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Sample records for assess plant diversity

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. PLANT DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T. Matthew

    2007-01-01

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology. PMID:18093933

  4. Evolution & Diversity in Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Lorentz C.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

    We here critically re-assess a conceptual model dealing with the potential effect of plant diversity on climate-vegetation feedback, and provide an improved version adjusted to plant types that prevailed during the African Humid Period (AHP). Our work contributes to the understanding of the timing and abruptness of vegetation decline at the end of the AHP, investigated by various working groups during the past two decades using a wide range of model and palaeoproxy reconstruction approaches. While some studies indicated an abrupt collapse of vegetation at the end of the AHP, others suggested a gradual decline. Claussen et al. (2013) introduced a new aspect in the discussion, proposing that plant diversity in terms of moisture requirements could affect the strength of climate-vegetation feedback. In a conceptual model study, the authors illustrated that high plant diversity could stabilize an ecosystem, whereas a reduction in plant diversity might allow for an abrupt regime shift under gradually changing environmental conditions. Based on recently published pollen data and the current state of ecological literature, we evaluate the representation of climate-vegetation feedback in this conceptual approach, and put the suggested conclusions into an ecological context. In principle, the original model reproduces the main features of different plant types interacting together with climate although vegetation determinants other than precipitation are neglected. However, the model cannot capture the diversity of AHP vegetation. Especially tropical gallery forest taxa, indirectly linked to local precipitation, are not appropriately represented. In order to fill the gaps in the description of plant types regarding AHP diversity, we modify the original model in four main aspects. First, the growth ranges in terms of moisture requirements are extended by upper limits to represent full environmental envelopes. Second, data-based AHP plant types replace the hypothetical plant types. Third, the tropical gallery forest type follows the gradual insolation forcing with a linear approximation because it relies more on large scale climate than on regional precipitation amounts. Fourth, we replace the dimensionless vegetation cover fractions with individual effective leaf areas to capture different contributions to climate-vegetation feedback. These adjustments allow for the consideration of a broader spectrum of plant types, plant-climate feedbacks, and implicitly for plant-plant interactions. With the consideration of full environmental envelopes and the prescribed retreat of the tropical gallery forest type we can simulate a diverse mosaic-like environment as it was reconstructed from pollen. Transient simulations of this diverse environment support the buffering effect of high functional diversity on ecosystem performance and precipitation, concluded by Claussen et al. (2013) from the simple approach. Sensitivity studies with different combinations of plant types highlight the importance of plant composition on system stability, and the stabilizing or destabilizing potential a single functional type may inherit. In a broader view, the adjusted model provides a useful tool to study the roles of real plant types in an ecosystem and their combined climate-vegetation feedback under changing precipitation regimes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable. The pros and cons of the basic and advanced statistical tools available for measuring genetic diversity are briefly discussed and their source links (mostly) were provided to get easy access; thus, it improves the understanding of tools and its practical applicability to the researchers. PMID:25874132

  7. Importance of genetic diversity assessment in crop plants and its recent advances: an overview of its analytical perspectives.

    PubMed

    Govindaraj, M; Vetriventhan, M; Srinivasan, M

    2015-01-01

    The importance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) is now being recognized as a specific area since exploding population with urbanization and decreasing cultivable lands are the critical factors contributing to food insecurity in developing world. Agricultural scientists realized that PGD can be captured and stored in the form of plant genetic resources (PGR) such as gene bank, DNA library, and so forth, in the biorepository which preserve genetic material for long period. However, conserved PGR must be utilized for crop improvement in order to meet future global challenges in relation to food and nutritional security. This paper comprehensively reviews four important areas; (i) the significance of plant genetic diversity (PGD) and PGR especially on agriculturally important crops (mostly field crops); (ii) risk associated with narrowing the genetic base of current commercial cultivars and climate change; (iii) analysis of existing PGD analytical methods in pregenomic and genomic era; and (iv) modern tools available for PGD analysis in postgenomic era. This discussion benefits the plant scientist community in order to use the new methods and technology for better and rapid assessment, for utilization of germplasm from gene banks to their applied breeding programs. With the advent of new biotechnological techniques, this process of genetic manipulation is now being accelerated and carried out with more precision (neglecting environmental effects) and fast-track manner than the classical breeding techniques. It is also to note that gene banks look into several issues in order to improve levels of germplasm distribution and its utilization, duplication of plant identity, and access to database, for prebreeding activities. Since plant breeding research and cultivar development are integral components of improving food production, therefore, availability of and access to diverse genetic sources will ensure that the global food production network becomes more sustainable. The pros and cons of the basic and advanced statistical tools available for measuring genetic diversity are briefly discussed and their source links (mostly) were provided to get easy access; thus, it improves the understanding of tools and its practical applicability to the researchers. PMID:25874132

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. Tubulin-based polymorphism (TBP): a new tool, based on functionally relevant sequences, to assess genetic diversity in plant species.

    PubMed

    Bardini, Mauro; Lee, David; Donini, Paolo; Mariani, Anna; Gian, Silvia; Toschi, Marcello; Lowe, Chris; Breviario, Diego

    2004-04-01

    TBP (tubulin-based polymorphism) is a new molecular marker based tool that relies on the presence of intron-specific DNA polymorphisms of the plant beta-tubulin gene family. The multifunctional and essential role of the tubulin proteins is reflected in the conservation of regions within their primary amino acid sequence. The ubiquitous nature of this gene family can be exploited using primers that amplify the first intron of different beta-tubulin isotypes, revealing specific fingerprints. The method is rapid, simple, and reliable and does not require preliminary sequence information of the plant genome of interest. The ability of TBP to discriminate between accessions and species in oilseed rape, coffee, and lotus is shown. In all cases, TBP was able to detect specific genetic polymorphisms in the context of a simplified and readily appreciable pattern of DNA amplification. The application of TBP for assessing genetic diversity and genome origins in disseminated plant landraces rather than in highly inbred cultivated species is also discussed. PMID:15060580

  10. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may negatively affect the richness of plant-pollinator communities across large spatial scales. PMID:26929389

  11. Facilitative plant interactions and climate simultaneously drive alpine plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Brooker, Rob W; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cook, Bradley J; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J; Michalet, Richard; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Schöb, Christian; Xiao, Sa; Anthelme, Fabien; Björk, Robert G; Dickinson, Katharine J M; Cranston, Brittany H; Gavilán, Rosario; Gutiérrez-Girón, Alba; Kanka, Robert; Maalouf, Jean-Paul; Mark, Alan F; Noroozi, Jalil; Parajuli, Rabindra; Phoenix, Gareth K; Reid, Anya M; Ridenour, Wendy M; Rixen, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Zhao, Liang; Escudero, Adrián; Zaitchik, Benjamin F; Lingua, Emanuele; Aschehoug, Erik T; Callaway, Ragan M

    2014-02-01

    Interactions among species determine local-scale diversity, but local interactions are thought to have minor effects at larger scales. However, quantitative comparisons of the importance of biotic interactions relative to other drivers are rarely made at larger scales. Using a data set spanning 78 sites and five continents, we assessed the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate in determining plant diversity in alpine ecosystems dominated by nurse-plant cushion species. Climate variables related with water balance showed the highest correlation with richness at the global scale. Strikingly, although the effect of cushion species on diversity was lower than that of climate, its contribution was still substantial. In particular, cushion species enhanced species richness more in systems with inherently impoverished local diversity. Nurse species appear to act as a 'safety net' sustaining diversity under harsh conditions, demonstrating that climate and species interactions should be integrated when predicting future biodiversity effects of climate change. PMID:24238015

  12. The influence of linear elements on plant species diversity of Mediterranean rural landscapes: assessment of different indices and statistical approaches.

    PubMed

    García del Barrio, J M; Ortega, M; Vázquez De la Cueva, A; Elena-Rosselló, R

    2006-08-01

    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. Secondly, it aims to check plant diversity estimation in Mediterranean landscapes using parametric and non-parametric procedures, with two indices: Species richness and Shannon index. Land cover types and landscape linear elements were identified from aerial photographs. Their spatial information was processed using GIS techniques. Field plots were selected using a stratified sampling design according to relieve and tree density of each habitat type. A 50x20 m2 multi-scale sampling plot was designed for the core habitats and across the main landscape linear elements. Richness and diversity of plant species were estimated by comparing the observed field data to ICE (Incidence-based Coverage Estimator) and ACE (Abundance-based Coverage Estimator) non-parametric estimators. The species density, percentage of unique species, and alpha diversity per plot were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in linear elements than in core habitats. ICE estimate of number of species was 32% higher than of ACE estimate, which did not differ significantly from the observed values. Accumulated species richness in core habitats together with linear elements, were significantly higher than those recorded only in the core habitats in all the landscapes. Conversely, Shannon diversity index did not show significant differences. PMID:16763745

  13. When can plant-pollinator interactions promote plant diversity?

    PubMed

    Benadi, Gita; Blüthgen, Nico; Hovestadt, Thomas; Poethke, Hans-Joachim

    2013-08-01

    In the light of rapid losses of biodiversity worldwide, it has become more important than ever to study the factors that ensure the continued existence of diverse ecological communities. Whereas the diversity-enhancing effects of antagonistic interactions are relatively well understood, much less is known about the contribution of mutualistic interactions to biodiversity maintenance. This study assesses the influence of mutualistic interactions with pollinators on the diversity of plant communities with alternative means of reproduction besides animal pollination. In contrast to a recent more general model of plant-animal mutualisms, the results of our simulations suggest that interactions with pollinators do not generally promote plant diversity, irrespective of the structure of the interaction network. Despite a potential for increased plant species richness through the positive effect of pollinators on plant birth rates, species richness was mostly negatively affected by the presence of pollinators because existing abundance asymmetries were amplified by animal pollination. Our results imply that for plant communities with alternative means of reproduction, the loss of pollinators will usually not lead to decreased diversity. However, whereas the immediate effects of pollinator loss on plant community composition may be negligible, the long-term population genetic consequences are likely to be severe. PMID:23852349

  14. Curvilinear effects of invasive plants on plant diversity: plant community invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The effects of invasive plants on the species diversity of plant communities are controversial, showing either a positive or negative linear relationship. Based on community data collected from forty 5 m5 m plots invaded by Sphagneticola trilobata in eight cities across Hainan Island, China, we found S. trilobata decreased plant community diversity once its cover was beyond 10%. We demonstrated that the effects of invasive/native plants on the plant diversity of communities invaded by S. trilobata were curvilinear. These effects, which showed peaks under different degrees of vegetation cover, appeared not only for S. trilobata and all invasive plants, but also for all native plants. Invasive plants primarily had negative effects on plant diversity when they became abundant at a much lower cover level (less than 35%), compared with the native plants (over 60%). Thus, it is necessary to distinguish a range for assessing the effects of plants, especially invasive plants. Our results also confirmed that the invasion intensity of invasive alien plants increased with the intensity of local economic development. We highlight and further discuss the critical importance of curvilinear effects of biological invasion to provide ideas regarding the conservation of local biodiversity and the management of invasive plants. PMID:25426856

  16. Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. How does pedogenesis drive plant diversity?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. The Choice of PCR Primers Has Great Impact on Assessments of Bacterial Community Diversity and Dynamics in a Wastewater Treatment Plant

    PubMed Central

    Fredriksson, Nils Johan; Hermansson, Malte; Wilén, Britt-Marie

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Mycorrhizal fungal identity and diversity relaxes plant-plant competition.

    PubMed

    Wagg, Cameron; Jansa, Jan; Stadler, Marina; Schmid, Bernhard; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2011-06-01

    There is a great interest in ecology in understanding the role of soil microbial diversity for plant productivity and coexistence. Recent research has shown increases in species richness of mutualistic soil fungi, the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), to be related to increases in aboveground productivity of plant communities. However, the impact of AMF richness on plant-plant interactions has not been determined. Moreover, it is unknown whether species-rich AMF communities can act as insurance to maintain productivity in a fluctuating environment (e.g., upon changing soil conditions). We tested the impact of four different AMF taxa and of AMF diversity (no AMF, single AMF taxa, and all four together) on competitive interactions between the legume Trifolium pratense and the grass Lolium multiflorum grown under two different soil conditions of low and high sand content. We hypothesized that more diverse mutualistic interactions (e.g., when four AMF taxa are present) can ease competitive effects between plants, increase plant growth, and maintain plant productivity across different soil environments. We used quantitative PCR to verify that AMF taxa inoculated at the beginning of the experiment were still present at the end. The presence of AMF reduced the competitive inequality between the two plant species by reducing the growth suppression of the legume by the grass. High AMF richness enhanced the combined biomass production of the two plant species and the yield of the legume, particularly in the more productive soil with low sand content. In the less productive (high sand content) soil, the single most effective AMF had an equally beneficial effect on plant productivity as the mixture of four AMF. Since contributions of single AMF to plant productivity varied between both soils, higher AMF richness would be required to maintain plant productivity in heterogeneous environments. Overall this work shows that AMF diversity promotes plant productivity and that AMF diversity can act as insurance to sustain plant productivity under changing environmental conditions. PMID:21797158

  3. A hierarchical perspective of plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plants drive herbivory in a highly diverse forest

    PubMed Central

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Härdtle, Werner; Kröber, Wenzel; Michalski, Stefan G; Purschke, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss may alter ecosystem processes, such as herbivory, a key driver of ecological functions in species-rich (sub)tropical forests. However, the mechanisms underlying such biodiversity effects remain poorly explored, as mostly effects of species richness – a very basic biodiversity measure – have been studied. Here, we analyze to what extent the functional and phylogenetic diversity of woody plant communities affect herbivory along a diversity gradient in a subtropical forest.We assessed the relative effects of morphological and chemical leaf traits and of plant phylogenetic diversity on individual-level variation in herbivory of dominant woody plant species across 27 forest stands in south-east China.Individual-level variation in herbivory was best explained by multivariate, community-level diversity of leaf chemical traits, in combination with community-weighted means of single traits and species-specific phylodiversity measures. These findings deviate from those based solely on trait variation within individual species.Our results indicate a strong impact of generalist herbivores and highlight the need to assess food-web specialization to determine the direction of biodiversity effects. With increasing plant species loss, but particularly with the concomitant loss of functional and phylogenetic diversity in these forests, the impact of herbivores will probably decrease – with consequences for the herbivore-mediated regulation of ecosystem functions. PMID:24460549

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  8. Metagenomics Approaches Based on Virion-Associated Nucleic Acids (VANA): An Innovative Tool for Assessing Without A Priori Viral Diversity of Plants.

    PubMed

    Filloux, Denis; Dallot, Sylvie; Delaunay, Agnès; Galzi, Serge; Jacquot, Emmanuel; Roumagnac, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes an efficient approach that combines quality and yield extraction of viral nucleic acids from plants containing high levels of secondary metabolites and a sequence-independent amplification procedure for both the inventory of known plant viruses and the discovery of unknown ones. This approach turns out to be a useful tool for assessing the virome (the genome of all the viruses that inhabit a particular organism) of plants of interest. We here show that this approach enables the identification of a novel Potyvirus member within a single plant already known to be infected by two other Potyvirus species. PMID:25981259

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B

    2012-12-01

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity-pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship. PMID:23034701

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Assessing bacterial diversity in a seawater-processing wastewater treatment plant by 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA and amoA genes

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Olga; Ferrera, Isabel; González, Jose M; Mas, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Summary The bacterial community composition of activated sludge from a wastewater treatment plant (Almería, Spain) with the particularity of using seawater was investigated by applying 454-pyrosequencing. The results showed that Deinococcus-Thermus, Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi and Bacteroidetes were the most abundant retrieved sequences, while other groups, such as Actinobacteria, Chlorobi, Deferribacteres, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes, Spirochaetes and Verrumicrobia were reported at lower proportions. Rarefaction analysis showed that very likely the diversity is higher than what could be described despite most of the unknown microorganisms probably correspond to rare diversity. Furthermore, the majority of taxa could not be classified at the genus level and likely represent novel members of these groups. Additionally, the nitrifiers in the sludge were characterized by pyrosequencing the amoA gene. In contrast, the nitrifying bacterial community, dominated by the genera Nitrosomonas, showed a low diversity and rarefaction curves exhibited saturation. These results suggest that only a few populations of low abundant but specialized bacteria are responsible for removal of ammonia in these saline wastewater systems. PMID:23574645

  14. Pasture Condition Score Indicators: Controls on Plant and Forage Diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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, plant diversity, and percent legume. Baseline data...

  15. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity–pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship. PMID:23034701

  16. Species interaction mechanisms maintain grassland plant species diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Straight Talk about Cognitive Assessment and Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frisby, Craig L.

    1999-01-01

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

  18. PLANT DIVERSITY OF WESTERN CHITWAN FLORISTIC APPROACH

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. Environmental correlates of plant diversity in Korean temperate forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    Some theories and experimental studies suggest that areas of low plant species richness may be invaded more easily than areas of high plant species richness. We gathered nested-scale vegetation data on plant species richness, foliar cover, and frequency from 200 1-m2 subplots (20 1000-m2 modified-Whittaker plots) in the Colorado Rockies (USA), and 160 1-m2 subplots (16 1000-m2 plots) in the Central Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Minnesota (USA) to test the generality of this paradigm. At the 1-m2 scale, the paradigm was supported in four prairie types in the Central Grasslands, where exotic species richness declined with increasing plant species richness and cover. At the 1-m2 scale, five forest and meadow vegetation types in the Colorado Rockies contradicted the paradigm; exotic species richness increased with native-plant species richness and foliar cover. At the 1000-m2 plot scale (among vegetation types), 83% of the variance in exotic species richness in the Central Grasslands was explained by the total percentage of nitrogen in the soil and the cover of native plant species. In the Colorado Rockies, 69% of the variance in exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots was explained by the number of native plant species and the total percentage of soil carbon. At landscape and biome scales, exotic species primarily invaded areas of high species richness in the four Central Grasslands sites and in the five Colorado Rockies vegetation types. For the nine vegetation types in both biomes, exotic species cover was positively correlated with mean foliar cover, mean soil percentage N, and the total number of exotic species. These patterns of invasibility depend on spatial scale, biome and vegetation type, spatial autocorrelation effects, availability of resources, and species-specific responses to grazing and other disturbances. We conclude that: (1) sites high in herbaceous foliar cover and soil fertility, and hot spots of plant diversity (and biodiversity), are invasible in many landscapes; and (2) this pattern may be more closely related to the degree resources are available in native plant communities, independent of species richness. Exotic plant invasions in rare habitats and distinctive plant communities pose a significant challenge to land managers and conservation biologists.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. PLANT FUNCTIONAL GROUP DIVERSITY AS A MECHANISM FOR INVASION RESISTANCE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A commonly cited mechanism for invasion resistance is that diverse plant 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-24

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

  5. Assessing Nutritional Diversity of Cropping Systems in African Villages

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Background In Sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of children under five years in age are chronically undernourished. As new investments and attention galvanize action on African agriculture to reduce hunger, there is an urgent need for metrics that monitor agricultural progress beyond calories produced per capita and address nutritional diversity essential for human health. In this study we demonstrate how an ecological tool, functional diversity (FD), has potential to address this need and provide new insights on nutritional diversity of cropping systems in rural Africa. Methods and Findings Data on edible plant species diversity, food security and diet diversity were collected for 170 farms in three rural settings in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nutritional FD metrics were calculated based on farm species composition and species nutritional composition. Iron and vitamin A deficiency were determined from blood samples of 90 adult women. Nutritional FD metrics summarized the diversity of nutrients provided by the farm and showed variability between farms and villages. Regression of nutritional FD against species richness and expected FD enabled identification of key species that add nutrient diversity to the system and assessed the degree of redundancy for nutrient traits. Nutritional FD analysis demonstrated that depending on the original composition of species on farm or village, adding or removing individual species can have radically different outcomes for nutritional diversity. While correlations between nutritional FD, food and nutrition indicators were not significant at household level, associations between these variables were observed at village level. Conclusion This study provides novel metrics to address nutritional diversity in farming systems and examples of how these metrics can help guide agricultural interventions towards adequate nutrient diversity. New hypotheses on the link between agro-diversity, food security and human nutrition are generated and strategies for future research are suggested calling for integration of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, and socio-economics. PMID:21698127

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ulanovsky, A

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Power Plant Water Intake Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeitoun, Ibrahim H.; And Others

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    McArt, Scott H.; Thaler, Jennifer S.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    McArt, Scott H; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2013-07-01

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

  15. B Plant hazards assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Broz, R.E.

    1994-09-23

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

  16. T Plant hazards assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Broz, R.E.

    1994-09-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas carnivore communities were affected by forbs of small stature, grasses and legumes. Contrasting patterns in the abundance of dominant species imply different levels of resource specialization for dominant herbivores (narrow food spectrum) and carnivores (broad food spectrum). That in turn could heavily affect ecosystem functions mediated by herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods, such as herbivory or biological pest control. PMID:26859496

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Changes in producer diversity cause multiple changes in consumer communities through various mechanisms. However, past analyses investigating the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod consumers focused only on few aspects of arthropod diversity, e.g. species richness and abundance. Yet, shifts in understudied facets of arthropod diversity like relative abundances or species dominance may have strong effects on arthropod-mediated ecosystem functions. Here we analyze the relationship between plant species richness and arthropod diversity using four complementary diversity indices, namely: abundance, species richness, evenness (equitability of the abundance distribution) and dominance (relative abundance of the dominant species). Along an experimental gradient of plant species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species), we sampled herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods using pitfall traps and suction sampling during a whole vegetation period. We tested whether plant species richness affects consumer diversity directly (i), or indirectly through increased productivity (ii). Further, we tested the impact of plant community composition on arthropod diversity by testing for the effects of plant functional groups (iii). Abundance and species richness of both herbivores and carnivores increased with increasing plant species richness, but the underlying mechanisms differed between the two trophic groups. While higher species richness in herbivores was caused by an increase in resource diversity, carnivore richness was driven by plant productivity. Evenness of herbivore communities did not change along the gradient in plant species richness, whereas evenness of carnivores declined. The abundance of dominant herbivore species showed no response to changes in plant species richness, but the dominant carnivores were more abundant in species-rich plant communities. The functional composition of plant communities had small impacts on herbivore communities, whereas carnivore communities were affected by forbs of small stature, grasses and legumes. Contrasting patterns in the abundance of dominant species imply different levels of resource specialization for dominant herbivores (narrow food spectrum) and carnivores (broad food spectrum). That in turn could heavily affect ecosystem functions mediated by herbivorous and carnivorous arthropods, such as herbivory or biological pest control. PMID:26859496

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  3. Assessment of genetic diversity and relationships among caladium cultivars and species using molecular markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caladium (Caladium hortulanum Birdsey) is an important aroid widely used in the ornamental plant industry. Concerns have been raised about possible loss of genetic diversity due to a drastic decline in the number of cultivars in the last century. This study assessed genetic diversity and relationshi...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Stability of production and plant species diversity in managed grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biodiversity theory suggests that increased plant species diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production would be beneficial. In this retrospective study, I used data from three reports from the 1930s, 1940...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Plant Species Diversity and Pasture Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Plant diversity impacts decomposition and herbivory via changes in aboveground arthropods.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment of Plant Identification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Native plant diversity increases herbivory to non-natives.

    PubMed

    Pearse, Ian S; Hipp, Andrew L

    2014-11-01

    There is often an inverse relationship between the diversity of a plant community and the invasibility of that community by non-native plants. Native herbivores that colonize novel plants may contribute to diversity-invasibility relationships by limiting the relative success of non-native plants. Here, we show that, in large collections of non-native oak trees at sites across the USA, non-native oaks introduced to regions with greater oak species richness accumulated greater leaf damage than in regions with low oak richness. Underlying this trend was the ability of herbivores to exploit non-native plants that were close relatives to their native host. In diverse oak communities, non-native trees were on average more closely related to native trees and received greater leaf damage than those in depauperate oak communities. Because insect herbivores colonize non-native plants that are similar to their native hosts, in communities with greater native plant diversity, non-natives experience greater herbivory. PMID:25232143

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Personality assessment in a diverse urban sample.

    PubMed

    Sutin, Angelina R; Costa, Paul T; Evans, Michele K; Zonderman, Alan B

    2013-09-01

    In the present research, the authors examined the data quality and replicability of the revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) factor structure in a sample that varied in ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and literacy. Participants (N = 546), drawn from the Healthy aging in neighborhoods of diversity across the life span study, were African American (58%) and white (42%) urban dwellers living above (49%) and below (51%) 125% of the federal poverty line. The NEO-PI-R, administered via telephone, was evaluated for data quality (percent valid, acquiescence, internal consistency), congruence with the normative factor structure, and readability. All indices of data quality and factor congruence were excellent in the full sample. Literacy was the most consistent predictor of data quality. A slightly worse structure was found for the Openness to Experience and Extraversion factors among lower socioeconomic status African American and white participants. The overall index of factor congruence, however, supports replication of the normative structure well beyond chance levels even among those with lower literacy. Despite the challenges of low literacy, the present findings indicate that personality traits can be assessed reliably in socioeconomically diverse populations that include those living in poverty. PMID:23815114

  15. Calreticulin: conserved protein and diverse functions in plants.

    PubMed

    Jia, Xiao-Yun; He, Li-Heng; Jing, Rui-Lian; Li, Run-Zhi

    2009-06-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a key Ca2+-binding protein mainly resident in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which is highly conserved and extensively expressed in all eukaryotic organisms investigated. The protein plays important roles in a variety of cellular processes including Ca2+ signaling and protein folding. Although calreticulin has been well characterized in mammalian systems, increased investigations have demonstrated that plant CRTs have a number of specific properties different from their animal counterparts. Recent developments on plant CRTs have highlighted the significance of CRTs in plants growth and development as well as biotic and abiotic stress responses. There are at least two distinct groups of calreticulin isoforms in higher plants. Glycosylation of CRT was uniquely observed in plants. In this article, we will describe our current understanding of plant calreticulin gene family, protein structure, cellular localization, and diverse functions in plants. We also discuss the prospects of using this information for genetic improvements of crop plants. PMID:19453510

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

    PubMed Central

    KEDDY, PAUL

    2005-01-01

    • Background There is a compelling need to protect natural plant communities and restore them in degraded landscapes. Activities must be guided by sound scientific principles, practical conservation tools, and clear priorities. With perhaps one-third of the world's flora facing extinction, scientists and conservation managers will need to work rapidly and collaboratively, recognizing each other's strengths and limitations. As a guide to assist managers in maintaining plant diversity, six pragmatic models are introduced that are already available. Although theoretical models continue to receive far more space and headlines in scientific journals, more managers need to understand that pragmatic, rather than theoretical, models have the most promise for yielding results that can be applied immediately to plant communities. • Six Pragmatic Models For each model, key citations and an array of examples are provided, with particular emphasis on wetlands, since ‘wet and wild’ was my assigned theme for the Botanical Society of America in 2003. My own work may seem rather prominent, but the application and refinement of these models has been a theme for me and my many students over decades. The following models are reviewed: (1) species–area: larger areas usually contain more species; (2) species–biomass: plant diversity is maximized at intermediate levels of biomass; (3) centrifugal organization: multiple intersecting environmental gradients maintain regional landscape biodiversity; (4) species–frequency: a few species are frequent while most are infrequent; (5) competitive hierarchies: in the absence of constraints, large canopy-forming species dominate patches of landscape, reducing biological diversity; and (6) intermediate disturbance: perturbations such as water level fluctuations, fire and grazing are essential for maintaining plant diversity. • Conclusions The good news is that managers faced with protecting or restoring landscapes already have this arsenal of tools at their disposal. The bad news is that far too few of these models are appreciated. PMID:15944176

  17. A simple plant mutation abets a predator-diversity cascade.

    PubMed

    Northfield, Tobin D; Snyder, William E; Snyder, Gretchen B; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2012-02-01

    Resource consumption often increases with greater consumer biodiversity. This could result either from complementarity among consumers or the inclusion of particular key species, and it is often difficult to differentiate between these two mechanisms. We exploited a simple plant mutation (reduced production of surface waxes) to alter foraging within a community of aphid predators, and thus perhaps shift the nature of resulting predator diversity effects. We found that greater predator species richness dramatically increased prey suppression and plant biomass only on mutant, reduced-wax pea plants (Pisum sativum). On pea plants from a sister line with wild type, waxier plant surfaces, predator species richness did not influence predators' impacts on herbivores or plants. Thus, a change in plant surface structure acted to turn on, or off, the cascading effects of predator diversity. Greater predator richness encouraged higher densities of true predators but did not lead to greater reproduction by a parasitoid, Aphidius ervi; fecundity of each natural enemy species was similar for the two plant types. Behavioral observations indicated that although A. ervi was less likely to forage within species-rich predator communities, low-wax plants mitigated this interference by encouraging generally greater A. ervi foraging and thus high rates of aphid dislodgement (aphids dropped from plants to escape A. ervi, but not the other predators). Thus, only species-rich, low-wax plants simultaneously encouraged strong species-specific effects of A. ervi, and strong complementarity among the other predator species. In summary, our study provides evidence that diversity effects in predator assemblages are sensitive to habitat characteristics. Further, we show that a simple plant morphological trait, controlled by a single gene mutation, can dramatically alter the cascading effects of predator species richness on herbivores and plants. PMID:22624322

  18. Influence of plant diversity and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on belowground bacterial diversity

    PubMed Central

    Grüter, Dominique; Schmid, Bernhard; Brandl, Helmut

    2006-01-01

    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 plant diversity 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 plant diversity 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 Plant diversity levels are affecting bacterial composition (bacterial types and their frequency of occurrence). Elevated carbon dioxide does not lead to quantitative alteration (bacterial richness), whereas plant diversity is responsible for qualitative changes (bacterial diversity). PMID:16872510

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakkenberg, C.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-24

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-02-01

    This report presents the technical basis for establishing acceptable mitigating strategies that resolve diversity and defense-in-depth (D3) assessment findings and conform to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements. The research approach employed to establish appropriate diversity strategies involves investigation of available documentation on D3 methods and experience from nuclear power and nonnuclear industries, capture of expert knowledge and lessons learned, determination of best practices, and assessment of the nature of common-cause failures (CCFs) and compensating diversity attributes. The research described in this report does not provide guidance on how to determine the need for diversity in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs. Rather, the scope of this report provides guidance to the staff and nuclear industry after a licensee or applicant has performed a D3 assessment per NUREG/CR-6303 and determined that diversity in a safety system is needed for mitigating the consequences of potential CCFs identified in the evaluation of the safety system design features. Succinctly, the purpose of the research described in this report was to answer the question, 'If diversity is required in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential CCFs, how much diversity is enough?' The principal results of this research effort have identified and developed diversity strategies, which consist of combinations of diversity attributes and their associated criteria. Technology, which corresponds to design diversity, is chosen as the principal system characteristic by which diversity criteria are grouped to form strategies. The rationale for this classification framework involves consideration of the profound impact that technology-focused design diversity provides. Consequently, the diversity usage classification scheme involves three families of strategies: (1) different technologies, (2) different approaches within the same technology, and (3) different architectures within the same technology. Using this convention, the first diversity usage family, designated Strategy A, is characterized by fundamentally diverse technologies. Strategy A at the system or platform level is illustrated by the example of analog and digital implementations. The second diversity usage family, designated Strategy B, is achieved through the use of distinctly different technologies. Strategy B can be described in terms of different digital technologies, such as the distinct approaches represented by general-purpose microprocessors and field-programmable gate arrays. The third diversity usage family, designated Strategy C, involves the use of variations within a technology. An example of Strategy C involves different digital architectures within the same technology, such as that provided by different microprocessors (e.g., Pentium and Power PC). The grouping of diversity criteria combinations according to Strategies A, B, and C establishes baseline diversity usage and facilitates a systematic organization of strategic approaches for coping with CCF vulnerabilities. Effectively, these baseline sets of diversity criteria constitute appropriate CCF mitigating strategies for digital safety systems. The strategies represent guidance on acceptable diversity usage and can be applied directly to ensure that CCF vulnerabilities identified through a D3 assessment have been adequately resolved. Additionally, a framework has been generated for capturing practices regarding diversity usage and a tool has been developed for the systematic assessment of the comparative effect of proposed diversity strategies (see Appendix A).

  5. Does plant species co-occurrence influence soil mite diversity?

    PubMed

    St John, Mark G; Wall, Diana H; Behan-Pelletier, Valerie M

    2006-03-01

    Few studies have considered whether plant taxa can be used as predictors of belowground faunal diversity in natural ecosystems. We examined soil mite (Acari) diversity beneath six grass species at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA. We tested the hypotheses that soil mite species richness, abundance, and taxonomic diversity are greater (1) beneath grasses in dicultures (different species) compared to monocultures (same species), (2) beneath grasses of higher resource quality (lower C:N) compared to lower resource quality, and (3) beneath heterogeneous mixes of grasses (C3 and C4 grasses growing together) compared to homogeneous mixes (C3 or C4 grasses) using natural occurrences of plant species as treatments. This study is the first to examine the interaction between above- and belowground diversity in a natural setting with species-level resolution of a hyper-diverse taxon. Our results indicate that grasses in diculture supported a more species and phylogenetically rich soil mite fauna than was observed for monocultures and that this relationship was significant at depth but not in the upper soil horizon. We noted that mite species richness was not linearly related to grass species richness, which suggests that simple extrapolations of soil faunal diversity based on plant species inventories may underestimate the richness of associated soil mite communities. The distribution of mite size classes in dicultures was considerably different than those for monocultures. There was no difference in soil mite richness between grass combinations of differing resource quality, or resource heterogeneity. PMID:16602292

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  7. Native plant diversity increases herbivory to non-natives

    PubMed Central

    Pearse, Ian S.; Hipp, Andrew L.

    2014-01-01

    There is often an inverse relationship between the diversity of a plant community and the invasibility of that community by non-native plants. Native herbivores that colonize novel plants may contribute to diversity–invasibility relationships by limiting the relative success of non-native plants. Here, we show that, in large collections of non-native oak trees at sites across the USA, non-native oaks introduced to regions with greater oak species richness accumulated greater leaf damage than in regions with low oak richness. Underlying this trend was the ability of herbivores to exploit non-native plants that were close relatives to their native host. In diverse oak communities, non-native trees were on average more closely related to native trees and received greater leaf damage than those in depauperate oak communities. Because insect herbivores colonize non-native plants that are similar to their native hosts, in communities with greater native plant diversity, non-natives experience greater herbivory. PMID:25232143

  8. Plant diversity affects behavior of generalist root herbivores, reduces crop damage, and enhances crop yield.

    PubMed

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Thalinger, Bettina; Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-07-01

    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 plant diversity 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 plant diversity 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Host plant genus-level diversity is the best predictor of ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity in a Chinese subtropical forest.

