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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

    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 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

  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

    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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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 ...

  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. 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...

  16. 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...

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  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 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

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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 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...

  10. 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...

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. [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

  1. 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…

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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 ...

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  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

    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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. 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.