suggests that aliens are limited not by the number of native competitors, but by resources that affect establishment of both natives and aliens. Blue oak savannas were heavily dominated by alien species and consistently had more alien than native species at the 1-m 2 scale. All of these aliens are annuals, and it is widely thought that they have displaced native bunchgrasses. If true, this means that aliens have greatly increased species richness. Alternatively, there is a rich regional flora of native annual forbs that could have dominated these grasslands prior to displacement by alien grasses. On our sites, livestock grazing increased the number of alien species and alien cover only slightly over that of sites free of livestock grazing for more than a century, indicating some level of permanency to this invasion. In chaparral, both diversity and aliens increased markedly several years after fire. Invasive species are rare in undisturbed shrublands, and alien propagules fail to survive the natural crown fires in these ecosystems. Thus, aliens necessarily must colonize after fire and, as a consequence, time since fire is an important determinant of invasive presence. Blue oak savannas are an important propagule source for alien species because they maintain permanent populations of all alien species encountered in postfire chaparral, and because

  14. 76 FR 44891 - Monsanto Co.; Availability of Petition, Plant Pest Risk Assessment, and Environmental Assessment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-27

    ... time to prepare and submit comments on the Monsanto petition, our plant pest risk assessment, and our... assessment, and plant pest risk assessment are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda... petition, draft environmental assessment, or plant pest risk assessment, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301)...

  15. Diversity, regulation, and genetic manipulation of plant mono- and sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fengnian; Utsumi, Ryutaro

    2009-09-01

    Among plant secondary metabolites, terpenoids are the most abundant and structurally diverse group. In addition to their important roles in pollinator attraction and direct and indirect plant defense, terpenoids are also commercially valuable due to their broad applications in the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Because of their functional versatility and wide distribution, great efforts have been made to decipher terpenoid biosynthetic pathways, to investigate the molecular mechanism determining their structural diversity, and to understand their biosynthetic regulation. Recent progress on the manipulation of terpenoid production in transgenic plants not only holds considerable promise for improving various plant traits and crop protection but also increases our understanding of the significance of terpenoid metabolites in mediating plant-environment interactions. PMID:19547916

  16. Response of pest control by generalist predators to local-scale plant diversity: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    Disentangling the effects of plant diversity on the control of herbivores is important for understanding agricultural sustainability. Recent studies have investigated the relationships between plant diversity and arthropod communities at the landscape scale, but few have done so at the local scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 papers containing 175 independent measures of the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod communities. We found that generalist predators had a strong positive response to plant diversity, that is, their abundance increased as plant diversity increased. Herbivores, in contrast, had an overall weak and negative response to plant diversity. However, specialist and generalist herbivores differed in their response to plant diversity, that is, the response was negative for specialists and not significant for generalists. While the effects of scale remain unclear, the response to plant diversity tended to increase for specialist herbivores, but decrease for generalist herbivores as the scale increased. There was no clear effect of scale on the response of generalist predators to plant diversity. Our results suggest that the response of herbivores to plant diversity at the local scale is a balance between habitat and trophic effects that vary according to arthropod specialization and habitat type. Synthesis and applications. Positive effects of plant diversity on generalist predators confirm that, at the local scale, plant diversification of agroecosystems is a credible and promising option for increasing pest regulation. Results from our meta-analysis suggest that natural control in plant-diversified systems is more likely to occur for specialist than for generalist herbivores. In terms of pest management, our results indicate that small-scale plant diversification (via the planting of cover crops or intercrops and reduced weed management) is likely to increase the control of specialist herbivores by generalist predators. PMID

  17. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought. PMID:24100190

  18. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  19. Biosynthesis of Plant Volatiles: Nature’s Diversity and Ingenuity

    PubMed Central

    Pichersky, Eran; Noel, Joseph P.; Dudareva, Natalia

    2010-01-01

    Plant volatiles (PVs) are lipophilic molecules with high vapor pressure that serve various ecological roles. The synthesis of PVs involves the removal of hydrophilic moieties and oxidation/hydroxylation, reduction, methylation, and acylation reactions. Some PV biosynthetic enzymes produce multiple products from a single substrate or act on multiple substrates. Genes for PV biosynthesis evolve by duplication of genes that direct other aspects of plant metabolism; these duplicated genes then diverge from each other over time. Changes in the preferred substrate or resultant product of PV enzymes may occur through minimal changes of critical residues. Convergent evolution is often responsible for the ability of distally related species to synthesize the same volatile. PMID:16469917

