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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 plantdiversity 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.
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
Habitat change statistics and species-area curves were used to estimate the effects of alternative future scenarios for agriculture on plantdiversity in Iowa farmlands. Study areas were two watersheds in central Iowa of about 50 and 90 square kilometers, respectively. Future s...
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)
|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…
Flowering plants display spectacular floral diversity and a bewildering array of reproductive adaptations that promote mating, particularly outbreeding. A striking feature of this diversity is that related species often differ in pollination and mating systems, and intraspecific variation in sexual traits is not unusual, especially among herbaceous plants. This variation provides opportunities for evolutionary biologists to link micro-evolutionary processes to the macro-evolutionary patterns that are evident within lineages. Here, I provide some personal reflections on recent progress in our understanding of the ecology and evolution of plant reproductive diversity. I begin with a brief historical sketch of the major developments in this field and then focus on three of the most significant evolutionary transitions in the reproductive biology of flowering plants: the pathway from outcrossing to predominant self-fertilization, the origin of separate sexes (females and males) from hermaphroditism and the shift from animal pollination to wind pollination. For each evolutionary transition, I consider what we have discovered and some of the problems that still remain unsolved. I conclude by discussing how new approaches might influence future research in plant reproductive biology.
SUMMARY The work reported in this paper explored the effects of wind farms on the plant species and vegetation diversity of summits and slopes in the Xistral Mountains, where priority habitats occur (EU Habitats Directive, code 7130 blanket bog). Quantitatively, our results showed significantly lower ? diversity and higher ? diversity in impacted areas when compared to non-impacted areas. These
M. I. Fraga; D. Romero-Pedreira; M. Souto; D. Castro; E. Sahuquillo
This paper mainly aims to study the linear element influence on the estimation of vascular plant species diversity in five Mediterranean landscapes modeled as land cover patch mosaics. These landscapes have several core habitats and a different set of linear elements -habitat edges or ecotones, roads or railways, rivers, streams and hedgerows on farm land- whose plant composition were examined.
J. M. García Del Barrio; M. Ortega; A. Vázquez De La Cueva; R. Elena-rosselló
The high plantdiversity of mediterranean-climate regions has attracted much attention over the past few years. This review discusses patterns and determinants of local, differential and regional plantdiversity in all five regions. Local diversity shows great variation within and between regions and explanations for these patterns invoke a wide range of hypotheses. Patterns of regional diversity are the result
Richard M. Cowling; Philip W. Rundel; Byron B. Lamont; Mary Kalin Arroyo; Margarita Arianoutsou
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 diverseplant 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 plantdiversity (2, 6, 12, 20 and 24 sown species). This design allowed us to assess the effect of plantdiversity, 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 plantdiversity 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 plantdiversity 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 plantdiversity decreased during the 3 years of the study, in the final year the highest plantdiversity 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 plantdiversity. Our results highlight the importance of plant biodiversity as protection against generalist herbivores, which if abundant can in the long term negatively impact plantdiversity, driving the system along a “low plantdiversity – high mollusk abundance” trajectory.
Fabian, Yvonne; Sandau, Nadine; Bruggisser, Odile T; Kehrli, Patrik; Aebi, Alexandre; Rohr, Rudolf P; Naisbit, Russell E; Bersier, Louis-Felix
Large-scale habitat destruction and climate change result in the non-random loss of evolutionary lineages, reducing the amount of evolutionary history represented in ecological communities. Yet, we have limited understanding of the consequences of evolutionary history on the structure of food webs and the services provided by biological communities. Drawing on 11 years of data from a long-term plantdiversity experiment, we show that evolutionary history of plant communities - measured as phylogenetic diversity - strongly predicts diversity and abundance of herbivorous and predatory arthropods. Effects of plant species richness on arthropods become stronger when phylogenetic diversity is high. Plant phylogenetic diversity explains predator and parasitoid richness as strongly as it does herbivore richness. Our findings indicate that accounting for evolutionary relationships is critical to understanding the severity of species loss for food webs and ecosystems, and for developing conservation and restoration policies. PMID:22913753
Dinnage, Russell; Cadotte, Marc W; Haddad, Nick M; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Tilman, David
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 plantdiversity. We suggest that long-term soil chronosequences offer great, yet largely untapped, potential as 'natural experiments' to determine edaphic controls over plantdiversity. Finally, we discuss how our conceptual model can be evaluated quantitatively using structural equation modeling to advance multivariate theories about the determinants of local plantdiversity. This should help us to understand broader-scale diversity patterns, such as the latitudinal gradient of plantdiversity.
Laliberté, Etienne; Grace, James B.; Huston, Michael A.; Lambers, Hans; Teste, François P.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Wardle, David A.
Insect outbreaks in forest and agriculture monocultures led Charles Elton to propose, a half-century ago, that higher plantdiversity stabilized animal foodweb dynamics in natural ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis by studying arthropod community dynamics in a long-term experimental manipulation of grassland plant species diversity. Over the course of a decade, we found that higher plantdiversity increased the stability (i.e. lowered year-to-year variability) of a diverse (>700 species) arthropod community across trophic levels. As the number of plant species increased, the stability of both herbivore and predator species richness and of total herbivore abundance increased. The underlying mechanisms driving these diversity-stability relationships were plantdiversity, via effects on primary productivity and plant community stability, and portfolio effects. Taken together, our results show that higher plantdiversity provides more temporally consistent food and habitat resources to arthropod foodwebs. Consequently, actively managing for high plantdiversity may have stronger than expected benefits for increasing animal diversity and controlling pest outbreaks. PMID:21070559
Haddad, Nick M; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Gross, Kevin; Haarstad, John; Tilman, David
Assessments of bacterial community diversity and dynamics are fundamental for the understanding of microbial ecology as well as biotechnological applications. We show that the choice of PCR primers has great impact on the results of analyses of diversity and dynamics using gene libraries and DNA fingerprinting. Two universal primer pairs targeting the 16S rRNA gene, 27F&1492R and 63F&M1387R, were compared and evaluated by analyzing the bacterial community in the activated sludge of a large-scale wastewater treatment plant. The two primer pairs targeted distinct parts of the bacterial community, none encompassing the other, both with similar richness. Had only one primer pair been used, very different conclusions had been drawn regarding dominant phylogenetic and putative functional groups. With 27F&1492R, Betaproteobacteria would have been determined to be the dominating taxa while 63F&M1387R would have described Alphaproteobacteria as the most common taxa. Microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that both Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria were abundant in the activated sludge, confirming that the two primer pairs target two different fractions of the bacterial community. Furthermore, terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analyses of a series of four activated sludge samples showed that the two primer pairs would have resulted in different conclusions about community stability and the factors contributing to changes in community composition. In conclusion, different PCR primer pairs, although considered universal, target different ranges of bacteria and will thus show the diversity and dynamics of different fractions of the bacterial community in the analyzed sample. We also show that while a database search can serve as an indicator of how universal a primer pair is, an experimental assessment is necessary to evaluate the suitability for a specific environmental sample.
Fredriksson, Nils Johan; Hermansson, Malte; Wilen, Britt-Marie
Assessments of bacterial community diversity and dynamics are fundamental for the understanding of microbial ecology as well as biotechnological applications. We show that the choice of PCR primers has great impact on the results of analyses of diversity and dynamics using gene libraries and DNA fingerprinting. Two universal primer pairs targeting the 16S rRNA gene, 27F&1492R and 63F&M1387R, were compared and evaluated by analyzing the bacterial community in the activated sludge of a large-scale wastewater treatment plant. The two primer pairs targeted distinct parts of the bacterial community, none encompassing the other, both with similar richness. Had only one primer pair been used, very different conclusions had been drawn regarding dominant phylogenetic and putative functional groups. With 27F&1492R, Betaproteobacteria would have been determined to be the dominating taxa while 63F&M1387R would have described Alphaproteobacteria as the most common taxa. Microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that both Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria were abundant in the activated sludge, confirming that the two primer pairs target two different fractions of the bacterial community. Furthermore, terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analyses of a series of four activated sludge samples showed that the two primer pairs would have resulted in different conclusions about community stability and the factors contributing to changes in community composition. In conclusion, different PCR primer pairs, although considered universal, target different ranges of bacteria and will thus show the diversity and dynamics of different fractions of the bacterial community in the analyzed sample. We also show that while a database search can serve as an indicator of how universal a primer pair is, an experimental assessment is necessary to evaluate the suitability for a specific environmental sample. PMID:24098498
Fredriksson, Nils Johan; Hermansson, Malte; Wilén, Britt-Marie
Jatropha curcas L. (physic nut) has drawn attention in recent years as a source of seed oil that can provide an economically viable substitute for diesel. Very little work on provenance trials and genetic resources of J. curcas L. has been reported so far. Though J. curcas grows widely in India and several collections of the plant are also maintained,
Shirish A. Ranade; Anuj P. Srivastava; Tikam S. Rana; Jyoti Srivastava; Rakesh Tuli
Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. The chemical diversity within the plant kingdom is likely to be a consequence of niche colonization and adaptive evolution. Plant-derived natural products have important functions in defense. They also have broader ecological roles and may in addition participate in plant growth and development.
Pawel Bednarek (Max-Planck-Institut fÃÂ¼r ZÃÂ¼chtungsforschung;Department of Plant Microbe Interactions); Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre;Department of Metabolic Biology)
In riparian zones along the banks of streams and rivers, flooding often causes large changes in environmental conditions immediately\\u000a downstream of confluences. In turn, spatial heterogeneity in flooding along rivers and streams likely affects local species\\u000a diversity. Furthermore, flooding during the plant growing season can strongly affect plant survival. In this study, we hypothesized\\u000a that confluences have impacts on plant
The current approaches to the study of clonal plants are reviewed. Most studies concentrate at the level of the ramet and\\u000a clonal fragment exploring the “microscopic” view of clonal plants, dealing with the translocation of resources, clonal integration,\\u000a plasticity of growth etc. The information gained, by this approach can be used in the understanding of higher levels of organization\\u000a within
Tomáš Herben; Toshihiko Hara; Chris Marshall; Lenka Soukupová
From the New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium, this "specimen database of flowering plant collections is part of a larger project designed to document the fungal and plantdiversity of central French Guiana." A greater goal of the project "is to provide the fungal and plant inventories needed for understanding the evolution and ecological relationships of the fungi, plants, and animals that inhabit this, one of the last tropical wilderness areas of the world." The website provides engines for basic searches as well as detailed searches with fields for Scientific Name (e.g. Family, Genus, Species), Collector/Number, Collector Location (e.g. Country, City, Province/State, County), Type Status, Substrate, and more. Site visitors can also locate specimen records by browsing a Families list and link to more information at the Fungal and PlantDiversity of Central French Guiana Homepage.
Since Topping published his literature review on peer assessment in 1998, the number of studies on this subject has doubled, if not tripled. However, along with this expansion, the diversity of peer assessment applications increased equally fast. Based on recent literature, this contribution focuses specifically on the diversity that has come to exist in order to update Topping's typology, adding
Exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi may be an important approach for development of reduced-input agriculture. We\\u000a discuss the use of linear models to analyze variation in mycorrhiza response among diverseplant varieties in order to assess\\u000a the value of mycorrhizas. Our approach allows elimination of variation linked to differences in plant performance in the absence\\u000a of mycorrhizas and the selection
Ruairidh J. H. SawersMesfin; Mesfin N. Gebreselassie; David P. Janos; Uta Paszkowski
The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network has released this 1998 publication entitled "Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone." Extending from the eastern Rocky Mountains in Alberta to the western slope of the Cascades in British Columbia, the Montane Cordillera Ecozone is Canada's sixth largest ecozone, covering "more than 49 million hectares." Diverse in topography and climate, the ecozone's landscape ranges "from alpine tundra to dense coniferous forests, grasslands, riparian woodlands, dry sagebrush and Canada's only true desert." The report covers environmental history, habitat types, and human use of the area, in addition to emphasizing species diversity (namely insects, mammals, fish, plants, fungi, birds, and amphibians and reptiles).
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 herbivory and drought.
Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming
Airborne bacteria emissions from oxidation ditch with rotating aeration brushes were investigated in a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Beijing, China. Microbial samples were collected at different distances from the rotating brushes, different heights above the water surface, and different operation state over a 3-month period (April, May, and June) in order to estimate the seasonal variation and site-related distribution characteristics of the microorganisms present. The concentration of bacterial aerosol was analyzed by culture methods, while their dominant species, genetic structure and diversity were assayed using bio-molecular tools. Results showed that total microbial concentrations were highest in June and lowest in April. The mechanical rotation caused remarkable variation in concentration and diversity of culturable airborne bacteria before and after the rotating brushes. The highest concentration was observed near the rotating brushes (931 ± 129-3,952 ± 730 CFU/m(3)), with concentration decreasing as distance and height increased. Bacterial community polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis indicated that diversity decreased gradually with increasing height above the water surface but remained relatively constant at the same height. All dominant bacteria identified by DNA sequence analysis belonged to Firmicutes. Pathogenic species such as Moraxella nonliquefaciens and Flavobacterium odoratum were isolated from the bioaerosols. Due to the serious health risks involved, exposure of sewage workers to airborne microorganisms caused by brush aerators should be monitored and controlled. PMID:22402990
Characteristics used to categorize plant species into functional groups for their effects on ecosystem functioning may also be relevant to higher trophic levels. In addition, plant and consumer diversity should be positively related because more diverseplant communities offer a greater variety of resources for the consumers. Thus, the functional group composition and richness of a plant community may affect
The USDA-NRCS Pasture Condition Score (PCS) system was developed for evaluating pastures and making management recommendations. Four of the ten rating criteria relate to plant species diversity and composition: percent desirable plants, plant cover, plantdiversity, and percent legume. Baseline data...
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 plantdiversity can be maintained by...
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 future research are suggested calling for integration of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, and socio-economics.
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 plantdiversity 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.
Grazing is one of the prevalent human activities that even today are taking place inside protected areas with direct or indirect\\u000a effects on ecosystems. In this study we analyzed the effects of grazing on plant species diversity, plant functional group\\u000a (PFG) diversity and community composition of shrublands. We analyzed plantdiversity data from 582 sampling plots located\\u000a in 66 protected
Alexandra D. Papanikolaou; Nikolaos M. Fyllas; Antonios D. Mazaris; Panayiotis G. Dimitrakopoulos; Athanasios S. Kallimanis; John D. Pantis
A commonly cited mechanism for invasion resistance is that diverseplant assemblages use resources more completely through maximum niche occupation. Our research investigates the ability of plant functional groups in resisting invasion by a nonindigenous species, Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapwee...
Pathogens are thought to promote diversity in plant communities by preventing competitive exclusion. Previous studies have focussed primarily on single-plant, single- pathogen interactions, yet the interactions between multiple pathogens and multiple hosts may have non-additive impacts on plant community composition. Here, we report that both a bacterial and a fungal pathogen maintained the diversity of a four-species plant community across
Devon J. Bradley; Gregory S. Gilbert; Jennifer B. H. Martiny
The plant allozyme literature was reviewed to: (1) compare genetic diversity in long-lived woody species with species representing other life forms, and (2) to investigate whether the levels and distribution of genetic diversity in woody species are related to life history and ecological characteristics. Data from 322 woody taxa were used to measure genetic diversity within species, and within and
J. L. Hamrick; Mary Jo W. Godt; Susan L. Sherman-Broyles
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 plantdiversity 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.
Bryant, Jessica A.; Lamanna, Christine; Morlon, Helene; Kerkhoff, Andrew J.; Enquist, Brian J.; Green, Jessica L.
Knowledge of accuracy and precision rates is particularly important for long-term studies. Vegetation assessments include many sources of error related to overlooking and misidentification, that are usually influenced by some factors, such as cover estimate subjectivity, observer biased species lists and experience of the botanist. The vegetation assessment protocol adopted in the Italian forest monitoring programme (CONECOFOR) contains a Quality Assurance programme. The paper presents the different phases of QA, separates the 5 main critical points of the whole protocol as sources of random or systematic errors. Examples of Measurement Quality Objectives (MQOs) expressed as Data Quality Limits (DQLs) are given for vascular plant cover estimates, in order to establish the reproducibility of the data. Quality control activities were used to determine the "distance" between the surveyor teams and the control team. Selected data were acquired during the training and inter-calibration courses. In particular, an index of average cover by species groups was used to evaluate the random error (CV 4%) as the dispersion around the "true values" of the control team. The systematic error in the evaluation of species composition, caused by overlooking or misidentification of species, was calculated following the pseudo-turnover rate; detailed species censuses on smaller sampling units were accepted as the pseudo-turnover which always fell below the 25% established threshold; species density scores recorded at community level (100 m(2) surface) rarely exceeded that limit. PMID:19557230
A minimum core subset of pearl millet [ Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.], which comprised 504 landrace accessions, was recently established from the global pearl millet germplasm collection of ICRISAT. The accessions for this core were selected by a random proportional sampling strategy following stratification of the entire landrace collection (about 16,000 accessions) according to their geographic origin and morpho-agronomic traits. In this study RFLP probes were used to quantify the genetic diversity within and between landrace accessions of this minimum core using a subset comprising ten accessions of Indian origin. Twenty five plants per accession were assayed with EcoRI, EcoRV, HindIII and DraI restriction enzymes, and 16 highly polymorphic RFLP probes, nine associated with a quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for downy mildew resistance, and five associated with a QTL for drought tolerance. A total of 51 alleles were detected using 16 different probe-enzyme combinations. The partitioning of variance components based on the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) for diversity analysis revealed high within-accession variability (30.9%), but the variability between accessions was significantly higher (69.1%) than that within the accessions. A dendrogram based on the dissimilarity matrix obtained using Ward's algorithm further delineated the 250 plants into ten major clusters, each comprised of plants from a single accession (with the exception of two single plants). A similar result was found in an earlier study using morpho-agronomic traits and geographic origin. This study demonstrated the utility of RFLP markers in detecting polymorphism and estimating genetic diversity in a highly cross-pollinated species such as pearl millet. When less-tedious marker systems are available, this method could be further extended to assess the genetic diversity between and within the remaining accessions in the pearl millet core subset. PMID:12582479
Bhattacharjee, Ranjana; Bramel, J.; Hash, T.; Kolesnikova-Allen, A.; Khairwal, S.
Paenibacillus polymyxa populations present in the rhizosphere of maize (cultivar BR-201) planted in Cerrado soil were investigated in order to assess their diversity at four stages of plant growth. A total of 67 strains were isolated and all strains were identified as P. polymyxa by classical biochemical tests, API 50CH tests and a set of species-specific primers based on the
Irene von der Weid; Edilson Paiva; Alberto Nóbrega; Jan Dirk van Elsas; Lucy Seldin
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 plantdiversity 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 to have major feedbacks on plant community productivity and composition.
Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico
Ecosystem productivity commonly increases asymptotically with plant species diversity, and determining the mechanisms responsible for this well-known pattern is essential to predict potential changes in ecosystem productivity with ongoing species loss. Previous studies attributed the asymptotic diversity-productivity pattern to plant competition and differential resource use (e.g., niche complementarity). Using an analytical model and a series of experiments, we demonstrate theoretically and empirically that host-specific soil microbes can be major determinants of the diversity-productivity relationship in grasslands. In the presence of soil microbes, plant disease decreased with increasing diversity, and productivity increased nearly 500%, primarily because of the strong effect of density-dependent disease on productivity at low diversity. Correspondingly, disease was higher in plants grown in conspecific-trained soils than heterospecific-trained soils (demonstrating host-specificity), and productivity increased and host-specific disease decreased with increasing community diversity, suggesting that disease was the primary cause of reduced productivity in species-poor treatments. In sterilized, microbe-free soils, the increase in productivity with increasing plant species number was markedly lower than the increase measured in the presence of soil microbes, suggesting that niche complementarity was a weaker determinant of the diversity-productivity relationship. Our results demonstrate that soil microbes play an integral role as determinants of the diversity-productivity relationship. PMID:21618909
Schnitzer, Stefan A; Klironomos, John N; Hillerislambers, Janneke; Kinkel, Linda L; Reich, Peter B; Xiao, Kun; Rillig, Matthias C; Sikes, Benjamin A; Callaway, Ragan M; Mangan, Scott A; van Nes, Egbert H; Scheffer, Marten
The causal agent of diseases in many economically important plants is attributed to the xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The detection of this plant pathogen has been hampered due to its difficult isolation and slow growth on plates. Nearly complete nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA gene and partial sequences of the gyrB gene were determined for 18 strains of X.
Jorge L. M. Rodrigues; M. E. Silva-Stenico; J. E. Gomes; J. R. S. Lopes; S. M. Tsai
Vineyards are amongst the most intensive forms of agriculture often resulting in simplified landscapes where semi-natural vegetation is restricted to small scattered patches. However, a tendency toward a more sustainable management is stimulating research on biodiversity in these poorly investigated agro-ecosystems. The main aim of this study was to test the effect on plantdiversity of management intensity and topography in vineyards located in a homogenous intensive hilly landscape. Specifically, this study evaluated the role of slope, mowing and herbicide treatments frequency, and nitrogen supply in shaping plantdiversity and composition of life-history traits. The study was carried out in 25 vineyards located in the area of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto, NE Italy). In each vineyard, 10 plots were placed and the abundance of all vascular plants was recorded in each plot. Linear multiple regression was used to test the effect of management and topography on plantdiversity. Management intensity and topography were both relevant drivers of plant species diversity patterns in our vineyards. The two most important factors were slope and mowing frequency that respectively yielded positive and negative effects on plantdiversity. A significant interaction between these two factors was also demonstrated, warning against the detrimental effects of increasing mowing intensity on steep slope where plant communities are more diverse. The response of plant communities to mowing frequency is mediated by a process of selection of resistant growth forms, such in the case of rosulate and reptant species. The other two management-related factors tested in this study, number of herbicide treatments and N fertilization, were less influential. In general, our study corroborates the idea that some simple changes in farming activities, which are compatible with grape production, should be encouraged for improving the natural and cultural value of the landscape by maintaining and improving wild plantdiversity.
Vineyards are amongst the most intensive forms of agriculture often resulting in simplified landscapes where semi-natural vegetation is restricted to small scattered patches. However, a tendency toward a more sustainable management is stimulating research on biodiversity in these poorly investigated agro-ecosystems. The main aim of this study was to test the effect on plantdiversity of management intensity and topography in vineyards located in a homogenous intensive hilly landscape. Specifically, this study evaluated the role of slope, mowing and herbicide treatments frequency, and nitrogen supply in shaping plantdiversity and composition of life-history traits. The study was carried out in 25 vineyards located in the area of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG (Veneto, NE Italy). In each vineyard, 10 plots were placed and the abundance of all vascular plants was recorded in each plot. Linear multiple regression was used to test the effect of management and topography on plantdiversity. Management intensity and topography were both relevant drivers of plant species diversity patterns in our vineyards. The two most important factors were slope and mowing frequency that respectively yielded positive and negative effects on plantdiversity. A significant interaction between these two factors was also demonstrated, warning against the detrimental effects of increasing mowing intensity on steep slope where plant communities are more diverse. The response of plant communities to mowing frequency is mediated by a process of selection of resistant growth forms, such in the case of rosulate and reptant species. The other two management-related factors tested in this study, number of herbicide treatments and N fertilization, were less influential. In general, our study corroborates the idea that some simple changes in farming activities, which are compatible with grape production, should be encouraged for improving the natural and cultural value of the landscape by maintaining and improving wild plantdiversity. PMID:24098435
An effort was undertaken in Bushwere Parish (Mbarara district, south-western Uganda) between 1999 and 2000 to develop sustainable and participatory approaches to plant biodiversity conservation at the farm level. One hundred farmers were interviewed on their socio-economic profiles and plant use strategies. Plantdiversity was assessed in 400 plots of 5m×5m established in 53 field types of seven land-use categories.
Gerald Eilu; Joseph Obua; Joy K Tumuhairwe; Charles Nkwine
We provide a position paper, using a brief literature review and some new modelling results for a subset of succulent plant species, which explores why Namaqualand plantdiversity might be particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change despite presumed species resilience under arid conditions, and therefore a globally important test-bed for adaptive conservation strategies. The Pleistocene climate-related evolutionary history of this
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.
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 emp...
A. S. Loebl G. T. Mays K. Korsah M. S. Cetiner R. Belles R. T. Wood
Background Changes in aboveground plant species diversity as well as variations of environmental conditions such as exposure of ecosystems to elevated concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide may lead to changes in metabolic activity, composition and diversity of belowground microbial communities, both bacterial and fungal. Results We examined soil samples taken from a biodiversity × CO2 grassland experiment where replicate plots harboring 5, 12, or 31 different plant species had been exposed to ambient or elevated (600 ppm) levels of carbon dioxide for 5 years. Analysis of soil bacterial communities in these plots by temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) showed that dominant soil bacterial populations varied only very little between different experimental treatments. These populations seem to be ubiquitous. Likewise, screening of samples on a high-resolution level by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) showed that increased levels of carbon dioxide had no significant influence on both soil bacterial community composition (appearance and frequency of operational taxonomic units, OTUs) and on bacterial richness (total number of different OTUs). In contrast, differences in plantdiversity levels had a significant effect on bacterial composition but no influence on bacterial richness. Regarding species level, several bacterial species were found only in specific plots and were related to elevated carbon dioxide or varying plantdiversity levels. For example, analysis of T-RFLP showed that the occurrence of Salmonella typhimurium was significantly increased in plots exposed to elevated CO2 (P < 0.05). Conclusion Plantdiversity levels are affecting bacterial composition (bacterial types and their frequency of occurrence). Elevated carbon dioxide does not lead to quantitative alteration (bacterial richness), whereas plantdiversity is responsible for qualitative changes (bacterial diversity).
Gruter, Dominique; Schmid, Bernhard; Brandl, Helmut
It is critical to incorporate the process of population dynamics into community genetics studies to identify the mechanisms of the linkage between host plant genetics and associated communities. We studied the effects of plant genotypic diversity of tall goldenrod Solidago altissima on the population dynamics of the aphid Uroleucon nigrotuberculatum. We found genotypic variation in plant resistance to the aphid in our experiments. To determine the impact of plant genotypic diversity on aphid population dynamics, we compared aphid densities under conditions of three treatments: single-genotype plots, mixed-genotype plots and mixed-genotype-with-cages plots. In the latter treatment plants were individually caged to prevent natural enemy attack and aphid movement among plants. The synergistic effects of genotypes on population size were demonstrated by the greater aphid population size in the mixed-genotype treatment than expected from additive effects alone. Two non-exclusive hypotheses are proposed to explain this pattern. First, there is a source–sink relationship among plant genotypes: aphids move from plant genotypes where their reproduction is high to genotypes where their reproduction is low. Second, natural enemy mortality is reduced in mixed plots in a matrix of diverseplant genotypes.
Large, herbivorous mammals have profound effects on ecosystem structure and function and often act as keystone species in ecosystems they inhabit. Density-dependent processes associated with population structure of large mammals may interact with ecosystem functioning to increase or decrease biodiversity, depending on the relationship of herbivore populations relative to the carrying capacity (K) of the ecosystem. We tested for indirect effects of population density of large herbivores on plant species richness and diversity in a montane ecosystem, where increased net aboveground primary productivity (NAPP) in response to low levels of herbivory has been reported. We documented a positive, linear relationship between plant-species diversity and richness with NAPP. Structural equation modeling revealed significant indirect relationships between population density of herbivores, NAPP, and species diversity. We observed an indirect effect of density-dependent processes in large, herbivorous mammals and species diversity of plants through changes in NAPP in this montane ecosystem. Changes in species diversity of plants in response to herbivory may be more indirect in ecosystems with long histories of herbivory. Those subtle or indirect effects of herbivory may have strong effects on ecosystem functioning, but may be overlooked in plant communities that are relatively resilient to herbivory. PMID:19484268
Stewart, Kelley M; Bowyer, R Terry; Kie, John G; Dick, Brian L; Ruess, Roger W
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
Binkenstein, Julia; Renoult, Julien P; Schaefer, H Martin
Little is known about the changes in microbial diversity associated with ecosystem development. We measured microbial heterotrophic evenness (a component of diversity) and other soil\\/humus properties (including basal respiration, substrate-induced respiration, pH, total C, N and P) at different stages in the development of five different ecosystems, with plant assemblages being used to define the phase in the successional sequence.
L. A Schipper; B. P Degens; G. P Sparling; L. C Duncan
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.
Kalendar, R; Flavell, A J; Ellis, T H N; Sjakste, T; Moisy, C; Schulman, A H
Soil-dwelling pests inflict considerable economic damage in agriculture but are hard to control. A promising strategy to reduce pest pressure on crops is to increase the plantdiversity in agroecosystems. This approach, however, demands a sound understanding of species' interactions, which is widely lacking for subterranean herbivore-plant systems. Here, we examine the effects of plant diversification on wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles that threaten crops worldwide. We conducted a field experiment employing plant diversification by adding either wheat or a mix of six associated plants (grasses, legumes, and forbs) between rows of maize to protect it from Agriotes wireworms. Wireworm feeding behavior, dispersal between crop and associated plants, as well as maize damage and yield were examined. The former was assessed combining molecular gut content and stable isotope analysis. The pests were strongly attracted by the associated plants in August, when the crop was most vulnerable, whereas in September, shortly before harvest, this effect occurred only in the plant mix. In maize monoculture, the larvae stayed in the principal crop throughout the season. Larval delta13C signatures revealed that maize feeding was reduced up to sevenfold in wireworms of the vegetationally diversified treatments compared to those of the maize monoculture. These findings were confirmed by molecular analysis, which additionally showed a dietary preference of wireworms for specific plants in the associated plant mix. Compared to the monoculture, maize damage was reduced by 38% and 55% in the wheat and plant mix treatment, which translated into a yield increase of 30% and 38%, respectively. The present findings demonstrate that increasing the plantdiversity in agroecosystems provides an effective insurance against soil pests. The underlying mechanisms are the diversion of the pest from the principle crop and a changed feeding behavior. The deployment of diverse mixes of associated plants, tailored to the specific preferences of the soil herbivores, provides a promising strategy for managing subterranean pests while maintaining crop yield. PMID:23967581
Diversity is one major factor driving plant productivity in temperate grasslands. Although decomposers like earthworms are known to affect plant productivity, interacting effects of plantdiversity and earthworms on plant productivity have been neglected in field studies. We investigated in the field the effects of earthworms on plant productivity, their interaction with plant species and functional group richness, and their effects on belowground plant competition. In the framework of the Jena Experiment we determined plant community productivity (in 2004 and 2007) and performance of two phytometer plant species [Centaurea jacea (herb) and Lolium perenne (grass); in 2007 and 2008] in a plant species (from one to 16) and functional group richness gradient (from one to four). We sampled earthworm subplots and subplots with decreased earthworm density and reduced aboveground competition of phytometer plants by removing the shoot biomass of the resident plant community. Earthworms increased total plant community productivity (+11%), legume shoot biomass (+35%) and shoot biomass of the phytometer C. jacea (+21%). Further, phytometer performance decreased, i.e. belowground competition increased, with increasing plant species and functional group richness. Although single plant functional groups benefited from higher earthworm numbers, the effects did not vary with plant species and functional group richness. The present study indicates that earthworms indeed affect the productivity of semi-natural grasslands irrespective of the diversity of the plant community. Belowground competition increased with increasing plant species diversity. However, belowground competition was modified by earthworms as reflected by increased productivity of the phytometer C. jacea. Moreover, particularly legumes benefited from earthworm presence. Considering also previous studies, we suggest that earthworms and legumes form a loose mutualistic relationship affecting essential ecosystem functions in temperate grasslands, in particular decomposition and plant productivity. Further, earthworms likely alter competitive interactions among plants and the structure of plant communities by beneficially affecting certain plant functional groups. PMID:19526252
Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Nitschke, Norma; Sabais, Alexander C W; Scherber, Christoph; Scheu, Stefan
...both maintain the diversity of plant and animal communities...provide for the diversity of plant and animal communities, within...and aquatic ecosystems and watersheds in the plan area, including...Rare aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal communities;...
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
Tropical South America has the highest plantdiversity 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
Peter Wilf; N. Rubén Cúneo; Kirk R. Johnson; Jason F. Hicks; Scott L. Wing; John D. Obradovich
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 plantdiversity 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 diverseplant 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.
Eisenhauer, Nico; Ackermann, Michael; Gass, Svenja; Klier, Matthias; Migunova, Varvara; Nitschke, Norma; Ruess, Liliane; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan
This paper explores analytical techniques to identify the environmental justice (EJ) population in a racially diverse area and to evaluate the benefits and burdens of transportation projects upon EJ and non-EJ populations. A statistical technique was developed to identify the block groups where minority and low-income populations were disproportionately concentrated, with variation in the size of the block groups taken
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.
Harrington, Guy J.; Eberle, Jaelyn; Le-Page, Ben A.; Dawson, Mary; Hutchison, J. Howard
The first plant glycine-rich proteins (GRPs) have been isolated more than 20 years ago based on their specific expression pattern and/or modulation by several biotic and abiotic factors. This superfamily is characterized by the presence of a glycine-rich domain arranged in (Gly)n-X repeats. The presence of additional motifs, as well as the nature of the glycine repeats, groups them in different classes. The diversity in structure as well as in expression pattern, modulation and sub cellular localization have always indicated that these proteins, although classified as members of the same superfamily, would perform different functions in planta. Only now, two decades later, with the first functional characterizations of plant GRPs their involvement in diverse biological and biochemical processes are being uncovered. Here, we review the so far ascribed functions of plant GRPs.
