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Sample records for native understory plants

  1. Unexpected earthworm effects on forest understory plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Introduced earthworms are widespread in forests of North America creating significant negative impacts on forest understory communities. However, much of the reported evidence for negative earthworm effects comes from field investigations either comparing invaded and non-invaded forests or across invasion fronts. While important, such work is rarely able to capture the true effect of earthworms on individual plant species because most forests in North America simultaneously face multiple stressors which may confound earthworm impacts. We used a mesocosm experiment to isolate effects of the anecic introduced earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris L. on seedlings of 14 native plant species representing different life form groups (perennial herb, graminoid, and tree). Results Earthworm presence did not affect survival, fertility or biomass of any of the seedling plant species tested over a 17-week period. However, L. terrestris presence significantly decreased growth of two sedges (Carex retroflexa Muhl. ex Willd. and Carex radiata (Wahlenb.) Small) by decreasing the number of culms. Conclusions Our mesocosm results with seedlings contrast with field reports indicating extensive and significant negative effects of introduced earthworms on many mature native forbs, and positive effects on sedges. We suggest that earthworm impacts are context- and age-specific and that generalizations about their impacts are potentially misleading without considering and manipulating other associated factors. PMID:24314263

  2. Non-native grass invasion associated with increases in insect diversity in temperate forest understory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metcalf, Judith L.; Emery, Sarah M.

    2015-11-01

    Invasive plants can alter the structure and function of plant communities to such a degree that they can also have significant impacts on the insect communities. Because insects play an important role in many ecosystems, changes in these communities could have important implications, beyond their biodiversity value, for ecosystem function and diversity at other trophic levels. Microstegium vimineum is an annual C4 grass that is invasive in many eastern North American deciduous forests. Because this grass plays an important role in determining the plant community structure in the understory of these forests, it also has the potential to significantly alter understory insect communities. In this study we evaluated the relationship between M. vimineum and understory insect communities in a forest reserve in Kentucky, USA. Total insect abundance, richness and diversity showed a positive association with M. vimineum presence. Trophic analysis showed significantly higher abundances of herbivores where M. vimineum was present. Forb abundance, which serves as the primary food source for herbivorous insects in this system, was lower in sites invaded with M. vimineum. Invasion by this non-native was also associated with significant increases in aboveground plant biomass which was nearly 50% greater in invaded sites. These results indicate that the understory insect community may be responding to increased biomass rather than the loss of native forb food resources, which contradicts other studies that have examined relationships between M. vimineum invasion and insects. Our results provide evidence that invasive plants can provide benefits for other trophic levels, even when native plant biodiversity is lost.

  3. Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.

    PubMed

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    European earthworms are colonizing earthworm-free northern hardwood forests across North America. Leading edges of earthworm invasion provide an opportunity to investigate the response of understory plant communities to earthworm invasion and whether the species composition of the earthworm community influences that response. Four sugar maple-dominated forest sites with active earthworm invasions were identified in the Chippewa National Forest in north central Minnesota, USA. In each site, we established a 30 x 150 m sample grid that spanned a visible leading edge of earthworm invasion and sampled earthworm populations and understory vegetation over four years. Across leading edges of earthworm invasion, increasing total earthworm biomass was associated with decreasing diversity and abundance of herbaceous plants in two of four study sites, and the abundance and density of tree seedlings decreased in three of four study sites. Sample points with the most diverse earthworm species assemblage, independent of biomass, had the lowest plant diversity. Changes in understory plant community composition were most affected by increasing biomass of the earthworm species Lumbricus rubellus. Where L. rubellus was absent there was a diverse community of native herbaceous plants, but where L. rubellus biomass reached its maximum, the herbaceous-plant community was dominated by Carex pensylvanica and Arisaema triphyllum and, in some cases, was completely absent. Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community. PMID:16922315

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Contrasting xylem vessel constraints on hydraulic conductivity between native and non-native woody understory species

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Maria S.; Fridley, Jason D.; Yin, Jingjing; Bauerle, Taryn L.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the hydraulic properties of 82 native and non-native woody species common to forests of Eastern North America, including several congeneric groups, representing a range of anatomical wood types. We observed smaller conduit diameters with greater frequency in non-native species, corresponding to lower calculated potential vulnerability to cavitation index. Non-native species exhibited higher vessel-grouping in metaxylem compared with native species, however, solitary vessels were more prevalent in secondary xylem. Higher frequency of solitary vessels in secondary xylem was related to a lower potential vulnerability index. We found no relationship between anatomical characteristics of xylem, origin of species and hydraulic conductivity, indicating that non-native species did not exhibit advantageous hydraulic efficiency over native species. Our results confer anatomical advantages for non-native species under the potential for cavitation due to freezing, perhaps permitting extended growing seasons. PMID:24348490

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belay, Tamrat A.; Moe, Stein R.

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    SciTech Connect

    Veldman, Joseph, W., Mattingly, Brett, W., Brudvig, Lars, A.

    2013-04-01

    Abstract. Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are more fire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity.

  9. Understory plant communities and the functional distinction between savanna trees, forest trees, and pines.

    PubMed

    Veldman, Joseph W; Mattingly, W Brett; Brudvig, Lars A

    2013-02-01

    Although savanna trees and forest trees are thought to represent distinct functional groups with different effects on ecosystem processes, few empirical studies have examined these effects. In particular, it remains unclear if savanna and forest trees differ in their ability to coexist with understory plants, which comprise the majority of plant diversity in most savannas. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) and data from 157 sites across three locations in the southeastern United States to understand the effects of broadleaf savanna trees, broadleaf forest trees, and pine trees on savanna understory plant communities. After accounting for underlying gradients in fire frequency and soil moisture, abundances (i.e., basal area and stem density) of forest trees and pines, but not savanna trees, were negatively correlated with the cover and density (i.e., local-scale species richness) of C4 graminoid species, a defining savanna understory functional group that is linked to ecosystem flammability. In analyses of the full understory community, abundances of trees from all functional groups were negatively correlated with species density and cover. For both the C4 and full communities, fire frequency promoted understory plants directly, and indirectly by limiting forest tree abundance. There was little indirect influence of fire on the understory mediated through savanna trees and pines, which are morefire tolerant than forest trees. We conclude that tree functional identity is an important factor that influences overstory tree relationships with savanna understory plant communities. In particular, distinct relationships between trees and C4 graminoids have implications for grass-tree coexistence and vegetation-fire feedbacks that maintain savanna environments and their associated understory plant diversity. PMID:23691661

  10. CO2 enrichment accelerates successional development of an understory plant community

    SciTech Connect

    Souza, Lara; Belote, R. Travis Travis; Kardol, Paul; Weltzin, Jake; Norby, Richard J

    2010-01-01

    Rising concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide ([CO{sub 2}]) may influence forest successional development and species composition of understory plant communities by altering biomass production of plant species of functional groups. Here, we describe how elevated [CO{sub 2}] (eCO{sub 2}) affects aboveground biomass within the understory community of a temperate deciduous forest at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) facility in eastern Tennessee, USA. We asked if (i) CO{sub 2} enrichment affected total understory biomass and (ii) whether total biomass responses could be explained by changes in understory species composition or changes in relative abundance of functional groups through time. The FACE experiment started in 1998 with three rings receiving ambient [CO{sub 2}] (aCO{sub 2}) and two rings receiving eCO{sub 2}. From 2001 to 2003, we estimated species-specific, woody versus herbaceous and total aboveground biomass by harvesting four 1 x 0.5-m subplots within the established understory plant community in each FACE plot. In 2008, we estimated herbaceous biomass as previously but used allometric relationships to estimate woody biomass across two 5 x 5-m quadrats in each FACE plot. Across years, aboveground biomass of the understory community was on average 25% greater in eCO{sub 2} than in aCO{sub 2} plots. We could not detect differences in plant species composition between aCO{sub 2} and eCO{sub 2} treatments. However, we did observe shifts in the relative abundance of plant functional groups, which reflect important structural changes in the understory community. In 2001-03, little of the understory biomass was in woody species; herbaceous species made up 94% of the total understory biomass across [CO{sub 2}] treatments. Through time, woody species increased in importance, mostly in eCO{sub 2}, and in 2008, the contribution of herbaceous species to total understory biomass was

  11. Limits to Understory Plant Restoration Following Fuel-Reduction Treatments in a Piñon-Juniper Woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, Miranda D.; Zelikova, Tamara J.; Barger, Nichole N.

    2014-11-01

    National fuel-reduction programs aim to reduce the risk of wildland fires to human communities and to restore forest and rangeland ecosystems to resemble their historical structure, function, and diversity. There are a number of factors, such as seed bank dynamics, post-treatment climate, and herbivory, which determine whether this latter goal may be achieved. Here, we examine the short-term (2 years) vegetation response to fuel-reduction treatments (mechanical mastication, broadcast burn, and pile burn) and seeding of native grasses on understory vegetation in an upland piñon-juniper woodland in southeast Utah. We also examine how wildlife herbivory affects the success of fuel-reduction treatments. Herbaceous cover increased in response to fuel-reduction treatments in all seeded treatments, with the broadcast burn and mastication having greater increases (234 and 160 %, respectively) in herbaceous cover than the pile burn (32 %). In the absence of seeding, herbaceous cover only increased in the broadcast burn (32 %). Notably, fuel-reduction treatments, but not seeding, strongly affected herbaceous plant composition. All fuel-reduction treatments increased the relative density of invasive species, especially in the broadcast burn, which shifted the plant community composition from one dominated by perennial graminoids to one dominated by annual forbs. Herbivory by wildlife reduced understory plant cover by over 40 % and altered plant community composition. If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, our study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon-juniper woodlands. Seed applications and wildlife exclosures further enhanced herbaceous cover following fuel-reduction treatments.

  12. Limits to understory plant restoration following fuel-reduction treatments in a piñon-juniper woodland.

    PubMed

    Redmond, Miranda D; Zelikova, Tamara J; Barger, Nichole N

    2014-11-01

    National fuel-reduction programs aim to reduce the risk of wildland fires to human communities and to restore forest and rangeland ecosystems to resemble their historical structure, function, and diversity. There are a number of factors, such as seed bank dynamics, post-treatment climate, and herbivory, which determine whether this latter goal may be achieved. Here, we examine the short-term (2 years) vegetation response to fuel-reduction treatments (mechanical mastication, broadcast burn, and pile burn) and seeding of native grasses on understory vegetation in an upland piñon-juniper woodland in southeast Utah. We also examine how wildlife herbivory affects the success of fuel-reduction treatments. Herbaceous cover increased in response to fuel-reduction treatments in all seeded treatments, with the broadcast burn and mastication having greater increases (234 and 160 %, respectively) in herbaceous cover than the pile burn (32 %). In the absence of seeding, herbaceous cover only increased in the broadcast burn (32 %). Notably, fuel-reduction treatments, but not seeding, strongly affected herbaceous plant composition. All fuel-reduction treatments increased the relative density of invasive species, especially in the broadcast burn, which shifted the plant community composition from one dominated by perennial graminoids to one dominated by annual forbs. Herbivory by wildlife reduced understory plant cover by over 40 % and altered plant community composition. If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, our study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon-juniper woodlands. Seed applications and wildlife exclosures further enhanced herbaceous cover following fuel-reduction treatments. PMID:25064466

  13. Absence of snow cover reduces understory plant cover and alters plant community composition in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Kreyling, Juergen; Haei, Mahsa; Laudon, Hjalmar

    2012-02-01

    Snow regimes affect biogeochemistry of boreal ecosystems and are altered by climate change. The effects on plant communities, however, are largely unexplored despite their influence on relevant processes. Here, the impact of snow cover on understory community composition and below-ground production in a boreal Picea abies forest was investigated using a long-term (8-year) snow cover manipulation experiment consisting of the treatments: snow removal, increased insulation (styrofoam pellets), and control. The snow removal treatment caused longer (118 vs. 57 days) and deeper soil frost (mean minimum temperature -5.5 vs. -2.2°C) at 10 cm soil depth in comparison to control. Understory species composition was strongly altered by the snow cover manipulations; vegetation cover declined by more than 50% in the snow removal treatment. In particular, the dominant dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus (-82%) and the most abundant mosses Pleurozium schreberi (-74%) and Dicranum scoparium (-60%) declined strongly. The C:N ratio in V. myrtillus leaves and plant available N in the soil indicated no altered nitrogen nutrition. Fine-root biomass in summer, however, was negatively affected by the reduced snow cover (-50%). Observed effects are attributed to direct frost damage of roots and/ or shoots. Besides the obvious relevance of winter processes on plant ecology and distribution, we propose that shifts in the vegetation caused by frost damage may be an important driver of the reported alterations in biogeochemistry in response to altered snow cover. Understory plant performance clearly needs to be considered in the biogeochemistry of boreal systems in the face of climate change. PMID:21850524

  14. Mowing Wyoming big sagebrush communities with degraded herbaceous understories: has a threshold been crossed?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh) plant communities with degraded native herbaceous understories occupy vast expanses of the western United States. Restoring the native herbaceous understory in these communities is needed to provide higher...

  15. Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  16. Detecting understory plant invasion in urban forests using LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Kunwar K.; Davis, Amy J.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-06-01

    Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data are increasingly used to measure structural characteristics of urban forests but are rarely used to detect the growing problem of exotic understory plant invaders. We explored the merits of using LiDAR-derived metrics alone and through integration with spectral data to detect the spatial distribution of the exotic understory plant Ligustrum sinense, a rapidly spreading invader in the urbanizing region of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. We analyzed regional-scale L. sinense occurrence data collected over the course of three years with LiDAR-derived metrics of forest structure that were categorized into the following groups: overstory, understory, topography, and overall vegetation characteristics, and IKONOS spectral features - optical. Using random forest (RF) and logistic regression (LR) classifiers, we assessed the relative contributions of LiDAR and IKONOS derived variables to the detection of L. sinense. We compared the top performing models developed for a smaller, nested experimental extent using RF and LR classifiers, and used the best overall model to produce a predictive map of the spatial distribution of L. sinense across our country-wide study extent. RF classification of LiDAR-derived topography metrics produced the highest mapping accuracy estimates, outperforming IKONOS data by 17.5% and the integration of LiDAR and IKONOS data by 5.3%. The top performing model from the RF classifier produced the highest kappa of 64.8%, improving on the parsimonious LR model kappa by 31.1% with a moderate gain of 6.2% over the county extent model. Our results demonstrate the superiority of LiDAR-derived metrics over spectral data and fusion of LiDAR and spectral data for accurately mapping the spatial distribution of the forest understory invader L. sinense.

  17. Herbivores modify selection on plant functional traits in a temperate rainforest understory.

    PubMed

    Salgado-Luarte, Cristian; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2012-08-01

    There is limited evidence regarding the adaptive value of plant functional traits in contrasting light environments. It has been suggested that changes in these traits in response to light availability can increase herbivore susceptibility. We tested the adaptive value of plant functional traits linked with carbon gain in contrasting light environments and also evaluated whether herbivores can modify selection on these traits in each light environment. In a temperate rainforest, we examined phenotypic selection on functional traits in seedlings of the pioneer tree Aristotelia chilensis growing in sun (canopy gap) and shade (forest understory) and subjected to either natural herbivory or herbivore exclusion. We found differential selection on functional traits depending on light environment. In sun, there was positive directional selection on photosynthetic rate and relative growth rate (RGR), indicating that selection favors competitive ability in a high-resource environment. Seedlings with high specific leaf area (SLA) and intermediate RGR were selected in shade, suggesting that light capture and conservative resource use are favored in the understory. Herbivores reduced the strength of positive directional selection acting on SLA in shade. We provide the first demonstration that natural herbivory rates can change the strength of selection on plant ecophysiological traits, that is, attributes whose main function is resource uptake. Research addressing the evolution of shade tolerance should incorporate the selective role of herbivores. PMID:22766937

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Simulated Nitrogen Deposition Reduces the Abundance of Dominant Forest Understory and Groundcover Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talhelm, A. F.; Burton, A. J.; Pregitzer, K. S.; Zak, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    Growth in global industrialization is expected to increase the amount of atmospheric N deposition added to terrestrial ecosystems during the next century (Dentener et al. 2006). In North America, northern temperate forests in the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada have received large amounts of N deposition for several decades and there is evidence that these consistent inputs of atmospheric N have increased the availability of N in these forests (Talhelm et al. 2012). Groundcover plants (seedlings, shrubs, and herbaceous plants) are considered to be more sensitive indicators of N deposition impacts than overstory trees (Pardo et al. 2011). Further, these plants are both crucial to forest regeneration following disturbance and, relative to their biomass, disproportionately important within forest ecosystems in terms of species diversity, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, and litter production (Gillam 2007). In order to understand the effects of chronic N deposition on forests in the north-central United States, we have experimentally added 3 g N m-2 yr--1 in the form of NaNO3 pellets to plots at four northern hardwood forest sites spread across 500 km in Michigan since 1994. From 2005 to 2012, we have made repeated measurements of the abundance of both groundcover plants (< 1.4 m in height) and understory plants (>1.4 m in height, less than 5 cm diameter at 1.4 m). At these sites, sugar maple (Acer saccharum) ) seedlings are highly abundant (up to 200 plants m-2) and the dominant groundcover plant (79% of all woody stems). Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) is the dominant understory plant (42% of all stems). Experiment N additions strongly and consistently reduced the abundance of these two plants in these forest strata at the sites where these plants were most abundant. For sugar maple seedlings, there were significant effects at sites A (-49%) and C (-65%, Site × N: P < 0.001), and for understory hop-hornbeam, there were significant reductions at sites

  1. Effective use of high CO₂ efflux at the soil surface in a tropical understory plant.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Atsushi; Nakano, Takashi; Adachi, Minaco; Yoshimura, Kenichi; Osada, Noriyuki; Ladpala, Phanumard; Diloksumpun, Sapit; Puangchit, Ladawan; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Many terrestrial plants are C3 plants that evolved in the Mesozoic Era when atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) were high. Given current conditions, C3 plants can no longer benefit from high ambient [CO2]. Kaempferia marginata Carey is a unique understory ginger plant in the tropical dry forests of Thailand. The plant has two large flat leaves that spread on the soil surface. We found a large difference in [CO2] between the partly closed space between the soil surface and the leaves (638 µmol mol(-1)) and the atmosphere at 20 cm above ground level (412 µmol mol(-1)). This finding indicates that the plants capture CO2 efflux from the soil. Almost all of the stomata are located on the abaxial leaf surface. When ambient air [CO2] was experimentally increased from 400 to 600 μmol mol(-1), net photosynthetic rates increased by 45 to 48% under near light-saturated conditions. No significant increase was observed under low light conditions. These data demonstrate that the unique leaf structure enhances carbon gain by trapping soil CO2 efflux at stomatal sites under relatively high light conditions, suggesting that ambient air [CO2] can serve as an important selective agent for terrestrial C3 plants. PMID:25758763

  2. Effective use of high CO2 efflux at the soil surface in a tropical understory plant

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Atsushi; Nakano, Takashi; Adachi, Minaco; Yoshimura, Kenichi; Osada, Noriyuki; Ladpala, Phanumard; Diloksumpun, Sapit; Puangchit, Ladawan; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Many terrestrial plants are C3 plants that evolved in the Mesozoic Era when atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) were high. Given current conditions, C3 plants can no longer benefit from high ambient [CO2]. Kaempferia marginata Carey is a unique understory ginger plant in the tropical dry forests of Thailand. The plant has two large flat leaves that spread on the soil surface. We found a large difference in [CO2] between the partly closed space between the soil surface and the leaves (638 µmol mol−1) and the atmosphere at 20 cm above ground level (412 µmol mol−1). This finding indicates that the plants capture CO2 efflux from the soil. Almost all of the stomata are located on the abaxial leaf surface. When ambient air [CO2] was experimentally increased from 400 to 600 μmol mol−1, net photosynthetic rates increased by 45 to 48% under near light-saturated conditions. No significant increase was observed under low light conditions. These data demonstrate that the unique leaf structure enhances carbon gain by trapping soil CO2 efflux at stomatal sites under relatively high light conditions, suggesting that ambient air [CO2] can serve as an important selective agent for terrestrial C3 plants. PMID:25758763

  3. Light use efficiency of California redwood forest understory plants along a moisture gradient.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Louis S; Dawson, Todd E

    2014-02-01

    We investigated photosynthesis of five plant species growing in the understory at three sites (1,170-, 1,600- and 2,100-mm annual moisture inputs), along the geographical range of coastal California redwood forest, to determine whether greater inputs of rain and fog at northern sites enhance photosynthetic utilization of fluctuating light. Measurements of understory light environment and gas exchange were carried out to determine steady state and dynamic photosynthetic responses to light. Leaf area index ranged from 4.84 at the 2,100-mm site to 5.98 at the 1,170-mm site. Maximum rates of net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance (g) did not vary appreciably within species across sites. Photosynthetic induction after a change from low to high light was significantly greater in plants growing in lower light conditions regardless of site. Photosynthetic induction also increased with the rate of g in diffuse light, prior to the increase to saturating light levels. Post-illumination CO2 assimilation was the largest factor contributing to variation in C gain during simulated lightflecks. The duration of post-illumination photosynthetic activity, total CO2 assimilation per light received, and light use efficiency during simulated lightflecks increased significantly with moisture inputs in four out of five species. Increasing leaf N concentration with increasing moisture inputs in three out of five species, coupled with changes in leaf N isotopic composition with the onset of the summer fog season suggest that natural N deposition increases with rain and fog inputs and contributes to greater utilization of fluctuating light availability in coastal California redwood forests. PMID:24072441

  4. Detecting fragmentation extinction thresholds for forest understory plant species in peninsular Spain.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á

    2015-01-01

    primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction. PMID:25978329

  5. Detecting Fragmentation Extinction Thresholds for Forest Understory Plant Species in Peninsular Spain

    PubMed Central

    Rueda, Marta; Moreno Saiz, Juan Carlos; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Albuquerque, Fabio S.; Ferrero, Mila; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.

    2015-01-01

    primary importance for the persistence of understory plants, to neglect the impact of fragmentation for some species can lead them to local extinction. PMID:25978329

  6. High risk of plant invasion in the understory of eucalypt plantations in South China

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Dongmei; Huang, Yong; Zhou, Xi-Le; Chen, Bin; Ma, Jinshuang; Yan, Yue-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Eucalypt plantations expand rapidly out of their natural distribution zones, thus inducing a concern on their effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We compare the understory plant diversity of 46 plots of eucalypt plantations, including early and later stages in rotation, with that of 21 plots of contrast vegetation, including other types of plantations and secondary shrub grassland, in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, South China. Although the overall plant diversity did not change significantly in eucalypt plantations relative to the contrast vegetation, the community structures changed dramatically. The Asteraceae family, which is the most important source of destructive invasive plant species in China, is ranked 3rd (7.42%) and 7th (3.14%) in species importance in the early and later stages in eucalypt plantations, respectively. Nevertheless, Asteraceae is ranked 15th (1.73%) in other types of plantations and 21st (0.94%) in secondary shrub grassland. Significant increases in the richness and frequency of invasive species were also observed in eucalypt plantations. Among the 20 invasive species recorded in the eucalypt plantations, 9 species were destructive invasive species and 7 of these species belonged to Asteraceae. This study highlights an enhanced plant invasion risk in eucalypt plantations in South China, particularly by Asteraceae. PMID:26686825

  7. Understory Fires

    NASA Video Gallery

    The flames of understory fires in the southern Amazon reach on average only a few feet tall, but the fire type can claim anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of a burn area's trees. Credit: NASA/Doug Morton

  8. Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata.

    PubMed

    Côrtes, Marina C; Uriarte, María; Lemes, Maristerra R; Gribel, Rogério; Kress, W John; Smouse, Peter E; Bruna, Emilio M

    2013-11-01

    In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. These sites showed variation in the density of H. acuminata. Ten microsatellite markers were used to genotype flowering adults and seedling recruits and to quantify realized pollen and seed dispersal distances, immigration of propagules from outside populations, and reproductive dominance among parents. We tested whether gene dispersal is more dependent on fragmentation or density of reproductive plants. Low plant densities were associated with elevated immigration rates and greater propagule dispersal distances. Reproductive dominance among inside-plot parents was higher for low-density than for high-density populations. Elevated local flower and fruit availability is probably leading to spatially more proximal bird foraging and propagule dispersal in areas with high density of reproductive plants. Nevertheless, genetic diversity, inbreeding coefficients and fine-scale spatial genetic structure were similar across populations, despite differences in gene dispersal. This result may indicate that the opposing processes of longer dispersal events in low-density populations vs. higher diversity of contributing parents in high-density populations balance the resulting genetic outcomes and prevent genetic erosion in small populations and fragments. PMID:24730040

  9. Using native plants as problem-solvers

    SciTech Connect

    Harper-Lore, B.L.

    1996-11-01

    The Federal Highway administration encourages state highway agencies to use native plants in erosion control, revegetation, and landscaping solutions. This paper explains both policy reasons and technical reasons for the use of native plants. How native species can be used is shown through a roadside case study. Other applications of native plant use will be explained through a plant community approach. 5 refs., 2 figs.

  10. 30 years of change in understory plant communities along the Tanana River, Alaska: Revisiting the concept of turning points

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollingsworth, T. N.; Lloyd, A. H.; Ruess, R. W.; Viereck, L. A.; Charlton, B. A.

    2008-12-01

    In interior Alaska, the most productive forests occur along the floodplain of the glacially fed Tanana River. The Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest (BCEF) is located approximately 20 km southwest of Fairbanks, Alaska and was established in 1963 to include representative floodplain forests along the Tanana River. Both the sequence and the mechanisms of succession have been relatively well studied along the Tanana River, where biological and physical "turning points" are hypothesized to be the main proponents of plant community succession. However, prior research has concentrated almost exclusively on four dominant woody taxa: willows, thin-leaf alder, balsam poplar, and white spruce. Comparatively little is known about successional changes in the understory taxa, including shrubs, herbaceous vascular plants, and nonvascular mosses and lichens. Long-term monitoring in BCEF not only provides a unique opportunity to investigate the relationships between vegetation and climate over a 30-year period, but also increases our knowledge and understanding about floodplain successional dynamics. Here, we analyze vegetation and climate data collected since 1977 located in the BCEF at the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (BNZ- LTER) site in order to address the following questions: 1) Are there identifiable understory turning points that mirror the overstory changes in succession? 2) Have changes in climate been manifested in unexpected understory vegetation changes? When examining understory vegetation, we found that the sites established in the 1970s rarely follow the traditional succesional paradigm. In addition, we found changes in functional abundance and diversity in late succesional stands that could indicate vegetation patterns related to associated changes in climate.

  11. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities.

    SciTech Connect

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; et al, et al

    2014-01-23

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils lol(which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together. and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility

  12. Land-Use History and Contemporary Management Inform an Ecological Reference Model for Longleaf Pine Woodland Understory Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Collins, Cathy D.; Hahn, Philip G.; Mattingly, W. Brett; Veldman, Joseph W.; Walker, Joan L.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients–i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  13. Land-use history and contemporary management inform an ecological reference model for longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities.

    PubMed

    Brudvig, Lars A; Orrock, John L; Damschen, Ellen I; Collins, Cathy D; Hahn, Philip G; Mattingly, W Brett; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration is frequently guided by reference conditions describing a successfully restored ecosystem; however, the causes and magnitude of ecosystem degradation vary, making simple knowledge of reference conditions insufficient for prioritizing and guiding restoration. Ecological reference models provide further guidance by quantifying reference conditions, as well as conditions at degraded states that deviate from reference conditions. Many reference models remain qualitative, however, limiting their utility. We quantified and evaluated a reference model for southeastern U.S. longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities. We used regression trees to classify 232 longleaf pine woodland sites at three locations along the Atlantic coastal plain based on relationships between understory plant community composition, soils (which broadly structure these communities), and factors associated with understory degradation, including fire frequency, agricultural history, and tree basal area. To understand the spatial generality of this model, we classified all sites together and for each of three study locations separately. Both the regional and location-specific models produced quantifiable degradation gradients-i.e., progressive deviation from conditions at 38 reference sites, based on understory species composition, diversity and total cover, litter depth, and other attributes. Regionally, fire suppression was the most important degrading factor, followed by agricultural history, but at individual locations, agricultural history or tree basal area was most important. At one location, the influence of a degrading factor depended on soil attributes. We suggest that our regional model can help prioritize longleaf pine woodland restoration across our study region; however, due to substantial landscape-to-landscape variation, local management decisions should take into account additional factors (e.g., soil attributes). Our study demonstrates the utility of

  14. Whole-plant water flux in understory red maple exposed to altered precipitation regimes.

    PubMed

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Hanson, Paul J.; Tschaplinski, Tim J.

    1998-02-01

    Sap flow gauges were used to estimate whole-plant water flux for five stem-diameter classes of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) growing in the understory of an upland oak forest and exposed to one of three large-scale (0.64 ha) manipulations of soil water content. This Throughfall Displacement Experiment (TDE) used subcanopy troughs to intercept roughly 30% of the throughfall on a "dry" plot and a series of pipes to move this collected precipitation across an "ambient" plot and onto a "wet" plot. Saplings with a stem diameter larger than 10 cm lost water at rates 50-fold greater than saplings with a stem diameter of 1 to 2 cm (326 versus 6.4 mol H(2)O tree(-1) day(-1)). These size-class differences were driven largely by differences in leaf area and cross-sectional sapwood area, because rates of water flux expressed per unit leaf area (6.90 mol H(2)O m(-2) day(-1)) or sapwood area (288 mol H(2)O dm(-2) day(-1)) were similar among saplings of the five size classes. Daily and hourly rates of transpiration expressed per unit leaf area varied throughout much of the season, as did soil matrix potentials, and treatment differences due to the TDE were observed during two of the seven sampling periods. On July 6, midday rates of transpiration averaged 1.88 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "wet" plot, 1.22 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "ambient" plot, and 0.76 mol H(2)O m(-2) h(-1) for saplings in the "dry" plot. During the early afternoon of August 28, transpiration rates were sevenfold lower for saplings in the "dry" plot compared to saplings in the "wet" plot and 2.5-fold lower compared to saplings in the "ambient" plot. Treatment differences in crown conductance followed a pattern similar to that of transpiration, with values that averaged 60% lower for saplings in the "dry" plot compared to saplings in the "wet" plot and 35% lower compared to saplings in the "ambient" plot. Stomatal and boundary layer conductances were roughly equal in magnitude

  15. Effects of Understory Vegetation and Litter on Plant Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), N∶P Ratio and Their Relationships with Growth Rate of Indigenous Seedlings in Subtropical Plantations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Hui, Dafeng; Ren, Hai; Liu, Zhanfeng; Yang, Long

    2013-01-01

    Establishing seedlings in subtropical plantations is very important for forest health, succession and management. Information on seedling nutrient concentrations is essential for both the selection of suitable indigenous tree species to accelerate succession of the established plantation and sustainable forest management. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of nitrogen ([N]), phosphorus ([P]), and N∶P ratio in leaves, stems and roots of seedlings of three indigenous tree species (Castanopsis chinensis, Michelia chapensis and Psychotria rubra) transplanted with removing or retaining understory vegetation and litter at two typical subtropical forest plantations (Eucalyptus plantation and native species plantation). We also measured the relative growth rate (RGR) of seedling height, and developed the relationships between RGR and leaf [N], [P] and N∶P ratio. Results showed that treatments of understory vegetation and associated litter (i.e. removal or retained) generally had no significant effects on leaf [N], [P], N∶P ratio and RGR of the transplanted tree seedlings for the experimental period. But among different species, there were significant differences in nutrient concentrations. M. chapensis and P. rubra had higher [N] and [P] compared to C. chinensis. [N] and [P] also varied among different plant tissues with much higher values in leaves than in roots for all indigenous species. RGR of indigenous tree seedlings was mostly positively correlated with leaf [N] and [P], but negatively correlated with leaf N∶P ratio. Considering the low [P] and high N∶P ratio observed in the introduced indigenous tree seedlings, we propose that the current experimental plantations might be P limited for plant growth. PMID:24386340

  16. Effects of understory vegetation and litter on plant nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), N:P ratio and their relationships with growth rate of indigenous seedlings in subtropical plantations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Hui, Dafeng; Ren, Hai; Liu, Zhanfeng; Yang, Long

    2013-01-01

    Establishing seedlings in subtropical plantations is very important for forest health, succession and management. Information on seedling nutrient concentrations is essential for both the selection of suitable indigenous tree species to accelerate succession of the established plantation and sustainable forest management. In this study, we investigated the concentrations of nitrogen ([N]), phosphorus ([P]), and N:P ratio in leaves, stems and roots of seedlings of three indigenous tree species (Castanopsis chinensis, Michelia chapensis and Psychotria rubra) transplanted with removing or retaining understory vegetation and litter at two typical subtropical forest plantations (Eucalyptus plantation and native species plantation). We also measured the relative growth rate (RGR) of seedling height, and developed the relationships between RGR and leaf [N], [P] and N:P ratio. Results showed that treatments of understory vegetation and associated litter (i.e. removal or retained) generally had no significant effects on leaf [N], [P], N:P ratio and RGR of the transplanted tree seedlings for the experimental period. But among different species, there were significant differences in nutrient concentrations. M. chapensis and P. rubra had higher [N] and [P] compared to C. chinensis. [N] and [P] also varied among different plant tissues with much higher values in leaves than in roots for all indigenous species. RGR of indigenous tree seedlings was mostly positively correlated with leaf [N] and [P], but negatively correlated with leaf N:P ratio. Considering the low [P] and high N:P ratio observed in the introduced indigenous tree seedlings, we propose that the current experimental plantations might be P limited for plant growth. PMID:24386340

  17. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, Anne C. S.; Macdonald, S. Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A.

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  18. Understory Plant Community Composition Is Associated with Fine-Scale Above- and Below-Ground Resource Heterogeneity in Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Forests.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Anne C S; Macdonald, S Ellen; Quideau, Sylvie A

    2016-01-01

    Understory plant communities play critical ecological roles in forest ecosystems. Both above- and below-ground ecosystem properties and processes influence these communities but relatively little is known about such effects at fine (i.e., one to several meters within-stand) scales, particularly for forests in which the canopy is dominated by a single species. An improved understanding of these effects is critical for understanding how understory biodiversity is regulated in such forests and for anticipating impacts of changing disturbance regimes. Our primary objective was to examine the patterns of fine-scale variation in understory plant communities and their relationships to above- and below-ground resource and environmental heterogeneity within mature lodgepole pine forests. We assessed composition and diversity of understory vegetation in relation to heterogeneity of both the above-ground (canopy tree density, canopy and tall shrub basal area and cover, downed wood biomass, litter cover) and below-ground (soil nutrient availability, decomposition, forest floor thickness, pH, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and multiple carbon-source substrate-induced respiration (MSIR) of the forest floor microbial community) environment. There was notable variation in fine-scale plant community composition; cluster and indicator species analyses of the 24 most commonly occurring understory species distinguished four assemblages, one for which a pioneer forb species had the highest cover levels, and three others that were characterized by different bryophyte species having the highest cover. Constrained ordination (distance-based redundancy analysis) showed that two above-ground (mean tree diameter, litter cover) and eight below-ground (forest floor pH, plant available boron, microbial community composition and function as indicated by MSIR and PLFAs) properties were associated with variation in understory plant community composition. These results provide novel insights

  19. Plant competition, facilitation, and other overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

    SciTech Connect

    Imm, Donald; Blake, John I

    2006-07-01

    The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem - Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Shibu Jose, Eric J. Jokela, and Deborah L. Miller, (eds.) Springer Series on Environmental Management. Springer Science and Business Media publisher. Box 10.2 Pp 330-333. An insert on overstory-understory interactions in longleaf pine ecosystems.

  20. Native Plants, Native Knowledge: Insights from Judy Bluehorse Skelton.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Bracken

    2003-01-01

    Judy Bluehorse Skelton is an herbalist of Native American descent who conducts field trips to identify plants and classroom activities to demonstrate their uses. She also works with Portland (Oregon) schools developing culturally appropriate strategies for presenting Native American content. She encourages students to look at events such as the…

  1. Wild Plants Used by the Native Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Study, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Describes 10 wild plants used by Native Americans. They include: rose hips; the common milkweed; cattails; elderberries; cactus fruits; lamb's quarters pigweeds (Chenopodium sp.); persimmons; mints (Monardo sp.); the yucca; and the hawthorn. Illustrations of each plant are included. (JN)

  2. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  3. Convergence in light capture efficiencies among tropical forest understory plants with contrasting crown architectures: a case of morphological compensation.

    PubMed

    Valladares, Fernando; Skillman, John B; Pearcy, Robert W

    2002-08-01

    Leaf and crown characteristics were examined for 24 tree and herbaceous species of contrasting architectures from the understory of a lowland rainforest. Light-capture efficiency was estimated for the crowns of the different species with a three-dimensional geometric modeling program. Causal relationships among traits affecting light absorption at two hierarchical levels (leaf and whole crown) were quantified using path analysis. Light-capture and foliage display efficiency were found to be very similar among the 24 species studied, with most converging on a narrow range of light absorption efficiencies (ratio of absorbed vs. available light of 0.60-0.75). Exceptionally low values were found for the climber vines and, to a lesser extent, for the Bromeliad Aechmea magdalenae. Differences in photosynthetic photon flux density (PFD) absorbed per unit leaf area by individual plants were mostly determined by site to site variation in PFD and not by the differences in crown architecture among individuals or species. Leaf angle, and to a lesser extent also supporting biomass, specific leaf area, and internode length, had a significant effect on foliage display efficiency. Potential constraints on light capture such as the phyllotactic pattern were generally offset by other compensatory adjustments of crown structure such as internode length, arching stems, and plagiotropy. The variety of shoot morphologies capable of efficiently capturing light in tropical forest understories is greater than initially thought, extending over species with very different phyllotactic patterns, crown architectures, leaf sizes, and morphologies. PMID:21665729

  4. Asynchronous responses of soil microbial community and understory plant community to simulated nitrogen deposition in a subtropical forest

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianping; Liu, Wenfei; Fan, Houbao; Huang, Guomin; Wan, Songze; Yuan, Yinghong; Ji, Chunfeng

    2013-01-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition greatly affects ecosystem processes and properties. However, few studies have simultaneously examined the responses of both the above- and belowground communities to N deposition. Here, we investigated the effects of 8 years of simulated N deposition on soil microbial communities and plant diversity in a subtropical forest. The quantities of experimental N added (g of N m−2 year−1) and treatment codes were 0 (N0, control), 6 (N1), 12 (N2), and 24 (N3). Phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) analysis was used to characterize the soil microbial community while plant diversity and coverage were determined in the permanent field plots. Microbial abundance was reduced by the N3 treatment, and plant species richness and coverage were reduced by both N2 and N3 treatments. Declines in plant species richness were associated with decreased abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increased bacterial stress index, and reduced soil pH. The plasticity of soil microbial community would be more related to the different responses among treatments when compared with plant community. These results indicate that long-term N deposition has greater effects on the understory plant community than on the soil microbial community and different conservation strategies should be considered. PMID:24198947

  5. Non-native plant invasions in managed and protected ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fornwalt, P.J.; Kaufmann, M.R.; Huckaby, L.S.; Stoker, J.M.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2003-01-01

    We examined patterns of non-native plant diversity in protected and managed ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir forests of the Colorado Front Range. Cheesman Lake, a protected landscape, and Turkey Creek, a managed landscape, appear to have had similar natural disturbance histories prior to European settlement and fire protection during the last century. However, Turkey Creek has experienced logging, grazing, prescribed burning, and recreation since the late 1800s, while Cheesman Lake has not. Using the modified-Whittaker plot design to sample understory species richness and cover, we collected data for 30 0.1 ha plots in each landscape. Topographic position greatly influenced results, while management history did not. At both Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek, low/riparian plots had highest native and non-native species richness and cover; upland plots (especially east/west-facing, south-facing and flat, high plots) had the lowest. However, there were no significant differences between Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek for native species richness, native species cover, non-native species richness, or non-native species cover for any topographic category. In general, non-native species richness and cover were highly positively correlated with native species richness and/or cover (among other variables). In total, 16 non-native species were recorded at Cheesman Lake and Turkey Creek; none of the 16 non-native species were more common at one site than another. These findings suggest that: (1) areas that are high in native species diversity also contain more non-native species; (2) both protected and managed areas can be invaded by non-native plant species, and at similar intensities; and (3) logging, grazing, and other similar disturbances may have less of an impact on non-native species establishment and growth than topographic position (i.e., in lowland and riparian zones versus upland zones).