  20. Diverse roles of ERECTA family genes in plant development.

    PubMed

    Shpak, Elena D

    2013-12-01

    Multiple receptor-like kinases (RLKs) enable intercellular communication that coordinates growth and development of plant tissues. ERECTA family receptors (ERfs) are an ancient family of leucine-rich repeat RLKs that in Arabidopsis consists of three genes: ERECTA, ERL1, and ERL2. ERfs sense secreted cysteine-rich peptides from the EPF/EPFL family and transmit the signal through a MAP kinase cascade. This review discusses the functions of ERfs in stomata development, in regulation of longitudinal growth of aboveground organs, during reproductive development, and in the shoot apical meristem. In addition the role of ERECTA in plant responses to biotic and abiotic factors is examined. Elena D. Shpak (Corresponding author). PMID:24016315

  1. Herbivore impact on grassland plant diversity depends on habitat productivity and herbivore size.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Elisabeth S; Ritchie, Mark E; Olff, Han; Milchunas, Daniel G; Knops, Johannes M H

    2006-07-01

    Mammalian herbivores can have pronounced effects on plant diversity but are currently declining in many productive ecosystems through direct extirpation, habitat loss and fragmentation, while being simultaneously introduced as livestock in other, often unproductive, ecosystems that lacked such species during recent evolutionary times. The biodiversity consequences of these changes are still poorly understood. We experimentally separated the effects of primary productivity and herbivores of different body size on plant species richness across a 10-fold productivity gradient using a 7-year field experiment at seven grassland sites in North America and Europe. We show that assemblages including large herbivores increased plant diversity at higher productivity but decreased diversity at low productivity, while small herbivores did not have consistent effects along the productivity gradient. The recognition of these large-scale, cross-site patterns in herbivore effects is important for the development of appropriate biodiversity conservation strategies. PMID:16796567

  2. Application of rbcL based molecular diversity analysis to algae in wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sudeshna; Love, Nancy G

    2011-02-01

    The molecular diversity of algae in the final clarifier or denitrification filter outfall from three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with activated sludge based treatment was analyzed using the rbcL gene as a phylogenetic marker. The rbcL gene encodes the large subunit of the CO(2) fixing enzyme RuBisCO. Among algae identified at the WWTPs were diatoms, green algae, cyanobacteria, Eustigmatophyceae, and unknown heterokonts. A high level of diversity was observed within WWTPs with 19-24 unique rbcL sequences detected at each plant. Algae composition also varied between treatment plants. Our results show that the rbcL gene can be used as a phylogenetic marker for algae diversity analysis in a wastewater treatment context. PMID:21130646

  3. Modelling snow cover duration improves predictions of functional and taxonomic diversity for alpine plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Bradley Z.; Choler, Philippe; Renaud, Julien; Dedieu, Jean-Pierre; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. We developed a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which we used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods We mapped snow cover at 15 m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years and fitted a generalized additive model (GAM) for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots (including species richness, community weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content). Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared to without led to an average gain in R2 of 0.26 and also reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions We show that in alpine environments, high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. Our results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response

  4. Effects of inter-row management intensity on wild bee, plant and soil biota diversity in vineyards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Buchholz, Jacob; Querner, Pascal; Strauß, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Stiper, Katrin

