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Sample records for conifers

  1. Ecophysiological controls of conifer distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, F.I.

    1995-07-01

    The boreal forest covers the most extensive worldwide area of conifer-dominated vegetation, with a total global area of about 12 million km{sup 2}. This large area is very species poor; in North America there are only nine widespread and dominant species of trees, of which six are conifers-Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Abies balsamea, Larix laricina, Pinus contorta, and Pinus banksiana. The remaining three angiosperms are Betula papyrifera, Populus tremuloides, and Populus balsamifera. In Fennoscandia and the former Soviet Union, 14 species dominate the boreal forest, 10 of which are conifers-Abies sibirica, Larix gmelinii, Larix sibirica, Larix sukaczewii, Picea abies, Picea ajanensis, Picea obovata, Pinus pumila, Pinus sibifica, and Pinus sylvestris. The dominant angiosperm trees are Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Chosenia arbutifolia, and Populus tremula. Such species paucity detracts from realizing the remarkable capacity of these species to endure the harshest forest climates of the world. Both the short-term geological history and the current climate are major causes of the species paucity in the boreal forest. In general, the boreal forest has been present in its current distribution only since the Holocene era. In most cases, the dominant species of the boreal forest completed their postglacial expansion to their current distributions only over the past 2000 years. So the ecology of the forest is very young, in comparison with forests in warmer climates. It might be expected that over subsequent millennia, with no climatic change, there could be a slow influx of new species to the boreal zone; however, the extreme climatic, edaphic, and disturbance characteristics of the area are likely to set insurmountable limits on this influx of diversity.

  2. Defense Mechanisms of Conifers 1

    PubMed Central

    Lewinsohn, Efraim; Gijzen, Mark; Savage, Thomas J.; Croteau, Rodney

    1991-01-01

    Cell-free extracts from Pinus ponderosa Lawson (ponderosa pine) and Pinus sylvestris L. (Scotch pine) wood exhibited high levels of monoterpene synthase (cyclase) activity, whereas bark extracts of these species contained no detectable activity, and they inhibited cyclase activity when added to extracts from wood, unless polyvinylpyrrolidone was included in the preparation. The molecular mass of the polyvinylpyrrolidone added was of little consequence; however, polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (a cross-linked insoluble form of the polymer) was ineffective in protecting enzyme activity. Based on these observations, methods were developed for the efficient extraction and assay of monoterpene cyclase activity from conifer stem (wood and bark) tissue. The level of monoterpene cyclase activity for a given conifer species was shown to correlate closely with the monoterpene content of the oleoresin and with the degree of anatomical complexity of the specialized resin-secreting structures. Cyclase activity and monoterpene content were lowest in the stems of species containing only isolated resin cells, such as western red cedar (Thuja plicata D. Don). Increasing levels of cyclase activity and oleoresin monoterpenes were observed in advancing from species with multicellular resin blisters (true firs [Abies]) to those with organized resin passages, such as western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.), Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco). The highest levels of cyclase activity and oleoresin monoterpenes were noted in Pinus species that contain the most highly developed resin duct systems. The relationship between biosynthetic capacity, as measured by cyclase activity, monoterpene content, and the degree of organization of the secretory structures for a given species, may reflect the total number of specialized resin-producing cells per unit mass of stem tissue. PMID:16668182

  3. Insights into conifer giga-genomes.

    PubMed

    De La Torre, Amanda R; Birol, Inanc; Bousquet, Jean; Ingvarsson, Pär K; Jansson, Stefan; Jones, Steven J M; Keeling, Christopher I; MacKay, John; Nilsson, Ove; Ritland, Kermit; Street, Nathaniel; Yanchuk, Alvin; Zerbe, Philipp; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2014-12-01

    Insights from sequenced genomes of major land plant lineages have advanced research in almost every aspect of plant biology. Until recently, however, assembled genome sequences of gymnosperms have been missing from this picture. Conifers of the pine family (Pinaceae) are a group of gymnosperms that dominate large parts of the world's forests. Despite their ecological and economic importance, conifers seemed long out of reach for complete genome sequencing, due in part to their enormous genome size (20-30 Gb) and the highly repetitive nature of their genomes. Technological advances in genome sequencing and assembly enabled the recent publication of three conifer genomes: white spruce (Picea glauca), Norway spruce (Picea abies), and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). These genome sequences revealed distinctive features compared with other plant genomes and may represent a window into the past of seed plant genomes. This Update highlights recent advances, remaining challenges, and opportunities in light of the publication of the first conifer and gymnosperm genomes. PMID:25349325

  4. Conifer-Derived Monoterpenes and Forest Walking

    PubMed Central

    Sumitomo, Kazuhiro; Akutsu, Hiroaki; Fukuyama, Syusei; Minoshima, Akiho; Kukita, Shin; Yamamura, Yuji; Sato, Yoshiaki; Hayasaka, Taiki; Osanai, Shinobu; Funakoshi, Hiroshi; Hasebe, Naoyuki; Nakamura, Masao

    2015-01-01

    Conifer and broadleaf trees emit volatile organic compounds in the summer. The major components of these emissions are volatile monoterpenes. Using solid phase microextraction fiber as the adsorbant, monoterpenes were successfully detected and identified in forest air samples. Gas chromatography/mass chromatogram of monoterpenes in the atmosphere of a conifer forest and that of serum from subjects who were walking in a forest were found to be similar each other. The amounts of α-pinene in the subjects became several folds higher after forest walking. The results indicate that monoterpenes in the atmosphere of conifer forests are transferred to and accumulate in subjects by inhalation while they are exposed to this type of environment. PMID:26819913

  5. Diseases of Pacific Coast conifers. Agriculture handbook

    SciTech Connect

    Scharpf, R.F.

    1993-06-01

    The handbook provides basic information needed to identify the common diseases of Pacific Coast conifers. Hosts, distribution, disease cycles, and identifying characteristics are described for more than 150 diseases, including cankers, diebacks, galls, rusts, needle diseases, root diseases, mistletoes, and rots. Diseases in which abiotic factors are involved are also described. For some groups of diseases, a descriptive key to field identification is included.

  6. ACID FOG EFFECTS ON CONIFER SEEDLINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Experiments were performed to assess the effects of acid fog on foliar injury, biomass production, and nutrient leaching in selected conifers. ne-year old seedlings of Pseudotsuga menzieii, Pinus ponderosa, Tsuga heterophylla and Thuja plicata were exposed episodically to fog eve...

  7. Insights into Conifer Giga-Genomes1

    PubMed Central

    De La Torre, Amanda R.; Birol, Inanc; Bousquet, Jean; Ingvarsson, Pär K.; Jansson, Stefan; Jones, Steven J.M.; Keeling, Christopher I.; MacKay, John; Nilsson, Ove; Ritland, Kermit; Street, Nathaniel; Yanchuk, Alvin; Zerbe, Philipp; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Insights from sequenced genomes of major land plant lineages have advanced research in almost every aspect of plant biology. Until recently, however, assembled genome sequences of gymnosperms have been missing from this picture. Conifers of the pine family (Pinaceae) are a group of gymnosperms that dominate large parts of the world’s forests. Despite their ecological and economic importance, conifers seemed long out of reach for complete genome sequencing, due in part to their enormous genome size (20–30 Gb) and the highly repetitive nature of their genomes. Technological advances in genome sequencing and assembly enabled the recent publication of three conifer genomes: white spruce (Picea glauca), Norway spruce (Picea abies), and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). These genome sequences revealed distinctive features compared with other plant genomes and may represent a window into the past of seed plant genomes. This Update highlights recent advances, remaining challenges, and opportunities in light of the publication of the first conifer and gymnosperm genomes. PMID:25349325

  8. Genetics and the physiological ecology of conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Mitton, J.B.

    1995-07-01

    Natural selection acts on the diversity of genotypes, adapting populations to their specific environments and driving evolution in response to changes in climate. Genetically based differences in physiology and demography adapt species to alternate environments and produce, along with historical accidents, the present distribution of species. The sorting of conifer species by elevation is so marked that conifers help to define plant communities arranged in elevational bands in the Rocky Mountains. For these reasons, a genetic perspective is necessary to appreciate the evolution of ecophysiological patterns in the coniferous forests of the Rocky Mountains. The fascinating natural history and the economic importance of western conifers have stimulated numerous studies of their ecology, ecological genetics, and geographic variation. These studies yield some generalizations, and present some puzzling contradictions. This chapter focuses on the genetic variability associated with the physiological differences among genotypes in Rocky Mountain conifers. Variation among genotypes in survival, growth, and resistance to herbivores is used to illustrate genetically based differences in physiology, and to suggest the mechanistic studies needed to understand the relationships between genetic and physiological variation.

  9. Fuel bed characteristics of Sierra Nevada conifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Benedict, J.M.; Sydoriak, W.M.

    1998-01-01

    A study of fuels in Sierra Nevada conifer forests showed that fuel bed depth and fuel bed weight significantly varied by tree species and developmental stage of the overstory. Specific values for depth and weight of woody, litter, and duff fuels are reported. There was a significant positive relationship between fuel bed depth and weight. Estimates of woody fuel weight using the planar intercept method were significantly related to sampled values. These relationships can be used to estimate fuel weights in the field.

  10. Carbon allocation and accumulation in conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Gower, S.T.; Isebrands, J.G.; Sheriff, D.W.

    1995-07-01

    Forests cover approximately 33% of the land surface of the earth, yet they are responsible for 65% of the annual carbon (C) accumulated by all terrestrial biomes. In general, total C content and net primary production rates are greater for forests than for other biomes, but C budgets differ greatly among forests. Despite several decades of research on forest C budgets, there is still an incomplete understanding of the factors controlling C allocation. Yet, if we are to understand how changing global events such as land use, climate change, atmospheric N deposition, ozone, and elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} affect the global C budget, a mechanistic understanding of C assimilation, partitioning, and allocation is necessary. The objective of this chapter is to review the major factors that influence C allocation and accumulation in conifer trees and forests. In keeping with the theme of this book, we will focus primarily on evergreen conifers. However, even among evergreen conifers, leaf, canopy, and stand-level C and nutrient allocation patterns differ, often as a function of leaf development and longevity. The terminology related to C allocation literature is often inconsistent, confusing and inadequate for understanding and integrating past and current research. For example, terms often used synonymously to describe C flow or movement include translocation, transport, distribution, allocation, partitioning, apportionment, and biomass allocation. A common terminology is needed because different terms have different meanings to readers. In this paper we use C allocation, partitioning, and accumulation according to the definitions of Dickson and Isebrands (1993). Partitioning is the process of C flow into and among different chemical, storage, and transport pools. Allocation is the distribution of C to different plant parts within the plant (i.e., source to sink). Accumulation is the end product of the process of C allocation.

  11. Conifer health classification for Colorado, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, Christopher J.; Noble, Suzanne M.; Blauer, Steven L.; Friesen, Beverly A.; Curry, Stacy E.; Bauer, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    Colorado has undergone substantial changes in forests due to urbanization, wildfires, insect-caused tree mortality, and other human and environmental factors. The U.S. Geological Survey Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center evaluated and developed a methodology for applying remotely-sensed imagery for assessing conifer health in Colorado. Two classes were identified for the purposes of this study: healthy and unhealthy (for example, an area the size of a 30- x 30-m pixel with 20 percent or greater visibly dead trees was defined as ?unhealthy?). Medium-resolution Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery were collected. The normalized, reflectance-converted, cloud-filled Landsat scenes were merged to form a statewide image mosaic, and a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Renormalized Difference Infrared Index (RDII) were derived. A supervised maximum likelihood classification was done using the Landsat multispectral bands, the NDVI, the RDII, and 30-m U.S. Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset (NED). The classification was constrained to pixels identified in the updated landcover dataset as coniferous or mixed coniferous/deciduous vegetation. The statewide results were merged with a separate health assessment of Grand County, Colo., produced in late 2008. Sampling and validation was done by collecting field data and high-resolution imagery. The 86 percent overall classification accuracy attained in this study suggests that the data and methods used successfully characterized conifer conditions within Colorado. Although forest conditions for Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) are easily characterized, classification uncertainty exists between healthy/unhealthy Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), Pi?on (Pinus edulis), and Juniper (Juniperus sp.) vegetation. Some underestimation of conifer mortality in Summit County is likely, where recent (2008) cloud-free imagery was unavailable. These classification uncertainties are primarily due to the spatial and

  12. Plant hormones and ecophysiology of conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Davies, W.J.

    1995-07-01

    Over the past 30 years, there have been very substantial fluctuations in the interests of plant scientists in the involvement of plant growth regulators in the control of physiology, growth, and development of plants. In the years following the identification of the five major classes of growth regulators and identification of other groups of compounds of somewhat more restricted interest, an enormous number of papers reported the effects of hormones applied externally to a very wide range of plants. During this period, it became very fashionable to compare effects of hormones with the effects of the environment on developmental and physiological phenomena and to suggest a regulatory role for the hormone(s) in the processes under consideration. Ross et al. (1983) have published a very comprehensive survey of the effects of growth regulators applied externally to conifers, and even 10 years later, it is difficult to improve on what they have done. Nevertheless, in the light of recent changes in our understanding of how growth regulators may work, it is necessary to reexamine this field and ask what we really know about the involvement of growth regulators in the ecophysiology of conifers.

  13. AmeriFlux US-Vcm Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer

    DOE Data Explorer

    Litvak, Marcy [University of New Mexico

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Vcm Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer. Site Description - The Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer site is located in the 1200 km2 Jemez River basin in north-central New Mexico. Common to elevations ranging from 3040 to 2740 m in the region, the mixed conifer stand, within the entirety of the tower footprint in all directions, provides an excellent setting for studying the seasonal interaction between snow and vegetation.

  14. Western Conifers Research Cooperative 1987 research plan

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, R.K.

    1987-08-01

    The Western Conifers Research Cooperative is part of the national Forest Response Program (FRP). The FRP is a federal program designed to determine the current and potential effects of atmospheric deposition on forests in the United States. Research is conducted regionally within four research Cooperatives. The Western Cooperative is concerned with the effects of atmospheric deposition on coniferous forests in the eleven conterminous western states. The 1987 Research Plan first outlines the objectives and research strategy of the FRP. The objectives and strategy of the Western Cooperative are then described in the context of the parent organization. The 1986 Western Cooperative program is reviewed followed by a description of the 1987 program. Brief descriptions of each of the individual 1987 research projects are also given.

  15. Conifer Decline and Mortality in Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharuk, V.; Im, S.; Ranson, K.

    2015-12-01

    "Dark needle conifer" (DNC: Abies sibirica, Pinus sibirica and Picea obovata) decline and mortality increase were documented in Russia during recent decades. Here we analyzed causes and scale of Siberian pine and fir mortality in Altai-Sayan and Baikal Lake Regions and West Siberian Plane based on in situdata and remote sensing (QuickBird, Landsat, GRACE). Geographically, mortality began on the margins of the DNC range (i.e., within the forest-steppe and conifer-broadleaf ecotones) and on terrain features with maximal water stress risk (narrow-shaped hilltops, convex steep south facing slopes, shallow well-drained soils). Within ridges, mortality occurred mainly along mountain passes, where stands faced drying winds. Regularly mortality was observed to decrease with elevation increase with the exception of Baikal Lake Mountains, where it was minimal near the lake shore and increased with elevation (up to about 1000 m a.s.l.). Siberian pine and fir mortality followed a drying trend with consecutive droughts since the 1980s. Dendrochronology analysis showed that mortality was correlated with vapor pressure deficit increase, drought index, soil moisture decrease and occurrence of late frosts. In Baikal region Siberian pine mortality correlated with Baikal watershed meteorological variables. An impact of previous year climate conditions on the current growth was found (r2 = 0.6). Thus, water-stressed trees became sensitive to bark beetles and fungi impact (including Polygraphus proximus and Heterobasidion annosum). At present, an increase in mortality is observed within the majority of DNC range. Results obtained also showed a primary role of water stress in that phenomenon with a secondary role of bark beetles and fungi attacks. In future climate with increased drought severity and frequency Siberian pine and fir will partly disappear from its current range, and will be substituted by drought-tolerant species (e.g., Pinus silvestris, Larix sibirica).

  16. Line-scan inspection of conifer seedlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigney, Michael P.; Kranzler, Glenn A.

    1993-05-01

    Almost two billion conifer seedlings are produced in the U.S. each year to support reforestation efforts. Seedlings are graded manually to improve viability after transplanting. Manual grading is labor-intensive and subject to human variability. Our previous research demonstrated the feasibility of automated tree seedling inspection with machine vision. Here we describe a system based on line-scan imaging, providing a three-fold increase in resolution and inspection rate. A key aspect of the system is automatic recognition of the seedling root collar. Root collar diameter, shoot height, and projected shoot and root areas are measured. Sturdiness ratio and shoot/root ratio are computed. Grade is determined by comparing measured features with pre-defined set points. Seedlings are automatically sorted. The precision of machine vision and manual measurements was determined in tests at a commercial forest nursery. Manual measurements of stem diameter, shoot height, and sturdiness ratio had standard deviations three times those of machine vision measurements. Projected shoot area was highly correlated (r2 equals 0.90) with shoot volume. Projected root area had good correlation (r2 equals 0.80) with root volume. Seedlings were inspected at rates as high as ten per second.

  17. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Zheng; Baniaga, Anthony E; Sessa, Emily B; Scascitelli, Moira; Graham, Sean W; Rieseberg, Loren H; Barker, Michael S

    2015-11-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity. PMID:26702445

  18. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zheng; Baniaga, Anthony E.; Sessa, Emily B.; Scascitelli, Moira; Graham, Sean W.; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Barker, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity. PMID:26702445

  19. Inference of higher-order conifer relationships from a multi-locus plastid data set.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We reconstructed the broad backbone of conifer phylogeny from a survey of 15–17 plastid loci and associated noncoding regions from exemplar conifer species. Parsimony and likelihood analyses recover the same higher-order relationships, and we find strong support for most of the deep splits in conife...

  20. Resource physiology of conifers: Acquisition, allocation, and utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.K.; Hinckley, T.M.

    1995-03-01

    This book focuses on a synthetic view of the resource physiology of conifer trees with an emphasis on developing a perspective that can integrate across the biological hierarchy. This objective is in concert with more scientific goals of maintaining biological diversity and the sustainability of forest systems. The preservation of coniferous forest ecosystems is a major concern today. This volume deals with the topics of resource acquisition, allocation, and utilization in conifers. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  1. PHOTOCHEMICAL AIR POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON MIXED CONIFER ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In 1972, a multi-disciplinary team of ecologists assembled to monitor and analyze some of the ecological consequences of photochemical oxidant air pollutants in California Mixed Conifer Forest ecosystems of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. The purposes included g...

  2. A Simple Computer Application for the Identification of Conifer Genera

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strain, Steven R.; Chmielewski, Jerry G.

    2010-01-01

    The National Science Education Standards prescribe that an understanding of the importance of classifying organisms be one component of a student's educational experience in the life sciences. The use of a classification scheme to identify organisms is one way of addressing this goal. We describe Conifer ID, a computer application that assists…

  3. Ethanol accumulation in drought-stressed conifer seedlings.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, we investigated the effect of drought-stress on ethanol production and accumulation in tissues of three conifer species (Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, and lodgepole pine). Significant ethanol accumulation was observed for all three species at severe levels of drought stress (pre-dawn ...

  4. Antifungal Activity of Extractable Conifer Heartwood Compounds Toward Phytophthora ramorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Individual compounds and ethyl acetate extracts from heartwood of seven conifer species were tested for fungicidal activity against Phytophthora ramorum. Extracts from incense and western redcedar exhibited the strongest activity (EC50 589 and 646 ppm, respectively), yellow-cedar, western juniper, ...

  5. Analysis of conifer forest regeneration using Landsat Thematic Mapper data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fiorella, Maria; Ripple, William J.

    1995-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data were used to evaluate young conifer stands in the western Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Regression and correlation analyses were used to describe the relationships between TM band values and age of young Douglas-fir stands (2 to 35 years old). Spectral data from well regenerated Douglas-fir stands were compared to those of poorly regenerated conifer stands. TM bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 were inversely correlated with the age (r greater than or equal to -0.80) of well regenerated Douglas-fir stands. Overall, the 'structural index' (TM 4/5 ratio) had the highest correlation to age of Douglas-fir stands (r = 0.96). Poorly regenerated stands were spectrally distinct from well regenerated Douglas-fir stands after the stands reached an age of approximately 15 years.

  6. Predation and protection in the macroevolutionary history of conifer cones

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.

    2011-01-01

    Conifers are an excellent group in which to explore how changing ecological interactions may have influenced the allocation of reproductive tissues in seed plants over long time scales, because of their extensive fossil record and their important role in terrestrial ecosystems since the Palaeozoic. Measurements of individual conifer pollen-producing and seed-producing cones from the Pennsylvanian to the Recent show that the relative amount of tissue invested in pollen cones has remained constant through time, while seed cones show a sharp increase in proportional tissue investment in the Jurassic that has continued to intensify to the present day. Since seed size in conifers has remained similar through time, this increase reflects greater investment in protective cone tissues such as robust, tightly packed scales. This shift in morphology and tissue allocation is broadly concurrent with the appearance of new vertebrate groups capable of browsing in tree canopies, as well as a diversification of insect-feeding strategies, suggesting that an important change in plant–animal interactions occurred over the Mesozoic that favoured an increase in seed cone protective tissues. PMID:21345864

  7. L-Band Radiometer Measurements of Conifer Forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lang, R.; LeVine, D.; Chauhan, N.; deMatthaeis, P.; Bidwell, S.; Haken, M.

    2000-01-01

    Airborne radiometer measurements have been made at L-band over conifer forests in Virginia to study radiometric response to biomass and soil moisture. The horizontally polarized synthetic aperture radiometer, ESTAR, has been deployed abroad a NASA-P3 aircraft which is based at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility. The instrument has been mounted in the bomb bay of the P-3 and images data in the cross track direction. Aircraft and surface measurements were made in July, August and November of 1999 over relatively homogeneous conifer stands of varying biomass. The surface measurements included soil moisture measurements in several stands. The soil moisture was low during the July flight and highest in November after heavy rains had occurred. The microwave images clearly distinguished between the different forest stands. Stand age, obtained from International Paper Corporation which owns the stands, showed a strong correlation between brightness temperature and stand age. This agrees with previous simulation studies of conifer forests which show that the brightness temperature increases with increasing stand biomass. Research is continuing to seek a quantitative correlation between the observed brightness temperature of the stands and their biomass and surface soil moisture.

  8. Tipping point of a conifer forest ecosystem under severe drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kaicheng; Yi, Chuixiang; Wu, Donghai; Zhou, Tao; Zhao, Xiang; Blanford, William J.; Wei, Suhua; Wu, Hao; Ling, Du; Li, Zheng

    2015-02-01

    Drought-induced tree mortality has recently received considerable attention. Questions have arisen over the necessary intensity and duration thresholds of droughts that are sufficient to trigger rapid forest declines. The values of such tipping points leading to forest declines due to drought are presently unknown. In this study, we have evaluated the potential relationship between the level of tree growth and concurrent drought conditions with data of the tree growth-related ring width index (RWI) of the two dominant conifer species (Pinus edulis and Pinus ponderosa) in the Southwestern United States (SWUS) and the meteorological drought-related standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). In this effort, we determined the binned averages of RWI and the 11 month SPEI within the month of July within each bin of 30 of RWI in the range of 0-3000. We found a significant correlation between the binned averages of RWI and SPEI at the regional-scale under dryer conditions. The tipping point of forest declines to drought is predicted by the regression model as SPEItp = -1.64 and RWItp = 0, that is, persistence of the water deficit (11 month) with intensity of -1.64 leading to negligible growth for the conifer species. When climate conditions are wetter, the correlation between the binned averages of RWI and SPEI is weaker which we believe is most likely due to soil water and atmospheric moisture levels no longer being the dominant factor limiting tree growth. We also illustrate a potential application of the derived tipping point (SPEItp = -1.64) through an examination of the 2002 extreme drought event in the SWUS conifer forest regions. Distinguished differences in remote-sensing based NDVI anomalies were found between the two regions partitioned by the derived tipping point.

  9. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Crane, Peter R.; Donoghue, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations—the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition—have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside ‘key innovation’ hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits. PMID:24026822

  10. Antioxidant Potential of Bark Extracts from Boreal Forest Conifers.

    PubMed

    Legault, Jean; Girard-Lalancette, Karl; Dufour, Dominic; Pichette, André

    2013-01-01

    The bark of boreal forest conifers has been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat various ailments and diseases. Some of these diseases involve reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can be prevented by the consumption of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds that can be found in medicinal plants. In this study, ultrasonic assisted extraction has been performed under various solvent conditions (water:ethanol mixtures) on the bark of seven boreal forest conifers used by Native Americans including: Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Larix laricina, and Abies balsamea. The total phenolic content, as well as ORACFL potency and cellular antioxidant activity (IC50), were evaluated for all bark extracts, and compared with the standardized water extract of Pinus maritima bark (Pycnogenol), which showed clinical efficiency to prevent ROS deleterious effects. The best overall phenolic extraction yield and antioxidant potential was obtained with Picea glauca and Picea mariana. Interestingly, total phenolic content of these bark extracts was similar to Pycnogenol but their antioxidant activity were higher. Moreover, most of the extracts did not inhibit the growth of human skin fibroblasts, WS1. A significant correlation was found between the total phenolic content and the antioxidant activity for water extracts suggesting that these compounds are involved in the activity. PMID:26784337

  11. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F.; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right. PMID:26579190

  12. Low Elevation Riparian Environments: Warm-Climate Refugia for Conifers in the Great Basin, USA?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C.; Charlet, D. A.; Westfall, R. D.; Delany, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Great Basin, USA, contains hundreds of small to large mountain ranges. Many reach alpine elevations, which are separated from each other by low-elevation basins currently inhospitable to conifer growth. Many of these ranges support montane and subalpine conifer species that have affinities to the Sierra Nevada or Rocky Mountains, and from which these conifers migrated during cool periods of the Pleistocene. Under Holocene climates, the Great Basin geography became a terrestrial island-archipelago, wherein conifer populations are isolated among ranges, and inter-range migration is highly limited. During warm intervals of the Holocene, conifers would be expected to have migrated upslope following favorable conditions, and extirpation would be assumed to result from continued warming. Independent patterns, repeating across multiple species' distributions, however, suggest that refugia were present in these ranges during warm periods, and that low elevation environments below the current main distributions acted as climatic refugia. We hypothesize that cool, narrow, and north-aspect ravines, which during cool climates support persistent or seasonal creeks and deciduous riparian communities, become available as conifer habitat when warming climates desiccate creeks and deplete riparian species. We further speculate that cold-air drainage, reduced solar insolation, lower wind exposure, and higher water tables in these topographic positions support populations of montane and subalpine conifers even during warm climate intervals when high elevations are unfavorable for conifer persistence. On return to cool climates, low elevation refugia become sources for recolonizing higher slopes, and/or continue to persist as relictual populations. We present several lines of evidence supporting this hypothesis, and speculate that low-elevation, extramarginal riparian environments might act as climate refugia for Great Basin conifers in the future as well.

  13. In-vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Some Iranian Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Afsharzadeh, Maryam; Naderinasab, Mahboobe; Tayarani Najaran, Zahra; Barzin, Mohammad; Emami, Seyed Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Male and female leaves and fruits of eleven different taxons of Iranian conifers (Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis, C. sempervirens var. sempervirens, C. sempervirens cv. Cereifeormis, Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica, J. excelsa subsp. excelsa, J. excelsa subsp. polycarpos, J. foetidissima, J. oblonga, J. sabina, Platycladus orientalis and Taxus baccata) were collected from different localities of Iran, dried and extracted with methanol. The extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The extracts were screened qualitatively using four different methods, the disc diffusion, hole plate, cylinder agar diffusion and agar dilution methods, whereas the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of each extract were determined by the agar dilution method. The best result was obtained by means of hole plate method in qualitative determination of antimicrobial activities of extracts and the greatest activity was found against S. aureus in all tested methods. PMID:24250573

  14. In-vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Some Iranian Conifers.

    PubMed

    Afsharzadeh, Maryam; Naderinasab, Mahboobe; Tayarani Najaran, Zahra; Barzin, Mohammad; Emami, Seyed Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Male and female leaves and fruits of eleven different taxons of Iranian conifers (Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis, C. sempervirens var. sempervirens, C. sempervirens cv. Cereifeormis, Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica, J. excelsa subsp. excelsa, J. excelsa subsp. polycarpos, J. foetidissima, J. oblonga, J. sabina, Platycladus orientalis and Taxus baccata) were collected from different localities of Iran, dried and extracted with methanol. The extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The extracts were screened qualitatively using four different methods, the disc diffusion, hole plate, cylinder agar diffusion and agar dilution methods, whereas the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of each extract were determined by the agar dilution method. The best result was obtained by means of hole plate method in qualitative determination of antimicrobial activities of extracts and the greatest activity was found against S. aureus in all tested methods. PMID:24250573

  15. Controls over hydrocarbon emissions from boreal forest conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Lerdau, M.; Litvak, M.; Monson, R. |

    1995-06-01

    The emissions of monoterpenes and isoprene were measured from two species of conifers native to the boreal forest of Canada, jack pine, Pinus rigida, and black spruce, Picea Mariana. We examined the effects of phenology and needle age on the emissions of these compounds, and the variations in tissue concentrations of monoterpenes. We measured photosynthetic carbon uptake and hydrocarbon emissions at two sites in northern Saskatchewan under controlled light, temperatures, and CO{sub 2} concentrations, and analyzed carbon uptake rates using an infra-red gas analyzer and hydrocarbon emissions using a solid sorbent/thermal desorption system coupled to a gas chromatograph with a mass spectrometer. Our data indicate a strong effect of temperature and seasonality on emissions but only small effects of site conditions. These results suggest that regional models of hydrocarbon emissions from boreal forests should focus on temperature and phenology as the most important controlling variables.

  16. Evidence of Intense Chromosomal Shuffling during Conifer Evolution

    PubMed Central

    de Miguel, Marina; Bartholomé, Jérôme; Ehrenmann, François; Murat, Florent; Moriguchi, Yoshinari; Uchiyama, Kentaro; Ueno, Saneyoshi; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Lagraulet, Hélène; de Maria, Nuria; Cabezas, José-Antonio; Cervera, María-Teresa; Gion, Jean Marc; Salse, Jérôme; Plomion, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Although recent advances have been gained on genome evolution in angiosperm lineages, virtually nothing is known about karyotype evolution in the other group of seed plants, the gymnosperms. Here, we used high-density gene-based linkage mapping to compare the karyotype structure of two families of conifers (the most abundant group of gymnosperms) separated around 290 Ma: Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. We propose for the first time a model based on the fusion of 20 ancestral chromosomal blocks that may have shaped the modern karyotpes of Pinaceae (with n = 12) and Cupressaceae (with n = 11). The considerable difference in modern genome organization between these two lineages contrasts strongly with the remarkable level of synteny already reported within the Pinaceae. It also suggests a convergent evolutionary mechanism of chromosomal block shuffling that has shaped the genomes of the spermatophytes. PMID:26400405

  17. Uniform versus Asymmetric Shading Mediates Crown Recession in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Schoonmaker, Amanda L.; Lieffers, Victor J.; Landhäusser, Simon M.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we explore the impact of asymmetrical vs. uniform crown shading on the mortality and growth of upper and lower branches within tree crowns, for two conifer species: shade intolerant lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and shade tolerant white spruce (Picea glauca). We also explore xylem hydraulics, foliar nutrition, and carbohydrate status as drivers for growth and expansion of the lower and upper branches in various types of shading. This study was conducted over a two-year period across 10 regenerating forest sites dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce, in the lower foothills of Alberta, Canada. Trees were assigned to one of four shading treatments: (1), complete uniform shading of the entire tree, (2) light asymmetric shading where the lower 1/4–1/3 of the tree crown was shaded, (3) heavy asymmetric shading as in (2) except with greater light reduction and (4) control in which no artificial shading occurred and most of the entire crown was exposed to full light. Asymmetrical shading of only the lower crown had a larger negative impact on the bud expansion and growth than did uniform shading, and the effect was stronger in pine relative to spruce. In addition, lower branches in pine also had lower carbon reserves, and reduced xylem-area specific conductivity compared to spruce. For both species, but particularly the pine, the needles of lower branches tended to store less C than upper branches in the asymmetric shade, which could suggest a movement of reserves away from the lower branches. The implications of these findings correspond with the inherent shade tolerance and self-pruning behavior of these conifers and supports a carbon based mechanism for branch mortality – mediated by an asymmetry in light exposure of the crown. PMID:25136823

  18. PHOTOCHEMICAL OXIDANT AIR POLLUTION EFFECTS ON A MIXED CONIFER FOREST FOREST ECOSYSTEM - A PROGRESS REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Since 1972, twelve scientists representing several research disciplines have collaborated in integrated studies to determine the chronic effects of photochemical oxidant air pollutants on a western mixed conifer forest ecosystem. An enormous amount of data has been collected, des...

  19. Morphological and functional stasis in mycorrhizal root nodules as exhibited by a Triassic conifer.

    PubMed

    Schwendemann, Andrew B; Decombeix, Anne-Laure; Taylor, Thomas N; Taylor, Edith L; Krings, Michael

    2011-08-16

    Mycorrhizal root nodules occur in the conifer families Araucariaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Sciadopityaceae. Although the fossil record of these families can be traced back into the early Mesozoic, the oldest fossil evidence of root nodules previously came from the Cretaceous. Here we report on cellularly preserved root nodules of the early conifer Notophytum from Middle Triassic permineralized peat of Antarctica. These fossil root nodules contain fungal arbuscules, hyphal coils, and vesicles in their cortex. Numerous glomoid-type spores are found in the peat matrix surrounding the nodules. This discovery indicates that mutualistic associations between conifer root nodules and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi date back to at least the early Mesozoic, the period during which most of the modern conifer families first appeared. Notophytum root nodules predate the next known appearance of this association by 100 million years, indicating that this specialized form of mycorrhizal symbiosis has ancient origins. PMID:21808011

  20. Morphological and functional stasis in mycorrhizal root nodules as exhibited by a Triassic conifer

    PubMed Central

    Schwendemann, Andrew B.; Decombeix, Anne-Laure; Taylor, Thomas N.; Krings, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Mycorrhizal root nodules occur in the conifer families Araucariaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Sciadopityaceae. Although the fossil record of these families can be traced back into the early Mesozoic, the oldest fossil evidence of root nodules previously came from the Cretaceous. Here we report on cellularly preserved root nodules of the early conifer Notophytum from Middle Triassic permineralized peat of Antarctica. These fossil root nodules contain fungal arbuscules, hyphal coils, and vesicles in their cortex. Numerous glomoid-type spores are found in the peat matrix surrounding the nodules. This discovery indicates that mutualistic associations between conifer root nodules and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi date back to at least the early Mesozoic, the period during which most of the modern conifer families first appeared. Notophytum root nodules predate the next known appearance of this association by 100 million years, indicating that this specialized form of mycorrhizal symbiosis has ancient origins. PMID:21808011

  1. Biomass in conifer plantations of northeastern Minnesota. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Ohmann, L.F.

    1985-10-01

    The report provides biomass estimates for vegetative strata and herb-low shrub species for 53 conifer plantations in NE Minnesota. The estimates are analyzed by plantation age and silvicultural practices used to establish and release the plantations.

  2. Ungulate exclusion, conifer thinning and mule deer forage in northeastern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kramer, David W.; Sorensen, Grant E.; Taylor, Chase A.; Cox, Robert D.; Gipson, Philip S.; Cain, James W.

    2015-01-01

    The southwestern United States has experienced expansion of conifer species (Juniperus spp. and Pinus ponderosa) into areas of semi-arid grassland over the past century. The expansion of conifers can limit palatable forage and reduce grass and forb communities. Conifer species are sometimes thinned through hydraulic mulching or selective cutting. We assessed the effects of these treatments on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) habitat in northeastern New Mexico to determine if conifer thinning improved cover of preferred forage species for mule deer in areas with and without ungulates. We measured plant cover and occurrence of preferred forage species in the summers of 2011 and 2012. An ongoing regional drought probably reduced vegetation response, with preferred forage species and herbaceous cover responding to conifer thinning or ungulate exclusion immediately following treatment, but not the following year. In 2011, areas that received thinning treatments had a higher abundance of preferred forage when compared to sites with no treatment. Grass coverage exhibited an immediate response in 2011, with ungulate exclosures containing 8% more coverage than areas without exclosures. The results suggest that conifer thinning and ungulate exclusion may elicit a positive response, however in the presence of drought; the positive effects are only short-term.