  6. Invasive non-native plants have a greater effect on neighbouring natives than other non-natives.

    PubMed

    Kuebbing, Sara E; Nuñez, Martin A

    2016-01-01

    Human activity is creating a global footprint by changing the climate, altering habitats and reshuffling the distribution of species. The movement of species around the globe has led to the naturalization and accumulation of multiple non-native species within ecosystems, which is frequently associated with habitat disturbance and changing environmental conditions. However, interactions among species will also influence community composition, but little is known about the full range of direct and indirect interactions among native and non-native species. Here, we show through a meta-analysis of 1,215 pairwise plant interactions between 274 vascular plant species in 21 major habitat types that interactions between non-native plants are asymmetrical with interactions between non-native and native plants. Non-native plants were always bad neighbours, but the negative effect of non-natives on natives was around two times greater than the effect of non-natives on other non-natives. In contrast, the performance of non-native plants was five times higher in the presence of a neighbouring native plant species than in the presence of a neighbouring non-native plant species. Together, these results demonstrate that invaded plant communities may accumulate additional non-native species even if direct interactions between non-natives species are negative. Put another way, invasions may be more likely to lead to more invasions, requiring more active management of ecosystems by promoting native species restoration to undermine invasive positive feedback and to assist native species recovery in invaded ecosystems. PMID:27618506

  7. The plant pathology of native plant restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Restoration of ecologically degraded sites will benefit from the convergence of knowledge drawn from such disparate and often compartmentalized (and heretofore not widely considered) areas of research as soil microbial ecology, plant pathology and agronomy. Restoration following biological control w...

  8. Variation in Vegetation Structure and Soil Properties, and the Relation Between Understory Plants and Environmental Variables Under Different Phyllostachys pubescens Forests in Southeastern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Changshun; Xie, Gaodi; Fan, Shaohui; Zhen, Lin

    2010-04-01

    Biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are key sustainable forestry objectives. Research on the effects of bamboo forest management on plant diversity and soil properties are therefore necessary in bamboo-growing regions, such as southeastern China’s Shunchang County, that have not been studied from this perspective. We analyzed the effects of different Phyllostachys pubescens proportions in managed forests on vegetation structure and soil properties using pure Cunninghamia lanceolata forests as a contrast, and analyzed the relation between understory plants and environmental variables (i.e., topography, stand and soil characteristics) by canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). The forest with 80% P. pubescens and 20% hardwoods (such as Phoebe bournei, Jatropha curcas, Schima superba) maintained the highest plant diversity and best soil properties, with significantly higher plant diversity than the C. lanceolata forest, and better soil physicochemical and biological properties. The distribution of understory plants is highly related to environmental factors. Silvicultural disturbance strongly influenced the ability of different bamboo forests to maintain biodiversity and soil quality under extensive management, and the forest responses to management were consistent with the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis (i.e., diversity and soil properties were best at intermediate disturbance levels). Our results suggest that biodiversity maintenance and soil improvement are important management goals for sustainable bamboo management. To achieve those objectives, managers should balance the inputs and outputs of nutrients and protect understory plants by using appropriate fertilizer (e.g., organic fertilizer), adjusting stand structure, modifying utilization model and the harvest time, and controlling the intensity of culms and shoots harvests.

  9. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation. PMID:19236449

  10. Hotspots of Community Change: Temporal Dynamics Are Spatially Variable in Understory Plant Composition of a California Oak Woodland

    PubMed Central

    Spotswood, Erica N.; Bartolome, James W.; Allen-Diaz, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Community response to external drivers such climate and disturbance can lead to fluctuations in community composition, or to directional change. Temporal dynamics can be influenced by a combination of drivers operating at multiple spatial scales, including external landscape scale drivers, local abiotic conditions, and local species pools. We hypothesized that spatial variation in these factors can create heterogeneity in temporal dynamics within landscapes. We used understory plant species composition from an 11 year dataset from a California oak woodland to compare plots where disturbance was experimentally manipulated with the removal of livestock grazing and a prescribed burn. We quantified three properties of temporal variation: compositional change (reflecting the appearance and disappearance of species), temporal fluctuation, and directional change. Directional change was related most strongly to disturbance type, and was highest at plots where grazing was removed during the study. Temporal fluctuations, compositional change, and directional change were all related to intrinsic abiotic factors, suggesting that some locations are more responsive to external drivers than others. Temporal fluctuations and compositional change were linked to local functional composition, indicating that environmental filters can create subsets of the local species pool that do not respond in the same way to external drivers. Temporal dynamics are often assumed to be relatively static at the landscape scale, provided disturbance and climate are continuous. This study shows that local and landscape scale factors jointly influence temporal dynamics creating hotspots that are particularly responsive to climate and disturbance. Thus, adequate predictions of response to disturbance or to changing climate will only be achieved by considering how factors at multiple spatial scales influence community resilience and recovery. PMID:26222069

  11. Estimating aboveground biomass of broadleaved woody plants in the understory of Florida Keys pine forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sah, J.P.; Ross, M.S.; Koptur, S.; Snyder, J.R.

    2004-01-01

    Species-specific allometric equations that provide estimates of biomass from measured plant attributes are currently unavailable for shrubs common to South Florida pine rocklands, where fire plays an important part in shaping the structure and function of ecosystems. We developed equations to estimate total aboveground biomass and fine fuel of 10 common hardwood species in the shrub layer of pine forests of the lower Florida Keys. Many equations that related biomass categories to crown area and height were significant (p < 0.05), but the form and variables comprising the best model varied among species. We applied the best-fit regression models to structural information from the shrub stratum in 18 plots on Big Pine Key, the most extensive pine forest in the Keys. Estimates based on species-specific equations indicated clearly that total aboveground shrub biomass and shrub fine fuel increased with time since last fire, but the relationships were non-linear. The relative proportion of biomass constituted by the major species also varied with stand age. Estimates based on mixed-species regressions differed slightly from estimates based on species-specific models, but the former could provide useful approximations in similar forests where species-specific regressions are not yet available. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Identification of understory invasive exotic plants with remote sensing in urban forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shouse, Michael; Liang, Liang; Fei, Songlin

    2013-04-01

    Invasive exotic plants (IEP) pose a significant threat to many ecosystems. To effectively manage IEP, it is important to efficiently detect their presences and determine their distribution patterns. Remote sensing has been a useful tool to map IEP but its application is limited in urban forests, which are often the sources and sinks for IEP. In this study, we examined the feasibility and tradeoffs of species level IEP mapping using multiple remote sensing techniques in a highly complex urban forest setting. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), a pervasive IEP in eastern North America, was used as our modeling species. Both medium spatial resolution (MSR) and high spatial resolution (HSR) imagery were employed in bush honeysuckle mapping. The importance of spatial scale was also examined using an up-scaling simulation from the HSR object based classification. Analysis using both MSR and HSR imagery provided viable results for IEP distribution mapping in urban forests. Overall mapping accuracy ranged from 89.8% to 94.9% for HSR techniques and from 74.6% to 79.7% for MSR techniques. As anticipated, classification accuracy reduces as pixel size increases. HSR based techniques produced the most desirable results, therefore is preferred for precise management of IEP in heterogeneous environment. However, the use of MSR techniques should not be ruled out given their wide availability and moderate accuracy.

  13. Effects of invasive alien kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum) on native plant species regeneration in a Hawaiian rainforest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minden, V.; Jacobi, J.D.; Porembski, S.; Boehmer, H.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: Does the invasive alien Hedychium gardnerianum (1) replace native understory species, (2) suppress natural regeneration of native plant species, (3) increase the invasiveness of other non-native plants and (4) are native forests are able to recover after removal of H. gardnerianum. Location: A mature rainforest in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai'i (about 1200 m. a.s.l.; precipitation approximately 2770mm yr-1). Study sites included natural plots without effects of alien plants, ginger plots with a H. gardnerianum-domimted herb layer and cleared plots treated with herbicide to remove alien plants. Methods: Counting mature trees, saplings and seedlings of native and alien plant species. Using nonparametric H-tests to compare impact of H. gardnerianum on the structure of different sites. Results: Results confirmed the hypothesis that H. gardnerianum has negative effects on natural forest dynamics. Lower numbers of native tree seedlings and saplings were found on ginger-dominated plots. Furthermore, H. gardnerianum did not show negative effects on the invasive alien tree species Psidium cattleianum. Conclusions: This study reveals that where dominance of H. gardnerianum persists, regeneration of the forest by native species will be inhibited. Furthermore, these areas might experience invasion by P. cattleianum, resulting in displacement of native canopy species in the future, leading to a change in forest structure and loss of other species dependent on natural rainforest, such as endemic birds. However, if H. gardnerianum is removed the native Hawaiian forest is likely to regenerate and regain its natural structure. ?? 2009 International Association for Vegetation Science.

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

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Palmer, G

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Chris D.; Palmer, G.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. A new tymovirus from a native Alaskan plant, Mertensia paniculata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diseased plants growing at the interface of managed and natural ecosystems may provide reservoirs for spread of diverse plant viruses into domestic and native plants. Mertensia paniculata (Ait.) G. Don, family Boraginaceae, is a native Alaskan plant that is naturally distributed along roadsides, in ...

  17. Thinning and burning result in low-level invasion by nonnative plants but neutral effects on natives.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Cara R; Halpern, Charles B; Agee, James K

    2008-04-01

    Many historically fire-adapted forests are now highly susceptible to damage from insects, pathogens, and stand-replacing fires. As a result, managers are employing treatments to reduce fuel loadings and to restore the structure, species, and processes that characterized these forests prior to widespread fire suppression, logging, and grazing. However, the consequences of these activities for understory plant communities are not well understood. We examined the effects of thinning and prescribed fire on plant composition and diversity in Pinus ponderosa forests of eastern Washington (USA). Data on abundance and richness of native and nonnative plants were collected in 70 stands in the Colville, Okanogan, and Wenatchee National Forests. Stands represented one of four treatments: thinning, burning, thinning followed by burning, or control; treatments had been conducted 3-19 years before sampling. Multi-response permutation procedures revealed no significant effect of thinning or burning on understory plant composition. Similarly, there were no significant differences among treatments in cover or richness of native plants. In contrast, nonnative plants showed small, but highly significant, increases in cover and richness in response to both thinning and burning. In the combined treatment, cover of nonnative plants averaged 2% (5% of total plant cover) but did not exceed 7% (16% of total cover) at any site. Cover and richness of nonnative herbs showed small increases with intensity of disturbance and time since treatment. Nonnative plants were significantly less abundant in treated stands than on adjacent roadsides or skid trails, and cover within these potential source areas explained little of the variation in abundance within treated stands. Although thinning and burning may promote invasion of nonnative plants in these forests, our data suggest that their abundance is limited and relatively stable on most sites. PMID:18488633

  18. Native Plants for Effective Coastal Wetland Restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Rebecca J.

    2003-01-01

    Plant communities, along with soils and appropriate water regimes, are essential components of healthy wetland systems. In Louisiana, the loss of wetland habitat continues to be an issue of major concern. Wetland loss is caused by several interacting factors, both natural and human-induced (e.g., erosion and saltwater intrusion from the construction of canals and levees). Recent estimates of annual coastal land loss rates of about 62 km2 (24 mi2) over the past decade emphasize the magnitude of this problem. In an attempt to slow the rate of loss and perhaps halt the overall trend, resource managers in Louisiana apply various techniques to restore damaged or degraded habitats to functioning wetland systems. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) have cooperated with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources in studies that address effective restoration strategies for coastal wetlands. The studies have identified differences in growth that naturally exist in native Louisiana wetland plant species and genetic varieties (i.e., clones) within species. Clones of a species have a distinctive genetic identity, and some clones may also have distinctive growth responses under various environmental conditions (i.e., preferences). Indeed, large areas of coastal marsh are typically populated by several clones of a plant species, each growing in a microenvironment suited to its preferences. These studies will provide information that will assist resource managers in selecting plant species and clones of species with known growth characteristics that can be matched to environmental conditions at potential restoration sites. Before the studies began, a collection of several clones from four plant species native to coastal Louisiana was established. The species collected included saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), common reed (Phragmites australis), giant bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus), and saltmarsh bulrush (Schoenoplectus

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  20. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates §...

  1. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates §...

  2. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates §...

  3. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates §...

  4. 45 CFR 670.21 - Designation of native plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Designation of native plants. 670.21 Section 670.21 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates §...

  5. Understory vegetation as an indicator for floodplain forest restoration in the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De Steven, Diane; Faulkner, Stephen; Keeland, Bobby D.; Baldwin, Michael; McCoy, John W.; Hughes, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (MAV), complete alteration of river-floodplain hydrology allowed for widespreadconversion of forested bottomlands to intensive agriculture, resulting in nearly 80% forest loss. Governmental programs haveattempted to restore forest habitat and functions within this altered landscape by the methods of tree planting (afforestation)and local hydrologic enhancement on reclaimed croplands. Early assessments identified factors that influenced whetherplanting plus tree colonization could establish an overstory community similar to natural bottomland forests. The extentto which afforested sites develop typical understory vegetation has not been evaluated, yet understory composition may beindicative of restored site conditions. As part of a broad study quantifying the ecosystem services gained from restorationefforts, understory vegetation was compared between 37 afforested sites and 26 mature forest sites. Differences in vegetationattributes for species growth forms, wetland indicator classes, and native status were tested with univariate analyses;floristic composition data were analyzed by multivariate techniques. Understory vegetation of restoration sites was generallyhydrophytic, but species composition differed from that of mature bottomland forest because of young successional age anddiffering responses of plant growth forms. Attribute and floristic variation among restoration sites was related to variationin canopy development and local wetness conditions, which in turn reflected both intrinsic site features and outcomes ofrestoration practices. Thus, understory vegetation is a useful indicator of functional progress in floodplain forest restoration.

  6. Native and Non-Native Plants Provide Similar Refuge to Invertebrate Prey, but Less than Artificial Plants

    PubMed Central

    Grutters, Bart M. C.; Pollux, Bart J. A.; Verberk, Wilco C. E. P.; Bakker, Elisabeth S.

    2015-01-01

    Non-native species introductions are widespread and can affect ecosystem functioning by altering the structure of food webs. Invading plants often modify habitat structure, which may affect the suitability of vegetation as refuge and could thus impact predator-prey dynamics. Yet little is known about how the replacement of native by non-native vegetation affects predator-prey dynamics. We hypothesize that plant refuge provisioning depends on (1) the plant’s native status, (2) plant structural complexity and morphology, (3) predator identity, and (4) prey identity, as well as that (5) structurally similar living and artificial plants provide similar refuge. We used aquatic communities as a model system and compared the refuge provided by plants to macroinvertebrates (Daphnia pulex, Gammarus pulex and damselfly larvae) in three short-term laboratory predation experiments. Plant refuge provisioning differed between plant species, but was generally similar for native (Myriophyllum spicatum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton perfoliatus) and non-native plants (Vallisneria spiralis, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Cabomba caroliniana). However, plant refuge provisioning to macroinvertebrate prey depended primarily on predator (mirror carp: Cyprinus carpio carpio and dragonfly larvae: Anax imperator) and prey identity, while the effects of plant structural complexity were only minor. Contrary to living plants, artificial plant analogues did improve prey survival, particularly with increasing structural complexity and shoot density. As such, plant rigidity, which was high for artificial plants and one of the living plant species evaluated in this study (Ceratophyllum demersum), may interact with structural complexity to play a key role in refuge provisioning to specific prey (Gammarus pulex). Our results demonstrate that replacement of native by structurally similar non-native vegetation is unlikely to greatly affect predator-prey dynamics. We propose that modification of

  7. Exotic earthworm effects on hardwood forest floor, nutrient availability and native plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Hale, Cindy M; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B; Pastor, John

    2008-03-01

    A greenhouse mesocosm experiment, representing earthworm-free North American Acer-dominated forest floor and soil conditions, was used to examine the individual and combined effects of initial invasion by three European earthworm species (Dendrobaena octaedra, Lumbricus rubellus and Lumbricus terrestris) on the forest floor and upper soil horizons, N and P availability, and the mortality and biomass of four native understory plant species (Acer saccharum, Aquilegia canadensis, Aralia racemosa, and Carex pensylvanica). All the three earthworm species combined caused larger impacts on most variables measured than any single earthworm species. These included loss of O horizon mass, decreased thickness of the O horizon and increased thickness of the A horizon, and higher availability of N and P. The latter finding differs from field reports where nutrients were less available after invasion, and probably represents an initial transient increase in nutrient supply as earthworms consume and incorporate the O horizon into the A horizon. Earthworms also increased mortality of plants and decreased total mesocosm plant biomass, but here the impact of all the three earthworm species was no greater than that of L. terrestris and/or L. rubellus alone. This study corroborates field studies that European earthworm invasions alter North American forest ecosystem processes by initiating a cascade of impacts on plant community composition and soil properties. PMID:18066602

  8. Development of Native Plant Materials for Use in Restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The development of native plant materials for restoration demands that close attention be paid to the expectations of the specialized customer base of restoration practitioners. Native and introduced plants are not biologically different, but they are usually very different in how they are marketed...

  9. Non-native plant invasions of United States National parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, J.A.; Brown, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    The United States National Park Service was created to protect and make accessible to the public the nation's most precious natural resources and cultural features for present and future generations. However, this heritage is threatened by the invasion of non-native plants, animals, and pathogens. To evaluate the scope of invasions, the USNPS has inventoried non-native plant species in the 216 parks that have significant natural resources, documenting the identity of non-native species. We investigated relationships among non-native plant species richness, the number of threatened and endangered plant species, native species richness, latitude, elevation, park area and park corridors and vectors. Parks with many threatened and endangered plants and high native plant species richness also had high non-native plant species richness. Non-native plant species richness was correlated with number of visitors and kilometers of backcountry trails and rivers. In addition, this work reveals patterns that can be further explored empirically to understand the underlying mechanisms. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  10. Right under Their Noses: Native Plants in the Schoolyard.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Bracken

    2003-01-01

    A Portland (Oregon) middle school teacher teaches an ethnobotany class using plants identified in Lewis and Clark's journals. After months of learning about native plants, Native American culture, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the class culminates in a 3-day canoe trip down the Columbia River. A Lewis and Clark Rediscovery grant provides…

  11. Aboveground and belowground competition between willow Salix caprea its understory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudrák, Ondřej; Hermová, Markéta; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    The effects of aboveground and belowground competition with the willow S. caprea on its understory plant community were studied in unreclaimed post-mining sites. Belowground competition was evaluated by comparing (i) frames inserted into the soil that excluded woody roots (frame treatment), (ii) frames that initially excluded woody root growth but then allowed regrowth of the roots (open-frame treatment), and (iii) undisturbed soil (no-frame treatment). These treatments were combined with S. caprea thinning to assess the effect of aboveground competition. Three years after the start of the experiment, aboveground competition from S. caprea (as modified by thinning of the S. caprea canopy) had not affected understory biomass or species number but had affected species composition. In contrast, belowground competition significantly affected both the aboveground and belowground biomass of the understory. The aboveground biomass of the understory was greater in the frame treatment (which excluded woody roots) than in the other two treatments. The belowground biomass of the understory was greater in the frame than in the open-frame treatment. Unlike aboveground competition (light availability), belowground competition did not affect understory species composition. Our results suggest that S. caprea is an important component during plant succession on post-mining sites because it considerably modifies its understory plant community. Belowground competition is a major reason for the low cover and biomass of the herbaceous understory in S. caprea stands on post-mining sites.

  12. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer N; Emlen, Douglas J; Pearson, Dean E

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders' web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe's architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  13. Linking Native and Invader Traits Explains Native Spider Population Responses to Plant Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Emlen, Douglas J.; Pearson, Dean E.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretically, the functional traits of native species should determine how natives respond to invader-driven changes. To explore this idea, we simulated a large-scale plant invasion using dead spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) stems to determine if native spiders’ web-building behaviors could explain differences in spider population responses to structural changes arising from C. stoebe invasion. After two years, irregular web-spiders were >30 times more abundant and orb weavers were >23 times more abundant on simulated invasion plots compared to controls. Additionally, irregular web-spiders on simulated invasion plots built webs that were 4.4 times larger and 5.0 times more likely to capture prey, leading to >2-fold increases in recruitment. Orb-weavers showed no differences in web size or prey captures between treatments. Web-spider responses to simulated invasion mimicked patterns following natural invasions, confirming that C. stoebe’s architecture is likely the primary attribute driving native spider responses to these invasions. Differences in spider responses were attributable to differences in web construction behaviors relative to historic web substrate constraints. Orb-weavers in this system constructed webs between multiple plants, so they were limited by the overall quantity of native substrates but not by the architecture of individual native plant species. Irregular web-spiders built their webs within individual plants and were greatly constrained by the diminutive architecture of native plant substrates, so they were limited both by quantity and quality of native substrates. Evaluating native species traits in the context of invader-driven change can explain invasion outcomes and help to identify factors limiting native populations. PMID:27082240

  14. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  15. Native Warm Season Grasses in the National Plant Germplasm System

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) warm-season grass collection which is maintained in Griffin, Georgia currently has over 7300 accessions of which less than ten percent of the collection can be classified as native grass material. This native grass material has been collected from dif...

  16. Novel Weapons Testing: Are Invasive Plants More Chemically Defended than Native Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Eric M.; Parker, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Exotic species have been hypothesized to successfully invade new habitats by virtue of possessing novel biochemistry that repels native enemies. Despite the pivotal long-term consequences of invasion for native food-webs, to date there are no experimental studies examining directly whether exotic plants are any more or less biochemically deterrent than native plants to native herbivores. Methodology/Principal Findings In a direct test of this hypothesis using herbivore feeding assays with chemical extracts from 19 invasive plants and 21 co-occurring native plants, we show that invasive plant biochemistry is no more deterrent (on average) to a native generalist herbivore than extracts from native plants. There was no relationship between extract deterrence and length of time since introduction, suggesting that time has not mitigated putative biochemical novelty. Moreover, the least deterrent plant extracts were from the most abundant species in the field, a pattern that held for both native and exotic plants. Analysis of chemical deterrence in context with morphological defenses and growth-related traits showed that native and exotic plants had similar trade-offs among traits. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results suggest that particular invasive species may possess deterrent secondary chemistry, but it does not appear to be a general pattern resulting from evolutionary mismatches between exotic plants and native herbivores. Thus, fundamentally similar processes may promote the ecological success of both native and exotic species. PMID:20454658

  17. Safeguarding the Seeds of Native Plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As pharmaceutical demand, land restoration efforts, and conservation concerns increase there is an emerging emphasis by various organizations worldwide prioritizing germplasm collection of both native and medicinal taxa. Bioversity International, an organization coordinating the conservation of gen...

  18. Nutrient composition of selected traditional native American plant foods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten wild plants (cattail narrow leaf shoots, chokecherries, beaked hazelnuts, lambsquarters, plains pricklypear, prairie turnips, stinging nettles, wild plums, raspberries, rose hips) from three Native American reservations in North Dakota were analyzed to expand composition information of tradition...

  19. Role of invasive Melilotus officinalis in two native plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Riper, Laura C.; Larson, Diane L.

    2009-01-01

    This study examines the impact of the exotic nitrogen-fixing legume Melilotus officinalis (L.) Lam. on native and exotic species cover in two Great Plains ecosystems in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Melilotus is still widely planted and its effects on native ecosystems are not well studied. Melilotus could have direct effects on native plants, such as through competition or facilitation. Alternatively, Melilotus may have indirect effects on natives, e.g., by favoring exotic species which in turn have a negative effect on native species. This study examined these interactions across a 4-year period in two contrasting vegetation types: Badlands sparse vegetation and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) mixed-grass prairie. Structural equation models were used to analyze the pathways through which Melilotus, native species, and other exotic species interact over a series of 2-year time steps. Melilotus can affect native and exotic species both in the current year and in the years after its death (a lag effect). A lag effect is possible because the death of a Melilotus plant can leave an open, potentially nitrogen-enriched site on the landscape. The results showed that the relationship between Melilotus and native and exotic species varied depending on the habitat and the year. In Badlands sparse vegetation, there was a consistent, strong, and positive relationship between Melilotus cover and native and exotic species cover suggesting that Melilotus is acting as a nurse plant and facilitating the growth of other species. In contrast, in western wheatgrass prairie, Melilotus was acting as a weak competitor and had no consistent effect on other species. In both habitats, there was little evidence for a direct lag effect of Melilotus on other species. Together, these results suggest both facilitative and competitive roles for Melilotus, depending on the vegetation type it invades.

  20. Forest understory plant and soil microbial response to an experimentally induced drought and heat-pulse event: the importance of maintaining the continuum.

    PubMed

    von Rein, Isabell; Gessler, Arthur; Premke, Katrin; Keitel, Claudia; Ulrich, Andreas; Kayler, Zachary E

    2016-08-01

    Drought duration and intensity are expected to increase with global climate change. How changes in water availability and temperature affect the combined plant-soil-microorganism response remains uncertain. We excavated soil monoliths from a beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest, thus keeping the understory plant-microbe communities intact, imposed an extreme climate event, consisting of drought and/or a single heat-pulse event, and followed microbial community dynamics over a time period of 28 days. During the treatment, we labeled the canopy with (13) CO2 with the goal of (i) determining the strength of plant-microbe carbon linkages under control, drought, heat and heat-drought treatments and (ii) characterizing microbial groups that are tightly linked to the plant-soil carbon continuum based on (13) C-labeled PLFAs. Additionally, we used 16S rRNA sequencing of bacteria from the Ah horizon to determine the short-term changes in the active microbial community. The treatments did not sever within-plant transport over the experiment, and carbon sinks belowground were still active. Based on the relative distribution of labeled carbon to roots and microbial PLFAs, we determined that soil microbes appear to have a stronger carbon sink strength during environmental stress. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA revealed multiple trajectories in microbial community shifts within the different treatments. Heat in combination with drought had a clear negative effect on microbial diversity and resulted in a distinct shift in the microbial community structure that also corresponded to the lowest level of label found in the PLFAs. Hence, the strongest changes in microbial abundances occurred in the heat-drought treatment where plants were most severely affected. Our study suggests that many of the shifts in the microbial communities that we might expect from extreme environmental stress will result from the plant-soil-microbial dynamics rather than from direct effects of

  1. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    PubMed

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  2. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    PubMed Central

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  3. Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plants have long been investigated as a source of antibiotics and other bioactives for the treatment of human disease. New Zealand contains a diverse and unique flora, however, few of its endemic plants have been used to treat tuberculosis. One plant, Laurelia novae-zelandiae, was reportedly used by indigenous Maori for the treatment of tubercular lesions. Methods Laurelia novae-zelandiae and 44 other native plants were tested for direct anti-bacterial activity. Plants were extracted with different solvents and extracts screened for inhibition of the surrogate species, Mycobacterium smegmatis. Active plant samples were then tested for bacteriostatic activity towards M. tuberculosis and other clinically-important species. Results Extracts of six native plants were active against M. smegmatis. Many of these were also inhibitory towards M. tuberculosis including Laurelia novae-zelandiae (Pukatea). M. excelsa (Pohutukawa) was the only plant extract tested that was active against Staphylococcus aureus. Conclusions Our data provide support for the traditional use of Pukatea in treating tuberculosis. In addition, our analyses indicate that other native plant species possess antibiotic activity. PMID:20537175

  4. Grasshopper host-plant selection influences seedling recruitment of native plants in an exotic dominated grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic grass in western North America. Areas planted to crested wheatgrass are resistant to colonization by native plant species and often remain relatively stable for decades, imposing problems for the restoration of native grasslands. Gra...

  5. ERTS-1 imagery and native plant distributions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musick, H. B.; Mcginnies, W.; Haase, E.; Lepley, L. K.

    1974-01-01

    A method is developed for using ERTS spectral signature data to determine plant community distribution and phenology without resolving individual plants. An Exotech ERTS radiometer was used near ground level to obtain spectral signatures for a desert plant community, including two shrub species, ground covered with live annuals in April and dead ones in June, and bare ground. It is shown that comparisons of scene types can be made when spectral signatures are expressed as a ratio of red reflectivity to IR reflectivity or when they are plotted as red reflectivity vs. IR reflectivity, in which case the signature clusters of each component are more distinct. A method for correcting and converting the ERTS radiance values to reflectivity values for comparison with ground truth data is appended.

  6. Improving survival and growth of planted Austrocedrus chilensis seedlings in disturbed patagonian forests of Argentina by managing understory vegetation.

    PubMed

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment. PMID:25216990

  7. Improving Survival and Growth of Planted Austrocedrus chilensis Seedlings in Disturbed Patagonian Forests of Argentina by Managing Understory Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M. Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E.

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment.

  8. Imperfect replacement of native species by non-native species as pollinators of endemic Hawaiian plants.

    PubMed

    Aslan, Clare E; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tershy, Bernie; Croll, Don; Robichaux, Robert H

    2014-04-01

    Native plant species that have lost their mutualist partners may require non-native pollinators or seed dispersers to maintain reproduction. When natives are highly specialized, however, it appears doubtful that introduced generalists will partner effectively with them. We used visitation observations and pollination treatments (experimental manipulations of pollen transfer) to examine relationships between the introduced, generalist Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) and 3 endemic Hawaiian plant species (Clermontia parviflora, C. montis-loa, and C. hawaiiensis). These plants are characterized by curved, tubular flowers, apparently adapted for pollination by curve-billed Hawaiian honeycreepers. Z. japonicus were responsible for over 80% of visits to flowers of the small-flowered C. parviflora and the midsize-flowered C. montis-loa. Z. japonicus-visited flowers set significantly more seed than did bagged flowers. Z. japonicus also demonstrated the potential to act as an occasional Clermontia seed disperser, although ground-based frugivory by non-native mammals likely dominates seed dispersal. The large-flowered C. hawaiiensis received no visitation by any birds during observations. Unmanipulated and bagged C. hawaiiensis flowers set similar numbers of seeds. Direct examination of Z. japonicus and Clermontia morphologies suggests a mismatch between Z. japonicus bill morphology and C. hawaiiensis flower morphology. In combination, our results suggest that Z. japonicus has established an effective pollination relationship with C. parviflora and C. montis-loa and that the large flowers of C. hawaiiensis preclude effective visitation by Z. japonicus. PMID:24372761

  9. Native Plant Materials for Sagebrush Steppe Restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An increasing number and diversity of plant materials are becoming available for restoration of sagebrush steppe lands. Some species that have previously been available only from wildland harvest are now more economically produced with better seed quality in cultivated fields. Others are now avail...

  10. Generalized provisional seed zones for native plants.

    PubMed

    Bower, Andrew D; St Clair, J Bradley; Erickson, Vicky

    2014-07-01

    Deploying well-adapted and ecologically appropriate plant materials is a core component of successful restoration projects. We have developed generalized provisional seed zones that can be applied to any plant species in the United States to help guide seed movement. These seed zones are based on the intersection of high-resolution climatic data for winter minimum temperature and aridity (as measured by annual heat : moisture index), each classified into discrete bands. This results in the delineation of 64 provisional seed zones for the continental United States. These zones represent areas of relative climatic similarity, and movement of seed within these zones should help to minimize maladaptation. Superimposing Omernik's level III ecoregions over these seed zones distinguishes areas that are similar climatically yet different ecologically. A quantitative comparison of provisional seed zones with level III ecoregions and provisional seed zones within ecoregions for three species showed that provisional seed zone within ecoregion often explained the greatest proportion of variation in a suite of traits potentially related to plant fitness. These provisional seed zones can be considered a starting point for guidelines for seed transfer, and should be utilized in conjunction with appropriate species-specific information as well as local knowledge of microsite differences. PMID:25154085

  11. Public Lakes, Private Lakeshore: Modeling Protection of Native Aquatic Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, Susan A.; Fulton, David C.

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey ( n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property.

  12. Public lakes, private lakeshore: modeling protection of native aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Susan A; Fulton, David C

    2013-07-01

    Protection of native aquatic plants is an important proenvironmental behavior, because plant loss coupled with nutrient loading can produce changes in lake ecosystems. Removal of aquatic plants by lakeshore property owners is a diffuse behavior that may lead to cumulative impacts on lake ecosystems. This class of behavior is challenging to manage because collective impacts are not obvious to the actors. This paper distinguishes positive and negative beliefs about aquatic plants, in models derived from norm activation theory (Schwartz, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 10:221-279, 1977) and the theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: an introduction to theory and research, Addison-Wesley, Boston 1975), to examine protection of native aquatic plants by Minnesota lakeshore property owners. We clarify how positive and negative evaluations of native aquatic plants affect protection or removal of these plants. Results are based on a mail survey (n = 3,115). Results suggest that positive evaluations of aquatic plants (i.e., as valuable to lake ecology) may not connect with the global attitudes and behavioral intentions that direct plant protection or removal. Lakeshore property owners' behavior related to aquatic plants may be driven more by tangible personal benefits derived from accessible, carefully managed lakeshore than intentional action taken to sustain lake ecosystems. The limited connection of positive evaluations of aquatic plants to global attitudes and behavioral intentions may reflect either lack of knowledge of what actions are needed to protect lake health and/or unwillingness to lose perceived benefits derived from lakeshore property. PMID:23609308

  13. The impact of an alien plant on a native plant-pollinator network: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha E; Hayes, Richard B; Whalley, Martin R; Memmott, Jane

    2007-07-01

    Studies of pairwise interactions have shown that an alien plant can affect the pollination of a native plant, this effect being mediated by shared pollinators. Here we use a manipulative field experiment, to investigate the impact of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera on an entire community of coflowering native plants. Visitation and pollen transport networks were constructed to compare replicated I. glandulifera invaded and I. glandulifera removal plots. Invaded plots had significantly higher visitor species richness, visitor abundance and flower visitation. However, the pollen transport networks were dominated by alien pollen grains in the invaded plots and consequently higher visitation may not translate in facilitation for pollination. The more generalized insects were more likely to visit the alien plant, and Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were more likely to visit the alien than Coleoptera. Our data indicate that generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway of integration for alien plants into native visitation systems. PMID:17542933

  14. Phytophagous Insects on Native and Non-Native Host Plants: Combining the Community Approach and the Biogeographical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Meijer, Kim; Zemel, Hidde; Chiba, Satoshi; Smit, Christian; Beukeboom, Leo W.; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2015-01-01

    During the past centuries, humans have introduced many plant species in areas where they do not naturally occur. Some of these species establish populations and in some cases become invasive, causing economic and ecological damage. Which factors determine the success of non-native plants is still incompletely understood, but the absence of natural enemies in the invaded area (Enemy Release Hypothesis; ERH) is one of the most popular explanations. One of the predictions of the ERH, a reduced herbivore load on non-native plants compared with native ones, has been repeatedly tested. However, many studies have either used a community approach (sampling from native and non-native species in the same community) or a biogeographical approach (sampling from the same plant species in areas where it is native and where it is non-native). Either method can sometimes lead to inconclusive results. To resolve this, we here add to the small number of studies that combine both approaches. We do so in a single study of insect herbivory on 47 woody plant species (trees, shrubs, and vines) in the Netherlands and Japan. We find higher herbivore diversity, higher herbivore load and more herbivory on native plants than on non-native plants, generating support for the enemy release hypothesis. PMID:25955254

  15. Native medicinal plants commercialized in Brazil - priorities for conservation.

    PubMed

    de Melo, Joabe Gomes; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2009-09-01

    A majority of the native medicinal plants that are commercialized in Brazil are harvested from natural populations. In addition to this essentially unrestrained collecting, these plants have been heavily impacted by the cutting and the fragmentation of forest formations throughout the country. Considering the limited availability of natural resources, threats to species diversity, and the necessity of conservation efforts in light of the rapid exhaustion of natural ecosystems, it is becoming exceedingly important to establish conservation priorities. The present work sought to identify the native medicinal plants harvested for industrial purposes and to establish conservation priorities for the species of highest commercial value. To that end, a survey of Brazilian industrial products that use medicinal plants was undertaken in 54 shops in the city of Recife (Pernambuco, NE Brazil). The survey noted information concerning the commercial name of the product, its plant composition and pharmaceutical presentation, therapeutic indications, as well as the laboratory that produced it. Only native species were considered. A total of 74 different native species used to produce more than 300 types of products were encountered in the present survey. Twelve species demonstrated significant versatility (Species which had the highest numbers of different therapeutic indications and body systems), and 58.33% of these plants were trees. Destructive collecting predominates (58.11%), greatly affecting taxa collected exclusively from wild populations (86.49%). The intensive use of exclusively wild species and the destructive harvesting techniques employed in gathering them create serious problems that will threaten the availability of these resources to future generations. PMID:18726244

  16. Direct and Indirect Influence of Non-Native Neighbours on Pollination and Fruit Production of a Native Plant

    PubMed Central

    Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat

    2015-01-01

    Background Entomophilous non-native plants can directly affect the pollination and reproductive success of native plant species and also indirectly, by altering the composition and abundance of floral resources in the invaded community. Separating direct from indirect effects is critical for understanding the mechanisms underlying the impacts of non-native species on recipient communities. Objectives Our aims are: (a) to explore both the direct effect of the non-native Hedysarum coronarium and its indirect effect, mediated by the alteration of floral diversity, on the pollinator visitation rate and fructification of the native Leopoldia comosa and (b) to distinguish whether the effects of the non-native species were due to its floral display or to its vegetative interactions. Methods We conducted field observations within a flower removal experimental setup (i.e. non-native species present, absent and with its inflorescences removed) at the neighbourhood scale. Results Our study illustrates the complexity of mechanisms involved in the impacts of non-native species on native species. Overall, Hedysarum increased pollinator visitation rates to Leopoldia target plants as a result of direct and indirect effects acting in the same direction. Due to its floral display, Hedysarum exerted a direct magnet effect attracting visits to native target plants, especially those made by the honeybee. Indirectly, Hedysarum also increased the visitation rate of native target plants. Due to the competition for resources mediated by its vegetative parts, it decreased floral diversity in the neighbourhoods, which was negatively related to the visitation rate to native target plants. Hedysarum overall also increased the fructification of Leopoldia target plants, even though such an increase was the result of other indirect effects compensating for the observed negative indirect effect mediated by the decrease of floral diversity. PMID:26110630

  17. Herbivory and dominance shifts among exotic and congeneric native plant species during plant community establishment.

    PubMed

    Engelkes, Tim; Meisner, Annelein; Morriën, Elly; Kostenko, Olga; Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities. PMID:26481795

  18. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  19. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  20. Native plant restoration of biosolids-amended copper mine tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, P.A.; Zabowski, D.; Everett, R.L.; Scherer, G.

    1998-12-31

    Copper mine tailings are difficult to revegetate due to nutrient deficiencies, high levels of acidity, and potential metal toxicities. An amendment of biosolids could ameliorate these harsh growing conditions through the addition of available nutrients, improvement of physical soil properties (e.g., increased water holding capacity), and possible lowering of toxic metal availability through complexation with organic matter. A study was conducted on mine tailings at Holden, WA to evaluate the effect of an amendment of biosolids on the survival and growth of five native plant species (Sitka alder, big leaf maple, fireweed, w. yarrow, and pearly everlasting). Plots were established in tailings, gravel over tailings (G/T), and biosolids plus gravel over tailings. Each of the native plant species, except maple, had their highest survival in the biosolids-amended plot with 3 species at 100% survival. The biosolids amendment was shown to improve the growth of all species except maple. Fireweed produced 62 times more biomass in the biosolids-amended plot compared to the unamended plot (G/T). Plant analysis revealed a dramatic increase in nutrient content with the amendment of biosolids. Biosolids improved the survival, growth, and nutritional status of native plant species on the copper mine tailings.

  1. Native and Non-Native Supergeneralist Bee Species Have Different Effects on Plant-Bee Networks

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Tereza C.; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Acosta, Andre L.; Silva, Juliana S.; Maia, Kate P.; Saraiva, Antonio M.; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Kleinert, Astrid M. P.

