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Sample records for dwarf shrub seeds

  1. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration.

    PubMed

    Rinella, Matthew J; Hammond, Darcy H; Bryant, Ana-Elisa M; Kozar, Brian J

    2015-06-01

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth's land mass and are critical to food security, carbon sequestration, and threatened and endangered wildlife. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have degraded many drylands, and this has placed an increased emphasis on dryland restoration. The increased restoration focus has generated a wealth of experience, innovations and empirical data, yet the goal of restoring diverse, native, dryland plant assemblages composed of grasses, forbs, and shrubs has generally proven beyond reach. Of particular concern are shrubs, which often fail to establish or establish at trivially low densities. We used data from two Great Plains, USA coal mines to explore factors regulating shrub establishment. Our predictor data related to weather and restoration (e.g., seed rates, rock cover) variables, and our response data described shrub abundances on fields of the mines. We found that seeded non-shrubs, especially grasses, formed an important competitive barrier to shrub establishment: With every one standard deviation increase in non-shrub seed rate, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.1 and shrub cover decreased ~35%. Since new fields were seeded almost every year for > 20 years, the data also provided a unique opportunity to explore effects of stochastic drivers (i.e., precipitation, year effects). With every one standard deviation increase in precipitation the first growing season following seeding, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.07 and shrub cover decreased ~47%. High precipitation appeared to harm shrubs by increasing grass growth/competition. Also, weak evidence suggested shrub establishment was better in rockier fields where grass abundance/competition was lower. Multiple lines of evidence suggest reducing grass seed rates below levels typically used in Great Plains restoration would benefit shrubs without substantially impacting grass stand development over the long term. We used

  2. Seed distribution of four co-occurring grasses around Artemisia halodendron shrubs in a sandy habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Feng-Rui; Zhao, Wen-Zhi; Kang, Ling-Fen; Liu, Ji-Liang; Huang, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Qi

    2009-05-01

    In a natural population of the perennial semi-shrub Artemisia halodendron in a shifting sandy habitat in the Horqin Desert of eastern Inner Mongolia, six isolated adult A. halodendron individuals of similar canopy size were chosen as target plants. The density of seeds in the top 5 cm soil depth around shrubs was measured using transects aligned to the four main wind directions and at different distances from the shrub base on both the windward and leeward sides. The effects of shrub presence on seed distribution of four co-occurring grasses were examined by linking seed distribution to seed traits. Of the four species, Setaris viridis and Eragrostis pilosa had small but similar seed mass, while Chloris virgata and Aristida adscensionis had large but similar seed mass. The species were grouped into two cohorts: small-seeded vs. large-seeded cohorts, and shrub presence effects on seed distribution of both cohorts were examined. We found marked difference in the seed distribution pattern among species, especially between the small-seeded and large-seeded cohorts. The small-seeded cohort had significantly higher seed accumulation on the windward than the leeward sides in the most and least prevailing wind directions and much higher seed accumulation on the leeward than the windward sides in the second and third most prevailing wind directions, while opposite patterns occurred in the large-seeded cohort. Four species also showed marked variation in the seed distribution pattern among transects and between windward and leeward sides of each transect. This study provided further evidence that shrubs embedded in a matrix of herbaceous plants is a key cause of spatial heterogeneity in seed availability of herbaceous species. However, seed distribution responses to the presence of shrubs will vary with species as well as with wind direction, sampling position (windward vs. leeward sides of the shrub) and distance from the shrub.

  3. Rapid revegetation by sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, J.; Zhang, C.; Zhao, T.; Zhang, Q.

    2015-05-01

    Fast revegetation by means of sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species is a measure to prevent bare soils from wind and water erosion. A field experiment was used to test the effect of species selection and the ratio of shrub to herbaceous species on vegetation formation and shrub growth. Results showed that herbaceous species hastened cover formation and maintained a high coverage for a longer period. However, the growth of shrubs was hindered. In the North China Plain or where the soil and climate are similar, the ratio of shrub to herbaceous seeds is proposed to be 6 : 4-7 : 3 (weight ratio). Among the herbaceous species tested, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. grows relatively slow, so it should be mixed with other fast-growing species in the practice of rapid revegetation, and a seeding density lower than 6 g m-2 is proposed when applied; Orychophragmus violaceus O. E. Schulz. wilts when the seeds are ripe, leading to a significant decrease of coverage, so other species with different phenology should be involved when it is applied; Viola philippica Car. is a good ground cover plant which grows fast and maintains a stable coverage from July to October, and a seeding density of 1.5 g m-2 is proposed for rapid revegetation. Herbaceous species have different traits. Three different types of herbs were found in our experiment: slow-growing stable species (F. arundinacea), fast-growing unstable species (O. violaceus) and fast-growing stable species (V. philippica). Shrubs, slow-growing stable species and fast-growing unstable species should not be used alone because they cannot cover the ground fast or they cannot maintain a long period of good coverage. A small seeding rate of fast-growing stable species should be used to ensure a fair coverage against erosion. Because natural environmental conditions are heterogeneous and stochastic, more species should be added to enhance the stability of plant community.

  4. Effects of seed origin and irrigation on survival and growth of transplanted shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Winkel, V.K.

    1995-10-01

    Revegetation is difficult in the Mojave Desert due to limited, erratic precipitation and extreme temperatures. Establishing plant cover by transplanting native shrubs is known to be a promising technique, but many questions still remain regarding its use on a large operational scale. A study was initiated on the US Department of Energy Nevada Test Site (NTS) to determine the effects of seed origin and irrigation on survival and growth of transplanted shrubs. Plants of three species (Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa, and Atriplex canescens) were grown in a greenhouse and hardened outdoors. Plants of all three species were produced from two seed sources: (1) seed collected from the NTS (Mojave Desert), and (2) commercially available seed collected from outside the NTS. One-year-old containerized plants (180 of each species) were transplanted to a site on the NTS and irrigated with two liters of water at one of the following frequencies: (1) at time of planting only, (2) at time of planting and monthly during the first growing season, and (3) at time of planting and twice monthly during the first growing season. After 16 months, survival of all species was generally greater than 80% and was unaffected by irrigation treatments. Survival of fourwing saltbush was significantly greater from local versus non-local seed. Survival of bursage and creosotebush was generally unaffected by seed origin. Shrub volumes regardless of species or seed origin increased during the first growing season, and then decreased during the second growing season. Shrub volumes for fourwing saltbush were significantly greater for shrubs from local versus non-local seed.

  5. Phytosociological study of the dwarf shrub heath of Simeonof Wilderness, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daniels, F.J.A.; Talbot, S. S.; Looman, Talbot S.; Schofield, W.B.

    2004-01-01

    The maritime dwarf shrub heath vegetation of the Northern Pacific, Simeonof Island, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska, was studied according to the Braun-Blanquet approach. Based on 30 releve??s of 16 m2 that include vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens, two new associations could be described belonging to the class Loiseleurio-Vaccinietea (order Rhododendro-Vaccinietalia): Rubo-Empetretum nigri and Carici-Empetretum nigri. The wind-sheltered Rubo-Empetretum nigri (alliance Phyllodoco-Vaccinion) mainly occurs in the lowlands on level terrain or sloping sites at lower foot slopes of mountains on deeper, mesic soil; this association is the zonal vegetation of the lowlands. Boreal, widespread and amphi-Beringian species are prominent in the distribution-type spectrum of the vascular plants. Two variants of Rubo-Empetretum nigri are described. A Geranium erianthum variant occurs on south-facing slopes and is rich in vascular plants species. A Plagiothecium undulatum variant is restricted to northern exposures and is rich in bryophytes and lichens. A Carici-Empetretum nigri (alliance Loiseleurio-Diapension) occurs on shallow soil on wind exposed sites at higher elevations in the mountains. It is very rich in lichen species of arctic-alpine distribution. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) suggests that altitude, nutrient content of the soil and exposition are the most important differential ecological factors. Soil depth, total carbon and nitrogen content, plant available phosphorus and all other measured cation contents are higher in Rubo-Empetretum than in Carici-Empetretum. Literature comparisons confirm the occurrence of both associations in other areas on the Southwest Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. Presumably both associations have an amphi-Beringian distribution. The syntaxonomy of boreal-montane dwarf shrub heaths and synecological aspects are briefly discussed. ?? 2004 Gebru??der Borntraeger.

  6. Dormancy cycling and persistence of seeds in soil of a cold desert halophyte shrub

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Dechang; Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Yang, Fan; Huang, Zhenying

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Formation of seed banks and dormancy cycling are well known in annual species, but not in woody species. In this study it was hypothesized that the long-lived halophytic cold desert shrub Kalidium gracile has a seed bank and dormancy cycling, which help restrict germination to a favourable time for seedling survival. Methods Fresh seeds were buried in November 2009 and exhumed and tested for germination monthly from May 2010 to December 2011 over a range of temperatures and salinities. Germination recovery and viability were determined after exposure to salinity and water stress. Seedling emergence and dynamics of the soil seed bank were investigated in the field. Key Results Seeds of K. gracile had a soil seed bank of 7030 seeds m−2 at the beginning of the growing season. About 72 % of the seeds were depleted from the soil seed bank during a growing season, and only 1·4 % of them gave rise to seedlings that germinated early enough to reach a stage of growth at which they could survive to overwinter. About 28 % of the seeds became part of a persistent soil seed bank. Buried seeds exhibited an annual non-dormancy/conditional dormancy (ND/CD) cycle, and germination varied in sensitivity to salinity during the cycle. Dormancy cycling is coordinated with seasonal environmental conditions in such a way that the seeds germinate in summer, when there is sufficient precipitation for seedling establishment. Conclusions Kalidium gracile has three life history traits that help ensure persistence at a site: a polycarpic perennial life cycle, a persistent seed bank and dormancy cycling. The annual ND/CD cycle in seeds of K. gracile contributes to seedling establishment of this species in the unpredictable desert environment and to maintenance of a persistent soil seed bank. This is the first report of a seed dormancy cycle in a cold desert shrub. PMID:24249808

  7. Pre-treating Seed to Enhance Germination of Desert Shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. C. Anderson; D. J. Hansen

    2002-06-01

    Creosotebush [Larrea tridentata (D.C.) Cav.] and white bursage [Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) W.W. Payne] seeds were subjected to pre-treatments of rinsing and soaking in water and thiourea to enhance germination in laboratory experiments. The effects of darkness, temperature, seed source, and soil moisture were also evaluated in the laboratory. The best pre-treatment from the laboratory experiments, rinsing with water for 36 hours followed by drying, was field-tested at Fort Irwin, California. Two sites and two seeding dates (early March and mid April) were determined for each site. Five mulch treatments (no mulch, straw, gravel, chemical stabilizer, and plastic) were evaluated in combination with the seed pre-treatments. Field emergence was greatly enhanced with the seed pre-treatment for white bursage during the March (18-42% increase in germination) and April seedings (16-23% increase in germination). Creosotebush showed poor germination during March (2-5%) when soil temperatures averaged 15 C, but germination increased during the April trials (6-43%) when soil temperatures averaged 23 C. The seed pre-treatment during the April trials increased germination from 16-23%. The plastic mulch treatment increased germination dramatically during both the March and April trials. The plastic mulch increased soil temperatures (8-10 C)and maintained high humidity during germination. Both the chemical stabilizer and the gravel mulches improved germination over the control while the straw mulch decreased germination. These results suggest that seed pre-treatments combined with irrigation and mulch are effective techniques to establish these two dominant Mojave Desert species from seed.

  8. Soil seed bank, factors controlling germination and establishment of a Mediterranean shrub: Pistacia lentiscus L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Fayos, Patricio; Verdú, Miguel

    1998-08-01

    The recruitment strategy of Pistacia lentiscus, an evergreen sclerophyllous shrub inhabiting the Mediterranean region, was studied in order to identify the key factors controlling seedling establishment and survival. The capacity to develop a seed bank, the loss of seed viability with time, the presence of dormancy mechanisms, the conditions to promote seed germination and the seedling dynamics were investigated. The results show that P. lentiscus has a transient seed bank with rapid seed germination occurring within the year. Dormancy was not present as seeds germinated successfully without light or temperature pretreatments. Only pulp removal and a long and abundant rain event (≥ 7 days; ≥ 100 L·m -2) appeared to be necessary for germination. Seed viability decreased drastically after 1 year. More seedlings emerged under shrub canopy than in open sites, as expected by the seed dispersal pattern and canopy effects on plant establishment. The high mortality observed in the few weeks after establishment indicates that seedling survival is a bottleneck in the recruitment process of P. lentiscus in dense shrublands. Some seedlings survived in a latent mode for at least 4 years.

  9. Seed Mucilage Improves Seedling Emergence of a Sand Desert Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Liu, Guangzheng; Huang, Zhenying

    2012-01-01

    The success of seedling establishment of desert plants is determined by seedling emergence response to an unpredictable precipitation regime. Sand burial is a crucial and frequent environmental stress that impacts seedling establishment on sand dunes. However, little is known about the ecological role of seed mucilage in seedling emergence in arid sandy environments. We hypothesized that seed mucilage enhances seedling emergence in a low precipitation regime and under conditions of sand burial. In a greenhouse experiment, two types of Artemisia sphaerocephala achenes (intact and demucilaged) were exposed to different combinations of burial depth (0, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 mm) and irrigation regimes (low, medium and high, which simulated the precipitation amount and frequency in May, June and July in the natural habitat, respectively). Seedling emergence increased with increasing irrigation. It was highest at 5 mm sand burial depth and ceased at burial depths greater than 20 mm in all irrigation regimes. Mucilage significantly enhanced seedling emergence at 0, 5 and 10 mm burial depths in low irrigation, at 0 and 5 mm burial depths in medium irrigation and at 0 and 10 mm burial depths in high irrigation. Seed mucilage also reduced seedling mortality at the shallow sand burial depths. Moreover, mucilage significantly affected seedling emergence time and quiescence and dormancy percentages. Our findings suggest that seed mucilage plays an ecologically important role in successful seedling establishment of A. sphaerocephala by improving seedling emergence and reducing seedling mortality in stressful habitats of the sandy desert environment. PMID:22511952

  10. Matorral and reclamation. The contribution of scrubs and dwarf shrubs to soil and water conservation in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; González Hidalgo, J. C.

    2009-04-01

    The Mediterranean Matorral (scrubs and dwarf shrubs) was seen by John Thornes as a protective vegetative cover of semiarid lands. His studies on matorral triggered the research, vocations and scientific work of researchers and contributed with a relevant knowledge to the environmental studies in Spain. This research reviews the changes in land use and the use of matorral in Spain. A review of the research done on the effect of matorral on soil and water losses is presented. Books, scientific papers, book chapters and research reports are being reviewed to report how matorral control the soil and water losses under different climatic conditions in Spain. The main conclusion is that scrubs and dwarf shrubs are very efficient in controlling the soil and water losses under semiarid climatic conditions were trees are rare. Nevertheless, scrub has been neglected by the Spanish forestry policy-makers and sometimes the shrubs cover is removed to develop afforestations, mainly with Aleppo pine. Palabras clave: Matorral, Soil, Water, Losses, Spain, Land use, Land management.

  11. Annual dormancy cycles in buried seeds of shrub species: germination ecology of Sideritis serrata (Labiatae).

    PubMed

    Copete, M A; Herranz, J M; Ferrandis, P; Copete, E

    2015-07-01

    The germination ecology of Sideritis serrata was investigated in order to improve ex-situ propagation techniques and management of their habitat. Specifically, we analysed: (i) influence of temperature, light conditions and seed age on germination patterns; (ii) phenology of germination; (iii) germinative response of buried seeds to seasonal temperature changes; (iv) temperature requirements for induction and breaking of secondary dormancy; (v) ability to form persistent soil seed banks; and (vi) seed bank dynamics. Freshly matured seeds showed conditional physiological dormancy, germinating at low and cool temperatures but not at high ones (28/14 and 32/18 °C). Germination ability increased with time of dry storage, suggesting the existence of non-deep physiological dormancy. Under unheated shade-house conditions, germination was concentrated in the first autumn. S. serrata seeds buried and exposed to natural seasonal temperature variations in the shade-house, exhibited an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle, coming out of conditional dormancy in summer and re-entering it in winter. Non-dormant seeds were clearly induced into dormancy when stratified at 5 or 15/4 °C for 8 weeks. Dormant seeds, stratified at 28/14 or 32/18 °C for 16 weeks, became non-dormant if they were subsequently incubated over a temperature range from 15/4 to 32/18 °C. S. serrata is able to form small persistent soil seed banks. The maximum seed life span in the soil was 4 years, decreasing with burial depth. This is the second report of an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle in seeds of shrub species. PMID:25598169

  12. A mast-seeding desert shrub regulates population dynamics and behavior of its heteromyid dispersers.

    PubMed

    Auger, Janene; Meyer, Susan E; Jenkins, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Granivorous rodent populations in deserts are primarily regulated through precipitation-driven resource pulses rather than pulses associated with mast-seeding, a pattern more common in mesic habitats. We studied heteromyid responses to mast-seeding in the desert shrub blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a regionally dominant species in the Mojave-Great Basin Desert transition zone. In a 5-year study at Arches National Park, Utah, USA, we quantified spatiotemporal variation in seed resources in mast and intermast years in blackbrush-dominated and mixed desert vegetation and measured responses of Dipodomys ordii (Ord's kangaroo rat) and Perognathus flavescens (plains pocket mouse). In blackbrush-dominated vegetation, blackbrush seeds comprised >79% of seed production in a mast year, but 0% in the first postmast year. Kangaroo rat abundance in blackbrush-dominated vegetation was highest in the mast year, declined sharply at the end of the first postmast summer, and then remained at low levels for 3 years. Pocket mouse abundance was not as strongly associated with blackbrush seed production. In mixed desert vegetation, kangaroo rat abundance was higher and more uniform through time. Kangaroo rats excluded the smaller pocket mice from resource-rich patches including a pipeline disturbance and also moved their home range centers closer to this disturbance in a year of low blackbrush seed production. Home range size for kangaroo rats was unrelated to seed resource density in the mast year, but resource-poor home ranges were larger (P < 0.001) in the first postmast year, when resources were limiting. Blackbrush seeds are higher in protein and fat but lower in carbohydrates than the more highly preferred seeds of Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and have similar energy value per unit of handling time. Kangaroo rats cached seeds of these two species in similar spatial configurations, implying that they were equally valued as stored food resources. Blackbrush mast

  13. Relationship between Shoot-rooting and Root-sprouting Abilities and the Carbohydrate and Nitrogen Reserves of Mediterranean Dwarf Shrubs

    PubMed Central

    Palacio, Sara; Maestro, Melchor; Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims This study analysed the differences in nitrogen (N), non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and biomass allocation to the roots and shoots of 18 species of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs with different shoot-rooting and resprouting abilities. Root N and NSC concentrations of strict root-sprouters and species resprouting from the base of the stems were also compared. Methods Soluble sugars (SS), starch and N concentrations were assessed in roots and shoots. The root : shoot ratio of each species was obtained by thorough root excavations. Cross-species analyses were complemented by phylogenetically independent contrasts (PICs). Key Results Shoot-rooting species showed a preferential allocation of starch to shoots rather than roots as compared with non-shoot-rooting species. Resprouters displayed greater starch concentrations than non-sprouters in both shoots and roots. Trends were maintained after PICs analyses, but differences became weak when root-sprouters versus non-root-sprouters were compared. Within resprouters, strict root-sprouters showed greater root concentrations and a preferential allocation of starch to the roots than stem-sprouters. No differences were found in the root : shoot ratio of species with different rooting and resprouting abilities. Conclusions The shoot-rooting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs seems to depend on the preferential allocation of starch and SS to shoots, though alternative C-sources such as current photosynthates may also be involved. In contrast to plants from other mediterranean areas of the world, the resprouting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs is not related to a preferential allocation of N, NSC and biomass to roots. PMID:17728338

  14. Bird and ant synergy increases the seed dispersal effectiveness of an ornithochoric shrub.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Paulo H S A; Martins, Milene M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Christianini, Alexander V

    2016-06-01

    Seed dispersal may involve different vectors of dispersal in two or more sequential phases (i.e., diplochory). However, contributions of each phase to the overall seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) are poorly understood and hard to evaluate due to post-dispersal processes that affect seed and seedling survival. We investigated the simultaneous bird (phase 1, in plant canopy) and ant (phase 2, on the floor) contributions to SDE with the ornithochoric shrub Erythroxylum ambiguum in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. Twelve species of birds fed on fruit and dispersed approximately 26 % of the seed crop. The remaining seed crop, 90 % of which contained viable seeds, fell to the ground beneath the parental plant. Ants either cleaned seeds in fruits or carried fallen fruit and seeds from bird feces to their nests. Although E. ambiguum has no adaptation for ant dispersal, ants were as quantitatively important as birds. Birds and ants equally increased germination rates compared to controls. However, birds deposited seeds farther from the parent, where seedling survival was higher (78 %) than it was beneath the parent (44 %), whereas ants carried seeds to their nests, where seedling survival was higher (83 %) than in controls away from their nests (63 %). Diplochory allowed a 42 % increase in SDE compared to dispersal in phase 1 alone. High lipid content in the fruit pulp of E. ambiguum may facilitate the inclusion of ants in a second step of dispersal after diaspores reach the floor. Ants can also buffer the dispersal of diplochorous plants against decreases in phase 1 dispersers. PMID:26899481

  15. Soil seed-bank structure and seed-germination dynamics contribute to pulsed shrub encroachment in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Turnbull, Laura; Wainwright, John

    2015-04-01

    Shrub encroachment is pervasive in many arid and semi-arid landscapes worldwide. Large areas of desert grasslands in southwestern USA have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by woody species over the last 150 years, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. A complex range of mechanisms has been suggested to explain the occurrence of this phenomenon, including land-use change, climate variations, and soil erosion feedbacks of vegetation change. An important step to understand patterns in species dominance at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the understanding of limitations on plant establishment imposed by the shrub-encroachment process. We analyze the structure of soil seed banks and the environmental limitations for seed germination (i.e. soil-water availability and temperature) of dominant species (black grama and creosotebush) across a Chihuahuan grassland-shrubland ecotone (Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico). Seed density in soils across the ecotone is generally low (200-400 seeds m-2), although is largely concentrated in vegetation clumps (reaching peaks up to 800-1200 seeds m-2 in grass and shrub patches). Species composition in the soil seed-bank is strongly affected by shrub encroachment, with seed densities of grass species (and particularly for black grama) sharply decreasing in shrub-dominated areas. Optimal temperature for seed germination of both black grama and creosotebush (20-25°C) suggests synchronization of plant establishment with the summer monsoonal period. Water-level limitations for seed germination are similar for the two species (about 8-10% soil moisture), although creosotebush seeds need a longer time under optimal water-availability conditions for germination (about 12 days) than black grama seeds (about 7 days). Analysis of temporal series of field-based and simulated soil-moisture levels suggests that creosotebush requires very strong monsoonal precipitation for plant establishment, and therefore shrub

  16. Growth and Phenology of Three Dwarf Shrub Species in a Six-Year Soil Warming Experiment at the Alpine Treeline

    PubMed Central

    Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Rixen, Christian; Cherubini, Paolo; Wipf, Sonja; Hagedorn, Frank; Dawes, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Global warming can have substantial impacts on the phenological and growth patterns of alpine and Arctic species, resulting in shifts in plant community composition and ecosystem dynamics. We evaluated the effects of a six-year experimental soil warming treatment (+4°C, 2007–2012) on the phenology and growth of three co-dominant dwarf shrub species growing in the understory of Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata at treeline in the Swiss Alps. We monitored vegetative and reproductive phenology of Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum throughout the early growing season of 2012 and, following a major harvest at peak season, we measured the biomass of above-ground ramet fractions. For all six years of soil warming we measured annual shoot growth of the three species and analyzed ramet age and xylem ring width of V. myrtillus. Our results show that phenology of the three species was more influenced by snowmelt timing, and also by plot tree species (Larix or Pinus) in the case of V. myrtillus, than by soil warming. However, the warming treatment led to increased V. myrtillus total above-ground ramet biomass (+36% in 2012), especially new shoot biomass (+63% in 2012), as well as increased new shoot increment length and xylem ring width (+22% and +41%, respectively; average for 2007–2012). These results indicate enhanced overall growth of V. myrtillus under soil warming that was sustained over six years and was not caused by an extended growing period in early summer. In contrast, E. hermaphroditum only showed a positive shoot growth response to warming in 2011 (+21%), and V. gaultherioides showed no significant growth response. Our results indicate that V. myrtillus might have a competitive advantage over the less responsive co-occurring dwarf shrub species under future global warming. PMID:24956273

  17. Growth and phenology of three dwarf shrub species in a six-year soil warming experiment at the alpine treeline.

    PubMed

    Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Rixen, Christian; Cherubini, Paolo; Wipf, Sonja; Hagedorn, Frank; Dawes, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Global warming can have substantial impacts on the phenological and growth patterns of alpine and Arctic species, resulting in shifts in plant community composition and ecosystem dynamics. We evaluated the effects of a six-year experimental soil warming treatment (+4°C, 2007-2012) on the phenology and growth of three co-dominant dwarf shrub species growing in the understory of Larix decidua and Pinus uncinata at treeline in the Swiss Alps. We monitored vegetative and reproductive phenology of Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum throughout the early growing season of 2012 and, following a major harvest at peak season, we measured the biomass of above-ground ramet fractions. For all six years of soil warming we measured annual shoot growth of the three species and analyzed ramet age and xylem ring width of V. myrtillus. Our results show that phenology of the three species was more influenced by snowmelt timing, and also by plot tree species (Larix or Pinus) in the case of V. myrtillus, than by soil warming. However, the warming treatment led to increased V. myrtillus total above-ground ramet biomass (+36% in 2012), especially new shoot biomass (+63% in 2012), as well as increased new shoot increment length and xylem ring width (+22% and +41%, respectively; average for 2007-2012). These results indicate enhanced overall growth of V. myrtillus under soil warming that was sustained over six years and was not caused by an extended growing period in early summer. In contrast, E. hermaphroditum only showed a positive shoot growth response to warming in 2011 (+21%), and V. gaultherioides showed no significant growth response. Our results indicate that V. myrtillus might have a competitive advantage over the less responsive co-occurring dwarf shrub species under future global warming. PMID:24956273

  18. Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Cortés, A J; Waeber, S; Lexer, C; Sedlacek, J; Wheeler, J A; van Kleunen, M; Bossdorf, O; Hoch, G; Rixen, C; Wipf, S; Karrenberg, S

    2014-09-01

    Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated whether small-scale heterogeneity in snowmelt timing restricts gene flow between microhabitats in the common long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. We surveyed 273 genets across 12 early- and late-snowmelt sites (that is, ridges and snowbeds) in the Swiss Alps for phenological variation over 2 years and for genetic variation using seven SSR markers. Phenological differentiation triggered by differences in snowmelt timing did not correlate with genetic differentiation between microhabitats. On the contrary, extensive gene flow appeared to occur between microhabitats and slightly less extensively among adjacent mountains. However, ridges exhibited significantly lower levels of genetic diversity than snowbeds, and patterns of effective population size (Ne) and migration (Nem) between microhabitats were strongly asymmetric, with ridges acting as sources and snowbeds as sinks. As no recent genetic bottlenecks were detected in the studied sites, this asymmetry is likely to reflect current meta-population dynamics of the species dominated by gene flow via seeds rather than ancient re-colonization after the last glacial period. Overall, our results suggest that seed dispersal prevents snowmelt-driven genetic isolation, and snowbeds act as sinks of genetic diversity. We discuss the consequences of such small-scale variation in gene flow and diversity levels for population responses to climate change. PMID:24619183

  19. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  20. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  1. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported. PMID:14551828

  2. Thermogenesis-triggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe

    PubMed Central

    deBruyn, Rolena A.J.; Paetkau, Mark; Ross, Kelly A.; Godfrey, David V.; Friedman, Cynthia Ross

    2015-01-01

    Lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (DM), Arceuthobium americanum, is a parasitic flowering plant and forest pathogen in North America. Seed dispersal in DM occurs by explosive discharge. Notably, slight warming of ripe DM fruit in the laboratory can trigger explosions. Previously, we showed that alternative oxidase, a protein involved in endogenous heat production (thermogenesis) in plants, is present in DM fruit. These observations have led us to investigate if thermogenesis induces discharge. Here, infrared thermographs reveal that ripe DM fruits display an anomalous increase in surface temperature by an average of 2.1±0.8 °C over an average time of 103±29 s (n=9, 95% confidence interval) before dehiscence. Furthermore, both non-isothermal and isothermal modulated differential scanning calorimetry consistently show an exothermic event (~1 J g−1) in the non-reversible heat flow just prior to discharge. These results support thermogenesis-triggered seed discharge, never before observed in any plant. PMID:25662062

  3. Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the subarctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Ylänne, Henni; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2015-10-01

    Selective herbivory of palatable plant species provides a competitive advantage for unpalatable plant species, which often have slow growth rates and produce slowly decomposable litter. We hypothesized that through a shift in the vegetation community from palatable, deciduous dwarf shrubs to unpalatable, evergreen dwarf shrubs, selective herbivory may counteract the increased shrub abundance that is otherwise found in tundra ecosystems, in turn interacting with the responses of ecosystem carbon (C) stocks and CO2 balance to climatic warming. We tested this hypothesis in a 19-year field experiment with factorial treatments of warming and simulated herbivory on the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus. Warming was associated with a significantly increased vegetation abundance, with the strongest effect on deciduous dwarf shrubs, resulting in greater rates of both gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) as well as increased C stocks. Simulated herbivory increased the abundance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, most importantly Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, which led to a recent shift in the dominant vegetation from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs. Simulated herbivory caused no effect on GEP and ER or the total ecosystem C stocks, indicating that the vegetation shift counteracted the herbivore-induced C loss from the system. A larger proportion of the total ecosystem C stock was found aboveground, rather than belowground, in plots treated with simulated herbivory. We conclude that by providing a competitive advantage to unpalatable plant species with slow growth rates and long life spans, selective herbivory may promote aboveground C stocks in a warming tundra ecosystem and, through this mechanism, counteract C losses that result from plant biomass consumption. PMID:25950664

  4. The formation of the patterns of desert shrub communities on the Western Ordos Plateau, China: the roles of seed dispersal and sand burial.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yange; Yang, Xiaohui; Shi, Zhongjie

    2013-01-01

    The western Ordos Plateau is a key area of shrub diversity and a National Nature Reserve of endangered shrub species in north-west China. Desert expansion is becoming the most important threat to these endangered species. However, little is known about the effects of sand burial on the dynamics of the shrub community. This study aims to investigate how the shrubs as a community and as different individual shrubs respond to the disturbances caused by the desert expansion. The approach used by this study is to separate the seed-dispersal strategy from the sand-burial forces that are involved in structuring the shrub communities at different disturbance stages. Four communities for different disturbance stages were surveyed by using 50×50 m plots. The individual shrubs were classified into coloniser and successor groups at the seed-dispersal stage and strong and weak sand-burial tolerance groups at the sand-expansion stage. We employed spatial point pattern analysis with null models for each community to examine the seed-dispersal strategy and sand-burial forces affecting community distribution patterns. At the seed-dispersal stage, the interactions between the colonisers and the successors showed significant positive correlation at a scale of 0-1 m and significant negative correlation at a scale of 2 m; significant negative correlations between the groups with strong and weak sand-burial tolerance in the early stage of sand expansion at scales of 3-6 m, and significant positive correlation in the later stage of sand expansion at a scale of 13 m, were found. Seed-dispersal strategy is a reasonable mechanism to explain the shrub community pattern formation in the earlier stages, whereas sand burial is the primary reason for the disappearance of shrubs with weak sand-burial tolerance, this irreversible disturbance causes homogenisation of the community structure and produces aging populations of shrub species. This has an important influence on the succession direction

  5. The Formation of the Patterns of Desert Shrub Communities on the Western Ordos Plateau, China: The Roles of Seed Dispersal and Sand Burial

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yange; Yang, Xiaohui; Shi, Zhongjie

    2013-01-01

    The western Ordos Plateau is a key area of shrub diversity and a National Nature Reserve of endangered shrub species in north-west China. Desert expansion is becoming the most important threat to these endangered species. However, little is known about the effects of sand burial on the dynamics of the shrub community. This study aims to investigate how the shrubs as a community and as different individual shrubs respond to the disturbances caused by the desert expansion. The approach used by this study is to separate the seed-dispersal strategy from the sand-burial forces that are involved in structuring the shrub communities at different disturbance stages. Four communities for different disturbance stages were surveyed by using 50×50 m plots. The individual shrubs were classified into coloniser and successor groups at the seed-dispersal stage and strong and weak sand-burial tolerance groups at the sand-expansion stage. We employed spatial point pattern analysis with null models for each community to examine the seed-dispersal strategy and sand-burial forces affecting community distribution patterns. At the seed-dispersal stage, the interactions between the colonisers and the successors showed significant positive correlation at a scale of 0–1 m and significant negative correlation at a scale of 2 m; significant negative correlations between the groups with strong and weak sand-burial tolerance in the early stage of sand expansion at scales of 3–6 m, and significant positive correlation in the later stage of sand expansion at a scale of 13 m, were found. Seed-dispersal strategy is a reasonable mechanism to explain the shrub community pattern formation in the earlier stages, whereas sand burial is the primary reason for the disappearance of shrubs with weak sand-burial tolerance, this irreversible disturbance causes homogenisation of the community structure and produces aging populations of shrub species. This has an important influence on the succession

  6. A novel system for in situ determination of heat tolerance of plants: first results on alpine dwarf shrubs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Heat stress and heat damage to plants gain globally increasing importance for crop production and plant survival in endangered habitats. Therefore the knowledge of heat tolerance of plants is of great interest. As many heat tolerance measurement procedures require detachment of plants and protocols expose samples to various heat temperatures in darkness, the ecological relevance of such results may be doubted. To overcome these constraints we designed a novel field compatible Heat Tolerance Testing System (HTTS) that opens the opportunity to induce controlled heat stress on plants in situ under full natural solar irradiation. Subsequently, heat tolerance can be evaluated by a variety of standard viability assays like the electrolyte leakage test, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements and visual assessment methods. Furthermore, recuperation can be studied under natural environmental conditions which is impossible when detached plant material is used. First results obtained on three alpine dwarf - shrubs are presented. Results When heat tolerance of Vaccinium gaultherioides Bigelow was tested with the HTTS in situ, the visual assessment of leaves showed 50% heat injury (LT50) at 48.3°C, while on detached leaves where heat exposure took place in small heat chambers this already happened at 45.8°C. Natural solar irradiation being applied during heat exposure in the HTTS had significantly protective effects: In Loiseleuria procumbens L. (Desv.), if heat exposure (in situ) took place in darkness, leaf heat tolerance was 50.6°C. In contrast, when heat exposure was conducted under full natural solar irradiation heat tolerance was increased to 53.1°C. In Rhododendron ferrugineum L. heat tolerance of leaves was 42.5°C if the exposure took place ex situ and in darkness, while it was significantly increased to 45.8°C when this happened in situ under natural solar irradiation. Conclusions The results obtained with the HTTS tested in the field indicate a

  7. Two decades of demography reveals that seed and seedling transitions limit population persistence in a translocated shrub

    PubMed Central

    Gross, C. L.; Mackay, D.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Olearia flocktoniae is an endangered shrub that was passively translocated from its natural ecosystem, where it has since gone extinct. This study aimed to determine sensitivities vital to populations persisting in human-created areas. Methods Population colonization, longevity and extinction were investigated over 20 years using 133 populations. Seed-bank longevity was determined from germination trials of seeds exhumed from extinct and extant sites via a 10-year glasshouse trial and by in situ sowing experiments. From 27 populations, 98 cohorts were followed and matrix models of transitions from seeds to adults were used to evaluate the intrinsic rate of population growth against disturbance histories. Ten populations (38 cohorts) with different disturbance histories were used to evaluate sensitivities in vital rates. Key Results Most populations had few individuals (∼30) and were transient (<5 years above ground). The intrinsic population growth rate was rarely >1 and all but two populations were extinct at year 20. Seeds were short-lived in situ. Although >1000 seeds per plant were produced annually in most populations, sensitivity analysis showed that the transition to the seed bank and the transition from the seed bank to seedlings are key vulnerabilities in the life-cycle. Conclusions Seedling establishment is promoted by recent disturbance. Increasing the number of disturbance events in populations, even severe disturbances that almost extirpate populations, significantly increases longer-term population persistence. Only populations that were disturbed annually survived the full 20 years of the study. The results show that translocated populations of O. flocktoniae will fail to persist without active management. PMID:24844983

  8. What are the consequences of ant-seed interactions on the abundance of two dry-fruited shrubs in a Mediterranean scrub?

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Rodrigo, A; Retana, J

    2011-12-01

    Strong interactions between dry-fruited shrubs and seed-harvesting ants are expected in early successional scrubs, where both groups have a major presence. We have analysed the implications of the seed characteristics of two dry-fruited shrub species (Coronilla minima and Dorycnium pentaphyllum) on seed predation and dispersal mediated by harvester ants and the consequences of these processes on spatio-temporal patterns of plant abundance in a heterogeneous environment. We found that large C. minima seeds were collected much more (39%) than small D. pentaphyllum seeds (2%). However, not all of the removed seeds of these plant species were consumed, and 12.8% of the seeds were lost along the trails, which increased dispersal distances compared with abiotic dispersal alone. Seed dropping occurred among all microhabitats of the two plant species, but especially in open microhabitats, which are the most suitable ones for plant establishment. The two plant species increased their presence in the study area during the study period: C. minima in open microhabitats and D. pentaphyllum in high vegetation. The large size of C. minima seeds probably limited the primary seed dispersal of this species, but may have allowed strong interaction with ants. Thus, seed dispersal by ants resulted in C. minima seeds reaching more suitable microhabitats by means of increasing dispersal distance and redistribution among microhabitats. In contrast, the smaller size of D. pentaphyllum seeds arguably allows abiotic seed dispersal over longer distances and colonization of all types of microhabitats, although it probably also limits their interaction with ants and, consequently, their redistribution in suitable microhabitats. We suggest that dyszoochory could contribute to the success of plant species with different seed characteristics in scrub habitats where seeds are abundantly collected by seed-harvesting ants. PMID:21643993

  9. Effect of Temperature, Light and Salinity on Seed Germination and Radicle Growth of the Geographically Widespread Halophyte Shrub Halocnemum strobilaceum

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Xiao-Xia; Huang, Zhen-Ying; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims The small leafy succulent shrub Halocnemum strobilaceum occurs in saline habitats from northern Africa and Mediterranean Europe to western Asia, and it is a dominant species in salt deserts such as those of north-west China. The effects of temperature, light/darkness and NaCl salinity were tested on seed germination, and the effects of salinity were tested on seed germination recovery, radicle growth and radicle elongation recovery, using seeds from north-west China; the results were compared with those previously reported on this species from ‘salt steppes’ in the Mediterranean region of Spain. Methods Seed germination was tested over a range of temperatures in light and in darkness and over a range of salinities at 25 °C in the light. Seeds that did not germinate in the NaCl solutions were tested for germination in deionized water. Seeds from which radicles had barely emerged in deionized water were transferred to NaCl solutions for 10 d and then back to deionized water for 10 d to test for radicle growth and recovery. Key Results Seeds germinated to higher percentages in light than in darkness and at high than at low temperatures. Germination percentages decreased with an increase in salinity from 0·1 to 0·75 m NaCl. Seeds that did not germinate in NaCl solutions did so after transfer to deionized water. Radicle elongation was increased by low salinity, and then it decreased with an increase in salinity, being completely inhibited by ≥2·0 m NaCl. Elongation of radicles from salt solutions <3·0 m resumed after seedlings were transferred to deionized water. Conclusions The seed and early seedling growth stages of the life cycle of H. strobilaceum are very salt tolerant, and their physiological responses differ somewhat between the Mediterranean ‘salt steppe’ of Spain and the inland cold salt desert of north-west China. PMID:17428834

  10. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Maron, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical ?? (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of above-ground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical ?? by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival-not their mere existence-critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago.

  11. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank.

    PubMed

    Kauffman, Matthew J; Maron, John L

    2006-10-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical lambda (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of aboveground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical lambda by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival--not their mere existence--critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. PMID:17004218

  12. Effects of seed bank disturbance on the fine-scale genetic structure of populations of the rare shrub Grevillea macleayana.

    PubMed

    England, P R; Whelan, R J; Ayre, D J

    2003-11-01

    Dispersal in most plants is mediated by the movement of seeds and pollen, which move genes across the landscape differently. Grevillea macleayana is a rare, fire-dependent Australian shrub with large seeds lacking adaptations for dispersal; yet it produces inflorescences adapted to pollination by highly mobile vertebrates (eg birds). Interpreting fine-scale genetic structure in the light of these two processes is confounded by the recent imposition of anthropogenic disturbances with potentially contrasting genetic consequences: (1) the unusual foraging behaviour of exotic honeybees and 2. widespread disturbance of the soil-stored seedbank by road building and quarrying. To test for evidence of fine-scale genetic structure within G. macleayana populations and to test the prediction that such structure might be masked by disturbance of the seed bank, we sampled two sites in undisturbed habitat and compared their genetic structure with two sites that had been strongly affected by road building using a test for spatial autocorrelation of genotypes. High selfing levels inferred from genotypes at all four sites implies that pollen dispersal is limited. Consistent with this, we observed substantial spatial clustering of genes at 10 m or less in the two undisturbed populations and argue that this reflects the predicted effects of both high selfing levels and limited seed dispersal. In contrast, at the two sites disturbed by road building, spatial autocorrelation was weak. This suggests there has been mixing of the seed bank, counteracting the naturally low dispersal and elevated selfing due to honeybees. Pollination between near neighbours with reduced relatedness potentially has fitness consequences for G. macleayana in disturbed sites. PMID:14576740

  13. Low Rate of Between-Population Seed Dispersal Restricts Genetic Connectivity and Metapopulation Dynamics in a Clonal Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Merwin, Laura; He, Tianhua; Lamont, Byron B.; Enright, Neal J.; Krauss, Siegfried L.

    2012-01-01

    Clonal species normally have low seed production, low recruitment rates and long lifespans, and it is expected that the rates of long-distance dispersal (LDD) of seeds will be low as well. Banksia candolleana is a clonal shrub in Mediterranean-type, fire-prone sclerophyll shrublands of southwestern Australia, whose reproductive biology and population dynamics contrast with those of co-occurring nonclonal congeneric species, all of which are restricted to a mosaic of sand dunes set within a matrix of inhospitable swales. Using microsatellite markers, we genotyped 499 plants in all 15 populations of B. candolleana within a 12-km2 area, assessed population genetic differentiation, and quantified the effective rate of interpopulation seed dispersal through genetic assignment of individuals to populations. We measured life history, reproductive and demographic attributes, and compared these with two co-occurring Banksia species, a non-clonal resprouter and a nonsprouter. B. candolleana has much higher levels of population genetic differentiation, and one-third the rate of interpopulation seed migration, as the other two species (2.2% vs 5.5−6.8% of genotyped plants inferred to be immigrants), though distances reached by LDD are comparable (0.3−2.3 km). The low rate of interpopulation dispersal was supported by an analysis of the age structure of three populations that suggests a mean interdune migration rate of <800 m in 200 years, and 60% of suitable dunes remain uninhabited. Thus, B. candolleana has poor properties for promoting long-distance dispersal. It is unclear if these are idiosyncratic to this species or whether such properties are to be expected of clonal species in general where LDD is less critical for species survival. PMID:23209839

  14. Effect of cold stratification treatments on germination of drought tolerant shrubs seeds.

    PubMed

    Olmez, Zafer; Temel, Fatih; Gokturk, Askin; Yahyaoglu, Zeki

    2007-04-01

    This study was carried out to determine effects of different durations (20, 40, 60 days and control) of cold stratification treatments on seed germination and to overcome dormancy in seeds of twelve different drought tolerant plants. The species used in this study were Arbutus andrachne L., Cistus creticus L., Colutea armena Bois. Huet., Cotinus coggygria Scop., Cotoneaster numullaria Fisch. and Mey, Elaeagnus angustifolia L., Jasminum fruticans L., Paliurus spina-christii Mill., Punica granatum L., Pyracantha coccinea Roem., Rhus coriaria L., and Ziziphus jujuba Mill. The seeds were sown in polyethylene pots under greenhouse and on seedbeds under open field conditions. Statistical design was a randomized complete block design with three replications. Germinated seeds were counted and observed periodically for 90 days after sowing to determine germination percentages (GP) and germination rates (GR). While the highest GP were determined according to duration of cold stratification under greenhouse conditions for each species were 44.2% for 60 days, 2.5% for 20 days, 85.6% for 60 days, 13.5% for 20 and 60 days, 64.3% for 20 days, 11.2% for 60 days, 8.2% for 20 days and 14.1% for 20 days for Cotinus coggygria, Cotoneaster numullaria, Jasminum fruticans, Paliurus spina-christii, Pyracantha coccinea, Punica granatum, Rhus coriaria and Ziziphus jujuba respectively The highest GP were 16.5% forArbutus andrachne and 91.3% for Colutea armena for 20 days cold stratified seeds and sown under open field conditions. Furthermore, the highest GP were obtained from seeds of Cistus creticus (27.5%) and Elaeagnus angustifolia (56.2%) in control sowing. PMID:17929764

  15. Differential effects of two explosive compounds on seed germination and seedling morphology of a woody shrub, Morella cerifera.

    PubMed

    Via, Stephen M; Zinnert, Julie C; Young, Donald R

    2015-01-01

    Soils contaminated with explosive compounds occur on a global scale. Research demolition explosive (RDX) (hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) and trinitrotoluene (TNT) (2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene) are the most common explosive compounds in the environment. These compounds, by variably impacting plant health, can affect species establishment in contaminated areas. Our objective was to quantify comparative effects of RDX and TNT on a woody shrub, Morella cerifera, commonly found on bombing ranges along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Two life stages of M. cerifera, Seeds and juvenile plants, were exposed to soil amended with concentrations of RDX and TNT representative of field levels; RDX up to 1,500 ppm and TNT up to 900 ppm. Percent germination was recorded for 3 weeks; morphological metrics of necrotic, reduced, and curled leaves, in addition to shoot length and number measured at the end of the experiment (8 weeks) for juvenile plants. All concentrations of RDX inhibited seed germination while TNT did not have an effect at any concentration. As contaminant concentration increased, significant increases in seedling morphological damage occurred in the presence of RDX, whereas TNT did not affect seedling morphology at any concentration. Overall the plants were more sensitive to the presence of RDX. Species specific responses to explosive compounds in the soil have the potential to act as a physiological filter, altering plant recruitment and establishment. This filtering of species may have a number of large scale impacts including: altering species composition and ecological succession. PMID:25336045

  16. The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment.

    PubMed

    Sedlacek, Janosch; Wheeler, Julia A; Cortés, Andrés J; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Lexer, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark; Rixen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological

  17. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer.

    PubMed

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-10-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of -4.7 to -5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of -7.2 to -18.2 °C or even below -22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the lowest air

  18. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer☆

    PubMed Central

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F.; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of −4.7 to −5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of −7.2 to −18.2 °C or even below −22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the

  19. Distribution of three congeneric shrub species along an aridity gradient is related to seed germination and seedling emergence.

    PubMed

    Lai, Liming; Tian, Yuan; Wang, Yongji; Zhao, Xuechun; Jiang, Lianhe; Baskin, Jerry M; Baskin, Carol C; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2015-01-01

    Environmental tolerance of a species has been shown to correlate positively with its geographical range. On the Ordos Plateau, three Caragana species are distributed sequentially along the precipitation gradient. We hypothesized that this geographical distribution pattern is related to environmental tolerances of the three Caragana species during seed germination and seedling emergence stages. To test this hypothesis, we examined seed germination under different temperature, light and water potentials, and monitored seedling emergence for seeds buried at eight sand depths and given different amounts of water. Seeds of C. korshinskii germinated to high percentages at 5 : 15 to 25 : 35 °C in both light and darkness, while those of C. intermedia and C. microphylla did so only at 15 : 25 and 25 : 35 °C, respectively. Nearly 30 % of the C. korshinskii seeds germinated at -1.4 MPa at 20 and 25 °C, while no seeds of the other two species did so. Under the same treatments, seedling emergence percentages of C. korshinskii were higher than those of the other two species. The rank order of tolerance to drought and sand burial of the three species is C. korshinskii > C. intermedia > C. microphylla. The amount of precipitation and sand burial depth appear to be the main selective forces responsible for the geographical distribution of these species. PMID:26139184

  20. Distribution of three congeneric shrub species along an aridity gradient is related to seed germination and seedling emergence

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Liming; Tian, Yuan; Wang, Yongji; Zhao, Xuechun; Jiang, Lianhe; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2015-01-01

    Environmental tolerance of a species has been shown to correlate positively with its geographical range. On the Ordos Plateau, three Caragana species are distributed sequentially along the precipitation gradient. We hypothesized that this geographical distribution pattern is related to environmental tolerances of the three Caragana species during seed germination and seedling emergence stages. To test this hypothesis, we examined seed germination under different temperature, light and water potentials, and monitored seedling emergence for seeds buried at eight sand depths and given different amounts of water. Seeds of C. korshinskii germinated to high percentages at 5 : 15 to 25 : 35 °C in both light and darkness, while those of C. intermedia and C. microphylla did so only at 15 : 25 and 25 : 35 °C, respectively. Nearly 30 % of the C. korshinskii seeds germinated at −1.4 MPa at 20 and 25 °C, while no seeds of the other two species did so. Under the same treatments, seedling emergence percentages of C. korshinskii were higher than those of the other two species. The rank order of tolerance to drought and sand burial of the three species is C. korshinskii > C. intermedia > C. microphylla. The amount of precipitation and sand burial depth appear to be the main selective forces responsible for the geographical distribution of these species. PMID:26139184

  1. Direct and indirect selection on floral pigmentation by pollinators and seed predators in a color polymorphic South African shrub.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jane E; Holsinger, Kent E

    2013-04-01

    The coexistence of different color morphs is often attributed to variable selection pressures across space, time, morph frequencies, or selection agents, but the routes by which each morph is favored are rarely identified. In this study we investigated factors that influence floral color polymorphisms on a local scale in Protea, within which approximately 40% of species are polymorphic. Previous work shows that seed predators and reproductive differences likely contribute to maintaining polymorphism in four Protea species. We explored whether selection acts directly or indirectly on floral color in two populations of Protea aurea, using path analysis of pollinator behavior, nectar production, seed predation, color, morphology, and maternal fecundity fitness components. We found that avian pollinators spent more time on white morphs, likely due to nectar differences, but that this had no apparent consequences for fecundity. Instead, the number of flowers per inflorescence underpinned many of the reproductively important differences between color morphs. White morphs had more flowers per inflorescence, which itself was positively correlated with nectar production, seed predator occurrence, and total long-term seed production. The number of seeds per plant to survive predation, in contrast, was not directly associated with color or any other floral trait. Thus, although color differences may be associated with conflicting selection pressures, the selection appears to be associated with the number of flowers per inflorescence and its unmeasured correlates, rather than with inflorescence color itself. PMID:23007806

  2. Shrub tundra snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomeroy, J. W.; Bewley, D. S.; Essery, R. L. H.; Hedstrom, N. R.; Link, T.; Granger, R. J.; Sicart, J. E.; Ellis, C. R.; Janowicz, J. R.

    2006-03-01

    Observations of land surface and snowpack energetics and mass fluxes were made over arctic shrub tundra of varying canopy height and density using radiometers, eddy covariance flux measurements, and snow mass changes from snow surveys of depth and density. Over several years, snow accumulation in the shrubs was found to be consistently higher than in sparse tundra due to greater retention of snowfall by all shrubs and wind redistribution of snowfall to tall shrubs. Where snow accumulation was highest due to snow redistribution, shrubs often became buried by the end of winter. Three classes of shrub-snow interactions were observed: tall shrubs that were exposed over snow, tall shrubs that were bent over and buried by snow, and short shrubs buried by snow. Tall shrubs buried by snow underwent spring-up during melt. Though spring-up was episodic for a single shrub, over an area it was a progressive emergence from early to mid melt of vegetation that dramatically altered the radiative and aerodynamic properties of the surface. Short shrubs were exposed more rapidly once snow depth declined below shrub height, usually near the end of melt. Net radiation increased with increasing shrub due to the decreased reflectance of shortwave radiation overwhelming the increased longwave emission from relatively warm and dark shrubs. Net radiation to snow under shrubs was much smaller than that over shrubs, but was greater than that to snow with minimal shrub exposure, in this case the difference was due to downward longwave radiation from the canopy exceeding the effect of attenuated shortwave transmission through the canopy. Because of reduced turbulent transfer under shrub canopies and minimal water vapour contributions from the bare shrub branches, sublimation fluxes declined with increasing shrub exposure. In contrast, sensible heat fluxes to the shrub surface became more negative and those to the underlying snow surface more positive with increasing shrub exposure, because of

  3. Development and Practical Use of RT-PCR for Seed-transmitted Prune dwarf virus in Quarantine

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Siwon; Shin, Yong-Gil

    2014-01-01

    Among imported plants, seeds are the items that have many latent pathogens and are difficult to inspect. Also, they are the import and export items whose market is expected to expand. The biggest problem with seeds is viruses. Prune dwarf virus (PDV) is the virus that is commonly inspected in Prunus cerasifera, P. persica, P. armeniaca, P. mandshurica, P. cerasus, P. avium or P. serotina seeds. In this study, two RT-PCR primer sets, which can promptly and specifically diagnose plant quarantine seed-transmitted PDV, were developed; and nested PCR primers, where products amplify 739 and 673 nucleotides (nt), and an nested PCR-product, 305 nt, can be obtained as these products are amplified again, were developed. Also, a modified-positive control plasmid was developed, where the restriction enzyme XhoI, which can identify the contamination of samples from the control, was inserted. The method developed in this study has detected PDV in 18 cases since 2007, and is expected to continuously contribute to the plant quarantine in Korea. PMID:25289000

  4. Development and Practical Use of RT-PCR for Seed-transmitted Prune dwarf virus in Quarantine.

    PubMed

    Lee, Siwon; Shin, Yong-Gil

    2014-06-01

    Among imported plants, seeds are the items that have many latent pathogens and are difficult to inspect. Also, they are the import and export items whose market is expected to expand. The biggest problem with seeds is viruses. Prune dwarf virus (PDV) is the virus that is commonly inspected in Prunus cerasifera, P. persica, P. armeniaca, P. mandshurica, P. cerasus, P. avium or P. serotina seeds. In this study, two RT-PCR primer sets, which can promptly and specifically diagnose plant quarantine seed-transmitted PDV, were developed; and nested PCR primers, where products amplify 739 and 673 nucleotides (nt), and an nested PCR-product, 305 nt, can be obtained as these products are amplified again, were developed. Also, a modified-positive control plasmid was developed, where the restriction enzyme XhoI, which can identify the contamination of samples from the control, was inserted. The method developed in this study has detected PDV in 18 cases since 2007, and is expected to continuously contribute to the plant quarantine in Korea. PMID:25289000

  5. Maize dwarf mosaic in sweet corn contributes to weed growth and seed production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) stunts corn growth, delays development, and is the most prevalent viral disease of sweet corn. Although weeds evade control in most sweet corn fields, the extent to which MDM influences the crop’s weed suppressive ability is unknown. Field studies were conducted over a three...