  3. Advances in Conifer Somatic Embryogenesis Since Year 2000.

    PubMed

    Klimaszewska, Krystyna; Hargreaves, Catherine; Lelu-Walter, Marie-Anne; Trontin, Jean-François

    2016-01-01

    This review compiles research results published over the last 14 years on conifer somatic embryogenesis (SE). Emphasis is placed on the newest findings that affect the response of seed embryos (typical explants) and shoot primordia (rare explants) to the induction of SE and long-term culture of early somatic embryos. Much research in recent years has focused on maturation of somatic embryos, with respect to both yield and quality, as an important stage for the production of a large number of vigorous somatic seedlings. Attempts to scale up somatic embryo production numbers and handling have resulted in a few bioreactor designs, the utility of which may prove beneficial for an industrial application. A few simplified cryopreservation methods for embryonal masses (EM) were developed as a means to ensure cost-efficient long-term storage of genotypes during clonal field testing. Finally, recent long-term studies on the growth of somatic trees in the field, including seed production yield and comparison of seed parameters produced by somatic versus seed-derived trees, are described. PMID:26619862

  4. Conservative water management in the widespread conifer genus Callitris

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Timothy J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.; Grierson, Pauline F.; Murphy, Brett P.; Nichols, Scott; Prior, Lynda D.

    2013-01-01

    Water management by woody species encompasses characters involved in seeking, transporting and evaporating water. Examples of adaptation of individual characters to water availability are common, but little is known about the adaptability of whole-plant water management. Here we use plant hydration and growth to examine variation in whole-plant water management characteristics within the conifer genus Callitris. Using four species that cover the environmental extremes in the Australian continent, we compare seasonal patterns of growth and hydration over 2 years to determine the extent to which species exhibit adaptive variation to the local environment. Detailed measurements of gas exchange in one species are used to produce a hydraulic model to predict changes in leaf water potential throughout the year. This same model, when applied to the remaining three species, provided a close representation of the measured patterns of water potential gradient at all sites, suggesting strong conservation in water management, a conclusion supported by carbon and oxygen isotope measurements in Callitris from across the continent. We conclude that despite its large range in terms of rainfall, Callitris has a conservative water management strategy, characterized by a high sensitivity of growth to rainfall and a delayed (anisohydric) closure of stomata during soil drying.

  5. Effects of acid fog and ozone on conifers. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bytnerowicz, A.; Olszyk, D.M.; Takemoto, B.K.; McCool, P.M.; Musselman, R.C.

    1989-05-01

    This study evaluated the effects of acidic fog (pH 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0) on the physiological, biochemical, and growth responses of two coniferous tree species (Pinus ponderosa and Abies concolor), and determined if exposure to acidic fog predisposed the tree seedlings to the phytotoxic effects of ozone (O{sub 3}). Results provide evidence that the growth and metabolic responses of two coniferous tree species could be altered by multiple applications of acidic fog, and by exposure to ambient O{sub 3}. In general, the alterations were slight to modest, which may be attributed to the low degree of stress severity, and the slow rate of tree growth. The findings indicate that exposure to acidic fog followed by O{sub 3} does not cause detectable changes in conifer seedling growth within a single-growing season. Nevertheless, it is clear that acidic fog and O{sub 3} cause temporal alterations in seedling physiology and biochemistry.

  6. Biosynthesis and Metabolic Fate of Phenylalanine in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Pascual, María B.; El-Azaz, Jorge; de la Torre, Fernando N.; Cañas, Rafael A.; Avila, Concepción; Cánovas, Francisco M.

    2016-01-01

    The amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) is a critical metabolic node that plays an essential role in the interconnection between primary and secondary metabolism in plants. Phe is used as a protein building block but it is also as a precursor for numerous plant compounds that are crucial for plant reproduction, growth, development, and defense against different types of stresses. The metabolism of Phe plays a central role in the channeling of carbon from photosynthesis to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids. The study of this metabolic pathway is particularly relevant in trees, which divert large amounts of carbon into the biosynthesis of Phe-derived compounds, particularly lignin, an important constituent of wood. The trunks of trees are metabolic sinks that consume a considerable percentage of carbon and energy from photosynthesis, and carbon is finally immobilized in wood. This paper reviews recent advances in the biosynthesis and metabolic utilization of Phe in conifer trees. Two alternative routes have been identified: the ancient phenylpyruvate pathway that is present in microorganisms, and the arogenate pathway that possibly evolved later during plant evolution. Additionally, an efficient nitrogen recycling mechanism is required to maintain sustained growth during xylem formation. The relevance of phenylalanine metabolic pathways in wood formation, the biotic interactions, and ultraviolet protection is discussed. The genetic manipulation and transcriptional regulation of the pathways are also outlined. PMID:27468292

  7. Vigor loss in conifers due to dwarf mistletoe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, M. P.; French, D. W.; Latham, R. P.; Nelson, C. A.

    1970-01-01

    Practical remote sensing techniques were developed for detecting and evaluating vigor loss in forest conifers due to dwarf mistletoe. Eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) infection of black spruce (Picea mariana) was investigated. A tower-tramway system, 100 feet high, was erected over an infected stand in northeast Minnesota in June and multiband/multidate photography was initiated in July and is continuing. Four 70mm film-filter combinations were used in a multicamera unit: Plus-X/Wratten 58, Plus-X/Wratten 25A, Aero Infrared/Wratten 89B, and Ektachrome Infrared/Wratten 12. The stand of mistletoe-infected black spruce under the tramway was photographed three times per day (0900, 1200 and 1500 local sun time) at approximately 10 day intervals. An extensive test site, several square miles in area, was selected in north-central Minnesota for the purpose of testing photographic specifications developed on the tramway test site. One aerial photographic flight at a variety of altitudes was accomplished over the extensive test site in August. Data analyses are not available at this time.

  8. Biosynthesis and Metabolic Fate of Phenylalanine in Conifers.

    PubMed

    Pascual, María B; El-Azaz, Jorge; de la Torre, Fernando N; Cañas, Rafael A; Avila, Concepción; Cánovas, Francisco M

    2016-01-01

    The amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) is a critical metabolic node that plays an essential role in the interconnection between primary and secondary metabolism in plants. Phe is used as a protein building block but it is also as a precursor for numerous plant compounds that are crucial for plant reproduction, growth, development, and defense against different types of stresses. The metabolism of Phe plays a central role in the channeling of carbon from photosynthesis to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids. The study of this metabolic pathway is particularly relevant in trees, which divert large amounts of carbon into the biosynthesis of Phe-derived compounds, particularly lignin, an important constituent of wood. The trunks of trees are metabolic sinks that consume a considerable percentage of carbon and energy from photosynthesis, and carbon is finally immobilized in wood. This paper reviews recent advances in the biosynthesis and metabolic utilization of Phe in conifer trees. Two alternative routes have been identified: the ancient phenylpyruvate pathway that is present in microorganisms, and the arogenate pathway that possibly evolved later during plant evolution. Additionally, an efficient nitrogen recycling mechanism is required to maintain sustained growth during xylem formation. The relevance of phenylalanine metabolic pathways in wood formation, the biotic interactions, and ultraviolet protection is discussed. The genetic manipulation and transcriptional regulation of the pathways are also outlined. PMID:27468292

  9. Conifer flavonoid compounds inhibit detoxification enzymes and synergize insecticides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiling; Zhao, Zhong; Cheng, Xiaofei; Liu, Suqi; Wei, Qin; Scott, Ian M

    2016-02-01

    Detoxification by glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) and esterases are important mechanisms associated with insecticide resistance. Discovery of novel GST and esterase inhibitors from phytochemicals could provide potential new insecticide synergists. Conifer tree species contain flavonoids, such as taxifolin, that inhibit in vitro GST activity. The objectives were to test the relative effectiveness of taxifolin as an enzyme inhibitor and as an insecticide synergist in combination with the organophosphorous insecticide, Guthion (50% azinphos-methyl), and the botanical insecticide, pyrethrum, using an insecticide-resistant Colorado potato beetle (CPB) Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) strain. Both taxifolin and its isomer, quercetin, increased the mortality of 1(st) instar CPB larvae after 48h when combined with Guthion, but not pyrethrum. Taxifolin had greater in vitro esterase inhibition compared with the commonly used esterase inhibitor, S, S, S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate (DEF). An in vivo esterase and GST inhibition effect after ingestion of taxifolin was measured, however DEF caused a greater suppression of esterase activity. This study demonstrated that flavonoid compounds have both in vitro and in vivo esterase inhibition, which is likely responsible for the insecticide synergism observed in insecticide-resistant CPB. PMID:26821651

  10. Complete tylosis formation in a latest Permian conifer stem

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Zhuo; Wang, Jun; Rößler, Ronny; Kerp, Hans; Wei, Hai-Bo

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Our knowledge of tylosis formation is mainly based on observations of extant plants; however, its developmental and functional significance are less well understood in fossil plants. This study, for the first time, describes a complete tylosis formation in a fossil woody conifer and discusses its ecophysiological implications. Methods The permineralized stem of Shenoxylon mirabile was collected from the upper Permian (Changhsingian) Sunjiagou Formation of Shitanjing coalfield, northern China. Samples from different portions of the stem were prepared by using the standard thin-sectioning technique and studied in transmitted light. Key Results The outgrowth of ray parenchyma cells protruded into adjacent tracheids through pits initially forming small pyriform or balloon-shaped structures, which became globular or slightly elongated when they reached their maximum size. The tracheid luminae were gradually occluded by densely spaced tyloses. The host tracheids are arranged in distinct concentric zones representing different growth phases of tylosis formation within a single growth ring. Conclusions The extensive development of tyloses from the innermost heartwood (metaxylem) tracheids to the outermost sapwood tracheids suggests that the plant was highly vulnerable and reacted strongly to environmental stress. Based on the evidence available, the tyloses were probably not produced in response to wound reaction or pathogenic infection, since evidence of wood traumatic events or fungal invasion are not recognizable. Rather, they may represent an ecophysiological response to the constant environmental stimuli. PMID:23532049

  11. The Earliest Evidence of Holometabolan Insect Pupation in Conifer Wood

    PubMed Central

    Tapanila, Leif; Roberts, Eric M.

    2012-01-01

    Background The pre-Jurassic record of terrestrial wood borings is poorly resolved, despite body fossil evidence of insect diversification among xylophilic clades starting in the late Paleozoic. Detailed analysis of borings in petrified wood provides direct evidence of wood utilization by invertebrate animals, which typically comprises feeding behaviors. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe a U-shaped boring in petrified wood from the Late Triassic Chinle Formation of southern Utah that demonstrates a strong linkage between insect ontogeny and conifer wood resources. Xylokrypta durossi new ichnogenus and ichnospecies is a large excavation in wood that is backfilled with partially digested xylem, creating a secluded chamber. The tracemaker exited the chamber by way of a small vertical shaft. This sequence of behaviors is most consistent with the entrance of a larva followed by pupal quiescence and adult emergence — hallmarks of holometabolous insect ontogeny. Among the known body fossil record of Triassic insects, cupedid beetles (Coleoptera: Archostemata) are deemed the most plausible tracemakers of Xylokrypta, based on their body size and modern xylobiotic lifestyle. Conclusions/Significance This oldest record of pupation in fossil wood provides an alternative interpretation to borings once regarded as evidence for Triassic bees. Instead Xylokrypta suggests that early archostematan beetles were leaders in exploiting wood substrates well before modern clades of xylophages arose in the late Mesozoic. PMID:22355387

  12. Detection of aspen/conifer forest mixes from multitemporal LANDSAT digital data. [Bear River Range, Rocky Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merola, J. A.; Jaynes, R. A.; Harniss, R. O.

    1983-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using LANDSAT multispectral scanner (MSS) data. The digital MSS data were utilized to devise quantitative indices which correlate with apparently stable and seral aspen forests. The extent to which a two-date LANDSAT MSS analysis may permit the delineation of different categories of aspen/conifer forest mix was explored. Multitemporal analyses of MSS data led to the identification of early, early to mid, mid to late, and late seral stages of aspen/conifer forest mixing.

  13. Mediterranean climate effects. I. Conifer water use across a Sierra Nevada ecotone.

    PubMed

    Royce, E B; Barbour, M G

    2001-05-01

    Xylem water potential of the midelevation conifers Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Abies concolor, and Calocedrus decurrens, the higher elevation Pinus monticola and Abies magnifica, and co-occurring evergreen angiosperm shrubs, together with soil moisture under these plants, were monitored at three sites on the Kern Plateau in the southernmost Sierra Nevada Range of California. Site locations spanned the ecotone between the mid- and upper montane forests at elevations of 2230-2820 m. Measurements were made through a low-snowfall year and a heavy-snowfall year.In the Mediterranean climate of the Sierra Nevada, the heavy winter snowpack persists into late spring, after precipitation has effectively stopped. We found the subsequent depletion of soil moisture due to plant water uptake to result in predawn xylem water potentials for conifers more negative by 0.6-1.4 MPa than those for shrubs or inferred soil potentials. Shrubs generally depleted soil moisture more rapidly and ultimately extracted a greater fraction of the available soil moisture than did the conifers. This depletion of soil moisture by shrubs, particularly Arctostaphylos patula, may limit conifer growth and regeneration by prematurely terminating growth on the shallow soils studied. The conifers all generally showed similar patterns of soil moisture use, except that A. magnifica extracted moisture more rapidly early in the season. PMID:11353716

  14. Machine vision system for measuring conifer seedling morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigney, Michael P.; Kranzler, Glenn A.

    1995-01-01

    A PC-based machine vision system providing rapid measurement of bare-root tree seedling morphological features has been designed. The system uses backlighting and a 2048-pixel line- scan camera to acquire images with transverse resolutions as high as 0.05 mm for precise measurement of stem diameter. Individual seedlings are manually loaded on a conveyor belt and inspected by the vision system in less than 0.25 seconds. Designed for quality control and morphological data acquisition by nursery personnel, the system provides a user-friendly, menu-driven graphical interface. The system automatically locates the seedling root collar and measures stem diameter, shoot height, sturdiness ratio, root mass length, projected shoot and root area, shoot-root area ratio, and percent fine roots. Sample statistics are computed for each measured feature. Measurements for each seedling may be stored for later analysis. Feature measurements may be compared with multi-class quality criteria to determine sample quality or to perform multi-class sorting. Statistical summary and classification reports may be printed to facilitate the communication of quality concerns with grading personnel. Tests were conducted at a commercial forest nursery to evaluate measurement precision. Four quality control personnel measured root collar diameter, stem height, and root mass length on each of 200 conifer seedlings. The same seedlings were inspected four times by the machine vision system. Machine stem diameter measurement precision was four times greater than that of manual measurements. Machine and manual measurements had comparable precision for shoot height and root mass length.

  15. Estimating terpene and terpenoid emissions from conifer oleoresin composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, Rosa M.; Doskey, Paul V.

    2015-07-01

    The following algorithm, which is based on the thermodynamics of nonelectrolyte partitioning, was developed to predict emission rates of terpenes and terpenoids from specific storage sites in conifers: Ei =xoriγoripi∘ where Ei is the emission rate (μg C gdw-1 h-1) and pi∘ is the vapor pressure (mm Hg) of the pure liquid terpene or terpenoid, respectively, and xori and γori are the mole fraction and activity coefficient (on a Raoult's law convention), respectively, of the terpene and terpenoid in the oleoresin. Activity coefficients are calculated with Hansen solubility parameters that account for dispersive, polar, and H-bonding interactions of the solutes with the oleoresin matrix. Estimates of pi∘ at 25 °C and molar enthalpies of vaporization are made with the SIMPOL.1 method and are used to estimate pi∘ at environmentally relevant temperatures. Estimated mixing ratios of terpenes and terpenols were comparatively higher above resin-acid- and monoterpene-rich oleoresins, respectively. The results indicated a greater affinity of terpenes and terpenols for the non-functionalized and carboxylic acid containing matrix through dispersive and H-bonding interactions, which are expressed in the emission algorithm by the activity coefficient. The correlation between measured emission rates of terpenes and terpenoids for Pinus strobus and emission rates predicted with the algorithm were very good (R = 0.95). Standard errors for the range and average of monoterpene emission rates were ±6 - ±86% and ±54%, respectively, and were similar in magnitude to reported standard deviations of monoterpene composition of foliar oils (±38 - ±51% and ±67%, respectively).

  16. Simulation of growth of Adirondack conifers in relation to global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Y.; Raynal, D.J. )

    1993-06-01

    Several conifer species grown in plantations in the southeastern Adirondack mountains of New York were chosen to model tree growth. In the models, annual xylem growth was decomposed into several components that reflect various intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Growth signals indicative of climatic effects were used to construct response functions using both multivariate analysis and Kalman filter methods. Two models were used to simulate tree growth response to future CO[sub 2]-induced climate change projected by GCMs. The comparable results of both models indicate that different conifer species have individualistic growth responses to future climatic change. The response behaviors of trees are affected greatly by local stand conditions. The results suggest possible changes in future growth and distributions of naturally occurring conifers in this region.

  17. Infrared radiation from hot cones on cool conifers attracts seed-feeding insects

    PubMed Central

    Takács, Stephen; Bottomley, Hannah; Andreller, Iisak; Zaradnik, Tracy; Schwarz, Joseph; Bennett, Robb; Strong, Ward; Gries, Gerhard

    2008-01-01

    Foraging animals use diverse cues to locate resources. Common foraging cues have visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile or gustatory characteristics. Here, we show a foraging herbivore using infrared (IR) radiation from living plants as a host-finding cue. We present data revealing that (i) conifer cones are warmer and emit more near-, mid- and long-range IR radiation than needles, (ii) cone-feeding western conifer seed bugs, Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hemiptera: Coreidae), possess IR receptive organs and orient towards experimental IR cues, and (iii) occlusion of the insects' IR receptors impairs IR perception. The conifers' cost of attracting cone-feeding insects may be offset by occasional mast seeding resulting in cone crops too large to be effectively exploited by herbivores. PMID:18945664

  18. The problem of conifer species migration lag in the Pacific Northwest region since the last glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Scott A.

    2013-10-01

    Multiproxy evidence indicates that warmer-than-present summers became established in Eastern Beringia as early as 14,000-13,000 years ago, but the dispersal of spruces, pines, cedars and hemlocks across the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of southern Alaska did not begin until at least 1500 years afterwards, and took many thousands of years to be completed. There are many potential reasons for this slow spread of PNW conifers towards their modern range limits. The absence of mycorrhizae in the soils of southern Alaska may have slowed conifer establishment. The availability of soil moisture was another limiting factor. With the exception of Pinus contorta, the other PNW conifers become established most readily from seeds that fall on moist, shaded substrates, thus they are not good pioneering species. Competition with alder and birch played an important role, especially along Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula. Alder or alder and birch dominated these regions until the mid- to late Holocene. The other key element for most PNW conifer species is the precipitation regime. The hemlocks, cedars and Sitka spruce are not drought-hardy. So although the PNW temperature regime may have been warm enough in early postglacial times to support the growth of PNW conifers, it was probably too dry for them to successfully become established in new regions. The conflation of these environmental factors limits our present understanding of the problem, but the recent trend of multi-proxy analysis in Quaternary paleoecology will certainly sharpen our reconstructions. Such proxies as conifer needle stomata and insect fossil remains hold significant promise.

  19. Three centuries of managing introduced conifers in South Africa: Benefits, impacts, changing perceptions and conflict resolution.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, Brian W; Richardson, David M

    2012-09-15

    Alien conifers, mainly pines, have been planted in South Africa for a range of purposes for over 300 years. Formal plantations cover 660,000 ha of the country, and invasive stands of varying density occur on a further 2.9 million ha. These trees have brought many benefits but have also caused unintended problems. The management of alien conifers has evolved in response to emerging problems such as excessive water use by plantations of conifers, changing values and markets, and the realities of a new ecological order brought about by invasive alien conifers. This paper reviews the history of conifer introductions to South Africa, the benefits and impacts with which they are associated, and the ongoing and evolving research that has been conducted to inform their management. The South African approach has included taking courageous steps to address the problem of highly invasive species that are also an important commercial crop. These interventions have not, however, had the desired effect of both retaining benefits from formal plantations while simultaneously reversing the trend of growing impacts associated with self-sown invasive stands. We suggest that different approaches need to be considered, including the systematic phasing out of commercial forestry in zones where it delivers low returns, and the introduction of more effective, focussed and integrated, region-specific approaches to the management of invasive stands of conifers. These steps would deliver much improved economic outcomes by protecting valuable ecosystem services, but will require political commitment to policies that could be unpopular in certain sectors of society. PMID:22562012

  20. Detection of aspen-conifer forest mixes from LANDSAT digital data. [Utah-Idaho Bear River Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaynes, R. A.; Merola, J. A.

    1982-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using LANDSAT multispectral scanner data. Digital classification and statistical analysis of LANDSAT data allowed the identification of six groups of signatures which reflect different types of aspen/conifer forest mixing. Photo interpretations of the print symbols suggest that such classes are indicative of mid to late seral aspen forests. Digital print map overlays and acreage calculations were prepared for the study area quadrangles. Further field verification is needed to acquire additional information about the nature of the forests. Single date LANDSAT analysis should be a cost effective means to index aspen forests which are at least in the mid seral phase of conifer invasion. Since aspen canopies tend to obscure understory conifers for early seral forests, a second date analysis, using data taken when aspens are leafless, could provide information about early seral aspen forests.

  1. Detection of aspen/conifer forest mixes from multitemporal Landsat digital data. [Utah-Idaho Bear River Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merola, J. A.; Jaynes, R. A.; Harniss, R. O.

    1984-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using Landsat multispectral scanner data. Digital classification and statistical analysis of Landsat data allowed the identification of six groups of signatures which reflect different types of aspen/conifer forest mixing. Photo interpretations of the print symbols suggest that such classes are indicative of mid to late seral aspen forests. Digital print map overlayes and acreage calculations were prepared for the study area quadrangles. Further field verification is needed to acquire additional information about the nature of the forests. Single data Landsat analysis should be a cost effective means to index aspen forests which are at least in the mid seral phase of conifer invasion. Since aspen canopies tend to obscure understory conifers for early seral forests, a second data analysis, using data taken when aspens are leafless, could provide information about early seral aspen forests.

  2. Assessing Conifer Ray Parenchyma for Ecological Studies: Pitfalls and Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Arzac, Alberto; Olano, José M.; Fonti, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    provided the least accurate PERPAR estimates. This evaluation of ray parenchyma in conifers and the presented guidelines regarding data accuracy as a function of measured wood surface and number of samples represent an important methodological reference for ray quantification, which will ultimately improve the understanding of the fundamental role of ray parenchyma tissue for the performance and survival of trees growing in stressed environments. PMID:26635842

  3. Diagenesis of conifer needles in a coastal marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedges, John I.; Weliky, K.

    1989-10-01

    (C/V) of the deepest sedimentary fir/hemlock needles to 20% of the original value and almost tripled the carbon-normalized yield of total vanillyl plus cinnamyl phenols (Λ). The net result of these compositional variations was to make the lignin component of the buried conifer needles resemble lignin in gymnosperm wood, thereby leading to underestimates of needle input and mass.

  4. Bird communities associated with succession and management of lowland conifer forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, D.K.

    1979-01-01

    Data from published bird censuses were used to determine changes in avian communities in relation to plant succession, fire, type conversion, and timber management practices in lowland conifer forests in the northeastern United States. With modifications in current logging practices, habitat for the bird species that nest in undisturbed stands can be provided. Management guidelines are recommended.

  5. Antifungal activity of extracts and select compounds in heartwood of seven western conifers toward Phytophthora ramorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Individual compounds and ethyl acetate extracts from heartwood of seven conifer species were tested for fungicidal activity against Phytophthora ramorum. Extracts from incense and western red cedar exhibited the strongest activity (EC50 589 and 646 ppm, respectively), yellow-cedar, western juniper,...

  6. Specific and sensitive detection of the conifer pathogen Gremmeniella abietina by nested PCR

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Qing-Yin; Hansson, Per; Wang, Xiao-Ru

    2005-01-01

    Background Gremmeniella abietina (Lagerb.) Morelet is an ascomycete fungus that causes stem canker and shoot dieback in many conifer species. The fungus is widespread and causes severe damage to forest plantations in Europe, North America and Asia. To facilitate early diagnosis and improve measures to control the spread of the disease, rapid, specific and sensitive detection methods for G. abietina in conifer hosts are needed. Results We designed two pairs of specific primers for G. abietina based on the 18S rDNA sequence variation pattern. These primers were validated against a wide range of fungi and 14 potential conifer hosts. Based on these specific primers, two nested PCR systems were developed. The first system employed universal fungal primers to enrich the fungal DNA targets in the first round, followed by a second round selective amplification of the pathogen. The other system employed G. abietina-specific primers in both PCR steps. Both approaches can detect the presence of G. abietina in composite samples with high sensitivity, as little as 7.5 fg G. abietina DNA in the host genomic background. Conclusion The methods described here are rapid and can be applied directly to a wide range of conifer species, without the need for fungal isolation and cultivation. Therefore, it represents a promising alternative to disease inspection in forest nurseries, plantations and quarantine control facilities. PMID:16280082

  7. NUTRIENT LEACHING FROM CONIFER NEEDLES IN RELATION TO FOLIAR APOPLAST CATION EXCHANGE CAPACITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Limited evidence to date suggests that acidic precipitation promotes leaching of nutrient cations from conifer foliage. n order to evaluate the relative contribution of the apoplast cation exchange complex and symplast nutrient pools to the leached ions, the magnitude of potentia...

  8. Response of conifer-encroached shrublands in the Great Basin to prescribed fire and mechanical treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to the recent expansion of piñon and juniper woodlands into sagebrush steppe communities in the northern Great Basin region, numerous conifer removal projects have been implemented at sites having a wide range of environmental conditions. Response has varied from successful restoration t...

  9. The sage-grouse habitat mortgage: effective conifer management in space and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management of conservation-reliant species can be complicated by the need to manage ecosystem processes that operate at extended temporal horizons. One such process is the role of fire in regulating abundance of expanding conifers that disrupt sage-grouse habitat in the northern Great Basin of the ...

  10. PHOTOCHEMICAL OXIDANT AIR POLLUTION EFFECTS ON A MIXED CONIFER FOREST ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA contract 68-03-2442 provided support for three years of the studies to determine the chronic effects of photochemical oxidant air pollutants on a western mixed conifer forest ecosystem. This report deals with the year 1976-77 and is the final publication on EPA contract 68-03...

  11. In vivo 13C NMR metabolite profiling: potential for understanding and assessing conifer seed quality.

    PubMed

    Terskikh, Victor V; Feurtado, J Allan; Borchardt, Shane; Giblin, Michael; Abrams, Suzanne R; Kermode, Allison R

    2005-08-01

    High-resolution 13C MAS NMR spectroscopy was used to profile a range of primary and secondary metabolites in vivo in intact whole seeds of eight different conifer species native to North America, including six of the Pinaceae family and two of the Cupressaceae family. In vivo 13C NMR provided information on the total seed oil content and fatty acid composition of the major storage lipids in a non-destructive manner. In addition, a number of monoterpenes were identified in the 13C NMR spectra of conifer seeds containing oleoresin; these compounds showed marked variability in individual seeds of Pacific silver fir within the same seed lot. In imbibed conifer seeds, the 13C NMR spectra showed the presence of considerable amounts of dissolved sucrose presumed to play a protective role in the desiccation-tolerance of seeds. The free amino acids arginine and asparagine, generated as a result of storage protein mobilization, were detected in vivo during seed germination and early seedling growth. The potential for NMR to profile metabolites in a non-destructive manner in single conifer seeds and seed populations is discussed. It is a powerful tool to evaluate seed quality because of its ability to assess reserve accumulation during seed development or at seed maturity; it can also be used to monitor reserve mobilization, which is critical for seedling emergence. PMID:15996983

  12. Seedlings of temperate rainforest conifer and angiosperm trees differ in leaf area display

    PubMed Central

    Lusk, Christopher H.; Pérez-Millaqueo, Manuel M.; Saldaña, Alfredo; Burns, Bruce R.; Laughlin, Daniel C.; Falster, Daniel S.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The contemporary relegation of conifers mainly to cold or infertile sites has been ascribed to low competitive ability, as a result of the hydraulic inefficiency of tracheids and their seedlings' initial dependence on small foliage areas. Here it is hypothesized that, in temperate rainforests, the larger leaves of angiosperms also reduce self-shading and thus enable display of larger effective foliage areas than the numerous small leaves of conifers. Methods This hypothesis was tested using 3-D modelling of plant architecture and structural equation modelling to compare self-shading and light interception potential of seedlings of six conifers and 12 angiosperm trees from temperate rainforests. The ratio of displayed leaf area to plant mass (LARd) was used to indicate plant light interception potential: LARd is the product of specific leaf area, leaf mass fraction, self-shading and leaf angle. Results Angiosperm seedlings self-shaded less than conifers, mainly because of differences in leaf number (more than leaf size), and on average their LARd was about twice that of conifers. Although specific leaf area was the most pervasive influence on LARd, differences in self-shading also significantly influenced LARd of large seedlings. Conclusions The ability to deploy foliage in relatively few, large leaves is advantageous in minimizing self-shading and enhancing seedling light interception potential per unit of plant biomass. This study adds significantly to evidence that vegetative traits may be at least as important as reproductive innovations in explaining the success of angiosperms in productive environments where vegetation is structured by light competition. PMID:22585929

  13. Leaf wax composition and carbon isotopes vary among major conifer groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diefendorf, Aaron F.; Leslie, Andrew B.; Wing, Scott L.

    2015-12-01

    Leaf waxes (e.g. n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids) and their carbon isotopes (δ13C) are commonly used to track past changes in the carbon cycle, water availability, and plant ecophysiology. Previous studies indicated that conifers have lower n-alkane concentrations than angiosperms and that 13C fractionation during n-alkane synthesis (εn-alkane) is smaller than in angiosperms. These prior studies, however, sampled a limited phylogenetic and geographic subset of conifers, leaving out many important subtropical and Southern Hemisphere groups that were once widespread and common components of fossil assemblages. To expand on previous work, we collected 43 conifer species (and Ginkgo biloba) from the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, sampling all extant conifer families and almost two-thirds of extant genera. We find that Pinaceae, including many North American species used in previous studies, have very low or no n-alkanes. However, other conifer groups have significant concentrations of n-alkanes, especially Southern Hemisphere Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae (monkey puzzles, Norfolk Island pines, and yellowwoods), and many species of Cupressaceae (junipers and relatives). Within the Cupressaceae, we find total n-alkane concentrations are high in subfamilies Cupressoideae and Callitroideae, but significantly lower in the early diverging taxodioid lineages (including bald cypress and redwood). Individual n-alkane chain lengths have a weak phylogenetic signal, except for n-C29 alkane, but when combined using average chain length (ACL), a strong phylogenetic signal emerges. The strong phylogenetic signal in ACL, observed in the context of a common growth environment for all plants we sampled, suggests that ACL is strongly influenced by factors other than climate. An analysis of εn-alkane indicates a strong phylogenetic signal in which the smallest biosynthetic fractionation occurs in Pinaceae and the largest in Taxaceae (yews and relatives). The

  14. IDENTIFICATION AND EMISSION FACTORS OF MOLECULAR TRACERS IN ORGANIC AEROSOLS FROM BIOMASS BURNING PART 1. TEMPERATE CLIMATE CONIFERS. (R823990)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Smoke particulate matter from conifers subjected to controlled burning, both under smoldering and flaming conditions, was sampled by high volume air filtration on precleaned quartz fiber filters. The filtered particles were extracted with dichloromethane and the crude extracts...

  15. A comparative field study of growth and survival of Sierran conifer seedlings

    SciTech Connect

    Kern, R.A.

    1996-12-31

    This study is a comparison of seedling growth and survival of seven species of conifers that make up the mid-elevation Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest--Abies concolor, Abies magnifica, Calocedrus decurrens, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Pinus ponderosa, and Sequoiadendron giganteum. The field experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that seedling demography is affected by the study species` relatively shade and drought tolerances. Six discrete treatments were created in the first experiment by using three elevations (1,600 m, 1,900, m, and 2,200 m) and two natural light levels (closed canopy shade and open gap sun) at each elevation. One or two-year old seedlings were planted in the ground in replicate plots in each treatment and followed for two growing seasons. Four responses were analyzed--survival, height growth, diameter growth, and mass growth (total mass as well as root mass and shoot mass separately).

  16. A Water Budget Approach to Study the Hydrologic Response of Mountain Meadow Restoration Following Conifer Removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Oosbree, G. F.; Surfleet, C. G.; Jasbinsek, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    Mountain meadows are important ecological habitats that have degraded in quality and distribution due to fire suppression and poor land use practices in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Conifer encroachment in mountain meadows has accelerated and is one of the reasons for the decline of meadow habitat. To date there are few studies which quantify the hydrologic response of meadow restoration due to vegetation or conifer removal. This study is using a before after control intervention (BACI) study design to determine the hydrologic response of restoration to a historic meadow encroached by conifers (study meadow). A water budget approach has been developed to quantify the hydrology of the control and study meadow before and after restoration. Measurements of groundwater depth and soil moisture are currently being taken on the control and study meadows. A total of 14 Odyssey water level capacitance instruments were installed to a 1.5 meter depth and 14 soil moisture instruments were installed to a 30 cm depth using a spatially balanced random sampling approach. Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) was used to determine soil moisture and depth to groundwater across forest-meadow ecotones present on the meadows. Additionally, ERI was used to extrapolate point measurements of groundwater depth and soil moisture across the study and control areas. The weekly water budget indicates differences between the control meadow and study meadow in the first year prior to conifer removal. The ERI indicated differences in sub surface geology, soil moisture, and groundwater depth both between the control and study meadows and along the forest-meadow ecotones. ERI was demonstrated to improve the spatial extrapolation of soil moisture and groundwater point measurements.

  17. Fine root dynamics and forest production across a calcium gradient in northern hardwood and conifer ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Park, B.B.; Yanai, R.D.; Fahey, T.J.; Bailey, S.W.; Siccama, T.G.; Shanley, J.B.; Cleavitt, N.L.

    2008-01-01

    Losses of soil base cations due to acid rain have been implicated in declines of red spruce and sugar maple in the northeastern USA. We studied fine root and aboveground biomass and production in five northern hardwood and three conifer stands differing in soil Ca status at Sleepers River, VT; Hubbard Brook, NH; and Cone Pond, NH. Neither aboveground biomass and production nor belowground biomass were related to soil Ca or Ca:Al ratios across this gradient. Hardwood stands had 37% higher aboveground biomass (P = 0.03) and 44% higher leaf litter production (P < 0.01) than the conifer stands, on average. Fine root biomass (<2 mm in diameter) in the upper 35 cm of the soil, including the forest floor, was very similar in hardwoods and conifers (5.92 and 5.93 Mg ha-1). The turnover coefficient (TC) of fine roots smaller than 1 mm ranged from 0.62 to 1.86 y-1 and increased significantly with soil exchangeable Ca (P = 0.03). As a result, calculated fine root production was clearly higher in sites with higher soil Ca (P = 0.02). Fine root production (biomass times turnover) ranged from 1.2 to 3.7 Mg ha-1 y-1 for hardwood stands and from 0.9 to 2.3 Mg ha-1 y -1 for conifer stands. The relationship we observed between soil Ca availability and root production suggests that cation depletion might lead to reduced carbon allocation to roots in these ecosystems. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  18. The heterogeneous levels of linkage disequilibrium in white spruce genes and comparative analysis with other conifers.