    PubMed

    Gao, Cheng; Shi, Nan-Nan; Liu, Yue-Xing; Peay, Kabir G; Zheng, Yong; Ding, Qiong; Mi, Xiang-Cheng; Ma, Ke-Ping; Wubet, Tesfaye; Buscot, François; Guo, Liang-Dong

    2013-06-01

    Microbial diversity is generally far higher than plant diversity, but the relationship between microbial diversity and plant diversity remains enigmatic. To shed light on this problem, we examined the diversity of a key guild of root-associated microbes,that is, ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi along a plant diversity gradient in a Chinese subtropical forest. The results indicated that EM fungal diversity was positively correlated with host plant diversity. Furthermore, this relationship was best predicted by host genus-level diversity, rather than species-level diversity or family-level diversity. The generality of this finding was extended beyond our study system through the analyses of 100 additional studies of EM fungal communities from tropical and temperate forests.Here as well, EM fungal lineage composition was significantly affected by EM plant diversity levels, and some EM fungal lineages were co-associated with some host plant genera. These results suggest a general diversity maintenance mechanism for host-specific microbes based on higher order host plant phylogenetic diversity. PMID:24624421

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  16. Plant Sterol Diversity in Pollen from Angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Villette, Claire; Berna, Anne; Compagnon, Vincent; Schaller, Hubert

    2015-08-01

    Here we have examined the composition of free sterols and steryl esters of pollen from selected angiosperm species, as a first step towards a comprehensive analysis of sterol biogenesis in the male gametophyte. We detected four major sterol structural groups: cycloartenol derivatives bearing a 9β,19-cyclopropyl group, sterols with a double bond at C-7(8), sterols with a double bond at C-5(6), and stanols. All these groups were unequally distributed among species. However, the distribution of sterols as free sterols or as steryl esters in pollen grains indicated that free sterols were mostly Δ(5)-sterols and that steryl esters were predominantly 9β,19-cyclopropyl sterols. In order to link the sterol composition of a pollen grain at anthesis with the requirement for membrane lipid constituents of the pollen tube, we germinated pollen grains from Nicotiana tabacum, a model plant in reproductive biology. In the presence of radiolabelled mevalonic acid and in a time course series of measurements, we showed that cycloeucalenol was identified as the major neosynthesized sterol. Furthermore, the inhibition of cycloeucalenol neosynthesis by squalestatin was in full agreement with a de novo biogenesis and an apparent truncated pathway in the pollen tube. PMID:25820807

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF QUADRATS FOR MEASURING VASCULAR PLANT DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Plant-plant interactions, environmental gradients and plant diversity: a global synthesis of community-level studies

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2015-01-01

    Previous syntheses on the effects of environmental conditions on the outcome of plant-plant interactions summarize results from pairwise studies. However, the upscaling to the community-level of such studies is problematic because of the existence of multiple species assemblages and species-specific responses to both the environmental conditions and the presence of neighbors. We conducted the first global synthesis of community-level studies from harsh environments, which included data from 71 alpine and 137 dryland communities. Here we: i) test how important are facilitative interactions as a driver of community structure, ii) evaluate whether the frequency of positive plant-plant interactions across differing environmental conditions and habitats is predictable, and iii) assess whether thresholds in the response of plant-plant interactions to environmental gradients exists between “moderate” and “extreme” stress levels. We also used those community-level studies performed across gradients of at least three points to evaluate how the average environmental conditions, the length of the gradient studied, and the number of points sampled across such gradient affect the form and strength of the facilitation-environment relationship. Over 25% of the species present were more spatially associated to nurse plants than expected by chance in both alpine and dryland areas, illustrating the high importance of positive plant-plant interactions for the maintenance of plant diversity. Facilitative interactions were more frequent, and more related to environmental conditions, in alpine than in dryland areas, perhaps because drylands are generally characterized by a larger variety of environmental stress factors and plant functional traits. The frequency of facilitative interactions in alpine communities peaked at 1000 mm of annual rainfall, and globally decreased with elevation. The frequency of positive interactions in dryland communities decreased globally with water scarcity or temperature annual range. Positive facilitation-drought stress relationships are more likely in shorter regional gradients, but these relationships are obscured in regions with a greater species turnover or with complex environmental gradients. By showing the different climatic drivers and behaviors of plant-plant interactions in dryland and alpine areas, our results will improve predictions regarding the effect of facilitation on the assembly of plant communities and their response to changes in environmental conditions. PMID:25914603

  1. Additive and interactive effects of plant genotypic diversity on arthropod communities and plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Marc T J; Lajeunesse, Marc J; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2006-01-01

    Recent research suggests that genetic diversity in plant populations can shape the diversity and abundance of consumer communities. We tested this hypothesis in a field experiment by manipulating patches of Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) to contain one, four or eight plant genotypes. We then surveyed 92 species of naturally colonizing arthropods. Genetically diverse plant patches had 18% more arthropod species, and a greater abundance of omnivorous and predacious arthropods, but not herbivores, compared with monocultures. The effects of genotypic diversity on arthropod communities were due to a combination of interactive and additive effects among genotypes within genetically diverse patches. Greater genetic diversity also led to a selective feedback, as mean genotype fitness was 27% higher in diverse patches than in monocultures. A comparison between our results and the literature reveals that genetic diversity and species diversity can have similar qualitative and quantitative effects on arthropod communities. Our findings also illustrate the benefit of preserving genetic variation to conserve species diversity and interactions within multitrophic communities. PMID:16958865

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picard, Christine; Bosco, Marco

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Arctic plant diversity in the Early Eocene greenhouse

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Evolution and diversity of green plant cell walls.

    PubMed

    Popper, Zoë A

    2008-06-01

    Plant cells are surrounded by a dynamic cell wall that performs many essential biological roles, including regulation of cell expansion, the control of tissue cohesion, ion-exchange and defence against microbes. Recent evidence shows that the suite of polysaccharides and wall proteins from which the plant cell wall is composed shows variation between monophyletic plant taxa. This is likely to have been generated during the evolution of plant groups in response to environmental stress. Understanding the natural variation and diversity that exists between cell walls from different taxa is key to facilitating their future exploitation and manipulation, for example by increasing lignocellulosic content or reducing its recalcitrance for use in biofuel generation. PMID:18406657

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

    SciTech Connect

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; et al, et al

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Plant functional diversity enhances associations of soil fungal diversity with vegetation and soil in the restoration of semiarid sandy grassland.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Wang, Shaokun; Lv, Peng; Zhou, Xin; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhang, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that plant functional diversity strongly affects ecosystem properties. However, few empirical studies show the relationship between soil fungal diversity and plant functional diversity in natural ecosystems. We investigated soil fungal diversity along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semifixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 18S rRNA and gene sequencing. We also examined associations of soil fungal diversity with plant functional diversity reflected by the dominant species' traits in community (community-weighted mean, CWM) and the dispersion of functional trait values (FD is). We further used the structure equation model (SEM) to evaluate how plant richness, biomass, functional diversity, and soil properties affect soil fungal diversity in sandy grassland restoration. Soil fungal richness in mobile dune and semifixed dune was markedly lower than those of fixed dune and grassland (P < 0.05). Soil fungal richness was positively associated with plant richness, biomass, CWM plant height, and soil gradient aggregated from the principal component analysis, but SEM results showed that plant richness and CWM plant height determined by soil properties were the main factors exerting direct effects. Soil gradient increased fungal richness through indirect effect on vegetation rather than direct effect. The negative indirect effect of FDis on soil fungal richness was through its effect on plant biomass. Our final SEM model based on plant functional diversity explained nearly 70% variances of soil fungal richness. Strong association of soil fungal richness with the dominant species in the community supported the mass ratio hypothesis. Our results clearly highlight the role of plant functional diversity in enhancing associations of soil fungal diversity with community structure and soil properties in sandy grassland ecosystems. PMID:26811795

  8. Functional Diversity of Plant–Pollinator Interaction Webs Enhances the Persistence of Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Dajoz, Isabelle; Meriguet, Jacques; Loreau, Michel

    2006-01-01

    Pollination is exclusively or mainly animal mediated for 70% to 90% of angiosperm species. Thus, pollinators provide an essential ecosystem service to humankind. However, the impact of human-induced biodiversity loss on the functioning of plant–pollinator interactions has not been tested experimentally. To understand how plant communities respond to diversity changes in their pollinating fauna, we manipulated the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators under natural conditions. Increasing the functional diversity of both plants and pollinators led to the recruitment of more diverse plant communities. After two years the plant communities pollinated by the most functionally diverse pollinator assemblage contained about 50% more plant species than did plant communities pollinated by less-diverse pollinator assemblages. Moreover, the positive effect of functional diversity was explained by a complementarity between functional groups of pollinators and plants. Thus, the functional diversity of pollination networks may be critical to ecosystem sustainability. PMID:16332160

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Macroevolution and the biological diversity of plants and herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Agrawal, Anurag A.

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Institutional Responses to Quality Assessment: Developing Diversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Massaro, Vin

    1996-01-01

    This paper argues that in the last decade, Australian higher education has moved from a relatively regulated to a largely unregulated model, resulting in reduction of institutional diversity. The advent of external quality assurance processes that reward the traditional notion of universities has further homogenized the system and diluted…

  12. Cultural Diversity, Pedagogy, and Assessment Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madhere, Serge

    1998-01-01

    Uses data from the High School & Beyond national survey to show how a model of cultural nesting can be used to examine cultural diversity and disaggregate achievement-test results within and across U.S. racial groups. Suggests that the model is more useful than simple white/nonwhite academic-performance comparisons. (SLD)

  13. Charting a Course for Diversity: An Experience in Climate Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royse, Molly; Conner, Tiffani; Miller, Tamara

    2006-01-01

    The University of Tennessee Libraries' Diversity Committee administered a climate assessment survey to determine the readiness of the libraries for a comprehensive diversity initiative. This article discusses the design and methodology of the survey and analyzes the results. The survey served as a valuable starting point in charting a successful…

  14. Small RNA Diversity in Plants and its Impact in Development

    PubMed Central

    Lelandais-Brière, Christine; Sorin, Céline; Declerck, Marie; Benslimane, Abdelali; Crespi, Martin; Hartmann, Caroline

    2010-01-01

    MicroRNAs are a class of non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional control of gene expression, either via degradation or translational inhibition of target mRNAs. Both experimental and computational approaches have been used to identify miRNAs and their target genes. In plants, deep sequencing methods have recently allowed the analysis of small RNA diversity in different species and/or mutants. Most sequencing efforts have been concentrated on the identification of miRNAs and their mRNA targets have been predicted based on complementarity criteria. The recent demonstration that certain plant miRNAs could act partly via inhibition of protein translation certainly opens new fields of analysis for plant miRNA function on a broader group of targets. The roles of conserved miRNAs on target mRNA stability have been analysed in different species and defined common mechanisms in development and stress responses. In contrast, much less is known about expression patterns or functions of non-conserved miRNAs. In this review, we focus on the comparative analyses of plant small RNA diversity and the action of si/miRNAs in post-transcriptional regulation of some key genes involved in root development. PMID:20808519

  15. Effects of riparian plant diversity loss on aquatic microbial decomposers become more pronounced with increasing time.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Isabel; Duarte, Sofia; Cássio, Fernanda; Pascoal, Cláudia

    2013-11-01

    We examined the potential long-term impacts of riparian plant diversity 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

  16. United in diversity: mechanosensitive ion channels in plants.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tao; Yao, Yi-Feng

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Plant and algal cell walls: diversity and functionality

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background Although plants and many algae (e.g. the Phaeophyceae, brown, and Rhodophyceae, red) are only very distantly related they are united in their possession of carbohydrate-rich cell walls, which are of integral importance being involved in many physiological processes. Furthermore, wall components have applications within food, fuel, pharmaceuticals, fibres (e.g. for textiles and paper) and building materials and have long been an active topic of research. As shown in the 27 papers in this Special Issue, as the major deposit of photosynthetically fixed carbon, and therefore energy investment, cell walls are of undisputed importance to the organisms that possess them, the photosynthetic eukaryotes (plants and algae). The complexities of cell wall components along with their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment are becoming increasingly revealed. Scope The importance of plant and algal cell walls and their individual components to the function and survival of the organism, and for a number of industrial applications, are illustrated by the breadth of topics covered in this issue, which includes papers concentrating on various plants and algae, developmental stages, organs, cell wall components, and techniques. Although we acknowledge that there are many alternative ways in which the papers could be categorized (and many would fit within several topics), we have organized them as follows: (1) cell wall biosynthesis and remodelling, (2) cell wall diversity, and (3) application of new technologies to cell walls. Finally, we will consider future directions within plant cell wall research. Expansion of the industrial uses of cell walls and potentially novel uses of cell wall components are both avenues likely to direct future research activities. Fundamentally, it is the continued progression from characterization (structure, metabolism, properties and localization) of individual cell wall components through to defining their roles in almost every aspect of plant and algal physiology that will present many of the major challenges in future cell wall research. PMID:25453142

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  5. Antimicrobial plant metabolites: structural diversity and mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Radulović, N S; Blagojević, P D; Stojanović-Radić, Z Z; Stojanović, N M

    2013-01-01

    Microbial infectious diseases continue to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. It has been estimated that microbial species comprise about 60% of the Earth's biomass. This, together with the fact that their genetic, metabolic and physiological diversity is extraordinary, makes them a major threat to the health and development of populations across the world. Widespread antibiotic resistance, the emergence of new pathogens in addition to the resurgence of old ones, and the lack of effective new therapeutics exacerbate the problems. Thus, the need to discover and develop new antimicrobial agents is critical to improve mankind's future health. Plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) offer particular promise in this sense. Plant Kingdom could be considered a rich source of the most diverse structures (e.g. there are more than 12,000 known alkaloids, more than 8,000 phenolic compounds and over 25,000 different terpenoids), many of which were proven to possess strong antimicrobial properties (e.g. thymol, eurabienol, etc.). In many instances, PSMs can be easily isolated from the plant matrix, either in pure state or in the form of mixtures of chemically related compounds. What is also important is that the development of bacterial resistance toward natural plant products (that are generally regarded as eco-friendly) has been thus far documented in a very limited number of cases (e.g. for reserpine). Having all of the mentioned advantages of PSMs as potential antimicrobials in mind, a major question arises: why is it that there are still no commercially available or commonly used antibiotics of plant origin? This review tries to give a critical answer to this question by considering potential mechanisms of antimicrobial action of PSMs (inhibition of cell wall or protein synthesis, inducing leakage from the cells by tampering with the function of the membranes, interfering with intermediary metabolisms or DNA/RNA synthesis/function), as well as their physical and chemical properties (e.g. hydrophilicity/lipophilicity, chemical stability). To address the possible synergistic/antagonistic effects between PSMs and with standard antibiotics, special attention has been given to the antimicrobial activity of PSM-mixtures (e.g. essential oils, plant extracts). Moreover, possible ways of overcoming some of PSMs molecular limitations in respect to their usage as potential antibiotics were also discussed (e.g. derivatization that would enable fine tuning of certain molecular characteristics). PMID:23210781

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Diversity cascades in alfalfa fields: from plant quality to agroecosystem diversity.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Clark V; Massad, Tara J; Dyer, Lee A

    2008-08-01

    To examine top-down and bottom-up influences on managed terrestrial communities, we manipulated plant resources and arthropod abundance in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) fields. We modified arthropod communities using three nonfactorial manipulations: pitfall traps to remove selected arthropods, wooden crates to create habitat heterogeneity, and an arthropod removal treatment using a reversible leaf blower. These manipulations were crossed with fertilizer additions, which were applied to half of the plots. We found strong effects of fertilizer on plant quality and biomass, and these effects cascaded up to increase herbivore abundance and diversity. The predator community also exhibited a consistent positive effect on the maintenance of herbivore species richness and abundance. These top-down changes in arthropods did not cascade down to affect plant biomass; however, plant quality (saponin content) increased with higher herbivore densities. These results corroborate previous studies in alfalfa that show complex indirect effects, such as trophic cascades, can operate in agricultural systems, but the specifics of the interactions depend on the assemblages of arthropods involved. PMID:18801260

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Better understanding the influence of precipitation and temperature on plant assemblages is needed to predict the effects of climate change. Many studies have examined the relationship between plant productivity and weather (primarily precipitation), but few have directly assessed the relationship between plant richness or diversity and weather despite their increased use as metrics of ecosystem condition. We focus on the grasslands of central North America, which are characterized by high temporal climatic variability. Over the next 100 years, these grasslands are predicted to experience further increased variability in growing season precipitation, as well as increased temperatures, due to global climate change. We assess the portion of interannual variability of richness and diversity explained by weather, how relationships between these metrics and weather vary among plant assemblages, and which aspects of weather best explain temporal variability. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess relationships between long-term plant richness and diversity patterns and a priori weather covariates using six data sets from four grasslands. Weather explained up to 49% and 63% of interannual variability in total plant species richness and diversity, respectively. However, richness and diversity responses to specific weather variables varied both among sites and among experimental treatments within sites. In general, we found many instances in which temperature was of equal or greater importance as precipitation, as well as evidence of the importance of lagged effects and precipitation or temperature variability. Although precipitation has been shown to be a key driver of productivity in grasslands, our results indicate that increasing temperatures alone, without substantial changes in precipitation patterns, could have measurable effects on Great Plains grassland plant assemblages and biodiversity metrics. Our results also suggest that richness and diversity will respond in unique ways to changing climate and management can affect these responses; additional research and monitoring will be essential for further understanding of these complex relationships. PMID:26594699

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fančovičová, Jana; Prokop, Pavol

    2010-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  16. Plant diversity effects on aboveground and belowground N pools in temperate grassland ecosystems: Development in the first 5 years after establishment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2011-06-01

    Biodiversity is expected to improve ecosystem services, e.g., productivity or seepage water quality. The current view of plant diversity 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 plant diversity-N cycle relationship changes with time since establishment. We assessed the relationship between plant diversity 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 plant diversity on aboveground N storage (mainly driven by biomass production) tended to increase through time. The initially negative correlation between plant diversity and soil NO3-N availability disappeared after 2003. In 2006 and 2007, a positive correlation between plant diversity and soil NH4-N availability appeared which coincided with a positive correlation between plant diversity and N mineralized from total N accumulated in soil. We conclude that the plant diversity-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 plant diversity and soil N storage improves soil fertility and reduces fertilizing needs, increasingly closed N cycling with increasing plant diversity as illustrated by decreased NO3-N concentrations in diverse mixtures reduces the negative impact of agricultural N leaching on groundwater resources.

  17. Does plant diversity benefit agroecosystems? A synthetic review.

    PubMed

    Letourneau, Deborah K; Armbrecht, Inge; Rivera, Beatriz Salguero; Lerma, James Montoya; Carmona, Elizabeth Jiménez; Daza, Martha Constanza; Escobar, Selene; Galindo, Victor; Gutiérrez, Catalina; López, Sebastián Duque; Mejía, Jessica López; Rangel, Aleyda Maritza Acosta; Rangel, Janine Herrera; Rivera, Leonardo; Saavedra, Carlos Arturo; Torres, Alba Marina; Trujillo, Aldemar Reyes

    2011-01-01

    Predictive theory on how plant diversity promotes herbivore suppression through movement patterns, host associations, and predation promises a potential alternative to pesticide-intensive monoculture crop production. We used meta-analysis on 552 experiments in 45 articles published over the last 10 years to test if plant diversification schemes reduce herbivores and/or increase the natural enemies of herbivores as predicted by associational resistance hypotheses, the enemies hypothesis, and attraction and repellency model applications in agriculture. We found extensive support for these models with intercropping schemes, inclusion of flowering plants, and use of plants that repel herbivores or attract them away from the crop. Overall, herbivore suppression, enemy enhancement, and crop damage suppression effects were significantly stronger on diversified crops than on crops with none or fewer associated plant species. However, a relatively small, but significantly negative, mean effect size for crop yield indicated that pest-suppressive diversification schemes interfered with production, in part because of reducing densities of the main crop by replacing it with intercrops or non-crop plants. This first use of meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of diversification schemes, a potentially more powerful tool than tallies of significant positive and negative outcomes (vote-counting), revealed stronger overall effects on all parameters measured compared to previous reviews. Our analysis of the same articles used in a recent review facilitates comparisons of vote-counting and meta-analysis, and shows that pronounced results of the meta-analysis are not well explained by a reduction in articles that met its stricter criteria. Rather, compared to outcome counts, effect sizes were rarely neutral (equal to zero), and a mean effect size value for mixed outcomes could be calculated. Problematic statistical properties of vote-counting were avoided with meta-analysis, thus providing a more precise test of the hypotheses. The unambiguous and encouraging results from this meta-analysis of previous research should motivate ecologists to conduct more mechanistic experiments to improve the odds of designing effective crop diversification schemes for improved pest regulation and enhanced crop yield. PMID:21516884

  18. Tiger Team assessment of the Pinellas Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-05-01

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

  19. Multitrophic effects of experimental changes in plant diversity on cavity-nesting bees, wasps, and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Ebeling, Anne; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Tscharntke, Teja

    2012-06-01

    Plant diversity changes can impact the abundance, diversity, and functioning of species at higher trophic levels. We used an experimental gradient in grassland plant diversity ranging from 1 to 16 plant species to study multitrophic interactions among plants, cavity-nesting bees and wasps, and their natural enemies, and analysed brood cell density, insect diversity (species richness), and bee and wasp community similarity over two consecutive years. The bee and wasp communities were more similar among the high (16 species) diversity plots than among plots of the lower diversity levels (up to 8 species), and a more similar community of bees and wasps resulted in a more similar community of their parasitoids. Plant diversity, which was closely related to flower diversity, positively and indirectly affected bee diversity and the diversity of their parasitoids via increasing brood cell density of bees. Increasing plant diversity directly led to higher wasp diversity. Parasitism rates of bees and wasps (hosts) were not affected by plant diversity, but increased with the diversity of their respective parasitoids. Decreases in parasitism rates of bees arose from increasing brood cell density of bees (hosts), whereas decreasing parasitism rates of wasps arose from increasing wasp diversity (hosts). In conclusion, decreases in plant diversity propagated through different trophic levels: from plants to insect hosts to their parasitoids, decreasing density and diversity. The positive relationship between plant diversity and the community similarity of higher trophic levels indicates a community-stabilising effect of high plant diversity. PMID:22120706

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Culturally Diverse Children and Adolescents. Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Canino, Ian A.; Spurlock, Jeanne

    Guidelines are offered for mental health professionals who work with economically disadvantaged children and adolescents from culturally diverse backgrounds. These guidelines describe useful theoretical constructs, suggest ways to sensitize assessments of minority children, and outline treatment strategies to obtain better clinical results. The…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gallicano, Tiffany Derville; Stansberry, Kathleen

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fergadiotis, Gerasimos; Wright, Heather Harris; Green, Samuel B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Several novel techniques have been developed recently to assess the breadth of a speaker's vocabulary exhibited in a language sample. The specific aim of this study was to increase our understanding of the validity of the scores generated by different lexical diversity (LD) estimation techniques. Four techniques were explored: D, Maas,…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Due to its diverse geographical and habitat conditions, northern Pakistan harbors a wealth of medicinal plants. The plants and their traditional use are part of the natural and cultural heritage of the region. This study was carried out to document which medicinal plant species and which plant parts are used in the region of Swat, which syndrome categories are particularly concerned, and which habitat spectrum is frequented by collectors. Finally, we assessed to which extent medicinal plants are vulnerable due to collection and habitat destruction. Methods An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken in the Miandam area of Swat, North Pakistan. Data were collected through field assessment as well as from traditional healers and locals by means of personal interviews and semi-structured questionnaires. Results A total of 106 ethno-medicinal plant species belonging to 54 plant families were recorded. The most common growth forms were perennial (43%) and short-lived herbs (23%), shrubs (16%), and trees (15%). Most frequently used plant parts were leaves (24%), fruits (18%) and subterranean parts (15%). A considerable proportion of the ethno-medicinal plant species and remedies concerns gastro-intestinal disorders. The remedies were mostly prepared in the form of decoction or powder and were mainly taken orally. Eighty out of 106 ethno-medicinal plants were indigenous. Almost 50% of the plants occurred in synanthropic vegetation while slightly more than 50% were found in semi-natural, though extensively grazed, woodland and grassland vegetation. Three species (Aconitum violaceum, Colchicum luteum, Jasminum humile) must be considered vulnerable due to excessive collection. Woodlands are the main source for non-synanthropic indigenous medicinal plants. The latter include many range-restricted taxa and plants of which rhizomes and other subterranean parts are dug out for further processing as medicine. Conclusion Medicinal plants are still widely used for treatment 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. PMID:23587127

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  12. Plant and soil responses to high and low diversity grassland restoration practices.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    The USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has predominantly used only a few species of dominant prairie grasses (CP2 practice) to reduce soil erosion, but recently has offered a higher diversity planting practice (CP25) to increase grassland habitat quality. We quantified plant community composition in CP25 and CP2 plantings restored for 4 or 8years and compared belowground properties and processes among restorations and continuously cultivated soils in southeastern Nebraska, USA. Relative to cultivated soils, restoration increased soil microbial biomass (P=0.033), specifically fungi (P<0.001), and restored soils exhibited higher rates of carbon (C) mineralization (P=0.010). High and low diversity plantings had equally diverse plant communities; however, CP25 plantings had greater frequency of cool-season (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 8year low diversity restorations; older plantings had greater root biomass than 4year plantings in all restorations (P=0.001). Low diversity 8year plantings contained wider root C:N ratios, and higher soil microbial biomass, microbial community richness, AMF biomass, and C mineralization rate relative to 4year restorations (P<0.050). Net N mineralization and nitrification rates were lower in 8year than 4year high diversity plantings (P=0.005). We attributed changes in soil C and N pools and fluxes to increased AMF associated with C(4) grasses in low diversity plantings. Thus, reduced recovery of AMF in high diversity plantings restricted restoration of belowground microbial diversity and microbially-mediated soil processes over time. PMID:22105609

  13. Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment of Plant Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment of Plant Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. AfroDb: A Select Highly Potent and Diverse Natural Product Library from African Medicinal Plants

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    There is considerable evidence that both plant diversity and plant identity can influence the level of predation and predator abundance aboveground. However, how the level of predation in the soil and the abundance of predatory soil fauna are related to plant diversity and identity remains largely unknown. In a biodiversity field experiment, we examined the effects of plant diversity and identity on the infectivity of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, Heterorhabditis and Steinernema spp.), which prey on soil arthropods, and abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs, which are predators of other nematode groups. To obtain a comprehensive view of the potential prey/food availability, we also quantified the abundance of soil insects and nonpredatory nematodes and the root biomass in the experimental plots. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate possible pathways by which plant diversity and identity may affect EPN infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs. Heterorhabditis spp. infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs were not directly related to plant diversity or the proportion of legumes, grasses and forbs in the plant community. However, Steinernema spp. infectivity was higher in monocultures of Festuca rubra and Trifolium pratense than in monocultures of the other six plant species. SEM revealed that legumes positively affected Steinernema infectivity, whereas plant diversity indirectly affected the infectivity of HeterorhabditisEPNs via effects on the abundance of soil insects. The abundance of prey (soil insects and root-feeding, bacterivorous, and fungivorous nematodes) increased with higher plant diversity. The abundance of prey nematodes was also positively affected by legumes. These plant community effects could not be explained by changes in root biomass. Our results show that plant diversity and identity effects on belowground biota (particularly soil nematode community) can differ between organisms that belong to the same feeding guild and that generalizations about plant diversity effects on soil organisms should be made with great caution. PMID:25750711

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that both plant diversity and plant identity can influence the level of predation and predator abundance aboveground. However, how the level of predation in the soil and the abundance of predatory soil fauna are related to plant diversity and identity remains largely unknown. In a biodiversity field experiment, we examined the effects of plant diversity and identity on the infectivity of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs, Heterorhabditis and Steinernema spp.), which prey on soil arthropods, and abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs, which are predators of other nematode groups. To obtain a comprehensive view of the potential prey/food availability, we also quantified the abundance of soil insects and nonpredatory nematodes and the root biomass in the experimental plots. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate possible pathways by which plant diversity and identity may affect EPN infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs. Heterorhabditis spp. infectivity and the abundance of carnivorous non-EPNs were not directly related to plant diversity or the proportion of legumes, grasses and forbs in the plant community. However, Steinernema spp. infectivity was higher in monocultures of Festuca rubra and Trifolium pratense than in monocultures of the other six plant species. SEM revealed that legumes positively affected Steinernema infectivity, whereas plant diversity indirectly affected the infectivity of HeterorhabditisEPNs via effects on the abundance of soil insects. The abundance of prey (soil insects and root-feeding, bacterivorous, and fungivorous nematodes) increased with higher plant diversity. The abundance of prey nematodes was also positively affected by legumes. These plant community effects could not be explained by changes in root biomass. Our results show that plant diversity and identity effects on belowground biota (particularly soil nematode community) can differ between organisms that belong to the same feeding guild and that generalizations about plant diversity effects on soil organisms should be made with great caution. PMID:25750711

  18. Is understory plant species diversity driven by resource quantity or resource heterogeneity?

    PubMed

    Bartels, Samuel F; Chen, Han Y H

    2010-07-01

    What maintains plant species diversity has been the subject of much debate with no general consensus. In forest ecosystems in which understory plants account for the majority of floristic diversity, a crucial question is whether understory plant diversity is driven by resource quantity or resource heterogeneity. This study sought to reconcile the two hypotheses in relation to their effects on understory plant diversity in forest ecosystems. A database of studies that investigated the effects of resources on understory plant diversity was compiled and analyzed using log-linear models. Whether resource quantity or resource heterogeneity is the determinant of understory plant diversity in individual studies was dependent on stand successional stage(s), presence or absence of intermediate disturbance, and forest biome within which the studies were conducted. Resource quantity was found to govern species diversity in both young and mature stands, whereas resource heterogeneity dominated in old-growth stands. Resource quantity remained the important driver in both disturbed and undisturbed forests, but resource heterogeneity played an important role in disturbed forests. We argue that neither resource quantity nor heterogeneity alone structures species diversity in forest ecosystems, but rather their influences on understory plant diversity vary with stand development and disturbances in forest ecosystems. PMID:20715612

  19. PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY IN NATIVE AND RESTORED TALLGRASS PRAIRIES: PATTERNS AND CONTROLS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One goal of ecological restoration is to restore diversity of native vegetation, but mechanisms responsible for diversity in targeted communities often are poorly understood. We measured diversity (Simpson's index, 1/D) of plant species and functional groups of species in replicated 0.5-m2 plots wi...

  20. Effects of time since fire on birds in a plant diversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalmandrier, Loïc; Midgley, Guy F.; Barnard, Phoebe; Sirami, Clélia

    2013-05-01

    Global changes are influencing fire regimes in many parts of the world. In the Fynbos plant diversity 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 plant diversity 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.

  1. Assessing and broadening genetic diversity of a rapeseed germplasm collection

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jinfeng; Li, Feng; Xu, Kun; Gao, Guizhen; Chen, Biyun; Yan, Guixin; Wang, Nian; Qiao, Jiangwei; Li, Jun; Li, Hao; Zhang, Tianyao; Song, Weiling; Wu, Xiaoming

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the level of genetic diversity within a germplasm collection contributes to evaluating the potential for its utilization as a gene pool to improve the performance of cultivars. In this study, 45 high-quality simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were screened and used to estimate the genetic base of a world-wide collection of 248 rapeseed (Brassica napus) inbred lines. For the whole collection, the genetic diversity of A genome was higher than that of C genome. The genetic diversity of C genome for the semi-winter type was the lowest among the different germplasm types. Because B. oleracea is usually used to broaden the genetic diversity of C genome in rapeseed, we evaluated the potential of 25 wild B. oleracea lines. More allelic variations and a higher genetic diversity were observed in B. oleracea than in rapeseed. One B. oleracea line and one oilseed B. rapa line were used to generate a resynthesized Brassica napus line, which was then crossed with six semi-winter rapeseed cultivars to produce 7 F1 hybrids. Not only the allele introgression but also mutations were observed in the hybrids, resulting in significant improvement of the genetic base. PMID:25914586

  2. 36 CFR 219.9 - Diversity of plant and animal communities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... communities. 219.9 Section 219.9 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PLANNING National Forest System Land Management Planning § 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities... diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area....

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... communities. 219.9 Section 219.9 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PLANNING National Forest System Land Management Planning § 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities... diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area....

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... communities. 219.9 Section 219.9 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PLANNING National Forest System Land Management Planning § 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities... diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area....

  5. RESTORING SPECIES RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY IN A RUSSIAN KNAPWEED-INFESTED RIPARIAN PLANT COMMUNITY USING HERBICIDES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species richness and diversity are important indicators of ecosystem function and may be related to plant community resistance to invasion by non-indigenous species. Knowledge about the influence of various strategies on species richness and diversity is central to making wise the invasive plant ma...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-27

    Chemical diversity is a widely applied approach to select structurally diverse subsets of molecules, often with the objective of maximizing the number of hits in biological screening. While many methods exist in the area, few systematic comparisons using current descriptors in particular with the objective of assessing diversity in bioactivity space have been published, and this shortage is what the current study is aiming to address. In this work, 13 widely used molecular descriptors were compared, including fingerprint-based descriptors (ECFP4, FCFP4, MACCS keys), pharmacophore-based descriptors (TAT, TAD, TGT, TGD, GpiDAPH3), shape-based descriptors (rapid overlay of chemical structures (ROCS) and principal moments of inertia (PMI)), a connectivity-matrix-based descriptor (BCUT), physicochemical-property-based descriptors (prop2D), and a more recently introduced molecular descriptor type (namely, "Bayes Affinity Fingerprints"). We assessed both the similar behavior of the descriptors in assessing the diversity of chemical libraries, and their ability to select compounds from libraries that are diverse in bioactivity space, which is a property of much practical relevance in screening library design. This is particularly evident, given that many future targets to be screened are not known in advance, but that the library should still maximize the likelihood of containing bioactive matter also for future screening campaigns. Overall, our results showed that descriptors based on atom topology (i.e., fingerprint-based descriptors and pharmacophore-based descriptors) correlate well in rank-ordering compounds, both within and between descriptor types. On the other hand, shape-based descriptors such as ROCS and PMI showed weak correlation with the other descriptors utilized in this study, demonstrating significantly different behavior. We then applied eight of the molecular descriptors compared in this study to sample a diverse subset of sample compounds (4%) from an initial population of 2587 compounds, covering the 25 largest human activity classes from ChEMBL and measured the coverage of activity classes by the subsets. Here, it was found that "Bayes Affinity Fingerprints" achieved an average coverage of 92% of activity classes. Using the descriptors ECFP4, GpiDAPH3, TGT, and random sampling, 91%, 84%, 84%, and 84% of the activity classes were represented in the selected compounds respectively, followed by BCUT, prop2D, MACCS, and PMI (in order of decreasing performance). In addition, we were able to show that there is no visible correlation between compound diversity in PMI space and in bioactivity space, despite frequent utilization of PMI plots to this end. To summarize, in this work, we assessed which descriptors select compounds with high coverage of bioactivity space, and can hence be used for diverse compound selection for biological screening. In cases where multiple descriptors are to be used for diversity selection, this work describes which descriptors behave complementarily, and can hence be used jointly to focus on different aspects of diversity in chemical space. PMID:24289493

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

    PubMed

    Duveneck, Matthew J; Scheller, Robert M

    2015-09-01

    Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000-2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region (northeastern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan, USA). We compared current climate to low- and high-emission futures. We simulated a low-emission climate future with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 B1 emission scenario and the Parallel Climate Model Global Circulation Model (GCM). We simulated a high-emission climate future with the IPCC A1FI emission scenario and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) GCM. We compared current forest management practices (business-as-usual) to CSP management. In the CSP scenario, we simulated a target planting of 5.28% and 4.97% of forested area per five-year time step in the Minnesota and Michigan landscapes, respectively. We found that simulated CSP species successfully established in both landscapes under all climate scenarios. The presence of CSP species generally increased simulated aboveground biomass. Species diversity increased due to CSP; however, the effect on functional diversity was variable. Because the planted species were functionally similar to many native species, CSP did not result in a consistent increase nor decrease in functional diversity. These results provide an assessment of the potential efficacy and limitations of CSP management. These results have management implications for sites where diversity and productivity are expected to decline. Future efforts to restore a specific species or forest type may not be possible, but CSP may sustain a more general ecosystem service (e.g., aboveground biomass). PMID:26552272

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Direct flash steam geothermal power plant assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alt, T. E.

    1982-01-01

    The objective was to analyze the capacity and availability factors of an operating direct flash geothermal power plant. System and component specifications, operating procedures, maintenance history, malfunctions, and outage rate are discussed. The plant studied was the 75 MW(e) geothermal power plant at Cerro Prieto, Mexico, for the years 1973 to 1979. To describe and assess the plant, the project staff reviewed documents, visited the plant, and met with staff of the operating utility. The high reliability and availability of the plant was documented and actions responsible for the good performance were identified and reported. The results are useful as guidance to US utilities considering use of hot water geothermal resources for power generation through a direct flash conversion cycle.

  11. Interactive effects of mycorrhizae and a root hemiparasite on plant community productivity and diversity.

    PubMed

    Stein, Claudia; Rissmann, Cornelia; Hempel, Stefan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François; Prati, Daniel; Auge, Harald

    2009-02-01

    Plant communities can be affected both by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and hemiparasitic plants. However, little is known about the interactive effects of these two biotic factors on the productivity and diversity of plant communities. To address this question, we set up a greenhouse study in which different AMF inocula and a hemiparasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor) were added to experimental grassland communities in a fully factorial design. In addition, single plants of each species in the grassland community were grown with the same treatments to distinguish direct AMF effects from indirect effects via plant competition. We found that AMF changed plant community structure by influencing the plant species differently. At the community level, AMF decreased the productivity by 15-24%, depending on the particular AMF treatment, mainly because two dominant species, Holcus lanatus and Plantago lanceolata, showed a negative mycorrhizal dependency. Concomitantly, plant diversity increased due to AMF inoculation and was highest in the treatment with a combination of two commercial AM strains. AMF had a positive effect on growth of the hemiparasite, and thereby induced a negative impact of the hemiparasite on host plant biomass which was not found in non-inoculated communities. However, the hemiparasite did not increase plant diversity. Our results highlight the importance of interactions with soil microbes for plant community structure and that these indirect effects can vary among AMF treatments. We conclude that mutualistic interactions with AMF, but not antagonistic interactions with a root hemiparasite, promote plant diversity in this grassland community. PMID:18975009

  12. Differential effects of plant diversity on functional trait variation of grass species

    PubMed Central

    Gubsch, Marlén; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Lipowsky, Annett; Roscher, Christiane

    2011-01-01

    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 plant diversity. 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 δ13C 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 δ15N values of grasses decreased when growing with legumes suggesting the use of depleted legume-derived N, while decreasing δ15N 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 diverse plant 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. PMID:21068024

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Assessing Diversity among Latinos: Results from the NLAAS

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Indicators to assess temporal genetic diversity in the French Catalogue: no losses for maize and peas.