  6. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S.; McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O.; Goto, M.; Hashimoto, J.; and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  7. A Statistical Analysis of SEEDS and Other High-contrast Exoplanet Surveys: Massive Planets or Low-mass Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; McElwain, Michael W.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Spiegel, David S.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Brandner, W.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Grady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hashimoto, J.; Hayano, Y.; Hayashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, K. W.; Inutsuka, S.; Ishii, M.; Iye, M.; Janson, M.; Kandori, R.; Knapp, G. R.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Kwon, J.; Matsuo, T.; Miyama, S.; Morino, J.-I.; Moro-Martín, A.; Nishimura, T.; Pyo, T.-S.; Serabyn, E.; Suto, H.; Suzuki, R.; Takami, M.; Takato, N.; Terada, H.; Thalmann, C.; Tomono, D.; Watanabe, M.; Yamada, T.; Takami, H.; Usuda, T.; Tamura, M.

    2014-10-01

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ~60 M J brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD-35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ~30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ~5 M J, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)vpropM -0.65 ± 0.60 a -0.85 ± 0.39 (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M J companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  8. Yield and seed oil content response of dwarf, rapid-cycling Brassica to nitrogen treatments, planting density, and carbon dioxide enrichment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frick, J.; Nielsen, S. S.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1994-01-01

    Effects of N level (15 to 30 mM), time of N increase (14 to 28 days after planting), and planting density (1163 to 2093 plants/m2) were determined for crop yield responses of dwarf, rapid-cycling brassica (Brassica napus L., CrGC 5-2, Genome: ACaacc). Crops were grown in solid-matrix hydroponic systems and under controlled-environment conditions, including nonsupplemented (ambient) or elevated CO2 concentrations (998 +/- 12 micromoles mol-1). The highest seed yield rate obtained (4.4 g m-2 day-1) occurred with the lowest N level (15 mM) applied at the latest treatment time (day 28). In all trials, CO2 enrichment reduced seed yield rate and harvest index by delaying the onset of flowering and senescence and stimulating vegetative shoot growth. The highest shoot biomass accumulation rate (55.5 g m-2 day-1) occurred with the highest N level (30 mM) applied at the earliest time (day 14). Seed oil content was not significantly affected by CO2 enrichment. Maximum seed oil content (30% to 34%, dry weight basis) was obtained using the lowest N level (15 mM) initiated at the latest treatment time (day 28). In general, an increase in seed oil content was accompanied by a decrease in seed protein. Seed carbohydrate, moisture, and ash contents did not vary significantly in response to experimental treatments. Effects of N level and time of N increase were consistently significant for most crop responses. Planting density was significant only under elevated CO2 conditions.

  9. The SEEDS High-Contrast Imaging Survey: Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Survey for Nearby Young Stars Dated with Gyrochronology and Activity Age Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Tamura, Motohide; Helminiak, Kris; Mede, Kyle; Brandt, Timothy; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Hashimoto, Jun

    2015-12-01

    The SEEDS campaign has successfully discovered and characterized exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and circumstellar disks since it began in 2009, via the direct imaging technique. The survey has targeted nearby young stars, as well as stars associated to star-forming regions, the Pleiades open cluster, moving groups, and debris disks. We selected the nearby young stars that have been dated with age indicators based on stellar rotation periods (i.e., gyrochronology) and chromoshperic/coronal activities. Of these, nearly 40 were observed, with ages mainly between 100 and 1000 Myr and distances less than 40 pc. Our observations typically attain the contrast of ~6 x 10-6 at 1'' and better than ~1 x 10-6 beyond 2'', enabling us to detect a planetary-mass companion even around such old stars. Indeed, the SEEDS team reported the discovery that the nearby Sun-like star GJ 504 hosts a Jovian companion GJ 504b, which has a mass of 3-8.5 Jupiter masses that is inferred according to the hot-start cooling models and our estimated system age of 100-510 Myr. The remaining observations out of the selected ~40 stars have resulted in no detection of additional planets or brown dwarf companions. Meanwhile, we have newly imaged a low-mass stellar companion orbiting the G-type star HIP 10321, for which the presence of companion was previously announced via radial velocity technique. The astrometry and radial velocity measurements are simultaneously analyzed to determine the orbit, providing constraints on the dynamical mass of both objects and stellar evolution models. Here we summarize our direct imaging observations for the nearby young stars dated with gyrochrolorogy and activity age indicators. Furthermore, we report the analysis for the HIP 10321 system with the imaged low-mass companion.

  10. Nutrients intake, performance and nitrogen balance of West African dwarf sheep fed graded levels of toasted Enterolobium cyclocarpum seeds as supplement to Panicum maximum.

    PubMed

    Idowu, O J; Arigbede, O M; Dele, P A; Olanite, J A; Adelusi, O O; Ojo, V O A; Sunmola, A S

    2013-12-01

    A study was conducted to assess the nutritive value of Enterolobium cyclocarpum seeds as supplementary feed for ruminant animals during the dry season when grasses are either not available or of low quality. Matured fruits of E. cyclocarpum were collected, toasted, peeled and then used for the trial. Thirty two West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep aged between 12 +/- 2 months with an average body weight of 10 +/- 2 kg were used in assessing the nutritive value of graded levels of toasted Enterolobium cyclocarpum seed in a concentrate diets as supplement to Panicum maximum basal diet. The percent compositions of the experimental diets were toasted E. cyclocarpum seeds at various levels of inclusion (0, 10, 20 and 30%) for diets 1, 2, 3 and 4. respectively. The diets (1-4) were consecutively fed to each animal at 50 g kg(-1) b.wt. for 12 weeks in a completely randomized design. Parameters taken were weekly body weights, daily feed intake, nutrient utilization and nitrogen balance status for each animal. Diet 2 had the highest significant (p < 0.05) nutrients intake being 871.88, 137.13, 147.59, 33.26 and 69.86 g day(-1) for DM, CP, CF, EE and ASH respectively. The Dry Matter Digestibility (DMD) coefficients decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with increased inclusion levels of toasted E. cyclocarpum seeds supplementation. Sheep fed diet 4 had the lowest feed conversion ratio (8.61) and the highest daily average gain of 58.93 g. However the animals fed Diet 2 had the highest nitrogen retension and converted their feed to flesh. PMID:24506053

  11. Sowing the seeds of massive black holes in small galaxies: Young clusters as the building blocks of ultracompact dwarf galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Konstantinidis, Symeon; Freitag, Marc Dewi; Coleman Miller, M.; Rasio, Frederic A. E-mail: simos@ari.uni-heidelberg.de E-mail: miller@astro.umd.edu

    2014-02-20

    Interacting galaxies often have complexes of hundreds of young stellar clusters of individual masses ∼10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} in regions that are a few hundred parsecs across. These cluster complexes interact dynamically, and their coalescence is a candidate for the origin of some ultracompact dwarf galaxies. Individual clusters with short relaxation times are candidates for the production of intermediate-mass black holes of a few hundred solar masses, via runaway stellar collisions prior to the first supernovae in a cluster. It is therefore possible that a cluster complex hosts multiple intermediate-mass black holes that may be ejected from their individual clusters due to mergers or binary processes, but bound to the complex as a whole. Here we explore the dynamical interaction between initially free-flying massive black holes and clusters in an evolving cluster complex. We find that, after hitting some clusters, it is plausible that the massive black hole will be captured in an ultracompact dwarf forming near the center of the complex. In the process, the hole typically triggers electromagnetic flares via stellar disruptions, and is also likely to be a prominent source of gravitational radiation for the advanced ground-based detectors LIGO and VIRGO. We also discuss other implications of this scenario, notably that the central black hole could be considerably larger than expected in other formation scenarios for ultracompact dwarfs.

  12. Shrub control by browsing: Targeting adult plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    Reconciling the well known benefits of shrubs for forage with environmental goals, whilst preventing their dominance, is a major challenge in rangeland management. Browsing may be an economical solution for shrubby rangelands as herbivore browsing has been shown to control juvenile shrub growth. Less convincing results have been obtained for adult plants, and long-term experiments are required to investigate the cumulative effects on adult plants. We therefore assessed the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on key demographic parameters for a major dominant shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius), focusing on adult plants. We assigned individual broom plants to one of three age classes: 3-5 years (young adults); 5-7 years (adults); and 7-9 years (mature adults). These plants were then left untouched or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed in simulated low-intensity and high-intensity browsing treatments, respectively. Morphological, survival and fecundity data were collected over a period of four years. Browsing affected the morphology of individual plants, promoting changes in subsequent regrowth, and decreasing seed production. The heavily browsed plants were 17% shorter, 32% narrower, and their twigs were 28% shorter. Light browsing seemed to control the growth of young adult plants more effectively than that of older plants. Reproductive output was considerably lower than for control plants after light browsing, and almost 100% lower after heavy browsing. High-intensity browsing had a major effect on survival causing high levels of plant mortality. We conclude that suitable browsing practices could be used to modify adult shrub demography in the management of shrub dominance and forage value.

  13. Willow Shrub Expansion Following Tundra Fires in Arctic Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racine, C.

    2010-12-01

    Climate warming in the Arctic is predicted to result in the expansion of woody shrubs and increased frequency and size of tundra fires. How will fire influence this shrub expansion? Over a period of 32 years, following a 1977 tundra fire in the central Seward Peninsula, we sampled seven times the post-fire vegetation at eight permanently marked sites on a long (2 Km) hillslope (Nimrod Hill). We had previously sampled vegetation here in 1973 prior to the fire. By 2001, 24 years post-fire conspicuous willow shrubs (mostly Salix pulchra) had increased in numbers, size and cover over the entire slope in moist tussock-shrub tundra, well-drained heath, and wet meadow. Prior to fire, willow on this slope was largely restricted to small drainages or watertracks. Willows here have originated from both seed and vegetative resprouting - the latter mostly in moist tussock-shrub tundra from willows resprouting within one to three years post-fire. With fire-induced removal of vascular plant competition and Spagnum moss cover and litter in tussock-shrub tundra, both seedling and resprouting willows have grown rapidly to overtop tussocks by 30-40 cm. Similar rapid post-fire resprouting of willows has been observed in tussock-shrub tundra after the 2007 Anaktuvuk River tundra fire and after the 1977 tundra fires in the Noatak River basin. On Nimrod Hill the most striking willow expansion has occurred on the severely burned and well-drained backslope where willow establishment from seed 5-10 years after fire has resulted in up to 40% cover of rapidly growing willows of both upright and spreading growth form. At several sites along the slope there is evidence of continuing willow expansion from seedlings 24 to 32 years post-fire, when we might expect the effects of fire on seedbeds would have ceased. We conclude that tundra fire may promote shrub expansion in the Arctic.

  14. Nitrogen addition increases fecundity in the desert shrub Sarcobatus vermiculatus.

    PubMed

    Drenovsky, R E; Richards, J H

    2005-04-01

    Nutrients, in addition to water, limit desert primary productivity, but nutrient limitations to fecundity and seed quality in desert ecosystems have received little attention. Reduced seed production and quality may affect recruitment, population, and community processes. At the Mono Basin, CA, USA where the alkaline, sandy soil has very low availability of N, P, and most other nutrients, seed production, recruitment, and dominance of the desert shrub Sarcobatus vermiculatus decrease over a dune successional sequence. Concurrently, Sarcobatus leaf N, P, and Ca/Mg ratio decline from early to later successional dunes. At two later successional dune sites, we fertilized adult Sarcobatus shrubs for 2 years and determined which nutrient(s) limited growth, seed production, and seed quality. We also tested whether nutrient addition at these older sites made these fitness-related variables equivalent to a younger, high-fecundity site. Nitrogen addition, alone, increased Sarcobatus leaf N, growth, and seed production per shoot module. Any treatment including P, Ca, Mg, or micronutrients but not N had an insignificant effect on growth and fecundity. Nitrogen addition also increased filled seed weight, a predictor of potential seedling survival, at one of the sites. Nitrogen-limited seed production and seed mass may reduce Sarcobatus fitness and contribute to the observed successional changes in plant community composition in this alkaline desert ecosystem. PMID:15690179

  15. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  16. RECONSIDERATION OF USING WATER PONDING DIKES TO REESTABLISH NATIVE GRASSES IN SHRUB-INVADED AREAS OF THE SOUTHWEST

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many rangeland treatments have been tested to cause a reversal in the process of shrub invasion into desert grasslands. It seems that, because of the harsh nature of the arid environment, just removing shrubs and even subsequent seeding with native or introduced grasses is not enough to reverse the...

  17. Drivers of tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the Dempster Highway, Northwest Territories, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Emily A.; Lantz, Trevor C.

    2016-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes as a result of climate warming and more frequent disturbances. Disturbances can have particularly large effects on high-latitude ecosystems when ecosystem structure and function is controlled by strong feedbacks between soil conditions, vegetation, and ground thermal regime. In this study we investigated the impact of road construction and maintenance on vegetation structure and biomass along the Dempster Highway where it crosses the Peel Plateau in the Northwest Territories. To explore drivers of tall shrub proliferation and to quantify shrub proliferation in this region of continuous permafrost, greyscale air photos (1975) and Quickbird satellite imagery (2008) were used to map landcover change within two 0.6 km2 belts next to the road and two 0.6 km2 belts 500 m away from the road. Maps showing areas where: 1) tall shrubs expanded, and 2) dwarf shrub tundra resisted invasion were then used to select field sites where a suite of biophysical variables were measured. Rapid tall shrub proliferation and greater biomass adjacent to the road indicate that disturbance can facilitate vegetation change in tundra environments. Our field data also suggests that increased shrub proliferation adjacent to the road was caused by greater soil moisture. Tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the road occurred at lower elevation sites characterized by wetter soils with thicker organic layers. Areas that resisted tall shrub encroachment were located at higher elevations and had drier soils with thin organic layers. Our observations also support previous work illustrating that tall shrub expansion next to the highway promotes strong positive feedbacks to ongoing shrub growth and proliferation.

  18. Ecological benefits of myrmecochory for the endangered chaparral shrub Fremontodendron decumbens (Sterculiaceae).

    PubMed

    Boyd, R S

    2001-02-01

    Fremontodendron decumbens grows in a single county in central California, USA. Prior research showed that its elaiosome-bearing seeds are dispersed by the harvester ant Messor andrei. I tested several hypotheses regarding the positive role of ant-mediated dispersal to F. decumbens: (1) Does ant-mediated seed dispersal facilitate seed escape from rodent predation?; (2) Does ant processing of seeds stimulate germination?; (3) Are ant middens more suitable microsites for seed or seedling survival in unburned chaparral areas?; and (4) Do survival benefits of dispersal occur post-fire in the form of differences in seedling survival probabilities and, if so, why? Results of tests of each hypothesis were: (1) similar percentages of seeds placed on ant middens and under F. decumbens shrub canopies were destroyed by rodents, but seeds from which elaiosomes had been removed were more likely to escape rodent predation; (2) seeds processed by ants did not germinate more readily than seeds removed directly from shrub branches; (3) seedling predation was a major cause of mortality in unburned chaparral on both ant middens and under shrubs, and overall seedling survival did not differ between the two microsites; (4) post-burn seedling survival was significantly greater for seedlings dispersed away from F. decumbens shrub canopies, because dispersed seedlings were both less likely to be killed by predators and more likely to be growing in a gap created by the fire-caused death of an established shrub. I concluded that the major ecological benefit to F. decumbens of ant-mediated seed dispersal was elevated post-fire seedling survival resulting from enhanced escape by dispersed seedlings from both predation and competition. PMID:11222246

  19. Mechanisms of shrub encroachment into Northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and impacts of climate change investigated using a cellular automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo Valerio; Collins, Scott L.

    2016-05-01

    Arid and semiarid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of woody plant encroachment. Overgrazing, reduced fire frequency, and climate change are known drivers of woody plant encroachment into grasslands. In this study, relatively simple algorithms for encroachment factors (i.e., grazing, grassland fires, and seed dispersal by grazers) are proposed and implemented in the ecohydrological Cellular-Automata Tree Grass Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS). CATGraSS is used in a 7.3 km2 rectangular domain located in central New Mexico along a zone of grassland to shrubland transition, where shrub encroachment is currently active. CATGraSS is calibrated and used to investigate the relative contributions of grazing, fire frequency, seed dispersal by herbivores and climate change on shrub abundance over a 150-year period of historical shrub encroachment. The impact of future climate change is examined using a model output that realistically represents current vegetation cover as initial condition, in a series of stochastic CATGraSS future climate simulations. Model simulations are found to be highly sensitive to the initial distribution of shrub cover. Encroachment factors more actively lead to shrub propagation within the domain when the model starts with randomly distributed individual shrubs. However, when shrubs are naturally evolved into clusters, the model response to encroachment factors is muted unless the effect of seed dispersal by herbivores is amplified. The relative contribution of different drivers on modeled shrub encroachment varied based on the initial shrub cover condition used in the model. When historical weather data is used, CATGraSS predicted loss of shrub and grass cover during the 1950 s drought. While future climate change is found to amplify shrub encroachment (∼13% more shrub cover by 2100), grazing remains the dominant factor promoting shrub encroachment. When we modeled future climate

  20. Effects of the d 2 dwarfing gene in pearl millet.

    PubMed

    Bidinger, F R; Raju, D S

    1990-04-01

    Dwarf varieties have had virtually no impact on the production of pearl millet, in contrast to the case of wheat, rice, and sorghum. This research compared tall and dwarf near-isogenic F1 hybrids to attempt to determine if there were deleterious effects of the d 2 dwarfing gene that might account for the lack of release/cultivation of dwarf pearl millet cultivars. Dwarf isohybrids on average yielded less than the tails, because of a smaller average seed size combined with a similar grain number per unit area. There was, however, a larger contribution of background genetic variation (pollinator, male-sterile, and interaction effects) to hybrid variation for nearly all characters measured, including seed size, than there was of the dwarfing gene. Selection of dwarf parents capable of producing hybrids with equal seed size and yield to that of tall parents should not be difficult. PMID:24226457

  1. Coping with shrub secondary metabolites by ruminants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rangelands throughout the world contain varying but often substantial proportions of shrubs. Shrubs are generally heavily chemically defended, and herbivores must either contend with their plant secondary metabolites (PSM) or avoid a significant component of the available forage. Browsing ruminants ...

  2. Shrub spatial aggregation and consequences for reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Tirado, Reyes; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2003-07-01

    To link spatial patterns and ecological processes, we analysed the distribution of two shrub species (one large and dominant, the other smaller) and estimated the reproductive consequences of their distribution for the smaller species. We tested the significance of the spatial distribution pattern of the two shrubs by second-order bivariate point pattern analysis (Ripley's K function). Performance of Asparagus albus, the smaller shrub, was measured as (1) survival of transplanted seedlings in two contrasting habitats: patches of the dominant shrub (Ziziphus lotus), and open interspaces; and (2) reproductive output of plants naturally occurring in both habitats. The two species were significantly aggregated. Transplanted Asparagus albus seedlings had higher survival rates in patches than in the open. Plants produced more flowers, fruits, and showed a higher mass of seeds when living in aggregates than when isolated. The mechanisms responsible for this facilitative effect seem to be related to soil enrichment in patches. These results suggest that the spatial aggregation of species can be indicative of a positive interaction among them, directly affecting fitness of at least one of the species. Facilitation, by inducing variations in the reproductive performance may play a major role in the demography and dynamics of plant populations. PMID:12695906

  3. Canopy storage capacity of xerophytic shrubs in Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-ping; Zhang, Ya-feng; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia; Berndtsson, Ronny

    2012-08-01

    SummaryThe capacity of shrub canopy water storage is a key factor in controlling the rainfall interception. Thus, it affects a variety of hydrological processes in water-limited arid desert ecosystems. Vast areas of revegetated desert ecosystems in Northwestern China are occupied by shrub and dwarf shrub communities. Yet, data are still scarce regarding their rainwater storage capacity. In this study, simulated rainfall tests were conducted in controlled conditions for three dominant xerophytic shrub types in the arid Tengger Desert. Eight rainfall intensities varying from 1.15 to 11.53 mm h-1 were used to determine the canopy water storage capacity. The simulated rainfall intensities were selected according to the long-term rainfall records in the study area. The results indicate that canopy storage capacity (expressed in water storage per leaf area, canopy projection area, biomass, and volume of shrub respectively) increased exponentially with increase in rainfall intensity for the selected shrubs. Linear relationships were found between canopy storage capacity and leaf area (LA) or leaf area index (LAI), although there was a striking difference in correlation between storage capacity and LA or LAI of Artemisia ordosica compared to Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparium. This is a result of differences in biometric characteristics, especially canopy morphology between the shrub species. Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that LA and dry biomass are better predictors as compared to canopy projection area and volume of samples for precise estimation of canopy water storage capacity. In terms of unit leaf area, mean storage capacity was 0.39 mm (range of 0.24-0.53 mm), 0.43 mm (range of 0.28-0.60 mm), and 0.61 mm (range of 0.29-0.89 mm) for C. korshinskii, H. scoparium, and A. ordosica, respectively. Correspondingly, divided per unit dry biomass, mean storage capacity was 0.51 g g-1 (range of 0.30-0.70 g g-1), 0.41 g g-1 (range of 0.26-0.57 g g-1), and

  4. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  5. Dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ladous, Constanze

    1993-01-01

    Dwarf novae are defined on grounds of their semi-regular brightness variations of some two to five magnitudes on time scales of typically 10 to 100 days. Historically several different classification schemes have been used. Today, dwarf novae are divided into three sub-classes: the U Geminorum stars, the SU Ursae Majoris stars, and the Z Camelopardalis stars. Outbursts of dwarf novae occur at semi-periodic intervals of time, typically every 10 to 100 days; amplitudes range from typically 2 to 5 mag. Within certain limits values are characteristic for each object. Relations between the outburst amplitude, or the total energy released during outburst, and the recurrence time have been found, as well as relations between the orbital period and the outburst decay time, the absolute magnitude during outburst maximum, and the widths of long and short outbursts, respectively. Some dwarf novae are known to have suspended their normal outburst activity altogether for a while. They later resumed it without having undergone any observable changes. The optical colors of dwarf novae all are quite similar during outburst, considerably bluer than during the quiescent state. During the outburst cycle, characteristic loops in the two color diagram are performed. At a time resolution on the order of minutes, strictly periodic photometric changes due to orbital motion become visible in the light curves of dwarf novae. These are characteristic for each system. Remarkably little is known about orbital variations during the course of an outburst. On time-scales of minutes and seconds, further more or less periodic types of variability are seen in dwarf novae. Appreciable flux is emitted by dwarf novae at all wavelengths from the X-rays to the longest IR wavelengths, and in some cases even in the radio. Most dwarf novae exhibit strong emission line spectra in the optical and UV during quiescence, although some have only very weak emissions in the optical and/or weak absorptions at UV

  6. Ecosystem response to removal of exotic riparian shrubs and a transition to upland vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Cooper, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding plant community change over time is essential for managing important ecosystems such as riparian areas. This study analyzed historic vegetation using soil seed banks and the effects of riparian shrub removal treatments and channel incision on ecosystem and plant community dynamics in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. We focused on how seeds, nutrients, and ground water influence the floristic composition of post-treatment vegetation and addressed three questions: (1) How does pre-treatment soil seed bank composition reflect post-treatment vegetation composition? (2) How does shrub removal affect post-treatment riparian vegetation composition, seed rain inputs, and ground water dynamics? and (3) Is available soil nitrogen increased near dead Russian olive plants following removal and does this influence post-treatment vegetation? We analyzed seed bank composition across the study area, analyzed differences in vegetation, ground water levels, and seed rain between control, cut-stump and whole-plant removal areas, and compared soil nitrogen and vegetation near removed Russian olive to areas lacking Russian olive. The soil seed bank contained more riparian plants, more native and fewer exotic plants than the extant vegetation. Both shrub removal methods decreased exotic plant cover, decreased tamarisk and Russian olive seed inputs, and increased native plant cover after 2 years. Neither method increased ground water levels. Soil near dead Russian olive trees indicated a short-term increase in soil nitrogen following plant removal but did not influence vegetation composition compared to areas without Russian olive. Following tamarisk and Russian olive removal, our study sites were colonized by upland plant species. Many western North American rivers have tamarisk and Russian olive on floodplains abandoned by channel incision, river regulation or both. Our results are widely applicable to sites where drying has occurred and vegetation

  7. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  8. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  9. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  10. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  11. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form

    PubMed Central

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M.

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)—all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  12. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form.

    PubMed

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)-all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  13. Modelling the shrub encroachment in a grassland with a Cellular Automata Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, D.; Noto, L. V.; Istanbulluoglu, E.

    2014-09-01

    Arid and semi-arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density, cover and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern American grasslands; in particular shrub encroachment has occurred strongly in part of the northern Chihuahuan desert since 1860. This encroachment has been simulated using an ecohydrological Cellular Automata model, CATGraSS. It is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. Plant competition is modelled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants; both are calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study CATGraSS has been improved with a stochastic fire module and a grazing function. The model has been implemented in a small area in Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), characterized by two vegetation types (grass savanna and creosote bush shrub), considering as encroachment causes the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and plant type competition. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment that has occurred in SNWR, simulating an increase of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to the current shrub percentage, 42%, and highlighting among the most influential factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity.

  14. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

  15. Dwarf Galaxies with Active Massive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy E.; Greene, J. E.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies with bulges, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. However, the birth and growth of the first supermassive BH "seeds" is far from understood. While direct observations of these distant BHs in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current capabilities, massive BHs in present-day dwarf galaxies can place valuable constraints on the masses, formation path, and hosts of supermassive BH seeds. Using optical spectroscopy from the SDSS, we have systematically assembled the largest sample of dwarf galaxies hosting active massive BHs to date. These dwarf galaxies have stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and contain some of the least-massive supermassive BHs known.

  16. Deciduous shrubs for ozone bioindication: Hibiscus syriacus as an example.

    PubMed

    Paoletti, Elena; Ferrara, Anna Maria; Calatayud, Vicent; Cerveró, Júlia; Giannetti, Fabio; Sanz, María José; Manning, William J

    2009-03-01

    Ozone-like visible injury was detected on Hibiscus syriacus plants used as ornamental hedges. Weekly spray of the antiozonant ethylenediurea (EDU, 300ppm) confirmed that the injury was induced by ambient ozone. EDU induced a 75% reduction in visible injury. Injury was more severe on the western than on the eastern exposure of the hedge. This factor of variability should be considered in ozone biomonitoring programmes. Seeds were collected and seedlings were artificially exposed to ozone in filtered vs. not-filtered (+30ppb) Open-Top Chambers. The level of exposure inducing visible injury in the OTC seedlings was lower than that in the ambient-grown hedge. The occurrence of visible injury in the OTC confirmed that the ozone sensitivity was heritable and suggested that symptomatic plants of this deciduous shrub population can be successfully used as ozone bioindicators. EDU is recommended as a simple tool for diagnosing ambient ozone visible injury on field vegetation. PMID:19081168

  17. Empty Seeds Are Not Always Bad: Simultaneous Effect of Seed Emptiness and Masting on Animal Seed Predation

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  18. Effects of surface characteristics on infiltration patterns in an arid shrub desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-Ping; Li, Xin-Rong; Xiao, Hong-Lang; Berndtsson, Ronny; Pan, Yan-Xia

    2007-01-01

    Precipitation is often the sole source of water replenishment in arid and semi-arid areas and, thus, plays a pertinent role in sustaining desert ecosystems. Revegetation over 40 years using mainly Artemisia ordosica and Caragana korshinskii at Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station near Lanzhou, China, has established a dwarf-shrub and microbiotic soil crust cover on the stabilized sand dunes. The redistribution of infiltrated moisture through percolation, root extraction, and evapotranspiration pathways was investigated. Three sets of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes were inserted horizontally at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 cm depths below the ground surface in a soil pit. The three sets of TDR probes were installed in dwarf-shrub sites of A. ordosica and C. korshinskii community with and without a microbiotic soil crust cover, and an additional set was placed in a bare sand dune area that had neither vegetation nor a microbiotic soil crust present. Volumetric soil moisture content was recorded at hourly intervals and used in the assessment of infiltration for the different surface covers. Infiltration varied greatly, from 7.5 cm to more than 45 cm, depending upon rainfall quantity and soil surface conditions. In the shrub community area without microbiotic soil crust cover, infiltration increased due to preferential flow associated with root tunnels. The microbiotic soil crust cover had a significant negative influence on the infiltration for small rainfall events (10 mm), restricting the infiltration depth to less than 20 cm and increasing soil moisture content just beneath the soil profile of 10 cm, whereas it was not as strong or clear for larger rainfall events (60 mm). For small rainfall events, the wetting front depth for the three kinds of surface cover was as follows: shrub community without microbiotic soil crust > bare area > shrub community with microbiotic soil crust. In contrast, for large rainfall events, infiltration was similar in shrub

  19. Naming Disney's Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidwell, Robert T.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Disney's version of the folkloric dwarfs in his production of "Snow White" and weighs the Disney rendition of the dwarf figure against the corpus of traits and behaviors pertaining to dwarfs in traditional folklore. Concludes that Disney's dwarfs are "anthropologically true." (HOD)

  20. What are the patterns of carbon allocation in Arctic shrub tundra: do species differ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, Lorna; Subke, Jens-Arne; Baxter, Robert; Billett, Mike; Dinsmore, Kerry; Lessels, Jason; Wookey, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Arctic "greening" is now a well-accepted phenomenon; multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity has increased, driven by increases in shrub abundance. There is very little understanding, however, of how this "shrubification" will impact biogeochemical cycling, including the allocation and turnover of carbon. Recent research has shown, for example, that greater plant productivity is not necessary associated with greater ecosystem C storage. Proliferation of a number of shrub species has been observed in different regions; for example increased willow growth in Arctic Russia, as opposed to primarily alder expansion in NW Canada, where stem density increased 68 % between 1968 and 2004. The degree to which shrub type will determine the impacts of shrub expansion on the carbon cycle is unknown. We use 13C pulse-labelling to trace the fate of recently photosynthesised carbon in vegetation dominated by two common Arctic shrubs, Betula nana (dwarf birch) and Alnus viridis (green alder) just above the Arctic treeline in NW Canada. We quantify the amount of 13C assimilated, and the proportion of assimilate returned to the atmosphere via respiration versus that allocated to plant tissues. This enables an analysis of the contrasting carbon-use-efficiencies and aboveground versus belowground allocation patterns in the two vegetation types. We use these novel field data to address the hypothesis that belowground C allocation in A. viridis (a symbiotic nitrogen fixing species) is a smaller proportion of total C assimilation, as this species supports less extensive ectomycorrhizal networks compared to B. nana. This is the first tracer study of carbon allocation in N-fixing and non-N-fixing vegetation types in a natural system and provides crucial data for predictive modelling of the Arctic carbon cycle.

  1. Tree and shrub expansion over the past 34 years at the tree-line near Abisko, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Rundqvist, Sara; Hedenås, Henrik; Sandström, Anneli; Emanuelsson, Urban; Eriksson, Håkan; Jonasson, Christer; Callaghan, Terry V

    2011-09-01

    Shrubs and trees are expected to expand in the sub-Arctic due to global warming. Our study was conducted in Abisko, sub-arctic Sweden. We recorded the change in coverage of shrub and tree species over a 32- to 34-year period, in three 50 x 50 m plots; in the alpine-tree-line ecotone. The cover of shrubs and trees (<3.5 cm diameter at breast height) were estimated during 2009-2010 and compared with historical documentation from 1976 to 1977. Similarly, all tree stems (> or =3.5 cm) were noted and positions determined. There has been a substantial increase of cover of shrubs and trees, particularly dwarf birch (Betula nana), and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), and an establishment of aspen (Populus tremula). The other species willows (Salix spp.), juniper (Juniperus communis), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) revealed inconsistent changes among the plots. Although this study was unable to identify the causes for the change in shrubs and small trees, they are consistent with anticipated changes due to climate change and reduced herbivory. PMID:21954730

  2. Uncovering AGN Fueling and Feedback in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mushotzky, Richard

    2014-09-01

    While massive black holes (BHs) are ubiquitous in massive galaxies, their presence in dwarf galaxies is less certain. This constitutes a major gap in our understanding of BH-galaxy co-evolution. Identifying low-mass BHs in local dwarfs could also constrain BH seed formation at high z. Active BHs in dwarfs can reveal BH fueling and feedback in a vastly different regime than the well-studied AGN in massive hosts. Most AGN feedback models focus on the latter, as star formation is thought to suffice to drive feedback in dwarfs. However, AGN are increasingly found in dwarfs, where their effect on hosts may be most dramatic. We propose an unprecedented program to detect and characterize AGN fueling and feedback in the low-mass regime, using a unique sample of Swift-BAT AGN in dwarf

  3. FORMATION OF DWARF SPHEROIDAL GALAXIES VIA MERGERS OF DISKY DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kazantzidis, Stelios; Lokas, Ewa L.; Klimentowski, Jaroslaw; Mayer, Lucio; Knebe, Alexander

    2011-10-10

    We perform collisionless N-body simulations to investigate whether binary mergers between rotationally supported dwarfs can lead to the formation of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). Our simulation campaign is based on a hybrid approach combining cosmological simulations and controlled numerical experiments. We select merger events from a Constrained Local Universe simulation of the Local Group (LG) and record the properties of the interacting dwarf-sized halos. This information is subsequently used to seed controlled experiments of binary encounters between dwarf galaxies consisting of exponential stellar disks embedded in cosmologically motivated dark matter halos. These simulations are designed to reproduce eight cosmological merger events, with initial masses of the interacting systems in the range {approx}(5-60) x 10{sup 7} M{sub sun}, occurring quite early in the history of the LG, more than 10 Gyr ago. We compute the properties of the merger remnants as a distant observer would and demonstrate that at least three of the simulated encounters produce systems with kinematic and structural properties akin to those of the classic dSphs in the LG. Tracing the history of the remnants in the cosmological simulation to z = 0, we find that two dSph-like objects remain isolated at distances {approx}> 800 kpc from either the Milky Way or M31. These systems constitute plausible counterparts of the remote dSphs Cetus and Tucana which reside in the LG outskirts, far from the tidal influence of the primary galaxies. We conclude that merging of rotationally supported dwarfs represents a viable mechanism for the formation of dSphs in the LG and similar environments.

  4. Modeling the shrub encroachment in the Northern Chihuahuan desert Grasslands using a Cellular Automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2014-05-01

    Arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of the shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern America Grasslands; in particular the encroachment of shrubs in american deserts has strongly occurred in the Chihuahuan deserts from 1860. The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), located in the northern Chihuahuan desert shows a dramatic encroachment front of creosote bush (i.e., shrub) into native desert grassland. This encroachment has been here simulated using an Ecohydrological Cellular Automata Model, CATGraSS. CATGraSS is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. In the model, each cell can hold a single plant type or can represent bare soil. Plant competition is modeled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants, both calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study, the model is improved with a stochastic fire and a grazing function, and its plant establishment algorithm is modified. CATGraSS is implemented in a small area (7.3 km2) in SNWR, characterized by two vegetation types: grass savanna and creosote bush. The causes that have been considered for the encroachment in this case study are: the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and the shrub-grass inhibition effect. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment occurred in the SNWR basin, simulating an increasing of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to 42% (i.e., current shrub percentage) in 2010 highlighting as more influent factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity. For the future management and encroachment control, the reduction of the fire return period and the grazing removal

  5. Shrub canopies influence soil temperatures but not nutrient dynamics: An experimental test of tundra snow–shrub interactions

    PubMed Central

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-01-01

    Shrubs are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, any changes in the abundance of shrubs will feedback to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function, and climate. The snow–shrub hypothesis asserts that shrub canopies trap snow and insulate soils in winter, increasing the rates of nutrient cycling to create a positive feedback to shrub expansion. However, previous work has not been able to separate the abiotic from the biotic influences of shrub canopies. We conducted a 3-year factorial experiment to determine the influences of canopies on soil temperatures and nutrient cycling parameters by removing ∼0.5 m high willow (Salix spp.) and birch (Betula glandulosa) shrubs, creating artificial shrub canopies and comparing these manipulations to nearby open tundra and shrub patches. Soil temperatures were 4–5°C warmer in January, and 2°C cooler in July under shrub cover. Natural shrub plots had 14–33 cm more snow in January than adjacent open tundra plots. Snow cover and soil temperatures were similar in the manipulated plots when compared with the respective unmanipulated treatments, indicating that shrub canopy cover was a dominant factor influencing the soil thermal regime. Conversely, we found no strong evidence of increased soil decomposition, CO2 fluxes, or nitrate or ammonia adsorbtion under artificial shrub canopy treatments when compared with unmanipulated open tundra. Our results suggest that the abiotic influences of shrub canopy cover alone on nutrient dynamics are weaker than previously asserted. PMID:24198933

  6. Effects of habitat and season on removal and hoarding of seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) by small rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji-Qi, Lu; Zhi-Bin, Zhang

    2004-12-01

    The wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is widely distributed in the Donglingshan Mountains of Mentougou District of Beijing, China, where its seeds may be an important food resource for rodents. Predation, removal and hoarding of seeds by rodents will inevitably affect the spatio-temporal pattern of seed fate of wild apricot in this area. By marking and releasing tagged seeds of wild apricot, we investigated seeds survival, scatter-hoarding, cache size and seedling establishment, and the preference of micro-habitats used by rodents to store seeds. The results showed that: (1) rodents in this area hoarded food intensively in autumn, as well as in spring and summer. (2) There were significant effects of habitat and season on removal rate of tagged seeds at releasing plots. In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, tagged seeds were removed most rapidly by rodents in autumn, at intermediate rates in spring and least rapidly in summer. (3) During three seasons, mean dispersal distance of scatter-hoarded seeds in Low shrub habitat was greater than that in High shrub. Most removed seeds were buried within 21.0 m of the releasing plots. (4) In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, rodents tended to carry seeds to US (Under shrub) and SE (Shrub edge) microhabitats for scatter-hoarding or predation. (5) Among the caches made by rodents, most caches contained only one seed, but up to three seeds were observed; caches of 2-3 seeds were common in autumn. (6) By comparing dental marks, we determined that large field mice (Apodemus peninsulae) and David's rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) contributed to removal and predation of released tagged seeds. However, only the large field mice exerted a pivotal and positive role on the burial of dispersed seeds. (7) Establishment of three seedlings originated from seeds buried by rodents was documented in High shrub habitat.

  7. SHRUB BATTLE: Understanding the Making of Landscape

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Depigny, Sylvain; Michelin, Yves

    2007-01-01

    Landscape changes in Europe's rural areas seem to generate a more visible impact. This trend raises new questions on rural management and brings about a conflict between farmers' land-use patterns and public expectations, which are often exclusively based on esthetics. The aim of the SHRUB BATTLE board game is to help tutors make future rural…

  8. Breeding Lyonia and Leucothoe, native evergreen shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native evergreen shrubs that thrive in shade are typically limited to specific hollies and azaleas. Few evergreen ornamental plants tolerate deep shade and humidity in the south. Several species of Lyonia and Leucothoe thrive in partial to full shade and tolerate a wide variety of soil and environme...

  9. Why trees and shrubs but rarely trubs?

    PubMed

    Scheffer, Marten; Vergnon, Remi; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Hantson, Stijn; Holmgren, Milena; van Nes, Egbert H; Xu, Chi

    2014-08-01

    An analysis of the maximum height of woody plant species across the globe reveals that an intermediate size is remarkably rare. We speculate that this may be due to intrinsic suboptimality or to ecosystem bistability with open landscapes favouring shrubs, and closed canopies propelling trees to excessive tallness. PMID:24951396

  10. Soil erosion rates in rangelands of northeastern Patagonia: A dendrogeomorphological analysis using exposed shrub roots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chartier, Marcelo Pablo; Rostagno, César Mario; Roig, Fidel Alejandro

    2009-05-01

    Soil erosion is an important process of land degradation in many rangelands and a significant driver of desertification in the world's drylands. Dendrogeomorphology is an alternative to traditional methods for determining soil erosion rate. Specifically, the vertical distance between the upper portion of exposed roots and the actual soil surface can be used as a bioindicator of erosion since plant establishment. In this study, we determined (i) the soil erosion rate from exposed roots of the dwarf shrub Margyricarpus pinnatus [Lam.] Kuntze in two ecological sites in the northeastern rangelands of Patagonia and (ii) the relationship between shrub age and upper root diameter. We selected two ecological sites, a pediment-like plateau and a flank pediment, where the dominant soils were Xeric Haplocalcids and Xeric Calciargids, respectively. The soil erosion rates in the pediment-like plateau and in the flank pediment were 2.4 and 3.1 mm yr - 1 , respectively. Data clearly indicate a high rate of soil erosion during the mean 8-year life span of the dwarf shrubs in degraded patches, which represent ~ 10% of surface cover in the study area. Simple linear regression analysis yielded a highly significant predictive model for age estimation of M. pinnatus plants using the upper root diameter as a predictor variable. The measurement of ground lowering against datable exposed roots represents a simple method for the determination of soil erosion rates. In combination with other soil surface features, it was used to infer the episodic nature of soil erosion. This approach could be particularly useful for monitoring the effects of land management practices on recent soil erosion and for the establishment of records in regions where historical data regarding this process are scarce or absent.

  11. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat). PMID:26098877

  12. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub.

    PubMed

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat). PMID:26098877

  13. Tolerance of an Expanding Subarctic Shrub, Betula glandulosa, to Simulated Caribou Browsing

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, Emilie; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D.

    2012-01-01

    Densification of the shrub layer has been reported in many subarctic regions, raising questions about the implication for large herbivores and their resources. Shrubs can tolerate browsing and their level of tolerance could be affected by browsing and soils productivity, eventually modifying resource availability for the caribou. Our objective was to assess the compensatory growth potential of a subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa Michx., in relation with caribou browsing and nutriment availability for the plants. We used a simulated browsing (0, 25 and 75% of available shoots) and nitrogen-fertilisation (0 and 10 g m−2) experiment to test two main hypotheses linking tolerance to resource availability, the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis and the Growth Rate Hypothesis as well as the predictions from the Limiting Resource Model. We seek to explicitly integrate the relative browsing pressure in our predictions since the amount of tissues removed could affect the capacity of long-lived plants to compensate. Birches fully compensated for moderate browsing with an overall leaf biomass similar to unbrowsed birches but undercompensated under heavy browsing pressure. The main mechanism explaining compensation appears to be the conversion of short shoots into long shoots. The leaf area increased under heavy browsing pressure but only led to undercompensation. Fertilisation for two consecutive years did not influence the response of birch, thus we conclude that our results support the LRM hypothesis of equal tolerance under both high and low nitrogen availability. Our results highlight that the potential for compensatory growth in dwarf birch is surpassed under heavy browsing pressure independently of the fertilisation regime. In the context of the worldwide decline in caribou herds, the reduction in browsing pressure could act synergistically with global climate change to promote the current shrub expansion reported in subarctic regions. PMID:23272191

  14. Variation in semi-arid soil seed banks

    SciTech Connect

    Boudell-Flanary, J.A.; Link, S.O. |

    1995-09-01

    Seeds recovered from soils in the semi-arid shrub-steppe were compared to test for differences between the seed banks found beneath and cryptogamic crust and the crevices in the crust. Seed quantity found within the crevices was 56% higher than that under the cryptogamic crust. Pseudoroegneria spicata, Poa sandbergii, Bromus tectorum, and Artemisia tridentata are the common species found at the research site. Seeds of Bromus tectorum, Erigeron spp., and Poa spp. were found in the crevices of the crust. Seeds of Artemisia tridentata were not found in the seed banks of either the cryptogamic crust or the crevices in the crust. The higher amount of seeds found in the crevices of the cryptogamic crust suggests that the crevices play a significant role in determining the distributional pattern of shrub-steppe vegetation.

  15. Big Sagebrush Seed Bank Densities Following Wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) is a critical shrub to such sagebrush obligate species as sage grouse, (Centocercus urophasianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Big sagebrush do not sprout after wildfires wildfires and big sagebrush seed is generally sho...

  16. Artemisia tridenata seed bank densities following wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) is a critical shrub to such sagebrush obligate species as sage grouse, (Centocercus urophasianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Big sagebrush do not sprout after wildfires and big sagebrush seed is generally short-lived a...

  17. Seedling establishment in a masting desert shrub parallels the pattern for forest trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Susan E.; Pendleton, Burton K.

    2015-05-01

    The masting phenomenon along with its accompanying suite of seedling adaptive traits has been well studied in forest trees but has rarely been examined in desert shrubs. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) is a regionally dominant North American desert shrub whose seeds are produced in mast events and scatter-hoarded by rodents. We followed the fate of seedlings in intact stands vs. small-scale disturbances at four contrasting sites for nine growing seasons following emergence after a mast year. The primary cause of first-year mortality was post-emergence cache excavation and seedling predation, with contrasting impacts at sites with different heteromyid rodent seed predators. Long-term establishment patterns were strongly affected by rodent activity in the weeks following emergence. Survivorship curves generally showed decreased mortality risk with age but differed among sites even after the first year. There were no detectable effects of inter-annual precipitation variability or site climatic differences on survival. Intraspecific competition from conspecific adults had strong impacts on survival and growth, both of which were higher on small-scale disturbances, but similar in openings and under shrub crowns in intact stands. This suggests that adult plants preempted soil resources in the interspaces. Aside from effects on seedling predation, there was little evidence for facilitation or interference beneath adult plant crowns. Plants in intact stands were still small and clearly juvenile after nine years, showing that blackbrush forms cohorts of suppressed plants similar to the seedling banks of closed forests. Seedling banks function in the absence of a persistent seed bank in replacement after adult plant death (gap formation), which is temporally uncoupled from masting and associated recruitment events. This study demonstrates that the seedling establishment syndrome associated with masting has evolved in desert shrublands as well as in forests.

  18. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth’s land mass and are critical to imperiled wildlife species, food security and carbon sequestration. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have left many of the planet’s drylands in various states of degradation, and this has prompted...

  19. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J.; Treier, Urs A.; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  20. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J; Treier, Urs A; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  1. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature— Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes.

  2. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature--Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes. PMID:25620645

  3. WISE and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; WISE Team

    2009-05-01

    The search for the nearest and coolest brown dwarfs will use WISE's two short-wavelength channels (W1 and W2), which are optimized for brown dwarf detection. W1 samples the methane fundamental absorption band at 3.3 microns, and W2 measures the relatively opacity-free portion of the brown dwarf atmosphere near 4.7 microns. Cool brown dwarfs will thus have very red [W1]-[W2] colors, maximizing our chances of identifying them. Extrapolating preferred mass functions to very low masses and assuming that the star formation rate has been constant over the last 10 Gyr, we can predict the number of brown dwarfs WISE is expected to image. At spectral types later than T7 (Teff > 850K), WISE is expected to find 500 brown dwarfs, which makes WISE uniquely suited among future surveys to measure the low-mass limit of star formation for the first time. This sample will also show whether a new spectral class beyond T, dubbed "Y", is needed at the lowest temperatures. Although the primary six-month WISE mission will cover the entire sky once, WISE should have sufficient cryogen to perform a second, complete pass of the sky. In this case, the identification of nearby brown dwarfs need not rely solely on color selection. Kinematics (proper motion) and geometry (parallax) can also be used to distinguish our closest brown dwarf neighbors, one of which may lie less distant than Proxima Centauri or even fall within our own Oort Cloud.

  4. Astrophysics: Illuminating brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, Adam P.

    2016-05-01

    Objects known as brown dwarfs are midway between stars and planets in mass. Observations of a hot brown dwarf irradiated by a nearby star will help to fill a gap in our knowledge of the atmospheres of fluid planetary objects. See Letter p.366

  5. The dwarf saltwort (Salicornia bigelovii Torr.): Evaluation of breeding populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding populations of the dwarf saltwort (Salicornia bigelovii Torr. [Chenopodiaceae]) have been evaluated under high seawater salinity (45 dS m-1) for phenotypic, morphometric, biomass and seed traits in an effort to select suitable families and genotypes within families for breeding purposes and...

  6. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    PubMed

    Woods, Steven R; Archer, Steven R; Schwinning, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d) and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹). Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹) than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹), but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively). Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands. PMID:24475263

  7. Low functional redundancy among mammalian browsers in regulating an encroaching shrub (Solanum campylacanthum) in African savannah

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Robert M.; Goheen, Jacob R.; Palmer, Todd M.; Charles, Grace K.; DeFranco, Elyse; Hohbein, Rhianna; Ford, Adam T.; Tarnita, Corina E.

    2014-01-01

    Large herbivorous mammals play an important role in structuring African savannahs and are undergoing widespread population declines and local extinctions, with the largest species being the most vulnerable. The impact of these declines on key ecological processes hinges on the degree of functional redundancy within large-herbivore assemblages, a subject that has received little study. We experimentally quantified the effects of three browser species (elephant, impala and dik-dik) on individual- and population-level attributes of Solanum campylacanthum (Solanum incanum sensu lato), an encroaching woody shrub, using semi-permeable exclosures that selectively removed different-sized herbivores. After nearly 5 years, shrub abundance was lowest where all browser species were present and increased with each successive species deletion. Different browsers ate the same plant species in different ways, thereby exerting distinct suites of direct and indirect effects on plant performance and density. Not all of these effects were negative: elephants and impala also dispersed viable seeds and indirectly reduced seed predation by rodents and insects. We integrated these diffuse positive effects with the direct negative effects of folivory using a simple population model, which reinforced the conclusion that different browsers have complementary net effects on plant populations, and further suggested that under some conditions, these net effects may even differ in direction. PMID:24789900

  8. Low functional redundancy among mammalian browsers in regulating an encroaching shrub (Solanum campylacanthum) in African savannah.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Robert M; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Charles, Grace K; DeFranco, Elyse; Hohbein, Rhianna; Ford, Adam T; Tarnita, Corina E

    2014-06-22

    Large herbivorous mammals play an important role in structuring African savannahs and are undergoing widespread population declines and local extinctions, with the largest species being the most vulnerable. The impact of these declines on key ecological processes hinges on the degree of functional redundancy within large-herbivore assemblages, a subject that has received little study. We experimentally quantified the effects of three browser species (elephant, impala and dik-dik) on individual- and population-level attributes of Solanum campylacanthum (Solanum incanum sensu lato), an encroaching woody shrub, using semi-permeable exclosures that selectively removed different-sized herbivores. After nearly 5 years, shrub abundance was lowest where all browser species were present and increased with each successive species deletion. Different browsers ate the same plant species in different ways, thereby exerting distinct suites of direct and indirect effects on plant performance and density. Not all of these effects were negative: elephants and impala also dispersed viable seeds and indirectly reduced seed predation by rodents and insects. We integrated these diffuse positive effects with the direct negative effects of folivory using a simple population model, which reinforced the conclusion that different browsers have complementary net effects on plant populations, and further suggested that under some conditions, these net effects may even differ in direction. PMID:24789900

  9. Blue compact dwarfs - Extreme dwarf irregular galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thuan, Trinh X.

    1987-01-01

    Observational data on the most extreme members of the irregular dwarf (dI) galaxy class, the blue compact dwarfs (BCDs), are characterized, reviewing the results of recent investigations. The properties of the young stellar population, the ionized gas, the older star population, and the gas and dust of BCDs are contrasted with those of other dIs; BCD morphology is illustrated with sample images; and the value of BCDs (as nearby 'young' chemically unevolved galaxies) for studies of galaxy formation, galactic evolution, and starburst triggering mechanisms is indicated.