    2015-01-01

    Supergeneralists, defined as species that interact with multiple groups of species in ecological networks, can act as important connectors of otherwise disconnected species subsets. In Brazil, there are two supergeneralist bees: the honeybee Apis mellifera, a non-native species, and Trigona spinipes, a native stingless bee. We compared the role of both species and the effect of geographic and local factors on networks by addressing three questions: 1) Do both species have similar abundance and interaction patterns (degree and strength) in plant-bee networks? 2) Are both species equally influential to the network structure (nestedness, connectance, and plant and bee niche overlap)? 3) How are these species affected by geographic (altitude, temperature, precipitation) and local (natural vs. disturbed habitat) factors? We analyzed 21 plant-bee weighted interaction networks, encompassing most of the main biomes in Brazil. We found no significant difference between both species in abundance, in the number of plant species with which each bee species interacts (degree), and in the sum of their dependencies (strength). Structural equation models revealed the effect of A. mellifera and T. spinipes, respectively, on the interaction network pattern (nestedness) and in the similarity in bee’s interactive partners (bee niche overlap). It is most likely that the recent invasion of A. mellifera resulted in its rapid settlement inside the core of species that retain the largest number of interactions, resulting in a strong influence on nestedness. However, the long-term interaction between native T. spinipes and other bees most likely has a more direct effect on their interactive behavior. Moreover, temperature negatively affected A. mellifera bees, whereas disturbed habitats positively affected T. spinipes. Conversely, precipitation showed no effect. Being positively (T. spinipes) or indifferently (A. mellifera) affected by disturbed habitats makes these species prone to

  2. In vitro propagation of Australian native ornamental plant, Scaevola.

    PubMed

    Wong, Chui Eng; Bhalla, Prem L

    2010-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe a robust method for the micropropagation of Australian fan flower, Scaevola, a native plant increasingly being used in the ornamental horticulture industry. Shoot segments from different species of Scaevola can be successfully multiplied following this protocol. Multiple shoots can be obtained in hormone-free Murashige and Skoog medium. The regenerated shoot is rooted on hormone-free medium within 4-6 weeks. In vitro grown plantlets readily adapt to glasshouse conditions. PMID:20099106

  3. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework

    PubMed Central

    Downey, Paul O.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat—in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the ‘extinction trajectory’, global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either ‘in the wild’ (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1–3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader

  4. Alien plant invasions and native plant extinctions: a six-threshold framework.

    PubMed

    Downey, Paul O; Richardson, David M

    2016-01-01

    Biological invasions are widely acknowledged as a major threat to global biodiversity. Species from all major taxonomic groups have become invasive. The range of impacts of invasive taxa and the overall magnitude of the threat is increasing. Plants comprise the biggest and best-studied group of invasive species. There is a growing debate; however, regarding the nature of the alien plant threat-in particular whether the outcome is likely to be the widespread extinction of native plant species. The debate has raised questions on whether the threat posed by invasive plants to native plants has been overstated. We provide a conceptual framework to guide discussion on this topic, in which the threat posed by invasive plants is considered in the context of a progression from no impact through to extinction. We define six thresholds along the 'extinction trajectory', global extinction being the final threshold. Although there are no documented examples of either 'in the wild' (Threshold 5) or global extinctions (Threshold 6) of native plants that are attributable solely to plant invasions, there is evidence that native plants have crossed or breached other thresholds along the extinction trajectory due to the impacts associated with plant invasions. Several factors may be masking where native species are on the trajectory; these include a lack of appropriate data to accurately map the position of species on the trajectory, the timeframe required to definitively state that extinctions have occurred and management interventions. Such interventions, focussing mainly on Thresholds 1-3 (a declining population through to the local extinction of a population), are likely to alter the extinction trajectory of some species. The critical issue for conservation managers is the trend, because interventions must be implemented before extinctions occur. Thus the lack of evidence for extinctions attributable to plant invasions does not mean we should disregard the broader threat. PMID

  5. DETERMINING POTENTIAL RISK TO NATIVE PLANTS FROM HERBICIDE DRIFT: COMPARATIVE RESPONSE OF SELECTED CROP AND NATIVE PLANT SPECIES TO GLYPHOSATE AND SULFOMETURON

    EPA Science Inventory

    abstract/abstract

    While native plant communities may be at risk from herbicide use, current crop-centric test procedures for pesticide registration may not adequately represent the sensitivity of native non-crop plants to herbicides. We are designing a protocol to determi...

  6. Investigating the rheological properties of native plant latex.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Georg; Friedrich, Christian; Gillig, Carina; Vollrath, Fritz; Speck, Thomas; Holland, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Plant latex, the source of natural rubber, has been of interest to mankind for millennia, with much of the research on its rheological (flow) properties focused towards industrial application. However, little is known regarding the rheology of the native material as produced by the plant, a key factor in determining latex's biological functions. In this study, we outline a method for rheological comparison between native latices that requires a minimum of preparatory steps. Our approach provides quantitative insights into the coagulation mechanisms of Euphorbia and Ficus latex allowing interpretation within a comparative evolutionary framework. Our findings reveal that in laboratory conditions both latices behave like non-Newtonian materials with the coagulation of Euphorbia latex being mediated by a slow evaporative process (more than 60 min), whereas Ficus appears to use additional biochemical components to increase the rate of coagulation (more than 30 min). Based on these results, we propose two different primary defensive roles for latex in these plants: the delivery of anti-herbivory compounds (Euphorbia) and rapid wound healing (Ficus). PMID:24173604

  7. Investigating the rheological properties of native plant latex

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Georg; Friedrich, Christian; Gillig, Carina; Vollrath, Fritz; Speck, Thomas; Holland, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Plant latex, the source of natural rubber, has been of interest to mankind for millennia, with much of the research on its rheological (flow) properties focused towards industrial application. However, little is known regarding the rheology of the native material as produced by the plant, a key factor in determining latex's biological functions. In this study, we outline a method for rheological comparison between native latices that requires a minimum of preparatory steps. Our approach provides quantitative insights into the coagulation mechanisms of Euphorbia and Ficus latex allowing interpretation within a comparative evolutionary framework. Our findings reveal that in laboratory conditions both latices behave like non-Newtonian materials with the coagulation of Euphorbia latex being mediated by a slow evaporative process (more than 60 min), whereas Ficus appears to use additional biochemical components to increase the rate of coagulation (more than 30 min). Based on these results, we propose two different primary defensive roles for latex in these plants: the delivery of anti-herbivory compounds (Euphorbia) and rapid wound healing (Ficus). PMID:24173604

  8. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  9. Drought in forest understory ecosystems - a novel rainfall reduction experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gimbel, K. F.; Felsmann, K.; Baudis, M.; Puhlmann, H.; Gessler, A.; Bruelheide, H.; Kayler, Z.; Ellerbrock, R. H.; Ulrich, A.; Welk, E.; Weiler, M.

    2015-02-01

    Precipitation patterns across Central Europe are expected to change over the 21st century due to climate change. This may reduce water availability during the plant-growing season and hence affect the performance and vitality of forest ecosystems. We established a novel rainfall reduction experiment on nine sites in Germany to investigate drought effects on soil-forest-understory ecosystems. A realistic, but extreme annual drought with a return period of 40 years, which corresponds to the 2.5% percentile of the annual precipitation, was imposed. At all sites, we were able to reach the target values of rainfall reduction, while other important ecosystem variables like air temperature, humidity, and soil temperature remained unaffected due to the novel design of a flexible roof. The first year of drought showed considerable changes in the soil moisture dynamics relative to the control sites, which affected leaf stomatal conductance of understory species as well as evapotranspiration rates of the forest understory.

  10. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    PubMed

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (<0.5% cover), and vegetation characteristics were similar between grazed and ungrazed treatments. However, litter accumulation was almost twofold greater in ungrazed than in grazed treatments. Long-term grazing exclusion followed by burning resulted in a substantial B. tectorum invasion, but burning the grazed areas did not produce an invasion. The ungrazed-burned treatment also had less perennial vegetation than other treatments. The accumulation of litter (fuel) in ungrazed treatments may have resulted in greater fire-induced mortality of perennial vegetation in ungrazed compared to grazed treatments

  11. ASSESSING OFF-TARGET IMPACTS OF HERBICIDE DRIFT ON NATIVE PLANTS - IMPLICATIONS FOR PLANT COMMUNITIES AND WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The off target movement of herbicidess onto nontarget vegetation can affect native plants, plant communities and ecosystems. Within the agroecosystem, plants provide the basis for food and shelter for wildlife. The risk assessment process to determine potential pesticide impacts...

  12. INTERACTION OF HISTORICAL AND NON-HISTORICAL DISTURBANCES MAINTAINS NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of ...

  13. Monoterpene emissions from an understory species, Pteridium aquilinum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madronich, Monica B.; Greenberg, James P.; Wessman, Carol A.; Guenther, Alex B.

    2012-07-01

    Monoterpene emissions from the dominant understory species Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken fern) in a mixed temperate forest were measured in the field during the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2008. The results showed that Bracken fern emitted monoterpenes at different rates depending if the plants were located in the understory or in open areas. Understory plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.002 to 13 μgC gdw-1 h-1. Open area plants emitted monoterpene levels ranging from 0.005 to 2.21 μgC gdw-1 h-1. During the summer of 2008 greenhouse studies were performed to complement the field studies. Only 3% of the greenhouse Bracken fern plants emitted substantial amounts of monoterpenes. The average emission, 0.15 μgC gdw-1 h-1 ± 0.9 μgC gdw-1 h-1, was much lower than that observed in the field. The factors controlling monoterpene emissions are not clear, but this study provides evidence of the potential importance of understory vegetation to ecosystem total hydrocarbon emissions and emphasizes the need for longer-term field studies.

  14. Invasive plant integration into native plant-pollinator networks across Europe.

    PubMed

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-11-01

    The structure of plant-pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant-pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network. PMID:19692403

  15. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  16. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  17. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  18. Pollination ecology of a plant in its native and introduced areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montero-Castaño, Ana; Vilà, Montserrat; Ortiz-Sánchez, F. Javier

    2014-04-01

    Entomophilous and obligate out-crossing non-native plants need to become well integrated in the resident plant-pollinator network to set seeds and become established. However, it is largely unknown how pollination patterns differ between native ranges and those where plants have been introduced.

  19. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants.

    PubMed

    van Kleunen, Mark; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Pergl, Jan; Winter, Marten; Weber, Ewald; Kreft, Holger; Weigelt, Patrick; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Antonova, Liubov A; Barcelona, Julie F; Cabezas, Francisco J; Cárdenas, Dairon; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana; Castaño, Nicolás; Chacón, Eduardo; Chatelain, Cyrille; Ebel, Aleksandr L; Figueiredo, Estrela; Fuentes, Nicol; Groom, Quentin J; Henderson, Lesley; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, Andrey; Masciadri, Silvana; Meerman, Jan; Morozova, Olga; Moser, Dietmar; Nickrent, Daniel L; Patzelt, Annette; Pelser, Pieter B; Baptiste, María P; Poopath, Manop; Schulze, Maria; Seebens, Hanno; Shu, Wen-sheng; Thomas, Jacob; Velayos, Mauricio; Wieringa, Jan J; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-09-01

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species. PMID:26287466

  20. Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Kleunen, Mark; Dawson, Wayne; Essl, Franz; Pergl, Jan; Winter, Marten; Weber, Ewald; Kreft, Holger; Weigelt, Patrick; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Antonova, Liubov A.; Barcelona, Julie F.; Cabezas, Francisco J.; Cárdenas, Dairon; Cárdenas-Toro, Juliana; Castaño, Nicolás; Chacón, Eduardo; Chatelain, Cyrille; Ebel, Aleksandr L.; Figueiredo, Estrela; Fuentes, Nicol; Groom, Quentin J.; Henderson, Lesley; Inderjit; Kupriyanov, Andrey; Masciadri, Silvana; Meerman, Jan; Morozova, Olga; Moser, Dietmar; Nickrent, Daniel L.; Patzelt, Annette; Pelser, Pieter B.; Baptiste, María P.; Poopath, Manop; Schulze, Maria; Seebens, Hanno; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Thomas, Jacob; Velayos, Mauricio; Wieringa, Jan J.; Pyšek, Petr

    2015-09-01

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

  1. Plant and root endophyte assembly history: interactive effects on native and exotic plants.

    PubMed

    Sikes, Benjamin A; Hawkes, Christine V; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-02-01

    Differences in the arrival timing of plants and soil biota may result in different plant communities through priority effects, potentially affecting the success of native vs. exotic plants, but experimental evidence is largely lacking. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate whether the assembly history of plants and fungal root endophytes could interact to influence plant emergence and biomass. We introduced a grass species and eight fungal species from one of three land-use types (undisturbed, disturbed, or pasture sites in a Florida scrubland) in factorial combinations. We then introduced all plants and fungi from the other land-use types 2 weeks later. Plant emergence was monitored for 6 months, and final plant biomass and fungal species composition assessed. The emergence and growth of the exotic Melinis repens and the native Schizacharyium niveum were affected negatively when introduced early with their "home" fungi, but early introduction of a different plant species or fungi from a different site type eliminated these negative effects, providing evidence for interactive priority effects. Interactive effects of plant and fungal arrival history may be an overlooked determinant of plant community structure and may provide an effective management tool to inhibit biological invasion and aid ecosystem restoration. PMID:27145622

  2. The Environment, Not Space, Dominantly Structures the Landscape Patterns of the Richness and Composition of the Tropical Understory Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yue-Hua; Sheng, Da-Yong; Xiang, Yang-Zhou; Yang, Zeng-Jiang; Xu, Da-Ping; Zhang, Ning-Nan; Shi, Lei-Lei

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms driving the spatial patterns of species richness and composition are essential to the understanding of biodiversity. Numerous studies separately identify the contributions of the environment (niche process) and space (neutral process) to the species richness or composition at different scales, but few studies have investigated the contributions of both types of processes in the two types of data at the landscape scale. In this study, we partitioned the spatial variations in all, exotic and native understory plant species richness and composition constrained by environmental variables and space in 134 plots that were spread across 10 counties in Hainan Island in southern China. The 134 plots included 70 rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation plots, 50 eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) plantation plots, and 14 secondary forest plots. RDA based variation partitioning was run to assess the contribution of environment and space to species richness and composition. The results showed that the environmental variables alone explained a large proportion of the variations in both the species richness and composition of all, native, and exotic species. The RDA results indicated that overstory composition (forest type here) plays a leading role in determining species richness and composition patterns. The alpha and beta diversities of the secondary forest plots were markedly higher than that of the two plantations. In conclusion, niche differentiation processes are the principal mechanisms that shape the alpha and beta diversities of understory plant species in Hainan Island. PMID:24278417

  3. The environment, not space, dominantly structures the landscape patterns of the richness and composition of the tropical understory vegetation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yue-Hua; Sheng, Da-Yong; Xiang, Yang-Zhou; Yang, Zeng-Jiang; Xu, Da-Ping; Zhang, Ning-Nan; Shi, Lei-Lei

    2013-01-01

    The mechanisms driving the spatial patterns of species richness and composition are essential to the understanding of biodiversity. Numerous studies separately identify the contributions of the environment (niche process) and space (neutral process) to the species richness or composition at different scales, but few studies have investigated the contributions of both types of processes in the two types of data at the landscape scale. In this study, we partitioned the spatial variations in all, exotic and native understory plant species richness and composition constrained by environmental variables and space in 134 plots that were spread across 10 counties in Hainan Island in southern China. The 134 plots included 70 rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation plots, 50 eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) plantation plots, and 14 secondary forest plots. RDA based variation partitioning was run to assess the contribution of environment and space to species richness and composition. The results showed that the environmental variables alone explained a large proportion of the variations in both the species richness and composition of all, native, and exotic species. The RDA results indicated that overstory composition (forest type here) plays a leading role in determining species richness and composition patterns. The alpha and beta diversities of the secondary forest plots were markedly higher than that of the two plantations. In conclusion, niche differentiation processes are the principal mechanisms that shape the alpha and beta diversities of understory plant species in Hainan Island. PMID:24278417

  4. Native and non-native ruderals experience similar plant-soil feedbacks and neighbor effects in a system where they coexist.

    PubMed

    Chiuffo, Mariana C; MacDougall, Andrew S; Hierro, José L

    2015-11-01

    Recent applications of coexistence theory to plant invasions posit that non-natives establish in resident communities through either niche differences or traits conferring them with fitness advantages, the former being associated with coexistence and the latter with dominance and competitive exclusion. Plant-soil feedback is a mechanism that is known to explain both coexistence and dominance. In a system where natives and non-natives appear to coexist, we explored how plant-soil feedbacks affect the performance of nine native and nine non-native ruderal species-the prevalent life-history strategy among non-natives-when grown alone and with a phytometer. We also conducted field samplings to estimate the abundance of the 18 species, and related feedbacks to abundances. We found that groups of native and non-native ruderals displayed similar frequencies of negative, positive, and neutral feedbacks, resulting in no detectable differences between natives and non-natives. Likewise, the phytometer exerted comparable negative impacts on native and non-native plants, which were unchanged by plant-soil feedbacks. Finally, feedbacks explained plant abundances only after removing one influential species which exhibited strong positive feedbacks but low abundance. Importantly, however, four out of five species with negative feedbacks were rare in the field. These findings suggest that soil feedbacks and plant-plant interactions do not confer an advantage to non-native over native species, but do contribute to the observed coexistence of these groups in the system. By comparing natives and non-natives with overlapping abundances and strategies, our work broadens understanding of the consequences of plant-soil feedbacks in plant invasion and, more generally, coexistence within plant communities. PMID:26209047

  5. FUNCTIONAL GROUP RESPONSES TO RECIPROCAL PLANT LITTER EXCHANGES BETWEEN NATIVE AND INVASIVE PLANT DOMINATED GRASSLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Manipulating litter in an attempt to direct successional trajectories is rarely considered as a management strategy. Our objective was to determine the influence of litter collected from an intact native plant community on a community dominated by an invasive species within the same habitat type as ...

  6. SELECTING AND EVALUATING NATIVE PLANTS FOR REGION-SPECIFIC PHYTOTOXICITY TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this study, we evaluated methodology to determine risks to terrestrial native plant species from potential herbicide drift, focusing on 1) selection of native species for testing, 2) growth of these species, and 3) variability in herbicide response among native species and com...

  7. Apparent competition and native consumers exacerbate the strong competitive effect of an exotic plant species.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Dutra, Humberto P; Marquis, Robert J; Barber, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Direct and indirect effects can play a key role in invasions, but experiments evaluating both are rare. We examined the roles of direct competition and apparent competition by exotic Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) by manipulating (1) L. maackii vegetation, (2) presence of L. maackii fruits, and (3) access to plants by small mammals and deer. Direct competition with L. maackii reduced the abundance and richness of native and exotic species, and native consumers significantly reduced the abundance and richness of native species. Although effects of direct competition and consumption were more pervasive, richness of native plants was also reduced through apparent competition, as small-mammal consumers reduced richness only when L. maackii fruits were present. Our experiment reveals the multiple, interactive pathways that affect the success and impact of an invasive exotic plant: exotic plants may directly benefit from reduced attack by native consumers, may directly exert strong competitive effects on native plants, and may also benefit from apparent competition. PMID:26230025

  8. Potential for using native plant species in stormwater wetlands.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Warford, Cristina M; Zedler, Joy B

    2002-03-01

    Spartina pectinata (prairie cordgrass) was grown under five hydroperiods (wet-dry cycles) to determine its potential for use in stormwater wetlands, particularly as an alternative to the highly invasive Phalaris arundinacea (an exotic grass). Rhizomes planted in outdoor microcosms grew vigorously in all treatments, namely, weekly flooding in early summer, weekly flooding in late summer, flooding every three weeks throughout the summer, weekly flooding throughout the summer, and no flooding. Neither the timing nor frequency of 24-hour floods (10-20 cm deep) affected total stem length (grand mean 1003 +/- 188.8 cm per pot, n = 140) or above-ground biomass (46.5 +/- 8.3 g per pot, equivalent to approximately 360 g/m2). However, by late summer, fewer new tillers were found in unflooded microcosms, indicating that vegetative expansion is drought-sensitive. The growth of Spartina plants was further assessed with and without Glyceria striata (a native grass) and Phalaris arundinacea. Glyceria growth was not affected by hydrologic treatment. Glyceria reduced Spartina growth by approximately 11%, suggesting potential as a cover crop that might reduce establishment and growth of Phalaris seedlings. Seeds of Phalaris did not germinate, but branch fragments established where soil was moist from flooding, regardless of the presence of Glyceria. The ability of Spartina to establish vegetatively and grow well under variable water levels leads us to recommend further testing in stormwater wetlands, along with early planting of Glyceria to reduce weed invasions. PMID:11830768

  9. [Allelopathic effects of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plants].

    PubMed

    Mei, Lingxiao; Chen, Xin; Tang, Jianjun

    2005-12-01

    With growth chamber method, this paper studied the allelopathic potential of invasive weed Solidago canadensis on native plant species. Different concentration S. canadensis root and rhizome extracts were examined, and the test plants were Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense, Medicago lupulina, Lolium perenne, Suaeda glauca, Plantago virginica, Kummerowia stipulacea, Festuca arundinacea, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea, and Amaranthus spinosus. The results showed that the allelopathic inhibitory effect of the extracts from both S. canadensis root and rhizome was enhanced with increasing concentration, and rhizome extracts had a higher effect than root extracts. At the lowest concentration (1:60), root extract had little effect on the seed germination and seedling growth of T. repens, but rhizome extract could inhibit the germination of all test plants though the inhibitory effect varied with different species. The inhibition was the greatest for grass, followed by forb and legume. 1:60 (m:m) rhizome extract had similar effects on seed germination and radicel growth, but for outgrowth, the extract could inhibit Kummerowia stipulacea, Amaranthus spinosus and Festuca arundinacea, had no significant impact on Lolium perenne, Plantago virginica, Ageratum conyzoides, Portulaca oleracea and Amaranthus spinosus, and stimulated Trifolium repens, Trifolium pretense and Medicago lupulina. PMID:16515192

  10. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Podadera, Diego S; Engel, Vera L; Parrotta, John A; Machado, Deivid L; Sato, Luciane M; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings. PMID:26105971

  11. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podadera, Diego S.; Engel, Vera L.; Parrotta, John A.; Machado, Deivid L.; Sato, Luciane M.; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species ( Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  12. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies ['Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability' (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  13. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis. PMID:26489964

  14. Are invasive plants more competitive than native conspecifics? Patterns vary with competitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yulong; Feng, Yulong; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Li, Yangping; Liao, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jiaolin; Chen, Yajun

    2015-10-01

    Invasive plants are sometimes considered to be more competitive than their native conspecifics, according to the prediction that the invader reallocates resources from defense to growth due to liberation of natural enemies [‘Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability’ (EICA) hypothesis]. However, the differences in competitive ability may depend on the identity of competitors. In order to test the effects of competitors, Ageratina adenophora plants from both native and invasive ranges competed directly, and competed with native residents from both invasive (China) and native (Mexico) ranges respectively. Invasive A. adenophora plants were more competitive than their conspecifics from native populations when competing with natives from China (interspecific competition), but not when competing with natives from Mexico. Invasive A. adenophora plants also showed higher competitive ability when grown in high-density monoculture communities of plants from the same population (intrapopulation competition). In contrast, invasive A. adenophora plants showed lower competitive ability when competing with plants from native populations (intraspecific competition). Our results indicated that in the invasive range A. adenophora has evolved to effectively cope with co-occurring natives and high density environments, contributing to invasion success. Here, we showed the significant effects of competitors, which should be considered carefully when testing the EICA hypothesis.

  15. Understory vegetation leads to changes in soil acidity and in microbial communities 27 years after reforestation.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xiaoli; Yang, Fengting; Wang, Jianlei; Di, Yuebao; Dai, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Xinyu; Wang, Huimin

    2015-01-01

    Experiments with potted plants and removed understories have indicated that understory vegetation often affects the chemical and microbial properties of soil. In this study, we examined the mechanism and extent of the influence of understory vegetation on the chemical and microbial properties of soil in plantation forests. The relationships between the vegetational structure (diversity for different functional layers, aboveground biomass of understory vegetation, and species number) and soil properties (pH, microbial community structure, and levels of soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and inorganic nitrogen) were analyzed across six reforestation types (three pure needleleaf forests, a needle-broadleaf mixed forest, a broadleaf forest, and a shrubland). Twenty-seven years after reforestation, soil pH significantly decreased by an average of 0.95 across reforestation types. Soil pH was positively correlated with the aboveground biomass of the understory. The levels of total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids, and the fungal:bacterial ratios were similar in the shrubland and the broadleaf forest. Both the aboveground biomass of the understory and the diversity of the tree layer positively influenced the fungal:bacterial ratio. Improving the aboveground biomass of the understory could alleviate soil acidification. An increase in the aboveground biomass of the understory, rather than in understory diversity, enhanced the functional traits of the soil microbial communities. The replacement of pure plantations with mixed-species stands, as well as the enhancement of understory recruitment, can improve the ecological functions of a plantation, as measured by the alleviation of soil acidification and increased fungal dominance. PMID:25261818

  16. Effects of livestock watering sites on alien and native plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Matchett, J.R.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Increased livestock densities near artificial watering sites create disturbance gradients called piospheres. We studied responses of alien and native annual plants and native perennial plants within 9 piospheres in the Mojave Desert of North America. Absolute and proportional cover of alien annual plants increased with proximity to watering sites, whereas cover and species richness of native annual plants decreased. Not all alien species responded the same, as the alien forb Erodium cicutarium and the alien grass Schismus spp. increased with proximity to watering sites, and the alien annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens decreased. Perennial plant cover and species richness also declined with proximity to watering sites, as did the structural diversity of perennial plant cover classes. Significant effects were focused within 200 m of the watering sites, suggesting that control efforts for alien annual plants and restoration efforts for native plants should optimally be focused within this central part of the piosphere gradient.

  17. The Influences of Canopy Species and Topographic Variables on Understory Species Diversity and Composition in Coniferous Forests

    PubMed Central

    Huo, Hong; Feng, Qi; Su, Yong-hong

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the distribution of understory vegetation is important for biological conservation and forest management. We compared understory species composition by multi-response permutation procedure and indicator species analysis between plots dominated by Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia Kom.) and Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) in coniferous forests of the Qilian Mountains, northwestern China. Understory species composition differed markedly between the forest types. Many heliophilous species were significantly associated with juniper forest, while only one species was indicative of spruce forest. Using constrained ordination and the variation partitioning model, we quantitatively assessed the relative effects of two sets of explanatory variables on understory species composition. The results showed that topographic variables had higher explanatory power than did site conditions for understory plant distributions. However, a large amount of the variation in understory species composition remained unexplained. Forward selection revealed that understory species distributions were primarily affected by elevation and aspect. Juniper forest had higher species richness and α-diversity and lower β-diversity in the herb layer of the understory plant community than spruce forest, suggesting that the former may be more important in maintaining understory biodiversity and community stability in alpine coniferous forest ecosystems. PMID:25097871

  18. Do Wildfires Promote Woody Species Invasion in a Fire-Adapted Ecosystem? Post-fire Resprouting of Native and Non-native Woody Plants in Central Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrero, M. Lucrecia; Torres, Romina C.; Renison, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    We asked whether prescribed fire could be a useful management tool to reduce invasion by non-native plants in an ecosystem where native plants are supposed to be adapted to fires. Specifically, we compare the post-fire resprouting response of native and non-native woody species in Chaco Serrano forest of central Argentina. The measurements were carried out in five burnt areas where we selected ten native and seven non-native species. Our response variables were (1) post-fire survival, (2) types of resprouts, and (3) the growth of the resprouts. Our main results show that one year after the fire, survivals of native and non-native species were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively, with variances in survival seven times smaller in the native species group. Type of resprout was also less variable in native species, while growth of the resprouts was similar in native and non-native groups. We interpret that in most cases, the burning a forest with mixed native and non-native plants through prescribed fires will not differentially stop the invasion by non-native woody species even in ecosystems which are presumed to be relatively resistant to fires such as our study area.

  19. Do Wildfires Promote Woody Species Invasion in a Fire-Adapted Ecosystem? Post-fire Resprouting of Native and Non-native Woody Plants in Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Herrero, M Lucrecia; Torres, Romina C; Renison, Daniel

    2016-02-01

    We asked whether prescribed fire could be a useful management tool to reduce invasion by non-native plants in an ecosystem where native plants are supposed to be adapted to fires. Specifically, we compare the post-fire resprouting response of native and non-native woody species in Chaco Serrano forest of central Argentina. The measurements were carried out in five burnt areas where we selected ten native and seven non-native species. Our response variables were (1) post-fire survival, (2) types of resprouts, and (3) the growth of the resprouts. Our main results show that one year after the fire, survivals of native and non-native species were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively, with variances in survival seven times smaller in the native species group. Type of resprout was also less variable in native species, while growth of the resprouts was similar in native and non-native groups. We interpret that in most cases, the burning a forest with mixed native and non-native plants through prescribed fires will not differentially stop the invasion by non-native woody species even in ecosystems which are presumed to be relatively resistant to fires such as our study area. PMID:26423569

  20. Floral neighborhood influences pollinator assemblages and effective pollination in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2014-10-01

    Pollinators represent an important intermediary by which different plant species can influence each other's reproductive fitness. Floral neighbors can modify the quantity of pollinator visits to a focal species but may also influence the composition of visitor assemblages that plants receive leading to potential changes in the average effectiveness of floral visits. We explored how the heterospecific floral neighborhood (abundance of native and non-native heterospecific plants within 2 m × 2 m) affects pollinator visitation and composition of pollinator assemblages for a native plant, Phacelia parryi. The relative effectiveness of different insect visitors was also assessed to interpret the potential effects on plant fitness of shifts in pollinator assemblage composition. Although the common non-native Brassica nigra did not have a significant effect on overall pollinator visitation rate to P. parryi, the proportion of flower visits that were made by native pollinators increased with increasing abundance of heterospecific plant species in the floral neighborhood other than B. nigra. Furthermore, native pollinators deposited twice as many P. parryi pollen grains per visit as did the nonnative Apis mellifera, and visits by native bees also resulted in more seeds than visits by A. mellifera. These results indicate that the floral neighborhood can influence the composition of pollinator assemblages that visit a native plant and that changes in local flower communities have the potential to affect plant reproductive success through shifts in these assemblages towards less effective pollinators. PMID:25047026

  1. Native plant conservation partnership with BLM and development of seed zones for restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native forest and rangeland plant communities in the arid Western U.S. are increasingly threatened by overgrazing, uncharacteristically frequent wildfires, invasive weeds, and climate change. As a result, the need for conservation of native plant materials and their use in restoration has increased....

  2. Earthworm invasion as the driving force behind plant invasion and community change in northeastern North American forests.

    PubMed

    Nuzzo, Victoria A; Maerz, John C; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Identification of factors that drive changes in plant community structure and contribute to decline and endangerment of native plant species is essential to the development of appropriate management strategies. Introduced species are assumed to be driving causes of shifts in native plant communities, but unequivocal evidence supporting this view is frequently lacking. We measured native vegetation, non-native earthworm biomass, and leaf-litter volume in 15 forests in the presence and absence of 3 non-native plant species (Microstegium vimineum, Alliaria petiolata, Berberis thunbergii) to assess the general impact of non-native plant and earthworm invasions on native plant communities in northeastern United States. Non-native plant cover was positively correlated with total native plant cover and non-native earthworm biomass. Earthworm biomass was negatively associated with cover of native woody and most herbaceous plants and with litter volume. Graminoid cover was positively associated with non-native earthworm biomass and non-native plant cover. These earthworm-associated responses were detected at all sites despite differences in earthworm species and abundance, composition of the native plant community, identity of invasive plant species, and geographic region. These patterns suggest earthworm invasion, rather than non-native plant invasion, is the driving force behind changes in forest plant communities in northeastern North America, including declines in native plant species, and earthworm invasions appear to facilitate plant invasions in these forests. Thus, a focus on management of invasive plant species may be insufficient to protect northeastern forest understory species. PMID:19236448

  3. Shifts in southern Wisconsin forest canopy and understory richness, composition, and heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Rogers, David A; Rooney, Thomas P; Olson, Daniel; Waller, Donald M

    2008-09-01

    We resurveyed the under- and overstory species composition of 94 upland forest stands in southern Wisconsin in 2002-2004 to assess shifts in canopy and understory richness, composition, and heterogeneity relative to the original surveys in 1949-1950. The canopy has shifted from mostly oaks (Quercus spp.) toward more mesic and shade-tolerant trees (primarily Acer spp.). Oak-dominated early-successional stands and those on coarse, nutrient-poor soils changed the most in canopy composition. Understories at most sites (80%) lost native species, with mean species density declining 25% at the 1-m2 scale and 23.1% at the 20-m2 scale. Woody species have increased 15% relative to herbaceous species in the understory despite declining in absolute abundance. Initial canopy composition, particularly the abundance of red oaks (Quercus rubra and Q. velutina), predicted understory changes better than the changes observed in the overstory. Overall rates of native species loss were greater in later-successional stands, a pattern driven by differential immigration rather than differential extirpation. However, understory species initially found in early-successional habitats declined the most, particularly remnant savanna taxa with narrow or thick leaves. These losses have yet to be offset by compensating increases in native shade-adapted species. Exotic species have proliferated in prevalence (from 13 to 76 stands) and relative abundance (from 1.2% to 8.4%), but these increases appear unrelated to the declines in native species richness and heterogeneity observed. Although canopy succession has clearly influenced shifts in understory composition and diversity, the magnitude of native species declines and failure to recruit more shade-adapted species suggest that other factors now act to limit the richness, heterogeneity, and composition of these communities. PMID:18831170

  4. The phytoremediation potential of native plants on New Zealand dairy farms.

    PubMed

    Hahner, Jason L; Robinson, Brett H; Hong-Tao, Zhong; Dickinson, Nicholas M

    2014-01-01

    Ecological restoration of marginal land and riparian zones in agricultural landscapes in New Zealand enhances the provision of above-ground ecosystem services. We investigated whether native endemic plant assemblages have remediation potential, through modifying soil nutrient and trace element mobility. Analysis of native plant foliage in situ indicated that selective uptake of a range of commonly deficient trace elements including Zn, B, Cu, Mn and Co could provide a browse crop to avoid deficiencies of these elements in livestock, although some native plants may enhance the risk of Mo and Cd toxicity. Native plant rhizospheres were found to modify soil physico-chemistry and are likely to influence lateral and vertical fluxes of chemical elements in drainage waters. Native plants on marginal land in agricultural landscapes could add value to dairy production systems whilst helping to resolve topical environmental issues. PMID:24933881

  5. Non-native earthworms promote plant invasion by ingesting seeds and modifying soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clause, Julia; Forey, Estelle; Lortie, Christopher J.; Lambert, Adam M.; Barot, Sébastien

    2015-04-01

    Earthworms can have strong direct effects on plant communities through consumption and digestion of seeds, however it is unclear how earthworms may influence the relative abundance and composition of plant communities invaded by non-native species. In this study, earthworms, seed banks, and the standing vegetation were sampled in a grassland of central California. Our objectives were i) to examine whether the abundances of non-native, invasive earthworm species and non-native grassland plant species are correlated, and ii) to test whether seed ingestion by these worms alters the soil seed bank by evaluating the composition of seeds in casts relative to uningested soil. Sampling locations were selected based on historical land-use practices, including presence or absence of tilling, and revegetation by seed using Phalaris aquatica. Only non-native earthworm species were found, dominated by the invasive European species Aporrectodea trapezoides. Earthworm abundance was significantly higher in the grassland blocks dominated by non-native plant species, and these sites had higher carbon and moisture contents. Earthworm abundance was also positively related to increased emergence of non-native seedlings, but had no effect on that of native seedlings. Plant species richness and total seedling emergence were higher in casts than in uningested soils. This study suggests that there is a potential effect of non-native earthworms in promoting non-native and likely invasive plant species within grasslands, due to seed-plant-earthworm interactions via soil modification or to seed ingestion by earthworms and subsequent cast effects on grassland dynamics. This study supports a growing body of literature for earthworms as ecosystem engineers but highlights the relative importance of considering non-native-native interactions with the associated plant community.

  6. Elucidating Native and Non-Native Plant-Fog Interactions Across Microclimatic Zones in San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, S.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Hu, J.

    2015-12-01

    Changes in land use, such as the clear cutting of forests and the abandonment of land once used for agriculture, pose an incredible threat to the fragile ecosystems in the tropics. One such consequence of land use change in the tropics is the propagation of invasive plant species. The Galapagos Islands, an ecosystem subject to significant anthropogenic pressure by both increasing tourism and a growing native population, are especially threatened by invasive plant species. More than 800 plant species have been introduced in Galapagos, comprising over 60% of the total flora. San Cristobal Island in particular has been impacted by the introduction of non-native species; the combined pressures of invasive species and land use change have fundamentally altered 70% of the landscape of the island. We performed stable isotope analysis of fog water, surface water and plant xylem water to examine water use by both native and invasive plant species across different microclimatic zones. We conducted these measurements starting at the end of the rainy season and through the middle of the dry season. Our results represent an initial effort to characterize the effects of a changing vegetative cover on the water cycling of tropical islands and provide insight into the interactions between plants, surface water and groundwater at various spatial and temporal scales.

  7. Native and exotic plants of fragments of sagebrush steppe produced by geomorphic processes versus land use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huntly, N.; Bangert, R.; Hanser, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and invasion by exotic species are regarded as major threats to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. We surveyed the plant communities of two types of remnant sagebrush-steppe fragments from nearby areas on the Snake River Plain of southeastern Idaho, USA. One type resulted from land use (conversion to dryland agriculture; hereafter AG Islands) and the other from geomorphic processes (Holocene volcanism; hereafter kipukas). We assessed two predictions for the variation in native plant species richness of these fragments, using structural equation models (SEM). First, we predicted that the species richness of native plants would follow the MacArthur-Wilson (M-W) hypothesis of island biogeography, as often is expected for the communities of habitat fragments. Second, we predicted a negative relationship between native and exotic plants, as would be expected if exotic plants are decreasing the diversity of native plants. Finally, we assessed whether exotic species were more strongly associated with the fragments embedded in the agricultural landscape, as would be expected if agriculture had facilitated the introduction and naturalization of non-native species, and whether the communities of the two types of fragments were distinct. Species richness of native plants was not strongly correlated with M-W characteristics for either the AG Islands or the **kipukas. The AG Islands had more species and higher cover of exotics than the kipukas, and exotic plants were good predictors of native plant species richness. Our results support the hypothesis that proximity to agriculture can increase the diversity and abundance of exotic plants in native habitat. In combination with other information, the results also suggest that agriculture and exotic species have caused loss of native diversity and reorganization of the sagebrush-steppe plant community. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  8. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range.

    PubMed

    Valverde, Pedro L; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of 'release from natural enemies'. PMID:26205526

  9. Natural selection on plant resistance to herbivores in the native and introduced range

    PubMed Central

    Valverde, Pedro L.; Arroyo, Juan; Núñez-Farfán, Juan; Castillo, Guillermo; Calahorra, Adriana; Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Tapia-López, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    When plants are introduced into new regions, the absence of their co-evolved natural enemies can result in lower levels of attack. As a consequence of this reduction in enemy pressure, plant performance may increase and selection for resistance to enemies may decrease. In the present study, we compared leaf damage, plant size and leaf trichome density, as well as the direction and magnitude of selection on resistance and plant size between non-native (Spain) and native (Mexico) populations of Datura stramonium. This species was introduced to Spain about five centuries ago and constitutes an ideal system to test four predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. Compared with native populations, we expected Spanish populations of D. stramonium to have (i) lower levels of foliar damage; (ii) larger plant size; (iii) lower leaf trichome density that is unrelated to foliar damage by herbivores; and (iv) weak or no selection on resistance to herbivores but strong selection on plant size. Our results showed that, on average, plants from non-native populations were significantly less damaged by herbivores, were less pubescent and were larger than those from native populations. We also detected different selection regimes on resistance and plant size between the non-native and native ranges. Positive selection on plant size was detected in both ranges (though it was higher in the non-native area), but consistent positive selection on relative resistance was detected only in the native range. Overall, we suggest that changes in selection pressure on resistance and plant size in D. stramonium in Spain are a consequence of ‘release from natural enemies’. PMID:26205526

  10. A parasitic plant increases native and exotic plant species richness in vernal pools

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

    Species interactions are well known to affect species diversity in communities, but the effects of parasites have been less studied. Previous studies on parasitic plants have found both positive and negative effects on plant community diversity. Cuscuta howelliana is an abundant endemic parasitic plant that inhabits California vernal pools. We tested the hypothesis that C. howelliana acts as a keystone species to increase plant species richness in vernal pools through a C. howelliana removal experiment at Beale Air Force Base in north-central California. Vernal pool endemic plants were parasitized more frequently, and Eryngium castrense and Navarretia leucocephala were the most frequently parasitized host plant species of C. howelliana. Cuscuta howelliana caused higher plant species richness, both natives and exotics, compared with removal plots. However, there was no single plant species that significantly increased with C. howelliana removal. Decreases in Eryngium castrense percent cover plots with C. howelliana is a plausible explanation for differences in species richness. In conclusion, C. howelliana led to changes in species composition and increases in plant species richness, consistent with what is expected from the effects of a keystone species. This research provides support for a shift in management strategies that focus on species-specific targets to strategies that target maintenance of complex species interactions and therefore maximize biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems. PMID:26307042

  11. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Larson, Diane L.; Huerd, Sheri C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  12. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  13. Native weeds and exotic plants: Relationships to disturbance in mixed-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    Disturbance frequently is implicated in the spread of invasive exotic plants. Disturbances may be broadly categorized as endogenous (e.g., digging by fossorial animals) or exogenous (e.g., construction and maintenance of roads and trails), just as weedy species may be native or exotic in origin. The objective of this study was to characterize and compare exotic and native weedy plant occurrence in and near three classes of disturbance -digging by prairie dogs (an endogenous disturbance to which native plants have had the opportunity to adapt), paved or gravel roads (an exogenous disturbance without natural precedent), and constructed trails (an exogenous disturbance with a natural precedent in trails created by movement of large mammals) - in three geographically separate national park units. I used plant survey data from the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Wind Cave National Park in the northern mixed-grass prairie of western North and South Dakota, USA, to characterize the distribution of weedy native and exotic plants with respect to the three disturbance classes as well as areas adjacent to them. There were differences both in the susceptibility of the disturbance classes to invasion and in the distributions of native weeds and exotic species among the disturbance classes. Both exotic and native weedy species richness were greatest in prairie dog towns and community composition there differed most from undisturbed areas. Exotic species were more likely to thrive near roadways, where native weedy species were infrequently encountered. Exotic species were more likely to have spread beyond the disturbed areas into native prairie than were weedy native species. The response of individual exotic plant species to the three types of disturbance was less consistent than that of native weedy species across the three park units.