    PubMed

    Le Clerc, V; Cadot, V; Canadas, M; Lallemand, J; Guèrin, D; Boulineau, F

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this study, led by the GEVES (Research and Control Group for Varieties and Seeds), was to suggest indicators to assess the diversity available to farmers since the French Official Catalogue for Plant Varieties and Species was initiated. The largest datasets of 1990 inbred maize lines and 578 pea lines from the last 50 years were analysed using morphological and enzymatic parameters. Lines were grouped into three to five periods. Genetic diversity was estimated in each period from morphological and enzymatic markers by computing numerous indices, such as the number of classes of scores for each characteristic, allelic richness or genetic diversity index (H ( e )). Population differentiation parameters (G(ST), G(ST)', F(ST), Q(ST)) were also estimated between periods. While genetic diversity computed from distinction, uniformity, stability traits was more marked for maize (0.66) than for garden peas (0.35) or feed peas (0.29), the opposite trend was observed with enzymes, resulting in a genetic diversity of 0.43, 0.35 and 0.22 for garden peas, feed peas and maize, respectively. However, no significant changes in genetic diversity were observed over time, and genetic differentiation was slight between periods. All our results demonstrated that no significant reduction in the diversity available to farmers had been observed since initiation of the French Catalogue. The H ( e ) was a good indicator providing a quantitative estimate of genetic diversity, but it should be interpreted alongside a more precise indicator such as allelic richness or the number of classes for morphological characteristics. PMID:16900350

  17. Global Analysis of Proline-Rich Tandem Repeat Proteins Reveals Broad Phylogenetic Diversity in Plant Secretomes

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Aaron M.; Cooper, James B.

    2011-01-01

    Cell walls, constructed by precisely choreographed changes in the plant secretome, play critical roles in plant cell physiology and development. Along with structural polysaccharides, secreted proline-rich Tandem Repeat Proteins (TRPs) are important for cell wall function, yet the evolutionary diversity of these structural TRPs remains virtually unexplored. Using a systems-level computational approach to analyze taxonomically diverse plant sequence data, we identified 31 distinct Pro-rich TRP classes targeted for secretion. This analysis expands upon the known phylogenetic diversity of extensins, the most widely studied class of wall structural proteins, and demonstrates that extensins evolved before plant vascularization. Our results also show that most Pro-rich TRP classes have unexpectedly restricted evolutionary distributions, revealing considerable differences in plant secretome signatures that define unexplored diversity. PMID:21829715

  18. Assessment of bacterial diversity during composting of agricultural byproducts

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Composting is microbial decomposition of biodegradable materials and it is governed by physicochemical, physiological and microbiological factors. The importance of microbial communities (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) during composting is well established. However, the microbial diversity during composting may vary with the variety of composting materials and nutrient supplements. Therefore, it is necessary to study the diversity of microorganisms during composting of different agricultural byproducts like wheat bran, rice bran, rice husk, along with grass clippings and bulking agents. Here it has been attempted to assess the diversity of culturable bacteria during composting of agricultural byproducts. Results The culturable bacterial diversity was assessed during the process by isolating the most prominent bacteria. Bacterial population was found to be maximum during the mesophilic phase, but decreased during the thermophilic phase and declined further in the cooling and maturation phase of composting. The bacterial population ranged from 105 to 109 cfu g-1 compost. The predominant bacteria were characterized biochemically, followed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The isolated strains, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative groups belonged to the order Burkholderiales, Enterobacteriales, Actinobacteriales and Bacillales, which includes genera e.g. Staphylococcus, Serratia, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Terribacillus, Lysinibacillus Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas. Genera like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax, Comamonas and some new species of Bacillus were also identified for the first time from the compost made from agricultural byproducts. Conclusion The use of appropriate nitrogen amendments and bulking agents in composting resulted in good quality compost. The culture based strategy enabled us to isolate some novel bacterial isolates like Kocuria, Microbacterium, Acidovorax and Comamonas first time from agro-byproducts compost. These bacteria can be used as potential compost inoculants for accelerating composting process. PMID:23651653

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Hongwen

    2011-01-01

    China is one of the richest countries for plant diversity with approximately 33 000 vascular plant species, ranking second in the world. However, the plant diversity in China is increasingly threatened, with an estimated 40005000 plant species being threatened or on the verge of extinction, making China, proportionally, one of the highest priorities for global plant biodiversity conservation. Coming in the face of the current ecological crisis, it is timely that China has launched China's Strategy for Plant Conservation (CSPC). China has increasingly recognized the importance of plant diversity in efforts to conserve and sustainably use its plant diversity. More than 3000 nature reserves have been established, covering approximately 16% of the land surface of China. These natural reserves play important roles in plant conservation, covering more than 85% of types of terrestrial natural ecosystems, 40% of types of natural wetlands, 20% of native forests and 65% of natural communities of vascular plants. Meanwhile, the flora conserved in botanical gardens is also extensive. A recent survey shows that the 10 largest botanical gardens have living collections of 43 502 taxa, with a total of 24 667 species in ex situ conservation. These provide an important reserve of plant resources for sustainable economic and social development in China. Plant diversity is the basis for bioresources and sustainable utilization. The 21st century is predicted to be an era of bio-economy driven by advances of bioscience and biotechnology. Bio-economy may become the fourth economy form after agricultural, industrial, and information and information technology economies, having far-reaching impacts on sustainable development in agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, light industry, food supply and health care and other micro-economy aspects. Thus, a strategic and forward vision for conservation of plant diversity and sustainable use of plant resources in the 21st century is of far-reaching significance for sustainable development of Chinese economy and society. PMID:22059249

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Diversity and phylogeny of plant growth-promoting bacilli from moderately acidic soil.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Subhash; Kaushik, Rajeev; Saxena, Anil K; Arora, Dilip K

    2011-02-01

    The molecular diversity of aerobic endospore-forming bacteria, typically Bacillus and its derived genera, has been investigated in various environments. However, there have been few investigations concerning Bacillus in acidic soils. In this study, the genotypic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among plant growth-promoting (PGP) bacilli isolated from the rice rhizosphere growing in acidic soils of Kerala (pH varying from 6.3 to 6.8) were investigated. For assessing their biocontrol potential and PGP attributes, 115 isolates were randomly selected and 49 isolates that were positive for multiple traits were selected. Metabolic characterization of representative strains, using the Biolog GP2 (Gram Positive) MicroPlate(TM) , revealed a large versatility with respect to carbohydrate utilization. Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis revealed 13 clusters at 65% similarity level, which consisted of 1-21 strains. 16S rDNA partial sequencing assigned all the isolates, except for one, to the Bacillus genus, with close relatedness to Bacillus humi, B. megaterium, B. drentensis, B. pocheonensis, B. aestuarii, B. arbutinivorans, B. niacini, and Brevibacterium casei. The Bacillus species with different metabolic capabilities, PGP abilities, and genetic diversity found in this study are likely to have ecological relevance. PMID:21077114

  2. Growth and plant diversity in a man-made thinned Cedrus atlantica stand.

    PubMed

    Poormadjidian, Mohammad Reza; Tabari, Masoud

    2007-08-01

    In order to study the growth characteristics of Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Manetti) and to assess the plant diversity an investigation was carried out in a 30 year old man-made stand located in the Caspian mountain forests (north of Iran). In this stand a silvicultural treatment as thinning was operated in five replications of 200 m2 for removing 25% of basal area. Likewise five replications of 200 m2 were considered as control (unthinned). The results of 5 year investigation revealed that diameter growth of C. atlantica was two times greater in thinned stand than in unthinned stand (p<0.05). Height growth and basal area (b.a.) in thinned stand were not greater than those in controlled stand. Vitality quality in both treatments was fairly high. Fruit production was significantly more ample in thinned stand than in unthinned stand. Compared to unthinned stand, in thinned stand index of Simpson Diversity was greater but indices of Menhinic Richness and Peet Evenness were smaller. This study reveals that generally diversity has been increased in the managed stand. Besides that C. atlantica has been adapted to this region and therefore thinning practice can be a good measure for increasing timber production. PMID:19070117

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on plant chemical defenses. PMID:25141305

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on plant chemical defenses. PMID:25141305

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Heather Harris; Green, Samuel B.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Measuring the fate of plant diversity: towards a foundation for future monitoring and opportunities for urgent action

    PubMed Central

    Nic Lughadha, E; Baillie, J; Barthlott, W; Brummitt, N.A; Cheek, M.R; Farjon, A; Govaerts, R; Hardwick, K.A; Hilton-Taylor, C; Meagher, T.R; Moat, J; Mutke, J; Paton, A.J; Pleasants, L.J; Savolainen, V; Schatz, G.E; Smith, P; Turner, I; Wyse-Jackson, P; Crane, P.R

    2005-01-01

    Vascular plants are often considered to be among the better known large groups of organisms, but gaps in the available baseline data are extensive, and recent estimates of total known (described) seed plant species range from 200 000 to 422 000. Of these, global assessments of conservation status using International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categories and criteria are available for only approximately 10 000 species. In response to recommendations from the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to develop biodiversity indicators based on changes in the status of threatened species, and trends in the abundance and distribution of selected species, we examine how existing data, in combination with limited new data collection, can be used to maximum effect. We argue that future work should produce Red List Indices based on a representative subset of plant species so that the limited resources currently available are directed towards redressing taxonomic and geographical biases apparent in existing datasets. Sampling the data held in the world's major herbaria, in combination with Geographical Information Systems techniques, can produce preliminary conservation assessments and help to direct selective survey work using existing field networks to verify distributions and gather population data. Such data can also be used to backcast threats and potential distributions through time. We outline an approach that could result in: (i) preliminary assessments of the conservation status of tens of thousands of species not previously assessed, (ii) significant enhancements in the coverage and representation of plant species on the IUCN Red List, and (iii) repeat and/or retrospective assessments for a significant proportion of these. This would result in more robust Sampled Red List Indices that can be defended as more representative of plant diversity as a whole; and eventually, comprehensive assessments at species level for one or more major families of angiosperms. The combined results would allow scientifically defensible generalizations about the current status of plant diversity by 2010 as well as tentative comments on trends. Together with other efforts already underway, this approach would establish a firmer basis for ongoing monitoring of the status of plant diversity beyond 2010 and a basis for comparison with the trend data available for vertebrates. PMID:15814350

  13. Protein change in plant evolution: tracing one thread connecting molecular and phenotypic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Madelaine E.; Whipple, Clinton J.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24124420

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Plant Wide Assessment for SIFCO Industries, Inc.

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly Kissock, Arvind Thekdi et. al.

    2005-07-06

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-13

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-03-05

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

    Nutrient loading is a subtle, yet serious threat to the preservation of high diversity wetlands such as peatlands. Pathways of nutrient loading and impacts on plant diversity in a small peatland in New York State, USA were determined by collecting and analyzing a suite of hydrogeological, hydro-chemical, soil, and vegetation data. Piezometer clusters within an intensive network constituted hydro-chemical sampling points and focal points for randomly selected vegetation quadrats and soil-coring locations. Hydrogeological data and nutrient analyses showed that P and K loading occurred chiefly by means of overland flow from an adjacent farm field, whereas N loading occurred predominantly through ground-water flow from the farm field. Redundancy analysis and polynomial regression showed that nutrients, particularly total P in peat, total K in peat, extractable NH4-N, and NO3-N flux in ground water, were strongly negatively correlated with plant diversity measures at the site. No other environmental variables except vegetation measures associated with eutrophication demonstrated such a strong relationship with plant diversity. Nitrate loading over 4 mg m -2 day-1 was associated with low plant diversity, and Ca fluxes between 80 and 130 mg m-2 day-1 were associated with high plant diversity. Areas in the site with particularly low vascular plant and bryophyte species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity (H') occurred adjacent to the farm field and near a hillside spring. High H' and species richness of vascular plants and bryophytes occurred in areas that were further removed from agriculture, contained no highly dominant vegetation, and were situated directly along the ground-water flow paths of springs. These areas were characterized by relatively constant water levels and consistent, yet moderate fluxes of base cations and nutrients. Overall, this study demonstrates that knowledge of site hydrogeology is crucial for determining potential pathways of nutrient loading and for developing relationships between nutrient inflows and wetland plant diversity. ?? 2002, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

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

    PubMed

    Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Burlando, Paolo

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Nuclear power plant security assessment technical manual.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-09-01

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

  5. Quality assessment of recombinant proteins produced in plants.

    PubMed

    Medrano, Giuliana; Dolan, Maureen C; Condori, Jose; Radin, David N; Cramer, Carole L

    2012-01-01

    Plant-based expression technologies for recombinant proteins have begun to receive acceptance for pharmaceuticals and other commercial markets. Protein products derived from plants offer safer, more cost-effective, and less capital-intensive alternatives to traditional manufacturing systems using microbial fermentation or animal cell culture bioreactors. Moreover, plants are now known to be capable of expressing bioactive proteins from a diverse array of species including animals and humans. Methods development to assess the quality and performance of proteins manufactured in plants are essential to support the QA/QC demands as plant-produced protein products transition to the commercial marketplace. Within the pharmaceutical arena, process validation and acceptance criteria for biological products must comply with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ICH Q6B guidelines in order to initiate the regulatory approval process. Detailed product specifications will also need to be developed and validated for plant-made proteins for the bioenergy, food, chemical synthesis, or research reagent markets.We have, therefore, developed assessment methods for important qualitative and quantitative parameters of the products and the manufacturing methods utilized in plant-based production systems. In this chapter, we describe a number of procedures to validate product identity and characteristics including mass analyses, antibody cross-reactivity, N-terminal sequencing, and bioactivity. We also address methods for routine assessment of yield, recovery, and purity. The methods presented are those developed for the synthesis and recovery of the avian cytokine, chicken interleukin-12 (ChIL-12), produced in the leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. The ChIL-12 protein used as a model for this chapter includes a C-terminal histidine epitope (HIS-tag) and, thus, these methods may be directly applicable to other HIS-tagged proteins produced in plants. However, the overall strategy presented using the ChIL-12(HIS) example should provide the basis of standard procedures for assessing the quality of other plant-based protein products and manufacturing systems. PMID:22160919

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

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Judith X.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity –possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and correlates that are not apparent when focusing on overall woody plant diversity, and that have important implications for ecological theory and biodiversity conservation. PMID:24040014

  8. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and correlates that are not apparent when focusing on overall woody plant diversity, and that have important implications for ecological theory and biodiversity conservation. PMID:24040014

  9. Seasonal changes in plant diversity and abundance in Northeastern pastures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The number and identity of plant species varies by season and location. We sampled pastures on five grazing farms (four dairy, one beef): two in New York, two in Pennsylvania, and one in Maryland. Pasture plant composition was measured on five to seven pastures in the spring (April-May), summer (Jul...

  10. 78 FR 64052 - Proposed Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-25

    ... public to understand the diversity policies and practices of regulated entities. The assessment... opportunity for the Agencies and the public to understand the diversity policies and practices of regulated... Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies and Request for...

  11. Host-plants shape insect diversity: phylogeny, origin, and species diversity of native Hawaiian leafhoppers (Cicadellidae: Nesophrosyne).

    PubMed

    Bennett, Gordon M; O'Grady, Patrick M

    2012-11-01

    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

  12. Plant Diversity and Multifunctional Management of Grassland Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; Bauerle, Taryn L

    2012-09-15

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

  16. Exploiting a wheat EST database to assess genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Expressed sequence tag (EST) markers have been used to assess variety and genetic diversity in wheat (Triticum aestivum). In this study, 1549 ESTs from wheat infested with yellow rust were used to examine the genetic diversity of six susceptible and resistant wheat cultivars. The aim of using these cultivars was to improve the competitiveness of public wheat breeding programs through the intensive use of modern, particularly marker-assisted, selection technologies. The F2 individuals derived from cultivar crosses were screened for resistance to yellow rust at the seedling stage in greenhouses and adult stage in the field to identify DNA markers genetically linked to resistance. Five hundred and sixty ESTs were assembled into 136 contigs and 989 singletons. BlastX search results showed that 39 (29%) contigs and 96 (10%) singletons were homologous to wheat genes. The database-matched contigs and singletons were assigned to eight functional groups related to protein synthesis, photosynthesis, metabolism and energy, stress proteins, transporter proteins, protein breakdown and recycling, cell growth and division and reactive oxygen scavengers. PCR analyses with primers based on the contigs and singletons showed that the most polymorphic functional categories were photosynthesis (contigs) and metabolism and energy (singletons). EST analysis revealed considerable genetic variability among the Turkish wheat cultivars resistant and susceptible to yellow rust disease and allowed calculation of the mean genetic distance between cultivars, with the greatest similarity (0.725) being between Harmankaya99 and Snmez2001, and the lowest (0.622) between Aytin98 and Izgi01. PMID:21637582

  17. The impact of genomic approaches on our understanding of diversity and taxonomy of plant pathogenic bacteria.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our understanding of the diversity of bacterial plant pathogens has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Initially it was thought that each newly described disease was caused by a distinct plant pathogen species. Later, similarities in the physiology of these pathogens as well as inadequate...

  18. THE NATIONAL PLANT GERMPLASM SYSTEM'S SUNFLOWER COLLECTION: GENETIC DIVERSITY FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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, ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Genetic diversity and domestication origin of tea plant Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) as revealed by microsatellite markers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Many species in the Thea section of the Camellia genus can be processed for drinking and have been domesticated. However, few investigations have focused on the genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of landraces on tea plants using credible wild and planted populations of a single species. Here, C. taliensis provides us with a unique opportunity to explore these issues. Results Fourteen nuclear microsatellite loci were employed to determine the genetic diversity and domestication origin of C. taliensis, which were represented by 587 individuals from 25 wild, planted and recently domesticated populations. C. taliensis showed a moderate high level of overall genetic diversity. The greater reduction of genetic diversity and stronger genetic drift were detected in the wild group than in the recently domesticated group, indicating the loss of genetic diversity of wild populations due to overexploitation and habitat fragmentation. Instead of the endangered wild trees, recently domesticated individuals were used to compare with the planted trees for detecting the genetic consequence of domestication. A little and non-significant reduction in genetic diversity was found during domestication. The long life cycle, selection for leaf traits and gene flow between populations will delay the emergence of bottleneck in planted trees. Both phylogenetic and assignment analyses suggested that planted trees may have been domesticated from the adjacent central forest of western Yunnan and dispersed artificially to distant places. Conclusions This study contributes to the knowledge about levels and distribution of genetic diversity of C. taliensis and provides new insights into genetic consequence of domestication and geographic origin of planted trees of this species. As an endemic tea source plant, wild, planted and recently domesticated C. taliensis trees should all be protected for their unique genetic characteristics, which are valuable for tea breeding. PMID:24405939

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Wild edible plants (WEP) provide staple and supplement foods, as well as cash income to local communities, thus favouring food security. However, WEP are largely ignored in land use planning and implementation, economic development, and biodiversity conservation. Moreover, WEP-related traditional knowledge is rapidly eroding. Therefore, we designed this study to fulfill a part of the knowledge gap by providing data on diversity, traditional knowledge, economic potential, and conservation value of WEP from Nepal. Methods The information was collected through focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Percentage of general utility of the plants among the study communities was evaluated using the Chi-square (χ2) test of homogeneity. High priority species were identified after consultation with the local stakeholders followed by scoring based on defined criteria. Pairwise ranking was used to assess ethnoecological knowledge to identify the threats to WEP. Results We documented 81 species belonging to Angiosperms (74), Pteridophytes (5), and Fungi (2). Most of the species were used as fruits (44 species) followed by vegetables (36). Almost half of the species (47%) were also used for purposes other than food. From the species with market value (37% of the total), 10 were identified as high priority species. Pairwise ranking revealed that WEP are threatened mostly by habitat destruction, land-use change and over-harvesting. Some of these plants are crop wild relatives and could thus be used for crop improvement. Interestingly, our study also revealed that young people who spend most of the time in the forest as herdsmen are particularly knowledgeable of wild fruit plants. Conclusion We provide empirical evidence from a relatively large area of Nepal about diversity and status of WEP, as well as methodological insights about the proper knowledge holders to consult. Regarding the unique and important knowledge they have on WEP, young people should be included when recruiting participants to ethnobotanical studies or to any type of consultation about WEP. The habit of using wild edible plants is still alive and is a traditional culinary practice that demonstrates rich traditional knowledge of local people. WEP were found to be important for livelihood as well as showing great potential for crop improvement. Priority species should be promoted for income generation activities through sustainable collection and trade. Communities should engage in minimizing the threats to these valuable resources. PMID:22546349

  4. Genetic diversity in cultivated plants-loss or stability?

    PubMed

    Khlestkina, E K; Huang, X Q; Quenum, F J-B; Chebotar, S; Röder, M S; Börner, A

    2004-05-01

    Human activities like urbanisation, the replacement of traditional agriculture systems by modern industrial methods or the introduction of modern high-yielding varieties may pose a danger to the biological diversity. Using microsatellite markers, we analysed samples of cultivated wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) collected over an interval of 40-50 years in four comparable geographical regions of Europe and Asia. No significant differences in both the total number of alleles per locus and in the PIC values were detected when the material collected in the repeated collection missions in all four regions were compared. About two-thirds of the alleles were common to both collection periods, while one-third represented collection mission-specific alleles. These findings demonstrate that an allele flow took place during the adaptation of traditional agriculture to modern systems, whereas the level of genetic diversity was not significantly influenced. PMID:14740091

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Effects of young poplar plantations on understory plant diversity in the Dongting Lake wetlands, China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Youzhi; Chen, Xinsheng; Xie, Yonghong; Li, Xu; Li, Feng; Hou, Zhiyong

    2014-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of young poplar plantations on understory plant diversity in the Dongting Lake wetlands, China. Poplar plantations resulted in a higher species number and Shannon's diversity. Species compositions were different between areas with poplar and reed populations: a lower ratio of hygrophytes but a higher ratio of mesophytes, and a higher ratio of heliophytes but a lower ratio of neutrophilous or shade plants in poplar areas compared to reed areas. Poplar plantations supported a higher ratio of ligneous plants in the entire Dongting Lake area, but there was no difference in the monitored plots. Unlike reedy areas, poplar plantations had higher light availability but lower soil water content during the growing seasons. These data suggest that young poplar plantations generally increased species richness and plant diversity, but significantly changed species composition due to the reduced soil water and increased light availability. PMID:25208975

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

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Chris D.; Palmer, G.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Palmer, G

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Aust, Shelly K.; Ahrendsen, Dakota L.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Conservation of the evolutionary diversity among organisms should be included in the selection of priority regions for preservation of Earth’s biodiversity. Traditionally, biodiversity has been determined from an assessment of species richness (S), abundance, evenness, rarity, etc. of organisms but not from variation in species’ evolutionary histories. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) measures evolutionary differences between taxa in a community and is gaining acceptance as a biodiversity assessment tool. However, with the increase in the number of ways to calculate PD, end-users and decision-makers are left wondering how metrics compare and what data are needed to calculate various metrics. New information In this study, we used massively parallel sequencing to generate over 65,000 DNA characters from three cellular compartments for over 60 species in the asterid clade of flowering plants. We estimated asterid phylogenies from character datasets of varying nucleotide quantities, and then assessed the effect of varying character datasets on resulting PD metric values. We also compared multiple PD metrics with traditional diversity indices (including S) among two endangered grassland prairies in Nebraska (U.S.A.). Our results revealed that PD metrics varied based on the quantity of genes used to infer the phylogenies; therefore, when comparing PD metrics between sites, it is vital to use comparable datasets. Additionally, various PD metrics and traditional diversity indices characterize biodiversity differently and should be chosen depending on the research question. Our study provides empirical results that reveal the value of measuring PD when considering sites for conservation, and it highlights the usefulness of using PD metrics in combination with other diversity indices when studying community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Ours is just one example of the types of investigations that need to be conducted across the tree of life and across varying ecosystems in order to build a database of phylogenetic diversity assessments that lead to a pool of results upon which a guide through the plethora of PD metrics may be prepared for use by ecologists and conservation planners. PMID:26312052

  10. A phylogenetic perspective on the distribution of plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Donoghue, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Diversity of heterotrimeric G-protein γ subunits in plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Heterotrimeric G-proteins, consisting of three subunits Gα, Gβ and Gγ are present in most eukaryotes and mediate signaling in numerous biological processes. In plants, Gγ subunits were shown to provide functional selectivity to G-proteins. Three unconventional Gγ subunits were recently reported in Arabidopsis, rice and soybean but no structural analysis has been reported so far. Their relationship with conventional Gγ subunits and taxonomical distribution has not been yet demonstrated. Results After an extensive similarity search through plant genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes we assembled over 200 non-redundant proteins related to the known Gγ subunits. Structural analysis of these sequences revealed that most of them lack the obligatory C-terminal prenylation motif (CaaX). According to their C-terminal structures we classified the plant Gγ subunits into three distinct types. Type A consists of Gγ subunits with a putative prenylation motif. Type B subunits lack a prenylation motif and do not have any cysteine residues in the C-terminal region, while type C subunits contain an extended C-terminal domain highly enriched with cysteines. Comparative analysis of C-terminal domains of the proteins, intron-exon arrangement of the corresponding genes and phylogenetic studies suggested a common origin of all plant Gγ subunits. Conclusion Phylogenetic analyses suggest that types C and B most probably originated independently from type A ancestors. We speculate on a potential mechanism used by those Gγ subunits lacking isoprenylation motifs to anchor the Gβγ dimer to the plasma membrane and propose a new flexible nomenclature for plant Gγ subunits. Finally, in the light of our new classification, we give a word of caution about the interpretation of Gγ research in Arabidopsis and its generalization to other plant species. PMID:23113884

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Brauner-Otto, Sarah R.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. INCREASING NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY IN CRESTED WHEATGRASS STANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. MORPHOLOGICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS IN DIVERSE PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Morphological and physiological interactions among plants in multi-species forage mixtures affect responses to environmental stresses. White clover growing under drought stress in a five-species mixture which included a deep-rooted forb had greater transpiration rates and higher leaf water potential...

  18. To Form a More Perfect Union: Campus Diversity Initiatives. Understanding the Difference Diversity Makes: Assessing Campus Diversity Initiatives Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musil, Caryn McTighe; Garcia, Mildred; Hudgins, Cynthia A.; Nettles, Michael T.; Sedlacek, William E.; Smith, Daryl G.

    This monograph, the first in a series of three, on campus diversity issues is the result of a collaboration of scholars and evaluators who consulted on five campus diversity initiatives. It uses research findings that chart college and university efforts to move from the rhetoric of inclusion to the practice of equity, arguing that the current…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Diazotrophic diversity in the rhizosphere of two exotic weed plants, Prosopis juliflora and Parthenium hysterophorus.

    PubMed

    Cibichakravarthy, B; Preetha, R; Sundaram, S P; Kumar, K; Balachandar, D

    2012-02-01

    This study is aimed at assessing culturable diazotrophic bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere of Prosopis juliflora and Parthenium hysterophorus, which grow profusely in nutritionally-poor soils and environmentally-stress conditions so as to identify some novel strains for bioinoculant technology. Diazotrophic isolates from Prosopis and Parthenium rhizosphere were characterized for nitrogenase activity by Acetylene Reduction Assay (ARA) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Further, the culture-independent quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed to compare the abundance of diazotrophs in rhizosphere with bulk soils. The proportion of diazotrophs in total heterotrophs was higher in rhizosphere than bulk soils and 32 putative diazotrophs from rhizosphere of two plants were identified by nifH gene amplification. The ARA activity of the isolates ranged from 40 to 95 nmol ethylene h(-1) mg protein(-1). The 16S rRNA gene analysis identified the isolates to be members of alpha, beta and gamma Proteobacteria and firmicutes. The qPCR assay also confirmed that abundance of nif gene in rhizosphere of these two plants was 10-fold higher than bulk soil. PMID:22806856

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

    Patterns of native and alien plant diversity in response to disturbance were examined along an elevational gradient in blue oak savanna, chaparral, and coniferous forests. Total species richness, alien species richness, and alien cover declined with elevation, at scales from 1 to 1000 m2. We found no support for the hypothesis that community diversity inhibits alien invasion. At the 1-m2 point scale, where we would expect competitive interactions between the largely herbaceous flora to be most intense, alien species richness as well as alien cover increased with increasing native species richness in all communities. This suggests that aliens are limited not by the number of native competitors, but by resources that affect establishment of both natives and aliens. Blue oak savannas were heavily dominated by alien species and consistently had more alien than native species at the 1-m 2 scale. All of these aliens are annuals, and it is widely thought that they have displaced native bunchgrasses. If true, this means that aliens have greatly increased species richness. Alternatively, there is a rich regional flora of native annual forbs that could have dominated these grasslands prior to displacement by alien grasses. On our sites, livestock grazing increased the number of alien species and alien cover only slightly over that of sites free of livestock grazing for more than a century, indicating some level of permanency to this invasion. In chaparral, both diversity and aliens increased markedly several years after fire. Invasive species are rare in undisturbed shrublands, and alien propagules fail to survive the natural crown fires in these ecosystems. Thus, aliens necessarily must colonize after fire and, as a consequence, time since fire is an important determinant of invasive presence. Blue oak savannas are an important propagule source for alien species because they maintain permanent populations of all alien species encountered in postfire chaparral, and because the vegetation mosaic in this region places them in proximity to chaparral. The speed at which alien propagules reach a burned site and the speed at which the shrublands return to their former closed-canopy condition determine alien invasion. Frequent burning of this vegetation alters the balance in favor of alien invasion. In the higher-elevation coniferous forests, species diversity was a function of fire severity and time since fire. High-intensity fires create gaps that decrease canopy coverage and increase light levels and nutrients for an ephemeral successional flora. Few species have persistent seed banks, so the time since fire is an important determinant of colonization success. There was a highly significant interaction between fire severity and time since fire for understory cover, species richness, and alien richness and cover. Understory was sparse in the first year after fire, particularly in low-severity burns, and increased substantially several years after fire, particularly on high-severity burns. Both fire severity and time since fire affected alien species richness and dominance. Coniferous forests had about one-third as many alien species as the foothill oak savannas, and fewer than half of the species were shared between these communities. Unburned coniferous forests were largely free of alien species, whereas some burned sites had a significant alien presence, which presents a challenge for fire restoration of these forests.

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

    PubMed

    Dassou, Anicet Gbèblonoudo; Tixier, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    Disentangling the effects of plant diversity on the control of herbivores is important for understanding agricultural sustainability. Recent studies have investigated the relationships between plant diversity and arthropod communities at the landscape scale, but few have done so at the local scale. We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 papers containing 175 independent measures of the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod communities. We found that generalist predators had a strong positive response to plant diversity, that is, their abundance increased as plant diversity increased. Herbivores, in contrast, had an overall weak and negative response to plant diversity. However, specialist and generalist herbivores differed in their response to plant diversity, that is, the response was negative for specialists and not significant for generalists. While the effects of scale remain unclear, the response to plant diversity tended to increase for specialist herbivores, but decrease for generalist herbivores as the scale increased. There was no clear effect of scale on the response of generalist predators to plant diversity. Our results suggest that the response of herbivores to plant diversity at the local scale is a balance between habitat and trophic effects that vary according to arthropod specialization and habitat type. Synthesis and applications. Positive effects of plant diversity on generalist predators confirm that, at the local scale, plant diversification of agroecosystems is a credible and promising option for increasing pest regulation. Results from our meta-analysis suggest that natural control in plant-diversified systems is more likely to occur for specialist than for generalist herbivores. In terms of pest management, our results indicate that small-scale plant diversification (via the planting of cover crops or intercrops and reduced weed management) is likely to increase the control of specialist herbivores by generalist predators. PMID:26839684

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more effectively than the other species, suggesting that the choice of plant species may play an important role in facilitating the development of carbon accumulation/storage in created wetlands. Plant community diversity provides many ecosystem services (e.g., habitat and floristic quality) other than carbon storage function. Thus, a further study is needed that will focus on investigating how other design elements such as microtopography and hydrologic connectivity may interact with PD in terms of enhancing the carbon storage potential of newly created wetlands. PMID:26431640

  5. Biosynthesis of Plant Volatiles: Natures Diversity and Ingenuity

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shpak, Elena D

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Evolutionary history determines how plant productivity responds to phylogenetic diversity and species richness

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Jennifer A.; Bailey, Joseph K.

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function has received a great deal of attention in ecological research and recent results, from re-analyses, suggest that ecosystem function improves with increases in phylogenetic diversity. However, many of these results have been generalized across a range of different species and clades, and plants with different evolutionary histories could display different relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem function. To experimentally test this hypothesis, we manipulated species richness and phylogenetic diversity using 26 species from two subgenera of the genus Eucalyptus (subgenus Eucalyptus and subgenus Symphyomyrtus). We found that plant biomass (a measurement of ecosystem function) sometimes, but not always, responded to increases in species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Specifically, Symphyomyrtus plants showed a positive response while no comparable effect was observed for Eucalyptus plants, showing that responses to biodiversity can vary across different phylogenetic groups. Our results show that the impacts of evolutionary history may complicate the relationship between the diversity of plant communities and plant biomass. PMID:24688865

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Quantifying relationships between snow cover duration and plant community properties remains an important challenge in alpine ecology. We developed a method to estimate spatial variation in energy availability in the context of a topographically complex, high-elevation watershed, which we used to test the explanatory power of environmental gradients both with and without snow cover in relation to taxonomic and functional plant diversity. Methods We mapped snow cover at 15 m resolution using Landsat imagery for five recent years and fitted a generalized additive model (GAM) for each year linking snow to time and topography. Predicted snow cover maps were combined with air temperature and solar radiation at daily resolution, summed for each year and averaged across years. Equivalent growing season energy gradients were also estimated without accounting for snow cover duration. Relationships were tested between environmental gradients and diversity metrics measured for 100 plots (including species richness, community weighted mean traits, functional diversity and hyperspectral estimates of canopy chlorophyll content). Key Results Accounting for snow cover in environmental variables consistently led to improved predictive power as well as more ecologically meaningful characterizations of plant diversity. Model parameters differed significantly when fitted with and without snow cover. Filtering solar radiation with snow as compared to without led to an average gain in R2 of 0.26 and also reversed slope direction to more intuitive relationships for several diversity metrics. Conclusions We show that in alpine environments, high-resolution data on snow cover duration are pivotal for capturing the spatial heterogeneity of both taxonomic and functional diversity. The use of climate variables without consideration of snow cover can lead to erroneous predictions of plant diversity. Our results further indicate that studies seeking to predict the response of alpine plant communities to climate change need to consider shifts in both temperature and nival regimes. PMID:25851138

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Genetic diversity and networks of exchange: a combined approach to assess intra-breed diversity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cryopreservation of three endangered Belgian sheep breeds required to characterize their intra-breed genetic diversity. It is assumed that the genetic structure of a livestock breed depends mostly on gene flow due to exchanges between herds. To quantify this relation, molecular data and analyses of the exchanges were combined for three endangered Belgian breeds. Methods For each breed, between 91 and 225 sheep were genotyped with 19 microsatellites. Genetic differentiations between breeds and among herds within a breed were evaluated and the genetic structure of the breeds was described using Bayesian clustering (Structure). Exchanges of animals between 20, 46 and 95 herds according to breed were identified via semi-directed interviews and were analyzed using the concepts of the network theory to calculate average degrees and shortest path lengths between herds. Correlation between the Reynolds genetic distances and the shortest path lengths between each pair of herds was assessed by a Mantel test approach. Results Genetic differentiation between breeds was high (0.16). Overall Fst values among herds were high in each breed (0.17, 0.11 and 0.10). Use of the Bayesian approach made it possible to identify genetic groups of herds within a breed. Significant correlations between the shortest path lengths and the Reynolds genetic distances were found in each breed (0.87, 0.33 and 0.41), which demonstrate the influence of exchanges between herds on the genetic diversity. Correlation differences between breeds could be explained by differences in the average degree of the animal exchange networks, which is a measure of the number of exchanges per herd. The two breeds with the highest average degree showed the lowest correlation. Information from the exchange networks was used to assign individuals to the genetic groups when molecular information was incomplete or missing to identify donors for a cryobank. Conclusions A fine-scale picture of the population genetic structure at the herd level was obtained for the three breeds. Network analysis made it possible to highlight the influence of exchanges on genetic structure and to complete or replace molecular information in establishing a conservation program. PMID:22620856

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  13. Assessing Racial Microaggression Distress in a Diverse Sample.