  10. Does browsing reduce shrub survival and vigor following summer fires?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulbright, Timothy E.; Dacy, Emily C.; Drawe, D. Lynn

    2011-01-01

    Periodic fire is widely hypothesized to limit woody plant encroachment in semiarid grasslands. In southern Texas, however, most of the woody plants that have invaded grasslands during the past two centuries are resistant to fire. We hypothesized that browsing by Odocoileus virginianus increases mortality of palatable shrubs and reduces vigor of shrubs following fire. We randomly selected ten pairs of each of three shrub species -Condalia hookeri, Acacia farnesiana, and Celtis ehrenbergiana - in each of three locations before prescribed burns during summer 2001. Following burns, we used a wire fence to protect one shrub of each pair from browsing. We estimated intensity of O. virginianus browsing and number and height of sprouts 4, 12, 20, 30, 38, and 47 weeks post-fire. We determined shrub height, survival, and biomass one year post-fire. Averaged across species, browsing intensity on unfenced shrubs was greater (LS Means, P < 0.05) than on fenced shrubs on all sampling dates except four and 30 weeks post-fire. Mortality of unfenced (11 ± 9%) (mean ± SE) and fenced (12 ± 7%, n = 9) shrubs was similar (P = 0.674) one year post-fire, averaged across shrub species. Number of sprouts, sprout height, total plant height, and biomass of protected and browsed plants were similar (P > 0.05) one year post-burn. Browsing by O. virginianus at the intensity in our study does not increase mortality or reduce vigor of C. hookeri, A. farnesiana, and Condalia ehrenbergiana producing new growth following destruction of aboveground tissues by a single fire compared to shrubs that are not browsed following fire.

  11. Small-scale drivers: the importance of nutrient availability and snowmelt timing on performance of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Little, Chelsea J; Wheeler, Julia A; Sedlacek, Janosch; Cortés, Andrés J; Rixen, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Alpine plant communities are predicted to face range shifts and possibly extinctions with climate change. Fine-scale environmental variation such as nutrient availability or snowmelt timing may contribute to the ability of plant species to persist locally; however, variation in nutrient availability in alpine landscapes is largely unmeasured. On three mountains around Davos, Switzerland, we deployed Plant Root Simulator probes around 58 Salix herbacea plants along an elevational and microhabitat gradient to measure nutrient availability during the first 5 weeks of the summer growing season, and used in situ temperature loggers and observational data to determine date of spring snowmelt. We also visited the plants weekly to assess performance, as measured by stem number, fruiting, and herbivory damage. We found a wide snowmelt gradient which determined growing season length, as well as variations of an order of magnitude or more in the accumulation of 12 nutrients between different microhabitats. Higher nutrient availability had negative effects on most shrub performance metrics, for instance decreasing stem number and the proportion of stems producing fruits. High nutrient availability was associated with increased herbivory damage in early-melting microhabitats, but among late-emerging plants this pattern was reversed. We demonstrate that nutrient availability is highly variable in alpine settings, and that it strongly influences performance in an alpine dwarf shrub, sometimes modifying the response of shrubs to snowmelt timing. As the climate warms and human-induced nitrogen deposition continues in the Alps, these factors may contribute to patterns of local plants persistence. PMID:26235963

  12. The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in...

  13. Shrub Expansion Effects on Soil Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, S. R.; Mortero, G.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are increasing in abundance in the Arctic in response to climate warming, but the consequences of shrub expansion for the vast soil carbon (C) stocks in the Arctic are poorly understood. Increases in productivity and associated increases in soil C inputs may augment soil C stocks. Alternatively, labile C exudates from shrub roots may stimulate decomposition of existing soil C and decrease C stocks. We used two complementary approaches to characterize the potential impacts of shrub expansion on soil C dynamics in the Arctic. First, in graminoid and shrub tundra near Toolik Lake, AK we surveyed thaw depth, measured depth profiles of %C, %N, δ13C, and Δ14C, and inventoried soil C stocks to 1 m. We found that the thaw depth was 42% shallower under shrubs compared to graminoid tundra. In addition, mineral soils from shrub tundra had a significantly higher C content than graminoid tundra. Similarly, mineral soils from shrub tundra had lower (depleted) δ13C values compared to graminoid tundra, indicating that this soil has undergone less microbial processing. We also found that C under shrub tundra was on average older, and shrub tundra had significantly higher C stocks to 1 m than graminoid tundra. Second, we conducted a priming experiment with graminoid soil from Toolik Lake, AK. We incubated organic soil, the top 10 cm of mineral soil, and the lower 10 cm of active layer mineral soil with supplemental sucrose at 7°C and 22°C. We found that the addition of labile C did not increase microbial decomposition of existing C in mineral soils. Taken together, our findings suggest that shrub expansion may augment soil C storage in the Arctic because a greater proportion of soil C is frozen in permafrost, soil C under shrubs turns over more slowly, and existing C in mineral soil does not appear to be vulnerable to loss via priming. The observed impacts of shrub expansion on soil C stocks should be incorporated into earth system models that predict the carbon

  14. M dwarfs: Theoretical work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullan, Dermott J.

    1987-01-01

    Theoretical work on the atmospheres of M dwarfs has progressed along lines parallel to those followed in the study of other classes of stars. Such models have become increasingly sophisticated as improvements in opacities, in the equation of state, and in the treatment of convection were incorporated during the last 15 to 20 years. As a result, spectrophotometric data on M dwarfs can now be fitted rather well by current models. The various attempts at modeling M dwarf photospheres in purely thermal terms are summarized. Some extensions of these models to include the effects of microturbulence and magnetic inhomogeneities are presented.

  15. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

    3D models of white dwarf collisions are used to assess the likelihood of double-degenerate mergers as progenitors for Type Ia supernovae (henceforth SNIa) and to identify observational signatures of double-degenerate collisions. Observations of individual SNIa, SNIa rates in different galaxy types, and double white dwarf binary systems suggest that mergers or collisions between two white dwarfs play a role in the overall SNIa population. Given the possibility of two progenitor systems (single-degenerate and double-degenerate), the sample of SNIa used in cosmological calcula- tions needs to be carefully examined. To improve calculations of cosmological parameters, the development of calibrated diagnostics for double-degenerate progenitor SNIa is essential. Head-on white dwarf collision simulations are used to provide an upper limit on the 56Ni production in white dwarf collisions. In chapter II, I explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs using the Eulerian grid code FLASH. The initial 1D white dwarf profiles are created assuming hydrostatic equilibrium and a uniform composition of 50% 12C and 50% 16O. The masses range from 0.64 to 0.81 solar masses and have an isothermal temperature of 107 K. I map these 1D models onto a 3D grid, where the dimensions of the grid are each eight times the white dwarf radius, and the dwarfs are initially placed four white dwarf radii apart (center to center). To provide insight into a larger range of physical possibilities, I also model non-zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions (Chapter III). Although head-on white dwarf collisions provide an upper limit on 56Ni production, non-zero impact parameter collisions provide insight into a wider range of physical scenarios. The initial conditions (box size, initial separation, composition, and initial temperature) are identical to those used for the head-on collisions (Chapter II) for the same range of masses. For each mass pair- ing, collision simulations are carried

  16. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems stand to play a substantial role in both the magnitude and rate of global climate warming over the coming decades and centuries. The exact nature of this role will be determined by the combined effects of currently amplified rates of climate warming in the Arctic (Serreze et al 2000) and a series of related positive climate feedbacks that include mobilization of permafrost carbon (Schuur et al 2008), decreases in surface albedo (Chapin et al 2005) and evapotranspiration (ET) mediated increases in atmospheric water vapor (Swann et al 2010). Conceptually, these feedback mechanisms are intuitive and readily comprehensible: warming-induced permafrost thaw will make new soil carbon pools accessible for microbial respiration, and increased vegetation productivity, expansion of shrubs in particular, will lower surface reflectance and increase ET. However, our current understanding of these feedback mechanisms relies largely on limited and local field studies and, as such, the quantitative estimates of feedback effects on regional and global climate require spatial upscaling and uncertainty estimates derived from models. Moreover, the feedback mechanisms interact and their combined net effect on climate is highly variable and not well characterized. A recent study by Bonfils et al (2012) is among the first to explicitly examine how shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems will impact regional climate. Using an Earth system model, Bonfils et al find that an idealized 20% increase in shrub cover north of 60°N latitude will lead to annual temperature increases of 0.66 °C and 1.84 °C, respectively, when the shrubs are 0.5 m and 2 m tall. The modeled temperature increases arise from atmospheric heating as a combined consequence of decreased albedo and increased ET. The primary difference between the two cases is associated with the fact that tall shrubs protrude above the snow, thus reducing albedo year round, whereas short shrubs are completely

  17. Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Rayback, Shelly A.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Forbes, Bruce C.; Speed, James D. M.; Boulanger-Lapointe, Noémie; Rixen, Christian; Lévesque, Esther; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Baittinger, Claudia; Trant, Andrew J.; Hermanutz, Luise; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Dawes, Melissa A.; Lantz, Trevor C.; Weijers, Stef; Jørgensen, Rasmus Halfdan; Buchwal, Agata; Buras, Allan; Naito, Adam T.; Ravolainen, Virve; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wheeler, Julia A.; Wipf, Sonja; Guay, Kevin C.; Hik, David S.; Vellend, Mark

    2015-09-01

    Rapid climate warming in the tundra biome has been linked to increasing shrub dominance. Shrub expansion can modify climate by altering surface albedo, energy and water balance, and permafrost, yet the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. Dendroecological data consisting of multi-decadal time series of annual shrub growth provide an underused resource to explore climate-growth relationships. Here, we analyse circumpolar data from 37 Arctic and alpine sites in 9 countries, including 25 species, and ~42,000 annual growth records from 1,821 individuals. Our analyses demonstrate that the sensitivity of shrub growth to climate was: (1) heterogeneous, with European sites showing greater summer temperature sensitivity than North American sites, and (2) higher at sites with greater soil moisture and for taller shrubs (for example, alders and willows) growing at their northern or upper elevational range edges. Across latitude, climate sensitivity of growth was greatest at the boundary between the Low and High Arctic, where permafrost is thawing and most of the global permafrost soil carbon pool is stored. The observed variation in climate-shrub growth relationships should be incorporated into Earth system models to improve future projections of climate change impacts across the tundra biome.

  18. Too Many Is Too Bad: Long-Term Net Negative Effects of High Density Ungulate Populations on a Dominant Mediterranean Shrub.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Xavier; Fedriani, José M; Caldeira, Maria C; Clemente, Adelaide S; Olmi, Alessandro; Bugalho, Miguel N

    2016-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions imply costs and benefits with net balance depending on interacting species and ecological context. Ungulates, in particular, confer costs (e.g., plant leaf consumption, flower bud predation) and benefits (e.g., plant overcompensation, seed dispersal) to plants. Magnitude of costs and benefits may be altered by habitat management or ecological conditions favoring high density ungulate populations. Little is known however on whether plant costs or benefits predominate over the years, or the long-term outcomes of plant-animal interactions in habitat types sustaining high density ungulate populations. We investigated how high density ungulate populations alter plant costs and benefits by quantifying ungulate long-term effects on the shrub Cistus ladanifer (Cistaceae) individual size, seed weight and number, seed bank, and population density, through a 12-year ungulate exclusion experiment in a Mediterranean scrubland. We monitored plant size and flower buds in plants exposed or protected from ungulates and number of developed capsules and seeds consumed (potential seed dispersal) by ungulates during three reproductive seasons. We found that ungulates negatively affected shrub size and led to a dramatically decline of shrub reproductive structures and seed production, affecting the plant reproductive cycle. Number of buds was 27 times higher and number of developed seed 5 times higher in ungulate-excluded as compared to ungulate-exposed plots. After 9 years of ungulate exclusion, the C. ladanifer seed bank was 2.6 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. The population density of C. ladanifer was 4 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. Our long-term experiment showed that high density ungulate populations can alter plant-animal interactions by reducing plant benefits and increasing plant costs. PMID:27387134

  19. Too Many Is Too Bad: Long-Term Net Negative Effects of High Density Ungulate Populations on a Dominant Mediterranean Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Lecomte, Xavier; Fedriani, José M.; Caldeira, Maria C.; Clemente, Adelaide S.; Olmi, Alessandro; Bugalho, Miguel N.

    2016-01-01

    Plant–animal interactions imply costs and benefits with net balance depending on interacting species and ecological context. Ungulates, in particular, confer costs (e.g., plant leaf consumption, flower bud predation) and benefits (e.g., plant overcompensation, seed dispersal) to plants. Magnitude of costs and benefits may be altered by habitat management or ecological conditions favoring high density ungulate populations. Little is known however on whether plant costs or benefits predominate over the years, or the long-term outcomes of plant-animal interactions in habitat types sustaining high density ungulate populations. We investigated how high density ungulate populations alter plant costs and benefits by quantifying ungulate long-term effects on the shrub Cistus ladanifer (Cistaceae) individual size, seed weight and number, seed bank, and population density, through a 12-year ungulate exclusion experiment in a Mediterranean scrubland. We monitored plant size and flower buds in plants exposed or protected from ungulates and number of developed capsules and seeds consumed (potential seed dispersal) by ungulates during three reproductive seasons. We found that ungulates negatively affected shrub size and led to a dramatically decline of shrub reproductive structures and seed production, affecting the plant reproductive cycle. Number of buds was 27 times higher and number of developed seed 5 times higher in ungulate-excluded as compared to ungulate-exposed plots. After 9 years of ungulate exclusion, the C. ladanifer seed bank was 2.6 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. The population density of C. ladanifer was 4 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. Our long-term experiment showed that high density ungulate populations can alter plant-animal interactions by reducing plant benefits and increasing plant costs. PMID:27387134

  20. Experimental icing affects growth, mortality, and flowering in a high Arctic dwarf shrub.

    PubMed

    Milner, Jos M; Varpe, Øystein; van der Wal, René; Hansen, Brage Bremset

    2016-04-01

    Effects of climate change are predicted to be greatest at high latitudes, with more pronounced warming in winter than summer. Extreme mid-winter warm spells and heavy rain-on-snow events are already increasing in frequency in the Arctic, with implications for snow-pack and ground-ice formation. These may in turn affect key components of Arctic ecosystems. However, the fitness consequences of extreme winter weather events for tundra plants are not well understood, especially in the high Arctic. We simulated an extreme mid-winter rain-on-snow event at a field site in high Arctic Svalbard (78°N) by experimentally encasing tundra vegetation in ice. After the subsequent growing season, we measured the effects of icing on growth and fitness indices in the common tundra plant, Arctic bell-heather (Cassiope tetragona). The suitability of this species for retrospective growth analysis enabled us to compare shoot growth in pre and postmanipulation years in icing treatment and control plants, as well as shoot survival and flowering. Plants from icing treatment plots had higher shoot mortality and lower flowering success than controls. At the individual sample level, heavily flowering plants invested less in shoot growth than nonflowering plants, while shoot growth was positively related to the degree of shoot mortality. Therefore, contrary to expectation, undamaged shoots showed enhanced growth in ice treatment plants. This suggests that following damage, aboveground resources were allocated to the few remaining undamaged meristems. The enhanced shoot growth measured in our icing treatment plants has implications for climate studies based on retrospective analyses of Cassiope. As shoot growth in this species responds positively to summer warming, it also highlights a potentially complex interaction between summer and winter conditions. By documenting strong effects of icing on growth and reproduction of a widespread tundra plant, our study contributes to an understanding of Arctic plant responses to projected changes in winter climatic conditions. PMID:27066227

  1. Distinct temperature sensitivity among taiga and tundra shrubs in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu-Hayles, L.; Anchukaitis, K. J.; D'Arrigo, R.

    2014-12-01

    Shrub expansion into Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems is well documented, mostly over the last 50 years, based on remote sensing data, aerial photography, and in-situ observations. Warming temperatures are considered the main driver of the observed change in shrub vegetation patterns. Here, we assess the relationship between temperatures and shrub growth from five populations of Salix spp. (willow) and Alnus spp. (alder) in Alaska growing within the tundra and the boreal forest (~taiga) using dendrochronological techniques. The three tundra shrub sites are located on the Dalton Highway north from Toolik Lake (~69ºN 148ºW), whereas the two taiga shrub sites are located closer to Fairbanks at the Twelve Mile Summit site (~65ºN 146ºW). Because shrub ages vary among the studied populations lead to different time spans for the ring-width chronologies generated, a common period with available satellite data spanning from 1982 to 2010 was selected for this study. All tundra shrub chronologies shared a strong positive response to summer temperatures despite growing in heterogeneous site conditions and belonging to different species. In contrast, in the taiga, summer temperatures enhance willow growth, whereas alder growth appears almost insensitive to temperature over the interval studied. Extending the analyses back in time, a very strong positive relationship was found between alder ring-width and June temperatures prior to 1970. This phenomenon, a weakening of the previously existing relationship between growth and temperatures, was also detected in white spruce (Picea glauca) growing at the same site, and it is known in the literature as the 'divergence problem'. Thus, at this taiga location, alder shrubs and trees seem to have similar growth patterns. Summer temperatures no longer seem to enhance taiga alder growth. Shrubs of different species exposed to the same climatic conditions can exhibit varied growth responses. The distinct temperature sensitivities

  2. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  3. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. PMID:16380966

  4. Plant and soil surface responses to a combination of shrub removal and grazing in a shrub-encroached woodland.

    PubMed

    Daryanto, Stefani; Eldridge, David J

    2010-12-01

    Shrub encroachment into open woodland is a widespread phenomenon in semi-arid woodlands worldwide. Encroachment or woody thickening, is thought to result from overgrazing, changes in fire regimes and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Eighteen years after one-off shrub removal by ploughing we assessed the effects of four different land management systems resulting from two levels each of grazing (grazed, ungrazed) with and without ploughing, on the cover of landscape units, soil surface condition, diversity of understorey plants and density of shrubs. We recorded 2-7 times more patches under conventional conservation (unploughed-ungrazed) than the others treatments, and plant cover and diversity were greater on the two conservation (ungrazed) plots, irrespective of ploughing. Soils under shrubs and log mounds had greater indices of infiltration, stability and nutrients. Shrub density under the active pastoral (ploughed-grazed) treatment was two and a half times greater than that in other treatments, but results were not significant. The effects of different treatments on shrubs were largely species-specific. Overall, our results suggest that ploughing does not provide long-term control of encroaching shrubs. PMID:20696514

  5. Burial increases seed longevity of two Artemisia tridentata (Asteraceae) subspecies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wijayratne, Upekala C.; Pyke, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Premise of the study: Seed longevity and persistence in soil seed banks may be especially important for population persistence in ecosystems where opportunities for seedling establishment and disturbance are unpredictable. The fire regime, an important driver of population dynamics in sagebrush steppe ecosystems, has been altered by exotic annual grass invasion. Soil seed banks may play an active role in postfire recovery of the foundation shrub Artemisia tridentata, yet conditions under which seeds persist are largely unknown. Methods: We investigated seed longevity of two Artemisia tridentata subspecies in situ by retrieving seed bags that were placed at varying depths over a 2 yr period. We also sampled naturally dispersed seeds in litter and soil immediately after seed dispersal and before flowering in subsequent seasons to estimate seed persistence. Key results: After 24 mo, seeds buried at least 3 cm below the soil surface retained 30–40% viability whereas viability of seeds on the surface and under litter declined to 0 and Artemisia tridentata has the potential to form a short-term soil seed bank that persists longer than has been commonly assumed, and that burial is necessary for seed longevity. Use of seeding techniques that promote burial of some seeds to aid in formation of a soil seed bank may increase restoration potential.

  6. Hydraulic properties of leaves from desert shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Schulte, P.J. )

    1991-05-01

    Changes in certain tissue hydraulic properties such as elasticity, capacitance, and resistance to water flow were considered as a function of leaf water content. It has been suggested in the literature that variation in such properties may be of significance during changes in leaf hydration. In addition, the author was interested in the potential role of changes in these same tissue properties for maintaining leaf water status during drought. Two shrubs occurring in the Mojave desert, mesquite and live-oak, were studied. Measurements suggest that over the range of leaf water potential from zero to turgor loss, the elastic modulus varies 5-fold, capacitance varies 2-fold, and the resistance to flow between the xylem and storage in the leaf parenchyma tissues 2 to 3-fold. A model for water flow was developed based on these and other tissue properties. This modeling approach is being used as a hypothesis-generating tool for future experimentation. Results of the modeling are discussed in the context of published speculations on the functional role of changes in properties such as elasticity for plants under water stress.

  7. AIS spectra of desert shrub canopies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, R.; Isaacson, D. L.; Schrumpf, B. J.; Ripple, W. J.; Lewis, A. J.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were collected 30 August 1985 from a desert shrub community in central Oregon. Spectra from artificial targets placed on the test site and from bare soil, big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata wyomingensis), silver sagebrush (Artemesia cana bolander), and exposed volcanic rocks were studied. Spectral data from grating position 3 (tree mode) were selected from 25 ground positions for analysis by Principal Factor Analysis (PFA). In this grating position, as many as six factors were identified as significant in contributing to spectral structure. Channels 74 through 84 (tree mode) best characterized between-class differences. Other channels were identified as nondiscriminating and as associated with such errors as excessive atmospheric absorption and grating positin changes. The test site was relatively simple with the two species (A. tridentata and A. cana) representing nearly 95% of biomass and with only two mineral backgrounds, a montmorillonitic soil and volcanic rocks. If, as in this study, six factors of spectral structure can be extracted from a single grating position from data acquired over a simple vegetation community, then AIS data must be considered rich in information-gathering potential.

  8. Episodic death across species of desert shrubs.

    PubMed

    Miriti, Maria N; Rodríguez-Buriticá, Susana; Wright, S Joseph; Howe, Henry F

    2007-01-01

    Extreme events shape population and community trajectories. We report episodic mortality across common species of thousands of long-lived perennials individually tagged and monitored for 20 years in the Colorado Desert of California following severe regional drought. Demographic records from 1984 to 2004 show 15 years of virtual stasis in populations of adult shrubs and cacti, punctuated by a 55-100% die-off of six of the seven most common perennial species. In this episode, adults that experienced reduced growth in a lesser drought during 1984-1989 failed to survive the drought of 2002. The significance of this event is potentially profound because population dynamics of long-lived plants can be far more strongly affected by deaths of adults, which in deserts potentially live for centuries, than by seedling births or deaths. Differential mortality and rates of recovery during and after extreme climatic events quite likely determine the species composition of plant and associated animal communities for at least decades. The die-off recorded in this closely monitored community provides a unique window into the mechanics of this process of species decline and replacement. PMID:17489450

  9. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: where do all the seeds go?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.; Nicklas, Melissa B.; Kane, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert—sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application.

  10. Pollinating Bees Crucial to Farming Wildflower Seed for U.S. Habitat Restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Federal land managers desire seed of Great Basin perennial wildflowers, mixed with grass and shrub seed, to rehabilitate millions of acres of rangelands degraded by altered wildfire regimes, overgrazing and exotic grasses and forbs. At stake are half the nation’s sagebrush communities. Only farmed...

  11. Can shrub cover increase predation risk for a desert rodent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schooley, R.L.; Sharpe, Peter B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous research indicates that predation risk may influence activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and community structure of nocturnal desert rodents. Shrub microhabitat is typically considered safer than open microhabitat for these small mammals. We investigated predation risk for Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), which are diurnal desert rodents that detect predators visually and use burrows for refuge. Our results suggested that shrub cover may increase risk for these squirrels by decreasing their ability to escape from predators. Our field experiment indicated that running speeds of juvenile squirrels were lower in shrub (Ceratoides lanata) habitat than in open areas. Shrub cover was also associated with shorter predator-detection distances (mammalian and avian) and fewer refuges (burrow entrances per hectare) than in open areas in one year but not in another. Our study demonstrated that the visual and locomotive obstruction of vegetative cover may increase predation risk for diurnal desert rodents and that elements of habitat-dependent risk may be temporally dynamic.

  12. IMPACTS ON FLOODPLAINS BY AN INVASIVE SHRUB, BUDDLEJA DAVIDII

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite its popularity, the ornamental, Buddleja davidii, a woody shrub of Asian origin, is considered problematic because of its ability to rapidly colonize and dominate floodplain and riparian ecosystems. Dominance during early succession may influence community dynamics and ec...

  13. Hares promote seed dispersal and seedling establishment after volcanic eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Nanae; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro

    2015-02-01

    Although seed dispersal through animal guts (endozoochory) is a process that determines plant establishment, the behaviour of carriers mean that the seeds are not always dispersed to suitable habitats for germination. The germinable seeds of Gaultheria miqueliana were stored in the pellets of a hare (Lepus timidus ainu) on Mount Koma in northern Japan. To clarify the roles of hares in seed dispersal and germination, field censuses and laboratory experiments were conducted. The field observations were conducted on pellets and seeds in four habitats (bare ground, G. miqueliana shrub patch, Salix reinii patch, and Larix kaempferi understory), and the laboratory experiments were conducted on seed germination with different light, water potential and cold stratification treatments. The laboratory experiments confirmed that seed germination began a few weeks after the sowing of seeds, independent of cold stratification, when light was sufficient and the water potential was low. The seeds did not germinate at high water potential. The pellets were gradually degraded in situ. More seeds germinated from crushed than from intact pellets. Therefore, over the long term, seeds germinated when exposed to light due to the degradation of pellets. The pellets were proportionally dispersed among the four studied habitats. More seeds sown in the field germinated more in shaded habitats, such as in the Gaultheria patch and the Larix understory, and seeds did not germinate on bare ground, where drought often occurred. Thus, the hares had two roles in the dispersal and germination of seeds: (1) the expansion of G. miqueliana populations through seed dispersal to various habitats and (2) the facilitation of delayed seed germination to avoid risks of hazards such as drought. The relationships between small mammals represented by the hare and the shrubs that produce berries are likely to be more mutually evolved than was previously thought.

  14. Linking Hydrology, Shrub Habitat, and Novel Wildlife in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Christie, K.

    2014-12-01

    Warming during the 20th century changed the Arctic landscape, including aspects of vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. We explored linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1970s, including streamflow timing, temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and shrub herbivore distributions. Streamflow records showed that the peak spring snowmelt discharge has occurred 3.4 days per decade earlier, and consistent fall temperatures and snow arrival dates over the same period suggest that earlier peak discharge has prolonged the ensuing period of reduced flow in the floodplain. We used empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to estimate that the longer and warmer growing seasons since the 1970s have stimulated a 63% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with the observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our measurements showed that snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.05 to 1.35 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1977 and 2002. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Similar relationships are shown for moose, which colonized the region in the 1940s. We also show that Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) inhabited the region in 1998, probably due in part to increasing availability of snowshoe hares. The novel appearance in the Arctic during the 20th century of terrestrial herbivores such as snowshoe hares and moose in response increased shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice.

  15. Fencing enhances shrub survival and growth for Mojave desert revegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.; Romney, E.M.; Wallace, A.

    1980-01-01

    Fourteen species of native shrubs were transplanted to bare areas of the northern Mojave Desert in 1972 and 1973. By 1978 plants surrounded by small fences were larger (0.26 vs 0.11 m/sup 3/ overall average for several species) and survived better (42 percent versus 23 percent) than unfenced plants. These effects are primarily due to reduced grazing of shoots. Loss of shrubs to pocket gophers or other burrowing rodents was not prevented by fencing.

  16. Direct seeding woody species for restoration of bottomlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.

    2006-01-01

    I direct seeded (broadcast) seeds of 39 species of trees and shrubs using an ATV-mounted rotary spreader to initiate restoration of bottomland forest on retired agricultural sites. Four sites were planted during February, 2000, and 13 additional sites were planted during April and May, 2001. After two growing seasons, stem density of direct-seeded species varied greatly among study plots (range = 0 to 888 stems/ha) but averaged only 110 stems/ha. I recommend that future efforts at direct seeding focus on seven shrub species (Amorpha fruticosa L., Cephalanthus occidentalis L., Cornus spp., Crataegus spp., Ilex decidua Walt., Morus rubra L., and Prunus spp.) and seven tree species (Celtis laevigata Willd., Diospyros virginiana L., Fraxinus spp., Gleditsia triacanthos L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich, and Ulmus spp.) that successfully established in these trials.

  17. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity

    PubMed Central

    Gherardi, Laureano A.; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2015-01-01

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  18. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-10-13

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  19. Freezing resistance in Patagonian woody shrubs: the role of cell wall elasticity and stem vessel size.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Bucci, Sandra J; Arias, Nadia S; Scholz, Fabian G; Hao, Guang-You; Cao, Kun-Fang; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2016-08-01

    Freezing resistance through avoidance or tolerance of extracellular ice nucleation is important for plant survival in habitats with frequent subzero temperatures. However, the role of cell walls in leaf freezing resistance and the coordination between leaf and stem physiological processes under subzero temperatures are not well understood. We studied leaf and stem responses to freezing temperatures, leaf and stem supercooling, leaf bulk elastic modulus and stem xylem vessel size of six Patagonian shrub species from two sites (plateau and low elevation sites) with different elevation and minimum temperatures. Ice seeding was initiated in the stem and quickly spread to leaves, but two species from the plateau site had barriers against rapid spread of ice. Shrubs with xylem vessels smaller in diameter had greater stem supercooling capacity, i.e., ice nucleated at lower subzero temperatures. Only one species with the lowest ice nucleation temperature among all species studied exhibited freezing avoidance by substantial supercooling, while the rest were able to tolerate extracellular freezing from -11.3 to -20 °C. Leaves of species with more rigid cell walls (higher bulk elastic modulus) could survive freezing to lower subzero temperatures, suggesting that rigid cell walls potentially reduce the degree of physical injury to cell membranes during the extracellular freezing and/or thaw processes. In conclusion, our results reveal the temporal-spatial ice spreading pattern (from stem to leaves) in Patagonian shrubs, and indicate the role of xylem vessel size in determining supercooling capacity and the role of cell wall elasticity in determining leaf tolerance of extracellular ice formation. PMID:27217529

  20. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  1. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  2. Seed Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Initiation of seed germination is a critical decision for plants. It is important for seed populations under natural conditions to spread the timing of germination of individual seeds to maximize the probability of species survival. Therefore, seeds have evolved the multiple layers of mechanisms tha...

  3. Within-population spatial variation in pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation on seed set, and flower longevity in an alpine species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundemo, Sverre; Totland, Ørjan

    2007-11-01

    Pollen limitation through insufficient pollen deposition on stigmas caused by too infrequent pollinator visitation may influence the reproductive outcome of plants. In this study we investigated how pollinator visitation rate, the degree of pollen limitation, and flower longevity varied spatially among three sites at different altitudes within a population of the dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala L. in alpine southern Norway. Significant pollen limitation on seed set only occurred at the mid-elevation site, while seed set at the other sites appeared to be mainly resource limited, thus indicating a spatial variation in pollen limitation. There was no association between the spatial variation in the extent of pollen limitation and pollinator visitation rate to flowers. However, pollinator visitation rates were related to flower longevity of Dryas; sites with low visitation rates had long-lived flowers and vice versa. Thus, our results suggest within-population spatial co-variation between pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation, and a developmental response to these factors, flower longevity.

  4. Dendrochronological potential of the alpine shrub Rhododendron nivale on the south-eastern Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Eryuan; Eckstein, Dieter

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Shrubs and dwarf shrubs are wider spread on the Tibetan Plateau than trees and hence offer a unique opportunity to expand the present dendrochronological network into extreme environments beyond the survival limit of trees. Alpine shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau are characterized by rhododendron species. The dendrochronological potential of one alpine rhododendron species and its growth response to the extreme environment on the south-east Tibetan Plateau were investigated. Methods Twenty stem discs of the alpine snowy rhododendron (Rhododendron nivale) were collected close to the tongue of the Zuoqiupu Glacier in south-east Tibet, China. The skeleton plot technique was used for inter-comparison between samples to detect the growth pattern of each stem section. The ring-width chronology was developed by fitting a negative exponential function or a straight line of any slope. Bootstrapping correlations were calculated between the standard chronology and monthly climate data. Key Results The wood of snowy rhododendron is diffuse-porous with evenly distributed small-diameter vessels. It has well-defined growth rings. Most stem sections can be visually and statistically cross-dated. The resulting 75-year-long standard ring-width chronology is highly correlated with a timberline fir chronology about 200 km apart, providing a high degree of confidence in the cross-dating. The climate/growth association of alpine snowy rhododendron and of this timberline fir is similar, reflecting an impact of monthly mean minimum temperatures in November of the previous year and in July during the year of ring formation. Conclusions The alpine snowy rhododendron offers new research directions to investigate the environmental history of the Tibetan Plateau in those regions where up to now there was no chance of applying dendrochronology. PMID:19556264

  5. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

  6. The Geomorphic Effectiveness of a Woody Shrub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manners, R.; Schmidt, J. C.; Wheaton, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Vegetation plays a fundamental role in controlling channel form and influencing channel processes. Experimental work has shown that stem density, stem spacing, relative submergence, and stem flexibility are key indicators of the effectiveness of vegetation in altering the flow field. These parameters are likely to be species dependent and change over time as vegetation grows, dies back and is replaced by late successional species. Thus, the role of vegetation is highly variable in both space and time. Capturing this variability is essential in understanding how vegetation controls channel processes. Here, we investigate the spatial and temporal variability of stand characteristics (i.e. stem density and spacing) for the non-native riparian shrub, Tamarix spp. In the Colorado River basin, Tamarix dominates large portions of the riparian corridor. Tamarix is capable of establishing rapidly and in dense stands and as such been implicated in enhancing channel changes observed during the last century. However, questions relating to Tamarix’s role relative to other pervasive environmental changes necessitate a robust way to capture the effectiveness of Tamarix in altering the flow field and inducing deposition. We focus on the stand structure of aging Tamarix stands in order to relate Tamarix life-history to hydrodynamic roughness. High resolution terrestrial laser scans (TLS) were collected for Tamarix patches (10-15 m2) on different geomorphic surfaces (i.e. gravel bar, disconnected floodplain) and ages (5-60 years). Stem frontal area at varying depths was calculated from the scans over the patch and for the patch as a whole. We used Telemac 2D to evaluate how the stem density and spacing influence flow characteristics, such as drag on the stems and Froude number. To do this, the representative stem density and spacing was translated into cylindrical elements on a flat (i.e no topography) mesh. Elevation above the channel influences stand density. For example, a 20

  7. Deceleration efficiencies of shrub windbreaks in a wind tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Zou, Xueyong; Zhou, Na; Zhang, Chunlai; Shi, Sha

    2015-03-01

    Artemisia and Salix are dominant shrub species for windbreaks in arid areas of China, and they show similar features to shrubs in other arid areas of the world. We compared the mean velocity fields and shelter effects of two shrub windbreaks with different layouts. For a single plant of Artemisia, the higher the free airflow velocity is, the more the wind velocity around two sides of the plant increases. The velocity gradient around a single plant of Salix is smaller than that around an Artemisia plant due to the difference in the plant shapes. Seven new velocity zones in the horizontal direction appear when airflow passes through an Artemisia windbreak, including four deceleration zones and three acceleration zones. The mean velocity field that is affected by a Salix windbreak can be divided into a deceleration zone in the front, an acceleration zone above, a vortex zone behind and a restoration zone downwind of the vortex zone. Shelter effects of the shrub windbreaks vary with the wind velocity and are influenced by the construct of the windbreaks. Shrub windbreaks that have a complex construction have better shelter effects than simple ones. The shelter effects of plant windbreaks are also influenced by the growth features of the plants. Considering the plant characteristics and the shelter effects of Salix and Artemisia windbreaks, it is optimal to plant these two windbreaks together in a sand-control system. This research is intended to be useful for sand movement control in arid areas.

  8. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  9. Barley Yellow Dwarf

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Barley yellow dwarf is the most economically important virus disease affecting most cereal crops world wide. This manuscript summarizes the current knowledge of the disease etiology, epidemiology and management. This information is incorporated into the latest revision of the American Phytopathologi...

  10. Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Barley yellow dwarf (BYD) is the most widespread and economically important virus disease of cereals. The viruses causing BYD were initially grouped based on common biological properties, including persistent and often strain-specific transmission by aphids and induction of yellowing symptoms. The...

  11. Dwarf Eye Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Johns Hopkins researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute have discovered what appears to be the first human gene mutation that causes extreme farsightedness. The researchers report that nanophthalmos, Greek for "dwarf eye," is a rare, potentially blinding disorder caused by an alteration in a gene called MFRP that helps control eye growth and…

  12. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

    White dwarfs are the evolutionary endpoint for nearly 95% of all stars born in our Galaxy, the final stages of evolution of all low- and intermediate mass stars, i.e., main sequence stars with masses below (8.5± 1.5) M_{odot}, depending on metallicity of the progenitor, mass loss and core overshoot. Massive white dwarfs are intrinsically rare objects, tand produce a gap in the determination of the initial vs. final mass relation at the high mass end (e.g. Weidemann 2000 A&A, 363, 647; Kalirai et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 594; Williams, Bolte & Koester 2009, ApJ, 693, 355). Main sequences stars with higher masses will explode as SNII (Smartt S. 2009 ARA&A, 47, 63), but the limit does depend on the metallicity of the progenitor. Massive white dwarfs are probably SNIa progenitors through accretion or merger. They are rare, being the final product of massive stars (less common) and have smaller radius (less luminous). Kepler et al. 2007 (MNRAS, 375, 1315), Kleinman et al. 2013 (ApJS, 204, 5) estimate only 1-2% white dwarfs have masses above 1 M_{odot}. The final stages of evolution after helium burning are a race between core growth and loss of the H-rich envelope in a stellar wind. When the burning shell is exposed, the star rapidly cools and burning ceases, leaving a white dwarf. As they cool down, the magnetic field freezes in, ranging from a few kilogauss to a gigagauss. Peculiar type Ia SN 2006gz, SN 2007if, SN 2009dc, SN 2003fg suggest progenitors in the range 2.4-2.8 M_{odot}, and Das U. & Mukhopadhyay B. (2012, Phys. Rev. D, 86, 042001) estimate that the Chandrasekhar limit increases to 2.3-2.6 M_{odot} for extremely high magnetic field stars, but differential rotation induced by accretion could also increase it, according to Hachisu I. et al. 2012 (ApJ, 744, 69). García-Berro et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, 25, for example, proposes double degenerate mergers are the progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs. We propose magnetic fields enhance the line broadening in

  13. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  14. A contribution of groundwater to Mojave Desert shrub transpiration

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.

    1988-12-31

    Soil moisture was measured to 1-m depths in the northern Mojave Desert on two plots, one of which was denuded of shrubs. The pattern of wetting-drying near the surface and below the depth wet by rainfall suggested roughly 2 mm per month of transpired water was supplied by percolation upward from below the root zone. This deep moisture built up during fall and winter and depleted in spring and summer, which correlates well with local shrub phenology. 10 refs., 3 figs.

  15. Rooting Dynamics and Soil Water Variation of Native Shrubs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kizito, A.; Dragila, M. I.; Sene, M.; Dick, R.

    2003-12-01

    Understanding the relationships that exist in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum in semi-arid areas presents particular challenges, requiring accurate quantification of soil water with depth, a highly variable and limiting parameter in these vulnerable ecosystems. Two sites in the Peanut Basin of Senegal were selected to study rooting patterns of native shrubs and the corresponding variation of water distribution within the soil profile in both the dry and wet season. During dry periods or dry spells in the wet season, soil moisture content (θ v) surrounding the shrub's shallow roots is substantially moister than the adjacent soil matrix. It is therefore hypothesized, that nearing a condition of water stress, shrubs may participate in redistribution of soil water, effectively changing their own environment and enhancing their survival as well as that of neighboring annual crops. A possible region of water redistribution is interpreted to be between 15-75 cm depth, with the upper 0-15 cm remaining typically dry (θ v < 1 m3m-3) and forming a self mulching mechanism protecting lower horizons from the intense evaporation, and the lower 75 to 105 cm depth acting as a "moist reservoir" (θ v ˜ 6 m3m-3). We investigated shrub root depths, distribution, size, density and gravimetric soil water variation at 15 cm depth increments to 110 cm, and at 10 cm lateral spread increments to 200 cm from each shrub trunk. Shrubs exhibited a complex heterogeneous rooting system with approximately 50% of the root biomass occurring in the upper 30 cm and 95% in the upper 110 cm. Root study and soil moisture results are used to select optimal sensor placement in relation to shrub root depth and lateral spread extent. Monitoring is continuing for soil water and tension variation with sensors concentrated between 15 and 75 cm. Accurate quantitative data on the vertical and horizontal distribution of roots permits us to estimate how shrubs may alter water use by annual crops and modify

  16. Positive effects of native shrubs on Bromus tectorum demography.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Alden B

    2010-01-01

    There is increasing recognition that overall interactions among plant species are often the net result of both positive and negative effects. However, the positive influence of other plants has rarely been examined using detailed demographic methods, which are useful for partitioning net effects at the population level into positive and/or negative effects on individual vital rates. This study examines the influence of microhabitats created by the native shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata on the demography of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum in the Great Basin Desert, California, USA. Shrub understory environments differed significantly from intershrub space and were characterized by higher soil fertility and less extreme microclimates. There existed a strong spatial association between B. tectorum and the shrubs across four years, with more than double the density of B. tectorum in shrub microhabitats compared to intershrub space. Periodic matrix models were used to calculate population growth (lamda) and reproductive potential (RP, expected lifetime fecundity of seedlings) of B. tectorum in different microhabitats over two years. Modeled population growth was significantly increased in shrub microhabitats in the first of two years. This was primarily due to increased seedling establishment in Artemisia microhabitats, rather than effects during the growing season. In the following year, B. tectorum individuals in shrub microhabitats had a significantly greater reproductive potential than those in intershrub microhabitats, indicating shrub facilitation during the growing season. Loop analysis revealed an interacting effect of year and microhabitat on B. tectorum life history pathway elasticity values, demonstrating a fundamental influence of spatiotemporal factors on which life history pathways are important and/or possible. Life table response experiment (LTRE) analysis showed that increased survival and growth rates positively contributed

  17. Seed proteomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seeds comprise a protective covering, a small embryonic plant, and a nutrient-storage organ. Seeds are protein-rich, and have been the subject of many mass spectrometry-based analyses. Seed storage proteins (SSP), which are transient depots for reduced nitrogen, have been studied for decades by cel...

  18. Calibrating brown dwarf ages using white dwarfs in wide binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalán, S.

    Even though age is a critical parameter for all objects, it can also be one of the most difficult to measure, in particular for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. Brown dwarf models suffer from degeneracy and are not useful to infer ages without well constrained atmospheric parameters \\citep{pin06}. However, there is a way to overcome this problem by studying brown dwarfs for which some external constraints are available, for example brown dwarfs in wide binary systems. Wide binary members share proper motion and are supposed to have been born simultaneously and with the same chemical composition. Since they are well separated (⪆ 1000 AU) we can assume that no interaction has occurred between them in the past and they have evolved as isolated objects. If the companion of the brown dwarfs is a white dwarf, we can use it to calibrate the age of the system. White dwarf evolution can be described as a cooling process which is relatively well understood \\citep[e.g.][]{sal00}. Thus, they yield robust age constraints from the use of cooling sequences \\citep{gar11}. White dwarf cooling ages will uniformally give age lower limits (despite some uncertainty on progenitor life-time), and in some cases yield ages to better than 10% accuracy. Hence, wide binary systems containing a white dwarf can have system age constraints inferred from the white dwarf component. There are not many white dwarf-brown dwarf systems known so far, but with the combination of optical and IR surveys, SDSS+UKIDSS and Gaia + UKIDSS/VHS, new systems will be detected.

  19. Demographic patterns of the shrub Ceanothus megacarpus in an old stand of chaparral in the Santa Monica Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montygierd-Loyba, T. M.; Keeley, J.E.

    1986-01-01

    Wildfires have had a major influence on the structural and functional adaptations that have evolved in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Some chaparral shrubs sprout after fires while others produce serotinous cones or seeds refractory to germination until they are cued by a fire. Ceanothus megacarpus is a sclerophylous shrub commonly found in California in either pure of mixed stands which does not survive fires but whose seeds germinate following a fire. Because in recent decades man-made fires have become frequent, few older stands remain, and they have been described as "decadent" or "senescent." Since data on older chaparral stands are scarce, a stand of chaparral in the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California, which last burned in 1929 was studied in an effort to elucidate the survivorship patterns and community structure of Ceanothus megacarpus as it ages. Ceanothus is responsible for 68 percent of the basal coverage at this mixed stand, and one-eighth of the Ceanothus were found to be dead. Over 130 such dead individuals were cut at ground level and aged by ring counts to establish the survivorship curve for this species in this chaparral community in the absence of fires.

  20. The Invasive Shrub, Buddleja davidii (Butterfl y Bush)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Buddleja davidii Franchet (Synonym. Buddleia davidii; common name Butterfly bush) is a perennial, semi-deciduous shrub or small multi-stemmed tree that is resident in gardens and disturbed areas in temperate locations worldwide. Since its introduction to the United Kingdom from c...

  1. Siliceous Shrubs in Yellowstone's Hot Springs: Implications for Exobiological Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guidry, S. A.; Chafetz, H. S.

    2003-01-01

    Potential relict hot springs have been identified on Mars and, using the Earth as an analog, Martian hot springs are postulated to be an optimal locality for recognizing preserved evidence of extraterrestrial life. Distinctive organic and inorganic biomarkers are necessary to recognize preserved evidence of life in terrestrial and extraterrestrial hot spring accumulations. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A., contain a wealth of information about primitive microbial life and associated biosignatures that may be useful for future exobiological investigations. Numerous siliceous hot springs in Yellowstone contain abundant, centimeter-scale, spinose precipitates of opaline silica (opal-A). Although areally extensive in siliceous hot spring discharge channel facies, these spinose forms have largely escaped attention. These precipitates referred to as shrubs, consist of porous aggregates of spinose opaline silica that superficially resemble miniature woody plants, i.e., the term shrubs. Shrubs in carbonate precipitating systems have received considerable attention, and represent naturally occurring biotically induced precipitates. As such, shrubs have great potential as hot spring environmental indicators and, more importantly, proxies for pre-existing microbial life.

  2. [Characteristics of stemflow for typical alpine shrubs in Qilian Mountain].

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhang-wen; Chen, Ren-sheng; Song, Yao-xuan

    2011-08-01

    Taking the typical alpine shrubs Potentilla fruticosa, Salix cupularis, Hippophae rhamnoides, and Caragana jubata in Qilian Mountain as test objects, a field investigation from June 1 to October 31, 2010 was conducted on the variation characteristics of the shrub stemflow, and analyzed the affecting effects of rainfall intensity and canopy structure morphology. The stemflow generated when the rainfall in early period was 2.1 mm, with an average of 3.4%, 3.2%, 8.0%, and 4.2% of the gross rainfall for P. fruticosa, S. cupularis, H. rhamnoides, and C. jubata, respectively. There was a significant positive linear correlation between the stemflow and rainfall intensity. With increasing rainfall, the stemflow percentage showed a trend of increase-decrease-increase. Stemflow played an important role in supplying water to the shrub rhizosphere, and the average funneling ratio was 59, 30, 110, and 49 for P. fruticosa, S. cupularis, H. rhamnoides, and C. jubata, respectively. The stemflow percentage had a significant exponential relationship with the maximum rain intensity in 10 minutes (I10). When the I10 was more than 6.0 mm x h(-1), the stemflow of H. rhamnoides and C. jubata showed a persistently increasing trend, while that of P. fruticosa and S. cupularis tended to be stable. Canopy structure morphology had complicated effects on the stemflow. In the same rainfall intensities, the height and crown projection area of the shrubs were the important factors affecting the generation of stemflow. PMID:22097356

  3. Plant Identification Characteristics for Deciduous Trees & Shrubs. Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkholder, Kathy

    This manual contains a group of lesson plans designed for use with a slide series (not included here). Its purpose is to introduce students to the basic concepts and terminology used in the identification of deciduous trees and shrubs. The manual is composed of 12 lesson plans. The first lesson is an introduction to plant identification. The…

  4. LIGNIN DEGRADATION IN GRASSLAND, FOREST, AND SHRUB-STEPPE SOILS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lignin decomposition was studied in soils from research plots in 5 locations in the US: restored tallgrass prairie, farmland (grain), semiarid shrub-steppe, and loblolly pine and Douglas fir forests. Soils were amended with 14C- lignocellulose and incubated for 6 months during which total- and 14C-C...

  5. Solidification of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schatzman, E.

    1982-01-01

    The internal structure of white dwarfs is discussed. Highly correlated plasmas are reviewed. Implications for phase separation in the core of cooling white dwarfs are considered. The consequences for evolution of white dwarfs are addressed.

  6. Seed arrival in tropical forest tree fall gaps.

    PubMed

    Puerta-Pińero, Carolina; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Calderón, Osvaldo; Wright, S Joseph

    2013-07-01

    Tree deaths open gaps in closed-canopy forests, which allow light to reach the forest floor and promote seed germination and seedling establishment. Gap dependence of regeneration is an important axis of life history variation among forest plant species, and many studies have evaluated how plant species differ in seedling and sapling performance in gaps. However, relatively little is known about how seed arrival in gaps compares with seed arrival in the understory, even though seed dispersal by wind and animals is expected to be altered in gaps. We documented seed arrival for the first seven years after gap formation in the moist tropical forests of Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, and evaluated how the amount and functional composition of arriving seeds compared with understory sites. On average, in the first three years after gap formation, 72% fewer seeds arrived in gaps than in the understory (207 vs. 740 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)). The reduction in number of arriving seeds fell disproportionately on animal-dispersed species, which suffered an 86% reduction in total seed number, while wind-dispersed species experienced only a 47% reduction, and explosively dispersed species showed increased seed numbers arriving. The increase in explosively dispersed seeds consisted entirely of the seeds of several shrub species, a result consistent with greater in situ seed production by explosively dispersed shrubs that survived gap formation or recruited immediately thereafter. Lianas did relatively better in seed arrival into gaps than did trees, suffering less of a reduction in seed arrival compared with understory sites. This result could in large part be explained by the greater predominance of wind dispersal among lianas: there were no significant differences between lianas and trees when controlling for dispersal syndromes. Our results show that seed arrival in gaps is very different from seed arrival in the understory in both total seeds arriving and functional

  7. Cold temperature increases winter fruit removal rate of a bird-dispersed shrub.

    SciTech Connect

    Charles Kwit; Douglas J. Levey; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Scott F. Pearson; John P. McCarty; Sarah Sargent

    2004-01-10

    Kwit, C., D. J. Levey; C. H. Greenberg, S. F. Pearson, J.P. McCarty, and S. Sargent. Cold temperature increases winter fruit removal rate of a bird-dispersed shrub. Oecologia. 139:30-34. Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that winter removal rates of fruits of wax myrtle, Myrica cerifera, are higher in colder winters. Over a 9-year period, we monitored M. cerifera fruit crops in 13 0.1-ha study plots in South Carolina, U.S.A. Peak ripeness occurred in November, whereas peak removal occurred in the coldest months, December and January. Mean time to fruit removal within study plots was positively correlated with mean winter temperatures, thereby supporting our hypothesis. This result, combined with the generally low availability of winter arthropods, suggests that fruit abundance may play a role in determining winter survivorship and distribution of permanent resident and short-distance migrant birds. From the plant's perspective, it demonstrates inter-annual variation in the temporal component of seed dispersal, with possible consequences for post-dispersal seed and seedling ecology.

  8. Local Universe Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carignan, Claude

    2015-08-01

    One of the outstanding problems in cosmology is addressing the "small-scale crisis" and understanding structure formation at the smallest scales. Standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter cosmological simulations of Milky Way-size DM halos predict many more DM sub-halos than the number of dwarf galaxies observed. This is the so-called Missing Satellites Problem. The most popular interpretation of the Missing Satellites Problem is that the smallest dark matter halos in the universe are extremely inefficient at forming stars. The virialized extent of the Milky Way's halo should contain ~500 satellites, while only ˜100 satellites and dwarfs are observed in the whole Local Group. Despite the large amount of theoretical work and new optical observations, the discrepancy, even if reduced, still persists between observations and hierarchical models, regardless of the model parameters. It may be possible to find those isolated ultra-faint missing dwarf galaxies via their neutral gas component, which is one of the goals we are pursuing with the SKA precursor KAT-7 in South Africa, and soon with the SKA pathfinder MeerKAT.

  9. Distances to WISE Y dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beichman; A., C.; Gelino; R., C.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    The WISE satellite has detected some of the coldest, lowest mass objects in the solar neighborhood. These late T and early Y dwarfs have effective temperatures in the range 250-800 K and inferred masses in the range 5-25 MJup. A critical piece of information for determining the physical properties of a brown dwarf is its distance, which greatly improves the comparison with evolutionary models. We discuss the importance of Y dwarfs in the context of star and planet formation. We also update our recent paper on Y dwarf parallaxes with improved values for four objects based on recent observations.

  10. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  11. Satellite dwarf galaxies in a hierarchical universe: the prevalence of dwarf-dwarf major mergers

    SciTech Connect

    Deason, Alis; Wetzel, Andrew; Garrison-Kimmel, Shea

    2014-10-20

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ∼10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M {sub star} > 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} that are within the host virial radius experienced a major merger of stellar mass ratio closer than 0.1 since z = 1, with a lower fraction for lower mass dwarf galaxies. Recent merger remnants are biased toward larger radial distance and more recent virial infall times, because most recent mergers occurred shortly before crossing within the virial radius of the host halo. Satellite-satellite mergers also occur within the host halo after virial infall, catalyzed by the large fraction of dwarf galaxies that fell in as part of a group. The merger fraction doubles for dwarf galaxies outside of the host virial radius, so the most distant dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are the most likely to have experienced a recent major merger. We discuss the implications of these results on observable dwarf merger remnants, their star formation histories, the gas content of mergers, and massive black holes in dwarf galaxies.