Large herbivores can change ecosystem functioning by impacting plantdiversity. However, although such impacts are expected\\u000a to be scale-dependent in ecosystems with wide-roaming ungulates, scaling issues rarely enter empirical assessments. We here\\u000a test the hypothesis that the impact of increased reindeer abundance on plantdiversity in alpine tundra is scale-dependent.\\u000a Based on potentially high productivity of the focal habitat units
V. T. Ravolainen; N. G. Yoccoz; K. A. Bråthen; R. A. Ims; M. Iversen; V. T. González
Since its original discovery in yeast, the Mediator complex has been identified in a wide range of organisms across the eukaryotic kingdom. Despite being experimentally purified from a number of fungal and metazoan organisms, it was not until 2007, thirteen years after its initial discovery, that the Mediator complex was successfully isolated from plants. With a number of papers now beginning to emerge on the plant Mediator complex, this review aims to provide an overview of the diverse functions that have been identified for individual plant Mediator subunits. In addition to demonstrating roles in plant development, flowering, hormone signaling and biotic and abiotic stress tolerance; recent findings have revealed novel functions for plant Mediator subunits, including mRNA, miRNA and rRNA processing, as well as controlling DNA and protein stability. These diverse activities have expanded the known functions of the Mediator complex and demonstrate a variety of new insights that have been gained from investigations into the plant Mediator complex. Future directions for research into this multi-functional protein complex will be discussed. PMID:21803167
Kidd, Brendan N; Cahill, David M; Manners, John M; Schenk, Peer M; Kazan, Kemal
Background The different hypotheses proposed to explain positive species richness–productivity relationships, i.e. selection effect and complementarity effect, imply that plant functional characteristics are at the core of a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity effects. Methodology/Principal Findings We used two community-wide measures of plant functional composition, (1) community-weighted means of trait values (CWM) and (2) functional trait diversity based on Rao’s quadratic diversity (FDQ) to predict biomass production and measures of biodiversity effects in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) with different species richness (2, 4, 8, 16 and 60) and different functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) four years after establishment. Functional trait composition had a larger predictive power for community biomass and measures of biodiversitity effects (40–82% of explained variation) than species richness per se (<1–13% of explained variation). CWM explained a larger amount of variation in community biomass (80%) and net biodiversity effects (70%) than FDQ (36 and 38% of explained variation respectively). FDQ explained similar proportions of variation in complementarity effects (24%, positive relationship) and selection effects (28%, negative relationship) as CWM (27% of explained variation for both complementarity and selection effects), but for all response variables the combination of CWM and FDQ led to significant model improvement compared to a separate consideration of different components of functional trait composition. Effects of FDQ were mainly attributable to diversity in nutrient acquisition and life-history strategies. The large spectrum of traits contributing to positive effects of CWM on biomass production and net biodiversity effects indicated that effects of dominant species were associated with different trait combinations. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that the identification of relevant traits and the relative impacts of functional identity of dominant species and functional diversity are essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of plantdiversity for ecosystem processes such as aboveground biomass production.
The Canary Islands are an Atlantic volcanic archipelago with a rich flora of ?570 endemic species. The endemics represent ?40% of the native flora of the islands, and ?20% of the endemics are in the E (endangered) category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A review of allozyme variation in 69 endemic species belonging to 18 genera and eight families is presented. The average species-level genetic diversity (H(T)) at allozyme loci is 0.186, which is twice as high as the mean reported for endemics of Pacific archipelagos. Possible factors contributing to this higher diversity are discussed, but the reasons remain obscure. An average of 28% of the allozyme diversity within species resides among populations, indicating a high level of interpopulational differentiation. Studies of reproductive biology indicate that many of the endemic species are outcrossers. The high total diversity within species, the relatively high differentiation among populations, and the outcrossing breeding systems have implications for species conservation. Decreased population sizes in outcrossing species would promote biparental inbreeding and increase inbreeding depression. The relatively high proportion of allozyme diversity among populations indicates that the most effective strategy for preserving genetic variation in species is to conserve as many populations as possible. The genetic diversity in many Canary Island endemics is endangered by: (1) overgrazing by introduced animals, such as barbary sheep, goats, mouflons, rabbits, and sheep; (2) interspecific hybridization following habitat disturbance or planting of endemics along roadsides or in public gardens; (3) competition with alien plant species; and (4) decline of population size because of urban development and farming. PMID:10898768
Francisco-Ortega, J; Santos-Guerra, A; Kim, S C; Crawford, D J
The sal (Shorea robusta) forest vegetation of Sohagibarawa Wildlife Sanctuary, Gorakhpur, India was analysed to assessplantdiversity, regeneration pattern and the status of species conservation. A total of 208 plant species representing 165 genera and 72 families were recorded. Species richness, mean density and basal area of individuals in the observed forest were compared with those of other sal-dominated
Hawaiian Drosophila depend primarily, sometimes exclusively, on specific host plants for oviposition and larval development, and most specialize further on a particular decomposing part of that plant. Differences in fungal community between host plants and substrate types may establish the basis for host specificity in Hawaiian Drosophila. Fungi mediate decomposition, releasing plant micronutrients and volatiles that can indicate high quality substrates and serve as cues to stimulate oviposition. This study addresses major gaps in our knowledge by providing the first culture-free, DNA-based survey of fungal diversity associated with four ecologically important tree genera in the Hawaiian Islands. Three genera, Cheirodendron, Clermontia, and Pisonia, are important host plants for Drosophila. The fourth, Acacia, is not an important drosophilid host but is a dominant forest tree. We sampled fresh and rotting leaves from all four taxa, plus rotting stems from Clermontia and Pisonia. Based on sequences from the D1/D2 domain of the 26S rDNA gene, we identified by BLAST search representatives from 113 genera in 13 fungal classes. A total of 160 operational taxonomic units, defined on the basis of ?97% genetic similarity, were identified in these samples, but sampling curves show this is an underestimate of the total fungal diversity present on these substrates. Shannon diversity indices ranged from 2.0 to 3.5 among the Hawaiian samples, a slight reduction compared to continental surveys. We detected very little sharing of fungal taxa among the substrates, and tests of community composition confirmed that the structure of the fungal community differed significantly among the substrates and host plants. Based on these results, we hypothesize that fungal community structure plays a central role in the establishment of host preference in the Hawaiian Drosophila radiation.
Ort, Brian S.; Bantay, Roxanne M.; Pantoja, Norma A.; O'Grady, Patrick M.
Identifying which areas capture how many species is the first question in conservation planning. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aspires to formal protection of at least 17% of the terrestrial world and, through the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, 60% of plant species. Are these targets of protecting area and species compatible? We show that 67% of plant species live entirely within regions that comprise 17% of the land surface. Moreover, these regions include most terrestrial vertebrates with small geographical ranges. However, the connections between the CBD targets of protecting area and species are complex. Achieving both targets will be difficult because regions with the most plant species have only slightly more land protected than do those with fewer. PMID:24009391
The number of genetically distinct individuals within a community is a key component of biodiversity and yet its impact at\\u000a different trophic levels, especially upon the diversity of functionally important soil microorganisms is poorly understood.\\u000a Here, we test the hypothesis that plant communities that are genetically impoverished will support fewer species of root-associated\\u000a fungi. We used established grassland mesocosms comprising
David Johnson; Ian C. Anderson; Alison Williams; Raj Whitlock; J. Philip Grime
Plants, with an estimated 300,000 species, provide crucial primary production and ecosystem structure. To date, our quantitative understanding of diversity gradients of megadiverse clades such as plants has been hampered by the paucity of distribution data. Here, we investigate the global-scale species-richness pattern of vascular plants and examine its environmental and potential historical determinants. Across 1,032 geographic regions worldwide, potential evapotranspiration, the number of wet days per year, and measurements of topographical and habitat heterogeneity emerge as core predictors of species richness. After accounting for environmental effects, the residual differences across the major floristic kingdoms are minor, with the exception of the uniquely diverse Cape Region, highlighting the important role of historical contingencies. Notably, the South African Cape region contains more than twice as many species as expected by the global environmental model, confirming its uniquely evolved flora. A combined multipredictor model explains ?70% of the global variation in species richness and fully accounts for the enigmatic latitudinal gradient in species richness. The models illustrate the geographic interplay of different environmental predictors of species richness. Our findings highlight that different hypotheses about the causes of diversity gradients are not mutually exclusive, but likely act synergistically with water–energy dynamics playing a dominant role. The presented geostatistical approach is likely to prove instrumental for identifying richness patterns of the many other taxa without single-species distribution data that still escape our understanding.
We examined the potential long-term impacts of riparian plantdiversity loss on diversity and activity of aquatic microbial decomposers. Microbial assemblages were obtained in a mixed-forest stream by immersion of mesh bags containing three leaf species (alder, oak and eucalyptus), commonly found in riparian corridors of Iberian streams. Simulation of species loss was done in microcosms by including a set of all leaf species, retrieved from the stream, and non-colonized leaves of three, two or one leaf species. Leaves were renewed every month throughout six months, and microbial inoculum was ensured by a set of colonized leaves from the previous month. Microbial diversity, leaf mass loss and fungal biomass were assessed at the second and sixth months after plant species loss. Molecular diversity of fungi and bacteria, as the total number of operational taxonomic units per leaf diversity treatment, decreased with leaf diversity loss. Fungal biomass tended to decrease linearly with leaf species loss on oak and eucalyptus, suggesting more pronounced effects of leaf diversity on lower quality leaves. Decomposition of alder and eucalyptus leaves was affected by leaf species identity, mainly after longer times following diversity loss. Leaf decomposition of alder decreased when mixed with eucalyptus, while decomposition of eucalyptus decreased in mixtures with oak. Results suggest that the effects of leaf diversity on microbial decomposers depended on leaf species number and also on which species were lost from the system, especially after longer times. This may have implications for the management of riparian forests to maintain stream ecosystem functioning. PMID:23963224
An underlying assumption of ecological surveys which use rapid inventory techniques is that native invertebrate diversity will be reflected by native plantdiversity. This supposition was tested by collecting Coleoptera from seven different habitats, which varied in the proportions of native and introduced plant species found within them. Pitfall traps were used to collect the beetles from a catchment on
Philippa N. Crisp; K. J. M. Dickinson; G. W. Gibbs
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the use of assessment to manage some of the challenges diversity brings into the teaching and learning in international real estate degree programs. Design\\/methodology\\/approach – The paper is a multi-year case study of a course in real estate valuation in a Swedish University. The impact of assessment on student experience
Samuel Azasu; Rosane Hungria-Gunnelin; Kristina Edström
We studied the effects of plantdiversity on abundance of invertebrate herbivores, parasitoids and predators in two grassland communities (one in Switzerland and one in Sweden) in which plant species richness and functional diversity have been experimentally manipulated. Among herbivores, the abundance of only the most sessile and specialised groups (leafhoppers and wingless aphids) was affected by plantdiversity. At
Julia Koricheva; Christa P. H. Mulder; Bernhard Schmid; Jasmin Joshi; Kerstin Huss-Danell
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.
Hedychium spicatum, a perennial rhizomatous medicinal plant distributed in subtropical and temperate parts, is considered nearly endemic to\\u000a the Himalayan region.In this study allozyme markers were utilized to assess genetic variations and relationships among 12\\u000a distinct populations of this species from the West Himalaya of India. A high level of genetic diversity was found among the\\u000a populations. Of the 13
Arun Jugran; Indra D. Bhatt; Sandeep Rawat; Lalit Giri; Ranbeer S. Rawal; Uppeandra Dhar
Identifying the factors governing the maintenance of genetic variation is a central challenge in evolutionary biology. New genomic data, methods and conceptual advances provide increasing evidence that balancing selection, mediated by antagonistic species interactions, maintains genome-wide functionally important genetic variation within species and natural populations. Because diverse interactions between plants and herbivorous insects dominate terrestrial communities, they provide excellent systems to address this hypothesis. Population genomic studies of Arabidopsis thaliana and its relatives suggest spatial variation in herbivory maintains adaptive genetic variation controlling defense phenotypes, both within and among populations. Conversely, inter-species variation in plant defenses promotes adaptive genetic variation in herbivores. Emerging genomic model herbivores of Arabidopsis could illuminate how genetic variation in herbivores and plants interact simultaneously. PMID:23834766
Gloss, Andrew D; Nelson Dittrich, Anna C; Goldman-Huertas, Benjamin; Whiteman, Noah K
\\u000a Evidence generally supports a situationally specific view of social skill competence. This perspective contends that behavior\\u000a is specific to a particular situation, and therefore deficits in social skills are transient depending on the situational\\u000a context (Meier & Hope, 1998). Therefore, when assessing social skill competency it is important to note that any observed\\u000a behavior cannot necessarily be generalized from one
Peter J. Norton; Christi S. Washington; Jaclyn E. Peters; Sarah A. Hayes
The origin of species-rich insect-plant food webs has traditionally been explained by diversifying antagonistic coevolution between plant defences and herbivore counter-defences. However, recent studies combining paleoclimatic reconstructions with time-calibrated phylogenies suggest that variation in global climate determines the distribution, abundance and diversity of plant clades and, hence, indirectly influences the balance between speciation and extinction in associated herbivore groups. Extant insect communities tend to be richest on common plant species that have many close relatives. This could be explained either by climate-driven diffuse cospeciation between plants and insects, or by elevated speciation and reduced extinction in herbivore lineages associated with expanding host taxa (resources). Progress in paleovegetation reconstructions in combination with the rapidly increasing availability of fossil-calibrated phylogenies provide means to discern between these alternative hypotheses. In particular, the 'Diffuse cospeciation' scenario predicts closely matching main diversification periods in plants and in the insects that feed upon them, while the 'Resource abundance-dependent diversification' hypothesis predicts that both positive and negative responses of insect diversity are lagged in relation to host-plant availability. The dramatic Cenozoic changes in global climate provide multiple possibilities for studying the mechanisms by which climatic shifts may drive diversity dynamics in plants and insect herbivores. PMID:22507539
Assessing the overall biological diversity of tropical rain forests is a seemingly insurmountable task for ecologists. Therefore, researchers frequently sample selected taxa that they believe reflect general biodiversity patterns. Usually, these studies focus on the congruence of alpha diversity (the number of species found per sampling unit) between taxa rather than on beta diversity (turnover of species assemblages between sampling units). Such approaches ignore the potential role of habitat heterogeneity that, depending on the taxonomic group considered, can greatly enhance beta diversity at local and landscape scales. We compared alpha and beta diversity of four plant groups (trees, lianas, terrestrial herbs, epiphytic liverworts) and eight animal groups (birds, butterflies, lower canopy ants, lower canopy beetles, dung beetles, bees, wasps, and the parasitoids of the latter two) at 15 sites in Sulawesi, Indonesia, that represented natural rain forest and three types of cacao agroforests differing in management intensity. In total, we recorded 863 species. Patterns of species richness per study site varied strongly between taxonomic groups. Only 13-17% of the variance in species richness of one taxonomic group could be predicted from the species richness of another, and on average 12-18% of the variance of beta diversity of a given group was predicted by that in other groups, although some taxon pairs had higher values (up to 76% for wasps and their parasitoids). The degree of congruence of patterns of alpha diversity was not influenced by sampling completeness, whereas the indicator value for beta diversity improved when using a similarity index that accounts for incomplete sampling. The indication potential of alpha diversity for beta diversity and vice versa was limited within taxa (7-20%) and virtually nil between them (0-4%). We conclude that different taxa can have largely independent patterns of alpha diversity and that patterns of beta diversity can be more congruent. Thus, conservation plans on a landscape scale need to put more emphasis on the high heterogeneity of agroforests and the overarching role of beta diversity shaping overall diversity patterns. PMID:20014584
The objective of the present work is to develop recommendations for controlling the safety of nuclear power plants on the\\u000a basis of risk assessments and safety certification of nuclear power plants. The Kursk nuclear power plant is considered as\\u000a an example of a nuclear power plant with an RBMK reactor. The concept of risk assessment of a nuclear power plant
R. T. Islamov; A. A. Derevyankin; I. V. Zhukov; M. A. Berberova; I. V. Glukhov; D. R. Islamov
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
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
This article provides a profile of a range of important variables for assessingdiversity 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…
Guarnaccia, Peter J.; Pincay, Igda Martinez; Alegria, Margarita; Shrout, Patrick E.; Lewis-Fernandez, Roberto; Canino, Glorisa
|Describes the development of a college social-work curriculum designed to encourage students to value a diverse world. A detailed description of this ability was developed, including six developmental levels and possible assessment activities. Appropriate curriculum revisions were made and implemented in pilot sections of a new course. The…
Gingerich, Wallace J.; Kaye, Karen M.; Bailey, Darlyne
The interactive effects of consumers and nutrients on terrestrial plant communities, and the role of plant functional traits in mediating these responses, are poorly known. We carried out a six-year full-factorial field experiment using mammalian herbivore exclusion and fertilization in two habitat types (fertile and infertile alpine tundra heaths) that differed in plant functional traits related to resource acquisition and palatability. Infertile habitats were dominated by species with traits indicative of a slow-growing strategy: high C:N ratio, low specific leaf area, and high condensed tannins. We found that herbivory counteracted the effect of fertilization on biomass, and that this response differed between the two habitats and was correlated with plant functional traits. Live biomass dominated the treatment responses in infertile habitats, whereas litter accumulation dominated the treatment responses in fertile habitats and was strongly negatively associated with resident community tannin concentration. Species richness declined under herbivore exclusion and fertilization in fertile habitats, where litter accumulation was greatest. Community means of plant C:N ratio predicted treatment effects on diversity: fertilization decreased and herbivory increased dominance in communities originally dominated by plants with high C:N, while fertilization increased and herbivory diminished dominance in communities where low C:N species were abundant. Our results highlight the close interdependence between consumer effects, soil nutrients, and plant functional traits and suggest that plant traits may provide an improved understanding of how consumers and nutrients influence plant community productivity and diversity. PMID:23431600
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.
Proença, Vânia M.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Guilherme, João; Vicente, Luís
This paper examines the relationship between plant use and plantdiversity in 36 transects of 50?×?2 m2 laid out in the surroundings of Apillapampa, a community of Quechua subsistence farmers in the Bolivian Andes. Use data were\\u000a obtained through individual interviews with 13 local key participants and were organized in eight plant use categories. Regression\\u000a slope analysis showed that for nearly
Evert Thomas; Ina Vandebroek; Paul Goetghebeur; Sabino Sanca; Susana Arrázola; Patrick Van Damme
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.
Biodiversity is expected to improve ecosystem services, e.g., productivity or seepage water quality. The current view of plantdiversity effects on element cycling is based on short-term grassland studies that discount possibly slow belowground feedbacks to aboveground diversity. Furthermore, these grasslands were established on formerly arable land associated with changes in soil properties, e.g., accumulation of organic matter. We hypothesize that the plantdiversity-N cycle relationship changes with time since establishment. We assessed the relationship between plantdiversity and (1) aboveground and soil N storage and (2) NO3-N and NH4-N availability in soil between 2003 and 2007 in the Jena Experiment, a grassland experiment established in 2002 in which the number of plant species varied from 1 to 60. The positive effect of plantdiversity on aboveground N storage (mainly driven by biomass production) tended to increase through time. The initially negative correlation between plantdiversity and soil NO3-N availability disappeared after 2003. In 2006 and 2007, a positive correlation between plantdiversity and soil NH4-N availability appeared which coincided with a positive correlation between plantdiversity and N mineralized from total N accumulated in soil. We conclude that the plantdiversity-N cycle relationship in newly established grasslands changes with time because of accumulation of organic matter in soil associated with the establishment. While a positive relationship between plantdiversity and soil N storage improves soil fertility and reduces fertilizing needs, increasingly closed N cycling with increasing plantdiversity as illustrated by decreased NO3-N concentrations in diverse mixtures reduces the negative impact of agricultural N leaching on groundwater resources.
Oelmann, Yvonne; Buchmann, Nina; Gleixner, Gerd; Habekost, Maike; Roscher, Christiane; Rosenkranz, Stephan; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Steinbeiss, Sibylle; Temperton, Vicky M.; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Wilcke, Wolfgang
Although patterns between plantdiversity and ecosystem productivity have been much studied, a consistent relationship has not yet emerged. Differing patterns between plantdiversity and productivity have been observed in response to spatial variability of environmental factors and vegetation composition. In this study, we measured vegetation cover, plantdiversity, productivity, soil properties and site characteristics along an environmental gradient (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, dry meadow, wet meadow and flood plain grasslands) of natural sandy grasslands in semiarid areas of northern China. We used multivariate analysis to examine the relationships between environmental factors, vegetation composition, plantdiversity and productivity. We found a positive correlation between plantdiversity and productivity. Vegetation composition aggregated by the ordination technique of non-metric multidimensional scaling had also a significantly positive correlation with plantdiversity and productivity. Environmental gradients in relation to soil and topography affected the distribution patterns of vegetation composition, species diversity and productivity. However, environmental gradients were a better determinant of vegetation composition and productivity than of plantdiversity. Structural equation modeling suggested that environmental factors determine vegetation composition, which in turn independently drives both plantdiversity and productivity. Thus, the positive correlation between plantdiversity and productivity is indirectly driven by vegetation composition, which is determined by environmental gradients in soil and topography.
Zuo, X. A.; Knops, J. M. H.; Zhao, X. Y.; Zhao, H. L.; Zhang, T. H.; Li, Y. Q.; Guo, Y. R.
This study of functional diversity considers symbiotic associations between two plant species, Medicago truncatula and Lycopersicon esculentum, and seven species of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). The objective was to integrate physiological analyses with molecular techniques to test whether functional diversity between AMF species is not only apparent at the level of mycorrhiza formation, plant nutrient uptake and plant growth, but
Slopes affected by superficial sliding and subsequently re-stabilised with eco-engineering measures were investigated, particularly related to soil stability and plantdiversity. 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 succession. The number of shrub and tree species recorded in 2005/2006 varied between 12 and 16. According to the recommendations for silvicultural maintenance of protective forests, the shrub- and tree layer consisted of 75 to 100% of the required plant species in view of the potential target association.
Böll, Albert; Gerber, Werner; Rickli, Christian; Graf, Frank
A high diversity of plant species and functional groups is hypothesised to increase the diversity of root types and their subsequent effects for soil stability. However, even basic data on root characteristics of alpine plants are very scarce. Therefore, we determined important root characteristics of 13 plant species from different functional groups, i.e. grasses, herbs and shrubs. We excavated the whole root systems of 62 plants from a machine-graded ski slope at 2625 m a.s.l. and analysed the rooting depth, the horizontal root extension, root length and diameter. Single roots of plant species were tested for tensile strength. The age of herbs and shrubs was determined by growth-ring analysis. Root characteristics varied considerably between both plant species and functional groups. The rooting depth of different species ranged from 7.2 ± 0.97 cm to 20.5 ± 2.33 cm, but was significantly larger in the herb Geum reptans (70.8 ± 10.75 cm). The woody species Salix breviserrata reached the highest horizontal root extensions (96.8 ± 25.5 cm). Most plants had their longest roots in fine diameter classes (0.5
Pohl, M.; Stroude, R.; Körner, C.; Buttler, A.; Rixen, C.
The fundamental data requirements for the authorization of plant protection products and the inclusion of active ingredients in Annex I of Council Directive 91/414/EEC (Council Directive of 15 July 1991 referring to placing plant protection products on the market (91/414/EEC). Official Journal of European Communities L 230, 19 August 1991) are described in the Annexes II and III of this Directive. Definite instructions with regard to preconditions for implementation and methodology (guidelines) concerning investigations with terrestrial plants are deficient. In addition to that, the uniform principles for the registration of plant protection products in the Member States described in Annex VI of the directive do not include any criteria concerning the risk assessment for non-target plants. However, plant protection products often show effects on non-target plants which need to be assessed as a requirement for the authorisation of the product. Hence, the German Federal Environmental Agency has developed a tiered approach to assess the effects of plant protection products on non-terrestrial plants. The risk is assessed using the effect-concentration evaluated in ecotoxicological tests and the environmental concentration predicted by validated exposure models. To protect non-target plants in terrestrial ecosystems assessment factors need to be considered. In the future, the risk for terrestrial plants needs to be addressed, also with regard to the revision of the Annexes of Directive 91/414/EEC. PMID:10819231
The concept of sustainability in forestry has a long tradition in Europe. However, the perception of 'sustainable management of forests' has changed in accordance with the changes in society, which has made growing demands on ecological, economical, and social functions on forests in recent years. Following the so-called 'Helsinki-process', the EU member states have decided on general guidelines for sustainable management and for the conservation of forest biodiversity. Six criteria and 27 descriptive and quantitative indicators have been defined for the assessment and monitoring of sustainable forest management. Criterion no. 4, relating to semi-natural ancient woodland as a potential vector and source of high biodiversity and respective forest policies, provides the central theme for this paper. The paper is focused on the diversity of vascular plants and explores the possibility that isolated recent woodland could contribute to plant species diversity. Measures are suggested for forest management at forest stand and landscape levels which could enhance the diversity of typical forest plants. PMID:12659800
Worldwide, botanical gardens cultivate around 80,000 taxa, corresponding to approximately one-quarter of all vascular plants. Most cultivated taxa are, however, held in a small number of collections, and mostly only in small populations. Lack of genetic exchange and stochastic processes in small populations make them susceptible to detrimental genetic effects, which should be most severe in annual species, as sowing cycles are often short. In order to assess whether ex situ cultivation affects genetic diversity of annuals, five annual arable species with similar breeding systems were assessed with 42 in situ populations being compared to 20 ex situ populations using a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis approach. Population sizes tended to be lower under ex situ cultivation and levels of genetic diversity also tended to be lower in four of the five species, with differences being significant in only two. Ex situ populations showed incomplete representation of alleles found in the wild. The duration of cultivation did not indicate any effect on genetic diversity. This implies that cultivation strategies resulted in different genetic structures in the garden populations. Although not unequivocally pronounced, differences nonetheless imply that conservation strategies in the involved gardens may need improvement. One option is cold storage of seeds, a practice that is not currently followed in the studied ex situ collections. This may reflect that the respective gardens focus on displaying living plant populations. PMID:22882447
A 1-year plant-wide assessment at the ATK Promontory manufacturing facility utilizing innovative assessment technologies to identify energy savings opportunities in: steam, water, compressed air, HVAC, utility, production, and building systems.
Plantdiversity can affect ecological processes through effects on biomass and soil condition. A study was carried out in an agricultural watershed of Thailand to document plant species richness of different agricultural land uses and to assess its relationship with biomass and soil erosion. A nested sampling design of 20 × 20 m, 10 × 10 m, 5 × 5 m and 1 × 1 m quadrats was employed to study species
Rajendra P. Shrestha; Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt; Nalina Gnanavelrajah
This article contains an interview protocol that will help you gather information about your elementary students' ideas related to plants. By implementing the protocol, you will be able to discover what kinds of organisms your students think are plants an
Barman, Charles R.; Stein, Mary; Barman, Natalie S.; Mcnair, Shannan
Plant genetic resources are important sources of genetic variation for improving crop varieties as breeding materials. Conservation\\u000a of such resources of allogamous species requires maintenance of the genetic diversity within each accession to avoid inbreeding\\u000a depression and loss of rare alleles. For assessment of genetic diversity in the self-incompatibility locus (S locus), which is critically involved in the chance of
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 in the area of Swat. Some species of woodlands seem to be adapted to wood-pasture, but vulnerable to overcollecting, and in particular to deforestation. It is suggested to implement local small-scaled agroforestry systems to cultivate vulnerable and commercially valuable ethno-medicinal woodland plants under local self-government responsibility.
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 diversityplanting 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 diversityplantings had equally diverseplant 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 diversityplantings ( P = 0.005). We attributed changes in soil C and N pools and fluxes to increased AMF associated with C4 grasses in low diversityplantings. Thus, reduced recovery of AMF in high diversityplantings restricted restoration of belowground microbial diversity and microbially-mediated soil processes over time.
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 diversityplanting 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 diversityplantings had equally diverseplant communities; however, CP25 plantings had greater frequency of cool-season (C(3)) 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 diversityplantings (P = 0.005). We attributed changes in soil C and N pools and fluxes to increased AMF associated with C(4) grasses in low diversityplantings. Thus, reduced recovery of AMF in high diversityplantings restricted restoration of belowground microbial diversity and microbially-mediated soil processes over time. PMID:22105609
Advances in recombinant DNA technology have created advantages for the development of plants with high agro-economical values.\\u000a Since the production of transgenic plants, some issues concerning the safe use of these plants and their products have been\\u000a under debate throughout the world. In this respect, the potential risks and benefits of transgenic plants need to be evaluated\\u000a objectively. Risk assessment
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. These bacteria can be used as potential compost inoculants for accelerating composting process.
The importance of plant species diversity on performance of live- stock grazing temperate region pastures is summarized in this review. As livestock producers seek less capital-intensive production systems, emphasis is redirected toward low-input pasture systems that rely on complex species mixtures to produce forage. Increased plant species diversity has been linked to improvements in ecosystem function. While it is recognized
K. J. Soder; A. J. Rook; M. A. Sanderson; S. C. Goslee
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 ...
Shelterbelts have become a refuge and source of food for wildlife because of habitat loss in farmlands. However, effects of shelterbelt attributes such as plantdiversity and habitat structure on different trophic levels within shelterbelts are unclear. Effects of shelterbelt woody plantdiversity and habitat structure (lower vegetation strata, logs, litter and rocks) were measured on the growth and herbivory
Sagrario Gámez-Virués; Geoff M. Gurr; Anantanarayanan Raman; Helen I. Nicol
As the public sector workforce becomes more ethnically diverse and as government agencies make attempts to manage that diversity, the importance of understanding how diversity affects workplace interactions and work-related outcomes increases. Little public-sector research has examined the impact of diversity on performance outcomes. This article seeks to fill this gap by studying the effects of the ethnic diversity of
Spatial patterns of plantdiversity in the North American boreal forest were examined according to three plant life forms (woody plants, herbaceous plants, and bryophytes) and two taxonomic levels (species and genus), using sixty 9-ha plots sampled in white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and black spruce (Picea mariana (P. Mill.) B.S.P.) ecosystems along a transcontinental transect from the Pacific
Global changes are influencing fire regimes in many parts of the world. In the Fynbos plantdiversity hotspot (Cape Floristic Region, South Africa), fire frequency has increased in protected areas where the mean fire interval went from 12-19 to 6-9 years between 1970 and 2000. Fire is one of the main drivers of plantdiversity in the Cape Floristic Region. Too frequent fires threaten the persistence of slow-maturing plant species, and such insights have led to the adoption of fire management principles based on plant responses. The effects of fire on Fynbos fauna are much more poorly understood, and have not generally been considered in depth in Fynbos conservation policies, planning or management. We assessed the response of bird communities to long-term fire-induced vegetation changes using space-for-time substitution. We studied bird communities, vegetation structure and plant functional composition in 84 Fynbos plots burnt between two and 18 years before. Ten of the 14 bird species analysed showed a significant change in their abundance with time since fire. We observed a significant species turnover along the post-fire succession due to changes both in vegetation structure and plant functional composition, with a characteristic shift from non-Fynbos specialists and granivorous species to Fynbos specialists and nectarivorous species.If current trends of increasing fire frequency continue, Fynbos endemic birds such as nectarivores may become vulnerable. Conservation management should thus aim more carefully to maintain mosaics of Fynbos patches of different ages. Future research needs to estimate the proportion of vegetation of different ages and patch sizes needed to support dependent fauna, particularly endemics.
Chalmandrier, Loïc; Midgley, Guy F.; Barnard, Phoebe; Sirami, Clélia
Chloroplast biogenesis is a complex process that requires close co-ordination between two genomes. Many of the proteins that accumulate in the chloroplast are encoded by the nuclear genome, and the developmental transition from proplastid to chloroplast is regulated by nuclear genes. Here we show that a pair of Golden 2-like (GLK) genes regulates chloroplast development in Arabidopsis. The GLK proteins are members of the GARP superfamily of transcription factors, and phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that the maize, rice and Arabidopsis GLK gene pairs comprise a distinct group within the GARP superfamily. Further phylogenetic analysis suggests that the gene pairs arose through separate duplication events in the monocot and dicot lineages. As in rice, AtGLK1 and AtGLK2 are expressed in partially overlapping domains in photosynthetic tissue. Insertion mutants demonstrate that this expression pattern reflects a degree of functional redundancy as single mutants display normal phenotypes in most photosynthetic tissues. However, double mutants are pale green in all photosynthetic tissues and chloroplasts exhibit a reduction in granal thylakoids. Products of several genes involved in light harvesting also accumulate at reduced levels in double mutant chloroplasts. GLK genes therefore regulate chloroplast development in diverseplant species. PMID:12220263
Fitter, David W; Martin, David J; Copley, Martin J; Scotland, Robert W; Langdale, Jane A
Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.
Woody plantsdiversity and possession in small-scale tree and shrub growing practices among farmers of central highland Ethiopia\\u000a were assessed by using a complete census of the trees and shrubs existing on farmers’ lands. The future prospects of diversity\\u000a and possession of woody plants in the agricultural landscapes were also investigated by using the farmers’ species preferences\\u000a and seedling demands
This paper studied the effects of 1-, 2- and 3 years of planting Pennisetum sp. on the plant- and insect diversity in the Pennisetum sp. communities, taking the barren mountain land without planting Pennisetum sp. as the control (CK). Compared with CK, the plant species richness in Pennisetum sp. communities with different years of planting was lower, but the coverage was higher. The coverage in the Pennisetum sp. community having been planted for 3 years was the highest, up to 91.6%, and 75.8% higher than the CK. The insect species richness in the Pennisetum sp. communities having been planted for 1, 2 and 3 years was 3.6, 5.3 and 5.6 times of the CK, respectively. The plant- and insect diversity indices, including Simpson index, Shannon index, evenness, Brillouin index, and McIntosh index for the Pennisetum sp. communities with different years of planting were significantly higher than the CK, which indicated that the growth of Pennisetum sp. could affect the plant- and insect diversity. With the increasing year of planting, the plant- and insect diversity in Pennisetum sp. communities tended to be stable. PMID:23359949
While the ecological consequences of plantdiversity have received much attention, the mechanisms by which intraspecific diversity affects associated communities remains understudied. We report on a field experiment documenting the effects of patch diversity in the plant Baccharis salicifolia (genotypic monocultures versus polycultures of four genotypes), ants (presence versus absence) and their interaction on ant-tended aphids, ants and parasitic wasps, and the mechanistic pathways by which diversity influences their multi-trophic interactions. Five months after planting, polycultures (versus monocultures) had increased abundances of aphids (threefold), ants (3.2-fold) and parasitoids (1.7-fold) owing to non-additive effects of genetic diversity. The effect on aphids was direct, as plant genetic diversity did not mediate ant-aphid, parasitoid-aphid or ant-parasitoid interactions. This increase in aphid abundance occurred even though plant growth (and thus aphid resources) was not higher in polycultures. The increase in ants and parasitoids was an indirect effect, due entirely to higher aphid abundance. Ants reduced parasitoid abundance by 60 per cent, but did not affect aphid abundance or plant growth, and these top-down effects were equivalent between monocultures and polycultures. In summary, intraspecific plantdiversity did not increase primary productivity, but nevertheless had strong effects across multiple trophic levels, and effects on both herbivore mutualists and enemies could be predicted entirely as an extension of plant-herbivore interactions. PMID:23485879
Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plantdiversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plantdiversity 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
Global biodiversity loss has prompted research on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Few studies have examined how plantdiversity impacts belowground processes; even fewer have examined how varying resource levels can influence the effect of plantdiversity 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.