  14. Do Native Parasitic Plants Cause More Damage to Exotic Invasive Hosts Than Native Non-Invasive Hosts? An Implication for Biocontrol

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community. PMID:22493703

  15. Assessing the risk of Glyphosate to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species of North Dakota

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted to determine the ecological risk to native plants and weedy Brassicaceae species which may be growing in areas affected by off target movement of glyphosate applied to glyphosate-resistant canola (Brassica napus). Ten native grass and forb species were ...

  16. Grazing maintains native plant diversity and promotes community stability in an annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Beck, Jared J; Hernández, Daniel L; Pasari, Jae R; Zavaleta, Erika S

    2015-07-01

    Maintaining native biodiversity in grasslands requires management and mitigation of anthropogenic changes that have altered resource availability, grazing regimes, and community composition. In California (USA), high levels of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition have facilitated the invasion of exotic grasses, posing a threat to the diverse plant and insect communities endemic to serpentine grasslands. Cattle grazing has been employed to mitigate the consequences of exotic grass invasion, but the ecological effects of grazing in this system are not fully understood. To characterize the effects of realistic N deposition on serpentine plant communities and to evaluate the efficacy of grazing as a management tool, we performed a factorial experiment adding N and excluding large herbivores in California's largest serpentine grassland. Although we observed significant interannual variation in community composition related to climate in our six-year study, exotic cover was consistently and negatively correlated with native plant richness. Sustained low-level N addition did not influence plant community composition, but grazing reduced grass abundance while maintaining greater native forb cover, native plant diversity, and species richness in comparison to plots excluding large herbivores. Furthermore, grazing increased the temporal stability of plant communities by decreasing year-to-year variation in native forb cover, native plant diversity, and native species richness. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that moderate-intensity cattle grazing can be used to restrict the invasive potential of exotic grasses and maintain native plant communities in serpentine grasslands. We hypothesize that the reduced temporal variability in serpentine plant communities managed by grazing may directly benefit populations of the threatened Edith's Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis). PMID:26485954

  17. Arbuscular mycorrhizal assemblages in native plant roots change in the presence of invasive exotic grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hawkes, C.V.; Belnap, J.; D'Antonio, C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized with PCR amplification of the ITS region, cloning, and sequencing. We saw a significant effect of the presence of exotic grasses on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi colonizing native plant roots. In the three native grasses, richness of mycorrhizal fungi decreased; in the native forb at the California site, the number of fungal RFLP patterns increased in the presence of exotics. The exotic grasses also caused the composition of the mycorrhizal community in native roots to shift dramatically both in California, with turnover of Glomus spp., and Utah, with replacement of Glomus spp. by apparently non-mycorrhizal fungi. Invading plants may be able to influence the network of mycorrhizal fungi in soil that is available to natives through either earlier root activity or differential carbon provision compared to natives. Alteration of the soil microbial community by plant invasion can provide a mechanism for both successful invasion and the resulting effects of invaders on the ecosystem. ?? Springer 2006.

  18. Crabs mediate interactions between native and invasive salt marsh plants: a mesocosm study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-Yun; Shao, Jun-Jiong; Wu, Xin-Ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  19. Crabs Mediate Interactions between Native and Invasive Salt Marsh Plants: A Mesocosm Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-dong; Jia, Xin; Chen, Yang-yun; Shao, Jun-jiong; Wu, Xin-ru; Shang, Lei; Li, Bo

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbance has been widely recognized as an important factor influencing the structure and dynamics of plant communities. Although soil reworkers were shown to increase habitat complexity and raise the risk of plant invasion, their role in regulating the interactions between native and invasive species remains unclear. We proposed that crab activities, via improving soil nitrogen availability, may indirectly affect the interactions between invasive Spartina alterniflora and native Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter in salt marsh ecosystems. We conducted a two-year mesocosm experiment consisting of five species combinations, i.e., monocultures of three species and pair-wise mixtures of invasive and native species, with crabs being either present or absent for each combination. We found that crabs could mitigate soil nitrogen depletion in the mesocosm over the two years. Plant performance of all species, at both the ramet-level (height and biomass per ramet) and plot-level (density, total above- and belowground biomass), were promoted by crab activities. These plants responded to crab disturbance primarily by clonal propagation, as plot-level performance was more sensitive to crabs than ramet-level. Moreover, crab activities altered the competition between Spartina and native plants in favor of the former, since Spartina was more promoted than native plants by crab activities. Our results suggested that crab activities may increase the competition ability of Spartina over native Phragmites and Scirpus through alleviating soil nitrogen limitation. PMID:24023926

  20. Plant invasions differentially affected by diversity and dominant species in native- and exotic-dominated grasslands.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xia; Polley, H Wayne; Hofmockel, Kirsten; Daneshgar, Pedram P; Wilsey, Brian J

    2015-12-01

    Plant invasions are an increasingly serious global concern, especially as the climate changes. Here, we explored how plant invasions differed between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands with experimental addition of summer precipitation in Texas in 2009. Exotic species greened up earlier than natives by an average of 18 days. This was associated with a lower invasion rate early in the growing season compared to native communities. However, invasion rate did not differ significantly between native and exotic communities across all sampling times. The predictors of invasion rate differed between native and exotic communities, with invasion being negatively influenced by species richness in natives and by dominant species in exotics. Interestingly, plant invasions matched the bimodal pattern of precipitation in Temple, Texas, and did not respond to the pulse of precipitation during the summer. Our results suggest that we will need to take different approaches in understanding of invasion between native and exotic grasslands. Moreover, with anticipated increasing variability in precipitation under global climate change, plant invasions may be constrained in their response if the precipitation pulses fall outside the normal growing period of invaders. PMID:27069615

  1. Are Local Filters Blind to Provenance? Ant Seed Predation Suppresses Exotic Plants More than Natives

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Dean E.; Icasatti, Nadia S.; Hierro, Jose L.; Bird, Benjamin J.

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species’ origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species’ traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species’ origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters. PMID:25099535

  2. Selecting and evaluating native plants for region-specific phytotoxicity testing.

    PubMed

    Olszyk, David; Pfleeger, Thomas; Lee, E Henry; Burdick, Connie; King, George; Plocher, Milton; Kern, Jeffrey

    2008-01-01

    In this study, we evaluated methodology to determine risks to terrestrial native plant species from potential herbecide drift, focusing on 1) selection of native species for testing, 2) growth of these species, and 3) variability in herbicide response among native species and compared with crop plants. Native plant species were selected for initial testing on the basis of spatial analysis, which indicated that species from Illinois, USA, were at potential risk for off-target effects of herbicide drift. On the basis of preliminary seed germination tests, 5 native plant species (Andropogon gerardi, Polygonum lapathifolium, Solidago canadensis, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, and Tridens flavus) were selected for comparison with crops grown in Illinois, normally used in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA's) Vegetative Vigor Test (Avena sativa, Daucus carota, Glycine max, Solanum lycopersicon, and Zea mays), or both. When treated with low concentrations of a test herbicide, sulfometuron methyl, 2 native species, P. lapathifolium and S. canadensis, were as sensitive as the 5 crop species. The effective herbicide concentrations producing a 25% reduction in shoot dry weight (EC25) for these species, ranged from 0.00015 to 0.0014 times a field application concentration of 52 g/ha active ingredient of sulfometuron methyl. S. lateriflorum and T. flavus were less sensitive than the other native species, whereas A. gerardi was tolerant to sulfometuron methyl with no growth reduction at any herbicide concentration tested. This study indicated that native species can be successfully selected and grown, used in the suite of species used in the USEPA's phytotoxicity test to assess risks of chemical herbicides to nontarget plants. It also showed (with a limited number of species) that native species varied more in sensitivity to simulated herbicide drift than crop species often used in phytotoxicity testing and that a Weibull function was useful to calculate EC25 values

  3. Data on keratin expression in human cells cultured with Australian native plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Adams, Damian H; Shou, Qingyao; Wohlmuth, Hans; Cowin, Allison J

    2016-06-01

    Australian native plants have a long history of therapeutic use in indigenous cultures particularly for the treatment of wounds. We analysed 14 plant derived compounds from the species Pilidiostigma glabrum, Myoporum montanum, Geijera parviflora, and Rhodomyrtus psidioides for keratin 1, 5, 10 and 14 supporting the research article "Native Australian plant extracts differentially induce Collagen I and Collagen III in vitro and could be important targets for the development of new wound healing therapies" [5]. An in situ immunofluorescence assay was used in a 96 well tissue culture plate format to measure keratin expression in immortalised human keratinocytes (HaCaTs) exposed Australian native plant compounds to NMR spectra for the plant extracts are included in this article as is quantitative fluorescent intensity data of keratin 1, 5, 10 and 14 expression. PMID:27077086

  4. What determines positive, neutral, and negative impacts of Solidago canadensis invasion on native plant species richness?

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Li-Jia; Yu, Hong-Wei; He, Wei-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Whether plant invasions pose a great threat to native plant diversity is still hotly debated due to conflicting findings. More importantly, we know little about the mechanisms of invasion impacts on native plant richness. We examined how Solidago canadensis invasion influenced native plants using data from 291 pairs of invaded and uninvaded plots covering an entire invaded range, and quantified the relative contributions of climate, recipient communities, and S. canadensis to invasion impacts. There were three types of invasion consequences for native plant species richness (i.e., positive, neutral, and negative impacts). Overall, the relative contributions of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate to invasion impacts were 71.39%, 21.46% and 7.15%, respectively; furthermore, the roles of recipient communities, S. canadensis and climate were largely ascribed to plant diversity, density and cover, and precipitation. In terms of direct effects, invasion impacts were negatively linked to temperature and native plant communities, and positively to precipitation and soil microbes. Soil microbes were crucial in the network of indirect effects on invasion impacts. These findings suggest that the characteristics of recipient communities are the most important determinants of invasion impacts and that invasion impacts may be a continuum across an entire invaded range. PMID:26573017

  5. Grassland fires may favor native over introduced plants by reducing pathogen loads.

    PubMed

    Roy, Bitty A; Hudson, Kenneth; Visser, Matt; Johnson, Bart R

    2014-07-01

    Grasslands have been lost and degraded in the United States since Euro-American settlement due to agriculture, development, introduced invasive species, and changes in fire regimes. Fire is frequently used in prairie restoration to control invasion by trees and shrubs, but may have additional consequences. For example, fire might reduce damage by herbivore and pathogen enemies by eliminating litter, which harbors eggs and spores. Less obviously, fire might influence enemy loads differently for native and introduced plant hosts. We used a controlled burn in a Willamette Valley (Oregon) prairie to examine these questions. We expected that, without fire, introduced host plants should have less damage than native host plants because the introduced species are likely to have left many of their enemies behind when they were transported to their new range (the enemy release hypothesis, or ERH). If the ERH holds, then fire, which should temporarily reduce enemies on all species, should give an advantage to the natives because they should see greater total reduction in damage by enemies. Prior to the burn, we censused herbivore and pathogen attack on eight plant species (five of nonnative origin: Bromus hordaceous, Cynosuros echinatus, Galium divaricatum, Schedonorus arundinaceus (= Festuca arundinacea), and Sherardia arvensis; and three natives: Danthonia californica, Epilobium minutum, and Lomatium nudicale). The same plots were monitored for two years post-fire. Prior to the burn, native plants had more kinds of damage and more pathogen damage than introduced plants, consistent with the ERH. Fire reduced pathogen damage relative to the controls more for the native than the introduced species, but the effects on herbivory were negligible. Pathogen attack was correlated with plant reproductive fitness, whereas herbivory was not. These results suggest that fire may be useful for promoting some native plants in prairies due to its negative effects on their pathogens. PMID

  6. Response to CO2 enrichment of understory vegetation in the shade of forests.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dohyoung; Oren, Ram; Qian, Song S

    2016-02-01

    Responses of forest ecosystems to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration have been studied in few free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments during last two decades. Most studies focused principally on the overstory trees with little attention given to understory vegetation. Despite its small contribution to total productivity of an ecosystem, understory vegetation plays an important role in predicting successional dynamics and future plant community composition. Thus, the response of understory vegetation in Pinus taeda plantation at the Duke Forest FACE site after 15-17 years of exposure to elevated CO2 , 6-13 of which with nitrogen (N) amendment, was examined. Aboveground biomass and density of the understory decreased across all treatments with increasing overstory leaf area index (LAI). However, the CO2 and N treatments had no effect on aboveground biomass, tree density, community composition, and the fraction of shade-tolerant species. The increases of overstory LAI (~28%) under elevated CO2 resulted in a reduction of light available to the understory (~18%) sufficient to nullify the expected growth-enhancing effect of elevated CO2 on understory vegetation. PMID:26463669

  7. Rapid Increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following a mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in pine forests.

    PubMed

    Pec, Gregory J; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N; Cigan, Paul W; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W; Cahill, James F

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown. PMID:25859663

  8. Rapid Increases in Forest Understory Diversity and Productivity following a Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) Outbreak in Pine Forests

    PubMed Central

    Pec, Gregory J.; Karst, Justine; Sywenky, Alexandra N.; Cigan, Paul W.; Erbilgin, Nadir; Simard, Suzanne W.; Cahill, James F.

    2015-01-01

    The current unprecedented outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests of western Canada has resulted in a landscape consisting of a mosaic of forest stands at different stages of mortality. Within forest stands, understory communities are the reservoir of the majority of plant species diversity and influence the composition of future forests in response to disturbance. Although changes to stand composition following beetle outbreaks are well documented, information on immediate responses of forest understory plant communities is limited. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of D. ponderosae-induced tree mortality on initial changes in diversity and productivity of understory plant communities. We established a total of 110 1-m2 plots across eleven mature lodgepole pine forests to measure changes in understory diversity and productivity as a function of tree mortality and below ground resource availability across multiple years. Overall, understory community diversity and productivity increased across the gradient of increased tree mortality. Richness of herbaceous perennials increased with tree mortality as well as soil moisture and nutrient levels. In contrast, the diversity of woody perennials did not change across the gradient of tree mortality. Understory vegetation, namely herbaceous perennials, showed an immediate response to improved growing conditions caused by increases in tree mortality. How this increased pulse in understory richness and productivity affects future forest trajectories in a novel system is unknown. PMID:25859663

  9. Non-native megaherbivores: the case for novel function to manage plant invasions on islands

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Dennis M.

    2015-01-01

    There is a heated debate about whether all non-native species are ‘guilty until proven innocent’, or whether some should be accepted or even welcomed. Further fanning the flames, I here present a case where introductions of carefully vetted, non-native species could provide a net conservation benefit. On many islands, native megaherbivores (flightless birds, tortoises) recently went extinct. Here, rewilding with carefully selected non-native species as ecological replacements is increasingly considered a solution, reinstating a herbivory regime that largely benefits the native flora. Based on these efforts, I suggest that restoration practitioners working on islands without a history of native megaherbivores that are threatened by invasive plants should consider introducing a non-native island megaherbivore, and that large and giant tortoises are ideal candidates. Such tortoises would be equally useful on islands where eradication of invasive mammals has led to increased problems with invasive plants, or on islands that never had introduced mammalian herbivores, but where invasive plants are a problem. My proposal may seem radical, but the reversibility of using giant tortoises means that nothing is lost from trying, and that indeed much is to be gained. As an easily regulated adaptive management tool, it represents an innovative, hypothesis-driven ‘innocent until proven guilty’ approach. PMID:26194166

  10. Non-native megaherbivores: the case for novel function to manage plant invasions on islands.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Dennis M

    2015-01-01

    There is a heated debate about whether all non-native species are 'guilty until proven innocent', or whether some should be accepted or even welcomed. Further fanning the flames, I here present a case where introductions of carefully vetted, non-native species could provide a net conservation benefit. On many islands, native megaherbivores (flightless birds, tortoises) recently went extinct. Here, rewilding with carefully selected non-native species as ecological replacements is increasingly considered a solution, reinstating a herbivory regime that largely benefits the native flora. Based on these efforts, I suggest that restoration practitioners working on islands without a history of native megaherbivores that are threatened by invasive plants should consider introducing a non-native island megaherbivore, and that large and giant tortoises are ideal candidates. Such tortoises would be equally useful on islands where eradication of invasive mammals has led to increased problems with invasive plants, or on islands that never had introduced mammalian herbivores, but where invasive plants are a problem. My proposal may seem radical, but the reversibility of using giant tortoises means that nothing is lost from trying, and that indeed much is to be gained. As an easily regulated adaptive management tool, it represents an innovative, hypothesis-driven 'innocent until proven guilty' approach. PMID:26194166

  11. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS...

  12. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS...

  13. 75 FR 60405 - Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico, Integrated Non-Native Invasive Plant Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-30

    ...The Lincoln National Forest (LNF) proposes to implement an integrated Forest-wide management strategy to control spread of non- native invasive plants (NNIP) within the LNF. The proposal utilizes several management tools, including registered herbicides, biological agents, controlled grazing, manual/mechanical methods, and adaptive management. Invasive plants designated by the State of New......

  14. The Invasive Plant Alternanthera philoxeroides Was Suppressed More Intensively than Its Native Congener by a Native Generalist: Implications for the Biotic Resistance Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chunhua

    2013-01-01

    Prior studies on preferences of native herbivores for native or exotic plants have tested both the enemy release hypothesis and the biotic resistance hypothesis and have reported inconsistent results. The different levels of resistance of native and exotic plants to native herbivores could resolve this controversy, but little attention has been paid to this issue. In this study, we investigated population performance, photosynthesis, leaf nitrogen concentration, and the constitutive and induced resistances of the successful invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, and its native congener, Alternanthera sessilis, in the presence of three population densities of the grasshopper, Atractomorpha sinensis. When the grasshopper was absent, leaf biomass, total biomass, photosynthesis, and leaf nitrogen concentration of A. philoxeroides were higher than those of A. sessilis. However, the morphological and physiological performances of A. philoxeroides were all decreased more intensively than A. sessilis after herbivory by grasshoppers. Especially as the concentrations of constitutive lignin and cellulose in leaf of A. philoxeroides were higher than A. sessilis, A. philoxeroides exhibited increased leaf lignin concentration to reduce its palatability only at severe herbivore load, whereas, leaf lignin, cellulose, and polyphenolic concentrations of A. sessilis all increased with increasing herbivory pressure, and cellulose and polyphenolic concentrations were higher in A. sessilis than in A. philoxeroides after herbivory. Our study indicated that the capability of the invasive plant to respond to native insect damage was lower than the native plant, and the invasive plant was suppressed more intensively than its native congener by the native insect. Our results support the biotic resistance hypothesis and suggest that native herbivores can constrain the abundance and reduce the adverse effects of invasive species. PMID:24386236

  15. Competition between alien annual grasses and native annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2000-01-01

    Alien annual grasses in the genera Bromus and Schismus are widespread and abundant in the Mojave Desert, and negative correlations between these aliens and native annual plants suggest that competition may occur between them. Effects of competition were evaluated by thinning alien annual grass seedlings and measuring the responses of native annual plants at three sites in the central, southcentral and southwestern Mojave Desert during 2 y of contrasting plant productivity. Effects of Bromus and Schismus were evaluated separately in the microhabitat where each was most abundant, beneath the north side of creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) for Bromus and in the open interspace between shrubs for Schismus. Thinning of Bromus and Schismus significantly increased density and biomass of native annuals at all three sites, only during a year of high annual plant productivity and species richness. Effects of thinning were greatest for Amsinckia tesselata and for a group of relatively uncommon native annuals. Thinning also significantly increased the density and biomass of the alien forb, Erodium cicutarium. These results show that alien annual grasses can compete with native annual plants and an alien forb in the Mojave Desert and that effects can vary among years.

  16. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. . PMID:27008777

  17. Soil ecosystem function under native and exotic plant assemblages as alternative states of successional grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spirito, Florencia; Yahdjian, Laura; Tognetti, Pedro M.; Chaneton, Enrique J.

    2014-01-01

    Old fields often become dominated by exotic plants establishing persistent community states. Ecosystem functioning may differ widely between such novel communities and the native-dominated counterparts. We evaluated soil ecosystem attributes in native and exotic (synthetic) grass assemblages established on a newly abandoned field, and in remnants of native grassland in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. We asked whether exotic species alter soil functioning through the quality of the litter they shed or by changing the decomposition environment. Litter decomposition of the exotic dominant Festuca arundinacea in exotic assemblages was faster than that of the native dominant Paspalum quadrifarium in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Decomposition of a standard litter (Triticum aestivum) was also faster in exotic assemblages than in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. In a common garden, F. arundinacea showed higher decay rates than P. quadrifarium, which reflected the higher N content and lower C:N of the exotic grass litter. Soil respiration rates were higher in the exotic than in the native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Yet there were no significant differences in soil N availability or net N mineralization between exotic and native assemblages. Our results suggest that exotic grass dominance affected ecosystem function by producing a more decomposable leaf litter and by increasing soil decomposer activity. These changes might contribute to the extended dominance of fast-growing exotic grasses during old-field succession. Further, increased organic matter turnover under novel, exotic communities could reduce the carbon storage capacity of the system in the long term.

  18. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets’ growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  19. Different Growth Promoting Effects of Endophytic Bacteria on Invasive and Native Clonal Plants.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Wan, Ling-Yun; Cai, Hong-Hong; Wang, Ning; Qi, Shan-Shan; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The role of the interactions between endophytes and alien plants has been unclear yet in plant invasion. We used a completely germ-free culture system to quantify the plant growth-promoting (PGP) effects of endophytic bacteria Bacillus sp. on aseptic seedlings of Wedelia trilobata and of its native clonal congener W. chinensis. The endophytic bacteria did not affect the growth of W. chinensis, but they significantly promoted the growth of W. trilobata. With the PGP effects of endophytic bacteria, relative change ratios of the clonal traits and the ramets' growth traits of W. trilobata were significantly greater than those of W. chinensis. Our results indicate that the growth-promoting effects of endophytes may differ between invasive and native clonal plants, and the endophytes of invasive plant may be host-specific to facilitate plant invasion. PMID:27252722

  20. Are non-native plants perceived to be more risky? Factors influencing horticulturists' risk perceptions of ornamental plant species.

    PubMed

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species. PMID:25003195

  1. Are Non-Native Plants Perceived to Be More Risky? Factors Influencing Horticulturists' Risk Perceptions of Ornamental Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species. PMID:25003195

  2. Non-native plant litter enhances soil carbon dioxide emissions in an invaded annual grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Rogers, William E; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process in which breakdown and decay of plant detritus releases carbon and nutrients. Invasive exotic plants may produce litter that differs from native plant litter in quality and quantity. Such differences may impact litter decomposition and soil respiration in ways that depend on whether exotic and native plant litters decompose in mixtures. However, few field experiments have examined how exotic plants affect soil respiration via litter decomposition. Here, we conducted an in situ study of litter decomposition of an annual native grass (Eragrostis pilosa), a perennial exotic forb (Alternanthera philoxeroides), and their mixtures in an annual grassland in China to examine potential invasion effects on soil respiration. Alternanthera litter decomposed faster than Eragrostis litter when each was incubated separately. Mass loss in litter mixes was more rapid than predicted from rates in single species bags (only 35% of predicted mass remained at 8 months) showing synergistic effects. Notably, exotic plant litter decomposition rate was unchanged but native plant litter decomposition rate was accelerated in mixtures (decay constant k = 0.20 month(-1)) compared to in isolation (k = 0.10 month(-1)). On average, every litter type increased soil respiration compared to bare soil from which litter was removed. However, the increases were larger for mixed litter (1.82 times) than for Alternanthera litter (1.58 times) or Eragrostis litter (1.30 times). Carbon released as CO2 relative to litter carbon input was also higher for mixed litter (3.34) than for Alternathera litter (2.29) or Eragrostis litter (1.19). Our results indicated that exotic Alternanthera produces rapidly decomposing litter which also accelerates the decomposition of native plant litter in litter mixtures and enhances soil respiration rates. Thus, this exotic invasive plant species will likely accelerate carbon cycling and increase soil respiration

  3. The compensatory responses of an understory herb to experimental damage are habitat-dependent.

    PubMed

    Bruna, Emilio M; Ribeiro, Maria Beatriz Nogueira

    2005-12-01

    Canopy gap formation strongly influences the diversity and dynamics of both tropical and temperate forests. It is often viewed as inherently beneficial for understory plants, primarily because growth and flowering are enhanced when light is no longer a limiting resource. It can also be detrimental, however, because plants can be damaged by falling crowns or branches. To elucidate the responses of the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata to damage sustained during gap formation, we transplanted both experimentally damaged and control plants to canopy gaps and the forest understory. We then measured their patterns of growth and biomass allocation 10 mo later. Despite losing approximately 50% of their leaf area, all damaged plants survived the duration of our experiment. Furthermore, damaged plants transplanted to gaps had relative growth rates that far exceeded those of undamaged plants in both gaps and the forest understory. There were also significant interactions between damage and destination habitat type on root to shoot ratios and leaf-area ratios. Our results suggest the ability of herbaceous plants to recover from damage, as well as patterns of post-damage biomass allocation, may be habitat-dependent in ways that have previously remained unexplored. PMID:21646126

  4. Effects of the Interception of Litterfall by the Understory on Carbon Cycling in Eucalyptus Plantations of South China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yuhui; Hui, Dafeng; Wen, Meili

    2014-01-01

    For the purposes of forest restoration, carbon (C) fixation, and economic improvement, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus urophylla) has been widely planted in South China. The understory of eucalyptus plantations is often occupied by a dense community of the fern Dicranopteris dichotoma, which intercepts tree canopy leaf litter before it reaches the ground. To understand the effects of this interception of litterfall on C cycling in eucalyptus plantations, we quantified the mass of intercepted litter and the influences of litterfall interception on litter decomposition and soil respiration. The total mass of E. urophylla litterfall collected on the understory was similar to that collected by the traditional litter trap method. All of the eucalyptus litterfall is intercepted by the D. dichotoma canopy. Of the litterfall that was intercepted by D. dichotoma, 20–40% and 60–80% was intercepted by the top (50–100 cm) and bottom (0–50 cm) of the understory canopy, respectively. Intercepted litterfall decomposed faster at the bottom of understory canopy (at the base of the plants) than at the top, and decomposition was slower on the soil surface in the absence of understory than on any location in the understory canopy. Soil respiration was highest when both the understory and litter were present and was lowest when both the understory and litter were absent. These results indicate that litterfall interception changed carbon flow between aboveground and belowground through litter decomposition and soil respiration, which changed carbon cycling in eucalyptus plantations. The effects of the understory on litter decomposition and soil respiration should be considered in ecosystem carbon models. PMID:24959853

  5. Pattern recognition of native plant communities: Manitou Colorado test site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Driscoll, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    Optimum channel selection among 12 channels of multispectral scanner imagery identified six as providing the best information about 11 vegetation classes and two nonvegetation classes at the Manitou Experimental Forest. Intensive preprocessing of the scanner signals was required to eliminate a serious scan angle effect. Final processing of the normalized data provided acceptable recognition results of generalized plant community types. Serious errors occurred with attempts to classify specific community types within upland grassland areas. The consideration of the convex mixtures concept (effects of amounts of live plant cover, exposed soil, and plant litter cover on apparent scene radiances) significantly improved the classification of some of the grassland classes.

  6. IN VITRO ANTHELMINTIC EFFICACY OF NATIVE PLANTS AGAINST HAEMONCHUS CONTORTUS.

    PubMed

    Jabeen, Nyla; Anwar, Sadaf; Mahmood, Qaisar; Zia, Muhammad Abid; Murtaza, Ghulam

    2015-01-01

    The current study aimed to investigate in vitro anthelmintic efficacy of two medicinally important plants against Haemonchus contortus in small ruminants. Fruit peel of Punica granatum Linn. (vern. Anar), leaves and roots of Berberis lycium Royle (vern. Sumbal) were tested for their anthelmintic efficacy. Methanolic extracts of the test plants from various plant parts were tested for anthelmintic efficacy against the Haemonchus contortous using albendazole as a reference standard. The results revealed that both the plant extracts exhibited potent anthelmintic activity at concentrations higher than 50 mg/mL when tested against their respective standard drug. In case of Berberis lycium Royle when the results were compared, methanolic roots extracts showed more potent activity as compared to leaves extracts at the same concentration. It was observed that the in vitro anthelmintic potential of Punica granatum Linn. fruit peel and Berberis lyceium Royale root can be used to treat helminth infections after in vivo trails. PMID:26665413

  7. Setting Priorities for Monitoring and Managing Non-native Plants: Toward a Practical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Christiane; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Overbeck, Gerhard E.; Kollmann, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Land managers face the challenge to set priorities in monitoring and managing non-native plant species, as resources are limited and not all non-natives become invasive. Existing frameworks that have been proposed to rank non-native species require extensive information on their distribution, abundance, and impact. This information is difficult to obtain and often not available for many species and regions. National watch or priority lists are helpful, but it is questionable whether they provide sufficient information for environmental management on a regional scale. We therefore propose a decision tree that ranks species based on more simple albeit robust information, but still provides reliable management recommendations. To test the decision tree, we collected and evaluated distribution data from non-native plants in highland grasslands of Southern Brazil. We compared the results with a national list from the Brazilian Invasive Species Database for the state to discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches on a regional scale. Out of 38 non-native species found, only four were also present on the national list. If management would solely rely on this list, many species that were identified as spreading based on the decision tree would go unnoticed. With the suggested scheme, it is possible to assign species to active management, to monitoring, or further evaluation. While national lists are certainly important, management on a regional scale should employ additional tools that adequately consider the actual risk of non-natives to become invasive.

  8. Setting Priorities for Monitoring and Managing Non-native Plants: Toward a Practical Approach.

    PubMed

    Koch, Christiane; Jeschke, Jonathan M; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Kollmann, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Land managers face the challenge to set priorities in monitoring and managing non-native plant species, as resources are limited and not all non-natives become invasive. Existing frameworks that have been proposed to rank non-native species require extensive information on their distribution, abundance, and impact. This information is difficult to obtain and often not available for many species and regions. National watch or priority lists are helpful, but it is questionable whether they provide sufficient information for environmental management on a regional scale. We therefore propose a decision tree that ranks species based on more simple albeit robust information, but still provides reliable management recommendations. To test the decision tree, we collected and evaluated distribution data from non-native plants in highland grasslands of Southern Brazil. We compared the results with a national list from the Brazilian Invasive Species Database for the state to discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches on a regional scale. Out of 38 non-native species found, only four were also present on the national list. If management would solely rely on this list, many species that were identified as spreading based on the decision tree would go unnoticed. With the suggested scheme, it is possible to assign species to active management, to monitoring, or further evaluation. While national lists are certainly important, management on a regional scale should employ additional tools that adequately consider the actual risk of non-natives to become invasive. PMID:27272017

  9. Spatial pattern of invasion and the evolutionary responses of native plant species.

    PubMed

    Stotz, Gisela C; Gianoli, Ernesto; Cahill, James F

    2016-09-01

    Invasive plant species can have a strong negative impact on the resident native species, likely imposing new selective pressures on them. Altered selective pressures may result in evolutionary changes in some native species, reducing competitive exclusion and allowing for coexistence with the invader. Native genotypes that are able to coexist with strong invaders may represent a valuable resource for management efforts. A better understanding of the conditions under which native species are more, or less, likely to adapt to an invader is necessary to incorporate these eco-evolutionary dynamics into management strategies. We propose that the spatial structure of invasion, in particular the size and isolation of invaded patches, is one factor which can influence the evolutionary responses of native species through modifying gene flow and the strength of selection. We present a conceptual model in which large, dense, and well-connected patches result in a greater likelihood of native species adaptation. We also identify characteristics of the interacting species that may influence the evolutionary response of native species to invasion and outline potential management implications. Identifying areas of rapid evolutionary change may offer one additional tool to managers in their effort to conserve biodiversity in the face of invasion. PMID:27606003

  10. Soil influence on the performance of 26 native herbaceous plants suitable for sustainable Mediterranean landscaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bretzel, Francesca; Pezzarossa, Beatrice; Benvenuti, Stefano; Bravi, Alessio; Malorgio, Fernando

    2009-09-01

    Native herbaceous plants have the potential for renaturalizing and recovering derelict soils, such as urban or anthropized soils. Ecological restoration following the establishment of a native wildflower meadow should lead to a reduction in management costs and to the preservation of native plant populations. This study was aimed at determining the ecological characteristics and the cultivation needs of 26 herbaceous species native to Italy and southern Europe in order to identify their landscape potential in low-maintenance conditions. The species were selected on the basis of their adaptation to unproductive soils in semi-natural and rural areas, and on their ornamental value, including their ability to attract insects. Mono-specific plots were set up in three different soils. Seed germination, seedling emergence, flowering dynamics, and plant growth were determined. Dormancy-breaking treatments were effective in improving the germination of most species. The percentage of field establishment and biomass appeared to be affected by the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil. Soil texture slightly affected seedling emergence, whereas soil texture and the C and N levels affected plant growth, the number of flowers and the duration of flowering. Dianthus carthusianorum, Verbascum blattaria, Matricaria chamomilla and Hypochoeris radicata developed a higher biomass per plant in the soils with a low nutrient content, indicating their adaptability to infertile soils. Daucus carota, Papaver rhoeas, Verbascum sinuatum, Coleostephus myconis produced a higher biomass per plant in the most fertile soil, where they appeared to show a higher potential when competing with other species. The ecological characteristics shown by the native plants are extremely important in terms of combining seeds of different species to create and to maintain semi-natural herbaceous communities in low-maintenance landscapes.

  11. Predicting patterns of non-native plant invasions in Yosemite National Park, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Underwood, E.C.; Klinger, R.; Moore, P.E.

    2004-01-01

    One of the major issues confronting management of parks and reserves is the invasion of non-native plant species. Yosemite National Park is one of the largest and best-known parks in the United States, harbouring significant cultural and ecological resources. Effective management of non-natives would be greatly assisted by information on their potential distribution that can be generated by predictive modelling techniques. Our goal was to identify key environmental factors that were correlated with the percent cover of non-native species and then develop a predictive model using the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Production technique. We performed a series of analyses using community-level data on species composition in 236 plots located throughout the park. A total of 41 non-native species were recorded which occurred in 23.7% of the plots. Plots with non-natives occurred most frequently at low- to mid-elevations, in flat areas with other herbaceous species. Based on the community-level results, we selected elevation, slope, and vegetation structure as inputs into the GARP model to predict the environmental niche of non-native species. Verification of results was performed using plot data reserved from the model, which calculated the correct prediction of non-native species occurrence as 76%. The majority of the western, lower-elevation portion of the park was predicted to have relatively low levels of non-native species occurrence, with highest concentrations predicted at the west and south entrances and in the Yosemite Valley. Distribution maps of predicted occurrences will be used by management to: efficiently target monitoring of non-native species, prioritize control efforts according to the likelihood of non-native occurrences, and inform decisions relating to the management of non-native species in postfire environments. Our approach provides a valuable tool for assisting decision makers to better manage non-native species, which can be readily adapted to

  12. INCREASING NATIVE PLANT DIVERSITY IN CRESTED WHEATGRASS STANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    EPA Science Inventory

    Conservation agencies and organizations are generally reluctant to encourage the use of invasive plant species in conservation programs. Harsh lessons learned in the past have resulted in tougher screening protocols for non-indigenous species introductions and removal of many no...

  14. Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range

    PubMed Central

    Jelbert, Kim; Stott, Iain; McDonald, Robbie A; Hodgson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    An important goal for invasive species research is to find key traits of species that predispose them to being invasive outside their native range. Comparative studies have revealed phenotypic and demographic traits that correlate with invasiveness among plants. However, all but a few previous studies have been performed in the invaded range, an approach which potentially conflates predictors of invasiveness with changes that happen during the invasion process itself. Here, we focus on wild plants in their native range to compare life-history traits of species known to be invasive elsewhere, with their exported but noninvasive relatives. Specifically, we test four hypotheses: that invasive plant species (1) are larger; (2) are more fecund; (3) exhibit higher fecundity for a given size; and (4) attempt to make seed more frequently, than their noninvasive relatives in the native range. We control for the effects of environment and phylogeny using sympatric congeneric or confamilial pairs in the native range. We find that invasive species are larger than noninvasive relatives. Greater size yields greater fecundity, but we also find that invasives are more fecund per-unit-size. Synthesis: We provide the first multispecies, taxonomically controlled comparison of size, and fecundity of invasive versus noninvasive plants in their native range. We find that invasive species are bigger, and produce more seeds, even when we account for their differences in size. Our findings demonstrate that invasive plant species are likely to be invasive as a result of both greater size and constitutively higher fecundity. This suggests that size and fecundity, relative to related species, could be used to predict which plants should be quarantined. PMID:26045946

  15. Connecting differential responses of native and invasive riparian plants to climate change and environmental alteration.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, Neal E; Richardson, Curtis J; Ho, Mengchi

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to impact river systems in the southeastern United States through alterations of temperature, patterns of precipitation and hydrology. Future climate scenarios for the southeastern United States predict (1) surface water temperatures will warm in concert with air temperature, (2) storm flows will increase and base flows will decrease, and (3) the annual pattern of synchronization between hydroperiod and water temperature will be altered. These alterations are expected to disturb floodplain plant communities, making them more vulnerable to establishment of invasive species. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate whether native and invasive riparian plant assemblages respond differently to alterations of climate and land use. To study the response of riparian wetlands to watershed and climate alterations, we utilized an existing natural experiment imbedded in gradients of temperature and hydrology-found among dammed and undammed rivers. We evaluated a suite of environmental variables related to water temperature, hydrology, watershed disturbance, and edaphic conditions to identify the strongest predictors of native and invasive species abundances. We found that native species abundance is strongly influenced by climate-driven variables such as temperature and hydrology, while invasive species abundance is more strongly influenced by site-specific factors such as land use and soil nutrient availability. The patterns of synchronization between plant phenology, annual hydrographs, and annual water temperature cycles may be key factors sustaining the viability of native riparian plant communities. Our results demonstrate the need to understand the interactions between climate, land use, and nutrient management in maintaining the species diversity of riparian plant communities. Future climate change is likely to result in diminished competitiveness of native plant species, while the competitiveness of invasive species will increase

  16. Can the Understory Affect the Hymenoptera Parasitoids in a Eucalyptus Plantation?

    PubMed Central

    Dall’Oglio, Onice Teresinha; Ribeiro, Rafael Coelho; Ramalho, Francisco de Souza; Fernandes, Flávio Lemes; Wilcken, Carlos Frederico; de Assis Júnior, Sebastião Lourenço; Rueda, Rosa Angélica Plata; Serrão, José Eduardo; Zanuncio, José Cola

    2016-01-01

    The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order. PMID:26954578

  17. Organic Chemistry and the Native Plants of the Sonoran Desert: Conversion of Jojoba Oil to Biodiesel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daconta, Lisa V.; Minger, Timothy; Nedelkova, Valentina; Zikopoulos, John N.