    2016-04-01

    Vineyards may provide a range of essential ecosystem services, which interact with a diverse community of above- and belowground organisms. Intensive soil management like frequent tilling has resulted in the degradation of habitat quality with consequences on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This study is part of the European BiodivERsA project "VineDivers - Biodiversity-based ecosystem services in vineyards". We study the effects of different soil management intensities on above- and below-ground biodiversity (plants, insect pollinators, and soil biota), their interactions and the consequences for ecosystem services. We investigated 16 vineyards in Austria assessing the diversity of (1) wild bees using a semi-quantitative transect method, (2) earthworms by hand sorting, (3) Collembola (springtails) via pitfall trapping and soil coring, (4) plants by relevés and (5) litter decomposition (tea bag method). Management intensity differed in tillage frequency from intermediate intensity resulting in temporary vegetation cover to no tillage in permanent vegetation cover systems. First results show opposed relationships between the biodiversity of selected species groups and management intensity. We will discuss possible explanations and evaluate ecological interactions between wild bee, plant and soil biota diversity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria play a key role in the ecological and evolutionary responses of agricultural ecosystems. Domestic herbivore grazing is known to influence soil bacterial community. However, the effects of grazing and its major driving factors on soil bacterial community remain unknown for different plant community compositions under increasing grazing intensity. Thus, to investigate soil bacterial community diversity under five plant community compositions (Grass; Leymus chinensis; Forb; L. chinensis & Forb; and Legume), we performed a four-year field experiment with different grazing intensity treatments (no grazing; light grazing, 4 sheep·ha-1; and heavy grazing, 6 sheep·ha-1) in a grassland in China. Total DNA was obtained from soil samples collected from the plots in August, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting were used to investigate soil bacterial community. The results showed that light grazing significantly increased indices of soil bacterial community diversity for the Forb and Legume groups but not the Grass and L. chinensis groups. Heavy grazing significantly reduced these soil bacterial diversity indices, except for the Pielou evenness index in the Legume group. Further analyses revealed that the soil N/P ratio, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (TN) and pH were the major environmental factors affecting the soil bacterial community. Our study suggests that the soil bacterial community diversity was influenced by grazing intensity and plant community composition in a meadow steppe. The present study provides a baseline assessment of the soil bacterial community diversity in a temperate meadow steppe. PMID:27467221

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

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Tong-bao; Du, Wei-chao; Yuan, Xia; Yang, Zhi-ming; Liu, Dong-bo; Wang, De-li; Yu, Li-jun

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria play a key role in the ecological and evolutionary responses of agricultural ecosystems. Domestic herbivore grazing is known to influence soil bacterial community. However, the effects of grazing and its major driving factors on soil bacterial community remain unknown for different plant community compositions under increasing grazing intensity. Thus, to investigate soil bacterial community diversity under five plant community compositions (Grass; Leymus chinensis; Forb; L. chinensis & Forb; and Legume), we performed a four-year field experiment with different grazing intensity treatments (no grazing; light grazing, 4 sheep·ha−1; and heavy grazing, 6 sheep·ha−1) in a grassland in China. Total DNA was obtained from soil samples collected from the plots in August, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting were used to investigate soil bacterial community. The results showed that light grazing significantly increased indices of soil bacterial community diversity for the Forb and Legume groups but not the Grass and L. chinensis groups. Heavy grazing significantly reduced these soil bacterial diversity indices, except for the Pielou evenness index in the Legume group. Further analyses revealed that the soil N/P ratio, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (TN) and pH were the major environmental factors affecting the soil bacterial community. Our study suggests that the soil bacterial community diversity was influenced by grazing intensity and plant community composition in a meadow steppe. The present study provides a baseline assessment of the soil bacterial community diversity in a temperate meadow steppe. PMID:27467221

  7. Use of an airborne lidar system to model plant species composition and diversity of Mediterranean oak forests.

    PubMed

    Simonson, William D; Allen, Harriet D; Coomes, David A

    2012-10-01

    Airborne lidar is a remote-sensing tool of increasing importance in ecological and conservation research due to its ability to characterize three-dimensional vegetation structure. If different aspects of plant species diversity and composition can be related to vegetation structure, landscape-level assessments of plant communities may be possible. We examined this possibility for Mediterranean oak forests in southern Portugal, which are rich in biological diversity but also threatened. We compared data from a discrete, first-and-last return lidar data set collected for 31 plots of cork oak (Quercus suber) and Algerian oak (Quercus canariensis) forest with field data to test whether lidar can be used to predict the vertical structure of vegetation, diversity of plant species, and community type. Lidar- and field-measured structural data were significantly correlated (up to r= 0.85). Diversity of forest species was significantly associated with lidar-measured vegetation height (R(2) = 0.50, p < 0.001). Clustering and ordination of the species data pointed to the presence of 2 main forest classes that could be discriminated with an accuracy of 89% on the basis of lidar data. Lidar can be applied widely for mapping of habitat and assessments of habitat condition (e.g., in support of the European Species and Habitats Directive [92/43/EEC]). However, particular attention needs to be paid to issues of survey design: density of lidar points and geospatial accuracy of ground-truthing and its timing relative to acquisition of lidar data. PMID:22731687