    PubMed

    Torres-Harding, Susan; Turner, Tasha

    2015-12-01

    Racial microaggressions are everyday subtle or ambiguous racially related insults, slights, mistreatment, or invalidations. Racial microaggressions are a type of perceived racism that may negatively impact the health and well-being of people of color in the United States. This study examined the reliability and validity of the Racial Microaggression Scale distress subscales, which measure the perceived stressfulness of six types of microaggression experiences in a racially and ethnically diverse sample. These subscales exhibited acceptable to good internal consistency. The distress subscales also evidenced good convergent validity; the distress subscales were positively correlated with additional measures of stressfulness due to experiencing microaggressions or everyday discrimination. When controlling for the frequency of one's exposure to microaggression incidents, some racial/ethnic group differences were found. Asian Americans reported comparatively lower distress and Latinos reporting comparatively higher distress in response to Foreigner, Low-Achieving, Invisibility, and Environmental microaggressions. African Americans reported higher distress than the other groups in response to Environmental microaggressions. Results suggest that the Racial Microaggressions Scale distress subscales may aid health professionals in assessing the distress elicited by different types of microaggressions. In turn, this may facilitate diagnosis and treatment planning in order to provide multiculturally competent care for African American, Latino, and Asian American clients. PMID:25237154

  14. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  15. Plant genome organisation and diversity: the year of the junk!

    PubMed

    Morgante, Michele

    2006-04-01

    Having gained a thorough understanding of the structure and organization of model plant genomes, such as those of Arabidopsis thaliana and rice, we have now started to investigate the most interesting aspect of genome structure - its variations. Variation in DNA sequence is responsible for the genetic component of phenotypic variation (i.e. the component upon which both natural and artificial selection act). Recent studies have started to shed light on sequence variation outside of the genic regions, owing mainly to large insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms caused by the presence or absence of transposable elements of different classes. In addition to long terminal repeat retrotransposons, DNA transposons have been shown to be responsible for these polymorphisms. These comprise Helitrons, CACTA and Mu-like elements that are capable of acquiring and piecing together fragments of plant genes and are often expressed. Future analyses of the functional roles of intergenic sequence variation will tell us if we will need to pay more attention not only to genes, but also to the 'junk' DNA surrounding them. PMID:16530402

  16. Relationships between arthropod richness, evenness, and diversity are altered by complementarity among plant genotypes.

    PubMed

    McArt, Scott H; Cook-Patton, Susan C; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2012-04-01

    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

  17. Functional diversity supports the physiological tolerance hypothesis for plant species richness along climatic gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spasojevic, Marko J.; Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2013-01-01

    1. The physiological tolerance hypothesis proposes that plant species richness is highest in warm and/or wet climates because a wider range of functional strategies can persist under such conditions. Functional diversity metrics, combined with statistical modeling, offer new ways to test whether diversity-environment relationships are consistent with this hypothesis. 2. In a classic study by R. H. Whittaker (1960), herb species richness declined from mesic (cool, moist, northerly) slopes to xeric (hot, dry, southerly) slopes. Building on this dataset, we measured four plant functional traits (plant height, specific leaf area, leaf water content and foliar C:N) and used them to calculate three functional diversity metrics (functional richness, evenness, and dispersion). We then used a structural equation model to ask if ‘functional diversity’ (modeled as the joint responses of richness, evenness, and dispersion) could explain the observed relationship of topographic climate gradients to species richness. We then repeated our model examining the functional diversity of each of the four traits individually. 3. Consistent with the physiological tolerance hypothesis, we found that functional diversity was higher in more favorable climatic conditions (mesic slopes), and that multivariate functional diversity mediated the relationship of the topographic climate gradient to plant species richness. We found similar patterns for models focusing on individual trait functional diversity of leaf water content and foliar C:N. 4. Synthesis. Our results provide trait-based support for the physiological tolerance hypothesis, suggesting that benign climates support more species because they allow for a wider range of functional strategies.

  18. Diversity of Riparian Plants among and within Species Shapes River Communities

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Sara L.; Wootton, J. Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Organismal diversity among and within species may affect ecosystem function with effects transmitting across ecosystem boundaries. Whether recipient communities adjust their composition, in turn, to maximize their function in response to changes in donor composition at these two scales of diversity is unknown. We use small stream communities that rely on riparian subsidies as a model system. We used leaf pack experiments to ask how variation in plants growing beside streams in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA affects stream communities via leaf subsidies. Leaves from red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer cinereus), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) were assembled in leaf packs to contrast low versus high diversity, and deployed in streams to compare local versus non-local leaf sources at the among and within species scales. Leaves from individuals within species decomposed at varying rates; most notably thin leaves decomposed rapidly. Among deciduous species, vine maple decomposed most rapidly, harbored the least algal abundance, and supported the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates, while bigleaf maple was at the opposite extreme for these three metrics. Recipient communities decomposed leaves from local species rapidly: leaves from early successional plants decomposed rapidly in stream reaches surrounded by early successional forest and leaves from later successional plants decomposed rapidly adjacent to later successional forest. The species diversity of leaves inconsistently affected decomposition, algal abundance and invertebrate metrics. Intraspecific diversity of leaf packs also did not affect decomposition or invertebrate diversity. However, locally sourced alder leaves decomposed more rapidly and harbored greater levels of algae than leaves sourced from conspecifics growing in other areas on the Olympic Peninsula, but did not harbor greater aquatic invertebrate diversity. In contrast to alder, local intraspecific differences via decomposition, algal or invertebrate metrics were not observed consistently among maples. These results emphasize that biodiversity of riparian subsidies at the within and across species scale have the potential to affect aquatic ecosystems, although there are complex species-specific effects. PMID:26539714

  19. Diversity of Riparian Plants among and within Species Shapes River Communities.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Organismal diversity among and within species may affect ecosystem function with effects transmitting across ecosystem boundaries. Whether recipient communities adjust their composition, in turn, to maximize their function in response to changes in donor composition at these two scales of diversity is unknown. We use small stream communities that rely on riparian subsidies as a model system. We used leaf pack experiments to ask how variation in plants growing beside streams in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA affects stream communities via leaf subsidies. Leaves from red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer cinereus), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) were assembled in leaf packs to contrast low versus high diversity, and deployed in streams to compare local versus non-local leaf sources at the among and within species scales. Leaves from individuals within species decomposed at varying rates; most notably thin leaves decomposed rapidly. Among deciduous species, vine maple decomposed most rapidly, harbored the least algal abundance, and supported the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates, while bigleaf maple was at the opposite extreme for these three metrics. Recipient communities decomposed leaves from local species rapidly: leaves from early successional plants decomposed rapidly in stream reaches surrounded by early successional forest and leaves from later successional plants decomposed rapidly adjacent to later successional forest. The species diversity of leaves inconsistently affected decomposition, algal abundance and invertebrate metrics. Intraspecific diversity of leaf packs also did not affect decomposition or invertebrate diversity. However, locally sourced alder leaves decomposed more rapidly and harbored greater levels of algae than leaves sourced from conspecifics growing in other areas on the Olympic Peninsula, but did not harbor greater aquatic invertebrate diversity. In contrast to alder, local intraspecific differences via decomposition, algal or invertebrate metrics were not observed consistently among maples. These results emphasize that biodiversity of riparian subsidies at the within and across species scale have the potential to affect aquatic ecosystems, although there are complex species-specific effects. PMID:26539714

  20. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  1. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  2. Nuclear material safeguards for enrichments plants: Part 4, Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant: Diversion scenarios and IAEA safeguards activities: Safeguards training course

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-10-01

    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.

  3. The "hidden diversity" of medicinal plants in northeastern Brazil: diagnosis and prospects for conservation and biological prospecting.

    PubMed

    Cavalcanti, Deyvson Rodrigues; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2013-01-01

    Increases in ethnobotanical studies and knowledge in recent decades have led to a greater and more accurate interpretation of the overall patterns related to the use of medicinal plants, allowing for a clear identification of some ecological and cultural phenomena. "Hidden diversity" of medicinal plants refers in the present study to the existence of several species of medicinal plants known by the same vernacular name in a given region. Although this phenomenon has previously been observed in a localized and sporadic manner, its full dimensions have not yet been established. In the present study, we sought to assess the hidden diversity of medicinal plants in northeastern Brazil based on the ethnospecies catalogued by local studies. The results indicate that there are an average of at least 2.78 different species per cataloged ethnospecies in the region. Phylogenetic proximity and its attendant morphological similarity favor the interchangeable use of these species, resulting in serious ecological and sanitary implications as well as a wide range of options for conservation and bioprospecting. PMID:24228056

  4. Assessment of genetic diversity among faba bean genotypes using agro-morphological and molecular markers.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Megahed H; Alghamdi, Salem S; Migdadi, Hussein M; Khan, Muhammad A; El-Harty, Ehab H; Al-Faifi, Sulieman A

    2015-05-01

    Forty faba bean (Vicia faba L.) genotypes were evaluated for their agro-morphological performance and molecular diversity under Central Region of Saudi Arabia conditions during 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Field performance results showed that faba genotypes exhibited a significant amount of variation for their agro-morphological studied parameters. Giza40 recorded the tallest genotype (139.5 cm), highest number of seeds per plants (100.8), and the highest seed yield per plant (70.8 g). The best performing genotypes were Giza40, FLIP03-014FB, Gazira1 and Goff1. Genetic variability among genotypes was determined using Sequence Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers. A total of 183 amplified fragments (alleles) and 1758 polymorphic fragments (bands) in SRAP and 202 alleles and 716 bands in AFLP were obtained using six SRAP and four AFLP primer combinations respectively. Polymorphism information content (PIC) values for AFLP and SRAP markers were higher than 0.8, indicating the existence of a considerable amount of genetic diversity among faba tested genotypes. The UPGMA based clustering of faba genotypes was largely based on origin and/or genetic background. Result of cluster analysis based on SRAP showed weak and not significant correlation while, it was highly significant based on AFLP analysis with agro-morphological characters (r = 0.01, p > 0.54 and r = 0.26, p < 0.004 respectively). Combined SRAP and AFLP markers proved to be significantly useful for genetic diversity assessment at molecular level. They exhibited high discrimination power, and were able to distinguish the faba bean genotypes with high efficiency and accuracy levels. PMID:25972757

  5. Assessment of genetic diversity among faba bean genotypes using agro-morphological and molecular markers

    PubMed Central

    Ammar, Megahed H.; Alghamdi, Salem S.; Migdadi, Hussein M.; Khan, Muhammad A.; El-Harty, Ehab H.; Al-Faifi, Sulieman A.

    2015-01-01

    Forty faba bean (Vicia faba L.) genotypes were evaluated for their agro-morphological performance and molecular diversity under Central Region of Saudi Arabia conditions during 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. Field performance results showed that faba genotypes exhibited a significant amount of variation for their agro-morphological studied parameters. Giza40 recorded the tallest genotype (139.5 cm), highest number of seeds per plants (100.8), and the highest seed yield per plant (70.8 g). The best performing genotypes were Giza40, FLIP03-014FB, Gazira1 and Goff1. Genetic variability among genotypes was determined using Sequence Related Amplified Polymorphism (SRAP) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers. A total of 183 amplified fragments (alleles) and 1758 polymorphic fragments (bands) in SRAP and 202 alleles and 716 bands in AFLP were obtained using six SRAP and four AFLP primer combinations respectively. Polymorphism information content (PIC) values for AFLP and SRAP markers were higher than 0.8, indicating the existence of a considerable amount of genetic diversity among faba tested genotypes. The UPGMA based clustering of faba genotypes was largely based on origin and/or genetic background. Result of cluster analysis based on SRAP showed weak and not significant correlation while, it was highly significant based on AFLP analysis with agro-morphological characters (r = 0.01, p > 0.54 and r = 0.26, p < 0.004 respectively). Combined SRAP and AFLP markers proved to be significantly useful for genetic diversity assessment at molecular level. They exhibited high discrimination power, and were able to distinguish the faba bean genotypes with high efficiency and accuracy levels. PMID:25972757

  6. Plant Diversity in Live Fences and Pastures, Two Examples from the Mexican Humid Tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes.

  7. Plant diversity in live fences and pastures, two examples from the Mexican humid tropics.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes. PMID:24981271

  8. Assessing phenotypic, biochemical, and molecular diversity in coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  9. Highly diverse endophytic and soil Fusarium oxysporum populations associated with field-grown tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Demers, Jill E; Gugino, Beth K; Jiménez-Gasco, María Del Mar

    2015-01-01

    The diversity and genetic differentiation of populations of Fusarium oxysporum associated with tomato fields, both endophytes obtained from tomato plants and isolates obtained from soil surrounding the sampled plants, were investigated. A total of 609 isolates of F. oxysporum were obtained, 295 isolates from a total of 32 asymptomatic tomato plants in two fields and 314 isolates from eight soil cores sampled from the area surrounding the plants. Included in this total were 112 isolates from the stems of all 32 plants, a niche that has not been previously included in F. oxysporum population genetics studies. Isolates were characterized using the DNA sequence of the translation elongation factor 1α gene. A diverse population of 26 sequence types was found, although two sequence types represented nearly two-thirds of the isolates studied. The sequence types were placed in different phylogenetic clades within F. oxysporum, and endophytic isolates were not monophyletic. Multiple sequence types were found in all plants, with an average of 4.2 per plant. The population compositions differed between the two fields but not between soil samples within each field. A certain degree of differentiation was observed between populations associated with different tomato cultivars, suggesting that the host genotype may affect the composition of plant-associated F. oxysporum populations. No clear patterns of genetic differentiation were observed between endophyte populations and soil populations, suggesting a lack of specialization of endophytic isolates. PMID:25304514

  10. Highly Diverse Endophytic and Soil Fusarium oxysporum Populations Associated with Field-Grown Tomato Plants

    PubMed Central

    Demers, Jill E.; Gugino, Beth K.

    2014-01-01

    The diversity and genetic differentiation of populations of Fusarium oxysporum associated with tomato fields, both endophytes obtained from tomato plants and isolates obtained from soil surrounding the sampled plants, were investigated. A total of 609 isolates of F. oxysporum were obtained, 295 isolates from a total of 32 asymptomatic tomato plants in two fields and 314 isolates from eight soil cores sampled from the area surrounding the plants. Included in this total were 112 isolates from the stems of all 32 plants, a niche that has not been previously included in F. oxysporum population genetics studies. Isolates were characterized using the DNA sequence of the translation elongation factor 1α gene. A diverse population of 26 sequence types was found, although two sequence types represented nearly two-thirds of the isolates studied. The sequence types were placed in different phylogenetic clades within F. oxysporum, and endophytic isolates were not monophyletic. Multiple sequence types were found in all plants, with an average of 4.2 per plant. The population compositions differed between the two fields but not between soil samples within each field. A certain degree of differentiation was observed between populations associated with different tomato cultivars, suggesting that the host genotype may affect the composition of plant-associated F. oxysporum populations. No clear patterns of genetic differentiation were observed between endophyte populations and soil populations, suggesting a lack of specialization of endophytic isolates. PMID:25304514

  11. Natural enemies thin melaleuca-canopy and help increase plant diversity in the melaleuca stands.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. Diversity and biological activities of endophytic fungi associated with micropropagated medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  14. Diverse lifestyles and strategies of plant pathogenesis encoded in the genomes of eighteen Dothideomycetes fungi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 for the first time we compare the sequenced genomes of 18 Dothideomycetes to analyze their evolution, genome organization, a...

  15. Pollinating flies (Diptera): A major contribution to plant diversity and agricultural production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diptera are one of the three largest and most diverse animal groups of the world. As an often neglected, but important group of pollinators, they play a significant role in agrobiodiversity and biodiversity of plants everywhere. Flies are present in almost all habitats and biomes and for many food p...

  16. Diversity of Marine Plants. Man and the Gulf of Mexico Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irby, Bobby N., Comp.; And Others

    "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 classify…

  17. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of Amaryllidaceae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer a predictive ap...

  18. PATTERNS OF ALLOZYME DIVERSITY IN THE THREATENED PLANT ERIGERON PARISHII (ASTERACEAE). (R826102)

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  19. Burning reveals cryptic plant diversity and promotes coexistence in a California prairie restoration experiment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland and prairie restoration projects in California often result in long-term establishment of only a few native plant species, even when they begin with a diverse seed palette. A likely explanation for the disappearance of certain native species over time is that they are excluded through comp...

  20. Plant diversity effects on soil microbial functions and enzymes are stronger than warming in a grassland experiment.

    PubMed

    Steinauer, Katja; Tilman, David; Wragg, Peter D; Cesarz, Simone; Cowles, Jane M; Pritsch, Karin; Reich, Peter B; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in biodiversity and atmospheric temperature significantly influence ecosystem processes. However, little is known about potential interactive effects of plant diversity and warming on essential ecosystem properties, such as soil microbial functions and element cycling. We studied the effects of orthogonal manipulations of plant diversity (one, four, and 16 species) and warming (ambient, +1.5 degrees C, and +3 degrees C) on soil microbial biomass, respiration, growth after nutrient additions, and activities of extracellular enzymes in 2011 and 2012 in the BAC (biodiversity and climate) perennial grassland experiment site at Cedar Creek, Minnesota, USA. Focal enzymes are involved in essential biogeochemical processes of the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles. Soil microbial biomass and some enzyme activities involved in the C and N cycle increased significantly with increasing plant diversity in both years. In addition, 16-species mixtures buffered warming induced reductions in topsoil water content. We found no interactive effects of plant diversity and warming on soil microbial biomass and growth rates. However, the activity of several enzymes (1,4-beta-glucosidase, 1,4-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, phosphatase, peroxidase) depended on interactions between plant diversity and warming with elevated activities of enzymes involved in the C, N, and P cycles at both high plant diversity and high warming levels. Increasing plant diversity consistently decreased microbial biomass-specific enzyme activities and altered soil microbial growth responses to nutrient additions, indicating that plant diversity changed nutrient limitations and/or microbial community composition. In contrast to our expectations, higher plant diversity only buffered temperature effects on soil water content, but not on microbial functions. Temperature effects on some soil enzymes were greatest at high plant diversity. In total, our results suggest that the fundamental temperature ranges of soil microbial communities may be sufficiently broad to buffer their functioning against changes in temperature and that plant diversity may be a dominant control of soil microbial processes in a changing world. PMID:26236895

  1. Effects of Plant Diversity, Functional Group Composition, and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Properties in Experimental Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L.; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Background Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Conclusions/Significance Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes. PMID:25938580

  2. Rapid compositional change and significant loss of plant species diversity among Triassic-Jurassic palynofloras in East Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mander, Luke; Kürschner, Wolfram; McElwain, Jennifer

    2010-05-01

    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 plant diversity 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 plant diversity 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.

  3. Plant community diversity and native plant abundance decline with increasing abundance of an exotic annual grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic plants are generally considered a serious problem in wildlands around the globe. However, some argue that the impacts of exotic plants have been exaggerated and that biodiversity and other important plant community characteristics are commonly improved with invasion. Thus, disagreement exis...

  4. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7-60 yr old (31.2 ?? 2.5 yr, mean ?? 1 SE). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of grazing. We also hypothesized that grazed sites would have higher native and exotic species richness compared to ungrazed areas, due to disturbance (i.e., the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis) and the conventional wisdom that grazing may accelerate weed invasion. Both hypotheses were soundly rejected. Although native species richness in 1-m2 subplots was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in grazed sites, we found nearly identical native or exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots in exclosures (31.5 ?? 2.5 native and 3.1 ?? 0.5 exotic species), adjacent grazed plots (32.6 ?? 2.8 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species), and randomly selected grazed plots (31.6 ?? 2.9 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species). We found no significant differences in species diversity (Hill's diversity indices, N1 and N2), evenness (Hill's ratio of evenness, E5), cover of various life-forms (grasses, forbs, and shrubs), soil texture, or soil percentage of N and C between grazed and ungrazed sites at the 1000-m2 plot scale. The species lists of the long-ungrazed and adjacent grazed plots overlapped just 57.9 ?? 2.8%. This difference in species composition is commonly attributed solely to the difference in grazing regimes. However, the species lists between pairs of grazed plots (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  5. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

    Question: Do rectangular sample plots record more plant species than square plots as suggested by both empirical and theoretical studies? Location: Grasslands, shrublands and forests in the Mediterranean-climate region of California, USA. Methods: We compared three 0.1-ha sampling designs that differed in the shape and dispersion of 1-m2 and 100-m2 nested subplots. We duplicated an earlier study that compared the Whittaker sample design, which had square clustered subplots, with the modified Whittaker design, which had dispersed rectangular subplots. To sort out effects of dispersion from shape we used a third design that overlaid square subplots on the modified Whittaker design. Also, using data from published studies we extracted species richness values for 400-m2 subplots that were either square or 1:4 rectangles partially overlaid on each other from desert scrub in high and low rainfall years, chaparral, sage scrub, oak savanna and coniferous forests with and without fire. Results: We found that earlier empirical reports of more than 30% greater richness with rectangles were due to the confusion of shape effects with spatial effects, coupled with the use of cumulative number of species as the metric for comparison. Average species richness was not significantly different between square and 1:4 rectangular sample plots at either 1-or 100-m2. Pairwise comparisons showed no significant difference between square and rectangular samples in all but one vegetation type, and that one exhibited significantly greater richness with squares. Our three intensive study sites appear to exhibit some level of self-similarity at the scale of 400 m2, but, contrary to theoretical expectations, we could not detect plot shape effects on species richness at this scale. Conclusions: At the 0.1-ha scale or lower there is no evidence that plot shape has predictable effects on number of species recorded from sample plots. We hypothesize that for the mediterranean-climate vegetation types studied here, the primary reason that 1:4 rectangles do not sample greater species richness than squares is because species turnover varies along complex environmental gradients that are both parallel and perpendicular to the long axis of rectangular plots. Reports in the literature of much greater species richness recorded for highly elongated rectangular strips than for squares of the same area are not likely to be fair comparisons because of the dramatically different periphery/area ratio, which includes a much greater proportion of species that are using both above and below-ground niche space outside the sample area. ?? IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala.

  6. Receding water line and interspecific competition determines plant community composition and diversity in wetlands in Beijing.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhengjun; Gong, Huili; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-induced wetland degradation has accelerated in recent years, not only resulting in reduced ecosystem services but also greatly affecting the composition and diversity of wetland plant communities. To date, the knowledge of the differences in community parameters and their successional trends in degraded wetlands remains scarce. Here based on remote sensing images, geographic information system technology, and statistical methods, we produced a successional gradient map of the Yeyahu Wetland Nature Reserve in Beijing, which has experienced a steady decline in water level in recent decades. In addition, we analyzed community composition and diversity along with each identified gradient. The results showed that community diversity decreases while dominance increases with the progress of succession, with the highest diversity occurring during the early stage of succession. Moreover, the community demonstrates greater similarity among subareas during later successional stages, and the similarity coefficients calculated from the important value (IV) of each species are more accurate. Correlation analysis showed that the impact of soil factors on diversity was not significant at a subarea scale, although these nutrients showed an increasing trend with the community succession. Furthermore, the IVs of the dominant species had a particularly significant impact on diversity, showing a significantly negative correlation with diversity indices and a significantly positive correlation with dominance indices. Further analysis showed that the retreat of water level resulted from sustained drought and local human activities was a major extrinsic driving force resulting in observed differences in the community successional stages, which resulted in differences in community composition and diversity. On the other hand, interspecific competition was the main intrinsic mechanism, which significantly influenced the IVs of the dominant species and community diversity. The results of this study could aid in improving the understanding of community composition, diversity, and its successional trends in degraded wetlands. PMID:25848799

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

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengjun; Gong, Huili; Zhang, Jing

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-induced wetland degradation has accelerated in recent years, not only resulting in reduced ecosystem services but also greatly affecting the composition and diversity of wetland plant communities. To date, the knowledge of the differences in community parameters and their successional trends in degraded wetlands remains scarce. Here based on remote sensing images, geographic information system technology, and statistical methods, we produced a successional gradient map of the Yeyahu Wetland Nature Reserve in Beijing, which has experienced a steady decline in water level in recent decades. In addition, we analyzed community composition and diversity along with each identified gradient. The results showed that community diversity decreases while dominance increases with the progress of succession, with the highest diversity occurring during the early stage of succession. Moreover, the community demonstrates greater similarity among subareas during later successional stages, and the similarity coefficients calculated from the important value (IV) of each species are more accurate. Correlation analysis showed that the impact of soil factors on diversity was not significant at a subarea scale, although these nutrients showed an increasing trend with the community succession. Furthermore, the IVs of the dominant species had a particularly significant impact on diversity, showing a significantly negative correlation with diversity indices and a significantly positive correlation with dominance indices. Further analysis showed that the retreat of water level resulted from sustained drought and local human activities was a major extrinsic driving force resulting in observed differences in the community successional stages, which resulted in differences in community composition and diversity. On the other hand, interspecific competition was the main intrinsic mechanism, which significantly influenced the IVs of the dominant species and community diversity. The results of this study could aid in improving the understanding of community composition, diversity, and its successional trends in degraded wetlands. PMID:25848799

  8. Patterns of genetic diversity in three plant lineages endemic to the Cape Verde Islands

    PubMed Central

    Romeiras, Maria M.; Monteiro, Filipa; Duarte, M. Cristina; Schaefer, Hanno; Carine, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Conservation of plant diversity on islands relies on a good knowledge of the taxonomy, distribution and genetic diversity of species. In recent decades, a combination of morphology- and DNA-based approaches has become the standard for investigating island plant lineages and this has led, in some cases, to the discovery of previously overlooked diversity, including ‘cryptic species’. The flora of the Cape Verde archipelago in the North Atlantic is currently thought to comprise ∼740 vascular plant species, 92 of them endemics. Despite the fact that it is considered relatively well known, there has been a 12 % increase in the number of endemics in the last two decades. Relatively few of the Cape Verde plant lineages have been included in genetic studies so far and little is known about the patterns of diversification in the archipelago. Here we present an updated list for the endemic Cape Verde flora and analyse diversity patterns for three endemic plant lineages (Cynanchum, Globularia and Umbilicus) based on one nuclear (ITS) and four plastid DNA regions. In all three lineages, we find genetic variation. In Cynanchum, we find two distinct haplotypes with no clear geographical pattern, possibly reflecting different ploidy levels. In Globularia and Umbilicus, differentiation is evident between populations from northern and southern islands. Isolation and drift resulting from the small and fragmented distributions, coupled with the significant distances separating the northern and southern islands, could explain this pattern. Overall, our study suggests that the diversity in the endemic vascular flora of Cape Verde is higher than previously thought and further work is necessary to characterize the flora. PMID:25979965

  9. Vegetation types, dominant compositions, woody plant diversity and stand structure in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Northeast India.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Koushik; Datta, B K

    2015-03-01

    Present study was carried out to assess the vegetation types, diversity and phytosociological status of woody plants in Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary of Tripura, Northeast India. Vegetation data was derived by 25 line transects (10 m wide and 500 m length, each 0.5 ha size). All woody species at >10 cm gbh (Girth at Breast Height) within each plots were measured and counted. A total of six forest types were classified by cluster analysis using Importance Value Index (IVI) of 289 woody species. Species diversity, forest structure and woody community associations were evaluated and discussed. One way ANOVA revealed significant differences in all species diversity measures and stand structure along the forest types. Distribution of stem density at ten different gbh classes showed reverse J-shaped curves. Population status of woody plants was also examined through grouping of all individuals into four population age stages viz. sapling (<30 cm gbh), adult (> or = 30 - <120 cm gbh), mature (>120 - 210 cm gbh) and old (> or =210 cm). To observe dominant composition and species population trend, IVI of top ten dominant species from all forest types were tabulated. The present study suggested that Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary is an important habitat in Tripura from floristic point of view and it should be conserved on priority basis for remaining wildlife endurances and monitor for forest livelihoods products for sustainable biodiversity conservation in this region. PMID:25895264

  10. Microsatellite-based analysis of the genetic structure and diversity of Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) from tea plants in China.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-Tian; Tao, Huan-Huan; Du, Yu-Zhou

    2015-04-10

    Although Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a well known insect pest of tea plants, little information is available about its genetic structure and diversity. The present study used microsatellite markers to assess the genetic structure and diversity of this species on tea plants in China. For this purpose, 193 individuals from ten natural populations were analyzed using ten microsatellite markers. Our results indicated that the average number of alleles (A) across populations was 35.6, and all observed heterozygosities (HO) were greater than 0.7, indicating an excess of heterozygosity and a relatively high level of genetic diversity among populations, and the number of private alleles per population ranged from 3 to 26. Pairwise FST analysis suggested that the number of genetic differentiation events was moderate (0.05

  11. Sampling and Complementarity Effects of Plant Diversity on Resource Use Increases the Invasion Resistance of Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Dan H.; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Wei Z.; Yuan, Yue; Li, Bin; Wang, Jiang

    2015-01-01

    Background Although plant diversity is postulated to resist invasion, studies have not provided consistent results, most of which were ascribed to the influences of other covariate environmental factors. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore the mechanisms by which plant diversity influences community invasibility, an experiment was conducted involving grassland sites varying in their species richness (one, two, four, eight, and sixteen species). Light interception efficiency and soil resources (total N, total P, and water content) were measured. The number of species, biomass, and the number of seedlings of the invading species decreased significantly with species richness. The presence of Patrinia scabiosaefolia Fisch. ex Trev. and Mosla dianthera (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxburgh) Maxim. significantly increased the resistance of the communities to invasion. A structural equation model showed that the richness of planted species had no direct and significant effect on invasion. Light interception efficiency had a negative effect on the invasion whereas soil water content had a positive effect. In monocultures, Antenoron filiforme (Thunb.) Rob. et Vaut. showed the highest light interception efficiency and P. scabiosaefolia recorded the lowest soil water content. With increased planted-species richness, a greater percentage of pots showed light use efficiency higher than that of A. filiforme and a lower soil water content than that in P. scabiosaefolia. Conclusions/Significance The results of this study suggest that plant diversity confers resistance to invasion, which is mainly ascribed to the sampling effect of particular species and the complementarity effect among species on resources use. PMID:26556713

  12. Light and nitrogen competition limit Lolium perenne in experimental grasslands of increasing plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Roscher, C; Kutsch, W L; Schulze, E-D

    2011-01-01

    Positive species richness effects on aboveground community productivity in experimental grasslands have been reported to correlate with variable responses of individual species. So far, it is largely unknown whether more complete use of resources at the community level correlates with resource limitation of particular species and may explain their decreasing performance with increasing plant diversity. Using the subordinate grass species Lolium perenne L. as a model, we monitored populations in 82 experimental grasslands of different plant diversity (Jena Experiment) from year 2 to 6 after establishment, and measured ecophysiological leaf traits related to light and nutrient acquisition and use. Population and plant individual sizes of L. perenne decreased with increasing species richness. A decrease in transmitted light with increasing species richness and legume proportion correlated with increasing specific leaf area (SLA). Despite this morphological adaptation to lower light availability, decreasing foliar δ(13) C signatures with increasing species richness and low variation in leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll concentrations suggested a low capacity of L. perenne for adjustment to canopy shade. Leaf nitrogen concentrations and foliar δ(15) N signatures indicated a better N supply in communities with legumes and a shift in the uptake of different N forms with increasing species richness. Leaf blade nitrate and carbohydrate concentrations as indicators of plants nutritional status supported that light limitation with increasing species richness and legume proportions, combined with a N limitation in communities with increasing proportions of non-legumes, correlated with the decreasing performance of L. perenne in communities of increasing plant diversity. PMID:21143734

  13. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  14. Invasive plants have scale-dependent effects on diversity by altering species-area relationships.

    PubMed

    Powell, Kristin I; Chase, Jonathan M; Knight, Tiffany M

    2013-01-18

    Although invasive plant species often reduce diversity, they rarely cause plant extinctions. We surveyed paired invaded and uninvaded plant communities from three biomes. We reconcile the discrepancy in diversity loss from invaders by showing that invaded communities have lower local richness but steeper species accumulation with area than that of uninvaded communities, leading to proportionately fewer species loss at broader spatial scales. We show that invaders drive scale-dependent biodiversity loss through strong neutral sampling effects on the number of individuals in a community. We also show that nonneutral species extirpations are due to a proportionately larger effect of invaders on common species, suggesting that rare species are buffered against extinction. Our study provides a synthetic perspective on the threat of invasions to biodiversity loss across spatial scales. PMID:23329045

  15. RESTORING SPECIES RICHNESS AND DIVERSITY IN A RUSSIAN KNAPWEED (ACROPTILON REPENS)-INFESTED RIPARIAN PLANT COMMUNITY USING HERBICIDES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Species richness and diversity are important indicators of ecosystem function and may be related to plant community resistance to invasion by non-indigenous species. Knowledge about the influence of various strategies on species richness and diversity is central to making wise invasive plant manage...

  16. Value of small patches in the conservation of plant-species diversity in highly fragmented rainforest.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Pineda, Eduardo; Escobar, Federico; Benítez-Malvido, Julieta

    2009-06-01

    We evaluated the importance of small (<5 ha) forest patches for the conservation of regional plant diversity in the tropical rainforest of Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. We analyzed the density of plant species (number of species per 0.1 ha) in 45 forest patches of different sizes (1-700 ha) in 3 landscapes with different deforestation levels (4, 11, and 24% forest cover). Most of the 364 species sampled (360 species, 99%) were native to the region, and only 4 (1%) were human-introduced species. Species density in the smallest patches was high and variable; the highest (84 species) and lowest (23 species) number of species were recorded in patches of up to 1.8 ha. Despite the small size of these patches, they contained diverse communities of native plants, including endangered and economically important species. The relationship between species density and area was significantly different among the landscapes, with a significant positive slope only in the landscape with the highest deforestation level. This indicates that species density in a patch of a given size may vary among landscapes that have different deforestation levels. Therefore, the conservation value of a patch depends on the total forest cover remaining in the landscape. Our findings revealed, however, that a great portion of regional plant diversity was located in very small forest patches (<5 ha), most of the species were restricted to only a few patches (41% of the species sampled were distributed in only 1-2 patches, and almost 70% were distributed in 5 patches) and each landscape conserved a unique plant assemblage. The conservation and restoration of small patches is therefore necessary to effectively preserve the plant diversity of this strongly deforested and unique Neotropical region. PMID:19040651

  17. Paramagnetic cellulose DNA isolation improves DNA yield and quality among diverse plant taxa1

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Jackson R.; Moehn, Nicholas R.; Waller, Donald M.; Givnish, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: The chemical diversity of land plants ensures that no single DNA isolation method results in high yield and purity with little effort for all species. Here we evaluate a new technique originally developed for forensic science, based on MagnaCel paramagnetic cellulose particles (PMC), to determine its efficacy in extracting DNA from 25 plant species representing 21 families and 15 orders. • Methods and Results: Yield and purity of DNA isolated by PMC, DNeasy Plant Mini Kit (silica column), and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) methods were compared among four individuals for each of 25 plant species. PMC gave a twofold advantage in average yield, and the relative advantage of the PMC method was greatest for samples with the lowest DNA yields. PMC also produced more consistent sample purity based on absorbance ratios at 260:280 and 260:230 nm. • Conclusions: PMC technology is a promising alternative for plant DNA isolation. PMID:25309836

  18. Assessing invasive plant infestation in freshwater wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torbick, Nathan M.

    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.