    PubMed

    Pavy, N; Namroud, M-C; Gagnon, F; Isabel, N; Bousquet, J

    2012-03-01

    In plants, knowledge about linkage disequilibrium (LD) is relevant for the design of efficient single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays in relation to their use in population and association genomics studies. Previous studies of conifer genes have shown LD to decay rapidly within gene limits, but exceptions have been reported. To evaluate the extent of heterogeneity of LD among conifer genes and its potential causes, we examined LD in 105 genes of white spruce (Picea glauca) by sequencing a panel of 48 haploid megagametophytes from natural populations and further compared it with LD in other conifer species. The average pairwise r(2) value was 0.19 (s.d.=0.19), and LD dropped quickly with a half-decay being reached at a distance of 65 nucleotides between sites. However, LD was significantly heterogeneous among genes. A first group of 29 genes had stronger LD (mean r(2)=0.28), and a second group of 38 genes had weaker LD (mean r(2)=0.12). While a strong relationship was found with the recombination rate, there was no obvious relationship between LD and functional classification. The level of nucleotide diversity, which was highly heterogeneous across genes, was also not significantly correlated with LD. A search for selection signatures highlighted significant deviations from the standard neutral model, which could be mostly attributed to recent demographic changes. Little evidence was seen for hitchhiking and clear relationships with LD. When compared among conifer species, on average, levels of LD were similar in genes from white spruce, Norway spruce and Scots pine, whereas loblolly pine and Douglas fir genes exhibited a significantly higher LD. PMID:21897435

  19. Agroforestry: Conifers. (Latest citations from the Cab Abstracts database). NewSearch

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-10-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of lands forested with conifers for crop and livestock production. Citations cover the grazing of livestock and the production of crops, including tomatoes, soybeans, lespedeza, wheat, rape, taro, cotton, cabbages, ginger, watermelons, and strawberries. Livestock discussed include cattle, sheep, geese, and horses. Economic analyses and economic models are presented. (Contains a minimum of 147 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  20. Cone selection by Eurasian red squirrels in mixed conifer forests in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molinari, A.; Wauters, L. A.; Airoldi, G.; Cerinotti, F.; Martinoli, A.; Tosi, G.

    2006-07-01

    Tree squirrels are arboreal granivores that harvest and consume tree seeds both prior to and after seed-dispersal. Inter- and intraspecific patterns of seed predation suggest that squirrels may exert strong selective pressure on cone morphology and patterns of cone production, and suggest coevolutionary interactions between squirrels and conifers. In some pine species (genus Pinus), mutualistic relationships have evolved between cone (seed) traits and seed-dispersal behaviour by birds and rodents. In other species, feeding by seed predators has selected for cone traits that decrease intensity of seed consumption. In mixed conifer forests, red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) feed intensively in some (target) trees but avoid others (nontarget trees). Here we explore defensive cone traits and seed traits correlated with tree selection for conifer species with different seed-dispersal strategies. No selection for cone traits existed in Pinus cembra, which has large wingless seeds, dispersed by birds and rodents. In Picea abies, the most favoured species, target trees had cones with more seeds per cone than nontarget trees, and number of seeds increased with cone length. Cone selection was most pronounced in Pinus sylvestris, where target trees had bigger cones with more seeds and higher total seed mass than nontarget trees. However, ratio of seed mass on cone mass did not differ among target and nontarget trees, suggesting that bigger cones also had more protective tissue, probably increasing difficulties for seed predators to gain access to seeds. Our results suggest that cone and seed traits of P. cembra facilitate seed consumption by squirrels, but that defensive cone traits of small-seeded conifers, in combination with annual differences in seed production (masting), might be the result of coevolution with seed-eating squirrels.

  1. Electrodeposited Nanolaminated CoNiFe Cores for Ultracompact DC-DC Power Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, J; Kim, M; Herrault, F; Park, JY; Allen, MG

    2015-09-01

    Laminated metallic alloy cores (i.e., alternating layers of thin film metallic alloy and insulating material) of appropriate lamination thickness enable suppression of eddy current losses at high frequencies. Magnetic cores comprised of many such laminations yield substantial overall magnetic volume, thereby enabling high-power operation. Previously, we reported nanolaminated permalloy (Ni-80 Fe-20) cores based on a sequential electrodeposition technique, demonstrating negligible eddy current losses at peak flux densities up to 0.5 T and operating at megahertz frequencies. This paper demonstrates improved performance of nanolaminated cores comprising tens to hundreds of layers of 300-500-nm-thick CoNiFe films that exhibit superior magnetic properties (e.g., higher saturation flux density and lower coercivity) than permalloy. Nanolaminated CoNiFe cores can be operated up to a peak flux density of 0.9 T, demonstrating improved power handling capacity and exhibiting 30% reduced volumetric core loss, attributed to lowered hysteresis losses compared to the nanolaminated permalloy core of the same geometry. Operating these cores in a buck dc-dc power converter at a switching frequency of 1 MHz, the nanolaminated CoNiFe cores achieved a conversion efficiency exceeding 90% at output power levels up to 7 W, compared to an achieved permalloy core conversion efficiency below 86% at 6 W.

  2. An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of Penelope-Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xuan; Faridi, Nurul; Casola, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Comparative genomics analyses empowered by the wealth of sequenced genomes have revealed numerous instances of horizontal DNA transfers between distantly related species. In eukaryotes, repetitive DNA sequences known as transposable elements (TEs) are especially prone to move across species boundaries. Such horizontal transposon transfers, or HTTs, are relatively common within major eukaryotic kingdoms, including animals, plants, and fungi, while rarely occurring across these kingdoms. Here, we describe the first case of HTT from animals to plants, involving TEs known as Penelope-like elements, or PLEs, a group of retrotransposons closely related to eukaryotic telomerases. Using a combination of in situ hybridization on chromosomes, polymerase chain reaction experiments, and computational analyses we show that the predominant PLE lineage, EN(+)PLEs, is highly diversified in loblolly pine and other conifers, but appears to be absent in other gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of both protein and DNA sequences reveal that conifers EN(+)PLEs, or Dryads, form a monophyletic group clustering within a clade of primarily arthropod elements. Additionally, no EN(+)PLEs were detected in 1,928 genome assemblies from 1,029 nonmetazoan and nonconifer genomes from 14 major eukaryotic lineages. These findings indicate that Dryads emerged following an ancient horizontal transfer of EN(+)PLEs from arthropods to a common ancestor of conifers approximately 340 Ma. This represents one of the oldest known interspecific transmissions of TEs, and the most conspicuous case of DNA transfer between animals and plants. PMID:27190138

  3. Biomolecules preserved in ca. 168 million year old fossil conifer wood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marynowski, Leszek; Otto, Angelika; Zatoń, Michał; Philippe, Marc; Simoneit, Bernd R. T.

    2007-03-01

    Biomarkers are widely known to occur in the fossil record, but the unaltered biomolecules are rarely reported from sediments older than Paleogene. Polar terpenoids, the natural products most resistant to degradation processes, were reported mainly from the Tertiary conifers, and the oldest known are Cretaceous in age. In this paper, we report the occurrence of relatively high concentrations of ferruginol derivatives and other polar diterpenoids, as well as their diagenetic products, in a conifer wood Protopodocarpoxylon from the Middle Jurassic of Poland. Thus, the natural product terpenoids reported in this paper are definitely the oldest polar biomolecules detected in geological samples. The extracted phenolic abietanes like ferruginol and its derivatives (6,7-dehydroferruginol, sugiol, 11,14-dioxopisiferic acid) are produced only by distinct conifer families (Cupressaceae s. l., Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae), to which Protopodocarpoxylon could belong based on anatomical characteristics. Therefore, the natural product terpenoids are of great advantage in systematics of fossil plant remains older than Paleogene and lacking suitable anatomical preservation.

  4. The photochemical reflectance index provides an optical indicator of spring photosynthetic activation in evergreen conifers.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christopher Y S; Gamon, John A

    2015-04-01

    In evergreens, the seasonal down-regulation and reactivation of photosynthesis is largely invisible and difficult to assess with remote sensing. This invisible phenology may be changing as a result of climate change. To better understand the mechanism and timing of these hidden physiological transitions, we explored several assays and optical indicators of spring photosynthetic activation in conifers exposed to a boreal climate. The photochemical reflectance index (PRI), chlorophyll fluorescence, and leaf pigments for evergreen conifer seedlings were monitored over 1 yr of a boreal climate with the addition of gas exchange during the spring. PRI, electron transport rate, pigment levels, light-use efficiency and photosynthesis all exhibited striking seasonal changes, with varying kinetics and strengths of correlation, which were used to evaluate the mechanisms and timing of spring activation. PRI and pigment pools were closely timed with photosynthetic reactivation measured by gas exchange. The PRI provided a clear optical indicator of spring photosynthetic activation that was detectable at leaf and stand scales in conifers. We propose that PRI might provide a useful metric of effective growing season length amenable to remote sensing and could improve remote-sensing-driven models of carbon uptake in evergreen ecosystems. PMID:25641209

  5. Biogeography of Pleistocene conifer species from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Dane M.; Miller, Ian M.; Jackson, Stephen T.

    2014-11-01

    Pleistocene biogeography of conifer species is poorly known in much of western North America. We conducted morphological studies on 201 conifer cones and cone fragments recovered from Pleistocene sediments at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (2705 m) near Snowmass Village, Colorado. The basin, formed ~ 155-130 ka, contains fossil-bearing lacustrine, palustrine, and colluvial sediments spanning approximately 85 ka. Using a suite of morphological characters, particularly cone-scale bracts, we differentiated species of Abies, Picea, and Pseudotsuga. All fossil Abies specimens were assignable based on bract morphology to Abies concolor, which is currently absent from central Colorado (nearest populations are 160 km southwest of the site). A. concolor occurs only in sediments of MIS 5d and 5c. Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea engelmannii cones occurred in sediments corresponding to MIS 5e, 5d, 5c, and 5a. A fourth conifer species, occurring in sediments of MIS 5e, 5d, 5c, and 5a, is difficult to assign to any extant species. Bract morphology is similar to Picea pungens, which grows near the site today, but scale morphology is unlike P. pungens. These fossils may represent ancestral P. pungens, an extinct variant, or an extinct sister species.

  6. An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of Penelope-Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xuan; Faridi, Nurul; Casola, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Comparative genomics analyses empowered by the wealth of sequenced genomes have revealed numerous instances of horizontal DNA transfers between distantly related species. In eukaryotes, repetitive DNA sequences known as transposable elements (TEs) are especially prone to move across species boundaries. Such horizontal transposon transfers, or HTTs, are relatively common within major eukaryotic kingdoms, including animals, plants, and fungi, while rarely occurring across these kingdoms. Here, we describe the first case of HTT from animals to plants, involving TEs known as Penelope-like elements, or PLEs, a group of retrotransposons closely related to eukaryotic telomerases. Using a combination of in situ hybridization on chromosomes, polymerase chain reaction experiments, and computational analyses we show that the predominant PLE lineage, EN(+)PLEs, is highly diversified in loblolly pine and other conifers, but appears to be absent in other gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of both protein and DNA sequences reveal that conifers EN(+)PLEs, or Dryads, form a monophyletic group clustering within a clade of primarily arthropod elements. Additionally, no EN(+)PLEs were detected in 1,928 genome assemblies from 1,029 nonmetazoan and nonconifer genomes from 14 major eukaryotic lineages. These findings indicate that Dryads emerged following an ancient horizontal transfer of EN(+)PLEs from arthropods to a common ancestor of conifers approximately 340 Ma. This represents one of the oldest known interspecific transmissions of TEs, and the most conspicuous case of DNA transfer between animals and plants. PMID:27190138

  7. A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers: A geochemical approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artur, Stankiewicz B.; Mastalerz, Maria; Kruge, M.A.; Van Bergen, P. F.; Sadowska, A.

    1997-01-01

    Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.

  8. Nuclear DNA content affects the productivity of conifer forests by altering hydraulic architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alday, Josu; Resco de Dios, Víctor

    2014-05-01

    Predictions of future global climate rely on feedbacks between terrestrial vegetation and the global carbon cycle, but the exact mechanisms underlying this relationship are still being discussed. One of the key knowledge gaps lies on the scaling of cellular processes to the ecosystem level. Here we examine whether an under-explored plant trait, inter-specific variation in the bulk amount of DNA in unreplicated somatic cells (2C DNA content), can explain inter-specific variation in the maximum productivity of conifer forests. We expected 2C DNA content to be negatively related to conifer productivity because: 1) it is positively correlated with cell volume (which, in turn, potentially affects structural features such as leaf mass area, a strong predictor of photosynthetic capacity); 2) it is positively correlated with stomatal size (with larger stomata leading to lower overall stomatal conductance and, by extension, lower CO2 uptake); and 3) larger genome sizes may reduce P availability in RNA (which has been hypothesized to slow growth). We present the results of regression and independent contrasts in different monospecific forests encompassing a 52º latitudinal gradient, each being dominated by 1 of 35 different conifer species. Contrary to expectations, we observed a positive correlation between genome size and maximum Gross Primary Productivity (R2 = 0.47) and also between genome size maximum tree height (R2 = 0.27). This correlation was apparently driven by the effects of genome size on stem hydraulics, since 2C DNA was positively correlated with wood density (R2 = 0.40) and also with resistance to cavitation (P50, R2 = 0.28). That is, increased genome sizes have a positive effect on the productivity of conifer forests by affecting the vascular tissues to increase their capacity for water transport. Our results shed a new light on the evolution of the vascular system of conifer forests and how they affect ecosystem productivity, and indicate the potential to

  9. Oviposition strategies of conifer seed chalcids in relation to host phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouault, Gaëlle; Turgeon, Jean; Candau, Jean-Noël; Roques, Alain; Aderkas, Patrick

    2004-10-01

    Insects are considered the most important predators of seed cones, the female reproductive structures of conifers, prior to seed dispersal. Slightly more than 100 genera of insects are known to parasitize conifer seed cones. The most diverse (i.e., number of species) of these genera is Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), which comprises many important seed pests of native and exotic conifers. Seed chalcids, Megastigmus spp., lay eggs inside the developing ovules of host conifers and, until recently, oviposition was believed to occur only in fertilized ovules. Ovule development begins just after pollination, but stops if cells are not fertilized. The morphological stage of cone development at the time of oviposition by seed chalcids has been established for many species; however, knowledge of ovule development at that time has been documented for only one species, M. spermotrophus. Megastigmus spermotrophus oviposits in Douglas-fir ovules after pollination but before fertilization. Unlike the unfertilized ovules, those containing a M. spermotrophus larva continue to develop, whether fertilized or not, stressing the need to broaden our understanding of the insect plant interactions for this entire genus. To achieve this task, we reviewed the scientific literature and assembled information pertaining to the timing of oviposition and to the pollination and fertilization periods of their respective host(s). More specifically, we were searching for circumstantial evidence that other species of Megastigmus associated with conifers could behave (i.e., oviposit before ovule fertilization) and impact on female gametophyte (i.e., prevent abortion) like M. spermotrophus. The evidence from our compilation suggests that seed chalcids infesting Pinaceae may also oviposit before ovule fertilization, just like M. spermotrophus, whereas those infesting Cupressaceae seemingly oviposit after ovule fertilization. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that all species of Megastigmus

  10. Some conifer clades contribute substantial amounts of leaf waxes to sedimentary archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diefendorf, A. F.; Wing, S. L.; Leslie, A. B.; Freeman, K. H.

    2014-12-01

    Leaf waxes (i.e. n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids) and their carbon isotopes (δ13C) are commonly used to track past changes in the carbon cycle or plant ecophysiology. Previous studies indicated that conifer n-alkane concentrations are lower than in angiosperms and that 13C fractionation during n-alkane synthesis (ɛlipid) is smaller than in angiosperms. These prior studies, however, sampled a limited phylogenetic and geographic subset of conifers, leaving out many important subtropical and Southern Hemisphere groups that were once widespread and common components of fossil assemblages. To expand on previous work, we collected 44 conifer species from the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, capturing all extant conifer families and most extant genera. By collecting all specimens at a common site we attempted to minimize the confounding effects of climate, allowing phylogenetic patterns in the δ13C of leaf waxes to be expressed more strongly. We find that Pinaceae, including many North American species used in previous studies, have very low or no n-alkanes. However, other conifer groups have significant concentrations of n-alkanes, especially the Araucariaceae (Norfolk Island pines), Podocarpaceae (common in the Southern Hemisphere), and many species of Cupressaceae (junipers and relatives). Within the Cupressaceae, we find total n-alkane concentrations are high in subfamilies Cupressoideae and Callitroideae, but significantly lower in the early diverging taxodioid lineages (including bald cypress and redwood). Individual n-alkane chain lengths have a weak phylogenetic signal, except for n-C29 alkane, but when combined using average chain length (ACL), a strong phylogenetic signal emerges. The strong phylogenetic signal in ACL reinforces that it is strongly influenced by factors other than climate. An analysis of ɛlipid indicates a strong phylogenetic signal in which the smallest biosynthetic fractionation occurs in Pinaceae and the largest in

  11. The enigma of effective pathlength for 18O enrichment in leaf water of conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roden, J. S.; Kahmen, A.; Buchmann, N. C.; Siegwolf, R. T.

    2013-12-01

    The stable isotopes of oxygen (δ18O) in tree ring cellulose provide valuable proxy information about past environments and climate. Mechanistic models have been used to clarify the important drivers of isotope fractionation and help interpret δ18O variation in tree rings. A critical component to these models is an estimate of leaf water enrichment. However, standard models seldom accurately predict 18O enrichment in conifer needles and Péclet corrections often require effective pathlengths (L) that seem unreasonable from the perspective of needle morphology (>0.5 m). To analyze the potential role of path length on the Péclet effect in conifers we carried out experiments in controlled environment chambers. We exposed seedlings of six species of conifer (Abies alba, Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, P. sylvestris, Taxus bacata), that differ in needle morphology, to four different vapor pressure deficits (VPD), in order to modify transpiration rates (E) and leaf water 18O enrichment. Environmental and δ18O data (leaf, stem and chamber water vapor) were collected to parameterize leaf water models. Cross-sections of needles were sampled for an analysis of needle anatomy. Conifer needles have a single strand of vascular tissue making pathlength determinations through anatomical assessments possible. The six species differed in mesophyll distance (measured from endodermis to epidermis) and cell number, with Pinus and Picea species having the shortest distance and Abies and Taxus the longest (flat needle morphology). Other anatomical measures (transfusion distance, cell size etc.) did not differ significantly. A suberized strip was apparent in the endodermis of all species except Taxus and Abies. Conifer needles have a large proportion (from 0.2 to 0.4) of needle cross-sectional area in vascular tissues that may not be subject to evaporative enrichment. As expected, leaf water δ18O and E responded strongly to VPD and standard models (Craig

  12. Anisotropic nanolaminated CoNiFe cores integrated into microinductors for high-frequency dc-dc power conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jooncheol; Kim, Minsoo; Kim, Jung-Kwun; Herrault, Florian; Allen, Mark G.

    2015-11-01

    This paper presents a rectangular, anisotropic nanolaminated CoNiFe core that possesses a magnetically hard axis in the long geometric axis direction. Previously, we have developed nanolaminated cores comprising tens to hundreds of layers of 300-1000 nm thick metallic alloys (i.e. Ni80Fe20 or Co44Ni37Fe19) based on sequential electrodeposition, demonstrating suppressed eddy-current losses at MHz frequencies. In this work, magnetic anisotropy was induced to the nanolaminated CoNiFe cores by applying an external magnetic field (50-100 mT) during CoNiFe film electrodeposition. The fabricated cores comprised tens to hundreds of layers of 500-1000 nm thick CoNiFe laminations that have the hard-axis magnetic property. Packaged in a 22-turn solenoid test inductor, the anisotropic core showed 10% increased effective permeability and 25% reduced core power losses at MHz operation frequency, compared to an isotropic core of the identical geometry. Operating the anisotropic nanolaminated CoNiFe core in a step-down dc-dc converter (15 V input to 5 V output) demonstrated 81% converter efficiency at a switching frequency of 1.1 MHz and output power of 6.5 W. A solenoid microinductor with microfabricated windings integrated with the anisotropic nanolaminated CoNiFe core was fabricated, demonstrating a constant inductance of 600 nH up to 10 MHz and peak quality factor exceeding 20 at 4 MHz. The performance of the microinductor with the anisotropic nanolaminated CoNiFe core is compared with other previously reported microinductors.

  13. The Paleocene Eocene carbon isotope excursion in higher plant organic matter: Differential fractionation of angiosperms and conifers in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schouten, Stefan; Woltering, Martijn; Rijpstra, W. Irene C.; Sluijs, Appy; Brinkhuis, Henk; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2007-06-01

    A study of upper Paleocene-lower Eocene (P-E) sediments deposited on the Lomonosov Ridge in the central Arctic Ocean reveals relatively high abundances of terrestrial biomarkers. These include dehydroabietane and simonellite derived from conifers (gymnosperms) and a tetra-aromatic triterpenoid derived from angiosperms. The relative percentage of the angiosperm biomarker of the summed angiosperm + conifer biomarkers was increased at the end of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), different when observed with pollen counts which showed a relative decrease in angiosperm pollen. Stable carbon isotopic analysis of these biomarkers shows that the negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) during the PETM amounts to 3‰ for both conifer biomarkers, dehydroabietane and simonellite, comparable to the magnitude of the CIE inferred from marine carbonates, but significantly lower than the 4.5‰ of the terrestrial C 29n-alkane [M. Pagani, N. Pedentchouk, M. Huber, A. Sluijs, S. Schouten, H. Brinkhuis, J.S. Sinninghe Damsté, G.R. Dickens, and the IODP Expedition 302 Expedition Scientists (2006), Arctic's hydrology during global warming at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. Nature, 442, 671-675.], which is a compound sourced by both conifers and angiosperms. Conspicuously, the angiosperm-sourced aromatic triterpane shows a much larger CIE of 6‰ and suggests that angiosperms increased in their carbon isotopic fractionation during the PETM. Our results thus indicate that the 4.5‰ C 29n-alkane CIE reported previously represents the average CIE of conifers and angiosperms at this site and suggest that the large and variable CIE observed in terrestrial records may be partly explained by the variable contributions of conifers and angiosperms. The differential response in isotopic fractionation of angiosperms and conifers points to different physiological responses of these vegetation types to the rise in temperature, humidity, and greenhouse gases during the PETM.

  14. High-frequency permeability of electroplated CoNiFe and CoNiFe-C alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhen, Fernando M. F.; McCloskey, Paul; O'Donnell, Terence; Roy, Saibal

    We have investigated CoNiFe and CoNiFe-C electrodeposited by pulse reverse plating (PRP) and direct current (DC) techniques. CoNiFe(PRP) films with composition Co 59.4Fe 27.7Ni 12.8 show coercivity of 95 A m -1 (1.2 Oe) and magnetization saturation flux ( μ0Ms) of 1.8 T. Resistivity of CoNiFe (PRP) is about 24 μΩ cm and permeability remains almost constant μr' ˜475 up to 30 MHz with a quality factor ( Q) larger than 10. Additionally, the permeability spectra analysis shows that CoNiFe exhibits a classical eddy current loss at zero bias field and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) when biased with 0.05 T. Furthermore, a crossover between eddy current and FMR loss is observed for CoNiFe-PRP when baised with 0.05 T. DC and PRP plated CoNiFe-C, which have resistivity and permeability of 85, 38 μΩ cm, μr'=165 and 35 with Q>10 up to 320 MHz, respectively, showed only ferromagnetic resonance losses. The ferromagnetic resonance peaks in CoNiFe and CoNiFe-C are broad and resembles a Gaussian distribution of FMR frequencies. The incorporation of C to CoNiFe reduces eddy current loss, but also reduces the FMR frequency.

  15. Headwater riparian invertebrate communities associated with red alder and conifer wood and leaf litter in southeastern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LeSage, C.M.; Merritt, R.W.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2005-01-01

    We examined how management of young upland forests in southeastern Alaska affect riparian invertebrate taxa richness, density, and biomass, in turn, potentially influencing food abundance for fish and wildlife. Southeastern Alaska forests are dominated by coniferous trees including Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), with mixed stands of red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn.). Red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) is hypothesized to influence the productivity of young-growth conifer forests and through forest management may provide increased riparian invertebrate abundance. To compare and contrast invertebrate densities between coniferous and alder riparian habitats, leaf litter and wood debris (early and late decay classes) samples were collected along eleven headwater streams on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, during the summers of 2000 and 2001. Members of Acarina and Collembola were the most abundant taxa collected in leaf litter with alder litter having significantly higher mean taxa richness than conifer litter. Members of Acarina were the most abundant group collected on wood debris and alder wood had significantly higher mean taxa richness and biomass than conifer wood. Alder wood debris in more advanced decay stages had the highest mean taxa richness and biomass, compared to other wood types, while conifer late decay wood debris had the highest densities of invertebrates. The inclusion of alder in young-growth conifer forests can benefit forest ecosystems by enhancing taxa richness and biomass of riparian forest invertebrates. ?? 2005 by the Northwest Scientific Association. All rights reserved.

  16. Canopy structure of tropical and sub-tropical rain forests in relation to conifer dominance analysed with a portable LIDAR system

    PubMed Central

    Aiba, Shin-ichiro; Akutsu, Kosuke; Onoda, Yusuke

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Globally, conifer dominance is restricted to nutient-poor habitats in colder, drier or waterlogged environments, probably due to competition with angiosperms. Analysis of canopy structure is important for understanding the mechanism of plant coexistence in relation to competition for light. Most conifers are shade intolerant, and often have narrow, deep, conical crowns. In this study it is predicted that conifer-admixed forests have less distinct upper canopies and more undulating canopy surfaces than angiosperm-dominated forests. Methods By using a ground-based, portable light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system, canopy structure was quantified for old-growth evergreen rainforests with varying dominance of conifers along altitudinal gradients (200–3100 m a.s.l.) on tropical and sub-tropical mountains (Mount Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo and Yakushima Island, Japan) that have different conifer floras. Key Results Conifers dominated at higher elevations on both mountains (Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae on Kinabalu and Cupressaceae and Pinaceae on Yakushima), but conifer dominance also varied with soil/substrate conditions on Kinabalu. Conifer dominance was associated with the existence of large-diameter conifers. Forests with higher conifer dominance showed a canopy height profile (CHP) more skewed towards the understorey on both Kinabalu and Yakushima. In contrast, angiosperm-dominated forests had a CHP skewed towards upper canopy, except for lowland dipterocarp forests and a sub-alpine scrub dominated by small-leaved Leptospermum recurvum (Myrtaceae) on Kinabalu. Forests with a less dense upper canopy had more undulating outer canopy surfaces. Mixed conifer–angiosperm forests on Yakushima and dipterocarp forests on Kinabalu showed similar canopy structures. Conclusions The results generally supported the prediction, suggesting that lower growth of angiosperm trees (except L. recurvum on Kinabalu) in cold and nutrient-poor environments

  17. Mapping and monitoring conifer mortality using remote sensing in the Lake Tahoe Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Macomber, S.A.; Woodcock, C.E. )

    1994-12-01

    A prolonged drought in the western US has resulted in alarming levels of mortality in conifer forests. Satellite remote sensing holds the potential for mapping and monitoring the effects of such environmental changes over large geographic areas in a timely manner. Results from the application of a forest canopy reflectance model using multitemporal Landsat TM imagery and field measurements, indicate conifer mortality can be effectively mapped and inventoried. The test area for this project is the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in the Sierra Nevada of California. The Landsat TM images are from the summers of 1988 and 1991. The Li-Strahler canopy model estimates several forest stand parameters, including tree size and canopy cover for each conifer stand, from reflectance values in satellite imagery. The difference in cover estimates between the dates forms the basis for stratifying stands into mortality classes, which are used as both themes in a map and the basis of the field sampling design. Field measurements from 61 stands collected in the summer of 1992 indicate 15% of the original timber volume in the true fir zone died between 1988 and 1992. The resulting low standard error of 11% for this estimate indicates the utility of these mortality classes for detecting areas of high mortality. Also, the patterns in the estimated mean timber volume loss for each class follow the expected trends. The results of this project are immediately useful for fire hazard management, by providing both estimates of the degree of overall mortality and maps showing its location. They also indicate current remote sensing technology may be useful for monitoring the changes in vegetation that are expected to result from climate change.

  18. A White Spruce Gene Catalog for Conifer Genome Analyses1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Rigault, Philippe; Boyle, Brian; Lepage, Pierre; Cooke, Janice E.K.; Bousquet, Jean; MacKay, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Several angiosperm plant genomes, including Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa), poplar (Populus trichocarpa), and grapevine (Vitis vinifera), have been sequenced, but the lack of reference genomes in gymnosperm phyla reduces our understanding of plant evolution and restricts the potential impacts of genomics research. A gene catalog was developed for the conifer tree Picea glauca (white spruce) through large-scale expressed sequence tag sequencing and full-length cDNA sequencing to facilitate genome characterizations, comparative genomics, and gene mapping. The resource incorporates new and publicly available sequences into 27,720 cDNA clusters, 23,589 of which are represented by full-length insert cDNAs. Expressed sequence tags, mate-pair cDNA clone analysis, and custom sequencing were integrated through an iterative process to improve the accuracy of clustering outcomes. The entire catalog spans 30 Mb of unique transcribed sequence. We estimated that the P. glauca nuclear genome contains up to 32,520 transcribed genes owing to incomplete, partially sequenced, and unsampled transcripts and that its transcriptome could span up to 47 Mb. These estimates are in the same range as the Arabidopsis and rice transcriptomes. Next-generation methods confirmed and enhanced the catalog by providing deeper coverage for rare transcripts, by extending many incomplete clusters, and by augmenting the overall transcriptome coverage to 38 Mb of unique sequence. Genomic sample sequencing at 8.5% of the 19.8-Gb P. glauca genome identified 1,495 clusters representing highly repeated sequences among the cDNA clusters. With a conifer transcriptome in full view, functional and protein domain annotations clearly highlighted the divergences between conifers and angiosperms, likely reflecting their respective evolutionary paths. PMID:21730200

  19. Conifer density within lake catchments predicts fish mercury concentrations in remote subalpine lakes.

    PubMed

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herring, Garth; Johnson, Branden; Graw, Rick

    2016-05-01

    Remote high-elevation lakes represent unique environments for evaluating the bioaccumulation of atmospherically deposited mercury through freshwater food webs, as well as for evaluating the relative importance of mercury loading versus landscape influences on mercury bioaccumulation. The increase in mercury deposition to these systems over the past century, coupled with their limited exposure to direct anthropogenic disturbance make them useful indicators for estimating how changes in mercury emissions may propagate to changes in Hg bioaccumulation and ecological risk. We evaluated mercury concentrations in resident fish from 28 high-elevation, sub-alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Fish total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 4 to 438 ng/g wet weight, with a geometric mean concentration (±standard error) of 43 ± 2 ng/g ww. Fish THg concentrations were negatively correlated with relative condition factor, indicating that faster growing fish that are in better condition have lower THg concentrations. Across the 28 study lakes, mean THg concentrations of resident salmonid fishes varied as much as 18-fold among lakes. We used a hierarchal statistical approach to evaluate the relative importance of physiological, limnological, and catchment drivers of fish Hg concentrations. Our top statistical model explained 87% of the variability in fish THg concentrations among lakes with four key landscape and limnological variables: catchment conifer density (basal area of conifers within a lake's catchment), lake surface area, aqueous dissolved sulfate, and dissolved organic carbon. Conifer density within a lake's catchment was the most important variable explaining fish THg concentrations across lakes, with THg concentrations differing by more than 400 percent across the forest density spectrum. These results illustrate the importance of landscape characteristics in controlling mercury bioaccumulation in fish. PMID:26854697

  20. Nitric acid dry deposition to conifer forests: Niwot Ridge spruce-fir-pine study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sievering, H.; Kelly, T.; McConville, G.; Seibold, C.; Turnipseed, A.

    2001-01-01

    The dry deposition velocity of nitric acid, Vd(HNO3), over a 12-m (mean height) spruce-fir forest at Niwot Ridge, Colorado was estimated during 13 daytime periods using the flux-gradient approach. Turbulence intensity at this site is high (mean u* of 0.65ms-1 with u of 2.9ms-1) and contributed to the large observed Vd(HNO3). The overriding contributor is identified to be the small aerodynamic needle width of the conifer trees. Two cases had inflated Vd(HNO3) due to height-differentiated nitric acid loss to soil-derived particle surfaces. Not considering these cases, the mean Vd(HNO3) was 7.6cms-1. The mean laminar boundary layer resistance (Rb) was found to be 7.8sm-1 (of similar magnitude to that of the aerodynamic resistance, 8.5sm-1). The data-determined Rb is bracketed by two theoretical estimates of the mean Rb, 5.9 and 8.6sm-1, that include consideration of the small canopy length scale (aerodynamic needle width), 1mm or less, at this conifer forest. However, the poor correlation of data-determined Rb values with both sets of theoretical estimates indicates that measurement error needs to be reduced and/or improved formulations of theoretical Rb values are in order. The large observed Vd(HNO3) at this conifer forest site is attributed to high turbulence intensity, and, especially, to small aerodynamic needle width. Copyright ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  1. Conifer density within lake catchments predicts fish mercury concentrations in remote subalpine lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herring, Garth; Johnson, Branden L.; Graw, Rick

    2016-01-01

    Remote high-elevation lakes represent unique environments for evaluating the bioaccumulation of atmospherically deposited mercury through freshwater food webs, as well as for evaluating the relative importance of mercury loading versus landscape influences on mercury bioaccumulation. The increase in mercury deposition to these systems over the past century, coupled with their limited exposure to direct anthropogenic disturbance make them useful indicators for estimating how changes in mercury emissions may propagate to changes in Hg bioaccumulation and ecological risk. We evaluated mercury concentrations in resident fish from 28 high-elevation, sub-alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Fish total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 4 to 438 ng/g wet weight, with a geometric mean concentration (±standard error) of 43 ± 2 ng/g ww. Fish THg concentrations were negatively correlated with relative condition factor, indicating that faster growing fish that are in better condition have lower THg concentrations. Across the 28 study lakes, mean THg concentrations of resident salmonid fishes varied as much as 18-fold among lakes. We used a hierarchal statistical approach to evaluate the relative importance of physiological, limnological, and catchment drivers of fish Hg concentrations. Our top statistical model explained 87% of the variability in fish THg concentrations among lakes with four key landscape and limnological variables: catchment conifer density (basal area of conifers within a lake's catchment), lake surface area, aqueous dissolved sulfate, and dissolved organic carbon. Conifer density within a lake's catchment was the most important variable explaining fish THg concentrations across lakes, with THg concentrations differing by more than 400 percent across the forest density spectrum. These results illustrate the importance of landscape characteristics in controlling mercury bioaccumulation in fish.

  2. Molecular Characterization of Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium commune Isolates from a Conifer Nursery.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jane E; Kim, Mee-Sook; James, Robert L; Dumroese, R Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B

    2006-10-01

    ABSTRACT Fusarium species can cause severe root disease and damping-off in conifer nurseries. Fusarium inoculum is commonly found in most container and bareroot nurseries on healthy and diseased seedlings, in nursery soils, and on conifer seeds. Isolates of Fusarium spp. can differ in virulence; however, virulence and colony morphology are not correlated. Forty-one isolates of Fusarium spp., morphologically indistinguishable from F. oxysporum, were collected from nursery samples (soils, healthy seedlings, and diseased seedlings). These isolates were characterized by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and DNA sequencing of nuclear rDNA (internal transcribed spacer including 5.8S rDNA), mitochon-drial rDNA (small subunit [mtSSU]), and nuclear translation elongation factor 1-alpha. Each isolate had a unique AFLP phenotype. Out of 121 loci, 111 (92%) were polymorphic; 30 alleles were unique to only highly virulent isolates and 33 alleles were unique to only isolates nonpathogenic on conifers. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses of DNA sequences from all three regions and the combined data set showed that all highly virulent isolates clearly separated into a common clade that contained F. commune, which was recently distinguished from its sister taxon, F. oxysporum. Interestingly, all but one of the nonpathogenic isolates grouped into a common clade and were genetically similar to F. oxysporum. The AFLP cladograms had similar topologies when compared with the DNA-based phylograms. Although all tested isolates were morphologically indistinguishable from F. oxysporum based on currently available monographs, some morphological traits can be plastic and unreliable for identification of Fusarium spp. We consider the highly virulent isolates to be F. commune based on strong genetic evidence. To our knowledge, this is the first reported evidence that shows F. commune is a cause of Fusarium disease (root rot and dampingoff) on Douglas-fir seedlings. Furthermore

  3. Quantifying thermal constraints on carbon and water fluxes in a mixed-conifer sky island ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Z.; Minor, R. L.; Potts, D. L.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    Western North American forests represent a potential, yet uncertain, sink for atmospheric carbon. Revealing how predicted climatic conditions of warmer temperatures and longer inter-storm periods of moisture stress might influence the carbon status of these forests requires a fuller understanding of plant functional responses to abiotic stress. While data related to snow dominated montane ecosystems has become more readily available to parameterize ecosystem function models, there is a paucity of data available for Madrean sky island mixed-conifer forests, which receive about one third of their precipitation from the North American Monsoon. Thus, we quantified ecophysiological responses to moisture and temperature stress in a Madrean mixed-conifer forest near Tucson, Arizona, within the footprint of the Mt. Bigelow Eddy Covariance Tower. In measuring a series of key parameters indicative of carbon and water fluxes within the dominant species across pre-monsoon and monsoon conditions, we were able to develop a broader understanding of what abiotic drivers are most restrictive to plant performance in this ecosystem. Within Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir), and Pinus strobiformis (Southwestern White Pine) we quantified: (i) the optimal temperature (Topt) for maximum photosynthesis (Amax), (ii) the range of temperatures over which photosynthesis was at least 50% of Amax (Ω50), and (iii) each conifer's water use efficiency (WUE) to relate to the balance between carbon uptake and water loss in this high elevation semiarid ecosystem. Our findings support the prediction that photosynthesis decreases under high temperatures (>30°C) among the three species we measured, regardless of soil moisture status. However, monsoon moisture reduced sensitivity to temperature extremes and fluctuations (Ω50), which substantially magnified total photosynthetic productivity. In particular, wet conditions enhanced Amax the most dramatically for P

  4. Preliminary studies of elevated atmospheric CO/sub 2/ on conifers, May 1-December 30, 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Helms, J.A.