  8. Vascular plant abundance and diversity in an alpine heath under observed and simulated global change

    PubMed Central

    Alatalo, Juha M.; Little, Chelsea J.; Jägerbrand, Annika K.; Molau, Ulf

    2015-01-01

    Global change is predicted to cause shifts in species distributions and biodiversity in arctic tundra. We applied factorial warming and nutrient manipulation to a nutrient and species poor alpine/arctic heath community for seven years. Vascular plant abundance in control plots increased by 31%. There were also notable changes in cover in the nutrient and combined nutrient and warming treatments, with deciduous and evergreen shrubs declining, grasses overgrowing these plots. Sedge abundance initially increased significantly with nutrient amendment and then declined, going below initial values in the combined nutrient and warming treatment. Nutrient addition resulted in a change in dominance hierarchy from deciduous shrubs to grasses. We found significant declines in vascular plant diversity and evenness in the warming treatment and a decline in diversity in the combined warming and nutrient addition treatment, while nutrient addition caused a decline in species richness. The results give some experimental support that species poor plant communities with low diversity may be more vulnerable to loss of species diversity than communities with higher initial diversity. The projected increase in nutrient deposition and warming may therefore have negative impacts on ecosystem processes, functioning and services due to loss of species diversity in an already impoverished environment. PMID:25950370

  9. Plant Community Diversity Influences Allocation to Direct Chemical Defence in Plantago lanceolata

    PubMed Central

    Mraja, Anne; Unsicker, Sybille B.; Reichelt, Michael; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Roscher, Christiane

    2011-01-01

    Background Forecasting the consequences of accelerating rates of changes in biodiversity for ecosystem functioning requires a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between the structure of biological communities and variation in plant functional characteristics. So far, experimental data of how plant species diversity influences the investment of individual plants in direct chemical defences against herbivores and pathogens is lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings We used Plantago lanceolata as a model species in experimental grasslands differing in species richness and composition (Jena Experiment) to investigate foliar concentrations of the iridoid glycosides (IG), catalpol and its biosynthetic precursor aucubin. Total IG and aucubin concentrations decreased, while catalpol concentrations increased with increasing plant diversity in terms of species or functional group richness. Negative plant diversity effects on total IG and aucubin concentrations correlated with increasing specific leaf area of P. lanceolata, suggesting that greater allocation to light acquisition reduced the investment into these carbon-based defence components. In contrast, increasing leaf nitrogen concentrations best explained increasing concentrations of the biosynthetically more advanced IG, catalpol. Observed levels of leaf damage explained a significant proportion of variation in total IG and aucubin concentrations, but did not account for variance in catalpol concentrations. Conclusions/Significance Our results clearly show that plants growing in communities of varying species richness and composition differ in their defensive chemistry, which may modulate plant susceptibility to enemy attack and consequently their interactions with higher trophic level organisms. PMID:22174766

  10. Patterns, determinants and models of woody plant diversity in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiheng; Fang, Jingyun; Tang, Zhiyao; Lin, Xin

    2011-01-01

    What determines large-scale patterns of species richness remains one of the most controversial issues in ecology. Using the distribution maps of 11 405 woody species in China, we compared the effects of habitat heterogeneity, human activities and different aspects of climate, particularly environmental energy, water–energy dynamics and winter frost, and explored how biogeographic affinities (tropical versus temperate) influence richness–climate relationships. We found that the species richness of trees, shrubs, lianas and all woody plants strongly correlated with each other, and more strongly correlated with the species richness of tropical affinity than with that of temperate affinity. The mean temperature of the coldest quarter was the strongest predictor of species richness, and its explanatory power for species richness was significantly higher for tropical affinity than for temperate affinity. These results suggest that the patterns of woody species richness mainly result from the increasing intensity of frost filtering for tropical species from the equator/lowlands towards the poles/highlands, and hence support the freezing-tolerance hypothesis. A model based on these results was developed, which explained 76–85% of species richness variation in China, and reasonably predicted the species richness of woody plants in North America and the Northern Hemisphere. PMID:21147804