  19. Shifting grassland plant community structure drives positive interactive effects of warming and diversity on aboveground net primary productivity.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Jane M; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Alexandra J; Powers, Jennifer S; Tilman, David

    2016-02-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are increasingly impacted by multiple drivers of environmental change, including climate warming and loss of biodiversity. We show, using a long-term factorial experiment, that plant diversity loss alters the effects of warming on productivity. Aboveground primary productivity was increased by both high plant diversity and warming, and, in concert, warming (≈1.5 °C average above and belowground warming over the growing season) and diversity caused a greater than additive increase in aboveground productivity. The aboveground warming effects increased over time, particularly at higher levels of diversity, perhaps because of warming-induced increases in legume and C4 bunch grass abundances, and facilitative feedbacks of these species on productivity. Moreover, higher plant diversity was associated with the amelioration of warming-induced environmental conditions. This led to cooler temperatures, decreased vapor pressure deficit, and increased surface soil moisture in higher diversity communities. Root biomass (0-30 cm) was likewise consistently greater at higher plant diversity and was greater with warming in monocultures and at intermediate diversity, but at high diversity warming had no detectable effect. This may be because warming increased the abundance of legumes, which have lower root : shoot ratios than the other types of plants. In addition, legumes increase soil nitrogen (N) supply, which could make N less limiting to other species and potentially decrease their investment in roots. The negative warming × diversity interaction on root mass led to an overall negative interactive effect of these two global change factors on the sum of above and belowground biomass, and thus likely on total plant carbon stores. In total, plant diversity increased the effect of warming on aboveground net productivity and moderated the effect on root mass. These divergent effects suggest that warming and changes in plant diversity are likely to have both interactive and divergent impacts on various aspects of ecosystem functioning. PMID:26426698

  20. Nitrogen deposition and multi-dimensional plant diversity at the landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Roth, Tobias; Kohli, Lukas; Rihm, Beat; Amrhein, Valentin; Achermann, Beat

    2015-04-01

    Estimating effects of nitrogen (N) deposition is essential for understanding human impacts on biodiversity. However, studies relating atmospheric N deposition to plant diversity are usually restricted to small plots of high conservation value. Here, we used data on 381 randomly selected 1 km(2) plots covering most habitat types of Central Europe and an elevational range of 2900 m. We found that high atmospheric N deposition was associated with low values of six measures of plant diversity. The weakest negative relation to N deposition was found in the traditionally measured total species richness. The strongest relation to N deposition was in phylogenetic diversity, with an estimated loss of 19% due to atmospheric N deposition as compared with a homogeneously distributed historic N deposition without human influence, or of 11% as compared with a spatially varying N deposition for the year 1880, during industrialization in Europe. Because phylogenetic plant diversity is often related to ecosystem functioning, we suggest that atmospheric N deposition threatens functioning of ecosystems at the landscape scale. PMID:26064640

  1. Nitrogen deposition and multi-dimensional plant diversity at the landscape scale

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Tobias; Kohli, Lukas; Rihm, Beat; Amrhein, Valentin; Achermann, Beat

    2015-01-01

    Estimating effects of nitrogen (N) deposition is essential for understanding human impacts on biodiversity. However, studies relating atmospheric N deposition to plant diversity are usually restricted to small plots of high conservation value. Here, we used data on 381 randomly selected 1 km2 plots covering most habitat types of Central Europe and an elevational range of 2900 m. We found that high atmospheric N deposition was associated with low values of six measures of plant diversity. The weakest negative relation to N deposition was found in the traditionally measured total species richness. The strongest relation to N deposition was in phylogenetic diversity, with an estimated loss of 19% due to atmospheric N deposition as compared with a homogeneously distributed historic N deposition without human influence, or of 11% as compared with a spatially varying N deposition for the year 1880, during industrialization in Europe. Because phylogenetic plant diversity is often related to ecosystem functioning, we suggest that atmospheric N deposition threatens functioning of ecosystems at the landscape scale. PMID:26064640

  2. Biogeographical Interpretation of Elevational Patterns of Genus Diversity of Seed Plants in Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Li, Miao; Feng, Jianmeng

    2015-01-01

    This study tests if the biogeographical affinities of genera are relevant for explaining elevational plant diversity patterns in Nepal. We used simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) models to investigate the explanatory power of several predictors in explaining the diversity-elevation relationships shown in genera with different biogeographical affinities. Delta akaike information criterion (ΔAIC) was used for multi-model inferences and selections. Our results showed that both the total and tropical genus diversity peaked below the mid-point of the elevational gradient, whereas that of temperate genera had a nearly symmetrical, unimodal relationship with elevation. The proportion of temperate genera increased markedly with elevation, while that of tropical genera declined. Compared to tropical genera, temperate genera had wider elevational ranges and were observed at higher elevations. Water-related variables, rather than mid-domain effects (MDE), were the most significant predictors of elevational patterns of tropical genus diversity. The temperate genus diversity was influenced by energy availability, but only in quadratic terms of the models. Though climatic factors and mid-domain effects jointly explained most of the variation in the diversity of temperate genera with elevation, the former played stronger roles. Total genus diversity was most strongly influenced by climate and the floristic overlap of tropical and temperate floras, while the influences of mid-domain effects were relatively weak. The influences of water-related and energy-related variables may vary with biogeographical affinities. The elevational patterns may be most closely related to climatic factors, while MDE may somewhat modify the patterns. Caution is needed when investigating the causal factors underlying diversity patterns for large taxonomic groups composed of taxa of different biogeographical affinities. Right-skewed diversity-elevation patterns may be produced by the differential response of taxa with varying biogeographical affinities to climatic factors and MDE. PMID:26488164

  3. Assessment of genetic diversity in Brazilian barley using SSR markers

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Jéssica Rosset; Pereira, Jorge Fernando; Turchetto, Caroline; Minella, Euclydes; Consoli, Luciano; Delatorre, Carla Andréa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Barley is a major cereal grown widely and used in several food products, beverage production and animal fodder. Genetic diversity is a key component in breeding programs. We have analyzed the genetic diversity of barley accessions using microsatellite markers. The accessions were composed of wild and domesticated barley representing genotypes from six countries and three breeding programs in Brazil. A total of 280 alleles were detected, 36 unique to Brazilian barley. The marker Bmag120 showed the greatest polymorphism information content (PIC), with the highest mean value found on chromosome three, and the lowest on chromosomes four and six. The wild accessions presented the highest diversity followed by the foreign genotypes. Genetic analysis was performed using Principal Coordinates Analysis, UPGMA clustering, and Bayesian clustering analysis implemented in Structure. All results obtained by the different methods were similar. Loss of genetic diversity has occurred in Brazilian genotypes. The number of alleles detected in genotypes released in 1980s was higher, whereas most of the cultivars released thereafter showed lower PIC and clustered in separate subgroups from the older cultivars. The use of a more diverse panel of genotypes should be considered in order to exploit novel alleles in Brazilian barley breeding programs. PMID:27007902

  4. Mechanisms for increased soil C storage with increasing temporal and spatial plant diversity in Agroecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiemann, L. K.; Grandy, S.; Marin-Spiotta, E.; Atkinson, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Generally, there are positive relationships between plant species diversity and net primary production and other key ecosystem functions. However, the effects of aboveground diversity on soil microbial communities and ecosystem processes they mediate, such as soil C sequestration, remain unclear. In this study, we used an 11-y cropping diversity study where increases in diversity have increased crop yields. At the experimental site, temporal diversity is altered using combinations of annual crop rotations, while spatial diversity is altered using cover crop species. We used five treatments ranging in diversity from one to five species consisting of continuous corn with no cover crop or one cover crop and corn-soy-wheat rotations with no cover, one cover or two cover crop species. We collected soils from four replicate plots of each treatment and measured the distribution of mega- (>2 mm), macro- (0.25-2 mm), and micro- (0.053-0.25 mm) aggregates. Within each aggregate size class, we also measured total soil C and N, permanganate oxidizable C (POXC), extracellular enzyme activities (EEA), and microbial community structure with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We use these data to address the impacts of both rotational and cover crop diversity on soil physical structure, associated microbial community structure and activity and soil C storage. As spatial diversity increased, we found concurrent increases in mega-aggregate abundance as well as increasing soil C in the mega- and micro-aggregates but not macro-aggregates. The proportion of total soil C in each aggregate size class that is relatively labile (POXC) was highest in the micro-aggregates, as was enzyme activity associated with labile C acquisition across all levels of diversity. Enzyme activity associated with more recalcitrant forms of soil C was highest in the mega-aggregate class, also across all diversity levels; however, the ratio of labile to recalcitrant EEA increased with increasing diversity in the mega- and micro-aggregates. In addition, soil N increased with diversity such that microbial C:N EEA simultaneously decreased in mega-aggregates. We also found that cropping diversity has created distinctive soil microbial communities, highlighted by variation in the abundance of gram positive bacteria and Actinomycetes. Further research will help us determine how these changes in community structure with increasing diversity are related to concomitant changes in aggregation and enzyme activities. We suggest that the additional organic matter inputs from cover crops in the high diversity treatments have increased aggregation processes and C pools. While microbial activity has also increased in association with this increased C availability, the activity of recalcitrant and N-acquiring enzymes has declined, suggesting an overall decrease in SOM mineralization with possible increased SOM stabilization. The addition of crop species in rotation (temporal diversity) had minimal influence on any of the measured parameters. We thus conclude that spatial diversity is a more important driver of soil structure and microbial activity, likely due to the high quality organic matter inputs derived from the leguminous cover crops; however, spatial diversity alone did not lead to the same level of C storage potential as mixtures of temporal and spatial diversity.

  5. Assessing the Effect of Disturbances on Ectomycorrhiza Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Iordache, Virgil; Gherghel, Felicia; Kothe, Erika

    2009-01-01

    Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of ECM communities at contaminated sites. An ecosystem based approach improves predictability since different biotic and abiotic factors are included. However, it still does not take into account the hierarchical structure of the ecosystem. We suggest that diversity patterns of ECMs communities in forests can best be investigated at three levels. This hypothetical approach for investigation can be tested at sites of secondary succession in areas contaminated with metals. Once the diversity patterns are appropriately described by a hierarchical ecosystem approach, to the species level is used to explain these patterns by populational and ecotoxicological mechanisms. PMID:19440391

  6. Interactive effects of landscape history and current management on dispersal trait diversity in grassland plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Purschke, Oliver; Sykes, Martin T; Poschlod, Peter; Michalski, Stefan G; Römermann, Christine; Durka, Walter; Kühn, Ingolf; Prentice, Honor C

    2014-01-01

    Plant communities and their ecosystem functions are expected to be more resilient to future habitat fragmentation and deterioration if the species comprising the communities have a wide range of dispersal and persistence strategies. However, the extent to which the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in plant communities is determined by the current and historical characteristics of sites and their surrounding landscape has yet to be explored. Using quantitative information on long-distance seed dispersal potential by wind and animals (dispersal in space) and on species' persistence/longevity (dispersal in time), we (i) compared levels of dispersal and persistence trait diversity (functional richness, FRic, and functional divergence, FDiv) in seminatural grassland plant communities with those expected by chance, and (ii) quantified the extent to which trait diversity was explained by current and historical landscape structure and local management history – taking into account spatial and phylogenetic autocorrel. Null model analysis revealed that more grassland communities than expected had a level of trait diversity that was lower or higher than predicted, given the level of species richness. Both the range (FRic) and divergence (FDiv) of dispersal and persistence trait values increased with grassland age. FDiv was mainly explained by the interaction between current grazing intensity and the amount of grassland habitat in the surrounding landscape in 1938. Synthesis. The study suggests that the variability of dispersal and persistence traits in grassland plant communities is driven by deterministic assembly processes, with both history and current management (and their interactions), playing a major role as determinants of trait diversity. While a long continuity of grazing management is likely to have promoted the diversity of dispersal and persistence traits in present-day grasslands, communities in sites that are well grazed at the present day, and were also surrounded by large amounts of grassland in the past, showed the highest diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies. Our results indicate that the historical context of a site within a landscape will influence the extent to which current grazing management is able to maintain a diversity of dispersal and persistence strategies and buffer communities (and their associated functions) against continuing habitat fragmentation. PMID:25506086

  7. The effects of plant diversity on nitrous oxide emissions in hydroponic microcosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Hongying; Zhang, Chongbang; Song, Changchun; Chang, Scott X.; Gu, Baojing; Chen, Zhengxin; Peng, Changhui; Chang, Jie; Ge, Ying

    2013-10-01

    Previous studies have shown that plant diversity 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 plant diversity 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 μg 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.

  8. Progress Towards an Interdisciplinary Science of Plant Phenology: Building Predictions Across Space, Time and Species Diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Cook, Benjamin I.; Davies, T. Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has brought renewed interest in the study of plant phenology - the timing of life history events. Data on shifting phenologies with warming have accumulated rapidly, yet research has been comparatively slow to explain the diversity of phenological responses observed across latitudes, growing seasons and species. Here, we outline recent efforts to synthesize perspectives on plant phenology across the fields of ecology, climate science and evolution. We highlight three major axes that vary among these disciplines: relative focus on abiotic versus biotic drivers of phenology, on plastic versus genetic drivers of intraspecific variation, and on cross-species versus autecological approaches. Recent interdisciplinary efforts, building on data covering diverse species and climate space, have found a greater role of temperature in controlling phenology at higher latitudes and for early-flowering species in temperate systems. These efforts have also made progress in understanding the tremendous diversity of responses across species by incorporating evolutionary relatedness, and linking phenological flexibility to invasions and plant performance. Future research with a focus on data collection in areas outside the temperate mid-latitudes and across species' ranges, alongside better integration of how risk and investment shape plant phenology, offers promise for further progress.

  9. [Effect zone of forest road on plant species diversity in Great Hing 'an Mountains].

    PubMed

    Li, Yue-hui; Hu, Yuan-man; Chang, Yu; Li, Xiu-zhen; Bu, Ren-cang; Hu, Chang-he; Wang, Chun-lin

    2010-05-01

    Forest road has far-reaching effects on plant species diversity across varying scales, and the estimation of its effect distance and effect zone is a key issue to integrate the road effect and ecological processes in forest area. In this paper, ten transects, 2 m wide and extending 50 m from varying grade roads including main road, main line for wood transportation, and secondary line for wood transportation in Huzhong forest area of Great Hing' an Mountains were set. The plant composition was investigated in twenty-five 2 m x 2 m plots of each transect. The road-effect distance on plant species diversity identified by moving window analysis in terms of the important value of each plot. The results showed that in study area, the effect distance reached up to 20-34 m, regardless of the roads grade. The plant species diversity of shrub stratum and herb stratum within the effect zone was greater than that in adjacent habitat, with the Shannon-Weiner index increased by 21% and 60%, respectively. The response of shrub stratum to the road effect was more stable than herb stratum, but no significant change was observed in tree stratum. Chamaenerion angustifolium was the indicative species of road-effect zone communities. Based on the estimation of road-effect distance, the road area in Huzhong Forestry Bureau and Great Hing' an Mountains occupied about 0.10%, and its effect zone on vegetation occupied 1.79% and 1.53%, respectively. PMID:20707089

  10. Progress towards an interdisciplinary science of plant phenology: building predictions across space, time and species diversity.

    PubMed

    Wolkovich, Elizabeth M; Cook, Benjamin I; Davies, T Jonathan

    2014-03-01

    Climate change has brought renewed interest in the study of plant phenology - the timing of life history events. Data on shifting phenologies with warming have accumulated rapidly, yet research has been comparatively slow to explain the diversity of phenological responses observed across latitudes, growing seasons and species. Here, we outline recent efforts to synthesize perspectives on plant phenology across the fields of ecology, climate science and evolution. We highlight three major axes that vary among these disciplines: relative focus on abiotic versus biotic drivers of phenology, on plastic versus genetic drivers of intraspecific variation, and on cross-species versus autecological approaches. Recent interdisciplinary efforts, building on data covering diverse species and climate space, have found a greater role of temperature in controlling phenology at higher latitudes and for early-flowering species in temperate systems. These efforts have also made progress in understanding the tremendous diversity of responses across species by incorporating evolutionary relatedness, and linking phenological flexibility to invasions and plant performance. Future research with a focus on data collection in areas outside the temperate mid-latitudes and across species' ranges, alongside better integration of how risk and investment shape plant phenology, offers promise for further progress. PMID:24649487

  11. Bottom-up effects of host-plant species diversity and top-down effects of ants interactively increase plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Mooney, Kailen A.; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis

    2012-01-01

    While plant diversity is well known to increase primary productivity, whether these bottom-up effects are enhanced by reciprocal top-down effects from the third trophic level is unknown. We studied whether pine tree species diversity, aphid-tending ants and their interaction determined plant performance and arthropod community structure. Plant diversity had a positive effect on aphids, but only in the presence of mutualistic ants, leading to a threefold greater number of both groups in the tri-specific cultures than in monocultures. Plant diversity increased ant abundance not only by increasing aphid number, but also by increasing ant recruitment per aphid. The positive effect of diversity on ants in turn cascaded down to increase plant performance; diversity increased plant growth (but not biomass), and this effect was stronger in the presence of ants. Consequently, bottom-up effects of diversity within the same genus and guild of plants, and top-down effects from the third trophic level (predatory ants), interactively increased plant performance. PMID:22951745

  12. Genetic Structure and Molecular Diversity of Cacao Plants Established as Local Varieties for More than Two Centuries: The Genetic History of Cacao Plantations in Bahia, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Elisa S. L.; Cerqueira-Silva, Carlos Bernard M.; Mori, Gustavo M.; Ahnert, Dário; Mello, Durval L. N.; Pires, José Luis; Corrêa, Ronan X.; de Souza, Anete P.

    2015-01-01

    Bahia is the most important cacao-producing state in Brazil, which is currently the sixth-largest country worldwide to produce cacao seeds. In the eighteenth century, the Comum, Pará and Maranhão varieties of cacao were introduced into southern Bahia, and their descendants, which are called ‘Bahian cacao’ or local Bahian varieties, have been cultivated for over 200 years. Comum plants have been used to start plantations in African countries and extended as far as countries in South Asia and Oceania. In Brazil, two sets of clones selected from Bahian varieties and their mutants, the Agronomic Institute of East (SIAL) and Bahian Cacao Institute (SIC) series, represent the diversity of Bahian cacao in germplasm banks. Because the genetic diversity of Bahian varieties, which is essential for breeding programs, remains unknown, the objective of this work was to assess the genetic structure and diversity of local Bahian varieties collected from farms and germplasm banks. To this end, 30 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to genotype 279 cacao plants from germplasm and local farms. The results facilitated the identification of 219 cacao plants of Bahian origin, and 51 of these were SIAL or SIC clones. Bahian cacao showed low genetic diversity. It could be verified that SIC and SIAL clones do not represent the true diversity of Bahian cacao, with the greatest amount of diversity found in cacao trees on the farms. Thus, a core collection to aid in prioritizing the plants to be sampled for Bahian cacao diversity is suggested. These results provide information that can be used to conserve Bahian cacao plants and applied in breeding programs to obtain more productive Bahian cacao with superior quality and tolerance to major diseases in tropical cacao plantations worldwide. PMID:26675449

  13. Genetic Structure and Molecular Diversity of Cacao Plants Established as Local Varieties for More than Two Centuries: The Genetic History of Cacao Plantations in Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Santos, Elisa S L; Cerqueira-Silva, Carlos Bernard M; Mori, Gustavo M; Ahnert, Dário; Mello, Durval L N; Pires, José Luis; Corrêa, Ronan X; de Souza, Anete P

    2015-01-01

    Bahia is the most important cacao-producing state in Brazil, which is currently the sixth-largest country worldwide to produce cacao seeds. In the eighteenth century, the Comum, Pará and Maranhão varieties of cacao were introduced into southern Bahia, and their descendants, which are called 'Bahian cacao' or local Bahian varieties, have been cultivated for over 200 years. Comum plants have been used to start plantations in African countries and extended as far as countries in South Asia and Oceania. In Brazil, two sets of clones selected from Bahian varieties and their mutants, the Agronomic Institute of East (SIAL) and Bahian Cacao Institute (SIC) series, represent the diversity of Bahian cacao in germplasm banks. Because the genetic diversity of Bahian varieties, which is essential for breeding programs, remains unknown, the objective of this work was to assess the genetic structure and diversity of local Bahian varieties collected from farms and germplasm banks. To this end, 30 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to genotype 279 cacao plants from germplasm and local farms. The results facilitated the identification of 219 cacao plants of Bahian origin, and 51 of these were SIAL or SIC clones. Bahian cacao showed low genetic diversity. It could be verified that SIC and SIAL clones do not represent the true diversity of Bahian cacao, with the greatest amount of diversity found in cacao trees on the farms. Thus, a core collection to aid in prioritizing the plants to be sampled for Bahian cacao diversity is suggested. These results provide information that can be used to conserve Bahian cacao plants and applied in breeding programs to obtain more productive Bahian cacao with superior quality and tolerance to major diseases in tropical cacao plantations worldwide. PMID:26675449

  14. Dynamic Response of Large Wind Power Plant Affected by Diverse Conditions at Individual Turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Lu, Shuai; Lin, Guang; Wang, Shaobu

    2014-07-31

    Diverse operating conditions at individual wind turbine generators (WTG) within wind power plants (WPPs) can affect the WPP dynamic response to system faults. For example, individual WTGs can experience diverse terminal voltage and power output caused by different wind direction and speed, affecting the response of protection and control limiters. In this paper, we present a study to investigate the dynamic response of a detailed WPP model under diverse power outputs of its individual WTGs. Wake effect is considered as the reason for diverse power outputs. The diverse WTG power output is evaluated in a test system where a large 168-machine test WPP is connected to the IEEE-39-bus system. The power output from each WTG is derived from a wake effect model that uses realistic statistical data for incoming wind speed and direction. The results show that diverse WTG output due to wake effect can affect the WPP dynamic response activating specialized control in some turbines. In addition, transient stability is affected by exhibiting uncertainty in critical clearing time calculation.

  15. Diversity of Woodland Communities and Plant Species along an Altitudinal Gradient in the Guancen Mountains, China

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Dongping; Zhang, Jin-Tun; Li, Min

    2012-01-01

    Study on plant diversity is the base of woodland conservation. The Guancen Mountains are the northern end of Luliang mountain range in North China. Fifty-three quadrats of 10 m × 20 m of woodland communities were randomly established along an altitudinal gradient. Data for species composition and environmental variables were measured and recorded in each quadrat. To investigate the variation of woodland communities, a Two-Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) and a Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) were conducted, while species diversity indices were used to analyse the relationships between species diversity and environmental variables in this study. The results showed that there were eight communities of woodland vegetation; each of them had their own characteristics in composition, structure, and environment. The variation of woodland communities was significantly related to elevation and also related to slope, slope aspect, and litter thickness. The cumulative percentage variance of species-environment relation for the first three CCA axes was 93.5%. Elevation was revealed as the factor which most influenced community distribution and species diversity. Species diversity was negatively correlated with elevation, slope aspect, and litter thickness, but positively with slope. Species richness and heterogeneity increased first and then decreased but evenness decreased significantly with increasing elevation. Species diversity was correlated with slope, slope aspect, and litter thickness. PMID:22566768

  16. Lead exposure and blood pressure among workers in diverse industrial plants in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Were, Faridah H; Moturi, M Charles; Gottesfeld, P; Wafula, Godfrey A; Kamau, Geoffrey N; Shiundu, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    The study evaluated airborne exposures and blood lead (BPb) levels in 233 production workers at six diverse industrial plants in Kenya. Blood and personal breathing zone air samples were collected and analyzed for lead (Pb) using atomic absorption spectroscopy. Blood pressure (BP) levels were measured using a standard mercury sphygmomanometer. The results indicated mean airborne Pb levels ± standard deviation (SD) as follows: 183.2 ± 53.6 μg/m(3) in battery recycling, 133.5 ± 39.6 μg/m(3) in battery manufacturing, 126.2 ± 39.9 μg/m(3) in scrap metal welding, 76.3 ± 33.2 μg/m(3) in paint manufacturing, 27.3 ± 12.1 μg/m(3) in a leather manufacturing, and 5.5 ± 3.6 μg/m(3) in a pharmaceutical plant. The mean airborne Pb levels exceeded the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 8-hr time-weighted average (TWA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) for Pb of 50 μg/m(3) in the battery manufacturing, battery recycling, welding, and paint manufacturing plants. Similarly, mean BPb concentrations exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) biological exposure index (BEI) for Pb of 30 μg/dl. A significant positive association was observed between BPb and breathing zone air Pb (R(2) = 0.73, P < 0.001). Approximately 30% of the production workers (N = 233) were in the hypertensive range with an average systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) of 134.7 ± 12.7 mmHg and 86.4 ± 8.9 mmHg, respectively. In the multivariate regression analysis, age, duration of work, airborne Pb and BPb levels were significantly associated (P < 0.05) with a change in BP. We recommend improved engineering controls, work practices, and personal hygiene to reduce Pb exposures. In addition, workers should undergo comprehensive medical surveillance to include BPb and BP testing, and airborne Pb assessments in all industries with significant lead exposures. PMID:24690073

  17. Preparing Teachers for Diverse Learners: Assessing Teacher Candidates' Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northington, Vera Ann

    2011-01-01

    The National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) recommended teacher preparation programs measure teacher candidates' disposition toward diverse learners. The conduction of the quantitative cross-sectional survey design utilized the Quick Discrimination Index Survey (QDI), a Likert-type tool that used reversed or negatively…

  18. Assessing the effects of woody plant traits on understory herbaceous cover in a semiarid rangeland.

    PubMed

    Belay, Tamrat A; Moe, Stein R

    2015-07-01

    The ecological impact of woody plant encroachment in rangeland ecosystems has traditionally been evaluated based on correlation studies between densities of dissimilar woody plants and various ecosystem properties. However, ecosystem properties respond differently to woody plant encroachment because of variations in adaptation of co-occurring woody plants. The objective of this study is to predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover based on analysis of key traits of woody plants. We conducted a vegetation survey in 4 savanna sites in southwestern Ethiopia and compared 9 different key traits of 19 co-occurring woody plants with understory herbaceous cover. Our results show that low understory herbaceous cover is associated with evergreen leaf phenology, shrubby growth form, smaller relative crown-base height and larger relative crown diameter. However, the N2-fixing ability and density of woody plants did not influence the understory herbaceous cover. This shows that traits of individual woody plants can predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover better than density does. The finding improves our ability to accurately predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on various ecosystem properties in highly diverse savanna systems. This plant trait-based approach could be also used as an important management exercise to assess and predict the impact of encroaching woody species in several rangeland ecosystems. PMID:25860596

  19. Assessing the Effects of Woody Plant Traits on Understory Herbaceous Cover in a Semiarid Rangeland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belay, Tamrat A.; Moe, Stein R.

    2015-07-01

    The ecological impact of woody plant encroachment in rangeland ecosystems has traditionally been evaluated based on correlation studies between densities of dissimilar woody plants and various ecosystem properties. However, ecosystem properties respond differently to woody plant encroachment because of variations in adaptation of co-occurring woody plants. The objective of this study is to predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover based on analysis of key traits of woody plants. We conducted a vegetation survey in 4 savanna sites in southwestern Ethiopia and compared 9 different key traits of 19 co-occurring woody plants with understory herbaceous cover. Our results show that low understory herbaceous cover is associated with evergreen leaf phenology, shrubby growth form, smaller relative crown-base height and larger relative crown diameter. However, the N2-fixing ability and density of woody plants did not influence the understory herbaceous cover. This shows that traits of individual woody plants can predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover better than density does. The finding improves our ability to accurately predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on various ecosystem properties in highly diverse savanna systems. This plant trait-based approach could be also used as an important management exercise to assess and predict the impact of encroaching woody species in several rangeland ecosystems.

  20. Assessing the extent and diversity of riparian ecosystems in Sonora, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

    2009-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Although Eucalyptus is widely planted in South China, whose effects on native biodiversity are unclear. The objective of this study was to quantify the richness and composition of understory plants in two contrasting Eucalyptus chronosequences in South China. One was in Zhangzhou City with plantation age of 2, 4, and 6 years after clear-cutting Chinese fir forests, while the other was in Heshan City with plantation age of 2, 3, and 24 years that reforested on barren lands. Results showed that the richness of understory plants and functional groups was not significantly altered in the Zhangzhou chronosequence, while increased in the 24-year-old plantations, with a significantly larger proportion of woody plants than the younger plantations for the Heshan chronosequence. Moreover, a higher richness of woody plants accompanied by a lower richness of herbaceous species was detected in the Zhangzhou chronosequence compared with the Heshan one. To balance the need for pulp production and plant diversity conservation, we suggest that intercropping approaches between exotic Eucalyptus plantations and native forests should be considered in the fast rotation Eucalyptus plantations. However, Eucalyptus plantations may be used as pioneer species to sustain ecosystem functioning for the degraded lands. PMID:26239647

  3. [Diversity of bacterial community in rhizosphere soils under effects of continuously planting burley tobacco].

    PubMed

    Chen, Dong-mei; Ke, Wen-hui; Chen, Lan-lan; Huang, Jin-wen; Wu, Wen-xiang; Chen, Ting; Zhang, Zhong-yi; Lin, Wen-xiong

    2010-07-01

    By using T-RFLP approach, this paper studied the dynamic changes of bacterial community in the rhizosphere soils under continuously planting burley tobacco for 1, 2 and 4 years. With the increasing of continuous planting years, the Shannon index and Margalef index of bacterial community in the rhizosphere soils decreased after an initial increase. After 4-year continuous planting, the diversity of the bacterial community decreased significantly, and the community structure became simple. The similarity coefficient of the bacterial community in the rhizosphere soils of continuously planting burley tobacco for 1 and 2 years and of the control was decreased with increasing year of continuous planting. Actinobacteria were predominant in the soils under 1 and 2 years continuous planting and in the control, but decreased in the soil continuously planted with burley tobacco for 4 years, in which, Bacilli of Firmicute was the dominant. It was suggested that continuously planting burley tobacco could result in the decrease of beneficial microbes such as Sphingomonas and Streptomyces while increase the species of pathogenic bacteria such as Bacillus cereus in rhizosphere soil, which in return, could lead to the imbalance of bacterial community and deteriorate the micro-ecological conditions in rhizosphere soil. PMID:20879533

  4. Natural Products from Plant-associated Microorganisms: Distribution, Structural Diversity, Bioactivity, and Implications of Their Occurrence⊥

    PubMed Central

    Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:16562864

  5. Diverse functions of KNOX transcription factors in the diploid body plan of plants.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Katsutoshi; Hake, Sarah

    2015-10-01

    KNOX genes were initially found as shoot meristem regulators in angiosperms. Recent studies in diverse plant lineages however, have revealed the divergence of KNOX gene function during the evolution of diploid body plans. Using genomic approaches, class I KNOX transcription factors have been shown to regulate multiple hormone pathways including auxin and brassinosteroid as well as many transcription factors that play important roles in plant development. Class I KNOX proteins appear to be activators, whereas class II proteins act as repressors in transcriptional regulation of their target genes. PMID:26190742

  6. Contemporary Issues in the Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schon, Jacqueline; Shaftel, Julia; Markham, Paul

    2008-01-01

    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…

  7. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    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 plant diversity 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.

  8. An explanation for conflicting records of Triassic–Jurassic plant diversity

    PubMed Central

    Mander, Luke; Kürschner, Wolfram M.; McElwain, Jennifer C.

    2010-01-01

    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

  9. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, A.J.; Jonas, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity. ?? Society for Range Management.

  10. An explanation for conflicting records of Triassic-Jurassic plant diversity.

    PubMed

    Mander, Luke; Krschner, Wolfram M; McElwain, Jennifer C

    2010-08-31

    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 Astarteklft, 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 Astarteklft 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

  11. The PathoChip, a functional gene array for assessing pathogenic properties of diverse microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yong-Jin; van Nostrand, Joy D; Tu, Qichao; Lu, Zhenmei; Cheng, Lei; Yuan, Tong; Deng, Ye; Carter, Michelle Q; He, Zhili; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Fang; Xu, Jian; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-01-01

    Pathogens present in the environment pose a serious threat to human, plant and animal health as evidenced by recent outbreaks. As many pathogens can survive and proliferate in the environment, it is important to understand their population dynamics and pathogenic potential in the environment. To assess pathogenic potential in diverse habitats, we developed a functional gene array, the PathoChip, constructed with key virulence genes related to major virulence factors, such as adherence, colonization, motility, invasion, toxin, immune evasion and iron uptake. A total of 3715 best probes were selected from 13 virulence factors, covering 7417 coding sequences from 1397 microbial species (2336 strains). The specificity of the PathoChip was computationally verified, and approximately 98% of the probes provided specificity at or below the species level, proving its excellent capability for the detection of target sequences with high discrimination power. We applied this array to community samples from soil, seawater and human saliva to assess the occurrence of virulence genes in natural environments. Both the abundance and diversity of virulence genes increased in stressed conditions compared with their corresponding controls, indicating a possible increase in abundance of pathogenic bacteria under environmental perturbations such as warming or oil spills. Statistical analyses showed that microbial communities harboring virulence genes were responsive to environmental perturbations, which drove changes in abundance and distribution of virulence genes. The PathoChip provides a useful tool to identify virulence genes in microbial populations, examine the dynamics of virulence genes in response to environmental perturbations and determine the pathogenic potential of microbial communities. PMID:23765101

  12. The PathoChip, a functional gene array for assessing pathogenic properties of diverse microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yong-Jin; van Nostrand, Joy D; Tu, Qichao; Lu, Zhenmei; Cheng, Lei; Yuan, Tong; Deng, Ye; Carter, Michelle Q; He, Zhili; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Fang; Xu, Jian; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-10-01

    Pathogens present in the environment pose a serious threat to human, plant and animal health as evidenced by recent outbreaks. As many pathogens can survive and proliferate in the environment, it is important to understand their population dynamics and pathogenic potential in the environment. To assess pathogenic potential in diverse habitats, we developed a functional gene array, the PathoChip, constructed with key virulence genes related to major virulence factors, such as adherence, colonization, motility, invasion, toxin, immune evasion and iron uptake. A total of 3715 best probes were selected from 13 virulence factors, covering 7417 coding sequences from 1397 microbial species (2336 strains). The specificity of the PathoChip was computationally verified, and approximately 98% of the probes provided specificity at or below the species level, proving its excellent capability for the detection of target sequences with high discrimination power. We applied this array to community samples from soil, seawater and human saliva to assess the occurrence of virulence genes in natural environments. Both the abundance and diversity of virulence genes increased in stressed conditions compared with their corresponding controls, indicating a possible increase in abundance of pathogenic bacteria under environmental perturbations such as warming or oil spills. Statistical analyses showed that microbial communities harboring virulence genes were responsive to environmental perturbations, which drove changes in abundance and distribution of virulence genes. The PathoChip provides a useful tool to identify virulence genes in microbial populations, examine the dynamics of virulence genes in response to environmental perturbations and determine the pathogenic potential of microbial communities. PMID:23765101

  13. Can phylogeny predict chemical diversity and potential medicinal activity of plants? A case study of amaryllidaceae

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During evolution, plants and other organisms have developed a diversity of chemical defences, leading to the evolution of various groups of specialized metabolites selected for their endogenous biological function. A correlation between phylogeny and biosynthetic pathways could offer a predictive approach enabling more efficient selection of plants for the development of traditional medicine and lead discovery. However, this relationship has rarely been rigorously tested and the potential predictive power is consequently unknown. Results We produced a phylogenetic hypothesis for the medicinally important plant subfamily Amaryllidoideae (Amaryllidaceae) based on parsimony and Bayesian analysis of nuclear, plastid, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of over 100 species. We tested if alkaloid diversity and activity in bioassays related to the central nervous system are significantly correlated with phylogeny and found evidence for a significant phylogenetic signal in these traits, although the effect is not strong. Conclusions Several genera are non-monophyletic emphasizing the importance of using phylogeny for interpretation of character distribution. Alkaloid diversity and in vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and binding to the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) are significantly correlated with phylogeny. This has implications for the use of phylogenies to interpret chemical evolution and biosynthetic pathways, to select candidate taxa for lead discovery, and to make recommendations for policies regarding traditional use and conservation priorities. PMID:22978363

  14. Effects of Previous Land-Use on Plant Species Composition and Diversity in Mediterranean Forests

    PubMed Central

    Kouba, Yacine; Martínez-García, Felipe; de Frutos, Ángel; Alados, Concepción L.