Background and Aims Functional trait differences and trait adjustment in response to influences of the biotic environment could reflect niche partitioning among species. In this study, we tested how variation in above-ground plant traits, chosen as indicators for light and nitrogen acquisition and use, differs among taxonomically closely related species (Poaceae) to assess their potential for niche segregation at increasing plantdiversity. Methods Traits of 12 grass species were measured in experimental grasslands (Jena Experiment) of varying species richness (from 1 to 60) and presence of particular functional groups (grasses, legumes, tall herbs and small herbs). Key Results Grass species increased shoot and leaf length, investment into supporting tissue (stem mass fraction) and specific leaf area as well as reduced foliar ?13C values with increasing species richness, indicating higher efforts for light acquisition. These species-richness effects could in part be explained by a higher probability of legume presence in more diverse communities. Leaf nitrogen concentrations increased and biomas s : N ratios in shoots decreased when grasses grew with legumes, indicating an improved nitrogen nutrition. Foliar ?15N values of grasses decreased when growing with legumes suggesting the use of depleted legume-derived N, while decreasing ?15N values with increasing species richness indicated a shift in the uptake of different N sources. However, efforts to optimize light and nitrogen acquisition by plastic adjustment of traits in response to species richness and legume presence, varied significantly among grass species. It was possible to show further that trait adjustment of grass species increased niche segregation in more diverseplant communities but that complementarity through niche separation may differ between light and nutrient acquisition. Conclusions The results suggest that even among closely related species such as grasses different strategies are used to cope with neighbours. This lack in redundancy in turn may facilitate complementary resource use and coexistence.
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.
Based on GIS and principal component analysis method, this paper analyzed the relationships between the patch characteristics and the plant community diversity in the patches of wetlands in Naoli River Watershed in 1950, 1967, 1983 and 2000. The results showed that in 1950-2000, the average patch size of the wetlands and the number of the patches that had the capacity of maintaining more than two types of wetland plant community decreased dramatically, and the minimum patch size was 10.1 km2. Both the plant community diversity index and the number of plant community types had significant positive correlations with the patch size of the wetlands. The larger the patch size, the higher maintenance capacity of plant community diversity. With the decrease of patch size, the patch fragmentation index and patch fragmental dimension increased, while the patch shape index and the plant community diversity index in the patches decreased. With the increase of patch spatial separation, the plant community diversity index in the patches decreased. Principal component analysis indicated that patch size was the most important factor affecting the plant community diversity of wetlands, followed by patch fragmentation and separation. PMID:19637595
The plant communities that are a feature of Australian shallow wetlands reflect the dynamics of their flooding and drying patterns. Anthropogenic changes to wetlands at individual wetland, catchment and landscape scales can change availability of plant habitats and hence the diversity of wetland plants. Policies for conservation of wetlands and the need for integrating policy, management and science in their
We sampled the understory community in an old-growth, temperate forest to test alternative hypotheses explaining the establishment of exotic plants. We quantified the individual and net importance of distance from areas of human disturbance, native plantdiversity, and environmental gradients in determining exotic plant establishment. Distance from disturbed areas, both within and around the reserve, was not correlated to exotic
The Rocky Mountain Region's biological diversityassessment addresses the following: (1) The major elements and concerns of the issue of biodiversity; (2) Historical and present biological diversity within the Rocky Mountain Region; (3) Ecosystem manageme...
L. D. Mullen B. Johnston P. Beels K. Houston L. Stewart
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...
We compared regeneration, tree diversity and floristic diversity of natural and planted tropical deciduous forests (dominated by Shorea robusta and Tectona grandis; Acacia catechu and Syzygium cumini, respectively) in western Uttar Pradesh, India. Species diversity (70 species in natural and 59 species in planted forests) as well as species evenness was higher in natural forests than in planted forests. Natural
D. S. CHAUHAN; C. S. DHANAI; BHUPENDRA SINGH; SHASHI CHAUHAN; N. P. TODARIA; M. A. KHALID
We assessed ecosystem integrity in restored prairie wetlands in eastern South Dakota, U.S.A., by examining the relationship between and diatom diversity and production. We asked three questions: (1) Is production related to species diversity? (2) Can production-diversity relationships be used to distinguish between restored and reference wetlands with the purpose of assessing ecological integrity? (3) Are production-diversity relationships influenced by
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
Rates, Breno; Ferraz, Karla K F; Borges, Márcia H; Richardson, Michael; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C
Genetic diversity of pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria belonging to the genus, Methylobacterium, was assessed using 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing, amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA), and differential\\u000a carbon-substrate utilization profile in the phyllosphere of cotton, maize, sunflower, soybean, and mentha plants. Methylobacterium populi, Methylobacterium thiocyanatum, Methylobacterium suomiense, M. aminovorans, and Methylobacterium fujisawaense were identified to colonize the phyllosphere
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
García-Ruiz, M T; Mendoza-Castillo, V M; Valadez-Moctezuma, E; Muratalla-Lúa, A
Proteins change over the course of evolutionary time. New protein-coding genes and gene families emerge and diversify, ultimately affecting an organism’s phenotype and interactions with its environment. Here we survey the range of structural protein change observed in plants and review the role these changes have had in the evolution of plant form and function. Verified examples tying evolutionary change in protein structure to phenotypic change remain scarce. We will review the existing examples, as well as draw from investigations into domestication, and quantitative trait locus (QTL) cloning studies searching for the molecular underpinnings of natural variation. The evolutionary significance of many cloned QTL has not been assessed, but all the examples identified so far have begun to reveal the extent of protein structural diversity tolerated in natural systems. This molecular (and phenotypic) diversity could come to represent part of natural selection’s source material in the adaptive evolution of novel traits. Protein structure and function can change in many distinct ways, but the changes we identified in studies of natural diversity and protein evolution were predicted to fall primarily into one of six categories: altered active and binding sites; altered protein–protein interactions; altered domain content; altered activity as an activator or repressor; altered protein stability; and hypomorphic and hypermorphic alleles. There was also variability in the evolutionary scale at which particular changes were observed. Some changes were detected at both micro- and macroevolutionary timescales, while others were observed primarily at deep or shallow phylogenetic levels. This variation might be used to determine the trajectory of future investigations in structural molecular evolution.
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 plantdiversity in tidal wetlands across the region and potential climate change effects ...
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...
Seven two-trait combinations (e.g. breeding system and seed dispersal mechanism) of five life history characteristics were used to analyse interspecific variation in the level and distribution of allozyme genetic diversity in seed plants. Highly significant differences were seen among categories for all seven comparisons. Life form and breeding system had highly significant influences on genetic diversity and its distribution. Regardless
Ecologists have long been intrigued by the ways co-occurring species divide limiting resources. Such resource partitioning, or niche differentiation, may promote species diversity by reducing competition. Although resource partitioning is an important determinant of species diversity and composition in animal communities, its importance in structuring plant communities has been difficult to resolve. This is due mainly to difficulties in studying
Robert B. McKane; Loretta C. Johnson; Gaius R. Shaver; Knute J. Nadelhoffer; Edward B. Rastetter; Brian Fry; Anne E. Giblin; Knut Kielland; Bonnie L. Kwiatkowski; James A. Laundre; Georgia Murray
Gel electrophoresis of ribosomal RNA from green plant tissues provides evidence consistent with the suggestion that chloroplasts have evolved from symbiotic blue-green algae, while the plant cytoplasmic RNA is distinct from both the bacterial and mammalian.
Research on agrobiodiversity points to the importance of home gardens in situ conservation, yet few studies to date explicate\\u000a the origins and dynamics of plant species diversity. In this paper, we examine inter-household variations in cultivated plant\\u000a species diversity among house gardens in a traditional peasant community, near Iquitos, Peru. In-depth household interviews\\u000a (n = 24) and garden\\/field surveys reveal
Effective biodiversity conservation requires an analysis of the existing reserve system. In temperate and boreal regions, plantdiversity has a strong positive association with soil pH. Consequently, in order to protect plantdiversity effectively, a relatively large proportion of protected areas should be on high pH soils. Since biodiversity data are never complete for all taxa, biodiversity indicators, e.g., threatened
Meelis Pärtel; Aveliina Helm; Nele Ingerpuu; Ülle Reier; Eva-Liis Tuvi
The relationship between plantdiversity 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 plantdiversities: (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 plantdiversity and functional group diversity. The findings of this study support the view that beside the re-establishment of a closed vegetation cover, plantdiversity is a relevant factor to reduce surface erosion at disturbed sites in alpine ecosystems.
Martin, C.; Pohl, M.; Alewell, C.; Körner, C.; Buttler, A.; Rixen, C.
Most of the terrestrial net primary production enters the decomposer system as dead organic matter, and the subsequent recycling of C and nutrients are key processes for the functioning of ecosystems and the delivery of ecosystem goods and services. Although climatic and substrate quality controls are reasonably well understood, the functional role of biodiversity for biogeochemical cycles remains elusive. Here we ask how altering litter species diversity affects species-specific decomposition rates and whether large litter-feeding soil animals control the litter diversity-function relationship in a temperate forest ecosystem. We found that decomposition of a given litter species changed greatly in the presence of litters from other cooccurring species despite unaltered climatic conditions and litter chemistry. Most importantly, soil fauna determined the magnitude and direction of litter diversity effects. Our data show that litter species richness and soil fauna interactively determine rates of decomposition in a temperate forest, suggesting a combination of bottom-up and top-down controls of litter diversity effects on ecosystem C and nutrient cycling. These results provide evidence that, in ecosystems supporting a well developed soil macrofauna community, animal activity plays a fundamental role for altered decomposition in response to changing litter diversity, which in turn has important implications for biogeochemical cycles and the long-term functioning of ecosystems with ongoing biodiversity loss. PMID:15671172
Herbivorous insects and the plants on which they specialize, represent the most abundant terrestrial life on earth, yet their inter-specific interactions in promoting species diversification remains unclear. This study utilizes the discreet geologic attributes of Hawai'i and one of the most diverse endemic herbivore radiations, the leafhoppers (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Nesophrosyne), as a model system to understand the role of host-plant use in insect diversification. A comprehensive phylogeny is reconstructed to examine the origins, species diversification, and host-plant use of the native Hawaiian leafhoppers. Results support a monophyletic Nesophrosyne, originating from the Western Pacific basin, with a sister-group relationship to the genus Orosius. Nesophrosyne is characterized by high levels of endemicity according to individual islands, volcanoes, and geologic features. Clades demonstrate extensive morphologically cryptic diversity among allopatric species, utilizing widespread host-plant lineages. Nesophrosyne species are host-plant specific, demonstrating four dominant patterns of specialization that shape species diversification: (1) diversification through host switching; (2) specialization on widespread hosts with allopatric speciation; (3) repeated, independent shifts to the same hosts; and, (4) absence or low abundance on some host. Finally, evidence suggests competing herbivore radiations limit ecological opportunity for diversifying insect herbivores. Results provide evolutionary insights into the mechanisms that drive and shape this biodiversity. PMID:22884527
During this exercise students will explore plantdiversity in a greenhouse facility to investigate the evolutionary adaptations that have allowed plants to survive in a diversity of habitats. Students will be introduced to the biotic and abiotic constraints organisms must overcome in order to survive in a desert and rainforest ecosystem. Students will observe and describe the similarities and differences in evolutionary features that have allowed populations of organisms to overcome environmental challenges. Throughout this exercise students will observe and reflect upon the different scales of diversity (i.e., genetic, species, habitat, and ecosystem).
The diversity of culturable endophytic actinomycetes associated with wild Compositae plants is scantily explored. In this study, one hundred and thirty one endophytic actinobacteria were isolated from ten Compositae plant species collected from South Sinai in Egypt. Microscopic and chemotaxonomic investigation of the isolates indicated fourteen genera. Rare genera, such as Microtetraspora, and Intrasporangium, which have never been previously reported to be endophytic, were identified. Each plant species accommodated between three to eight genera of actinobacteria and unidentified strains were recovered from seven plant species. The generic diversity analysis of endophytic assemblages grouped the plant species into three main clusters, representing high, moderate and low endophytic diversity. The endophytes showed high functional diversity, based on forty four catabolic and plant growth promotion traits; providing some evidence that such traits could represent key criteria for successful residence of endophytes in the endosphere. Stress-tolerance traits were more predictive measure of functional diversity differences between the endophyte assemblages (Shannon's index, p = 0.01). The results indicate a potential prominent role of endophytes for their hosts and emphasize the potency of plant endosphere as a habitat for actinobacteria with promising future applications. PMID:23541473
El-Shatoury, Sahar A; El-Kraly, Omnia A; Trujillo, Martha E; El-Kazzaz, Waleed M; Gamal El-Din, El-Sayeda; Dewedar, Ahmed
Summary 1 Established individuals removed at random from populations of 11 long-lived herbaceous species coexisting in a local area of ancient limestone pasture at Cress- brookdale in North Derbyshire were subjected to clonal propagation to produce stocks of genetically identical individuals sufficient to create 36 model communities identical in species composition but widely contrasted in genetic diversity. 2 Three levels
Various spatial arrangements can be found within natural grassland plant populations and communities. In contrast, spatial arrangement diversity is typically not observed in agroecosystems. Little is known about the influence of spatial arrangement on the productivity and success of agricultural or native plants. Such information is of interest to farmers who want to increase yield and restorationists working with native
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. Plantdiversity 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
Callus tissue cultures of 3 species of forage-grass (Panicum) were established from the excised embryos, shoot tips, and segments of young inflorescences, and induced to regenerate plants showing genetic diversity. These plants were transferred to the soil, and reared to maturity. The importance of in vitro methods for increasing the reservoirs of germplasm in forage-improvement programs is emphasized.
Plants protect themselves against herbivory with a diverse array of repellent or toxic secondary metabolites. However, many herbivorous insects have developed counteradaptations that enable them to feed on chemically defended plants without apparent negative effects. Here, we present evidence that larvae of the specialist insect, Pieris rapae (cabbage white butterfly, Lepidoptera: Pieridae), are biochemically adapted to the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, the
Ute Wittstock; Niels Agerbirk; Einar J. Stauber; Carl Erik Olsen; Michael Hippler; Thomas Mitchell-Olds; Jonathan Gershenzon; Heiko Vogel
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 plantdiversity in forage systems, we collect...
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. Plantdiversity 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.
Diversity of plant species in watershed ecosystems was evaluated by Biodiversity Probability Index (BPI). BPI was calculated from HSI (Habitat Suitability Index) of all plant species and land area of ecotope, which was acquired by some geo-information, including vegetation data from field survey and land cover data from the satellite images of Landsat-TM. High BPI zone are concentrated on the
S. Ishiwatari; F. Hirota; H. Taguchi; H. Fukui; A. Makino
In most forested watersheds, riparian areas constitute a small proportion of the total land area. yet their contributions to overall plantdiversity can be significant. However, little information is available on which portion of riparian areas (defined as functional ecotones comprising all fluvial landforms, including floodplains, terraces, and connecting hilIslopes) contribute the most to plant species richness and at what
Widespread encroachment of the fire-intolerant species Juniperus virginiana L. into North American grasslands and savannahs where fire has largely been removed has prompted the need to identify mechanisms driving J. virginiana encroachment. We tested whether encroachment success of J. virginiana is related to plant species diversity and composi- tion across three plant communities. We predicted J. virginiana encroachment success would
Amy C. Ganguli; David M. Engle; Paul M. Mayer; Eric C. Hellgren
The United States' National Plant Germplasm System's (NPGS) sunflower collection is curated at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, Iowa (USA). The NPGS sunflower collection is a diverse assemblage of 3787 accessions (1624 cultivated Helianthus annuus accessions, ...
We examined the effects of decreasing plantdiversity and functional group identity on root biomass, soil bulk density, soil nitrate and ammonium concentrations, microbial basal respiration, density of predaceous and non-predaceous nematodes, earthworm biomass and density and Shannon–Wiener indices of earthworm diversity in a temperate grassland. Plant species and functional group diversity did not have significant effects on any of
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.
Plantdiversity evaluation of highway construction of nature reserve is one important task in a construction project. I analyze and appraisal the plantdiversity problems caused by the rebuilding and extension project of No.209 national highway Duchuan to Chunshuya section from plant species diversity, plant composition characteristics, vegetation type's diversity and national rare and endangered plants in the construction region. The highway reconstruction through the Savage Valley Nature Reserve basically causes no destructive effects on plantdiversity, but there are still some negative effects. In this paper, I put forward scientific, reasonable and feasible measures and methods to the plantdiversity protection by combining with the natural environment characteristics of the highway construction region.
Thirty-six medicinal plant species belonging to 25 families were surveyed to study Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity\\u000a from different localities of North and South Goa of Western Ghats, Goa region, India. A total of 30 medicinal plant species\\u000a were found to be mycorrhizal and six plant species showed absence of AM fungal colonization. Forty two AM fungal species belonging\\u000a to
Chloroplast DNA diversity was measured in an annual flowering plant, Lupinus texensis. Individual plants were collected from 21 local populations throughout the range of the species in Texas. Chloroplast DNA was isolated separately from each plant and digested with seven restriction enzymes. The most common form of the 150-kilobase-pair genome was cut at 134 sites, so that about 0.5% of
Endophytic bacteria have been found in virtually every plant studied, where they colonize the internal tissues of their host\\u000a plant and can form a range of different beneficial relationships. The diversity of bacterial endophytes associated with ginseng\\u000a plants of varying age levels in Korea was investigated. Fifty-one colonies were isolated from the interior of ginseng stems.\\u000a Although a mixed composition
Regupathy Thamizh Vendan; Young Joon Yu; Sun Hee Lee; Young Ha Rhee
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 evaluation of physical security for all future plants. Note that the original NUREG/CR-1345 remains valid for many light water reactor designs. While the focus of this document is on new plants, existing nuclear power plants and nuclear material facilities may be able to apply these best practices and security system technologies when upgrading or modifying their physical protection systems.
O'Connor, Sharon L.; Whitehead, Donnie Wayne; Potter, Claude S., III
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 plantdiversity 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 plantdiversity in explaining or predicting levels of herbivory at a whole-community scale. PMID:23825795
In the past, researchers concerned with educational achievement gaps sought to identify underlying causes of those gaps by examining deficiencies of students’ home backgrounds. In reaction against this “blame the victim” approach, scholars have moved toward focusing on positive aspects of diversity. This article raises critical questions about the tradeoffs of framing all diversity as positive. The author contends that
Invasive plants have been shown to negatively affect the diversity of plant communities. However, little is known about the effect of invasive plants on the diversity at other trophic levels. In this study, we examine the per capita effects of two invasive plants, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), on moth diversity in wetland communities at 20 sites in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Prior studies document that increasing abundance of these two plant species decreases the diversity of plant communities. We predicted that this reduction in plantdiversity would result in reduced herbivore diversity. Four measurements were used to quantify diversity: species richness (S), community evenness (J), Brillouin's index (H) and Simpson's index (D). We identified 162 plant species and 156 moth species across the 20 wetland sites. The number of moth species was positively correlated with the number of plant species. In addition, invasive plant abundance was negatively correlated with species richness of the moth community (linear relationship), and the effect was similar for both invasive plant species. However, no relationship was found between invasive plant abundance and the three other measures of moth diversity (J, H, D) which included moth abundance in their calculation. We conclude that species richness within, and among, trophic levels is adversely affected by these two invasive wetland plant species. PMID:18947450
Schooler, S S; McEvoy, P B; Hammond, P; Coombs, E M
Biodiversity is rapidly declining, and this may negatively affect ecosystem processes, including economically important ecosystem services. Previous studies have shown that biodiversity has positive effects on organisms and processes across trophic levels. However, only a few studies have so far incorporated an explicit food-web perspective. In an eight-year biodiversity experiment, we studied an unprecedented range of above- and below-ground organisms and multitrophic interactions. A multitrophic data set originating from a single long-term experiment allows mechanistic insights that would not be gained from meta-analysis of different experiments. Here we show that plantdiversity effects dampen with increasing trophic level and degree of omnivory. This was true both for abundance and species richness of organisms. Furthermore, we present comprehensive above-ground/below-ground biodiversity food webs. Both above ground and below ground, herbivores responded more strongly to changes in plantdiversity than did carnivores or omnivores. Density and richness of carnivorous taxa was independent of vegetation structure. Below-ground responses to plantdiversity were consistently weaker than above-ground responses. Responses to increasing plantdiversity were generally positive, but were negative for biological invasion, pathogen infestation and hyperparasitism. Our results suggest that plantdiversity has strong bottom-up effects on multitrophic interaction networks, with particularly strong effects on lower trophic levels. Effects on higher trophic levels are indirectly mediated through bottom-up trophic cascades. PMID:20981010
This research was conducted to elucidate phenotypic and biochemical diversity in 60 coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) accessions maintained at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station and examine relationships between amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP) and patterns of phenot...
Progress in the field of regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) in recent years has made its impact on plant biology as well. Although this field within plant research is still in its infancy, some interesting observations have started to emerge. Gene encoding orthologs of rhomboid proteases, site-2 proteases (S2P), presenilin/?-secretases, and signal peptide peptidases are found in plant genomes and some of these gene products were identified in different plant cell membranes. The lack of chloroplast-located rhomboid proteases was associated with reduced fertility and aberrations in flower morphology. Mutations in homologues of S2P resulted in chlorophyll deficiency and impaired chloroplast development. An S2P was also implicated in the response to ER stress through cleavage of ER-membrane bZIP transcription factors, allowing their migration to the nucleus and activation of the transcription of BiP chaperones. Other membrane-bound transcription factors of the NAC and PHD families were also demonstrated to undergo RIP and relocalization to the nucleus. These and other new data are expected to shed more light on the roles of intramembrane proteases in plant biology in the future. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Intramembrane Proteases. PMID:24099011
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.
Background Two decades of research showing that increasing plantdiversity results in greater community productivity has been predicated on greater functional diversity allowing access to more of the total available resources. Thus, understanding phenotypic attributes that allow species to partition resources is fundamentally important to explaining diversity-productivity relationships. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we use data from a long-term experiment (Cedar Creek, MN) and compare the extent to which productivity is explained by seven types of community metrics of functional variation: 1) species richness, 2) variation in 10 individual traits, 3) functional group richness, 4) a distance-based measure of functional diversity, 5) a hierarchical multivariate clustering method, 6) a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach, and 7) a phylogenetic diversity measure, summing phylogenetic branch lengths connecting community members together and may be a surrogate for ecological differences. Although most of these diversity measures provided significant explanations of variation in productivity, the presence of a nitrogen fixer and phylogenetic diversity were the two best explanatory variables. Further, a statistical model that included the presence of a nitrogen fixer, seed weight and phylogenetic diversity was a better explanation of community productivity than other models. Conclusions Evolutionary relationships among species appear to explain patterns of grassland productivity. Further, these results reveal that functional differences among species involve a complex suite of traits and that perhaps phylogenetic relationships provide a better measure of the diversity among species that contributes to productivity than individual or small groups of traits.
Cadotte, Marc W.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Tilman, David; Oakley, Todd H.
Phyllosphere bacteria on ornamental plants were characterized based on their diversity and activity towards the removal of\\u000a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the major air pollutants in urban area. The amounts of PAH-degrading bacteria were\\u000a about 1–10% of the total heterotrophic phyllosphere populations and consisted of diverse bacterial species such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Pseudoxanthomonas, Mycobacterium, and uncultured bacteria. Bacterial community structures
\\u000a Intensification of agricultural land use during the last century, combined with an increasing level of agrochemicals, has\\u000a resulted in a decline of both habitat diversity and quality and to simplification and homogenization of Central Europe landscapes.\\u000a For three agricultural landscapes in Central Germany we investigated (1) the influence of historical and current land-use\\u000a and landscape structure on plant species diversity
This article outlines a comprehensive analysis of the microbial diversity of aerosols produced during screening in a green\\u000a waste composting plant using both culture and molecular techniques. Bacteria, thermophilic actinomycetes and fungi were quantified\\u000a in the aerosols. The structure of the microbial community was examined using a fingerprint technique and DNA libraries. The\\u000a results show: (i) the very high diversity
We have generated transgenic plants in which the flower-meristem-identity gene LEAFY of Arabidopsis is constitutively expressed. LEAFY is sufficient to determine floral fate in lateral shoot meristems of both Arabidopsis and the heterologous species aspen, with the consequence that flower development is induced precociously. Our results also suggest a new level of regulation during flower development, as indicated by the
We contend diets and habitats that allow animals to select among alternatives enable individuals to better meet needs for nutrients and to better cope with toxins. All plants contain toxins, and the amount of toxin an animal can ingest depends on the kinds and amounts of nutrients and toxins in the forages on offer. Nutrients and toxins both cause animals
F. D. Provenza; J. J. Villalba; L. E. Dziba; S. B. Atwood; R. E Banner
Based on cartography, floristic inventory and vegetation analysis in the north and south of the Eastern Domain of Madagascar we identified three original tropical rainforest types which are among the world's most biodiverse known sites for plants: the littoral forest on sand, the lowland forest on gneiss and the lowland forest on basalt. Floristic and structural comparisons were conducted on
|This book presents 16 papers on assessment in higher education grouped into four sections on: first, systems approaches to assessment; second, the effectiveness of innovative assessment; third, assessing practice; and fourth, autonomous assessment. The included papers are: (1) "Institutional Strategies for Assessment" (Sally Brown); (2)…
The major objective of the project was to assess the production and use of monoclonal antibodies (MC Abs) as potential genetic chromosomal markers of soybean. The hypothesis that sufficient differences in antigens exist among genotypes of soybean to allow...
Alternative assessment approaches to standardized, norm-reference tests are increasingly recommended as best practice for assessing young children, especially those from minority backgrounds. This article discusses the cultural biases of traditional assessment approaches used with preschool- and kindergarten age-children, arguing for the need to broaden assessment practices to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Four alternative approaches are
Angela Notari-Syverson; Angela Losardo; Young Sook Lim
Fungal diversity in the rhizosphere of healthy and diseased clonal black spruce (Picea mariana) plants was analyzed with regard to nursery production chronosequences. The four key production stages were sampled: mother plants (MP), 8-week-old cuttings (B + 0), second-year cuttings (B + 1), and third-year cuttings (B + 2). A total of 45 fungal taxa were isolated and identified based on cultural, phenotypic, and molecular characters. Members of phylum Ascomycota dominated, followed by Basidiomycota and Zygomycota. Diagnosis characters and distance analysis of the internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequences allowed the identification of 39 ascomycetous taxa. Many belong to the order Hypocreales, families Hypocreaceae and Nectriaceae, which contain many clusters of potentially pathogenic taxa (Cylindrocladium, Fusarium, and Neonectria) and are also ecologically associated with antagonistic taxa (Chaetomium, Hypocrea, Microsphaeropsis, Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Verticillium, Trichoderma, and Sporothrix). This is also the first report of a Cylindrocladium canadense association with disease symptoms and relation with Pestalotiopsis, Fusarium, Exserochilum, Rhizoctonia, and Xenochalara fungal consortia. Both production chronosequence and plant health considerably influenced fungal taxa assemblages. Unweighted pair-group arithmetic average clustering showed that isolates from MP, B + 0, and B + 1 plant rhizospheres clustered together within healthy or diseased health classes, whereas isolates from healthy and diseased B + 2 plants clustered together. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed substantial alteration in community assemblages with regard to plant health and yielded a principal axis direction that regrouped taxa associated with diseased plant rhizosphere soil, whereas the opposite axis direction was associated with healthy plants. Two diversity indices were defined and applied to assess the fungal taxa contribution (Tc) and persistence (Pi) throughout the production. PMID:17347891
Vujanovic, V; Hamelin, R C; Bernier, L; Vujanovic, G; St-Arnaud, M
Higher plants exhibit extensive diversity in the composition of seed storage fatty acids. This is largely due to the presence of various combinations of double or triple bonds and hydroxyl or epoxy groups, which are synthesized by a family of structurally similar enzymes. As few as four amino acid substitutions can convert an oleate 12-desaturase to a hydroxylase and as few as six result in conversion of a hydroxylase to a desaturase. These results illustrate how catalytic plasticity of these diiron enzymes has contributed to the evolution of the chemical diversity found in higher plants. PMID:9812895
\\u000a Bacilli are aerobic or facultatively anaerobic, Gram-positive or variable, endospore-forming bacteria that exhibit resistance\\u000a to environmental stress and produce peptide antibiotics, peptide signal molecules, and extracellular enzymes. Bacillus and Paenibacillus genera include the best knowing nitrogen-fixing species. Another characteristic of bacilli is their great potential in producing\\u000a substances that promote direct plant growth by the production of phytohormones (mainly indolic
China’s current invasive alien plant species were analyzed with regard to their floristic status, biological attributes and\\u000a invasion status elsewhere. Most of the 270 species identified were annuals, followed by perennial herbs. Woody perennials\\u000a made only about 10% of the species. The invasives were comprised of 59 families, the largest being Asteraceae, Poaceae, and\\u000a Brassicaceae. The genera with most invasive
Out-of-channel wood jams centred by fluvially-deposited large wood represent an important habitat for riparian plant species\\u000a along large rivers dominated by exposed riverine sediments. Such wood jams often display distinct physical features associated\\u000a with the jams, such as areas of scour immediately upstream, plumes of fine sediment downstream and abundant organic material\\u000a deposited throughout the jam. This paper examines the
Robert A. Francis; Paolo Tibaldeschi; Luke McDougall
This study was carried out on the flora and vegetation of the Solakli watershed in Northeastern Turkey, situated in the Euxine province of the Euro-Siberian floristic region. The vegetation of the area was investigated following the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological approach. During a two-year study period, 223 relevés have been established and 13 plant associations were described. The floristic compositions and abundance
Species interactions affect plantdiversity through the net effects of competition and facilitation, with the latter more prevalent in physically stressful environments when plant cover ameliorates abiotic stress. One explanation for species loss in invader-dominated systems is a shift in the competition-facilitation balance, with competition intensifying in areas formerly structured by facilitation. We test this possibility with a 10-site prairie meta-experiment along a 500-km latitudinal stress gradient, quantifying the relationships among abiotic stress, exotic dominance, and native plant recruitment over five years. The latitudinal gradient is inversely correlated with abiotic stress, with lower latitudes more moisture- and nutrient-limited. We observed strong negative effects by invasive dominant grasses on plant establishment, but only in northern sites with lower-stress environments. At these locations, disturbance was critical for recruitment by reducing the suppressive dominant (invasive) canopy. In more stressful environments to the south, the impacts of the dominant invaders on plant establishment became facilitative, and diversity was more limited by seed availability. Disturbance prevented recruitment because seedling survival depended on a protective plant canopy, presumably because the canopy reduced temperature or moisture stress. Seed limitation was similarly prevalent in all sites. Our work confirms the importance of facilitation as an organizing process for plants in higher-stress environments, even with transformations of species composition and dominance. It also demonstrates that the mechanisms regulating diversity, including invader impacts, can vary within the same plant community depending on environmental context. Because limits on native plant recruitment are environmentally contingent, management strategies that seek to increase diversity, including invader eradication, must account for site-level variations in the balance between biotic and abiotic constraints. PMID:22834383
Richardson, Paul J; MacDougall, Andrew S; Stanley, Amanda G; Kaye, Thomas N; Dunwiddie, Peter W
Background: The rapid decline of semi-natural grasslands in Japan threatens many relic and endemic plant species. There is insufficient knowledge on how the impacts of land-use changes and management of grasslands have been affecting grassland ecosystems and what conservation measures may be taken to conserve as much of the existing plantdiversity as possible.Aim: We assessed the existing management regimes
Biodiversity is quantified via richness (e.g., the number of species), evenness (the relative abundance distribution of those species), or proportional diversity (a combination of richness and evenness, such as the Shannon index, H'). While empirical studies show no consistent relationship between these aspects of biodiversity within communities, the mechanisms leading to inconsistent relationships have received little attention. Here, using common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) and its associated arthropod community, we show that relationships between arthropod richness, evenness, and proportional diversity are altered by plant genotypic richness. Arthropod richness increased with O. biennis genotypic richness due to an abundance-driven accumulation of species in response to greater plant biomass. Arthropod evenness and proportional diversity decreased with plant genotypic richness due to a nonadditive increase in abundance of a dominant arthropod, the generalist florivore/omnivore Plagiognathas politus (Miridae). The greater quantity of flowers and buds produced in polycultures-which resulted from positive complementarity among O. biennis genotypes-increased the abundance of this dominant insect. Using choice bioassays, we show that floral quality did not change in plant genotypic mixtures. These results elucidate mechanisms for how plant genotypic richness can modify relationships between arthropod richness, evenness, and proportional diversity. More broadly, our results suggest that trophic interactions may be a previously underappreciated factor controlling relationships between these different aspects of biodiversity. PMID:22002039
McArt, Scott H; Cook-Patton, Susan C; Thaler, Jennifer S
The hypothesis that positive links exist among plant taxonomic diversity, belowground microbial taxonomic and metabolic diversities\\u000a was tested for four secondary vegetation successional stages (tussock (T), shrub (S), secondary forest (SF) and primary forest\\u000a (PF)) in Huanjiang county, SW China. Soil bacterial communities were characterized by DNA fingerprinting and metabolic profiling.\\u000a Along the succession, Shannon diversity indices followed the order
This essay describes the many political und societal harriers that impede libraries horn having a staff that reflects diversity. The efforts to kill affirmative action programs, the diminution of civil rights laws and other laws to protect minorities, the small number of minorities that are recruited to the profession have been barriers quite difficult to overcome. It was President Lyndon
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
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.