    1985-01-01

    The original scope of work consisted of two parts: Intensive physiological studies of Pinus ponderosa seedlings and saplings that were continuously exposed to various levels of CO/sub 2/ and SO/sub 2/ in open-topped chambers. Site selection and preparation in anticipation of DOE approval of a proposed 5-year project on effects of long-term exposure of forest vegetation to enhanced CO/sub 2/. Establishment of 5 Nelder-type plots utilizing 5 western conifers to permit fundamental studies on the physiological bases of tree-to-tree competition. Because the DOE project was not funded, site selection was abandoned.

  5. The species of Cortinarius, section Bovini, associated with conifers in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Niskanen, Tuula; Kytövuori, Ilkka; Liimatainen, Kare; Lindström, Håkan

    2013-01-01

    Cortinarius bovinus and morphologically similar conifer-associated species were studied using material mainly from northern Europe. To stabilize the nomenclature, relevant types were examined. Phylogenetic relationships and species limits were investigated with rDNA ITS and nuclear rpb2 sequences as well as morphological data. We recognize seven species: C. bovinus (neotypified) and six new species, C. anisochrous, C. bovinaster, C. bovinatus, C. fuscobovinus, C. fuscobovinaster and C. oulankaënsis. Their taxonomy, ecology, distribution and relationships are discussed, and a key to species is provided. Based on our phylogeny and morphological data the species were placed in section Bovini. PMID:23709480

  6. Measuring near infrared spectral reflectance changes from water stressed conifer stands with AIS-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Riggs, George; Running, Steven W.

    1987-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer-2 (AIS-2) data was acquired over two paired conifer stands for the purpose of detecting differences in spectral reflectance between stressed and natural canopies. Water stress was induced in a stand of Norway spruce and white pine by severing the sapwood near the ground. Water stress during the AIS flights was evaluated through shoot water potential and relative water content measurements. Preliminary analysis with raw AIS-2 data using SPAM indicates that there were small, inconsistent differences in absolute spectral reflectance in the near infrared 0.97 to 1.3 micron between the stressed and natural canopies.

  7. An Improved Method of RNA Isolation from Loblolly Pine (P. taeda L.) and Other Conifer Species

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, W. Walter; Yu, Yuan-Sheng; Dean, Jeffrey F. D.

    2010-01-01

    Tissues isolated from conifer species, particularly those belonging to the Pinaceae family, such as loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), contain high concentrations of phenolic compounds and polysaccharides that interfere with RNA purification. Isolation of high-quality RNA from these species requires rigorous tissue collection procedures in the field and the employment of an RNA isolation protocol comprised of multiple organic extraction steps in order to isolate RNA of sufficient quality for microarray and other genomic analyses. The isolation of high-quality RNA from field-collected loblolly pine samples can be challenging, but several modifications to standard tissue and RNA isolation procedures greatly improve results. The extent of general RNA degradation increases if samples are not properly collected and transported from the field, especially during large-scale harvests. Total RNA yields can be increased significantly by pulverizing samples in a liquid nitrogen freezer mill prior to RNA isolation, especially when samples come from woody tissues. This is primarily due to the presence of oxidizing agents, such as phenolic compounds, and polysaccharides that are both present at high levels in extracts from the woody tissues of most conifer species. If not removed, these contaminants can carry over leading to problems, such as RNA degradation, that result in low yields and a poor quality RNA sample. Carryover of phenolic compounds, as well as polysaccharides, can also reduce or even completely eliminate the activity of reverse transcriptase or other polymerases commonly used for cDNA synthesis. In particular, RNA destined to be used as template for double-stranded cDNA synthesis in the generation of cDNA libraries, single-stranded cDNA synthesis for PCR or qPCR's, or for the synthesis of microarray target materials must be of the highest quality if researchers expect to obtain optimal results. RNA isolation techniques commonly employed for many other plant species

  8. Spatial structure of periodicity in the conifer tree radial increment in the Republic of Komi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raspopov, O. M.; Lopatin, E. V.; Kolström, T.; Dergachev, V. A.; Dmitriev, P. B.; Kahle, H.-P.; Spiecker, H.

    2013-12-01

    Spectral analysis of tree ring data sets of Siberian spruce ( Picea obovata) and Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) was carried out to study the effects of climatic factors on the conifer tree radial growth in the territory of the Komi Republic. Analyses were performed for different natural subzones in the Komi Republic: the forest-tundra transition zone and the northern, middle, and southern taiga. The results show that several groups of periodicities can be found in the tree radial growth. One from groups of periodicities is related to internal processes in the atmosphere-ocean system; the other is related to the fluctuations in solar activity.

  9. [Effect of Trichoderma species fungi on soil micromycetes, causing infectious conifer seedling lodging in Siberian tree nurseries].

    PubMed

    Iakimenko, E E; Grodinitskaia, I D

    2000-01-01

    Soils in the tree nurseries studied were characterized by a lower species diversity of fungi than adjacent virgin soils. In particular, the relative abundances of representatives of the genera Mucor, Chaetomium, and Trichoderma in the nursery soil were two times lower than in adjacent virgin soils. On the other hand, the nursery soil exhibited greater abundances of fungi of the genus Fusarium, which are causative agents of many diseases of conifer seedlings. To appreciate the efficiency of biocontrol of the infectious diseases of conifer seedlings, we introduced several indigenous Trichoderma strains into the nursery soil and found that this affected the species composition of soil microflora considerably. Changes in the species composition of mycobiota beneficially influenced the phytosanitary state of soils and reduced the infectious lodging of conifer seedlings. PMID:11195586

  10. Syringyl lignin production in conifers: Proof of concept in a Pine tracheary element system.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Armin; Tobimatsu, Yuki; Phillips, Lorelle; Flint, Heather; Geddes, Barbara; Lu, Fachuang; Ralph, John

    2015-05-12

    Conifers (softwoods) naturally lack syringyl units in their lignins, rendering lignocellulosic materials from such species more difficult to process than syringyl-rich hardwood species. Using a transformable Pinus radiata tracheary element (TE) system as an experimental platform, we investigated whether metabolic engineering can be used to create syringyl lignin in conifers. Pyrolysis-GC/MS and 2D-NMR analysis of P. radiata TE cultures transformed to express ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from Liquidambar styraciflua confirmed the production and incorporation of sinapyl alcohol into the lignin polymer. Transformation with F5H was sufficient for the production of syringyl lignin in TEs, but cotransformation with COMT improved its formation. In addition, lower levels of the pathway intermediate 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol were evidenced in cotransformation experiments, indicating that the introduction of the COMT overcame the inefficiency of the native pine methyltransferases for supporting sinapyl alcohol production.Our results provide the proof of concept that it is possible to generate a lignin polymer that contains syringyl units in softwood species such as P. radiata, suggesting that it might be possible to retain the outstanding fiber properties of softwoods while imbuing them with the lignin characteristics of hardwoods that are more favorable for industrial processing. PMID:25902506

  11. Damping-off in conifer seedling nurseries in Noshahr and Kelardasht.

    PubMed

    Zad, S J; Koshnevice, M

    2001-01-01

    To study the damping-off of conifer seedlings, we have collected samples from the roots of conifer seedlings (Pinus nigra, Picea excelsa, Abieces spp, Cupressus arizonica, Cupressus sempervirens) from nurseries in the south of Iran (Noshahr and Kelardasht). After disinfecting the samples, we have used standard media like PDA, MA and CLA. The following fungi were identified: Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium sambucinum, Clamydosporium, Rhizoctonia solani, Cylindrocarpon spp., Alternaria spp, Macrophomina phaseoli. Amongst the above mentioned fungi, Fusarium spp. were the commonest ones. Pathogenecity tests of Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani on seedlings were done. Isolated fungal colonies were purified using single mycelium and single spore methods. Fungal isolates were identified after subculturing on PDA and CLA media by Nelson method. These isolates were Fusarium solani, F. oxysporium, F. sambucinum and F. clamydosporum. Other fungal isolates were Rhizoctonia spp. In order to determine the infectivity of Fusarium on their hosts, seeds of Pinus nigra, Cupressus arizonica and Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis were cultured in four repetitions each containing 2 seedlings. After a seasonal growth, seedlings were inoculated with a suspension of Fusarium spores (4.5 +/- 0.3 x 1016 spore/ml). Infection of P. nigra, Cupressus arizonica and Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis with F. solani and Pinus nigra and Cupressus semperivirens var. horizontalis with F. oxysporum was high whereas that of Cupressus arizonica with F. sambucinum, F. mondiforme and F. clamydosporum was moderate. PMID:12425024

  12. Stable Water Use Efficiency under Climate Change of Three Sympatric Conifer Species at the Alpine Treeline

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Gerhard; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas; Leo, Marco; Matyssek, Rainer; Grams, Thorsten Erhard Edgar

    2016-01-01

    The ability of treeline associated conifers in the Central Alps to cope with recent climate warming and increasing CO2 concentration is still poorly understood. We determined tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Pinus cembra, Picea abies, and Larix decidua trees from 1975 to 2010. Stable isotope ratios were compared with leaf level gas exchange measurements carried out in situ between 1979 and 2007. Results indicate that tree ring derived intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) of P. cembra, P. abies and L. decidua remained constant during the last 36 years despite climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2. Temporal patterns in Δ13C and Δ18O mirrored leaf level gas exchange assessments, suggesting parallel increases of CO2-fixation and stomatal conductance of treeline conifer species. As at the study site soil water availability was not a limiting factor iWUE remained largely stable throughout the study period. The stability in iWUE was accompanied by an increase in basal area increment (BAI) suggesting that treeline trees benefit from both recent climate warming and CO2 fertilization. Finally, our results suggest that iWUE may not change species composition at treeline in the Austrian Alps due to similar ecophysiological responses to climatic changes of the three sympatric study species. PMID:27375653

  13. Conifer species adapt to low-rainfall climates by following one of two divergent pathways

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Timothy J.; McAdam, Scott A.M.; Jordan, Gregory J.; Martins, Samuel C.V.

    2014-01-01

    Water stress is one of the primary selective forces in plant evolution. There are characters often cited as adaptations to water stress, but links between the function of these traits and adaptation to drying climates are tenuous. Here we combine distributional, climatic, and physiological evidence from 42 species of conifers to show that the evolution of drought resistance follows two distinct pathways, both involving the coordinated evolution of tissues regulating water supply (xylem) and water loss (stomatal pores) in leaves. Only species with very efficient stomatal closure, and hence low minimum rates of water loss, inhabit dry habitats, but species diverged in their apparent mechanism for maintaining closed stomata during drought. An ancestral mechanism found in Pinaceae and Araucariaceae species relies on high levels of the hormone abscisic acid (ABA) to close stomata during water stress. A second mechanism, found in the majority of Cupressaceae species, uses leaf desiccation rather than high ABA levels to close stomata during sustained water stress. Species in the latter group were characterized by xylem tissues with extreme resistance to embolism but low levels of foliar ABA after 30 d without water. The combination of low levels of ABA under stress with cavitation-resistant xylem enables these species to prolong stomatal opening during drought, potentially extending their photosynthetic activity between rainfall events. Our data demonstrate a surprising simplicity in the way conifers evolved to cope with water shortage, indicating a critical interaction between xylem and stomatal tissues during the process of evolution to dry climates. PMID:25246559

  14. A multiproxy environmental investigation of Holocene wood from a submerged conifer forest in Lake Huron, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, R. Douglas; Panyushkina, Irina P.; Leavitt, Steven W.; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Zawiskie, John

    2006-07-01

    Remains of a Holocene drowned forest in southern Lake Huron discovered in 12.5 m of water (164 m above sea level), 4.5 km east of Lexington, Michigan USA (Sanilac site), provided wood to investigate environment and lake history using several proxies. Macrofossil evidence indicates a forest comprised primarily of conifers equivalent to the modern "rich conifer swamp" community, despite generally low regional abundance of these species in pollen records. Ages range from 7095 ± 50 to 6420 ± 70 14C yr BP, but the clustering of stump dates and the development of 2 floating tree-ring chronologies suggest a briefer forest interval of no more than c. 400 years. Dendrochronological analysis indicates an environment with high inter-annual climate variability. Stable-carbon isotope composition falls within the range of modern trees from this region, but the stable-oxygen composition is consistent with warmer conditions than today. Both our tree-ring and isotope data provide support for a warmer environment in this region, consistent with a mid-Holocene thermal maximum. This drowned forest also provides a dated elevation in the Nipissing transgression at about 6420 14C yr BP (7350 cal yr BP) in the southern Lake Huron basin, a few hundred years before reopening of the St. Clair River drainage.

  15. Specialised emission pattern of leaf trace in a late Permian (253 million-years old) conifer

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Hai-Bo; Feng, Zhuo; Yang, Ji-Yuan; Chen, Yu-Xuan; Shen, Jia-Jia; He, Xiao-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Leaf traces are important structures in higher plants that connect leaves and the stem vascular system. The anatomy and emission pattern of leaf traces are well studied in extant vascular plants, but remain poorly understood in fossil lineages. We quantitatively analysed the leaf traces in the late Permian conifer Ningxiaites specialis from Northwest China based on serial sections through pith, primary and secondary xylems. A complete leaf traces emission pattern of a conifer is presented for the first time from the late Palaeozoic. Three to five monarch leaf traces are grouped in clusters, arranged in a helical phyllotaxis. The leaf traces in each cluster can be divided into upper, middle and lower portions, and initiate at the pith periphery and cross the wood horizontally. The upper leaf trace increases its diameter during the first growth increment and then diminishes completely, which indicates leaf abscission at the end of the first year. The middle trace immediately bifurcates once or twice to form two or three vascular bundles. The lower trace persists as a single bundle during its entire length. The intricate leaf trace dynamics indicates this fossil plant had a novel evolutionary habit by promoting photosynthetic capability for the matured plant. PMID:26198410

  16. Specialised emission pattern of leaf trace in a late Permian (253 million-years old) conifer.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hai-Bo; Feng, Zhuo; Yang, Ji-Yuan; Chen, Yu-Xuan; Shen, Jia-Jia; He, Xiao-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Leaf traces are important structures in higher plants that connect leaves and the stem vascular system. The anatomy and emission pattern of leaf traces are well studied in extant vascular plants, but remain poorly understood in fossil lineages. We quantitatively analysed the leaf traces in the late Permian conifer Ningxiaites specialis from Northwest China based on serial sections through pith, primary and secondary xylems. A complete leaf traces emission pattern of a conifer is presented for the first time from the late Palaeozoic. Three to five monarch leaf traces are grouped in clusters, arranged in a helical phyllotaxis. The leaf traces in each cluster can be divided into upper, middle and lower portions, and initiate at the pith periphery and cross the wood horizontally. The upper leaf trace increases its diameter during the first growth increment and then diminishes completely, which indicates leaf abscission at the end of the first year. The middle trace immediately bifurcates once or twice to form two or three vascular bundles. The lower trace persists as a single bundle during its entire length. The intricate leaf trace dynamics indicates this fossil plant had a novel evolutionary habit by promoting photosynthetic capability for the matured plant. PMID:26198410

  17. Expression Divergence Is Correlated with Sequence Evolution but Not Positive Selection in Conifers.

    PubMed

    Hodgins, Kathryn A; Yeaman, Sam; Nurkowski, Kristin A; Rieseberg, Loren H; Aitken, Sally N

    2016-06-01

    The evolutionary and genomic determinants of sequence evolution in conifers are poorly understood, and previous studies have found only limited evidence for positive selection. Using RNAseq data, we compared gene expression profiles to patterns of divergence and polymorphism in 44 seedlings of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and 39 seedlings of interior spruce (Picea glauca × engelmannii) to elucidate the evolutionary forces that shape their genomes and their plastic responses to abiotic stress. We found that rapidly diverging genes tend to have greater expression divergence, lower expression levels, reduced levels of synonymous site diversity, and longer proteins than slowly diverging genes. Similar patterns were identified for the untranslated regions, but with some exceptions. We found evidence that genes with low expression levels had a larger fraction of nearly neutral sites, suggesting a primary role for negative selection in determining the association between evolutionary rate and expression level. There was limited evidence for differences in the rate of positive selection among genes with divergent versus conserved expression profiles and some evidence supporting relaxed selection in genes diverging in expression between the species. Finally, we identified a small number of genes that showed evidence of site-specific positive selection using divergence data alone. However, estimates of the proportion of sites fixed by positive selection (α) were in the range of other plant species with large effective population sizes suggesting relatively high rates of adaptive divergence among conifers. PMID:26873578

  18. Acid mist and ozone effects on the leaf chemistry of two western conifer species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westman, Walter E.; Temple, Patrick J.

    1989-01-01

    The effects of ozone and acid-mist exposures on the leaf chemistry of Jeffrey pine and giant sequoia seedlings grown in filtered-air greenhouses were investigated. Acid-mist treatments (pH 4.1, 3.4, 2.7, or 2.0) were administered for 3 h, and ozone exposures (0, 0.10, and 0.20 microliter/liter), which followed acid-mist treatments, for 4 h, each for three days a week for six to nine weeks. It was found that seedlings were more susceptible to acid-mist and acid mist/ozone combinations, than to ozone alone. Acid mist treatment resulted in higher levels of nitrogen and sulfur (both present in acid mist) as well as Na. Leaves of giant sequoia exhibited increased K and decreased Mn, while Jeffrey pine showed increases in Fe and Mn. In sequoia leaves, concentrations of Ca, Mg, and Ba decreased. Acid treatment also reduced chlorophyll b concentrations in both conifer species. Extensive changes induced by acid mist are consistent with earlier observations of changes in spectral reflectance of conifer seedlings observed after three weeks of fumigation.

  19. Stable Water Use Efficiency under Climate Change of Three Sympatric Conifer Species at the Alpine Treeline.

    PubMed

    Wieser, Gerhard; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas; Leo, Marco; Matyssek, Rainer; Grams, Thorsten Erhard Edgar

    2016-01-01

    The ability of treeline associated conifers in the Central Alps to cope with recent climate warming and increasing CO2 concentration is still poorly understood. We determined tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Pinus cembra, Picea abies, and Larix decidua trees from 1975 to 2010. Stable isotope ratios were compared with leaf level gas exchange measurements carried out in situ between 1979 and 2007. Results indicate that tree ring derived intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) of P. cembra, P. abies and L. decidua remained constant during the last 36 years despite climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2. Temporal patterns in Δ(13)C and Δ(18)O mirrored leaf level gas exchange assessments, suggesting parallel increases of CO2-fixation and stomatal conductance of treeline conifer species. As at the study site soil water availability was not a limiting factor iWUE remained largely stable throughout the study period. The stability in iWUE was accompanied by an increase in basal area increment (BAI) suggesting that treeline trees benefit from both recent climate warming and CO2 fertilization. Finally, our results suggest that iWUE may not change species composition at treeline in the Austrian Alps due to similar ecophysiological responses to climatic changes of the three sympatric study species. PMID:27375653

  20. Conifer species adapt to low-rainfall climates by following one of two divergent pathways.

    PubMed

    Brodribb, Timothy J; McAdam, Scott A M; Jordan, Gregory J; Martins, Samuel C V

    2014-10-01

    Water stress is one of the primary selective forces in plant evolution. There are characters often cited as adaptations to water stress, but links between the function of these traits and adaptation to drying climates are tenuous. Here we combine distributional, climatic, and physiological evidence from 42 species of conifers to show that the evolution of drought resistance follows two distinct pathways, both involving the coordinated evolution of tissues regulating water supply (xylem) and water loss (stomatal pores) in leaves. Only species with very efficient stomatal closure, and hence low minimum rates of water loss, inhabit dry habitats, but species diverged in their apparent mechanism for maintaining closed stomata during drought. An ancestral mechanism found in Pinaceae and Araucariaceae species relies on high levels of the hormone abscisic acid (ABA) to close stomata during water stress. A second mechanism, found in the majority of Cupressaceae species, uses leaf desiccation rather than high ABA levels to close stomata during sustained water stress. Species in the latter group were characterized by xylem tissues with extreme resistance to embolism but low levels of foliar ABA after 30 d without water. The combination of low levels of ABA under stress with cavitation-resistant xylem enables these species to prolong stomatal opening during drought, potentially extending their photosynthetic activity between rainfall events. Our data demonstrate a surprising simplicity in the way conifers evolved to cope with water shortage, indicating a critical interaction between xylem and stomatal tissues during the process of evolution to dry climates. PMID:25246559

  1. Spectral changes in conifers subjected to air pollution and water stress: Experimental studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westman, Walter E.; Price, Curtis V.

    1988-01-01

    The roles of leaf anatomy, moisture and pigment content, and number of leaf layers on spectral reflectance in healthy, pollution-stressed, and water-stressed conifer needles were examined experimentally. Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron gigantea) were exposed to ozone and acid mist treatments in fumigation chambers; red pine (Pinus resinosa) needles were artificially dried. Infrared reflectance from stacked needles rose with free water loss. In an air-drying experiment, cell volume reductions induced by loss of turgor caused near-infrared reflectance (TM band 4) to drop after most free water was lost. Under acid mist fumigation, stunting of tissue development similarly reduced band 4 reflectance. Both artificial drying and pollutant fumigation caused a blue shift of the red edge of spectral reflectance curves in conifers, attributable to chlorophyll denaturation. Thematic mapper band ratio 4/3 fell and 5/4 rose with increasing pollution stress on artificial drying. Loss of water by air-drying, freeze-drying, or oven-drying enhanced spectral features, due in part to greater scattering and reduced water absorption. Grinding of the leaf tissue further enhanced the spectral features by increasing reflecting surfaces and path length. In a leaf-stacking experiment, an asymptote in visible and infrared reflectance was reached at 7-8 needle layers of red pine.

  2. Leaf evolution in Southern Hemisphere conifers tracks the angiosperm ecological radiation

    PubMed Central

    Biffin, Ed; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Hill, Robert S.; Thomas, Philip; Lowe, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    The angiosperm radiation has been linked to sharp declines in gymnosperm diversity and the virtual elimination of conifers from the tropics. The conifer family Podocarpaceae stands as an exception with highest species diversity in wet equatorial forests. It has been hypothesized that efficient light harvesting by the highly flattened leaves of several podocarp genera facilitates persistence with canopy-forming angiosperms, and the angiosperm ecological radiation may have preferentially favoured the diversification of these lineages. To test these ideas, we develop a molecular phylogeny for Podocarpaceae using Bayesian-relaxed clock methods incorporating fossil time constraints. We find several independent origins of flattened foliage types, and that these lineages have diversified predominantly through the Cenozoic and therefore among canopy-forming angiosperms. The onset of sustained foliage flattening podocarp diversification is coincident with a declining diversification rate of scale/needle-leaved lineages and also with ecological and climatic transformations linked to angiosperm foliar evolution. We demonstrate that climatic range evolution is contingent on the underlying state for leaf morphology. Taken together, our findings imply that as angiosperms came to dominate most terrestrial ecosystems, competitive interactions at the foliar level have profoundly shaped podocarp geography and as a consequence, rates of lineage diversification. PMID:21653584

  3. Syringyl lignin production in conifers: Proof of concept in a Pine tracheary element system

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Armin; Tobimatsu, Yuki; Phillips, Lorelle; Flint, Heather; Geddes, Barbara; Lu, Fachuang; Ralph, John

    2015-01-01

    Conifers (softwoods) naturally lack syringyl units in their lignins, rendering lignocellulosic materials from such species more difficult to process than syringyl-rich hardwood species. Using a transformable Pinus radiata tracheary element (TE) system as an experimental platform, we investigated whether metabolic engineering can be used to create syringyl lignin in conifers. Pyrolysis-GC/MS and 2D-NMR analysis of P. radiata TE cultures transformed to express ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from Liquidambar styraciflua confirmed the production and incorporation of sinapyl alcohol into the lignin polymer. Transformation with F5H was sufficient for the production of syringyl lignin in TEs, but cotransformation with COMT improved its formation. In addition, lower levels of the pathway intermediate 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol were evidenced in cotransformation experiments, indicating that the introduction of the COMT overcame the inefficiency of the native pine methyltransferases for supporting sinapyl alcohol production.Our results provide the proof of concept that it is possible to generate a lignin polymer that contains syringyl units in softwood species such as P. radiata, suggesting that it might be possible to retain the outstanding fiber properties of softwoods while imbuing them with the lignin characteristics of hardwoods that are more favorable for industrial processing. PMID:25902506

  4. Causes and consequences of variation in conifer leaf life-span

    SciTech Connect

    Reich, P.B.; Koike, T.; Gower, S.T.; Schoettle, A.W.

    1995-07-01

    Species with mutually supporting traits, such as high N{sub mass}, SLA, and A{sub mass}, and short leaf life-span, tend to inhabit either generally resource-rich environments or spatial and/or temporal microhabitats that are resource-rich in otherwise more limited habitats (e.g., {open_quotes}precipitation{close_quotes} ephemerals in warm deserts or spring ephemerals in the understory of temperate deciduous forests). In contrast, species with long leaf life-span often support foliage with low SLA, N{sub mass}, and A{sub mass}, and often grow in low-temperature limited, dry, and/or nutrient-poor environments. The contrast between evergreen and deciduous species, and the implications that emerge from such comparisons, can be considered a paradigm of modern ecological theory. However, based on the results of Reich et al. (1992) and Gower et al. (1993), coniferous species with foliage that persists for 9-10 years are likely to assimilate and allocate carbon and nutrients differently than other evergreen conifers that retain foliage for 2-3 years. Thus, attempts to contrast ecophysiological or ecosystem characteristics of evergreen versus deciduous life forms may be misleading, and pronounced differences among evergreen conifers may be ignored. Clearly, the deciduous-evergreen contrast, although useful in several ways, should be viewed from the broader perspective of a gradient in leaf life-span.

  5. Eriosomatine aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Eriosomatinae) associated with moss and roots of conifer and willow in forests of the Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apterous adult morphs of eriosomatine aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Eriosomatinae) associated with moss and/or roots of conifer or willow in forests of the Pacific Northwest including Alaska are described, illustrated, and keyed. In total, seven species (Clydesmithia canadensis Danielsson, Melaphis ...

  6. Sirococcus conigenus, Sirococcus piceicola, sp. nov. and Sirococcus tsugae sp. nov. on conifers: anamorphic fungi in the Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sirococcus is a genus of asexually reproducing fungi that includes important pathogens causing shoot blight and tip dieback of conifers. In this paper the type species of Sirococcus, S. conigenus, is redescribed, illustrated, and an epitype designated. In addition, two new species are recognized....

  7. Effects of thinning, residue mastication, and prescribed fire on soil and nutrient budgets in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of thinning followed by residue mastication (THIN), prescribed fire (BURN), and thinning plus residue mastication plus burning (T+B) on nutrient budgets and resin-based (plant root simulator [PRS] probe) measurements of soil nutrient availability in a mixed-conifer forest were measured. ...

  8. A Catskill Flora and Economic Botany, II: Coniferales. The Conifers. Bulletin No. 441, New York State Museum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Karl L.

    This section of the Catskill Flora provides an overview to three families within the Coniferales: the Taxaceae, Pinaceae, and Cupressaceae. Included are keys to the local species of conifers, description of each species, nomenclatural data, botanical illustrations, and a brief discussion of each species which often mentions medical and food uses…

  9. PATTERNS OF NITROGEN AND CARBON STABLE ISOTOPE RATIOS IN MACROFUNGI, PLANTS AND SOILS IN TWO OLD-GROWTH CONIFER FORESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Natural abundance stable isotope ratios represent a potentially valuable tool for studying fungal ecology. We measured 15N and 13C in ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic macrofungi from two old-growth conifer forests, and in plants, woody debris, and soils. Fungi, plants, and so...

  10. Passive Microwave Measurements Over Conifer Forests at L-Band and C-Band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LeVine, D. M.; Lang, R.; Chauhan, N.; Kim, E.; Bidwell, S.; Goodberlet, M.; Haken, M.; deMatthaeis, P.

    2000-01-01

    Measurements have been made at L-band and C-band over conifer forests in Virginia to study the response of passive microwave instruments to biomass and soil moisture. A series of aircraft measurements were made in July, August and November, 1999 over relatively homogenous conifer forests of varying biomass. Three radiometers participated in these measurements. These were: 1) the L-band radiometer ESTAR, a horizontally polarized synthetic aperture radiometer which has been used extensively in past measurements of soil moisture; 2) the L-band radiometer SLFMR, a vertically polarized cross-track scanner which has been used successfully in the past for mapping sea surface salinity; and 3) The ACMR, a new C-band radiometer which operates at V- and H-polarization and in the configuration for these experiments did not scan. All three radiometers were flown on the NASA P-3 aircraft based at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility. The ESTAR and SLFMR were mounted in the bomb bay of the P-3 and imaged across track whereas the ACMR was mounted to look aft at 54 degrees up from nadir. Data was collected at altitudes of 915 meters and 457 meters. The forests consisted of relatively homogeneous "managed" stands of conifer located near Waverly, Virginia. This is a relatively flat area about 30 miles southeast of Richmond, VA with numerous stands of trees being grown for the forestry industry. The stands selected for study consisted of areas of regrowth and mature stands of pine. In addition, a small stand of very large trees was observed. Soil moisture sampling was done in each stand during the aircraft over flights. Data was collected on July 7, August 27, November 15 and November 30, 1999. Measurements were made with ESTAR on all days. The ACMR flew on the summer missions and the SLFMR was present only on the August 27 flight. Soil moisture varied from quite dry on July 7 to quite moist on November 30 (which was shortly after a period of rain). The microwave

  11. Holocene vegetation and fire regimes in subalpine and mixed conifer forests, southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R. Scott; Allen, C.D.; Toney, J.L.; Jass, R.B.; Bair, A.N.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of the present forest structure of western North America hinges on our ability to determine antecedent forest conditions. Sedimentary records from lakes and bogs in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico provide information on the relationships between climate and vegetation change, and fire history since deglaciation. We present a new pollen record from Hunters Lake (Colorado) as an example of a high-elevation vegetation history from the southern Rockies. We then present a series of six sedimentary records from ???2600 to 3500-m elevation, including sites presently at the alpine?subalpine boundary, within the Picea engelmannii?Abies lasiocarpa forest and within the mixed conifer forest, to determine the history of fire in high-elevation forests there. High Artemisia and low but increasing percentages of Picea and Pinus suggest vegetation prior to 13 500 calendar years before present (cal yr BP) was tundra or steppe, with open spruce woodland to ???11 900 cal yr BP. Subalpine forest (Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa) existed around the lake for the remainder of the Holocene. At lower elevations, Pinus ponderosa and/or contorta expanded 11 900 to 10 200 cal yr BP; mixed conifer forest expanded ???8600 to 4700 cal yr BP; and Pinus edulis expanded after ???4700 cal yr BP. Sediments from lake sites near the alpine?subalpine transition contained five times less charcoal than those entirely within subalpine forests, and 40 times less than bog sites within mixed conifer forest. Higher fire episode frequencies occurred between ???12 000 and 9000 cal yr BP (associated with the initiation or expansion of south-west monsoon and abundant lightning, and significant biomass during vegetation turnover) and at ???2000?1000 cal yr BP (related to periodic droughts during the long-term trend towards wetter conditions and greater biomass). Fire episode frequencies for subalpine?alpine transition and subalpine sites were on average 5 to 10 fire

  12. Chemosystematics and diagenesis of terpenoids in fossil conifer species and sediment from the Eocene Zeitz formation, Saxony, Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Angelika; Simoneit, Bernd R. T.

    2001-10-01

    The biomarker contents of three fossil conifer species ( Athrotaxis couttsiae, Taxodium balticum, Pinus palaeostrobus) and the clay sediment from the Eocene Zeitz formation, Germany, have been analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Triterpenoids of the oleanane, ursane and lupane series and aliphatic wax lipids are the major compounds in the total extracts of the sediment indicating a major angiosperm input. In contrast, diterpenoids (abietanes, phenolic abietanes, pimaranes, isopimaranes, kauranes, phyllocladanes, totaranes) and lignin degradation products are predominant in the conifer fossil extracts. Polar diterpenoids (ferruginol and derivatives, dehydroabietic acid) are preserved as major compounds in the conifers, accompained by saturated and aromatic diterpenoid products. The extracts of the fossil conifer species show characteristic biomarker patterns and contain terpenoids of chemosystematic value. The terpenoid composition of the fossil conifers is similar to that of related modern species. Phenolic abietanes (ferruginol, 6,7-dehydroferruginol, hydroxyferruginols, sugiol) which are known from modern species of the Cupressaceae and Podocarpaceae are the major terpenoids in shoots of Athrotaxis couttsiae and a cone of Taxodium balticum (both Cupressaceae). Sesquiterpenoids characteristic for Cupressaceae (cuparene, α-cedrene) are also present in Athrotaxis. Abietane-type acids (dehydroabietic acid, abietic acid) and saturated abietanes [fichtelite, 13α(H)-fichtelite] predominate in the extracts of a Pinus palaeostrobus cone and phenolic abietanes are not detectable. A diagenetic pathway for the degradation of abietic acid is proposed based on the presence of abietane-type acids and a series of their presumed degradation products in the Pinus cone. The formation of diagenetic products from the phenolic abietanes is also discussed.

  13. Phylogeny of seed plants based on all three genomic compartments: Extant gymnosperms are monophyletic and Gnetales' closest relatives are conifers

    PubMed Central

    Bowe, L. Michelle; Coat, Gwénaële; dePamphilis, Claude W.

    2000-01-01

    Efforts to resolve Darwin's “abominable mystery”—the origin of angiosperms—have led to the conclusion that Gnetales and various fossil groups are sister to angiosperms, forming the “anthophytes.” Morphological homologies, however, are difficult to interpret, and molecular data have not provided clear resolution of relationships among major groups of seed plants. We introduce two sequence data sets from slowly evolving mitochondrial genes, cox1 and atpA, which unambiguously reject the anthophyte hypothesis, favoring instead a close relationship between Gnetales and conifers. Parsimony- and likelihood-based analyses of plastid rbcL and nuclear 18S rDNA alone and with cox1 and atpA also strongly support a gnetophyte–conifer grouping. Surprisingly, three of four genes (all but nuclear rDNA) and combined three-genome analyses also suggest or strongly support Gnetales as derived conifers, sister to Pinaceae. Analyses with outgroups screened to avoid long branches consistently identify all gymnosperms as a monophyletic sister group to angiosperms. Combined three- and four-gene rooted analyses resolve the branching order for the remaining major groups—cycads separate from other gymnosperms first, followed by Ginkgo and then (Gnetales + Pinaceae) sister to a monophyletic group with all other conifer families. The molecular phylogeny strongly conflicts with current interpretations of seed plant morphology, and implies that many similarities between gnetophytes and angiosperms, such as “flower-like” reproductive structures and double fertilization, were independently derived, whereas other characters could emerge as synapomorphies for an expanded conifer group including Gnetales. An initial angiosperm–gymnosperm split implies a long stem lineage preceding the explosive Mesozoic radiation of flowering plants and suggests that angiosperm origins and homologies should be sought among extinct seed plant groups. PMID:10760278

  14. A low diversity, seasonal tropical landscape dominated by conifers and peltasperms: Early Permian Abo Formation, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DiMichele, W.A.; Chaney, D.S.; Nelson, W.J.; Lucas, S.G.; Looy, C.V.; Quick, K.; Jun, W.