    2015-01-01

    At some point in their history, most forests in the Mediterranean Basin have been subjected to intensive management or converted to agriculture land. Knowing how forest plant communities recovered after the abandonment of forest-management or agricultural practices (including livestock grazing) provides a basis for investigating how previous land management have affected plant species diversity and composition in forest ecosystems. Our study investigated the consequences of historical “land management” practices on present-day Mediterranean forests by comparing species assemblages and the diversity of (i) all plant species and (ii) each ecological group defined by species’ habitat preferences and successional status (i.e., early-, mid-, and late-successional species). We compared forest stands that differed both in land-use history and in successional stage. In addition, we evaluated the value of those stands for biodiversity conservation. The study revealed significant compositional differentiation among stands that was due to among-stand variations in the diversity (namely, species richness and evenness) of early-, intermediate-, and late-successional species. Historical land management has led to an increase in compositional divergences among forest stands and the loss of late-successional forest species. PMID:26397707

  15. Effects of Previous Land-Use on Plant Species Composition and Diversity in Mediterranean Forests.

    PubMed

    Kouba, Yacine; Martínez-García, Felipe; de Frutos, Ángel; Alados, Concepción L

    2015-01-01

    At some point in their history, most forests in the Mediterranean Basin have been subjected to intensive management or converted to agriculture land. Knowing how forest plant communities recovered after the abandonment of forest-management or agricultural practices (including livestock grazing) provides a basis for investigating how previous land management have affected plant species diversity and composition in forest ecosystems. Our study investigated the consequences of historical "land management" practices on present-day Mediterranean forests by comparing species assemblages and the diversity of (i) all plant species and (ii) each ecological group defined by species' habitat preferences and successional status (i.e., early-, mid-, and late-successional species). We compared forest stands that differed both in land-use history and in successional stage. In addition, we evaluated the value of those stands for biodiversity conservation. The study revealed significant compositional differentiation among stands that was due to among-stand variations in the diversity (namely, species richness and evenness) of early-, intermediate-, and late-successional species. Historical land management has led to an increase in compositional divergences among forest stands and the loss of late-successional forest species. PMID:26397707

  16. Are different facets of plant diversity well protected against climate and land cover changes? A test study in the French Alps

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Guéguen, Maya; Georges, Damien; Bonet, Richard; Chalmandrier, Loïc; Garraud, Luc; Renaud, Julien; Roquet, Cristina; Van Es, Jérémie; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Lavergne, Sébastien

    2014-01-01

    Climate and land cover changes are important drivers of the plant species distributions and diversity patterns in mountainous regions. Although the need for a multifaceted view of diversity based on taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic dimensions is now commonly recognized, there are no complete risk assessments concerning their expected changes. In this paper, we used a range of species distribution models in an ensemble-forecasting framework together with regional climate and land cover projections by 2080 to analyze the potential threat for more than 2,500 plant species at high resolution (2.5 km × 2.5 km) in the French Alps. We also decomposed taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity facets into α and β components and analyzed their expected changes by 2080. Overall, plant species threats from climate and land cover changes in the French Alps were expected to vary depending on the species’ preferred altitudinal vegetation zone, rarity, and conservation status. Indeed, rare species and species of conservation concern were the ones projected to experience less severe change, and also the ones being the most efficiently preserved by the current network of protected areas. Conversely, the three facets of plant diversity were also projected to experience drastic spatial re-shuffling by 2080. In general, the mean α-diversity of the three facets was projected to increase to the detriment of regional β-diversity, although the latter was projected to remain high at the montane-alpine transition zones. Our results show that, due to a high-altitude distribution, the current protection network is efficient for rare species, and species predicted to migrate upward. Although our modeling framework may not capture all possible mechanisms of species range shifts, our work illustrates that a comprehensive risk assessment on an entire floristic region combined with functional and phylogenetic information can help delimitate future scenarios of biodiversity and better design its protection. PMID:25722539

  17. Reliability engineering appraisal for power plants life assessment and management

    SciTech Connect

    Isreb, M.

    1998-12-31

    Reliability engineering in power plants life assessment and management aims at minimization of life synthesis cycle plant cost without compromising plant safety. Power plant reliability depends, as discussed in the present paper, on power plants life synthesis and various reliability methods such as synthesis based analysis, design, and manufacturing, operating conditions, plant reporting and recording system, plant failure analysis system, and field operational data on the same or similar power plants components. The paper presents a new approach to power plants reliability engineering appraisal. The approach, designed specifically to form part of a power plant`s overall life assessment and management, introduces a flexible mechanism for appraisal. This is done through the introduction of the Reliability Appraisal Matrix (RAM) of various reliability methods. In addition, RAM is introduced for Boiler Tubing (BT) life synthesis in relation to new, random and remnant life of BT. RAM is also introduced for BT components, namely stress rupture, water-side corrosion, fire-side corrosion, erosion, and deficiency of quality assurance leading to failure. In fact, there is a growing need in the literature to find an indicator of reliability appraisal. The indicator is introduced in the present paper as RAM. The paper recommends the standardization of RAM as an adaptable and dynamic mechanism for engineering reliability appraisal of power plant life assessment and management. Furthermore, the recommended standardization of RAM coefficients should account for different classes of power plant components, operating conditions, maintenance procedure and age.

  18. Diversity and Plant Growth Promoting Capacity of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Halophytic Plants from the West Coast of Korea.

    PubMed

    Khalmuratova, Irina; Kim, Hyun; Nam, Yoon-Jong; Oh, Yoosun; Jeong, Min-Ji; Choi, Hye-Rim; You, Young-Hyun; Choo, Yeon-Sik; Lee, In-Jung; Shin, Jae-Ho; Yoon, Hyeokjun; Kim, Jong-Guk

    2015-12-01

    Five halophytic plant species, Suaeda maritima, Limonium tetragonum, Suaeda australis, Phragmites australis, and Suaeda glauca Bunge, which are native to the Muan salt marsh of South Korea, were examined for fungal endophytes by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region containing ITS1, 5.8S rRNA, and ITS2. In total, 160 endophytic fungal strains were isolated and identified from the roots of the 5 plant species. Taxonomically, all 160 strains belonged to the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota. The most dominant genus was Fusarium, followed by the genera Penicillium and Alternaria. Subsequently, using 5 statistical methods, the diversity indices of the endophytes were determined at genus level. Among these halophytic plants, P. australis was found to host the greatest diversity of endophytic fungi. Culture filtrates of endophytic fungi were treated to Waito-C rice seedlings for plant growth-promoting effects. The fungal strain Su-3-4-3 isolated from S. glauca Bunge provide the maximum plant length (20.1 cm) in comparison with wild-type Gibberella fujikuroi (19.6 cm). Consequently, chromatographic analysis of the culture filtrate of Su-3-4-3 showed the presence of physiologically active gibberellins, GA1 (0.465 ng/mL), GA3 (1.808 ng/mL) along with other physiologically inactive GA9 (0.054 ng/mL) and GA24 (0.044 ng/mL). The fungal isolate Su-3-4-3 was identified as Talaromyces pinophilus. PMID:26839496

  19. Diversity and Plant Growth Promoting Capacity of Endophytic Fungi Associated with Halophytic Plants from the West Coast of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Khalmuratova, Irina; Kim, Hyun; Nam, Yoon-Jong; Oh, Yoosun; Jeong, Min-Ji; Choi, Hye-Rim; You, Young-Hyun; Choo, Yeon-Sik; Lee, In-Jung; Shin, Jae-Ho

    2015-01-01

    Five halophytic plant species, Suaeda maritima, Limonium tetragonum, Suaeda australis, Phragmites australis, and Suaeda glauca Bunge, which are native to the Muan salt marsh of South Korea, were examined for fungal endophytes by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region containing ITS1, 5.8S rRNA, and ITS2. In total, 160 endophytic fungal strains were isolated and identified from the roots of the 5 plant species. Taxonomically, all 160 strains belonged to the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota. The most dominant genus was Fusarium, followed by the genera Penicillium and Alternaria. Subsequently, using 5 statistical methods, the diversity indices of the endophytes were determined at genus level. Among these halophytic plants, P. australis was found to host the greatest diversity of endophytic fungi. Culture filtrates of endophytic fungi were treated to Waito-C rice seedlings for plant growth-promoting effects. The fungal strain Su-3-4-3 isolated from S. glauca Bunge provide the maximum plant length (20.1 cm) in comparison with wild-type Gibberella fujikuroi (19.6 cm). Consequently, chromatographic analysis of the culture filtrate of Su-3-4-3 showed the presence of physiologically active gibberellins, GA1 (0.465 ng/mL), GA3 (1.808 ng/mL) along with other physiologically inactive GA9 (0.054 ng/mL) and GA24 (0.044 ng/mL). The fungal isolate Su-3-4-3 was identified as Talaromyces pinophilus. PMID:26839496

  20. Plant-Wide Assessment Report for Shaw Industries, Plant #78; Aiken, SC

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Brown PE, CEM; Matt Soderlund; Bill Meffert PE; Paolo Baldisserotto; Jerry Zolkowski PE, CEM

    2006-04-10

    A plant-wide energy assessment sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy was conducted at Shaw Industries Group, plant #78 in Aiken, SC. The assessment team consisted of Georgia Tech faculty from the Energy & Environmental Management Center and Shaw personnel from plant #78 and the corporate energy group. The purpose of this assessment was to uncover as many opportunities for saving energy usage and costs using techniques that have been established as best practices in the energy engineering field. In addition, these findings are to be shared with similar plants in Shaw Industries Group to multiply the lessons learned. The findings from this assessment are included in this report.

  1. Testing Associations of Plant Functional Diversity with Carbon and Nitrogen Storage along a Restoration Gradient of Sandy Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Jing; Wang, Shaokun; Yue, Xiyuan

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that ecosystem function is strongly affected by plant functional diversity as reflected by the traits of the most abundant species (community-weighted mean, CWM) and functional dispersion (FDis). Effects of CWM and FDis individually support the biomass ratio hypothesis and the niche complementarity hypothesis. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relative roles of CWM traits and FDis in explaining the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage in grassland ecosystems. We measured plant functional traits in the 34 most abundant species across 24 sites along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China. Thereafter, we calculated the CWM traits, the functional divergence of each single trait (FDvar) and the trait dispersion of multiple traits (FDis). We also measured the C and N storage in plant, litter, root, and soil. Using a stepwise multiple regression analysis, we further assessed which of the functional diversity components best explained C and N storage in the sandy grassland restoration. We found consistent links between C or N storage and leaf traits related to plant resource use strategy. However, the CWM of plant height was retained as an important predictor of C and N storage in plant, litter, soil, and total ecosystem in the final multiple models. CWMs of specific leaf area and plant height best predicted soil C and N storage and total ecosystem N storage. FDis was one of good predictors of litter C and N storage as well as total ecosystem C storage. These results suggest that ecosystem C and N pools in the sandy grassland restoration are primarily associated with the traits of the most abundant species in communities, thereby supporting the biomass ratio hypothesis. The positive associations of FDis with C storage in litter and total ecosystem provide evidence to support the niche complementarity hypothesis. Both functional traits of dominant species and traits’ dispersion in plant communities could contribute to explaining total ecosystem C storage. Thus, single- and multi-trait indices of functional composition play a crucial role in predicting C storage in sandy grasslands. PMID:26925089

  2. Testing Associations of Plant Functional Diversity with Carbon and Nitrogen Storage along a Restoration Gradient of Sandy Grassland.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Xiaoan; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhang, Jing; Wang, Shaokun; Yue, Xiyuan

    2016-01-01

    The trait-based approach shows that ecosystem function is strongly affected by plant functional diversity as reflected by the traits of the most abundant species (community-weighted mean, CWM) and functional dispersion (FDis). Effects of CWM and FDis individually support the biomass ratio hypothesis and the niche complementarity hypothesis. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relative roles of CWM traits and FDis in explaining the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage in grassland ecosystems. We measured plant functional traits in the 34 most abundant species across 24 sites along a restoration gradient of sandy grassland (mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, and grassland) in Horqin Sand Land, northern China. Thereafter, we calculated the CWM traits, the functional divergence of each single trait (FDvar) and the trait dispersion of multiple traits (FDis). We also measured the C and N storage in plant, litter, root, and soil. Using a stepwise multiple regression analysis, we further assessed which of the functional diversity components best explained C and N storage in the sandy grassland restoration. We found consistent links between C or N storage and leaf traits related to plant resource use strategy. However, the CWM of plant height was retained as an important predictor of C and N storage in plant, litter, soil, and total ecosystem in the final multiple models. CWMs of specific leaf area and plant height best predicted soil C and N storage and total ecosystem N storage. FDis was one of good predictors of litter C and N storage as well as total ecosystem C storage. These results suggest that ecosystem C and N pools in the sandy grassland restoration are primarily associated with the traits of the most abundant species in communities, thereby supporting the biomass ratio hypothesis. The positive associations of FDis with C storage in litter and total ecosystem provide evidence to support the niche complementarity hypothesis. Both functional traits of dominant species and traits' dispersion in plant communities could contribute to explaining total ecosystem C storage. Thus, single- and multi-trait indices of functional composition play a crucial role in predicting C storage in sandy grasslands. PMID:26925089

  3. How Do Earthworms, Soil Texture and Plant Composition Affect Infiltration along an Experimental Plant Diversity Gradient in Grassland?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Background Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications. PMID:24918943

  4. Functional and genetic diversity of mycorrhizal fungi from single plants of Caladenia formosa (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Tien T.; Thomson, Richard; Mclean, Cassandra B.; Lawrie, Ann C.

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19561011

  5. Plant Functional Diversity Can Be Independent of Species Diversity: Observations Based on the Impact of 4-Yrs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions in an Alpine Meadow.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Cheng, Ji-Min; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard E; Guo, Liang; Jing, Guang-Hua; Zhao, Jie; Du, Guo-Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have widely documented the decrease in species diversity in response to addition of nutrients, however functional diversity is often independent from species diversity. In this study, we conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization ((NH4)2 HPO4) at 0, 15, 30 and 60 g m-2 yr-1 (F0, F15, F30 and F60) after 4 years of continuous fertilization on functional diversity and species diversity, and its relationship with productivity in an alpine meadow community on the Tibetan Plateau. To this purpose, three community-weighted mean trait values (specific leaf area, SLA; mature plant height, MPH; and seed size, SS) for 30 common species in each fertilization level were determined; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, FRic; functional evenness, FEve; and Rao's index of quadratic entropy, FRao) were quantified. Our results showed that: (i) species diversity sharply decreased, but functional diversity remained stable with fertilization; (ii) community-weighted mean traits (SLA and MPH) had a significant increase along the fertilization level; (iii) aboveground biomass was not correlated with functional diversity, but it was significantly correlated with species diversity and MPH. Our results suggest that decreases in species diversity due to fertilization do not result in corresponding changes in functional diversity. Functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing aboveground productivity in this alpine meadow community, and our results also support the mass ratio hypothesis; that is, the traits of the dominant species influenced the community biomass production. PMID:26295345

  6. Plant Functional Diversity Can Be Independent of Species Diversity: Observations Based on the Impact of 4-Yrs of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions in an Alpine Meadow

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Cheng, Ji-Min; Yu, Kai-Liang; Epstein, Howard E.; Guo, Liang; Jing, Guang-Hua; Zhao, Jie; Du, Guo-Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Past studies have widely documented the decrease in species diversity in response to addition of nutrients, however functional diversity is often independent from species diversity. In this study, we conducted a field experiment to examine the effect of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization ((NH4)2 HPO4) at 0, 15, 30 and 60 g m-2 yr-1 (F0, F15, F30 and F60) after 4 years of continuous fertilization on functional diversity and species diversity, and its relationship with productivity in an alpine meadow community on the Tibetan Plateau. To this purpose, three community-weighted mean trait values (specific leaf area, SLA; mature plant height, MPH; and seed size, SS) for 30 common species in each fertilization level were determined; three components of functional diversity (functional richness, FRic; functional evenness, FEve; and Rao’s index of quadratic entropy, FRao) were quantified. Our results showed that: (i) species diversity sharply decreased, but functional diversity remained stable with fertilization; (ii) community-weighted mean traits (SLA and MPH) had a significant increase along the fertilization level; (iii) aboveground biomass was not correlated with functional diversity, but it was significantly correlated with species diversity and MPH. Our results suggest that decreases in species diversity due to fertilization do not result in corresponding changes in functional diversity. Functional identity of species may be more important than functional diversity in influencing aboveground productivity in this alpine meadow community, and our results also support the mass ratio hypothesis; that is, the traits of the dominant species influenced the community biomass production. PMID:26295345

  7. Genetic Diversity and Spoilage Potentials among Pseudomonas spp. Isolated from Fluid Milk Products and Dairy Processing Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dogan, Belgin; Boor, Kathryn J.

    2003-01-01

    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. PMID:12513987

  8. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macler, Bruce A.; Janik, Daniel S.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been proposed to use plants as elements of biologically-based life support systems for long-term space missions. Three roles have been brought forth for plants in this application: recycling of water, regeneration of air and production of food. This report discusses recycling of water and presents data from investigations of plant transpiration water quality. Aqueous nutrient solution was applied to several plant species and transpired water collected. The findings indicated that this water typically contained 0.3-6 ppm of total organic carbon, which meets hygiene water standards for NASA's space applications. It suggests that this method could be developed to achieve potable water standards.

  9. Biochemical survey of the polar head of plant glycosylinositolphosphoceramides unravels broad diversity.

    PubMed

    Cacas, Jean-Luc; Buré, Corinne; Furt, Fabienne; Maalouf, Jean-Paul; Badoc, Alain; Cluzet, Stéphanie; Schmitter, Jean-Marie; Antajan, Elvire; Mongrand, Sébastien

    2013-12-01

    Although Glycosyl-Inositol-Phospho-Ceramides (GIPCs) are the main sphingolipids of plant tissues, they remain poorly characterized in term of structures. This lack of information, notably with regard to polar heads, currently hampers the understanding of GIPC functions in biological systems. This situation prompted us to undertake a large scale-analysis of plant GIPCs: 23 plant species chosen in various phylogenetic groups were surveyed for their total GIPC content. GIPCs were extracted and their polar heads were characterized by negative ion MALDI and ESI mass spectrometry. Our data shed light on an unexpected broad diversity of GIPC distributions within Plantae, and the occurrence of yet-unreported GIPC structures in green and red algae. In monocots, GIPCs with three saccharides were apparently found to be major, whereas a series with two saccharides was dominant in Eudicots within a few notable exceptions. In plant cell cultures, GIPC polar heads appeared to bear a higher number of glycan units than in the tissue from which they originate. Perspectives are discussed in term of GIPC metabolism diversity and function of these lipids. PMID:23993446

  10. Resource-based niches provide a basis for plant species diversity and dominance in arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    McKane, Robert B; Johnson, Loretta C; Shaver, Gaius R; Nadelhoffer, Knute J; Rastetter, Edward B; Fry, Brian; Giblin, Anne E; Kielland, Knut; Kwiatkowski, Bonnie L; Laundre, James A; Murray, Georgia

    2002-01-01

    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 how plants compete for below-ground resources. Here we provide evidence from a 15N-tracer field experiment showing that plant species in a nitrogen-limited, arctic tundra community were differentiated in timing, depth and chemical form of nitrogen uptake, and that species dominance was strongly correlated with uptake of the most available soil nitrogen forms. That is, the most productive species used the most abundant nitrogen forms, and less productive species used less abundant forms. To our knowledge, this is the first documentation that the composition of a plant community is related to partitioning of differentially available forms of a single limiting resource. PMID:11780117

  11. Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas. Seagrasses support and provide habitats for many coastal organisms in tropical region. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape struct...

  12. Variations in AOC and microbial diversity in an advanced water treatment plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, B. M.; Liu, J. K.; Chien, C. C.; Surampalli, R. Y.; Kao, C. M.

    2011-10-01

    SummaryThe objective of this study was to evaluate the variations in assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and microbial diversities in an advanced water treatment plant. The efficiency of biofiltration on AOC removal using anthracite and granular activated carbon (GAC) as the media was also evaluated through a pilot-scale column experiment. Effects of hydrological factors (seasonal effects and river flow) on AOC concentrations in raw water samples and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of biofiltration on AOC treatment were also evaluated. Results show that AOC concentrations in raw water and clear water of the plant were about 138 and 27 ?g acetate-C/L, respectively. Higher AOC concentrations were observed in wet seasons probably due to the resuspension of organic-contained sediments and discharges of non-point source (NPS) pollutants from the upper catchment. This reveals that seasonal effect played an important role in the variations in influent AOC concentrations. Approximately 82% and 70% of AOC removal efficiencies were observed in GAC and anthracite columns, respectively. Results from column experiment reveal that the applied treatment processes in the plant and biofiltration system were able to remove AOC effectively. Microbial colonization on GAC and anthracite were detected via the observation of scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images. Results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and nucleotide sequence analysis reveal significant decrease in microbial diversities after the ozonation process. Higher HRT caused higher microbial contact time, and thus, more microbial colonies and higher microbial diversity were observed in the latter part of the biofilters. Some of the dominant microbial species in the biofiltration columns belonged to the beta- proteobacterium, which might contribute to the AOC degradation. Results of this study provide us insight into the variations in AOC and microbial diversity in the advanced water treatment processes.

  13. [Correlation between aquatic plant diversity and water environment in the typical sites of Hangzhou section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal].

    PubMed

    Lu, Yin; Xu, Xiao-Lu; Zhang, De-Yong; Wang, Li; Zhu, Xu-Ni; Feng, Feng; Zhou, Qiao-Jun; Xie, Peng

    2014-05-01

    Community characteristics of aquatic plant are important indicators for water quality. In order to understand the distribution characteristics of aquatic plants in aquatic ecosystem of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal ( Hangzhou section) , and to analyze the relationship between water quality and plant community, an investigation of the aquatic plants in five typical sites was made in this study. Species composition, biological diversity, quantity distribution and dominant species of aquatic plants in five sites were studied for ecological changes. Physicochemical factors such as temperature, pH value, transparency, dissolved oxygen and main elements of living were also analyzed. Based on the results, the distribution of phytoplankton diversity and environment factor correlations by multivariate statistical analysis were discussed. The trophic levels of these sites were assessed by using related biological standards. Results indicated that the diversity of aquatic plant mainly depends on the diversity of phytoplankton in the typical sites of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. We observed and identified 35 genus algae, including advantage community of Hyalodiscus Ehrenberg and Melosira Agardh, which belonged to Bacillariophyta. According to the impact on the phytoplankton diversity and distribution, factors such as dissolved oxygen, transparency, water temperature, etc. had an obvious influence on the distribution of phytoplankton in the existing 6 environmental factors, while the influence of pH value was the highest. In terms of water quality eutrophication, site Tangxi Bridge and Maiyu Bridge showed a relatively lighter pollution, while site Yiqiao Bridge, Gujia Bridge and Gongchen Bridge showed a higher pollution, and the pollution of site Yiqiao Bridge was the most serious. PMID:25055657

  14. Assessing the Unseen Bacterial Diversity in Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Caro-Quintero, Alejandro; Ochman, Howard

    2015-12-01

    For both historical and technical reasons, 16S ribosomal RNA has been the most common molecular marker used to analyze the contents of microbial communities. However, its slow rate of evolution hinders the resolution of closely related bacteria--individual 16S-phylotypes, particularly when clustered at 97% sequence identity, conceal vast amounts of species- and strain-level variation. Protein-coding genes, which evolve more quickly, are useful for differentiating among more recently diverged lineages, but their application is complicated by difficulties in designing low-redundancy primers that amplify homologous regions from distantly related taxa. Given the now-common practice of multiplexing hundreds of samples, adopting new genes usually entails the synthesis of large sets of barcoded primers. To circumvent problems associated with use of protein-coding genes to survey microbial communities, we develop an approach--termed phyloTAGs--that offers an automatic solution for primer design and can be easily adapted to target different taxonomic groups and/or different protein-coding regions. We applied this method to analyze diversity within the gorilla gut microbiome and recovered hundreds of strains that went undetected after deep-sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. PhyloTAGs provides a powerful way to recover the fine-level diversity within microbial communities and to study stability and dynamics of bacterial populations. PMID:26615218

  15. Assessing the Unseen Bacterial Diversity in Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Caro-Quintero, Alejandro; Ochman, Howard

    2015-01-01

    For both historical and technical reasons, 16S ribosomal RNA has been the most common molecular marker used to analyze the contents of microbial communities. However, its slow rate of evolution hinders the resolution of closely related bacteria—individual 16S-phylotypes, particularly when clustered at 97% sequence identity, conceal vast amounts of species- and strain-level variation. Protein-coding genes, which evolve more quickly, are useful for differentiating among more recently diverged lineages, but their application is complicated by difficulties in designing low-redundancy primers that amplify homologous regions from distantly related taxa. Given the now-common practice of multiplexing hundreds of samples, adopting new genes usually entails the synthesis of large sets of barcoded primers. To circumvent problems associated with use of protein-coding genes to survey microbial communities, we develop an approach—termed phyloTAGs—that offers an automatic solution for primer design and can be easily adapted to target different taxonomic groups and/or different protein-coding regions. We applied this method to analyze diversity within the gorilla gut microbiome and recovered hundreds of strains that went undetected after deep-sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. PhyloTAGs provides a powerful way to recover the fine-level diversity within microbial communities and to study stability and dynamics of bacterial populations. PMID:26615218

  16. Chemical diversity of microbial volatiles and their potential for plant growth and productivity

    PubMed Central

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are produced by a wide array of microorganisms ranging from bacteria to fungi. A growing body of evidence indicates that MVOCs are ecofriendly and can be exploited as a cost-effective sustainable strategy for use in agricultural practice as agents that enhance plant growth, productivity, and disease resistance. As naturally occurring chemicals, MVOCs have potential as possible alternatives to harmful pesticides, fungicides, and bactericides as well as genetic modification. Recent studies performed under open field conditions demonstrate that efficiently adopting MVOCs may contribute to sustainable crop protection and production. We review here the chemical diversity of MVOCs by describing microbial–plants and microbial–microbial interactions. Furthermore, we discuss MVOCs role in inducing phenotypic plant responses and their potential physiological effects on crops. Finally, we analyze potential and actual limitations for MVOC use and deployment in field conditions as a sustainable strategy for improving productivity and reducing pesticide use. PMID:25821453

  17. Chemical diversity of microbial volatiles and their potential for plant growth and productivity.

    PubMed

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E

    2015-01-01

    Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are produced by a wide array of microorganisms ranging from bacteria to fungi. A growing body of evidence indicates that MVOCs are ecofriendly and can be exploited as a cost-effective sustainable strategy for use in agricultural practice as agents that enhance plant growth, productivity, and disease resistance. As naturally occurring chemicals, MVOCs have potential as possible alternatives to harmful pesticides, fungicides, and bactericides as well as genetic modification. Recent studies performed under open field conditions demonstrate that efficiently adopting MVOCs may contribute to sustainable crop protection and production. We review here the chemical diversity of MVOCs by describing microbial-plants and microbial-microbial interactions. Furthermore, we discuss MVOCs role in inducing phenotypic plant responses and their potential physiological effects on crops. Finally, we analyze potential and actual limitations for MVOC use and deployment in field conditions as a sustainable strategy for improving productivity and reducing pesticide use. PMID:25821453

  18. Learning to Assess Science in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms: Tracking Growth in Secondary Science Preservice Teachers' Assessment Expertise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyon, Edward G.

    2013-01-01

    Although studies have documented teachers' growth in assessing science resulting from professional development or science methods courses, little attention has been given to growth while being prepared to assess a linguistically diverse student population. In this study, the growth of 11 secondary science preservice teachers is documented by…

  19. Congruence and Diversity of Butterfly-Host Plant Associations at Higher Taxonomic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Ferrer-Paris, José R.; Sánchez-Mercado, Ada; Viloria, Ángel L.; Donaldson, John

    2013-01-01

    We aggregated data on butterfly-host plant associations from existing sources in order to address the following questions: (1) is there a general correlation between host diversity and butterfly species richness?, (2) has the evolution of host plant use followed consistent patterns across butterfly lineages?, (3) what is the common ancestral host plant for all butterfly lineages? The compilation included 44,148 records from 5,152 butterfly species (28.6% of worldwide species of Papilionoidea) and 1,193 genera (66.3%). The overwhelming majority of butterflies use angiosperms as host plants. Fabales is used by most species (1,007 spp.) from all seven butterfly families and most subfamilies, Poales is the second most frequently used order, but is mostly restricted to two species-rich subfamilies: Hesperiinae (56.5% of all Hesperiidae), and Satyrinae (42.6% of all Nymphalidae). We found a significant and strong correlation between host plant diversity and butterfly species richness. A global test for congruence (Parafit test) was sensitive to uncertainty in the butterfly cladogram, and suggests a mixed system with congruent associations between Papilionidae and magnoliids, Hesperiidae and monocots, and the remaining subfamilies with the eudicots (fabids and malvids), but also numerous random associations. The congruent associations are also recovered as the most probable ancestral states in each node using maximum likelihood methods. The shift from basal groups to eudicots appears to be more likely than the other way around, with the only exception being a Satyrine-clade within the Nymphalidae that feed on monocots. Our analysis contributes to the visualization of the complex pattern of interactions at superfamily level and provides a context to discuss the timing of changes in host plant utilization that might have promoted diversification in some butterfly lineages. PMID:23717448

  20. High plant species diversity indirectly mitigates CO 2- and N-induced effects on grasshopper growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strengbom, Joachim; Reich, Peter B.; Ritchie, Mark E.

    2008-09-01

    We examined how elevated atmospheric [CO 2] and higher rate of nitrogen (N) input may influence grasshopper growth by changing food plant quality and how such effects may be modified by species diversity of the plant community. We reared grasshopper nymphs ( Melanoplus femurrubrum) on Poa pratensis from field-grown monocultures or polycultures (16 species) that were subjected to either ambient or elevated levels of CO 2 and N. Grasshopper growth rate was higher on P. pratensis leaves grown in monocultures than in polycultures, higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and higher on P. pratensis grown under elevated than under ambient [N]. The higher growth rate observed on P. pratensis exposed to elevated [CO 2] was, however, less pronounced for polyculture- than monoculture-grown P. pratensis. Growth rate of the grasshoppers was positively correlated with leaf [N], [C], and concentration of soluble carbohydrates + lipids. Concentration of non-structural carbohydrates + lipids was higher in leaves grown under elevated than under ambient [CO 2], and the difference between P. pratensis grown under ambient and elevated [CO 2] was greater for monoculture- than polyculture-grown P. pratensis. In addition, leaf N concentration was higher in P. pratensis grown in monocultures than in polycultures, suggesting that plant species richness, indirectly, may influence insect performance by changed nutritional value of the plants. Because we found interactive effects between all factors included ([CO 2], [N], and plant species diversity), our results suggest that these parameters may influence plant-insect interactions in a complex way that is not predictable from the sum of single factor manipulations.

  1. Plant-Species Diversity Correlates with Genetic Variation of an Oligophagous Seed Predator

    PubMed Central

    Laukkanen, Liisa; Mutikainen, Pia; Muola, Anne; Leimu, Roosa

    2014-01-01

    Several characteristics of habitats of herbivores and their food-plant communities, such as plant-species composition and plant quality, influence population genetics of both herbivores and their host plants. We investigated how different ecological and geographic factors affect genetic variation in and differentiation of 23 populations of the oligophagous seed predator Lygaeus equestris (Heteroptera) in southwestern Finland and in eastern Sweden. We tested whether genetic differentiation of the L. equestris populations was related to the similarity of vegetation, and whether there was more within-population genetic variation in habitats with a high number of plant species or in those with a large population of the primary food plant, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria. We also tested whether genetic differentiation of the populations was related to the geographic distance, and whether location of the populations on islands or on mainland, island size, or population size affected within-population genetic variation. Pairwise FST ranged from 0 to 0.1 indicating low to moderate genetic differentiation of populations. Differentiation increased with geographic distance between the populations, but was not related to the similarity of vegetation between the habitats. Genetic variation within the L. equestris populations did not increase with the population size of the primary food plant. However, the more diverse the plant community the higher was the level of genetic variation within the L. equestris population. Furthermore, the level of genetic variation did not vary significantly between island and mainland populations. The effect of the population size on within-population genetic variation was related to island size. Usually small populations are susceptible to loss of genetic variation, but small L. equestris populations on large islands seemed to maintain a relatively high level of within-population genetic variation. Our findings suggest that, in addition to geographic and species-specific ecological factors, the plant community affects population genetic structure of oligophagous herbivores. PMID:24728342

  2. Water treatment plants assessment at Talkha power plant.

    PubMed

    El-Sebaie, Olfat D; Abd El-Kerim, Ghazy E; Ramadan, Mohamed H; Abd El-Atey, Magda M; Taha, Sahr Ahmed

    2002-01-01

    Talkha power plant is the only power plant located in El-Mansoura. It generates electricity using two different methods by steam turbine and gas turbine. Both plants drew water from River Nile (208 m3 /h). The Nile raw water passes through different treatment processes to be suitable for drinking and operational uses. At Talkha power plant, there are two purification plants used for drinking water supply (100 m3/h) and for water demineralization supply (108 m3/h). This study aimed at studying the efficiency of the water purification plants. For drinking water purification plant, the annual River Nile water characterized by slightly alkaline pH (7.4-8), high annual mean values of turbidity (10.06 NTU), Standard Plate Count (SPC) (313.3 CFU/1 ml), total coliform (2717/100 ml), fecal coliform (0-2400/100 ml), and total algae (3 x 10(4) org/I). The dominant group of algae all over the study period was green algae. The blue green algae was abundant in Summer and Autumn seasons. The pH range, and the annual mean values of turbidity, TDS, total hardness, sulfates, chlorides, nitrates, nitrites, fluoride, and residual chlorine for purified water were in compliance with Egyptian drinking water standards. All the SPC recorded values with an annual mean value of 10.13 CFU/1 ml indicated that chlorine dose and contact time were not enough to kill the bacteria. However, they were in compliance with Egyptian decree (should not exceed 50 CFU/1 ml). Although the removal efficiency of the plant for total coliform and blue green algae was high (98.5% and 99.2%, respectively), the limits of the obtained results with an annual mean values of 40/100 ml and 15.6 org/l were not in compliance with the Egyptian decree (should be free from total coliform, fecal coliform and blue green algae). For water demineralization treatment plant, the raw water was characterized by slightly alkaline pH. The annual mean values of conductivity, turbidity, and TDS were 354.6 microS/cm, 10.84 NTU, and 214.6 mg/I, respectively. There was an increase in the results of conductivity, turbidity, total hardness, and TDS in carbon filter effluent which was attributed to the desorption of adsorbed ions on the carbon media. The removal efficiencies of turbidity, total hardness, and TDS indicated the high efficiency of the cationic filter. The annual removal efficiencies of conductivity, turbidity, chloride, and TDS proved the efficiency of the anionic filter for removing the dissolved and suspended ions. All of the recorded values of the pH, conductivity, turbidity, chlorides, hardness, and TDS of the mixed bed effluent indicated that the water at this stage was of high quality for boiler feed. The study recommended adjustment of coagulant and residual chlorine doses as well as contact time, and continuous monitoring and maintenance of the different units. PMID:17216967

  3. Pepino (Solanum muricatum) planting increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jinxiang; Yang, Hui; Long, Xiaohua; Liu, Zhaopu; Rengel, Zed

    2016-01-01

    Soil nutrients and microbial communities are the two key factors in revegetation of barren environments. Ecological stoichiometry plays an important role in ecosystem function and limitation, but the relationships between above- and belowground stoichiometry and the bacterial communities in a typical karst region are poorly understood. We used pepino (Solanum muricatum) to examine the stoichiometric traits between soil and foliage, and determine diversity and abundance of bacteria in the karst soil. The soil had a relatively high pH, low fertility, and coarse texture. Foliar N:P ratio and the correlations with soil nitrogen and phosphorus suggested nitrogen limitation. The planting of pepino increased soil urease activity and decreased catalase activity. Higher diversity of bacteria was determined in the pepino rhizosphere than bulk soil using a next-generation, Illumina-based sequencing approach. Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla in all samples, accounting for more than 80% of the reads. On a genus level, all 625 detected genera were found in all rhizosphere and bulk soils, and 63 genera showed significant differences among samples. Higher Shannon and Chao 1 indices in the rhizosphere than bulk soil indicated that planting of pepino increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area. PMID:26902649

  4. Beta Diversity of Plant-Pollinator Networks and the Spatial Turnover of Pairwise Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Carstensen, Daniel W.; Sabatino, Malena; Trøjelsgaard, Kristian; Morellato, Leonor Patricia C.