The island of Corsica is a Mediterranean hotspot of plant biodiversity characterized by a high rate of plant endemism, but\\u000a also by a lack of studies combining genetic diversity and conservation. In Corsica, the dioecious and Corso-Sardinian endemic\\u000a Mercurialis corsica Cosson (Euphorbiaceae) occurs across a wide ecological gradient, but the number of populations have decreased considerably\\u000a over the last century.
Among plant secondary metabolites, terpenoids are the most abundant and structurally diverse group. In addition to their important\\u000a roles in pollinator attraction and direct and indirect plant defense, terpenoids are also commercially valuable due to their\\u000a broad applications in the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Because of their functional versatility and wide\\u000a distribution, great efforts have been made to decipher
We investigated aquatic plantdiversity by conducting the field investigation and collecting the published data in the arid\\u000a regions of Northwest China. Two hundred and twenty four taxa of vascular aquatic plants representing 64 genera and 34 families\\u000a occur in this area, 8.48% of which are endemic. Among these, 1 genus and 6 species were new state records and 1
Zhongqiang Li; Dan Yu; Wen Xiong; Dong Wang; Manghui Tu
We investigated aquatic plantdiversity by conducting the field investigation and collecting the published data in the arid\\u000a regions of Northwest China. Two hundred and twenty four taxa of vascular aquatic plants representing 64 genera and 34 families\\u000a occur in this area, 8.48% of which are endemic. Among these, 1 genus and 6 species were new state records and 1
Zhongqiang Li; Dan Yu; Wen Xiong; Dong Wang; Manghui Tu
We surveyed golf greens and football pitches to characterise the species diversity, distribution and importance of plant-parasitic nematodes in Belgian turf grass. The survey included quantification and identification. Extraction-efficiencies of centrifugal flotation method and Baermann funnel techniques were statistically compared. Fifty-five nematode-taxa were morphologically identified from the in total 46 soil samples. Identified plant-parasitic nematodes belong to twenty-three different genera
B. Vandenbossche; W. Bert; G. Borgonie; Sutter de N; G. Karssen; N. Viaene
Our understanding of the spatial organization of root diversity in plant communities and of the mechanisms of community assembly has been limited by our ability to identify plants based on root tissue, especially in diverse communities. Here, we test the effectiveness of the plastid gene rbcL, a core plant DNA barcoding marker, for investigating spatial patterns of root diversity, and relate observed patterns to above-ground community structure. We collected 3800 root fragments from four randomly positioned, 1-m-deep soil profiles (two vertical transects per plot), located in an old-field community in southern Ontario, Canada, and extracted and sequenced DNA from 1531 subsampled fragments. We identified species by comparing sequences with a DNA barcode reference library developed previously for the local flora. Nearly 85% of sampled root fragments were successfully sequenced and identified as belonging to 29 plant species or species groups. Root abundance and species richness varied in horizontal space and were negatively correlated with soil depth. The relative abundance of taxa below-ground was correlated with their frequency above-ground (r = 0.73, P = 0.0001), but several species detected in root tissue were not observed in above-ground quadrats. Multivariate analyses indicated that diversity was highly structured below-ground, and associated with depth, root morphology, soil chemistry and soil texture, whereas little structure was evident above-ground. Furthermore, analyses of species co-occurrence indicates strong species segregation overall but random co-occurrence among confamilials. Our results provide insights into the role of environmental filtering and competitive interactions in the organization of plantdiversity below-ground, and also demonstrate the utility of barcoding for the identification of plant roots. PMID:21255172
Kesanakurti, Prasad R; Fazekas, Aron J; Burgess, Kevin S; Percy, Diana M; Newmaster, Steven G; Graham, Sean W; Barrett, Spencer C H; Hajibabaei, Mehrdad; Husband, Brian C
Background Denitrification is an important ecosystem service that removes nitrogen (N) from N-polluted watersheds, buffering soil, stream, and river water quality from excess N by returning N to the atmosphere before it reaches lakes or oceans and leads to eutrophication. The denitrification enzyme activity (DEA) assay is widely used for measuring denitrification potential. Because DEA is a function of enzyme levels in soils, most ecologists studying denitrification have assumed that DEA is less sensitive to ambient levels of nitrate (NO3?) and soil carbon and thus, less variable over time than field measurements. In addition, plantdiversity has been shown to have strong effects on microbial communities and belowground processes and could potentially alter the functional capacity of denitrifiers. Here, we examined three questions: (1) Does DEA vary through the growing season? (2) If so, can we predict DEA variability with environmental variables? (3) Does plant functional diversity affect DEA variability? Methodology/Principal Findings The study site is a restored wetland in North Carolina, US with native wetland herbs planted in monocultures or mixes of four or eight species. We found that denitrification potentials for soils collected in July 2006 were significantly greater than for soils collected in May and late August 2006 (p<0.0001). Similarly, microbial biomass standardized DEA rates were significantly greater in July than May and August (p<0.0001). Of the soil variables measured—soil moisture, organic matter, total inorganic nitrogen, and microbial biomass—none consistently explained the pattern observed in DEA through time. There was no significant relationship between DEA and plant species richness or functional diversity. However, the seasonal variance in microbial biomass standardized DEA rates was significantly inversely related to plant species functional diversity (p<0.01). Conclusions/Significance These findings suggest that higher plant functional diversity may support a more constant level of DEA through time, buffering the ecosystem from changes in season and soil conditions.
McGill, Bonnie M.; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E.; Wright, Justin P.
The rhizosphere or the zone of influence around roots harbors a multitude of microorganisms that are affected by both abiotic and biotic stresses. Among these are the dominant rhizobacteria that prefer living in close vicinity to the root or on its surface and play a crucial role in soil health and plant growth. Both free-living and symbiotic bacteria are involved in such specific ecological niches and help in plant matter degradation, nutrient mobilization and biocontrol of plant disease. While the rhizosphere as a domain of fierce microbial activity has been studied for over a century, the availability of modern tools in microbial ecology has now permitted the study of microbial communities associated with plant growth and development, in situ localization of important forms, as well as the monitoring of introduced bacteria as they spread in the soil and root environment. This interest is linked to environmental concerns for reduced use of chemicals for disease control as well as an appreciation for utilization of biologicals and organics in agriculture. Indian researchers have studied the diversity of rhizobacteria in a variety of plants, cereals, legumes and others along with assessment of their functionality based on the release of enzymes (soil dehydrogenase, phosphatase, nitrogenase, etc.), metabolites (siderophores, antifungals, HCN, etc.), growth promoters (IAA, ethylene) and as inducers of systemic disease resistance (ISR). Based on such primary screening protocols, effective rhizobacteria have been field tested with success stories from various agroecological zones of the country, as reflected in the control of root- and soil-borne diseases, improved soil health and increased crop yields. Several commercial formulations, mostly based on dry powder (charcoal, lignite, farmyard manure, etc.) have been prepared and field tested, however, problems of appropriate shelf-life and cell viability are still to be solved. Also, inherent in such low cost technologies are the problems of variability in field performance and successful establishment of introduced inoculants in the root zone. In addition, most products available in the market are not properly monitored for quality before they reach the farmer. As a consequence, the acceptance of rhizobacterial formulations in the country is limited. However, several laboratories have now developed protocols for the rapid characterization of effective isolates based on molecular fingerprinting and other similar tools. Also, the use of molecular markers (gus, lux, gfp, etc.) makes it easy to monitor introduced inoculants in situ in soil and rhizosphere environments. The government initiative in integrated nutrient management and pest management systems has provided additional incentives to relate rhizobacterial science to other ongoing activities so that the benefit of this research leads to technologies that are environmentally and socially acceptable. PMID:12934933
This publication is Part 4 of a safeguards training course in Nuclear Material Safeguards for enrichment plants. This part of the course deals with diversion scenarios and safeguards activities at gas centrifuge enrichment plants.
The ability of American carnivorous pitcher plants (Sarracenia) to digest insect prey is facilitated by microbial associations. Knowledge of the details surrounding this interaction has been limited by our capability to characterize bacterial diversity in this system. To describe microbial diversity within and between pitchers of one species, Sarracenia alata, and to explore how these communities change over time as pitchers accumulate and digest insect prey, we collected and analyzed environmental sequence tag (454 pyrosequencing) and genomic fingerprint (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism) data. Microbial richness associated with pitcher plant fluid is high; more than 1,000 unique phylogroups were identified across at least seven phyla and 50 families. We documented an increase in bacterial diversity and abundance with time and observed repeated changes in bacterial community composition. Pitchers from different plants harbored significantly more similar bacterial communities at a given time point than communities coming from the same genetic host over time. The microbial communities in pitcher plant fluid also differ significantly from those present in the surrounding soil. These findings indicate that the bacteria associated with pitcher plant leaves are far from random assemblages and represent an important step toward understanding this unique plant-microbe interaction.
Koopman, Margaret M.; Fuselier, Danielle M.; Hird, Sarah; Carstens, Bryan C.
Declining numbers of breeder queens and the concomitant loss of genetic diversity potentially could result in inbreeding and increased susceptibility to pests and disease in honey bees. Genetic diversity of commercial Italian bee colonies in the United States and Italy was assessed using microsatell...
|Many diversity courses in psychology originally aimed to reduce student racial bias and raise their awareness of racism. However, quantitative data testing the effectiveness of such courses are lacking. This study assessed a required diversity course's effectiveness in raising awareness of White privilege and racism; increasing support for…
The quantitative assessment of genetic diversity within and between populations is important for decision making in genetic conservation plans. In this paper we define the genetic diversity of a set of populations, S, as the maximum genetic variance that can be obtained in a random mating population that is bred from the set of populations S. First we calculated the
Herwin Eding; Richard PMA Crooijmans; Martien AM Groenen; Theo HE Meuwissen
Using both SSR and AFLP markers, the genetic diversity of 30 plantains constituting a representative sample of the phenotypic diversity was assessed. The results confirmed a very narrow genetic base of this cultivar group. SSR and AFLP data support the hypothesis that these cultivars may have arisen from vegetative multiplication of a single seed. MSAP were used to survey cytosine
J. L. Noyer; S. Causse; K. Tomekpe; A. Bouet; F. C. Baurens
This article analyzes current trends and limitations in the design of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) with a focus on its application to older adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds. An analysis of 54 articles published between 2001 and 2011 in 4 social science databases that discussed DSM and its applicability to assessing ethnically diverse older adults'
Affirmative action in the USA, and employment equity in Canada, are policy frameworks that have developed through the use of legislation, regulation and decisions by courts and administrative tribunals, as mechanisms for addressing discrimination in employment. Managing diversity, in contrast, is a voluntary initiative by corporate decision makers, at the level of the firm, in response to the growth of
The Triassic-Jurassic (Tr-J; 200Ma) transition coincides with the eruption of massive flood basalts associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. This is thought to have lead to a fourfold increase in palaeoatmospheric carbon dioxide, a consequent rise in global temperatures of between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius, and a rise in atmospheric pollutants such as sulphur dioxide. Recent work has employed either plant macrofossils (mostly leaves) or sporomorphs (pollen and spores) to reconstruct the response of terrestrial vegetation to this episode of major environmental change. Investigations of the macrofossil record at Astartekloft in East Greenland indicate a rapid loss of plantdiversity in the Late Rhaetian, culminating in an 80% species turnover at the Tr-J boundary interval. However, evidence for such catastrophic diversity loss is conspicuously absent from the sporomorph record. This fossil group indicates that the Tr-J boundary interval in central and northwest Europe is characterized by compositional change and a transient shift from gymnosperm forests to fern-dominated vegetation. In order to address this uncertainty regarding Tr-J vegetation change according to macrofossils versus sporomorphs, we present an analysis of sporomorph diversity and compositional change across the Tr-J at Astartekloft, East Greenland. Sporomorph diversity was estimated using individual and sample-based rarefaction techniques, and compositional differences between sporomorph samples were assessed using non-metric multidimensional scaling. These analyses reveal that sporomorph assemblages from the Tr-J boundary interval at Astartekloft are between 23 and 27% less taxonomically diverse than other Triassic assemblages, and that this interval is characterized by a dramatic shift in the composition of the standing vegetation. These results are statistically significant and are also unrelated to changes in the environment of deposition. These results indicate that the magnitude of plantdiversity loss across the Tr-J in East Greenland is apparently greater in the macrofossil record than the sporomorph record. Comparison of these results with taphonomic work on the representation of different groups of plants in macrofossil and sporomorph records at Astartekloft is used to understand this discrepancy.
Mander, Luke; Kürschner, Wolfram; McElwain, Jennifer
Mycorrhizal colonization and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were analyzed in a calcareous grassland with residual phosphate contamination 10 years after the closure of a pollutant fertilizer plant in Thuringia (Germany). AMF were detected in 21 of 22 plant species analyzed. Mean mycorrhization levels reached up to 74.5% root length colonized. AMF diversity was analyzed based on 104 sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a total of 6 species all belonging to the genus Glomus. There was no overlap between species detected as active mycorrhizas on roots (2 taxa) or as spores (4 taxa). Compared to the regional context, the diversity of AMF at our field site was reduced, which may reflect a residual disturbance effect. However, none of the detected species was exclusive to the polluted site as they are commonly found in the region. PMID:15734585
In order to study the relationship between microbial diversity and organophosphate pesticide residues in planting base soils, six soil samples including three sandy soils and three cohesive soils were selected, from vegetable and crop base of Shenyang. Based on determining the level of pH, N, P, the organic matter and moisture contented in those soil samples, the physical and chemical
Jiang Binhui; Yao Chanqi; Wang Hengpeng; Gao Kunyu; Lv Bin; Jiang Li; He Rui; Pan Wei
We studied edible crop species diversity at homegardens of two Chibchan Amerindian Reserves in Costa Rica: Talamanca and Coto Brus. We visited six settlements at Talamanca and five at Coto Brus. We recorded the number of edible crop species growing homegardens; we found 46 edible plant species at Talamanca and 27 at Coto Brus. The mean number of species per
Maria E. Zaldivar; Oscar J. Rocha; Emilio Castro; Ramiro Barrantes
Echinacea is one of the top ten selling medicinal herbs in Europe and United States. Commercially available formulations may contain different plant parts of three species (Echinacea purpurea, E. pallida, and E. angustifolia). Our study evaluates the diversity of microbial community associated with ...
We investigated plant species diversity as it related to stand structure and landscape parameters in abandoned coppice forests in a temperate, deciduous forest area of central Japan, where Fagus crenata was originally dominant. The species occurring in the study plots were classified into habitat types based on a statistical analysis of their occurrence bias in particular habitats (e.g., primary forest,
Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...
In transgenic and nontransgenic plants, viruses are both initiators and targets of a defense mechanism that is similar to posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS). Recently, it was found that potyviruses and cucumoviruses encode pathogenicity determinants that suppress this defense mechanism. Here, we test diverse virus types for the ability to suppress PTGS. Nicotiana benthamiana exhibiting PTGS of a green fluorescent protein
Olivier Voinnet; Yvonne M. Pinto; David C. Baulcombe
Summary • The diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi was investigated in an unfer- tilized limestone grassland soil supporting different synthesized vascular plant assem- blages that had developed for 3 yr. • The experimental treatments comprised: bare soil; monocultures of the nonmy- cotrophic sedge Carex flacca ; monocultures of the mycotrophic grass Festuca ovina ; and a species-rich mixture of
David Johnson; Philippe J. Vandenkoornhuyse; Jonathan R. Leake; Lucy Gilbert; Rosemary E. Booth; J. Philip Grime; J. Peter; W. Young; David J. Read
Thirty-one occurrences of Erigeron parishii, a narrowly endemic plant threatened by mining, were sampled for allozyme diversity. This taxon held considerable genetic variation at the [4 allozyme loci surveyed. Species (e.g., alleles per locus [A] = 4.3 and proportion of polymorph...
Over the last few decades, marked land use changes have taken place in many Mediterranean ecosystems. For example, many chestnut groves in France are now abandoned and have turned into 'natural' coppice stands while others are now clear-cut every 10 or 15 years for wood. Species composition and life form diversity of the plant communities have changed markedly both in
Helene Gondard; François Romane; Michel Grandjanny; Junqing Li; James Aronson
|"Man and the Gulf of Mexico" (MGM) is a marine science curriculum series developed to meet the needs of 10th through 12th grade students in Mississippi and Alabama schools. This MGM unit on the diversity of marine plants is divided into 12 sections. The first section introduces the unit by providing objectives and activities on why people…
Eleven golf courses and eight football pitches, located in Belgium, were surveyed for plant-parasitic nematodes. This revealed a remarkably high diversity: 52 different species\\/taxa were identified morphologically, belonging to 23 genera and nine families. Among the most prevalent nematodes on both sports field types were Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus and Meloidogyne naasi (>85% and >45% of the analysed samples, respectively). Golf greens
B. Vandenbossche; N. Viaene; Sutter de N; M. Maes; G. Karssen; W. Bert
Conservation of forested riparian ecosystems is of international concern. Relatively little is known of the structure, composition, diversity, and extent of riparian ecosystems in Mexico. We used high- and low-resolution satellite imagery from 2000 to 2006, and ground-based sampling in 2006, to assess the spatial pattern, extent, and woody plant composition of riparian forests across a range of spatial scales for the state of Sonora, Mexico. For all 3rd and higher order streams, river bottomlands with riparian forests occupied a total area of 2,301 km2. Where forested bottomlands remained, on average, 34% of the area had been converted to agriculture while 39% remained forested. We estimated that the total area of riparian forest along the principal streams was 897 km2. Including fencerow trees, the total forested riparian area was 944 km2, or 0.5% of the total land area of Sonora. Ground-based sampling of woody riparian vegetation consisted of 92, 50 m radius circular plots. About 79 woody plant species were noted. The most important tree species, based on cover and frequency, were willow species Salix spp. (primarily S. goodingii and S. bonplandiana), mesquite species Prosopis spp. (primarily P. velutina), and Fremont cottonwood Populus fremontii. Woody riparian taxa at the reach scale showed a trend of increasing diversity from north to south within Sonora. Species richness was greatest in the willow-bald cypress Taxodium distichum var. mexicanum-Mexican cottonwood P. mexicana subsp. dimorphia ecosystem. The non-native tamarisk Tamarix spp. was rare, occurring at just three study reaches. Relatively natural stream flow patterns and fluvial disturbance regimes likely limit its establishment and spread. ?? 2008 Springer Science + Business Media BV.
Scott, M. L.; Nagler, P. L.; Glenn, E. P.; Valdes-Casillas, C.; Erker, J. A.; Reynolds, E. W.; Shafroth, P. B.; Gomez-Limon, E.; Jones, C. L.
This article addresses issues faced by school psychologists when assessing students who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD). The authors describe the growing CLD population and legal requirements for assessment of CLD students for special education eligibility. Difficulties associated with referral and assessment procedures of CLD students and essential knowledge for examiners are explained, including second language acquisition at the
Exotic plants are generally considered a serious problem in wildlands around the globe. However, some argue that the impacts\\u000a of exotic plants have been exaggerated and that biodiversity and other important plant community characteristics are commonly\\u000a improved with invasion. Thus, disagreement exists among ecologists as to the relationship of exotic plants with biodiversity\\u000a and native plant communities. A better understanding
Non-native species diversity of plants and fishes in the contiguous 48 United States is analyzed to measure the influence of human population size, time of modern settlement, area and native species diversity. Besides exotic (from outside USA) plants, four types of non-native fishes are examined: established exotic fishes, reported exotic fishes, US fishes not native to a state, and native
RAPD profiles were used to identify the extent of diversity among 54 accessions of mung bean that included both improved and\\u000a local land races. Out of the 40 primers screened, seven primers generated 174 amplification products with an average of 24.85\\u000a bands per primer. The RAPD profiles were analysed for Jaccard’s similarity coefficients that was found to be in the
G. Roopa Lavanya; Jyoti Srivastava; Shirish A. Ranade
Paenibacillus polymyxa populations present in the rhizosphere of maize (cultivar BR-201) planted in Cerrado soil were investigated in order to assess their diversity at four stages of plant growth. A total of 67 strains were isolated and all strains were identified as P. polymyxa by classical biochemical tests, API 50CH tests and a set of species-specific primers based on the 23S rDNA sequence. To compare the isolated strains, phenotypic characteristics (utilization of different carbohydrates, resistance to antibiotics and production of antimicrobial substances) and genetic approaches (hybridization with a Klebsiella pneumoniae nifKDH probe and BOX-PCR) were used. Fermentation of glycerol, arabinose, xylose and rhamnose varied among the isolates and these data divided the strains into five groups. Fifty strains (75%) showed homology to plasmid pSA30 (containing the nifKDH genes) resulting in five different hybridization patterns. Using BOX-PCR, 18 groups were observed. Phenetic analyses were applied based on the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic means using the phenotypic and genetic data, separately. All P. polymyxa isolates could be divided into two main clusters at approximately 52% and into 18 groups at approximately 89% of similarity, when phenotypic data were used. Also, two main clusters were formed at 65% of similarity when genetic data were used. In this dendrogram, clusters were further split into 10 and 22 groups, at about 88 and 97% of similarity, respectively. Finally, all phenotypic and genetic data, or just the genetic data, were used in a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) in order to address the heterogeneity among P. polymyxa populations during the different stages of maize growth. The resulting data showed that strains isolated 10, 30, 60 and 90 days after maize sowing were statistically different. PMID:10919517
von der Weid, I; Paiva, E; Nóbrega, A; van Elsas, J D; Seldin, L
Saponins are an important class of plant natural products that consist of a triterpenoid or steroidal skeleton that is glycosylated by varying numbers of sugar units attached at different positions. Steroidal saponins are usually divided into two broad structural classes, namely spirostanol and furostanol saponins. A third, previously unrecognized structural class of plant saponins, the open-chain steroidal saponins, is introduced in this review; these possess an acyclic sidechain in place of the heterocyclic ring/s present in spirostanols and furostanols. Open-chain steroidal saponins are numerous and structurally diverse, with over 150 unique representatives reported from terrestrial plants. Despite this, they have to date been largely overlooked in reviews of plant natural products. This review catalogs the structural diversity of open-chain steroidal saponins isolated from terrestrial plants and discusses aspects of their structure elucidation, biological activities, biosynthesis, and distribution in the plant kingdom. It is intended that this review will provide a point of reference for those working with open-chain steroidal saponins and result in their recognition and inclusion in future reviews of plant saponins. PMID:23377502
Since most pollen travels limited distances in wind-pollinated plants, both the local quantity and diversity of mates may limit female reproductive success. Yet little evidence exists on their relative contribution, despite the importance of viable seed production to population dynamics. To study how variation in female reproductive success is affected by the quantity versus the diversity of surrounding mates contributing pollen, we integrated pollination experiments, data on natural seed set and seed viability, and AFLP genetic marker data in the wind-pollinated dioecious clonal forest herb Mercurialis perennis. Pollination experiments indicated weak quantitative pollen limitation effects on seed set. Among-population crosses showed reduced seed viability, suggesting outbreeding depression due to genetic divergence. Pollination with pollen from a single source did not negatively affect reproductive success. These findings were consistent with results of the survey of natural female reproductive success. Seed set decreased with the distance to males in a female plants' local neighborhood, suggesting a shortage of pollen in isolated female plants, and increased with the degree of local genetic diversity. Spatial isolation to other populations and population size did not affect seed set. None of these variables were related to seed viability. We conclude that pollen movement in M. perennis is likely very limited. Both male proximity and the local degree of genetic diversity influenced female reproductive success.
ClimateQUAL™ is the latest assessment tool in the assessment toolkit development by ARL and accessible through the StatsQUAL® gateway to li- brary assessment tools. The tools available through StatsQUAL® are combining the power of both quan- titative and qualitative methods and are integrated into a platform that allows easy data collection, analy- sis and presentation of the results. The goal
Martha Kyrillidou; Charles Lowry; Paul Hanges; Juliet Aiken; Kristina Justh
• Premise of the study: Narrow-ranging, rare species often exhibit levels of genetic diversity lower than more common or widespread congeners. These taxa are at increased risk of extinction due to threats associated with natural as well as anthropogenic events. We assessed genetic variation in three federally endangered Sarracenia species. We discuss maintenance of genetic diversity and evolutionary implications of rarity. • Methods: We analyzed three noncoding chloroplast regions and nine microsatellite loci in populations spanning the geographic ranges of S. oreophila, S. alabamensis, and S. jonesii. The same microsatellite loci were used to examine a single field site of three more widespread species (S. alata, S. leucophylla, and S. rubra subsp. wherryi). • Key results: All three endangered species have experienced reductions in population size and numbers. All show considerably less variation than more widespread members of the genus. Sarracenia alabamensis maintains the greatest microsatellite variation but has the fewest remaining populations and may be under the greatest threat. More widespread S. oreophila maintains surprising chloroplast diversity, yet exhibits little microsatellite diversity. Sarracenia jonesii lacks chloroplast diversity, yet maintains greater microsatellite diversity than S. oreophila. • Conclusions: The three endangered species differ in levels and structure of diversity, yet not in predictable ways, emphasizing that unique demographic and ecological histories, rather than current distribution and population size, best explain present patterns of genetic variation. Maintenance of remaining genetic variation is important, but preventing further habitat loss and degradation is critical. PMID:24088341
Furches, M Steven; Small, Randall L; Furches, Anna
Interactions between plants and soil microbes are important determinants of both above- and belowground community composition, and ultimately ecosystem function. As exotic plants continue to invade and modify native plant communities, there has been increasing interest in determining the influence of exotic invasives on native soil microbial communities. Here, using highly sensitive molecular techniques, we examine fungal abundance and diversity in the soil surrounding a particularly aggressive invasive plant species in North America, Centaurea maculosa Lam. In mixed stands, we show that this invasive weed can alter the native fungal community composition within its own rhizosphere and that of neighboring native plants. At higher densities, the effect of C. maculosa on native soil fungal communities was even greater. Our results demonstrate that this invasive weed can have significant effects not only on visible aboveground biodiversity but also on the native soil microbial community that extends beyond its rhizosphere. PMID:18059499
Broz, Amanda K; Manter, Daniel K; Vivanco, Jorge M
Many geodisturbances occur across large spatial scales, spanning entire landscapes and creating ecological phenomena in their wake. Ecological study at large scales poses special problems: (1) large-scale studies require large-scale resources, and (2) sampling is not always feasible at the appropriate scale, and researchers rely on data collected at smaller scales to interpret patterns across broad regions. A criticism of landscape ecology is that findings at small spatial scales are "scaled up" and applied indiscriminately across larger spatial scales. In this research, landscape scaling is addressed through process-pattern relationships between hydrogeomorphic processes and patterns of plantdiversity in forested wetlands. The research addresses: (1) whether patterns and relationships between hydrogeomorphic, vegetation, and spatial variables can transcend scale; and (2) whether data collected at small spatial scales can be used to describe patterns and relationships across larger spatial scales. Field measurements of hydrologic, geomorphic, spatial, and vegetation data were collected or calculated for 15- 1-ha sites on forested floodplains of six (6) Chesapeake Bay Coastal Plain streams over a total area of about 20,000 km2. Hydroperiod (day/yr), floodplain surface elevation range (m), discharge (m3/s), stream power (kg-m/s2), sediment deposition (mm/yr), relative position downstream and other variables were used in multivariate analyses to explain differences in species richness, tree diversity (Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index H'), and plant community composition at four spatial scales. Data collected at the plot (400-m2) and site- (c. 1-ha) scales are applied to and tested at the river watershed and regional spatial scales. Results indicate that plant species richness and tree diversity (Shannon-Wiener diversity index H') can be described by hydrogeomorphic conditions at all scales, but are best described at the site scale. Data collected at plot and site scales are tested for spatial heterogeneity across the Chesapeake Bay Coastal Plain using a geostatistical variogram, and multiple regression analysis is used to relate plantdiversity, spatial, and hydrogeomorphic variables across Coastal Plain regions and hydrologic regimes. Results indicate that relationships between hydrogeomorphic processes and patterns of plantdiversity at finer scales can proxy relationships at coarser scales in some, not all, cases. Findings also suggest that data collected at small scales can be used to describe trends across broader scales under limited conditions.
Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recently discovered small non-coding RNAs that play pivotal roles in gene expression, specifically at the post-transcriptional level in plants and animals. Identification of miRNAs in large number of diverseplant species is important to understand the evolution of miRNAs and miRNA-targeted gene regulations. Now-a-days, publicly available databases play a central role in the in-silico biology. Because, at least ~21 miRNA families are conserved in higher plants, a homology based search using these databases can help identify orthologs or paralogs in plants. Results We searched all publicly available nucleotide databases of genome survey sequences (GSS), high-throughput genomics sequences (HTGS), expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) and nonredundant (NR) nucleotides and identified 682 miRNAs in 155 diverseplant species. We found more than 15 conserved miRNA families in 11 plant species, 10 to14 families in 10 plant species and 5 to 9 families in 29 plant species. Nineteen conserved miRNA families were identified in important model legumes such as Medicago, Lotus and soybean. Five miRNA families – miR319, miR156/157, miR169, miR165/166 and miR394 – were found in 51, 45, 41, 40 and 40 diverseplant species, respectively. miR403 homologs were found in 16 dicots, whereas miR437 and miR444 homologs, as well as the miR396d/e variant of the miR396 family, were found only in monocots, thus providing large-scale authenticity for the dicot- and monocot-specific miRNAs. Furthermore, we provide computational and/or experimental evidence for the conservation of 6 newly found Arabidopsis miRNA homologs (miR158, miR391, miR824, miR825, miR827 and miR840) and 2 small RNAs (small-85 and small-87) in Brassica spp. Conclusion Using all publicly available nucleotide databases, 682 miRNAs were identified in 155 diverseplant species. By combining the expression analysis with the computational approach, we found that 6 miRNAs and 2 small RNAs that have been identified only in Arabidopsis thus far, are also conserved in Brassica spp. These findings will be useful for tracing the evolution of small RNAs by examining their expression in common ancestors of the Arabidopsis-Brassica lineage.
Diversity of Medicinal Plants among Different Forest-use Types of the Pakistani Himalaya Medicinal plants collected in Himalayan forests play a vital role in the livelihoods of regional rural societies and are also increasingly recognized at the international level. However, these forests are being heavily transformed by logging. Here we ask how forest transformation influences the diversity and composition of medicinal plants in northwestern Pakistan, where we studied old-growth forests, forests degraded by logging, and regrowth forests. First, an approximate map indicating these forest types was established and then 15 study plots per forest type were randomly selected. We found a total of 59 medicinal plant species consisting of herbs and ferns, most of which occurred in the old-growth forest. Species number was lowest in forest degraded by logging and intermediate in regrowth forest. The most valuable economic species, including six Himalayan endemics, occurred almost exclusively in old-growth forest. Species composition and abundance of forest degraded by logging differed markedly from that of old-growth forest, while regrowth forest was more similar to old-growth forest. The density of medicinal plants positively correlated with tree canopy cover in old-growth forest and negatively in degraded forest, which indicates that species adapted to open conditions dominate in logged forest. Thus, old-growth forests are important as refuge for vulnerable endemics. Forest degraded by logging has the lowest diversity of relatively common medicinal plants. Forest regrowth may foster the reappearance of certain medicinal species valuable to local livelihoods and as such promote acceptance of forest expansion and medicinal plants conservation in the region. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12231-012-9213-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:23293378
An automated nucleic acid extraction procedure with magnetic particles originally designed for isolation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) from animal tissues was tested for plant material. We isolated genomic DNA and total RNA from taxonomically diverseplant species representing conifers (Scots pine), broad-leaved trees (silver birch and hybrid aspen), dwarf shrubs (bilberry), and both monocotyledonous (regal lily) and dicotyledonous (Saint John's wort, round-leaved sundew, and tobacco) herbaceous plants. Buffers developed for DNA extraction were successfully used in addition to manufacturer's extraction kits. The quality of RNA was appropriate for many applications, but the quality of DNA was not always sufficient for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. However, we could strikingly improve the quality by eliminating the adherent compounds during the extraction or later in the PCR phase. Our results show that the use of the procedure could be extended to diverseplant species. This procedure is especially suitable for small sample sizes and for simultaneous processing of many samples enabling large-scale plant applications in population genetics, or in the screening of putative transgenic plants. PMID:15247494
Previous studies have shown that plantdiversity can improve the wastewater purification efficiency of constructed wetlands (CWs), but its effect on the nitrous oxide (N2O) emission in CWs has been unknown. To investigate the effect of plantdiversity on the N2O emission, we established four plant species richness levels (each level containing 1, 2, 3 and 4 species, respectively) by using 96 hydroponic microcosms. Results showed that plant species richness enhanced the N2O emission, ranging from 27.1 to 115.4 ?g N2O m-2 d-1, and improved nitrate removal (P < 0.001). The presence of Phalaris arundinacea within a given plant community increased the N2O emission (P < 0.001). The presence of Rumex japonicas had no influence on the N2O emissions (P > 0.05), but improved nitrogen removal (P < 0.001). Hence, our study highlights the importance of both plant species richness and species identity in mediating the N2O emission and nitrogen removal in CWs.
Demographic models of tree populations assume that seed availability does not depend on the populations themselves. We develop models to assess the consequences of fecun- dity and dispersal for population structure and diversity. Results show that population structure and reproductive success are importantly affected by seed production and dispersal for realistic parameterization of time scales describing thinning, disturbance, maturation, and
This Environmental Assessment was part of Kaiser Engineers' study, Desalting Demonstration Plant Feasibility Study, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Product water from the proposed plant would provide availability of a greatly needed new domestic potable water s...
Background Molecular studies of Bacillus diversity in various environments have been reported. However, there have been few investigations concerning Bacillus in steel plant environments. In this study, genotypic and phenotypic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among 40 bacterial isolates recovered from steel plant waste were investigated using classical and molecular methods. Results 16S rDNA partial sequencing assigned all the isolates to the Bacillus genus, with close genetic relatedness to the Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus groups, and to the species Bacillus sphaericus. tDNA-intergenic spacer length polymorphisms and the 16S–23S intergenic transcribed spacer region failed to identify the isolates at the species level. Genomic diversity was investigated by molecular typing with rep (repetitive sequence) based PCR using the primer sets ERIC2 (enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus), (GTG)5, and BOXAIR. Genotypic fingerprinting of the isolates reflected high intraspecies and interspecies diversity. Clustering of the isolates using ERIC-PCR fingerprinting was similar to that obtained from the 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic tree, indicating the potential of the former technique as a simple and useful tool for examining relationships among unknown Bacillus spp. Physiological, biochemical and heavy metal susceptibility profiles also indicated considerable phenotypic diversity. Among the heavy metal compounds tested Zn, Pb and Cu were least toxic to the bacterial isolates, whereas Ag inhibited all isolates at 0.001 mM. Conclusion Isolates with identical 16S rRNA gene sequences had different genomic fingerprints and differed considerably in their physiological capabilities, so the high levels of phenotypic diversity found in this study are likely to have ecological relevance.