    2007-01-01

    Walchian conifers (Walchia piniformis Sternberg, 1825) and peltasperms similar to Supaia thinnfeldioides White and cf. Supaia anomala White dominate floodplain deposits of a narrow stratigraphic interval of the middle Abo Formation, Lower Permian of central New Mexico. The plant fossils occur in thinly bedded units up to two meters thick, consisting of coarse siltstone to very fine sandstone with clay partings. Bedding is primarily tabular, thin, and bears rare ripple marks and trough cross beds. Bedding surfaces display mud cracks, raindrop imprints, horizontal and vertical burrows of invertebrates, and footprints of terrestrial vertebrates. These features indicate intermittent and generally unchannelized stream flow, with repeated exposure to air. Channels appear to have cannibalized one another on a slowly subsiding coastal plain. Conifers are dominant at three collecting sites and at three others Supaia dominates. Although each of these genera occurs in assemblages dominated by the other, there are no truly co-dominant assemblages. This pattern suggests alternative explanations. Landscapes could have consisted of a small-scale vegetational patchwork dominated almost monospecifically in any one patch, meaning that these plants could have coexisted across the landscape. On the other hand, conifer and supaioid dominance could have been temporally distinct, occurring during different episodes of sedimentation; although in the field there are no noticeable sedimentological differences between conifer-dominated and Supaia-dominated channel deposits, they may represent slightly different climatic regimes. The considerable morphological differences between conifers and Supaia suggest that the floristic patterns are not a taphonomic effect of the loss of a significant part of the original biodiversity. In general, the climate under which this vegetation developed appears to have been relatively warm and arid, based on the geology (pervasive red color [oxidation

  15. Highly Laminated Soft Magnetic Electroplated CoNiFe Thick Films

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, J; Kim, M; Herrault, F; Park, J; Allen, MG

    2013-01-01

    The fabrication and characterization of highly laminated (similar to 40 layers), thick (similar to 40 mu m) films of magnetically soft cobalt-nickel-iron are presented. Thick film fabrication is based on automated sequential electrodeposition of alternating CoNiFe and copper layers, followed by selective copper removal. The film, comprised tens of 1 mu m thick laminations, exhibits saturation flux density of 1.8 T and coercivity of approximately 1.3 Oe. High-frequency film characterization took place in a 36-turn test inductor, which demonstrated constant inductance of 1.6 mu H up to 10 MHz, indicating suppressed eddy-current loss. Quality factor exceeding 40 at 1 MHz, surpassing the performance of similarly fabricated Permalloy (Ni80Fe20) films.

  16. Epiphytic lichen diversity on dead and dying conifers under different levels of atmospheric pollution.

    PubMed

    Hauck, Markus

    2005-05-01

    Based on literature data, epiphytic lichen abundance was comparably studied in montane woodlands on healthy versus dead or dying conifers of Europe and North America in areas with different levels of atmospheric pollution. Study sites comprised Picea abies forests in the Harz Mountains and in the northern Alps, Germany, Picea rubens-Abies balsamea forests on Whiteface Mountain, Adirondacks, New York, U.S.A. and Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa forests in the Salish Mountains, Montana, U.S.A. Detrended correspondence analysis showed that epiphytic lichen vegetation differed more between healthy and dead or dying trees at high- versus low-polluted sites. This is attributed to greater differences in chemical habitat conditions between trees of different vitality in highly polluted areas. Based on these results, a hypothetical model of relative importance of site factors for small-scale variation of epiphytic lichen abundance versus atmospheric pollutant load is discussed. PMID:15701398

  17. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-03-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers.

  18. Lichen communities on conifers in Southern California mountains: an ecological survey relative to oxidant air pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Sigal, L.L.; Nash, T.H. III

    1983-01-01

    In comparison with collections from the early 1900's when oxidant air pollution was essentially absent, 50% fewer lichen species were found on conifers during 3 yr (1976-1979) of collecting and sampling in the mountains of Southern California. Among the five mountain ranges studied, the San Bernardino Mountains, the region with the highest oxidant levels, had lower lichen frequency and cover values. Within the San Bernardino study sites, lichen cover was inversely related to estimated oxidant doses. Furthermore, at sites with high oxidant levels, marked morphological deterioration of the common species Hypogymnia enteromorpha was documented. Transplants of this species from the relatively unpolluted Cuyamaca Rancho State Park into the San Bernardino Mountains exhibited similar deterioration after a year's exposure. 4 figures, 9 tables.

  19. Lichen communities on conifers in Southern California mountains: an ecological survey relative to oxidant air pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Sigal, L.L.; Nash T.H. III

    1983-01-01

    In comparison with collections from the early 1900's when oxidant air pollution was essentially absent, 50% fewer lichen species were found on conifers during 3 yr (1976-1979) of collecting and sampling in the mountains of Southern California. Among the five mountain ranges studied, the San Bernardino Mountains, the region with the highest oxidant levels, had lower lichen frequency and cover values. Within the San Bernardino study sites, lichen cover was inversely related to estimated oxidant doses. Furthermore, at sites with high oxidant levels, marked morphological deterioration of the common species Hypogymnia enteromorpha was documented. Transplants of this species from the relatively unpolluted Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in the San Bernardino Mountains exhibited similar deterioration after a year's exposure.

  20. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-01-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers. PMID:26996104

  1. De Novo Transcriptome Assembly and Characterization for the Widespread and Stress-Tolerant Conifer Platycladus orientalis

    PubMed Central

    Jin, YuQing; Sun, Yan-Qiang; Li, Yue; Zhao, Wei; El-Kassaby, Yousry A.; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Platycladus orientalis, of the family Cupressaceae, is a widespread conifer throughout China and is extensively used for ecological reforestation, horticulture, and in medicine. Transcriptome assemblies are required for this ecologically important conifer for understanding genes underpinning adaptation and complex traits for breeding programs. To enrich the species’ genomic resources, a de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed using Illumina paired-end sequencing. In total, 104,073,506 high quality sequence reads (approximately 10.3 Gbp) were obtained, which were assembled into 228,948 transcripts and 148,867 unigenes that were longer than 200 nt. Quality assessment using CEGMA showed that the transcriptomes obtained were mostly complete for highly conserved core eukaryotic genes. Based on similarity searches with known proteins, 62,938 (42.28% of all unigenes), 42,158 (28.32%), and 23,179 (15.57%) had homologs in the Nr, GO, and KOG databases, 25,625 (17.21%) unigenes were mapped to 322 pathways by BLASTX comparison against the KEGG database and 1,941 unigenes involved in environmental signaling and stress response were identified. We also identified 43 putative terpene synthase (TPS) functional genes loci and compared them with TPSs from other species. Additionally, 5,296 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified in 4,715 unigenes, which were assigned to 142 motif types. This is the first report of a complete transcriptome analysis of P. orientalis. These resources provide a foundation for further studies of adaptation mechanisms and molecular-based breeding programs. PMID:26881995

  2. A homeobox gene with potential developmental control function in the meristem of the conifer Picea abies

    PubMed Central

    Sundås-Larsson, A.; Svenson, M.; Liao, H.; Engström, P.

    1998-01-01

    Many homeobox genes control essential developmental processes in animals and plants. In this report, we describe the first cDNA corresponding to a homeobox gene isolated from a gymnosperm, the HBK1 gene from the conifer Picea abies (L.) Karst (Norway spruce). The sequence shows distinct similarities specifically to the KNOX (knotted-like homeobox) class of homeobox genes known from different angiosperm plants. The deduced amino acid sequence of HBK1 is strikingly similar within the homeodomain (84% identical) to the maize gene Knotted1 (Kn1), which acts to regulate cell differentiation in the shoot meristem. This similarity suggested that the phylogenetic association of HBK1 with the KNOX genes might be coupled to a conservation of gene function. In support of this suggestion, we have found HBK1 to be expressed in the apical meristem in the central population of nondifferentiated stem cells, but not in organ primordia developing at the flanks of the meristem. This pattern of expression is similar to that of Kn1 in the maize meristem. We show further that HBK1, when expressed ectopically in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, causes aberrations in leaf development that are similar to the effects of ectopic expression of angiosperm KNOX genes on Arabidopsis development. Taken together, these data suggest that HBK1 has a role, similar to the KNOX genes in angiosperms, in the control of cellular differentiation in the apical meristem of spruce. The data also indicate that KNOX-gene regulation of vegetative development is an ancient feature of seed plants that was present in the last common ancestor of conifers and angiosperms. PMID:9844025

  3. Toward meaningful snag-management guidelines for postfire salvage logging in North American conifer forests.

    PubMed

    Hutto, Richard L

    2006-08-01

    The bird species in western North America that are most restricted to, and therefore most dependent on, severely burned conifer forests during the first years following afire event depend heavily on the abundant standing snags for perch sites, nest sites, and food resources. Thus, it is critical to develop and apply appropriate snag-management guidelines to implement postfire timber harvest operations in the same locations. Unfortunately, existing guidelines designed for green-tree forests cannot be applied to postfire salvage sales because the snag needs of snag-dependent species in burned forests are not at all similar to the snag needs of snag-dependent species in green-tree forests. Birds in burned forests have very different snag-retention needs from those cavity-nesting bird species that have served as the focus for the development of existing snag-management guidelines. Specifically, many postfire specialists use standing dead trees not only for nesting purposes but for feeding purposes as well. Woodpeckers, in particular specialize on wood-boring beetle larvae that are superabundant in fire-killed trees for several years following severe fire. Species such as the Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) are nearly restricted in their habitat distribution to severely burned forests. Moreover existing postfire salvage-logging studies reveal that most postfire specialist species are completely absent from burned forests that have been (even partially) salvage logged. I call for the long-overdue development and use of more meaningful snag-retention guidelines for postfire specialists, and I note that the biology of the most fire-dependent bird species suggests that even a cursory attempt to meet their snag needs would preclude postfire salvage logging in those severely burned conifer forests wherein the maintenance of biological diversity is deemed important. PMID:16922215

  4. Seasonal photosynthetic activity in evergreen conifer leaves monitored with spectral reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, C. Y.; Gamon, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Boreal evergreen conifers must maintain photosynthetic systems in environments where temperatures vary greatly across seasons from high temperatures in the summer to freezing levels in the winter. This involves seasonal downregulation and photoprotection during periods of extreme temperatures. To better understand this downregulation, seasonal dynamics of photosynthesis of lodgepole (Pinus contorta D.) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa D.) were monitored in Edmonton, Canada over two years. Spectral reflectance at the leaf and stand scales was measured weekly and the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI), often used as a proxy for chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment levels and photosynthetic light-use efficiency (LUE), was used to track the seasonal dynamics of photosynthetic activity. Additional physiological measurements included leaf pigment content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and gas exchange. All the metrics indicate large seasonal changes in photosynthetic activity, with a sharp transition from winter downregulation to active photosynthesis in the spring and a more gradual fall transition into winter. The PRI was a good indicator of several other variables including seasonally changing photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic LUE, and pigment pool sizes. Over the two-year cycle, PRI was primarily driven by changes in constitutive (chlorophyll:carotenoid) pigment levels correlated with seasonal photosynthetic activity, with a much smaller variation caused by diurnal changes in xanthophyll cycle activity (conversion between violaxanthin & zeaxanthin). Leaf and canopy scale PRI measurements exhibited parallel responses during the winter-spring transition. Together, our findings indicate that evergreen conifers photosynthetic system possesses a remarkable degree of resilience in response to large temperature changes across seasons, and that optical remote sensing can be used to observe the seasonal effects on photosynthesis and

  5. Impact of Conifer Forest Litter on Microwave Emission at L-Band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurum, Mehmet; O'Neill, Peggy E.; Lang, Roger H.; Cosh, Michael H.; Joseph, Alicia T.; Jackson, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports on the utilization of microwave modeling, together with ground truth, and L-band (1.4-GHz) brightness temperatures to investigate the passive microwave characteristics of a conifer forest floor. The microwave data were acquired over a natural Virginia Pine forest in Maryland by a ground-based microwave active/passive instrument system in 2008/2009. Ground measurements of the tree biophysical parameters and forest floor characteristics were obtained during the field campaign. The test site consisted of medium-sized evergreen conifers with an average height of 12 m and average diameters at breast height of 12.6 cm. The site is a typical pine forest site in that there is a surface layer of loose debris/needles and an organic transition layer above the mineral soil. In an effort to characterize and model the impact of the surface litter layer, an experiment was conducted on a day with wet soil conditions, which involved removal of the surface litter layer from one half of the test site while keeping the other half undisturbed. The observations showed detectable decrease in emissivity for both polarizations after the surface litter layer was removed. A first-order radiative transfer model of the forest stands including the multilayer nature of the forest floor in conjunction with the ground truth data are used to compute forest emission. The model calculations reproduced the major features of the experimental data over the entire duration, which included the effects of surface litter and ground moisture content on overall emission. Both theory and experimental results confirm that the litter layer increases the observed canopy brightness temperature and obscure the soil emission.

  6. Antioxidant Activity of Leaves and Fruits of Cultivated Conifers in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Emami, Sayed Ahmad; Shahani, Ali; Hassanzadeh Khayyat, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Background Use of antioxidants is a means of reducing rancidity of fats and oils in food stuffs. The commercial synthetic antioxidants in food industry have been suspected to cause negative health effects. Therefore as alternatives, there is a strong need in finding new effective and safe antioxidants from natural sources to prevent deterioration of foods, drugs and cosmetics. Objectives In order to investigate the antioxidant activity from natural sources as alternatives of commercial antioxidants, the antioxidant activity of the extracts of leaves and fruits of six different species of Iranian common conifers: Cupressus arizonica, Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra, Pinus brutia var. elderica, Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara were investigated in the current study. Materials and Methods The leaves and fruits of these plants were collected from different areas of the country. Methanol extracts of leaves and fruits of Iranian common conifers (six species) were prepared. Antioxidant activity of the samples was measured using ferric thiocyante (FTC) and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) tests. Results The results of the study, using the two methods, showed that all methanol extracts of leaves and fruits of the six species possessed antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of the samples was compared with the antioxidant activities of butylatedhydroxytoluene (BHT), as a synthetic antioxidant and α-tocopherol as a natural antioxidant. Methanol extractions of Pinus spp. leaves and fruits showed the highest antioxidant activity (quite higher than α- tocopherol). Among the extracts examined, the leaves of P. halpensis methanol extract showed the lowest activity. Conclusions At this stage it can be concluded that methanol extracts of these plants can be considered as strong antioxidant agents. However more investigation is necessary in order to evaluate the antioxidant activity of the components separate from each extracted sample using several different antioxidant methods

  7. Climate Effects on Soil Carbon Sequestration in a Grass, Oak and Conifer Ecosystem of California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittiglio, S. L.; Zasoski, R.

    2007-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) leaching from decomposing detritus accumulated above mineral soils is an important carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) flux that influences biogeochemical processes, C sequestration and the health of individual ecosystems. Previous studies have shown that the main process controlling DOM mobility in soils is sorption in the mineral horizons that adds to stabilized organic matter pools. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of temperature and incubation time on DOC and DON biodegradation and sorption in the mineral soil. Surface litter from a grass, oak and a conifer site were leached with deionized water for 5, 15 or 96 hours at 4, 20 or 30oC. The resulting DOM solutions were characterized using 13C NMR, XAD-8 resin and UV-vis spectroscopy. The biodegradable fraction (BDOC) of these solutions was quantified using inoculum from A horizon soils. The DOM solutions were also used in sorption experiments on A horizon soils. Supernatant from the A horizon sorption experiment was then used in a sorption experiment on Bt horizon soils and analyzed for BDOC using Bt horizon inoculum. The ability of the soils to adsorb DOC increased with increasing aromaticity in the DOC solution. Therefore, conifer DOM exhibited greater sorption than oak and grass DOM due to higher aromaticity. In all horizons, we observed net release of indigenous OM when OM-free solution was added. Net release of OM was greatest from the soils from the pine site, which had the greatest OM content among the soils we studied. ***Results still pending***

  8. Bat Response to Differing Fire Severity in Mixed-Conifer Forest California, USA

    PubMed Central

    Heady, Paul A.; Hayes, John P.; Frick, Winifred F.

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (<1 ha) and landscape scale in response to the 2002 McNally fire in the Sierra Nevada region of California, USA. One year after fire, we conducted surveys of echolocation activity at 14 survey locations, stratified in riparian and upland habitat, in mixed-conifer forest habitats spanning three levels of burn severity: unburned, moderate, and high. Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts. PMID:23483936

  9. De Novo Transcriptome Assembly and Characterization for the Widespread and Stress-Tolerant Conifer Platycladus orientalis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xian-Ge; Liu, Hui; Jin, YuQing; Sun, Yan-Qiang; Li, Yue; Zhao, Wei; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Platycladus orientalis, of the family Cupressaceae, is a widespread conifer throughout China and is extensively used for ecological reforestation, horticulture, and in medicine. Transcriptome assemblies are required for this ecologically important conifer for understanding genes underpinning adaptation and complex traits for breeding programs. To enrich the species' genomic resources, a de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed using Illumina paired-end sequencing. In total, 104,073,506 high quality sequence reads (approximately 10.3 Gbp) were obtained, which were assembled into 228,948 transcripts and 148,867 unigenes that were longer than 200 nt. Quality assessment using CEGMA showed that the transcriptomes obtained were mostly complete for highly conserved core eukaryotic genes. Based on similarity searches with known proteins, 62,938 (42.28% of all unigenes), 42,158 (28.32%), and 23,179 (15.57%) had homologs in the Nr, GO, and KOG databases, 25,625 (17.21%) unigenes were mapped to 322 pathways by BLASTX comparison against the KEGG database and 1,941 unigenes involved in environmental signaling and stress response were identified. We also identified 43 putative terpene synthase (TPS) functional genes loci and compared them with TPSs from other species. Additionally, 5,296 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified in 4,715 unigenes, which were assigned to 142 motif types. This is the first report of a complete transcriptome analysis of P. orientalis. These resources provide a foundation for further studies of adaptation mechanisms and molecular-based breeding programs. PMID:26881995

  10. Remote sensing of fire severity: linking post-fire reflectance data with physiological responses in two western conifer species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; Kolden, C.; Apostol, K. G.; Boschetti, L.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is a common disturbance in forested ecosystems in the western U.S. and can be responsible for long-term impacts on vegetation and soil. An improved understanding of how ecosystems recover after fire is necessary so that land managers can plan for and mitigate the effects of these disturbances. Although several studies have attempted to link fire intensity with severity, direct links between spectral indices of severity and key physiological changes in vegetation are not well understood. We conducted an assessment of how two western conifer species respond to four fire radiative energy treatments, with spectra acquired pre- and up to a month post-burn. After transforming the spectral data into Landsat 8 equivalent reflectance, burn severity indices commonly used in the remote sensing community were compared to concurrent physiological measurements including gas exchange and photosynthetic rate. Preliminary results indicate significant relationships between several fire severity indices and physiological responses measured in the conifer seedlings.

  11. Black-backed woodpecker habitat suitability mapping using conifer snag basal area estimated from airborne laser scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas Planes, Á.; Garcia, M.; Siegel, R.; Koltunov, A.; Ramirez, C.; Ustin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Occupancy and habitat suitability models for snag-dependent wildlife species are commonly defined as a function of snag basal area. Although critical for predicting or assessing habitat suitability, spatially distributed estimates of snag basal area are not generally available across landscapes at spatial scales relevant for conservation planning. This study evaluates the use of airborne laser scanning (ALS) to 1) identify individual conifer snags and map their basal area across a recently burned forest, and 2) map habitat suitability for a wildlife species known to be dependent on snag basal area, specifically the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). This study focuses on the Rim Fire, a megafire that took place in 2013 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, creating large patches of medium- and high-severity burned forest. We use forest inventory plots, single-tree ALS-derived metrics and Gaussian processes classification and regression to identify conifer snags and estimate their stem diameter and basal area. Then, we use the results to map habitat suitability for the black-backed woodpecker using thresholds for conifer basal area from a previously published habitat suitability model. Local maxima detection and watershed segmentation algorithms resulted in 75% detection of trees with stem diameter larger than 30 cm. Snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 91.8 % and conifer snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 84.8 %. Finally, Gaussian process regression reliably estimated stem diameter (R2 = 0.8) using height and crown area. This work provides a fast and efficient methodology to characterize the extent of a burned forest at the tree level and a critical tool for early wildlife assessment in post-fire forest management and biodiversity conservation.

  12. Regeneration patterns of a long-lived dominant conifer and the effects of logging in southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souza, Alexandre F.; Forgiarini, Cristiane; Longhi, Solon Jonas; Brena, Doádi Antônio

    2008-09-01

    The regeneration ecology of the long-lived conifer Araucaria angustifolia was studied in São Francisco de Paula, southern Brazil. We evaluated the expectations that: (i) size distribution of populations of Araucaria angustifolia, a large conifer that dominates southern Brazil's mixed forests, is left-skewed in old-growth forests but right-skewed in logged forests, indicating chronic recruitment failure in the first kind of habitat as well as a recruitment pulse in the second; (ii) seedlings and juveniles are found under more open-canopy microsites than would be expected by chance; and (iii) reproductive females would be aggregated at the coarse spatial scales in which past massive recruitment events are expected to have occurred, and young plants would be spatially associated with females due to the prevalence of vertebrate and large-bird seed dispersers. Data were collected in the threatened mixed conifer-hardwood forests in southern Brazil in ten 1-ha plots and one 0.25-ha plot that was hit by a small tornado in 2003. Five of these plots corresponded to unlogged old-growth forests, three to forests where A. angustifolia was selectively logged ca. 60 years ago and two to forests selectively logged ca. 20 years ago. For the first time, ontogenetic life stages of this important conifer are identified and described. The first and second expectations were fulfilled, and the third was partially fulfilled, since seedlings and juveniles were hardly ever associated with reproductive females. These results confirm the generalization of the current conceptual model of emergent long-lived pioneer regeneration to Araucaria angustifolia and associate its regeneration niche to the occupation of large-scale disturbances with long return times.

  13. The gut microbiota of the pine weevil is similar across Europe and resembles that of other conifer-feeding beetles.

    PubMed

    Berasategui, Aileen; Axelsson, Karolin; Nordlander, Göran; Schmidt, Axel; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Terenius, Olle; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2016-08-01

    The pine weevil (Hylobius abietis, Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an important pest of conifer seedlings in Europe. Despite its economic importance, little is known about the composition of its gut microbial community and the role it plays in mediating the weevil's ability to utilize conifers as a food source. Here, we characterized the gut bacterial communities of different populations of H. abietis across Europe and compared them to those of other beetles that occupy similar ecological niches. We demonstrate that the microbial community of H. abietis is similar at higher taxonomic levels (family and genus) across locations in Europe, with Wolbachia as the dominant microbe, followed by Enterobacteria and Firmicutes. Despite this similarity, we observed consistent differences between countries and locations, but not sexes. Our meta-analysis demonstrates that the gut bacterial community of the pine weevil is very similar to that of bark beetles that also exploit conifers as a food source. The Enterobacteriaceae symbionts of both host taxa are especially closely related phylogenetically. Conversely, the microbiota of H. abietis is distinct from that of closely related weevils feeding on nonconifer food sources, suggesting that the microbial community of the pine weevil is determined by the environment and may be relevant to host ecology. Furthermore, several H. abietis-associated members of the Enterobacteriaceae family are known to contain genes involved in terpenoid degradation. As such, we hypothesize that the gut microbial community is important for the utilization of conifer seedlings as a food source, either through the detoxification of plant secondary metabolites or through the supplementation of essential nutrients. PMID:27199034

  14. Molecular Aspects of Conifer Zygotic and Somatic Embryo Development: A Review of Genome-Wide Approaches and Recent Insights.

    PubMed

    Trontin, Jean-François; Klimaszewska, Krystyna; Morel, Alexandre; Hargreaves, Catherine; Lelu-Walter, Marie-Anne

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide profiling (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) is providing unprecedented opportunities to unravel the complexity of coordinated gene expression during embryo development in trees, especially conifer species harboring "giga-genome." This knowledge should be critical for the efficient delivery of improved varieties through seeds and/or somatic embryos in fluctuating markets and to cope with climate change. We reviewed "omics" as well as targeted gene expression studies during both somatic and zygotic embryo development in conifers and tentatively puzzled over the critical processes and genes involved at the specific developmental and transition stages. Current limitations to the interpretation of these large datasets are going to be lifted through the ongoing development of comprehensive genome resources in conifers. Nevertheless omics already confirmed that master regulators (e.g., transcription and epigenetic factors) play central roles. As in model angiosperms, the molecular regulation from early to late embryogenesis may mainly arise from spatiotemporal modulation of auxin-, gibberellin-, and abscisic acid-mediated responses. Omics also showed the potential for the development of tools to assess the progress of embryo development or to build genotype-independent, predictive models of embryogenesis-specific characteristics. PMID:26619863

  15. Local adaptation to temperature and precipitation in naturally fragmented populations of Cephalotaxus oliveri, an endangered conifer endemic to China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ting; Wang, Zhen; Xia, Fan; Su, Yingjuan

    2016-01-01

    Cephalotaxus oliveri is an endangered tertiary relict conifer endemic to China. The species survives in a wide range from west to east with heterogeneous climatic conditions. Precipitation and temperature are main restrictive factors for distribution of C. oliveri. In order to comprehend the mechanism of adaptive evolution to climate variation, we employed ISSR markers to detect adaptive evolution loci, to identify the association between variation in temperature and precipitation and adaptive loci, and to investigate the genetic structure for 22 C. oliveri natural populations. In total, 14 outlier loci were identified, of which five were associated with temperature and precipitation. Among outlier loci, linkage disequilibrium (LD) was high (42.86%), which also provided strong evidence for selection. In addition, C. oliveri possessed high genetic variation (93.31%) and population differentiation, which may provide raw material to evolution and accelerate local adaptation, respectively. Ecological niche modeling showed that global warming will cause a shift for populations of C. oliveri from south to north with a shrinkage of southern areas. Our results contribute to understand the potential response of conifers to climatic changes, and provide new insights for conifer resource management and conservation strategies. PMID:27113970

  16. Local adaptation to temperature and precipitation in naturally fragmented populations of Cephalotaxus oliveri, an endangered conifer endemic to China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ting; Wang, Zhen; Xia, Fan; Su, Yingjuan

    2016-01-01

    Cephalotaxus oliveri is an endangered tertiary relict conifer endemic to China. The species survives in a wide range from west to east with heterogeneous climatic conditions. Precipitation and temperature are main restrictive factors for distribution of C. oliveri. In order to comprehend the mechanism of adaptive evolution to climate variation, we employed ISSR markers to detect adaptive evolution loci, to identify the association between variation in temperature and precipitation and adaptive loci, and to investigate the genetic structure for 22 C. oliveri natural populations. In total, 14 outlier loci were identified, of which five were associated with temperature and precipitation. Among outlier loci, linkage disequilibrium (LD) was high (42.86%), which also provided strong evidence for selection. In addition, C. oliveri possessed high genetic variation (93.31%) and population differentiation, which may provide raw material to evolution and accelerate local adaptation, respectively. Ecological niche modeling showed that global warming will cause a shift for populations of C. oliveri from south to north with a shrinkage of southern areas. Our results contribute to understand the potential response of conifers to climatic changes, and provide new insights for conifer resource management and conservation strategies. PMID:27113970

  17. The Ty1-copia LTR retroelement family PARTC is highly conserved in conifers over 200 MY of evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuccolo, Andrea; Scofield, Douglas G; De Paoli, Emanuele; Morgante, Michele

    2015-08-15

    Long Terminal Repeat retroelements (LTR-RTs) are a major component of many plant genomes. Although well studied and described in angiosperms, their features and dynamics are poorly understood in gymnosperms. Representative complete copies of a Ty1-copia element isolate in Picea abies and named PARTC were identified in six other conifer species (Picea glauca, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus taeda, Abies sibirica, Taxus baccata and Juniperus communis) covering more than 200 million years of evolution. Here we characterized the structure of this element, assessed its abundance across conifers, studied the modes and timing of its amplification, and evaluated the degree of conservation of its extant copies at nucleotide level over distant species. We demonstrated that the element is ancient, abundant, widespread and its paralogous copies are present in the genera Picea, Pinus and Abies as an LTR-RT family. The amplification leading to the extant copies of PARTC occurred over long evolutionary times spanning 10s of MY and mostly took place after the speciation of the conifers analyzed. The level of conservation of PARTC is striking and may be explained by low substitution rates and limited removal mechanisms for LTR-RTs. These PARTC features and dynamics are representative of a more general scenario for LTR-RTs in gymnosperms quite different from that characterizing the vast majority of LTR-RT elements in angiosperms. PMID:25982862

  18. Effects of fire and harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dore, S.; Fry, D.; Stephens, S.

    2012-12-01

    Forest ecosystems, and in particular forest soils, constitute a major reservoir of global terrestrial carbon and soil respiration is the largest carbon loss from these ecosystems. Disturbances can affect soil respiration, causing physical and chemical changes in soil characteristics, adding both, above and belowground necromass, and changing microclimatic conditions. This could signify an important and long term carbon loss, even higher than the carbon directly removed by the harvest or during fire. These losses need to be included when quantifying the net carbon balance of forests. We measured the impacts of prescribed fire and clear-cut tree harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada. The prescribed fire treatment was implemented in 2002 and again in 2009. Four areas were clear-cut harvested in 2010. In half of these units the soils were mechanically ripped to reduce soil compaction, a common practice in the Sierra Nevada industrial forest lands. Soil respiration was measured using two different techniques: the chamber method and the gradient method. Soil respiration was affected by treatments in two different ways. First, treatments changed soil temperature and soil water content, the main abiotic factors controlling soil respiration. The clear cut and the prescribed fire treatments created higher maximum soil temperature and more available soil water content, environmental conditions favorable to soil respiration. However, the loss of trees and thus fine roots, and the decrease of soil litter and organic layers, because of their combustion or removal, had a negative effect on soil respiration that was stronger than the positive effect due to more favorable post disturbance environmental conditions. Soil respiration rates remained steady 1-2 years after treatments and no increase or spikes of soil respiration were measured after treatments. Continuous measurements of CO2 concentrations at different soil depths improved our

  19. Improvements of palaeochemotaxonomy as a palaeofloristic proxy using artificial maturation of extant conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous studies of the molecular composition of terrestrial plants show that many organic compounds have a chemotaxonomic value. This means that these biomolecules are synthesized by a restricted number of taxa and can be used as specific biomarkers. Some of these biomolecules, like terpenoids, are poorly altered and preserved in sediments where they are then transformed into geomolecules. Thus, the distribution of vascular plant biomarkers preserved in sedimentary rocks could serve as proxy for terrestrial palaeoflora assessment. Furthermore, as flora association may reflect climatic conditions, vascular plant biomarkers may also serve as palaeoclimatic proxies. Botanical palaeochemotaxonomy presents some specific attributes compared to palaeobotany and palynology in the reconstruction of palaeofloristic and palaeoclimatic evolutions through geological time : 1) plant biomarkers are more widespread in the stratigraphic record than well preserved plant macrofossils, 2) on the contrary to palynomorphs they can be directly linked to specific plant taxa, 3) biomarkers are readily analyzed by usual organic geochemistry procedures. However, our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy, allowing to link geomolecular markers to botanical taxa, is still incomplete. Difficulties are related to 1) extrapolation of information from extant plants to their fossil counterparts, 2) the scarcity of well preserved and identifiable fossils. In order to help fill these gaps, we use an experimental method based on artificial maturation of extant plants by confined pyrolysis (*Hautevelle et al. 2006). This technique allows to simulate conversion of biomolecules into diagenetized compounds. The objective of this study is to clarify the molecular signature of fossil conifer families. 69 species belonging to seven families of extant conifers (Araucariaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, Podocarpaceae, Sciadopityaceae, Taxaceae and Taxodiaceae) were pyrolyzed. Extractable organic matter is

  20. Interactions of tissue and fertilizer nitrogen on decomposition dynamics of lignin-rich conifer litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perakis, Steven S.; Matkins, Joselin J.; Hibbs, David E.

    2012-01-01

    High tissue nitrogen (N) accelerates decomposition of high-quality leaf litter in the early phases of mass loss, but the influence of initial tissue N variation on the decomposition of lignin-rich litter is less resolved. Because environmental changes such as atmospheric N deposition and elevated CO2 can alter tissue N levels within species more rapidly than they alter the species composition of ecosystems, it is important to consider how within-species variation in tissue N may shape litter decomposition and associated N dynamics. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ) is a widespread lignin-rich conifer that dominates forests of high carbon (C) storage across western North America, and displays wide variation in tissue and litter N that reflects landscape variation in soil N. We collected eight unique Douglas-fir litter sources that spanned a two-fold range in initial N concentrations (0.67–1.31%) with a narrow range of lignin (29–35%), and examined relationships between initial litter chemistry, decomposition, and N dynamics in both ambient and N fertilized plots at four sites over 3 yr. High initial litter N slowed decomposition rates in both early (0.67 yr) and late (3 yr) stages in unfertilized plots. Applications of N fertilizer to litters accelerated early-stage decomposition, but slowed late-stage decomposition, and most strongly affected low-N litters, which equalized decomposition rates across litters regardless of initial N concentrations. Decomposition of N-fertilized litters correlated positively with initial litter manganese (Mn) concentrations, with litter Mn variation reflecting faster turnover of canopy foliage in high N sites, producing younger litterfall with high N and low Mn. Although both internal and external N inhibited decomposition at 3 yr, most litters exhibited net N immobilization, with strongest immobilization in low-N litter and in N-fertilized plots. Our observation for lignin-rich litter that high initial N can slow decomposition

  1. Quantifying cambial activity of high-elevation conifers in the Great Basin, Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziaco, E.; Biondi, F.; Rossi, S.; Deslauriers, A.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the physiological mechanisms that control the formation of tree rings provides the necessary biological basis for developing dendroclimatic reconstructions and dendroecological histories. Studies of wood formation in the Great Basin are now being conducted in connection with the Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN), a recently established transect of valley-to-mountaintop instrumented stations in the Snake and Sheep Ranges of the Great Basin. Automated sensors record meteorological, soil, and vegetational variables at these sites, providing unique opportunities for ecosystem science, and are being used to investigate the ecological implications of xylogenesis. We present here an initial study based on microcores collected during summer 2013 from mountain and subalpine conifers (including Great Basin bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva) growing on the west slope of Mt. Washington. Samples were taken from the mountain west (SM; 2810 m elevation) and the subalpine west (SS, 3355 m elevation) NevCAN sites on June 16th and 27th, 2013. The SS site was further subdivided in a high (SSH) and a low (SSL) group of trees, separated by about 10 m in elevation. Microscopic analyses showed the effect of elevation on cambial activity, as annual ring formation was more advanced at the lower (mountain) site compared to the higher (subalpine) one. At all sites cambium size showed little variations between the two sampling dates. The number of xylem cells in the radial enlargement phase decreased between the two sampling dates at the mountain site but increased at the subalpine site, confirming a delayed formation of wood at the higher elevations. Despite relatively high within-site variability, a general trend of increasing number of cells in the lignification phase was found at all sites. Mature cells were present only at the mountain site on June 27th. Spatial differences in the xylem formation process emerged at the species level and, within

  2. Parallel δ 13C and Conifer Physiognomic Trends Across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Olsen, P. E.; Sambrotto, R. N.; Cornet, B.

    2003-12-01

    The Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event ( ˜200 Ma) had a profound effect on biotic evolution, and herein we describe trends in cheirolepidaceous conifer leaf physiognomy from the Pangean tropics (present northeastern USA) that at least broadly parallel a negative δ 13C excursion recorded in the same strata. The physiognomic changes appear at an abrupt (<10 ky) negative carbon isotope excursion (1) synchronous with a previously described palynological extinction level, fern spike, and Ir anomaly (2), and continue through a prolonged negative excursion, lasting 900 ky (through all three CAMP basaltic extrusive events), encompassing most of the Hettangian age. The physiognomic changes seen in the cheirolepidaceous conifer leafy shoot forms Brachyphyllum and Pagiophyllum through the δ 13C excursions include primarily the development of microphyllous leaves with thickened cuticle and sunken papillate stomata (3). These floral modifications are consistent with intense thermal stress plausibly due to very high atmospheric CO2 concentrations and corroborate McElwain's (4) thermal damage hypothesis for the Triassic-Jurassic transition that was originally based on different plant taxa from the higher Pangean latitudes in present Greenland and Sweden. Subsequently, a 2- to 5-fold increase in the area of leafy shoots in strata of latest Hettangian age suggest a return to lower thermal stress levels perhaps due to lower CO2, despite the fact that eastern North America continued to drift into more arid latitudes. The floral physiognomic changes associated with the negative δ 13C excursion and likely very elevated CO2 levels is in many ways a microcosm of the Mesozoic in which the dominance of cheiroleps apparently overlaps with the highest CO2 levels of the Mesozoic (5). References. (1) Whiteside JH, Olsen PE, Sambrotto RN. 2003. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abst. Prog. (in press). (2) Olsen PE et al., Science 296:1305-1307 (3) Cornet B. 1989. in Olsen PE, Schlische RW, Gore PJW

  3. The effect of elevation, light and water availability on the growth of Sierran conifer seedlings

    SciTech Connect

    Kern, R.A.; Dale, V.H.; Beauchamp, J.J. Oak Ridge National Lab., TN )

    1994-06-01

    The composition of many plant communities will be altered with global change, and this will depend on individual species' abilities to reproduce and to survive under new climate conditions. Two experiments are underday to test the hypothesis that seedling demography is affected by the relative drought and shade tolerances of seven co-occurring species of Sierran conifers. The first experiment is being conducted at three sites in Sequoia National Park, California, elevations 1600 m, 1900 m and 2200 m. At each site, closed canopy [open quotes]shade[close quotes] plots and open canopy [open quotes]gap[close quotes] plots are being used. Seedling growth of each species is compared between light levels and elevations. The second experiment also measures seedling growth in low and high levels, but with four levels of water availability at one elevation (1900 m). Microenvironmental monitoring (soil and air temperature, relative humidity, radiation, and soil moisture) by surrounding mature trees are also being measured in order to develop a mechanistic model of seedling growth and survival.