    2015-01-01

    A new, general approach to the organic chemistry laboratory is introduced that is based on learning about organic chemistry techniques and research methods by exploring the natural products found in local native plants. As an example of this approach for the Sonoran desert region, the extraction of jojoba oil and its transesterification to…

  18. APPLICATION OF BIORETENTION, NATIVE PLANTS AND OTHER LOW IMPACT STORM WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO TUFTS UNIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    At Tufts, teams of undergraduates have worked for several years in collaboration with Tufts' Facilities to design bioretentive landscapes using native plants. Now, students will take the next step by implementing low impact development (LID) strategies in conjunction with bes...

  19. A Role for Assisted Evolution in Designing Native Plant Materials for Domesticated Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developers of native plant materials for wildland restoration may operate under either the evolutionary paradigm, which seeks to emulate natural genetic patterns, also referred to as genetic identity, or the resource paradigm, which emphasizes empirical performance. We contend that both paradigms a...

  20. Performance of five models to predict the naturalization of non-native woody plants in Iowa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Use of risk-assessment models that can predict the naturalization and invasion of non-native woody plants is a potentially beneficial approach for protecting human and natural environments. This study validates the power and accuracy of four risk-assessment models previously tested in Iowa, and exa...

  1. The nature of spectral signatures in native arid plant communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conn, J. S.; Foster, K. E.; Mcginnies, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    Radiometric data in ERTS bands 5 and 7 of spectral signature components were compared to the overall signatures obtained from an airborne radiometric data collection system flown at low altitude. Results indicate that due to the low density and low vigor of the vegetation, vegetation has little effect on the overall signature, thus making differentiation of desert plant communities on the basis of spectral signature extremely difficult.

  2. Might Flowers of Invasive Plants Increase Native Bees Carrying Capacity? Intimations from Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We compared the native bees visiting the flowers of three species of invasive plants (Tamarix spp., Melilotus albus, M. officinalis) with those visiting seven native plant species in mid-summer at three sites in Capitol Reef National Park, UT, USA. Overall, as many species of bees visited the flowe...

  3. Invasive plant integration into native plant–pollinator networks across Europe

    PubMed Central

    Vilà, Montserrat; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Dietzsch, Anke C.; Petanidou, Theodora; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Tscheulin, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The structure of plant–pollinator networks has been claimed to be resilient to changes in species composition due to the weak degree of dependence among mutualistic partners. However, detailed empirical investigations of the consequences of introducing an alien plant species into mutualistic networks are lacking. We present the first cross-European analysis by using a standardized protocol to assess the degree to which a particular alien plant species (i.e. Carpobrotus affine acinaciformis, Impatiens glandulifera, Opuntia stricta, Rhododendron ponticum and Solanum elaeagnifolium) becomes integrated into existing native plant–pollinator networks, and how this translates to changes in network structure. Alien species were visited by almost half of the pollinator species present, accounting on average for 42 per cent of the visits and 24 per cent of the network interactions. Furthermore, in general, pollinators depended upon alien plants more than on native plants. However, despite the fact that invaded communities received more visits than uninvaded communities, the dominant role of alien species over natives did not translate into overall changes in network connectance, plant linkage level and nestedness. Our results imply that although supergeneralist alien plants can play a central role in the networks, the structure of the networks appears to be very permeable and robust to the introduction of invasive alien species into the network. PMID:19692403

  4. Songbird abundance in native and planted grassland varies with type and amount of grassland in the surrounding landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, Stephen K.; Fisher, Ryan; Skinner, Susan; Shaffer, Terry L.; Brigham, R. Mark

    2013-01-01

    Agriculture and wildlife conservation programs have converted vast amounts of cropland into grasslands planted with exotic species. Understanding how landscape context influences avian use of native and planted grasslands is essential for developing effective conservation strategies in agricultural landscapes. Our primary objective was to determine the extent to which the amount and type of grassland in the surrounding landscape influences the abundance of grassland songbird species on native and planted grassland parcels in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Bird abundance was more strongly influenced by the amount and type of grassland within 400 m of breeding parcels than at larger spatial scales. Grassland specialists responded similarly to habitat and landscape type over both years and provinces. Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) and Baird's sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) were most common in native grassland parcels surrounded by native grassland and were more likely to occur in planted grasslands surrounded by native grassland. Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) were most common in planted grassland parcels, but their abundance increased with the amount of native grassland surrounding these parcels. Our findings indicate that the suitability of planted grasslands for these species is influenced by their proximity to native grassland. Grassland generalists showed mixed responses to habitat and landscape type over the 2 years (Le Conte's sparrow [Ammodramus leconteii]) and between provinces (Savannah sparrow [Passerculus sandwichensis] and western meadowlark [Sturnella neglecta]). Management to benefit grassland specialists should therefore consider the landscape context when seeding cultivated land to non-native grassland and conserve extant native grassland.

  5. Delineating native and invasive plant functional groups in shrub-steppe vegetation using bidirectional reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naupari, Javier A.; Vierling, Lee A.; Eitel, Jan U. H.

    2013-01-01

    Delineating invasive and native plant types using remote sensing is important for managing rangelands. Remote characterization of rangeland vegetation often utilizes only the nadir view, which can be complicated by background soil reflectance. We therefore collected bidirectional radiometric measurements on a shrub-steppe vegetated landscape throughout the mid- to late-growing season to: (1) quantify the BRFs of four rangeland vegetation functional groups (native shrub, native grasses, invasive annual grasses, and forbs), and (2) examine ways in which bidirectional reflectance values may help delineate native and invasive vegetation types. We found that the invasive grass medusahead rye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) could be discriminated from other vegetation types at nadir and across four forward-viewing zenith angles because this species exhibited structural changes when leaf orientation changed from erectophile to planophile during and after the filling of seedheads. We also confirmed that native shrubs exhibited the highest anisotropy in all wavebands, as the relatively complex structure of the shrub canopy and concomitant shadowing greatly affected values of normalized difference vegetation index across all view angles. In order to delineate rangeland vegetation types at coarser scales, further study is needed to quantify the spectral angular signatures of these plant groups using satellite-based images.

  6. Native plant recovery in study plots after fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) control on Santa Cruz Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Power, Paula; Stanley, Thomas R.; Cowan, Clark; Robertson, James R.

    2014-01-01

    Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the California Channel Islands and supports a diverse and unique flora which includes 9 federally listed species. Sheep, cattle, and pigs, introduced to the island in the mid-1800s, disturbed the soil, browsed native vegetation, and facilitated the spread of exotic invasive plants. Recent removal of introduced herbivores on the island led to the release of invasive fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which expanded to become the dominant vegetation in some areas and has impeded the recovery of some native plant communities. In 2007, Channel Islands National Park initiated a program to control fennel using triclopyr on the eastern 10% of the island. We established replicate paired plots (seeded and nonseeded) at Scorpion Anchorage and Smugglers Cove, where notably dense fennel infestations (>10% cover) occurred, to evaluate the effectiveness of native seed augmentation following fennel removal. Five years after fennel removal, vegetative cover increased as litter and bare ground cover decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) on both plot types. Vegetation cover of both native and other (nonfennel) exotic species increased at Scorpion Anchorage in both seeded and nonseeded plots. At Smugglers Cove, exotic cover decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) as native cover comprised of Eriogonum arborescensand Leptosyne gigantea increased significantly (P < 0.0001) in seeded plots only. Nonseeded plots at Smugglers Cove were dominated by exotic annual grasses, primarily Avena barbata. The data indicate that seeding with appropriate native seed is a critical step in restoration following fennel control in areas where the native seed bank is depauperate.

  7. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid-elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  8. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Averett, Joshua P.; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The importance of any one of these factors is debated and likely ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the importance of various correlates of plant invasions in the Wallowa Mountain Range of northeastern Oregon and explored whether non-native species distributions differed from native species along an elevation gradient. Vascular plant communities were sampled in summer 2012 along three mountain roads. Transects (n = 20) were evenly stratified by elevation (~70 m intervals) along each road. Vascular plant species abundances and environmental parameters were measured. We used indicator species analysis to identify habitat affinities for non-native species. Plots were ordinated in species space, joint plots and non-parametric multiplicative regression were used to relate species and community variation to environmental variables. Non-native species richness decreased continuously with increasing elevation. In contrast, native species richness displayed a unimodal distribution with maximum richness occurring at mid–elevations. Species composition was strongly related to elevation and canopy openness. Overlays of trait and environmental factors onto non-metric multidimensional ordinations identified the montane-subalpine community transition and over-story canopy closure exceeding 60% as potential barriers to non-native species establishment. Unlike native species, non-native species showed little evidence for high-elevation or closed-canopy specialization. These data suggest that non-native plants currently found in the Wallowa Mountains are dependent on open canopies and disturbance for establishment in low

  9. Antibacterial activity of essential oils from Australian native plants.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Jenny M; Cavanagh, Heather M A

    2005-07-01

    To date, of the Australian essential oils, only tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus spp. have undergone extensive investigation. In this study a range of Australian essential oils, including those from Anethole anisata, Callistris glaucophyllia, Melaleuca spp. and Thyptomine calycina, were assayed for in vitro antibacterial activity. M. alternifolia was also included for comparison purposes. Activity was determined using standard disc diffusion assays with each oil assayed at 100%, 10% and 1% against five bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Alcaligenes faecalis) and the yeast, Candida albicans. All bacteria, with the exception of Ps. aeruginosa, were susceptible to one or more of the essential oils at 100%, with only Eremophilia mitchelli inhibiting the growth of any bacteria at 1% (inhibition of Sal. typhimurium). Where multiple samples of a single oil variety were tested variability in activity profiles were noted. This suggests that different methods of preparation of essential oils, together with variability in plant chemical profiles has an impact on whether or not the essential oil is of use as an antimicrobial agent. These results show that essential oils from Australian plants may be valuable antimicrobial agents for use alone or incorporated into cosmetics, cleaning agents and pharmaceutical products. PMID:16161028

  10. The Hanford Reservation: A refuge for native plants and animals

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, R.H.; Rickard, W.H.

    1991-04-01

    The US Department of Energy's Hanford Site provides a refuge for plant and animal populations that have been either eradicated or greatly reduced on, surrounding farm lands. The Columbia River, both upstream and downstream of the Site, and much of the adjacent areas have experienced severe alterations during the past 5 decades, mostly from the construction and operation of a series of hydroelectric dams, increased agricultural activities, and the diversion and use of river water for irrigation. The Hanford Reach of the Columbia River provides nesting areas for waterfowl and other birds. The Hanford Reach serves as a migration route for salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) and steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri, now reclassified as O. mykiss). In addition, chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) and steelhead trout spawn in the Hanford Reach. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) congregate along the Hanford Reach in the fall and winter to feed on the spawned-out carcasses of salmon and waterfowl. Nesting Canada goose (Branta canadensis), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), various plants and other animals, e.g., elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and coyotes (Canis latrans) are common. 65 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Effect of understory management on phenological responses of eastern black walnut on an alluvial Arkansas soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is commonly grown in agroforestry practices for nuts and/or timber with little knowledge of how understory herbage management might affect tree phenology. We compared black walnut plant type (variety and wild-type) for phenological response in date of budburst, leaf ...

  12. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Effects of understory structure on the abundance, richness and diversity of Collembola (Arthropoda) in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Troian, Vera R; Baldissera, Ronei; Hartz, Sandra M

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different landscape structures on the understory Collembola community. Four different forest physiognomies were compared: Pinus spp. plantation, Eucalyptus spp. plantation, Araucaria angustifolia plantation, and a remaining native Araucaria forest. Three areas containing two sampling units (25 mx2 m each) were selected in each forest physiognomy. Understory Collembola collection was done with a 1x1 m canvas sheet held horizontally below the vegetation, which was beaten with a 1 m long stick, seasonally from September 2003 to August 2004. We evaluated the influence of forest physiognomies on the abundance, richness and diversity of Collembola communities. It was also verified if the habitat structure of each physiognomy was associated with the composition of the Collembola community. A total number of 4,111 individuals were collected belonging to the families Entomobrydae and Tomocerida (Entomobryomorpha), and Sminthuridae (Symphypleona), and divided in 12 morphospecies. Pinus plantation presented the highest richness, abundance and diversity of Collembola and it was associated to diverse understory vegetation. The abundance of Entomobrydae and Sminthuridae was associated to the presence of bushes, while Tomoceridae abundance was associated to the presence of trees. The habitat structure, measured through understory vegetation density and composition, plays an important role on the determination of the structure and composition of the Collembola community. PMID:19618049

  14. Herbivore Preference for Native vs. Exotic Plants: Generalist Herbivores from Multiple Continents Prefer Exotic Plants That Are Evolutionarily Naïve

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Wendy E.; Hay, Mark E.

    2011-01-01

    Enemy release and biotic resistance are competing, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses addressing the success or failure of non-native plants entering a new region. Enemy release predicts that exotic plants become invasive by escaping their co-adapted herbivores and by being unrecognized or unpalatable to native herbivores that have not been selected to consume them. In contrast, biotic resistance predicts that native generalist herbivores will suppress exotic plants that will not have been selected to deter these herbivores. We tested these hypotheses using five generalist herbivores from North or South America and nine confamilial pairs of native and exotic aquatic plants. Four of five herbivores showed 2.4–17.3 fold preferences for exotic over native plants. Three species of South American apple snails (Pomacea sp.) preferred North American over South American macrophytes, while a North American crayfish Procambarus spiculifer preferred South American, Asian, and Australian macrophytes over North American relatives. Apple snails have their center of diversity in South America, but a single species (Pomacea paludosa) occurs in North America. This species, with a South American lineage but a North American distribution, did not differentiate between South American and North American plants. Its preferences correlated with preferences of its South American relatives rather than with preferences of the North American crayfish, consistent with evolutionary inertia due to its South American lineage. Tests of plant traits indicated that the crayfish responded primarily to plant structure, the apple snails primarily to plant chemistry, and that plant protein concentration played no detectable role. Generalist herbivores preferred non-native plants, suggesting that intact guilds of native, generalist herbivores may provide biotic resistance to plant invasions. Past invasions may have been facilitated by removal of native herbivores, introduction of non-native

  15. Predation of caterpillars on understory saplings in an Ozark forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Predators of caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae) can indirectly enhance economic gains from plant resources by reducing herbivore damage to plants. For this study, we directly observed predation of caterpillars on understory trees in the Ozarks. Our objectives were to determine the relative importance of diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators, the time of day most diurnal predation events occur, and whether predators spend more time feeding in open or closed canopy areas. Once per month, June-September, we tethered caterpillars to understory saplings and recorded all predation events. Only invertebrate predators were observed feeding on caterpillars, and most predation events were attributed to ants and vespids (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets). Predation by vertebrate predators such as birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians was not observed. Most predation events took place at mid-day between 1200 and 1600 hrs. Predation pressure differed significantly over the four observation dates with peak ant predation in July and peak vespid predation in September. Canopy environment appeared to influence predation events as there was a trend towards higher vespid predation of caterpillars on open canopy as opposed to closed canopy saplings. Ants and vespids accounted for 90% of observed predation events; therefore they appear to be important predators of caterpillars during the summer months. Future studies at earlier sampling dates would be valuable in determining whether the relative importance of other diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators might be greater in the spring.

  16. Plant growth-promoting effects of native Pseudomonas strains on Mentha piperita (peppermint): an in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Santoro, M V; Cappellari, L R; Giordano, W; Banchio, E

    2015-11-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) affect growth of host plants through various direct and indirect mechanisms. Three native PGPR (Pseudomonas putida) strains isolated from rhizospheric soil of a Mentha piperita (peppermint) crop field near Córdoba, Argentina, were characterised and screened in vitro for plant growth-promoting characteristics, such as indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, phosphate solubilisation and siderophore production, effects of direct inoculation on plant growth parameters (shoot fresh weight, root dry weight, leaf number, node number) and accumulation and composition of essential oils. Each of the three native strains was capable of phosphate solubilisation and IAA production. Only strain SJ04 produced siderophores. Plants directly inoculated with the native PGPR strains showed increased shoot fresh weight, glandular trichome number, ramification number and root dry weight in comparison with controls. The inoculated plants had increased essential oil yield (without alteration of essential oil composition) and biosynthesis of major essential oil components. Native strains of P. putida and other PGPR have clear potential as bio-inoculants for improving productivity of aromatic crop plants. There have been no comparative studies on the role of inoculation with native strains on plant growth and secondary metabolite production (specially monoterpenes). Native bacterial isolates are generally preferable for inoculation of crop plants because they are already adapted to the environment and have a competitive advantage over non-native strains. PMID:26012535

  17. Copper phytotoxicity in native and agronomical plant species.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Dane T; Naidu, Ravi; Ming, Hui; Megharaj, Mallavarapu

    2012-11-01

    Copper (Cu) is a widespread soil contaminant that is known to be highly toxic to soil biota. Limited information is available on the response of wild endemic species to Cu in the literature, which hinders ecological risk assessments and revegetation. In the present study, the phytotoxicity of Cu in nutrient solution was studied in five Australian endemic plant species (Acacia decurrens, Austrodanthonia richardsonii (Wallaby Grass), Bothriochloa macra (Redgrass), Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. camaldulensis (River Red-Gum) and Dichanthium sericeum (Bluegrass) and two vegetable plants species (Lactuca sativa L. 'Great lakes' and Raphanus sativa L.). Vegetable species were grown in a more concentrated nutrient solution. The response of B. macra was also compared between the two nutrient solutions (dilute and concentrated nutrient solution). In the first experiment, D. sericeum and E. camaldulensis were found to be highly sensitive to Cu exposure in nutrient culture. Critical exogenous Cu concentrations (50 percent reduction in roots) for E. camaldulensis, D. sericeum, A. richardsonii, B. macra (dilute), L. sativa, B. macra (concentrated), R. sativa and A. decurrens were, respectively, (μg/L) 16, 35, 83, 88, 97, 105, 128 and 186. Copper tolerance in B. macra was observed to be higher in the more concentrated nutrient solution despite the estimated Cu(2+) concentration being very similar in treatment solutions. Additional short-term rhizo-accumulation studies showed that neither Ca(2+) not K(+) was responsible for reduced uptake at the roots. However, the estimated maximum shoot Cu was reduced from 41 to 24mg/kg in the more concentrated solution. PMID:22995781

  18. Allelopathic effect of a native species on a major plant invader in Europe.

    PubMed

    Christina, Mathias; Rouifed, Soraya; Puijalon, Sara; Vallier, Félix; Meiffren, Guillaume; Bellvert, Floriant; Piola, Florence

    2015-04-01

    Biological invasions have become a major global issue in ecosystem conservation. As formalized in the "novel weapon hypothesis", the allelopathic abilities of species are actively involved in invasion success. Here, we assume that allelopathy can also increase the biotic resistance of native species against invasion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the impact of the native species Sambucus ebulus on the colonization of propagules of the invasive species Fallopiaxbohemica and the subsequent development of plants from these. Achenes and rhizome fragments from two natural populations were grown in a greenhouse experiment for 50 days. We used an experimental design that involved "donor" and "target" pots in order to separate resource competition from allelopathy. An allelopathic treatment effect was observed for plant growth but not for propagule establishment. Treatment affected, in particular, the growth of Fallopia plants originating from achenes, but there was less influence on plants originating from rhizomes. By day 50, shoot height had decreased by 27% for plants originating from rhizomes and by 38% for plants originating from achenes. The number of leaves for plants originating from achenes had only decreased by 20%. Leaf and above- and below-ground dry masses decreased with treatment by 40, 41 and 25% for plants originating from rhizomes and 70, 61 and 55% for plants originating from achenes, respectively. S. ebulus extracts were analysed using high-performance chromatography, and the choice of test molecules was narrowed down. Our results suggest native species use allelopathy as a biotic containment mechanism against the naturalization of invasive species. PMID:25740225

  19. Allelopathic effect of a native species on a major plant invader in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christina, Mathias; Rouifed, Soraya; Puijalon, Sara; Vallier, Félix; Meiffren, Guillaume; Bellvert, Floriant; Piola, Florence

    2015-04-01

    Biological invasions have become a major global issue in ecosystem conservation. As formalized in the "novel weapon hypothesis", the allelopathic abilities of species are actively involved in invasion success. Here, we assume that allelopathy can also increase the biotic resistance of native species against invasion. We tested this hypothesis by studying the impact of the native species Sambucus ebulus on the colonization of propagules of the invasive species Fallopia x bohemica and the subsequent development of plants from these. Achenes and rhizome fragments from two natural populations were grown in a greenhouse experiment for 50 days. We used an experimental design that involved "donor" and "target" pots in order to separate resource competition from allelopathy. An allelopathic treatment effect was observed for plant growth but not for propagule establishment. Treatment affected, in particular, the growth of Fallopia plants originating from achenes, but there was less influence on plants originating from rhizomes. By day 50, shoot height had decreased by 27 % for plants originating from rhizomes and by 38 % for plants originating from achenes. The number of leaves for plants originating from achenes had only decreased by 20 %. Leaf and above- and below-ground dry masses decreased with treatment by 40, 41 and 25 % for plants originating from rhizomes and 70, 61 and 55 % for plants originating from achenes, respectively. S. ebulus extracts were analysed using high-performance chromatography, and the choice of test molecules was narrowed down. Our results suggest native species use allelopathy as a biotic containment mechanism against the naturalization of invasive species.

  20. Antibacterial serrulatane diterpenes from the Australian native plant Eremophila microtheca.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Emma C; Kavanagh, Angela M; Ramu, Soumya; Blaskovich, Mark A; Cooper, Matthew A; Davis, Rohan A

    2013-09-01

    Chemical investigations of the aerial parts of the Australian plant Eremophila microtheca resulted in the isolation of three serrulatane diterpenoids, 3-acetoxy-7,8-dihydroxyserrulat-14-en-19-oic acid (1), 3,7,8-trihydroxyserrulat-14-en-19-oic acid (2) and 3,19-diacetoxy-8-hydroxyserrulat-14-ene (3) as well as the previously reported compounds verbascoside (4) and jaceosidin (5). Acetylation and methylation of the major serrulatane diterpenoid 2 afforded 3,8-diacetoxy-7-hydroxyserrulat-14-en-19-oic acid (6) and 3,7,8-trihydroxyserrulat-14-en-19-oic acid methyl ester (7), respectively. The antibacterial activity of 1-7 was assessed against a panel of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial isolates. All of the serrulatane compounds exhibited moderate activity against Streptococcus pyogenes (ATCC 12344) with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 64-128 μg/mL. Serrulatane 1 demonstrated activity against all Gram-positive bacterial strains (MICs 64-128 μg/mL) except for Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. This is the first report of natural products from E. microtheca. PMID:23602054

  1. NATIVE PLANTS FOR OPTIMIZING CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN RECLAIMED LANDS

    SciTech Connect

    P. UNKEFER; M. EBINGER; ET AL

    2001-02-01

    Carbon emissions and atmospheric concentrations are expected to continue to increase through the next century unless major changes are made in the way carbon is managed. Managing carbon has emerged as a pressing national energy and environmental need that will drive national policies and treaties through the coming decades. Addressing carbon management is now a major priority for DOE and the nation. One way to manage carbon is to use energy more efficiently to reduce our need for major energy and carbon source-fossil fuel combustion. Another way is to increase our use of low-carbon and carbon free fuels and technologies. A third way, and the focus of this proposal, is carbon sequestration, in which carbon is captured and stored thereby mitigating carbon emissions. Sequestration of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere has emerged as the principle means by which the US will meet its near-term international and economic requirements for reducing net carbon emissions (DOE Carbon Sequestration: State of the Science. 1999; IGBP 1998). Terrestrial carbon sequestration provides three major advantages. First, terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes are of sufficient magnitude to effectively mitigate national and even global carbon emissions. The terrestrial biosphere stores {approximately}2060 GigaTons of carbon and transfers approximately 120 GigaTons of carbon per year between the atmosphere and the earth's surface, whereas the current global annual emissions are about 6 GigaTons. Second, we can rapidly and readily modify existing management practices to increase carbon sequestration in our extensive forest, range, and croplands. Third, increasing soil carbon is without negative environment consequences and indeed positively impacts land productivity. The terrestrial carbon cycle is dependent on several interrelationships between plants and soils. Because the soil carbon pool ({approximately}1500 Giga Tons) is approximately three times that in terrestrial vegetation

  2. Changes in the trade in native medicinal plants in Brazilian public markets.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Maria das Graças Lins; Cosenza, Gustavo Pereira; Pereira, Flávia Liparini; Vasconcelos, Ariela Silva; Fagg, Christopher William

    2013-08-01

    Plants continue to be an important source of new bioactive substances. Brazil is one of the world's mega-diverse countries, with 20 % of the world's flora. However, the accelerated destruction of botanically rich ecosystems has contributed to a gradual loss of native medicinal species. In previous study, we have observed a fast and intensive change in trade of medicinal plants in an area of Amazon, where human occupation took place. In this study, we surveyed 15 public markets in different parts of Brazil in search of samples of 40 plants used in traditional medicine and present in first edition of Brazilian Official Pharmacopoeia (FBRAS), published in 1926. Samples of plants commercialized as the same vernacular name as in Pharmacopoeia were acquired and submitted to analysis for authentication. A total of 252 plant samples were purchased, but the laboratory analyses showed that only one-half of the samples (126, 50.2 %) were confirmed as the same plant species so named in FBRAS. The high number of unauthenticated samples demonstrates a loss of knowledge of the original native species. The proximity of the market from areas in which the plant occurs does not guarantee that trade of false samples occurs. The impact of the commerce of the substitute species on their conservation and in public health is worrying. Strategies are necessary to promote the better use and conservation of this rich heritage offered by Brazilian biodiversity. PMID:23322507

  3. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web

    PubMed Central

    Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P.; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J.; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G.P.; van Duijn, Pieter T.; Meulblok, Marjolein M.; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K.; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A.; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W.

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  4. Type characters of non-native plant species in Great Lakes national parks (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    2001-01-01

    Non-native plant species are increasing in frequency and abundance in many natural areas in the United States. In Midwestern National Parks, as much as one third of the flora may be non-native. It was hypothesized that botanical characters of these species could be used to typify them and improve the methods of predicting invasions. Data on 19 characters of 341 non-native species from the four Great Lakes national lakeshores (Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes) and invasive non-native species for the State of Wisconsin were collected and studied. For many of the species, little data could be found, but for 139 of them, data were collected for at least 80% of the characters. The frequencies of classes of the characters were tabulated and ranked to typify the most common non-native species. This led to a description of a 'type species' just for these four National Parks. Three species of Cirsium, including Canada (C. arvense), marsh (C. palustre) and bull thistle (C. vulgare), matched the type species better than other species. C. vulgare occurs in more National Parks than the other thistles.

  5. Incorporation of an invasive plant into a native insect herbivore food web.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; Santos Pimenta, Lúcia P; Lammers, Youri; Steenbergen, Peter J; Flohil, Marco; Beveridge, Nils G P; van Duijn, Pieter T; Meulblok, Marjolein M; Sosef, Nils; van de Ven, Robin; Werring, Ralf; Beentjes, Kevin K; Meijer, Kim; Vos, Rutger A; Vrieling, Klaas; Gravendeel, Barbara; Choi, Young; Verpoorte, Robert; Smit, Chris; Beukeboom, Leo W

    2016-01-01

    The integration of invasive species into native food webs represent multifarious dynamics of ecological and evolutionary processes. We document incorporation of Prunus serotina (black cherry) into native insect food webs. We find that P. serotina harbours a herbivore community less dense but more diverse than its native relative, P. padus (bird cherry), with similar proportions of specialists and generalists. While herbivory on P. padus remained stable over the past century, that on P. serotina gradually doubled. We show that P. serotina may have evolved changes in investment in cyanogenic glycosides compared with its native range. In the leaf beetle Gonioctena quinquepunctata, recently shifted from native Sorbus aucuparia to P. serotina, we find divergent host preferences on Sorbus- versus Prunus-derived populations, and weak host-specific differentiation among 380 individuals genotyped for 119 SNP loci. We conclude that evolutionary processes may generate a specialized herbivore community on an invasive plant, allowing prognoses of reduced invasiveness over time. On the basis of the results presented here, we would like to caution that manual control might have the adverse effect of a slowing down of processes of adaptation, and a delay in the decline of the invasive character of P. serotina. PMID:27190702

  6. Common garden comparisons of native and introduced plant populations: latitudinal clines can obscure evolutionary inferences

    PubMed Central

    Colautti, Robert I; Maron, John L; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2009-01-01

    Common garden studies are increasingly used to identify differences in phenotypic traits between native and introduced genotypes, often ignoring sources of among-population variation within each range. We re-analyzed data from 32 common garden studies of 28 plant species that tested for rapid evolution associated with biological invasion. Our goals were: (i) to identify patterns of phenotypic trait variation among populations within native and introduced ranges, and (ii) to explore the consequences of this variation for how differences between the ranges are interpreted. We combined life history and physiologic traits into a single principal component (PCALL) and also compared subsets of traits related to size, reproduction, and defense (PCSIZE, PCREP, and PCDEF, respectively). On average, introduced populations exhibited increased growth and reproduction compared to native conspecifics when latitude was not included in statistical models. However, significant correlations between PC-scores and latitude were detected in both the native and introduced ranges, indicating population differentiation along latitudinal gradients. When latitude was explicitly incorporated into statistical models as a covariate, it reduced the magnitude and reversed the direction of the effect for PCALL and PCSIZE. These results indicate that unrecognized geographic clines in phenotypic traits can confound inferences about the causes of evolutionary change in invasive plants. PMID:25567860

  7. Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Huerd, Sheri C.; Larson, Diane L.; Muehlbauer, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species can produce biofuels, support sustainable grazing systems, and produce other ecosystem services. However, ecosystem service production can be disrupted by invasion of exotic perennial plants, and these plants can have soil-microbial “legacies” that may interfere with establishment and maintenance of diversified grasslands even after effective management of the invasive species. The nature of such legacies is not well understood, but may involve suppression of mutualisms between native species and soil microbes. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that legacy effects of invasive species change colonization rates, diversity, and composition of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with seedlings of co-occurring invasive and native grassland species. In a glasshouse, experimental soils were conditioned by cultivating three invasive grassland perennials, three native grassland perennials, and a native perennial mixture. Each was grown separately through three cycles of growth, after which we used T-RFLP analysis to characterize AMF associations of seedlings of six native perennial and six invasive perennial species grown in these soils. Legacy effects of soil conditioning by invasive species did not affect AMF richness in seedling roots, but did affect AMF colonization rates and the taxonomic composition of mycorrhizal associations in seedling roots. Moreover, native species were more heavily colonized by AMF and roots of native species had greater AMF richness (number of AMF operational taxonomic units per seedling) than did invasive species. The invasive species used to condition soil in this experiment have been shown to have legacy effects on biomass of native seedlings, reducing their growth in this and a previous similar experiment. Therefore, our results suggest that successful plant invaders can have legacies that affect soil-microbial associations of native plants and that these effects

  8. Screening biological traits and fluoride contents of native vegetations in arid environments to select efficiently fluoride-tolerant native plant species for in-situ phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Boukhris, Asma; Laffont-Schwob, Isabelle; Mezghani, Imed; El Kadri, Lefi; Prudent, Pascale; Pricop, Anca; Tatoni, Thierry; Chaieb, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    High fluoride pollution has been detected in the surrounding soils of the coastal superphosphate industries in the Gulf of Gabes (Southeast of Tunisia). A study was conducted in vicinity of factories analysing plant functional traits combined with plant fluoride accumulation and soil metal concentrations aiming to screen more efficiently native plant species tolerant to this pollution. Aerial parts of 18 plant species out of the 10 most abundant species per site were harvested on two polluted sites of Gabes and Skhira at the vicinity of the factories and on the less polluted site of Smara. Native plant species accumulated fluoride following the gradient of soil pollution. Fluoride contents of plant aerial parts ranged from 37 mg kg(-1) to 360 mg kg(-1) and five plant species were only found in the most polluted site. However these latter had low biomass and soil cover. Crossing biological traits and fluoride contents, a selection grid for potentially restorative plant species enabled the selection of three native perennials i.e. Rhanterium suaveolens, Atractylis serratuloides and, Erodium glaucophyllum as potential candidates for an in-situ phytoremediation program on arid fluoride-polluted sites. This approach may be used in other fluoride-polluted Mediterranean environments. PMID:25014764

  9. Community Composition of Plant-parasitic Nematodes in Native and Cultivated Cerrados of Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Huang, S. P.; Cares, J. H.

    1995-01-01

    Communities of plant-parasitic nematodes collected from five different vegetation types (canopy woodland, savannah, gallery forest, cultivated perennial, and annual plants) and soils (yellowish red latosols, dark red latosols, arenosols, acrisols, and gleysols) were studied. Ninety percent of the soil samples collected from savannah contained at least four genera of plant-parasitic nematodes. The highest population densities were recovered from perennial plants and from acrisols. Nematodes from perennial and annual plants formed one cluster, which had a similar flexible-beta distance to that from the gallery forest. The distance in the native savannah and in canopy woodland was very different. Distance values for the soil aspect were similar for arenosols, yellowish, and dark red latosols. The value for acrisols was much larger than for the other soils. PMID:19277285

  10. Measurement of monoterpene hydrocarbon levels in vapor phase surrounding single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frem.: Pinaceae) understory litter.

    PubMed

    Wilt, F M; Miller, G C; Everett, R L

    1993-07-01

    A headspace air-sampling experiment was performed in the laboratory to determine the identity and concentrations of monoterpene hydrocarbons that could be attained in the vapor phase surrounding single-leaf pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frem.) understory litter using controlled air collection conditions at a simulated field temperature of 37.8°C. The total monoterpene hydrocarbon content in 21 sequential samples of air collected from a sealed glass carboy packed with 1.44 kg of single-leaf pinyon litter equivalent to a bulk density of 0.15 g/cm(3) averaged 3.56 ± 1.04 mg/liter. The monoterpenesα-pinene and camphene were present in the vapor phase at the highest concentrations, averaging 2.40±0.64 and 0.68±0.22 mg/ liter, respectively. Myrcene,β-pinene, 3-carene,β-phellandrene, andγ-terpinene were all present at average concentrations below 0.30 mg/liter. The first two traps of the sequential air samples yielded the highest concentrations for the monoterpene hydrocarbons; however, the average total levels were relatively stable throughout the remaining 19 traps. Therefore, the data indicate that these hydrocarbons volatilize from the source pinyon litter and maintain an equilibrium in the vapor phase. Although this analysis was conducted using an artificial system, combined with results from our previous studies, mounting evidence indicates that monoterpene hydrocarbons present in the vapor phase of the single-leaf pinyon understory may be toxic to a variety of native plant species and thus further implicates allelopathy as a significant contributor to the observed patterning of associated vegetation in these forests. PMID:24249172

  11. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Desgarennes, Damaris; Fonseca-Garcia, Citlali; Gross, Stephen; Clingenpeel, Scott; Woyke, Tanja; North, Gretchen; Visel, Axel; Partida-Martinez, Laila P; Tringe, Susannah G

    2016-01-01

    Desert plants are hypothesized to survive the environmental stress inherent to these regions in part thanks to symbioses with microorganisms, and yet these microbial species, the communities they form, and the forces that influence them are poorly understood. Here we report the first comprehensive investigation of the microbial communities associated with species of Agave, which are native to semiarid and arid regions of Central and North America and are emerging as biofuel feedstocks. We examined prokaryotic and fungal communities in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, leaf and root endosphere, as well as proximal and distal soil samples from cultivated and native agaves, through Illumina amplicon sequencing. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that the composition of prokaryotic communities was primarily determined by the plant compartment, whereas the composition of fungal communities was mainly influenced by the biogeography of the host species. Cultivated A. tequilana exhibited lower levels of prokaryotic diversity compared with native agaves, although no differences in microbial diversity were found in the endosphere. Agaves shared core prokaryotic and fungal taxa known to promote plant growth and confer tolerance to abiotic stress, which suggests common principles underpinning Agave-microbe interactions. PMID:26467257

  12. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  13. Do exotic plants lose resistance to pathogenic soil biota from their native range? A test with Solidago gigantea.

    PubMed

    Maron, John L; Luo, Wenbo; Callaway, Ragan M; Pal, Robert W

    2015-10-01

    Native plants commonly suffer from strong negative plant-soil feedbacks. However, in their non-native ranges species often escape from these negative feedbacks, which indicates that these feedbacks are generated by at least partially specialized soil biota. If so, introduced plants might evolve the loss of resistance to pathogens in their former native range, as has been proposed for the loss of resistance to specialized herbivores. We compared the magnitude of plant-soil feedbacks experienced by native and exotic genotypes of the perennial forb, Solidago gigantea. Feedbacks were assessed in soil collected across 14 sites sampled across the western part of Solidago's native range in the US. Both native and exotic genotypes of Solidago suffered consistently negative and broadly similar plant-soil feedbacks when grown in North American soil. Although there was substantial variation among soils from different sites in the strength of feedbacks generated, the magnitude of feedbacks generated by North American genotypes of S. gigantea were strongly correlated with those produced in the same soil by European genotypes. Our results indicate that Solidago experiences strong negative soil feedbacks in native soil and that introduced genotypes of Solidago have not lost resistance to these negative effects of soil biota. Both genotypic and landscape-level effects can be important sources of variation in the strength of plant-soil feedbacks. PMID:26003309

  14. Screening of native plant species for phytoremediation potential at a Hg-contaminated mining site.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2016-01-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury (Hg), and therefore, one of the major sources of Hg pollution in the environment. This study was conducted in the Alacrán gold-mining site, one of the most important ASGM sites in Colombia, to identify native plant species growing in Hg-contaminated soils used for agricultural purposes, and to assess their potential as phytoremediation systems. Twenty-four native plant species were identified and analysed for total Hg (THg) in different tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) and in underlying soils. Accumulation factors (AF) in the shoots, translocation (TF) from roots to shoots, and bioconcentration (BCF) from soil-to-roots were determined. Different tissues from all plant species were classified in the order of decreasing accumulation of Hg as follows: roots > leaves > stems. THg concentrations in soil ranged from 230 to 6320 ng g(-1). TF values varied from 0.33 to 1.73, with high values in the lower Hg-contaminated soils. No correlation was found between soils with low concentrations of Hg and plant leaves, indicating that TF is not a very accurate indicator, since most of the Hg input to leaves at ASGM sites comes from the atmosphere. On the other hand, the BCF ranged from 0.28 to 0.99, with Jatropha curcas showing the highest value. Despite their low biomass production, several herbs and sub-shrubs are suitable for phytoremediation application in the field, due to their fast growth and high AF values in large and easily harvestable plant parts. Among these species, herbs such as Piper marginathum and Stecherus bifidus, and the sub-shrubs J. curcas and Capsicum annuum are promising native plants with the potential to be used in the phytoremediation of soils in tropical areas that are impacted by mining. PMID:26556744

  15. Invader disruption of belowground plant mutualisms reduces carbon acquisition and alters allocation patterns in a native forest herb.