  12. The Evolution of Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Jacqueline M.

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are the most numerous galaxies in the Universe, yet the driving forces in their evolution remain elusive. The proposed evolutionary link between dwarf irregular and dwarf elliptical/spheroidal galaxies is investigated using broad-band UBVR photometry obtained for a sample of 29 dwarf galaxies. The galaxies span a range of absolute B-band magnitude from -13.67 to -19.86 mag. Broad-band colors and Sérsic surface brightness profile fits are compared for the two morphological types. All optical parameters are statistically different between the two subsamples, as evidenced by the significance level of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic.Others have noted that dwarf ellipticals might have looked much like the currently observed dwarf irregulars in the past based on optical colors. An overlap between in the range of colors observed is noted for these targets, implying the possibility of an evolutionary link. A difference is noted between the two samples in the value of n (the power-law exponent determined from the Sérsic profile fitting), suggesting that the two main types of dwarf galaxy are structurally distinct. The differences in the structure of the stellar components would imply that dwarf irregulars do not evolve to become dwarf ellipticals in isolation, meaning that some sort of external interaction is required if the transformation is to occur. However, when the brightest dwarf elliptical targets are eliminated from the comparison, the two dwarf samples are much more similar in their values and range for the power-law exponent, which again suggests a possible evolutionary link. The environments of the galaxies are initially classified as either field or group/cluster, though no definitive environmental comparison is presented here.

  13. Fire cue effects on seed germination of six species of northwestern Patagonian grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, S. L.; Ghermandi, L.

    2012-09-01

    Postfire recruitment of seedlings has been attributed to a stimulation of germination by fire-related cues. The germination response to heat shock (80 °C - 5 min), smoke (60 min), the combination of both factors and no heat no smoke (control) was studied in six native species (two dominant grasses, two dominant shrubs and two annual fugitive herbs) of northwestern Patagonian grasslands. Seeds of the grasses Festuca pallescens and Stipa speciosa and the shrub Senecio bracteolatus (Asteraceae) germinated when they were exposed to heat shock, whereas seeds of the other shrub, Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), were killed by this fire cue. In grasses, probably the glume of caryopsis protected embryos from heat. Possibly, the seed size could explain the different responses of the two shrubs. Heat combined with smoke reduced seed germination for S. speciosa and S. bracteolatus. The heat could have scarified seeds and the longer exposure to smoke could have been toxic for embryos. The same treatment increased germination of the annual fugitive herb Boopis gracilis (Calyceraceae). We concluded that fire differentially affects the seedling recruitment of the studied species in the northwestern Patagonian grasslands.

  14. Sowing the Seeds of Planets? (Artist's Concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Planet Clumps and Crystals around Brown Dwarfs

    This artist's concept shows microscopic crystals in the dusty disk surrounding a brown dwarf, or 'failed star.' The crystals, made up of a green mineral found on Earth called olivine, are thought to help seed the formation of planets.

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected the tiny crystals circling around five brown dwarfs, the cooler and smaller cousins of stars. Though crystallized minerals have been seen in space before -- in comets and around other stars -- the discovery represents the first time the little gem-like particles have been spotted around confirmed brown dwarfs.

    Astronomers believe planets form out of disks of dust that circle young brown dwarfs and stars. Over time, the various minerals making up the disks crystallize and begin to clump together. Eventually, the clumps collide and stick, building up mass like snowmen until planets are born.

    About the Graph: Planet Clumps and Crystals around Brown Dwarfs The graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the spectra (middle four lines) of dusty disks around four brown dwarfs, or 'failed stars,' located 520 light-years away in the Chamaeleon constellation. The data suggest that the dust in these disks is crystallizing and clumping together in what may be the birth of planets.

    Spectra are created by breaking light apart into its basic components, like a prism turning sunlight into a rainbow. Their bumps represent the 'fingerprints' or signatures of different minerals.

    Here, the light green vertical bands highlight the spectral fingerprints of crystals made up primarily of a green silicate mineral found on Earth called olivine. As the graph illustrates, three of the four brown dwarfs possess these microscopic gem-like particles. For comparison, the spectra of dust between stars (top) and the comet Hale-Bopp (bottom) are shown. The comet has the tiny

  15. Grass-Shrub Associations over a Precipitation Gradient and Their Implications for Restoration in the Great Basin, USA

    PubMed Central

    Holthuijzen, Maike F.; Veblen, Kari E.

    2015-01-01

    As environmental stress increases positive (facilitative) plant interactions often predominate. Plant-plant associations (or lack thereof) can indicate whether certain plant species favor particular types of microsites (e.g., shrub canopies or plant-free interspaces) and can provide valuable insights into whether “nurse plants” will contribute to seeding or planting success during ecological restoration. It can be difficult, however, to anticipate how relationships between nurse plants and plants used for restoration may change over large-ranging, regional stress gradients. We investigated associations between the shrub, Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), and three common native grasses (Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata), representing short-, medium-, and deep-rooted growth forms, respectively, across an annual rainfall gradient (220–350 mm) in the Great Basin, USA. We hypothesized that positive shrub-grass relationships would become more frequent at lower rainfall levels, as indicated by greater cover of grasses in shrub canopies than vegetation-free interspaces. We sampled aerial cover, density, height, basal width, grazing status, and reproductive status of perennial grasses in canopies and interspaces of 25–33 sagebrush individuals at 32 sites along a rainfall gradient. We found that aerial cover of the shallow rooted grass, P. secunda, was higher in sagebrush canopy than interspace microsites at lower levels of rainfall. Cover and density of the medium-rooted grass, E. elymoides were higher in sagebrush canopies than interspaces at all but the highest rainfall levels. Neither annual rainfall nor sagebrush canopy microsite significantly affected P. spicata cover. E. elymoides and P. spicata plants were taller, narrower, and less likely to be grazed in shrub canopy microsites than interspaces. Our results suggest that exploring sagebrush canopy microsites for restoration of native perennial grasses

  16. Grass-Shrub Associations over a Precipitation Gradient and Their Implications for Restoration in the Great Basin, USA.

    PubMed

    Holthuijzen, Maike F; Veblen, Kari E

    2015-01-01

    As environmental stress increases positive (facilitative) plant interactions often predominate. Plant-plant associations (or lack thereof) can indicate whether certain plant species favor particular types of microsites (e.g., shrub canopies or plant-free interspaces) and can provide valuable insights into whether "nurse plants" will contribute to seeding or planting success during ecological restoration. It can be difficult, however, to anticipate how relationships between nurse plants and plants used for restoration may change over large-ranging, regional stress gradients. We investigated associations between the shrub, Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), and three common native grasses (Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata), representing short-, medium-, and deep-rooted growth forms, respectively, across an annual rainfall gradient (220-350 mm) in the Great Basin, USA. We hypothesized that positive shrub-grass relationships would become more frequent at lower rainfall levels, as indicated by greater cover of grasses in shrub canopies than vegetation-free interspaces. We sampled aerial cover, density, height, basal width, grazing status, and reproductive status of perennial grasses in canopies and interspaces of 25-33 sagebrush individuals at 32 sites along a rainfall gradient. We found that aerial cover of the shallow rooted grass, P. secunda, was higher in sagebrush canopy than interspace microsites at lower levels of rainfall. Cover and density of the medium-rooted grass, E. elymoides were higher in sagebrush canopies than interspaces at all but the highest rainfall levels. Neither annual rainfall nor sagebrush canopy microsite significantly affected P. spicata cover. E. elymoides and P. spicata plants were taller, narrower, and less likely to be grazed in shrub canopy microsites than interspaces. Our results suggest that exploring sagebrush canopy microsites for restoration of native perennial grasses might

  17. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  18. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  19. Limiting inbreeding in disjunct and isolated populations of a woody shrub.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Jane F; Byrne, Margaret; Gibson, Neil; Yates, Colin

    2016-08-01

    Pollen movements and mating patterns are key features that influence population genetic structure. When gene flow is low, small populations are prone to increased genetic drift and inbreeding, but naturally disjunct species may have features that reduce inbreeding and contribute to their persistence despite genetic isolation. Using microsatellite loci, we investigated outcrossing levels, family mating parameters, pollen dispersal, and spatial genetic structure in three populations of Hakea oldfieldii, a fire-sensitive shrub with naturally disjunct, isolated populations prone to reduction in size and extinction following fires. We mapped and genotyped a sample of 102 plants from a large population, and all plants from two smaller populations (28 and 20 individuals), and genotyped 158-210 progeny from each population. We found high outcrossing despite the possibility of geitonogamous pollination, small amounts of biparental inbreeding, a limited number of successful pollen parents within populations, and significant correlated paternity. The number of pollen parents for each seed parent was moderate. There was low but significant spatial genetic structure up to 10 m around plants, but the majority of successful pollen came from outside this area including substantial proportions from distant plants within populations. Seed production varied among seven populations investigated but was not correlated with census population size. We suggest there may be a mechanism to prevent self-pollination in H. oldfieldii and that high outcrossing and pollen dispersal within populations would promote genetic diversity among the relatively small amount of seed stored in the canopy. These features of the mating system would contribute to the persistence of genetically isolated populations prone to fluctuations in size. PMID:27547361

  20. Genome-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of the Desert Shrub Artemisia sphaerocephala

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lijing; Hu, Xiaowei; Miao, Xiumei; Chen, Xiaolong; Nan, Shuzhen; Fu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Background Artemisia sphaerocephala, a semi-shrub belonging to the Artemisia genus of the Compositae family, is an important pioneer plant that inhabits moving and semi-stable sand dunes in the deserts and steppes of northwest and north-central China. It is very resilient in extreme environments. Additionally, its seeds have excellent nutritional value, and the abundant lipids and polysaccharides in the seeds make this plant a potential valuable source of bio-energy. However, partly due to the scarcity of genetic information, the genetic mechanisms controlling the traits and environmental adaptation capacity of A. sphaerocephala are unknown. Results Here, we present the first in-depth transcriptomic analysis of A. sphaerocephala. To maximize the representation of conditional transcripts, mRNA was obtained from 17 samples, including living tissues of desert-growing A. sphaerocephala, seeds germinated in the laboratory, and calli subjected to no stress (control) and high and low temperature, high and low osmotic, and salt stresses. De novo transcriptome assembly performed using an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform resulted in the generation of 68,373 unigenes. We analyzed the key genes involved in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway and identified 26 A. sphaerocephala fad2 genes, which is the largest fad2 gene family reported to date. Furthermore, a set of genes responsible for resistance to extreme temperatures, salt, drought and a combination of stresses was identified. Conclusion The present work provides abundant genomic information for functional dissection of the important traits of A. sphaerocephala and contributes to the current understanding of molecular adaptive mechanisms of A. sphaerocephala in the desert environment. Identification of the key genes in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway could increase understanding of the biological regulatory mechanisms of fatty acid composition traits in plants and facilitate genetic manipulation of the

  1. Seed germination and life history syndromes in the California chaparral

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    Syndromes are life history responses that are correlated to environmental regimes and are shared by a group of species (Stebbins, 1974). In the California chaparral there are two syndromes contrasted by the timing of seedling recruitment relative to wildfires. One syndrome, here called the fire-recruiter or refractory seed syndrome, includes species (both resprouting and non-resprouting) which share the feature that the timing of seedling establishment is specialized to the first rainy season after fire. Included are woody, suffrutescent and annual life forms but no geophytes have this syndrome. These species are linked by the characteristic that their seeds have a dormancy which is readily broken by environmental stimuli such as intense heat shock or chemicals leached from charred wood. Such seeds are referred to as “refractory” and dormancy, in some cases, is due to seed coat impermeability (such seeds are commonly called hardseeded), but in other cases the mechanism is unknown. Seeds of some may require cold stratification and/or light in addition to fire related stimuli. In the absence of fire related cues, a portion or all of a species’ seed pool remains dormant. Most have locally dispersed seeds that persist in the soil seed bank until the site burns. Dispersal of propagules is largely during spring and summer which facilitates the avoidance of flowering and fruiting during the summer and fall drought. Within a life form (e.g., shrub, suffrutescent, etc.), the seeds of these species have less mass than those of species with non-refractory seeds and this possibly reflects the environmental favorableness of the postfire environment for seedling establishment. Regardless of when fire occurs, germination is normally delayed until late winter or early spring. In the absence of fire, or other disturbance, opportunities for population expansion are largely lacking for species with this syndrome. The other syndrome, here called the fire-resister or non

  2. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  3. Hybrid dwarfness in crosses between wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and rye (Secale cereale L.): a new look at an old phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Tikhenko, N; Rutten, T; Tsvetkova, N; Voylokov, A; Börner, A

    2015-03-01

    The existence of hybrid dwarfs from intraspecific crosses in wheat (Triticum aestivum) was described 100 years ago, and the genetics underlying hybrid dwarfness are well understood. In this study, we report a dwarf phenotype in interspecific hybrids between wheat and rye (Secale cereale). We identified two rye lines that produce hybrid dwarfs with wheat and have none of the hitherto known hybrid dwarfing genes. Genetic analyses revealed that both rye lines carry a single allelic gene responsible for the dwarf phenotype. This gene was designated Hdw-R1 (Hybrid dwarf-R1). Application of gibberellic acid (GA3 ) to both intraspecific (wheat-wheat) and interspecific (wheat-rye) hybrids showed that hybrid dwarfness cannot be overcome by treatment with this phytohormone. Histological analysis of shoot apices showed that wheat-rye hybrids with the dwarf phenotype at 21 and 45 days after germination failed to develop further. Shoot apices of dwarf plants did not elongate, did not form new primordia and had a dome-shaped appearance in the seed. The possible relationship between hybrid dwarfness and the genes responsible for the transition from vegetative to generative growth stage is discussed. PMID:25251214

  4. Testing gravity using dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-12-01

    Generic scalar-tensor theories of gravity predict deviations from Newtonian physics inside astrophysical bodies. In this paper, we point out that low mass stellar objects, red and brown dwarf stars, are excellent probes of these theories. We calculate two important and potentially observable quantities: the radius of brown dwarfs and the minimum mass for hydrogen burning in red dwarfs. The brown dwarf radius can differ significantly from the general relativity prediction, and upcoming surveys that probe the mass-radius relation for stars with masses dwarf stars. This places a new and extremely stringent constraint on the parameters that appear in the effective field theory of dark energy and rules out several well-studied dark energy models.

  5. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: Where do all the seeds go?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Nicklas, M.B.; Kane, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert-sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application. ?? 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  6. Dwarfs in Coma Cluster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on image for larger poster version

    This false-color mosaic of the central region of the Coma cluster combines infrared and visible-light images to reveal thousands of faint objects (green). Follow-up observations showed that many of these objects, which appear here as faint green smudges, are dwarf galaxies belonging to the cluster. Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874, dominate the cluster's center. The mosaic combines visible-light data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (color coded blue) with long- and short-wavelength infrared views (red and green, respectively) from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

  7. Seeing Baby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Visible/DSS Click on image for larger version Ultraviolet/GALEX Click on image for larger version Poster Version Click on image for larger version

    The unique ultraviolet vision of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer reveals, for the first time, dwarf galaxies forming out of nothing more than pristine gas likely leftover from the early universe. Dwarf galaxies are relatively small collections of stars that often orbit around larger galaxies like our Milky Way.

    The forming dwarf galaxies shine in the far ultraviolet spectrum, rendered as blue in the call-out on the right hand side of this image. Near ultraviolet light, also obtained by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, is displayed in green, and visible light from the blue part of the spectrum here is represented by red. The clumps (in circles) are distinctively blue, indicating they are primarily detected in far ultraviolet light.

    The faint blue overlay traces the outline of the Leo Ring, a huge cloud of hydrogen and helium that orbits around two massive galaxies in the constellation Leo (left panel). The cloud is thought likely to be a primordial object, an ancient remnant of material that has remained relatively unchanged since the very earliest days of the universe. Identified about 25 years ago by radio waves, the ring cannot be seen in visible light.

    Only a portion of the Leo Ring has been imaged in the ultraviolet, but this section contains the telltale ultraviolet signature of recent massive star formation within this ring of pristine gas. Astronomers have previously only seen dwarf galaxies form out of gas that has already been cycled through a galaxy and enriched with metals elements heavier than helium produced as stars evolve.

    The visible data come from the Digitized Sky Survey of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The

  8. Barley yellow dwarf viruses.

    PubMed

    Miller, W A; Rasochová, L

    1997-01-01

    Barley yellow dwarf viruses represent one of the most economically important and ubiquitous groups of plant viruses. This review focuses primarily on four research areas in which progress has been most rapid. These include (a) evidence supporting reclassification of BYDVs into two genera; (b) elucidation of gene function and novel mechanisms controlling gene expression; (c) initial forays into understanding the complex interactions between BYDV virions and their aphid vectors; and (d) replication of a BYDV satellite RNA. Economic losses, symptomatology, and means of control of BYD are also discussed. PMID:15012520

  9. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  10. Shrub communities as inhibitors of plant succession in southern Quebec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meilleur, Alain; Véronneau, Hélène; Bouchard, André

    1994-11-01

    The purpose of our research was to identify shrub species growing in southern Quebec that inhibit ecological succession in power-line corridors. Results are presented in three parts. First, clonal characteristics that allowed the establishment of stable communities were identified. Second, successional vector analysis identified those species that have the potential to inhibit succession. In poorly drained sites those species were Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, and Spiraea alba. In well-drained sites, those species were Zanthoxylum americanum, Rubus idaeus, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, and Thuja occidentalis. Third, analysis of variance showed that there is a significantly larger number of tree seedlings found in adjacent herbaceous communities than found under the dense cover of Cornus stolonifera, C. obliqua, Salix petiolaris, Spiraea alba, Rhus typhina, Rubus idaeus, Thuya occidentalis, and Zanthoxylum americanum. These results indicate that the planting of selected shrub species could, through biological control, delay reforestation.

  11. Shrub encroachment control by browsing: Targeting the right demographic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Jarry, Marc; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2012-11-01

    Exploring key demographic parameters for establishment and growth of shrub populations enables us to identify the life stages or plant organs that browsers need to consume to effectively influence shrub population dynamics. However, there is a lack of concrete knowledge on how browsing can efficiently meet this goal. We therefore tested the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on a key demographic parameter (survival of juveniles) of a major colonizing shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius) in order to control population growth, and designed a browsing management strategy focused on this target stage. Three browsing intensities, representing pertinent management practices, were simulated on juveniles (2 years old) in a broom population. Juvenile broom plants were either left untouched (control treatment; n = 126) or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed for "light-intensity browsing" (n = 127) and "high-intensity browsing" (n = 77) treatments, respectively. Survival and fecundity data were collected over 6 years. Standard matrix modeling was used to analyze the impact of browsing on changes in population growth rate (λ), and the results were 6.34 (control), 2.26 (light browsing) and 0.85 (heavy browsing). Therefore, the natural expansion of broom populations may be slowed by light browsing or even reversed by heavy browsing (λ < 1). This multi-year survey confirms that focusing browsing on juveniles is an efficient strategy for controlling broom dominance. Shrub control strategies should therefore target early-growth-stage populations and repeat the browsing strategy at the same intensity over several years to achieve cumulative effects.

  12. Physical Restriction of Pods Causes Seed Size Reduction of a Brassinosteroid-deficient Faba Bean (Vicia faba)

    PubMed Central

    FUKUTA, N.; FUKUZONO, K.; KAWAIDE, H.; ABE, H.; NAKAYAMA, M.

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims A brassinosteroid-deficient mutant faba bean (Vicia faba ‘Rinrei’) shows dwarfism in many organs including pods and seeds. ‘Rinrei’ has normal-sized seeds together with dwarf seeds, suggesting that dwarfism in the seed may be indirectly caused by brassinosteroid deficiency. The mechanism of seed size reduction in this mutant was investigated. • Methods The associations between seed orientation in the pod, seed numbers per pod and pod lengths with seed sizes were analysed in ‘Rinrei’ and the wild-type plant. • Key Results ‘Rinrei’ seeds are tightly arranged in pods containing two or three seeds. Seed size decreased as the number of seeds per pod increased or as the length of the pod decreased. Where no physical restriction occurred between seeds in a pod, the wild-type faba bean seeds had a nearly constant size regardless of seed number per pod or pod length. ‘Rinrei’ seeds in pods containing single seeds were the same size as wild-type seeds. Brassinolide treatment increased the seed size and the length of pods containing three seeds in ‘Rinrei’. • Conclusion Seed size of ‘Rinrei’ is mainly regulated through a reduction of pod length due to brassinosteroid deficiency; physical restriction within pods causes a reduction in seed size. These results suggest a possible mechanism for increasing faba bean yields to optimal levels. PMID:16303772

  13. Multi-scale investigation of shrub encroachment in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, Paul; Marston, Christopher; Wilkinson, David; Field, Richard; O'Regan, Hannah

    2016-04-01

    There is growing speculation that savannah environments throughout Africa have been subject to shrub encroachment in recent years, whereby grassland is lost to woody vegetation cover. Changes in the relative proportions of grassland and woodland are important in the context of conservation of savannah systems, with implications for faunal distributions, environmental management and tourism. Here, we focus on southern Kruger National Park, South Africa, and investigate whether or not shrub encroachment has occurred over the last decade and a half. We use a multi-scale approach, examining the complementarity of medium (e.g. Landsat TM and OLI) and fine (e.g. QuickBird and WorldView-2) spatial resolution satellite sensor imagery, supported by intensive field survey in 2002 and 2014. We employ semi-automated land cover classification, involving a hybrid unsupervised clustering approach with manual class grouping and checking, followed by change detection post-classification comparison analysis. The results show that shrub encroachment is indeed occurring, a finding evidenced through three fine resolution replicate images plus medium resolution imagery. The results also demonstrate the complementarity of medium and fine resolution imagery, though some thematic information must be sacrificed to maintain high medium resolution classification accuracy. Finally, the findings have broader implications for issues such as vegetation seasonality, spatial transferability and management practices.

  14. Fire tolerance of a resprouting Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, S.L.; Fuhlendorf, S.D.; Goad, C.L.; Davis, C.A.; Hickman, K.R.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    In North America, most Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub species lack the ability to resprout after disturbances that remove aboveground biomass. We studied the response of one of the few resprouting Artemisia shrubs, Artemisia filifolia (sand sagebrush), to the effects of prescribed fires. We collected data on A. filifolia density and structural characteristics (height, canopy area, and canopy volume) in an A. filifolia shrubland in the southern Great Plains of North America. Our study sites included areas that had not been treated with prescribed fire, areas that had been treated with only one prescribed fire within the previous 5 years, and areas that had been treated with two prescribed fires within the previous 10 years. Our data were collected at time periods ranging from 1/2 to 5 years after the prescribed fires. Density of A. filifolia was not affected by one or two fires. Structural characteristics, although initially altered by prescribed fire, recovered to levels characteristic of unburned areas in 3-4 years after those fires. In contrast to most non-sprouting North American Artemisia shrub species, our research suggested that the resprouting A. filifolia is highly tolerant to the effects of fire. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  15. Nitrogen oxide pullution may spark seeds` growth

    SciTech Connect

    Malakoff, D.A.

    1997-05-23

    Could a common air pollutant be fooling the seeds of some wild plants into germinating when conditions are deadly to the seedlings? That`s the provocative question raised by a finding reported in this issue. Two ecologists have learned that the seeds of a common California wildflower can be prompted to germinate by exposure to nitrogen oxides, gases produced by both natural wildfires and motor vehicles and power plants. Botanists have long recognized that many plants inhabiting fire-prone areas, such as the and forests of the Southwest and the shrub-choked hillsides of southern California, grow best on freshly burned-over land. Scorched soils are often rich in nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus released from burned vegetation, and they are free of shrubs that can otherwise shade sun-loving seedlings. For many of these phoenix like plants, a fire`s searing heat is what prompts them to rise from the ashes. Heat cracks the hard, outer coat of seeds that can lie dormant in the soil for decades. This allows water to seep in, spurring growth.

  16. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

    Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old.

    The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at

    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .

    The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope.

    The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars.

    Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the

  17. PROPERTIES OF THE COOLEST DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    SAUMON, DIDIER; LEGGETT, SANDY K.; FREEDMAN, RICHARD S.; GEBALLE, THOMAS R.; GOLIMOWSKI, DAVID A.; LODIEU, NICOLAS; MARLEY, MARK S.; STEPHENS, DENISE; PINFIELD, DAVID J.; WARREN, STEPHEN J.

    2007-01-18

    Eleven years after the discovery of the first T dwarf, we have a population of ultracool L and T dwarfs that is large enough to show a range of atmospheric properties, as well as model atmospheres advanced enough to study these properties in detail. Since the last Cool Stars meeting, there have been observational developments which aid in these studies. they present recent mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from the Spitzer Space Telescope which confirms the prevalence of vertical mixing in the atmospheres of L and T dwarfs. Hence, the 700 K to 2200 K L and t dwarf photspheres require a large number of parameters for successful modeling: effective temperature, gravity, metallicity, grain sedimentation and vertical mixing efficiency. They also describe initial results of a search for ultracool dwarfs in the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey, and present the latest T dwarf found to date. They conclude with a discussion of the definition of the later-than-T spectral type, the Y dwarf.

  18. The Influence of an Invasive Shrub, Buddleja Davidii on a Native Shrub, Griselinia Littoralis Transplanted into a New Zealand Floodplain Chronosequence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Griselinia littoralis, a native New Zealand shrub, was planted into a chronosequence (0 to 8 yrs since flooding) dominated by the non-indigenous shrub, Buddleja davidii in three New Zealand floodplains to determine to what extent facilitation and competitive inhibition may influe...

  19. Uncoupling the Effects of Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal by Granivorous Ants on Plant Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength. PMID:22880125

  20. Magnetic Field of Strange Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baghdasaryan, D. S.

    2016-03-01

    The generation of a magnetic field in a strange quark star owing to differential rotation of the superfluid and superconducting quark core relative to the normal electron-nuclear crust of the star is examined. The maximum possible magnetic field on the surface is estimated for various models of strange dwarfs. Depending on the configuration parameters, i.e., the mass M and radius R of the star, a range of 103-105 G is found. These values of the magnetic field may be an additional condition for identification of strange dwarfs among the extensive class of observed white dwarfs.

  1. Improving cattle nutrition on the Great Plains with shrubs and fecal seeding of fourwing saltbush

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two in vitro trials were conducted for estimates of dietary percentage of fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens; FS) or winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata; WF) to improve diet digestibility when cattle graze mature cool-season grass. Three in vitro trials were conducted to estimate the percentage ...

  2. Seed dispersal limitations shift over time in tropical forest restoration.

    PubMed

    Reid, J Leighton; Holl, Karen D; Zahawi, Rakan A

    2015-06-01

    Past studies have shown that tropical forest regeneration on degraded farmlands is initially limited by lack of seed dispersal, but few studies have tracked changes in abundance and composition of seed rain past the first few years after land abandonment. We measured seed rain for 12 months in 10 6-9-year-old restoration sites and five mature, reference forests in southern Costa Rica in order to learn (1) if seed rain limitation persists past the first few years of regeneration; (2) how restoration treatments influence seed community structure and composition; and (3) whether seed rain limitation is contingent on landscape context. Each restoration site contained three 0.25-ha treatment plots: (1) a naturally regenerating control, (2) tree islands, and (3) a mixed-species tree plantation. Sites spanned a deforestation gradient with 9-89% forest area within 500 m around the treatment plots. Contrary to previous studies, we found that tree seeds were abundant and ubiquitous across all treatment plots (585.1 ± 142.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1) [mean ± SE]), indicating that lack of seed rain ceased to limit forest regeneration within the first decade of recovery. Pioneer trees and shrubs comprised the vast majority of seeds, but compositional differences between restoration sites and reference forests were driven by rarer, large-seeded species. Large, animal-dispersed tree seeds were more abundant in tree islands (4.6 ± 2.9 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) and plantations (5.8 ± 3.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) than control plots (0.2 ± 0.1 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)), contributing to greater tree species richness in actively restored plots. Planted tree species accounted for < 1% of seeds. We found little evidence for landscape forest cover effects on seed rain, consistent with previous studies. We conclude that seed rain limitation shifted from an initial, complete lack of tree seeds to a specific limitation on large-seeded, mature forest species over the first decade

  3. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Kumordzi, Bright B.; Gundale, Michael J.; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  4. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient.

    PubMed

    Kumordzi, Bright B; Gundale, Michael J; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  5. Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eldridge, David J.; Beecham, Genevieve; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Increases in the density of woody plants are a global phenomenon in drylands, and large aggregations of shrubs, in particular, are regarded as being indicative of dysfunctional ecosystems. There is increasing evidence that overgrazing by livestock reduces ecosystem functions in shrublands, but that shrubs may buffer the negative effects of increasing grazing. We examined changes in water infiltration and nutrient concentrations in soils under shrubs and in their interspaces in shrublands in eastern Australia that varied in the intensity of livestock grazing. We used structural equation modelling to test whether shrubs might reduce the negative effects of overgrazing on infiltration and soil carbon and nitrogen (henceforth ‘soil nutrients’). Soils under shrubs and subject to low levels of grazing were more stable and had greater levels of soil nutrients. Shrubs had a direct positive effect on soil nutrients; but, grazing negatively affected nutrients by increasing soil bulk density. Structural equation modelling showed that shrubs had a direct positive effect on water flow under ponded conditions but also enhanced water flow, indirectly, through increased litter cover. Any positive effects of shrubs on water flow under low levels of grazing waned at high levels of grazing. Our results indicate that shrubs may reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties. Specifically, shrubs could restrict access to livestock and therefore protect soils and plants beneath their canopies. Low levels of grazing are likely to ensure the retention of soil water and soil carbon and nitrogen in shrubland soils.

  6. Measuring M Dwarf Winds with DAZ White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debes, John H.

    2006-11-01

    Hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs with metal lines, so-called DAZs, show evidence for ongoing accretion of material onto their surfaces. Some DAZs are known to have unresolved M dwarf companions, which could account for the observed accretion through a stellar wind. I combine observed Ca abundances of the DAZs with information on the orbital separation of their M dwarf companions to infer the mass-loss rate of the M dwarfs. I find that for three of the six known DAZs with M dwarf companions, a stellar wind can plausibly explain the observed accretion on the white dwarfs assuming Bondi-Hoyle accretion of solar abundance stellar winds on the order of 10-14 to 10-16 Msolar yr-1. The rest of the sample have companions with orbits >~1 AU and require companion mass-loss rates of >10-11 Msolar yr-1. I conclude that there must be an alternative explanation for accretion of material onto DAZs with widely separated companions. The inferred winds for two of the close binaries are orders of magnitude smaller than typically assumed for the angular momentum loss of red dwarf-white dwarf pairs due to magnetic braking from a stellar wind and may seriously affect predictions for the formation rate of CVs with low-mass companions. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations are associated with program 10255.

  7. FIRST DIRECT EVIDENCE THAT BARIUM DWARFS HAVE WHITE DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, R. O.; McGahee, C. E.; Griffin, R. E. M.; Corbally, C. J. E-mail: cmcgahe@g.clemson.edu E-mail: corbally@as.arizona.edu

    2011-05-15

    Barium II (Ba) stars are chemically peculiar F-, G-, and K-type objects that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements. Since s-process nucleosynthesis is unlikely to take place in stars prior to the advanced asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stage, the prevailing hypothesis is that each present Ba star was contaminated by an AGB companion which is now a white dwarf (WD). Unless the initial mass ratio of such a binary was fairly close to unity, the receiving star is thus at least as likely to be a dwarf as a giant. So although most known Ba stars appear to be giants, the hypothesis requires that Ba dwarfs be comparably plentiful and moreover that they should all have WD companions. However, despite dedicated searches with the IUE satellite, no WD companions have been directly detected to date among the classical Ba dwarfs, even though some 90% of those stars are spectroscopic binaries, so the contamination hypothesis is therefore presently in some jeopardy. In this paper, we analyze recent deep, near-UV and far-UV Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) exposures of four of the brightest of the class (HD 2454, 15360, 26367, and 221531), together with archived GALEX data for two newly recognized Ba dwarfs: HD 34654 and HD 114520 (which also prove to be spectroscopic binaries). The GALEX observations of the Ba dwarfs as a group show a significant far-UV excess compared to a control sample of normal F-type dwarfs. We suggest that this ensemble far-UV excess constitutes the first direct evidence that Ba dwarfs have WD companions.

  8. Germination response of Apocynum venetum seeds to temperature and water potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apocynum venetum (commonly known as luobuma or rafuma) is a shrub that is native to Eurasia. It is economically important for sand fixation, forage production, honey production, medicine, fiber and fuel. Rapid and uniform seed germination is critical for successful crop establishment and vegetation ...

  9. Oil content in seeds of the NPGS jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) germplasm collection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis, (Link) Schneider is a shrub native to warm and arid land regions of North and Latin America. Its seeds contain vegetable oil composed of long (C20-22), straight-chain liquid wax of non-glyceride esters. Minute amounts of triglycerides in its composition make the oil a l...

  10. Effects of a warmer climate on seed germination in the subarctic

    PubMed Central

    Milbau, Ann; Graae, Bente Jessen; Shevtsova, Anna; Nijs, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims In a future warmer subarctic climate, the soil temperatures experienced by dispersed seeds are likely to increase during summer but may decrease during winter due to expected changes in snow depth, duration and quality. Because little is known about the dormancy-breaking and germination requirements of subarctic species, how warming may influence the timing and level of germination in these species was examined. Methods Under controlled conditions, how colder winter and warmer summer soil temperatures influenced germination was tested in 23 subarctic species. The cold stratification and warm incubation temperatures were derived from real soil temperature measurements in subarctic tundra and the temperatures were gradually changed over time to simulate different months of the year. Key Results Moderate summer warming (+2·5 °C) substantially accelerated germination in all but four species but did not affect germination percentages. Optimum germination temperatures (20/10°C) further decreased germination time and increased germination percentages in three species. Colder winter soil temperatures delayed the germination in ten species and decreased the germination percentage in four species, whereas the opposite was found in Silene acaulis. In most species, the combined effect of a reduced snow cover and summer warming resulted in earlier germination and thus a longer first growing season, which improves the chance of seedling survival. In particular the recruitment of (dwarf) shrubs (Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Betula nana), trees (Alnus incana, Betula pubescens) and grasses (Calamagrostis lapponica, C. purpurea) is likely to benefit from a warmer subarctic climate. Conclusions Seedling establishment is expected to improve in a future warmer subarctic climate, mainly by considerably earlier germination. The magnitudes of the responses are species-specific, which should be taken into account when modelling population growth and migration

  11. A greener Greenland? Climatic potential and long-term constraints on future expansions of trees and shrubs

    PubMed Central

    Normand, Signe; Randin, Christophe; Ohlemüller, Ralf; Bay, Christian; Høye, Toke T.; Kjær, Erik D.; Körner, Christian; Lischke, Heike; Maiorano, Luigi; Paulsen, Jens; Pearman, Peter B.; Psomas, Achilleas; Treier, Urs A.; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Warming-induced expansion of trees and shrubs into tundra vegetation will strongly impact Arctic ecosystems. Today, a small subset of the boreal woody flora found during certain Plio-Pleistocene warm periods inhabits Greenland. Whether the twenty-first century warming will induce a re-colonization of a rich woody flora depends on the roles of climate and migration limitations in shaping species ranges. Using potential treeline and climatic niche modelling, we project shifts in areas climatically suitable for tree growth and 56 Greenlandic, North American and European tree and shrub species from the Last Glacial Maximum through the present and into the future. In combination with observed tree plantings, our modelling highlights that a majority of the non-native species find climatically suitable conditions in certain parts of Greenland today, even in areas harbouring no native trees. Analyses of analogous climates indicate that these conditions are widespread outside Greenland, thus increasing the likelihood of woody invasions. Nonetheless, we find a substantial migration lag for Greenland's current and future woody flora. In conclusion, the projected climatic scope for future expansions is strongly limited by dispersal, soil development and other disequilibrium dynamics, with plantings and unintentional seed dispersal by humans having potentially large impacts on spread rates. PMID:23836785

  12. Differences in female reproductive success between female and hermaphrodite individuals in the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica (Theaceae).

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Matsushita, M; Tomaru, N; Nakagawa, M

    2015-01-01

    Subdioecy is thought to occupy a transitional position in the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, explaining one of the evolutionary routes from hermaphroditism to dioecy. Quantifying any female reproductive advantage of females versus hermaphrodites is fundamental to examining the spectrum between subdioecy and dioecy; however, this is challenging, as multiple interacting factors, such as pollen limitation and resource availability, affect plant reproduction. We compared the female reproductive success of females and hermaphrodites via a field experiment in which we hand-pollinated individuals of the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica of similar size growing under similar light conditions. Effects of pollen limitation and seed quality were also evaluated through comparing the results of hand- and natural-pollination treatments and performing additional laboratory and greenhouse experiments. Overall, females had higher fruit set and produced heavier fruit and more seeds than hermaphrodites, and these results were more pronounced for hand-pollinated than for natural-pollinated plants of both sexes. We also found that seeds naturally produced by females had a higher mean germination rate. These results indicate that females had a pronounced advantage in female reproductive success under conditions of no pollen limitation. The sexual difference in the degree of pollen limitation suggests a pollinator-mediated interaction, whereas the higher female reproductive success of females even under natural conditions implies that E. japonica is a good model species for elucidating the later stages of the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway. PMID:24841823

  13. [Quality level assessment of lowly efficient Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiang-Bao; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhu, Jin-Fang; Xu, Jing-Wei; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jing-Tao; Liu, Qing

    2013-06-01

    Taking the Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta as test objects, and by using synthetic factor method, this paper studied the main factors causing the lowly efficiency of T. chinensis secondary shrubs as well as the main parameters for the classification of lowly efficient T. chinensis secondary shrubs. A total of 24 indices including shrubs growth and soil physical and chemical properties were selected to determine the main affecting factors and parameters in evaluating and classifying the lowly efficient shrubs. There were no obvious correlations between the indices reflecting the shrubs growth and soil quality, and thus, only using shrub growth index to reflect the lowly efficiency level of T. chinensis was not enough, and it would be necessary to combine with soil quality factors to make a comprehensive evaluation. The principal factors reflecting the quality level of lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs included soil salt content and moisture content, stand age, single tree's aboveground stem, leaf biomass, and basal diameter, followed by soil density, porosity, and soil nutrient status. The lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs in the Bay could be classified into five types, namely, shrub with growth potential, slightly low quality shrub, moderately lowly efficient shrub, moderately low quality and lowly efficient shrub, and seriously low quality and lowly efficient shrub. The main features, low efficiency causes, and management measures of these shrubs were discussed based on the mean cluster value. PMID:24066539

  14. Microsatellite diversity and genetic structure of fragmented populations of the rare, fire-dependent shrub Grevillea macleayana.

    PubMed

    England, Phillip R; Usher, Annette V; Whelan, Robert J; Ayre, David J

    2002-06-01

    Recent habitat loss and fragmentation superimposed upon ancient patterns of population subdivision are likely to have produced low levels of neutral genetic diversity and marked genetic structure in many plant species. The genetic effects of habitat fragmentation may be most pronounced in species that form small populations, are fully self-compatible and have limited seed dispersal. However, long-lived seed banks, mobile pollinators and long adult lifespans may prevent or delay the accumulation of genetic effects. We studied a rare Australian shrub species, Grevillea macleayana (Proteaceae), that occurs in many small populations, is self-compatible and has restricted seed dispersal. However, it has a relatively long adult lifespan (c. 30 years), a long-lived seed bank that germinates after fire and is pollinated by birds that are numerous and highly mobile. These latter characteristics raise the possibility that populations in the past may have been effectively large and genetically homogeneous. Using six microsatellites, we found that G. macleayana may have relatively low within-population diversity (3.2-4.2 alleles/locus; Hexp = 0.420-0.530), significant population differentiation and moderate genetic structure (FST = 0.218) showing isolation by distance, consistent with historically low gene flow. The frequency distribution of allele sizes suggest that this geographical differentiation is being driven by mutation. We found a lack mutation-drift equilibrium in some populations that is indicative of population bottlenecks. Combined with evidence for large spatiotemporal variation of selfing rates, this suggests that fluctuating population sizes characterize the demography in this species, promoting genetic drift. We argue that natural patterns of pollen and seed dispersal, coupled with the patchy, fire-shaped distribution, may have restricted long-distance gene flow in the past. PMID:12030976

  15. Secondary Airflow Structure around Clustered Shrubs and Its Significance for Vegetated Dune Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Wanyin; Dong, Zhibao; Qian, Guangqiang; Lu, Junfeng

    2016-04-01

    Shrubs have an important significance in aeolian processes due to their disturbance of the local airflow. In the formation of vegetated dunes, there is an iterative interaction between shrub geometry, the structure of the secondary airflow, and the interaction between neighboring shrubs. Understanding the dynamics of vegetated dunes thus requires an insight into the airflow fields around shrubs. Based on aerodynamic and aeolian sand physics theory, this project measured the complex secondary flow field and aeolian sand deposition pattern around single and cluster shrubs with varied densities (i.e., 0.05, 0.08, 0.15, 0.20) and gap ratios (the ratio of the gap spacing between the shrub models to the center-to-center distance for the shrub models, ranged from 1.1 to 1.8 with side-by-side arrangement and 1.2 to 4.3 with tandem arrangement) using the particle image velocimetry system through wind tunnle simulation. The relationship between the secondary airflow structure and the shrub's porosity and arrangement was analyzed quantitatively. Research results revealed that porosity (density) is the key parameter to affect the flow patterns around single shrub. Compared to solid obstacles, bleed flow through the shrubs has great influence on the secondary airflow patterns around itself. Under cluster modes, the distance between two adjacent shrubs has great influence on flow field structures around them. The flow patterns around two side-by-side arranged shrubs can be classified into three kinds of modes, that is: single-bluff-body, biased flow pattern and parallel vortex streets. The flow patterns around two tandem arranged shrubs can be classified into three regimes, that is: the extended body regime, reattachment regime and co-shedding regime. The "shadow zone" with low velocity in the lee of shrubs is the optimal position for sand deposition, but its form, size and orientation would varied with the shrub porosity and gap ratio between them. With the increase of the gap

  16. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both contemporary and future climates when choosing seed sources. In this study we analyze vegetative responses, including mortality, growth, and carbon isotope ratios in two blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) common gardens that included 26 populations from a range-wide collection. This shrub occupies ecotones between the warm and cold deserts of Mojave and Colorado Plateau ecoregions in western North America. The variation observed in the vegetative responses of blackbrush populations was principally explained by grouping populations by ecoregions and by regression with site-specific climate variables. Aridity weighted by winter minimum temperatures best explained vegetative responses; Colorado Plateau sites were usually colder and drier than Mojave sites. The relationship between climate and vegetative response was mapped within the boundaries of the species–climate space projected for the contemporary climate and for the decade surrounding 2060. The mapped ecological genetic pattern showed that genetic variation could be classified into cool-adapted and warm-adapted ecotypes, with populations often separated by steep clines. These transitions are predicted to occur in both the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. While under contemporary conditions the warm-adapted ecotype occupies the majority of climate space, climate projections predict that the cool-adapted ecotype could prevail as the dominant ecotype as the climate space of blackbrush expands into higher elevations and latitudes. This study provides the framework for delineating climate change-responsive seed transfer guidelines, which are

  17. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Bryce A; Kitchen, Stanley G; Pendleton, Rosemary L; Pendleton, Burton K; Germino, Matthew J; Rehfeldt, Gerald E; Meyer, Susan E

    2014-03-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both contemporary and future climates when choosing seed sources. In this study we analyze vegetative responses, including mortality, growth, and carbon isotope ratios in two blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) common gardens that included 26 populations from a range-wide collection. This shrub occupies ecotones between the warm and cold deserts of Mojave and Colorado Plateau ecoregions in western North America. The variation observed in the vegetative responses of blackbrush populations was principally explained by grouping populations by ecoregions and by regression with site-specific climate variables. Aridity weighted by winter minimum temperatures best explained vegetative responses; Colorado Plateau sites were usually colder and drier than Mojave sites. The relationship between climate and vegetative response was mapped within the boundaries of the species-climate space projected for the contemporary climate and for the decade surrounding 2060. The mapped ecological genetic pattern showed that genetic variation could be classified into cool-adapted and warm-adapted ecotypes, with populations often separated by steep dines. These transitions are predicted to occur in both the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. While under contemporary conditions the warm-adapted ecotype occupies the majority of climate space, climate projections predict that the cool-adapted ecotype could prevail as the dominant ecotype as the climate space of blackbrush expands into higher elevations and latitudes. This study provides the framework for delineating climate change-responsive seed transfer guidelines, which are needed

  18. Flower size and longevity influence florivory in the large-flowered shrub Cistus ladanifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixido, Alberto L.; Méndez, Marcos; Valladares, Fernando

    2011-09-01

    Plants with larger and longer-lived flowers receive more pollinator visits and increase reproductive success, though may also suffer more from antagonistic interactions with animals. Florivores can reduce fruit and seed production, so selection on flower size, floral longevity and/or number of flowers may thus be determined by the relative effects of both pollinators and florivores. In this study flowers of Cistus ladanifer, a large-flowered Mediterranean shrub, were monitored to evaluate the effects of flower size, floral longevity and number of flowers on levels of florivory in four populations. Number of flowers was variable but did not differ among populations. Both flower size and floral longevity of C. ladanifer showed broad variation and significantly differed among populations. Overall, 7% of flowers suffered attack by florivores, which were mainly ants picking the stamens and beetles consuming petals and pollen. Within-populations, larger and longer-lived flowers tended to be affected by florivores more frequently. The low overall incidence of florivores and its lack of between-population variation suggest that florivory may not influence intraspecific variation of these floral traits. However, moderate florivory levels on the largest and longest-lived flowers open the possibility of exerting selection towards smaller and shorter-lived flowers in some of the populations studied.

  19. Sex-specific reproductive components and pollination ecology in the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, E; Jiménez, R; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, M

    2014-11-01

    In subdioecious populations, functional female, male and hermaphrodite individuals coexist. Subdioecy may be a transitional state towards dioecy or a breakdown of dioecy, although lability in sex expression may maintain subdioecy as a stable condition. To better understand the ecological aspects involved in sex ratio dynamics and breeding system evolution, we studied the pollination and female fitness components of female and hermaphrodite individuals of the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla. In two natural populations at the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt we estimated female frequency and several reproductive components of female and hermaphrodite plants under natural pollination and experimental pollination treatments. Average female frequency was 42%, and on average, 42.5% of hermaphrodites produced fruits. Female plants showed a 17-fold female fertility advantage over hermaphrodites through increased fruit production, as the number of seeds and germination rates did not differ between morphs. Hermaphrodite flowers were larger, with similar nectar production and concentration to female flowers, and pollinators did not show consistent morph preferences. Some hermaphrodites produced fruits autonomously, and female flowers excluded from pollinators produced fruits putatively by apomixis. Fruit production in hermaphrodites, but not in females, was related to height, suggesting increased investment of hermaphrodites in the female function at higher resource status. For sex ratios to be at equilibrium, the female fertility advantage should be reduced about eightfold. However, it may be that hermaphrodites are maintained by producing fruits at no cost to the male function at higher resource status, as the gender plasticity hypothesis proposes. PMID:24629010

  20. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  1. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion.

    PubMed

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-05-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (A net), respiration in the dark and light (R D and R L, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species - Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb - grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of A net and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: -19.7%; fertilization: -79.7%; warming with fertilization: -91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub expansion and

  2. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion

    PubMed Central

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-01-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (Anet), respiration in the dark and light (RD and RL, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species – Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb – grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of Anet and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: −19.7%; fertilization: −79.7%; warming with fertilization: −91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub

  3. Chemical Signatures in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venn, Kim A.; Hill, Vanessa M.

    2008-12-01

    Chemical signatures in dwarf galaxies describe the examination of specific elemental abundance ratios to investigate the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies, particularly when compared with the variety of stellar populations in the Galaxy. Abundance ratios can come from HII region emission lines, planetary nebulae, or supernova remnants, but mostly they come from stars. Since stars can live a very long time, for example, a 0.8 MSun star born at the time of the Big Bang would only now be ascending the red giant branch, and, if, for the most part, its quiescent main sequence lifetime had been uneventful, then it is possible that the surface chemistry of stars actually still resembles their natal chemistry. Detailed abundances of stars in dwarf galaxies can be used to reconstruct their chemical evolution, which we now find to be distinct from any other component of the Galaxy, questioning the assertion that dwarf galaxies like these built up the Galaxy. Potential solutions to reconciling dwarf galaxy abundances and Galaxy formation models include the timescale for significant merging and the possibility for uncovering different stellar populations in the new ultra-faint dwarfs.

  4. Trees, more than shrubs, protect against soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion and saltation—the transport of ground particles by wind—are significant producers of dust and can damage crops or lead to nutrient-poor soil in semiarid regions. These regions are particularly vulnerable to climate warming and increased human activity, which can exacerbate erosion and induce dust bowl-like conditions. Previous research and observations have shown that vegetation such as shrubs and trees can reduce soil erosion, but existing models do not account for variations in wind direction or strength.

  5. Atmospheric water uptake by an atacama desert shrub.

    PubMed

    Mooney, H A; Gulmon, S L; Ehleringer, J; Rundel, P W

    1980-08-01

    Nolana mollis, a succulent-leaved shrub of the extreme coastal desert of Chile, has the capacity to condense water on its leaves out of unsaturated atmospheres, Metabolic energy would have to be expended to move this water either from the leaf surface directly to the mesophyll or, when dripped to the soil, from there into the roots. Because of the unusual aridity of its habitat and of the utilization of water-use-efficient metabolism by Nolana, at least during certain periods, such an energy expenditure could be effective. PMID:17821192

  6. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Tape, Ken D.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  7. Shrub line advance in Arctic and alpine tundra of the Yukon Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, I. H.; Hik, D.

    2010-12-01

    Growing evidence indicates an expansion of canopy-forming woody shrubs up mountain slopes and northward into Arctic tundra. The correlation between warming and greening has been used to link climate change with shrub expansion; however, the exact mechanisms driving observed increases in canopy-forming shrubs are probably more complex. Shrub expansion that results in a change in canopy cover may modify the ecology of tundra ecosystems by changing understory plant composition, soil thermal dynamics, surface albedo, nutrient turnover times and carbon storage. We surveyed the abundance of all tundra willow species (Salix spp.) growing at three sites in the Yukon Territory: the mountains of the Kluane Region, the Richardson Mountains, and on Qikiqtaruk - Herschel Island in the Beaufort Sea. At the two mountainous sites, we collected sections from the largest stem of willow shrubs at shrub line (the maximum elevation at which canopy-forming shrubs grow) and below shrub line (at approximately 50% shrub cover) in a total of 16 valleys. At the coastal site we collected samples from each of the 4 vegetation types: the alluvial fan, ridges, tussock tundra and disturbed terrain. Shrub stems were thin-sectioned using a microtome, photographed with a microscope and ring widths were measured from the digital images. We compared age distributions of willow individuals at and below shrub line and found younger populations at higher elevations, particularly on warm, south-facing aspects. Younger willows at shrub line and a lack of significant mortality in the field surveys indicate that shrubs have advanced up slope at the mountainous sites. Photographic and long-term plot data indicate increases in cover and height of willow shrub patches at the coastal site. We compared growth rings to regional weather data, and found positive correlations between annual growth and summer temperatures. Our results indicate that willows grew most in years with a warm June and July. This evidence of

  8. Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance and species richness in semiarid rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaum, Niels; Rossmanith, Eva; Popp, Alexander; Jeltsch, Florian

    2007-01-01

    Shrub encroachment due to overgrazing has led to dramatic changes of savanna landscapes and is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation e.g. via habitat fragmentation. Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to local extinction in fragmented landscapes. However, our understanding of how shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivores is poor. Here we investigated the relative sensitivities of ten native carnivores to different levels of shrub cover ranging from low (<5%) to high shrub cover (>25%) in 20 southern Kalahari rangeland sites. Relative abundance of carnivores was monitored along 40 sand transects (5 m × 250 m) for each site. Our results show that increasing shrub cover affects carnivore species differently. African wild cats, striped polecats, cape foxes and suricates were negatively affected, whereas we found hump-shaped responses for yellow mongooses, bat-eared foxes and small-spotted genets with maximum abundance at shrub covers between 10 and 18%. In contrast, black-backed jackals, slender mongooses and small spotted cats were not significantly affected by increasing shrub cover. However, a negative impact of high shrub cover above 18% was congruent for all species. We conclude that intermediate shrub cover (10-18%) in savanna landscapes sustain viable populations of small carnivores.