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species form complex networks that vary across space and time. Even without spatial or temporal constraints mutualistic pairwise interactions may vary, or rewire, across space but this variability is not well understood. Here, we quantify the beta diversity of species and interactions and test factors influencing the probability of turnover of pairwise interactions across space. We ask: 1) whether beta diversity of plants, pollinators, and interactions follow a similar trend across space, and 2) which interaction properties and site characteristics are related to the probability of turnover of pairwise interactions. Geographical distance was positively correlated with plant and interaction beta diversity. We find that locally frequent interactions are more consistent across space and that local flower abundance is important for the realization of pairwise interactions. While the identity of pairwise interactions is highly variable across space, some species-pairs form interactions that are locally frequent and spatially consistent. Such interactions represent cornerstones of interacting communities and deserve special attention from ecologists and conservation planners alike. PMID:25384058

  5. Pepino (Solanum muricatum) planting increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jinxiang; Yang, Hui; Long, Xiaohua; Liu, Zhaopu; Rengel, Zed

    2016-01-01

    Soil nutrients and microbial communities are the two key factors in revegetation of barren environments. Ecological stoichiometry plays an important role in ecosystem function and limitation, but the relationships between above- and belowground stoichiometry and the bacterial communities in a typical karst region are poorly understood. We used pepino (Solanum muricatum) to examine the stoichiometric traits between soil and foliage, and determine diversity and abundance of bacteria in the karst soil. The soil had a relatively high pH, low fertility, and coarse texture. Foliar N:P ratio and the correlations with soil nitrogen and phosphorus suggested nitrogen limitation. The planting of pepino increased soil urease activity and decreased catalase activity. Higher diversity of bacteria was determined in the pepino rhizosphere than bulk soil using a next-generation, Illumina-based sequencing approach. Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the dominant phyla in all samples, accounting for more than 80% of the reads. On a genus level, all 625 detected genera were found in all rhizosphere and bulk soils, and 63 genera showed significant differences among samples. Higher Shannon and Chao 1 indices in the rhizosphere than bulk soil indicated that planting of pepino increased diversity and abundance of bacterial communities in karst area. PMID:26902649

  6. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey diversity in a Nepenthes carnivorous plant from Borneo.

    PubMed

    Giusto, Bruno Di; Grosbois, Vladimir; Fargeas, Elodie; Marshall, David J; Gaume, Laurence

    2008-03-01

    Mechanisms that improve prey richness in carnivorous plants may involve three crucial phases of trapping:attraction, capture and retention. Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction,the contribution of capture and retention has been overlooked. This study focused on distinguishing between the prey trapping mechanisms, and assessing their relative contribution to prey diversity. Arthropod richness and diversity of both visitors and prey in the two types of pitchers were analysed to quantify the relative contribution of attraction to prey trapping. Rate of insect visits to the different pitcher parts and the presence or absence of a sweet fragrance was recorded to clarify the origin and mechanism of attraction. The mechanism of retention was studied by insect bioassays and measurements of fluid viscosity. Nepenthes rafflesiana was found to trap a broader prey spectrum than that previously described for any Nepenthes species,with the upper pitchers attracting and trapping a greater quantity and diversity of prey items than the lower pitchers. Capture efficiency was low compared with attraction or retention efficiency. Fragrance of the peristome,or nectar rim,accounted mainly for the observed non-specific, better prey attraction by the upper pitchers, while the retentive properties of the viscous fluid in these upper pitchers arguably explains the species richness of their flying prey. The pitchers of N. rafflesiana are therefore more than simple pitfall traps and the digestive fluid plays an important yet unsuspected role in the ecological success of the species. PMID:18376077

  7. The effects of grassland degradation on plant diversity, primary productivity, and soil fertility in the alpine region of Asia's headwaters.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuexia; Dong, Shikui; Yang, Bing; Li, Yuanyuan; Su, Xukun

    2014-10-01

    A 3-year survey was conducted to explore the relationships among plant composition, productivity, and soil fertility characterizing four different degradation stages of an alpine meadow in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China. Results showed that plant species diversity, productivity, and soil fertility of the top 30-cm soil layer significantly declined with degradation stages of alpine meadow over the study period. The productivity of forbs significantly increased with degradation stages, and the soil potassium stock was not affected by grassland degradation. The vegetation composition gradually shifted from perennial graminoids (grasses and sedges) to annual forbs along the degradation gradient. The abrupt change of response in plant diversity, plant productivity, and soil nutrients was demonstrated after heavy grassland degradation. Moreover, degradation can indicate plant species diversity and productivity through changing soil fertility. However, the clear relationships are difficult to establish. In conclusion, degradation influenced ecosystem function and services, such as plant species diversity, productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. Additionally, both plant species diversity and soil nutrients were important predictors in different degradation stages of alpine meadows. To this end, heavy degradation grade was shown to cause shift of plant community in alpine meadow, which provided an important basis for sustaining ecosystem function, manipulating the vegetation composition of the area and restoring the degraded alpine grassland. PMID:25023744

  8. Desert Farming Benefits from Microbial Potential in Arid Soils and Promotes Diversity and Plant Health

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Müller, Henry; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; Berg, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Background To 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 Findings We studied the impact of long-term agriculture on desert soil in one of the most prominent examples for organic desert farming in Sekem (Egypt). Using a polyphasic methodological approach to analyse microbial communities in soil as well as associated with cultivated plants, drastic effects caused by 30 years of agriculture were detected. Analysing bacterial fingerprints, we found statistically significant differences between agricultural and native desert soil of about 60%. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of the 16S rRNA gene regions showed higher diversity in agricultural than in desert soil (Shannon diversity indices: 11.21/7.90), and displayed structural differences. The proportion of Firmicutes in field soil was significantly higher (37%) than in the desert (11%). Bacillus and Paenibacillus play the key role: they represented 96% of the antagonists towards phytopathogens, and identical 16S rRNA sequences in the amplicon library and for isolates were detected. The proportion of antagonistic strains was doubled in field in comparison to desert soil (21.6%/12.4%); disease-suppressive bacteria were especially enriched in plant roots. On the opposite, several extremophilic bacterial groups, e.g., Acidimicrobium, Rubellimicrobium and Deinococcus-Thermus, disappeared from soil after agricultural use. The N-fixing Herbaspirillum group only occurred in desert soil. Soil bacterial communities were strongly driven by the a-biotic factors water supply and pH. Conclusions/Significance After long-term farming, a drastic shift in the bacterial communities in desert soil was observed. Bacterial communities in agricultural soil showed a higher diversity and a better ecosystem function for plant health but a loss of extremophilic bacteria. Interestingly, we detected that indigenous desert microorganisms promoted plant health in desert agro-ecosystems. PMID:21912695

  9. Testing successional hypotheses of stability, heterogeneity, and diversity in pitcher-plant inquiline communities.

    PubMed

    Miller, Thomas E; terHorst, Casey P

    2012-09-01

    Succession is a foundation concept in ecology that describes changes in species composition through time, yet many successional patterns have not been thoroughly investigated. We highlight three hypotheses about succession that are often not clearly stated or tested: (1) individual communities become more stable over time, (2) replicate communities become more similar over time, and (3) diversity peaks at mid-succession. Testing general patterns of succession requires estimates of variation in trajectories within and among replicate communities. We followed replicate aquatic communities found within leaves of purple pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) to test these three hypotheses. We found that stability of individual communities initially decreased, but then increased in older communities. Predation was highest in younger leaves but then declined, while competition was likely strongest in older leaves, as resources declined through time. Higher levels of predation and competition corresponded with periods of higher stability. As predicted, heterogeneity among communities decreased with age, suggesting that communities became more similar over time. Changes in diversity depended on trophic level. The diversity of bacteria slightly declined over time, but the diversity of consumers of bacteria increased linearly and strongly throughout succession. We suggest that studies need to focus on the variety of environmental drivers of succession, which are likely to vary through time and across habitats. PMID:22430372

  10. General stabilizing effects of plant diversity on grassland productivity through population asynchrony and overyielding.

    PubMed

    Hector, A; Hautier, Y; Saner, P; Wacker, L; Bagchi, R; Joshi, J; Scherer-Lorenzen, M; Spehn, E M; Bazeley-White, E; Weilenmann, M; Caldeira, M C; Dimitrakopoulos, P G; Finn, J A; Huss-Danell, K; Jumpponen, A; Mulder, C P H; Palmborg, C; Pereira, J S; Siamantziouras, A S D; Terry, A C; Troumbis, A Y; Schmid, B; Loreau, M

    2010-08-01

    Insurance effects of biodiversity can stabilize the functioning of multispecies ecosystems against environmental variability when differential species' responses lead to asynchronous population dynamics. When responses are not perfectly positively correlated, declines in some populations are compensated by increases in others, smoothing variability in ecosystem productivity. This variance reduction effect of biodiversity is analogous to the risk-spreading benefits of diverse investment portfolios in financial markets. We use data from the BIODEPTH network of grassland biodiversity experiments to perform a general test for stabilizing effects of plant diversity on the temporal variability of individual species, functional groups, and aggregate communities. We tested three potential mechanisms: reduction of temporal variability through population asynchrony; enhancement of long-term average performance through positive selection effects; and increases in the temporal mean due to overyielding. Our results support a stabilizing effect of diversity on the temporal variability of grassland aboveground annual net primary production through two mechanisms. Two-species communities with greater population asynchrony were more stable in their average production over time due to compensatory fluctuations. Overyielding also stabilized productivity by increasing levels of average biomass production relative to temporal variability. However, there was no evidence for a performance-enhancing effect on the temporal mean through positive selection effects. In combination with previous work, our results suggest that stabilizing effects of diversity on community productivity through population asynchrony and overyielding appear to be general in grassland ecosystems. PMID:20836442

  11. Genotypic diversity of an invasive plant species promotes litter decomposition and associated processes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Yan; Miao, Yuan; Yu, Shuo; Chen, Xiao-Yong; Schmid, Bernhard

    2014-03-01

    Following studies that showed negative effects of species loss on ecosystem functioning, newer studies have started to investigate if similar consequences could result from reductions of genetic diversity within species. We tested the influence of genotypic richness and dissimilarity (plots containing one, three, six or 12 genotypes) in stands of the invasive plant Solidago canadensis in China on the decomposition of its leaf litter and associated soil animals over five monthly time intervals. We found that the logarithm of genotypic richness was positively linearly related to mass loss of C, N and P from the litter and to richness and abundance of soil animals on the litter samples. The mixing proportion of litter from two sites, but not genotypic dissimilarity of mixtures, had additional effects on measured variables. The litter diversity effects on soil animals were particularly strong under the most stressful conditions of hot weather in July: at this time richness and abundance of soil animals were higher in 12-genotype litter mixtures than even in the highest corresponding one-genotype litter. The litter diversity effects on decomposition were in part mediated by soil animals: the abundance of Acarina, when used as covariate in the analysis, fully explained the litter diversity effects on mass loss of N and P. Overall, our study shows that high genotypic richness of S. canadensis leaf litter positively affects richness and abundance of soil animals, which in turn accelerate litter decomposition and P release from litter. PMID:24276771

  12. Coastal plants : chemical sensitivities and risk assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ability of plant-dominated ecosystems to improve water quality and provide habitat for biodiversity are important ecological services. These services are impacted by natural and anthropogenic stressors which includes contaminant toxicity. Scientific information describing the...

  13. SOURCE ASSESSMENT: GLASS CONTAINER MANUFACTURING PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report summarizes results of a study to gather and analyze background information and technical data related to air emissions from glass container manufacturing operations. It covers emissions from three plant areas: raw materials preparation and handling, glass melting, and ...

  14. [Changes of plant community structure and species diversity in degradation process of Shouqu wetland of Yellow River].

    PubMed

    Hou, Yuan; Guo, Zheng-gang; Long, Rui-jun

    2009-01-01

    Shouqu wetland of Yellow River plays important roles in the ecological security of the lower reaches of Yellow River. By the method of replacing time series with spatial sequence, an investigation was made on the changes of plant species diversity in the process of the natural degradation of the wetland. A comparison was also made to study the effects of artificial drainage on the plant species diversity. The results indicated that in the degradation process of Shouqu wetland, i.e., from swamp to swamp meadow, to alpine meadow, and to steppe meadow, the dominant plants followed the pattern of hygrophytes being gradually replaced by mesophytes and xerophytes, richness index and diversity index were increasing while dominance index was decreasing, and evenness index decreased first and increased then. The species diversity had an overall increasing trend. After artificial drainage, the proportion of poisonous weeds in the plant community increased, resulting in the increase of richness index and diversity index, slight decrease of evenness index and dominance index, and gradual decrease of Sorensen index. Artificial drainage made the habitat drying, which provided a chance for some mesophytes to invade, resulting in the increase of diversity index and richness index and the decrease of evenness index. On the whole, artificial drainage increased the plant diversity in the community, but the increase accompanied with increasing poisonous weeds, and thus, led the Shouqu wetland degraded into weed type wetland. PMID:19449561

  15. Assessing the Effectiveness of Undergraduate Diversity Courses Using the Multicultural Experiences Questionnaire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    You, Di; Matteo, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    The Multicultural Experiences Questionnaire (MEQ) is a validated and easy-to-administer tool for assessing individuals' multicultural competencies (Narvaez & Hill, 2010). The current study examined the utility of the MEQ for assessing the impact of undergraduate diversity courses. A total of 137 students in six university-designated diversity…

  16. KIPS: An Evidence-Based Tool for Assessing Parenting Strengths and Needs in Diverse Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Comfort, Marilee; Gordon, Philip R.; Naples, Denise

    2011-01-01

    The movement toward evidence-based practices has stimulated greater interest in assessing parenting outcomes. The purpose of these studies was to further validate the Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS), a structured observational assessment of parenting quality, with 397 diverse families. Factor analysis demonstrated that the 12 KIPS items…

  17. Plant diversity does not buffer drought effects on early-stage litter mass loss rates and microbial properties.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

    2013-09-01

    Human activities are decreasing biodiversity and changing the climate worldwide. Both global change drivers have been shown to affect ecosystem functioning, but they may also act in concert in a non-additive way. We studied early-stage litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties (basal respiration and microbial biomass) during the summer season in response to plant species richness and summer drought in a large grassland biodiversity experiment, the Jena Experiment, Germany. In line with our expectations, decreasing plant diversity and summer drought decreased litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties. In contrast to our hypotheses, however, this was only true for mass loss of standard litter (wheat straw) used in all plots, and not for plant community-specific litter mass loss. We found no interactive effects between global change drivers, that is, drought reduced litter mass loss rates and soil microbial properties irrespective of plant diversity. High mass loss rates of plant community-specific litter and low responsiveness to drought relative to the standard litter indicate that soil microbial communities were adapted to decomposing community-specific plant litter material including lower susceptibility to dry conditions during summer months. Moreover, higher microbial enzymatic diversity at high plant diversity may have caused elevated mass loss of standard litter. Our results indicate that plant diversity loss and summer drought independently impede soil processes. However, soil decomposer communities may be highly adapted to decomposing plant community-specific litter material, even in situations of environmental stress. Results of standard litter mass loss moreover suggest that decomposer communities under diverse plant communities are able to cope with a greater variety of plant inputs possibly making them less responsive to biotic changes. PMID:23606531

  18. The Bacterial and Fungal Diversity of an Aged PAH- and Heavy Metal-Contaminated Soil is Affected by Plant Cover and Edaphic Parameters.

    PubMed

    Bourceret, Amélia; Cébron, Aurélie; Tisserant, Emilie; Poupin, Pascal; Bauda, Pascale; Beguiristain, Thierry; Leyval, Corinne

    2016-04-01

    Industrial wasteland soils with aged PAH and heavy metal contaminations are environments where pollutant toxicity has been maintained for decades. Although the communities may be well adapted to the presence of stressors, knowledge about microbial diversity in such soils is scarce. Soil microbial community dynamics can be driven by the presence of plants, but the impact of plant development on selection or diversification of microorganisms in these soils has not been established yet. To test these hypotheses, aged-contaminated soil samples from a field trial were collected. Plots planted with alfalfa were compared to bare soil plots, and bacterial and fungal diversity and abundance were assessed after 2 and 6 years. Using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene and ITS amplicons, we showed that the bacterial community was dominated by Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes and was characterized by low Acidobacteria abundance, while the fungal community was mainly represented by members of the Ascomycota. The short-term toxic impact of pollutants usually reduces the microbial diversity, yet in our samples bacterial and fungal species richness and diversity was high suggesting that the community structure and diversity adapted to the contaminated soil over decades. The presence of plants induced higher bacterial and fungal diversity than in bare soil. It also increased the relative abundance of bacterial members of the Actinomycetales, Rhizobiales, and Xanthomonadales orders and of most fungal orders. Multivariate analysis showed correlations between microbial community structure and heavy metal and PAH concentrations over time, but also with edaphic parameters (C/N, pH, phosphorus, and nitrogen concentrations). PMID:26440298

  19. Plant P450s as versatile drivers for evolution of species-specific chemical diversity

    PubMed Central

    Hamberger, Björn; Bak, Søren

    2013-01-01

    The irreversible nature of reactions catalysed by P450s makes these enzymes landmarks in the evolution of plant metabolic pathways. Founding members of P450 families are often associated with general (i.e. primary) metabolic pathways, restricted to single copy or very few representatives, indicative of purifying selection. Recruitment of those and subsequent blooms into multi-member gene families generates genetic raw material for functional diversification, which is an inherent characteristic of specialized (i.e. secondary) metabolism. However, a growing number of highly specialized P450s from not only the CYP71 clan indicate substantial contribution of convergent and divergent evolution to the observed general and specialized metabolite diversity. We will discuss examples of how the genetic and functional diversification of plant P450s drives chemical diversity in light of plant evolution. Even though it is difficult to predict the function or substrate of a P450 based on sequence similarity, grouping with a family or subfamily in phylogenetic trees can indicate association with metabolism of particular classes of compounds. Examples will be given that focus on multi-member gene families of P450s involved in the metabolic routes of four classes of specialized metabolites: cyanogenic glucosides, glucosinolates, mono- to triterpenoids and phenylpropanoids. PMID:23297350

  20. Endophytic fungi from medicinal plant Bauhinia forficata : Diversity and biotechnological potential

    PubMed Central

    Bezerra, Jadson D.P.; Nascimento, Carlos C.F.; Barbosa, Renan do N.; da Silva, Dianny C.V.; Svedese, Virgínia M.; Silva-Nogueira, Eliane B.; Gomes, Bruno S.; Paiva, Laura M.; Souza-Motta, Cristina M.

    2015-01-01

    Bauhinia forficata is native to South America and used with relative success in the folk medicine in Brazil. The diversity, antibacterial activity, and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes of endophytic fungi associated with this plant were studied. Plant samples, which included leaves, sepals, stems, and seeds, were used. Ninety-five endophytic fungal were isolated (18 from leaves, 22 from sepals, 46 from stems, and nine from seeds), comprising 28 species. The most frequently isolated species were Acremonium curvulum (9.5%), Aspergillus ochraceus (7.37%), Gibberella fujikuroi (10.53%), Myrothecium verrucaria (10.53%) and Trichoderma piluliferum (7.37%). Diversity and species richness were higher in stem tissues, and Sorensen’s index of similarity between the tissues was low. Eleven fungi showed antibacterial activity. Aspergillus ochraceus , Gibberella baccata , Penicillium commune , and P. glabrum were those with the greatest antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and/or Streptococcus pyogenes . Thirteen species showed proteolytic activity, particularly Phoma putaminum . Fourteen species were cellulase positive, particularly the Penicillium species and Myrmecridium schulzeri . All isolates tested were xylanase positive and 10 showed lipolytic activity, especially Penicillium glabrum . It is clear that the endophytic fungi from B. forficata have potential for the production of bioactive compounds and may be a source of new therapeutic agents for the effective treatment of diseases in humans, other animals, and plants. To our knowledge, this is the first study of endophytic fungi from different tissues of B. forficata and their biotechnological potential. PMID:26221088

  1. Diversity of maize shoot apical meristem architecture and its relationship to plant morphology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Addie M; Yu, Jianming; Timmermans, Marja C P; Schnable, Patrick; Crants, James C; Scanlon, Michael J; Muehlbauer, Gary J

    2015-05-01

    The shoot apical meristem contains a pool of undifferentiated stem cells and controls initiation of all aerial plant organs. In maize (Zea mays), leaves are formed throughout vegetative development; on transition to floral development, the shoot meristem forms the tassel. Due to the regulated balance between stem cell maintenance and organogenesis, the structure and morphology of the shoot meristem are constrained during vegetative development. Previous work identified loci controlling meristem architecture in a recombinant inbred line population. The study presented here expanded on this by investigating shoot apical meristem morphology across a diverse set of maize inbred lines. Crosses of these lines to common parents showed varying phenotypic expression in the F1, with some form of heterosis occasionally observed. An investigation of meristematic growth throughout vegetative development in diverse lines linked the timing of reproductive transition to flowering time. Phenotypic correlations of meristem morphology with adult plant traits showed an association between the meristem and flowering time, leaf shape, and yield traits, revealing links between the control and architecture of undifferentiated and differentiated plant organs. Finally, quantitative trait loci mapping was utilized to map the genetic architecture of these meristem traits in two divergent populations. Control of meristem architecture was mainly population-specific, with 15 total unique loci mapped across the two populations with only one locus identified in both populations. PMID:25748433

  2. Diversity and regulation of plant Ca2+ pumps: insights from expression in yeast

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sze, H.; Liang, F.; Hwang, I.; Curran, A. C.; Harper, J. F.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    The spatial and temporal regulation of calcium concentration in plant cells depends on the coordinate activities of channels and active transporters located on different organelles and membranes. Several Ca2+ pumps have been identified and characterized by functional expression of plant genes in a yeast mutant (K616). This expression system has opened the way to a genetic and biochemical characterization of the regulatory and catalytic features of diverse Ca2+ pumps. Plant Ca(2+)-ATPases fall into two major types: AtECA1 represents one of four or more members of the type IIA (ER-type) Ca(2+)-ATPases in Arabidopsis, and AtACA2 is one of seven or more members of the type IIB (PM-type) Ca(2+)-ATPases that are regulated by a novel amino terminal domain. Type IIB pumps are widely distributed on membranes, including the PM (plasma membrane), vacuole, and ER (endoplasmic reticulum). The regulatory domain serves multiple functions, including autoinhibition, calmodulin binding, and sites for modification by phosphorylation. This domain, however, is considerably diverse among several type IIB ATPases, suggesting that the pumps are differentially regulated. Understanding of Ca2+ transporters at the molecular level is providing insights into their roles in signaling networks and in regulating fundamental processes of cell biology.

  3. Spatiotemporal patterns of induced resistance and susceptibility linking diverse plant parasites.

    PubMed

    Mouttet, Raphaëlle; Kaplan, Ian; Bearez, Philippe; Amiens-Desneux, Edwige; Desneux, Nicolas

    2013-12-01

    Induced defenses mediate interactions between parasites sharing the same host plant, but the outcomes of these interactions are challenging to predict because of spatiotemporal variation in plant responses and differences in defense pathways elicited by herbivores or pathogens. Dissecting these mediating factors necessitates an approach that encompasses a diversity of parasitic feeding styles and tracks interactions over space and time. We tested indirect plant-mediated relationships across three tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) consumers: (1) the fungal pathogen-powdery mildew, Oidium neolycopersici; (2) a sap-feeding insect-silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci; and (3) a chewing insect-the leaf miner, Tuta absoluta. Further, we evaluated insect/pathogen responses on local vs. systemic leaves and over short (1 day) vs. long (4 days) time scales. Overall, we documented: (1) a bi-directional negative effect between O. neolycopersici and B. tabaci; (2) an asymmetrical negative effect of B. tabaci on T. absoluta; and (3) an asymmetrical positive effect of T. absoluta on O. neolycopersici. Spatiotemporal patterns varied depending on the species pair (e.g., whitefly effects on leaf miner performance were highly localized to the induced leaf, whereas effects on pathogen growth were both local and systemic). These results highlight the context-dependent effects of induced defenses on a diverse community of tomato parasites. Notably, the outcomes correspond to those predicted by phytohormonal theory based on feeding guild differences with key implications for the recent European invasion by T. absoluta. PMID:23851986

  4. Diversity of the exoproteome of Fusarium graminearum grown on plant cell wall.

    PubMed

    Phalip, Vincent; Delalande, François; Carapito, Christine; Goubet, Florence; Hatsch, Didier; Leize-Wagner, Emmanuelle; Dupree, Paul; Dorsselaer, Alain Van; Jeltsch, Jean-Marc

    2005-12-01

    The exoproteome of the fungus Fusarium graminearum grown on glucose and on hop (Humulus lupulus, L.) cell wall has been investigated. The culture medium was found to contain a higher quantity of proteins and the proteins are more diverse when the fungus is grown on cell wall. Using both 1D and 2D electrophoresis followed by mass spectrometry analysis and protein identification based on similarity searches, 84 unique proteins were identified in the cell wall-grown fungal exoproteome. Many are putatively implicated in carbohydrate metabolism, mainly in cell wall polysaccharide degradation. The predicted carbohydrate-active enzymes fell into 24 different enzymes classes, and up to eight different proteins within a same class are secreted. This indicates that fungal metabolism becomes oriented towards synthesis and secretion of a whole arsenal of enzymes able to digest almost the complete plant cell wall. Cellobiohydrolase is one of the only four proteins found both after growth on glucose and on plant cell wall and we propose that this enzyme could act as a sensor of the extracellular environment. Extensive knowledge of this very diverse F. graminearum exoproteome is an important step towards the full understanding of Fusarium/plants interactions. PMID:16283313

  5. Diversity of Maize Shoot Apical Meristem Architecture and Its Relationship to Plant Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Addie M.; Yu, Jianming; Timmermans, Marja C. P.; Schnable, Patrick; Crants, James C.; Scanlon, Michael J.; Muehlbauer, Gary J.

    2015-01-01

    The shoot apical meristem contains a pool of undifferentiated stem cells and controls initiation of all aerial plant organs. In maize (Zea mays), leaves are formed throughout vegetative development; on transition to floral development, the shoot meristem forms the tassel. Due to the regulated balance between stem cell maintenance and organogenesis, the structure and morphology of the shoot meristem are constrained during vegetative development. Previous work identified loci controlling meristem architecture in a recombinant inbred line population. The study presented here expanded on this by investigating shoot apical meristem morphology across a diverse set of maize inbred lines. Crosses of these lines to common parents showed varying phenotypic expression in the F1, with some form of heterosis occasionally observed. An investigation of meristematic growth throughout vegetative development in diverse lines linked the timing of reproductive transition to flowering time. Phenotypic correlations of meristem morphology with adult plant traits showed an association between the meristem and flowering time, leaf shape, and yield traits, revealing links between the control and architecture of undifferentiated and differentiated plant organs. Finally, quantitative trait loci mapping was utilized to map the genetic architecture of these meristem traits in two divergent populations. Control of meristem architecture was mainly population-specific, with 15 total unique loci mapped across the two populations with only one locus identified in both populations. PMID:25748433

  6. Assessment, Equity, and Diversity in Reforming America's Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winfield, Linda F.; Woodard, Michael D.

    1994-01-01

    National standards and assessments (President Clinton's Goals 2000 Act) are being proposed to improve schools. This article reviews the bill and examines equity issues, including disparities in instructional conditions among racial/ethnic groups. Using tests to change teaching and learning reflects overreliance on top-down policy, distrust of…

  7. Self-Assessment and Dialogue as Tools for Appreciating Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neal, Gwenelle S.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  8. A structural equation model analysis of postfire plant diversity in California shrublands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Keeley, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates patterns of plant diversity following wildfires in fire-prone shrublands of California, seeks to understand those patterns in terms of both local and landscape factors, and considers the implications for fire management. Ninety study sites were established following extensive wildfires in 1993, and 1000-m2 plots were used to sample a variety of parameters. Data on community responses were collected for five years following fire. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to relate plant species richness to plant abundance, fire severity, abiotic conditions, within-plot heterogeneity, stand age, and position in the landscape. Temporal dynamics of average richness response was also modeled. Richness was highest in the first year following fire, indicating postfire enhancement of diversity. A general decline in richness over time was detected, with year-to-year variation attributable to annual variations in precipitation. Peak richness in the landscape was found where (1) plant abundance was moderately high, (2) within-plot heterogeneity was high, (3) soils were moderately low in nitrogen, high in sand content, and with high rock cover, (4) fire severity was low, and (5) stands were young prior to fire. Many of these characteristics were correlated with position in the landscape and associated conditions. We infer from the SEM results that postfire richness in this system is strongly influenced by local conditions and that these conditions are, in turn, predictably related to landscape-level conditions. For example, we observed that older stands of shrubs were characterized by more severe fires, which were associated with a low recovery of plant cover and low richness. These results may have implications for the use of prescribed fire in this system if these findings extrapolate to prescribed burns as we would expect. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Abundance- and functional-based mechanisms of plant diversity loss with fertilization in the presence and absence of herbivores.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhongling; Hautier, Yann; Borer, Elizabeth T; Zhang, Chunhui; Du, Guozhen

    2015-09-01

    Nutrient supply and herbivores can regulate plant species composition, biodiversity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Nutrient enrichment frequently increases plant productivity and decreases diversity while herbivores tend to maintain plant diversity in productive systems. However, the mechanisms by which nutrient enrichment and herbivores regulate plant diversity remain unclear. Abundance-based mechanisms propose that fertilization leads to the extinction of rare species due to random loss of individuals of all species. In contrast, functional-based mechanisms propose that species exclusion is based on functional traits which are disadvantageous under fertilized conditions. We tested mechanistic links between fertilization and diversity loss in the presence or absence of consumers using data from a 4-year fertilization and fencing experiment in an alpine meadow. We found that both abundance- and functional-based mechanisms simultaneously affected species loss in the absence of herbivores while only abundance-based mechanisms affected species loss in the presence of herbivores. Our results indicate that an abundance-based mechanism may consistently play a role in the loss of plant diversity with fertilization, and that diversity decline is driven primarily by the loss of rare species regardless of a plant's functional traits and whether or not herbivores are present. Increasing efforts to conserve rare species in the context of ecosystem eutrophication is a central challenge for grazed grassland ecosystems. PMID:25969333

  10. Plant diversity effects on leaching of nitrate, ammonium, and dissolved organic nitrogen from an experimental grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leimer, Sophia; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wirth, Christian; Wilcke, Wolfgang

    2014-05-01

    Leaching of nitrogen (N) from soil represents a resource loss and, in particular leaching of nitrate, can threaten drinking water quality. As plant diversity leads to a more exhaustive resource use, we investigated the effects of plant species richness, functional group richness, and the presence of specific functional groups on nitrate, ammonium, dissolved organic N (DON), and total dissolved N (TDN) leaching from an experimental grassland in the first 4 years after conversion from fertilized arable land to unfertilized grassland. The experiment is located in Jena, Germany, and consists of 82 plots with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 60 plant species and 1-4 functional groups (legumes, grasses, non-leguminous tall herbs, non-leguminous small herbs). Nitrate, ammonium, and TDN concentrations in soil solution in the 0-0.3 m soil layer were measured every second week during 4 years on 62 plots and DON concentrations were calculated as difference between TDN and inorganic N. Missing concentrations in soil solution were estimated using a Bayesian statistical model. Downward water fluxes (DF) per plot from the 0-0.3 m soil layer were simulated in weekly resolution with a water balance model in connection with a Bayesian model for simulating missing soil water content measurements. To obtain annual nitrate, ammonium, and DON leaching from the 0-0.3 m soil layer per plot, we multiplied the respective concentrations in soil solution with DF and aggregated the data to annual sums. TDN leaching resulted from summation of nitrate, ammonium, and DON leaching. DON leaching contributed most to TDN leaching, particularly in plots without legumes. Dissolved inorganic N leaching in this grassland was dominated by nitrate. The amount of annual ammonium leaching was small and little influenced by plant diversity. Species richness affected DON leaching only in the fourth and last investigated year, possibly because of a delayed soil biota effect that increased microbial transformation of organic N to inorganic N in species-rich mixtures or because of complementary resource use of amino-acid DON of species-rich mixtures. Nitrate and TDN leaching generally decreased with increasing species richness likely because of more exhaustive resource use of more diverse plant mixtures. Functional group richness did not have a significant effect on nitrate, ammonium, DON, and TDN leaching. Legumes increased and grasses decreased nitrate, DON, and TDN leaching because of their N-fixing ability and their extensive rooting system, respectively. TDN leaching was highest in the first year after conversion from arable to grassland which can be related to former fertilization. Quantitative differences in nitrate leaching between plant diversity treatments were also highest in the first year after conversion. However, the percentage reduction of nitrate leaching by species richness, the presence of grasses, or the presence of small herbs increased with time since land-use change possibly because of a strengthening of diversity effects with time. We conclude that especially shortly after land-use change from fertilized arable land to unfertilized grassland, N leaching, in particular nitrate leaching, can be reduced considerably if highly diverse mixtures without legumes are established.

  11. Multiscale sampling of plant diversity: Effects of minimum mapping unit size

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Chong, G.W.; Kalkhan, M.A.; Schell, L.D.

    1997-01-01

    Only a small portion of any landscape can be sampled for vascular plant diversity because of constraints of cost (salaries, travel time between sites, etc.). Often, the investigator decides to reduce the cost of creating a vegetation map by increasing the minimum mapping unit (MMU), and/or by reducing the number of vegetation classes to be considered. Questions arise about what information is sacrificed when map resolution is decreased. We compared plant diversity patterns from vegetation maps made with 100-ha, 50-ha, 2-ha, and 0.02-ha MMUs in a 754-ha study area in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States, using four 0.025-ha and 21 0.1-ha multiscale vegetation plots. We developed and tested species-log(area) curves, correcting the curves for within-vegetation type heterogeneity with Jaccard's coefficients. Total species richness in the study area was estimated from vegetation maps at each resolution (MMU), based on the corrected species-area curves, total area of the vegetation type, and species overlap among vegetation types. With the 0.02-ha MMU, six vegetation types were recovered, resulting in an estimated 552 species (95% CI = 520-583 species) in the 754-ha study area (330 plant species were observed in the 25 plots). With the 2-ha MMU, five vegetation types were recognized, resulting in an estimated 473 species for the study area. With the 50-ha MMU, 439 plant species were estimated for the four vegetation types recognized in the study area. With the 100-ha MMU, only three vegetation types were recognized, resulting in an estimated 341 plant species for the study area. Locally rare species and keystone ecosystems (areas of high or unique plant diversity) were missed at the 2-ha, 50-ha, and 100-ha scales. To evaluate the effects of minimum mapping unit size requires: (1) an initial stratification of homogeneous, heterogeneous, and rare habitat types; and (2) an evaluation of within-type and between-type heterogeneity generated by environmental gradients and other factors. We suggest that at least some portions of vegetation maps created at a coarser level of resolution be validated at a higher level of resolution.

  12. The future of plant-pollinator diversity: understanding interaction networks across time, space, and global change.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Alarcón, Ruben

    2011-03-01

    Structural analysis of plant-pollinator networks has revealed remarkably high species and interaction diversity and highlighted the species important for pollination services. Although techniques to analyze plant-pollinator networks began to emerge a decade ago, the characterization of spatiotemporal variation of interactions is still in its infancy. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of spatial and temporal variation in plant-pollinator interactions is important for both basic and applied questions in community structure and function, the evolution of floral traits, and the development of optimal conservation strategies. Here we review observational, theoretical, and experimental studies of temporal and spatial variation in plant-pollinator interaction networks to establish a foundation for future studies to incorporate perspectives in spatiotemporal variation. Such perspectives are crucial given the rapid environmental changes associated with habitat loss, climate change, and biological invasions, which we discuss in this context. The inherent plasticity of plant-pollinator interactions and network structure suggests that many species should be able to persist by responding to environmental changes quickly, even though the identity of their mutualistic partners may change. PMID:21613144

  13. Importance of Mediator complex in the regulation and integration of diverse signaling pathways in plants

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, Subhasis; Thakur, Jitendra K.

    2015-01-01

    Basic transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes is assisted by a number of cofactors, which either increase or decrease the rate of transcription. Mediator complex is one such cofactor, and recently has drawn a lot of interest because of its integrative power to converge different signaling pathways before channeling the transcription instructions to the RNA polymerase II machinery. Like yeast and metazoans, plants do possess the Mediator complex across the kingdom, and its isolation and subunit analyses have been reported from the model plant, Arabidopsis. Genetic, and molecular analyses have unraveled important regulatory roles of Mediator subunits at every stage of plant life cycle starting from flowering to embryo and organ development, to even size determination. It also contributes immensely to the survival of plants against different environmental vagaries by the timely activation of its resistance mechanisms. Here, we have provided an overview of plant Mediator complex starting from its discovery to regulation of stoichiometry of its subunits. We have also reviewed involvement of different Mediator subunits in different processes and pathways including defense response pathways evoked by diverse biotic cues. Wherever possible, attempts have been made to provide mechanistic insight of Mediator's involvement in these processes. PMID:26442070

  14. Genetic diversity and symbiotic compatibility among rhizobial strains and Desmodium incanum and Lotus spp. plants

    PubMed Central

    Granada, Camille E.; Strochein, Marcos; Vargas, Luciano K.; Bruxel, Manuela; de S, Enilson Luiz Saccol; Passaglia, Luciane M.P.