  4. Mixed conifer forest mortality and establishment before and after prescribed fire in Sequoia National Park, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mutch, L.S.; Parsons, D.J.

    1998-01-01

    Pre-and post-burn tree mortality rates, size structure, basal area, and ingrowth were determined for four 1.0 ha mixed conifer forest stands in the Log Creek and Tharp's Creek watersheds of Sequoia National Park. Mean annual mortality between 1986 and 1990 was 0.8% for both watersheds. In the fall of 1990, the Tharp's Creek watershed was treated with a prescribed burn. Between 1991 and 1995, mean annual mortality was 1.4% in the unburned Log Creek watershed and 17.2% in the burned Tharp's Creek watershed. A drought from 1987 to 1992 likely contributed to the mortality increase in the Log Creek watershed. The high mortality in the Tharp's Creek watershed was primarily related to crown scorch from the 1990 fire and was modeled with logistic regression for white fir (Abies concolor [Gord. and Glend.]) and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana [Dougl.]). From 1989 to 1994, basal area declined an average of 5% per year in the burned Tharp's Creek watershed, compared to average annual increases of less than 1% per year in the unburned Log Creek watershed and in the Tharp's watershed prior to burning. Post-burn size structure was dramatically changed in the Tharp's Creek stands: 75% of trees ???50 cm and 25% of trees >50 cm were killed by the fire.

  5. Incised channel fills containing conifers indicate that seasonally dry vegetation dominated Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Falcon-Lang, H. J.; Nelson, W.J.; Elrick, S.; Looy, C.V.; Ames, P.R.; DiMichele, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    The idea that the Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands were temporally dominated by rainforest (i.e., the Coal Forest) is deeply ingrained in the literature. Here we challenge two centuries of research by suggesting that this concept is based on a taphonomic artifact, and that seasonally dry vegetation dominated instead. This controversial finding arises from the discovery of a new middle Pennsylvanian (Moscovian) fossil plant assemblage in southeast Illinois, United States. The assemblage, which contains xerophytic walchian conifers, occurs in channels incised into a calcic Vertisol below the Baker Coal. These plants grew on seasonally dry tropical lowlands inferred to have developed during a glacial phase. This xerophytic flora differs markedly from that of the typical clubmoss-dominated Coal Forest developed during deglaciation events. Although preserved only very rarely, we argue that such xerophytic floras were temporally as dominant, and perhaps more dominant, than the iconic Coal Forests, which are overrepresented in the fossil record due to taphonomic megabias. These findings require the iconography of Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands to be redrawn. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.

  6. Recent growth of conifer species of western North America: Assessing spatial patterns of radial growth trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, D.; Hessl, Amy E.; Peterson, D.L.

    2001-01-01

    We explored spatial patterns of low-frequency variability in radial tree growth among western North American conifer species and identified predictors of the variability in these patterns. Using 185 sites from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, each of which contained 10a??60 raw ring-width series, we rebuilt two chronologies for each site, using two conservative methods designed to retain any low-frequency variability associated with recent environmental change. We used factor analysis to identify regional low-frequency patterns in site chronologies and estimated the slope of the growth trend since 1850 at each site from a combination of linear regression and time-series techniques. This slope was the response variable in a regression-tree model to predict the effects of environmental gradients and species-level differences on growth trends. Growth patterns at 27 sites from the American Southwest were consistent with quasi-periodic patterns of drought. Either 12 or 32 of the 185 sites demonstrated patterns of increasing growth between 1850 and 1980 A.D., depending on the standardization technique used. Pronounced growth increases were associated with high-elevation sites (above 3000 m) and high-latitude sites in maritime climates. Future research focused on these high-elevation and high-latitude sites should address the precise mechanisms responsible for increased 20th century growth.

  7. Long-term effect on some chemical parameter and microbial diversity in a conifer forest soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias, T.; Iglesias, M.; Francisco-Álvarez, R.; Ramírez, M.; Fernández-Bermejo, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    Soil microbiota are one of the soil components most affected by wildfires. The data from the present study were obtained from a conifer forest soil at Sierra de Gredos (Ávila, central Spain) twenty years after fire of low-to-moderate intensity. A set of soil characteristics indicated the extent to which the spontaneous recovery of the soil is produced as a result of vegetation regrowth. Ten months after fire a strong increase in soil pH, organic C and N, and exchangeable Ca and K, with respect the control soil. Eighteen years after this fire it was observed a decrease of soil organic C and N, whereas other variables such as pH, exchangeable Ca and K were slightly increased with respect to control soil. Is summe a change in soil microbiota was observed due to wildfire, with a decrease in fungi and bacteria population, Also some changes in microbial community was detected, Key words: Forest Fire, soil microbiology, chemical soil properties

  8. Contrasting patterns of nucleotide diversity for four conifers of Alpine European forests

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, Elena; Eckert, Andrew J; Liechty, John D; Wegrzyn, Jill L; La Porta, Nicola; Vendramin, Giovanni G; Neale, David B

    2012-01-01

    A candidate gene approach was used to identify levels of nucleotide diversity and to identify genes departing from neutral expectations in coniferous species of the Alpine European forest. Twelve samples were collected from four species that dominate montane and subalpine forests throughout Europe: Abies alba Mill, Larix decidua Mill, Pinus cembra L., and Pinus mugo Turra. A total of 800 genes, originally resequenced in Pinus taeda L., were resequenced across 12 independent trees for each of the four species. Genes were assigned to two categories, candidate and control, defined through homology-based searches to Arabidopsis. Estimates of nucleotide diversity per site varied greatly between polymorphic candidate genes (range: 0.0004–0.1295) and among species (range: 0.0024–0.0082), but were within the previously established ranges for conifers. Tests of neutrality using stringent significance thresholds, performed under the standard neutral model, revealed one to seven outlier loci for each species. Some of these outliers encode proteins that are involved with plant stress responses and form the basis for further evolutionary enquiries. PMID:23144662

  9. Mega-fire Recovery in Dry Conifer Forests of the Interior West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, S. L.; Fornwalt, P.; Chambers, M. E.; Battaglia, M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire is a complex landscape process with great uncertainty in whether trends in size and severity are shifting trajectories for ecosystem recovery that are outside of the historical range of variability. Considering that wildfire size and severity is likely to increase into the future with a drier climate, it is important that we understand wildfire effects and ecosystem recovery. To evaluate how ecosystems recover from wildfire we measured spatial patterns in regeneration and mapped tree refugia within mega-fire perimeters (Hayman, Jasper, Bobcat, and Grizzly Gulch) in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) dominated forest. On average, high severity fire effects accounted for > 15% of burned area and increased with fire size. Areas with high severity fire effects contained 1 - 15% tree refugia cover, compared to 37 - 70% observed in low severity areas . Large high severity patches with low coverage of tree refugia, were more frequent in larger fires and regeneration distances required to initiate forest recovery far exceeded 1.5 canopy height or 200 m, distances where the vast majority of regeneration is likely to arise. Using a recovery model driven by distance, we estimate recovery times between 300 to > 1000 years for these mega-fires. In Western dry conifer forests, large patches of stand replacing fire are likely to lead to uneven aged forest and very long recovery times.

  10. Intraspecific variation in the use of water sources by the circum-Mediterranean conifer Pinus halepensis.

    PubMed

    Voltas, Jordi; Lucabaugh, Devon; Chambel, Maria Regina; Ferrio, Juan Pedro

    2015-12-01

    The relevance of interspecific variation in the use of plant water sources has been recognized in drought-prone environments. By contrast, the characterization of intraspecific differences in water uptake patterns remains elusive, although preferential access to particular soil layers may be an important adaptive response for species along aridity gradients. Stable water isotopes were analysed in soil and xylem samples of 56 populations of the drought-avoidant conifer Pinus halepensis grown in a common garden test. We found that most populations reverted to deep soil layers as the main plant water source during seasonal summer droughts. More specifically, we detected a clear geographical differentiation among populations in water uptake patterns even under relatively mild drought conditions (early autumn), with populations originating from more arid regions taking up more water from deep soil layers. However, the preferential access to deep soil water was largely independent of aboveground growth. Our findings highlight the high plasticity and adaptive relevance of the differential access to soil water pools among Aleppo pine populations. The observed ecotypic patterns point to the adaptive relevance of resource investment in deep roots as a strategy towards securing a source of water in dry environments for P. halepensis. PMID:26193768

  11. Determination of the molecular signature of fossil conifers by experimental palaeochemotaxonomy - Part 1: The Araucariaceae family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2013-03-01

    Twelve species of the conifer family Araucariaceae, including Araucaria (6 species), Agathis (3 species) and Wollemia (1 species) genera, were submitted to artificial maturation by confined pyrolysis. The aim of these experiments is to transform the biomolecules synthesized by these species into their homologous geomolecules in laboratory conditions. Determination of the diagenetic molecular signatures of Araucariaceae through experimentation on extant representatives allows us to complete our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy. Such knowledge is relevant to palaeoenvironmental, environmental and archaeology purposes. All artificially diagenetic species of Araucariaceae are firstly characterized by a predominance of saturated tetracyclic diterpenoids including ent-beyerane, phyllocladanes and ent-kauranes. Moreover, Araucaria genus shows a high relative abundance of bicyclic sesquiterpenoids, particularly the cadalane-type compounds accompanied by those of eudesmane and bisabolane types as well as chamazulene and pentamethyl-dihydroindenes. Diterpenoids are of labdane, isopimarane and abietane types (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) as well as isohexyl alkylaromatic hydrocarbons. Compared to the tetracyclic diterpenoids, these compounds show a relatively lower abundance, reaching trace levels in the case of saturated abietanes. Distributions of sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids of Agathis show some similarities to that of Araucaria, with the exception of one species, in which the tetracyclic compounds are absent and the abietane type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) predominant. High similarities between the Wollemia and Araucaria genera are observed. Both are characterized by some high relative abundance of tetracyclic compounds with no predominance of other specific diterpenoids.

  12. Predicting Impacts of Future Climate Change on the Distribution of the Widespread Conifer Platycladus orientalis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xian-Ge; Jin, Yuqing; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng; Li, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Chinese thuja (Platycladus orientalis) has a wide but fragmented distribution in China. It is an important conifer tree in reforestation and plays important roles in ecological restoration in the arid mountains of northern China. Based on high-resolution environmental data for current and future scenarios, we modeled the present and future suitable habitat for P. orientalis, evaluated the importance of environmental factors in shaping the species' distribution, and identified regions of high risk under climate change scenarios. The niche models showed that P. orientalis has suitable habitat of ca. 4.2×106 km2 across most of eastern China and identified annual temperature, monthly minimum and maximum ultraviolet-B radiation and wet-day frequency as the critical factors shaping habitat availability for P. orientalis. Under the low concentration greenhouse gas emissions scenario, the range of the species may increase as global warming intensifies; however, under the higher concentrations of emissions scenario, we predicted a slight expansion followed by contraction in distribution. Overall, the range shift to higher latitudes and elevations would become gradually more significant. The information gained from this study should be an useful reference for implementing long-term conservation and management strategies for the species. PMID:26132163

  13. Remote sensing aided procedure for conifer growth modeling in the northeastern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, H. G.; Khorram, S.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this study was to use remotely-sensed data with ground-acquired data for preparing inputs to a mathematical model for generation of a potential conifer growth map of a wildland area. The study area, jointly selected by the resource managers of the U.S. Forest Service at the Plumas National Forest and researchers, covers approximately 500 sq km in the northeastern scrapment of Sierra Nevada. The approach involved a computerized databank based on both remotely-sensed and ground-acquired data. The remotely-sensed data included Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data, NOAA-5 Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) data and U-2 Color infrared photography. The ground data included U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps, Defense Mapping Agency (DMA)/USGS digital terrain data, soil maps, and vegetation data. The results included a series of maps for the final product as well as the intermediate products. The intermediate products were potential evapotranspiration, aspect, and soil plant available water.

  14. Evaluation of secretome of highly efficient lignocellulolytic Penicillium sp. Dal 5 isolated from rhizosphere of conifers.

    PubMed

    Rai, Rohit; Kaur, Baljit; Singh, Surender; Di Falco, Macros; Tsang, Adrian; Chadha, B S

    2016-09-01

    Penicillium sp. (Dal 5) isolated from rhizosphere of conifers from Dalhousie (Himachal Pradesh, India) was found to be an efficient cellulolytic strain. The culture under shake flask on CWR (cellulose, wheat bran and rice straw) medium produced appreciably higher levels of endoglucanase (35.69U/ml), β-glucosidase (4.20U/ml), cellobiohydrolase (2.86U/ml), FPase (1.2U/ml) and xylanase (115U/ml) compared to other Penicillium strains reported in literature. The mass spectroscopy analysis of Penicillium sp. Dal 5 secretome identified 108 proteins constituting an array of CAZymes including glycosyl hydrolases (GH) belonging to 24 different families, polysaccharide lyases (PL), carbohydrate esterases (CE), lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases (LPMO) in addition to swollenin and a variety of carbohydrate binding modules (CBM) indicating an elaborate genetic potential of this strain for hydrolysis of lignocellulosics. Further, the culture extract was evaluated for hydrolysis of alkali treated rice straw, wheat straw, bagasse and corn cob at 10% substrate loading rate. PMID:27341464

  15. Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortality due to chronic temperature rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDowell, Nathan G.; Williams, A.P.; Xu, C.; Pockman, W. T.; Dickman, L. T.; Sevanto, S.; Pangle, R.; Limousin, J.; Plaut, J.J.; Mackay, D.S.; Ogee, J.; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Allen, Craig D.; Fisher, Rosie A.; Jiang, X.; Muss, J.D.; Breshears, D.D.; Rauscher, Sara A.; Koven, C.

    2015-01-01

    Global temperature rise and extremes accompanying drought threaten forests and their associated climatic feedbacks. Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain in part owing to our failure to integrate physiological measurements, regional-scale models, and dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here we show consistent predictions of widespread mortality of needleleaf evergreen trees (NET) within Southwest USA by 2100 using state-of-the-art models evaluated against empirical data sets. Experimentally, dominant Southwest USA NET species died when they fell below predawn water potential (Ψpd) thresholds (April–August mean) beyond which photosynthesis, hydraulic and stomatal conductance, and carbohydrate availability approached zero. The evaluated regional models accurately predicted NET Ψpd, and 91% of predictions (10 out of 11) exceeded mortality thresholds within the twenty-first century due to temperature rise. The independent DGVMs predicted ≥50% loss of Northern Hemisphere NET by 2100, consistent with the NET findings for Southwest USA. Notably, the global models underestimated future mortality within Southwest USA, highlighting that predictions of future mortality within global models may be underestimates. Taken together, the validated regional predictions and the global simulations predict widespread conifer loss in coming decades under projected global warming.

  16. Climate controls on anomalously high productivity in the mixed conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, A. E.; Goulden, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    The Mediterranean climate of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains supports a dense conifer forest that contains some of the largest trees in the world. Well-established ecological relationships, such as the Miami Model, predict relatively low NPPs for these forests (~250 g/m2/yr to 1300 g/m2/yr) due to winter cold limitation and summer drought. However, the observed rates of NPPs are quite high (up to 2000 g/m2/yr), raising the question of what environmental conditions and plant adaptations promote such a high NPP. We hypothesize that the trees in these forests are neither as cold-limited nor water-limited as surface weather station data suggest. Eddy covariance observations at the top of a 55 m tall micrometeorological tower located at 2050 m elevation indicate daytime CO2 uptake continues year round, and is not limited by winter cold or summer drought. Comparisons of temperature measurements on the tower with operational balloon soundings indicate that tree canopies are often in the free troposphere, which buffers the temperatures they experience and moderates winter cold limitation and summer evapotranspiration.

  17. Capturing spiral radial growth of conifers using the superellipse to model tree-ring geometric shape

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Pei-Jian; Huang, Jian-Guo; Hui, Cang; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Tardif, Jacques C.; Zhai, Li-Hong; Wang, Fu-Sheng; Li, Bai-Lian

    2015-01-01

    Tree-rings are often assumed to approximate a circular shape when estimating forest productivity and carbon dynamics. However, tree rings are rarely, if ever, circular, thereby possibly resulting in under- or over-estimation in forest productivity and carbon sequestration. Given the crucial role played by tree ring data in assessing forest productivity and carbon storage within a context of global change, it is particularly important that mathematical models adequately render cross-sectional area increment derived from tree rings. We modeled the geometric shape of tree rings using the superellipse equation and checked its validation based on the theoretical simulation and six actual cross sections collected from three conifers. We found that the superellipse better describes the geometric shape of tree rings than the circle commonly used. We showed that a spiral growth trend exists on the radial section over time, which might be closely related to spiral grain along the longitudinal axis. The superellipse generally had higher accuracy than the circle in predicting the basal area increment, resulting in an improved estimate for the basal area. The superellipse may allow better assessing forest productivity and carbon storage in terrestrial forest ecosystems. PMID:26528316

  18. The complete chloroplast genome of Armand pine Pinus armandii, an endemic conifer tree species to China.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhong-Hu; Qian, Zeng-Qiang; Liu, Zhan-Lin; Deng, Tuan-Tuan; Zu, Yu-Meng; Zhao, Peng; Zhao, Gui-Fang

    2016-07-01

    The complete chloroplast genome (cpDNA) sequence of an endemic conifer species, Armand pine Pinus armandii Franch., is determined in this study. The cpDNA was 117,265 bp in length, containing a pair of 475 bp inverted repeat (IR) regions those distinguished in large and small single copy (LSC and SSC) regions of 64,548 and 51,767 bp in length, respectively. The cpDNA contained 114 genes, including 74 protein-coding genes (74 PCG species), 4 ribosomal RNA genes (four rRNA species) and 36 transfer RNA genes (33 tRNA species). Out of these genes, 12 harbor a single intron and most of the genes occurred in a single copy. The overall AT content of the Armand pine cpDNA was 61.2%, while the corresponding values of the LSC, SSC and IR regions were 62.0%, 60.2% and 62.7%, respectively. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that P. armandii chloroplast genome is closely related to that of the P. koraiensis within the genus Pinus. PMID:26024147

  19. Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of sugar transport in conifer needles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Kaare H.; Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Liesche, Johannes; Holbrook, N. Michele; Schulz, Alexander; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-11-01

    The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 cm (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level.

  20. Histology and cell wall biochemistry of stone cells in the physical defence of conifers against insects.

    PubMed

    Whitehill, Justin G A; Henderson, Hannah; Schuetz, Mathias; Skyba, Oleksandr; Yuen, Macaire Man Saint; King, John; Samuels, A Lacey; Mansfield, Shawn D; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2016-08-01

    Conifers possess an array of physical and chemical defences against stem-boring insects. Stone cells provide a physical defence associated with resistance against bark beetles and weevils. In Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), abundance of stone cells in the cortex of apical shoots is positively correlated with resistance to white pine weevil (Pissodes strobi). We identified histological, biochemical and molecular differences in the stone cell phenotype of weevil resistant (R) or susceptible (S) Sitka spruce genotypes. R trees displayed significantly higher quantities of cortical stone cells near the apical shoot node, the primary site for weevil feeding. Lignin, cellulose, xylan and mannan were the most abundant components of stone cell secondary walls, respectively. Lignin composition of stone cells isolated from R trees contained a higher percentage of G-lignin compared with S trees. Transcript profiling revealed higher transcript abundance in the R genotype of coumarate 3-hydroxylase, a key monolignol biosynthetic gene. Developing stone cells in current year apical shoots incorporated fluorescent-tagged monolignol into the secondary cell wall, while mature stone cells of previous year apical shoots did not. Stone cell development is an ephemeral process, and fortification of shoot tips in R trees is an effective strategy against insect feeding. PMID:26474726

  1. Negligible influence of spatial autocorrelation in the assessment of fire effects in a mixed conifer forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, P.J.; Schwilk, D.W.

    2009-01-01

    Fire is an important feature of many forest ecosystems, although the quantification of its effects is compromised by the large scale at which fire occurs and its inherent unpredictability. A recurring problem is the use of subsamples collected within individual burns, potentially resulting in spatially autocorrelated data. Using subsamples from six different fires (and three unburned control areas) we show little evidence for strong spatial autocorrelation either before or after burning for eight measures of forest conditions (both fuels and vegetation). Additionally, including a term for spatially autocorrelated errors provided little improvement for simple linear models contrasting the effects of early versus late season burning. While the effects of spatial autocorrelation should always be examined, it may not always greatly influence assessments of fire effects. If high patch scale variability is common in Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests, even following more than a century of fire exclusion, treatments designed to encourage further heterogeneity in forest conditions prior to the reintroduction of fire will likely be unnecessary.

  2. Contrasting patterns of nucleotide diversity for four conifers of Alpine European forests.

    PubMed

    Mosca, Elena; Eckert, Andrew J; Liechty, John D; Wegrzyn, Jill L; La Porta, Nicola; Vendramin, Giovanni G; Neale, David B

    2012-11-01

    A candidate gene approach was used to identify levels of nucleotide diversity and to identify genes departing from neutral expectations in coniferous species of the Alpine European forest. Twelve samples were collected from four species that dominate montane and subalpine forests throughout Europe: Abies alba Mill, Larix decidua Mill, Pinus cembra L., and Pinus mugo Turra. A total of 800 genes, originally resequenced in Pinus taeda L., were resequenced across 12 independent trees for each of the four species. Genes were assigned to two categories, candidate and control, defined through homology-based searches to Arabidopsis. Estimates of nucleotide diversity per site varied greatly between polymorphic candidate genes (range: 0.0004-0.1295) and among species (range: 0.0024-0.0082), but were within the previously established ranges for conifers. Tests of neutrality using stringent significance thresholds, performed under the standard neutral model, revealed one to seven outlier loci for each species. Some of these outliers encode proteins that are involved with plant stress responses and form the basis for further evolutionary enquiries. PMID:23144662

  3. A broad survey of hydraulic and mechanical safety in the xylem of conifers

    PubMed Central

    Bouche, Pauline S.; Larter, Maximilien; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Burlett, Régis; Gasson, Peter; Jansen, Steven; Delzon, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Drought-induced forest dieback has been widely reported over the last decades, and the evidence for a direct causal link between survival and hydraulic failure (xylem cavitation) is now well known. Because vulnerability to cavitation is intimately linked to the anatomy of the xylem, the main objective of this study was to better understand the xylem anatomical properties associated with cavitation resistance. An extensive data set of cavitation resistance traits and xylem anatomical properties was developed for 115 conifer species, with special attention given to the micro-morphology of bordered pits. The ratio of torus to pit aperture diameter, so-called torus overlap, increased with increasing cavitation resistance, while the flexibility of the margo does not seem to play a role, suggesting that air-seeding is located at the seal between the aspirated torus and pit aperture. Moreover, punctured tori were reported in various Pinaceae species. Species resistant to cavitation had thicker tracheid walls, while their lumen diameter (conduit size) was only slightly reduced, minimizing the impact on hydraulic conductance. The results also demonstrated (i) the existence of an indirect trade-off between hydraulic safety and mechanical strength; and (ii) a consistency between species distribution and xylem anatomy: species with a wide torus overlap and high valve effects are found in arid environments such as the Mediterranean region. PMID:24916072

  4. Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of photoassimilate transport in conifer needles

    PubMed Central

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Liesche, Johannes; Jensen, Kaare H.; Holbrook, N. Michele; Schulz, Alexander; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-01-01

    The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level. PMID:25567645

  5. Predicting Impacts of Future Climate Change on the Distribution of the Widespread Conifer Platycladus orientalis

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xian-Ge; Jin, Yuqing; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng; Li, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Chinese thuja (Platycladus orientalis) has a wide but fragmented distribution in China. It is an important conifer tree in reforestation and plays important roles in ecological restoration in the arid mountains of northern China. Based on high-resolution environmental data for current and future scenarios, we modeled the present and future suitable habitat for P. orientalis, evaluated the importance of environmental factors in shaping the species´ distribution, and identified regions of high risk under climate change scenarios. The niche models showed that P. orientalis has suitable habitat of ca. 4.2×106 km2 across most of eastern China and identified annual temperature, monthly minimum and maximum ultraviolet-B radiation and wet-day frequency as the critical factors shaping habitat availability for P. orientalis. Under the low concentration greenhouse gas emissions scenario, the range of the species may increase as global warming intensifies; however, under the higher concentrations of emissions scenario, we predicted a slight expansion followed by contraction in distribution. Overall, the range shift to higher latitudes and elevations would become gradually more significant. The information gained from this study should be an useful reference for implementing long-term conservation and management strategies for the species. PMID:26132163

  6. Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortality due to chronic temperature rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDowell, N. G.; Williams, A. P.; Xu, C.; Pockman, W. T.; Dickman, L. T.; Sevanto, S.; Pangle, R.; Limousin, J.; Plaut, J.; Mackay, D. S.; Ogee, J.; Domec, J. C.; Allen, C. D.; Fisher, R. A.; Jiang, X.; Muss, J. D.; Breshears, D. D.; Rauscher, S. A.; Koven, C.

    2016-03-01

    Global temperature rise and extremes accompanying drought threaten forests and their associated climatic feedbacks. Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain in part owing to our failure to integrate physiological measurements, regional-scale models, and dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here we show consistent predictions of widespread mortality of needleleaf evergreen trees (NET) within Southwest USA by 2100 using state-of-the-art models evaluated against empirical data sets. Experimentally, dominant Southwest USA NET species died when they fell below predawn water potential (Ψpd) thresholds (April-August mean) beyond which photosynthesis, hydraulic and stomatal conductance, and carbohydrate availability approached zero. The evaluated regional models accurately predicted NET Ψpd, and 91% of predictions (10 out of 11) exceeded mortality thresholds within the twenty-first century due to temperature rise. The independent DGVMs predicted >=50% loss of Northern Hemisphere NET by 2100, consistent with the NET findings for Southwest USA. Notably, the global models underestimated future mortality within Southwest USA, highlighting that predictions of future mortality within global models may be underestimates. Taken together, the validated regional predictions and the global simulations predict widespread conifer loss in coming decades under projected global warming.

  7. Sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as a valuable tool for isolating essential oil components from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B

    2011-11-01

    Essential oils are one of nature's most precious gifts with surprisingly potent and outstanding properties. Coniferous oils, for instance, are nowadays being used extensively to treat or prevent many types of infections, modify immune responses, soothe inflammations, stabilize moods, and to help ease all forms of non-acute pain. Given the broad spectrum of usage of coniferous essential oils, a fast, safe, simple, and efficient sample-preparation method is needed in the estimation procedure of essential oil components in fresh plant material. Generally, the time- and energy-consuming steam distillation (SD) is applied for this purpose. This paper will compare SD, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD), and the sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as isolation techniques to obtain aroma components from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). According to the obtained data, SSDM is the most efficient sample preparation method in determining the essential oil composition of conifers. Moreover, SSDM requires small organic solvent amounts and a short extraction time, which makes it an advantageous alternative procedure for the routine analysis of coniferous oils. The superiority of SSDM over MSPD efficiency is ascertained, as there are no chemical interactions between the plant cell components and the sand. This fact confirms the reliability and efficacy of SSDM for the analysis of volatile oil components. PMID:22083917

  8. Effects of conifer release with glyphosate on summer forage abundance for deer in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vreeland, J.K.; Servello, F.A.; Griffith, B.

    1998-01-01

    Effects of conifer release with glyphosate on summer forage availability for large herbivores in northern forests have received relatively little study. We determined effects of glyphosate treatment of clearcuts on abundance of summer foods for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at 1 and 7-10 years posttreatment. We measured the abundance (percent cover in a 0- to 1.8-m height stratum) of five forage classes for deer (leaves of deciduous trees, leaves of deciduous shrubs, forbs, grasses, ferns) on 12 clearcuts (six treated, six untreated) to determine 1-year effects and on 10 clearcuts (five treated, five untreated) to determine 7- to 10-year effects. Abundance of leaves of deciduous trees was greater on untreated sites (38 versus 11%) at 1 year posttreatment, but the difference was less (18 versus 12%) at 7-10 years posttreatment (age x treatment interaction, P = 0.005). Leaves of deciduous shrubs exhibited a similar pattern. Abundance of forbs was similar (13-14%) at 1 year posttreatment but greater on treated sites (29 versus 15%) at 7-10 years posttreatment (P = 0.03). Grasses and ferns were less abundant than other forage classes. Overall, glyphosate application initially decreased the abundance of leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs used as food in summer, but the longer term positive effects on forb abundance may result in little net change in overall habitat value.

  9. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic-Jurassic transition.

    PubMed

    Kürschner, Wolfram M; Batenburg, Sietske J; Mander, Luke

    2013-10-01

    Polyploidy (or whole-genome doubling) is a key mechanism for plant speciation leading to new evolutionary lineages. Several lines of evidence show that most species among flowering plants had polyploidy ancestry, but it is virtually unknown for conifers. Here, we study variability in pollen tetrad morphology and the size of the conifer pollen type Classopollis extracted from sediments of the Triassic-Jurassic transition, 200 Ma. Classopollis producing Cheirolepidiaceae were one of the most dominant and diverse groups of conifers during the Mesozoic. We show that aberrant pollen Classopollis tetrads, triads and dyads, and the large variation in pollen size indicates the presence of unreduced (2n) pollen, which is one of the main mechanisms in modern polyploid formation. Polyploid speciation may explain the high variability of growth forms and adaptation of these conifers to different environments and their resistance to extreme growth conditions. We suggest that polyploidy may have also reduced the extinction risk of these conifers during the End-Triassic biotic crisis. PMID:23926159

  10. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic–Jurassic transition

    PubMed Central

    Kürschner, Wolfram M.; Batenburg, Sietske J.; Mander, Luke

    2013-01-01

    Polyploidy (or whole-genome doubling) is a key mechanism for plant speciation leading to new evolutionary lineages. Several lines of evidence show that most species among flowering plants had polyploidy ancestry, but it is virtually unknown for conifers. Here, we study variability in pollen tetrad morphology and the size of the conifer pollen type Classopollis extracted from sediments of the Triassic–Jurassic transition, 200 Ma. Classopollis producing Cheirolepidiaceae were one of the most dominant and diverse groups of conifers during the Mesozoic. We show that aberrant pollen Classopollis tetrads, triads and dyads, and the large variation in pollen size indicates the presence of unreduced (2n) pollen, which is one of the main mechanisms in modern polyploid formation. Polyploid speciation may explain the high variability of growth forms and adaptation of these conifers to different environments and their resistance to extreme growth conditions. We suggest that polyploidy may have also reduced the extinction risk of these conifers during the End-Triassic biotic crisis. PMID:23926159

  11. Linking microbial comunity composition and soil processes in acalifornia annual grassland and mixed-conifer forest

    SciTech Connect

    Balser, T.C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2003-07-21

    To investigate the potential role of microbial community composition in soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, we transplanted soil cores between a grassland and a conifer ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada California and measured soil process rates (N-mineralization, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide flux, nitrification potential), soil water and temperature, and microbial community parameters (PLFA and substrate utilization profiles) over a 2 year period. Our goal was to assess whether microbial community composition could be related to soil process rates independent of soil temperature and water content. We performed multiple regression analyses using microbial community parameters and soil water and temperature as X-variables and soil process rates and inorganic N concentrations as Y-variables. We found that field soil temperature had the strongest relationship with CO2 production and soil NH4+ concentration, while microbial community characteristics correlated with N2O production, nitrification potential, gross N-mineralization, and soil NO3 concentration, independent of environmental controllers. We observed a relationship between specific components of the microbial community (as determined by PLFA) and soil processes, particularly processes tightly linked to microbial phylogeny (e.g. nitrification). The most apparent change in microbial community composition in response to the 2 year transplant was a change in relative abundance of fungi (there was only one significant change in PLFA biomarkers for bacteria during 2years). The relationship between microbial community composition and soil processes suggests that prediction of ecosystem response to environmental change may be improved by recognizing and accounting for changes in microbial community composition and physiological ecology.

  12. Water stress deforms tracheids peripheral to the leaf vein of a tropical conifer.

    PubMed

    Brodribb, Tim J; Holbrook, N Michele

    2005-03-01

    Just as a soggy paper straw is prone to yielding under the applied suction of a thirsty drinker, the xylem tracheids in leaves seem prone to collapse as water potential declines, impeding their function. Here we describe the collapse, under tension, of lignified cells peripheral to the leaf vein of a broad-leaved rainforest conifer, Podocarpus grayi de Laub. Leaves of Podocarpus are characterized by an array of cylindrical tracheids aligned perpendicular to the leaf vein, apparently involved in the distribution of water radially through the mesophyll. During leaf desiccation the majority of these tracheids collapsed from circular to flat over the water potential range -1.5 to -2.8 MPa. An increase in the percentage of tracheids collapsed during imposed water stress was mirrored by declining leaf hydraulic conductivity (K(leaf)), implying a direct effect on water transport efficiency. Stomata responded to water stress by closing at -2.0 MPa when 45% of cells were collapsed and K(leaf) had declined by 25%. This was still substantially before the initial indications of cavitation-induced loss of hydraulic conductance in the leaf vein, at -3 MPa. Plants droughted until 49% of tracheids had collapsed were found to fully recover tracheid shape and leaf function 1 week after rewatering. A simple mechanical model of tracheid collapse, derived from the theoretical buckling pressure for pipes, accurately predicted the collapse dynamics observed in P. grayi, substantiating estimates of cell wall elasticity and measured leaf water potential. The possible adaptive advantages of collapsible vascular tissue are discussed. PMID:15734905

  13. Forest management effects on snow, runoff and evapotranspiration in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, R. L.; Saksa, P. C.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2012-12-01

    We used intensive field measurements and data-intensive hydro-ecological modeling to investigate the impact of forest vegetation management on the sensitivity of snow accumulation, evapotranspiration and discharge at seven headwater catchments in the Sierra Nevada. Catchments are located in dense mixed-conifer forest, at elevations of 1500 - 2100 m, and receive a mix of rain and snow precipitation. Management scenarios for reducing forest density by uniform thinning and forest clearings were implemented in the Regional Hydro-ecological Simulation System (RHESSys). Results obtained using inherent model equations to separate total precipitation into snow and rain underestimated snow water content in some of the catchments, requiring manual input of snow and rain for accurate simulations. Modeling precipitation phase accurately was critical for the current forest condition, as the change in vegetation has differing effects on rain, snow and snowmelt. Results using RHESSys show that light, uniform thinning alone (<20% canopy) may not be enough to change water yield significantly, but this threshold of canopy reduction is lowered by creating gaps in the forest alone or in combination with uniform thinning, and has potential to measurably increase water yield beyond background variation. Clarifying these specific impacts of forest vegetation on snow processes and water yield is essential for simulating forest management in the Sierra Nevada and it shows the forest structure has significant influence on the catchment water balance. However, modifying forest canopy density and canopy cover to calculate average levels of snow water equivalent at a basin-scale may not be detailed enough to incorporate all the complex forest structure effects on snow processes in mountain watersheds.