  9. Disentangling the effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration in a dry Chaco forest (Argentina).

    PubMed

    Tálamo, Andrés; Barchuk, Alicia H; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Trucco, Carlos E; Cardozo, Silvana; Mohr, Federico

    2015-07-01

    Successful persistence of dry forests depends on tree regeneration, which depends on a balance of complex biotic interactions. In particular, the relative importance and interactive effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration are unclear. In a manipulative study, we investigated if thornless shrubs have a direct net effect, an indirect positive effect mediated by livestock, and/or an indirect negative effect mediated by small vertebrates on tree regeneration of two key species of Chaco forest (Argentina). In a spatial association study, we also explored the existence of net positive interactions from thorny and thornless shrubs. The number of Schinopsis lorentzii seedlings was highest under artificial shade with native herbivores and livestock excluded. Even excluding livestock, no seedlings were found with natural conditions (native herbivores present with natural shade or direct sunlight) at the end of the experiment. Surprisingly, seedling recruitment was not enhanced under thornless shrubs, because there was a complementary positive effect of shade and interference. Moreover, thornless shrubs had neither positive nor negative effects on regeneration of S. lorentzii. Regeneration of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco was minimal in all treatments. In agreement with the experiment, spatial distributions of saplings of both tree species were independent of thornless shrubs, but positively associated with thorny shrubs. Our results suggest that in general thornless shrubs may have a negligible effect and thorny shrubs a net positive effect on tree regeneration in dry forests. These findings provide a conceptual framework for testing the impact of biotic interactions on seedling recruitment in other dry forests. PMID:25707777

  10. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  11. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. PMID:25967156

  12. Flower and fruit production of understory shrubs in western Washington and Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J. C., II

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  13. Effects of harvesting flowers from shrubs on the persistence and abundance of wild shrub populations at multiple spatial extents.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Bond, William J; Midgley, Guy F; Rebelo, Anthony G; Thuiller, Wilfried; Schurr, Frank M

    2011-02-01

    Wildflower harvesting is an economically important activity of which the ecological effects are poorly understood. We assessed how harvesting of flowers affects shrub persistence and abundance at multiple spatial extents. To this end, we built a process-based model to examine the mean persistence and abundance of wild shrubs whose flowers are subject to harvest (serotinous Proteaceae in the South African Cape Floristic Region). First, we conducted a general sensitivity analysis of how harvesting affects persistence and abundance at nested spatial extents. For most spatial extents and combinations of demographic parameters, persistence and abundance of flowering shrubs decreased abruptly once harvesting rate exceeded a certain threshold. At larger extents, metapopulations supported higher harvesting rates before their persistence and abundance decreased, but persistence and abundance also decreased more abruptly due to harvesting than at smaller extents. This threshold rate of harvest varied with species' dispersal ability, maximum reproductive rate, adult mortality, probability of extirpation or local extinction, strength of Allee effects, and carrying capacity. Moreover, spatial extent interacted with Allee effects and probability of extirpation because both these demographic properties affected the response of local populations to harvesting more strongly than they affected the response of metapopulations. Subsequently, we simulated the effects of harvesting on three Cape Floristic Region Proteaceae species and found that these species reacted differently to harvesting, but their persistence and abundance decreased at low rates of harvest. Our estimates of harvesting rates at maximum sustainable yield differed from those of previous investigations, perhaps because researchers used different estimates of demographic parameters, models of population dynamics, and spatial extent than we did. Good demographic knowledge and careful identification of the spatial extent

  14. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S

    2008-03-06

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  15. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    This proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of about 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain. A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s. Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle". A paper reporting this study is now in preparation.

  16. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Stringfellow, G.S.; Bodenheimer, P.; Black, D.C. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX )

    1990-02-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties. 37 refs.

  17. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.; Bodenheimer, Peter; Black, David C.

    1990-01-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties.

  18. Dwarf busting in Abell 868

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Driver, Simon

    1999-07-01

    We request 24 orbits to obtain a deep mosaic {6 * 4-orbit pointings} of the central region of A868, a rich Abell cluster which we have imaged comprehensively from the ground. The objective is to identify and characterise the morphological nature of the dwarf galaxy population{s} responsible for the steep upturn seen in this cluster's luminosity function. While similar upturns have been reported in many clusters, the specifics of the dwarf population remain unknown as these objects cannot be resolved from the ground. What type of dwarf galaxies are they ? Is there more than one population contributing ? How are they clustered ? By obtaining deep high-resolution HST WFPC2 imaging over a central field roughly 7.5' * 3.75' we will be able to measure morphologies, light- profiles and the clustering properties of the dwarf population{s} down to M_I = -16 mags {H_o=75kms^-1Mpc^-1}. Although we shall primarily concentrate on the dwarf galaxies, we will also recover the cluster's morphological luminosity distributions for elliptical, spirals and irregulars over a broad absolute magnitude range {-24 < M_I < -16 mags} as well as the more quantitative bivariate brightness distribution {- 24 < M_I < -16 mags, 17.0 < mu_e^I < 25 mags per sq arcsec}. Comparing these results to those recently derived for the general field will provide an insight into the environmental influences on morphology and surface brightness.

  19. Induced abnormality in Mir- and Earth grown Super Dwarf wheat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Stieber, J.; Campbell, W. F.; Salisbury, F. B.; Levinski, M.; Sytchev, V.; Podolsky, I.; Chernova, L.; Pdolsky, I.

    2003-01-01

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet "Greenhouse" exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with Earth-grown wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of 'Super-Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen gains, however, contained only one nuclei, while normal viable pollen is tri-nucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was the presence of a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1,200 ppb). Ground studies conducted by exposing 'Super-Dwarf' wheat to ethylene just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples. c2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  20. Induced abnormality in Mir- and earth grown super dwarf wheat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Stieber, J.; Campbell, W. F.; Salisbury, F. B.; Levinski, M.; Sytchev, V.; Pdolsky, I.; Chernova, L.

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet ``Greenhouse'' exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with Earth-grown wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of `Super-Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen gains, however, contained only one nuclei, while normal viable pollen is tri-nucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was the presence of a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1,200 ppb). Ground studies conducted by exposing `Super-Dwarf' wheat to ethylene just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples.

  1. Short-term effects of experimental fires on a Mojave Desert seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esque, Todd C.; Young, James A.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2010-01-01

    A Mojave Desert shrub community was experimentally burned to understand changes in seed bank of desert annual plant species in response to wildfire. Seed mortality ranged from 55 to 80%, and fire caused significant losses of native and alien annual seeds. Schismus arabicus, Schismus barbatus, Bromus madritensis, Bromus tectorum, Erodium cicutarium and Plantago spp. made up >95% of the seed bank. Bromus spp. and Plantago spp. had proportionately greater mortality of seeds than did Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium. Schismus spp. can be lodged into soil cracks thus avoiding lethal temperatures. E. cicutarium has a self-drilling mechanism that places the seeds at greater depth in the soil. Greater seed mortality occurred beneath shrub canopies than interspaces for most species (Plantago, spp., Bromus spp., and E. cicutarium), but microsite had little effect on Schismus spp. Fire reduced the perennial Ambrosia dumosa densities under canopies. Fire reduced the mean number of species found in samples by about one species per plot and no species was extirpated on experimental plots. The relative abundances of common species did not change dramatically as a result of fire or microsite, however; seed densities varied by treatment and affected interpretations of species compositions.

  2. Is the inverse leafing phenology of the dry forest understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa (Theophrastaceae) a strategy to escape herbivory?

    PubMed

    Chaves, Oscar M; Avalos, Gerardo

    2006-09-01

    In the dry forest of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, the understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa presents an inverse pattern of phenology that concentrates vegetative growth and reproduction during the dry season. In this study, we tested the "escape from herbivory" hypothesis as a potential explanation for the inverse phenological pattern of J. nervosa. We monitored leaf, flower and fruit production in 36 adult plants from October 2000 to August 2001. Leaves of six randomly selected branches per plant were marked and monitored every two weeks to measure the cumulative loss in leaf area. To analyze pre-dispersal seed predation we collected 15 fruits per plant and counted the total number of healthy and damaged seeds, as well as the number and type of seed predators found within the fruits. Leaf, flower, and fruit production occurred during the first part of the dry season (end of November to February). The cumulative herbivory levels were similar to those observed in other tropical dry forest tree species that concentrate leaf production during the wet season, and were concentrated on young leaves, which lost an average of 36.77 % of their area (SD = 34.35 %, N = 195). Chewing beetles of the genus Epicauta (Meloidae) were the most important herbivores. In mature leaves, most of the damage was caused by the beetle Coptocycla rufonotata (Chrysomelidae). Fruits took 4 months to develop during the dry season (January-March 2001) but continue increasing in size well into the first 3 months of the wet season (May-July). Average seed number per ripe fruit was 9 (SD = 5, N = 500). Seed predation in mature fruits was 42 % (SD = 47 %, N = 122). Most seeds were damaged by moth larvae of the family Tortricidae. Only 3 % of the flowers became fruits. This was influenced by the low level of flower synchrony (0.38+/-0.26, N = 36 plants), but neither leaf synchrony (0.88+/-0.06, N = 36 plants) nor plant size influenced fruit numbers. The significant damaged produced by insect

  3. Project SEED.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Reports on Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged) a project in which high school students from low-income families work in summer jobs in a variety of academic, industrial, and government research labs. The program introduces the students to career possibilities in chemistry and to the advantages of higher education.…

  4. Branes constrictions with White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Aspeitia, Miguel A.

    2015-11-01

    We consider here a robust study of stellar dynamics for white dwarf stars with polytropic matter in the weak-field approximation using the Lane-Emden equation from the brane-world scenario. We also derive an analytical solution to the nonlocal energy density and show the behavior and sensitivity of these stars to the presence of extra dimensions. Similarly, we analyze stability and compactness, in order to show whether it is possible to agree with the conventional wisdom of white dwarfs dynamics. Our results predict an average value of the brane tension of < λ rangle ≳ 84.818MeV^4, with a standard deviation σ ˜eq 82.021MeV^4, which comes from a sample of dwarf stars, being weaker than other astrophysical observations but remaining higher than cosmological results provided by nucleosynthesis among others.

  5. Role of native shrubs of the Sahel in mitigating water and nutrient stresses of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayala, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Bogie, N. A.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the semi arid zone of the Sahel native woody shrubs are present in many farmers' fields. The native density of these shrubs is fairly low at around 200 to 300 individuals per hectare. An ongoing study in the Peanut Basin, Senegal has shown a vast improvement in crop yields when annual food crops are planted with the shrub Guiera senegalensis, especially in years of low or irregular precipitation. Shrubs in field plots established in 2003 where a rotation of peanuts and millet are grown are planted at a much higher density of 1500-1830 individuals per hectare. In order to increase the density of shrubs on the landscape, the shrubs must be cultivated. We monitored soil moisture, soil temperature, and growth of recently transplanted individuals at a field station in Thies, Senegal.This study seeks to determine the growth characteristics and water use of young shrubs in order to inform possible future plantations of the shrubs in a more intensely managed agroecosystem. If this technique of intercropping is to be expanded we must not exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape. In vulnerable ecosystems where natural resources are scarce and farming inputs are low, we must work to determine ways of exploiting the adaptation of local agroecosystems to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region.

  6. Atlas of United States Trees, Volume 2: Alaska Trees and Common Shrubs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr.

    This volume is the second in a series of atlases describing the natural distribution or range of native tree species in the United States. The 82 species maps include 32 of trees in Alaska, 6 of shrubs rarely reaching tree size, and 44 more of common shrubs. More than 20 additional maps summarize environmental factors and furnish general…

  7. SIMULATING SMALL MAMMAL EFFECTS ON GRASS-SHRUB ECOTONES IN ARID ECOSYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several processes leading to shrub encroachment within semiarid and arid grasslands have been identified. However, the role of small animals in shifting dominance between grasses and shrubs at their ecotones has not been well studied, especially in combination with other factors, such as drought, c...

  8. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  9. Numerical modeling evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Pei; Li, Xiao-Yan; Huang, Jie-Yu; Yang, Wen-Xin; Wang, Qi-Dan; Xu, Kun; Zheng, Xiao-Ran

    2016-04-01

    Shrub encroachment into arid grasslands occurs around the world. However, few works on shrub encroachment has been conducted in China. Moreover, its hydrological implications remain poorly investigated in arid and semiarid regions. This study combined a two-source energy balanced model and Newton-Raphson iteration scheme to simulate the evapotranspiration (ET) and their components of shrub-encroached(with 15.4% shrub coverage) grassland in Inner Mongolia. Good agreements of ET flux between modelled and measured by Bowen ratio method with relatively insensitive to uncertainties/errors in the assigned models parameters or in measured input variables for its components illustrated that our model was feasible for simulating evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland. The transpiration fraction(T /ET)account for 58±17%during the growing season. With the designed shrub encroachment extreme scenarios (maximum and minimum coverage),the contribution of shrub to local plant transpiration (Tshrub/T) was 20.06±7%during the growing season. Canopy conductance was the main controlling factor of T /ET. In diurnal scale short wave solar radiation was the direct influential factor while in seasonal scale leaf area index (LAI) and soil water content were the direct influential factors. We find that the seasonal variation of Tshrub/T has a good relationship with ratio of LAIshrub/LAI, and rainfall characteristics widened the difference of contribution of shrub and herbs to ecosystem evapotranspiration.

  10. Errors in LiDAR-derived shrub height and crown area on sloped terrain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study developed and tested four methodologies for determining shrub height measurements with LiDAR data in a semiarid shrub-steppe in southwestern Idaho, USA. Unique to this study was the focus of sagebrush height measurements on sloped terrain. The study also developed one of the first metho...

  11. Shrub expansion in northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands: Spatial patterns and biophysical constraints

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conserving and restoring grasslands and shrub-steppe has important ecological and socioeconomic implications in arid rangelands of the world. Among the greatest contemporary threats to the structure, function and biological diversity of desert grassland and shrub savanna ecosystems of the southweste...

  12. Arctic Shrub Growth Response to Climate Variation and Infrastructure Development on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, D.; Finlay, J. C.; Griffin, D.

    2015-12-01

    Woody shrub growth in the arctic tundra is increasing on a circumpolar scale. Shrub expansion alters land-atmosphere carbon fluxes, nutrient cycling, and habitat structure. Despite these ecosystem effects, the drivers of shrub expansion have not been precisely established at the landscape scale. This project examined two proposed anthropogenic drivers: global climate change and local infrastructure development, a press disturbance that generates high levels of dust deposition. Effects of global change were studied using dendrochronology to establish a relationship between climate and annual growth in Betula and Salix shrubs growing in the Alaskan low Arctic. To understand the spatial heterogeneity of shrub expansion, this analysis was replicated in shrub populations across levels of landscape properties including soil moisture and substrate age. Effects of dust deposition on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic rate were measured on transects up to 625 meters from the Dalton Highway. Dust deposition rates decreased exponentially with distance from road, matching previous models of road dust deposition. NDVI tracked deposition rates closely, but photosynthetic rates were not strongly affected by deposition. These results suggest that dust deposition may locally bias remote sensing measurements such as NDVI, without altering internal physiological processes such as photosynthesis in arctic shrubs. Distinguishing between the effects of landscape properties, climate, and disturbance will improve our predictions of the biogeochemical feedbacks of arctic shrub expansion, with potential application in climate change modeling.

  13. Effects of grass and shrub cover on the critical unit stream power in overland flow

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improved knowledge of the effect of grass and shrub cover in overland flow can provide valuable information for soil and water conservation programs. Laboratory simulated rainfall studies were conducted to determine the effect of grasses and shrubs on runoff and soil loss and to ascertain the relati...

  14. Shrub encroachment alters sensitivity of soil respiration to temperature and moisture 2115

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment into grasslands creates a mosaic of different soil microsites ranging from open spaces to well-developed shrub canopies, and it is unclear how this affects the spatial variability in soil respiration characteristics, such as the sensitivity to soil temperature and moisture. This i...

  15. Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades, investigations of Pluto with up-to-date astronomical instruments yielded results that have been generally confirmed by the New Horizons mission. In 2006, in Prague, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a member of the dwarf planet category according to the criteria defined by the IAU for the term "planet". At the same time, interest in studies of Pluto was increasing, while the space investigations of Pluto were delayed. In 2006, the New Horizons Pluto spacecraft started its journey to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft, being in fly-by mode, made its closest approach to Pluto. The heterogeneities and properties of the surface and rarified atmosphere were investigated thoroughly. Due to the extreme remoteness of the spacecraft and the energy limitations, it will take 18 months to transmit the whole data volume. Along with the preliminary results of the New Horizons Pluto mission, this paper reviews the basics on Pluto and its moons acquired from the ground-based observations and with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). There are only a few meteorite craters on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, which distinctly marks them apart from such satellites of the giant planets as Ganymede and Callisto. The explanation is that the surface of Pluto is young: its age is estimated at less than 100 Myr. Ice glaciers of apparently a nitrogen nature were found. Nitrogen is also the main component of the atmosphere of Pluto. The planet demonstrates the signs of strong geologic activity, though the energy sources of these processes are unknown.

  16. Mutational effects of space flight on Zea mays seeds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mei, M.; Qiu, Y.; He, Y.; Bucker, H.; Yang, C. H.

    1994-01-01

    The growth and development of more than 500 Zea mays seeds flown on Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) were studied. Somatic mutations, including white-yellow stripes on leaves, dwarfing, change of leaf sheath color or seedling color were observed in plants developed from these seeds. When the frequency of white-yellow formation was used as the endpoint and compared with data from ground based studies, the dose to which maize seeds might be exposed during the flight was estimated to be equivalent to 635 cGy of gamma rays. Seeds from one particular holder gave a high mutation frequency and a wide mutation spectrum. White-yellow stripes on leaves were also found in some of the inbred progenies from plants displayed somatic mutation. Electron microscopy studies showed that the damage of chloroplast development in the white-yellow stripe on leaves was similar between seeds flown on LDEF and that irradiated by accelerated heavy ions on ground.

  17. Induced Abnormality In Mir- and Earth-Grown Super Dwarf Wheat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Stieber, Joseph; Campbell, William F.; Salisbury, Frank B.; Levinski, Margarita; Sytchev, Vladimir; Podolsky, Igor; Chernova, Lola; Ivanova, Irene; Kliss, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet "Greenhouse" exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with normal wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of 'Super Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen grains however, contain only one nucleus, while normal viable pollen is trinucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was identified - a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1200 ppb). Ground studies conducted exposing "Super-dwarf" wheat to ethylene at just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples.

  18. Adapting to alcohol: Dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli) ethanol consumption, sensitivity, and hoard fermentation.

    PubMed

    Lupfer, Gwen; Murphy, Eric S; Merculieff, Zoe; Radcliffe, Kori; Duddleston, Khrystyne N

    2015-06-01

    Ethanol consumption and sensitivity in many species are influenced by the frequency with which ethanol is encountered in their niches. In Experiment 1, dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) with ad libitum access to food and water consumed high amounts of unsweetened alcohol solutions. Their consumption of 15%, but not 30%, ethanol was reduced when they were fed a high-fat diet; a high carbohydrate diet did not affect ethanol consumption. In Experiment 2, intraperitoneal injections of ethanol caused significant dose-related motor impairment. Much larger doses administered orally, however, had no effect. In Experiment 3, ryegrass seeds, a common food source for wild dwarf hamsters, supported ethanol fermentation. Results of these experiments suggest that dwarf hamsters may have adapted to consume foods in which ethanol production naturally occurs. PMID:25712038

  19. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-09-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30-150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem. PMID:22393485

  20. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity

    PubMed Central

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-01-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30–150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem. PMID:22393485

  1. Long-term effects of seeding after wildfire on vegetation in Great Basin shrubland ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Wirth, Troy A.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive annual grasses alter fire regimes in shrubland ecosystems of the western USA, threatening ecosystem function and fragmenting habitats necessary for shrub-obligate species such as greater sage-grouse. Post-fire stabilization and rehabilitation treatments have been administered to stabilize soils, reduce invasive species spread and restore or establish sustainable ecosystems in which native species are well represented. Long-term effectiveness of these treatments has rarely been evaluated. 2. We studied vegetation at 88 sites where aerial or drill seeding was implemented following fires between 1990 and 2003 in Great Basin (USA) shrublands. We examined sites on loamy soils that burned only once since 1970 to eliminate confounding effects of recurrent fire and to assess soils most conducive to establishment of seeded species. We evaluated whether seeding provided greater cover of perennial seeded species than burned–unseeded and unburned–unseeded sites, while also accounting for environmental variation. 3. Post-fire seeding of native perennial grasses generally did not increase cover relative to burned–unseeded areas. Native perennial grass cover did, however, increase after drill seeding when competitive non-natives were not included in mixes. Seeding non-native perennial grasses and the shrub Bassia prostrata resulted in more vegetative cover in aerial and drill seeding, with non-native perennial grass cover increasing with annual precipitation. Seeding native shrubs, particularly Artemisia tridentata, did not increase shrub cover or density in burned areas. Cover of undesirable, non-native annual grasses was lower in drill seeded relative to unseeded areas, but only at higher elevations. 4. Synthesis and applications. Management objectives are more likely to be met in high-elevation or precipitation locations where establishment of perennial grasses occurred. On lower and drier sites, management objectives are unlikely to be met with seeding alone

  2. Assessing the Relationship Between Spectral Vegetation Indices and Shrub Cover in the Jornada Basin, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Jeff; Stow, D.; Franklin, J.; Hope, A.

    1993-01-01

    We assessed the statistical relations between Spectral Vegetation Indices (SVI's) derived from SPOT multi-spectral data and semi-arid shrub cover at the Jornada LTER site in New Mexico. Despite a limited range of shrub cover in the sample the analyses resulted in r(sup 2) values as high as 0 central dot 77. Greenness SVI's (e.g., Simple Ratio, NDVI, SAVI, PVI and an orthogonal Greenness index) were shown to be more sensitive to shrub type and phenology than brightness SVis (e.g., green, red and near-infrared reflectances and a Brightness index). The results varied substantially with small-scale changes in plot size (60m by 60m to 100m by 100m) as a consequence of landscape heterogeneity. The results also indicated the potential for the spectral differentiation of shrub types, and shrubs from grass, using multi-temporal, multi-spectral analysis.

  3. Age determination for Ultracool Dwarfs .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faherty, Jacqueline K.

    Brown dwarfs are notoriously difficult to age date as they lack stable hydrogen burning hence main-sequence star age-dating techniques are inapplicable for their masses. However precise and accurate ages for individual sources are required to determine masses and disentangle how secondary parameters such as differing metallicity, cloud structure and gravity impact observables. In this contribution, I review age-dating techniques for brown dwarfs as well as ``piggy-back" techniques that rely on co-moving, higher mass, main-sequence stars for which Gaia may substantially increase the sample.

  4. Does fire severity influence shrub resprouting after spring prescribed burning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Cristina; Vega, José A.; Fonturbel, Teresa

    2013-04-01

    Prescribed burning is commonly used to reduce the risk of severe wildfire. However, further information about the associated environmental effects is required to help forest managers select the most appropriate treatment. To address this question, we evaluated if fire severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affects the resprouting ability of two common shrub species in shrubland under a Mediterranean climate in NW Spain. Fire behaviour and temperatures were recorded in tagged individuals of Erica australis and Pterospartum tridentatum during prescribed burning. The number and length of resprouted shoots were measured three times (6, 12 and 18 months) after the prescribed burning. The influence of a series of fire severity indicators on some plant resprouting vigour parameters was tested by canonical correlation analysis. Six months and one year after prescribed burning, soil burn severity (measured by the absolute reduction in depth of the organic soil layer, maximum temperatures in the organic soil layer and the mineral soil surface during burning and the post-fire depth of the organic soil layer) reduced the resprouting vigour of E. australis and P. tridentatum. In contrast, direct measurements of fire effects on plants (minimum branch diameter, duration of temperatures above 300 °C in the shrub crown and fireline intensity) did not affect the post-fire plant vigour. Soil burn severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affected the short-term resprouting vigour in a mixed heathland in Galicia. The lack of effects eighteen months after prescribed burning indicates the high resilience of these species and illustrates the need to conciliate fire prevention and conservation goals.

  5. ``From seed-to-seed'' experiment with wheat plants under space-flight conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashinsky, A.; Ivanova, I.; Derendyaeva, T.; Nechitailo, G.; Salisbury, F.

    1994-11-01

    An important goal with plant experiments in microgravity is to achieve a complete life cycle, the ``seed-to-seed experiment''. Some Soviet attempts to reach this goal are described, notably an experiment with the tiny mustard, Arabidopsis thaliana, in the Phyton 3 device on Salyut 7. Normal seeds were produced although yields were reduced and development was delayed. Several other experiments have shown abnormalities in plants grown in space. In recent work, plants of wheat (Triticum aestivum) were studied on the ground and then in a preliminary experiment in space. Biometric indices of vegetative space plants were 2 to 2.5 times lower than those of controls, levels of chlorophyll a and b were reduced (no change in the ratio of the two pigments), carotenoids were reduced, there was a serious imbalance in major minerals, and membrane lipids were reduced (no obvious change in lipid patterns). Following the preliminary studies, an attempt was made with the Svetoblock-M growth unit to grow a super-dwarf wheat cultivar through a life cycle. The experiment lasted 167 d on Mir. Growth halted from about day 40 to day 100, when new shoots appeared. Three heads had appeared in the boot (surrounded by leaves) when plants were returned to earth. One head was sterile, but 28 seeds matured on earth, and most of these have since produced normal plants and seeds. In principle, a seed-to-seed experiment with wheat should be successful in microgravity.

  6. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients. PMID

  7. Throughfall and its spatial variability beneath xerophytic shrub canopies within water-limited arid desert ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ya-feng; Wang, Xin-ping; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia

    2016-08-01

    Throughfall is known to be a critical component of the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of forested ecosystems with inherently temporal and spatial variability. Yet little is understood concerning the throughfall variability of shrubs and the associated controlling factors in arid desert ecosystems. Here we systematically investigated the variability of throughfall of two morphological distinct xerophytic shrubs (Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica) within a re-vegetated arid desert ecosystem, and evaluated the effects of shrub structure and rainfall characteristics on throughfall based on heavily gauged throughfall measurements at the event scale. We found that morphological differences were not sufficient to generate significant difference (P < 0.05) in throughfall between two studied shrub species under the same rainfall and meteorological conditions in our study area, with a throughfall percentage of 69.7% for C. korshinskii and 64.3% for A. ordosica. We also observed a highly variable patchy pattern of throughfall beneath individual shrub canopies, but the spatial patterns appeared to be stable among rainfall events based on time stability analysis. Throughfall linearly increased with the increasing distance from the shrub base for both shrubs, and radial direction beneath shrub canopies had a pronounced impact on throughfall. Throughfall variability, expressed as the coefficient of variation (CV) of throughfall, tended to decline with the increase in rainfall amount, intensity and duration, and stabilized passing a certain threshold. Our findings highlight the great variability of throughfall beneath the canopies of xerophytic shrubs and the time stability of throughfall pattern among rainfall events. The spatially heterogeneous and temporally stable throughfall is expected to generate a dynamic patchy distribution of soil moisture beneath shrub canopies within arid desert ecosystems.

  8. Quantitative parameters and ecological implications of a specialized tritrophic interaction involving a seed-feeding tortricid, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, a braconid parasitoid, Bracon otiosus, and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Ángel; Falcó, José Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about tritrophic interactions involving seed-feeding insects, parasitoid wasps, and wild fleshy fruits. Here, we examine relationships between Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (F.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), Bracon otiosus Marshall (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare L. (Lamiales: Oleaceae), after collecting fruits in a hedgerow habitat in northwest Spain and rearing insects indoors. No other insect species was detected in this trophic system. Each fruit contained one to four seeds, each infested fruit contained only one seed-feeding tortricid caterpillar, and each parasitized caterpillar was affected by a single braconid individual, i.e., B. otiosus was a solitary parasitoid. Almost half of the wild privet shrubs were infested by P. conwagana, and infestation ranged from 2 to 32% of fruits per infested shrub. The general effect of P.conwagana on wild privet dispersal can be considered low, as the overall rate of seed infestation was low (6% of seeds). The infestation rate was higher in wild privet shrubs with a larger number of seeds per fruit, and tortricid caterpillars that left the fruits successfully ate >80% of seeds. In total, the parasitism rate was moderate (25% of caterpillars), but varied considerably (0‒75%) among shrubs where P. conwagana infestation was detected. Parasitism only occurred in shrubs showing high infestation rates (19‒32% infested fruits), i.e., with high host densities; however, the parasitism rate was density-independent in these shrubs. The wild privets benefited from the action of B. otiosus in two ways: the tortricid caterpillar population was partly eliminated, and the caterpillars were prevented from eating more than one seed per fruit. The B. otiosus sex ratio was very balanced (1 male to 1.18 females). Winter diapause and protandry were prevalent in B. otiosus. PMID:25368072

  9. Rodent-Mediated Interactions Among Seed Species of Differing Quality in a Shrubsteppe Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, Karen H.; Faulhaber, Craig A.; Howe, Frank P.; Edwards, Thomas C., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among seeds, mediated by granivorous rodents, are likely to play a strong role in shrubsteppe ecosystem restoration. Past studies typically consider only pairwise interactions between preferred and less preferred seed species, whereas rangeland seedings are likely to contain more than 2 seed species, potentially leading to complex interactions. We examined how the relative proportion of seeds in a 3-species polyculture changes rodent seed selectivity (i.e., removal) and indirect interactions among seeds. We presented 2 rodent species, Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice) and Perognathus parvus (pocket mice), in arenas with 3-species seed mixtures that varied in the proportion of a highly preferred, moderately preferred, and least preferred seed species, based on preferences determined in this study. We then conducted a field experiment in a pocket mouse—dominated ecosystem with the same 3-species seed mixtures in both “treated” (reduced shrub and increased forb cover) and “untreated” shrubsteppe. In the arena experiment, we found that rodents removed more of the highly preferred seed when the proportions of all 3 seeds were equal. Moderately preferred seeds experienced increased removal when the least preferred seed was in highest proportion. Removal of the least preferred seed increased when the highly preferred seed was in highest proportion. In the field experiment, results were similar to those from the arena experiment and did not differ between treated and untreated shrubsteppe areas. Though our results suggest that 3-species mixtures induce complex interactions among seeds, managers applying these results to restoration efforts should carefully consider the rodent community present and the potential fate of removed seeds.

  10. Seed predation and fruit damage of Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) by rodents in the cerrado of central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briani and, Denis C., Jr.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2007-01-01

    Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.

  11. New light on dark stars. Red dwarfs, low-mass stars, brown dwarfs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, I. N.; Hawley, S. L.

    This book presents a comprehensive discussion of both the astrophysical structure of individual M dwarf and brown dwarf star, and their collective statistical properties as a Galactic stellar population. The first section of the book discusses M dwarfs and brown dwarfs as individual objects - their observational properties, formation, internal structure and atmospheres. The second section deals with M dwarfs from the Galactic perspective - the number of stars, their possible contribution to dark matter and the missing mass and their use as probes of the stellar populations that make up our Galaxy. Contents: (1) Astronomical concepts. (2) Basic observational properties of low-mass dwarfs. (3) The structure, formation and evolution of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. (4) The photosphere. (5) Stellar activity. (6) A Galactic structure primer. (7) The stellar luminosity function. (8) The mass function. (9) Brown dwarfs: new light on dark stars. (10) Extrasolar planets. (11) M dwarfs in the Galactic halo. Appendix: The 8 parsec sample.

  12. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  13. Short seed longevity, variable germination conditions, and infrequent establishment events provide a narrow window for Yucca brevifolia (Agavaceae) recruitment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bryant, M.; Reynolds, J.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The future of long-lived stand-forming desert plants such as Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) has come into question in light of climate variation and landscape-scale disturbances such as wildfire. Understanding plant establishment dynamics is important for mitigating the impacts of disturbances and promoting revegetation. • METHODS: We placed Y. brevifolia seeds in shallow caches and manipulated granivore access, nurse shrub effects, and the season of cache placement to determine conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment. • KEY RESULTS: Greatest seedling emergence occurred during spring and summer, when increased soil moisture was accompanied by warm soil temperatures. Late winter-spring emergence for cached seeds was enhanced beneath shrub canopies, but seedling survival declined beneath shrubs as temperatures increased in spring. Germinability of seed remaining in the soil was reduced from 50-68% after 12 mo residence time in soil and declined to <3% after 40 mo. Following dispersal from parent plants, seeds are either removed by granivores or lose germinability, imposing substantial losses of potential germinants. • CONCLUSIONS: Specific germination and establishment requirements impose stringent limits on recruitment rates for Y. brevifolia. Coupled with infrequent seed availability, the return rates to prefire densities and demographic structure may require decades to centuries, especially in light of potential changes to regional desert climate in combination with the potential for fire recurrence. Demographic patterns are predicted to vary spatially in response to environmental variability that limits recruitment and may already be apparent among extant populations.

  14. Shrubs as landscape modulators in semiarid shrubland - long-term studies in Park Shaked LTER, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boeken, Bertrand; Shachak, Moshe; Zaady, Eli; Brand, Sol

    2010-05-01

    Small shrubs (Atractylis serratuloides and Noaea mucronata) in semiarid shrublands of the northern Negev of Israel (at 150 to 200 mm of rainfall per year) form shrub patches in the soil crust matrix by multiple changes in their immediate environment. The changes include structural modification by creation of a soil mound and water flow redistribution, which produce enriched soil moisture patches. These changes have far-reaching effects on water regime, soil erosion and biological productivity and diversity in watersheds. Landscape modulation by the shrub patches results from: 1) interactions of the growing shrubs with flows of water, sediment and organic matter by wind and runoff, 2) accumulation of material deposited under the shrub canopy, 3) changes in the topography and structure of the surface and substrate near and under the shrubs, 4) successional replacement of shrub species, and 5) colonization by a herbaceous understory. The patch formation processes are linked, resulting in positive feedback relationships between the growing shrub, the properties of the mound underneath, the interception of resource flows, and the density of the herbaceous understory vegetation. Since the shrub patches intercept resource flows, and form patterns of patches on the slopes, they have larger-scale effects on the functioning of the ecosystem by controlling the retention and leakage of resources in the watershed. At the slope scale this gives rise to positive and negative feedbacks. Accumulation of material causes mound expansion, increasing deposition (positive feedback 1), while increased resource retention enhances shrub and herbaceous growth, also causing more accumulation and retention (positive feedback 2). On the other hand, when mounds increase, soil crust cover that generates runoff decreases, halting the process of shrub patch expansion (negative feedback). We present a conceptual model of a growing shrub patch with its direct and large-scale effects on the

  15. Andromeda and the Seven Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brasseur, C.; Rix, H.-W.; Martin, N.

    2011-07-01

    With the new generation of wide-field surveys, our understanding of the Andromeda satellite system has dramatically improved in recent years. Since 2004, 12 new dwarf galaxies have been discovered around Andromeda, doubling the number of previously known companions. What are the properties of these newly discovered dwarfs and what do they tell us about galaxy formation? Are these systems bound? Do they show evidence of multiple star formation epochs? To better understand the stellar populations of the faintest dwarfs around M 31, we have used the Large Binocular Camera (LBT) and Suprime-Cam (Subaru) to obtain photometric observations of And X, And XVII, And XVIII, And XIX, And XX, And XXI and And XXII. Reaching below the horizontal branch, these observations have allowed for accurate distance determinations to be made, together with metallicity estimates based on the red giant branch stars. Our analysis shows our 7 dwarfs to be metal poor and with large spreads in [Fe/H], it strongly suggests multiple generations of stars are present in And X, And XVII, And XVIII, and And XIX, And XXI.

  16. The Physics of White Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1979-01-01

    Describes the current understanding of the structure and evolution of the white dwarf stars that was gained as a result of the increasingly sensitive and detailed astronomical observations coupled with calculations of the properties of matter under extreme conditions. (Author/GA)

  17. Irregular Dwarf Galaxy IC 1613

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    Ultraviolet image (left) and visual image (right) of the irregular dwarf galaxy IC 1613. Low surface brightness galaxies, such as IC 1613, are more easily detected in the ultraviolet because of the low background levels compared to visual wavelengths.

  18. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith; Montgomery, Michael H.; Bischoff-Kim, Agnes; Shipman, Harry; Nitta, Atsuko; Whole Earth Telescope Collaboration

    2015-08-01

    The overwhelming majority of all stars currently on the main sequence as well as those from earlier generations will or have ended their stellar lives as white dwarf stars. White dwarfs are rich forensic laboratories linking the history and future evolution of our Galaxy. Their structure and atmospheric composition provide evidence of how the progenitors lived, how they evolved, and how they died. This information reveals details of processes governing the behavior of contemporary main sequence stars. Combined with their distribution in luminosity/temperature, white dwarfs strongly constrain models of galactic and cosmological evolution.GD358 is among the brightest (mv =13.7) and best studied of the pulsating white dwarfs. This helium atmoshere pulsator (DBV) has an extensive photometric database spanning 30 years, including nine multisite Whole Earth Telescope campaigns. GD358 exhibits a range of behaviors, from drastic changes in excited pulsation modes to variable multiplet splittings. We use GD358 as a template for an examination of the DBV class, combining photometric results with recent COS spectroscopy. The results present new questions concerning DB formation and evolution.

  19. White Dwarfs in Intermediate Polars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belle, Kunegunda E.; Sion, E. M.

    2009-01-01

    Intermediate polars (IPs), magnetic cataclysmic variables (CVs) in which the white dwarf (WD) has an intermediate strength magnetic field (B< 5 MG), present an interesting laboratory for the study of the evolution of CVs as they contain elements of both non-magnetic and magnetic systems. Do magnetic CVs and IPs evolve in the same manner as non-magnetic systems? One answer in this puzzle may come from understanding the nature of the white dwarf in a magnetic CV. Standard CV evolution theory predicts a white dwarf temperature for a given CV orbital period and accretion rate. By investigating the temperature of white dwarfs in IPs and comparing the temperatures to those predicted from theory, we can learn where IPs fit into the model of CV evolution. Here we present the results of our continued study of the nature of WDs in IPs. We compare temperatures derived from model fits to UV spectra with temperatures calculated based on the accretion rate and binary orbital period. Our preliminary results indicate that IPs follow the general trend of magnetic CVs containing cooler WDs than non-magnetic CVs.

  20. Arid oil-field restoration: native perennial grasses suppress weeds and erosion, but also suppress native shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Long-lived, drought-tolerant shrubs are dominant components of many arid ecosystems, and shrubs provide multiple ecosystem services (e.g., soil stabilization, herbaceous plant facilitation, carbon storage and wildlife habitat). On denuded sites, shrub restoration is hindered by abiotic (erosion ...

  1. Protection from livestock fails to deter shrub proliferation in a desert landscape with a history of heavy grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desertification is often characterized by the replacement of mesophytic grasses with xerophytic shrubs. Livestock grazing is considered a key driver of shrub encroachment, although most evidence is anecdotal or confounded by other factors. Mapping of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) shrubs in and...

  2. Effects of experimental hypogravity on peroxidase and cell wall constituents in the dwarf marigold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S.; Speitel, T.; Shiraki, D.; Fukumoto, J.

    1977-01-01

    Dwarf marigolds grown from seed under experimental hypogravity are modified in lignin content, hemicellulose composition and peroxidase activity. The two conditions used, clinostats and flotation, induced changes differing in magnitude but qualitatively similar. Most responses on clinostats required correction for vertical axis rotational effects, thus limiting the value of these instruments in free-fall simulation. These findings extend earlier observations suggesting that increased peroxidase and decreased lignin are characteristic of growth under experimental hypogravity.

  3. Effects of experimental hypogravity on peroxidase and cell wall constituents in the dwarf marigold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S.; Speitel, T.; Shiraki, D.; Fukumoto, J.

    1978-01-01

    Dwarf Marigolds grown from seed under experimental hypogravity are modified in lignin content, hemicellulose composition, and peroxidase activity. The two conditions used, clinostats and flotation, induced changes differing in magnitude but qualitatively similar. Most responses on clinostats required corrections for vertical axis rotational effects, thus limiting the value of these instruments in free-fall simulation. These findings extend earlier observations suggesting that increased peroxidase and decreased lignin are characteristic of growth under experimental hypogravity.

  4. THREE NEW ECLIPSING WHITE-DWARF-M-DWARF BINARIES DISCOVERED IN A SEARCH FOR TRANSITING PLANETS AROUND M-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Nugent, Peter; and others

    2012-10-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf/M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8 Multiplication-Sign faster than similar algorithms implemented on general purpose systems. For the discovered systems, we decompose low-resolution spectra of the systems into white-dwarf and M-dwarf components, and use radial velocity measurements and cooling models to estimate masses and radii for the white dwarfs. The systems are compact, with periods between 0.35 and 0.45 days and semimajor axes of approximately 2 R{sub Sun} (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M{sub Sun }, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M{sub Sun }. We use the Robo-AO laser guide star adaptive optics system to tentatively identify one of the objects as a triple system. We also use high-cadence photometry to put an upper limit on the white-dwarf radius of 0.025 R{sub Sun} (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%{sub -0.05%}{sup +0.10%} (90% confidence) of M-dwarfs are in these short-period, post-common-envelope white-dwarf/M-dwarf binaries where the optical light is dominated by the M-dwarf. The lack of detections at shorter periods, despite near-100% detection efficiency for such systems, suggests that binaries including these relatively low-temperature white dwarfs are preferentially found at

  5. Faint dwarfs in nearby groups

    SciTech Connect

    Speller, Ryan; Taylor, James E. E-mail: taylor@uwaterloo.ca

    2014-06-20

    The number and distribution of dwarf satellite galaxies remain a critical test of cold dark matter-dominated structure formation on small scales. Until recently, observational information about galaxy formation on these scales has been limited mainly to the Local Group. We have searched for faint analogues of Local Group dwarfs around nearby bright galaxies, using a spatial clustering analysis of the photometric catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 8. Several other recent searches of SDSS have detected clustered satellite populations down to Δm{sub r} ≡ (m{sub r,} {sub sat} – m{sub r,} {sub main}) ∼ 6-8, using photometric redshifts to reduce background contamination. SDSS photometric redshifts are relatively imprecise, however, for faint and nearby galaxies. Instead, we use angular size to select potential nearby dwarfs and consider only the nearest isolated bright galaxies as primaries. As a result, we are able to detect an excess clustering signal from companions down to Δm{sub r} = 12, 4 mag fainter than most recent studies. We detect an overdensity of objects at separations <400 kpc, corresponding to about 4.6 ± 0.5 satellites per central galaxy, consistent with the satellite abundance expected from the Local Group, given our selection function. Although the sample of satellites detected is incomplete by construction, since it excludes the least and most compact dwarfs, this detection provides a lower bound on the average satellite luminosity function, down to luminosities corresponding to the faintest ''classical'' dwarfs of the Local Group.

  6. Tyramine accumulation in rice cells caused a dwarf phenotype via reduced cell division.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young Soon; Park, Sangkyu; Kang, Kiyoon; Lee, Kyungjin; Back, Kyoungwhan

    2011-02-01

    Transgenic rice plants overexpressing a rice tyrosine decarboxylase (TyDC) exhibited a dwarf phenotype with a high level of tyramine accumulation. The height of transgenic rice was reduced on average to 35% of the wild-type height, whereas the number of tillers increased to 190% that of wild type. When judged by cellular distribution of tyramine and tyramine derivatives, the level of tyramine in soluble and insoluble fractions was higher than that of tyramine derivatives such as 4-coumaroyltyramine (CT) in the transgenic rice plants, suggesting that tyramine rather than its derivatives was a causative compound triggering the dwarf phenotype. Microscopic observation revealed that cell size in the transgenic lines was maintained, with a slightly irregular arrangement in the leaf mesophyll cells. When wild-type rice seeds were grown in the presence of tyramine, rice seedlings also showed stunted phenotypes in a dose-dependent manner. When these stunted seedlings were employed to measure the degree of cellular proliferation by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, only small numbers of cells were found to retain labeled nuclei in shoot tips compared with the untreated control. These results show that the dwarf phenotype associated with tyramine accumulation in transgenic rice plants is attributable to a reduction in cell number rather than cell size. In addition, our dwarf phenotype caused by tyramine was not closely associated with known dwarf genes such as D88. PMID:20978800

  7. AIRSAR studies of woody shrub density in semiarid rangeland: Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Musick, H.B.; Schaber, G.S.; Breed, C.S.

    1998-01-01

    This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists primarily of varied mixtures of herbaceous vegetation and shrubs. AIRSAR data and field observations of vegetation cover and growth form-composition were obtained for 59 sites in the Jornada del Muerto plain in southern New Mexico. Radar signature measures examined were C-, L- and P-band backscattering coefficients (??0) for HH, HV and W polarizations, ratios of ??0HH and ??0HV to ??0VV, and the HH-VV polarization phase difference and correlation coefficient. The most effective measure for estimation of shrub density was L-band ??0HV, which distinguished among shrub density classes with no misclassification. Sensitivity of this measure to small amounts of shrub cover was indicated by successful separation of sites with <1% shrub cover from sites with 1-5% cover. Separability of shrub density classes was generally least for C-band signature measures. A distinctive radar signature was exhibited by dense stands of Yucca elata, a semitreelike plant with uniformly thick ???10 cm diameter) fibrous stems. Yucca sites were distinguished from others by their high P-band ??0HV relative to L-band ??0HV. The results are largely explained by the greater sensitivity of lounger wavelengths to larger canopy structural elements. L-band ??0HV and other measures responsive to canopy volume scattering were more strongly related to shrub than to herbaceous plant cover because woody shrub canopies have numerous stems of the intermediate size to which L-band is most sensitive, whereas stems of this size are mostly lacking in herbaceous canopies. The uniform-diameter stems of yucca have larger dimensions to which P-band is more sensitive than L-band.This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists

  8. [Spatial distribution of aboveground biomass of shrubs in Tianlaochi catchment of the Qilian Mountains].

    PubMed

    Liang, Bei; Di, Li; Zhao, Chuan-Yan; Peng, Shou-Zhang; Peng, Huan-Hua; Wang, Chao

    2014-02-01

    This study estimated the spatial distribution of the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the Tianlaochi catchment of Qilian Mountains based on the field survey and remote sensing data. A relationship model of the aboveground biomass and its feasibly measured factors (i. e. , canopy perimeter and plant height) was built. The land use was classified by object-oriented technique with the high resolution image (GeoEye-1) of the study area, and the distribution of shrub coverage was extracted. Then the total aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was estimated by the relationship model with the distribution of shrub coverage. The results showed that the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was 1.8 x 10(3) t and the aboveground biomass per unit area was 1598.45 kg x m(-2). The distribution of shrubs mainly was at altitudes of 3000-3700 m, and the aboveground biomass of shrubs on the sunny slope (1.15 x 10(3) t) was higher than that on the shady slope (0.65 x 10(3) t). PMID:24830234

  9. Stemflow and its significant to the fertilizer islands in desert shrub area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinping; Wang, Zhengning; Pan, Yanxia; Zhang, Yafeng

    2010-05-01

    Stemflow is a spatially localized point input of precipitation and fine particles of airborne dust from vegetation canopy at the plant stem and is of hydrological and ecological significance in desert shrub ecosystems, where precipitation is the sole source of water replenishment to sustaining the desert ecosystem. In the present study, stemflow production and the fine particles associated with the stemflow of the two main xerophytic shrubs was quantified by aluminum foil collar method at the desert shrub area of Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The results indicated that stemflow yield and the thresholds for stemflow occurrence varied within shrub species. The relationship between funnelling ratios and gross precipitation indicated that a certain value of precipitation was required for the shrubs. There was a large variability of funnelling ratio for the rainfall events with intensity of less than 4 mm h-1, and the variability tended to decease when rainfall intensity was greater than 4 mm h-1. Significant positive linear relationships were found between stemflow production and precipitation for the shrubs, statistical analysis showed that stemflow and fine particle yield varies as a function of meteorological conditions, canopy size and structure. An accurate modeling of stemflow water and nutrient inputs into desert soils may result in the understanding of the formation mechanism of fertilizer islands. Keywords: Desert ecosystem; Hydrology; Stemflow; Xerophytic shrub

  10. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  11. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  12. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  13. Ingestion and dispersal: direct and indirect effects of frugivores on seed viability and germination of Corema album (Empetraceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calviño-Cancela, María

    2004-07-01

    The effect of gulls, blackbirds and rabbits on the viability and germination of Corema album seeds are compared. Frugivores can affect seed viability and germination (1) directly, through the effect of ingestion and (2) indirectly, dispersing seeds to different sites with different conditions. These two major factors in the quality of a seed disperser are not necessarily concordant in direction and magnitude. Gulls and blackbirds have similar direct effects, being much better than those of rabbits, due to the low probability of germination of seeds within rabbit pellets. Seed germination occurs mainly in the open ground, particularly in the sparse scrub, and is very low under vegetation cover. This pattern becomes crucial determining the indirect effects of seed dispersers that will depend on their capacity to carry seeds to the most suitable sites for germination. Gulls and rabbits disperse most of seeds to open ground, exerting a positive indirect effect on germination, whereas blackbirds disperse seeds mainly under shrubs, thus exerting a negative indirect effect. Direct and indirect effects on seed germination are concordant for gulls but discordant for blackbirds and rabbits. Gulls were the best dispersers; the overall probability of germination for a seed dispersed by gulls was 17.59%. The quality of blackbirds and rabbits was relatively low (3.49% and 1.17%, respectively). Frugivores seem to be essential for germination of C. album seeds, not as much for their direct effects but for their ability to carry seeds to suitable sites.

  14. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  15. Animal disturbances promote shrub maintenance in a desertified grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil disturbance by animals affects the availability of water, nutrients, sediment and seeds, which are critical for the maintenance of functional ecosystems. We examined long-lived faunal structures across six vegetation communities in the northern Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico, USA, testing the ...

  16. Range expansion of moose in arctic Alaska linked to warming and increased shrub habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.; Reuss, Roger W.; Adams, Layne G.; Clark, Jason A.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  17. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends tundra peak season and increases modeled net CO2 uptake.

    PubMed

    Sweet, Shannan K; Griffin, Kevin L; Steltzer, Heidi; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-06-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer overall growing and peak seasons since the 1980s, which increases productivity and the period of carbon uptake. These trends are attributed to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration in spring and fall. Concurrently, deciduous shrubs are becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) during the growing and peak seasons in the arctic foothills region of Alaska. We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology throughout the growing season using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We used a tundra plant-community-specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the green season and a tundra-specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in both leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of peak greenness 13 days earlier and the onset of senescence 3 days earlier compared to evergreen/graminoid canopies, resulting in a 10-day extension of the peak season. The combined effect of the longer peak season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies almost tripled the modeled net carbon uptake of deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities, while the longer peak season alone resulted in 84% greater carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities. These results suggest that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf area, but also due to an extension of the period of peak greenness, which extends the period of maximum carbon uptake. PMID:25556338

  18. RESOLVED SPECTROSCOPY OF A BROWN DWARF BINARY AT THE T DWARF/Y DWARF TRANSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Michael C.

    2012-01-20

    We report resolved near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations of the T8.5 binary WISEP J045853.90+643452.6AB obtained with Keck/NIRC2, Keck/OSIRIS, and the Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system. These data confirm common proper and radial motion for the two components, and we see the first indications of orbital motion (mostly radial) for this system. H-band spectroscopy identifies both components as very late type brown dwarfs with strong H{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} absorption. The spectrum of WISE J0458+6434B also exhibits a compelling signature of NH{sub 3} absorption over 1.52-1.54 {mu}m when compared to the T9 dwarf UGPS J072227.51-054031.2. Comparison to T8-Y0 spectral standards and H-band spectral indices indicate classifications of T8.5 and T9.5 for these two components, approaching the boundary between the T dwarf and Y dwarf spectral classes.

  19. Browse evaluation of tall shrubs based on direct measurement of a management objective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keigley, R.B.; Frisina, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    The monitoring of Geyer willow was based on the following management objective: Browsing will prevent fewer than 50 percent of Geyer willow shrubs from growing taller than 3 m . Three questions were addressed: (1) Is browsing a potential factor? (2) If so, can young plants grow taller than 3 meters? (3) If not, is browsing the dominant factor? All shrubs were intensely browsed. With a post-browsing growth rate of 5.0 cm per yr, no shrub could grow 3 m tall. Analyses of stem growth rate excluded dominant roles for climate and plant vigor. Browsing and stem age were the dominant factors that limited growth to 3 m tall.