    2014-01-01

    This work aimed to evaluate the symbiotic compatibility and nodulation efficiency of rhizobia isolated from Desmodium incanum, Lotus corniculatus, L. subbiflorus, L. uliginosus and L. glaber plants by cross-inoculation. Twelve reference strains and 21 native isolates of rhizobia were genetically analyzed by the BOX-PCR technique, which showed a high genetic diversity among the rhizobia studied. The isolates were also characterized based on their production of indolic compounds and siderophores, as well as on their tolerance to salinity. Fifteen of the 33 rhizobia analyzed were able to produce indolic compounds, whereas 13 produced siderophores. All the tested rhizobia were sensitive to high salinity, although some were able to grow in solutions of up to 2% NaCl. Most of the native rhizobia isolated from L. uliginosus were able to induce nodulation in all plant species studied. In a greenhouse experiment using both D. incanum and L. corniculatus plants, the rhizobia isolate UFRGS Lu2 promoted the greatest plant growth. The results demonstrate that there are native rhizobia in the soils of southern Brazil that have low host specificity and are able to induce nodulation and form active nodules in several plant species. PMID:25071405

  15. Consequences of plant-chemical diversity for domestic goat food preference in Mediterranean forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baraza, Elena; Hódar, José A.; Zamora, Regino

    2009-01-01

    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 diverse plant 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.

  16. Risk management tools and the case study Brassica napus: evaluating possible effects of genetically modified plants on soil microbial diversity.

    PubMed

    Canfora, Loredana; Sbrana, Cristiana; Avio, Luciano; Felici, Barbara; Scatà, Maria Carmela; Neri, Ulderico; Benedetti, Anna

    2014-09-15

    The cultivation of GMPs in Europe raises many questions about the environmental risks, in particular about their ecological impact on non-target organisms and on soil properties. The aim of a multidisciplinary group engaged in a LIFE+project (MAN-GMP-ITA) was to validate and improve an existing environmental risk assessment (ERA) methodology on GMPs within the European legislative framework on GMOs. Given the impossibility of evaluating GMO impact directly, as GMPs are banned in Italy, GMPs have not been used at any stage of the project. The project thus specifically focused on the conditions for the implementation of ERA in different areas of Italy, with an emphasis on some sensitive and protected areas located in the North, Centre, and South of the country, in order to lay the necessary baseline for evaluating the possible effects of a GMP on soil communities. Our sub-group carried out soil analyses in order to obtain soil health and fertility indicators to be used as baselines in the ERA model. Using various methods of chemical, biochemical, functional and genetic analysis, our study assessed the changes in diversity and functionality of bacterial populations, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The results show that plant identity and growth, soil characteristics, and field site climatic parameters are key factors in contributing to variation in microbial community structure and diversity, thus validating our methodological approach. Our project has come to the conclusion that the uneven composition and biological-agronomical quality of soils need to be taken into consideration in a risk analysis within the framework of ERA for the release of genetically modified plants. PMID:25014185

  17. Plant diversity and ecosystem multifunctionality peak at intermediate levels of woody cover in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José Luis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Gallardo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Aim The global spread of woody plants into grasslands is predicted to increase over the coming century. While there is general agreement regarding the anthropogenic causes of this phenomenon, its ecological consequences are less certain. We analyzed how woody vegetation of differing cover affects plant diversity (richness and evenness) and multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) in global drylands, and how this changes with aridity. Location 224 dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions (from arid to dry-subhumid sites) and woody covers (from 0 to 100%). Methods Using a standardized field survey, we measured the cover, richness and evenness of perennial vegetation. At each site, we measured 14 ecosystem functions related to soil fertility and the build-up of nutrient pools. These functions are critical for maintaining ecosystem function in drylands. Results Species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality were strongly influenced by woody vegetation, with both variables peaking at relative woody covers (RWC) of 41-60%. This relationship shifted with aridity. We observed linear positive effects of RWC in dry-subhumid sites. These positive trends shifted to hump-shaped RWC-diversity and multifunctionality relationships under semiarid environments. Finally, hump-shaped (richness, evenness) or linear negative (multifunctionality) effects of RWC were found under the most arid conditions. Main conclusions Plant diversity and multifunctionality peaked at intermediate levels of woody cover, although this relationship became increasingly positive under wetter environments. This comprehensive study accounts for multiple ecosystem attributes across a range of woody covers and environmental conditions. Our results help us to reconcile contrasting views of woody encroachment found in current literature and can be used to improve predictions of the likely effects of encroachment on biodiversity and ecosystem services. PMID:25914607

  18. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    PubMed

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse species may provide the greatest benefit. Wildflower mixes may be particularly important for providing resources for some taxa, such as bumble bees, which are known to be in decline in several regions of North America. No mix consistently attained the full diversity that was planted. Further study is needed on how to achieve the desired floral display and diversity from seed mixes. PMID:26910943

  19. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny.

    PubMed

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500-3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved in our data. PMID:25346750

  20. Population structure and genetic diversity of a medicinal plant species Retama raetam in southern Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Abdellaoui, Raoudha; Yahyaoui, Faouzia; Neffati, Mohamed

    2014-01-15

    Retama raetam is a stem-assimilating, C3, evergreen, medicinal plant species, desert legume common to arid ecosystems around the Mediterranean basin. This study addresses the genetic diversity and relationship among and within three populations collected from different habitats in southern Tunisia by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Estimates of the percentage of polymorphic bands, Shannon's diversity information index and Nei's gene diversity index were determined. Results showed that population from the Island Djerba has the lowest Nei's gene diversity; this also was for Shannon diversity index. An analysis of molecular variance indicated that the majority of variation existed within populations (68%) and that there was significant differentiation among populations (phiPT = 0.316, p < 0.001). Genetic distance (phiPT based values) between pairwise populations ranged from 0.098 to 0.505 and the differentiation between pair-wise populations was significant when individual pairs of populations were compared. Based on the coefficient of gene differentiation (Gst), gene flow (Nm) was estimated and was found to vary from 0.490 to 4.609 between pair-wise populations and 1.42 among populations. The results of UPGMA cluster analysis and PCoA analysis indicated that most variation occurred within populations and that genetic differentiation had happened between populations. These findings are important for a better understanding of the adaptive strategy of R. raetam in southern Tunisia and will be useful for conservation managers to work out an effective strategy to protect this important species. PMID:24783800

  1. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape–Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500–3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved in our data. PMID:25346750

  2. Isolated populations of a rare alpine plant show high genetic diversity and considerable population differentiation

    PubMed Central

    gisdttir, Hafds Hanna; Kuss, Patrick; Stcklin, Jrg

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Gene flow and genetic variability within and among alpine plant populations can be greatly influenced by the steep environmental gradients and heterogeneous topography of alpine landscapes. In this study, the effects are examined of natural isolation of alpine habitats on genetic diversity and geographic structure in populations of C. thyrsoides, a rare and isolated European Alpine monocarpic perennial with limited seed dispersal capacity. Methods Molecular diversity was analysed for 736 individuals from 32 populations in the Swiss Alps and adjacent Jura mountains using five polymorphic microsatellite loci. Pollen flow was estimated using pollen grain-sized fluorescent powder. In addition, individual-based Bayesian approaches were applied to examine population structure. Key Results High within-population genetic diversity (HE = 076) and a relatively low inbreeding coefficient (FIS = 0022) were found. Genetic differentiation among populations measured with a standardized measure was considerable (G?ST = 053). A significant isolation-by-distance relationship was found (r = 062, P < 0001) and a significant geographic sub-structure, coinciding with proposed postglacial migration patterns. Altitudinal location and size of populations did not influence molecular variation. Direct measures of pollen flow revealed that insect-mediated pollen dispersal was restricted to short distances within a population. Conclusions The natural isolation of suitable habitats for C. thyrsoides restricts gene flow among the populations as expected for a monocarpic species with very limited seed dispersal capacities. The observed high within-population genetic diversity in this rare monocarpic perennial is best explained by its outcrossing behaviour, long-lived individuals and overlapping generations. Despite the high within-population genetic diversity, the considerable genetic differentiation and the clear westerneastern differentiation in this species merits consideration in future conservation efforts. PMID:19797423

  3. Teaching diversity to medical undergraduates: Curriculum development, delivery and assessment. AMEE GUIDE No. 103.

    PubMed

    Dogra, Nisha; Bhatti, Farah; Ertubey, Candan; Kelly, Moira; Rowlands, Angela; Singh, Davinder; Turner, Margot

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this Guide is to support teacher with the responsibility of designing, delivering and/or assessing diversity education. Although, the focus is on medical education, the guidance is relevant to all healthcare professionals. The Guide begins by providing an overview of the definitions used and the principles that underpin the teaching of diversity as advocated by Diversity and Medicine in Health (DIMAH). Following an outline of these principles we highlight the difference between equality and diversity education. The Guide then covers diversity education throughout the educational process from the philosophical stance of educators and how this influences the approaches used through to curriculum development, delivery and assessment. Appendices contain practical examples from across the UK, covering lesson plans and specific exercises to deliver teaching. Although, diversity education remains variable and fragmented there is now some momentum to ensure that the principles of good educational practice are applied to diversity education. The nature of this topic means that there are a range of different professions and medical disciplines involved which leads to a great necessity for greater collaboration and sharing of effective practice. PMID:26642916

  4. Genetic diversity and population structure of cottons (Gossypium spp.) of the New World assessed by SSR markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A global analysis of cotton (Gossypium spp.) genetic diversity is the first step to understand its geographical distribution, dissemination, genetic relatedness, and population structure. To assess the genetic diversity and population structure in Gossypium species, 111 cotton accessions representin...

  5. Phylogenetic diversity of dominant bacterial and archaeal communities in plant-microbial fuel cells using rice plants.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Jae-Hyung; Jeong, Woo-Suk; Choi, Min-Young; Kim, Byung-Yong; Song, Jaekyeong; Weon, Hang-Yeon

    2014-12-28

    In this study, the phylogenetic diversities of bacterial and archaeal communities in a plantmicrobial fuel cell (P-MFC) were investigated together with the environmental parameters, affecting its performance by using rice as a model plant. The beneficial effect of the plant appeared only during a certain period of the rice-growing season, at which point the maximum power density was approximately 3-fold higher with rice plants. The temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), and pH in the cathodic and anodic compartments changed considerably during the rice-growing season, and a higher temperature, reduced difference in pH between the cathodic and anodic compartments, and higher EC were advantageous to the performance of the P-MFC. A 16S rRNA pyrosequencing analysis showed that the 16S rRNAs of Deltaproteobacteria and those of Gammaproteobacteria were enriched on the anodes and the cathodes, respectively, when the electrical circuit was connected. At the species level, the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) related to Rhizobiales, Geobacter, Myxococcus, Deferrisoma, and Desulfobulbus were enriched on the anodes, while an OTU related to Acidiferrobacter thiooxydans occupied the highest proportion on the cathodes and occurred only when the circuit was connected. Furthermore, the connection of the electrical circuit decreased the abundance of 16S rRNAs of acetotrophic methanogens and increased that of hydrogenotrophic methanogens. The control of these physicochemical and microbiological factors is expected to be able to improve the performance of P-MFCs. PMID:25189409

  6. Invasive plant management on anticipated conservation benefits: a scientific Assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plants negatively impact rangelands throughout the western United States by displacing desirable species, altering ecological processes, reducing wildlife habitat, degrading systems, altering fire regimes, and decreasing productivity. Assessing the influence of conservation practices on var...

  7. Marine Macroalgal Diversity Assessment of Saba Bank, Netherlands Antilles

    PubMed Central

    Littler, Mark M.; Littler, Diane S.; Brooks, Barrett L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Located in the Dutch Windward Islands, Saba Bank is a flat-topped seamount (20–45 m deep in the shallower regions). The primary goals of the survey were to improve knowledge of biodiversity for one of the world's most significant, but little-known, seamounts and to increase basic data and analyses to promote the development of an improved management plan. Methodology/Principal Findings Our team of three divers used scuba to collect algal samples to depths of 50 m at 17 dive sites. Over 360 macrophyte specimens (12 putative new species) were collected, more than 1,000 photographs were taken in truly exceptional habitats, and three astonishing new seaweed community types were discovered. These included: (1) “Field of Greens” (N 17°30.620′, W 63°27.707′) dominated by green seaweeds as well as some filamentous reds, (2) “Brown Town” (N 17°28.027′, W 63°14.944′) dominated by large brown algae, and (3) “Seaweed City” (N 17°26.485′, W 63°16.850′) with a diversity of spectacular fleshy red algae. Conclusions/Significance Dives to 30 m in the more two-dimensional interior habitats revealed particularly robust specimens of algae typical of shallower seagrass beds, but here in the total absence of any seagrasses (seagrasses generally do not grow below 20 m). Our preliminary estimate of the number of total seaweed species on Saba Bank ranges from a minimum of 150 to 200. Few filamentous and thin sheet forms indicative of stressed or physically disturbed environments were observed. A more precise number still awaits further microscopic and molecular examinations in the laboratory. The expedition, while intensive, has only scratched the surface of this unique submerged seamount/atoll. PMID:20505757

  8. Cotton yield assessment using plant height mapping system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant nitrogen status and yield potential are important factors for optimizing field management in cotton production. An experiment was conducted in 2011 at Stoneville, Mississippi to develop a method to assess plant N status and yield potential in cotton. The experimental plots were laid out in a s...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fancovicova, Jana; Prokop, Pavol

    2010-01-01

    Plants are integral parts of ecosystems which determine life on Earth. People's attitudes toward them are however, largely overlooked. Here we present initial psychometric assessment of self-constructed Plant Attitude Scale (PAS) that was administered to a sample of 310 Slovakian students living in rural areas aged 10-15 years. The final version…

  10. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF COKE BY-PRODUCT RECOVERY PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of an initial screening study, initiating a multimedia environmental assessment of coke by-product recovery plants in the U.S. The study included both the gathering and analysis of existing data and sampling and analysis at one plant based on EPA's Indust...

  11. Dig Alfalfa Plants to Assess Root Rots and Yield Potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Digging alfalfa plants and inspecting their crowns and roots for rot is critical to assess stand health and production potential. Brown root rot (BRR) has been a significant plant disease on alfalfa for decades but until recently was thought to only cause significant damage in western Canada. With i...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fancovicova, Jana; Prokop, Pavol

    2010-01-01

    Plants are integral parts of ecosystems which determine life on Earth. People's attitudes toward them are however, largely overlooked. Here we present initial psychometric assessment of self-constructed Plant Attitude Scale (PAS) that was administered to a sample of 310 Slovakian students living in rural areas aged 10-15 years. The final version

  13. Genetic and functional diversity of soil microbial communities associated to grapevine plants and wine quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Kuramae, Eiko; de Hollander, Mattias; Kowalchuk, George A.; Vignozzi, Nadia; Valboa, Giuseppe; Costantini, Edoardo

    2013-04-01

    Despite the economic importance of vineyards in Italy, the wine sector is facing severe challenges from increased global competition and climate changes. The quality of the grape at harvest has a strong direct impact on wine final quality and the strong relationship between wine composition, aroma, taste, and soil properties has been outlined in the "Terroir concept". However, information on the impact of soil microbial communities on soil functions, grapevine plants, and wine quality is generally lacking. In the current study, soils from two close sites in Central Tuscany (BRO11 and BRO12) cultivated with the same grapevine cultivar Sangiovese, but with contrasting wine quality, were examined. Although the BRO12 site provided a better wine quality than the BRO11, the two soils showed similar physical, chemical, and hydrological properties. Also soil humidity, as determined by FDR (Frequency Domain Reflectometry) sensors, indicated a similar water availability in the first 75 cm during a three years trial (2000-2010). Interestingly, the mean three years value of the ratio between the two stable carbon isotopes 13C/12C, measured in the alcohol of the wines, was significantly higher in BRO12 than in BRO11 (-28,3‰ and -24,4‰, respectively), indicating the presence of a relatively higher water stress in the BRO11 soil. Functional GeoChip microarray analyses revealed higher presence of Actinobacteria in the BRO12 than in the BRO11 soil, where the alfa-Proteobacteria were more abundant. Furthermore, a consistent difference in genes involved in S cycling, with a significant overrepresentation of sulphur-oxidation genes in BRO11 and increased levels of sulphate reduction genes BRO12 was detected. These results are consistent with the high content of sulphates and the abundance of Firmicutes such as Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans in the BRO11 soil. Therefore, the different microbiology of the two soils could be related to the different redox conditions of the two soils. The structure of soil microbial communities was assessed using 16S and 18S rRNA genes pyrosequencing and the determination of some soil microbial properties such as microbial respiration, microbial C-biomass were also determined. The role of both genetic and functional diversity of soil bacterial community on grape physiology and wine quality will be discussed.

  14. Metlab Plant-Wide Assessment (Metlab in Wyndmoor, PA)

    SciTech Connect

    2002-08-01

    This OIT BestPractices case study describes the methods and results of a plant-wide energy assessment at Metlab's aircraft component manufacturing plant in Wyndmoor, PA. Recommendations derived from the assessment, if implemented, can save an estimated $528,400 annually, reduce natural gas use by 50,070 MMbtu per year, and reduce electrical use by 329,400 kWh per year.

  15. Functional diversity of 2-oxoglutarate/Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenases in plant metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Farrow, Scott C.; Facchini, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative enzymes catalyze many different reactions in plant metabolism. Among this suite of enzymes are the 2-oxoglutarate/Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenases (2-ODDs). Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) as often considered the most versatile oxidative enzymes in nature, but the diversity and complexity of reactions catalyzed by 2-ODDs is superior to the CYPs. The list of oxidative reactions catalyzed by 2-ODDs includes hydroxylations, demethylations, desaturations, ring closure, ring cleavage, epimerization, rearrangement, halogenation, and demethylenation. Furthermore, recent work, including the discovery of 2-ODDs involved in epigenetic regulation, and others catalyzing several characteristic steps in specialized metabolic pathways, support the argument that 2-ODDs are among the most versatile and important oxidizing biological catalysts. In this review, we survey and summarize the pertinent literature with a focus on several key reactions catalyzed by 2-ODDs, and discuss the significance and impact of these enzymes in plant metabolism. PMID:25346740

  16. Impact factors identification of spatial heterogeneity of herbaceous plant diversity on five southern islands of Miaodao Archipelago in North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chi, Yuan; Shi, Honghua; Wang, Xiaoli; Qin, Xuebo; Zheng, Wei; Peng, Shitao

    2016-01-01

    Herbaceous plants are widely distributed on islands and where they exhibit spatial heterogeneity. Accurately identifying the impact factors that drive spatial heterogeneity can reveal typical island biodiversity patterns. Five southern islands in the Miaodao Archipelago, North China were studied herein. The spatial distribution of herbaceous plant diversity on these islands was analyzed, and the impact factors and their degree of impact on spatial heterogeneity were identified using CCA ordination and ANOVA. The results reveal 114 herbaceous plant species, belonging to 94 genera from 34 families in the 50 plots sampled. The total species numbers on different islands were significantly positively correlated with island area, and the average α diversity was correlated with human activities, while the β diversity among islands was more affected by island area than mutual distances. Spatial heterogeneity within islands indicated that the diversities were generally high in areas with higher altitude, slope, total nitrogen, total carbon, and canopy density, and lower moisture content, pH, total phosphorus, total potassium, and aspect. Among the environmental factors, pH, canopy density, total K, total P, moisture content, altitude, and slope had significant gross effects, but only canopy density exhibited a significant net effect. Terrain affected diversity by restricting plantation, plantation in turn influenced soil properties and the two together affected diversity. Therefore, plantation was ultimately the fundamental driving factor for spatial heterogeneity in herbaceous plant diversity on the five islands.

  17. Pathogen threat assessment is predictive plant pathology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The American Society of Plant Pathologists has maintained a formal effort to prioritize threatening and emerging crop pathogens for over 70 years, and the APS Emerging Pathogens and Diseases Committee is continuing the process. In order to accomplish prioritization in a rigorous fashion, criteria mu...

  18. Beta diversity at different spatial scales: plant communities in organic and conventional agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Doreen; Roschewitz, Indra; Tscharntke, Teja; Thies, Carsten

    2006-10-01

    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

  19. Evaluating methods for isolating total RNA and predicting the success of sequencing phylogenetically diverse plant transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Marc T J; Carpenter, Eric J; Tian, Zhijian; 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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23185583

  20. Diversity of Beetle Genes Encoding Novel Plant Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Pauchet, Yannick; Wilkinson, Paul; Chauhan, Ritika; ffrench-Constant, Richard H.

    2010-01-01

    Plant cell walls are a heterogeneous mixture of polysaccharides and proteins that require a range of different enzymes to degrade them. Plant cell walls are also the primary source of cellulose, the most abundant and useful biopolymer on the planet. Plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) are therefore important in a wide range of biotechnological processes from the production of biofuels and food to waste processing. However, despite the fact that the last common ancestor of all deuterostomes was inferred to be able to digest, or even synthesize, cellulose using endogenous genes, all model insects whose complete genomes have been sequenced lack genes encoding such enzymes. To establish if the apparent “disappearance” of PCWDEs from insects is simply a sampling problem, we used 454 mediated pyrosequencing to scan the gut transcriptomes of beetles that feed on a variety of plant derived diets. By sequencing the transcriptome of five beetles, and surveying publicly available ESTs, we describe 167 new beetle PCWDEs belonging to eight different enzyme families. This survey proves that these enzymes are not only present in non-model insects but that the multigene families that encode them are apparently undergoing complex birth-death dynamics. This reinforces the observation that insects themselves, and not just their microbial symbionts, are a rich source of PCWDEs. Further it emphasises that the apparent absence of genes encoding PCWDEs from model organisms is indeed simply a sampling artefact. Given the huge diversity of beetles alive today, and the diversity of their lifestyles and diets, we predict that beetle guts will emerge as an important new source of enzymes for use in biotechnology. PMID:21179425

  1. Comparative genomics of plant-associated Pseudomonas spp.: Insights into diversity and inheritance of traits involved in multitrophic interactions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Slippery or sticky? Functional diversity in the trapping strategy of Nepenthes carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

    Bonhomme, Vincent; Pelloux-Prayer, Hervé; Jousselin, Emmanuelle; Forterre, Yoël; Labat, Jean-Jacques; Gaume, Laurence

    2011-07-01

    The pitcher-shaped leaves of Nepenthes carnivorous plants have been considered as pitfall traps that essentially rely on slippery surfaces to capture insects. But a recent study of Nepenthes rafflesiana has shown that the viscoelasticity of the digestive fluid inside the pitchers plays a key role. Here, we investigated whether Nepenthes species exhibit diverse trapping strategies. We measured the amount of slippery wax on the pitcher walls of 23 taxa and the viscoelasticity of their digestive liquid and compared their retention efficiency on ants and flies. The amount of wax was shown to vary greatly between species. Most mountain species exhibited viscoelastic digestive fluids while water-like fluids were predominant in lowland species. Both characteristics contributed to insect trapping but wax was more efficient at trapping ants while viscoelasticity was key in trapping insects and was even more efficient than wax on flies. Trap waxiness and fluid viscoelasticity were inversely related, suggesting the possibility of an investment trade-off for the plants. Therefore Nepenthes pitcher plants do not solely employ slippery devices to trap insects but often employ a viscoelastic strategy. The entomofauna specific to the plant's habitat may exert selective pressures, favouring one trapping strategy at the expense of the other. PMID:21434933

  3. Factors affecting plant diversity during post-fire recovery and succession of mediterranean-climate shrublands in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Baer-Keeley, M.

    2005-01-01

    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.

  4. Woody plant diversity and structure of shade-grown-coffee plantations in northern Chiapas, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Soto-Pinto, L; Romero-Alvarado, Y; Caballero-Nieto, J; Segura Warnholtz, G

    2001-01-01

    Shade-grown coffee is an agricultural system that contains some forest-like characteristics. However, structure and diversity are poorly known in shade coffee systems. In 61 coffee-growers' plots of Chiapas, Mexico, structural variables of shade vegetation and coffee yields were measured, recording species and their use. Coffee stands had five vegetation strata. Seventy seven woody species mostly used as wood were found (mean density 371.4 trees per hectare). Ninety percent were native species (40% of the local flora), the remaining were introduced species, mainly fruit trees/shrubs. Diametric distribution resembles that of a secondary forest. Principal Coordinates Analysis grouped plots in four classes by the presence of Inga, however the majority of plots are diverse. There was no difference in equitability among groups or coffee yields. Coffee yield was 835 g clean coffee per shrub, or ca. 1,668 kg ha-1. There is a significant role of shade-grown coffee as diversity refuge for woody plants and presumably associated fauna as well as an opportunity for shade-coffee growers to participate in the new biodiversity-friendly-coffee market. PMID:12189830

  5. Topography- and management-mediated resource gradients maintain rare and common plant diversity around paddy terraces.

    PubMed

    Uematsu, Yuta; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2013-09-01

    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

  6. PCR- RFLP based bacterial diversity analysis of a municipal sewage treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Devi, S Gayathri; Ramya, M

    2015-09-01

    Bacterial diversity of sewage soil is an essential study to discover novel bacterial species involved in biodegradation. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism is one of the most useful molecular technique for diversity analysis in terms of cost effectiveness and reliability. The present study focuses on bacterial diversity of municipal sewage treatment plant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India through metagenomic approach. A 16S r DNA clone library was constructed from metagenomic DNA of sewage soil. 200 clones from the library were subjected to colony PCR and RFLP analysis. Upon RFLP analysis, 16 different Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU's) were obtained and a single clone from each OTU was subjected to sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences revealed the presence of five different groups of bacteria namely Proteobacteria (56%), Actinobacteria (7%), Firmicutes (5%), Bacteroidetes (17%) and Plancomycetes (7%). Three novel and uncultured groups of bacteria (8%) were also discovered. Most of the organisms identified through this study were reported to be efficient degraders of hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds and heavy metals, thereby promoting biodegradation of polluted environment. PMID:26521553

  7. Community Structure and Diversity of Biofilms from a Beer Bottling Plant as Revealed Using 16S rRNA Gene Clone Libraries†

    PubMed Central

    Timke, Markus; Wang-Lieu, Ngoc Quynh; Altendorf, Karlheinz; Lipski, André

    2005-01-01

    The microbial composition of biofilms from a beer bottling plant was analyzed by a cultivation independent analysis of the 16S rRNA genes. Clone libraries were differentiated by amplified 16S rRNA gene restriction analysis and representative clones from each group were sequenced. The diversity of the clone libraries was comparable with the diversity found for environmental samples. No evidences for the presence of strictly anaerobic taxa or important beer spoilers were found, indicating that biofilms developed for more than 6 months at the plant formed no appropriate habitat for those microorganisms. The genus Methylobacterium was one of the dominating groups of the clone libraries. The size of this population was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and fatty acid analysis. In addition, considerable numbers of clones were assigned to uncultivated organisms. PMID:16204578

  8. The roles of community biomass and species pools in the regulation of plant diversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.

    2001-01-01

    Considerable debate has developed over the importance of community biomass and species pools in the regulation of community diversity. Attempts to explain patterns of plant diversity as a function of community biomass or productivity have been only partially successful and in general, have explained only a fraction of the observed variation in diversity. At the same time studies that have focused on the importance of species pools have led some to conclude that diversity is primarily regulated in the short term by the size of the species pool rather than by biotic interactions. In this paper, I explore how community biomass and species pools may work in combination to regulate diversity in herbaceous plant communities. To address this problem, I employ a simple model in which the dynamics of species richness are a function of aboveground community biomass and environmentally controlled gradients in species pools. Model results lead to two main predictions about the role of biomass regulation: (1) Seasonal dynamics of richness will tend to follow a regular oscillation, with richness rising to peak values during the early to middle portion of the growing season and then declining during the latter part of the season. (2.) Seasonal dieback of aboveground tissues facilitates the long-term maintenance of high levels of richness in the community. The persistence of aboveground tissues and accumulation of litter are especially important in limiting the number of species through the suppression of recruitment. Model results also lead to two main predictions about the role of species pools: (1) The height and position of peak richness relative to community biomass will be influenced by the rate at which the species pool increases as available soil resources increase. (2) Variations in nonresource environmental factors (e.g. soil pH or soil salinity) have the potential to regulate species pools in a way that is uncorrelated with aboveground biomass. Under extreme conditions, such nonresource effects can create a unimodal envelope of biomass-richness values. Available evidence from the literature provides partial support for these predictions, though additional data are needed to provide more convincing tests.

  9. Biometry and diversity of Arabica coffee genotypes cultivated in a high density plant system.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, W N; Tomaz, M A; Ferrão, M A G; Martins, L D; Colodetti, T V; Brinate, S V B; Amaral, J F T; Sobreira, F M; Apostólico, M A

    2016-01-01

    The present study was developed to respond to the need for an increase in crop yield in the mountain region of Caparaó (southern Espírito Santo State, Brazil), an area of traditional coffee production. This study aimed to analyze the diversity and characterize the crop yield of genotypes of Coffea arabica L. with potential for cultivation in high plant density systems. In addition, it also aimed to quantify the expression of agronomic traits in this cultivation system and provide information on the genotypes with the highest cultivation potential in the studied region. The experiment followed a randomized block design with 16 genotypes, four repetitions, and six plants per experimental plot. Plant spacing was 2.00 x 0.60 m, with a total of 8333 plants per hectare, representing a high-density cultivation system. Coffee plants were cultivated until the start of their reproductive phenological cycles and were evaluated along four complete reproductive cycles. Genotypes with high crop yield and beverage quality, short canopy, and rust resistance were selected. C. arabica genotypes showed variability in almost all characteristics. It was possible to identify different responses among genotypes grown in a high plant density cultivation system. Although the chlorophyll a content was similar among genotypes, the genotypes Acauã, Araponga MG1, Sacramento MG1, Tupi, and Catuaí IAC 44 showed a higher chlorophyll b content than the other genotypes. Among these, Sacramento MG1 also showed high leafiness and growth of vegetative structures, whereas Araponga MG1, Pau-Brasil MG1, and Tupi showed high fruit production. In addition, Araponga MG1 had also a higher and more stable crop yield over the years. PMID:26909972

  10. Diversity and Taxonomy of Endophytic Xylariaceous Fungi from Medicinal Plants of Dendrobium (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Juan; Zhang, Li-Chun; Xing, Yong-Mei; Wang, Yun-Qiang; Xing, Xiao-Ke; Zhang, Da-Wei; Liang, Han-Qiao; Guo, Shun-Xing

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23472167

  11. Repeated, recent and diverse transfers of a mitochondrial gene to the nucleus in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Adams, K L; Daley, D O; Qiu, Y L; Whelan, J; Palmer, J D

    2000-11-16

    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

  12. Increasing land use drives changes in plant phylogenetic diversity and prevalence of specialists

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C.

    2016-01-01

    Increased human land use has resulted in the increased homogenization of biodiversity between sites, yet we lack sufficient indicators to predict which species decline and the consequence of their potential loss on ecosystem services. We used comparative phylogenetic analysis to (1) characterize how increasing conversion of forest and grasslands to grazing pasturelands changes plant diversity and composition; (2) examine how changes in land use relate to declines in functional trait diversity; and (3) specifically investigate how these changes in plant composition affect the prevalence of zygomorphy and the possible consequences that these changes may have on pollinator functional groups. As predicted, we found that the conversion to grazing pasturelands negatively impacted species richness and phylogenetic composition. Clades with significantly more represented taxa in grasslands (GL) were genera with a high representation of agricultural weeds, while the composition was biased towards clades of subalpine herbaceous wildflowers in Mixed Forest (MF). Changes in community composition and structure had strong effects on the prevalence of zygomorphic species likely driven by nitrogen-fixing abilities of certain clades with zygomorphic flowers (e.g., Fabaceae). Land conversion can thus have unexpected impacts on trait distributions relevant for the functioning of the community in other capacities (e.g., cascading effects to other trophic levels (i.e., pollinators). Finally, the combination of traits represented by the current composition of species in GL and MF might enhance the diagnostic value of productivity and ecosystem processes in the most eroded ecosystems. PMID:26966669

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ohm, Robin A.; Feau, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Schoch, Conrad L.; Horwitz, Benjamin A.; Barry, Kerrie W.; Condon, Bradford J.; Copeland, Alex C.; Dhillon, Braham; Glaser, 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; Wit, Pierre J. G. M. de; Zhong, Shaobin; Goodwin, Stephen B.; Grigoriev, Igor V.

    2012-02-29

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23236275

  15. Plant-wide assessment summary: $4.1 million in savings identified in Paramount Petroleum assessment

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2003-08-01

    The Paramount Petroleum Corporation (PPC) and its partners conducted a systematic plant-wide assessment (PWA) to identify energy- and cost-saving opportunities at the company's plant in Paramount, California. The assessment team identified $4.1 million in potential annual savings.

  16. Phytochemical diversity drives plant–insect community diversity

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Lora A.; Dyer, Lee A.; Forister, Matthew L.; Smilanich, Angela M.; Dodson, Craig D.; Leonard, Michael D.; Jeffrey, Christopher S.

    2015-01-01

    What are the ecological causes and consequences of variation in phytochemical diversity within and between plant taxa? Despite decades of natural products discovery by organic chemists and research by chemical ecologists, our understanding of phytochemically mediated ecological processes in natural communities has been restricted to studies of either broad classes of compounds or a small number of well-characterized molecules. Until now, no studies have assessed the ecological causes or consequences of rigorously quantified phytochemical diversity across taxa in natural systems. Consequently, hypotheses that attempt to explain variation in phytochemical diversity among plants remain largely untested. We use spectral data from crude plant extracts to characterize phytochemical diversity in a suite of co-occurring plants in the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae). In combination with 20 years of data focused on Piper-associated insects, we find that phytochemical diversity has a direct and positive effect on the diversity of herbivores but also reduces overall herbivore damage. Elevated chemical diversity is associated with more specialized assemblages of herbivores, and the cascading positive effect of phytochemistry on herbivore enemies is stronger as herbivore diet breadth narrows. These results are consistent with traditional hypotheses that predict positive associations between plant chemical diversity, insect herbivore diversity, and trophic specialization. It is clear from these results that high phytochemical diversity not only enhances the diversity of plant-associated insects but also contributes to the ecological predominance of specialized insect herbivores. PMID:26283384

  17. Old and new challenges in using species diversity for assessing biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Chiarucci, Alessandro; Bacaro, Giovanni; Scheiner, Samuel M.

    2011-01-01

    Although the maintenance of diversity of living systems is critical for ecosystem functioning, the accelerating pace of global change is threatening its preservation. Standardized methods for biodiversity assessment and monitoring are needed. Species diversity is one of the most widely adopted metrics for assessing patterns and processes of biodiversity, at both ecological and biogeographic scales. However, those perspectives differ because of the types of data that can be feasibly collected, resulting in differences in the questions that can be addressed. Despite a theoretical consensus on diversity metrics, standardized methods for its measurement are lacking, especially at the scales needed to monitor biodiversity for conservation and management purposes. We review the conceptual framework for species diversity, examine common metrics, and explore their use for biodiversity conservation and management. Key differences in diversity measures at ecological and biogeographic scales are the completeness of species lists and the ability to include information on species abundances. We analyse the major pitfalls and problems with quantitative measurement of species diversity, look at the use of weighting measures by phylogenetic distance, discuss potential solutions and propose a research agenda to solve the major existing problems. PMID:21768157

  18. Assessing ant seed predation in threatened plants: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albert, Mara Jos; Escudero, Adrin; Iriondo, Jos Mara

    2005-11-01

    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.

  19. Assessment of diversity indices for the characterization of the soil prokaryotic community by metagenomic analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernov, T. I.; Tkhakakhova, A. K.; Kutovaya, O. V.

    2015-04-01

    The diversity indices used in ecology for assessing the metagenomes of soil prokaryotic communities at different phylogenetic levels were compared. The following indices were considered: the number of detected taxa and the Shannon, Menhinick, Margalef, Simpson, Chao1, and ACE indices. The diversity analysis of the prokaryotic communities in the upper horizons of a typical chernozem (Haplic Chernozem (Pachic)), a dark chestnut soil (Haplic Kastanozem (Chromic)), and an extremely arid desert soil (Endosalic Calcisol (Yermic)) was based on the analysis of 16S rRNA genes. The Menhinick, Margalef, Chao1, and ACE indices gave similar results for the classification of the communities according to their diversity levels; the Simpson index gave good results only for the high-level taxa (phyla); the best results were obtained with the Shannon index. In general, all the indices used showed a decrease in the diversity of the soil prokaryotes in the following sequence: chernozem > dark chestnut soil > extremely arid desert soil.

  20. The Arabidopsis synaptotagmin SYTA regulates the cell-to-cell movement of diverse plant viruses

    Pub