  14. Responses of litter invertebrate communities to litter manipulation in a Japanese conifer plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Tomohiro; Takito, Yuki; Soga, Masashi; Hijii, Naoki

    2013-08-01

    We examined how the litter invertebrate communities were affected by the temporal changes in the mass and structural complexity of the litter resources by adding and removing litter on the forest floor of a temperate conifer plantation (Cryptomeria japonica) in Japan. We showed that litter mass and depth in the litter-addition (L+) plots changed rapidly into a steady-state condition similar to those in the control plots, mainly due to accelerated decomposition processes during the rainy season. Higher area-based densities of litter invertebrates in the L+ plots, similar mass-based densities between the L+ and control plots, and significant positive correlations between litter mass and the number of individuals implied that the abundance of litter invertebrates would be governed by litter mass rather than by the litter depth. Many litter invertebrates including detritivores were collected even in the litter-removal (L-) area. The relative abundances of invertebrate predators collecting pitfall traps were higher in the L- plots and lower in the L+ plots compared to those in the control plots, whereas those collecting Tullgren funnels were higher in the L+ plots than in the control plots. In the L+ plots, the range of variation in the community compositions among the samples decreased significantly over time in response to a drastic decrease in litter mass, in contrast to the control plots, which showed a relatively constant community composition during the study period. Our litter manipulation experiment reveals some of the mechanisms responsible for maintaining an equilibrium state of forest-floor litter mass and for the responses of litter invertebrate communities to temporal changes in the litter.

  15. A test of the hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis in angiosperm and conifer tree species.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Daniel M; Wortemann, Remi; McCulloh, Katherine A; Jordan-Meille, Lionel; Ward, Eric; Warren, Jeffrey M; Palmroth, Sari; Domec, Jean-Christophe

    2016-08-01

    Water transport from soils to the atmosphere is critical for plant growth and survival. However, we have a limited understanding about many portions of the whole-tree hydraulic pathway, because the vast majority of published information is on terminal branches. Our understanding of mature tree trunk hydraulic physiology, in particular, is limited. The hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis (HVSH) stipulates that distal portions of the plant (leaves, branches and roots) should be more vulnerable to embolism than trunks, which are nonredundant organs that require a massive carbon investment. In the current study, we compared vulnerability to loss of hydraulic function, leaf and xylem water potentials and the resulting hydraulic safety margins (in relation to the water potential causing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity) in leaves, branches, trunks and roots of four angiosperms and four conifer tree species. Across all species, our results supported strongly the HVSH as leaves and roots were less resistant to embolism than branches or trunks. However, branches were consistently more resistant to embolism than any other portion of the plant, including trunks. Also, calculated whole-tree vulnerability to hydraulic dysfunction was much greater than vulnerability in branches. This was due to hydraulic dysfunction in roots and leaves at less negative water potentials than those causing branch or trunk dysfunction. Leaves and roots had narrow or negative hydraulic safety margins, but trunks and branches maintained positive safety margins. By using branch-based hydraulic information as a proxy for entire plants, much research has potentially overestimated embolism resistance, and possibly drought tolerance, for many species. This study highlights the necessity to reconsider past conclusions made about plant resistance to drought based on branch xylem only. This study also highlights the necessity for more research of whole-plant hydraulic physiology to better

  16. Determination of the molecular signature of fossil conifers by experimental palaeochemotaxonomy - Part 1: The Araucariaceae family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2012-08-01

    Several extant species of the Araucariaceae family (one of the families of conifers) were invested for the experimental artificial maturation by confined pyrolysis, in order to realize the transformation of biomolecules to geomolecules in laboratory conditions. The experimental study of diagenetized molecular signatures of the Araucariaceae species (common, inter- and infra-generic characteristics) allow to complete our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy. Such knowledge is relevant to the reconstitution of palaeoflora and palaeoclimatic reconstruction, archaeology and environmental studies. In this work, major carbon skeleton types of Araucariaceae are detected in the organic solvent extracts of fresh and pyrolyzed plants using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results show that all species of Araucariaceae are firstly characterized by a predominance of saturated tetracyclic diterpenoids. Moreover, the Araucaria genus shows a high relative abundance of bicyclic sesquiterpenoids, particularly compounds of the cadalane-type compounds accompanied by those of eudesmane-type, bisabolane-type as well as chamazulene, pentamethyl-dihydroindenes. Diterpenoids are of the labdane-type, isopimarane, abietane-type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) as well as isohexyl alkylaromatic hydrocarbons. Compared to the tetracyclic diterpenoids, these compounds show a relatively lower abundance, reaching trace levels in the case of saturated abietanes. Distribution of sesqui- and diterpenoids of Agathis shows some similarities to that of Araucaria, with the exception of one species, in which the tetracyclic compounds are absent and the abietane-type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) predominant. High similarities between the Wollemia and Araucaria genera are observed. Both are characterized by some high relative abundance of tetracyclic compounds with no predominance of other specific diterpenoids.

  17. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L.; Collins, Brandon M.; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A.; Stephens, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60–70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  18. Litter dynamics in two Sierran mixed conifer forests. I. Litterfall and decomposition rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    1988-01-01

    Litterfall was measured for 4 years and leaf litter decomposition rates were studied for 3.6 years in two mixed conifer forest (giant sequoia-fir and fir-pine) in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The giant sequoia-fir forest (GS site) was dominated by giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) Buchh.), white fir (Abies concolor Lindl. & Gord.), and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.). The fir-pine forest (FP site) was dominated by white fir, sugar pine, and incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin). Litterfall, including large woody debris -1•year-1 compared with 4355 kg•ha-1•year-1 at the FP site (3.4:1). In the GS site, leaf litter decomposition after 3.6 years was slowest for giant sequoia (28.2% mass loss), followed by sugar pine (34.3%) and white fie (45.1%). In the FP site, mass loss was slowest for sugar pine (40.0%), followed by white fir (45.1%), while incense cedar showed the greatest mass loss (56.9%) after 3.6 years. High litterfall rates of large woody debris (i.e., 2.5-15.2 cm diameter) and slow rates of leaf litter decomposition in the giant sequoia-fir forest type may result in higher litter accumulation rates than in the fir-pine type. Leaf litter times to 95% decay for the GS and FP sites were 30 and 27 years, respectively, if the initial 0.7-year period (a short period of rapid mass decay) was ignored in the calculation. A mass balance approach for total litterfall (<15.2 cm diameter) decomposition yielded lower decay constants than did the litterbag study and therefore longer times to 95% decay (57 years for the GS site and 62 years for the FP site).

  19. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest.

    PubMed

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L; Collins, Brandon M; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A; Stephens, Scott L

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60-70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  20. Litter dynamics in two Sierran mixed conifer forests. II. Nutrient release in decomposing leaf litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    1988-01-01

    The factors influencing leaf litter decomposition and nutrient release patterns were investigated for 3.6 years in two mixed conifer forests in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The giant sequoia–fir forest was dominated by giant sequoia (Sequoiadendrongiganteum (Lindl.) Buchh.), white fir (Abiesconcolor Lindl. & Gord.), and sugar pine (Pinuslambertiana Dougl.). The fir–pine forest was dominated by white fir, sugar pine, and incense cedar (Calocedrusdecurrens (Torr.) Florin). Initial concentrations of nutrients and percent lignin, cellulose, and acid detergent fiber vary considerably in freshly abscised leaf litter of the studied species. Giant sequoia had the highest concentration of lignin (20.3%) and the lowest concentration of nitrogen (0.52%), while incense cedar had the lowest concentration of lignin (9.6%) and second lowest concentration of nitrogen (0.63%). Long-term (3.6 years) foliage decomposition rates were best correlated with initial lignin/N (r2 = 0.94, p r2 = 0.92, p r2 = 0.80, p < 0.05). Patterns of nutrient release were highly variable. Giant sequoia immobilized N and P, incense cedar immobilized N and to a lesser extent P, while sugar pine immobilized Ca. Strong linear or negative exponential relationships existed between initial concentrations of N, P, K, and Ca and percent original mass remaining of those nutrients after 3.6 years. This suggests efficient retention of these nutrients in the litter layer of these ecosystems. Nitrogen concentrations steadily increase in decomposing leaf litter, effectively reducing the C/N ratios from an initial range of 68–96 to 27–45 after 3.6 years.

  1. DNA Barcode Identification of Podocarpaceae—The Second Largest Conifer Family

    PubMed Central

    Little, Damon P.; Knopf, Patrick; Schulz, Christian

    2013-01-01

    We have generated matK, rbcL, and nrITS2 DNA barcodes for 320 specimens representing all 18 extant genera of the conifer family Podocarpaceae. The sample includes 145 of the 198 recognized species. Comparative analyses of sequence quality and species discrimination were conducted on the 159 individuals from which all three markers were recovered (representing 15 genera and 97 species). The vast majority of sequences were of high quality (B30 = 0.596–0.989). Even the lowest quality sequences exceeded the minimum requirements of the BARCODE data standard. In the few instances that low quality sequences were generated, the responsible mechanism could not be discerned. There were no statistically significant differences in the discriminatory power of markers or marker combinations (p = 0.05). The discriminatory power of the barcode markers individually and in combination is low (56.7% of species at maximum). In some instances, species discrimination failed in spite of ostensibly useful variation being present (genotypes were shared among species), but in many cases there was simply an absence of sequence variation. Barcode gaps (maximum intraspecific p–distance > minimum interspecific p–distance) were observed in 50.5% of species when all three markers were considered simultaneously. The presence of a barcode gap was not predictive of discrimination success (p = 0.02) and there was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of barcode gaps among markers (p = 0.05). In addition, there was no correlation between number of individuals sampled per species and the presence of a barcode gap (p = 0.27). PMID:24312258

  2. Interactive control of minerals, wildfire, and erosion on soil carbon stabilization in conifer ecosystems of the western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, C.

    2014-12-01

    Answering the question of what controls the fate and stabilization of organic carbon in forest soils is central to understanding the role of western US ecosystems in mitigating climate change, optimizing forest management, and quantifying local and regional terrestrial carbon budgets. Over half of forest soil C is stored belowground, stabilized by a number of separate, but interacting physical, chemical and biological mechanisms. Here we synthesize data from a series of field and laboratory studies focused on identifying mineral, physical, and landscape position controls on belowground C stabilization mechanisms in western U.S. conifer ecosystems. Results from these studies demonstrate an important for role for short-range-order Fe- and Al-oxyhydroxides and Al-humus complexes in C stabilization, and that the soil mineral assemblage moderates C cycling via control on partitioning of C into physical fractions ("free", "occluded", "mineral") with varying MRT and chemistry. Measures of occluded fraction chemical composition by 13C-NMR indicate this fraction is 2-5 times more enriched in pyrogenic C than the bulk soil and that this fraction is on the order of ~25 to 65% charred materials. Radiocarbon analyses of a large set of conifer soil samples from California and Arizona further indicate the occluded fraction is generally older than either the free light or mineral fraction. In particular, soil C in convergent, water and sediment gathering portions of the landscape are enriched in long MRT charred materials. These results indicate an important role for the interaction of soil mineral assemblage, wildfire, and erosion in controlling belowground C storage and stabilization in western conifer forests. Drought and wildfire are expected to increase with climate change and thus may exert significant control on belowground C storage directly through biochemical and physical changes in aboveground biomass, production of charred materials, and indirectly via post

  3. Genomic exploration and molecular marker development in a large and complex conifer genome using RADseq and mRNAseq.

    PubMed

    Karam, M-J; Lefèvre, F; Dagher-Kharrat, M Bou; Pinosio, S; Vendramin, G G

    2015-05-01

    We combined restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) using a hypomethylation-sensitive enzyme and messenger RNA sequencing (mRNAseq) to develop molecular markers for the 16 gigabase genome of Cedrus atlantica, a conifer tree species. With each method, Illumina(®) reads from one individual were used to generate de novo assemblies. SNPs from the RADseq data set were detected in a panel of one single individual and three pools of three individuals each. We developed a flexible script to estimate the ascertainment bias in SNP detection considering the pooling and sampling effects on the probability of not detecting an existing polymorphism. Gene Ontology (GO) and transposable element (TE) search analyses were applied to both data sets. The RADseq and the mRNAseq assemblies represented 0.1% and 0.6% of the genome, respectively. Genome complexity reduction resulted in 17% of the RADseq contigs potentially coding for proteins. This rate was doubled in the mRNAseq data set, suggesting that RADseq also explores noncoding low-repeat regions. The two methods gave very similar GO-slim profiles. As expected, the two assemblies were poor in TE-like sequences (<4% of contigs length). We identified 17,348 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the RADseq data set and 5,714 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in the transcriptome. A subset of 282 SNPs was validated using the Fluidigm genotyping technology, giving a conversion rate of 50.4%, falling within the expected range for conifers. Increasing sample size had the greatest effect for ascertainment bias reduction. These results validated the utility of the RADseq approach for highly complex genomes such as conifers. PMID:25224750

  4. A spruce gene map infers ancient plant genome reshuffling and subsequent slow evolution in the gymnosperm lineage leading to extant conifers

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Seed plants are composed of angiosperms and gymnosperms, which diverged from each other around 300 million years ago. While much light has been shed on the mechanisms and rate of genome evolution in flowering plants, such knowledge remains conspicuously meagre for the gymnosperms. Conifers are key representatives of gymnosperms and the sheer size of their genomes represents a significant challenge for characterization, sequencing and assembling. Results To gain insight into the macro-organisation and long-term evolution of the conifer genome, we developed a genetic map involving 1,801 spruce genes. We designed a statistical approach based on kernel density estimation to analyse gene density and identified seven gene-rich isochors. Groups of co-localizing genes were also found that were transcriptionally co-regulated, indicative of functional clusters. Phylogenetic analyses of 157 gene families for which at least two duplicates were mapped on the spruce genome indicated that ancient gene duplicates shared by angiosperms and gymnosperms outnumbered conifer-specific duplicates by a ratio of eight to one. Ancient duplicates were much more translocated within and among spruce chromosomes than conifer-specific duplicates, which were mostly organised in tandem arrays. Both high synteny and collinearity were also observed between the genomes of spruce and pine, two conifers that diverged more than 100 million years ago. Conclusions Taken together, these results indicate that much genomic evolution has occurred in the seed plant lineage before the split between gymnosperms and angiosperms, and that the pace of evolution of the genome macro-structure has been much slower in the gymnosperm lineage leading to extent conifers than that seen for the same period of time in flowering plants. This trend is largely congruent with the contrasted rates of diversification and morphological evolution observed between these two groups of seed plants. PMID:23102090

  5. Comparing growth phenology of co-occurring deciduous and evergreen conifers exposed to drought

    PubMed Central

    Swidrak, Irene; Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-01-01

    indicate sink competition for carbohydrates to belowground organs. This is supported by completion of apical growth in mid June in all species, except for needle growth of Pinus sylvestris, which lasted until early August. Phenological observations of conifers exposed to drought revealed that tree water status early during the growing season determines total annual aboveground growth and besides temperature, species-specific endogenous and/or environmental factors (most likely photoperiod and/or different threshold temperatures) are involved in controlling apical and lateral growth resumption after winter dormancy. PMID:24273375

  6. Towards scaling interannual ecohydrological responses of conifer forests to bark beetle infestations from individuals to landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Savoy, P.; Reed, D. E.; Frank, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Widespread epidemics of forest-damaging insects have severe implications for the interconnections between water and ecosystem processes under present-day climate. How these systems respond to future climates is highly uncertain, and so there is a need for a better understanding of the effects of such disturbances on plant hydraulics, and the consequent effects on ecosystem processes. Moreover, large-scale manifestations of such disturbances require scaling knowledge obtained from individual trees or stands up to a regional extent. This requires a conceptual framework that integrates physical and biological processes that are immutable and scalable. Indeed, in Western North America multiple conifer species have been impacted by the bark beetle epidemic, but the prediction of such widespread outbreaks under changing environmental conditions must be generalized from a relatively small number of ground-based observations. Using model-data fusion we examine the fundamental principles that drive ecological and hydrological responses to bark beetles infestation from individuals to regions. The study includes a mid-elevation (2750 m a.s.l) lodgepole pine forest and higher (3190 m a.s.l.) elevation Engelmann spruce - fir forest in southern Wyoming. The study included a suite of observations, comprising leaf gas exchange, non-structural carbon (NSC), plant hydraulics, including sap flux transpiration (E), vulnerability to cavitation, leaf water potentials, and eddy covariance, were made pre-, during-, and post-disturbance, as the bark beetle infestation moved through these areas. Numerous observations tested hypotheses generated by the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES), which integrates soil hydraulics and dynamic tree hydraulics (cavitation) with canopy energy and gas exchange, and operates at scales from individuals to landscapes. TREES accurately predicted E and NSC dynamics among individuals spanning pre- and post-disturbance periods, with the 95

  7. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  8. New datasets for quantifying snow-vegetation-atmosphere interactions in boreal birch and conifer forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, T. D.; Essery, R.; Rutter, N.; Huntley, B.; Baxter, R.; Holden, R.; King, M.; Hancock, S.; Carle, J.

    2012-12-01

    Boreal forests exert a strong influence on weather and climate by modifying the surface energy and radiation balance. However, global climate and numerical weather prediction models use forest parameter values from simple look-up tables or maps that are derived from limited satellite data, on large grid scales. In reality, Arctic landscapes are inherently heterogeneous, with highly variable land cover types and structures on a variety of spatial scales. There is value in collecting detailed field data for different areas of vegetation cover, to assess the accuracy of large-scale assumptions. To address these issues, a consortium of researchers funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council have collected extensive data on radiation, meteorology, snow cover and canopy structure at two contrasting Arctic forest sites. The chosen study sites were an area of boreal birch forest near Abisko, Sweden in March/April 2011 and mixed conifer forest at Sodankylä, Finland in March/April 2012. At both sites, arrays comprising ten shortwave pyranometers and four longwave pyrgeometers were deployed for periods of up to 50 days, under forest plots of varying canopy structures and densities. In addition, downwelling longwave irradiance and global and diffuse shortwave irradiances were recorded at nearby open sites representing the top-of-canopy conditions. Meteorological data were recorded at all sub-canopy and open sites using automatic weather stations. Over the same periods, tree skin temperatures were measured on selected trees using contact thermocouples, infrared thermocouples and thermal imagery. Canopy structure was accurately quantified through manual surveys, extensive hemispherical photography and terrestrial laser scans of every study plot. Sub-canopy snow depth and snow water equivalent were measured on fine-scale grids at each study plot. Regular site maintenance ensured a high quality dataset covering the important Arctic spring period. The data have several

  9. Investigating the impacts of recycled water on long-lived conifers

    PubMed Central

    Nackley, Lloyd L.; Barnes, Corey; Oki, Lorence R.

    2015-01-01

    maintaining healthy verdant landscapes that include coast redwoods and other long-lived conifers. PMID:25876628

  10. The impacts of conifer harvesting on runoff water quality: a regional survey for Wales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neal, C.; Reynolds, B.; Wilkinson, J.; Hill, T.; Neal, M.; Hill, S.; Harrow, M.

    Major, minor and trace element chemistry of runoff at stormflow and baseflow from 67 catchments (2 to 5 ha in area) has been determined to investigate the effects of clear felling and replanting of conifers on stream water quality across Wales. Samples, collected by local forestry workers (Forest Enterprise staff) on a campaign basis on up to eight occasions, were for 16 mature first rotation standing forest: the remainder represented areas completely clear felled from less than one to up to forty years previously. As the waters drain acidic and acid sensitive soils, acidic runoff is often encountered. However, higher pH values with associated positive alkalinities and base cation enrichments are observed due to the influence of weathering reactions within the bedrock. There is little systematic variation in water quality between baseflow and stormflow for each site indicating a complex and erratic contribution of waters from the soil and underlying parent material. 80% or more of the data points show hardly any changes with felling time, but there are a few outlier points with much higher concentrations that provide important information on the processes operative. The clearest outlier felling response is for nitrate at five of the more recently felled sites on brown earth, gley and podzolic soil types. ANC, the prime indicator of stream acidity, shows a diverse response from both high to low outlier values (>+400 to -300 μEq/l). In parallel to nitrate, aluminium, potassium and barium concentrations are higher in waters sampled up to 4 years post felling, but the time series response is even less clear than that for nitrate. Cadmium, zinc and lead and lanthanides/actinides show large variations from site to site due to localized vein ore-mineralization in the underlying bedrock. The survey provides a strong indication that forest harvesting can have marked local effects on some chemical components of runoff for the first four years after felling but that this is

  11. Investigating the impacts of recycled water on long-lived conifers.

    PubMed

    Nackley, Lloyd L; Barnes, Corey; Oki, Lorence R

    2015-01-01

    healthy verdant landscapes that include coast redwoods and other long-lived conifers. PMID:25876628

  12. Atmospheric deposition and solute export in giant sequoia: mixed conifer watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Melack, John M.; Esperanza, Anne M.; Parsons, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric depostion and stream discharge and solutes were measured for three years (September 1984 - August 1987) in two mixed conifer watersheds in Sequoia National Park, in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The Log Creek watershed (50 ha, 2067-2397 m elev.) is drained by a perennial stream, while Tharp's Creek watershed (13 ha, 2067-2255 m elev.) contains an intermittent stream. Dominant trees in the area include Abies concolor (white fir), Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia), A. magnifica (red fir), and Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine). Bedrock is predominantly granite and granodiorite, and the soils are mostly Pachic Xerumbrepts. Over the three year period, sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-), and chloride (Cl-) were the major anions in bulk precipitation with volume-weighted average concentrations of 12.6, 12.3 and 10.0 μeq/1, respectively. Annual inputs of NO3-N, NH4-N and SO4-S from wet deposition were about 60 to 75% of those reported from bulk deposition collectors. Discharge from the two watersheds occurs primarily during spring snowmelt. Solute exports from Log and Tharp's Creeks were dominated by HCO3-, Ca2+ and Na+, while H+, NO3-, NH4+ and PO43- outputs were relatively small. Solute concentrations were weakly correlated with instantaneous stream flow for all solutes (r2 3- (Log Cr. r2=0.72; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.38), Na+ (Log Cr. r2=0.56; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.47), and silicate (Log Cr. r2=0.71; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.49). Mean annual atmospheric contributions of NO3-N (1.6 kg ha-1), NH4-N (1.7 kg ha-1), and SO4-S (1.8 kg ha-1), which are associated with acidic deposition, greatly exceed hydrologic losses. Annual watershed yields (expressed as eq ha-1) of HCO3- exceeded by factors of 2.5 to 37 the annual atmospheric deposition of H+.

  13. Ecological importance of large-diameter trees in a temperate mixed-conifer forest.

    PubMed

    Lutz, James A; Larson, Andrew J; Swanson, Mark E; Freund, James A

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m(2). We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by

  14. Patch to landscape patterns in post fire recruitment of a serotinous conifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ne'eman, G.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Keeley, J.E.

    1999-01-01

    Obligate seeding species are highly specialized to fire disturbance and many conifers such as cypress, which are adapted to high intensity stand-replacing fires, have canopy seed banks stored in serotinous cones. Resilience of these trees to fire disturbance is a function of disturbance frequency and one focus of this study was to determine the effect of patch age on postfire recruitment. A second focus was to determine the extent to which fire induced a landscape level change in the location of the forest boundary. Prior to a fire in 1994, a large Cupressus sargentii forest was a mosaic landscape of different aged patches of nearly pure cypress bordered by chaparral. Patches less than 60 years of age were relatively dense with roughly one tree every 1-2 m2 but older patches had thinned to one tree every 3-15 m2. Older trees had substantially greater canopy cone crops but the stand level seed bank size was not significantly correlated with stand age. Fire-dependent obligate seeding species are sensitive to fire return interval because of potential changes in the size of seed banks - facing both a potential 'immaturity risk' and a 'senescence risk'. At our site, C. sargentii regeneration was substantial in stands as young as 20 years, suggesting that fire return interval would need to be shorter than this to pose any significant risk. Reduced seedling recruitment in stands nearly 100 years of age may indicate risk from senescence is greater, however, even the lowest density seedling recruitment was many times greater than the density of mature forests - thus this cypress would appear to be resilient to a wide range of fire return intervals. Changes in landscape patterning of forest and chaparral are unlikely except after fire. Factors that inhibit tree establishment within the shrubland, as well as factors that affect shrub establishment within the forest border likely affect the 'permeability' of this ecotone. After the 1994 fire this boundary appeared to be stable

  15. Ecological Importance of Large-Diameter Trees in a Temperate Mixed-Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, James A.; Larson, Andrew J.; Swanson, Mark E.; Freund, James A.

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m2. We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by a

  16. Comparing growth phenology of co-occurring deciduous and evergreen conifers exposed to drought.

    PubMed

    Swidrak, Irene; Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-12-01

    indicate sink competition for carbohydrates to belowground organs. This is supported by completion of apical growth in mid June in all species, except for needle growth of Pinus sylvestris, which lasted until early August. Phenological observations of conifers exposed to drought revealed that tree water status early during the growing season determines total annual aboveground growth and besides temperature, species-specific endogenous and/or environmental factors (most likely photoperiod and/or different threshold temperatures) are involved in controlling apical and lateral growth resumption after winter dormancy. PMID:24273375

  17. Evaluating Historic Carbon Budget in Temperate Pacific Northwestern Conifer Forest Landscape Using CN-CLASS Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, B.; Arain, M. A.; Black, T. A.

    2009-05-01

    We used carbon and nitrogen coupled Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CN-CLASS), a process-based model, to simulate the historic carbon stocks and fluxes in a 2500 ha temperate Pacific Northwest conifer forest landscape from 1920 to 2004. Hourly meteorological data was provided from historic climate records. Site maps of soils, topography, vegetation and disturbance type (logging, fire events) were provided by the historic carbon modeling project of the Canadian Carbon Program (CCP). The initial aboveground tree biomass in 1920 and the disturbance matrices were produced by the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS3). Over the study period from 1920-2004, CN-CLASS simulated 188 Mg C ha-1 loss of ecosystem carbon as compared to 200 Mg C ha-1 loss suggested by CBM-CFS3. From 1928 to 1944, burning, historic harvest and slash burning resulted in large losses of carbon to the atmosphere. In this period, the study area was a large carbon source with simulated net carbon loss of 282 Mg C ha-1. From 1945 to 1989, there were very few disturbance events and the study area started to recover with simulated net carbon uptake of 87 Mg C ha-1. During this period, CN-CLASS modeled annual Net Biome Productivity (NBP) ranged from 27 g C m-2 y-1 in 1945 to 590 g C m-2 y-1 in 1964. CN-CLASS simulated summer (July-September) NEP deviations during the undisturbed period (1945-1989), showed a negative relationship with the daily maximum air temperature and precipitation. As harvest of second-growth stands began in 1990s, disturbance again had significant impact on the landscape's carbon budget, and this effect was partially offset by ongoing C uptake in recovering young stands. CN-CLASS underestimated NEP as compared to observed eddy covariance flux measurements because of high temperature sensitivity of its soil respiration algorithm. Simulated mean annual NEP from 1998 to 2004 was 190 g C m-2 y-1 as compared to observed eddy covariance value of 352 g C m-2 y-1. This

  18. CO2-induced decrease of canopy stomatal conductance of mature conifer and broadleaved trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tor-ngern, P.; Oren, R.; Ward, E. J.; Palmroth, S.; McCarthy, H. R.; domec, J.

    2013-12-01

    Together with canopy leaf area, mean canopy stomatal conductance (GS) controls forest-atmosphere exchanges of energy and mass. Expectations for stomatal response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] (CO2E) based on seedling studies range from large decreases of conductance in foliage of broadleaved species to little or no response in conifers. These responses are not directly translatable to forest canopies, and their underlying mechanisms are ill-defined. The uncertainty of canopy-scale stomatal response to CO2E reduces confidence in modeled predictions of future forest productivity and carbon sequestration, and of partitioning of net radiation between latent and sensible heat flux. Thus, debates on the potential effects of CO2E-induced stomatal closure continue. We used a Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment in a 27-year-old, 25 m tall forest, to generate a whole-canopy CO2-response and test whether canopy-scale GS response to CO2E of widely distributed, fast growing shade-intolerant species, Pinus taeda (L.) and co-occurring broadleaved species dominated by Liquidambar styraciflua (L.), was indirectly affected by slow changes such as hydraulic adjustments and canopy development, as opposed to quickly responding to CO2 concentrations in the leaf-internal air space. Our results show indirect CO2E-induced reductions of GS of 10% and 30%, respectively, and no signs of a direct stomatal response even as CO2E was pushed to 685 μmol mol-1 (~1.8 of ambient). Modeling the effect of CO2E on the water, energy and carbon cycles of forests must consider slow-response indirect mechanisms producing large variation in the reduction of GS, such as the previously observed inconsistent CO2E effect on canopy leaf area and plant hydraulics. Moreover, the new generation of CO2E studies in forests must allow indirect effects caused by, e.g., hydraulic adjustments and canopy development, to play out. Such acclimation will be particularly prolonged in slowly developing ecosystems, such

  19. Stem demography and post-fire recruitment of a resprouting serotinous conifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Keeley, M.B.; Bond, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    The contribution of resprouts and seedling recruitment to post-fire regeneration of the South African fynbos conifer Widdringtonia nodiflora was compared eight months after wildfires in 1990. Stems on all trees were killed by fire but resprouting success was > 90 % at all but one site. A demographic study of burned skeletons revealed that prior to these fires, nearly all plants were multi-stemmed (4 - 9 stems/plant) and multi-aged, indicating continuous sprout production between fires. All stems were killed by these 1990 fires and at most sites > 90 % of the stems were burned to ground level. All diameter stems were susceptible to such incineration as, at most sites, there was no difference in average diameter of stems burned to ground level and those left standing. Individual genets usually had all ramets incinerated to ground level or all ramets charred, but intact, suggesting certain micro-sites burned hotter, whereas other sites were somewhat protected. Although not true of the 1990 fires, there was evidence that occasionally Widdringtonia stems may survive fire. At one site, four of the 16 plants sampled had a burned stem twice as old as the oldest burned stem on the other 12 plants at the site, suggesting some stems had survived the previous fire (ca. 1970) and this conclusion was supported by fire-scars on these four stems that dated to ca. 1970. Based on the highly significant correlation between stem diameter and cone density left standing after the 1990 fries, we calculated that for most sites > 80 % of the initial cone crop was incinerated by fire. This is important because we observed a strong relationship between size of the canopy cone crop surviving fire and post-fire seedling recruitment. Under these conditions we hypothesize that sprouting confers a selective advantage to genets when fires cause heavy losses of seed. The infrequent occurrence of sprouting in the Cupressaceae suggests the hypothesis that resprouting is an apomorphic or derived trait

  20. Evidence from sequence-tagged-site markers of a recent progenitor-derivative species pair in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Perron, Martin; Perry, Daniel J.; Andalo, Christophe; Bousquet, Jean

    2000-01-01

    Black spruce (Picea mariana [B.S.P.] Mill.) and red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) are two conifer species known to hybridize naturally in northeastern North America. We hypothesized that there is a progenitor-derivative relationship between these two taxa and conducted a genetic investigation by using sequence-tagged-site markers of expressed genes. Based on the 26 sequence-tagged-site loci assayed in this study, the unbiased genetic identity between the two taxa was quite high with a value of 0.920. The mean number of polymorphic loci, the mean number of alleles per polymorphic locus, and the average observed heterozygosity were lower in red spruce (P = 35%, AP = 2.1, Ho = 0.069) than in black spruce (P = 54%, AP = 2.9, Ho = 0.103). No unique alleles were found in red spruce, and the observed patterns of allele distribution indicated that the genetic diversity of red spruce was essentially a subset of that found in black spruce. When considered in combination with ecological evidence and simulation results, these observations clearly support the existence of a progenitor-derivative relationship and suggest that the reduced level of genetic diversity in red spruce may result from allopatric speciation through glaciation-induced isolation of a preexisting black spruce population during the Pleistocene era. Our observations signal a need for a thorough reexamination of several conifer species complexes in which natural hybridization is known to occur. PMID:11016967

  1. Development of the mixed conifer forest in northern New Mexico and its relationship to Holocene environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R. Scott; Jass, R.B.; Toney, J.L.; Allen, C.D.; Cisneros-Dozal, L. M.; Hess, M.; Heikoop, Jeff; Fessenden, J.

    2008-01-01

    Chihuahuen??os Bog (2925??m) in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico contains one of the few records of late-glacial and postglacial development of the mixed conifer forest in southwestern North America. The Chihuahuen??os Bog record extends to over 15,000??cal yr BP. An Artemisia steppe, then an open Picea woodland grew around a small pond until ca. 11,700??cal yr BP when Pinus ponderosa became established. C/N ratios, ??13C and ??15N values indicate both terrestrial and aquatic organic matter was incorporated into the sediment. Higher percentages of aquatic algae and elevated C/N ratios indicate higher lake levels at the opening of the Holocene, but a wetland developed subsequently as climate warmed. From ca. 8500 to 6400??cal yr BP the pond desiccated in what must have been the driest period of the Holocene there. C/N ratios declined to their lowest Holocene levels, indicating intense decomposition in the sediment. Wetter conditions returned after 6400??cal yr BP, with conversion of the site to a sedge bog as groundwater levels rose. Higher charcoal influx rates after 6400??cal yr BP probably result from greater biomass production rates. Only minor shifts in the overstory species occurred during the Holocene, suggesting that mixed conifer forest dominated throughout the record. ?? 2008 University of Washington.

  2. Areas of Agreement and Disagreement Regarding Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Forest Fire Regimes: A Dialogue with Stevens et al.

    PubMed Central

    Odion, Dennis C.; Hanson, Chad T.; Baker, William L.; DellaSala, Dominick A.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    In a recent PLOS ONE paper, we conducted an evidence-based analysis of current versus historical fire regimes and concluded that traditionally defined reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and mixed-conifer forests were incomplete, missing considerable variability in forest structure and fire regimes. Stevens et al. (this issue) agree that high-severity fire was a component of these forests, but disagree that one of the several sources of evidence, stand age from a large number of forest inventory and analysis (FIA) plots across the western USA, support our findings that severe fire played more than a minor role ecologically in these forests. Here we highlight areas of agreement and disagreement about past fire, and analyze the methods Stevens et al. used to assess the FIA stand-age data. We found a major problem with a calculation they used to conclude that the FIA data were not useful for evaluating fire regimes. Their calculation, as well as a narrowing of the definition of high-severity fire from the one we used, leads to a large underestimate of conditions consistent with historical high-severity fire. The FIA stand age data do have limitations but they are consistent with other landscape-inference data sources in supporting a broader paradigm about historical variability of fire in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests than had been traditionally recognized, as described in our previous PLOS paper. PMID:27195808

  3. Calculation of theoretical and empirical nutrient N critical loads in the mixed conifer ecosystems of southern California.

    PubMed

    Breiner, Joan; Gimeno, Benjamin S; Fenn, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Edaphic, foliar, and hydrologic forest nutrient status indicators from 15 mixed conifer forest stands in the Sierra Nevada, San Gabriel Mountains, and San Bernardino National Forest were used to estimate empirical or theoretical critical loads (CL) for nitrogen (N) as a nutrient. Soil acidification response to N deposition was also evaluated. Robust empirical relationships were found relating N deposition to plant N uptake (N in foliage), N fertility (litter C/N ratio), and soil acidification. However, no consistent empirical CL were obtained when the thresholds for parameters indicative of N excess from other types of ecosystems were used. Similarly, the highest theoretical CL for nutrient N calculated using the simple mass balance steady state model (estimates ranging from 1.4-8.8 kg N/ha/year) was approximately two times lower than the empirical observations. Further research is needed to derive the thresholds for indicators associated with the impairment of these mixed conifer forests exposed to chronic N deposition within a Mediterranean climate. Further development or parameterization of models for the calculation of theoretical critical loads suitable for these ecosystems will also be an important aspect of future critical loads research. PMID:17450298

  4. A biophysical gradient analysis of climate for understanding conifer establishment in mountain ecosystems of the western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littell, J. S.; Graumlich, L. J.

    2007-12-01

    Establishment of conifer trees at upper treeline is controlled by both physical and ecological phenomena. The physical limitations on tree establishment and growth as well as the ecological and edaphic factors moderating climate vary significantly across western mountain ranges, from the more maritime Cascades through the basin- and-range to the heavily continental central Rockies. In order to understand the factors limiting tree establishment and estimate rates of ecosystem change under future climate change, it is critical to understand the climatic factors limiting tree establishment. We use a multiscale approach to identify climatic patterns associated with upper treeline in nine mountain ranges: the north Cascades, central Cascades, Eagle Cap, Beaverhead, Teton, Beartooth, Wind River, Snowy, and Zirkel mountain ranges. We examined NCDC divisional, SNOTEL, snowcourse, and DAYMET seasonal averages/totals for temperature and precipitation variables to compare the climates at treeline sites identified for conifer establishment research. Divisional data from 1948-2004 indicate a strong geographical gradient in winter precipitation/PDO correlations, but according to SNOTEL data from all mountain ranges, these differences are much weaker in the more recent past. Snow water equivalent at all the sites near the PDO dipole evident in the 1948-2004 correlations appears negatively correlated with PDO. We present DAYMET, SNOTEL, and snowcourse normals for the mountain environments near the treeline sites and relate them to species composition and the nature of recent establishment.