  20. Quantitative Parameters and Ecological Implications of a Specialized Tritrophic Interaction Involving a Seed-Feeding Tortricid, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, a Braconid Parasitoid, Bracon otiosus, and the Wild Privet, Ligustrum vulgare

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Ángel; Falcó, José Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about tritrophic interactions involving seed-feeding insects, parasitoid wasps, and wild fleshy fruits. Here, we examine relationships between Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (F.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), Bracon otiosus Marshall (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare L. (Lamiales: Oleaceae), after collecting fruits in a hedgerow habitat in northwest Spain and rearing insects indoors. No other insect species was detected in this trophic system. Each fruit contained one to four seeds, each infested fruit contained only one seedfeeding tortricid caterpillar, and each parasitized caterpillar was affected by a single braconid individual, i.e., B. otiosus was a solitary parasitoid. Almost half of the wild privet shrubs were infested by P. conwagana, and infestation ranged from 2 to 32% of fruits per infested shrub. The general effect of P.conwagana on wild privet dispersal can be considered low, as the overall rate of seed infestation was low (6% of seeds). The infestation rate was higher in wild privet shrubs with a larger number of seeds per fruit, and tortricid caterpillars that left the fruits successfully ate >80% of seeds. In total, the parasitism rate was moderate (25% of caterpillars), but varied considerably (0–75%) among shrubs where P. conwagana infestation was detected. Parasitism only occurred in shrubs showing high infestation rates (19–32% infested fruits), i.e., with high host densities; however, the parasitism rate was densityindependent in these shrubs. The wild privets benefited from the action of B. otiosus in two ways: the tortricid caterpillar population was partly eliminated, and the caterpillars were prevented from eating more than one seed per fruit. The B. otiosus sex ratio was very balanced (1 male to 1.18 females). Winter diapause and protandry were prevalent in B. otiosus. PMID:25368072

  1. Seed Treatment. Bulletin 760.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowery, Harvey C.

    This manual gives a definition of seed treatment, the types of seeds normally treated, diseases and insects commonly associated with seeds, fungicides and insecticides used, types of equipment used for seed treatment, and information on labeling and coloring of treated seed, pesticide carriers, binders, stickers, and safety precautions. (BB)

  2. Seed Size, Fecundity and Postfire Regeneration Strategy Are Interdependent in Hakea

    PubMed Central

    El-ahmir, Sh-hoob Mohamed; Lim, Sim Lin; Lamont, Byron B.; He, Tianhua

    2015-01-01

    Seed size is a key functional trait that affects plant fitness at the seedling stage and may vary greatly with species fruit size, growth form and fecundity. Using structural equation modelling (SEM) and correlated trait evolution analysis, we investigated the interaction network between seed size and fecundity, postfire regeneration strategy, fruit size, plant height and serotiny (on-plant seed storage) among 82 species of the woody shrub genus, Hakea, with a wide spectrum of seed sizes (2–500 mg). Seed size is negatively correlated with fecundity, while fire-killed species (nonsprouters) produce more seeds than resprouters though they are of similar size. Seed size is unrelated to plant height and level of serotiny while it scales allometrically with fruit size. A strong phylogenetic signal in seed size revealed phylogenetic constraints on seed size variation in Hakea. Our analyses suggest a causal relationship between seed size, fecundity and postfire regeneration strategy in Hakea. These results demonstrate that fruit size, fecundity and evolutionary history have had most control over seed size variation among Hakea species. PMID:26035821

  3. The Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.

    2008-10-01

    We present a summary of what is currently known about the three distinct families of isolated pulsating white dwarfs. These are the GW Vir stars (He/C/O-atmosphere stars with Teff sime 120,000 K), the V777 Her stars (He-atmosphere, Teff sime 25,000 K), and the ZZ Ceti stars (H-atmosphere, Teff sime 12,000 K), all showing multiperiodic luminosity variations caused by low-order and low-degree g-mode instabilities. We also provide, in an Appendix, a very brief overview of the newly found evidence in favor of the existence of a fourth category of oscillating white dwarfs bearing strong similarities with these families of pulsators. We begin our survey with a short historical introduction, followed by a general discussion of pulsating white dwarfs as compact pulsators. We then discuss the class properties of these objects, including an updated census. We next focus on the instability domains for each family of pulsators in the log g - Teff diagram, and present their time-averaged properties in more detail. This is followed by a section on excitation physics, i.e., the causes of the pulsational instabilities, with emphasis on the common properties of the different types of pulsator. We then discuss the time-dependent properties of the pulsating white dwarfs featuring, among other things, a brief "picture tour" across the ZZ Ceti instability strip. We next review the methods used to infer or constrain the angular geometry of a pulsation mode in a white dwarf. These include multicolor photometry and time-resolved spectroscopy, the exploitation of the nonlinear features in the observed light curves, and rotational splitting. We also consider basic adiabatic asteroseismology starting with a discussion of the reaction of the period spectrum to variations of model parameters. We next review the various asteroseismological inferences that have so far been claimed for white dwarfs. We also discuss the potential of exploiting the rates of period change. We finally provide some

  4. A Search for Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark R.; Henry, Todd J.; Subasavage, John P.

    2011-08-01

    We propose to observe 59 objects suspected to be red dwarf-white dwarf (RD-WD) binaries with separations < 3 arcsec using the CTIO 1.0m. Our goals are to use images of these objects to both resolve the systems and to obtain accurate BVRI photometry. The systems have been selected based on positions in three different color-color plots using SuperCOSMOS BRI plate photometry and 2MASS JHK photometry in accordance with the positions of known RD-WD binaries. This effort will identify candidates for detailed observations as part of the RECONS astrometric program on the CTIO 0.9m to yield accurate parallaxes and photocentric orbits. The parallaxes will then be used to determine the ages of the systems from WD cooling curves, and the orbits will eventually be used to measure dynamical masses. Ultimately, we aim to increase significantly the number of dynamical masses for white dwarfs because currently only three have been determined to 5% accuracy. The first observational step outlined here will allow us to identify appropriate systems for long-term work. This 1.0m project is likely to become the undergraduate senior thesis work of the PI.

  5. Firewood crops: shrub and tree species for energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    In the face of global concern over the dwindling supply of fuelwood, the rate of forest decimation to provide basic human necessities in developing countries is alarming. We must look upon woody plants as renewable resources that, if effectively managed, could alleviate the problem not only for the present,but for posterity. This report suggests potential significant fuelwood species for introduction to suitable environments, although it does not suggest a solution for the fuelwood crisis. The emphasis is on species suitable for individual crops, but species suited to plantation cultivation for fueling small industrial factories, electric generators, and crop driers are also considered. Most of the plants are little known in traditional forest production. Some are woody shrubs rather than trees, but all are aggressive and quick growing. They should be introduced with care in areas where the climate and soil conditions are not harsh. The substitution of well-designed stoves, kilns, or boilers could improve fuel efficiency. Each species is illustrated with photographs and diagrams. (Refs. 420).

  6. Mutual positive effects between shrubs in an arid ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Tirado, Reyes; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2015-01-01

    One-way facilitation in plants has been found in many harsh environments and their role as structural forces governing species composition in plant communities is now well established. However, reciprocal positive effects benefiting two interacting species have seldom been reported and, in recent reviews, conceptually considered merely as facilitation when in fact there is room for adaptive strategies and evolutionary responses. We tested the existence of such reciprocal positive effects in an arid environment in SE Spain using spatial pattern analysis, a species removal experiment, and a natural experiment. We found that the spatial association between Maytenus senegalensis and Whitania frutescens, two shrub species of roughly similar size intimately interacting in our community, resulted in mutual benefit for both species. Benefits included improved water relations and nutritional status and protection against browsing, and did occur despite simultaneous competition for resources. Our data suggest two-way facilitation or, rather, a facultative mutualism among higher plant species, a process often overlooked which could be a main driver of plant community dynamics allowing for evolutionary processes. PMID:26419958

  7. Vegetation trends in a 31-year-old ponderosa pine plantation: Effect of different shrub densities. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, P.M.; Abbott, C.S.

    1997-04-01

    On a poor site in northern California, a brushfield community was treated in various ways which left initial densities of no shrubs, light, medium, and heavy shrubs. Density and development (height, foliar cover, crown volume) for three shrub species (alone and combined), one grass, and planted ponderosa pine in these categories were quantified from 1966 to 1992. Successional trends (ascendance and decline) are presented for these species and for forbs from 1962 (the date pines were planted) through 1992. Regression equations that model density and development are presented for the shrubs and pine. In general, greenleaf manzanita prospered during the study; snowbrush initially developed well, but then declined; Sierra plum endured, but was relegated to the understory; needlegrass invaded rapdily, peaked early, and was mostly gone by the end of the study. Only a trace of forb species remained by study end. Needlegrass displayed strong environmental preference, becoming dense and developing well in shrub-free areas, but was scarcely present in heavy shrubs. Ponderosa pine grew well in no-shrub plots, farily well in light-shrub plots, and poorly in medium- and heavy-shrub plots. Extensive testing showed that shrub foliar cover and crown volume per acre explained more variation in several pine parameters than shrub height or density.

  8. Seed bank survival of an invasive species, but not of two native species, declines with invasion.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Christopher, Cory C; Dutra, Humberto P

    2012-04-01

    Soil-borne seed pathogens may play an important role in either hindering or facilitating the spread of invasive exotic plants. We examined whether the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii (Caprifoliaceae) affected fungi-mediated mortality of conspecific and native shrub seeds in a deciduous forest in eastern Missouri. Using a combination of L. maackii removal and fungicide treatments, we found no effect of L. maackii invasion on seed viability of the native Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Caprifoliaceae) or Cornus drummondii (Cornaceae). In contrast, fungi were significant agents of L. maackii seed mortality in invaded habitats. Losses of L. maackii to soil fungi were also significant in invaded habitats where L. maackii had been removed, although the magnitude of the effect of fungi was lower, suggesting that changes in soil chemistry or microhabitat caused by L. maackii were responsible for affecting fungal seed pathogens. Our work suggests that apparent competition via soil pathogens is not an important factor contributing to impacts of L. maackii on native shrubs. Rather, we found that fungal seed pathogens have density-dependent effects on L. maackii seed survival. Therefore, while fungal pathogens may provide little biotic resistance to early invasion by L. maackii, our study illustrates that more work is needed to understand how changes in fungal pathogens during the course of an invasion contribute to the potential for restoration of invaded systems. More generally, our study suggests that increased rates of fungal pathogen attack may be realized by invasive plants, such as L. maackii, that change the chemical or physical environment of the habitats they invade. PMID:22006283

  9. Mass Modelling of dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimentowski, Jarosław; Łokas, Ewa L.; Kazantzidis, Stelios; Prada, Francisco; Mayer, Lucio; Mamon, Gary A.

    2008-05-01

    We study the origin and properties of unbound stars in the kinematic samples of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. For this purpose we have run a high resolution N-body simulation of a two-component dwarf galaxy orbiting in a Milky Way potential. We create mock kinematic data sets by observing the dwarf in different directions. When the dwarf is observed along the tidal tails the kinematic samples are strongly contaminated by unbound stars from the tails. However, most of the unbound stars can be removed by the method of interloper rejection proposed by den Hartog & Katgert. We model the velocity dispersion profiles of the cleaned-up kinematic samples using solutions of the Jeans equation. We show that even for such a strongly stripped dwarf the Jeans analysis, when applied to cleaned samples, allows us to reproduce the mass and mass-to-light ratio of the dwarf with accuracy typically better than 25%.

  10. [The study of M dwarf spectral classification].

    PubMed

    Yi, Zhen-Ping; Pan, Jing-Chang; Luo, A-Li

    2013-08-01

    As the most common stars in the galaxy, M dwarfs can be used to trace the structure and evolution of the Milky Way. Besides, investigating M dwarfs is important for searching for habitability of extrasolar planets orbiting M dwarfs. Spectral classification of M dwarfs is a fundamental work. The authors used DR7 M dwarf sample of SLOAN to extract important features from the range of 600-900 nm by random forest method. Compared to the features used in Hammer Code, the authors added three new indices. Our test showed that the improved Hammer with new indices is more accurate. Our method has been applied to classify M dwarf spectra of LAMOST. PMID:24159887

  11. The physics of white dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isern, Jordi; García-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarida; Mochkovitch, Robert

    1998-12-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for 0953-8984/10/49/015/img6 and allows one to obtain information about the age of the Galaxy as well as about the past stellar formation rate in the solar neighbourhood. Therefore, it is important to identify all of the relevant sources of energy as well as the mechanisms that control its flow to the space. We show in this paper that the inclusion of a detailed treatment of phase transitions in Coulomb plasmas made up of a mixture of different chemical species is crucial, since their redistribution can keep the white dwarf warm for 0.5 to 9 Ga depending on the chemical composition and physical assumptions adopted.

  12. What Are Chia Seeds?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Men For Women For Seniors What Are Chia Seeds? Published February 05, 2014 Print Email When you ... number of research participants. How to Eat Chia Seeds Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared ...

  13. Hydraulic integration and shrub growth form linked across continental aridity gradients

    PubMed Central

    Schenk, H. Jochen; Espino, Susana; Goedhart, Christine M.; Nordenstahl, Marisa; Cabrera, Hugo I. Martinez; Jones, Cynthia S.

    2008-01-01

    Both engineered hydraulic systems and plant hydraulic systems are protected against failure by resistance, reparability, and redundancy. A basic rule of reliability engineering is that the level of independent redundancy should increase with increasing risk of fatal system failure. Here we show that hydraulic systems of plants function as predicted by this engineering rule. Hydraulic systems of shrubs sampled along two transcontinental aridity gradients changed with increasing aridity from highly integrated to independently redundant modular designs. Shrubs in humid environments tend to be hydraulically integrated, with single, round basal stems, whereas dryland shrubs typically have modular hydraulic systems and multiple, segmented basal stems. Modularity is achieved anatomically at the vessel-network scale or developmentally at the whole-plant scale through asymmetric secondary growth, which results in a semiclonal or clonal shrub growth form that appears to be ubiquitous in global deserts. PMID:18678893

  14. Hydraulic integration and shrub growth form linked across continental aridity gradients.

    PubMed

    Schenk, H Jochen; Espino, Susana; Goedhart, Christine M; Nordenstahl, Marisa; Cabrera, Hugo I Martinez; Jones, Cynthia S

    2008-08-12

    Both engineered hydraulic systems and plant hydraulic systems are protected against failure by resistance, reparability, and redundancy. A basic rule of reliability engineering is that the level of independent redundancy should increase with increasing risk of fatal system failure. Here we show that hydraulic systems of plants function as predicted by this engineering rule. Hydraulic systems of shrubs sampled along two transcontinental aridity gradients changed with increasing aridity from highly integrated to independently redundant modular designs. Shrubs in humid environments tend to be hydraulically integrated, with single, round basal stems, whereas dryland shrubs typically have modular hydraulic systems and multiple, segmented basal stems. Modularity is achieved anatomically at the vessel-network scale or developmentally at the whole-plant scale through asymmetric secondary growth, which results in a semiclonal or clonal shrub growth form that appears to be ubiquitous in global deserts. PMID:18678893

  15. Abundances in dwarf irregular galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, Reginald J.

    1986-01-01

    The results of abundance studies of dwarf irregular galaxies and similar objects are reviewed with special attention to variations in the CNO element group. Observations of the forbidden N II and semiforbidden C III lines in the most metal-poor galaxy known, IZw 18, are presented for the first time and CNO abundances are derived via a photoionization model and discussed in the context of the abundances found in other metal-poor H II regions and galaxies.

  16. AST3: dwarf nova outbursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Bin; Hu, Yi; Shang, Zhaohui; Wang, Lifan

    2016-05-01

    AST3#2 OT J024453.11-580940.1 discovery - new dwarf nova outburst with ampl > 5.8 The 2nd Antarctic Survey Telescope (AST3#2) discovered OT source at (RA, Dec) = 02:44:53.11 -58:09:40.1 on 2016-05-06.071 UT with Sloan-g magnitude of 15.5m (limit 18.6m).

  17. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies and resonant orbital coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhn, J. R.; Miller, R. H.

    1989-01-01

    The structural properties of the dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies of the Milky Way may be strongly affected by their time-dependent interactions with the 'tidal' field of the Milky Way. A low Q resonance of the tidal driving force with collective oscillation modes of the dwarf system can produce many of the observed properties of the Local Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies, including large velocity dispersions that would normally be interpreted as indicating large dynamical masses.

  18. Variations in the Sensitivity of Shrub Growth to Climate Change along Arctic Environmental and Biotic Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, P. S. A.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Elmendorf, S.; Georges, D.

    2015-12-01

    Despite evidence of rapid shrub expansion at many Arctic sites and the profound effects this has on ecosystem structure, biogeochemical cycling, and land-atmosphere feedbacks in the Arctic, the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. The compilation of 41,576 annual shrub growth measurements made around the Arctic, allowed for the first systematic evaluation of the climate sensitivity of Arctic shrub growth, i.e. the strength of the relationship between annual shrub growth and monthly climate variables. The growth measurements were taken on 1821 plants of 25 species at 37 arctic and alpine sites, either as annual ring widths or as stem increments. We evaluated climate sensitivity of shrub growth for each genus-by-site combination in this data set based on the performance and parameters of linear mixed models that used CRU TS3.21 climate data as predictors of shrub growth between 1950 and 2010. 76% of genus-by-site combinations showed climate sensitive growth, but climate-growth relationships varied with soil moisture, species canopy height, and geographic position within the species ranges. Shrubs growing at sites with more soil moisture showed greater climate sensitivity, suggesting that water availability might limit shrub growth if continued warming isn't matched by a steady increase in soil moisture. Tall shrub species growing at their northern range limit were particularly climate sensitive causing climate sensitivity of shrubs to peak at the transition between Low and High Arctic, where carbon storage in permafrost is greatest. Local and regional studies have documented matching spatial and temporal patterns in dendrochronological measurements and satellite observations of vegetation indices both in boreal and Arctic regions. Yet the circumarctic comparison of patterns in dendrochronological and remote sensing data sets yielded poor levels of agreement. In much of the Arctic, steep environmental gradients generate fine spatial patterns of vegetation

  19. Characterizing Accreting White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the population, mass distribution, and evolution of accreting white dwarfs impacts the entire realm of binary interaction, including the creation of Type Ia supernovae. We are concentrating on accreting white dwarf pulsators, as the pulsation properties allow us a view of how the accretion affects the interior of the star. Our ground- based photometry on 11 accreting pulsators with corresponding temperatures from HST UV spectra suggest a broad instability strip in the range of 10500 to 16000K. Additionally, tracking a post-outburst heated white dwarf as it cools and crosses the blue edge and resumes pulsation provides an independent method to locate the empirical instability strip. Determining a post-outburst cooling curve yields an estimate of the amount of heating and the accreted mass during the outburst. We request additional photometry of 2 objects that present unique properties: GW Lib which has not yet returned to its pre-outburst pulsation spectrum after 6 yrs, and EQ Lyn which returned to its pre- outburst pulsation after 3 yrs but is now turning on and off without ongoing outbursts. Following the pulsation spectrum changes over stretches of several nights in a row will provide specific knowledge of the stability of the observed modes.

  20. Uncovering Blue Diffuse Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-01-01

    Extremely metal-poor galaxies (XMPs) and the star-formation within their chemically pristine environments are fundamental to our understanding of the galaxy formation process at early times. However, traditional emission-line surveys detect only the brightest metal-poor galaxies where star-formation occurs in compact, starbursting environments, and thereby give us only a partial view of the dwarf galaxy population. To avoid such biases, we have developed a new search algorithm based on the morphological, rather then spectral, properties of XMPs and have applied to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database of images. Using this novel approach, we have discovered ~100 previously undetected, faint blue galaxies, each with isolated HII regions embedded in a diffuse continuum. In this talk I will present the first results from follow-up optical spectroscopy of this sample, which reveals these blue diffuse dwarfs (BDDs) to be young, very metal-poor and actively forming stars despite their intrinsically low luminosities. I will present evidence showing that BDDs appear to bridge the gap between quiescent dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies and blue compact galaxies (BCDs) and as such offer an ideal opportunity to assess how star-formation occurs in more `normal' metal-poor systems.

  1. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  2. Native shrub reestablishment in exotic annual grasslands: do ecosystem processes recover?

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

    The impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystem processes are well established, motivating numerous efforts to facilitate native-species recovery. Nonetheless, how the return of native species influences ecosystem processes and how these changes feed back to influence the recovery process are poorly understood. We examined these questions in exotic annual grasslands on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA, where the removal of nonnative herbivores has led to the recovery of the native shrubs Artemisia californica and Eriogonum arborescens. To examine the influence of shrub colonization on nutrient cycling, and the mechanisms by which these changes arise, we measured available nitrogen and phosphorus, and quantified nitrogen mineralization and litterfall rates under shrubs and grasses in the field and in experimental monoculture plots. Both native shrubs altered nitrogen cycling as they colonized the grassland, but they did so in opposite directions. Eriogonum depressed nitrogen pools and mineralization rates via large inputs of nitrogen-poor litter. In contrast Artemisia increased nitrogen and phosphorus pools and nitrogen mineralization rates. Last, to determine if shrub effects on soils favor shrubs or grasses, we conducted a nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization experiment in the field. Only the exotic grass was significantly limited by nitrogen. Thus the depressed nitrogen availability associated with Eriogonum colonization is more harmful to exotic grasses than to the native shrub. By contrast, the elevated nitrogen associated with recovering Artemisia favors grasses over the shrub, possibly hindering recovery of the native. Mechanistic studies of the ecosystem ,impacts of native-plant recovery are useful for managers wishing to predict which native species return ecosystem function, and whether such changes feed back to influence native recovery. PMID:20437958

  3. How Spatial Heterogeneity of Cover Affects Patterns of Shrub Encroachment into Mesic Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Montané, Francesc; Casals, Pere; Dale, Mark R. T.

    2011-01-01

    We used a multi-method approach to analyze the spatial patterns of shrubs and cover types (plant species, litter or bare soil) in grassland-shrubland ecotones. This approach allows us to assess how fine-scale spatial heterogeneity of cover types affects the patterns of Cytisus balansae shrub encroachment into mesic mountain grasslands (Catalan Pyrenees, Spain). Spatial patterns and the spatial associations between juvenile shrubs and different cover types were assessed in mesic grasslands dominated by species with different palatabilities (palatable grass Festuca nigrescens and unpalatable grass Festuca eskia). A new index, called RISES (“Relative Index of Shrub Encroachment Susceptibility”), was proposed to calculate the chances of shrub encroachment into a given grassland, combining the magnitude of the spatial associations and the surface area for each cover type. Overall, juveniles showed positive associations with palatable F. nigrescens and negative associations with unpalatable F. eskia, although these associations shifted with shrub development stage. In F. eskia grasslands, bare soil showed a low scale of pattern and positive associations with juveniles. Although the highest RISES values were found in F. nigrescens plots, the number of juvenile Cytisus was similar in both types of grasslands. However, F. nigrescens grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in early development stage (i.e. height<10 cm) whereas F. eskia grasslands showed the greatest number of juveniles in late development stages (i.e. height>30 cm). We concluded that in F. eskia grasslands, where establishment may be constrained by the dominant cover type, the low scale of pattern on bare soil may result in higher chances of shrub establishment and survival. In contrast, although grasslands dominated by the palatable F. nigrescens may be more susceptible to shrub establishment; current grazing rates may reduce juvenile survival. PMID:22174858

  4. AmeriFlux US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Russ

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub. Site Description - A semiarid Chihuahuan Desert shrubland located in the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) surrounding the town of Tombstone, AZ. The site vegetation is comprised of a diverse stand of mainly Chihuahuan desert shrub species like acacia constricta, larrea tridentata, and florensia cernua.

  5. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.

    2009-01-01

    Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter "beaver") populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition. ?? 2009 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved.

  6. Auroral Phenomena in Brown Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pineda, J. Sebastian; Hallinan, Gregg

    2016-01-01

    Since the unexpected discovery of radio emission from brown dwarfs some 15 years ago, investigations into the nature of this emission have revealed that, despite their cool and neutral atmospheres, brown dwarfs harbor strong kG magnetic fields, but unlike the warmer stellar objects, they generate highly circularly polarized auroral radio emission, like the giant planets of the Solar System. Our recent results from Keck LRIS monitoring of the brown dwarf LSR1835+32 definitively confirm this picture by connecting the auroral radio emission to spectroscopic variability at optical wavelengths as coherent manifestations of strong large-scale magnetospheric auroral current systems. I present some of the results of my dissertation work to understand the nature brown dwarf auroral phenomena. My efforts include a survey of Late L dwarfs and T dwarfs, looking for auroral Hα emission and a concurrent survey looking for the auroral emission of H3+ from brown dwarfs with radio pulse detections. I discuss the potential connection of this auroral activity to brown dwarf weather phenomena and how brown dwarf aurorae may differ from the analogous emission of the magnetized giant planets in the Solar System.

  7. Stellar Rotation Curves of Starbursting Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Zee, Liese; Skillman, Evan D.; Salzer, John J.

    2001-02-01

    A year ago, we successfully completed a pilot project to obtain stellar rotation curves of starbursting dwarf galaxies. These observations provided the first spatially resolved stellar rotation curves of gas-rich dwarf galaxies. We now propose to expand our sample (by a factor of 2) by observing 4 additional dwarf galaxies with the CTIO 4m. The fundamental question to be addressed is whether the gas and stars are kinematically coupled in these small galaxies. These observations will place the first kinematic constraints on evolutionary models for dwarf galaxies.

  8. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs. PMID:27127952

  9. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-01

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G3 type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  10. [Growth of wheat from seed-to-seed in space flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levinskikh, M. A.; Sychev, V. N.; Derendiaeva, T. A.; Signalova, O. B.; Podol'skii, I. G.; Padalka, G. I.; Avdeev, S. V.; Bingham, G. E.; Campbell, W. F. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    In our earlier space experiment with super dwarf wheat we found the spikes developed in space to be barren. The cause of the full crop sterility was sensitivity of this wheat species to the ethylene concentration of 0.3-0.8 mg/m3 during the experiment. The follow-up ground experiments were made to identify species of dwarf wheat that could be raised in space greenhouse Svet and are distinguished by partial tolerance of their reproductive organs to elevated ethylene in air. The choice fell on the USU-Apogee cultivar specially developed for planting in growth chambers as an integral part of various bioregenerative life support systems, including the space ones. An experiment with wheat Apogee was performed in greenhouse Svet on board MIR. The period of the full crop vegetation cycle was not significantly altered under the spaceflight conditions. The experiment yielded 508 seeds from 12 plants, i.e. by 38% less than in laboratory experiments and by 69% more as compared with results of growing crops in ethylene-contaminated atmosphere (1 mg/m3). Mass of the space seeds was low if compared with the laboratory crops. This was the first time when the feasibility of gathering seeds from wheat that had passed the whole vegetation cycle in space flight was demonstrated. The experiment will give mightly impetus to the advancement of research on space biological LSS and gravitational biology.

  11. Abscission Is Regulated by the ESCRT-III Protein Shrub in Drosophila Germline Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Neuza Reis; Mathieu, Juliette; Huynh, Jean-René

    2015-01-01

    Abscission is the final event of cytokinesis that leads to the physical separation of the two daughter cells. Recent technical advances have allowed a better understanding of the cellular and molecular events leading to abscission in isolated yeast or mammalian cells. However, how abscission is regulated in different cell types or in a developing organism remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized the function of the ESCRT-III protein Shrub during cytokinesis in germ cells undergoing a series of complete and incomplete divisions. We found that Shrub is required for complete abscission, and that levels of Shrub are critical for proper timing of abscission. Loss or gain of Shrub delays abscission in germline stem cells (GSCs), and leads to the formation of stem-cysts, where daughter cells share the same cytoplasm as the mother stem cell and cannot differentiate. In addition, our results indicate a negative regulation of Shrub by the Aurora B kinase during GSC abscission. Finally, we found that Lethal giant discs (lgd), known to be required for Shrub function in the endosomal pathway, also regulates the duration of abscission in GSCs. PMID:25647097

  12. Above- and Belowground Biomass Allocation in Shrub Biomes across the Northeast Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuanhe; Yang, Lucun; Zhou, Guoying

    2016-01-01

    Biomass partitioning has been explored across various biomes. However, the strategies of allocation in plants still remain contentious. This study investigated allocation patterns of above- and belowground biomass at the community level, using biomass survey from the Tibetan Plateau. We explored above- and belowground biomass by conducting three consecutive sampling campaigns across shrub biomes on the northeast Tibetan Plateau during 2011–2013. We then documented the above-ground biomass (AGB), below-ground biomass (BGB) and root: shoot ratio (R/S) and the relationships between R/S and environment factors using data from 201 plots surveyed from 67 sites. We further examined relationships between above-ground and below-ground biomass across various shrub types. Our results indicated that the median values of AGB, BGB, and R/S in Tibetan shrub were 1102.55, 874.91 g m-2, and 0.85, respectively. R/S showed significant trend with mean annual precipitation (MAP), while decreased with mean annual temperature (MAT). Reduced major axis analysis indicated that the slope of the log-log relationship between above- and belowground biomass revealed a significant difference from 1.0 over space, supporting the optimal hypothesis. Interestingly, the slopes of the allometric relationship between log AGB and log BGB differed significantly between alpine and desert shrub. Our findings supported the optimal theory of above- and belowground biomass partitioning in Tibetan shrub, while the isometric hypothesis for alpine shrub at the community level. PMID:27119379

  13. Warming-Induced Shrub Expansion and Lichen Decline Across the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, R.; Lantz, T. C.; Olthof, I.; Kokelj, S. V.; Sims, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    Recent field and remote sensing studies show that shrub expansion has been widespread in low-Arctic ecosystems. However, there are still uncertainties regarding the extent of these changes, the plant functional groups involved, and the relative importance of climate and disturbance as causes of observed changes. Some authors have suggested that shrub expansion may have caused declines in lichens important for caribou forage, but these changes have not been examined at regional scales. Our research on the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain using 30m resolution Landsat satellite imagery from 1985-2011 and high resolution (1:2000) vertical aerial photographs from 1980 and 2013 shows that shrub expansion has been associated with widespread lichen decline . Our analysis shows that the most likely driver of shrub expansion is a 4°C winter temperature increase over the past 30 years, leading to warmer soils and enhanced supply of growth-limiting nutrients. Natural and human-caused disturbances also stimulated increases in shrub cover, but these effects were limited spatially. Our observations are consistent with plot-scale warming experiments showing reductions in lichen cover from shrub growth, and modeling studies predicting large-scale vegetation shifts in the low-Arctic from climate change. These vegetation changes have implications for caribou forage, wildfire regimes, and permafrost conditions.

  14. Male-biased hermaphrodites in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, J P; Kameyama, Y; Shibata, A; Kudo, G

    2016-09-01

    Gynodioecy, a state where female and hermaphrodite plants coexist in populations, has been widely proposed an intermediate stage in the evolutionary pathway from hermaphroditism to dioecy. In the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, hermaphrodites may gain most of their fitness through male function once females invade populations. To test this prediction, comprehensive studies on sex ratio variation across populations and reproductive characteristics of hermaphrodite and female phenotypes are necessary. This study examined the variation in sex ratio, sex expression, flower and fruit production and sexual dimorphism of morphological traits in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis, over multiple populations and years. Population sex ratio (hermaphrodite:female) was close to 1:1 or slightly hermaphrodite-biased. Sex type of individual plants was largely fixed, but 15% of plants changed their sex during a 6-year census. Hermaphrodite plants produced larger flowers and invested 2.5 times more resources in flower production than female plants, but they exhibited remarkably low fruit set (proportion of flowers setting fruits). Female plants produced six times more fruits than hermaphrodite plants. Low fruiting ability of hermaphrodite plants was retained even when hand-pollination was performed. Fruit production of female plants was restricted by pollen limitation under natural conditions, irrespective of high potential fecundity, and this minimised the difference in resources allocated to reproduction between the sexes. Negative effects of previous flower and fruit production on current reproduction were not apparent in both sexes. This study suggests that gynodioecy in this species is functionally close to a dioecious mating system: smaller flower production with larger fruiting ability in female plants, and larger flower production with little fruiting ability in hermaphrodite plants. PMID:27090773

  15. Phenological observations on shrubs to predict weed emergence in turf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masin, Roberta; Zuin, Maria Clara; Zanin, Giuseppe

    2005-09-01

    Phenology is the study of periodic biological events. If we can find easily recognizable events in common plants that precede or coincide with weed emergences, these plants could be used as indicators. Weed seedlings are usually difficult to detect in turf, so the use of phenological indicators may provide an alternative approach to predict the time when a weed appears and consequently guide management decisions. A study was undertaken to determine whether the phenological phases of some plants could serve as reliable indicators of time of weed emergence in turf. The phenology of six shrubs (Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Forsythia viridissima Lindl., Sambucus nigra L., Syringa vulgaris L., Rosa multiflora Thunb., Ziziphus jujuba Miller) and a perennial herbaceous plant [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] was observed and the emergence dynamics of four annual weed species [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop., Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertner, Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv., Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv.] were studied from 1999 to 2004 in northern Italy. A correlation between certain events and weed emergence was verified. S. vulgaris and F. viridissima appear to be the best indicators: there is a quite close correspondence between the appearance of D. sanguinalis and lilac flowering and between the beginning of emergence of E. indica and the end of lilac flowering; emergences of S. glauca and S. viridis were predicted well in relation to the end of forsythia flowering. Base temperatures and starting dates required to calculate the heat unit sums to reach and complete the flowering phase of the indicators were calculated using two different methods and the resultant cumulative growing degree days were compared.

  16. An unsuccessful search for brown dwarf companions to white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1986-01-01

    The results of a survey to detect excess infrared emission from white dwarf stars which would be attributable to a low mass companion are reviewed. Neither a simple comparison of spectroscopically identified white dwarf stars with the IRAS Point Source Catalog nor the coadding of IRAS survey data resulted in a detection of a brown dwarf. The seven nearest stars where the most stringent limits to the presence of a brown dwarf were obtained are listed, and an effort to detect brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is discussed.

  17. THE FORNAX DWARF GALAXY AS A REMNANT OF RECENT DWARF-DWARF MERGING IN THE LOCAL GROUP

    SciTech Connect

    Yozin, C.; Bekki, K.

    2012-09-01

    We present results from the first numerical analysis to support the hypothesis, first proposed in Coleman et al., that the Fornax dwarf galaxy was formed from the minor merging of two dwarfs about 2 Gyr ago. Using orbits for the Fornax dwarf that are consistent with the latest proper motion measurements, our dynamical evolution models show that the observed asymmetric shell-like substructures can be formed from the remnant of a smaller dwarf during minor merging. These models also predict the formation of diffuse stellar streams. We discuss how these stellar substructures depend on model parameters of dwarf-dwarf merging, and how the intermediate-age subpopulations found in the vicinity of these substructures may be formed from gas accretion in past merger events. We also suggest that one of Fornax's globular clusters originates from a merged dwarf companion, and demonstrate where as yet undetected tidal streams or H I gas formed from the dwarf merging may be found in the outer halo of the Galaxy.

  18. Effect of Shrub Cover on Spruce Seedling Establishment at and Above Alpine Treeline in the Alaska Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastie, G.; Lloyd, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Shrub coverage in the arctic has significantly increased in the past 50 years. Spruce seedling establishment in areas above the upper forest boundary has likewise increased as treeline has advanced. Little is known about the effect of shrubs on spruce seedlings near arctic tree lines, and how shrubs may affect the advance of tree line. In order to determine the effect of these shrubs on seedling establishment, we took measurements of shrub coverage in study plots in the Alaska Range established in the late 1990s at and above the current treeline. At each of ten plots located at and above treeline, ten points were systematically selected, using a grid pattern, and ten were selected at haphazardly chosen seedlings. At each point, a measurement of shrub coverage was taken, indicating the species present at the ground level, under 25 centimeters, between 25cm and a meter, between one and two meters, and between two and four meters, and above four meters above ground level. The data at systematic points indicates almost ubiquitous cover of shrubs in the under 25 cm height class, 43 percent coverage between 25cm and a meter, 14.5 percent coverage between one and two meters, 2 percent coverage between two and four meters, and three percent coverage above four meters. The frequency of each shrub height category at points with seedlings differed significantly from the frequency at the systematic points (χ2 = 26.3, p =.0000337). Points with seedlings had less shrub coverage overall than the systematic points, particularly in the tallest height categories. The frequency of tall shrubs in sites with seedlings was almost half that in the systematic points. Very similar patterns existed in both the tree line and above tree line transects. These results suggest that seedlings preferentially establish in sites without tall shrubs. Shrubs may therefore limit establishment of spruce at tree line, and continued shrub expansion may inhibit or slow tree line expansion.

  19. Lifting DELLA repression of Arabidopsis seed germination by nonproteolytic gibberellin signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    DELLA repression of Arabidopsis seed germination can be lifted through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and proteolysis-independent GA signaling. GA-binding to the GID1 (GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1) GA receptors stimulates GID1-GA-DELLA complex formation which in turn triggers DELLA protein ubiq...

  20. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where ...

  1. Population-level consequences of herbivory, changing climate, and source-sink dynamics on a long-lived invasive shrub.

    PubMed

    van Klinken, R D; Pichancourt, J B

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived plant species are highly valued environmentally, economically, and socially, but can also cause substantial harm as invaders. Realistic demographic predictions can guide management decisions, and are particularly valuable for long-lived species where population response times can be long. Long-lived species are also challenging, given population dynamics can be affected by factors as diverse as herbivory, climate, and dispersal. We developed a matrix model to evaluate the effects of herbivory by a leaf-feeding biological control agent released in Australia against a long-lived invasive shrub (mesquite, Leguminoseae: Prosopis spp.). The stage-structured, density-dependent model used an annual time step and 10 climatically diverse years of field data. Mesquite population demography is sensitive to source-sink dynamics as most seeds are consumed and redistributed spatially by livestock. In addition, individual mesquite plants, because they are long lived, experience natural climate variation that cycles over decadal scales, as well as anthropogenic climate change. The model therefore explicitly considered the effects of both net dispersal and climate variation. Herbivory strongly regulated mesquite populations through reduced growth and fertility, but additional mortality of older plants will be required to reach management goals within a reasonable time frame. Growth and survival of seeds and seedlings were correlated with daily soil moisture. As a result, population dynamics were sensitive to rainfall scenario, but population response times were typically slow (20-800 years to reach equilibrium or extinction) due to adult longevity. Equilibrium population densities were expected to remain 5% higher, and be more dynamic, if historical multi-decadal climate patterns persist, the effect being dampened by herbivory suppressing seed production irrespective of preceding rainfall. Dense infestations were unlikely to form under a drier climate, and required net

  2. Seed health and vigor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The health of lentil and chickpea seed greatly impacts the quality of the crop stand and yield. Healthy seed has a high germination rate, is whole (free of cracks or other damage), is free from foreign matter including weed seed and has limited seedborne pathogens. The health of the seed often dep...

  3. Local Group dwarf galaxies: nature and nurture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawala, Till; Scannapieco, Cecilia; White, Simon

    2012-02-01

    We investigate the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies in a high-resolution, hydrodynamical cosmological simulation of a Milky Way sized halo and its environment. Our simulation includes gas cooling, star formation, supernova feedback, metal enrichment and ultraviolet heating. In total, 90 satellites and more than 400 isolated dwarf galaxies are formed in the simulation, allowing a systematic study of the internal and environmental processes that determine their evolution. We find that 95 per cent of satellite galaxies are gas free at z= 0, and identify three mechanisms for gas loss: supernova feedback, tidal stripping and photoevaporation due to re-ionization. Gas-rich satellite galaxies are only found with total masses above ˜5 × 109 M⊙. In contrast, for isolated dwarf galaxies, a total mass of ˜109 M⊙ constitutes a sharp transition; less massive galaxies are predominantly gas free at z= 0, more massive, isolated dwarf galaxies are often able to retain their gas. In general, we find that the total mass of a dwarf galaxy is the main factor which determines its star formation, metal enrichment and its gas content, but that stripping may explain the observed difference in gas content between field dwarf galaxies and satellites with total masses close to 109 M⊙. We also find that a morphological transformation via tidal stripping of infalling, luminous dwarf galaxies whose dark matter is less concentrated than their stars cannot explain the high total mass-to-light ratios of the faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

  4. Gaia --- A White Dwarf Discovery Machine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, S.

    2007-09-01

    Gaia is a satellite mission of the ESA, aiming at absolute astrometric measurements of about one billion stars (V<20) with unprecedented accuracy. Additionally, magnitudes and colors will be obtained for all these stars, while radial-velocities will be determined only for bright objects (V<17.5). However, the wavelength range for the radial-velocity instrument is rather unsuitable for most white dwarfs. Gaia will probably discover about 400,000 white dwarfs; up to 100 pc the detection probability for white dwarfs is almost 100 %. This survey of white dwarfs will have very clear, easy to understand selection criteria, and will therefore be very suitable for statistical investigations. The Gaia data will help to improve the construction of a luminosity function for the disk and the halo and will provide a more accurate determination of the age of our solar neighborhood. Moreover, reliable stellar dynamical investigations of the disk and halo components will be possible. For the first time it will be possible to test the mass-radius relation of white dwarfs in great detail. Moreover, more accurate masses of magnetic and cool white dwarfs can be expected. Gaia is also expected to discover many new pulsating white dwarfs. The Gaia measurements can also complement the measurements of gravitational waves from close white dwarf binaries with Lisa.

  5. Patterns of shrub expansion in Alaskan arctic river corridors suggest phase transition

    PubMed Central

    Naito, Adam T; Cairns, David M

    2015-01-01

    Recent increases in deciduous shrub cover are a primary focus of terrestrial Arctic research. This study examined the historic spatial patterns of shrub expansion on the North Slope of Alaska to determine the potential for a phase transition from tundra to shrubland. We examined the historic variability of landscape-scale tall shrub expansion patterns on nine sites within river valleys in the Brooks Range and North Slope uplands (BRNS) between the 1950s and circa 2010 by calculating percent cover (PCTCOV), patch density (PADENS), patch size variability (CVSIZE), mean nearest neighbor distance (MEDIST) and the multi-scale information fractal dimension (dI) to assess spatial homogeneity for shrub cover. We also devised conceptual models for trends in these metrics before, during, and after a phase transition, and compared these to our results. By developing a regression equation between PCTCOV and dI and using universal critical dI values, we derived the PCTCOV required for a phase transition to occur. All nine sites exhibited increases in PCTCOV. Five of the nine sites exhibited an increase in PADENS, seven exhibited an increase in CVSIZE, and five exhibited a decrease in MEDIST. The dI values for each site exceeded the requirements necessary for a phase transition. Although fine-scale heterogeneity is still present, landscape-scale patterns suggest our study areas are either currently in a state of phase transition from tundra to shrubland or are progressing towards spatial homogeneity for shrubland. Our results indicate that the shrub tundra in the river valleys of the north slope of Alaska has reached a tipping point. If climate trends observed in recent decades continue, the shrub tundra will continue towards homogeneity with regard to the cover of tall shrubs. PMID:25628866

  6. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  7. Activity cycles of M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savanov, I. S.

    2012-09-01

    We have determined activity cycles for coolest M dwarfs using photometry from the ASAS survey. The time scales of brightness variations were determined for the program stars using calculated amplitude power spectra and wavelet spectra. Most of ther program stars display periodicities in their light-curve variations, with periods from hundreds of days to years. Analysis of diagrams plotting P cyc/ P rot versus 1/ P rot in logarithmic coordinates shows that the data for all our program objects fit the general relation quite well. No differences in the activity cycles are found for our sample stars, which have different masses and thus internal structures, some having convective envelopes and others being totally convective. Our analysis indicates that the slope i of this relation is close to unity, regardless of whether it is determined from all data, from data for the shortest cycles, or from data for the longest cycles. This value of i differs from values in the literature for stars of other spectral types. Our analysis of the P cyc- P rot relation indicates that the activity cycles for the studied sample of M dwarfs do not depend on the rotation periods of these objects. The data for the studied objects do not agree with any of the relations for relatively young (active) stars or older (less active) stars. The studied M dwarfs probably form another branch of low-mass stars that display more random, irregular magnetic activity on their surfaces, which is generated and supported by the distributed dynamo mechanism or a small-scale dynamo mechanism.

  8. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs. PMID:27034367

  9. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  10. Theories of white dwarf oscillations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhorn, H. M.

    1980-01-01

    The current status of theoretical understanding of the oscillations observed in the ZZ Ceti stars and cataclysmic variables is briefly reviewed. Nonradial g-mode oscillations appear to provide a satisfactory explanation for the low amplitude variables such as R548, with periods in the range of approximately 200 to 300 seconds, but for the longer period (800 to 1000 seconds) oscillators, the situation is still unclear. Rotation may play an important role in this problem, and the effects of both slow and fast rotation upon the mode structure are discussed. In the cataclysmic variables, both accretion and thermonuclear burning may act to excite oscillations of the white dwarf.

  11. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonen, Silvia; Nelemans, Gijs; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are very successfully used as standard candles on cosmological distance scales, but so far the nature of the progenitor(s) is unclear. A possible scenario for SNe Ia are merging carbon/oxygen white dwarfs with a combined mass exceeding the Chandrasekhar mass. We determine the theoretical rates and delay time distribution of these mergers for two different common envelope prescriptions and metallicities. The shape of the delay time distributions is rather insensitive to the assumptions. The normalization is a factor ~3-13 too low compared to observations.

  12. Differences in seed rain composition in small and large fragments in the northeast Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Knörr, U C; Gottsberger, G

    2012-09-01

    Tropical forests are seriously threatened by fragmentation and habitat loss. The impact of fragment size and forest configuration on the composition of seed rain is insufficiently studied. For the present study, seed rain composition of small and large forest fragments (8-388 ha) was assessed in order to identify variations in seed abundance, species richness, seed size and dispersal mode. Seed rain was documented during a 1-year period in three large and four small Atlantic Forest fragments that are isolated by a sugarcane matrix. Total seed rain included 20,518 seeds of 149 species of trees, shrubs, palms, lianas and herbs. Most species and seeds were animal-dispersed. A significant difference in the proportion of seeds and species within different categories of seed size was found between small and large fragments. Small fragments received significantly more very small-sized seeds (<0.3 cm) and less large-seeded species (>1.5 cm) that were generally very rare, with only one species in small and eight in large fragments. We found a negative correlation between the inflow of small-sized seeds and the percentage of forest cover. Species richness was lower in small than in large fragments, but the difference was not very pronounced. Given our results, we propose changing plant species pools through logging, tree mortality and a high inflow of pioneer species and lianas, especially in small forest fragments and areas with low forest cover. Connecting forest fragments through corridors and reforestation with local large-seeded tree species may facilitate the maintenance of species diversity. PMID:22372687

  13. Panchromatic observations of dwarf starburst galaxies: Infant super star clusters and a low-luminosity AGN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy Ellen

    2011-01-01

    Globular star clusters and supermassive black holes are fundamental components of today's massive galaxies, with origins dating back to the very early universe. Both globular clusters and the seeds of supermassive black holes are believed to have formed in the progenitors of modern massive galaxies, although the details are poorly understood. Direct observations of these low-mass, distant, and hence faint systems are unobtainable with current capabilities. However, gas-rich dwarf starburst galaxies in the local universe, analogous in many ways to protogalaxies at high-redshift, can provide critical insight into the early stages of galaxy evolution including the formation of globular clusters and massive black holes. This thesis presents a panchromatic study of nearby dwarf starburst galaxies harboring nascent globular clusters still embedded in their birth material. Infant clusters are identified via their production of thermal radio emission at centimeter wavelengths, which comes from dense gas ionized by young massive stars. By combining radio observations with complementary data at ultraviolet, optical and infrared wavelengths, we obtain a comprehensive view of massive clusters emerging from their gaseous and dusty birth cocoons. This thesis also presents the first example of a nearby dwarf starburst galaxy hosting an actively accreting massive central black hole. The black hole in this dwarf galaxy is unusual in that it is not associated with a bulge, a nuclear star cluster, or any other well-defined nucleus, likely reflecting an early phase of black hole and galaxy evolution that has not been previously observed.

  14. The Luminosities of the Coldest Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinney, C. G.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Mike; Morley, Caroline V.; Wright, Edward L.

    2014-11-01

    In recent years, brown dwarfs have been extended to a new Y-dwarf class with effective temperatures colder than 500 K and masses in the range of 5-30 Jupiter masses. They fill a crucial gap in observable atmospheric properties between the much colder gas-giant planets of our own solar system (at around 130 K) and both hotter T-type brown dwarfs and the hotter planets that can be imaged orbiting young nearby stars (both with effective temperatures in the range of 1500-1000 K). Distance measurements for these objects deliver absolute magnitudes that make critical tests of our understanding of very cool atmospheres. Here we report new distances for nine Y dwarfs and seven very late T dwarfs. These reveal that Y dwarfs do indeed represent a continuation of the T-dwarf sequence to both fainter luminosities and cooler temperatures. They also show that the coolest objects display a large range in absolute magnitude for a given photometric color. The latest atmospheric models show good agreement with the majority of these Y-dwarf absolute magnitudes. This is also the case for WISE0855-0714, the coldest and closest brown dwarf to the Sun, which shows evidence for water ice clouds. However, there are also some outstanding exceptions, which suggest either binarity or the presence of condensate clouds. The former is readily testable with current adaptive optics facilities. The latter would mean that the range of cloudiness in Y dwarfs is substantial with most hosting almost no clouds—while others have dense clouds, making them prime targets for future variability observations to study cloud dynamics. This paper includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

  15. The luminosities of the coldest brown dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Tinney, C. G.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Mike; Morley, Caroline V.; Wright, Edward L.

    2014-11-20

    In recent years, brown dwarfs have been extended to a new Y-dwarf class with effective temperatures colder than 500 K and masses in the range of 5-30 Jupiter masses. They fill a crucial gap in observable atmospheric properties between the much colder gas-giant planets of our own solar system (at around 130 K) and both hotter T-type brown dwarfs and the hotter planets that can be imaged orbiting young nearby stars (both with effective temperatures in the range of 1500-1000 K). Distance measurements for these objects deliver absolute magnitudes that make critical tests of our understanding of very cool atmospheres. Here we report new distances for nine Y dwarfs and seven very late T dwarfs. These reveal that Y dwarfs do indeed represent a continuation of the T-dwarf sequence to both fainter luminosities and cooler temperatures. They also show that the coolest objects display a large range in absolute magnitude for a given photometric color. The latest atmospheric models show good agreement with the majority of these Y-dwarf absolute magnitudes. This is also the case for WISE0855-0714, the coldest and closest brown dwarf to the Sun, which shows evidence for water ice clouds. However, there are also some outstanding exceptions, which suggest either binarity or the presence of condensate clouds. The former is readily testable with current adaptive optics facilities. The latter would mean that the range of cloudiness in Y dwarfs is substantial with most hosting almost no clouds—while others have dense clouds, making them prime targets for future variability observations to study cloud dynamics.

  16. Relative roles of different-sized herbivores and plant-plant interactions in tall shrub tundra vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravolainen, Virve; Ims, Rolf; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Stien, Audun; Kollstrøm, Julie; Lægreid, Eiliv; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2013-04-01

    Tall shrubs play important roles in the ecology of Arctic tundra ecosystems, including support of high shrub-associated biodiversity and regulation of a range of ecosystem processes. Tall shrub patches and herbaceous vegetation surrounding them often form a two-state vegetation mosaic. Such tall shrub tundra vegetation is an important locus for current vegetation changes in the Arctic. Both abiotic and biotic drivers are known to influence the shrub component. However, although expansion of the shrub state has received much focus lately, relative strengths of the multiple drivers of vegetation state are currently not fully understood. We investigated the role of herbivory relative to temperature and relative to plant-plant interactions, conducting a field survey and experimental studies at large spatial scales in riparian tall shrub tundra in Norway. We found both summer temperatures and summer grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) to affect tall shrub distribution and expansion potential. Furthermore, we found strong and rapid shrub growth change in response to abundance of key arctic herbivores; small rodents. Finally, we quantified the relative importance of neighboring plants and both herbivore types to recruiting tall shrubs. The previously unforeseen rate at which tall shrub tundra responded to altered herbivore pressures further exemplifies its central role in the tundra ecosystems, promoting tall shrub tundra as a bell-whether of change with respect to both abiotic and biotic drivers. While many of the results clearly relate to herbivory, neighboring plants or climate as drivers, some variation remains unexplained warranting future research focus on this highly dynamic part of the tundra ecosystem. Our results suggest that spatially variable biotic interactions are likely to modify forcing by climate, calling for an ecosystem approach when studying change in tundra ecosystems.

  17. Beneficial Hydrologic Relations Between Evergreen Woody Shrubs and Food Crops In the Peanut Basin, Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogie, N. A.; Bayala, R.; McCants, T.; Bethel, D.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2012-12-01

    The soils of the Sahel and surrounding regions are threatened by soil degradation and desertification that can lead to significant reduction in food supply. In Senegal, millet and peanut crops are grown in rotation in fields, where to varying degrees, two native shrubs Piliostigma reticulatum, and Guiera senegalensis are allowed to exist. Previous work established that the presence of shrubs increased moisture content, organic matter, crop yield, and ground water recharge beneath shrub canopies. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism controlling nutrient and water relations between the rhizospheres of the crops and shrubs. Therefore, the objective of this ongoing research is to provide mechanistic explanation for why and how the shrubs aid the crop productivity. This research involves field measurements of: crop yield and physiological responses to water stress, water balance, and meteorological data at two sites in the Peanut Basin of Senegal -- a northern site in Kuer Matar (with annual rainfall of 400-500 mm) for G. senegalensis and a southern site in Nioro du Rip (with 600-800 mm annual rainfall) for P. reticulatum. Although a water balance was performed once in the past, it is important to track water dynamics due to large fluctuations in precipitation and rainfall intensity. Interpretation of current observations is aided by numerical simulations using the HYDRUS 1D model calibrated against field data. Preliminary observations from Nioro du Rip show no significant difference between treatments in leaf area index or leaf water potential throughout the daily cycle (predawn, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening) 30 days after sowing (DAS) and during a period of ample rainfall for crop establishment. There were, however, increases of 12.4mm and 13.0mm in profile moisture storage between sole crop and crop and shrub treatments from 20cm to 250cm depth at Keur Matar and Nioro du Rip, respectively. These profile moisture values come from the

  18. Deciduous shrub growth and the greening of the Arctic in West Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Kumpula, T.