    PubMed

    Hale, Alison N; Lapointe, Line; Kalisz, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Invasive plants impose novel selection pressures on naïve mutualistic interactions between native plants and their partners. As most plants critically rely on root fungal symbionts (RFSs) for soil resources, invaders that disrupt plant-RFS mutualisms can significantly depress native plant fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of RFS mutualism disruption on native plant fitness in a glasshouse experiment with a forest invader that produces known anti-fungal allelochemicals. Over 5 months, we regularly applied either green leaves of the allelopathic invader Alliaria petiolata, a nonsystemic fungicide to simulate A. petiolata's effects, or green leaves of nonallelopathic Hesperis matronalis (control) to pots containing the native Maianthemum racemosum and its RFSs. We repeatedly measured M. racemosum physiology and harvested plants periodically to assess carbon allocation. Alliaria petiolata and fungicide treatment effects were indistinguishable: we observed inhibition of the RFS soil hyphal network and significant reductions in M. racemosum physiology (photosynthesis, transpiration and conductance) and allocation (carbon storage, root biomass and asexual reproduction) in both treatments relative to the control. Our findings suggest a general mechanistic hypothesis for local extinction of native species in ecosystems challenged by allelopathic invaders: RFS mutualism disruption drives carbon stress, subsequent declines in native plant vigor, and, if chronic, declines in RFS-dependent species abundance. PMID:26506529

  16. Can resource-use traits predict native vs. exotic plant success in carbon amended soils?

    PubMed

    Steers, Robert J; Funk, Jennifer L; Allen, Edith B

    2011-06-01

    Productivity in desert ecosystems is primarily limited by water followed by nitrogen availability. In the deserts of southern California, nitrogen additions have increased invasive annual plant abundance. Similar findings from other ecosystems have led to a general acceptance that invasive plants, especially annual grasses, are nitrophilous. Consequently, reductions of soil nitrogen via carbon amendments have been conducted by many researchers in a variety of ecosystems in order to disproportionately lower invasive species abundance, but with mixed success. Recent studies suggest that resource-use traits may predict the efficacy of such resource manipulations; however, this theory remains largely untested. We report findings from a carbon amendment experiment that utilized two levels of sucrose additions that were aimed at achieving soil carbon to nitrogen ratios of 50:1 and 100:1 in labile sources. Carbon amendments were applied once each year, for three years, corresponding with the first large precipitation event of each wet season. Plant functional traits measured on the three invasive and 11 native herbaceous species that were most common at the study site showed that exotic and native species did not differ in traits associated with nitrogen use. In fact, plant abundance measures such as density, cover, and biomass showed that carbon amendments were capable of decreasing both native and invasive species. We found that early-germinating species were the most impacted by decreased soil nitrogen resulting from amendments. Because invasive annuals typically germinate earlier and exhibit a rapid phenology compared to most natives, these species are expected to be more competitive than native annuals yet more susceptible to early-season carbon amendments. However, desert annual communities can exhibit high interannual variability in species composition and abundance. Therefore, the relative abundance of native and invasive species at the time of application is

  17. Knowledge, use and management of native wild edible plants from a seasonal dry forest (NE, Brazil)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite being an ancient practice that satisfies basic human needs, the use of wild edible plants tends to be forgotten along with associated knowledge in rural communities. The objective of this work is to analyze existing relationships between knowledge, use, and management of native wild edible plants and socioeconomic factors such as age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation. Methods The field work took place between 2009 and 2010 in the community of Carão, Altinho municipality, in the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 39 members of the community regarding knowledge, use and management of 14 native wild edible plants from the Caatinga region, corresponding to 12 vegetable species. In parallel, we documented the socioeconomic aspects of the interviewed population (age, gender, family income, individual income, past occupation and current occupation). Results Knowledge about edible plants was related to age but not to current occupation or use. Current use was not associated with age, gender or occupation. The association between age and past use may indicate abandonment of these resources. Conclusion Because conservation of the species is not endangered by their use but by deforestation of the ecosystems in which these plants grow, we suggest that the promotion and consumption of the plants by community members is convenient and thereby stimulates the appropriation and consequent protection of the ecosystem. To promote consumption of these plants, it is important to begin by teaching people about plant species that can be used for their alimentation, disproving existing myths about plant use, and encouraging diversification of use by motivating the invention of new preparation methods. An example of how this can be achieved is through events like the “Preserves Festival”. PMID:24279311

  18. Grasshopper herbivory affects native plant diversity and abundance in a grassland dominated by the exotic grass Agropyron cristatum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The indirect effects of native generalist insect herbivores on interactions between exotic and native grassland plants have received limited attention. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is the most common exotic grass in western North America. Crested wheatgrass communities are resistant to c...

  19. Differential responses of invasive Celastrus orbiculatus (Celastraceae) and native C. scandens to changes in light quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leicht, S.A.; Silander, J.A., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    When plants are subjected to leaf canopy shade in forest understories or from neighboring plants, they not only experience reduced light quantity, but light quality in lowered red:far red light (R:FR). Growth and other developmental responses of plants in reduced R:FR can vary and are not consistent across species. We compared how an invasive liana, Celastrus orbiculatus, and its closely related native congener, C. scandens, responded to changes in the R:FR under controlled, simulated understory conditions. We measured a suite of morphological and growth attributes under control, neutral shading, and low R:FR light treatments. Celastrus orbiculatus showed an increase in height, aboveground biomass, and total leaf mass in reduced R:FR treatments as compared to the neutral shade, while C. scandens had increased stem diameter, single leaf area, and leaf mass to stem mass ratio. These differences provide a mechanistic understanding of the ability of C. orbiculatus to increase height and actively forage for light resources in forest understories, while C. scandens appears unable to forage for light and instead depends upon a light gap forming. The plastic growth response of C. orbiculatus in shaded conditions points to its success in forested habitats where C. scandens is largely absent.

  20. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping.

    PubMed

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T

    2015-09-01

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant's native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium-Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems. PMID:26305938

  1. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them.

    PubMed

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-01-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica. PMID:26047489

  2. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-06-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica.

  3. A new strategy for controlling invasive weeds: selecting valuable native plants to defeat them

    PubMed Central

    Li, Weihua; Luo, Jianning; Tian, Xingshan; Soon Chow, Wah; Sun, Zhongyu; Zhang, Taijie; Peng, Shaolin; Peng, Changlian

    2015-01-01

    To explore replacement control of the invasive weed Ipomoea cairica, we studied the competitive effects of two valuable natives, Pueraria lobata and Paederia scandens, on growth and photosynthetic characteristics of I. cairica, in pot and field experiments. When I. cairica was planted in pots with P. lobata or P. scandens, its total biomass decreased by 68.7% and 45.8%, and its stem length by 33.3% and 34.1%, respectively. The two natives depressed growth of the weed by their strong effects on its photosynthetic characteristics, including suppression of leaf biomass and the abundance of the CO2-fixing enzyme RUBISCO. The field experiment demonstrated that sowing seeds of P. lobata or P. scandens in plots where the weed had been largely cleared produced 11.8-fold or 2.5-fold as much leaf biomass of the two natives, respectively, as the weed. Replacement control by valuable native species is potentially a feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica. PMID:26047489

  4. Intraspecific and interspecific pair-wise seedling competition between exotic annual grasses and native perennials: Plant-soil relationships

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Few studies have examined plant-soil relationships in competitive arenas between exotic and native plants in the western United States. A pair-wise competitive design was used to evaluate plant-soil relationships between seedings of the exotic annual grasses Bromus tectorum and Taentherium caput-med...

  5. Effects of Introduced and Indigenous Viruses on Native Plants: Exploring Their Disease Causing Potential at the Agro-Ecological Interface

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Stuart J.; Coutts, Brenda A.; Jones, Roger A. C.

    2014-01-01

    The ever increasing movement of viruses around the world poses a major threat to plants growing in cultivated and natural ecosystems. Both generalist and specialist viruses move via trade in plants and plant products. Their potential to damage cultivated plants is well understood, but little attention has been given to the threat such viruses pose to plant biodiversity. To address this, we studied their impact, and that of indigenous viruses, on native plants from a global biodiversity hot spot in an isolated region where agriculture is very recent (<185 years), making it possible to distinguish between introduced and indigenous viruses readily. To establish their potential to cause severe or mild systemic symptoms in different native plant species, we used introduced generalist and specialist viruses, and indigenous viruses, to inoculate plants of 15 native species belonging to eight families. We also measured resulting losses in biomass and reproductive ability for some host–virus combinations. In addition, we sampled native plants growing over a wide area to increase knowledge of natural infection with introduced viruses. The results suggest that generalist introduced viruses and indigenous viruses from other hosts pose a greater potential threat than introduced specialist viruses to populations of native plants encountered for the first time. Some introduced generalist viruses infected plants in more families than others and so pose a greater potential threat to biodiversity. The indigenous viruses tested were often surprisingly virulent when they infected native plant species they were not adapted to. These results are relevant to managing virus disease in new encounter scenarios at the agro-ecological interface between managed and natural vegetation, and within other disturbed natural vegetation situations. They are also relevant for establishing conservation policies for endangered plant species and avoiding spread of damaging viruses to undisturbed

  6. Native root-associated bacteria rescue a plant from a sudden-wilt disease that emerged during continuous cropping

    PubMed Central

    Santhanam, Rakesh; Luu, Van Thi; Weinhold, Arne; Goldberg, Jay; Oh, Youngjoo; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2015-01-01

    Plants maintain microbial associations whose functions remain largely unknown. For the past 15 y, we have planted the annual postfire tobacco Nicotiana attenuata into an experimental field plot in the plant’s native habitat, and for the last 8 y the number of plants dying from a sudden wilt disease has increased, leading to crop failure. Inadvertently we had recapitulated the common agricultural dilemma of pathogen buildup associated with continuous cropping for this native plant. Plants suffered sudden tissue collapse and black roots, symptoms similar to a Fusarium–Alternaria disease complex, recently characterized in a nearby native population and developed into an in vitro pathosystem for N. attenuata. With this in vitro disease system, different protection strategies (fungicide and inoculations with native root-associated bacterial and fungal isolates), together with a biochar soil amendment, were tested further in the field. A field trial with more than 900 plants in two field plots revealed that inoculation with a mixture of native bacterial isolates significantly reduced disease incidence and mortality in the infected field plot without influencing growth, herbivore resistance, or 32 defense and signaling metabolites known to mediate resistance against native herbivores. Tests in a subsequent year revealed that a core consortium of five bacteria was essential for disease reduction. This consortium, but not individual members of the root-associated bacteria community which this plant normally recruits during germination from native seed banks, provides enduring resistance against fungal diseases, demonstrating that native plants develop opportunistic mutualisms with prokaryotes that solve context-dependent ecological problems. PMID:26305938

  7. Impacts of Climate Variability on Non-native Plant Invasion in the Western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, B. A.

    2006-12-01

    Plant invasions are changing ecosystem structure and function throughout the United States. In many areas of the west, invasive species such as tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) dominate landscapes. Expansion of these species is occurring at a staggering rate, and invasion rates may change in the future as native ecosystems become more or less susceptible to invasion because of changes in climate. For example, evidence suggests that some plant invaders are favored under increased ambient CO2 levels, potentially leading to increased invasion with continued greenhouse gas emissions. In this work, I predict how western invasive plant species may also be affected by changes in climate variability. According to IPCC reports, rising ocean temperatures may change the frequency and intensity of El Niño events, potentially resulting in wetter El Niño years and/or more extreme and lengthier drought. In semi-arid systems, changing frequency or magnitude of extreme weather events may further shift the competitive balance between native and invasive species. For example, cheatgrass and yellow starthistle, both annual invaders, display high inter-annual variability in response to water availability. As a result, plants are larger and produce more seeds than native competitors during extreme wet years. This phenological response is so strong in cheatgrass communities that it can be observed in regional satellite records. Further, dense cheatgrass growth leads to a secondary feedback in the form of wildfire; higher density cheatgrass increases fire frequency in shrublands and enables further cheatgrass colonization. In this work, I synthesize knowledge of invasive plant phenological response under different climate conditions, drawing on information gathered through geographical mapping efforts at state or regional levels by university and agency researchers. Using the ranges of climate tolerance from current

  8. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  9. Quantification of Heavy Metals in Mining Affected Soil and Their Bioaccumulation in Native Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Nawab, Javed; Khan, Sardar; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Khan, Kifayatullah; Huang, Qing; Ali, Roshan

    2015-01-01

    Several anthropogenic and natural sources are considered as the primary sources of toxic metals in the environment. The current study investigates the level of heavy metals contamination in the flora associated with serpentine soil along the Mafic and Ultramafic rocks northern-Pakistan. Soil and wild native plant species were collected from chromites mining affected areas and analyzed for heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Zn) using atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS-PEA-700). The heavy metal concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in mine affected soil as compared to reference soil, however Cr and Ni exceeded maximum allowable limit (250 and 60 mg kg(-1), respectively) set by SEPA for soil. Inter-metal correlations between soil, roots and shoots showed that the sources of contamination of heavy metals were mainly associated with chromites mining. All the plant species accumulated significantly higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to reference plant. The open dumping of mine wastes can create serious problems (food crops and drinking water contamination with heavy metals) for local community of the study area. The native wild plant species (Nepeta cataria, Impatiens bicolor royle, Tegetis minuta) growing on mining affected sites may be used for soil reclamation contaminated with heavy metals. PMID:26079739

  10. Native Michigan plants stimulate soil microbial species changes and PAH remediation at a legacy steel mill.

    PubMed

    Thomas, John C; Cable, Edward; Dabkowski, Robert T; Gargala, Stephanie; McCall, Daniel; Pangrazzi, Garett; Pierson, Adam; Ripper, Mark; Russell, Donald K; Rugh, Clayton L

    2013-01-01

    A 1.3-acre phytoremediation site was constructed to mitigate polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination from a former steel mill in Michigan. Soil was amended with 10% (v/v) compost and 5% (v/v) poultry litter. The site was divided into twelve 11.89 m X 27.13 m plots, planted with approximately 35,000 native Michigan perennials, and soils sampled for three seasons. Soil microbial density generally increased in subplots of Eupatorium perfoliatum (boneset), Aster novae-angliae (New England aster), Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), and Scirpus atrovirens (green bulrush) versus unplanted subplots. Using enumeration assays with root exudates, PAH degrading bacteria were greatest in soils beneath plants. Initially predominant, Arthrobacter were found capable of degrading a PAH cocktail in vitro, especially upon the addition of root exudate. Growth of some Arthrobacter isolates was stimulated by root exudate. The frequency of Arthrobacter declined in planted subplots with a concurrent increase in other species, including secondary PAH degraders Bacillus and Nocardioides. In subplots supporting only weeds, an increase in Pseudomonas density and little PAH removal were observed. This study supports the notion that a dynamic interplay between the soil, bacteria, and native plant root secretions likely contributes to in situ PAH phytoremediation. PMID:23487982

  11. Arsenic accumulation in native plants of West Bengal, India: prospects for phytoremediation but concerns with the use of medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Preeti; Dwivedi, Sanjay; Mishra, Aradhana; Kumar, Amit; Dave, Richa; Srivastava, Sudhakar; Shukla, Mridul Kumar; Srivastava, Pankaj Kumar; Chakrabarty, Debasis; Trivedi, Prabodh Kumar; Tripathi, Rudra Deo

    2012-05-01

    Arsenic (As) is a widespread environmental and food chain contaminant and class I, non-threshold carcinogen. Plants accumulate As due to ionic mimicry that is of importance as a measure of phytoremediation but of concern due to the use of plants in alternative medicine. The present study investigated As accumulation in native plants including some medicinal plants, from three districts [Chinsurah (Hoogly), Porbosthali (Bardhman), and Birnagar (Nadia)] of West Bengal, India, having a history of As pollution. A site-specific response was observed for Specific Arsenic Uptake (SAU; mg kg(-1) dw) in total number of 13 (8 aquatic and 5 terrestrial) collected plants. SAU was higher in aquatic plants (5-60 mg kg(-1) dw) than in terrestrial species (4-19 mg kg(-1) dw). The level of As was lower in medicinal plants (MPs) than in non-medicinal plants, however it was still beyond the WHO permissible limit (1 mg kg(-1) dw). The concentration of other elements (Cu, Zn, Se, and Pb) was found to be within prescribed limits in medicinal plants (MP). Among the aquatic plants, Marsilea showed the highest SAU (avg. 45 mg kg(-1) dw), however, transfer factor (TF) of As was the maximum in Centella asiatica (MP, avg. 1). Among the terrestrial plants, the maximum SAU and TF were demonstrated by Alternanthera ficoidea (avg. 15) and Phyllanthus amarus (MP, avg. 1.27), respectively. In conclusion, the direct use of MP or their by products for humans should not be practiced without proper regulation. In other way, one fern species (Marsilea) and some aquatic plants (Eichhornia crassipes and Cyperus difformis) might be suitable candidates for As phytoremediation of paddy fields. PMID:21713498

  12. Native and introduced host plants of Anastrepha fraterculus and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northwestern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ovruski, Sergio; Schliserman, Pablo; Aluja, Martín

    2003-08-01

    Wild or commercially grown, native and exotic fruit were collected in 30 localities in the Tucumán province (NW Argentina) from January 1990 to December 1995 to determine their status as hosts of Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) and/or Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), the only two fruit fly species of economic and quarantine importance in Argentina. A total of 84,094 fruit (3,466.1 kg) representing 33 species (7 native and 26 exotic) in 15 plant families were sampled. We determined the following 17 host plant associations: Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae), Citrus paradisi Macfadyn (Rutaceae), Diospyros kaki L. (Ebenaceae), Eugenia uniflora L., Psidium guajava L., Myrcianthes pungens (Berg) Legrand (Myrtaceae), Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), Juglans australis Grisebach (Juglandaceae), Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae), Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl., Prunus armeniaca L., P. domestica L., and P. persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae) were infested by both A. fraterculus and C. capitata. Citrus aurantium L., Citrus reticulata Blanco, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (Rutaceae), and Passiflora caerulea L. (Passifloraceae) were only infested by Ceratitis capitata. Out of a total of 99,627 adults that emerged from pupae, 69,180 (approximately 69.5%) were Anastrepha fraterculus, 30,138 (approximately 30.2%) were C. capitata, and 309 (approximately 0.3%) were an unidentified Anastrepha species. Anastrepha fraterculus predominated in native plant species while C. capitata did so in introduced species. Infestation rates (number of larvae/kg of fruit) varied sharply from year to year and between host plant species (overall there was a significant negative correlation between fruit size and infestation level). We provide information on fruiting phenology of all the reported hosts and discuss our findings in light of their practical (e.g., management of A. fraterculus and C. capitata in citrus groves) implications. PMID:14503581

  13. Evaluation of Methods to Estimate Understory Fruit Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Lashley, Marcus A.; Thompson, Jeffrey R.; Chitwood, M. Colter; DePerno, Christopher S.; Moorman, Christopher E.

    2014-01-01

    Fleshy fruit is consumed by many wildlife species and is a critical component of forest ecosystems. Because fruit production may change quickly during forest succession, frequent monitoring of fruit biomass may be needed to better understand shifts in wildlife habitat quality. Yet, designing a fruit sampling protocol that is executable on a frequent basis may be difficult, and knowledge of accuracy within monitoring protocols is lacking. We evaluated the accuracy and efficiency of 3 methods to estimate understory fruit biomass (Fruit Count, Stem Density, and Plant Coverage). The Fruit Count method requires visual counts of fruit to estimate fruit biomass. The Stem Density method uses counts of all stems of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass. The Plant Coverage method uses land coverage of fruit producing species to estimate fruit biomass. Using linear regression models under a censored-normal distribution, we determined the Fruit Count and Stem Density methods could accurately estimate fruit biomass; however, when comparing AIC values between models, the Fruit Count method was the superior method for estimating fruit biomass. After determining that Fruit Count was the superior method to accurately estimate fruit biomass, we conducted additional analyses to determine the sampling intensity (i.e., percentage of area) necessary to accurately estimate fruit biomass. The Fruit Count method accurately estimated fruit biomass at a 0.8% sampling intensity. In some cases, sampling 0.8% of an area may not be feasible. In these cases, we suggest sampling understory fruit production with the Fruit Count method at the greatest feasible sampling intensity, which could be valuable to assess annual fluctuations in fruit production. PMID:24819253

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Comprehensive multiphase NMR: a promising technology to study plants in their native state.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Heather L; Soong, Ronald; Courtier-Murias, Denis; Botana, Adolfo; Fortier-Mcgill, Blythe; Maas, Werner E; Fey, Michael; Hutchins, Howard; Krishnamurthy, Sridevi; Kumar, Rajeev; Monette, Martine; Stronks, Henry J; Campbell, Malcolm M; Simpson, Andre

    2015-09-01

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is arguably one the most powerful tools to study the interactions and molecular structure within plants. Traditionally, however, NMR has developed as two separate fields, one dealing with liquids and the other dealing with solids. Plants in their native state contain components that are soluble, swollen, and true solids. Here, a new form of NMR spectroscopy, developed in 2012, termed comprehensive multiphase (CMP)-NMR is applied for plant analysis. The technology composes all aspects of solution, gel, and solid-state NMR into a single NMR probe such that all components in all phases in native unaltered samples can be studied and differentiated in situ. The technology is evaluated using wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and the cellulose-deficient mutant ectopic lignification1 (eli1) as examples. Using CMP-NMR to study intact samples eliminated the bias introduced by extraction methods and enabled the acquisition of a more complete structural and metabolic profile; thus, CMP-NMR revealed molecular differences between wild type (WT) and eli1 that could be overlooked by conventional methods. Methanol, fatty acids and/or lipids, glutamine, phenylalanine, starch, and nucleic acids were more abundant in eli1 than in WT. Pentaglycine was present in A. thaliana seedlings and more abundant in eli1 than in WT. PMID:25855560

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7-60 yr old (31.2 ?? 2.5 yr, mean ?? 1 SE). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of grazing. We also hypothesized that grazed sites would have higher native and exotic species richness compared to ungrazed areas, due to disturbance (i.e., the intermediate-disturbance hypothesis) and the conventional wisdom that grazing may accelerate weed invasion. Both hypotheses were soundly rejected. Although native species richness in 1-m2 subplots was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in grazed sites, we found nearly identical native or exotic species richness in 1000-m2 plots in exclosures (31.5 ?? 2.5 native and 3.1 ?? 0.5 exotic species), adjacent grazed plots (32.6 ?? 2.8 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species), and randomly selected grazed plots (31.6 ?? 2.9 native and 3.2 ?? 0.6 exotic species). We found no significant differences in species diversity (Hill's diversity indices, N1 and N2), evenness (Hill's ratio of evenness, E5), cover of various life-forms (grasses, forbs, and shrubs), soil texture, or soil percentage of N and C between grazed and ungrazed sites at the 1000-m2 plot scale. The species lists of the long-ungrazed and adjacent grazed plots overlapped just 57.9 ?? 2.8%. This difference in species composition is commonly attributed solely to the difference in grazing regimes. However, the species lists between pairs of grazed plots

  18. Isolating Fungal Pathogens from a Dynamic Disease Outbreak in a Native Plant Population to Establish Plant-Pathogen Bioassays for the Ecological Model Plant Nicotiana attenuata

    PubMed Central

    Schuck, Stefan; Baldwin, Ian T.

    2014-01-01

    The wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata has been intensively used as a model plant to study its interaction with insect herbivores and pollinators in nature, however very little is known about its native pathogen community. We describe a fungal disease outbreak in a native N. attenuata population comprising 873 plants growing in an area of about 1500 m2. The population was divided into 14 subpopulations and disease symptom development in the subpopulations was monitored for 16 days, revealing a waxing and waning of visible disease symptoms with some diseased plants recovering fully. Native fungal N. attenuata pathogens were isolated from diseased plants, characterized genetically, chemotaxonomically and morphologically, revealing several isolates of the ascomycete genera Fusarium and Alternaria, that differed in the type and strength of the disease symptoms they caused in bioassays on either detached leaves or intact soil-grown plants. These isolates and the bioassays will empower the study of N. attenuata-pathogen interactions in a realistic ecological context. PMID:25036191

  19. Native Plant Uptake Model for Radioactive Waste Disposal Areas at the Nevada Test Site

    SciTech Connect

    BROWN,THERESA J.; WIRTH,SHARON

    1999-09-01

    . Parameters necessary for estimating surface contaminant flux due to native plants expected to inhabit the NTS RWMSS are developed in this report. The model is specific to the plant communities found at the NTS and is designed for both short-term (<1,000 years) and long-term (>1,000 years) modeling efforts. While the model has been crafted for general applicability to any NTS PA, the key radionuclides considered are limited to the transuranic (TRU) wastes disposed of at the NTS.

  20. Biogeochemical variability of plants at native and altered sites, San Juan Basin, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.P.; Severson, R.C.

    1981-01-01

    The San Juan Basin is becoming a major energy resource region. The anticipated increase in strip mining for coal can be expected to alter the geochemical and biogeochemical environment. because such activities destroy the native vegetation communities, rearrange the rock strata, and disrupt natural soil development. This study investigated the variability in the biogeochemistry of native plant species at both undisturbed and altered sites and assessed the importance of the observed differences. Three studies are involved in this investigation: Study 1, the biogeochemical variability of native species found at sites throughout that part of the basin underlain by economically recoverable coal; Study 2, the biogeochemical variability of native species growing on soils considered favorable for use in the topsoiling of spoil areas; and Study 3, the biogeochemical variability of native species on rehabilitated sites at the San Juan coal mine. Summary statistics for concentrations of 35 elements (and ash yield) are reported in Study 1 for galleta grass, broom snakeweed, and fourwing saltbush. The concentrations of manganese, molybdenum, nickel, and uranium (and possibly iron and selenium) in galleta show regional patterns, with the highest values generally found in the south-central region and western edge of the study area. Differences in the concentration of elements between species was generally subtle (less than a factor of two) except for the following: ash yield of saltbush was two times that of the other plants; boron in snakeweed and saltbush was four times greater than in galleta; iron in galleta was two times greater than in saltbush; and, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur were generally highest in saltbush. Summary statistics (including the 95-percent expected range) for concentrations of 35 elements (and ash yield) are reported from Study 2 for galleta and broom snakeweed growing on the Sheppard, Shiprock, and Doak soil association

  1. Southwest Exotic Mapping Program 2007: Occurrence Summary and Maps of Select Invasive, Non-native Plants in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Guertin, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Introduction An important aspect of management of invasive, non-native plants (invasive plants) is information on the type, location, and magnitude of infestations. Regional development of this information requires an integrated program of data collection, management, and delivery. The Southwest Exotic Plant Mapping Program (SWEMP), coordinated through the U.S. Geological Survey's Southwest Biological Science Center, annually compiles occurrence records for infestations of invasive plants. Operating since 1998, the SWEMP team has accepted occurrence records contributed voluntarily by federal, tribal, state, and private collaborators and has compiled these contributions accumulatively with previous versions of SWEMP. The SWEMP 2007 regional database update, SWEMP07, contains 62,000 records for 221 plant species with records dating as far back as 1911 and up to December, 2006. Records include invasive plants in Arizona, eastern California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. SWEMP07 is available through the Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse (http://sbsc.wr.usgs.gov/research/projects/swepic/swepic.asp, click SWEMP). Not all invasive plants are non-native and not all invasive plants are even invasive. The Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council (2006) defined an invasive species as 'a species that is (1) non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and, (2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health'. SWEMP uses the U.S. Department of Agriculture PLANTS database (http://plants.usda.gov/) to determine if a plant is native or not to Arizona. As SWEMP does not independently assess the current or potential impact of invasive plants, we include most non-native plant records contributed. We have not included agricultural crops that are non-native, for example apples, oranges, etc. In this open-file-report, we use the SWEMP07 update to summarize the occurrence of invasive plants in Arizona and

  2. Genetic diversity and structure of native and non-native populations of the endangered plant Pinus dabeshanensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Z Y; Wang, H; Chen, W; Pang, X M; Li, Y Y

    2016-01-01

    Owing to a severe decline in its abundance, Pinus dabeshanensis has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Although several restoration events have been undertaken since the 1960s, the natural population genetic structure of this species remains to be investigated. Herein, we examined the level of genetic diversity and structure of two native and two non-native populations using 10 microsatellite loci. A relatively high level of genetic variation (HO = 0.586 ± 0.039) and a low level of population differentiation (FST = 0.016 ± 0.011) were revealed. For forensic investigation, an assignment test was performed. To better understand the genetic differentiation between the native and non-native populations, the individuals in the transplanted and cultivated populations may have derived from populations that were not surveyed in this study. In light of our results, we discuss the real problems faced by all four populations and provide useful information for management decision-making. PMID:27323170

  3. Partitioning understory evapotranspiration in semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia using the isotopic composition of water vapour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Blécourt, Marleen; Gaj, Marcel; Holtorf, Kim-Kirsten; Gröngröft, Alexander; Brokate, Ralph; Himmelsbach, Thomas; Eschenbach, Annette

    2016-04-01

    In dry environments with a sparse vegetation cover, understory evapotranspiration is a major component of the ecosystem water balance. Consequently, knowledge on the size of evapotranspiration fluxes and the driving factors is important for our understanding of the hydrological cycle. Understory evapotranspiration is made up of soil evaporation and plant transpiration. Soil evaporation can be measured directly from patches free of vegetation. However, when understory vegetation is present distinguishing between soil evaporation and plant transpiration is challenging. In this study, we aim to partition understory evapotranspiration based on an approach that combines the measurements of water-vapour fluxes using the closed chamber method with measurements of the isotopic composition of water vapour. The measurements were done in the framework of SASSCAL (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management). The study sites were located in three different semi-arid ecosystems in Namibia: thornbush savanna, Baikiaea woodland and shrubland. At each site measurements were done under tree canopies as well as at unshaded areas between the canopies. We measured evaporation from the bare soil and evapotranspiration from patches covered with herbaceous species and shrubs using a transparent chamber connected with an infrared gas analyser (LI-8100A, LICOR Inc.). The stable isotope composition of water vapour inside the chamber and depth profiles of soil water stable isotopes were determined in-situ using a tuneable off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscope (OA-ICOS, Los Gatos Research, DLT 100). Xylem samples were extracted using the cryogenic vacuum extraction method and the isotopic composition of the extracted water was measured subsequently with a cavity-ring-down spectrometer (CRDS L2120-i, Picarro Inc.). We will present the quantified fluxes of understory evapotranspiration measured in the three different ecosystems, show the

  4. Phytonutrient and compositional analysis in traditionally-used native american edible plants yucca whipplei from S. California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant derived foods such as fruits and vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants, phenolics and other biologically active components shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Traditionally-used Native American edible plants are thought to be rich sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and bi...

  5. Heavy-metal-contaminated industrial soil: Uptake assessment in native plant species from Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Sylvia Therese; Castro, Samuel Rodrigues; Fernandes, Marcus Manoel; Soares, Aylton Carlos; de Souza Freitas, Guilherme Augusto; Ribeiro, Edvan

    2016-08-01

    Plants of the Cerrado have shown some potential for restoration and/or phytoremediation projects due to their ability to grow in and tolerate acidic soils rich in metals. The aim of this study is to evaluate the tolerance and accumulation of metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) in five native tree species of the Brazilian Cerrado (Copaifera langsdorffii, Eugenia dysenterica, Inga laurina, Cedrela fissilis, Handroanthus impetiginosus) subjected to three experiments with contaminated soils obtained from a zinc processing industry (S1, S2, S3) and control soil (S0). The experimental design was completely randomized (factorial 5 × 4 × 3) and conducted in a greenhouse environment during a 90-day experimentation time. The plant species behavior was assessed by visual symptoms of toxicity, tolerance index (TI), translocation factor (TF), and bioaccumulation factor (BF). C. fissilis has performed as a Zn accumulator by the higher BFs obtained in the experiments, equal to 3.72, 0.88, and 0.41 for S1, S2, and S3 respectively. This species had some ability of uptake control as a defense mechanism in high stress conditions with the best behavior for phytoremediation and high tolerance to contamination. With economical and technical benefits, this study may support a preliminary analysis necessary for using native tree species in environmental projects. PMID:26852633

  6. Origins of native vascular plants of Antarctica: comments from a historical phytogeography viewpoint.

    PubMed

    Mosyakin, S L; Bezusko, L G; Mosyakin, A S

    2007-01-01

    The article provides an overview of the problem of origin of the only native vascular plants of Antarctica, Deschampsia antartica (Poaceae) and Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae), from the viewpoint of modern historical phytogeography and related fields of science. Some authors suggested the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica, while others favour their recent Holocene immigration. Direct data (fossil or molecular genetic ones) for solving this controversy is still lacking. However, there is no convincing evidence supporting the Tertiary relict status of these plants in Antarctica. Most probably D. antarctica and C. quitensis migrated to Antarctica in the Holocene or Late Pleistocene (last interglacial?) through bird-aided long-distance dispersal. It should be critically tested by (1) appropriate methods of molecular phylogeography, (2) molecular clock methods, if feasible, (3) direct paleobotanical studies, (4) paleoclimatic reconstructions, and (5) comparison with cases of taxa with similar distribution/dispersal patterns. The problem of the origin of Antarctic vascular plants is a perfect model for integration of modern methods of molecular phylogeography and phylogenetics, population biology, paleobiology and paleogeography for solving a long-standing enigma of historical plant geography and evolution. PMID:18268968

  7. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    PubMed

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis. PMID:25626521

  8. Do Cultivated Varieties of Native Plants Have the Ability to Outperform Their Wild Relatives?

    PubMed Central

    Schröder, Roland; Prasse, Rüdiger

    2013-01-01

    Vast amounts of cultivars of native plants are annually introduced into the semi-natural range of their wild relatives for re-vegetation and restoration. As cultivars are often selected towards enhanced biomass production and might transfer these traits into wild relatives by hybridization, it is suggested that cultivars and the wild × cultivar hybrids are competitively superior to their wild relatives. The release of such varieties may therefore result in unintended changes in native vegetation. In this study we examined for two species frequently used in re-vegetation (Plantago lanceolata and Lotus corniculatus) whether cultivars and artificially generated intra-specific wild × cultivar hybrids may produce a higher vegetative and generative biomass than their wilds. For that purpose a competition experiment was conducted for two growing seasons in a common garden. Every plant type was growing (a.) alone, (b.) in pairwise combination with a similar plant type and (c.) in pairwise interaction with a different plant type. When competing with wilds cultivars of both species showed larger biomass production than their wilds in the first year only and hybrids showed larger biomass production than their wild relatives in both study years. As biomass production is an important factor determining fitness and competitive ability, we conclude that cultivars and hybrids are competitively superior their wild relatives. However, cultivars of both species experienced large fitness reductions (nearly complete mortality in L. corniculatus) due to local climatic conditions. We conclude that cultivars are good competitors only as long as they are not subjected to stressful environmental factors. As hybrids seemed to inherit both the ability to cope with the local climatic conditions from their wild parents as well as the enhanced competitive strength from their cultivars, we regard them as strong competitors and assume that they are able to outperform their wilds at least over

  9. Use and valuation of native and introduced medicinal plant species in Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, Boyacá, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Medicinal plant species contribute significantly to folk medicine in Colombia. However, few local studies have investigated whether species used are introduced or native and whether there is a difference in importance of native and introduced medicinal plant species. The aim of the present study was to describe the use of medicinal plants within two municipalities, Campo Hermoso and Zetaquira, both in the department of Boyacá, Colombia and to assess the importance of native and introduced plants to healers, amateur healers and local people. As local healers including amateur healers have no history of introduced species our working hypotheses (H1-2) were that H1: native and introduced medicinal plant species are of equal importance and H2: healers and amateur healers do not differentiate in their preferences between native and introduced medicinal plant species. Methods Ten villages were included in the study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, in- depth interviews, and open talks. Voucher specimens were collected in home gardens and during field walks. For data analysis, we calculated use value indices and Jaccard index and tested for the above hypothesis using Spearman rank-correlation coefficients and Wilcoxon-Mann–Whitney tests. Results Eighty medicinal plant species were described by locals as the most frequently used. Of these, 78 species were taxonomically identified, distributed within 41 families and 74 genera, which included 35 native species and 43 introduced. The highest valued families were: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Apiaceae, Rutaceae and Verbenaceae. The species ranked highest according to their Use Values, in both municipalities, were Mentha suaveolens Ehrh., Ambrosia cumanensis Kunth, and Verbena littoralis Kunth. Introduced species were more important than native ones in Zetaquira, while there was no difference in importance in Campo Hermoso. While healers

  10. Response of an invasive native wetland plant to environmental flows: implications for managing regulated floodplain ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vivian, Lyndsey M; Marshall, David J; Godfree, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The natural flow regimes of rivers underpin the health and function of floodplain ecosystems. However, infrastructure development and the over-extraction of water has led to the alteration of natural flow regimes, resulting in the degradation of river and floodplain habitats globally. In many catchments, including Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, environmental flows are seen as a potentially useful tool to restore natural flow regimes and manage the degradation of rivers and their associated floodplains. In this paper, we investigated whether environmental flows can assist in controlling an invasive native floodplain plant in Barmah Forest, south-eastern Australia. We experimentally quantified the effects of different environmental flow scenarios, including a shallow (20 cm) and deeper (50 cm) flood of different durations (12 and 20 weeks), as well as drought and soil-saturated conditions, on the growth and survival of seedlings of Juncus ingens, a native emergent macrophyte that has become invasive in some areas of Barmah Forest following river regulation and alteration of natural flow regimes. Three height classes of J. ingens (33 cm, 17 cm and 12 cm) were included in the experiment to explicitly test for relationships between treatments, plant survival and growth, and plant height. We found that seedling mortality occurred in the drought treatment and in the 20-week flood treatments of both depths; however, mortality rates in the flood treatments depended on initial plant height, with medium and short plants (initial heights of ≤17 cm) exhibiting the highest mortality rates. Both the 20 cm and 50 cm flood treatments of only 12 weeks duration were insufficient to cause mortality in any of the height classes; indeed, shoots of plants in the 20 cm flood treatment were able to elongate through the water surface at rapid rates. Our findings have important implications for management of Barmah Forest and floodplain ecosystems elsewhere, as it demonstrates

  11. An exotic invasive plant selects for increased competitive tolerance, but not competitive suppression, in a native grass.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Rebecca A; Callaway, Ragan M; Atwater, Daniel Z

    2016-06-01

    Exotic invasive plants can exert strong selective pressure for increased competitive ability in native plants. There are two fundamental components of competitive ability: suppression and tolerance, and the current paradigm that these components have equal influences on a species' overall competitive ability has been recently questioned. If these components do not have equal influences on overall ability, then selection on competitive tolerance and suppression may be disproportionate. We used naturally invaded communities to study the effects of selection caused by an invasive forb, Centaurea stoebe, on a native grass, Pseudoroegneria spicata. P. spicata plants were harvested from within dense C. stoebe patches and from nearby uninvaded areas, divided clonally into replicates, then transplanted into a common garden where they grew alone or competed with C. stoebe. We found that P. spicata plants collected from within C. stoebe patches were significantly more tolerant of competition with C. stoebe than P. spicata plants collected from uninvaded areas, but plants from inside invaded patches were not superior at suppressing C. stoebe. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that strong competitors may select for tolerance to competition more than for the ability to suppress neighbors. This has important implications for how native plant communities may respond to invasion over time, and how invasive and native species may ultimately coexist. PMID:26897605

  12. Effects of intermediate-term grazing rest on sagebrush communities with depleted understories: evidence of a threshold

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of sagebrush (Artemisia L.) plant communities have been degraded by past improper management resulting in dense sagebrush stands with depleted herbaceous understories. Rest from grazing is often applied to promote herbaceous recovery from past mismanagement. However, the effe...

  13. PARTITIONING OVERSTORY AND UNDERSTORY EVAPOTRANSPIRATION IN A SEMIARID SAVANNA WOODLAND FROM THE ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION OF WATER VAPOR 1498

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The relative contributions of overstory and understory plant transpiration and soil evaporation to total evapotranspiration (ET) in a semiarid savanna woodland were determined from stable isotope measurements of atmospheric water vapor. The savanna overstory was dominated by the deeply rooted, wood...