  5. Zonobiomes, forests, and major forest-forming conifers across Northern Eurasia by the end of the century under climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchebakova, N.; Parfenova, E. I.; Shvetsov, E.; Soja, A. J.; Conard, S. G.

    2012-12-01

    Simulations of terrestrial ecosystems demonstrated globally the profound effects of the GCM-predicted climate change on their distribution at all hierarchical levels: zonobiomes, forests, and forest-forming tree species. We investigated progressions of potential vegetation cover, forest cover and ranges of forest-forming conifers across Northern Eurasia and Russia in the warming climate during the current century. We developed envelope-type static large-scale bioclimatic models predicting zonobiomes NEBioCliM, forests (ForCliM) and primary forest-forming conifer trees (TreeCliM)) from three bioclimatic indices (1) growing degree-days above 5oC, GDD5; (2) negative degree-days below 0oC, NDDo; and (3) an annual moisture index (ratio of growing degree days above 5oC to annual precipitation), AMI. No soil conditions except presence/absence of permafrost were taken into account in our models. Continuous permafrost was included in the models as limiting the forests and tree species distribution in interior Siberia. Each zonobiome, forest type and conifer distribution was mapped for the basic period 1960-1990 and for 2080 by coupling our bioclimatic models with bioclimatic indices and the permafrost distribution for the 1960-1990 and 2080 simulations. Climatic departures for the 2080 climate were derived from two climate change scenarios, the HadCM3 A2 and B1 (IPCC, 2007). Kappa (K) statistics were used to compare both the modeled vegetation and the conifer distributions in the contemporary climate to actual vegetation and forest maps. K-statistics proved that NEBioCliM accomplished a fair work in modeling zonobiomes across Russia. The tree species distributions also showed good match with the modeled ranges: 41% (Abies sibirica), 46% (Pinus sibirica), 71% (Pinus sylvestris), 75% (Picea spp.) and 78% (Larix spp.). Those matches might be higher because historically part of the primary conifer forests were replaced by secondary birch and aspen forests after large

  6. Effects of thinning, residue mastication, and prescribed fire on soil and nutrient budgets in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of thinning followed by residue mastication (THIN), prescribed fire (BURN), and thinning plus residue mastication plus burning (T+B) on nutrient budgets and resin-based (plant root simulator [PRS] probe) measurements of soil nutrient availability in a mixed-conifer forest were measured. ...

  7. A 14,000 year vegetation history of a hypermaritime island on the outer Pacific coast of Canada based on fossil pollen, spores and conifer stomata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacourse, Terri; Delepine, J. Michelle; Hoffman, Elizabeth H.; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2012-11-01

    Pollen and conifer stomata analyses of lake sediments from Hippa Island on the north coast of British Columbia were used to reconstruct the vegetation history of this small hypermaritime island. Between 14,000 and 13,230 cal yr BP, the island supported diverse herb-shrub communities dominated by Cyperaceae, Artemisia and Salix. Pinus contorta and Picea sitchensis stomata indicate that these conifers were present among the herb-shrub communities, likely as scattered individuals. Transition to open P. contorta woodland by 13,000 cal yr BP was followed by increases in Alnus viridis, Alnus rubra and P. sitchensis. After 12,000 cal yr BP, Pinus-dominated communities were replaced by dense P. sitchensis and Tsuga heterophylla forest with Lysichiton americanus and fern understory. Thuja plicata stomata indicate that this species was present by 8700 cal yr BP, but the pollen record suggests that its populations did not expand to dominate regional rainforests, along with Tsuga and Picea, until after 6600 cal yr BP. Conifer stomata indicate that species may be locally present for hundreds to thousands of years before pollen exceed thresholds routinely used to infer local species arrival. When combined, pollen and conifer stomata can provide a more accurate record of paleovegetation than either when used alone.

  8. Key to conifer-infesting species of Lepidosaphes Schimer (Hemiptera: Coccoidea: Diaspididae) with descriptions of two new species and a redescription of L. pallidula (Williams)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A dichotomus key is presented for the identification of adult females of the 25 species of Lepidosaphes that occur on conifers. Two new species are described, including L. caribaeae Williams and Miller from Trinidad and Jamaica and L. murreeana Williams and Miller from Pakistan. Lepidosaphes palli...

  9. Simulating stand-level water and carbon fluxes in beetle-attacked conifer forests in the Western U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peckham, S. D.; Ewers, B. E.; Mackay, D. S.; Pendall, E. G.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.

    2013-12-01

    In recent decades, forest mortality due to bark beetle infestation in conifer forests of western North America has reached epidemic levels, which may have profound effects on both present and future water and carbon cycling. The responses of evaporation, transpiration, and net photosynthesis to changing climate and disturbance are a major concern as they control the carbon balance of forests and the hydrologic cycle in a region that relies on water from montane and subalpine forest systems. Tree mortality during bark beetle infestation in this region is due to hydraulic failure resulting from fungal infection spread by the beetles. We modified the terrestrial regional ecosystem exchange simulator (TREES) model to incorporate xylem-occlusion effects on hydraulic conductance to simulate beetle attack over the period 2005-2012 in a subalpine conifer forest at the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiment Site (GLEES) and over 2008-2012 at a lodgepole pine dominated site in southeast Wyoming. Model simulations with and without beetle effects were compared to eddy-covariance and sap-flux data measured at the sites. The simulations were run at a 30-minute time step and covered the pre- to post-beetle infestation period. Simulated NEE at GLEES ranged from 200 to -625 g C m-2 yr-1, annual ET ranged from 250 to 800 mm yr-1 over the seven years and standard error in predicted half-hourly NEE was <3 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 and <2e-05 mm s-1 for ET. The stand transitioned from a C sink to C source during the beetle attack and our modified model captured this dynamic, while simulations without the beetle effect did not (i.e. continued C sink). However, simulated NEE was underestimated compared to flux data later in the infestation period (2011) by over 100 g C m-2 yr-1. ET decreased during beetle attack in both the observed and simulated data, but the modified model underestimated ET in the later phase of attack (2010-2011). These results suggest that ET and NEE in these conifer forests may

  10. The annealing temperature dependences of microstructures and magnetic properties in electro-chemical deposited CoNiFe thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suharyadi, Edi; Riyanto, Agus; Abraha, Kamsul

    2016-04-01

    CoNiFe thin films with various compositions had been successfully fabricated using electro-chemical deposition method. The crystal structure of Co65Ni15Fe20, Co62Ni15Fe23, and Co55Ni15Fe30 thin films was fcc, bcc-fcc mix, and bcc, respectively. The difference crystal structure results the difference in magnetic properties. The saturation magnetic flux density (Bs) of Co65Ni15Fe20, Co62Ni15Fe23, and Co55Ni15Fe30 thin films was 1.89 T, 1.93 T, and 2.05 T, respectively. An optimal annealing temperature was determined for controlling the microstructure and magnetic properties of CoNiFe thin films. Depending on annealing temperature, the ratio of bcc and fcc structure varied without changing the film composition. By annealing at temperature of T ≥ 350°C, the intensity ratio of X-ray diffraction peaks for bcc(110) to fcc(111) increased. The increase of phase ratio of bcc(110) to fcc(111) caused the increase of Bs, from 1.89 T to 1.95 T. Coercivity (Hc) also increased after annealing, from 2.6 Oe to 18.6 Oe for fcc phase thin films, from 2.0 Oe to 12.0 Oe for fcc-bcc mix phase thin films, and 7.8 Oe to 8 Oe for bcc phase thin films. The changing crystal structures during annealing process indicated that the thermal treatment at high temperature cause the changing crystallinity and atomic displacement. The TEM bright-field images with corresponding selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns showed that there are strongly effects of thermal annealing on the size of fcc and bcc phase crystalline grain as described by size of individual spot and discontinuous rings. The size of crystalline grains increased by thermal annealing. The evolution of bcc and fcc structures of CoNiFe during annealing is though to be responsible for the change of magnetic properties.

  11. Decomposition of conifer tree bark under field conditions: effects of nitrogen and phosphorus additions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Gerenyu, Valentin; Kurganova, Irina; Kapitsa, Ekaterina; Shorokhova, Ekaterina

    2016-04-01

    In forest ecosystems, the processes of decomposition of coarse woody debris (CWD) can contribute significantly to the emission component of carbon (C) cycle and thus accelerate the greenhouse effect and global climate change. A better understanding of decomposition of CWD is required to refine estimates of the C balance in forest ecosystems and improve biogeochemical models. These estimates will in turn contribute to assessing the role of forests in maintaining their long-term productivity and other ecosystems services. We examined the decomposition rate of coniferous bark with added nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers in experiment under field conditions. The experiment was carried out in 2015 during 17 weeks in Moscow region (54o50'N, 37o36'E) under continental-temperate climatic conditions. The conifer tree bark mixture (ca. 70% of Norway spruce and 30% of Scots pine) was combined with soil and placed in piles of soil-bark substrate (SBS) with height of ca. 60 cm and surface area of ca. 3 m2. The dry mass ratio of bark to soil was 10:1. The experimental design included following treatments: (1) soil (Luvisols Haplic) without bark, (S), (2) pure SBS, (3) SBS with N addition in the amount of 1% of total dry bark mass (SBS-N), and (4) SBS with N and P addition in the amount of 1% of total dry bark mass for each element (SBS-NP). The decomposition rate expressed as CO2 emission flux, g C/m2/h was measured using closed chamber method 1-3 times per week from July to early November using LiCor 6400 (Nebraska, USA). During the experiment, we also controlled soil temperature at depths of 5, 20, 40, and 60 cm below surface of SBS using thermochrons iButton (DS1921G, USA). The pattern of CO2 emission rate from SBS depended strongly on fertilizing. The highest decomposition rates (DecR) of 2.8-5.6 g C/m2/h were observed in SBS-NP treatment during the first 6 weeks of experiment. The decay process of bark was less active in the treatment with only N addition. In this

  12. Modularity of Conifer Diterpene Resin Acid Biosynthesis: P450 Enzymes of Different CYP720B Clades Use Alternative Substrates and Converge on the Same Products1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Macaire M.S.; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 enzymes of the CYP720B subfamily play a central role in the biosynthesis of diterpene resin acids (DRAs), which are a major component of the conifer oleoresin defense system. CYP720Bs exist in families of up to a dozen different members in conifer genomes and fall into four different clades (I–IV). Only two CYP720B members, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) PtCYP720B1 and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) PsCYP720B4, have been characterized previously. Both are multisubstrate and multifunctional clade III enzymes, which catalyze consecutive three-step oxidations in the conversion of diterpene olefins to DRAs. These reactions resemble the sequential diterpene oxidations affording ent-kaurenoic acid from ent-kaurene in gibberellin biosynthesis. Here, we functionally characterized the CYP720B clade I enzymes CYP720B2 and CYP720B12 in three different conifer species, Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana), and compared their activities with those of the clade III enzymes CYP720B1 and CYP720B4 of the same species. Unlike the clade III enzymes, clade I enzymes were ultimately found not to be active with diterpene olefins but converted the recently discovered, unstable diterpene synthase product 13-hydroxy-8(14)-abietene. Through alternative routes, CYP720B enzymes of both clades produce some of the same profiles of conifer oleoresin DRAs (abietic acid, neoabietic acid, levopimaric acid, and palustric acid), while clade III enzymes also function in the formation of pimaric acid, isopimaric acid, and sandaracopimaric acid. These results highlight the modularity of the specialized (i.e. secondary) diterpene metabolism, which produces conifer defense metabolites through variable combinations of different diterpene synthase and CYP720B enzymes. PMID:26936895

  13. Contrasting trait syndromes in angiosperms and conifers are associated with different responses of tree growth to temperature on a large scale

    PubMed Central

    Carnicer, Jofre; Barbeta, Adrià; Sperlich, Dominik; Coll, Marta; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-01-01

    Recent large-scale studies of tree growth in the Iberian Peninsula reported contrasting positive and negative effects of temperature in Mediterranean angiosperms and conifers. Here we review the different hypotheses that may explain these trends and propose that the observed contrasting responses of tree growth to temperature in this region could be associated with a continuum of trait differences between angiosperms and conifers. Angiosperm and conifer trees differ in the effects of phenology in their productivity, in their growth allometry, and in their sensitivity to competition. Moreover, angiosperms and conifers significantly differ in hydraulic safety margins, sensitivity of stomatal conductance to vapor-pressure deficit (VPD), xylem recovery capacity or the rate of carbon transfer. These differences could be explained by key features of the xylem such as non-structural carbohydrate content (NSC), wood parenchymal fraction or wood capacitance. We suggest that the reviewed trait differences define two contrasting ecophysiological strategies that may determine qualitatively different growth responses to increased temperature and drought. Improved reciprocal common garden experiments along altitudinal or latitudinal gradients would be key to quantify the relative importance of the different hypotheses reviewed. Finally, we show that warming impacts in this area occur in an ecological context characterized by the advance of forest succession and increased dominance of angiosperm trees over extensive areas. In this context, we examined the empirical relationships between the responses of tree growth to temperature and hydraulic safety margins in angiosperm and coniferous trees. Our findings suggest a future scenario in Mediterranean forests characterized by contrasting demographic responses in conifer and angiosperm trees to both temperature and forest succession, with increased dominance of angiosperm trees, and particularly negative impacts in pines. PMID

  14. Modularity of Conifer Diterpene Resin Acid Biosynthesis: P450 Enzymes of Different CYP720B Clades Use Alternative Substrates and Converge on the Same Products.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Katrin; Jensen, Niels Berg; Yuen, Macaire M S; Madilao, Lina; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2016-05-01

    Cytochrome P450 enzymes of the CYP720B subfamily play a central role in the biosynthesis of diterpene resin acids (DRAs), which are a major component of the conifer oleoresin defense system. CYP720Bs exist in families of up to a dozen different members in conifer genomes and fall into four different clades (I-IV). Only two CYP720B members, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) PtCYP720B1 and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) PsCYP720B4, have been characterized previously. Both are multisubstrate and multifunctional clade III enzymes, which catalyze consecutive three-step oxidations in the conversion of diterpene olefins to DRAs. These reactions resemble the sequential diterpene oxidations affording ent-kaurenoic acid from ent-kaurene in gibberellin biosynthesis. Here, we functionally characterized the CYP720B clade I enzymes CYP720B2 and CYP720B12 in three different conifer species, Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana), and compared their activities with those of the clade III enzymes CYP720B1 and CYP720B4 of the same species. Unlike the clade III enzymes, clade I enzymes were ultimately found not to be active with diterpene olefins but converted the recently discovered, unstable diterpene synthase product 13-hydroxy-8(14)-abietene. Through alternative routes, CYP720B enzymes of both clades produce some of the same profiles of conifer oleoresin DRAs (abietic acid, neoabietic acid, levopimaric acid, and palustric acid), while clade III enzymes also function in the formation of pimaric acid, isopimaric acid, and sandaracopimaric acid. These results highlight the modularity of the specialized (i.e. secondary) diterpene metabolism, which produces conifer defense metabolites through variable combinations of different diterpene synthase and CYP720B enzymes. PMID:26936895

  15. Analysis of the dielectric properties of trunk wood in dominant conifer species from New England and Siberia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Rock, B. N.; Salas, W. A.; Smith, K.; Williams, D. L.

    1992-01-01

    Data were collected for dominant conifer species. Dielectric properties of trunk wood were measured using a C-band dielectric probe. For certain specimens, electrical resistance was also measured using a shigometer. The water status of the trees studies was determined either by use of a Scholander pressure chamber on branch samples collected simultaneously with dielectric measurements or by fresh-weight/dry-weight assessment of wood core samples extracted and analyzed with the dielectric probe and shigometer. Diurnal delectric properties and xylem water column tension are inversely correlated such that real and imaginary dielectric values drop as tension increases. The dielectric properties were positively correlated with wood core moisture content while electrical resistance was poorly correlated with wood core moisture content in one species studied. Results support the view that dielectric properties are strongly correlated with moisture status in trunk wood, and possibly ion concentrations associated with decay processes in damaged specimens.

  16. Spatial and temporal population genetic variation and structure of Nothotsuga longibracteata (Pinaceae), a relic conifer species endemic to subtropical China

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Yingjun; Liu, Yifei; Kang, Ming; Yi, Guanmei; Huang, Hongwen

    2013-01-01

    Nothotsuga longibracteata, a relic and endangered conifer species endemic to subtropical China, was studied for examining the spatial-temporal population genetic variation and structure to understand the historical biogeographical processes underlying the present geographical distribution. Ten populations were sampled over the entire natural range of the species for spatial analysis, while three key populations with large population sizes and varied age structure were selected for temporal analyses using both nuclear microsatellites (nSSR) and chloroplast microsatellites (cpSSR). A recent bottleneck was detected in the natural populations of N. longibracteata. The spatial genetic analysis showed significant population genetic differentiation across its total geographical range. Notwithstanding, the temporal genetic analysis revealed that the level of genetic diversity between different age class subpopulations remained constant over time. Eleven refugia of the Last Glacial Maximum were identified, which deserve particular attention for conservation management. PMID:24385864

  17. Role of acid and aluminum-rich media in the growth and nutrition of Pacific Northwest conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, P.J.

    1983-01-01

    Forest soils of coastal Washington and Oregon tend to be very acidic with large accumulations of organic matter. Yet the productivity of forest species on these sites can attain record levels. The effect of acid and aluminum-rich media on the growth and nutrition of Pacific Northwest conifer species was investigated for western hemlock, Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and Sitka spruce. The four different types of growth media utilized were solution cultures, sand cultures, mineral soils, and forest floor organic matter. Hydroponic nutrient solutions and sand cultures were used in experiments designed to differentiate the effect of aluminum ions from the hydrogen ions generated by hydrolysis of Al/sup 3 +/. Relative to agronomic plants, all the conifers were found tolerant of the acid solutions and high levels of aluminum. Species differed in their relative tolerance to H/sup +/ and Al/sup 3/ ions. Western hemlock seedling growth was superior to Douglas-fir in the acidified soils and forest floor media, while Ca(OH)/sub 2/ amendment favored Douglas-fir. The marginal increase in western hemlock growth in N + P treated soils was highest in acidified soils. Western hemlock exhibited an ability to absorb nutrients in the presence of excess solution H/sup +/ ions, maintain growth with low tissue requirements of Ca and Mg, and accumulate high levels of aluminum in its roots and foliage without major adverse effect. These attributes are considered to make western hemlock the most acid and Al-tolerant of the four Pacific Northwest forest species studied. Western redcedar was second in acid tolerance to western hemlock. This species' ability to accumulate Ca minimized Al absorption and H/sup +/ damage to its roots.

  18. Acaricidal activity of essential oils from five endemic conifers of New Caledonia on the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus.

    PubMed

    Lebouvier, Nicolas; Hue, Thomas; Hnawia, Edouard; Lesaffre, Leïla; Menut, Chantal; Nour, Mohammed

    2013-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to demonstrate acaricidal activity on the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus of essential oils from endemic conifers of New Caledonia in the context of the development of natural alternatives. Acaricidal activity of essential oils extracted from resin and heartwood of five endemic conifers of New Caledonia (Araucaria columnaris, Agathis moorei, Agathis ovata, Callitris sulcata, and Neocallitropsis pancheri) was evaluated on 14- to 21-day-old Rhipicephalus microplus tick larvae using the Larval Packal Test bioassay. A first screening with 5% dilute solution was carried out and the oils with 100% of mortality at this rate were diluted until no activity was shown. The heartwood oils of the two Cupressaceae were the most active with LC50 value of 0.65% for C. sulcata and 0.55% for N. pancheri while resin oil of A. columnaris (LC50=1.62%) was the most active of the Araucariaceae family. Negative control (ethanol) was not toxic to the larvae. The chemical composition of essential oil from resin of A. columnaris was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The essential oil was characterized by high level of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated sesquiterpenes and was composed mainly of aromadendrene (23.1%) and bicyclogermacrene (16.0%). In order to compare different plant resources in a sustainable program of natural acaricide, an "essential oil efficiency EOE" can be measured as the ratio between the yield of extraction and LC50 value. This study shows that A. columnaris (EOE=2.36) and N. pancheri (EOE=3.51) could provide valuable and effective natural acaricides for control of the cattle tick R. microplus. PMID:23371495

  19. Differences in the response sensitivity of stomatal index to atmospheric CO2 among four genera of Cupressaceae conifers

    PubMed Central

    Haworth, Matthew; Heath, James; McElwain, Jennifer C.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims The inverse relationship between stomatal density (SD: number of stomata per mm2 leaf area) and atmospheric concentration of CO2 ([CO2]) permits the use of plants as proxies of palaeo-atmospheric CO2. Many stomatal reconstructions of palaeo-[CO2] are based upon multiple fossil species. However, it is unclear how plants respond to [CO2] across genus, family or ecotype in terms of SD or stomatal index (SI: ratio of stomata to epidermal cells). This study analysed the stomatal numbers of conifers from the ancient family Cupressaceae, in order to examine the nature of the SI–[CO2] relationship, and potential implications for stomatal reconstructions of palaeo-[CO2]. Methods Stomatal frequency measurements were taken from historical herbarium specimens of Athrotaxis cupressoides, Tetraclinis articulata and four Callitris species, and live A. cupressoides grown under CO2-enrichment (370, 470, 570 and 670 p.p.m. CO2). Key Results T. articulata, C. columnaris and C. rhomboidea displayed significant reductions in SI with rising [CO2]; by contrast, A. cupressoides, C. preissii and C. oblonga show no response in SI. However, A. cupressoides does reduce SI to increases in [CO2] above current ambient (approx. 380 p.p.m. CO2). This dataset suggests that a shared consistent SI–[CO2] relationship is not apparent across the genus Callitris. Conclusions The present findings suggest that it is not possible to generalize how conifer species respond to fluctuations in [CO2] based upon taxonomic relatedness or habitat. This apparent lack of a consistent response, in conjunction with high variability in SI, indicates that reconstructions of absolute palaeo-[CO2] based at the genus level, or upon multiple species for discrete intervals of time are not as reliable as those based on a single or multiple temporally overlapping species. PMID:20089556

  20. Conifer Encroachment into Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park: How Anthropogenic Impacts to Local Hydrology Affect Meadow Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roche, J. W.; Lundquist, J. L.; Cooper, D. J.; King, J. C.; Flint, L. E.; Flint, A. L.

    2006-12-01

    Tuolumne Meadows, at 2600 m in Yosemite National Park, is one of the most popular sub-alpine destinations in the Sierra Nevada of California and, as such, one of the most impacted by current and historic use. Conifer (lodgepole pine) encroachment into the meadow has been managed for over 70 years to maintain vistas and to protect potentially impacted meadow vegetation. This study seeks to characterize hydrologic, soil, and vegetation assemblages throughout the affected area, document departures from expected relationships, and identify causative disruptive mechanisms. The snowmelt-dominated Tuolumne River, an integral part of the meadow system, drains 200 km{2} of the Sierra Nevada crest above the meadows. Much of the meadow area consists of recently glaciated granitic bedrock overlain by 1-2 meters of alluvial sand and gravel topped with 30-40 cm of organic-rich meadow soil. Almost all areas examined to date reveal plant assemblages and hydrologic regimes that are inconsistent with the formation of these meadow soils. In upland sites, this is characterized by groundwater conditions that are incapable of supporting meadow forming vegetation and soils. In lower areas, where groundwater levels remain close to the surface throughout the summer, the vegetation present lacks plant species with high below ground biomass production, and could not have formed the existing meadow soils. Potential mechanisms for these disruptions include ditching associated with road construction and drainage, changes in river morphology due to loss of willow riparian vegetation, and lingering impacts of intensive grazing more than a century ago. Patterns of conifer invasion as well as tree-ring and fire scar chronologies were also documented and appear to reflect similar responses to the impacts mentioned above. Results of this study are intended to inform future management and possible restoration of the area.

  1. Contrasting Spatial Patterns in Active-Fire and Fire-Suppressed Mediterranean Climate Old-Growth Mixed Conifer Forests

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Danny L.; Stephens, Scott L.; Collins, Brandon M.; North, Malcolm P.; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto; Gill, Samantha J.

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbance regimes and climate. In this study, we characterize tree spatial patterns using four-ha stem maps from four old-growth, Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests, two with active-fire regimes in northwestern Mexico and two that experienced fire exclusion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Most of the trees were in patches, averaging six to 11 trees per patch at 0.007 to 0.014 ha−1, and occupied 27–46% of the study areas. Average canopy gap sizes (0.04 ha) covering 11–20% of the area were not significantly different among sites. The putative main effects of fire exclusion were higher densities of single trees in smaller size classes, larger proportion of trees (≥56%) in large patches (≥10 trees), and decreases in spatial complexity. While a homogenization of forest structure has been a typical result from fire exclusion, some similarities in patch, single tree, and gap attributes were maintained at these sites. These within-stand descriptions provide spatially relevant benchmarks from which to manage for structural heterogeneity in frequent-fire forest types. PMID:24586472

  2. Evolution of gene structure in the conifer Picea glauca: a comparative analysis of the impact of intron size

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A positive relationship between genome size and intron length is observed across eukaryotes including Angiosperms plants, indicating a co-evolution of genome size and gene structure. Conifers have very large genomes and longer introns on average than most plants, but impacts of their large genome and longer introns on gene structure has not be described. Results Gene structure was analyzed for 35 genes of Picea glauca obtained from BAC sequencing and genome assembly, including comparisons with A. thaliana, P. trichocarpa and Z. mays. We aimed to develop an understanding of impact of long introns on the structure of individual genes. The number and length of exons was well conserved among the species compared but on average, P. glauca introns were longer and genes had four times more intronic sequence than Arabidopsis, and 2 times more than poplar and maize. However, pairwise comparisons of individual genes gave variable results and not all contrasts were statistically significant. Genes generally accumulated one or a few longer introns in species with larger genomes but the position of long introns was variable between plant lineages. In P. glauca, highly expressed genes generally had more intronic sequence than tissue preferential genes. Comparisons with the Pinus taeda BACs and genome scaffolds showed a high conservation for position of long introns and for sequence of short introns. A survey of 1836 P. glauca genes obtained by sequence capture mostly containing introns <1 Kbp showed that repeated sequences were 10× more abundant in introns than in exons. Conclusion Conifers have large amounts of intronic sequence per gene for seed plants due to the presence of few long introns and repetitive element sequences are ubiquitous in their introns. Results indicate a complex landscape of intron sizes and distribution across taxa and between genes with different expression profiles. PMID:24734980

  3. Historical dominance of low-severity fire in dry and wet mixed-conifer forest habitats of the endangered terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Margolis, Ellis; Malevich, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic alteration of ecosystem processes confounds forest management and conservation of rare, declining species. Restoration of forest structure and fire hazard reduction are central goals of forest management policy in the western United States, but restoration priorities and treatments have become increasingly contentious. Numerous studies have documented changes in fire regimes, forest stand structure and species composition following a century of fire exclusion in dry, frequent-fire forests of the western U.S. (e.g., ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer). In contrast, wet mixed-conifer forests are thought to have historically burned infrequently with mixed- or high-severity fire—resulting in reduced impacts from fire exclusion and low restoration need—but data are limited. In this study we quantified the current forest habitat of the federally endangered, terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus) and compared it to dendroecological reconstructions of historical habitat (e.g., stand structure and composition), and fire regime parameters along a gradient from upper ponderosa pine to wet mixed-conifer forests. We found that current fire-free intervals in Jemez Mountains salamander habitat (116–165 years) are significantly longer than historical intervals, even in wet mixed-conifer forests. Historical mean fire intervals ranged from 10 to 42 years along the forest gradient. Low-severity fires were historically dominant across all forest types (92 of 102 fires). Although some mixed- or highseverity fire historically occurred at 67% of the plots over the last four centuries, complete mortality within 1.0 ha plots was rare, and asynchronous within and among sites. Climate was an important driver of temporal variability in fire severity, such that mixed- and high-severity fires were associated with more extreme drought than low-severity fires. Tree density in dry conifer forests historically ranged from open (90 trees/ha) to

  4. Factors affecting distribution of wood, detritus, and sediment in headwater streams draining managed young-growth red alder - Conifer forests in southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomi, T.; Johnson, A.C.; Deal, R.L.; Hennon, P.E.; Orlikowska, E.H.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Factors (riparian stand condition, management regimes, and channel properties) affecting distributions of wood, detritus (leaves and branches), and sediment were examined in headwater streams draining young-growth red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) - conifer riparian forests (40 years old) remained in channels and provided sites for sediment and organic matter storage. Despite various alder-conifer mixtures and past harvesting effects, the abundance of large wood, fine wood, and detritus accumulations significantly decreased with increasing channel bank-full width (0.5-3.5 m) along relatively short channel distances (up to 700 m). Changes in wood, detritus, and sediment accumulations together with changes in riparian stand characteristics create spatial and temporal variability of in-channel conditions in headwater systems. A component of alder within young-growth riparian forests may benefit both wood production and biological recovery in disturbed headwater stream channels. ?? 2006 NRC.

  5. A Long-Term Assessment of the Variability in Winter Use of Dense Conifer Cover by Female White-Tailed Deer

    PubMed Central

    DelGiudice, Glenn D.; Fieberg, John R.; Sampson, Barry A.

    2013-01-01

    Backgound Long-term studies allow capture of a wide breadth of environmental variability and a broader context within which to maximize our understanding of relationships to specific aspects of wildlife behavior. The goal of our study was to improve our understanding of the biological value of dense conifer cover to deer on winter range relative to snow depth and ambient temperature. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined variation among deer in their use of dense conifer cover during a 12-year study period as potentially influenced by winter severity and cover availability. Female deer were fitted with a mixture of very high frequency (VHF, n = 267) and Global Positioning System (GPS, n = 24) collars for monitoring use of specific cover types at the population and individual levels, respectively. We developed habitat composites for four study sites. We fit multinomial response models to VHF (daytime) data to describe population-level use patterns as a function of snow depth, ambient temperature, and cover availability. To develop alternative hypotheses regarding expected spatio-temporal patterns in the use of dense conifer cover, we considered two sets of competing sub-hypotheses. The first set addressed whether or not dense conifer cover was limiting on the four study sites. The second set considered four alternative sub-hypotheses regarding the potential influence of snow depth and ambient temperature on space use patterns. Deer use of dense conifer cover increased the most with increasing snow depth and most abruptly on the two sites where it was most available, suggestive of an energy conservation strategy. Deer use of dense cover decreased the most with decreasing temperatures on the sites where it was most available. At all four sites deer made greater daytime use (55 to >80% probability of use) of open vegetation types at the lowest daily minimum temperatures indicating the importance of thermal benefits afforded from increased exposure to solar

  6. Examining historical and current mixed-severity fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America.

    PubMed

    Odion, Dennis C; Hanson, Chad T; Arsenault, André; Baker, William L; Dellasala, Dominick A; Hutto, Richard L; Klenner, Walt; Moritz, Max A; Sherriff, Rosemary L; Veblen, Thomas T; Williams, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to "restore" forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in most ponderosa

  7. Examining Historical and Current Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Odion, Dennis C.; Hanson, Chad T.; Arsenault, André; Baker, William L.; DellaSala, Dominick A.; Hutto, Richard L.; Klenner, Walt; Moritz, Max A.; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Williams, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to “restore” forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in most ponderosa

  8. The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of a Relict Conifer Glyptostrobus pensilis: Comparative Analysis and Insights into Dynamics of Chloroplast Genome Rearrangement in Cupressophytes and Pinaceae.

    PubMed

    Hao, Zhaodong; Cheng, Tielong; Zheng, Renhua; Xu, Haibin; Zhou, Yanwei; Li, Meiping; Lu, Fengjuan; Dong, Yini; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jinhui; Shi, Jisen

    2016-01-01

    Glyptostrobus pensilis, belonging to the monotypic genus Glyptostrobus (Family: Cupressaceae), is an ancient conifer that is naturally distributed in low-lying wet areas. Here, we report the complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence (132,239 bp) of G. pensilis. The G. pensilis cp genome is similar in gene content, organization and genome structure to the sequenced cp genomes from other cupressophytes, especially with respect to the loss of the inverted repeat region A (IRA). Through phylogenetic analysis, we demonstrated that the genus Glyptostrobus is closely related to the genus Cryptomeria, supporting previous findings based on physiological characteristics. Since IRs play an important role in stabilize cp genome and conifer cp genomes lost different IR regions after splitting in two clades (cupressophytes and Pinaceae), we performed cp genome rearrangement analysis and found more extensive cp genome rearrangements among the species of cupressophytes relative to Pinaceae. Additional repeat analysis indicated that cupressophytes cp genomes contained less potential functional repeats, especially in Cupressaceae, compared with Pinaceae. These results suggested that dynamics of cp genome rearrangement in conifers differed since the two clades, Pinaceae and cupressophytes, lost IR copies independently and developed different repeats to complement the residual IRs. In addition, we identified 170 perfect simple sequence repeats that will be useful in future research focusing on the evolution of genetic diversity and conservation of genetic variation for this endangered species in the wild. PMID:27560965

  9. The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of a Relict Conifer Glyptostrobus pensilis: Comparative Analysis and Insights into Dynamics of Chloroplast Genome Rearrangement in Cupressophytes and Pinaceae

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Renhua; Xu, Haibin; Zhou, Yanwei; Li, Meiping; Lu, Fengjuan; Dong, Yini; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jinhui; Shi, Jisen

    2016-01-01

    Glyptostrobus pensilis, belonging to the monotypic genus Glyptostrobus (Family: Cupressaceae), is an ancient conifer that is naturally distributed in low-lying wet areas. Here, we report the complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence (132,239 bp) of G. pensilis. The G. pensilis cp genome is similar in gene content, organization and genome structure to the sequenced cp genomes from other cupressophytes, especially with respect to the loss of the inverted repeat region A (IRA). Through phylogenetic analysis, we demonstrated that the genus Glyptostrobus is closely related to the genus Cryptomeria, supporting previous findings based on physiological characteristics. Since IRs play an important role in stabilize cp genome and conifer cp genomes lost different IR regions after splitting in two clades (cupressophytes and Pinaceae), we performed cp genome rearrangement analysis and found more extensive cp genome rearrangements among the species of cupressophytes relative to Pinaceae. Additional repeat analysis indicated that cupressophytes cp genomes contained less potential functional repeats, especially in Cupressaceae, compared with Pinaceae. These results suggested that dynamics of cp genome rearrangement in conifers differed since the two clades, Pinaceae and cupressophytes, lost IR copies independently and developed different repeats to complement the residual IRs. In addition, we identified 170 perfect simple sequence repeats that will be useful in future research focusing on the evolution of genetic diversity and conservation of genetic variation for this endangered species in the wild. PMID:27560965

  10. Metabolite changes in conifer buds and needles during forced bud break in Norway spruce (Picea abies) and European silver fir (Abies alba)

    PubMed Central

    Dhuli, Priyanka; Rohloff, Jens; Strimbeck, G. Richard

    2014-01-01

    Environmental changes such as early spring and warm spells induce bud burst and photosynthetic processes in cold-acclimated coniferous trees and consequently, cellular metabolism in overwintering needles and buds. The purpose of the study was to examine metabolism in conifers under forced deacclimation (artificially induced spring) by exposing shoots of Picea abies (boreal species) and Abies alba (temperate species) to a greenhouse environment (22°C, 16/8 h D/N cycle) over a 9 weeks period. Each week, we scored bud opening and collected samples for GC/MS–based metabolite profiling. We detected a total of 169 assigned metabolites and 80 identified metabolites, comprising compounds such as mono- and disaccharides, Krebs cycle acids, amino acids, polyols, phenolics, and phosphorylated structures. Untargeted multivariate statistical analysis based on PCA and cluster analysis segregated samples by species, tissue type, and stage of tissue deacclimations. Similar patterns of metabolic regulation in both species were observed in buds (amino acids, Krebs cycle acids) and needles (hexoses, pentoses, and Krebs cycle acids). Based on correlation of bud opening score with compound levels, distinct metabolites could be associated with bud and shoot development, including amino acids, sugars, and acids with known osmolyte function, and secondary metabolites. This study has shed light on how elevated temperature affects metabolism in buds and needles of conifer species during the deacclimation phase, and contributes to the discussion about how phenological characters in conifers may respond to future global warming. PMID:25566281