    2010-12-01

    Salix lanata and Alnus fruticosa are common and widespread shrub species in the low arctic tundra zone of West Siberia. They often occur in similar local habitats with the live portions of genets up to 100 years old. We have recently established that growth rings of S. lanata provide an excellent proxy for summer temperature. In that study our data were derived from shrubs growing on organic soils near the arctic coast of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), west of the Ural Mountains. East of the Urals, in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO), climate is more continental and sandy soils provide a relatively nutrient-poor substrate for plant growth. By sampling two different species side by side on the Yamal Peninsula, we shed light on the relationship between deciduous shrubs and growing season temperatures in the last half century or so, a period of pronounced regional warming. We discern differences in the climate signal within a single species (S. lanata) as well as between it and a neighboring species with a strongly overlapping ecological amplitude (A. fruticosa). July is the main month for temperature correlation in Alnus, whereas Salix responds to June-July-August temperatures in both regions. The high correlations of shrub growth with summer temperature (r > 0.7 over the period 1956-2004) strongly suggest a link between increased shrub growth and recent decadal warming in both regions (~2°C). Both species showed significant correlation with the regional Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), although it was somewhat lower in YNAO compared to NAO, probably due to the relative land cover (10% vs. 20%, respectively) of erect shrubs in both areas, which affects their overall contribution to the NDVI. In both regions Salix lanata biomass peaks in the second half of July. Hand-held leaf area index data from Yamal indicate a significant difference between loamy/clayey and sandy sites. We hypothesized that this same variation would be evident at the

  19. Nitrogen niches revealed through species and functional group removal in a boreal shrub community.

    PubMed

    Gundale, Michael J; Hyodo, Fujio; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2012-07-01

    Most theories attempting to explain the coexistence of species in local communities make fundamental assumptions regarding whether neighbors exhibit competitive, neutral, or positive resource-use interactions; however, few long-term data from naturally assembled plant communities exist to test these assumptions. We utilized a 13-year experiment consisting of factorial removal of three shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, and Empetrum hermaphroditum) and factorial removal of two functional groups (tree roots and feather mosses) to assess how neighbors affect N acquisition and growth of each of the three shrub species. The removal plots were established on each of 30 lake islands in northern Sweden that form a natural gradient of resource availability. We tested the hypotheses that: (1) the presence of functionally similar neighbors would reduce shrub N acquisition through competition for a shared N resource; (2) the removal of functional groups would affect shrub N acquisition by altering the breadth of their niches; and (3) soil fertility would influence the effects of neighbor removals. We found that the removal of functionally similar neighbors (i.e., other shrub species) usually resulted in higher biomass and biomass N, with the strength of these effects varying strongly with site fertility. Shrub species removals never resulted in altered stable N isotope ratios (delta(15)N), suggesting that the niche breadth of the three shrubs was unaffected by the presence of neighboring shrub species. In the functional group removal experiment, we found positive effects of feather moss removal on V. myrtillus biomass and biomass N, and negative effects on E. hermaphrotium N concentration and V. vitis-idaea biomass and biomass N. Tree root removal also caused a significant shift in foliar delta(15)N of V. myrtillus and altered the delta(15)N, biomass, and biomass N of E. hermaphroditum. Collectively, these results show that the resource acquisition and niche

  20. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarita; Isern, Jordi; Torres, Santiago

    2009-07-01

    The 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 June to 4 July 2008 at the premises of the UPC. Almost 120 participants from Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and several others), America (USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), and other continents (Australia, South Africa, . . . ) attended the workshop. Among these participants were the most relevant specialists in the field. The topics covered by the conference were: White dwarf structure and evolution Progenitors and Planetary Nebulae White dwarfs in binaries: cataclysmic variables, double degenerates and other binaries White dwarfs, dust disks and planetary systems Atmospheres, chemical composition, magnetic fields Variable white dwarfs White dwarfs in stellar clusters and the halo White Dwarfs as SNIa progenitors The programme included 54 talks, and 45 posters. The oral presentations were distributed into the following sessions: Luminosity function, mass function and populations White dwarf structure and evolution White dwarf ages White dwarf catalogs and surveys Central stars of planetary nebulae Supernovae progenitors White dwarfs in novae and CVs Physical processes in white dwarfs and magnetic white dwarfs Disks, dust and planets around white dwarfs Pulsating white dwarfs Additionally we had a special open session about Spitzer and white dwarfs. The Proceedings of the 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs are representative of the current state-of-the-art of the research field and include new and exciting results. We acknowledge the very positive attitude of the attendants to the workshop, which stimulated very fruitful discussions that took place in all the sessions and after the official schedule. Also, the meeting allowed new collaborations tp start that will undoubtedly result in significant advances in the research field. We also acknowledge the willingness of the participants to deliver their contributions before the final deadline. We sincerely

  1. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    PubMed Central

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  2. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from ‑50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements.

  3. Electrostatic Interactions between Elongated Monomers Drive Filamentation of Drosophila Shrub, a Metazoan ESCRT-III Protein.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Brian J; Tibbe, Christine; Jeon, Hyesung; Drabek, Andrew A; Klein, Thomas; Blacklow, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is a conserved protein complex that facilitates budding and fission of membranes. It executes a key step in many cellular events, including cytokinesis and multi-vesicular body formation. The ESCRT-III protein Shrub in flies, or its homologs in yeast (Snf7) or humans (CHMP4B), is a critical polymerizing component of ESCRT-III needed to effect membrane fission. We report the structural basis for polymerization of Shrub and define a minimal region required for filament formation. The X-ray structure of the Shrub core shows that individual monomers in the lattice interact in a staggered arrangement using complementary electrostatic surfaces. Mutations that disrupt interface salt bridges interfere with Shrub polymerization and function. Despite substantial sequence divergence and differences in packing interactions, the arrangement of Shrub subunits in the polymer resembles that of Snf7 and other family homologs, suggesting that this intermolecular packing mechanism is shared among ESCRT-III proteins. PMID:27452459

  4. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  5. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  6. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from −50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  7. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Bowker, Matthew A; Maestre, Fernando T; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F; Whitford, Walter G

    2011-07-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modelling to test the propositions that (1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions and (2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  8. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands.

    PubMed

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0-50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from -50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  9. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Eldridge, David J.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F.; Whitford, Walter G.

    2013-01-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modeling to test the propositions that 1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions, and 2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  10. a Simple Probabilistic, Biologically Informed Model of the Population Dynamics of Desert Shrubs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worman, S.; Furbish, D. J.; Clarke, J. H.; Roberts, A. S.

    2010-12-01

    In arid environments, spatiotemporal variations in the processes of erosion and deposition are strongly coupled with the structure and dynamics of plant communities as well as the specific life behavior of individual plants. Understanding how physical transport processes affect the evolution of the land surface on geomorphic time-scales therefore requires considering how long-term changes in plant dynamics may in turn impact such processes. The development of this desert shrub population dynamics model is therefore motivated by the need to link rain-splash induced mound building at the shrub-scale with the unfolding ‘biological play’ occurring on a hillslope. Using the Master Equation to conserve shrub age, probabilistic and biologically informed statements for recruitment and mortality are formulated to function as source and sink terms respectively. This simple accounting framework, by tracking the number of individuals entering and leaving a population, captures the changes in shrub count that can be expected in time as the key variables driving the dynamics of these plant communities (i.e. precipitation) also change in time. The result is a tool through which it is possible to statistically describe the aggregate spatiotemporal behavior of different shrub populations, with their own characteristic life-cycles and physical dimensions, under different external forcing scenarios. This model features inputs that have a solid biophysical basis and insofar as it has the capacity to mimic key features of real processes, leads to outputs which appear consistent with findings reported in the literature.

  11. Hydraulically integrated or modular? Comparing whole-plant-level hydraulic systems between two desert shrub species with different growth forms.

    PubMed

    Espino, Susana; Schenk, H Jochen

    2009-01-01

    * Hydraulic systems of shrubs vary between hydraulically integrated and modular architectures; the latter divide the shrub into independent hydraulic units. Hydraulic systems of two common North American desert shrub species, the multi-branched Ambrosia dumosa and the single-stemmed Encelia farinosa (both Asteraceae), were compared to test for division into independent hydraulic units and the implications of such a division for water loss through leaves and roots. * Hydraulic systems of mature shrubs in the field were characterized using dye tracers and by documenting the degree of stem segmentation. Young pot-grown shrubs were subjected to heterogeneous and homogeneous watering. Spatial within-canopy variation of leaf water potentials and stomatal conductances, as well as soil water contents, were measured in response to manipulated soil water heterogeneity. * Results show that young Ambrosia shrubs are divided into independent hydraulic units long before they physically split into separate ramets as mature shrubs, and that young and mature Encelia shrubs possess integrated hydraulic systems. No hydraulic redistribution was detected for eitherspecies. * Our study shows that functional segmentation into independent hydraulic units precedes physical axis splitting, rather than being the consequence of split axes, and suggests that mature shrubs with round basal stems are likely to be hydraulically integrated. PMID:19368668

  12. Brown dwarf disks with ALMA

    SciTech Connect

    Ricci, L.; Isella, A.; Testi, L.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Natta, A.; Scholz, A.

    2014-08-10

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array continuum and spectral line data at 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm for three disks surrounding young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the Taurus star forming region. Dust thermal emission is detected and spatially resolved for all the three disks, while CO(J = 3-2) emission is seen in two disks. We analyze the continuum visibilities and constrain the disks' physical structure in dust. The results of our analysis show that the disks are relatively large; the smallest one has an outer radius of about 70 AU. The inferred disk radii, radial profiles of the dust surface density, and disk to central object mass ratios lie within the ranges found for disks around more massive young stars. We derive from our observations the wavelength dependence of the millimeter dust opacity. In all the three disks, data are consistent with the presence of grains with at least millimeter sizes, as also found for disks around young stars, and confirm that the early stages of the solid growth toward planetesimals occur also around very low-mass objects. We discuss the implications of our findings on models of solids evolution in protoplanetary disks, the main mechanisms proposed for the formation of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars, as well as the potential of finding rocky and giant planets around very low-mass objects.

  13. The potential key seed-dispersing role of the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amico, Guillermo C.; Rodríguez-Cabal, Mariano A.; Aizen, Marcelo A.

    2009-01-01

    Marsupial seed dispersal is a rare phenomenon, although it may be ecologically significant in southern South America. The marsupial Dromiciops gliroides is endemic to the northern part of the temperate forest of South America. Here we describe the food habits and examine the potential role of D. gliroides as a seed disperser. We evaluated the diet of this marsupial in its natural habitat and in captivity. Dromiciops gliroides is omnivorous showing high consumption of a diversity of fruits. In captivity, D. gliroides consumed fruits from 80% of 22 native plant species we examined. Experiments conducted with fruits from two common understory shrubs show that seed passage through the digestive tract of D. gliroides enhances germination. Our results suggest that this species may have an important role as a seed disperser in the temperate forest of South America, which might offset a scarcity of frugivorous bird species.

  14. THE METALLICITY OF VOID DWARF GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kreckel, K.; Groves, B.; Croxall, K.; Pogge, R. W.; Van de Weygaert, R.

    2015-01-01

    The current ΛCDM cosmological model predicts that galaxy evolution proceeds more slowly in lower density environments, suggesting that voids are a prime location to search for relatively pristine galaxies that are representative of the building blocks of early massive galaxies. To test the assumption that void galaxies are more pristine, we compare the evolutionary properties of a sample of dwarf galaxies selected specifically to lie in voids with a sample of similar isolated dwarf galaxies in average density environments. We measure gas-phase oxygen abundances and gas fractions for eight dwarf galaxies (M{sub r} > –16.2), carefully selected to reside within the lowest density environments of seven voids, and apply the same calibrations to existing samples of isolated dwarf galaxies. We find no significant difference between these void dwarf galaxies and the isolated dwarf galaxies, suggesting that dwarf galaxy chemical evolution proceeds independent of the large-scale environment. While this sample is too small to draw strong conclusions, it suggests that external gas accretion is playing a limited role in the chemical evolution of these systems, and that this evolution is instead dominated mainly by the internal secular processes that are linking the simultaneous growth and enrichment of these galaxies.

  15. SDSS DR7 WHITE DWARF CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Koester, D.; Krzesinski, J.; Dufour, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Bergeron, P.; Yip, Ching-Wa; Harris, Hugh C.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Althaus, L.; Corsico, A.

    2013-01-15

    We present a new catalog of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarf stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 spectroscopic catalog. We find 20,407 white dwarf spectra, representing 19,712 stars, and provide atmospheric model fits to 14,120 DA and 1011 DB white dwarf spectra from 12,843 and 923 stars, respectively. These numbers represent more than a factor of two increase in the total number of white dwarf stars from the previous SDSS white dwarf catalogs based on DR4 data. Our distribution of subtypes varies from previous catalogs due to our more conservative, manual classifications of each star in our catalog, supplementing our automatic fits. In particular, we find a large number of magnetic white dwarf stars whose small Zeeman splittings mimic increased Stark broadening that would otherwise result in an overestimated log g if fit as a non-magnetic white dwarf. We calculate mean DA and DB masses for our clean, non-magnetic sample and find the DB mean mass is statistically larger than that for the DAs.

  16. Shrub Expansion Along Arctic Alaskan Streams and Gullies Reduces Erosion Since 1980

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; Verbyla, D.; Welker, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Recent changes in the climate of arctic Alaska, including warmer summers and a lengthened growing season, have increased vegetation productivity and permafrost temperatures. In this study, we (1) examine the spatial pattern of tall shrub distribution and expansion on a landscape scale, and (2) test the effect of shrub expansion on erosion by coring lake sediments with catchments where shrub expansion is occurring and evaluating erosion trends over the last half-century. Landsat TM data from 1986 and 2009 was used to evaluate the expansion of tall shrubs across three regional subscenes in the arctic foothills in northeast Alaska. NDVI values were threshholded at 0.6 so that only tall shrubs were visible. We found that tall shrubs occupy floodplains and streams and that these habitats are conduits for shrub propagation. To examine the effect of shrub expansion on erosion, four lakes were cored near the Chandler River on the central North Slope of Alaska, where shrub expansion has been documented using repeat photography. The cores were dated assuming constant deposition and decay of 210Pb, and sediment depositional rates were used to infer the last 60-100 years of erosion in the catchments. 210Pb profiles were calibrated using 137Cs and 222Ra. Lake sediment cores 1, 3, and 4 showed a steadily increasing or fluctuating erosion rate until 1980, after which these cores show a synchronous decline. The record of erosion in lake 2 was episodic and unlike that in lakes 1, 3, and 4. We speculate that an increase in shrubs and vegetation productivity, specifically in landscape positions where soil was previously exposed to erosion, has contributed to the decline in erosion observed in lake cores 1, 3, and 4. New shrubs exploit bare soil for germination along streams and gullies, and we think that this is partly responsible for reducing erosion. It is also likely that a decrease in the magnitude and frequency of runoff events is contributing to the decline in erosion in lake

  17. Effects of added Zn, Ni and Cd on desert shrubs grown in desert soil

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, P.M.; Wallace, A.; Romney, E.M.; Alexander, G.V.

    1980-01-01

    Desert shrubs - Ambrosia dumosa, Lycium andersonii, Larrea tridenata, and Ephedra nevadensis wre grown in a glasshouse in desert (calcarous) soil with different levels of added Zn, Ni, and Cd. The objective was to study effects of the metals on growth and yield and uptake and translocation of metals in desert plant species which are common in the Mojave Desert (areas of Nevada and southeast California). Zinc and Cd considerably decreased yields of all four species. Yields of E. nevadensis were increased by Ni at 250 and 500 mg/kg applied to desert soil. Ephedra nevadensis was more tolerant of Ni than were the other three desert shrubs. Some interactions were observed among various elements: manganese concentration was increased in shrubs by Zn. Particularly, application of Ni reduced the concentrations of Zn and Mn over the control.

  18. The origin of low-mass white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Girven, J.; Gomez-Moran, A. Nebot

    2010-11-23

    We present white dwarf mass distributions of a large sample of post common-envelope binaries and wide white dwarf main sequence binaries and demonstrate that these distributions are statistically independent. While the former contains a much larger fraction of low-mass white dwarfs, the latter is similar to single white dwarf mass distributions. Taking into account observational biases we also show that the majority of low-mass white dwarfs are formed in close binaries.

  19. Dwarf Galaxy Gives universe A Breath of Fresh Oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-07-01

    Astronomers have discovered that a nearby dwarf galaxy is spewing oxygen and other "heavy" elements into intergalactic space. This observation from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory supports the idea that dwarf galaxies may be responsible for most of the heavy elements between the galaxies. Despite comprising only a very small fraction of the mass of the universe, so-called heavy elements - everything other than hydrogen and helium -- are essential for the formation of planets and can greatly influence astronomical phenomena, including the rate at which galaxies form. A team led by Crystal Martin of the University of California, Santa Barbara, observed the dwarf galaxy NGC 1569 using Chandra. As reported in an article to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, they found that huge quantities of oxygen and other heavy elements are escaping from the galaxy in bubbles of multimillion-degree gases that are thousands of light years in diameter "Dwarf galaxies are much smaller than ordinary galaxies like our Milky Way and much more common," said Martin. "Because of their small mass, they have relatively low gravity and matter can escape more easily from dwarfs than normal galaxies. This makes them very important in understanding how the universe was seeded with various elements." Scientists have speculated that heavy elements escaping from dwarf galaxies in the early universe could play a dominant role in enriching the intergalactic gas from which other galaxies form. Enriched gas cools more quickly, so the rate and manner of formation of new galaxies in the early universe would have been strongly affected by this process. NGC 1569 X-ray/Optical Composite NGC 1569 Composite Optical/X-ray image "With Chandra it was possible to test these ideas," said Henry Kobulnicky of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a member of the research team. "We could trace the distribution of oxygen and other elements in the galaxy and determine how much of this matter is escaping from the

  20. The Gobbling Dwarf that Exploded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-07-01

    A unique set of observations, obtained with ESO's VLT, has allowed astronomers to find direct evidence for the material that surrounded a star before it exploded as a Type Ia supernova. This strongly supports the scenario in which the explosion occurred in a system where a white dwarf is fed by a red giant. ESO PR Photo 31a/07 ESO PR Photo 31a/07 Evolution of SN 2006X Spectrum Because Type Ia supernovae are extremely luminous and quite similar to one another, these exploding events have been used extensively as cosmological reference beacons to trace the expansion of the Universe. However, despite significant recent progress, the nature of the stars that explode and the physics that governs these powerful explosions have remained very poorly understood. In the most widely accepted models of Type Ia supernovae the pre-explosion white dwarf star orbits another star. Due to the close interaction and the strong attraction produced by the very compact object, the companion star continuously loses mass, 'feeding' the white dwarf. When the mass of the white dwarf exceeds a critical value, it explodes. The team of astronomers studied in great detail SN 2006X, a Type Ia supernova that exploded 70 million light-years away from us, in the splendid spiral Galaxy Messier 100 (see ESO 08/06). Their observations led them to discover the signatures of matter lost by the normal star, some of which is transferred to the white dwarf. The observations were made with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES), mounted at ESO's 8.2-m Very Large Telescope, on four different occasions, over a time span of four months. A fifth observation at a different time was secured with the Keck telescope in Hawaii. The astronomers also made use of radio data obtained with NRAO's Very Large Array as well as images extracted from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope archive. ESO PR Photo 31b/07 ESO PR Photo 31b/07 SN 2006X, before and after the Type Ia Supernova explosion "No Type Ia

  1. Warming-Induced Shrub Expansion May Enhance Future Soil Carbon Storage on the Eastern Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, J. A.; Ojima, D.; Harte, J.; Zhao, X.

    2005-12-01

    Our objective is to quantify how ecosystem carbon storage responds to climate variability and grazing on the eastern Tibetan Plateau and to compare results across a suite of study approaches: experimental manipulations, space for time observations, and biogeochemical modeling. Four years of experimental manipulations of climate and grazing resulted in a 25gm-2yr-1 increase in shrub foliar productivity with experimental warming; grazing dampened the warming-induced shrub expansion. There was no discernable change in soil carbon storage with warming. Examination of the soil carbon in ambient plots within meadow versus shrubland habitats demonstrates 3.5% more soil carbon at the shrublands (9.4%C) than at the meadows (5.9%C). These differences in soil carbon are likely due to the highly recalcitrant nature of the shrub leaf litter, which contains 33% lignin of the total dry leaf mass. The comparable figures are 11% for forbs and 18% for graminoids. The experimental plots are likely exhibiting a delayed response to experimental warming. We predict that over the longer-term, soil carbon storage will increase with warming-induced shrub expansion. We use the CENTURY ecosystem model to illuminate the biogeochemical consequences of shrub expansion in this region and to identify temporal aspects of this transformation. While future increased carbon storage is beneficial in terms of climate mitigation, the warming-induced shrub expansion will negatively affect the availability and quality of forage resources in this region. This highlights the potential conflict between management goals in ecosystems where local livelihoods are directly dependent upon ecosystem goods and services.

  2. Spatial variation in hydraulic redistribution by the desert shrub, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, at multiple scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, J. H.; Donovan, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    Passive water movement through roots from moist to dry soils, i.e. hydraulic redistribution, can be important for plant water status, vegetation water use, nutrient acquisition and cycling, and competition/facilitation among plant species. Although hydraulic redistribution is known from many species and habitats, little is known about how it varies at multiple spatial scales across species ranges. In the Mono Basin, California ecosystem we documented variation in hydraulic redistribution by the desert halophytic shrub, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, at three spatial scales: landscape, shrub-island versus interspace, and depth. Hydraulic redistribution varied among sites across the landscape. It was most prevalent at a low salinity site with deep groundwater (9.4 m), but of lower magnitude at more saline sites with shallower groundwater. At the low salinity site, infiltration from snowmelt, the predominant precipitation input, was confined to interspaces between shrub islands. Shrub-island soils remained very dry after snowmelt, even in a year with high total snow accumulation. Shrub-island soils, however, had substantial net increases in Ψsoil during week- to month-long periods in the early part of the growing season, concomitant with self-irrigated root growth into these dry soils, as documented with mini-rhizotrons. The source of this root-system-transported water was both moist interspace soils and moist deep soil layers. Wetting up of otherwise dry shrub-island soils is likely essential for nutrient mineralization and acquisition from trapped litter, making hydraulic redistribution an important driver of landscape-scale biogeochemical cycles in these saline basins. In addition, hydraulic redistribution buffered spatial variation in water availability among sites, depths, depth to groundwater, and for plants with different root distributions, such that plant Ψpredawn and Ψmidday differed little across the landscape. Multi-scale variation in hydraulic redistribution

  3. The Comparative Effectiveness of Rodents and Dung Beetles as Local Seed Dispersers in Mediterranean Oak Forests

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M.; Verdú, José R.; Numa, Catherine; Marañón, Teodoro; Lobo, Jorge M.

    2013-01-01

    The process of seed dispersal of many animal-dispersed plants is frequently mediated by a small set of biotic agents. However, the contribution that each of these dispersers makes to the overall recruitment may differ largely, with important ecological and management implications for the population viability and dynamics of the species implied in these interactions. In this paper, we compared the relative contribution of two local guilds of scatter-hoarding animals with contrasting metabolic requirements and foraging behaviours (rodents and dung beetles) to the overall recruitment of two Quercus species co-occurring in the forests of southern Spain. For this purpose, we considered not only the quantity of dispersed seeds but also the quality of the seed dispersal process. The suitability for recruitment of the microhabitats where the seeds were deposited was evaluated in a multi-stage demographic approach. The highest rates of seed handling and predation occurred in those microhabitats located under shrubs, mostly due to the foraging activity of rodents. However, the probability of a seed being successfully cached was higher in microhabitats located beneath a tree canopy as a result of the feeding behaviour of beetles. Rodents and beetles showed remarkable differences in their effectiveness as local acorn dispersers. Quantitatively, rodents were much more important than beetles because they dispersed the vast majority of acorns. However, they were qualitatively less effective because they consumed a high proportion of them (over 95%), and seeds were mostly dispersed under shrubs, a less suitable microhabitat for short-term recruitment of the two oak species. Our findings demonstrate that certain species of dung beetles (such as Thorectes lusitanicus), despite being quantitatively less important than rodents, can act as effective local seed dispersers of Mediterranean oak species. Changes in the abundance of beetle populations could thus have profound implications

  4. Brown Dwarfs at the Exoplanet Mass Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faherty, J. K.; Cruz, K. L.; Rice, E. L.; Riedel, A.

    2014-10-01

    Young brown dwarfs and directly-imaged exoplanets have enticingly similar photometric and spectroscopic characteristics, indicating that their cool, low gravity atmospheres should be studied in concert. Similarities between the peculiar shaped H band, near and mid-IR photometry as well as location on color magnitude diagrams provide important clues about how to extract physical properties of planets from current brown dwarf observations. Our team has assigned >30 brown dwarfs to 10-150 Myr nearby moving groups. In so doing, we have discovered important diversity among this extremely low-mass (10 - 30 M_{Jup}) age-calibrated sample indicating that cloud properties play a critical role in their observables.

  5. Simulations of Double White Dwarf Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Motl, Patick; Staff, Jan; Marcello, Dominic; Clayton, Geoffrey; Frank, Juhan

    2016-03-01

    We present numerical simulations of double white dwarf mergers initiated by mass transfer instability. In particular, we are interested in the possible connection between such double degenerate mergers and the peculiar irregular variable R Corona Borealis stars. For the merger of a Carbon-Oxygen white dwarf with a Helium white dwarf, the degree to which Carbon from the accreting star is dredged up plays a crucial role in the appearance of the rejuvenated, merged object. We explore the amount of dredge up in the accreting star and its influence in stellar evolution models initialized from the merged object resulting from dynamical evolutions.

  6. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies: Keystones of galaxy evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, John S., III; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.

    1994-01-01

    Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are the most insignificant extragalactic stellar systems in terms of their visibility, but potentially very significant in terms of their role in the formation and evolution of much more luminous galaxies. We discuss the present observational data and their implications for theories of the formation and evolution of both dwarf and giant galaxies. The putative dark-matter content of these low-surface-brightness systems is of particular interest, as is their chemical evolution. Surveys for new dwarf spheroidals hidden behind the stars of our Galaxy and those which are not bound to giant galaxies may give new clues as to the origins of this unique class of galaxy.

  7. WHITE DWARF/M DWARF BINARIES AS SINGLE DEGENERATE PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-20

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, M{sub V} {approx}> 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and M{sub V} {approx}> 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a 'magnetic bottle' connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the 'nova limit' and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  8. White Dwarf/M Dwarf Binaries as Single Degenerate Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, MV >~ 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and MV >~ 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a "magnetic bottle" connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the "nova limit" and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  9. Role of nurse shrubs for restoration planting of two conifers in southeast of Mu Us Sandland, China.

    PubMed

    Tian, Li; Wang, Xiaoan

    2015-01-01

    Two-year-old pine seedlings, Pinus tabulaeformis and Pinus sylvestris were planted under the canopies of three shrub species and in open areas to test for facilitation during seedling establishment in southeast of Mu Us Sandland in northern part of Shaanxi, China. Pine seedlings establishment were assessed three times within three consecutive growing seasons. Height, area and volume of shrubs were measured. Microclimate conditions (light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature and moisture) were recorded in four microhabitats. Near surface light intensity, air temperature and soil temperature were lower under shrubs, which led to higher soil moisture and pine seedlings under the canopy of shrub species. Pine seedlings survival was remarkably higher when planted under the canopy of shrub species (65.7% for P. tabulaeformis and 60.6% for P. sylvestris) as compared with open areas (22.4% for P. tabulaeformis and 38% for P. sylvestris). P. tabulaeformis with shade-tolerance trait expressed high survival of seedlings as compared to that of P. sylvestris seedlings under the canopy of shrub species (Tukey test, P < 0.05). Leguminous shrub (Caragana korshinskii and Amorpha fruticosa) showed continuously facilitation during moderate drought stress (summer 2012, 2013 and 2014), but dense and small shrub (Caragana korshinskii) reduced the establishment of seedlings possibly for light competition. Salix cheilophila showed a facilitation effect in growing seasons, but the effect of allelopathy led to high mortality of seedlings under their canopy. in addition, two pine growths were not inhibited when planted under three shrubs. In conclusions, nurse-shrub facilitation can be used as an effective restoration strategy in this sandland. However, use of shrubs as nurse plants depends on their canopy structure and ecological impacts; the selection of target species depends on their shade tolerance traits. PMID:26536812

  10. Modelling the formation of atmospheric dust in brown dwarfs and planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Helling, Christiane; Fomins, Aleksejs

    2013-07-13

    Atmospheric dust from volcanoes, sand storms and biogenic products provides condensation seeds for water cloud formation on the Earth. Extrasolar planetary objects such as brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets have no comparable sources of condensation seeds. Hence, understanding cloud formation and further its implications for the climate requires a modelling effort that includes the treatment of seed formation (nucleation), growth and evaporation, in addition to rain-out, mixing and gas-phase depletion. This paper discusses nucleation in the ultra-cool atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets whose chemical gas-phase composition differs largely from the terrestrial atmosphere. A kinetic model for atmospheric dust formation is described, which, in recent work, has become part of a cloud-formation model. For the first time, diffusive replenishment of the upper atmosphere is introduced as a source term into our model equations. This paper further aims to show how experimental and computational chemistry work links into our dust-formation model, which is driven by applications in extraterrestrial environments. PMID:23734048

  11. Magnetic fields in Local Group dwarf irregulars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chyży, K. T.; Weżgowiec, M.; Beck, R.; Bomans, D. J.

    2011-05-01

    Aims: We wish to clarify whether strong magnetic fields can be effectively generated in typically low-mass dwarf galaxies and to assess the role of dwarf galaxies in the magnetization of the Universe. Methods: We performed a search for radio emission and magnetic fields in an unbiased sample of 12 Local Group (LG) irregular and dwarf irregular galaxies with the 100-m Effelsberg telescope at 2.64 GHz. Three galaxies were detected. A higher frequency (4.85 GHz) was used to search for polarized emission in five dwarfs that are the most luminous ones in the infrared domain, of which three were detected. Results: Magnetic fields in LG dwarfs are weak, with a mean value of the total field strength of <4.2 ± 1.8 μG, three times lower than in the normal spirals. The strongest field among all LG dwarfs of 10 μG (at 2.64 GHz) is observed in the starburst dwarf IC 10. The production of total magnetic fields in dwarf systems appears to be regulated mainly by the star-formation surface density (with the power-law exponent of 0.30 ± 0.04) or by the gas surface density (with the exponent 0.47 ± 0.09). In addition, we find systematically stronger fields in objects of higher global star-formation rate. The dwarf galaxies follow a similar far-infrared relationship (with a slope of 0.91 ± 0.08) to that determined for high surface brightness spiral galaxies. The magnetic field strength in dwarf galaxies does not correlate with their maximum rotational velocity, indicating that a small-scale rather than a large-scale dynamo process is responsible for producting magnetic fields in dwarfs. If magnetization of the Universe by galactic outflows is coeval with its metal enrichment, we show that more massive objects (such as Lyman break galaxies) can efficiently magnetize the intergalactic medium with a magnetic field strength of about 0.8 nG out to a distance of 160-530 kpc at redshifts 5-3, respectively. Magnetic fields that are several times weaker and shorter magnetization

  12. Soil development as limiting factor for shrub expansion in southwestern Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caviezel, Chatrina; Hunziker, Matthias; Zoller, Oliver; Wüthrich, Christoph; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.

    2014-05-01

    Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased shrub cover at the boreal - tundra border ecotone (Normand et al. 2013). These findings suggest the beginning of a greener Greenland in which tundra vegetation is transformed to a boreal woody flora. However, vegetation at borderline ecotones is influenced by further ecologic factors than just temperature. In this study, the ecologic conditions at a selection of sites along an elevation gradient near Igaliku in southern Greenland were examined to identify potential factors limiting the expansion of woody vegetation apart from temperature. The sites differ in elevation, topography, shrub density and soil parent material. The three study sites comprise i) well established birch shrubs growing between 50 and 180 m a.s.l., where the parent material origins from the Julianehab granite (Brooks 2012); ii) extended shrub patches at about 250 m a.s.l., where the parent material consists of Gardar Sandstones and Lavas (Brooks 2012) and iii) restricted shrub patches at an elevation of 250 m a.s.l., where the soil parent material originates from the Gardar intrusions (Brooks 2012). The extent of the shrub areas, topography and soil moisture were mapped, additionally soil samples were analyzed for C-and N-content, texture including coarse fraction and pH and used as soil development indicators. Our results show that the topographic setting regulates the existence or absence of soil while the soil parent material is an important limiting factor for soil moisture. According to these findings, we suggest that a high proportion of areas where temperature increase would allow the increase of shrub cover is not suitable for a woody flora. Brooks, Kent. 2012. "A Tale of Two Intrusions—where Familiar Rock Names No Longer Suffice." Geology Today 28 (1): 13-19. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2451.2012.00815.x. Masson-Delmotte, V., D

  13. Soil moisture redistribution as a mechanism of facilitation in savanna tree-shrub clusters.

    PubMed

    Zou, C B; Barnes, P W; Archer, S; McMurtry, C R

    2005-08-01

    Plant-soil water relations were examined in the context of a selective removal study conducted in tree-shrub communities occupying different but contiguous soil types (small discrete clusters on shallow, duplex soils versus larger, extensive groves on deep, sandy soils) in a subtropical savanna parkland. We (1) tested for the occurrence of soil moisture redistribution by hydraulic lift (HL), (2) determined the influence of edaphic factors on HL, and (3) evaluated the significance of HL for overstory tree-understory shrub interactions. Diel cycling and nocturnal increases in soil water potential (Psisoil), characteristic signatures of HL, occurred intermittently throughout an annual growth cycle in both communities over a range of moisture levels (Psisoil=-0.5 to -6.0 MPa) but only when soils were distinctly stratified with depth (dry surface/wet deep soil layers). The magnitude of mean (+/-SE) diel fluctuations in Psisoil (0.19+/-0.01 MPa) did not differ on the two community types, though HL occurred more frequently in groves (deep soils) than clusters (shallow soils). Selective removal of either Prosopis glandulosa overstory or mixed-species shrub understory reduced the frequency of HL, indicating that Prosopis and at least one other woody species was conducting HL. For Zanthoxylum fagara, a shallow-rooted understory shrub, Prosopis removal from clusters decreased leaf water potential (Psileaf) and net CO2 exchange (A) during periods of HL. In contrast, overstory removal had neutral to positive effects on more deeply-rooted shrub species (Berberis trifoliolata and Condalia hookeri). Removal of the shrub understory in groves increased A in the overstory Prosopis. Results indicate the following: (a) HL is common but temporally dynamic in these savanna tree-shrub communities; (b) edaphic factors influencing the degree of overstory/understory development, rooting patterns and soil moisture distribution influence HL; (c) net interactions between overstory and

  14. Northwest Arid Lands : an introduction to the Columbia Basin shrub-steppe

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, Georganne P. ); Wieda, Karen J. )

    2001-04-15

    This book explores the rich variety of life in shrub-steppe lands of the Columbia River Basin. It describes, for a non-technical audience, the flora, fauna, and geology of the lower Columbia Basin in and around the Tri-Cities, Washington. Features include color photos and maps of shrub-steppe plants and animals; lists and illustration of common plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, and species of conservation concern; tips on places to see wildflowers and wildlife; geological travel logs from the Tri-Cities to Seattle and Spokane; and a comprehensive bibliography and definition of ecological terms.

  15. Lichens and mosses on shrub-steppe soils in Southeastern Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Link, Steven O.; Ryan, Bruce D.; Downs, Janelle L. ); Cadwell, Larry L. ); Soll, Jonathan A.; Hawke, Mary Ann; Ponzetti, Jeanne

    2001-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the lichens and mosses found on soils of the shrub-steppe at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. Thirteen sites primarily at low elevation were intensively sampled. Twenty nine lichens and six moss species were identified. Three lichens were considered undescribed species. Based on comparison with other studies and herbarium records, we conclude the soil lichen flora of the Hanford Site is substantially different than that of the Great Basin or of the shrub-steppe in Idaho.

  16. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska’s Arctic National Parks

    PubMed Central

    Swanson, David K.

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  17. A simple technique for measuring rainfall interception by small shrub: interception flow collection box

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte Serrato, F.; Romero Diaz, A.

    1998-03-01

    In this paper a simple technique for field measurement of rain water loss arising from interception and water flows associated with species of small Mediterranean shrub is described: the interception flow collection box. This technique solves the problem of installing devices to control stemflow in species with a multiple trunk and demonstrates its efficiency through the results obtained from the data observed for three species of semi-arid Mediterranean shrub: Juniperus oxycedrus, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris. Finally, the empirical equations for the prediction of throughfall, stemflow and rain water loss through interception are presented for the three selected species and the validity of the technique employed is established.

  18. The Extraordinary Cataclysmic Binary RU Pegasi: The Hottest White Dwarf in a Dwarf Nova?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sion, Edward M.; Urban, Joel

    2002-06-01

    We present the results of the first multicomponent synthetic spectral analysis of International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) archival spectra of the long-period dwarf nova RU Peg during quiescence. The best-fit, high-gravity, solar composition photosphere models yield Teff=50,000-53,000 K with scale factor distances of 250 pc. Optically thick accretion disk models imply accretion rates between 1×10-9 and 1×10-10Msolar yr-1 in order to match the steeply sloping far-UV continuum. However, the best-fit accretion disk models yield distances from 600 to 1300 pc, well beyond the estimated distance range of 130-300 pc. Using rough theoretical flux arguments and the distance estimates, we find better agreement between the observed far-UV luminosity and the predicted far-UV luminosity of a hot, massive, white dwarf model than with an accretion disk model. RU Peg appears to contain the hottest white dwarf yet found in a dwarf nova. We cannot rule out that the far-UV energy distribution is due to a multitemperature white dwarf with cooler, more slowly rotating higher latitudes and a rapidly spinning, hotter equatorial belt. We discuss implications of our analysis for theoretical predictions of the disk instability theory of dwarf nova outbursts. We discuss a comparison between RU Peg's white dwarf and the observed properties of other analyzed white dwarfs in dwarf novae.

  19. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, Manuel; Coelho, Jaziel G.

    2016-07-01

    The anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are a class of pulsars understood as neutron stars (NSs) with super strong surface magnetic fields, namely B ≳ 1014G, and for that reason are known as magnetars. However, in the last years, some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields B ˜ (1012-1013)G have been detected, challenging the magnetar description. Moreover, some fast and very magnetic white dwarfs (WDs) have also been observed, and at least one showed X-ray energy emission as an ordinary pulsar. Following this fact, an alternative model based on WDs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized WDs can have surface magnetic field B ˜ 107-1010 G and rotate very fast with frequencies Ω ˜ 1rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods P ˜ (2-12)s.

  20. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  1. Uncovering blue diffuse dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan L.; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel P.; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-04-01

    Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies are known to be very rare, despite the large numbers of low-mass galaxies predicted by the local galaxy luminosity function. This paper presents a subsample of galaxies that were selected via a morphology-based search on Sloan Digital Sky Survey images with the aim of finding these elusive XMP galaxies. By using the recently discovered XMP galaxy, Leo P, as a guide, we obtained a collection of faint, blue systems, each with isolated H II regions embedded in a diffuse continuum, that have remained optically undetected until now. Here we show the first results from optical spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 of ˜100 of these blue diffuse dwarf (BDD) galaxies yielded by our search algorithm. Oxygen abundances were obtained via the direct method for eight galaxies, and found to be in the range 7.45 < 12 + log (O/H) < 8.0, with two galaxies being classified as XMPs. All BDDs were found to currently have a young star-forming population (<10 Myr) and relatively high ionization parameters of their H II regions. Despite their low luminosities (-11 ≲ MB ≲ -18) and low surface brightnesses (˜23-25 mag arcsec-2), the galaxies were found to be actively star forming, with current star formation rates between 0.0003 and 0.078 M⊙ yr-1. From our current subsample, BDD galaxies appear to be a population of non-quiescent dwarf irregular galaxies, or the diffuse counterparts to blue compact galaxies and as such may bridge the gap between these two populations. Our search algorithm demonstrates that morphology-based searches are successful in uncovering more diffuse metal-poor star-forming galaxies, which traditional emission-line-based searches overlook.

  2. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  3. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  4. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  5. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  6. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

  7. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning. PMID:23630372

  8. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

    The three possible fates of burned-out stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, are described in elementary terms. Characteristics of these celestial bodies, as provided by Einstein's work, are described. (CP)

  9. The Missing Baryons Around Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bregman, Joel

    2013-10-01

    Dwarf galaxies are missing nearly all of their baryons, which have presumably flowed away as a wind. This mass loss accounts for a significant fraction of all baryons lost from galaxies, so there is great interest in determining the size and scope of the gas lost. This gas is not visible in emission but is detectable through absorption features toward background AGNs. Here we propose to observe the absorbing material around three isolated dwarfs on the periphery of the Local Group: Sextans A, Sextans B, and NGC 3109. Unlike more distant dwarfs, the star formation history and cold gaseous content of these galaxies are well-studied. The isolation of these dwarfs, far from large galaxies, means that they have not yet interacted with other systems so their mass loss history is well-preserved, making them ideal targets for study.

  10. Towards understanding dynamo action in M dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulyak, D.; Sokoloff, D.; Kitchatinov, L.; Moss, D.

    2015-06-01

    Recent progress in observational studies of magnetic activity in M dwarfs urgently requires support from ideas of stellar dynamo theory. We propose a strategy to connect observational and theoretical studies. In particular, we suggest four magnetic configurations that appear relevant to dwarfs from the viewpoint of the most conservative version of dynamo theory, and discuss observational tests to identify the configurations observationally. As expected, any such identification contains substantial uncertainties. However, the situation in general looks less pessimistic than might be expected. Several identifications between the phenomenology of individual stars and dynamo models are suggested. Remarkably, all models discussed predict substantial surface magnetic activity at rather high stellar latitudes. This prediction looks unexpected from the viewpoint of our experience observing the Sun (which of course differs in some fundamental ways from these late-type dwarfs). We stress that a fuller understanding of the topic requires a long-term (at least 15 years) monitoring of M dwarfs by Zeeman-Doppler imaging.

  11. Neutral Hydrogen in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana

    The gas content of the faintest and lowest mass dwarf galaxies provide means to study the evolution of these unique objects. The evolutionary histories of low mass dwarf galaxies are interesting in their own right, but may also provide insight into fundamental cosmological problems. These include the nature of dark matter, the disagreement between the number of observed Local Group dwarf galaxies and that predicted by lambda cold dark matter models, and the discrepancy between the observed census of baryonic matter in the Milky Way's environment and theoretical predictions. This thesis explores these questions by studying the neutral hydrogen (HI) component of dwarf galaxies. First, limits on the HI mass of the ultra-faint dwarfs are presented, and the HI content of all Local Group dwarf galaxies is examined from an environmental standpoint. We find that those Local Group dwarfs within 270 kpc of a massive host galaxy are deficient in HI as compared to those at larger galactocentric distances. Ram-pressure arguments are invoked, which suggest halo densities greater than 2-3 x 10-4 cm-3 out to distances of at least 70 kpc, values which are consistent with theoretical models and suggest the halo may harbor a large fraction of the host galaxy's baryons. We also find that accounting for the incompleteness of the dwarf galaxy count, known dwarf galaxies whose gas has been removed could have provided at most 2.1 x 108 M⊙ of HI gas to the Milky Way. Second, we examine the possibility of discovering unknown gas-rich ultra-faint galaxies in the Local Group using HI. The GALFA-HI Survey catalog is searched for compact, isolated HI clouds which are most similar to the expected HI characteristics of low mass dwarf galaxies. Fifty-one Local Group dwarf galaxy candidates are identified through column density, brightness temperature, and kinematic selection criteria, and their properties are explored. Third, we present hydrodynamic simulations of dwarf galaxies experiencing a

  12. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment into grass-dominated biomes is occurring globally due to a variety of anthropogenic activities, but the consequences for carbon (C) inputs, storage and cycling remain unclear. We studied eight North American graminoid-dominated ecosystems invaded by shrubs, from arctic tundra to ...

  13. Does shrub invasion indirectly limit grass establishment via seedling herbivory? A test at grassland-shrubland ecotones

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Does shrub invasion at ecotones indirectly limit grass establishment by increasing mammalian seedling herbivory, Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico? We tested the hypothesis that herbivore-related mortality of seedlings of the dominant perennial grass Bouteloua eriopoda would be highest in shrub-dominate...

  14. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

    We received Type A and B funding under the NASA Astrophysics Data Program for the analysis and interpretation of hard x-ray data obtained by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and other NASA sponsored missions for Intermediate Polars (IPS) and Polars. For some targets, optical data was available. We reduced and analyzed the X-ray spectra and the X-ray and optical (obtained at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) timing data using detailed shock models (which we constructed) to place constraints on the properties of the accreting white dwarfs, the high energy emission mechanisms of white dwarfs, and the large-scale accretion flows of Polars and IPS. IPS and Polars are white dwarf mass-transfer binaries, members of the larger class of cata,clysmic variables. They differ from the bulk of the cataclysmic variables in that they contain strongly magnetic white dwarfs; the white dwarfs in Polars have B, = 7 to 230 MG and those in IPS have B, less than 10 MG. The IPS and Polars are both examples of funneled accretion flows in strong magnetic field systems. The IPS are similar to x-ray pulsars in that accretion disks form in the systems which are disrupted by the strong stellar magnetic fields of the white dwarfs near the stellar surface from where the plasma is funneled to the surface of the white dwarf. The localized hot spots formed at the footpoints of the funnels coupled with the rotation of the white dwarf leads to coherent pulsed x-ray emission. The Polars offer an example of a different accretion topology; the magnetic field of the white dwarf controls the accretion flow from near the inner Lagrangian point of the system directly to the stellar surface. Accretion disks do not form. The strong magnetic coupling generally leads to synchronous orbital/rotational motion in the Polars. The physical system in this sense resembles the Io/Jupiter system. In both IPS and Polars, pulsed emission from the infrared to x-rays is produced as the funneled flows merge onto the

  15. L' AND M' Photometry Of Ultracool Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, M. S.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; Vrba, F. J.; Henden, A. A.; Luginbuhl, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    We have compiled L' (3.4-4.1 microns) and M' (4.6- 4.8 microns) photometry of 63 single and binary M, L, and T dwarfs obtained at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope using the Mauna Kea Observatory filter set. This compilation includes new L' measurements of eight L dwarfs and 13 T dwarfs and new M' measurements of seven L dwarfs, five T dwarfs, and the M1 dwarf Gl 229A. These new data increase by factors of 0. 6 and 1.6, respectively, the numbers of ultracool dwarfs T (sub eff) dwarfs whose flux-calibrated JHK spectra, L' photometry, and trigonometric parallaxes are available, and we estimate these quantities for nine other dwarfs whose parallaxes and flux-calibrated spectra have been obtained. BC(SUB K) is a well-behaved function of near-infrared spectral type with a dispersion of approx. 0.1 mag for types M6-T5 it is significantly more scattered for types T5-T9. T (sub eff) declines steeply and monotonically for types M6-L7 and T4-T9, but it is nearly constant at approx. 1450 K for types L7-T4 with assumed ages of approx. 3 Gyr. This constant T(sub eff) is evidenced by nearly unchanging values of L'-M' between types L6 and T3. It also supports recent models that attribute the changing near-infrared luminosities and spectral features across the L-T transition to the rapid migration, disruption, and/or thinning of condensate clouds over a narrow range of T(sub eff). The L' and M' luminosities of early-T dwarfs do not exhibit the pronounced humps or inflections previously noted in l through K bands, but insufficient data exist for types L6-T5 to assert that M(Sub L') and M(sub M') are strictly monotonic within this range of typew. We compare the observed K, L', and M' luminosities of L and T dwarfs in our sample with those predicted by precipitation-cloud-free models for varying surface gravities and sedimentation efficiencies.

  16. The Metamorphosis of Tidally Stirred Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Lucio; Governato, Fabio; Colpi, Monica; Moore, Ben; Quinn, Thomas; Wadsley, James; Stadel, Joachim; Lake, George

    2001-10-01

    We present results from high-resolution N-body/SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamic) simulations of rotationally supported dwarf irregular galaxies moving on bound orbits in the massive dark matter halo of the Milky Way. The dwarf models span a range in disk surface density and the masses and sizes of their dark halos are consistent with the predictions of cold dark matter cosmogonies. We show that the strong tidal field of the Milky Way determines severe mass loss in their halos and disks and induces bar and bending instabilities that transform low surface brightness dwarfs (LSBs) into dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) and high surface brightness dwarfs (HSBs) into dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in less than 10 Gyr. The final central velocity dispersions of the remnants are in the range 8-30 km s-1 and their final v/σ falls to values less than 0.5, matching well the kinematics of early-type dwarfs. The transformation requires the orbital time of the dwarf to be <~3-4 Gyr, which implies a halo as massive and extended as predicted by hierarchical models of galaxy formation to explain the origin of even the farthest dSph satellites of the Milky Way, Leo I, and Leo II. We show that only dwarfs with central dark matter densities as high as those of Draco and Ursa Minor can survive for 10 Gyr in the proximity of the Milky Way. A correlation between the central density and the distance of the dwarfs from the primary galaxy is indeed expected in hierarchical models, in which the densest objects should have small orbital times because of their early formation epochs. Part of the gas is stripped and part is funneled to the center because of the bar, generating one strong burst of star formation in HSBs and smaller, multiple bursts in LSBs. Therefore, the large variety of star formation histories observed in Local Group dSphs arises because different types of dIrr progenitors respond differently to the external perturbation of the Milky Way. Our evolutionary model naturally explains the

  17. Life Span and Motility Effects of Ethanolic Extracts from Sophora moorcroftiana Seeds on Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xin; Han, Junxian; Zhu, Rongyan; Cui, Rongrong; Ma, Xingming; Dong, Kaizhong

    2016-01-01

    Background: Sophora moorcroftiana is an endemic shrub species with a great value in folk medicine in Tibet, China. In this study, relatively little is known about whether S. moorcroftiana is beneficial in animals' nervous system and life span or not. Materials and Methods: To address this question, under survival normal temperature (25°C), S. moorcroftiana seeds were extracted with 95% ethanol, and Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to three different extract concentrations (100 mg/L, 200 mg/L, and 400 mg/mL) from S. moorcroftiana seeds. Results: The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span and slow aging-related increase in C. elegans and could not obviously influence the motility of C. elegans. Conclusion: Given these results by our experiment for life span and motility with 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds in C. elegans, the question whether S. moorcroftiana acts as an anti-aging substance in vivo arises. SUMMARY The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds have no effect on the life span in C. elegans when extract concentrations from S. moorcroftiana seeds <400 mg/LThe 400 mg/L 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span in C. elegansThe 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could not obviously influence the motility in C. elegans. Abbreviation used: S. moorcroftiana: Sophora moorcroftiana; C. elegan: Caenorhabditis elegan; E. coli OP50: Escherichia coli OP50; DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide. PMID:27279712

  18. ANS ultraviolet observations of dwarf Cepheids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturch, C. R.; Wu, C.-C.

    1983-01-01

    Ultraviolet observations of three dwarf Cepheids (VZ Cnc, SX Phe, and AI Vel) are presented. The UV light curves are consistent with those in the visual region. When compared to standard stars, all three dwarf Cepheids exhibit flux deficiencies at the shortest observed wavelengths. The most extreme deficiencies appear for SX Phe; these may be related to the other properties previously noted for this star, including low metallicity, high space motion, and low luminosity.

  19. Seed Proteomics"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteomic analysis of seeds encounters some specific problems that do not impinge on analyses of other plant cells, tissues, or organs. There are anatomic considerations. Seeds comprise the seed coat, the storage organ(s), and the embryonic axis. Are these to be studied individually or as a compo...

  20. Going to Seed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Richard R.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a unit on seeds designed to introduce students to their scientific and nutritional uses. Unit activities are easily done, employ a variety of process skills, and can be used at various grade levels. Suggests field trips to gather seeds, seed sprouting, and making cookies out of various whole grains. (JM)

  1. Needs of Seeds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2011-01-01

    The "Needs of Seeds" formative assessment probe can be used to find out whether students recognize that seeds have needs both similar to and different from plants and other living organisms (Keeley, Eberle, and Tugel 2007). The probe reveals whether students overgeneralize the needs of seeds by assuming they have the same needs as the adult plants…

  2. Pasture seed banks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In our surveys of northeastern pastures, we found the equivalent of more than 8 million seeds per acre in the surface soil (the top four inches) from the seed bank study. These seeds came from 58 species of plants. The annual forbs (all broadleaf plants with the exception of legumes and trees) domin...

  3. Preservation of recalcitrant seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recalcitrant and intermediate seeds are not included in seed banks because of misperceptions that these efforts would be futile. Between 20 and 25% of the Earth’s angiosperm species are estimated to produce recalcitrant or intermediate seeds. These species are more prevalent in the tropics and sub...

  4. Seed Development and Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed is the fertilized and matured ovule of angiosperms and gymnosperms and represents a crucial stage in the life cycle of plants. Seeds of diverse plant species may display differences in size, shape and color. Despite apparent morphological variations, most mature seeds consist of three major com...

  5. Brassicaceous seed meals as soil amendments to suppress the plant-parasitic nematodes Pratylenchus penetrans and Meloidogyne incognita.

    PubMed

    Zasada, I A; Meyer, S L F; Morra, M J

    2009-09-01

    Brassicaceous seed meals are the residual materials remaining after the extraction of oil from seeds; these seed meals contain glucosinolates that potentially degrade to nematotoxic compounds upon incorporation into soil. This study compared the nematode-suppressive ability of four seed meals obtained from Brassica juncea 'Pacific Gold', B. napus 'Dwarf Essex' and 'Sunrise', and Sinapis alba 'IdaGold', against mixed stages of Pratylenchus penetrans and Meloidogyne incognita second-stage juveniles (J2). The brassicaceous seed meals were applied to soil in laboratory assays at rates ranging from 0.5 to 10.0% dry w/w with a nonamended control included. Nematode mortality was assessed after 3 days of exposure and calculated as percentage reduction compared to a nonamended control. Across seed meals, M. incognita J2 were more sensitive to the brassicaceous seed meals compared to mixed stages of P. penetrans. Brassica juncea was the most nematode-suppressive seed meal with rates as low as 0.06% resulting in > 90% suppression of both plant-parasitic nematodes. In general B. napus 'Sunrise' was the least nematode-suppressive seed meal. Intermediate were the seed meals of S. alba and B. napus 'Dwarf Essex'; 90% suppression was achieved at 1.0% and 5.0% S. alba and 0.25% and 2.5% B. napus 'Dwarf Essex', for M. incognita and P. penetrans, respectively. For B. juncea, seed meal glucosinolate-degradation products appeared to be responsible for nematode suppression; deactivated seed meal (wetted and heated at 70 °C for 48 hr) did not result in similar P. penetrans suppression compared to active seed meal. Sinapis alba seed meal particle size also played a role in nematode suppression with ground meal resulting in 93% suppression of P. penetrans compared with 37 to 46% suppression by pelletized S. alba seed meal. This study demonstrates that all seed meals are not equally suppressive to nematodes and that care should be taken when selecting a source of brassicaceous seed meal

  6. New White Dwarfs in the SDSS DR10

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, I.; Koester, D.; Ourique, G.; Kleinman, S. J.; Romero, A. D.; Nitta, A.; Eisenstein, D. J.; Costa, J. E. S.; Külebi, B.; Jordan, S.; Dufour, P.; Giommi, P.; Rebassa-Mansergas, A.