Freitas, Dulcecleide B; Reis, Mariana P; Lima-Bittencourt, Claudia I; Costa, Patricia S; Assis, Paulo S; Chartone-Souza, Edmar; Nascimento, Andrea MA
Look at the following resources to find information about diversity. Use your information to complete the assignment for your class. CIVIL RIGHTS Civil Rights Era Civil Rights Timeline JIM CROW LAWS AND SEGREGATION The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow Jim Crow and Segregation MARTIN LUTHER KING Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Biography Dr. Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream ROSA PARKS Rosa Parks: The Woman Who Changed a Nation Rosa Parks Biography EMMETT TILL The Murder of Emmett Till About African American History: The Biography of Emmett Till THE LITTLE ROCK 9 Little Rock 9 The 1957-1958 School Year School Integration in Little Rock, Arkansas MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT Montgomery Bus Boycott They Changed the World: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Montgomery Bus Boycott FREEDOM RIDES Freedom Rides SNCC: Freedom Rides WOMEN'S RIGHTS Women s Rights Movement in the US--Timeline Women s Rights: National Historic Park History of the Equal Rights Amendment JAPANESE INTERNMENT Topaz Museum Japanese Relocation Photographs TRAIL OF TEARS Trail of Tears Trail of Tears Era HOLOCAUST Holocaust Encyclopedia The History Place: Holocaust Timeline Holocaust History Project ...
Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse of terrestrial biomes. Despite the ecological importance and economic potential of tropical trees, a large fraction of tropical forest tree species lack scientific names, and hundreds of woody plant species in the most intensively studied forest plots remain unidentified. DNA diagnostic tools, including plastid Ã¢ÂÂDNA barcodesÃ¢ÂÂ and multilocus genomic markers, can be applied to tropical forest dynamics plots to facilitate taxonomic discovery. Such genetic surveys, as outlined in this article, require expanded herbarium infrastructure and linkages in field ecology, population genetics, and bioinformatics. The fusion of traditional botany and molecular methods will provide baseline data for understanding both the origin and maintenance of tropical plantdiversity.
Christopher Dick (University of Michigan;Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology); W. John Kress (Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History;Department of Botany)
A growing body of evidence suggests that plant-associated microorganisms, especially endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria and fungi, represent a huge and largely untapped resource of natural products with chemical structures that have been optimized by evolution for biological and ecological relevance. A diverse array of bioactive small molecule natural products has been encountered in these microorganisms. The structures of over 230 metabolites isolated and characterized from over 70 plant-associated microbial strains during the past four years are presented with information on their hosts, culture conditions, and biological activities. Some significant biological and ecological implications of their occurrence are also reviewed.
Conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of global warming are two major environmental challenges today. In this context,\\u000a the relationship between biodiversity (especially plantdiversity) and soil carbon (C) sequestration (as a means of mitigating\\u000a global warming) has become a subject of considerable scientific interest. This relationship was tested for homegardens (HG),\\u000a a popular and sustainable agroforestry system in the tropics,
Subhrajit K. Saha; P. K. Ramachandran Nair; Vimala D. Nair; B. Mohan Kumar
This study focuses on the effect of ploughing on plant abundance,vegetation cover, species richness, and taxonomic diversity during the growingseasons (winter and spring) of 1992 and 2000 in the habitat of inland plateau(natural habitat), 21 km south of Mersa-Matrouh (Egypt).Ninety-five species belonging to 27 families were recorded. High percentages oflife-forms and a large number of species were recorded in ploughed
We present a literature survey of studies using molecular markers to investigate genet diversity and structure in clonal plants.\\u000a The data from 40 studies comprised 45 species of which only two were studied by DNA methods, the rest by isozyme markers.\\u000a Less than one third of the studies provided information about the spatial distribution of individual genets within populations,\\u000a and
Abundant plant and vertebrate fossils have been recovered from fluvial sediments deposited in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, during the first 13 m.y. of the Tertiary. Here we outline and discuss changes in the composition and diversity of floras and faunas during this period, which includes the recovery of terrestrial ecosystems from the K\\/T boundary extinctions, and later, during the Paleocene-Eocene
The distribution and species diversity of plant communities along a 600 km transect through the northeastern Tibetan Plateau\\u000a (3242?–3507? N, 10102?–9738? E) with altitudes from 3255 to 4460 m are described. The transect started from the Youyi\\u000a Bridge of Banma through Dari, Maqin and Maduo to Zaling Lake. The data from 47 plots along the transect are summarized and\\u000a analyzed. The mean annual temperature,
BackgroundTo convert deserts into arable, green landscapes is a global vision, and desert farming is a strong growing area of agriculture world-wide. However, its effect on diversity of soil microbial communities, which are responsible for important ecosystem services like plant health, is still not known.Methodology\\/Principal FindingsWe studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most
Martina Köberl; Henry Müller; Elshahat M. Ramadan; Gabriele Berg
A very hermetic publication by Federico Cesi (1585–1630), the founder of the Lincei Academy in Rome, under the name Tabulae Phytosophicae, contains an explicit presentation, in the form of a synoptic table, of the diversity of plants. Cesi worked on these Tables\\u000a since 1616; in 1624, he received the first microscope, made by Galileus, and began careful observations on the
Macrofossils (mostly leaves) and sporomorphs (pollen and spores) preserve conflicting records of plant biodiversity during the end-Permian (P-Tr), Triassic–Jurassic (Tr-J), and end-Cretaceous (K-T) mass extinctions. Estimates of diversity loss based on macrofossils are typically much higher than estimates of diversity loss based on sporomorphs. Macrofossils from the Tr-J of East Greenland indicate that standing species richness declined by as much as 85% in the Late Triassic, whereas sporomorph records from the same region, and from elsewhere in Europe, reveal little evidence of such catastrophic diversity loss. To understand this major discrepancy, we have used a new high-resolution dataset of sporomorph assemblages from Astartekløft, East Greenland, to directly compare the macrofossil and sporomorph records of Tr-J plant biodiversity. Our results show that sporomorph assemblages from the Tr-J boundary interval are 10–12% less taxonomically diverse than sporomorph assemblages from the Late Triassic, and that vegetation composition changed rapidly in the boundary interval as a result of emigration and/or extirpation of taxa rather than immigration and/or origination of taxa. An analysis of the representation of different plant groups in the macrofossil and sporomorph records at Astartekløft reveals that reproductively specialized plants, including cycads, bennettites and the seed-fern Lepidopteris are almost absent from the sporomorph record. These results provide a means of reconciling the macrofossil and sporomorph records of Tr-J vegetation change, and may help to understand vegetation change during the P-Tr and K-T mass extinctions and around the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum.
Mander, Luke; Kurschner, Wolfram M.; McElwain, Jennifer C.
The effect of evolutionary history on local-scale diversity patterns has often been suggested, but not shown. I explored whether widely described local-scale relationships between plant species richness and soil pH are related to evolutionary history. I expected positive relationships to occur between richness and pH if the pool of species that is suited for high pH soil is larger than
Macrofossils (mostly leaves) and sporomorphs (pollen and spores) preserve conflicting records of plant biodiversity during the end-Permian (P-Tr), Triassic-Jurassic (Tr-J), and end-Cretaceous (K-T) mass extinctions. Estimates of diversity loss based on macrofossils are typically much higher than estimates of diversity loss based on sporomorphs. Macrofossils from the Tr-J of East Greenland indicate that standing species richness declined by as much as 85% in the Late Triassic, whereas sporomorph records from the same region, and from elsewhere in Europe, reveal little evidence of such catastrophic diversity loss. To understand this major discrepancy, we have used a new high-resolution dataset of sporomorph assemblages from Astartekløft, East Greenland, to directly compare the macrofossil and sporomorph records of Tr-J plant biodiversity. Our results show that sporomorph assemblages from the Tr-J boundary interval are 10-12% less taxonomically diverse than sporomorph assemblages from the Late Triassic, and that vegetation composition changed rapidly in the boundary interval as a result of emigration and/or extirpation of taxa rather than immigration and/or origination of taxa. An analysis of the representation of different plant groups in the macrofossil and sporomorph records at Astartekløft reveals that reproductively specialized plants, including cycads, bennettites and the seed-fern Lepidopteris are almost absent from the sporomorph record. These results provide a means of reconciling the macrofossil and sporomorph records of Tr-J vegetation change, and may help to understand vegetation change during the P-Tr and K-T mass extinctions and around the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. PMID:20713737
Mander, Luke; Kürschner, Wolfram M; McElwain, Jennifer C
Changes in the world’s species composition and the loss of biodiversity have prompted a closer investigation of the importance\\u000a of biodiversity and community composition to ecosystem functioning. However, few studies have explored this relationship outside\\u000a of controlled experiments. Here, we examined the relationship between plantdiversity, primary production, and methane efflux\\u000a in freshwater wetlands in an across-site field study and
Rachel Schultz; Sarah Andrews; Lindsay O’Reilly; Virginie Bouchard; Serita Frey
Recent shifts in wetland ecosystem management goals have directed efforts toward measuring ecological integrity, rather than only using physical and chemical measures of ecosystems as health indicators. Invasive species pose one of the largest threats to wetlands integrity. Resource managers can benefit from improved methods for identifying invasive plant species, assessing infestation, and monitoring control measures. The utilization of advanced remote sensing tools for species-level mapping has been increasing and techniques need to be explored for identifying species of interest and characterizing infestation. The overarching goal of this research was to develop monitoring technologies to map invasive plants and quantify wetland infestation. The first field-level objective was to characterize absorption and reflectance features and assess processing techniques for separating wetland species. The second field-level objective was to evaluate the abilities of a shape filter to identify wetland invasive plant species. The first landscape-level objective was to classify hyperspectral imagery in order to identify invasives of interest. The second landscape-level objective was to quantify infestation within the study area. Field-level hyperspectral data (350-2500nm) were collected for twenty-two wetland plant species in a wetland located in the lower Muskegon River watershed in Michigan, USA. The Jeffries-Matusita distance measure, continuum removal, and a shape-filter were applied to hyperspectral species reflectance data to characterize spectral features. Generally, continuum removal decreased separation distance for the invasive species of interest. Using the shape-filter, Lythrum salicaria, Phragmites australis, and Typha latifolia possessed maximum separation (distinguished from other species) at the near-infrared edge (700nm) and water absorption region (1350nm), the near-infrared down slope (1000 and 1100nm), and the visible/chlorophyll absorption region (500nm) and near-infrared edge (650nm), respectively. Airborne hyperspectral imagery was classified using a two-step approach in order to obtain an optimal map (overall accuracy ˜ 70%). Information in the near-infrared enabled relatively accurate classification for Phragmites australis using the Spectral Angle Mapper algorithm and image-derived training, while Typha latifolia signatures possessed high spectral overlap and required ISODATA clustering techniques. Landscape pattern metrics relate infestation to disturbances and hydrological controls. The highest levels of infestation and infestation patterns coincide with the most substantial levels of hydrological modifications indicating human disturbances are correlated with Typha and Phragmites percentages in the landscape. Overall the approach was successful and increased the level of information ultimately desired by decision makers. The rapidly advancing field of wetland remote sensing science can obtain more meaningful information from hyperspectral imagery; however, the data are challenging to work with and only the most precisely calibrated datasets will provide utility. Combining these data with traditional wetland assessment techniques can substantially advanced goals of preserving and restoring wetland ecosystem integrity.
Background and Aims Genotype by environment (G × E) interactions are important for the long-term persistence of plant species in heterogeneous environments. It has often been suggested that disease is a key factor for the maintenance of genotypic diversity in plant populations. However, empirical evidence for this contention is scarce. Here virus infection is proposed as a possible candidate for maintaining genotypic diversity in their host plants. Methods The effects of White clover mosaic virus (WClMV) on the performance and development of different Trifolium repens genotypes were analysed and the G × E interactions were examined with respect to genotype-specific plant responses to WClMV infection. Thus, the environment is defined as the presence or absence of the virus. Key Results WClMV had a negative effect on plant performance as shown by a decrease in biomass and number of ramets. These effects of virus infection differ greatly among host genotypes, representing a strong G × E interaction. Moreover, the relative fitness and associated ranking of genotypes changed significantly between control and virus treatments. This shift in relative fitness among genotypes suggests the potential for WClMV to provoke differential selection on T. repens genotypes, which may lead to negative frequency-dependent selection in host populations. Conclusions The apparent G × E interaction and evident repercussions for relative fitness reported in this study stress the importance of viruses for ecological and evolutionary processes and suggest an important role for viruses in shaping population dynamics and micro-evolutionary processes.
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an asexually propagated crop that displays much morphological diversity. Studies which have assessed garlic diversity with isozymes and RAPD markers generally agreed with the morphological observations but sometimes failed to discriminate clones. To discriminate among...
More diverse communities have been shown to have higher and more temporally stable ecosystem functioning than less diverse ones, suggesting they should also have a consistently higher level of functioning over time. Diverse communities could maintain consistently high function because the species driving function change over time (functional turnover) or because they are more likely to contain key species with temporally stable functioning. Across 7 y in a large biodiversity experiment, we show that more diverseplant communities had consistently higher productivity, that is, a higher level of functioning over time. We identify the mechanism for this as turnover in the species driving biomass production; this was substantial, and species that were rare in some years became dominant and drove function in other years. Such high turnover allowed functionally more diverse communities to maintain high biomass over time and was associated with higher levels of complementarity effects in these communities. In contrast, turnover in communities composed of functionally similar species did not promote high biomass production over time. Thus, turnover in species promotes consistently high ecosystem function when it sustains functionally complementary interactions between species. Our results strongly reinforce the argument for conservation of high biodiversity.
Genetic diversity and relationships within and among nine species of Coffea, one species of Psilanthus and the Piatã hybrid from the Coffee Germplasm Collection of Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC), Brazil were assessed\\u000a using RAPD markers. Genetic diversity and relationships were evaluated by proportion of polymorphic loci (P), Shannon’s genetic index (H? and G?ST) and clustering analysis. The overall RAPD
Milene Silvestrini; Mirian P. Maluf; Maria B. Silvarolla; Oliveiro Guerreiro-Filho; Herculano P. Medina-Filho; Marina M. T. Vanini; Adalgisa S. Oliveira; Cristiana de Gaspari-Pezzopane; Luiz C. Fazuoli
This review analyzes the publications of Russian and foreign microbiologists presenting new approaches and methods for assessing\\u000a the bacterial diversity of soils in the last twenty years. Using the example of peat soils, it is shown how the concepts of\\u000a the diversity of the bacterial communities changed in conformity with the evolution of the analytical methods—from the traditional\\u000a cultural to
T. G. Dobrovol’skaya; A. V. Golovchenko; T. A. Pankratov; L. V. Lysak; D. G. Zvyagintsev
We have assessed the impact of three seed-based intervention programs on crop diversity levels of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajun) in the semi-arid districts of Kitui and Makueni in eastern Kenya. We adopted four-cell analysis along with focus-group discussions to determine the cultivar diversity of pigeon pea. Often intercropped with maize (Zea mays L.), pigeon pea is widely adapted to drought
The main purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the approach to lexical diversityassessment known as the measure\\u000a of textual lexical diversity (MTLD). The index for this approach is calculated as the mean length of word strings that maintain\\u000a a criterion level of lexical variation. To validate the MTLD approach, we compared it against the performances
The interactions between herbivores and plants are of general interest in ecology. Even though the extensive research carried out during the last decades has culminated in many theories, additional studies are necessary to validate these findings. In particular, the hypotheses dealing with the complex interrelations of plant defense mechanisms and herbivores continue to be debated.In this paper, we develop a
Fabian Borchard; Hans-Joachim Berger; Margret Bunzel-Drüke; Thomas Fartmann
As social work educators continue to examine methods and techniques to provide meaningful knowledge about racism and discrimination, the role of self-assessment and dialogue should also be explored. This teaching note presents a tool for students and educators to use in considering literature discrimination and increasing awareness of…
|As social work educators continue to examine methods and techniques to provide meaningful knowledge about racism and discrimination, the role of self-assessment and dialogue should also be explored. This teaching note presents a tool for students and educators to use in considering literature discrimination and increasing awareness of…
Rehabilitation professionals provide an on-going service of comprehensive evaluation and as- sessment of the consumers' strengths to enable individuals with disabilities to obtain and keep employment. The process involves observing, describing, collecting, recording, scoring, and in- terpreting information of performance. This article reviews the vocational assessment process and contains recommendations and strategies for training and counseling interventions that can have
Photon yields of oxygen evolution at saturating CO2 were determined for 44 species of vascular plants, representing widely diverse taxa, habitats, life forms and growth conditions. The photonyield values on the basis of absorbed light (fa) were remarkably constant among plants possessing the same pathway of photosynthetic CO2 fixation, provided the plants had not been subjected to environmental stress. The
Degradation of milk components through various enzymatic activities associated with the contamination of dairy products by Pseudomonas spp. can reduce the shelf life of processed milk. Reliable methods for differentiating among Pseudomonas spp. strains are necessary to identify and eliminate specific sources of bacterial contamination from dairy processing systems. To that end, we assessed the genetic diversity and dairy product spoilage potentials among a total of 338 Pseudomonas spp. isolates from raw and pasteurized milk and from environmental samples collected from four dairy processing plants. The majority of isolates were identified as P. fluorescens and P. putida by API 20 NE. A total of 42 different ribotype patterns were identified among a subset of 81 isolates. The presence of many different ribotypes within this collection indicates high genetic diversity among the isolates and suggests multiple origins of contamination within the processing plant and in dairy products. The extracellular enzyme activity patterns among Pseudomonas isolates appeared to be associated with ribotypes. Isolates with the same ribotype frequently had the same extracellular protease, lecithinase, and lipase activities. For example, isolates grouped in ribotype 55-S-6 had the highest extracellular protease activity, while those in ribotypes 50-S-8 and 72-S-3 had the highest extracellular lipase activities. We conclude that ribotyping provides a reliable method for differentiating Pseudomonas strains with dairy food spoilage potential.
Wetlands are valuable for buffering waterways from excess nitrogen, yet these habitats are often dominated by invasive plant species. There is little understanding as to how various invasive species alter ecosystem nitrogen cycling, especially if one invasive overtakes an entire community of plants. Microstegium vimineum is a nonnative annual grass from Asia that is dominating riparian wetlands in the southeastern United States. To evaluate M. vimineum impacts on the N cycle, we used six paired plots, one invaded by M. vimineum and the other carefully weeded of M. vimineum; removal allowed the establishment of a diverseplant community consisting of Polygonum, Juncus, and Carex species. In the paired plots, we estimated (1) N uptake and accumulation in vegetation biomass, (2) rates of decomposition and N release from plant detritus, (3) mineral soil N mineralization and nitrification, (4) root zone redox potential, and (5) soil water concentrations of inorganic N. The M. vimineum community accumulated approximately half the annual N biomass of the diverse community, 5.04 vs. 9.36 g N x m(-2) x yr(-1), respectively (P = 0.05). Decomposition and release of N from M. vimineum detritus was much less than in the diverse community, 1.19 vs. 5.24 g N x m(-2) x yr(-1). Significantly higher inorganic soil N persisted beneath M. vimineum during the dormant season, although rates of soil N mineralization estimated by in situ incubations were relatively similar in all plots. Microstegium vimineum invasion thus appears to greatly diminish within-ecosystem circulation of N through the understory plants of these wetlands, whereas invasion effects on ecosystem N losses may derive more from enhanced denitrification (due to lower redox potential under M. vimineum plots) than due to leaching. Microstegium vimineum's dominance and yet slower internal cycling of N are counterintuitive to conventional thinking that ecosystems with high N contain vegetation that quickly uptake and release N. PMID:20437951
Background Pseudomonas fluorescens are common soil bacteria that can improve plant health through nutrient cycling, pathogen antagonism and induction of plant defenses. The genome sequences of strains SBW25 and Pf0-1 were determined and compared to each other and with P. fluorescens Pf-5. A functional genomic in vivo expression technology (IVET) screen provided insight into genes used by P. fluorescens in its natural environment and an improved understanding of the ecological significance of diversity within this species. Results Comparisons of three P. fluorescens genomes (SBW25, Pf0-1, Pf-5) revealed considerable divergence: 61% of genes are shared, the majority located near the replication origin. Phylogenetic and average amino acid identity analyses showed a low overall relationship. A functional screen of SBW25 defined 125 plant-induced genes including a range of functions specific to the plant environment. Orthologues of 83 of these exist in Pf0-1 and Pf-5, with 73 shared by both strains. The P. fluorescens genomes carry numerous complex repetitive DNA sequences, some resembling Miniature Inverted-repeat Transposable Elements (MITEs). In SBW25, repeat density and distribution revealed 'repeat deserts' lacking repeats, covering approximately 40% of the genome. Conclusions P. fluorescens genomes are highly diverse. Strain-specific regions around the replication terminus suggest genome compartmentalization. The genomic heterogeneity among the three strains is reminiscent of a species complex rather than a single species. That 42% of plant-inducible genes were not shared by all strains reinforces this conclusion and shows that ecological success requires specialized and core functions. The diversity also indicates the significant size of genetic information within the Pseudomonas pan genome.
Silby, Mark W; Cerdeno-Tarraga, Ana M; Vernikos, Georgios S; Giddens, Stephen R; Jackson, Robert W; Preston, Gail M; Zhang, Xue-Xian; Moon, Christina D; Gehrig, Stefanie M; Godfrey, Scott AC; Knight, Christopher G; Malone, Jacob G; Robinson, Zena; Spiers, Andrew J; Harris, Simon; Challis, Gregory L; Yaxley, Alice M; Harris, David; Seeger, Kathy; Murphy, Lee; Rutter, Simon; Squares, Rob; Quail, Michael A; Saunders, Elizabeth; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Brettin, Thomas S; Bentley, Stephen D; Hothersall, Joanne; Stephens, Elton; Thomas, Christopher M; Parkhill, Julian; Levy, Stuart B; Rainey, Paul B; Thomson, Nicholas R
Background and Aims Mycorrhizal associations are essential to the plant kingdom. The largest flowering plant family, the Orchidaceae, relies on mycorrhizal fungi for germination, growth and survival. Evidence suggests varying degrees of fungal-host specificity based on a single fungal isolate from a single plant. This paper shows for the first time the diversity of endophytes colonizing in a single plant over consecutive years and the functional significance of this diversity. Methods Stem-collars of Caladenia formosa were collected in different seasons and years. Mycorrhizal fungi isolated were tested for their efficacy to induce leafing and genetically determined using ITS-RFLP and sequencing. Results Multiple mycorrhizal fungi were repeatedly isolated from a single collar that displayed varying effectiveness in germination percentages and adult leaf length. Additional factors contributed to the isolation of effective mycorrhizal fungi; fungal collection season, year of collection and individual isolates. Surface sterilization only improved the number of isolated mycorrhizal fungi. Dual inoculation did not increase germination. All 59 mycorrhizal fungi effective in germinating seed belonged to one clearly defined ITS (internal transcribed spacer) clade and clustered close to Sebacina vermifera (79–89 % homology). Isolates resulting in the greatest germination were not necessarily those resulting in the greatest survival and growth 1 year after germination. Conclusion Single orchid plants contained multiple mycorrhizal fungal strains of one species that had diverse functional differences. These results suggest that our current knowledge of fungal–host specificity may be incomplete due to experimental and analytical limitations. It also suggests that the long-term effectiveness of a mycorrhizal fungus or fungi could only be found by germination and longer-term growth tests rather than genetically.
Huynh, Tien T.; Thomson, Richard; Mclean, Cassandra B.; Lawrie, Ann C.
Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plantdiversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores, and should be taken into account in hydrological applications.
Shifting frequency and intensity of precipitation events is expected to impact soil fungi through a variety of complex feedbacks, although the general patterns and mechanisms are not fully understood. Precipitation and plantdiversity often covary, and disentangling the relative contribution of each is important for predicting changes in global C and N fluxes. In order to test the relative contributions of plantdiversity and precipitation in shaping fungal community structure and function, soil samples (0-10cm) from six established 1-ha plots across a natural precipitation gradient on the isthmus of Panama were collected. These plots co-vary in mean annual precipitation and plantdiversity. Fungal DNA was sequenced using general fungal primers for the 18S region and 454 pyrosequencing. We found that total fungal taxa significantly increased with increasing mean annual precipitation, but not with plantdiversity. Activity for some extracellular enzymes increased, whereas as others decreased with mean annual precipitation, indicating that the effect of shifting precipitation on nutrient transformations may be process-specific. To directly test for effects of plant species richness on fungal diversity and function, we experimentally re-created litter diversity gradients in nylon, 2 mm screen litter bags with 1, 25, and 50 species of plant leaf litter. After six months, we found a significant effect of plant litter diversity on decomposition rate, but only after the increase from one to 25 species of leaf litter. Total fungal taxa as determined by 454 sequencing and extracellular enzyme activity did not track plant species richness, suggesting that precipitation may be a more important factor than plantdiversity in structuring soil fungi in tropical rain forests.
McGuire, Krista; Treseder, Kathleen; Fierer, Noah; Turner, Benjamin
This review mainly discusses three related topics: the application of ecological theories to soil, the measurement of microbial diversity by molecular techniques and the impact of transgenic plants and microorganisms on genetic diversity of soil. These topics were debated at the Meeting on Soil Emergency held in Erice (Trapani, Italy) in 2001 for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of
J. M. Lynch; A. Benedetti; H. Insam; M. P. Nuti; K. Smalla; V. Torsvik; P. Nannipieri
Changes in plant species diversity can result in synergistic increases in decomposition rates, while elevated atmospheric CO2 can slow the decomposition rates; yet it remains unclear how diversity and changes in atmospheric CO2 may interact to alter root decomposition. To investigate how elevated CO2 interacts with changes in root-litter diversity to alter decomposition rates, we conducted a 120-day laboratory incubation. Roots from three species (Trifolium repens, Lespedeza cuneata, and Festuca pratense) grown under ambient or elevated CO2 were incubated individually or in combination in soils that were exposed to ambient or elevated CO2 for five years. Our experiment resulted in two main findings: (1) Roots from T. repens and L. cuneata, both nitrogen (N) fixers, grown under elevated CO2 treatments had significantly slower decomposition rates than similar roots grown under ambient CO2 treatments; but the decomposition rate of F. pratense roots (a non-N-fixing species) was similar regardless of CO2 treatment. (2) Roots of the three species grown under ambient CO2 and decomposed in combination with each other had faster decomposition rates than when they were decomposed as single species. However, roots of the three species grown under elevated CO2 had similar decomposition rates when they were incubated alone or in combination with other species. These data suggest that if elevated CO2 reduces the root decomposition rate of even a few species in the community, it may slow root decomposition of the entire plant community.
De Graaff, Marie-Anne [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Rula, Kelly L [ORNL; Six, Johan W U A [University of California, Davis; Schweitzer, Jennifer A [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)
The paper presents an attempt to assess sustainability of desalination plants for water production based on resource, environmental and economic indicators. Four types of desalination plants are taken into a consideration: single MSF, dual purpose MSF, RO with local energy consumption and RO with PV electric energy production. The analysis is based on data from desalination plants in Gulf countries.
Naim H. Afgan; Mohammad Darwish; Maria G. Carvalho
INTRODUCTION: The ability to assessplant problems in the field or greenhouse is a major task for growers and plant inspectors. For the novice diagnostician, the task can be intimidating in the absence of a systematic plan for discovering the causes of plant injury. For the more accomplished diagnostician, use of a systematic approach can help avoid the bias of
We provide the first comparative multispecies analysis of spatial genetic structure and diversity in the circumpolar Arctic using a common strategy for sampling and genetic analyses. We aimed to identify and explain potential general patterns of genetic discontinuity/connectivity and diversity, and to compare our findings with previously published hypotheses. We collected and analyzed 7707 samples of 17 widespread arctic-alpine plant species for amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Genetic structure, diversity and distinctiveness were analyzed for each species, and extrapolated to cover the geographic range of each species. The resulting maps were overlaid to produce metamaps. The Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, the Greenlandic ice cap, the Urals, and lowland areas between southern mountain ranges and the Arctic were the strongest barriers against gene flow. Diversity was highest in Beringia and gradually decreased into formerly glaciated areas. The highest degrees of distinctiveness were observed in Siberia. We conclude that large-scale general patterns exist in the Arctic, shaped by the Pleistocene glaciations combined with long-standing physical barriers against gene flow. Beringia served as both refugium and source for interglacial (re)colonization, whereas areas further west in Siberia served as refugia, but less as sources for (re)colonization. PMID:23869846
This review analyzes the publications of Russian and foreign microbiologists presenting new approaches and methods for assessing the bacterial diversity of soils in the last twenty years. Using the example of peat soils, it is shown how the concepts of the diversity of the bacterial communities changed in conformity with the evolution of the analytical methods—from the traditional cultural to the molecular-biological ones. The data on the new phylotypes, genera, and species of bacteria adapted to growth in the acid medium and low temperatures characteristic of bog ecosystems are presented. Presently, one of the principal problems of soil microbiology is the necessity of the transfer from the databases on the microbial diversity constructed on the basis of molecular-biological methods to the analysis of the ecological functions of soil microorganisms. The prospects of the ecological evaluation of the bacterial diversity in soils based on the integration of different methods are discussed.
Dobrovol'Skaya, T. G.; Golovchenko, A. V.; Pankratov, T. A.; Lysak, L. V.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.
The cultivation of genetically modified plants (GMP) increased from 1.7 to 81 million. ha from 1996 to 2004 (James, 2004). Scientists and farmers, but also consumers, are asking for a nutritional assessment, including safety aspects, of feeds from those plants. Substantial equivalence was created as a framework for the compositional assessment of feeds from GMP of the so-called first generation
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Sabalan geothermal power plant project in the northwestern part of Iran using Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIMA) method is presented. The Sabalan geothermal power plant is planned to produce 50 MW electricity in 2011 in cooperation of the Ministry of Energy (MOE) and Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SUNA). In this study, an attempt was
The Sky Island archipelagos of the Sierra Madre Occidental contain diverse, highly endemic, and topographically complex ecosystems,\\u000a yet the local and landscape-scale controls on woody plant dominance and diversity patterns are poorly understood. This study\\u000a examines variation in woody plant species composition in relation to a suite of environmental variables (i.e., elevation,\\u000a potential soil moisture, soil type, geologic substrate, and
Plants protect themselves against herbivory with a diverse array of repellent or toxic secondary metabolites. However, many herbivorous insects have developed counteradaptations that enable them to feed on chemically defended plants without apparent negative effects. Here, we present evidence that larvae of the specialist insect, Pieris rapae (cabbage white butterfly, Lepidoptera: Pieridae), are biochemically adapted to the glucosinolate–myrosinase system, the major chemical defense of their host plants. The defensive function of the glucosinolate–myrosinase system results from the toxic isothiocyanates that are released when glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinases on tissue disruption. We show that the hydrolysis reaction is redirected toward the formation of nitriles instead of isothiocyanates if plant material is ingested by P. rapae larvae, and that the nitriles are excreted with the feces. The ability to form nitriles is due to a larval gut protein, designated nitrile-specifier protein, that by itself has no hydrolytic activity on glucosinolates and that is unrelated to any functionally characterized protein. Nitrile-specifier protein appears to be the key biochemical counteradaptation that allows P. rapae to feed with impunity on plants containing glucosinolates and myrosinases. This finding sheds light on the ecology and evolution of plant–insect interactions and suggests novel highly selective pest management strategies.