  14. Seasonality and nitrogen supply modify carbon partitioning in understory vegetation of a boreal coniferous forest.

    PubMed

    Hasselquist, N J; Metcalfe, D B; Marshall, J D; Lucas, R W; Högberg, P

    2016-03-01

    Given the strong coupling between the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles, there is substantial interest in understanding how N availability affects C cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in ecosystems limited by N. However, most studies in temperate and boreal forests have focused on the effects of N addition on tree growth. By comparison, less is known about the effects of N availability on the cycling of C in understory vegetation despite some evidence that dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens play an important role in the forest C balance. In this study, we used an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling technique to examine the short-term dynamics of C partitioning in understory vegetation in three boreal Pinus sylvestris forest stands exposed to different rates of N addition: a low and high N addition that receive annual additions of NH4NO3 of 20 and 100 kg N/ha, respectively, and this is a typo. It should be an unfertilized control. Labeling was conducted at two distinct periods (early vs. late growing season), which provided a seasonal picture of how N addition affects C dynamics in understory vegetation. In contrast to what has been found in trees, there was no obvious trend in belowground C partitioning in ericaceous plants in response to N additions or seasonality. Increasing N addition led to a greater percentage of 13C being incorporated into ericaceous leaves with a high turnover, whereas high rates of N addition strongly reduced the incorporation of 13C into less degradable moss tissues. Addition of N also resulted in a greater percentage of the 13C label being respired back to the atmosphere and an overall reduction in total understory carbon use efficiency. Taken together, our results suggest a faster cycling of C in understory vegetation with increasing N additions; yet the magnitude of this general response was strongly dependent on the amount of N added and varied seasonally. These results provide some of the first in situ C and N partitioning

  15. Native pollen thieves reduce the reproductive success of a hermaphroditic plant, Aloe maculata.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2010-06-01

    Pollen is unique among floral rewards in functioning as both a carrier of gametes and an attractant and nutritious resource for floral visitors. Animals that collect pollen without pollinating (pollen thieves) could reduce siring success of thieved plants and cause pollen limitation of seed set at the population level; however, such impacts on plant reproduction have not been demonstrated experimentally. To test these effects we added hives of native honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to populations of a primarily bird-pollinated plant, Aloe maculata, in eastern South Africa. In field and aviary trials, bee addition increased pollen removal from anthers but decreased pollen deposition on stigmas, and so reduced both male and female pollination components. Further, total seed production decreased with hive addition in the aviary experiment and in three of four field populations, indicating that population-level pollen theft can also compromise reproductive success. In the field, naturally occurring allodapine bees also seemed to act as pollen thieves, outweighing the effect of honey bee hive addition at one of the four aloe populations. Our results highlight the importance of social bees as pollen thieves, even of plants that have evolved in their presence, and the role of dichogamy in promoting pollen theft. Given the commonness of both social bees and dichogamy, pollen theft is likely a much more common influence on floral ecology and evolution than suggested by the sparse literature. PMID:20583711

  16. The role of environmental gradients in non-native plant invasion into burnt areas of Yosemite National Park, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klinger, R.; Underwood, E.C.; Moore, P.E.

    2006-01-01

    Fire is known to facilitate the invasion of many non-native plant species, but how invasion into burnt areas varies along environmental gradients is not well-understood. We used two pre-existing data sets to analyse patterns of invasion by non-native plant species into burnt areas along gradients of topography, soil and vegetation structure in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. A total of 46 non-native species (all herbaceous) were recorded in the two data sets. They occurred in all seven of the major plant formations in the park, but were least common in subalpine and upper montane conifer forests. There was no significant difference in species richness or cover of non-natives between burnt and unburnt areas for either data set, and environmental gradients had a stronger effect on patterns of non-native species distribution, abundance and species composition than burning. Cover and species richness of non-natives had significant positive correlations with slope (steepness) and herbaceous cover, while species richness had significant negative correlations with elevation, the number of years post-burn, and cover of woody vegetation. Non-native species comprised a relatively minor component of the vegetation in both burnt and unburnt areas in Yosemite (percentage species Combining double low line 4%, mean cover < 6.0%), and those species that did occur in burnt areas tended not to persist over time. The results indicate that in many western montane ecosystems, fire alone will not necessarily result in increased rates of invasion into burnt areas. However, it would be premature to conclude that non-native species could not affect post-fire succession patterns in these systems. Short fire-return intervals and high fire severity coupled with increased propagule pressure from areas used heavily by humans could still lead to high rates of invasion, establishment and spread even in highly protected areas such as Yosemite. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. Native cell-death genes as candidates for developing wilt resistance in transgenic banana plants

    PubMed Central

    Ghag, Siddhesh B.; Shekhawat, Upendra K. Singh; Ganapathi, Thumballi R.

    2014-01-01

    In order to feed an ever-increasing world population, there is an urgent need to improve the production of staple food and fruit crops. The productivity of important food and fruit crops is constrained by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. The cultivation of banana, which is an important fruit crop, is severely threatened by Fusarium wilt disease caused by infestation by an ascomycetes fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc). Since there are no established edible cultivars of banana resistant to all the pathogenic races of Foc, genetic engineering is the only option for the generation of resistant cultivars. Since Foc is a hemibiotrophic fungus, investigations into the roles played by different cell-death-related genes in the progression of Foc infection on host banana plants are important. Towards this goal, three such genes namely MusaDAD1, MusaBAG1 and MusaBI1 were identified in banana. The study of their expression pattern in banana cells in response to Foc inoculation (using Foc cultures or fungal toxins like fusaric acid and beauvericin) indicated that they were indeed differentially regulated by fungal inoculation. Among the three genes studied, MusaBAG1 showed the highest up-regulation upon Foc inoculation. Further, in order to characterize these genes in the context of Foc infection in banana, we generated transgenic banana plants constitutively overexpressing the three genes that were later subjected to Foc bioassays in a contained greenhouse. Among the three groups of transgenics tested, transformed banana plants overexpressing MusaBAG1 demonstrated the best resistance towards Foc infection. Further, these plants also showed the highest relative overexpression of the transgene (MusaBAG1) among the three groups of transformed plants generated. Our study showed for the first time that native genes like MusaBAG1 can be used to develop transgenic banana plants with efficient resistance towards pathogens like Foc. PMID:24996429

  18. Arsenic and heavy metals in native plants at tailings impoundments in Queretaro, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Jallath, José; Castro-Rodríguez, Alejandrina; Huezo-Casillas, José; Torres-Bustillos, Luis

    Ten native plants species that grow in three tailings dams from Ag, Pb, Cu and Zn mine in Queretaro, Mexico were studied. Total concentrations in tailings were 183-14,660 mg/kg As, 45-308 mg/kg Cd, 327-1754 mg/kg Pb, 149-459 mg/kg Cu and 448-505 mg/kg Zn. In the three tailings dams, the solubility of these elements is low. Tailings in dam 1 are acid generating while tailings in dams 2 and 3 are not acid-generating potential. Plants species that accumulate arsenic and heavy metals was identified; Nicotina glauca generally presented the highest concentrations (92 mg/kg As, 106 mg/kg Cd, 189 mg/kg Pb, 95 mg/kg Cu and 1985 mg/kg Zn). Other species that accumulate these elements are Flaveria pubescens, Tecoma stans, Prosopis Sp, Casuarina Sp and Maurandia antirrhiniflora. Two species were found that accumulates a large amount of metals in the root, Cenchrus ciliaris and Opuntia lasiacantha. Concentrations in soils in which plants grow were 488-5990 mg/kg As, 5-129 mg/kg Cd, 169-3638 mg/kg Pb, 159-1254 mg/kg Cu and 1431-13,488 mg/kg Zn. The Accumulation Factor (AF) determined for plants was less than 1, with exception of N. glauca for Cd. The correlation between arsenic and heavy metals found in soils and plants was low. Knowledge of plant characteristics allows it use in planning the reforestation of tailings dams in controlled manner. This will reduce the risk of potentially toxic elements are integrated into the food chain of animal species.

  19. Native cell-death genes as candidates for developing wilt resistance in transgenic banana plants.

    PubMed

    Ghag, Siddhesh B; Shekhawat, Upendra K Singh; Ganapathi, Thumballi R

    2014-01-01

    In order to feed an ever-increasing world population, there is an urgent need to improve the production of staple food and fruit crops. The productivity of important food and fruit crops is constrained by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. The cultivation of banana, which is an important fruit crop, is severely threatened by Fusarium wilt disease caused by infestation by an ascomycetes fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc). Since there are no established edible cultivars of banana resistant to all the pathogenic races of Foc, genetic engineering is the only option for the generation of resistant cultivars. Since Foc is a hemibiotrophic fungus, investigations into the roles played by different cell-death-related genes in the progression of Foc infection on host banana plants are important. Towards this goal, three such genes namely MusaDAD1, MusaBAG1 and MusaBI1 were identified in banana. The study of their expression pattern in banana cells in response to Foc inoculation (using Foc cultures or fungal toxins like fusaric acid and beauvericin) indicated that they were indeed differentially regulated by fungal inoculation. Among the three genes studied, MusaBAG1 showed the highest up-regulation upon Foc inoculation. Further, in order to characterize these genes in the context of Foc infection in banana, we generated transgenic banana plants constitutively overexpressing the three genes that were later subjected to Foc bioassays in a contained greenhouse. Among the three groups of transgenics tested, transformed banana plants overexpressing MusaBAG1 demonstrated the best resistance towards Foc infection. Further, these plants also showed the highest relative overexpression of the transgene (MusaBAG1) among the three groups of transformed plants generated. Our study showed for the first time that native genes like MusaBAG1 can be used to develop transgenic banana plants with efficient resistance towards pathogens like Foc. PMID:24996429

  20. Modeling spatiotemporal patterns of understory light intensity using airborne laser scanner (LiDAR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Shouzhang; Zhao, Chuanyan; Xu, Zhonglin

    2014-11-01

    This study described a spatiotemporally explicit 3D raytrace model to provide spatiotemporal patterns of understory light (light intensity in the forest floor and along the vertical gradient). The model was built based on voxels derived from LiDAR and field investigation data, geographical information (elevation and location), and solar position (azimuth and altitude angles). We calculated the distance (L, in meters) traveled by solar ray in the crowns based on the model, and then calibrated and verified the light attenuation function using L based on Beer's law. L and the ratio of below canopy light intensity to above canopy light intensity showed obviously exponential relationship, with R2 = 0.94 and P < 0.05. Estimated and observed understory light intensities were obviously positively correlated, with R2 = 0.92 and P < 0.01, and the estimated values were slightly lower than the observed values. The spatiotemporal patterns of the light intensity in the forest floor were mapped with the respect to the solar position, and these patterns represented the variations in the forest-shaded area. The spatial patterns of the light intensity along vertical gradient were also mapped, and they showed strong variations. We concluded that L could account for the complex patterns of understory light environment with respect to the geographical and solar position variations. The 3D raytrace model can be integrated with ecological or hydrological models to resolve several issues, such as plant succession and competition, soil evaporation, plant transpiration, and snowmelt in the forest.

  1. Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Todd M.

    2015-01-01

    The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82 %. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts.

  2. Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin.

    PubMed

    Preston, Todd M

    2015-04-01

    The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82%. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts. PMID:25797884

  3. Restoration of Degraded Soil in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest with Native Tree Species: Effect of Indigenous Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Andimuthu; Radhapriya, Parthasarathy

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of a highly degraded forest, which had lost its natural capacity for regeneration, was attempted in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest in Eastern Ghats of India. In field experiment, 12 native tree species were planted. The restoration included inoculation with a consortium of 5 native plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), with the addition of small amounts of compost and a chemical fertilizer (NPK). The experimental fields were maintained for 1080 days. The growth and biomass varied depending on the plant species. All native plants responded well to the supplementation with the native PGPB. The plants such as Pongamia pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Gmelina arborea, Wrightia tinctoria, Syzygium cumini, Albizia lebbeck, Terminalia bellirica, and Azadirachta indica performed well in the native soil. This study demonstrated, by using native trees and PGPB, a possibility to restore the degraded forest. PMID:27195310

  4. Restoration of Degraded Soil in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest with Native Tree Species: Effect of Indigenous Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Andimuthu; Radhapriya, Parthasarathy

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of a highly degraded forest, which had lost its natural capacity for regeneration, was attempted in the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest in Eastern Ghats of India. In field experiment, 12 native tree species were planted. The restoration included inoculation with a consortium of 5 native plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB), with the addition of small amounts of compost and a chemical fertilizer (NPK). The experimental fields were maintained for 1080 days. The growth and biomass varied depending on the plant species. All native plants responded well to the supplementation with the native PGPB. The plants such as Pongamia pinnata, Tamarindus indica, Gmelina arborea, Wrightia tinctoria, Syzygium cumini, Albizia lebbeck, Terminalia bellirica, and Azadirachta indica performed well in the native soil. This study demonstrated, by using native trees and PGPB, a possibility to restore the degraded forest. PMID:27195310

  5. Establishment of non-native plant species after wildfires: Effects of fuel treatments, abiotic and biotic factors, and post-fire grass seeding treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, M.E.; Omi, P.N.; Martinson, E.J.; Chong, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Establishment and spread of non-native species following wildfires can pose threats to long-term native plant recovery. Factors such as disturbance severity, resource availability, and propagule pressure may influence where non-native species establish in burned areas. In addition, pre- and post-fire management activities may influence the likelihood of non-native species establishment. In the present study we examine the establishment of non-native species after wildfires in relation to native species richness, fire severity, dominant native plant cover, resource availability, and pre- and post-fire management actions (fuel treatments and post-fire rehabilitation treatments). We used an information-theoretic approach to compare alternative hypotheses. We analysed post-fire effects at multiple scales at three wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico. For large and small spatial scales at all fires, fire severity was the most consistent predictor of non-native species cover. Non-native species cover was also correlated with high native species richness, low native dominant species cover, and high seeded grass cover. There was a positive, but non-significant, association of non-native species with fuel-treated areas at one wildfire. While there may be some potential for fuels treatments to promote non-native species establishment, wildfire and post-fire seeding treatments seem to have a larger impact on non-native species. ?? IAWF 2006.

  6. Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Yoshito; Ichikawa, San’ei; Kubota, Masahide; Hoshino, Junko; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Kouichi; Fuma, Shoichi; Kawaguchi, Isao; Yoschenko, Vasyl I.; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) in March 2011, much attention has been paid to the biological consequences of the released radionuclides into the surrounding area. We investigated the morphological changes in Japanese fir, a Japanese endemic native conifer, at locations near the F1NPP. Japanese fir populations near the F1NPP showed a significantly increased number of morphological defects, involving deletions of leader shoots of the main axis, compared to a control population far from the F1NPP. The frequency of the defects corresponded to the radioactive contamination levels of the observation sites. A significant increase in deletions of the leader shoots became apparent in those that elongated after the spring of 2012, a year after the accident. These results suggest possibility that the contamination by radionuclides contributed to the morphological defects in Japanese fir trees in the area near the F1NPP. PMID:26314382

  7. Morphological defects in native Japanese fir trees around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yoshito; Ichikawa, San'ei; Kubota, Masahide; Hoshino, Junko; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Maruyama, Kouichi; Fuma, Shoichi; Kawaguchi, Isao; Yoschenko, Vasyl I; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1NPP) in March 2011, much attention has been paid to the biological consequences of the released radionuclides into the surrounding area. We investigated the morphological changes in Japanese fir, a Japanese endemic native conifer, at locations near the F1NPP. Japanese fir populations near the F1NPP showed a significantly increased number of morphological defects, involving deletions of leader shoots of the main axis, compared to a control population far from the F1NPP. The frequency of the defects corresponded to the radioactive contamination levels of the observation sites. A significant increase in deletions of the leader shoots became apparent in those that elongated after the spring of 2012, a year after the accident. These results suggest possibility that the contamination by radionuclides contributed to the morphological defects in Japanese fir trees in the area near the F1NPP. PMID:26314382

  8. Larvicidal and cytotoxic activities of extracts from 11 native plants from northeastern Mexico.

    PubMed

    de la Torre Rodriguez, Yael C; Martínez Estrada, Francisco Ricardo; Flores Suarez, Adriana Elizabeth; Waksman de Torres, Noemí; Salazar Aranda, Ricardo

    2013-03-01

    Of all mosquito-borne viral diseases, dengue is spreading most rapidly worldwide. Conventional chemical insecticides (e.g., organophosphates and carbamates) effectively kill mosquitoes at their larval stage, but are toxic to humans. Natural product-based insecticides may be highly specific. Herein, we report the insecticidal activities of 11 native Mexican plants against Aedes aegypti (L). Ether extracts of Ambrosia confertiflora De Candolle, Thymus vulgaris (L.), and Zanthoxylum fagara (L.), and both ether and methanol extracts of Ruta chalepensis L. were significantly larvicidal toward the dengue mosquito after 24 h of exposure. Of them, only the ether extract of A. confertiflora was toxic to Vero cells. In conclusion, the ether extracts of Thymus vulgaris, Z. fagara, and both ether and methanol extracts of Ruta chalepensis L., could be considered as potential bioinsecticides. PMID:23540118

  9. Remediation of heavy metal-contaminated forest soil using recycled organic matter and native woody plants.

    PubMed

    Helmisaari, H-S; Salemaa, M; Derome, J; Kiikkilä, O; Uhlig, C; Nieminen, T M

    2007-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to determine how the application of a mulch cover (a mixture of household biocompost and woodchips) onto heavy metal-polluted forest soil affects (i) long-term survival and growth of planted dwarf shrubs and tree seedlings and (ii) natural revegetation. Native woody plants (Pinus sylvestris, Betula pubescens, Empetrum nigrum, and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) were planted in mulch pockets on mulch-covered and uncovered plots in summer 1996 in a highly polluted Scots pine stand in southwest Finland. Spreading a mulch layer on the soil surface was essential for the recolonization of natural vegetation and increased dwarf shrub survival, partly through protection against drought. Despite initial mortality, transplant establishment was relatively successful during the following 10 yr. Tree species had higher survival rates, but the dwarf shrubs covered a larger area of the soil surface during the experiment. Especially E. nigrum and P. sylvestris proved to be suitable for revegetating heavy metal-polluted and degraded forests. Natural recolonization of pioneer species (e.g., Epilobium angustifolium, Taraxacum coll., and grasses) and tree seedlings (P. sylvestris, Betula sp., and Salix sp.) was strongly enhanced on the mulched plots, whereas there was no natural vegetation on the untreated plots. These results indicate that a heavy metal-polluted site can be ecologically remediated without having to remove the soil. Household compost and woodchips are low-cost mulching materials that are suitable for restoring heavy metal-polluted soil. PMID:17596623

  10. Plant pollinator interactions: comparison between an invasive and a native congeneric species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanparys, Valérie; Meerts, Pierre; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2008-11-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions determine reproductive success for animal-pollinated species and, in the case of invasive plants, they are supposed to play an important role in invasive success. We compared the invasive Senecio inaequidens to its native congener S. jacobaea in terms of interactions with pollinators. Visitor guild, visitation rate, and seed set were compared over 3 years in three sites in Belgium. Floral display (capitula number and arrangement) and phenology were quantified, and visiting insects were individually censused, i.e. number of visited capitula and time per visited capitulum. As expected from capitula resemblance, visitor guilds of both species were very similar (proportional similarity = 0.94). Senecio inaequidens was visited by 33 species, versus 36 for S. jacobaea. For both species, main visitors were Diptera, especially Syrphidae, and Hymenoptera. Visitation rate averaged 0.13 visitor per capitulum per 10 min for S. inaequidens against 0.08 for S. jacobaea. However, insects visited more capitula per plant on S. jacobaea, due to high capitula density (886 m -2 versus 206 m -2 for S. inaequidens), which is likely to increase self-pollen deposition considerably. Seed set of S. jacobaea was lower than that of S. inaequidens. We suggest that floral display is the major factor explaining the differences in insect visitation and seed set between the two Senecio species.

  11. Influence of native flowering plant strips on natural enemies and herbivores in adjacent blueberry fields.

    PubMed

    Walton, Nathaniel J; Isaacs, Rufus

    2011-06-01

    Conservation plantings of native wildflowers were established adjacent to highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fields to test the hypothesis that provision of resources for natural enemies increases their abundance in adjacent crop fields without increasing the abundance of pest insects. For two growing seasons, natural enemies and herbivorous insects were sampled in fields with flowering borders and in control fields where growers maintained standard mown grass perimeters. Insects were categorized according to their trophic level and their potential pest status, and their abundance was compared between years and between treatments. Syrphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae) were significantly more abundant in fields with conservation strips, as were plant bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae), thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), and hoppers (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha). Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), thrips, fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae), and pirate bugs (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) decreased significantly in abundance from 2007 to 2008. Beneficial insect abundance in crop fields increased in the latter half of the season in both years and this increase was more pronounced in fields adjacent to conservation plantings. We discuss the implications of these findings for pest management and conservation of biodiversity in farmland. PMID:22251649

  12. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    habitat research and management. The success here to map bamboo has important implications for giant panda conservation and provides a good foundation for developing methods to map the spatial distributions of understory plant species. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of bamboo is necessary to accurately measure the quantity and landscape characteristics of giant panda habitat. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  13. Rare earth elements (REEs): effects on germination and growth of selected crop and native plant species.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philippe J; Carpenter, David; Boutin, Céline; Allison, Jane E

    2014-02-01

    The phytotoxicity of rare earth elements (REEs) is still poorly understood. The exposure-response relationships of three native Canadian plant species (common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., showy ticktrefoil, Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. and switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L.) and two commonly used crop species (radish, Raphanus sativus L., and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L.) to the REEs lanthanum (La), yttrium (Y) and cerium (Ce) were tested. In separate experiments, seven to eight doses of each element were added to the soil prior to sowing seeds. Effects of REE dose on germination were established through measures of total percent germination and speed of germination; effects on growth were established through determination of above ground biomass. Ce was also tested at two pH levels and plant tissue analysis was conducted on pooled samples. Effects on germination were mostly observed with Ce at low pH. However, effects on growth were more pronounced, with detectable inhibition concentrations causing 10% and 25% reductions in biomass for the two native forb species (A. syriaca and D. canadense) with all REEs and on all species tested with Ce in both soil pH treatments. Concentration of Ce in aboveground biomass was lower than root Ce content, and followed the dose-response trend. From values measured in natural soils around the world, our results continue to support the notion that REEs are of limited toxicity and not considered extremely hazardous to the environment. However, in areas where REE contamination is likely, the slow accumulation of these elements in the environment could become problematic. PMID:23978671

  14. Australian native plant species Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) Schwantes shows the potential of cadmium phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chengjun; Sale, Peter W G; Doronila, Augustine I; Clark, Gary J; Livesay, Caitlin; Tang, Caixian

    2014-01-01

    Many polluted sites are typically characterized by contamination with multiple heavy metals, drought, salinity, and nutrient deficiencies. Here, an Australian native succulent halophytic plant species, Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) Schwantes (Aizoaceae) was investigated to assess its tolerance and phytoextraction potential of Cd, Zn, and the combination of Cd and Zn, when plants were grown in soils spiked with various concentrations of Cd (20-320 mg kg(-1) Cd), Zn (150-2,400 mg kg(-1) Zn) or Cd + Zn (20 + 150, 40 + 300, 80 + 600 mg kg(-1)). The concentration of Cd in plant parts followed the order of roots > stems > leaves, resulting in Cd translocation factor (TF, concentration ratio of shoots to roots) less than one. In contrast, the concentration of Zn was in order of leaves > stems > roots, with a Zn TF greater than one. However, the amount of Cd and Zn were distributed more in leaves than in stems or roots, which was attributed to higher biomass of leaves than stems or roots. The critical value that causes 10% shoot biomass reduction was 115 μg g(-1) for Cd and 1,300 μg g(-1) for Zn. The shoot Cd uptake per plant increased with increasing Cd addition while shoot Zn uptake peaked at 600 mg kg(-1) Zn addition. The combined addition of Cd and Zn reduced biomass production more than Cd or Zn alone and significantly increased Cd concentration, but did not affect Zn concentration in plant parts. The results suggest that C. rossii is able to hyperaccumulate Cd and can be a promising candidate for phytoextraction of Cd from polluted soils. PMID:24777324

  15. Levels of toxic arsenic species in native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities.

    PubMed

    García-Salgado, Sara; Quijano, M Ángeles

    2014-03-01

    Ten native terrestrial plants from soils polluted by former mining activities (Mónica mine, NW Madrid, Spain), with high total arsenic concentration levels (up to 3500 μg g(-1)), have been studied to determine the fraction of arsenic present as toxic forms (inorganic and methylated species), which present a higher mobility and therefore the potential risk associated with their reintegration into the environment is high. Roots and aboveground parts were analyzed separately to assess possible transformations from translocation processes. Extractions were carried out with deionized water by microwave-assisted extraction at a temperature of 90 °C and three extraction steps of 7.5 min each. Total extracted arsenic concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, showing extraction percentages from 9 to 39% (calculated as the ratio between total extracted arsenic (Asext) and total arsenic (AsT) concentrations in plants). Speciation studies, performed by high performance liquid chromatography-photo-oxidation-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry, showed the main presence of arsenate (As(v)) (up to 350 μg g(-1)), followed by arsenite (As(iii)), in both plant parts. Monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO) were also found only in some plants. On the other hand, the use of 0.5 mol L(-1) acetic acid as an extractant led to higher extraction percentages (33-87%), but lower column recoveries, probably due to the extraction of arsenic compounds different to the toxic free ions studied, which may come from biotransformation mechanisms carried out by plants to reduce arsenic toxicity. However, As(v) concentrations increased up to 800 μg g(-1) in acid medium, indicating the probable release of As(v) from organoarsenic compounds and therefore a higher potential risk for the environment. PMID:24513726

  16. Nutrient limitation of native and invasive N2-fixing plants in northwest prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thorpe, Andrea S.; Perakis, Steven S.; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ15N averaged −0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications.

  17. Nutrient Limitation of Native and Invasive N2-Fixing Plants in Northwest Prairies

    PubMed Central

    Thorpe, Andrea S.; Perakis, Steven; Catricala, Christina; Kaye, Thomas N.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient rich conditions often promote plant invasions, yet additions of non-nitrogen (N) nutrients may provide a novel approach for conserving native symbiotic N-fixing plants in otherwise N-limited ecosystems. Lupinus oreganus is a threatened N-fixing plant endemic to prairies in western Oregon and southwest Washington (USA). We tested the effect of non-N fertilizers on the growth, reproduction, tissue N content, and stable isotope δ15N composition of Lupinus at three sites that differed in soil phosphorus (P) and N availability. We also examined changes in other Fabaceae (primarily Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta) and cover of all plant species. Variation in background soil P and N availability shaped patterns of nutrient limitation across sites. Where soil P and N were low, P additions increased Lupinus tissue N and altered foliar δ15N, suggesting P limitation of N fixation. Where soil P was low but N was high, P addition stimulated growth and reproduction in Lupinus. At a third site, with higher soil P, only micro- and macronutrient fertilization without N and P increased Lupinus growth and tissue N. Lupinus foliar δ15N averaged −0.010‰ across all treatments and varied little with tissue N, suggesting consistent use of fixed N. In contrast, foliar δ15N of Vicia spp. shifted towards 0‰ as tissue N increased, suggesting that conditions fostering N fixation may benefit these exotic species. Fertilization increased cover, N fixation, and tissue N of non-target, exotic Fabaceae, but overall plant community structure shifted at only one site, and only after the dominant Lupinus was excluded from analyses. Our finding that non-N fertilization increased the performance of Lupinus with few community effects suggests a potential strategy to aid populations of threatened legume species. The increase in exotic Fabaceae species that occurred with fertilization further suggests that monitoring and adaptive management should accompany any large scale applications. PMID

  18. Herbivory-induced volatiles function as defenses increasing fitness of the native plant Nicotiana attenuata in nature

    PubMed Central

    Schuman, Meredith C; Barthel, Kathleen; Baldwin, Ian T

    2012-01-01

    From an herbivore's first bite, plants release herbivory-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) which can attract enemies of herbivores. However, other animals and competing plants can intercept HIPVs for their own use, and it remains unclear whether HIPVs serve as an indirect defense by increasing fitness for the emitting plant. In a 2-year field study, HIPV-emitting N. attenuata plants produced twice as many buds and flowers as HIPV-silenced plants, but only when native Geocoris spp. predators reduced herbivore loads (by 50%) on HIPV-emitters. In concert with HIPVs, plants also employ antidigestive trypsin protease inhibitors (TPIs), but TPI-producing plants were not fitter than TPI-silenced plants. TPIs weakened a specialist herbivore's behavioral evasive responses to simulated Geocoris spp. attack, indicating that TPIs function against specialists by enhancing indirect defense. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00007.001 PMID:23066503

  19. The effects of seeding sterile triticale on a native plant community after wildfire in a pinyon pinemountain mahogany woodland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waitman, B.A.; Draper, T.M.; Esque, T.C.

    2009-01-01

    Post-fire seeding with grasses is a common practice for emergency rehabilitation of burned woodlands. However, most post-seeding monitoring does not address consequences to native flora. In November 2004, the US Forest Service hand-seeded triticale (Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus), a sterile wheatrye hybrid, on a small burned area in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada, United States. A monitoring project using paired plots was designed to quantify the effects of seeding triticale on density and species richness of native annual and perennial plants, cover of perennial plants, and aboveground production of annual plants. We did not find any effects of triticale seeding on annual plant species or most responses of perennial plants. However, the density of woody perennial seedlings was significantly lower 2 years after triticale was added. Although we found a smaller impact from seeding with exotic grass than other studies, quantifiable costs to native vegetation were observed. We caution against the use of non-native grass for seeding in areas with naturally low perennial recruitment. ?? IAWF 2009.

  20. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings in a temperate continental climate effectively sequesters and stabilizes carbon within decades.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Shaun C; Cavagnaro, Timothy R; Mac Nally, Ralph; Paul, Keryn I; Baker, Patrick J; Beringer, Jason; Thomson, James R; Thompson, Ross M

    2015-04-01

    Reforestation has large potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Native mixed-species plantings have a higher potential to reverse biodiversity loss than do plantations of production species, but there are few data on their capacity to store carbon. A chronosequence (5-45 years) of 36 native mixed-species plantings, paired with adjacent pastures, was measured to investigate changes to stocks among C pools following reforestation of agricultural land in the medium rainfall zone (400-800 mm yr(-1)) of temperate Australia. These mixed-species plantings accumulated 3.09 ± 0.85 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in aboveground biomass and 0.18 ± 0.05 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in plant litter, reaching amounts comparable to those measured in remnant woodlands by 20 years and 36 years after reforestation respectively. Soil C was slower to increase, with increases seen only after 45 years, at which time stocks had not reached the amounts found in remnant woodlands. The amount of trees (tree density and basal area) was positively associated with the accumulation of carbon in aboveground biomass and litter. In contrast, changes to soil C were most strongly related to the productivity of the location (a forest productivity index and soil N content in the adjacent pasture). At 30 years, native mixed-species plantings had increased the stability of soil C stocks, with higher amounts of recalcitrant C and higher C:N ratios than their adjacent pastures. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings did not significantly change the availability of macronutrients (N, K, Ca, Mg, P, and S) or micronutrients (Fe, B, Mn, Zn, and Cu), content of plant toxins (Al, Si), acidity, or salinity (Na, electrical conductivity) in the soil. In this medium rainfall area, native mixed-species plantings provided comparable rates of C sequestration to local production species, with the probable additional benefit of providing better quality habitat for native biota. These results

  1. Long-term livestock exclusion facilitates native woody plant encroachment in a sandy semiarid rangeland

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hua; Liu, Wei; Xu, Hong; Wang, Zongshuai; Zhang, Huifang; Hu, Haixiao; Li, Yonggeng

    2015-01-01

    The role of livestock grazing in regulating woody cover and biomass in grass-dominant systems is well recognized. However, the way in which woody plant populations in respond when livestock are removed from grazing in the absence of other disturbances, such as fire, remains unclear. We conducted a 10-year, replicated fencing experiment in a sandy semiarid rangeland in northern China (which has a mean annual rainfall of 365 mm), where fires have been actively suppressed for decades. Fencing dramatically influenced the growth and age structure of the native tree species, Ulmus pumila, which is the sole dominant tree in the area. After a decade, the density of the U. pumila tree population in the fencing plots increased doubly and canopy cover increased triply. The proportion of both saplings (U2) and young trees (U3) increased in fencing plots but decreased in grazing plots after the 10-year treatment period. The effects of fencing on U. pumila trees varied by age class, with potential implications for the future structure of the U. pumila tree community. Decadal fencing led to approximately 80-fold increase in recruitment and a nearly 2.5-fold decrease in the mortality of both U2 and U3. Further, livestock grazing generated a “browsing trap” to the recruitment of both U2 and U3, and had a small impact on the mortality of old trees. A long-term, fencing-driven shift in woody species composition was mediated via its effects on both recruitment and mortality rates. Synthesis and applications. Our results demonstrate that in the long-term absence of both fire and livestock, native woody plant encroachment tends to occur in sandy rangelands, transforming the woody plant demography in the process. The feasibility of full livestock exclusion in sandy rangelands requires further discussion. A balanced amount of livestock grazing may provide critical ecosystem services by regulating woody cover and mediating woody plant encroachment. PMID:26120433

  2. Possible Impacts of the Invasive Plant Rubus niveus on the Native Vegetation of the Scalesia Forest in the Galapagos Islands

    PubMed Central

    Rentería, Jorge Luis; Gardener, Mark R.; Panetta, F. Dane; Atkinson, Rachel; Crawley, Mick J.

    2012-01-01

    Originally from Asia, Rubus niveus has become one of the most widespread invasive plant species in the Galapagos Islands. It has invaded open vegetation, shrubland and forest alike. It forms dense thickets up to 4 m high, appearing to displace native vegetation, and threaten the integrity of several native communities. This study used correlation analysis between a R. niveus cover gradient and a number of biotic (vascular plant species richness, cover and vegetation structure) and abiotic (light and soil properties) parameters to help understand possible impacts in one of the last remaining fragments of the Scalesia forest in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Higher cover of R. niveus was associated with significantly lower native species richness and cover, and a different forest structure. Results illustrated that 60% R. niveus cover could be considered a threshold for these impacts. We suggest that a maximum of 40% R. niveus cover could be a suitable management target. PMID:23118934

  3. Possible impacts of the invasive plant Rubus niveus on the native vegetation of the Scalesia forest in the Galapagos islands.

    PubMed

    Rentería, Jorge Luis; Gardener, Mark R; Panetta, F Dane; Atkinson, Rachel; Crawley, Mick J

    2012-01-01

    Originally from Asia, Rubus niveus has become one of the most widespread invasive plant species in the Galapagos Islands. It has invaded open vegetation, shrubland and forest alike. It forms dense thickets up to 4 m high, appearing to displace native vegetation, and threaten the integrity of several native communities. This study used correlation analysis between a R. niveus cover gradient and a number of biotic (vascular plant species richness, cover and vegetation structure) and abiotic (light and soil properties) parameters to help understand possible impacts in one of the last remaining fragments of the Scalesia forest in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Higher cover of R. niveus was associated with significantly lower native species richness and cover, and a different forest structure. Results illustrated that 60% R. niveus cover could be considered a threshold for these impacts. We suggest that a maximum of 40% R. niveus cover could be a suitable management target. PMID:23118934

  4. Elevated temperatures increase leaf senescence and root secondary metabolite concentrations in the understory herb Panax quinquefolius (Araliaceae).

    PubMed

    Jochum, Gera M; Mudge, Kenneth W; Thomas, Richard B

    2007-05-01

    The response of understory species to elevated temperatures is not well understood but is important because these plants are highly sensitive to their growth conditions. Three-year-old plants of Panax quinquefolius, an understory herb endemic to the eastern deciduous forests of North America, were grown in a greenhouse at 25/20°C (day/night) or 30/25°C for one growing season and analyzed each month. Plants grown at high temperatures had an early onset of leaf senescence and therefore accumulated less carbon. From May to July, P. quinquefolius grown at high temperatures had decreased photosynthesis (52%), stomatal conductance (60%), and root and total biomass (33% and 28%, respectively) compared to plants grown at low temperatures. As P. quinquefolius prepared to overwinter, plants grown at high temperatures had less root biomass (53%) than plants in low temperatures. The amount of storage-root ginsenosides was unaffected by temperature, and differences in storage root size may explain why plants grown at high temperatures had greater concentrations of storage root ginsenosides (49%) than plants grown at low temperatures. Panax quinquefolius is clearly sensitive to a 5°C increase in temperature, and therefore other understory species may be negatively impacted by future increases in global temperature. PMID:21636451

  5. Nectar alkaloids decrease pollination and female reproduction in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lynn S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2012-04-01

    The evolution of floral traits may be shaped by a community of floral visitors that affect plant fitness, including pollinators and floral antagonists. The role of nectar in attracting pollinators has been extensively studied, but its effects on floral antagonists are less understood. Furthermore, the composition of non-sugar nectar components, such as secondary compounds, may affect plant reproduction via changes in both pollinator and floral antagonist behavior. We manipulated the nectar alkaloid gelsemine in wild plants of the native perennial vine Gelsemium sempervirens. We crossed nectar gelsemine manipulations with a hand-pollination treatment, allowing us to determine the effect of both the trait and the interaction on plant female reproduction. We measured pollen deposition, pollen removal, and nectar robbing to assess whether gelsemine altered the behavior of mutualists and antagonists. High nectar gelsemine reduced conspecific pollen receipt by nearly half and also reduced the proportion of conspecific pollen grains received, but had no effect on nectar robbing. Although high nectar gelsemine reduced pollen removal, an estimate of male reproduction, by one-third, this effect was not statistically significant. Fruit set was limited by pollen receipt. However, this effect varied across sites such that the sites that were most pollen-limited were also the sites where nectar alkaloids had the least effect on pollen receipt, resulting in no significant effect of nectar alkaloids on fruit set. Finally, high nectar gelsemine significantly reduced seed weight; however, this effect was mediated by a mechanism other than pollen limitation. Taken together, our work suggests that nectar alkaloids are more costly than beneficial in our system, and that relatively small-scale spatial variation in trait effects and interactions could determine the selective impacts of traits such as nectar composition. PMID:22011842

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Flowering phenology of invasive alien plant species compared with native species in three Mediterranean-type ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Oscar; Richardson, David M.; Valladares, Fernando; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Flowering phenology is a potentially important component of success of alien species, since elevated fecundity may enhance invasiveness. The flowering patterns of invasive alien plant species and related natives were studied in three regions with Mediterranean-type climate: California, Spain and South Africa's Cape region. Methods A total of 227 invasive–native pairs were compared for seven character types across the regions, with each pair selected on the basis that they shared the same habitat type within a region, had a common growth form and pollination type, and belonged to the same family or genus. Key Results Invasive alien plant species have different patterns of flowering phenology from native species in the three regions. Whether the alien species flower earlier, later or at the same time as natives depends on the climatic regime in the native range of the aliens and the proportion of species in the invasive floras originating from different regions. Species invading at least two of the regions displayed the same flowering pattern, showing that flowering phenology is a conservative trait. Invasive species with native ranges in temperate climates flower earlier than natives, those from Mediterranean-type climates at the same time, and species from tropical climates flower later. In California, where the proportion of invaders from the Mediterranean Basin is high, the flowering pattern did not differ between invasive and native species, whereas in Spain the high proportion of tropical species results in a later flowering than natives, and in the Cape region early flowering than natives was the result of a high proportion of temperate invaders. Conclusions Observed patterns are due to the human-induced sympatry of species with different evolutionary histories whose flowering phenology evolved under different climatic regimes. The severity of the main abiotic filters imposed by the invaded regions (e.g. summer drought) has not been

  8. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects...

  9. Remote sensing-based determination of understory grass greening stage over boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Quazi K.; Rahman, K. Mahmud

    2013-01-01

    Our objective was the determination of understory grass greening stage (GGS: defined as the date when 75% of the grass in the surrounding area of a particular location would be green) using remote sensing data over the boreal-dominant forested regions in the Canadian province of Alberta. We used moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) and normalized difference water index (NDWI) with ground-based understory GGS observations at approximately 120 lookout tower sites during the period 2006 to 2008. During 2006, we extracted the temporal dynamics of AGDD/NDWI at the lookout tower sites and determined the best thresholds (i.e., 90 degree-days for AGDD and 0.45 for NDWI). These AGDD/NDWI thresholds were then implemented during 2007 and 2008; and observed that AGDD had better prediction capabilities in comparison to NDWI (i.e., ˜94% and ˜65% of the incidents fall within ±2 periods or ±16 days of deviations with the ground-based understory GGS observations using AGDD and NDWI thresholds, respectively). The outcomes would potentially be useful in understanding availability of food and habitat for wildlife species/animals; microclimatic environment, composition, and diversity of plant community; and forest fire danger and fire behavior in case of fire occurrences.

  10. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for Lychnophora pinaster: a study for the conservation of a native medicinal plant.

    PubMed

    Haber, L H; Cavallari, M M; Santos, F R C; Marques, M O M; Gimenes, M A; Zucchi, M I

    2009-05-01

    Lychnophora pinaster Mart. (Asteraceae) is a Brazilian medicinal plant, extensively employed in popular medicine as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and healing agent. Thirteen polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed and optimized for L. pinaster from an enriched genomic library. The markers were used to analyse 37 plants from two native populations, generating an average number of 6.6 alleles per polymorphic locus. These loci are important tools for future studies of population genetics. PMID:21564752

  11. Use of reflectance spectra of native plant species for interpreting airborne multispectral scanner data in the East Tintic Mountains, Utah.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milton, N.M.