    2015-06-01

    We report the discovery of 8 991 new spectroscopically confirmed white dwarfs and subdwarfs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10. We obtain Teff, log g and mass for hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf stars (DAs) and helium atmosphere white dwarf stars (DBs), and estimate the calcium/helium abundances for the white dwarf stars with metallic lines (DZs) and carbon/helium for cool carbon dominated spectra DQs. We found 2 new oxygen dominated spectra white dwarfs, 69 DQs, 42 hot DO/PG1159s, 175 white dwarf+main sequence star binaries, 206 magnetic DAHs, 325 continuum dominated DCs, 397 metal polluted white dwarfs, 450 helium dominated white dwarfs, 636 subdwarfs and 6796 new hydrogen dominated white dwarf stars.

  7. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M. H.; Shipman, H.; WET TEam

    2015-06-01

    Convection remains one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. For example, Bergeron (1995) show that basic parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed convective parameterization. This is compelling, since we use our knowledge of these basic parameters to calibrate white dwarf cooling sequences, provide detailed estimates for the ages of individual white dwarfs, and determine the age of the Galactic disk. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) is engaged in a long term project to empirically calibrate the physical properties of convection in pulsating white dwarfs by combining asteroseismology and analysis of nonlinear light curves. Nonsinusoidal distortions, in the form of narrow peaks and wider valleys, are observed in many pulsating white dwarf light curves. These are a reflection of the local depth of the convection zone, a value which varies during a pulsation cycle. Applying asteroseismology and convective light curve fitting to a wide sample of pulsating white dwarfs provides an empirical map of how the convective response time (the convection zone “depth”) varies as a function of effective temperature, and this can be compared with theoretical models, both MLT and hydrodynamic. This project has resulted in a large database of white dwarf lightcurves and pulsation frequencies. We present current results for DA and DB pulsators, and provide a few examples of interesting pulsation behavior seen along the way.

  8. Morphology and Structures of Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Mira; Ann, HongBae

    2015-08-01

    We performed an analysis of the structure of nearby dwarf galaxies based on a 2-dimensional decomposition of galaxy images using GALFIT. The present sample consists of ~1,100 dwarf galaxies with redshift less than z = 0.01, which is is derived from the morphology catalog of the Visually classified galaxies in the local universe (Ann, Seo, and Ha 2015). In this catalog, dwarf galaxies are divided into 5 subtypes: dS0, dE, dSph, dEbc, dEblue with distinction of the presence of nucleation in dE, dSph, and dS0. We found that dSph and dEblue galaxies are fainter than other subtypes of dwarf galaxies. In most cases, single component, represented by the Sersic profile with n=1~1.5, well describes the luminosity distribution of dwarf galaxies in the present sample. However, a significant fraction of dS0, dEbc, and dEbue galaxies show sub-structures such as spiral arms and rings. We will discuss the morphology dependent evolutionary history of the local dwarf galaxies.

  9. MICROLENSING BINARIES WITH CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Skowron, J.; Udalski, A.; Szymanski, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Soszynski, I.; Pietrzynski, G.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozlowski, S.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Sumi, T.; Dominik, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; and others

    2012-12-01

    Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 {+-} 0.01 M {sub Sun} and 0.019 {+-} 0.002 M {sub Sun} for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches.

  10. Internal seed dispersal by parrots: an overview of a neglected mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Bravo, Carolina; Pacifico, Erica C.; Chamorro, Daniel; Speziale, Karina L.; Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Hiraldo, Fernando; Tella, José L.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that parrots (Psitacifformes) are generalist apex frugivores, they have largely been considered plant antagonists and thus neglected as seed dispersers of their food plants. Internal dispersal was investigated by searching for seeds in faeces opportunistically collected at communal roosts, foraging sites and nests of eleven parrot species in different habitats and biomes in the Neotropics. Multiple intact seeds of seven plant species of five families were found in a variable proportion of faeces from four parrot species. The mean number of seeds of each plant species per dropping ranged between one and about sixty, with a maximum of almost five hundred seeds from the cacti Pilosocereus pachycladus in a single dropping of Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari). All seeds retrieved were small (<3 mm) and corresponded to herbs and relatively large, multiple-seeded fleshy berries and infrutescences from shrubs, trees and columnar cacti, often also dispersed by stomatochory. An overview of the potential constraints driving seed dispersal suggest that, despite the obvious size difference between seeds dispersed by endozoochory and stomatochory, there is no clear difference in fruit size depending on the dispersal mode. Regardless of the enhanced or limited germination capability after gut transit, a relatively large proportion of cacti seeds frequently found in the faeces of two parrot species were viable according to the tetrazolium test and germination experiments. The conservative results of our exploratory sampling and a literature review clearly indicate that the importance of parrots as endozoochorous dispersers has been largely under-appreciated due to the lack of research systematically searching for seeds in their faeces. We encourage the evaluation of seed dispersal and other mutualistic interactions mediated by parrots before their generalized population declines contribute to the collapse of key ecosystem processes. PMID:26925322

  11. Internal seed dispersal by parrots: an overview of a neglected mutualism.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Bravo, Carolina; Pacifico, Erica C; Chamorro, Daniel; Speziale, Karina L; Lambertucci, Sergio A; Hiraldo, Fernando; Tella, José L

    2016-01-01

    Despite the fact that parrots (Psitacifformes) are generalist apex frugivores, they have largely been considered plant antagonists and thus neglected as seed dispersers of their food plants. Internal dispersal was investigated by searching for seeds in faeces opportunistically collected at communal roosts, foraging sites and nests of eleven parrot species in different habitats and biomes in the Neotropics. Multiple intact seeds of seven plant species of five families were found in a variable proportion of faeces from four parrot species. The mean number of seeds of each plant species per dropping ranged between one and about sixty, with a maximum of almost five hundred seeds from the cacti Pilosocereus pachycladus in a single dropping of Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari). All seeds retrieved were small (<3 mm) and corresponded to herbs and relatively large, multiple-seeded fleshy berries and infrutescences from shrubs, trees and columnar cacti, often also dispersed by stomatochory. An overview of the potential constraints driving seed dispersal suggest that, despite the obvious size difference between seeds dispersed by endozoochory and stomatochory, there is no clear difference in fruit size depending on the dispersal mode. Regardless of the enhanced or limited germination capability after gut transit, a relatively large proportion of cacti seeds frequently found in the faeces of two parrot species were viable according to the tetrazolium test and germination experiments. The conservative results of our exploratory sampling and a literature review clearly indicate that the importance of parrots as endozoochorous dispersers has been largely under-appreciated due to the lack of research systematically searching for seeds in their faeces. We encourage the evaluation of seed dispersal and other mutualistic interactions mediated by parrots before their generalized population declines contribute to the collapse of key ecosystem processes. PMID:26925322

  12. Shrub encroachment across North America: A multi-site synthesis of patterns, mechanisms, and consequences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In North America, the expansion of shrubs within ecosystems previously dominated by herbaceous species has been documented in barrier islands off the Virginia coast, mesic grasslands of the Great Plains, sub-tropical savannas of Texas, desert grasslands of the Southwest, across the Intermountain Wes...

  13. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naupari, Javier A.; Vierling, Lee A.; Eitel, Jan U. H.

    2013-01-01

    Delineating invasive and native plant types using remote sensing is important for managing rangelands. Remote characterization of rangeland vegetation often utilizes only the nadir view, which can be complicated by background soil reflectance. We therefore collected bidirectional radiometric measurements on a shrub-steppe vegetated landscape throughout the mid- to late-growing season to: (1) quantify the BRFs of four rangeland vegetation functional groups (native shrub, native grasses, invasive annual grasses, and forbs), and (2) examine ways in which bidirectional reflectance values may help delineate native and invasive vegetation types. We found that the invasive grass medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) could be discriminated from other vegetation types at nadir and across four forward-viewing zenith angles because this species exhibited structural changes when leaf orientation changed from erectophile to planophile during and after the filling of seedheads. We also confirmed that native shrubs exhibited the highest anisotropy in all wavebands, as the relatively complex structure of the shrub canopy and concomitant shadowing greatly affected values of normalized difference vegetation index across all view angles. In order to delineate rangeland vegetation types at coarser scales, further study is needed to quantify the spectral angular signatures of these plant groups using satellite-based images.

  14. Carbon dioxide enrichment alters plant community structure and accelerates shrub growth in the shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations [CO2] over native Colorado shortgrass steppe progressively increased plant cover over a five year period in Artemisia frigida Willd, fringed sage, a common shrub of North American and Asian native grasslands. Plant community species composition in ...

  15. Hydraulic redistribution by two semi-arid shrub species: Implications for Sahelianagro-ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hydraulic redistribution is the process of passive water movement from deeper moist soil to shallower dry soil layers using plant roots as conduits. Results from this study indicate that this phenomenon exists among two shrub species (Guiera senegalensis and Piliostigma reticulat...

  16. Demographic effects on fruit set in the dioecious shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kate M.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of pollen limitation on reproductive success in plants have been well-documented using pollen supplementation experiments. However, the role of local demographics in determining pollen limitation, particularly in terms of the additive and interactive effects of pollen availability and competition are not well known. We measured fruit set in the dioecious shrub Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) in Central Alberta, Canada to evaluate whether local demographics measured at three spatial scales (25, 50, and 100 m2) affect fruit set in buffaloberry. We test whether density-dependence (population density), pollen donor (measured as male density, distance to nearest male plant and size of nearest male plant), female competitor (measured as female density and distance to nearest female plant), or the combined pollen donor and competitor hypotheses best explain natural variations in fruit set for a population of Canada buffaloberry. Support was highest for the combined pollen donor and competitor hypothesis at an intermediate spatial scale of 50 m2. Proportion fruit set increased with male shrub density (pollen donors) and decreased with female shrub density (pollen competitors), but was more affected by the presence of males than females. This illustrates that access to male shrubs within a 3.99 m radius affects pollen availability, while nearby females compete intra-specifically for pollen. PMID:25165635

  17. Relationship between shrubs and foods in mountain plover habitat in Park County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schneider, S.C.; Wunder, Michael B.; Knopf, F.L.

    2006-01-01

    We explored habitat use in terms of vegetation structure and potential forage availability for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) in Park County, Colorado. We quantified the percentage cover of bare ground, percentage cover of shrubs (Chrysothamnus visadiflorus), linear distance to nearest shrub, arthropod biomass, and grasshopper density for 102 plots of 1,963 m2, 51 of which were occupied by plovers and 51 of which were selected randomly within previously-classified potential habitat. We modeled the probability of habitat use by plovers based on these measurements. We further subdivided the occupied plots to model probability of habitat use by adults with broods as compared with use by pre-nesting and post-nesting adults. Percentage of bare ground and probability of habitat use for adults with broods were related inversely, but not so for adults without broods. Grasshopper density was positively related to probability of habitat use by adults without broods, whereas proximity to nearest shrub was negatively related. We propose that habitat use by plovers in South Park is influenced by the amount of available shrub-grassland edge habitat and the availability of forage.

  18. EFFECTS OF PLANT SIZE ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND WATER RELATIONS IN THE DESERT SHRUB PROSOPIS GLANDULOSA (FABACEAE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Jornada del Muerto basin of the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, USA, has undergone a marked transition of plant communities. Shrubs such as mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) have greatly increased or now dominate in areas that were previously dominated by perennial gra...

  19. Permafrost collapse after shrub removal shifts tundra ecosystem to a methane source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauta, Ake L.; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Blok, Daan; Limpens, Juul; Elberling, Bo; Gallagher, Angela; Li, Bingxi; Petrov, Roman E.; Maximov, Trofim C.; van Huissteden, Jacobus; Berendse, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems are warming almost twice as fast as the global average. Permafrost thaw and the resulting release of greenhouse gases from decomposing soil organic carbon have the potential to accelerate climate warming. In recent decades, Arctic tundra ecosystems have changed rapidly, including expansion of woody vegetation, in response to changing climate conditions. How such vegetation changes contribute to stabilization or destabilization of the permafrost is unknown. Here we present six years of field observations in a shrub removal experiment at a Siberian tundra site. Removing the shrub part of the vegetation initiated thawing of ice-rich permafrost, resulting in collapse of the originally elevated shrub patches into waterlogged depressions within five years. This thaw pond development shifted the plots from a methane sink into a methane source. The results of our field experiment demonstrate the importance of the vegetation cover for protection of the massive carbon reservoirs stored in the permafrost and illustrate the strong vulnerability of these tundra ecosystems to perturbations. If permafrost thawing can more frequently trigger such local permafrost collapse, methane-emitting wet depressions could become more abundant in the lowland tundra landscape, at the cost of permafrost-stabilizing low shrub vegetation.

  20. Influence of secondary compound complementarity and species diversity on consumption of Mediterranean shrubs by sheep

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Generalist herbivores foraging in chemically diverse grazing ecosystems like the Mediterranean maquis increase intake on mixed diets, suggesting they are more able to meet nutritional needs and avoid toxicosis. Thus, our objectives were to determine how shrub species diversity and complementary inte...

  1. A synthetic review of feedbacks and drivers of shrub encroachment in arid grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many arid grasslands around the world are affected by woody plant encroachment and the replacement of a relatively continuous grass cover with shrub patches bordered by bare soil. This shift in plant community composition is often abrupt in space and time, suggesting that it is likely sustained by p...

  2. Diseases of Ornamental and Shade Trees, Shrubs, Vines, and Ground Covers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Lester P.

    This agriculture extension service publication from Pennsylvania State University covers the identification and control of common ornamental trees, shrubs, and ground cover diseases. The publication is divided into sections. The first section discusses the diseases of ornamental and shade trees, including general diseases and diseases of specific…

  3. Insects and Related Pests of Trees, Shrubs, and Lawns. MP-25R.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spackman, Everett W.; Lawson, Fred A.

    This document discusses identification and control of the pests of trees and shrubs. The insects are grouped according to feeding habits and the type of damage caused to plants. Categories include the sucking insects and mites, leaf eating insects, pests attacking trunks and branches, and gall causing insects. (CS)

  4. Postfire shrub cover dynamics: a 70-year fire history in mountain big sagebrush communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire is a natural process in sagebrush (Artemisia L.) communities. Land managers use fire to meet rangeland management objectives. This study was conducted to quantify, from present conditions, the effect of time since last burn (TSLB) on shrub cover over 70 yr of fire history. We sampled mountain...

  5. Postfire shrub-cover dynamics: a 70-year fire history in big sagebrush communities.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land managers use prescribed fire to meet rangeland management objectives. This study was conducted to quantify, from present conditions, the effect of time since last burn (TSLB) on shrub cover over 70 yr of fire history. We sampled mountain big sagebrush communities at the USDA, ARS, U.S. Sheep ...

  6. Runoff responses to long-term rainfall variability in a shrub-dominated catchment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study we investigate how rainfall has changed between two nine year periods (1977e1985 and 2003e2011), and evaluate the effects of changes in rainfall on runoff from a shrub-dominated catchment in the southwestern USA. Analysis of rainfall characteristics shows that between these two periods...

  7. Global Survey of Anthropogenic Neighborhood Threats to Conservation of Grass-Shrub and Forest Vegetation

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ecological functions of natural vegetation are threatened when it is subsumed in anthropogenic landscapes. We report the first comparative global survey of anthropogenic landscape threats to forest and grass-shrub vegetation. Using a global land-cover map derived from remote...

  8. Modeling shrub population dynamics in response to overgrazing and climate change in the southwestern US desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stabert, E. C.; Furbish, D. J.

    2010-12-01

    The environmental health and well-being of semi-arid southwestern US deserts strongly depend on the state of the region’s vegetation. Desertification has resulted in the degradation of semi-arid lands and thus these deserts exhibit less vegetated, arid-like conditions whereby soil and associated vital nutrients are vulnerable to aeolian and hydrologic erosion. This process of desertification has been exacerbated by overgrazing and possibly climate change, and there is the possibility that such disturbances can lead to an irreversible shift from semi-arid to arid-like conditions with low relative biomass and loss of land productivity. We expand on the work of Worman (2010), who developed a probabilistic model of shrub population dynamics in response to variations in precipitation and associated soil moisture conditions, distinguishing the effects of summer versus winter precipitation on seedling recruitment and shrub mortality. Specifically, we have modified the model to mimic effects of grazing on the likelihood of shrub mortality, and we have incorporated stochastic descriptions of variations in the timing and magnitude of precipitation that are likely to occur over decadal to century timescales. By evaluating the response of shrub populations (focusing on rabbitbrush and broom snakeweed), the model provides insights regarding the likelihood of land productivity loss.

  9. Badger (Taxidea taxus) disturbances increase soil heterogeneity in a degraded shrub-steppe ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the western United States, overgrazing, weed invasion and wildfire have resulted in the conversion of shrub-steppe to annual grasslands, with substantial effects on ecosystem function. In these landscapes, badgers disturb large areas of soil while foraging for prey. Mounds created by badgers cont...

  10. PRECIPITATION TIMING ALTERS SOIL C STORAGE IN A GREAT BASIN SHRUB-STEPPE ECOSYSTEM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predictions of precipitation responses to global warming vary in timing, magnitude and inter-annual variability. Most research investigating impacts of precipitation timing have focused on plant responses but little is known concerning soil C responses. In a Great Basin shrub-steppe ecosystem, we qu...

  11. Antecedent conditions influence soil respiration differences in shrub and grass patches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantifying the response of soil respiration to past environmental conditions is critical for predicting how future climate and vegetation change will impact ecosystem carbon balance. Increased shrub dominance in semiarid grasslands has potentially large effects on soil carbon cycling. The goal of t...

  12. Energy-dense liquid fuel intermediates by pyrolysis of guayule (Parthenium argentatum) shrub and bagasse

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Guayule is a perennial shrub grown in the southwestern United States that is used to produce high quality, natural rubber latex. However, only about 10% of the plant material is used for latex production; the remaining biomass, called bagasse, can be used for renewable fuel production. Fast pyroly...

  13. Shrub expansion in northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands: Spatial patterns of transition and biophysical constraints

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Among the greatest contemporary threats to the structure, function and biological diversity of desert grassland and shrub savanna ecosystems of the southwestern United States is the displacement of mesophytic grasses by xerophytic woody plants. Through a combination of field sampling and spatial mod...

  14. The Hunt for Missing Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    Theories of galaxy formation and evolution predict that there should be significantly more dwarf galaxies than have been observed. Are our theories wrong? Or are dwarf galaxies just difficult to detect? Recent results from a survey of a galaxy cluster 62 million light-years away suggest there may be lots of undiscovered dwarf galaxies hiding throughout the universe!Hiding in FaintnessThe missing dwarf problem has had hints of a resolution with the recent discovery of Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) in the Coma and Virgo galaxy clusters. UDGs have low masses and large radii, resulting in a very low surface brightness that makes them extremely difficult to detect. If many dwarfs are UDGs, this could well explain why weve been missing them!But the Coma and Virgo galaxy clusters are similar in that theyre both very massive. Are there UDGs in other galaxy clusters as well? To answer this question, an international team of scientists is running the Next Generation Fornax Survey (NGFS), a survey searching for faint dwarf galaxies in the central 30 square degrees of the Fornax galaxy cluster.The NGFS uses near-UV and optical observations from the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the 4m Blanco Telescope in Chile. The survey is still underway, but in a recent publication led by Roberto P. Muoz (Institute of Astrophysics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), the team has released an overview of the first results from only the central 3 square degrees of the NGFS field.Surprising DetectionGalaxy radii vs. their absolute i-band magnitudes, for the dwarfs found in NGFS as well as other stellar systems in the nearby universe. The NGFS dwarfs are similar to the ultra-diffuse dwarfs found in the Virgo and Coma clusters, but are several orders of magnitude fainter. [Muoz et al. 2015]In just this small central field, the team has found an astounding 284 low-surface-brightness dwarf galaxy candidates 158 of them previously undetected. At the bright end of this sample are dwarf

  15. The Hunt for Dwarf Galaxies' Ancestors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Dwarf galaxies are typically very faint, and are therefore hard to find. Given that, what are our chances of finding their distant ancestors, located billions of light-years away? A recent study aims to find out.Ancient CounterpartsDwarf galaxies are a hot topic right now, especially as we discover more and more of them nearby. Besides being great places to investigate a variety of astrophysical processes, local group dwarf galaxies are also representative of the most common type of galaxy in the universe. For many of these dwarf galaxies, their low masses and typically old stellar populations suggest that most of their stars were formed early in the universes history, and further star formation was suppressed when the universe was reionized at redshifts of z ~ 610. If this is true, most dwarf galaxies are essentially fossils: theyve evolved little since that point.To test this theory, wed like to find counterparts to our local group dwarf galaxies at these higher redshifts of z = 6 or 7. But dwarf galaxies, since they dont exhibit lots of active star formation, have very low surface brightnesses making them very difficult to detect. What are the chances that current or future telescope sensitivities will allow us to detect these? Thats the question Anna Patej and Abraham Loeb, two theorists at Harvard University, have addressed in a recent study.Entering a New RegimeThe surface brightness vs. size for 73 local dwarf galaxies scaled back to redshifts of z=6 (top) and z=7 (bottom). So far weve been able to observe high-redshift galaxies within the boxed region of the parameter space. JWST will open the shaded region of the parameter space, which includes some of the dwarf galaxies. [Patej Loeb 2015]Starting from observational data for 87 Local-Group dwarf galaxies, Patej and Loeb used a stellar population synthesis code to evolve the galaxies backward in time to redshifts of z = 6 and 7. Next, they narrowed this sample to only those dwarfs for which most star

  16. Seasonal Distribution and Diversity of Ground Arthropods in Microhabitats Following a Shrub Plantation Age Sequence in Desertified Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Rentao; Zhu, Fan; Song, Naiping; Yang, Xinguo; Chai, Yongqing

    2013-01-01

    In desertified regions, shrub-dominated patches are important microhabitats for ground arthropod assemblages. As shrub age increases, soil, vegetation and microbiological properties can change remarkably and spontaneously across seasons. However, relatively few studies have analyzed how ground arthropods respond to the microhabitats created by shrubs of different plantation ages across seasons. Using 6, 15, 24 and 36 year-old plantations of re-vegetated shrubs (Caragana koushinskii) in the desert steppe of northwestern China as a model system, we sampled ground arthropod communities using a pitfall trapping method in the microhabitats under shrubs and in the open areas between shrubs, during the spring, summer and autumn. The total ground arthropod assemblage was dominated by Carabidae, Melolonthidae, Curculionidae, Tenebrionidae and Formicidae that were affected by plantation age, seasonal changes, or the interaction between these factors, with the later two groups also influenced by microhabitat. Overall, a facilitative effect was observed, with more arthropods and a greater diversity found under shrubs as compared to open areas, but this was markedly affected by seasonal changes. There was a high degree of similarity in arthropod assemblages and diversity between microhabitats in summer and autumn. Shrub plantation age significantly influenced the distribution of the most abundant groups, and also the diversity indices of the ground arthropods. However, there was not an overall positive relationship between shrub age and arthropod abundance, richness or diversity index. The influence of plantation age on arthropod communities was also affected by seasonal changes. From spring through summer to autumn, community indices of ground arthropods tended to decline, and a high degree of similarity in these indices (with fluctuation) was observed among different ages of shrub plantation in autumn. Altogether the recovery of arthropod communities was markedly affected by

  17. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice. PMID:26527375

  18. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends the annual period of maximum tundra greenness and increases modeled net CO2 uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sweet, S. K.; Griffin, K. L.; Steltzer, H.; Gough, L.; Boelman, N.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer green seasons over the past several decades, which may increase productivity and lengthen the period of carbon uptake. These trends have been attributed largely to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration. However, deciduous shrubs are concurrently becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim in this research was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) over the growing season in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska (68º38' N, 149º34' W). We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and piecewise linear regression modeling. We used a tundra plant-community specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the season. We then used a tundra specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of maximum greenness significantly earlier than evergreen/graminoid canopies, but both communities reached the onset of senescence at similar times, resulting in a net extension of the peak green season in deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities. The combined effect of a longer peak green season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies increased the net carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities. However, the longer peak season alone significantly increased carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities, suggesting that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf

  19. Performance of shrub willows (Salix spp.) as an evapotranspiration cover on Solvay wastebeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirck, Jaconette

    2009-12-01

    Soda ash (Na2CO3) production in the Syracuse New York area created 607 ha of wastebeds over the course of about 100 years. Today the primary concern of the Solvay wastebeds is high chloride concentrations in the leachate and storm water that may end up in the groundwater and nearby Onondaga Lake. The potential of shrub willow evapotranspiration (ET) covers to minimize leaching and to manage storm water was assessed in two studies. A sap flow sensor field study to estimate transpiration rates of four shrub willow varieties over an entire growing season. A greenhouse study focused on recycling saline Solvay storm water onto shrub willows. Annual sap flow and crop coefficients (Kc) were similar among four shrub willows, but differences were present over the course of the growing season. Peak K c values did not coincide with peak leaf area index (LAI), as might be expected if LAI were the main driver of transpiration. Rather than solely being driven by LAI, coupling with the atmosphere was an important factor in stand level sap flow. Estimates of ET were measured during both experiments, the ET/sap flow rankings of the shrub willow varieties were similar; Salix miyabeana (SX64)< S. purpurea (9882-34)< S. miyabeana x S. sachalinensis (9870-23 or 9870-40). In the greenhouse study, Solvay storm water that contained 1,625 mg Cl - L-1 (close to the average storm water concentration) did not significantly decrease ET values or growth for any of the willow varieties. Mass balances of sodium and chloride were carried out to assess the potentials of recycling saline Solvay storm water back onto a shrub willow ET cover during the growing season. During a ten-week study the combination of a shallow depth soil (33 cm) and a high irrigation regime (170% of average precipitation in the Syracuse NY area) resulted in the accumulation of at least 62% of both sodium and chloride in the plant/soil system for all five Solvay storm water treatments. Both studies indicated that shrub

  20. Potential effects of tree-to-shrub type conversion on streamflow in California's Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baguskas, S. A.; Bart, R.; Molinari, N.; Tague, C.; Moritz, M.

    2014-12-01

    There is widespread concern that changes in climate and fire regime may lead to vegetation change across California, which in turn may influence watershed hydrology. Although plant cover is known to affect numerous hydrological processes, sensitivities to vegetation type and spatial arrangement of species within watersheds are not well understood. The primary objective of our research was to generate mechanistically-based projections of how potential type conversion from forested to shrub dominated systems may affect streamflow. During the 2014 growing season, we measured ecophysiological responses (plant water status and leaf gas exchange rates) of two dominant tree and shrub species to changes in seasonal water availability at two sites within the southern Sierra Nevada Critical Zone Observatory. Plant physiological observations were used to parameterize a process-based eco-hydrological model, RHESSys. This model was used to evaluate the impact of changes in seasonal water availability and vegetation type-conversion on streamflow. Based on our field observations, shrubs and trees had similar access to water through the early part of the growing season (April-early June); however, by late July, available water to shrubs was twice that of trees (shrubs, -0.55 ± 0.08 MPa; trees, -1.07 ± 0.08 MPa, p<0.05). Likewise, maximum transpiration (E) and carbon assimilation (A) rates per unit leaf area were twice as high for shrubs then trees in July (shrubs, A= 21 ± 2.3 μmol m-2 s-1, E=6.6 ± 1.8 mmol m-2 s-1; trees, A=8.2 ± 1.9 μmol m-2 s-1, E=2.4 ± 0.3 mmol m-2 s-1). Preliminary modeled changes in streamflow following simulated vegetation conversion were found to affect both the timing and amount of discharge. Controls on pre vs. post-conversion streamflow included changes in interception, rooting depth, energy balance, and plant response to changes in seasonal water availability. Our research demonstrates how linking strategic field data collection and mechanistic

  1. Kinematics and luminosities of brown dwarfs with the BDNYC group .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, A. R.

    Due to magnitude limits, the Gaia survey will not delve as deeply into the local population of brown dwarfs as it will other stellar populations. While hundreds or thousands of brown dwarfs will be measured by Gaia, we propose a different, indirect method wherein studies using Gaia data will help teach us about brown dwarfs: Identifying moving groups that contain brown dwarfs. This use of Gaia data will directly help attempts to disentangle the effects of age and mass on brown dwarf spectra, which opens the possibilities for determining empirical constraints on brown dwarf evolution.

  2. Pulsating white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables: The marriage of ZZ Cet and dwarf nova

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, Brian; Woudt, Patrick A.

    2004-05-01

    There are now four dwarf novae known with white dwarf primaries that show large amplitude non-radial oscillations of the kind seen in ZZ Cet stars. We compare the properties of these stars and point out that by the end of Sloan Digital Sky Survey more than 30 should be known.

  3. Evidence of physiological decoupling from grassland ecosystem drivers by an encroaching woody shrub.

    PubMed

    Nippert, Jesse B; Ocheltree, Troy W; Orozco, Graciela L; Ratajczak, Zak; Ling, Bohua; Skibbe, Adam M

    2013-01-01

    Shrub encroachment of grasslands is a transformative ecological process by which native woody species increase in cover and frequency and replace the herbaceous community. Mechanisms of encroachment are typically assessed using temporal data or experimental manipulations, with few large spatial assessments of shrub physiology. In a mesic grassland in North America, we measured inter- and intra-annual variability in leaf δ(13)C in Cornus drummondii across a grassland landscape with varying fire frequency, presence of large grazers and topographic variability. This assessment of changes in individual shrub physiology is the largest spatial and temporal assessment recorded to date. Despite a doubling of annual rainfall (in 2008 versus 2011), leaf δ(13)C was statistically similar among and within years from 2008-11 (range of -28 to -27‰). A topography*grazing interaction was present, with higher leaf δ(13)C in locations that typically have more bare soil and higher sensible heat in the growing season (upland topographic positions and grazed grasslands). Leaf δ(13)C from slopes varied among grazing contrasts, with upland and slope leaf δ(13)C more similar in ungrazed locations, while slopes and lowlands were more similar in grazed locations. In 2011, canopy greenness (normalized difference vegetation index - NDVI) was assessed at the centroid of individual shrubs using high-resolution hyperspectral imagery. Canopy greenness was highest mid-summer, likely reflecting temporal periods when C assimilation rates were highest. Similar to patterns seen in leaf δ(13)C, NDVI was highest in locations that typically experience lowest sensible heat (lowlands and ungrazed). The ability of Cornus drummondii to decouple leaf physiological responses from climate variability and fire frequency is a likely contributor to the increase in cover and frequency of this shrub species in mesic grassland and may be generalizable to other grasslands undergoing woody encroachment. PMID

  4. Is the WBE model appropriate for semi-arid shrubs subjected to clear cutting?

    PubMed

    Issoufou, Hassane Bil-Assanou; Rambal, Serge; Le Dantec, Valérie; Oï, Monique; Laurent, Jean-Paul; Saadou, Mahamane; Seghieri, Josiane

    2015-02-01

    It is crucial to understand the adaptive mechanisms of woody plants facing periodic drought to assess their vulnerability to the increasing climate variability predicted in the Sahel. Guiera senegalensis J.F.Gmel is a semi-evergreen Combretaceae commonly found in Sahelian rangelands, fallows and crop fields because of its value as an agroforestry species. We compared canopy leafing, and allometric measurements of leaf area, stem area and stem length and their relationships with leaf water potential, stomatal conductance (gs) and soil-to-leaf hydraulic conductance (KS-L), in mature and current-year resprouts of G. senegalensis in Sahelian Niger. In mature shrubs, seasonal drought reduced the ratio of leaf area to cross-sectional stem area (AL : AS), mainly due to leaf shedding. The canopy of the current-year resprouts remained permanently leafed as the shrubs produced leaves and stems continuously, and their AL : AS ratio increased throughout the dry season. Their KS-L increased, whereas gs decreased. West, Brown and Enquist's (WBE) model can thus describe allometric trends in the seasonal life cycle of undisturbed mature shrubs, but not that of resprouts. Annual clear cutting drives allometric scaling relationships away from theoretical WBE predictions in the current-year resprouts, with scaling exponents 2.5 times greater than those of mature shrubs. High KS-L (twice that of mature shrubs) supports this intensive regeneration process. The adaptive strategy described here is probably common to many woody species that have to cope with both severe seasonal drought and regular disturbance over the long term. PMID:25716875

  5. Living with Aliens: Effects of Invasive Shrub Honeysuckles on Avian Nesting

    PubMed Central

    Gleditsch, Jason M.; Carlo, Tomás A.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species have come to the forefront of conservation biology as a major threat to native biodiversity. Habitats dominated by shrub honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) in the United States have been characterized as “ecological traps” by ecologists. Here we tested this hypothesis by investigating the effects of shrub honeysuckles on the nesting ecology of native birds in seven study sites in central Pennsylvania, USA. We examined how the abundance of shrub honeysuckles influenced the selection of nesting substrates and habitat for a community of common songbirds, and the parental-care behavior and nestling development of gray catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis). We found that birds had a strong bias towards nesting in honeysuckle shrubs, but not necessarily for nesting in honeysuckle-dominated habitats. Nest predation rates were affected by the density of nests in a habitat, but not by the overall abundance of honeysuckles in such habitats. Honeysuckle abundance in the habitat did show significant effects on some parental-care behavioral parameters: catbirds had higher nest visitation rates and shorter visit lengths in areas of high honeysuckle density. On average, Gray catbirds fed fruit 12%±0.31 s.e. of their nestling-feeding bouts, mostly fruits of shrub honeysuckles. Nestlings in sites with high honeysuckle density also showed higher mass:tarsus ratios, suggesting a good (possibly better) physiological condition of catbird nestlings at the time of fledging. Our study shows that honeysuckle-dominated habitats could have equivocal effects on nesting parameters of common species of native birds. We advise more caution in the widespread denomination of novel plant communities with high densities of honeysuckle as “ecological traps” as effects can be null or positive on native birds in certain localities. PMID:25229633

  6. Plant-soil interactions promote co-occurrence of three nonnative woody shrubs.

    PubMed

    Kuebbing, Sara E; Classen, Aimée T; Call, Jaime J; Henning, Jeremiah A; Simberloff, Daniel

    2015-08-01

    Ecosystems containing multiple nonnative plant species are common, but mechanisms promoting their co-occurrence are understudied. Plant-soil interactions contribute to the dominance of singleton species in nonnative ranges because many nonnatives experience stronger positive feedbacks relative to co-occurring natives. Plant-soil interactions could impede other nonnatives if an individual nonnative benefits from its soil community to a greater extent than its neighboring nonnatives, as is seen with natives. However, plant-soil interactions could promote nonnative co-occurrence if a nonnative accumulates beneficial soil mutualists that also assist other nonnatives. Here, we use greenhouse and field experiments to ask whether plant-soil interactions (1) promote the codominance of two common nonnative shrubs (Ligustrum sinense and Lonicera maackii) and (2) facilitate the invasion of a less-common nonnative shrub (Rhamnus davurica) in deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. In the greenhouse, we found that two of the nonnatives, L. maackii and R. davurica, performed better in soils conditioned by nonnative shrubs compared to uninvaded forest soils, which. suggests that positive feedbacks among co-occurring nonnative shrubs can promote continued invasion of a site. In both greenhouse and field experiments, we found consistent signals that the codominance of the nonnatives L. sinense and L. maackii may be at least partially explained by the increased growth of L. sinense in L. maackii soils. Overall, significant effects of plant-soil interactions on shrub performance indicate that plant-soil interactions can potentially structure the co-occurrence patterns of these nonnatives. PMID:26405753

  7. Soil Modification by Native Shrubs Boosts Crop Productivity in Sudano-Sahelian Agroforestry System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogie, N. A.; Bayala, R.; Diedhiou, I.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Dick, R.

    2014-12-01

    A changing climate along with human and animal population pressure can have a devastating effect on crop yields and food security in the Sudano-Sahel. Agricultural solutions to address soil degradation and crop water stress are needed to combat this increasingly difficult situation. Significant differences in crop success have been observed in peanut and millet grown in association with two native evergreen shrubs Piliostigma reticulatum, and Guiera senegalensis at the sites of Nioro du Rip and Keur Matar, respectively.We investigate how farmers can increase crop productivity by capitalizing on the evolutionary adaptation of native shrubs to the harsh Sudano-Sahelian environment as well as the physical mechanisms at work in the system that can lead to more robust yields. Soil moisture and water potential data were collected during a dry season millet irrigation experiment where stress was imposed in the intercropped system. Despite lower soil moisture content, crops grown in association with shrubs have increased biomass production and a faster development cycle. Hydraulic redistribution is thought to exist in this system and we found diurnal fluctuations in water potential within the intercropped system that increased in magnitude of to 0.4 Mpa per day as the soil dried below 1.0 Mpa during the stress treatment. An isotopic tracer study investigating hydraulic redistribution was carried out by injecting labeled water into shrub roots and sampling shrubs and nearby crops for isotopic analysis of plant water. These findings build on work that was completed in 2004 at the site, but point to lower overall magnitude of diurnal soil water potential fluctuations in dry soils. Using even the limited resources that farmers possess, this agroforestry technique can be expanded over wide swaths of the Sahel.

  8. Cold Brown Dwarfs with WISE: Y Dwarfs and the Field Mass Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

    2012-01-01

    Why study Brown Dwarf stars? They re the lowest mass byproducts of star formation.. They provide time capsules across the age of the Galaxy.. They show what low-T(sub eff) atmospheres look like.. They may be some of our closest neighbors in space..WISE is a 40cm Earth-orbiting telescope. There are 211 stars and only 33 brown dwarfs in this volume.. This means that stars outnumber brown dwarfs by a factor of 6:1 currently.. The number of brown dwarfs will continue to increase if:: (a) more nearby Y dwarf candidates are confirmed, or (b) our distances to known Y s are overestimated, or (c) there are colder BDs invisible to WISE..

  9. Seed Dispersal by Ants in the Semi-arid Caatinga of North-east Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Leal, Inara R.; Wirth, Rainer; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Myrmecochory is a conspicuous feature of several sclerophyll ecosystems around the world but it has received little attention in the semi-arid areas of South America. This study addresses the importance of seed dispersal by ants in a 2500-km2 area of the Caatinga ecosystem (north-east Brazil) and investigates ant-derived benefits to the plant through myrmecochory. Methods Seed manipulation and dispersal by ants was investigated during a 3-year period in the Xingó region. Both plant and ant assemblages involved in seed dispersal were described and ant behaviour was characterized. True myrmecochorous seeds of seven Euphorbiaceae species (i.e. elaiosome-bearing seeds) were used in experiments designed to: (1) quantify the rates of seed cleaning/removal and the influence of both seed size and elaiosome presence on seed removal; (2) identify the fate of seeds dispersed by ants; and (3) document the benefits of seed dispersal by ants in terms of seed germination and seedling growth. Key Results Seed dispersal by ants involved one-quarter of the woody flora inhabiting the Xingó region, but true myrmecochory was restricted to 12·8 % of the woody plant species. Myrmecochorous seeds manipulated by ants faced high levels of seed removal (38–84 %) and 83 % of removed seeds were discarded on ant nests. Moreover, seed removal positively correlated with the presence of elaiosome, and elaiosome removal increased germination success by at least 30 %. Finally, some Euphorbiaceae species presented both increased germination and seedling growth on ant-nest soils. Conclusions Myrmecochory is a relevant seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga ecosystem, and is particularly frequent among Euphorbiaceae trees and shrubs. The fact that seeds reach micro-sites suitable for establishment (ant nests) supports the directed dispersal hypothesis as a possible force favouring myrmecochory in this ecosystem. Ecosystems with a high frequency of myrmecochorous plants appear not

  10. Floral Structure, Breeding System and Fruit‐set in the Threatened Sub‐shrub Tetratheca juncea Smith (Tremandraceae)

    PubMed Central

    GROSS, C. L.; BARTIER, F. V.; MULLIGAN, D. R.

    2003-01-01

    Tetratheca juncea Smith (Tremandraceae) has undergone a range contraction of approx. 50 km in the last 100 years and is now listed as a vulnerable sub‐shrub restricted to the central and north coast regions of New South Wales, Australia. There are approx. 250 populations in a 110 km north–south distribution and populations are usually small with fewer than 50 plants/clumps. The reproductive ecology of the species was studied to determine why seed‐set is reportedly rare. Flowers are bisexual, odourless and nectarless. Flowers are presented dependentally and there are eight stamens recurved around the pistil. Anthers are poricidal, contain viable pollen and basally contain a deep‐red tapetal fluid that is slightly oily. Thus flowers are presented for buzz pollinators, although none were observed at flowers during our study. The species was found to be facultatively xenogamous with only one in 50 glasshouse flowers setting seed autogamously, i.e. without pollinator assistance. Field studies revealed fertile fruit in 24 populations but production varied significantly across sites from exceedingly low (0·6 fruits per plant clump) to low (17 fruits per plant clump). Fruit‐set ranged from 0 to 65 %, suggesting that pollen vectors exist or that autogamy levels in the field are variable and higher than glasshouse results. Fruit production did not vary with population size, although in three of the five populations in the south‐west region more than twice as much fruit was produced as in populations elsewhere. A moderately strong relationship between foliage volume and fruit : flower ratios suggests that bigger plants may be more attractive than smaller plants to pollinators. A review of Tetratheca pollination ecology revealed that several species are poorly fecund and pollinators are rare. The habitat requirements for Tetratheca, a genus of many rare and threatened species, is discussed. PMID:14534202

  11. Physio-biochemical and morphological characters of halophyte legume shrub, Acacia ampliceps seedlings in response to salt stress under greenhouse

    PubMed Central

    Theerawitaya, Cattarin; Tisarum, Rujira; Samphumphuang, Thapanee; Singh, Harminder P.; Suriyan Cha-Um; Kirdmanee, Chalermpol; Takabe, Teruhiro

    2015-01-01

    Acacia ampliceps (salt wattle), a leguminous shrub, has been introduced in salt-affected areas in the northeast of Thailand for the remediation of saline soils. However, the defense mechanisms underlying salt tolerance A. ampliceps are unknown. We investigated various physio-biochemical and morphological attributes of A. ampliceps in response to varying levels of salt treatment (200–600 mM NaCl). Seedlings of A. ampliceps (25 ± 2 cm in plant height) raised from seeds were treated with 200 mM (mild stress), 400 and 600 mM (extreme stress) of salt treatment (NaCl) under greenhouse conditions. Na+ and Ca2+ contents in the leaf tissues increased significantly under salt treatment, whereas K+ content declined in salt-stressed plants. Free proline and soluble sugar contents in plants grown under extreme salt stress (600 mM NaCl) for 9 days significantly increased by 28.7 (53.33 μmol g–1 FW) and 3.2 (42.11 mg g–1 DW) folds, respectively over the control, thereby playing a major role as osmotic adjustment. Na+ enrichment in the phyllode tissues of salt-stressed seedlings positively related to total chlorophyll (TC) degradation (R2 = 0.72). Photosynthetic pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence in salt-stressed plants increased under mild salt stress (200 mM NaCl). However, these declined under high levels of salinity (400–600 mM NaCl), consequently resulting in a reduced net photosynthetic rate (R2 = 0.81) and plant dry weight (R2 = 0.91). The study concludes that A. ampliceps has an osmotic adjustment and Na+ compartmentation as effective salt defense mechanisms, and thus it could be an excellent species to grow in salt-affected soils. PMID:26379678

  12. Physio-biochemical and morphological characters of halophyte legume shrub, Acacia ampliceps seedlings in response to salt stress under greenhouse.

    PubMed

    Theerawitaya, Cattarin; Tisarum, Rujira; Samphumphuang, Thapanee; Singh, Harminder P; Suriyan Cha-Um; Kirdmanee, Chalermpol; Takabe, Teruhiro

    2015-01-01

    Acacia ampliceps (salt wattle), a leguminous shrub, has been introduced in salt-affected areas in the northeast of Thailand for the remediation of saline soils. However, the defense mechanisms underlying salt tolerance A. ampliceps are unknown. We investigated various physio-biochemical and morphological attributes of A. ampliceps in response to varying levels of salt treatment (200-600 mM NaCl). Seedlings of A. ampliceps (25 ± 2 cm in plant height) raised from seeds were treated with 200 mM (mild stress), 400 and 600 mM (extreme stress) of salt treatment (NaCl) under greenhouse conditions. Na(+) and Ca(2+) contents in the leaf tissues increased significantly under salt treatment, whereas K(+) content declined in salt-stressed plants. Free proline and soluble sugar contents in plants grown under extreme salt stress (600 mM NaCl) for 9 days significantly increased by 28.7 (53.33 μmol g(-1) FW) and 3.2 (42.11 mg g(-1) DW) folds, respectively over the control, thereby playing a major role as osmotic adjustment. Na(+) enrichment in the phyllode tissues of salt-stressed seedlings positively related to total chlorophyll (TC) degradation (R (2) = 0.72). Photosynthetic pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence in salt-stressed plants increased under mild salt stress (200 mM NaCl). However, these declined under high levels of salinity (400-600 mM NaCl), consequently resulting in a reduced net photosynthetic rate (R (2) = 0.81) and plant dry weight (R (2) = 0.91). The study concludes that A. ampliceps has an osmotic adjustment and Na(+) compartmentation as effective salt defense mechanisms, and thus it could be an excellent species to grow in salt-affected soils. PMID:26379678

  13. RE 0044+09: A new K dwarf rapid rotator with a white dwarf companion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kellett, Barry J.; Bromage, Gordon E.; Brown, Alexander; Jeffries, Robin D.; James, David J.; Kilkenny, David; Robb, Russell M.; Wonnacott, David; Lloyd, Christopher; Clayton, C.

    1995-01-01

    We report the discovery of a new K dwarf rapid rotator with a potential white dwarf companion. The white dwarf accounts for over 90% of the observed extreme ultraviolet flux detected from this system. Analysis of ROSAT Wide Field Camera (WFC) and IUE data both suggest a white dwarf temperature of approximately 28,700 K. Optical photometry and the IUE long wavelength prime (LWP) spectrum (with the white dwarf contribution removed) imply that the late-type star has a spectral type of K1-3 V, and a distance of 55 +/- 5 pc. Using this distance, the observed IUE SWP flux, and the best-fit temperature results in a white dwarf radius of 0.0088 solar radius. The estimated white dwarf mass is then approximately 0.91 solar mass; somewhat over-massive compared to field white dwarfs. Optical photometry of the K star reveals a 'spot' modulation period of approximately 10 hr (now observed over 3 yr). However, radial velocity observations have revealed no significant variations. Spectroscopic observations place a low limit on the lithium abundance, but do show rapid rotation with a v sin i of 90 +/- 10 km/s. The K star was detected as a radio source at 3.6 cm (on two occasions) and 6 cm by the Very Large Array (VLA). The most likely evolutionary scenario is that the K star and hot white dwarf from either a wide binary or common proper motion pair with an age of 0.1-0.1 Gyr-consistent with the evolutionary timescale of the white dwarf and the rapid rotation of the K star. However, from the proper motion of the K star, this system does not seem to be associated with any of the known young stellar groups.

  14. Spatial and temporal patterns of water availability in a grass-shrub ecotone and implications for grassland recovery in arid environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Encroachment of woody shrubs into historic desert grasslands is a major problem throughout the world. Conversion of grasslands to shrub-dominated systems may result in significant alteration of biogeochemical processes and reduced resource availability in shrub interspaces, making grassland recover...

  15. Water clouds in Y dwarfs and exoplanets

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, Caroline V.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Lupu, Roxana; Greene, Tom; Saumon, Didier; Lodders, Katharina

    2014-05-20

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid- to late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below T {sub eff} ∼ 450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently, over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below T {sub eff} ∼ 350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water-ice particles are significantly nongray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through the J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 μm. H{sub 2}O, NH{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, and H{sub 2} CIA are dominant opacity sources; less abundant species may also be detectable, including the alkalis, H{sub 2}S, and PH{sub 3}. PH{sub 3}, which has been detected in Jupiter, is expected to have a strong signature in the mid-infrared at 4.3 μm in Y dwarfs around T {sub eff} = 450 K; if disequilibrium chemistry increases the abundance of PH{sub 3}, it may be detectable over a wider effective temperature range than models predict. We show results incorporating disequilibrium nitrogen and carbon chemistry and predict signatures of low gravity in planetary mass objects. Finally, we make predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs and planets with existing and future instruments, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Gemini Planet Imager.

  16. Water Clouds in Y Dwarfs and Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Lupu, Roxana; Saumon, Didier; Greene, Tom; Lodders, Katharina

    2014-05-01

    The formation of clouds affects brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres of nearly all effective temperatures. Iron and silicate condense in L dwarf atmospheres and dissipate at the L/T transition. Minor species such as sulfides and salts condense in mid- to late T dwarfs. For brown dwarfs below T eff ~ 450 K, water condenses in the upper atmosphere to form ice clouds. Currently, over a dozen objects in this temperature range have been discovered, and few previous theoretical studies have addressed the effect of water clouds on brown dwarf or exoplanetary spectra. Here we present a new grid of models that include the effect of water cloud opacity. We find that they become optically thick in objects below T eff ~ 350-375 K. Unlike refractory cloud materials, water-ice particles are significantly nongray absorbers; they predominantly scatter at optical wavelengths through the J band and absorb in the infrared with prominent features, the strongest of which is at 2.8 μm. H2O, NH3, CH4, and H2 CIA are dominant opacity sources; less abundant species may also be detectable, including the alkalis, H2S, and PH3. PH3, which has been detected in Jupiter, is expected to have a strong signature in the mid-infrared at 4.3 μm in Y dwarfs around T eff = 450 K if disequilibrium chemistry increases the abundance of PH3, it may be detectable over a wider effective temperature range than models predict. We show results incorporating disequilibrium nitrogen and carbon chemistry and predict signatures of low gravity in planetary mass objects. Finally, we make predictions for the observability of Y dwarfs and planets with existing and future instruments, including the James Webb Space Telescope and Gemini Planet Imager.

  17. Tracking star formation in dwarf cluster galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rude, Cody Millard

    The evolution of galaxies in dense environments can be affected by close encounters with neighboring galaxies and interactions with the intracluster medium (ICM). Dwarf galaxies may be especially susceptible to these effects due to their low mass. The goal of my dissertation research is to look for signs of star formation in cluster dwarf galaxies by measuring and comparing the r- and u-band luminosity functions of 15 low redshift Abell galaxy clusters using archival data from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions are measured in four cluster-centric annuli from stacked cluster data. To account for differences in cluster optical richness, each cluster is scaled according to r200, where r200 is the radius of a sphere, centered on the cluster, whose average density is 200 times the critical density of the universe. The outer region of the cluster sample shows an increase in the faint-end slope of the u-band luminosity function relative to the r-band, indicating star formation in dwarf galaxies. The blue fraction for dwarf galaxies steadily rises with increasing cluster-centric radii. The change in the blue fraction of giant galaxies also increases, but at a lower rate. Additionally, the inner regions of clusters ranging from 0.185 < z < 0.7 from the "Cluster Lensing and Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH)" are used to generate blue- and red-band luminosity functions, dwarf-to-giant ratios, and blue fractions. Comparisons of the inner region of the CLASH and CFHT clusters show an increase in the blue fraction of dwarf galaxies with redshift that is not present in giant galaxies.

  18. [Allelopathic effects of the humus soils from Betula platyphylla and Quercus liaotungensis pure plantations on 9 kinds of common shrubs and herbs].

    PubMed

    Huang, Liang-Jia; Liu, Zeng-wen; Zhu, Bo-Chao; Bing, Yuan-Hao; Zhang, Xiao-Xi; Lü, Chen

    2014-06-01

    The humus soils were collected from Betula platyphylla and Quercus liaotungensis pure plantations and woodless land separately where the site conditions were basically the same, and taken as medium for potting culture test of 9 kinds of shrubs or herbs in plastic greenhouse to assess the allelopathic effects of humus soils of pure plantations on shrubs or herbs. Humus soils from B. platyphylla plantation significantly inhibited the seed germinations of Medicago sativa and Melilotus officinalis, decreased the catalase (CAT) activity of M. officinalis, Coronilla varia, M. sativa and Lespedeza davurica, and improved malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in seedlings of Caragana kor-shinskii, C. varia and Astragalus adsurgens. The biomass growths of C. varia, Amorpha fruticosa, M. sativa, M. officinalis and A. adsurgens in humus soils from B. platyphylla plantation were significantly decreased by 48.2%, 45.1%, 44.3%, 37.3% and 36.0%, respectively. In addition, humus soil of Q. liaotungensis plantation significantly decreased the germination rates of M. sativa and A. adsurgens, the chlorophyll content