Wittstock, Ute; Agerbirk, Niels; Stauber, Einar J.; Olsen, Carl Erik; Hippler, Michael; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Vogel, Heiko
Plants protect themselves against herbivory with a diverse array of repellent or toxic secondary metabolites. However, many herbivorous insects have developed counteradaptations that enable them to feed on chemically defended plants without apparent negative effects. Here, we present evidence that larvae of the specialist insect, Pieris rapae (cabbage white butterfly, Lepidoptera: Pieridae), are biochemically adapted to the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, the major chemical defense of their host plants. The defensive function of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system results from the toxic isothiocyanates that are released when glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinases on tissue disruption. We show that the hydrolysis reaction is redirected toward the formation of nitriles instead of isothiocyanates if plant material is ingested by P. rapae larvae, and that the nitriles are excreted with the feces. The ability to form nitriles is due to a larval gut protein, designated nitrile-specifier protein, that by itself has no hydrolytic activity on glucosinolates and that is unrelated to any functionally characterized protein. Nitrile-specifier protein appears to be the key biochemical counteradaptation that allows P. rapae to feed with impunity on plants containing glucosinolates and myrosinases. This finding sheds light on the ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions and suggests novel highly selective pest management strategies. PMID:15051878
Wittstock, Ute; Agerbirk, Niels; Stauber, Einar J; Olsen, Carl Erik; Hippler, Michael; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Vogel, Heiko
The presence of microorganisms producing cell wall hydrolyzing enzymes such as xylanases during malting can improve mash filtration behavior and consequently have potential for more efficient wort production. In this study, the xylanolytic bacterial community during malting was assessed by isolation and cultivation on growth media containing arabinoxylan, and identification by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. A total of 33 species-level operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found, taking into account a 3% sequence dissimilarity cut-off, belonging to four phyla (Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria) and 25 genera. Predominant OTUs represented xylanolytic bacteria identified as Sphingobacterium multivorum, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Aeromonas hydrophila and Pseudomonas fulva. DNA fingerprinting of all xylanolytic isolates belonging to S. multivorum obtained in this study revealed shifts in S. multivorum populations during the process. Xylanase activity was determined for a selection of isolates, with Cellulomonas flavigena showing the highest activity. The xylanase of this species was isolated and purified 23.2-fold by ultrafiltration, 40% ammonium sulfate precipitation and DEAE-FF ion-exchange chromatography and appeared relatively thermostable. This study will enhance our understanding of the role of microorganisms in the barley germination process. In addition, this study may provide a basis for microflora management during malting. PMID:24010623
The Shijiuyang ecological wetland for drinking water of Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province is one of the biggest constructed wetlands for water resource protection in China. To ensure a deep understanding of the present status of the wetland vegetation of Shijiuyang ecological wetland which has been run for 2.5 years and provide support for the vegetation management of ecological wetland, systematic investigation was carried out by using plot method and quadrat method in October to November, 2010. The species composition, dynamics of plantdiversity and the biomass production during operation were analyzed. Altogether 70 species belonging to 28 families and 62 genera were recorded. Among them, there were 26 wetland plants, 20 mesophytes, 14 emergent, 4 submerged, 6 floating ones. Compared with the preliminary stage, the species numbers of wetland plants increased significantly from 15 species to 70 species. The spatial pattern of riparian species diversity was examined by adopting the Simpson index and Shannon-Wiener index as species diversity indices. The results showed that the riparian species diversity was higher in the west of the Beijiaohe river (Simpson index = 0.468 3, Shannon-Wiener index = 0.835 2) than that in the south of the Dongsheng Road (Simpson index = 0.357 6, Shannon-Wiener index = 0.660 4). The analyses of quantitative characteristics of wetland vegetation showed that the plants in the root-channel purification zone in the south of the Dongsheng Road grew better than those in the west of the Beijiaohe river. With regard to the riparian vegetation, the riparian plants in the west of the Beijiaohe river were more abundant. The mean biomass production (dry weight) in the root-channel purification zone was 1.73 kg x m(-2) and the total area was 9.12 x 10(4) m2, so the total biomass production was estimated to be 157.8 t. In the same way, the mean riparian vegetation biomass production(dry weight) was 0.83 kg x m(-2) and the total vegetation area was 3.75 x 10(4) m2, so the total riparian vegetation biomass production(dry weight) was estimated as 31.1 t. PMID:22279896
The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) is sponsoring cost-shared, plant-wide energy assessments of industrial facilities through its BestPractices Program. The purpose of these assessments is to examine plant utility and process operations and to identify opportunities for improving their energy efficiency. During the past 18 months, DOE has awarded grants to a total of 13 plants
From a phylogenetic perspective, most plant biodiversity lie in the algae, which comprise nine divisions distinct in cell architecture. In the past decade or so, molecular phylogenies have revealed that many algal divisions are only distantly related, and belong to five different supergroups of eukaryotes. The scattered and distant distributions of algae are interpreted as the result of separate endosymbioses
Biodiversity plays an integral role in the livelihoods of subsistence-based forest-dwelling communities and as a consequence it is increasingly important to develop quantitative approaches that capture not only changes in taxonomic diversity, but also variation in natural resources and provisioning services. We apply a functional diversity metric originally developed for addressing questions in community ecology to assess utilitarian diversity of
Kerry A. Brown; Dan F. B. Flynn; Nicola K. Abram; J. Carter Ingram; Steig E. Johnson; Patricia Wright
The fundamental data requirements for the authorization of plant protection products and the inclusion of active ingredients in Annex I of Council Directive 91\\/414\\/EEC (Council Directive of 15 July 1991 referring to placing plant protection products on the market (91\\/414\\/EEC). Official Journal of European Communities L 230, 19 August 1991) are described in the Annexes II and III of this
Target region amplification polymorphism (TRAP) is a fairly new PCR-based molecular marker technique which uses gene-based in- formation for primer design. The objective of this study was to eval- uate the utility of TRAP markers for assessing genetic diversity and interrelationships in sugarcane germplasm collections. Thirty geno- types from the genera Saccharum, Miscanthus, and Erianthus were used in the study.
S. Alwala; A. Suman; J. A. Arro; J. C. Veremis; C. A. Kimbeng
Identification of college students' attitudes about diversity issues is an important part of the assessment of student development across many fields of study. This article discusses an action research approach and classroom application strategies stemming from a survey of 88 pre-service teacher candidates on their attitudes toward homosexuality,…
|The practicum is an integral component of teacher education courses, but culturally and linguistically diverse pre-service teachers can face particular struggles in meeting assessment requirements on the practicum in early childhood settings. This paper reports from a small, exploratory study of early childhood practicum handbooks from four…
Background To develop a healthcare environment that is congruent with diversity among care providers and care recipients and to eliminate ethnic discrimination, it’s important to map out and assess caregivers’ awareness and acceptance of diversity. Because of a lack of standardized questionnaires in the Swedish context, this study designed and standardized a questionnaire: the Assessment of Awareness and Acceptance of Diversity in Healthcare Institutions (AAAD, for short). Method The questionnaire was developed in four phases: a comprehensive literature review, face and content validity, construct validity by factor analysis, and a reliability test by internal consistency and stability assessments. Results Results of different validity and reliability analyses suggest high face, content, and construct validity as well as good reliability in internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha: 0.68 to 0.8) and stability (test-retest: Spearman rank correlation coefficient: 0.60 to 0.76). The result of the factor analysis identified six dimensions in the questionnaire: 1) Attitude toward discrimination, 2) Interaction between staff, 3) Stereotypic attitude toward working with a person with a Swedish background, 4) Attitude toward working with a patient with a different background, 5) Attitude toward communication with persons with different backgrounds, 6) Attitude toward interaction between patients and staff. Conclusion This study introduces a newly developed questionnaire with good reliability and validity values that can assess healthcare workers’ awareness and acceptance of diversity in the healthcare environment and healthcare delivery.
We investigated the prevalence of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) in an ethnically diverse sample of adolescents (N = 566) using the Body Image Rating Scale, a brief self-report measure for assessing body dissatisfaction. Results showed that adolescent girls were more dissatisfied with their bodies than adolescent boys, and that African-Americans of both genders were less dissatisfied with their bodies than
Stephen Mayville; Roger C. Katz; Martin T. Gipson; Keri Cabral
Epiphytic lichens are extremely sensitive to environmental perturbations. This research work has adapted and applied recently developed methods of assessing epiphytic lichen species diversity to the Irish semi-natural acidophilous woodlands of Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. The study has focused on the differences that arise in relation to acidophilous oak versus ashhazel woodlands at Knocksink. The frequency
Lenka Brodeková; Alan Gilmer; Paul Dowding; Howard Fox; Anna Guttová
The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, CFPB, and SEC (each an ``Agency'' and collectively, the ``Agencies'') are proposing joint standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of the entities they regulate. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (``Dodd-Frank Act'') \\1\\ directed the establishment of an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (``OMWI......
Plant S1-like nucleases, often referred to as nuclease I enzymes, are the main class of enzymes involved in nucleic acid degradation during plant programmed cell death. The catalytically active site of these enzymes shows a significant similarity to the well-described P1 nuclease from Penicillium citrinum. Previously published studies reported that plant S1-like nucleases possess catalytic activities similar to their fungal orthologs, i.e. they hydrolyze single-stranded DNA and RNA, and less efficiently double-stranded DNA, in the presence of zinc ions. Here we describe a comprehensive study of the nucleolytic activities of all Arabidopsis S1-like paralogs. Our results revealed that different members of this family are characterized by a surprisingly large variety of catalytic properties. We found that, in addition to Zn(2+)-dependent enzymes, this family also comprises nucleases activated by Ca(2+) and Mn(2+), which implies that the apparently well-known S1 nuclease active site in plant nucleases is able to cooperate with different activatory ions. Moreover, particular members of this class differ in their optimum pH value and substrate specificity. These results shed new light on the widely accepted classification of plant nucleases which is based on the assumption that the catalytic requirements of plant nucleases reflect their phylogenetic origin. Our results imply the need to redefine the understanding of the term 'nuclease I'. Analysis of the phylogenetic relationships between S1-like enzymes shows that plant representatives of this family evolve toward an increase in catalytic diversity. The importance of this process for the biological functions of plant S1-type enzymes is discussed. PMID:23620482
Lesniewicz, Krzysztof; Karlowski, Wojciech M; Pienkowska, Joanna R; Krzywkowski, Piotr; Poreba, Elzbieta
Parallel declines in insect-pollinated plants and their pollinators have been reported as a result of agricultural intensification. Intensive arable plant communities have previously been shown to contain higher proportions of self-pollinated plants compared to natural or semi-natural plant communities. Though intensive grasslands are widespread, it is not known whether they show similar patterns to arable systems nor whether local and/or landscape factors are influential. We investigated plant community composition in 10 pairs of organic and conventional dairy farms across Ireland in relation to the local and landscape context. Relationships between plant groups and local factors (farming system, position in field and soil parameters) and landscape factors (e.g. landscape complexity) were investigated. The percentage cover of unimproved grassland was used as an inverse predictor of landscape complexity, as it was negatively correlated with habitat-type diversity. Intensive grasslands (organic and conventional) contained more insect-pollinated forbs than non-insect pollinated forbs. Organic field centres contained more insect-pollinated forbs than conventional field centres. Insect-pollinated forb richness in field edges (but not field centres) increased with increasing landscape complexity (% unimproved grassland) within 1, 3, 4 and 5km radii around sites, whereas non-insect pollinated forb richness was unrelated to landscape complexity. Pollination systems within intensive grassland communities may be different from those in arable systems. Our results indicate that organic management increases plant richness in field centres, but that landscape complexity exerts strong influences in both organic and conventional field edges. Insect-pollinated forb richness, unlike that for non-insect pollinated forbs, showed positive relationships to landscape complexity reflecting what has been documented for bees and other pollinators. The insect-pollinated forbs, their pollinators and landscape context are clearly linked. This needs to be taken into account when managing and conserving insect-pollinated plant and pollinator communities.
Power, Eileen F.; Kelly, Daniel L.; Stout, Jane C.
Parallel declines in insect-pollinated plants and their pollinators have been reported as a result of agricultural intensification. Intensive arable plant communities have previously been shown to contain higher proportions of self-pollinated plants compared to natural or semi-natural plant communities. Though intensive grasslands are widespread, it is not known whether they show similar patterns to arable systems nor whether local and/or landscape factors are influential. We investigated plant community composition in 10 pairs of organic and conventional dairy farms across Ireland in relation to the local and landscape context. Relationships between plant groups and local factors (farming system, position in field and soil parameters) and landscape factors (e.g. landscape complexity) were investigated. The percentage cover of unimproved grassland was used as an inverse predictor of landscape complexity, as it was negatively correlated with habitat-type diversity. Intensive grasslands (organic and conventional) contained more insect-pollinated forbs than non-insect pollinated forbs. Organic field centres contained more insect-pollinated forbs than conventional field centres. Insect-pollinated forb richness in field edges (but not field centres) increased with increasing landscape complexity (% unimproved grassland) within 1, 3, 4 and 5km radii around sites, whereas non-insect pollinated forb richness was unrelated to landscape complexity. Pollination systems within intensive grassland communities may be different from those in arable systems. Our results indicate that organic management increases plant richness in field centres, but that landscape complexity exerts strong influences in both organic and conventional field edges. Insect-pollinated forb richness, unlike that for non-insect pollinated forbs, showed positive relationships to landscape complexity reflecting what has been documented for bees and other pollinators. The insect-pollinated forbs, their pollinators and landscape context are clearly linked. This needs to be taken into account when managing and conserving insect-pollinated plant and pollinator communities. PMID:22666450
The findings of the Haynes Task Force Committee (NUREG-0992) are used as the basis for defining safety\\/security assessment team activities at commercial nuclear power plants in NRC Region V. A safety\\/security interface assessment outline and the approach used for making the assessments are presented along with the composition of team members. As a result of observing simulated plant emergency conditions
The domestic goat, a major herbivore in the Mediterranean basin, has demonstrated a strong ability to adapt its feeding behaviour to the chemical characteristics of food, selecting plants according to their nutritive quality. In this study, we determine some chemical characteristics related to plant nutritional quality and its variability among and within five tree species, these being the main components of the mountain forests of SE Spain, with the aim of determining their influence on food selection by this generalist herbivore. We analyse nitrogen, total phenols, condensed tannins and fibre concentration as an indicator of the nutritive value of the different trees. To determine the preference by the domestic goat, we performed two types of feeding-choice assays, where goats had to select between different species or between branches of the same species but from trees of different nutritional quality. The analysis of the plant nutritional quality showed significant differences in the chemical characteristics between species, and a high variability within species. However, when faced with different tree species, the domestic goat selected some of them but showed striking individual differences between goats. When selecting between trees of the same species, the goats showed no differential selection. This limited effect of chemical plant characteristics, together with the variability in foraging behaviour, resulted in a widespread consumption of diverseplant species, which can potentially modulate the effect of the goat on vegetation composition, and open the way for the conservation of traditional livestock grazing on natural protected areas.
Plant community diversity, measured as species richness, is typically highest in the early post-fire years in California shrublands. However, this generalization is overly simplistic and the present study demonstrates that diversity is determined by a complex of temporal and spatial effects. Ninety sites distributed across southern California were studied for 5 years after a series of fires. Characteristics of the disturbance event, in this case fire severity, can alter post-fire diversity, both decreasing and increasing diversity, depending on life form. Spatial variability in resource availability is an important factor explaining patterns of diversity, and there is a complex interaction between landscape features and life form. Temporal variability in resource availability affects diversity, and the diversity peak in the immediate post-fire year (or two) appears to be driven by factors different from subsequent diversity peaks. Early post-fire diversity is influenced by life-history specialization, illustrated by species that spend the bulk of their life cycle as a dormant seed bank, which is then triggered to germinate by fire. Resource fluctuations, precipitation in particular, may be associated with subsequent post-fire diversity peaks. These later peaks in diversity comprise a flora that is compositionally different from the immediate post-fire flora, and their presence may be due to mass effects from population expansion of local populations in adjacent burned areas. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Keeley, J. E.; Fotheringham, C. J.; Baer-Keeley, M.
The density, genetic structure and diversity of airborne bacterial communities were assessed in the outdoor atmosphere. Two air samples were collected on the same location (north of France) at two dates (March 2003 (sample1) and May 2003 (sample 2)). Molecular culture -independent methods were used to characterise airborne bacterial communities regardless of the cell culturability. The automated-ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (A-RISA) was performed to characterise the community structure in each sample. For both sampling dates, complex A-RISA patterns were observed suggesting a highly diverse community structure, comparable to those found in soil, water or sediment environments. Furthermore, differences in the genetic structure of airborne bacterial communities were observed between samples 1 and 2 suggesting an important variability in time. A clone library of 16S rDNA directly amplified from air DNA of sample 1 was constructed and sequenced to analyse the community composition and diversity. The Proteobacteria group had the greatest representation (60%), with bacteria belonging to the different subdivisions ?- (19%), ?-(21%), ?-(12%) and ?-(8%). Firmicute and Actinobacteria were also well represented with 14% and 12%, respectively. Most of the identified bacteria are known to be commonly associated with soil or plant environments suggesting that the atmosphere is mainly colonised transiently by microorganisms from local sources, depending on air fluxes.
Maron, Pierre-Alain; Lejon, David P. H.; Carvalho, Esmeralda; Bizet, Karine; Lemanceau, Philippe; Ranjard, Lionel; Mougel, Christophe
Biodiversity studies that guide agricultural subsidy policy have generally compared farming systems at a single spatial scale: the field. However, diversity patterns vary across spatial scales. Here, we examined the effects of farming system (organic vs. conventional) and position in the field (edge vs. center) on plant species richness in wheat fields at three spatial scales. We quantified alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity at the microscale in 800 plots, at the mesoscale in 40 fields, and at the macroscale in three regions using the additive partitioning approach, and evaluated the relative contribution of beta-diversity at each spatial scale to total observed species richness. We found that alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity were higher in organic than conventional fields and higher at the field edge than in the field center at all spatial scales. In both farming systems, beta-diversity at the meso- and macroscale explained most of the overall species richness (up to 37% and 25%, respectively), indicating considerable differences in community composition among fields and regions due to environmental heterogeneity. The spatial scale at which beta-diversity contributed the most to overall species richness differed between rare and common species. Total richness of rare species (present in < or = 5% of total samples) was mainly explained by differences in community composition at the meso- and macroscale (up to 27% and 48%, respectively), but only in organic fields. Total richness of common species (present in > or = 25% of total samples) was explained by differences in community composition at the micro- and mesoscale (up to 29% and 47%, respectively), i.e., among plots and fields, independent of farming system. Our results show that organic farming made the greatest contribution to total species richness at the meso (among fields) and macro (among regions) scale due to environmental heterogeneity. Hence, agri-environment schemes should exploit this large-scale contribution of beta-diversity by tailoring schemes at regional scales to maximize dissimilarity between conservation areas using geographic information systems rather than focusing entirely at the classical local-field scale, which is the current practice. PMID:17069391
Allelic diversity at the self-incompatibility (S-) locus in the ground cherry, Physalis crassifolia (Solanaceae), was surveyed in a natural population occurring in Deep Canyon, CA, using a molecular assay to determine the genotype of individual plants. A total of 28 different S-alleles were identified and sequenced from a sample of 22 plants. All plants examined were heterozygous, as expected under
Species of the genus Aquilegia are exceptionally diverse in their floral morphology and color, commonly known as columbine. They are widely planted ornamentals and are highly attractive for hummingbirds. However, little is known about their genetic diversity. We examined the genetic diversity of the species and cultivars using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Sixteen EcoRI/MseI AFLP primer combinations produced 327 informative polymorphic bands, with a mean of 20.4 bands scored per primer. Jaccard's coefficient of similarity varied from 0.61 to 0.93, indicative of high levels of genetic variation. Cluster analysis using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean algorithm placed the 64 accessions into two main clusters, each divided into two sub-clusters. The AFLP variability was significantly associated with the geographic origins, as the Asian species and the North American species grouped into two distinct clusters. The genetic diversity found among Aquilegia demonstrated the potential value of Chinese germplasm for cultivar improvement and for widening the genetic basis of breeding programs and breeding material selection. We concluded that AFLPs are informative and can provide significant insights for genetic diversity research in columbine species. PMID:21574138
Understanding what drives the geographic variation of species richness across the globe is a fundamental goal of ecology and biogeography. Environmental variables have been considered as drivers of global diversity patterns but there is no consensus among ecologists on what environmental variables are primary drivers of the geographic variation of species richness. Here, I examine the relationship of woody plant species richness at a regional scale in China with sixteen environmental variables representing energy availability, water availability, energy-water balance, seasonality, and habitat heterogeneity. I found that temperature seasonality is the best predictor of woody species richness in China. Other important environmental variables include annual precipitation, mean temperature of the coldest month, and potential evapotranspiration. The best model explains 85% of the variation in woody plant species richness at the regional scale in China.
Current interest in the conservation of biodiversity is generating a need for forest management and silvicultural techniques designed to maintain the integrity of ecosystems while satisfying society's need for timber resources. The conservation of forest understory plant communities should be a major emphasis of this effort as they contain the majority of plantdiversity in most U.S. forests and play
We provide here a comparative genome analysis of the Pseudomonas fluorescens group, including seven new genomic sequences for plant-associated strains. These strains exhibit a diverse spectrum of traits involved in biological control and other multitrophic interactions with plants, microbes, and ins...
The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2010) continues to report substantial underachievement of diverse student populations in the nation's schools. After decades of focus on diversity and multicultural education, with integrating field and clinical practice, candidates continue to graduate without adequate knowledge, skills and dispositions to teach diverse students. The National Council of Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) requires
Background Cultivation of medicinal plants is not only a means for meeting current and future demands for large volume production of plant-based drug and herbal remedies, but also a means of relieving harvest pressure on wild populations. Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Huang-qin or Chinese skullcap) is a very important medicinal plant in China. Over the past several decades, wild resource of this species has suffered rapid declines and large-scale cultivation was initiated to meet the increasing demand for its root. However, the genetic impacts of recent cultivation on S. baicalensis have never been evaluated. In this study, the genetic diversity and genetic structure of 28 wild and 22 cultivated populations were estimated using three polymorphic chloroplast fragments. The objectives of this study are to provide baseline data for preserving genetic resource of S. baicalensis and to evaluate the genetic impacts of recent cultivation on medicinal plants, which may be instructive to future cultivation projects of traditional Chinese medicinal plants. Results Thirty-two haplotypes of S. baicalensis (HapA-Y and Hap1-7) were identified when three chloroplast spacers were combined. These haplotypes constituted a shallow gene tree without obvious clusters for cultivated populations, suggesting multiple origins of cultivated S. baicalensis. Cultivated populations (hT = 0.832) maintained comparable genetic variation with wild populations (hT = 0.888), indicating a slight genetic bottleneck due to multiple origins of cultivation. However, a substantial amount of rare alleles (10 out of 25 haplotypes within wild populations) lost during the course of S. baicalensis cultivation. The genetic differentiation for cultivated group (GST = 0.220) was significantly lower than that of wild group (GST = 0.701). Isolation by distance analysis showed that the effect of geographical isolation on genetic structure was significant in wild populations (r = 0.4346, P < 0.0010), but not in cultivated populations (r = 0.0599, P = 0.2710). These genetic distribution patterns suggest that a transient cultivation history and the extensive seed change among different geographical areas during the course of S. baicalensis cultivation. Conclusions Although cultivated S. baicalensis maintains comparable genetic diversity relative to wild populations, recent cultivation has still imposed profound impacts on genetic diversity patterns of the cultivated S. baicalensis populations, i.e., the loss of rare alleles and homogenization of cultivated populations. This study suggests that conservation-by-cultivation is an effective means for protecting genetic resources of S. baicalensis, however, the wild resources still need to be protected in situ and the evolutionary consequences of extensive seed exchange mediated by human being should be monitored carefully.
The Antarctic is a pristine environment that contributes to the maintenance of the global climate equilibrium. The harsh conditions of this habitat are fundamental to selecting those organisms able to survive in such an extreme habitat and able to support the relatively simple ecosystems. The DNA of the microbial community associated with the rhizospheres of Deschampsia antarctica Desv (Poaceae) and Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) BartI (Caryophyllaceae), the only two native vascular plants that are found in Antarctic ecosystems, was evaluated using a 16S rRNA multiplex 454 pyrosequencing approach. This analysis revealed similar patterns of bacterial diversity between the two plant species from different locations, arguing against the hypothesis that there would be differences between the rhizosphere communities of different plants. Furthermore, the phylum distribution presented a peculiar pattern, with a bacterial community structure different from those reported of many other soils. Firmicutes was the most abundant phylum in almost all the analyzed samples, and there were high levels of anaerobic representatives. Also, some phyla that are dominant in most temperate and tropical soils, such as Acidobacteria, were rarely found in the analyzed samples. Analyzing all the sample libraries together, the predominant genera found were Bifidobacterium (phylum Actinobacteria), Arcobacter (phylum Proteobacteria) and Faecalibacterium (phylum Firmicutes). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first major bacterial sequencing effort of this kind of soil, and it revealed more than expected diversity within these rhizospheres of both maritime Antarctica vascular plants in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, which is part of the South Shetlands archipelago. PMID:20357834
Teixeira, Lia C R S; Peixoto, Raquel S; Cury, Juliano C; Sul, Woo Jun; Pellizari, Vivian H; Tiedje, James; Rosado, Alexandre S
Next-generation sequencing plays a central role in the characterization and quantification of transcriptomes. Although numerous metrics are purported to quantify the quality of RNA, there have been no large-scale empirical evaluations of the major determinants of sequencing success. We used a combination of existing and newly developed methods to isolate total RNA from 1115 samples from 695 plant species in 324 families, which represents >900 million years of phylogenetic diversity from green algae through flowering plants, including many plants of economic importance. We then sequenced 629 of these samples on Illumina GAIIx and HiSeq platforms and performed a large comparative analysis to identify predictors of RNA quality and the diversity of putative genes (scaffolds) expressed within samples. Tissue types (e.g., leaf vs. flower) varied in RNA quality, sequencing depth and the number of scaffolds. Tissue age also influenced RNA quality but not the number of scaffolds ?1000 bp. Overall, 36% of the variation in the number of scaffolds was explained by metrics of RNA integrity (RIN score), RNA purity (OD 260/230), sequencing platform (GAIIx vs HiSeq) and the amount of total RNA used for sequencing. However, our results show that the most commonly used measures of RNA quality (e.g., RIN) are weak predictors of the number of scaffolds because Illumina sequencing is robust to variation in RNA quality. These results provide novel insight into the methods that are most important in isolating high quality RNA for sequencing and assembling plant transcriptomes. The methods and recommendations provided here could increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of RNA sequencing for individual labs and genome centers.
Bruskiewich, Richard; Burris, Jason N.; Carrigan, Charlotte T.; Chase, Mark W.; Clarke, Neil D.; Covshoff, Sarah; dePamphilis, Claude W.; Edger, Patrick P.; Goh, Falicia; Graham, Sean; Greiner, Stephan; Hibberd, Julian M.; Jordon-Thaden, Ingrid; Kutchan, Toni M.; Leebens-Mack, James; Melkonian, Michael; Miles, Nicholas; Myburg, Henrietta; Patterson, Jordan; Pires, J. Chris; Ralph, Paula; Rolf, Megan; Sage, Rowan F.; Soltis, Douglas; Soltis, Pamela; Stevenson, Dennis; Stewart, C. Neal; Surek, Barbara; Thomsen, Christina J. M.; Villarreal, Juan Carlos; Wu, Xiaolei; Zhang, Yong; Deyholos, Michael K.; Wong, Gane Ka-Shu
Increasing evidence of the fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments has come from amplification of environmental DNA with fungal\\u000a specific or eukaryote primer sets. In order to assess the fungal diversity in deep-sea sediments of the Central Indian Basin\\u000a (CIB) at ~5,000 m depth, we amplified sediment DNA with four different primer sets. These were fungal-specific primer pair\\u000a ITS1F\\/ITS4 (internal transcribed spacers),
Understanding the large-scale distribution of species diversity requires distinguishing two of the primary factors that cause compositional differences: dispersal limitation and environmental variation. In a community with a naturally discontinuous spatial structure, we asked (1) at what scale(s) nonrandom variation in species composition occurs and (2) at what scale(s) such variation is associated with spatial separation, indicative of dispersal limitation, and at what scale(s) variation is associated with environmental heterogeneity? We sampled 50 seeps (small wetlands) on five serpentine outcrops. Using a randomization model, we showed that additive beta diversity (a measure of community dissimilarity) was lower than random within seeps and higher than random among both seeps and outcrops. Using Mantel tests, we showed that plant community dissimilarity, in both the full seep assemblage as well as in a subset of seep endemics, at the two larger scales was associated with different forms of environmental heterogeneity and, at the largest scale, was also associated with geographic distance. We conclude that diversity in this system is shaped by multiple scales of heterogeneity and by dispersal limitation at the largest scale. PMID:17089651
Examining the causes of interspecific differences in susceptibility to bidirectional land-use changes (land abandonment and use-intensification) is important for understanding the mechanisms of global biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes. We tested the hypothesis that rare (endangered) plant species prefer wet and oligotrophic areas within topography- and management-mediated resource (soil water content, nutrient, and aboveground biomass) gradients, making them more susceptible to both abandonment and use-intensification of agricultural lands. We demonstrated that topography and management practices generated resource gradients in seminatural grasslands around traditional paddy terraces. Terraced topography and management practices produced a soil moisture gradient within levees and a nutrient gradient within paddy terraces. Both total and rare species diversity increased with soil water content. Total species diversity increased in more eutrophied areas with low aboveground biomass, whereas rare species diversity was high under oligotrophic conditions. Rare and common species were differentially distributed along the human-induced nutrient gradient, with rare species preferring wet, nutrient-poor environments in the agricultural landscapes studied. We suggest that conservation efforts should concentrate on wet, nutrient-poor areas within such landscapes, which can be located easily using land-use and topography maps. This strategy would reduce the costs of finding and conserving rare grassland species in a given agricultural landscape. PMID:24147408
This document contains the final findings identified during the Tiger Team Assessment of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Mound Plant in Miamisburg, Ohio, conducted between October 10 and November 2, 1989. The scope of the assessment of the Mound Plant was comprehensive, covering areas of environment, safety, and health (ES H) activities, including compliance with applicable Federal, state, and local regulations, requirements, permits, agreements, orders, consent decrees, and DOE ES H Orders. The assessment included an evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of DOE and site contractor management, organization, and administration of the ES H programs at the Mound Plant. 4 figs., 5 tabs.
A central component of the endosymbiotic theory for the bacterial origin of the mitochondrion is that many of its genes were transferred to the nucleus. Most of this transfer occurred early in mitochondrial evolution; functional transfer of mitochondrial genes has ceased in animals. Although mitochondrial gene transfer continues to occur in plants, no comprehensive study of the frequency and timing of transfers during plant evolution has been conducted. Here we report frequent loss (26 times) and transfer to the nucleus of the mitochondrial gene rps10 among 277 diverse angiosperms. Characterization of nuclear rps10 genes from 16 out of 26 loss lineages implies that many independent, RNA-mediated rps10 transfers occurred during recent angiosperm evolution; each of the genes may represent a separate functional gene transfer. Thus, rps10 has been transferred to the nucleus at a surprisingly high rate during angiosperm evolution. The structures of several nuclear rps10 genes reveal diverse mechanisms by which transferred genes become activated, including parasitism of pre-existing nuclear genes for mitochondrial or cytoplasmic proteins, and activation without gain of a mitochondrial targeting sequence. PMID:11099041
Adams, K L; Daley, D O; Qiu, Y L; Whelan, J; Palmer, J D
The class Dothideomycetes is one of the largest groups of fungi with a high level of ecological diversity including many plant pathogens infecting a broad range of hosts. Here, we compare genome features of 18 members of this class, including 6 necrotrophs, 9 (hemi)biotrophs and 3 saprotrophs, to analyze genome structure, evolution, and the diverse strategies of pathogenesis. The Dothideomycetes most likely evolved from a common ancestor more than 280 million years ago. The 18 genome sequences differ dramatically in size due to variation in repetitive content, but show much less variation in number of (core) genes. Gene order appears to have been rearranged mostly within chromosomal boundaries by multiple inversions, in extant genomes frequently demarcated by adjacent simple repeats. Several Dothideomycetes contain one or more gene-poor, transposable element (TE)-rich putatively dispensable chromosomes of unknown function. The 18 Dothideomycetes offer an extensive catalogue of genes involved in cellulose degradation, proteolysis, secondary metabolism, and cysteine-rich small secreted proteins. Ancestors of the two major orders of plant pathogens in the Dothideomycetes, the Capnodiales and Pleosporales, may have had different modes of pathogenesis, with the former having fewer of these genes than the latter. Many of these genes are enriched in proximity to transposable elements, suggesting faster evolution because of the effects of repeat induced point (RIP) mutations. A syntenic block of genes, including oxidoreductases, is conserved in most Dothideomycetes and upregulated during infection in L. maculans, suggesting a possible function in response to oxidative stress.
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.
Distinct morphophysiological variations observed for over 2 years with-in short distances among four perennial plants indicated genetic diversity among the lines growing at three places. The isozyme and SDS polyacrylamide gel banding patterns as genetic markers were used to investigate four perennial species, namely Dalbergia sissoo Roxb., Delonix regia (Boj.) Refin., Cassia fistula L. and Calotropis procera R. Br. Plant materials collected from three locations (Agra, Gwalior and Lucknow) differing in climo-edaphic variables were examined for 4 enzyme systems, viz., esterase, polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase (EST, PPO, PRX and SOD). Among the four isozymes SOD and PRX revealed best discriminating power. Protein banding patterns as well as zymogram revealed that Dalbergia sissoo growing at Gwalior was closer to that of Agra; Delonix regia depicted highest similarity between Lucknow and Agra and Calotropis procera of Lucknow location was more closer to Gwalior than Agra. The results confirm genetic diversity in the species as a means of adaptation to differing climo-edaphic variables. PMID:17717991
Dendrobium spp. are traditional Chinese medicinal plants, and the main effective ingredients (polysaccharides and alkaloids) have pharmacologic effects on gastritis infection, cancer, and anti-aging. Previously, we confirmed endophytic xylariaceous fungi as the dominant fungi in several Dendrobium species of tropical regions from China. In the present study, the diversity, taxonomy, and distribution of culturable endophytic xylariaceous fungi associated with seven medicinal species of Dendrobium (Orchidaceae) were investigated. Among the 961 endophytes newly isolated, 217 xylariaceous fungi (morphotaxa) were identified using morphological and molecular methods. The phylogenetic tree constructed using nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), large subunit of ribosomal DNA (LSU), and beta-tubulin sequences divided these anamorphic xylariaceous isolates into at least 18 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The diversity of the endophytic xylariaceous fungi in these seven Dendrobium species was estimated using Shannon and evenness indices, with the results indicating that the dominant Xylariaceae taxa in each Dendrobium species were greatly different, though common xylariaceous fungi were found in several Dendrobium species. These findings implied that different host plants in the same habitats exhibit a preference and selectivity for their fungal partners. Using culture-dependent approaches, these xylariaceous isolates may be important sources for the future screening of new natural products and drug discovery.
The concept of centres of crop diversity and\\/or origin of agriculture is briefly reviewed. The conservation status of crop genetic resources, either ex situ or in situ, cultivated or wild, has been assessed for species of the Central American and Mexican centre, demonstrating that that region is indeed one of the important centres of crop diversity for human kind. Furthermore,
J. M. M. Engels; A. W. Ebert; I. Thormann; M. C. de Vicente
Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) are diterpene plant hormones that are biosynthesized through complex pathways and control diverse aspects of growth and development. GAs were first isolated as metabolites of a fungal rice pathogen, Gibberella fujikuroi, since renamed Fusarium fujikuroi. Although higher plants and the fungus produce structurally identical GAs, significant differences in their GA pathways, enzymes involved and gene regulation became apparent with the identification of GA biosynthetic genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and F. fujikuroi. Recent identifications of GA biosynthetic gene clusters in two other fungi, Phaeosphaeria spp. and Sphaceloma manihoticola, and the high conservation of GA cluster organization in these distantly related fungal species indicate that fungi evolved GA and other diterpene biosynthetic pathways independently from plants. Furthermore, the occurrence of GAs and recent identification of the first GA biosynthetic genes in the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum make it possible to study evolution of GA pathways in general. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the GA biosynthesis pathway, specifically the genes and enzymes involved as well as gene regulation and localization in the genomes of different fungi and compare it with that in higher and lower plants and bacteria. PMID:19560174
The work presented in this paper investigated the effects of plant species composition, species diversity and soil fertility on biodegradation of (14)C-phenanthrene in soil. The two soils used were of contrasting fertility, taken from long term unfertilised and fertilised grassland, showing differences in total nitrogen content (%N). Plant communities consisted of six different plant species: two grasses, two forbs, and two legume species, and ranged in species richness from 1 to 6. The degradation of (14)C-phenanthrene was evaluated by measuring indigenous catabolic activity following the addition of the contaminant to soil using respirometry. Soil fertility was a driving factor in all aspects of (14)C-phenanthrene degradation; lag phase, maximum rates and total extents of (14)C-phenanthrene mineralisation were higher in improved soils compared to unimproved soils. Plant identity had a significant effect on the lag phase and extents of mineralisation. Soil fertility was the major influence also on abundance of microbial communities. PMID:23202655
Oyelami, Ayodeji O; Okere, Uchechukwu V; Orwin, Kate H; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Jones, Kevin C; Semple, Kirk T
Two scenarios for future pig meat production were constructed. The first was a "business as usual" scenario, where the pig feed was based on domestic grain and imported soy-meal, and no efforts were made to reduce pesticide use. The second scenario had a strong environmental focus, and both peas and rapeseed were grown at pig-farm level to produce grain and protein feed. Preventive measures, such as a more diverse crop rotation and mechanical weed control, were combined to reduce pesticide use. The two scenarios were environmentally assessed by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and a pesticide risk indicator model (PRI-Farm). The results showed environmentally sound possibilities to reduce pesticide dependency and risks by using altered plant protection strategies in pig-feed production. Organizing on-farm feed production so that protein feed crops are integrated with grain crops contributes to a more diverse crop rotation. PMID:16092277
Genetic variation among sweet, purple, and yellow passion fruit accessions was assessed using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. Eighteen ISSR primers were used to evaluate 45 accessions. The number of polymorphic bands per primer varied from 4 to 22, with 12.4 bands per primer on average. Nei's genetic distance between accessions ranged from 0.04 to 0.35. Clustering using the neighbor-joining method resulted in the formation of 11 major clusters. It was not possible to classify the accessions according to their geographic origin, showing that there is no structure in the gene bank. The overall mean Shannon-Weaver diversity index was 0.32, indicating good resolution of genetic diversity in passion fruit germplasm using ISSR markers. Our results indicate that ISSR can be useful for genetic diversity studies, to provide practical information for parental selection and to assist breeding and conservation strategies. PMID:21424702
dos Santos, Lucas Ferraz; de Oliveira, Eder Jorge; dos Santos Silva, Aline; de Carvalho, Fabiana Moraes; Costa, Juliana Leles; Pádua, Juliano Gomes
New primer pairs of genomic DNA microsatellite markers were tested to assess the genetic diversity of eleven date palm genotypes. The results indicated that out of thirty, only seven primers (23.3%) failed to amplify the expected PCR fragments, while thirteen primers (43.3%) amplified monomorphic banding patterns and the remaining ten primers (33.4%) generated polymorphic banding patterns. A total of 77 alleles have been observed with a mean of 7.7 alleles per locus. The average of gene diversity was 0.80 ranging from 0.6 (in marker DP168) to 0.9 (in two markers DP157 and DP175). These new co-dominant markers will be a starting point for researchers making use of the markers for genetic mapping and diversity analysis of date palm. PMID:22582150
A 2-year study is presented on the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant productivity, uptake of phosphorus\\u000a (P) and nitrogen (N) and diversity of plant community in a herbaceous, P and N limited grassland consisting exclusively of\\u000a C3 species and dominated by two plant species less mycotrophic than the subordinate ones. We hypothesized that AMF suppression\\u000a will increase
Efrosyni D. Karanika; Andreas P. Mamolos; Demetrios A. Alifragis; Kiriaki L. Kalburtji; Demetrios S. Veresoglou
To elucidate the causes of the sharp decline in plant species diversity in heathland and nutrient-poor grasslands in The Netherlands, we investigated the spatial variation in plant species richness and the abundance of threatened plant species in relation to soil acidity and soil nutrient supply ratio. We selected 68 plots divided equally between species-rich and species-poor parts of the study
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recognizes the need for research to understand and solve problems relating to native plant restoration and for technology transfer of research results to land managers to improve and maintain native plantdiversity. In ...
This paper presents a computational situation assessment (SA) model and a model-based SA metric for nuclear power plant operations. The model and metric development starts with a definition of the plant operator's SA centered decision making behavior. A computational SA model and a model-based SA metric are then developed to quantify and measure operator SA. Using the SA model as
This interim report summarizes the progress, as of February 1983, of a joint TVA- and EPRI-sponsored demonstration study, Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant Availability and Safety Assessment. The study is intended to demonstrate the applicability of using EPRI-developed GO methodology to analyze plant availability and safety. The Unit I of TVA's Sequoyah Nuclear Power Generation Station has been chosen to be
The studies revewed here suggest that both structural and functional assessments of aquatic plant communities are valuable tools in the determination of environmental impacts and water quality. I am not suggesting that aquatic plants be used in lieu of macronivertebrates or fish ...
|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…
The chemicals released with water discharges from a fossil-fueled power plant may present health risks through a variety of exposure pathways including ingestion of drinking water, fish consumption and dermal absorption while swimming. The Total Risk of Utility Emissions (TRUE) model provides a framework that allows one to assess the multipathway health risks associated with water discharges from power plants.
The initial phase of an aging assessment of nuclear power plant service water systems (SWSs) was performed by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory to support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Nuclear Plant Aging Research (NPAR) program. The SWS was selected for study because of its essential role in the mitigation of and recovery from accident scenarios involving the potential for core-melt. The
D. B. Jarrell; A. B. Jr. Johnson; P. W. Zimmerman; M. L. Gore
Current methods of assessing climate-induced shifts of species distributions rarely account for species interactions and usually ignore potential differences in response times of interacting taxa to climate change. Here, we used species-richness data from 1005 breeding bird and 1417 woody plant species in Kenya and employed model-averaged coefficients from regression models and median climatic forecasts assembled across 15 climate-change scenarios to predict bird species richness under climate change. Forecasts assuming an instantaneous response of woody plants and birds to climate change suggested increases in future bird species richness across most of Kenya whereas forecasts assuming strongly lagged woody plant responses to climate change indicated a reversed trend, i.e. reduced bird species richness. Uncertainties in predictions of future bird species richness were geographically structured, mainly owing to uncertainties in projected precipitation changes. We conclude that assessments of future species responses to climate change are very sensitive to current uncertainties in regional climate-change projections, and to the inclusion or not of time-lagged interacting taxa. We expect even stronger effects for more specialized plant–animal associations. Given the slow response time of woody plant distributions to climate change, current estimates of future biodiversity of many animal taxa may be both biased and too optimistic.
Kissling, W. D.; Field, R.; Korntheuer, H.; Heyder, U.; Bohning-Gaese, K.
...2013-01-01 false Plant pest risk assessment standards. 319.40-11...319.40-11 Plant pest risk assessment standards. When evaluating...section for which plant pest risk assessments have previously been...
...2010-01-01 false Plant pest risk assessment standards. 319.40-11...319.40-11 Plant pest risk assessment standards. When evaluating...section for which plant pest risk assessments have previously been...
...2009-01-01 false Plant pest risk assessment standards. 319.40-11...319.40-11 Plant pest risk assessment standards. When evaluating...section for which plant pest risk assessments have previously been...
Two hypotheses of bottom-up control that predict that the species richness of Carabidae will depend either on the taxonomic diversity of plants ("taxonomic diversity hypothesis") or on the structural heterogeneity of the vegetation ("structural heterogeneity hypothesis") were tested. Plant species were classified into nine plant structural groups through cluster analysis of morphological traits (e.g. total height) at 30 early successional temporary wetlands in the east-German agricultural landscape. In a linear regression analysis, the heterogeneity of vegetation structures explained 55% of the variation in carabid beetle diversity. According to a partial correlation analysis, plant taxonomic diversity did not have a significant effect, consistent with the "structural heterogeneity hypothesis," and contradicting previous studies which concluded that plant taxonomic diversity would be the most important factor in early successional habitats. An experimental study was used to test hypotheses on the processes underlying this bottom-up control by vegetation structure: the "hunting efficiency hypothesis," the "enemy-free space hypothesis," and the "microhabitat specialization hypothesis." The composition of plant structural groups in 15 vegetation plots (1 m(2)) was manipulated, creating a gradient from dense vegetation to open plots. Subsequent pitfall catches revealed significant differences in the activity-abundances of the carabid species. Large species preferred dense vegetation plots, consistent with the enemy-free space hypothesis that large species are more vulnerable to predation on the open plots and prefer dense vegetation to escape from natural enemies. The results indicate that bottom-up control is not mediated only by plant taxonomic or functional group diversity and that vegetation structures may be more important than previously suggested. PMID:12721831
This report discusses the application of metallographic techniques in evaluating power plant components for integrity, continued service, and estimation of remaining safe life. Some of the pitfalls that may arise and the limitations to the methods of evaluation are discussed, and several specific cases are presented where metallography has been used to evaluate failures and to provide recommendations concerning future
This report discusses the application of metallographic techniques in evaluating power plant components for integrity, continued service, and estimation of remaining safe life. Some of the pitfalls that may arise and the limitations to the methods of evaluation are discussed, and several specific cases are presented where metallography has been used to evaluate failures and to provide recommendations concerning future safe operation.
Furtado, H.C. [CEPEL, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Dept. of Materials; Le May, I. [Metallurgical Consulting Services, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada)
Based on a national survey, this study analyzes the roles and educational needs of hospice social workers regarding assessment and intervention in spirituality, religion, and diversity of their patients. Sixty-two social workers responded to the survey. Results suggest that spiritual care is shared among hospice team members and that most social workers feel comfortable in addressing these issues. However, role conflict and role ambiguity also exist. Respondents to the survey often felt ill-prepared to deal with some complex faith-based conflicts related to diversity. They saw themselves in need of assessment models and end-of-life decision-making interventions regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia. This study provides recommendations for social work practice, education, and research. PMID:14748522
We applied an extensive data set from 211 locations along Austrian rivers to assess community structure and the ratios of\\u000a functional feeding groups of benthic macroinvertebrates. A total of 569 taxa have been identified. At the catchment scale,\\u000a the Enns, Salzach, and Traun Rivers exhibited the highest taxa richness whereas the Inn River showed the lowest richness.\\u000a Beta-diversity was highest
Chihiro Yoshimura; Klement Tockner; Tatsuo Omura; Otto Moog
The genetic diversity of a soil microbial community was assessed by analysis of clonedhsp70 sequences. A clone library was generated by polymerase chain reaction-mediated amplification of a 650-base pair fragment of thehsp70 gene, using DNA extracted from soil, without culturing the microorganisms. Fifty-five random clones were sequenced and their amino acid sequences deduced. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of
The present study describes the assessment of genetic diversity and relationships among 79 Job’s tears (Coix lacrymajobi L.) accessions collected from China and Korea using 17 microsatellite markers. A total of 57 alleles were detected with an\\u000a average of 3.4 alleles per locus. A high frequency of rare alleles (36.3 %) was observed within the collection. Values for\\u000a observed (HO),
K.-H. Ma; K.-H. Kim; A. Dixit; I.-M. Chung; J.-G. Gwag; T.-S. Kim; Y.-J. Park
Cultivation-dependent and molecular-based culture-independent methods were used to assess alkaliphilic haloarchaeal diversity at Sua pan evaporator ponds in Botswana. Isolates belonging to the genera Natrialba, Natronococcus and Natronorubrum were recovered from brine samples by enrichment and identified through a series of biochemical tests as well as sequencing of 16S rRNA fragments. In addition, an environmental 16S rRNA library was constructed
\\u000a For assessment of mycorrhizal diversity of soils and for identification of fungal fruiting bodies, many techniques are used.\\u000a The classical fungal identification starts with collection of field notes, and laboratory processing which involves the isolation\\u000a of fungal cultures from soils, fruiting bodies, and spores by using direct or indirect plating methods for microbial screening.\\u000a The wet-sieving and decanting technique for
New primer pairs of genomic DNA microsatellite markers were tested to assess the genetic diversity of eleven date palm genotypes.\\u000a The results indicated that out of thirty, only seven primers (23.3%) failed to amplify the expected PCR fragments, while thirteen\\u000a primers (43.3%) amplified monomorphic banding patterns and the remaining ten primers (33.4%) generated polymorphic banding\\u000a patterns. A total of 77
Khaled Elmeer; Hina Sarwath; Joel Malek; Michael Baum; Aladdin Hamwieh
Off-channel temporary pools on riverbanks have characteristic seasonal wet–dry cycles resulting from direct inflow of river\\u000a water or hyporheic flow seepage. This study addressed two questions regarding the role of temporary pools in supporting diversity\\u000a of riparian vegetation in a regulated river in Japan: (1) do temporary pools maintain high native riparian plant species diversity?\\u000a And, (2) how do physical
Relationships between plantdiversity (H diversity index) and above-ground biomass (as a surrogate of productivity) were analysed using quadrat data and biomass measures from a precipitation gradient in length of ca. 1000km in temperate grasslands, south-eastern Mongolia. These analyses were performed both at different ecological scales including taxonomic or functional levels, such as species, community and ecosystem, and at different
This paper examines the role that Arts Council England (ACE) has played since the 1980s in promoting race equality and cultural diversity within the arts. It looks at critiques of the work of ACE in this area, the progress that has been made, where the debate around diversity is currently headed and the future policy options that are open to
|The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2010) continues to report substantial underachievement of diverse student populations in the nation's schools. After decades of focus on diversity and multicultural education, with integrating field and clinical practice, candidates continue to graduate without adequate knowledge, skills and…
Regression analysis was used to study the relationship between four diversity indices and 19 soil factors at three different soil layers in ecotone between desert and oasis in Fukang, Xinjiang. The results indicated that soil pH, total salt content, soil organic matter, Cl-, K+ + Na+, Mg2+, total nitrogen, and available phosphorus were correlative to species diversity significantly (P < 0.05). The relationships between pH and diversity and between organic matter and diversity were best fitted in form of binomial model, and it meant that the highest species diversity occurred in middle of the gradient. The relationships between diversity and other 6 indices were in form of negative linear regression, showing that the contents of total salt, Cl-, K+ + Na+, Mg2+ were greater, and the species diversity indices were smaller. And the regression of total nitrogen and available phosphorus with evenness were similar to the former, that is, with the contents of soil total nitrogen and available phosphorus increasing, evenness indices decline correspondingly. The results of regression analysis between amount of plants and soil moisture and salt showed that plant abundance was influenced by soil water and salt significantly (P < 0.01). PMID:12216387
Phylogenetic, microbiological, and comparative genomic analyses were used to examine the diversity among members of the genus Caldicellulosiruptor, with an eye toward the capacity of these extremely thermophilic bacteria to degrade the complex carbohydrate content of plant biomass. Seven species from this genus (C. saccharolyticus, C. bescii, C. hydrothermalis, C. owensensis, C. kronotskyensis, C. lactoaceticus, and C. kristjanssonii) were compared on the basis of 16S rRNA gene phylogeny and cross-species DNA-DNA hybridization to a whole-genome C. saccharolyticus oligonucleotide microarray, revealing that C. saccharolyticus was the most divergent within this group. Growth physiology of the seven Caldicellulosiruptor species on a range of carbohydrates showed that, while all could be cultivated on acid-pretreated switchgrass, only C. saccharolyticus, C. bescii, C. kronotskyensis, and C. lactoaceticus were capable of hydrolyzing Whatman no. 1 filter paper. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of the secretomes from cells grown on microcrystalline cellulose revealed that the cellulolytic species also had diverse secretome fingerprints. The C. saccharolyticus secretome contained a prominent S-layer protein that appears in the cellulolytic Caldicellulosiruptor species, suggesting a possible role in cell-substrate interactions. Growth physiology also correlated with glycoside hydrolase (GH) and carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) inventories for the seven bacteria, as deduced from draft genome sequence information. These inventories indicated that the absence of a single GH and CBM family was responsible for diminished cellulolytic capacity. Overall, the genus Caldicellulosiruptor appears to contain more genomic and physiological diversity than previously reported, and this argues for continued efforts to isolate new members from high-temperature terrestrial biotopes.
Blumer-Schuette, Sara E.; Lewis, Derrick L.; Kelly, Robert M.
We examined anoxic and aerobic basins and an anaerobic digestor of a municipal wastewater treatment plant for the presence of novel planctomycete-like diversity. Three 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed by using a 16S rRNA-targeted universal reverse primer and a forward PCR primer specific for Planctomycetes. Phylogenetic analysis of 234 16S rRNA gene sequences defined 110 operational taxonomic units. The majority of these sequences clustered with the four known genera, Pirellula (32%), Planctomyces (18.4%), Gemmata (3.8%), and Isosphaera (0.4%). More interestingly, 42.3% of the sequences appeared to define two distantly separated monophyletic groups. The first group, represented by 35.5% of the sequences, was related to the Planctomyces group and branched as a monophyletic cluster. It exhibited between 11.9 and 20.3% 16S rRNA gene sequence dissimilarity in comparisons with cultivated planctomycetes. The second group, represented by 6.8% of the sequences, was deeply rooted within the Planctomycetales tree. It was distantly related to the anammox sequences (level of dissimilarity, 20.3 to 24.4%) and was a monophyletic cluster. The retrieved sequences extended the intralineage phylogenetic depth of the Plantomycetales from 23 to 30.6%. The lineages described here may have a broad diversity of undiscovered biochemical and metabolic novelty. We developed a new 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probe and localized members of one of the phylogenetic groups using the fluorescent in situ hybridization technique. Our results indicate that activated sludge contains very diverse representatives of this group, which grow under aerobic and anoxic conditions and even under anaerobic conditions. The majority of species in this group remain poorly characterized.
Phylogenetic, microbiological, and comparative genomic analyses were used to examine the diversity among members of the genus Caldicellulosiruptor, with an eye toward the capacity of these extremely thermophilic bacteria to degrade the complex carbohydrate content of plant biomass. Seven species from this genus (C. saccharolyticus, C. bescii, C. hydrothermalis, C. owensensis, C. kronotskyensis, C. lactoaceticus, and C. kristjanssonii) were compared on the basis of 16S rRNA gene phylogeny and cross-species DNA-DNA hybridization to a whole-genome C. saccharolyticus oligonucleotide microarray, revealing that C. saccharolyticus was the most divergent within this group. Growth physiology of the seven Caldicellulosiruptor species on a range of carbohydrates showed that, while all could be cultivated on acid-pretreated switchgrass, only C. saccharolyticus, C. bescii, C. kronotskyensis, and C. lactoaceticus were capable of hydrolyzing Whatman no. 1 filter paper. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of the secretomes from cells grown on microcrystalline cellulose revealed that the cellulolytic species also had diverse secretome fingerprints. The C. saccharolyticus secretome contained a prominent S-layer protein that appears in the cellulolytic Caldicellulosiruptor species, suggesting a possible role in cell-substrate interactions. Growth physiology also correlated with glycoside hydrolase (GH) and carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) inventories for the seven bacteria, as deduced from draft genome sequence information. These inventories indicated that the absence of a single GH and CBM family was responsible for diminished cellulolytic capacity. Overall, the genus Caldicellulosiruptor appears to contain more genomic and physiological diversity than previously reported, and this argues for continued efforts to isolate new members from high-temperature terrestrial biotopes. PMID:20971878
Blumer-Schuette, Sara E; Lewis, Derrick L; Kelly, Robert M
To elucidate the bacterial diversity in biofilms formed on a condenser tube from a nuclear power plant, 16S rRNA gene sequences were examined using a PCR-cloning-sequencing approach. Twelve operational taxonomic units were retrieved in the clone library, and the estimated species richness was low (13.2). Most of the clones (94.7%) were affiliated with ?-Proteobacteria; Planctomycetes and ?-Proteobacteria were much rarer. Interestingly, except for one clone belonging to Pseudoalteromonas, most of the sequences displayed sequence similarities <97% of those of the closest type strains. Based on 16S rRNA phylogenetic analysis, most bacteria were assigned to novel taxa above the species level. The low species richness and unusual bacterial composition may be attributable to selective pressure from chlorine in the cooling water. To prevent or control bacterial biofilms in cooling circuits, additional studies of the physiology and ecology of these species will be essential. PMID:21058056
Stewart and Kantrud`s (1971) widely used wetland classification system does not recognize the large differences in hydroperiod and species diversity that often occur in the same vegetation zone in wetlands of different water permanence class (temporary, seasonal, semi-permanent). Research in eastern South Dakota wetlands in 1994 indicated that annual range in surface water/groundwater elevation within a zone varied inversely with permanence. For example, within the wet meadow zone, average annual water elevation range was 124 cm in temporary wetlands, 65 cm in seasonal wetlands, and 15 cm in semi-permanent wetlands. The number of dominant plants in this zone was strongly and positively correlated to the amount of annual fluctuation in water elevation, from an average of 5 species in the relatively stable, semi-permanent wetlands to 14 species in the ephemeral, temporary wetlands. These results have application to research in wetland restoration and climate change.
Chios mastic gum (CMG) is a resin produced by the plant Pistacia lentiscus var. chia. CMG is used to extract the mastic gum essential oil (MGO). CMG and MGO consist of nearly 70 constituents and have demonstrated numerous and diverse biomedical and pharmacological properties including (a) eradication of bacteria and fungi that may cause peptic ulcers, tooth plaque formation and malodor of the mouth and saliva; (b) amelioration or dramatic reduction of symptoms of autoimmune diseases by inhibiting production of pro-inflammatory substances by activated macrophages, production of cytokines by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in patients with active Crohn's disease, and suppression of production of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in an asthma model in mice; (c) protection of the cardiovascular system by effectively lowering the levels of total serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides in rats, and protection of low-density lipoprotein from oxidation in humans; (d) induction of apoptosis in human cancer cells in vitro and extensive inhibition of growth of human tumors xenografted in immunodeficient mice; and (e) improvement of symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia. Collectively taken, these numerous and diverse medical and pharmaceutical properties of CMG and MGO warrant further research in an effort to enhance specific properties and identify specific constituent(s) that might be associated with each property. PMID:22949590
Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independent techniques. The endophytic communities were assessed in surface-disinfected citrus branches by plating and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dominant isolates were
Welington L. Araujo; Joelma Marcon; Walter Maccheroni; Elsas van J. D; Vuurde van J. W. L; Azevedo de J. L
Erodium paularense is a threatened plant species that is subject to seed predation by the granivorous ant Messor capitatus. In this paper we assessed the intensity and pattern of ant seed predation and looked for possible adaptive strategies at the seed and plant levels to cope with this predation. Seed predation was estimated in 1997 and 1998 at the population level by comparing total seed production and ant consumption, assessed by counting seed hulls in refuse piles. According to this method, ant seed predation ranged between 18% and 28%. A more detailed and direct assessment conducted in 1997 raised this estimate to 43%. In this assessment spatial and temporal patterns of seed predation by ants were studied by mapping all nest entrances in the studied area and marking the mature fruits of 109 reproductive plants with a specific colour code throughout the seed dispersal period. Intact fruit coats were later recovered from the refuse piles, and their mother plants and time of dispersal were identified. Seeds dispersed at the end of the dispersal period had a greater probability of escaping from ant seed predation. Similarly, in plants with late dispersal a greater percentage of seeds escaped from ant predation. Optimum dispersal time coincided with the maximum activity of granivorous ants because, at this time, ants focused their harvest on other plant species of the community. It was also observed that within-individual seed dispersal asynchrony minimised seed predation. From a conservation perspective, results show that the granivorous ant-plant interaction cannot be assessed in isolation and that the intensity of its effects basically depends on the seed dispersal pattern of the other members of the plant community. Furthermore, this threat must be assessed by considering the overall situation of the target population. Thus, in E. paularense, the strong limitation of safe-sites for seedling establishment reduces the importance of seed predation.
Albert, María José; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, José María
Terrestrial biosphere models typically abstract the immense diversity of vegetation forms and functioning into a relatively small set of predefined semi-empirical plant functional types (PFTs). There is growing evidence, however, from the field ecology community as well as from modelling studies that current PFT schemes may not adequately represent the observed variations in plant functional traits and their effect on ecosystem functioning. In this paper, we introduce the Jena Diversity-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (JeDi-DGVM) as a new approach to terrestrial biosphere modelling with a richer representation of functional diversity than traditional modelling approaches based on a small number of fixed PFTs. JeDi-DGVM simulates the performance of a large number of randomly generated plant growth strategies, each defined by a set of 15 trait parameters which characterize various aspects of plant functioning including carbon allocation, ecophysiology and phenology. Each trait parameter is involved in one or more functional trade-offs. These trade-offs ultimately determine whether a strategy is able to survive under the climatic conditions in a given model grid cell and its performance relative to the other strategies. The biogeochemical fluxes and land surface properties of the individual strategies are aggregated to the grid-cell scale using a mass-based weighting scheme. We evaluate the simulated global biogeochemical patterns against a variety of field and satellite-based observations following a protocol established by the Carbon-Land Model Intercomparison Project. The land surface fluxes and vegetation structural properties are reasonably well simulated by JeDi-DGVM, and compare favourably with other state-of-the-art global vegetation models. We also evaluate the simulated patterns of functional diversity and the sensitivity of the JeDi-DGVM modelling approach to the number of sampled strategies. Altogether, the results demonstrate the parsimonious and flexible nature of a functional trade-off approach to global vegetation modelling, i.e. it can provide more types of testable outputs than standard PFT-based approaches and with fewer inputs. The approach implemented here in JeDi-DGVM sets the foundation for future applications that will explore the impacts of explicitly resolving diverseplant communities, allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the structure and function of the terrestrial biosphere.
Pavlick, R.; Drewry, D. T.; Bohn, K.; Reu, B.; Kleidon, A.
Endophytic fungi were isolated from roots of six halophytes in Suncheon Bay. The endophytic fungi of 35 species isolated from halophytes were identified by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) containing the ITS1, 5.8s, and ITS2 regions. All fungal strains were analyzed to diversity at the genus level. Fungal culture filtrates (FCF) of endophytic fungi were treated to Waito-c rice (WR) seedling for plant growth-promoting verification. It was confirmed that fungal strain Sj-2-2 provided plant growth promotion (PGP) to WR seedling. Then, PGP of Suaeda japonica was confirmed by treating culture filtrate of Sj-2-2. As a result, it was verified that culture filtrate of Sj-2-2 had more advanced PGP than positive control when treated to S. japonica. The secondary metabolites involved in culture filtrate of Sj-2-2 were identified by HPLC and GC-MS SIM analysis. The presence of physiologically bioactive gibberellins (GAs) and other inactive GAs in culture filtrate of Sj-2-2 was detected. The molecular analysis of sequences of Sj-2-2 showed the similarity to Penicillium sp. of 99% homology. The PGP of Sj-2-2 as well as symbiosis between endophytic fungi and halophytes growing naturally in salt marsh was confirmed. Sj-2-2 was identified as a new fungal strain producing GAs by molecular analysis of sequences. Consequently, the Sj-2-2 fungal strain was named as Penicillium sp. Sj-2-2. In this study, the diversity of endophytic fungi isolated from roots of halophytes in salt marsh and the PGP of a new gibberellin-producing fungal strain were confirmed. PMID:23124347
Shrubs and trees are assumed less likely to lose genetic variation in response to habitat fragmentation because they have certain life-history characteristics such as long lifespans and extensive pollen flow. To test this assumption, we conducted a meta-analysis with data on 97 woody plant species derived from 98 studies of habitat fragmentation. We measured the weighted response of four different measures of population-level genetic diversity to habitat fragmentation with Hedge's d and Spearman rank correlation. We tested whether the genetic response to habitat fragmentation was mediated by life-history traits (longevity, pollination mode, and seed dispersal vector) and study characteristics (genetic marker and plant material used). For both tests of effect size habitat fragmentation was associated with a substantial decrease in expected heterozygosity, number of alleles, and percentage of polymorphic loci, whereas the population inbreeding coefficient was not associated with these measures. The largest proportion of variation among effect sizes was explained by pollination mechanism and by the age of the tissue (progeny or adult) that was genotyped. Our primary finding was that wind-pollinated trees and shrubs appeared to be as likely to lose genetic variation as insect-pollinated species, indicating that severe habitat fragmentation may lead to pollen limitation and limited gene flow. In comparison with results of previous meta-analyses on mainly herbaceous species, we found trees and shrubs were as likely to have negative genetic responses to habitat fragmentation as herbaceous species. We also found that the genetic variation in offspring was generally less than that of adult trees, which is evidence of a genetic extinction debt and probably reflects the genetic diversity of the historical, less-fragmented landscape. PMID:22044646
Objective Prescription drug diversion is a topic about which comparatively little is known, and systematic information garnered from prescription drug abusers and dealers on the specific mechanisms of diversion is extremely limited. Design A pilot ultra-rapid assessment was carried out in Wilmington, Delaware, during December 2006 to better understand the scope and dynamics of prescription drug abuse and diversion. This involved focus groups with prescription drug abusers, and key informant interviews with police, regulatory officials, prescription drug dealers, and pill brokers. Results The primary sources of prescription drugs on the street were the elderly, pain patients, and doctor shoppers, as well as pill brokers and dealers who work with all of the former. The popularity of prescription drugs in the street market was rooted in the abusers’ perceptions of these drugs as: 1) less stigmatizing; 2) less dangerous; and, 3) less subject to legal consequences than illicit drugs. For many, the abuse of prescription opioids also appeared to serve as a gateway to heroin use. Conclusion The diversion of prescription opioids might be reduced through physician education focusing on: 1) recognizing that a patient is misusing and/or diverting prescribed medications; 2) considering a patient’s risk for opioid misuse before initiating opioid therapy; and, 3) understanding the variation in the abuse potential of different opioid medications currently on the market. Patient education also appears appropriate in the areas of safeguarding medications, disposal of unused medications, and understanding the consequences of manipulating physicians and selling their medications.
Inciardi, James A.; Surratt, Hilary L.; Cicero, Theodore J.; Beard, Ronald A.
Research is few in the literature regarding the investigation and assessment of pollutions of soil and plant by municipal\\u000a waste dumps. Based upon previous work in seven waste dumping sites (nonsanitary landfills) in Beijing, Shanghai and Shijiazhuang,\\u000a this study expounds the investigation and assessment method and report major pollutants. Using relative background values,\\u000a this study assesses soil pollution degree in
Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) typically abstract the immense diversity of vegetation forms and functioning into a relatively small set of predefined semi-empirical Plant Functional Types (PFTs). There is growing evidence, however, from the field ecology community as well as from modelling studies that current PFT schemes may not adequately represent the observed variations in plant functional traits and their effect on ecosystem functioning. In this paper, we introduce the Jena Diversity DGVM (JeDi-DGVM) as a new approach to global vegetation modelling with a richer representation of functional diversity than traditional modelling approaches based on a small number of fixed PFTs. JeDi-DGVM simulates the performance of a large number of randomly-generated plant growth strategies (PGSs), each defined by a set of 15 trait parameters which characterize various aspects of plant functioning including carbon allocation, ecophysiology and phenology. Each trait parameter is involved in one or more functional trade-offs. These trade-offs ultimately determine whether a PGS is able to survive under the climatic conditions in a given model grid cell and its performance relative to the other PGSs. The biogeochemical fluxes and land-surface properties of the individual PGSs are aggregated to the grid cell scale using a mass-based weighting scheme. Simulated global biogeochemical and biogeographical patterns are evaluated against a variety of field and satellite-based observations following a protocol established by the Carbon-Land Model Intercomparison Project. The land surface fluxes and vegetation structural properties are reasonably well simulated by JeDi-DGVM, and compare favorably with other state-of-the-art terrestrial biosphere models. This is despite the parameters describing the ecophysiological functioning and allometry of JeDi-DGVM plants evolving as a function of vegetation survival in a given climate, as opposed to typical approaches that fix land surface parameters derived from observational datasets for each PFT. The approach implemented here in JeDi-DGVM sets the foundation for future applications that will explore the impacts of explicitly resolving diverseplant communities, allowing for a more flexible temporal and spatial representation of the structure and function of the terrestrial biosphere.
Pavlick, R.; Drewry, D. T.; Bohn, K.; Reu, B.; Kleidon, A.
Current knowledge of plant virus diversity is biased towards agents of visible and economically important diseases. Less is known about viruses that have not caused major diseases in crops, or viruses from native vegetation, which are a reservoir of biodiversity that can contribute to viral emergence. Discovery of these plant viruses is hindered by the traditional approach of sampling individual symptomatic plants. Since many damaging plant viruses are transmitted by insect vectors, we have developed “vector-enabled metagenomics” (VEM) to investigate the diversity of plant viruses. VEM involves sampling of insect vectors (in this case, whiteflies) from plants, followed by purification of viral particles and metagenomic sequencing. The VEM approach exploits the natural ability of highly mobile adult whiteflies to integrate viruses from many plants over time and space, and leverages the capability of metagenomics for discovering novel viruses. This study utilized VEM to describe the DNA viral community from whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) collected from two important agricultural regions in Florida, USA. VEM successfully characterized the active and abundant viruses that produce disease symptoms in crops, as well as the less abundant viruses infecting adjacent native vegetation. PCR assays designed from the metagenomic sequences enabled the complete sequencing of four novel begomovirus genome components, as well as the first discovery of plant virus satellites in North America. One of the novel begomoviruses was subsequently identified in symptomatic Chenopodium ambrosiodes from the same field site, validating VEM as an effective method for proactive monitoring of plant viruses without a priori knowledge of the pathogens. This study demonstrates the power of VEM for describing the circulating viral community in a given region, which will enhance our understanding of plant viral diversity, and facilitate emerging plant virus surveillance and management of viral diseases.
Ng, Terry Fei Fan; Duffy, Siobain; Polston, Jane E.; Bixby, Elise; Vallad, Gary E.; Breitbart, Mya
RAPD and ISSR markers were used to assess the germplasm genetic diversity among 10 individuals of Rehmannia glutinosa, including 8 cultivars and 2 virus-free lines micropropagated by tip tissue culture. 17 RAPD primers and 10 ISSR primers, with polymorphic and informative patterns, were selected from a total of 80 RAPD ones and 44 ISSR ones to determine these individuals' genetic diversity. The 17RAPD primers and 10 ISSR primers generated 177RAPDfragments and 110 fragments, respectively. The number of effective loci, the percentage of polymorphic loci, Shannon's Information index (I) and effective number of alleles (Ne) is in turn109, 61.58%, 0.3135, 1.3641 for RAPD makers, and 79, 71.82 %, 0.3577 and 1.4037 for ISSR markers; Jaccard's genetic similarity matrice and dendrograms for the 10 individuals were formed based on RAPD and ISSR-generated polymorphic bands. In dendrograms, they could be divided into two groups: one group containing six individuals such as Zupei 85.5, Datian 85.5, jinzhuangyuan, Jinbai, Zupei 9302 and Datian9302; the other composed of 4 ones such as Beijing No.1, Dahongpao, Dihuang 9104 and wild dihuang; the correlation coefficient of 0.649 between RAPD and ISSR markers GSs indicated that these two markers were significantly correlated. The results revealed that RAPD and ISSR markers were suitable for assessment of germplasm genetic diversity of Rehmannia glutinosa, and ISSR marker was superior to RAPD marker. PMID:15640128
This paper examines the use of biomass data versus density data to estimate spatiotemporal variations in species diversity during ecological investigations assessing environmental impacts on aquatic communities. The community of benthic macroinvertebrates was selected to achieve this goal. Field studies were conducted along the recovery gradient of the regulated Río Duratón (northern Spain, Durero basin) receiving an industrial effluent. Diversity
Medicinal properties of parasitic plants were investigated by means of ethnobotanical study in some areas of northeastern Thailand. Important traditional usages are: Scurrula atropurpurea nourishes blood, Dendrophthoe pentandra decreases high blood pressure, and Helixanthera parasitica treats liver disease. Their systematics were also determined. The research is based on findings obtained from 100 parasite-host pairs. Of these, eight parasitic species were recorded; they are members of two families, viz. family Loranthaceae, namely D. lanosa, D. pentandra, H. parasitica, Macrosolen brandisianus, M. cochinchinensis and S. atropurpurea, and family Viscaceae, namely Viscum articulatum and V. ovalifolium. In addition, each parasitic species is found on diverse hosts, indicating non-host-parasitic specificity. Species-specific tagging of all species studied was carried out using the rbcL and psbA-trnH chloroplast regions. These tag sequences are submitted to GenBank databases under accession numbers JN687563-JN687578. Genetic distances calculated from nucleotide variations in a couple of species of each genus, Dendrophthoe, Macrosolen, and Viscum, were 0.032, 0.067 and 0.036 in the rbcL region, and 0.269, 0.073 and 0.264 in the psbA-trnH spacer region, respectively. These variations will be used for further identification of incomplete plant parts or other forms such as capsule, powder, dried or chopped pieces. PMID:22864809
Background and Aims Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) is the most important forage grass species of temperate regions. We have previously released the chloroplast genome sequence of L. perenne ‘Cashel’. Here nine chloroplast microsatellite markers are published, which were designed based on knowledge about genetically variable regions within the L. perenne chloroplast genome. These markers were successfully used for characterizing the genetic diversity in Lolium and different grass species. Methods Chloroplast genomes of 14 Poaceae taxa were screened for mononucleotide microsatellite repeat regions and primers designed for their amplification from nine loci. The potential of these markers to assess genetic diversity was evaluated on a set of 16 Irish and 15 European L. perenne ecotypes, nine L. perenne cultivars, other Lolium taxa and other grass species. Key Results All analysed Poaceae chloroplast genomes contained more than 200 mononucleotide repeats (chloroplast simple sequence repeats, cpSSRs) of at least 7 bp in length, concentrated mainly in the large single copy region of the genome. Nucleotide composition varied considerably among subfamilies (with Pooideae biased towards poly A repeats). The nine new markers distinguish L. perenne from all non-Lolium taxa. TeaCpSSR28 was able to distinguish between all Lolium species and Lolium multiflorum due to an elongation of an A8 mononucleotide repeat in L. multiflorum. TeaCpSSR31 detected a considerable degree of microsatellite length variation and single nucleotide polymorphism. TeaCpSSR27 revealed variation within some L. perenne accessions due to a 44-bp indel and was hence readily detected by simple agarose gel electrophoresis. Smaller insertion/deletion events or single nucleotide polymorphisms detected by these new markers could be visualized by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis or DNA sequencing, respectively. Conclusions The new markers are a valuable tool for plant breeding companies, seed testing agencies and the wider scientific community due to their ability to monitor genetic diversity within breeding pools, to trace maternal inheritance and to distinguish closely related species.
A survey of the agricultural plantdiversity in the orchards on the bank of Chao Phraya river and Ko Kret areas of Nonthaburi province was conducted in the year 2005. The soil in these areas was Banglen Series : (Bl, clay and silty clay loam) and pH was between 4.2-6.6. Soil fertility was considered to contain high plant nutrients, ranging
The population dynamics, genotypic diversity and activity of naturally-occurring 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG)-producing Pseudomonas spp. was investigated for four plant species (wheat, sugar beet, potato, lily) grown in two different soils. All four plant species tested, except lily and in some cases wheat, supported relatively high rhizosphere populations (5×104 to 1×106 CFU\\/g root) of indigenous DAPG-producing Pseudomonas spp. during successive cultivation in
Maria Bergsma-Vlami; Mieke E. Prins; Jos M. Raaijmakers
Research examining cultural diversity in the healthcare context has produced general themes about particular patient populations, and tools based on this research vary in their approach to improving cultural sensitivity and competency. Some tools pose questions that providers may ask patients to help them become better informed about their culture; others name areas of sensitivity that providers ought to be aware of in caring for culturally diverse patients. This tool is different. It focuses on the provider and its goal is to raise the provider's consciousness through self-reflection and examination. It consists of three parts: stories from interviews with actual patients followed by thought-provoking questions; commentaries on four of the narratives to help you measure your assessment of the ethical issues contained in each one; and a decision-making analysis grid to help you use the tool more effectively. It concludes with a bibliography for additional reading. PMID:12166440
The release of untreated sewage introduces non-indigenous microbial populations of uncertain composition into surface waters. We used massively parallel 454 sequencing of hypervariable regions in rRNA genes to profile microbial communities from eight untreated sewage influent samples of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in metropolitan Milwaukee. The sewage profiles included a discernable human fecal signature made up of several taxonomic groups including multiple Bifidobacteriaceae, Coriobacteriaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Ruminococcaceae genera. The fecal signature made up a small fraction of the taxa present in sewage but the relative abundance of these sequence tags mirrored the population structures of human fecal samples. These genera were much more prevalent in the sewage influent than standard indicators species. High-abundance sequences from taxonomic groups within the Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria dominated the sewage samples but occurred at very low levels in fecal and surface water samples, suggesting that these organisms proliferate within the sewer system. Samples from Jones Island (JI – servicing residential plus a combined sewer system) and South Shore (SS – servicing a residential area) WWTPs had very consistent community profiles, with greater similarity between WWTPs on a given collection day than the same plant collected on different days. Rainfall increased influent flows at SS and JI WWTPs, and this corresponded to greater diversity in the community at both plants. Overall, the sewer system appears to be a defined environment with both infiltration of rainwater and stormwater inputs modulating community composition. Microbial sewage communities represent a combination of inputs from human fecal microbes and enrichment of specific microbes from the environment to form a unique population structure.
Budding methylotrophic bacteria resembling Hyphomicrobium spp. were counted for 12 months in a German sewage treatment plant by most-probable-number (MPN) methods. Influent samples contained up to 2 x 10(sup4) cells ml(sup-1), activated sludge consistently contained 1 x 10(sup5) to 5 x 10(sup5) cells ml(sup-1), and the effluent contained 1 x 10(sup3) to 4 x 10(sup3) cells ml(sup-1). The receiving lake had only 2 to 12 cells ml(sup-1). Six morphological groups with different growth requirements could be observed among 1,199 pure cultures that had been isolated from MPN dilutions. With dot blot DNA hybridizations, 671 isolates were assigned to 30 hybridization groups (HGs) and 84 could not be classified. Only HG 22 hybridized with a known species, Hyphomicrobium facilis IFAM B-522. Fourteen HGs (HGs 8 to 20 and HG 22) were specific for the lake; most others occurred only in the treatment plant. HGs 1, 3, and 26 were found in the activated sludge tank throughout the year, and HGs 27 and 28 were found for most of the year. In summary, it was demonstrated that bacteria with nearly identical and specific morphologies and nutritional types showed a high level of genetic diversity, although they were isolated under the same conditions and from the same treatment plant or its receiving lake. A directional exchange of these genetically different populations was possible but less significant, as was shown by the establishment of distinct populations in specific stations.
The release of untreated sewage introduces non-indigenous microbial populations of uncertain composition into surface waters. We used massively parallel 454 pyrosequencing of hypervariable regions in rRNA genes to profile microbial communities from eight untreated sewage influent samples of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in metropolitan Milwaukee. The sewage profiles included a discernible human faecal signature made up of several taxonomic groups including multiple Bifidobacteriaceae, Coriobacteriaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae genera. The faecal signature made up a small fraction of the taxa present in sewage but the relative abundance of these sequence tags mirrored the population structures of human faecal samples. These genera were much more prevalent in the sewage influent than standard indicators species. High-abundance sequences from taxonomic groups within the Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria dominated the sewage samples but occurred at very low levels in faecal and surface water samples, suggesting that these organisms proliferate within the sewer system. Samples from Jones Island (JI--servicing residential plus a combined sewer system) and South Shore (SS--servicing a residential area) WWTPs had very consistent community profiles, with greater similarity between WWTPs on a given collection day than the same plant collected on different days. Rainfall increased influent flows at SS and JI WWTPs, and this corresponded to greater diversity in the community at both plants. Overall, the sewer system appears to be a defined environment with both infiltration of rainwater and stormwater inputs modulating community composition. Microbial sewage communities represent a combination of inputs from human faecal microbes and enrichment of specific microbes from the environment to form a unique population structure. PMID:19840106
McLellan, S L; Huse, S M; Mueller-Spitz, S R; Andreishcheva, E N; Sogin, M L
Plantago ovata, popularly known as isabgol, has great commercial and medicinal importance due to thin rosy white membranous seed husk. Isabgol seeds and husks have emollient, demulcent and laxative properties. We used both biometric and molecular techniques to assess the genetic variability and relatedness of 80 germplasm accessions of Plantago spp (P. ovata, P. lanceolata, and P. major) collected both from India and abroad. The range of D2 values (2.01-4890.73) indicated a very high degree of divergence among the accessions. Based on the degree of divergence, 80 accessions/genotypes were grouped into seven clusters. Thirty-six accessions were analyzed through RAPD profiling for similarity and genetic distances, using 20 random primers. Intraspecific differences in all three species were smaller [range for P. ovata (2-17%), P. lanceolata (3-15%), P. major (2-11%)] than interspecific diversity. These highly divergent lines could be used to produce superior hybrids. PMID:19876869
The placing of genetically modified plants and derived food on the market falls under Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003. According to this regulation, applicants need to perform a safety assessment according to the Guidance Document of the Scientific Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is based on internationally agreed recommendations. This article gives an overview of the underlying legislation as well as the strategy and scientific criteria for the safety assessment, which should generally be based on the concept of substantial equivalence and carried out in relation to an unmodified conventional counterpart. Besides the intended genetic modification, potential unintended changes also have to be assessed with regard to potential adverse effects for the consumer. All genetically modified plants and derived food products, which have been evaluated by EFSA so far, were considered to be as safe as products derived from the respective conventional plants. PMID:20449554
Note: Adapted from: Wezel A. and Ohl J. 2005. Does remoteness from urban centres influence plantdiversity in homegardens and swidden fields: a case study from the Matsiguenka in the Amazonian rainforest of Peru. Agroforestry Systems 65: 241 - 251. Abstract. Swidden cultivation is the traditional agricultural system in most parts of the Amazonian rainforest, and in many situations swiddens
|Students following a pre-Certificate year in biology (the preliminary year of a 4-year BSc programme) learnt about plantdiversity through integrated field and classroom studies carried out in an afforested area of north-east England. The students identified, listed and made interpretive drawings of their own choice of the specimens they had…
We provide here a comparative genome analysis of ten strains within the Pseudomonas fluorescens group including seven new genomic sequences. These strains exhibit a diverse spectrum of traits involved in biological control and other multitrophic interactions with plants, microbes, and insects. Multilocus sequence analysis placed the strains in three sub-clades, which was reinforced by high levels of synteny, size of
Joyce E. Loper; Karl A. Hassan; Dmitri V. Mavrodi; Edward W. Davis; Chee Kent Lim; Brenda T. Shaffer; Liam D. H. Elbourne; Virginia O. Stockwell; Sierra L. Hartney; Katy Breakwell; Marcella D. Henkels; Sasha G. Tetu; Lorena I. Rangel; Teresa A. Kidarsa; Neil L. Wilson; Judith E. van de Mortel; Chunxu Song; Rachel Blumhagen; Diana Radune; Jessica B. Hostetler; Lauren M. Brinkac; A. Scott Durkin; Daniel A. Kluepfel; W. Patrick Wechter; Anne J. Anderson; Young Cheol Kim; Leland S. Pierson; Elizabeth A. Pierson; Steven E. Lindow; Donald Y. Kobayashi; Jos M. Raaijmakers; David M. Weller; Linda S. Thomashow; Andrew E. Allen; Ian T. Paulsen
Semi-arid rangelands in the western North America face many challenges due to invasive weedy species, wildfires, and past mismanagement. A diversity of plant species are needed to effectively revegetate degraded rangelands in this expansive area. Legumes native to western North America are of inte...
Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli are the most important human enteropathogens among the campylobacters. The objective of this study was to determine how diversity in Campylobacter found on chicken carcasses collected from 17 broiler processing plants in the United States is impacted by processing. ...
This Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, for the deployment and operation of a commercial 40-Megawatt (MW) Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Pilot Plant (hereafter called the Pilot Plant). A description of the proposed action is presented, and a generic environment typical of the candidate Pilot Plant siting regions is described. An assessment of the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed action is given, and the risk of credible accidents and mitigating measures to reduce these risks are considered. The Federal and State plans and policies the proposed action will encompass are described. Alternatives to the proposed action are presented. Appendix A presents the navigation and environmental information contained in the US Coast Pilot for each of the candidate sites; Appendix B provides a brief description of the methods and calculations used in the EA. It is concluded that environmental disturbances associated with Pilot Plant activities could potentially cause significant environmental impacts; however, the magnitude of these potential impacts cannot presently be assessed, due to insufficient engineering and environmental information. A site- and design-specific OTEC Pilot Plant Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required to resolve the potentially significant environmental effects associated with Pilot Plant deployment and operation. (WHK)
The symbiosis between land plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is one of the most widespread and ancient mutualisms on the planet. However, relatively little is known about the evolution of these symbiotic plant-fungal interactions in natural communities. In this study, we investigated the symbiotic AMF communities of populations of the native plant species Pilea pumila (Urticaceae) with varying histories of coexistence with a nonmycorrhizal invasive species, Alliaria petiolata (Brassicaceae), known to affect mycorrhizal communities. We found that native populations of P. pumila with a long history of coexistence with the invasive species developed more diverse symbiotic AMF communities. This effect was strongest when A. petiolata plants were actively growing with the natives, and in soils with the longest history of A. petiolata growth. These results suggest that despite the ancient and widespread nature of the plant-AMF symbiosis, the plant traits responsible for symbiotic preferences can, nevertheless, evolve rapidly in response to environmental changes. PMID:24118244
Suppression of soilborne disease by fluorescent pseudomonads may be inconsistent. Inefficient root colonization by the introduced bacteria is often responsible for this inconsistency. To better understand the bacterial traits involved in root colonization, the effect of two plant species, flax (Linum usitatissinum L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), on the diversity of soilborne populations was assessed. Fluorescent pseudomonads were isolated from an uncultivated soil and from rhizosphere, rhizoplane, and root tissue of flax and tomato cultivated in the same soil. Species and biovars were identified by classical biochemical and physiological tests. The ability of bacterial isolates to assimilate 147 different organic compounds and to show three different enzyme activities was assessed to determine their intraspecific phenotypic diversity. Numerical analysis of these characteristics allowed the clustering of isolates showing a high level (87.8%) of similarity. On the whole, the populations isolated from soil were different from those isolated from plants with respect to their phenotypic characteristics. The difference in bacteria isolated from uncultivated soil and from root tissue of flax was particularly marked. The intensity of plant selection was more strongly expressed with flax than with tomato plants. The selection was, at least partly, plant specific. The use of 10 different substrates allowed us to discriminate between flax and tomato isolates. Pseudomonas fluorescens biovars II, III, and V and Pseudomonas putida biovar A and intermediate type were well distributed among the isolates from soil, rhizosphere, and rhizoplane. Most isolates from root tissue of flax and tomato belonged to P. putida bv. A and to P. fluorescens bv. II, respectively. Phenotypic characterization of bacterial isolates was well correlated with genotypic characterization based on repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR fingerprinting.
Although patterns between plantdiversity and ecosystem productivity have been much studied, a consistent relationship has not yet emerged. Several different patterns have been observed both naturally and experimentally, likely caused by spatial variability of environmental factors and vegetation composition. In this study, we measured the vegetation cover, plantdiversity, productivity, soil properties and site characteristics along an environment gradient of natural sandy grasslands (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, dry meadow, wet meadow and flood plain grassland) in a semiarid area of Northern China. We used multivariate analysis to examine the relationships between environment factors, vegetation composition, plantdiversity and productivity. We found a positive correlation between plantdiversity and productivity. Vegetation composition had also a significantly positive correlation with plantdiversity and productivity. Environment gradients in relation to soil properties and topography features affected the distribution patterns of species diversity, vegetation composition and productivity. However, environment gradients are a better determiner for vegetation composition and productivity than for species diversity. The analysis from optimization model of structural equation suggests that environmental factors determine vegetation composition, which in turn drives independently both plantdiversity and productivity. Thus the positive correlation between plantdiversity and productivity is not direct, but indirectly driven by the spatial pattern of vegetation composition determined by environment gradients in soil and topography.
Zuo, X. A.; Knops, J. M. H.; Zhao, X. Y.; Zhao, H. L.; Li, Y. Q.; Guo, Y. R.
Forty-nine plant-wide energy efficiency assessments have been undertaken under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program. Plant-wide assessments are comprehensive, systematic investigations of plant energy efficiency, ...
The restricted neutralization breadth of vaccine-elicited antibodies is a major limitation of current human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) candidate vaccines. In order to permit the efficient identification of vaccines with enhanced capacity for eliciting cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and to assess the overall breadth and potency of vaccine-elicited NAb reactivity, we assembled a panel of 109 molecularly cloned HIV-1 Env pseudoviruses representing a broad range of genetic and geographic diversity. Viral isolates from all major circulating genetic subtypes were included, as were viruses derived shortly after transmission and during the early and chronic stages of infection. We assembled a panel of genetically diverse HIV-1-positive (HIV-1+) plasma pools to assess the neutralization sensitivities of the entire virus panel. When the viruses were rank ordered according to the average sensitivity to neutralization by the HIV-1+ plasmas, a continuum of average sensitivity was observed. Clustering analysis of the patterns of sensitivity defined four subgroups of viruses: those having very high (tier 1A), above-average (tier 1B), moderate (tier 2), or low (tier 3) sensitivity to antibody-mediated neutralization. We also investigated potential associations between characteristics of the viral isolates (clade, stage of infection, and source of virus) and sensitivity to NAb. In particular, higher levels of NAb activity were observed when the virus and plasma pool were matched in clade. These data provide the first systematic assessment of the overall neutralization sensitivities of a genetically and geographically diverse panel of circulating HIV-1 strains. These reference viruses can facilitate the systematic characterization of NAb responses elicited by candidate vaccine immunogens.
Seaman, Michael S.; Janes, Holly; Hawkins, Natalie; Grandpre, Lauren E.; Devoy, Colleen; Giri, Ayush; Coffey, Rory T.; Harris, Linda; Wood, Blake; Daniels, Marcus G.; Bhattacharya, Tanmoy; Lapedes, Alan; Polonis, Victoria R.; McCutchan, Francine E.; Gilbert, Peter B.; Self, Steve G.; Korber, Bette T.; Montefiori, David C.; Mascola, John R.
This document contains responses and planned actions and their estimated costs for addressing the findings presented in the Tiger Team Environment, Safety, and Health Compliance Assessment of the Pinellas Plant. The assessment presented 170 findings in three general categories: environment, safety and health, and management and organization.
We examined the genetic population structure in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.), the dominant seagrass species of the northern hemisphere, over spatial scales from 12 km to 10 000 km using the polymorphism of DNA microsatellites. Twelve populations were genotyped for six loci representing a total of 67 alleles. Populations sampled included the North Sea (four), the Baltic Sea (three), the western Atlantic (two), the eastern Atlantic (one), the Mediterranean Sea (one) and the eastern Pacific (one). Microsatellites revealed substantial genetic variation in a plant group with low allozyme diversity. Average expected heterozygosities per population (monoclonal populations excluded) ranged from 0.32 to 0.61 (mean = 0. 48) and allele numbers varied between 3.3 and 6.7 (mean = 4.7). Using the expected frequency of multilocus genotypes within populations, we distinguished ramets from genetic individuals (i.e. equivalent to clones). Differences in clonal diversity among populations varied widely and ranged from maximal diversity (i.e. all ramets with different genotype) to near or total monoclonality (two populations). All multiple sampled ramets were excluded from further analysis of genetic differentiation within and between populations. All but one population were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, indicating that Zostera marina is predominantly outcrossing. From a regression of the pairwise population differentiation with distance, we obtained an effective population size Ne of 2440-5000. The overall genetic differentiation among eelgrass populations, assessed as rho (a standardized estimate of Slatkin's RST) was 0.384 (95% CI 0.34-0.44, P < 0.001). Genetic differentiation was weak among three North Sea populations situated 12-42 km distant from one another, suggesting that tidal currents result in an efficient exchange of propagules. In the Baltic and in Nova Scotia, a small but statistically significant fraction of the genetic variance was distributed between populations (rho = 0.029-0. 053) at scales of 15-35 km. Pairwise genetic differentiation between European populations were correlated with distance between populations up to a distance of 4500 km (linear differentiation-by-distance model, R2 = 0.67). In contrast, both Nova Scotian populations were genetically much closer to North Sea and Baltic populations than expected from their geographical distance (pairwise rho = 0.03-0.08, P < 0.01). A biogeographical cluster of Canadian with Baltic/North Sea populations was also supported using a neighbour-joining tree based on Cavalli-Sforza's chord distance. Relatedness between populations may be very different from predictions based on geographical vicinity. PMID:10672157
Recent metaanalyses suggest biodiversity loss affects the functioning of ecosystems to a similar extent as other global environmental change agents. However, the abundance and functioning of soil organisms have been hypothesized to be much less responsive to such changes, particularly in plantdiversity, than aboveground variables, although tests of this hypothesis are extremely rare. We examined the responses of soil food webs (soil microorganisms, nematodes, microarthropods) to 13-y manipulation of multiple environmental factors that are changing at global scales—specifically plant species richness, atmospheric CO2, and N deposition—in a grassland experiment in Minnesota. Plantdiversity was a strong driver of the structure and functioning of soil food webs through several bottom-up (resource control) effects, whereas CO2 and N only had modest effects. We found few interactions between plantdiversity and CO2 and N, likely because of weak interactive effects of those factors on resource availability (e.g., root biomass). Plantdiversity effects likely were large because high plantdiversity promoted the accumulation of soil organic matter in the site’s sandy, organic matter–poor soils. Plantdiversity effects were not explained by the presence of certain plant functional groups. Our results underline the prime importance of plantdiversity loss cascading to soil food webs (density and diversity of soil organisms) and functions. Because the present results suggest prevailing plantdiversity effects and few interactions with other global change drivers, protecting plantdiversity may be of high priority to maintain the biodiversity and functioning of soils in a changing world.
Eisenhauer, Nico; Dobies, Tomasz; Cesarz, Simone; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Meyer, Ross J.; Worm, Kally; Reich, Peter B.
A Department of Energy Plant-wide Assessment was undertaken by Arizona Portland Cement (APC) beginning in May 2005. The assessment was performed at APC’s cement production facility in Rillito, Arizona. The assessment included a compressed air evaluation along with a detailed process audit of plant operations and equipment. The purpose of this Energy Survey was to identify a series of energy cost savings opportunities at the Plant, and provide preliminary cost and savings estimates for the work. The assessment was successful in identifying projects that could provide annual savings of over $2.7 million at an estimated capital cost of $4.3 million. If implemented, these projects could amount to a savings of over 4.9 million kWh/yr and 384,420 MMBtu/year.
Stephen J. Coppinger, P.E.; Bruce Colburn, Ph.D., P.E., CEM
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the adaptation of lean production and assess its current state of practice in selected plants in electronics, telecommunication, wireless, computer, food\\/beverage, garment, pharmaceutical, chemical, petroleum, printing, A\\/C and heating, and a few others in China. Design\\/methodology\\/approach – An assessment tool is used to evaluate actual manufacturing practice related to key
An approach was made to the problem of estimating rates of chromosomal evolution in plants. This was done by considering variability in chromosome number within genera whose ages are known approximately from fossil and biogeographic evidence. The relative increases in chromosome number diversity per lineage per unit time were as follows: herbaceous angiosperms, 100; woody angiosperms, 14; conifers, 2; and cycads, 0. Rates of increase in species diversity were estimated in an analogous way. These rates were strongly correlated with the karyotypic rates. These evolutionary rate differences between major groups of seed plants are largely explicable in terms of the breeding structures of populations. Herbs usually have small to moderate effective population sizes, and relatively high dispersability. By contrast, woody angiosperms and gymnosperms are usually obligate outbreeders with large effective population sizes and low dispersability. Thus the probability of fixing and dispersing new karyotypes or novel character ensembles is higher in herbs than in other seed plants.
Endophytic bacterial diversity was estimated in Mexican husk tomato plant roots by amplified rDNA restriction analysis and sequence homology comparison of the 16S rDNA genes. Sixteen operational taxonomic units from the 16S rDNA root library were identified based on sequence analysis, including the classes Gammaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacilli. The predominant genera were Stenotrophomonas (21.9%), Microbacterium (17.1%), Burkholderia (14.3%), Bacillus (14.3%), and Pseudomonas (10.5%). In a 16S rDNA gene library of the same plant species' rhizosphere, only common soil bacteria, including Stenotrophomonas, Burkholderia, Bacillus, and Pseudomonas, were detected. We suggest that the endophytic bacterial diversity within the roots of Mexican husk tomato plants is a subset of the rhizosphere bacterial population, dominated by a few genera. PMID:21157706
Marquez-Santacruz, H A; Hernandez-Leon, R; Orozco-Mosqueda, M C; Velazquez-Sepulveda, I; Santoyo, G
Prosopis laevigata and Mimosa biuncifera are frequently found in arid and semiarid shrublands, but scarce information is available about their influence on plant community structure and soil fertility. We compared plant community structure, diversity and soil nutrients of three semiarid shrubland sites located in Mezquital Valley, Mexico. These sites differ in their dominant species: Site 1 (Bingu) P. laevigata, Site 2 (González) M. biuncifera, and Site 3 (Rincón) with the presence of both legumes. The results showed that the plant community with P. laevigata and M. biuncifera (Site 3) had more cover, taller plants and higher plantdiversity than sites with only one legume (Site 1 and Site 2). Soil organic matter (SOM), soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), phosphorus-Olsen (P) and C mineralization were higher in the soil under the canopy of both legumes than in bare soil. In contrast, soil cation concentrations were lower under the canopy of P. laevigata, but not for M. biuncifera. In addition, the density of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi spores was higher within the soil under the canopy of M. biuncifera than in the soil under the canopy of P. laevigata. Thus, resource islands (RI) created by P. laevigata increased the amounts of SOC, TN and P when compared with the RI of M. biuncifera. This study provided evidences about the importance of species identity in order to expand the niche availability for the establishment of other plants, and highlights that P. laevigata and M. biuncifera jointly influencing plant colonization within semiarid ecosystems. PMID:22458211
García-Sánchez, Rosalva; Camargo-Ricalde, Sara Lucía; García-Moya, Edmundo; Luna-Cavazos, Mario; Romero-Manzanares, Angélica; Montaño, Noé Manuel
The timing of periodic life cycle events in plants (phenology) is an important factor determining how species and populations will react to climate change. We evaluated annual patterns of basal-area and height growth of coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotusga menziesii var. menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seedlings from four seed sources that were planted in four diverse environments as part of the Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial. Stem diameters and heights were measured periodically during the 2010 growing season on 16 open-pollinated families at each study installation. Stem diameters were measured on a subset of trees with electronic dendrometers during the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons. Trees from the four seed sources differed in phenology metrics that described the timing of basal-area and height-growth initiation, growth cessation and growth rates. Differences in the height-growth metrics were generally larger than differences in the basal-area growth metrics and differences among installations were larger than differences among seed sources, highlighting the importance of environmental signals on growth phenology. Variations in the height- and basal-area growth metrics were correlated with different aspects of the seed-source environments: precipitation in the case of height growth and minimum temperature in the case of basal-area growth. The detailed dendrometer measurements revealed differences in growth patterns between seed sources during distinct periods in the growing season. Our results indicate that multiple aspects of growth phenology should be considered along with other traits when evaluating adaptation of populations to future climates. PMID:23135739
Gould, Peter J; Harrington, Constance A; St Clair, J Bradley
Endophytic actinobacteria are relatively unexplored as potential sources of novel species and novel natural products for medical and commercial exploitation. Xishuangbanna is recognized throughout the world for its diverse flora, especially the rain forest plants, many of which have indigenous pharmaceutical histories. However, little is known about the endophytic actinobacteria of this tropical area. In this work, we studied the diversity of actinobacteria isolated from medicinal plants collected from tropical rain forests in Xishuangbanna. By the use of different selective isolation media and methods, a total of 2,174 actinobacteria were isolated. Forty-six isolates were selected on the basis of their morphologies on different media and were further characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results showed an unexpected level of diversity, with 32 different genera. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the isolation of Saccharopolyspora, Dietzia, Blastococcus, Dactylosporangium, Promicromonospora, Oerskovia, Actinocorallia, and Jiangella species from endophytic environments. At least 19 isolates are considered novel taxa by our current research. In addition, all 46 isolates were tested for antimicrobial activity and were screened for the presence of genes encoding polyketide synthetases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases. The results confirm that the medicinal plants of Xishuangbanna represent an extremely rich reservoir for the isolation of a significant diversity of actinobacteria, including novel species, that are potential sources for the discovery of biologically active compounds.
There are different options that could be used in order to assess human health impact from power plants. Tools as monitoring campaigns, epidemiology and mathematical models must be based on strength scientific evidenced and valid epidemiological theory and practice. On the other hand, as a consequence of the technology used in energy production and of the type of fuel, the
A realistic approach is currently being used at the Rocky Flats Plant to assess the risks of natural phenomena events. The methodology addresses frequency of occurrence estimates, damage stress on the facility and vital equipment, material-at-risk, release fractions and source terms, leakpath, dispersion and dosimetric models, risk curves, and an uncertainty analysis. 28 refs.
Critical infrastructures are exposed to new threats due to the large number of vulnerabilities and architectural weaknesses introduced by the extensive use of information and communication technologies. This paper presents the results of an exhaustive security assessment for a turbo-gas power plant.
Masera, Marcelo; Fovino, Igor Nai; Leszczyna, Rafal
This paper reviews the state-of-the-art in available fire models for the assessment of nuclear power plants fires. The advantages and disadvantages of three basic types of fire models (zone, field, and control volume) and Sandia's experience with these mo...
This paper reviews the state-of-the-art in available fire models for the assessment of nuclear power plants fires. The advantages and disadvantages of three basic types of fire models (zone, field, and control volume) and Sandia's experience with these models will be discussed. It is shown that the type of fire model selected to solve a particular problem should be based
The German risk study are presented. The main objectives can be summed up as follows: (a) An assessment of the societal risk due to accidents in nuclear power plants with reference to German conditions; (b) To get experience in the field of risk analysis ...
The roots of the understorey shrub Carapichea ipecacuanha (ipecac) have medicinal properties, and the uprooting of wild plants has supplied most of the world demand for this species. Although under severe population decline, C. ipecacuanha lacks legal protection. In the wild, the aerial stems of ipecac clump together to form clusters with well-defined borders. Cluster size may range from several to hundreds of aerial stems. To investigate the extent of clonality among aerial stems in ipecac clusters, we sampled 50 wild clusters (a total of 291 aerial stems) and screened them with 89 inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. The 291 aerial stems were grouped into 42 putative clones. The clonal groups generally consisted of aerial stems from the same cluster, and there was little or no genetic differentiation among aerial stems at the cluster level. These findings suggest that strategies designed to conserve ipecac in situ should not rely upon census data, which are based on the number of aerial stems per cluster and the number of clusters per population, because such data greatly underestimate the species effective population size and genetic diversity. Our results also indicate that this species needs protection at a federal level. PMID:21637610
de Oliveira, Luiz Orlando; Venturini, Bruna Afonso; Rossi, Ana Aparecida Bandini; Hastenreiter, Saulo Santos
In this study, a total of 130 rhizobacteria was isolated from a saline infested zone of wheat rhizosphere, and screened for plant growth promoting (PGP) traits at higher salt (NaCl) concentrations (2, 4, 6, and 8%). The results revealed that 24 rhizobacterial isolates were tolerant at 8% NaCl. Although all the 24 salt tolerable isolates produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), while 10 isolates solubilized phosphorus, eight produced siderophore, and six produced gibberellin. However, only three isolates showed the production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase. Diversity was analyzed through 16S rDNA-RFLP, and of these isolates with three tetra cutter restriction enzymes (HaeIII, AluI, and MspI), the representative cluster groups were identified by 16S rDNA sequencing. Bacillus and Bacillus-derived genera were dominant which showed PGP attributes at 8% NaCl concentration. Out of 24 isolates, nitrogen fixing ability (nif H gene) was detected in the two isolates, SU18 (Arthrobacter sp.) and SU48. PMID:19701667