    1983-01-01

    Analysis of in situ reflectance spectra of native vegetation was used to interpret airborne MSS data. Representative spectra from three plant species in the E Tintic Mountains, Utah, were used to interpret the color components on a color ratio composite image made from MSS data in the visible and near-infrared regions. A map of plant communities was made from the color ratio composite image and field checked. -from Author

  12. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  13. Isolation of colour components from native dye-bearing plants in northeastern India.

    PubMed

    Bhuyan, Ranjana; Saikia, C N

    2005-02-01

    Recently dyes derived from natural sources have emerged as important alternatives to synthetic dyes. A study was initiated in the year 2000 at the RRL (CSIR), Jorhat to extract dyes from parts of five different plant species indigenous to northeastern India. The colour components responsible for dyeing were isolated and their chemical constituents were established based on chemical and spectroscopic investigations. The principal colour components from the species Morinda angustifolia Roxb., Rubia cordifolia Linn. and Tectona grandis Linn. were found to contain mainly anthraquinone moieties in their molecules. Those from the species Mimusops elengi Linn. and Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. contained flavonoid moieties in their molecules. The absorption of dye (%) on fibres increased with increasing concentrations of dye in the dye-bath. Maximum absorption of dyes on fibres was obtained at 3% concentration of dyes obtained from R. cordfolia (35.350%), M. angustifolia (31.580%) and T. grandis (25.888%) and at 4% concentration of the dyes from M. elengi (31.917%) and T. arjuna (12.246%). The K/S values were found to increase with the increase in concentration of mordants. The colour co-ordinates of dyed samples were found to lie in the yellow-red quadrant of the colour space diagram. The dyes obtained from the native plants may be alternative sources to synthetic dyes for the dyeing of natural silk and cotton. PMID:15474939

  14. Contrasting structure and composition of the understory in species-rich tropical rain forests.

    PubMed

    LaFrankie, James V; Ashton, Peter S; Chuyong, George B; Co, Leonardo; Condit, Richard; Davies, Stuart J; Foster, Robin; Hubbell, Stephen P; Kenfack, David; Lagunzad, Daniel; Losos, Elizabeth C; Nor, Noor Supardi Md; Tan, Sylvester; Thomas, Duncan W; Valencia, Renato; Villa, Gorky

    2006-09-01

    In large samples of trees > or = 1 cm dbh (more than 1 million trees and 3000 species), in six lowland tropical forests on three continents, we assigned species with >30 individuals to one of six classes of stature at maturity (SAM). We then compared the proportional representation of understory trees (1-2 cm dbh) among these classes. The understory of the three Asian sites was predominantly composed of the saplings of large-canopy trees whereas the African and American sites were more richly stocked with trees of the smaller SAM classes. Differences in class representation were related to taxonomic families that were present exclusively in one continent or another. Families found in the Asian plots but not in the American plot (e.g., Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae) were predominantly species of the largest SAM classes, whereas families exclusive to the American plots (e.g., Melastomataceae sensu stricto, Piperaceae, and Malvaceae [Bombacacoidea]) were predominantly species of small classes. The African plot was similar to Asia in the absence of those American families rich in understory species, while similar to America in lacking the Asian families rich in canopy species. The numerous understory species of Africa were chiefly derived from families shared with Asia and/or America. The ratio of saplings (1-2 cm dbh) to conspecific canopy trees (>40 cm dbh) was lower in American plots than in the Asian plots. Possible explanations for these differences include phenology, moisture and soil fertility regimes, phyletic constraints, and the role of early successional plants in forest development. These results demonstrate that tropical forests that appear similar in tree number, basal area, and the family taxonomy of canopy trees nonetheless differ in ecological structure in ways that may impact the ecology of pollinators, dispersers, and herbivores and might reflect fundamental differences in canopy tree regeneration. PMID:16995630

  15. Development of sustainable, native grass-based bioenergy production systems in the prairie region of Minnesota: Biomass production and plant community response to fertilizer and harvest treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native perennial plants are emerging as an alternative, low-carbon, bioenergy feedstock. Land restored from crop monocultures to diverse, native plantings has the potential to provide a host of ecological services, as well as farm income. However, best management practices for maintaining a diverse,...

  16. Models of Experimentally Derived Competitive Effects Predict Biogeographical Differences in the Abundance of Invasive and Native Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Sa; Ni, Guangyan; Callaway, Ragan M.

    2013-01-01

    Mono-dominance by invasive species provides opportunities to explore determinants of plant distributions and abundance; however, linking mechanistic results from small scale experiments to patterns in nature is difficult. We used experimentally derived competitive effects of an invader in North America, Acroptilon repens, on species with which it co-occurs in its native range of Uzbekistan and on species with which it occurs in its non-native ranges in North America, in individual-based models. We found that competitive effects yielded relative abundances of Acroptilon and other species in models that were qualitatively similar to those observed in the field in the two ranges. In its non-native range, Acroptilon can occur in nearly pure monocultures at local scales, whereas such nearly pure stands of Acroptilon appear to be much less common in its native range. Experimentally derived competitive effects of Acroptilon on other species predicted Acroptilon to be 4–9 times more proportionally abundant than natives in the North American models, but proportionally equal to or less than the abundance of natives in the Eurasian models. Our results suggest a novel way to integrate complex combinations of interactions simultaneously, and that biogeographical differences in the competitive effects of an invader correspond well with biogeographical differences in abundance and impact. PMID:24265701

  17. Exotic plant species associations with horse trails, old roads, and intact native communities in the Missouri Ozarks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stroh, E.D.; Struckhoff, M.A.

    2009-01-01

    We compared the extent to which exotic species are associated with horse trails, old roads, and intact communities within three native vegetation types in Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri. We used a general linear model procedure and a Bonferroni multiple comparison test to compare exotic species richness, exotic to native species ratios, and exotic species percent cover across three usage types (horse trails, old roads, and intact communities) and three community types (river bottoms, upland waterways, and glades). We found that both exotic species richness and the ratio of exotic species to native species were greater in plots located along horse trails than in plots located either in intact native communities or along old roads. Native community types did not differ in the number of exotic species present, but river bottoms had a significantly higher exotic to native species ratio than glades. Continued introduction of exotic plant propagules may explain why horse trails contain more exotic species than other areas in a highly disturbed landscape.

  18. Image spectroscopy and stable isotopes elucidate functional dissimilarity between native and nonnative plant species in the aquatic environment.

    PubMed

    Santos, Maria J; Hestir, Erin L; Khanna, Shruti; Ustin, Susan L

    2012-02-01

    • Nonnative species may change ecosystem functionality at the expense of native species. Here, we examine the similarity of functional traits of native and nonnative submersed aquatic plants (SAP) in an aquatic ecosystem. • We used field and airborne imaging spectroscopy and isotope ratios of SAP species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California (USA) to assess species identification, chlorophyll (Chl) concentration, and differences in photosynthetic efficiency. • Spectral separability between species occurs primarily in the visible and near-infrared spectral regions, which is associated with morphological and physiological differences. Nonnatives had significantly higher Chl, carotene, and anthocyanin concentrations than natives and had significantly higher photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and δ(13) C values. • Results show nonnative SAPs are functionally dissimilar to native SAPs, having wider leaf blades and greater leaf area, dense and evenly distributed vertical canopies, and higher pigment concentrations. Results suggest that nonnatives also use a facultative C(4) -like photosynthetic pathway, allowing efficient photosynthesis in high-light and low-light environments. Differences in plant functionality indicate that nonnative SAPs have a competitive advantage over native SAPs as a result of growth form and greater light-use efficiency that promotes growth under different light conditions, traits affecting system-wide species distributions and community composition. PMID:22126662

  19. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, Laura G.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. We examined the effects of CO2 and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoids spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO2-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70–97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO2 increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO2 increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ13Cleaf), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. The moderate positive effects of elevated CO2 on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO2, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  20. Elevated CO2 does not offset greater water stress predicted under climate change for native and exotic riparian plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, Laura G.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    * In semiarid western North American riparian ecosystems, increased drought and lower streamflows under climate change may reduce plant growth and recruitment, and favor drought-tolerant exotic species over mesic native species. We tested whether elevated atmospheric CO2 might ameliorate these effects by improving plant water-use efficiency. * We examined the effects of CO2 and water availability on seedlings of two native (Populus deltoides spp. monilifera, Salix exigua) and three exotic (Elaeagnus angustifolia, Tamarix spp., Ulmus pumila) western North American riparian species in a CO2-controlled glasshouse, using 1-m-deep pots with different water-table decline rates. * Low water availability reduced seedling biomass by 70–97%, and hindered the native species more than the exotics. Elevated CO2 increased biomass by 15%, with similar effects on natives and exotics. Elevated CO2 increased intrinsic water-use efficiency (Δ13Cleaf), but did not increase biomass more in drier treatments than wetter treatments. * The moderate positive effects of elevated CO2 on riparian seedlings are unlikely to counteract the large negative effects of increased aridity projected under climate change. Our results suggest that increased aridity will reduce riparian seedling growth despite elevated CO2, and will reduce growth more for native Salix and Populus than for drought-tolerant exotic species.

  1. An invasive clonal plant benefits from clonal integration more than a co-occurring native plant in nutrient-patchy and competitive environments.

    PubMed

    You, Wenhua; Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Xie, Dong; Liu, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, however, little is known about the different roles of clonal integration effects between invasive and native plants. Here, we hypothesize that clonal integration affect growth, photosynthetic performance, biomass allocation and thus competitive ability of invasive and native clonal plants, and invasive clonal plants benefit from clonal integration more than co-occurring native plants in heterogeneous habitats. To test these hypotheses, two stoloniferous clonal plants, Alternanthera philoxeroides (invasive), Jussiaea repens (native) were studied in China. The apical parts of both species were grown either with or without neighboring vegetation and the basal parts without competitors were in nutrient- rich or -poor habitats, with stolon connections were either severed or kept intact. Competition significantly reduced growth and photosynthetic performance of the apical ramets in both species, but not the biomass of neighboring vegetation. Without competition, clonal integration greatly improved the growth and photosynthetic performance of both species, especially when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. When grown with neighboring vegetation, growth of J. repens and photosynthetic performance of both species were significantly enhanced by clonal integration with the basal parts in both nutrient-rich and -poor habitats, while growth and relative neighbor effect (RNE) of A. philoxeroides were greatly improved by clonal integration only when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. Moreover, clonal integration increased A. philoxeroides's biomass allocation to roots without competition, but decreased it with competition, especially when the basal ramets were in nutrient-rich sections. Effects of clonal integration on biomass allocation of J. repens was similar to that of A. philoxeroides but with less significance. These results supported our hypothesis that invasive clonal plants A. philoxeroides benefits

  2. An Invasive Clonal Plant Benefits from Clonal Integration More than a Co-Occurring Native Plant in Nutrient-Patchy and Competitive Environments

    PubMed Central

    You, Wenhua; Fan, Shufeng; Yu, Dan; Xie, Dong; Liu, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Many notorious invasive plants are clonal, however, little is known about the different roles of clonal integration effects between invasive and native plants. Here, we hypothesize that clonal integration affect growth, photosynthetic performance, biomass allocation and thus competitive ability of invasive and native clonal plants, and invasive clonal plants benefit from clonal integration more than co-occurring native plants in heterogeneous habitats. To test these hypotheses, two stoloniferous clonal plants, Alternanthera philoxeroides (invasive), Jussiaea repens (native) were studied in China. The apical parts of both species were grown either with or without neighboring vegetation and the basal parts without competitors were in nutrient- rich or -poor habitats, with stolon connections were either severed or kept intact. Competition significantly reduced growth and photosynthetic performance of the apical ramets in both species, but not the biomass of neighboring vegetation. Without competition, clonal integration greatly improved the growth and photosynthetic performance of both species, especially when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. When grown with neighboring vegetation, growth of J. repens and photosynthetic performance of both species were significantly enhanced by clonal integration with the basal parts in both nutrient-rich and -poor habitats, while growth and relative neighbor effect (RNE) of A. philoxeroides were greatly improved by clonal integration only when the basal parts were in nutrient-rich habitats. Moreover, clonal integration increased A. philoxeroides's biomass allocation to roots without competition, but decreased it with competition, especially when the basal ramets were in nutrient-rich sections. Effects of clonal integration on biomass allocation of J. repens was similar to that of A. philoxeroides but with less significance. These results supported our hypothesis that invasive clonal plants A. philoxeroides benefits

  3. The impact of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii on the decomposition dynamics of a native plant community.

    PubMed

    Poulette, Megan M; Arthur, Mary A

    2012-03-01

    Invasive plants may have variable effects within a given environment depending on their interactions with the dominant native species, yet little research has examined such species-species interactions within a site. Savanna trees with nonoverlapping canopies offer an ideal opportunity to assess associated changes in the ecosystem processes that result from interactions between an invasive species and different native tree species. We examined the influence of the exotic invasive shrub Lonicera maackii on decomposition dynamics under three native tree species: Fraxinus quadrangulata, Quercus muehlenbergii, and Carya ovata. Litter decomposition rates and litter C and N were evaluated over two years using single- and mixed-species litterbags (L. maackii and individual tree species litter); microarthropod abundance was measured at 6 weeks using Tulgren funnels. Litter from the invasive L. maackii decomposed and lost N more rapidly than the litter of the three native tree species. The rate at which L. maackii decomposed depended on its location, with L. maackii litter decomposing and losing N more rapidly under C. ovata than under the other two native tree species. Mixing L. maackii with the native species' litter did not accelerate litter mass loss overall but did result in synergistic N losses at variable times throughout the experiment, further highlighting the variable interaction between native species and L. maackii. Nitrogen loss was significantly higher than expected in mixtures of C. ovata + L. maackii litter at 6 weeks, in F. quadrangulata + L. maackii litter at 12 weeks, and in Q. muehlenbergii + L. maackii litter at 24 weeks. If the effects of invasive species on certain ecosystem processes, such as litter decomposition, are strongly influenced by their association with native species, this could suggest the need for a more nuanced understanding of the vulnerability of ecosystem processes to invasions of L. maackii and potentially other invasive species

  4. Comparison of Crenarchaeal Consortia Inhabiting the Rhizosphere of Diverse Terrestrial Plants with Those in Bulk Soil in Native Environments

    PubMed Central

    Sliwinski, Marek K.; Goodman, Robert M.

    2004-01-01

    To explore whether the crenarchaeal consortium found in the rhizosphere is distinct from the assemblage of crenarchaeotes inhabiting bulk soil, PCR-single-stranded-conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) profiles were generated for 76 plant samples collected from native environments. Divergent terrestrial plant groups including bryophytes (mosses), lycopods (club mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers), and angiosperms (seed plants) were collected for this study. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between rhizosphere and bulk soil PCR-SSCP profiles (Hotelling paired T2 test, P < 0.0001), suggesting that a distinct crenarchaeal consortium is associated with plants. In general, phylotype richness increased in the rhizosphere compared to the corresponding bulk soil, although the range of this increase was variable. Examples of a major change in rhizosphere (versus bulk soil) PCR-SSCP profiles were detected for all plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeotes form associations with phylogenetically diverse plants in native environments. In addition, examples of minor to no detectable difference were found for all terrestrial plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeal associations with plants are mediated by environmental conditions. PMID:15006809

  5. Comparison of crenarchaeal consortia inhabiting the rhizosphere of diverse terrestrial plants with those in bulk soil in native environments.

    PubMed

    Sliwinski, Marek K; Goodman, Robert M

    2004-03-01

    To explore whether the crenarchaeal consortium found in the rhizosphere is distinct from the assemblage of crenarchaeotes inhabiting bulk soil, PCR-single-stranded-conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) profiles were generated for 76 plant samples collected from native environments. Divergent terrestrial plant groups including bryophytes (mosses), lycopods (club mosses), pteridophytes (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers), and angiosperms (seed plants) were collected for this study. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between rhizosphere and bulk soil PCR-SSCP profiles (Hotelling paired T(2) test, P < 0.0001), suggesting that a distinct crenarchaeal consortium is associated with plants. In general, phylotype richness increased in the rhizosphere compared to the corresponding bulk soil, although the range of this increase was variable. Examples of a major change in rhizosphere (versus bulk soil) PCR-SSCP profiles were detected for all plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeotes form associations with phylogenetically diverse plants in native environments. In addition, examples of minor to no detectable difference were found for all terrestrial plant groups, suggesting that crenarchaeal associations with plants are mediated by environmental conditions. PMID:15006809

  6. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    PubMed

    Magnoli, Susan M; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Cushman, J Hall

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects. PMID:23839266

  7. Forest floor depth mediates understory vigor in xeric Pinus palustris ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hiers, J Kevin; O'Brien, Joseph J; Will, Rodney E; Mitchell, Robert J

    2007-04-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) woodlands and savannas are among the most frequently burned ecosystems in the world with fire return intervals of 1-10 years. This fire regime has maintained high levels of biodiversity in terms of both species richness and endemism. Land use changes have reduced the area of this ecosystem by >95%, and inadequate fire frequencies threaten many of the remnants today. In the absence of frequent fire, rapid colonization of hardwoods and shrubs occurs, and a broad-leaved midstory develops. This midstory encroachment has been the focus of much research and management concern, largely based on the assumption that the midstory reduces understory plant diversity through direction competition via light interception. The general application of this mechanism of degradation is questionable, however, because midstory density, leaf area, and hardwood species composition vary substantially along a soil moisture gradient from mesic to extremely xeric sites. Reanalysis of recently reported data from xeric longleaf pine communities suggests that the development of the forest floor, a less conspicuous change in forest structure, might cause a decline in plant biodiversity when forests remain unburned. We report here a test of the interactions among fire, litter accumulation, forest floor development, and midstory canopy density on understory plant diversity. Structural equation modeling showed that within xeric sites, forest floor development was the primary factor explaining decreased biodiversity. The only effects of midstory development on biodiversity were those mediated through forest floor development. Boundary line analysis of functional guilds of understory plants showed sensitivity to even minor development of the forest floor in the absence of fire. These results challenge the prevailing management paradigm and suggest that within xeric longleaf pine communities, the primary focus of managed fire regime should be directed toward the

  8. Mercury capture by native fly ash carbons in coal-fired power plants

    PubMed Central

    Hower, James C.; Senior, Constance L.; Suuberg, Eric M.; Hurt, Robert H.; Wilcox, Jennifer L.; Olson, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    The control of mercury in the air emissions from coal-fired power plants is an on-going challenge. The native unburned carbons in fly ash can capture varying amounts of Hg depending upon the temperature and composition of the flue gas at the air pollution control device, with Hg capture increasing with a decrease in temperature; the amount of carbon in the fly ash, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in carbon; and the form of the carbon and the consequent surface area of the carbon, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in surface area. The latter is influenced by the rank of the feed coal, with carbons derived from the combustion of low-rank coals having a greater surface area than carbons from bituminous- and anthracite-rank coals. The chemistry of the feed coal and the resulting composition of the flue gas enhances Hg capture by fly ash carbons. This is particularly evident in the correlation of feed coal Cl content to Hg oxidation to HgCl2, enhancing Hg capture. Acid gases, including HCl and H2SO4 and the combination of HCl and NO2, in the flue gas can enhance the oxidation of Hg. In this presentation, we discuss the transport of Hg through the boiler and pollution control systems, the mechanisms of Hg oxidation, and the parameters controlling Hg capture by coal-derived fly ash carbons. PMID:24223466

  9. Optimization of protease production by endophytic fungus, Alternaria alternata, isolated from an Australian native plant.

    PubMed

    Zaferanloo, Bita; Quang, Trung D; Daumoo, Smita; Ghorbani, Mahmood M; Mahon, Peter J; Palombo, Enzo A

    2014-06-01

    Endophytes are recognised as potential sources of novel secondary metabolites, including enzymes and drugs, with applications in medicine, agriculture and industry. There is a growing need for new enzymes, including proteases, for use in industry that can function under a variety of conditions. In this study, three fungal endophytes (Alternaria alternata, Phoma herbarum and an unclassified fungus), were isolated from the Australian native plant, Eremophilia longifolia, and assessed for production of proteases. The lyophilised growth media obtained after fungal fermentation were analysed for protease production using enzyme activity assays. Protease production was optimised by assessing the effects of temperature, pH, carbon source and nitrogen source on activity. A. alternata showed the greatest protease activity in a wide range of pH (3-9). The broadest activity between 9 and 50 °C was observed at pH 7, suggesting a neutral protease. Overall, the optimum conditions were 37 °C and pH 7 with a maximum specific activity value of 69.86 BAEE units/mg. The characteristics demonstrated by this fungal endophyte showed that it is a potential source of an enzyme with particular application in the dairy industry. However, further studies of the tolerance to higher temperatures and pH will indicate whether the enzyme is suitable to such applications. PMID:24419660

  10. Immobilised native plant cysteine proteases: packed-bed reactor for white wine protein stabilisation.

    PubMed

    Benucci, Ilaria; Lombardelli, Claudio; Liburdi, Katia; Acciaro, Giuseppe; Zappino, Matteo; Esti, Marco

    2016-02-01

    This research presents a feasibility study of using a continuous packed-bed reactor (PBR), containing immobilised native plant cysteine proteases, as a specific and mild alternative technique relative to the usual bentonite fining for white wine protein stabilisation. The operational parameters for a PBR containing immobilised bromelain (PBR-br) or immobilised papain (PBR-pa) were optimised using model wine fortified with synthetic substrate (Bz-Phe-Val-Arg-pNA). The effectiveness of PBR-br, both in terms of hazing potential and total protein decrease, was significantly higher than PBR-pa, in all the seven unfined, white wines used. Among the wines tested, Sauvignon Blanc, given its total protein content as well as its very high intrinsic instability, was selected as a control wine to evaluate the effect of the treatment on wine as to its soluble protein profile, phenolic composition, mineral component, and sensory properties. The treatment in a PBR containing immobilised bromelain appeared effective in decreasing both wine hazing potential and total protein amount, while it did not significantly affect the phenol compounds, the mineral component nor the sensory quality of wine. The enzymatic treatment in PBR was shown to be a specific and mild technique for use as an alternative to bentonite fining for white wine protein stabilisation. PMID:27162393

  11. Mercury capture by native fly ash carbons in coal-fired power plants.

    PubMed

    Hower, James C; Senior, Constance L; Suuberg, Eric M; Hurt, Robert H; Wilcox, Jennifer L; Olson, Edwin S

    2010-08-01

    The control of mercury in the air emissions from coal-fired power plants is an on-going challenge. The native unburned carbons in fly ash can capture varying amounts of Hg depending upon the temperature and composition of the flue gas at the air pollution control device, with Hg capture increasing with a decrease in temperature; the amount of carbon in the fly ash, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in carbon; and the form of the carbon and the consequent surface area of the carbon, with Hg capture increasing with an increase in surface area. The latter is influenced by the rank of the feed coal, with carbons derived from the combustion of low-rank coals having a greater surface area than carbons from bituminous- and anthracite-rank coals. The chemistry of the feed coal and the resulting composition of the flue gas enhances Hg capture by fly ash carbons. This is particularly evident in the correlation of feed coal Cl content to Hg oxidation to HgCl2, enhancing Hg capture. Acid gases, including HCl and H2SO4 and the combination of HCl and NO2, in the flue gas can enhance the oxidation of Hg. In this presentation, we discuss the transport of Hg through the boiler and pollution control systems, the mechanisms of Hg oxidation, and the parameters controlling Hg capture by coal-derived fly ash carbons. PMID:24223466

  12. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  13. Modeling Forest Understory Fires in an Eastern Amazonian Landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alencar, A. A. C.; Solorzano, L. A.; Nepstad, D. C.

    2004-01-01

    Forest understory fires are an increasingly important cause of forest impoverishment in Ammonia, but little is known of the landscape characteristics and climatic phenomena that determine their occurrence. We developed empirical functions relating the occurrence of understory fires to landscape features near Paragominas, a 35- yr-old ranching and logging center in eastern Ammonia. An historical sequence of maps of forest understory fire was created based on field interviews With local farmers and Landsat TM images. Several landscape features that might explain spatial variations in the occurrence of understory fires were also mapped and co-registered for each of the sample dates, including: forest fragment size and shape, forest impoverishment through logging and understory fires, source of ignition (settlements and charcoal pits), roads, forest edges, and others. The spatial relationship between forest understory fire and each landscape characteristic was tested by regression analyses. Fire probability models were then developed for various combinations of landscape characteristics. The analyses were conducted separately for years of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which are associated with severe drought in eastern Amazonia, and non-ENS0 years. Most (91 %) of the forest area that burned during the 10-yr sequence caught fire during ENSO years, when severe drought may have increased both forest flammability and the escape of agricultural management fires. Forest understory fires were associated with forest edges, as reported in previous studies from Ammonia. But the strongest predictor of forest fire was the percentage of the forest fragment that had been previously logged or burned. Forest fragment size, distance to charcoal pits, distance to agricultural settlement, proximity to forest edge, and distance to roads were also correlated with forest understory fire. Logistic regression models using information on fragment degradation and distance to ignition

  14. Coevolution between Native and Invasive Plant Competitors: Implications for Invasive Species Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely...

  15. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    PubMed Central

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; DiManno, Nicole; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of “nurse plants” an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability. PMID:25709807

  16. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yelenik, Stephanie G.; DiManno, Nicole; D’Antonio, Carla M.

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of “nurse plants” an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  17. Is the use-impact on native caatinga species in Brazil reduced by the high species richness of medicinal plants?

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Oliveira, Rosilane Ferreira

    2007-08-15

    A study of the diversity of uses of medicinal plants and the traditional knowledge associated with the caatinga vegetation was undertaken in the semi-arid region of Pernambuco State, NE Brazil. We tested the utilitarian redundancy model (as an analogy to the ecological redundancy hypothesis) in evaluating the implications of the use of medicinal plants by rural communities to examine whether the presence of numerous species with analogous functions (identical therapeutic applications, for example) would reduce the use-impact on native species in the neighboring caatinga vegetation. Various techniques were used to collect information concerning medicinal plants and their applications from 19 residents considered "local specialists". The vegetation was sampled to determine the abundance of woody plants. Approximately 106 plants that fall into 67 local therapeutic categories were identified. Despite the fact that exotic species compose a significant fraction of the local medicinal flora, the native species represented the greatest percentage of local uses and indications. Amburana cearensis, Myracrodruon urundeuva, Anadenanthera colubrina, Sideroxylon obtusifolium, and Ziziphus joazeiro, for example, are highly sought after plants, and represent key species in terms of conservation and sustainable management. Our model of utilitarian redundancy has important consequences for testing ethnobotanical hypotheses, as well as for indicating strategies for biodiversity conservation. PMID:17616289

  18. Predicting the impacts of climate change on the potential distribution of major native non-food bioenergy plants in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenguo; Tang, Xiaoyu; Zhu, Qili; Pan, Ke; Hu, Qichun; He, Mingxiong; Li, Jiatang

    2014-01-01

    Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080) on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax) were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of "precipitation of the warmest quarter" and "annual mean temperature" were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China. PMID:25365425

  19. Predicting the Impacts of Climate Change on the Potential Distribution of Major Native Non-Food Bioenergy Plants in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenguo; Tang, Xiaoyu; Zhu, Qili; Pan, Ke; Hu, Qichun; He, Mingxiong; Li, Jiatang

    2014-01-01

    Planting non-food bioenergy crops on marginal lands is an alternative bioenergy development solution in China. Native non-food bioenergy plants are also considered to be a wise choice to reduce the threat of invasive plants. In this study, the impacts of climate change (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a for 2080) on the potential distribution of nine non-food bioenergy plants native to China (viz., Pistacia chinensis, Cornus wilsoniana, Xanthoceras sorbifolia, Vernicia fordii, Sapium sebiferum, Miscanthus sinensis, M. floridulus, M. sacchariflorus and Arundo donax) were analyzed using a MaxEnt species distribution model. The suitable habitats of the nine non-food plants were distributed in the regions east of the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, where the arable land is primarily used for food production. Thus, the large-scale cultivation of those plants for energy production will have to rely on the marginal lands. The variables of “precipitation of the warmest quarter” and “annual mean temperature” were the most important bioclimatic variables for most of the nine plants according to the MaxEnt modeling results. Global warming in coming decades may result in a decrease in the extent of suitable habitat in the tropics but will have little effect on the total distribution area of each plant. The results indicated that it will be possible to grow these plants on marginal lands within these areas in the future. This work should be beneficial for the domestication and cultivation of those bioenergy plants and should facilitate land-use planning for bioenergy crops in China. PMID:25365425

  20. Educational outreach and impacts of white-tailed deer browse on native and invasive plants at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindsay, Lisa O.

    Overabundance of deer can assist the intrusion of invasive plants through browse, leading to homogenization of plant communities. Public attitudes towards native and invasive plant species and white-tailed deer browse related to personal experiences, can be changed through education focusing public awareness of ramifications of deer browse on native and invasive plants. I developed an interactive, interpretive Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure of the "You Can Trail" to provide an educational outreach program for visitors of Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center that includes ecologically important native and invasive plants species from my investigation. This research study focuses on the overall abundance of native and invasive plant species once Odocoileus virginianus have been removed from the landscape during collection periods in June and September 2013 from exclosure and access plots that were maintained for seven years. Similarity of abundance were found in native and invasive abundance of forbs, bushes and percentage of ground cover. Differences included native bush volume being greater than invasive bush volume in the access plot in June with opposing results in the exclosure plot, being greater in invasive bush volume. However, in September, native and invasive bush volume was similar within the exclosure plot, while invasive bush volume decreased in the access plot. Invasive vines recorded in the June access plot were absent in the September collection period.

  1. Using hyperspectral imaging to determine germination of native Australian plant seeds.

    PubMed

    Nansen, Christian; Zhao, Genpin; Dakin, Nicole; Zhao, Chunhui; Turner, Shane R

    2015-04-01

    We investigated the ability to accurately and non-destructively determine the germination of three native Australian tree species, Acacia cowleana Tate (Fabaceae), Banksia prionotes L.F. (Proteaceae), and Corymbia calophylla (Lindl.) K.D. Hill & L.A.S. Johnson (Myrtaceae) based on hyperspectral imaging data. While similar studies have been conducted on agricultural and horticultural seeds, we are unaware of any published studies involving reflectance-based assessments of the germination of tree seeds. Hyperspectral imaging data (110 narrow spectral bands from 423.6nm to 878.9nm) were acquired of individual seeds after 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 50days of standardized rapid ageing. At each time point, seeds were subjected to hyperspectral imaging to obtain reflectance profiles from individual seeds. A standard germination test was performed, and we predicted that loss of germination was associated with a significant change in seed coat reflectance profiles. Forward linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used to select the 10 spectral bands with the highest contribution to classifications of the three species. In all species, germination decreased from over 90% to below 20% in about 10-30days of experimental ageing. P50 values (equal to 50% germination) for each species were 19.3 (A. cowleana), 7.0 (B. prionotes) and 22.9 (C. calophylla) days. Based on independent validation of classifications of hyperspectral imaging data, we found that germination of Acacia and Corymbia seeds could be classified with over 85% accuracy, while it was about 80% for Banksia seeds. The selected spectral bands in each LDA-based classification were located near known pigment peaks involved in photosynthesis and/or near spectral bands used in published indices to predict chlorophyll or nitrogen content in leaves. The results suggested that seed germination may be successfully classified (predicted) based on reflectance in narrow spectral bands associated with the primary metabolism

  2. Glyphosate and dicamba herbicide tank mixture effects on native plant and non-genetically engineered soybean seedlings.

    PubMed

    Olszyk, David; Pfleeger, Thomas; Lee, E Henry; Plocher, Milton

    2015-07-01

    Crops engineered to contain genes for tolerance to multiple herbicides may be treated with several herbicides to manage weeds resistant to each herbicide. Thus, nearby non-target plants may be subjected to increased exposure to several herbicides used in combination. Of particular concern are native plants, as well as adjacent crops which have not been genetically engineered for tolerance to herbicides. We evaluated responses of seven species of native plants grown in a greenhouse and treated less than field application rates of glyphosate and/or dicamba: Andropogon gerardii, Asclepias syriaca, Eutrochium purpureum, Oenothera biennis, Polyganum lapathifolium, Solidago canadensis and Tridens flavus, and non-herbicide resistant soybean (Glycine max, Oregon line M4). Herbicide concentrations were 0.03 or 0.1 × field application rates of 1122 g ha(-1) active ingredient (a.i) (831 g ha(-1) acid glyphosate) for glyphosate and 562 g ha(-1) a.i. for dicamba. In general, plant growth responses to combinations of glyphosate and dicamba were less than the sum of growth responses to the individual herbicides (i.e., antagonistic effect), primarily when one or both herbicides alone caused a large reduction in growth. E. purpureum, P. lapathifolium and S. canadensis were the most sensitive species to both herbicides, while A. gerardii was the most tolerant, with no response to either herbicide. The combinations of herbicides resulted in responses most similar to that from dicamba alone for G. max and from glyphosate alone for T. flavus. The results of this study indicated the need for more data such as effects on native plants in the field to assess risks to non-target plants from combinations of herbicides. PMID:25821135

  3. Deer over-browsing of forest understory vegetation alters the pattern of nitrate loss to streamwater in forested watersheds in Ashiu, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukushima, K.; Sakai, M.; Sakaguchi, S.; Iwai, Y.; Hasegawa, A.; Nishioka, Y.; Fujii, H.; Tokuchi, N.; Yoshioka, T.; Takayanagi, A.

    2011-12-01

    Ecosystem degradation by large herbivorous mammals becomes a serious issue worldwide. Since 2000's in Japan, over-browsing of forest understory vegetation by Japanese deer (Cervus nippon centrails) has been pronounced. Loss of plant biodiversity and decreasing in biomass at the forest understory may result in the changes in streamwater chemistry and nutrient loss from forest ecosystem, but the knowledge remains still limited. The main goal of this study was to elucidate the effects of deer over-browsing on streamwater chemistry and nitrogen (N) loss; especially focusing on the seasonality of nitrate concentration and annual nitrate loss, by comparing a 13 ha watershed surrounded by the deer-excluded fence to its adjacent 19 ha control watershed, in cool-temperate forest in Ashiu, Japan. We have collected streamwater samples monthly at 4 first-order streams (0.3 - 2.3 ha) and 1 second-order stream (13 - 19 ha) within each watershed, and analyzed nitrate concentration by ion chromatography since June 2006 when the fence was established. The rate of streamwater discharge was obtained from a Parshall flume by measuring water level. Annual loss of nitrate was calculated by multiplying stream flow by the concentration. As for the understory vegetation, number of species, vegetation cover, and Shannon's H' as an indicator of biodiversity were observed in two 800 m2 plots established in the lower slope and upper slope within each watershed. Nitrogen uptake by understory vegetation was determined by cutting all grasses and seedlings within 145 1 m2 quadrats throughout watersheds and measuring dry weights and N contents by NC analyzer. In the fenced watershed, number of species, vegetation cover, and Shannon's H' of understories remarkably increased at the lower-stream slope and slightly increased at the upper-ridge slope, while in the unfenced watershed, they had no change or decreased at the both slope. The nitrate concentration of stream water was lower during plant

  4. Allelopathic exudates of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica): implications for the performance of native pine savanna plant species in the southeastern US.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Donald L; Jose, Shibu; Lin, Chung-Ho

    2013-02-01

    We conducted a greenhouse study to assess the effects of cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) rhizochemicals on a suite of plants native to southeastern US pine savanna ecosystems. Our results indicated a possible allelopathic effect, although it varied by species. A ruderal grass (Andropogon arctatus) and ericaceous shrub (Lyonia ferruginea) were unaffected by irrigation with cogongrass soil "leachate" (relative to leachate from mixed native species), while a mid-successional grass (Aristida stricta Michx. var. beyrichiana) and tree (Pinus elliottii) were negatively affected. For A. stricta, we observed a 35.7 % reduction in aboveground biomass, a 21.9 % reduction in total root length, a 24.6 % reduction in specific root length and a 23.5 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length, relative to the native leachate treatment. For P. elliottii, there was a 19.5 % reduction in percent mycorrhizal colonization and a 20.1 % reduction in total mycorrhizal root length. Comparisons with a DI water control in year two support the possibility that the treatment effects were due to the negative effects of cogongrass leachate, rather than a facilitative effect from the mixed natives. Chemical analyses identified 12 putative allelopathic compounds (mostly phenolics) in cogongrass leachate. The concentrations of most compounds were significantly lower, if they were present at all, in the native leachate. One compound was an alkaloid with a speculated structure of hexadecahydro-1-azachrysen-8-yl ester (C23H33NO4). This compound was not found in the native leachate. We hypothesize that the observed treatment effects may be attributable, at least partially, to these qualitative and quantitative differences in leachate chemistry. PMID:23334457

  5. Role of Native and Exotic Earthworms in Plant Biopolymer Dynamics in Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many forests within northern North America are experiencing the introduction of earthworms for the first time, presumably since before the last major glaciation. Forest dynamics are undergoing substantial changes because of the activity of the mainly European lumbricid species. Documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations have all been documented in invaded zones. Two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) lie within the zones of invasion and exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. Considerations of carbon accrual dynamics and relative input of above vs. below ground plant input in these young successional systems do not consider the potential impact of these ecosystem engineers. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicates how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA

  6. Physiological variation among native and exotic winter annual plants associated with microbiotic crusts in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Detling, J.K.; Tracy, C.R.; Warren, S.D.

    2001-01-01

    Microbiotic crusts are important components of many aridland soils. Research on crusts typically focuses on the increase in soil fertility due to N-fixing micro-organisms, the stabilization of soils against water and wind erosion and the impact of disturbance on N-cycling. The effect of microbiotic crusts on the associated plant community has received little attention. We quantified the influence of crusts on the production, species diversity, nutrient content and water relations of winter annual plant species associated with microbiotic soil crusts in the northeast Mojave Desert. Shoot biomass of winter annuals was 37% greater and plant density was 77% greater on crusts than were biomass and density on soils lacking crust cover (=bare soils). This greater production of annuals on crusts was likely due to enhanced soil conditions including an almost two-fold increase in soil organic matter and inorganic N compared to bare soils. Crusted soils also had 53% greater volumetric water content than bare soils during November and December, the time when winter annuals become established. As plant development progressed into spring, however, soil water availability decreased: More negative plant xylem water potentials were associated with greater plant biomass on crusted soils. Plants associated with microbiotic soil crusts had lower concentrations of N in shoots (mg N g-1 dry mass). However, total shoot N (mg N m-2) was the same in plants growing on the different soil types when biomass production peaked in April. Shoots had similar patterns in their concentration and content of P. Species diversity of annuals was not statistically different between the two soil types. Yet, while native annuals comprised the greatest proportion of shoot biomass on bare soils, exotic forbs and grasses produced more biomass on crusts. Total shoot nutrient content (biomass x concentration) of the two exotic annual species examined was dramatically greater on crusts than bare soils; only one

  7. Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition.

    SciTech Connect

    Brudvig, Lars A.; Damschen, Ellen L.

    2010-08-13

    Restoration and management activities targeted at recovering biodiversity can lead to unexpected results. In part, this is due to a lack of understanding of how site-level characteristics, landscape factors, and land-use history interact with restoration and management practices to determine patterns of diversity. For plants, such factors may be particularly important since plant populations often exhibit lagged responses to habitat loss and degradation. Here, we assess the importance of site-level, landscape, and historical effects for understory plant species richness and composition across a set of 40 longleaf pine Pinus palustris woodlands undergoing restoration for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker in the southeastern United States. Land-use history had an overarching effect on richness and composition. Relative to historically forested sites, sites with agricultural histories (i.e. former pastures or cultivated fields) supported lower species richness and an altered species composition due to fewer upland longleaf pine woodland community members. Landscape effects did not influence the total number of species in either historically forested or post-agricultural sites; however, understory species composition was affected by historical connectivity, but only for post-agricultural sites. The influences of management and restoration activities were only apparent once land-use history was accounted for. Prescribed burning and mechanical overstory thinning were key drivers of understory composition and promoted understory richness in post-agricultural sites. In historically forested sites these activities had no impact on richness and only prescribed fire influenced composition. Our findings reveal complex interplays between site-level, landscape, and historical effects, suggest fundamentally different controls over plant communities in longleaf pine woodlands with varying land-use history, and underscore the importance of considering land

  8. Native Americans' choice of species for medicinal use is dependent on plant family: confirmation with meta-significance analysis.

    PubMed

    Moerman, Daniel E; Estabrook, George F

    2003-07-01

    We test the hypothesis that the choice by traditional people of species of plants for medicinal use does or does not depend on the families to which those species belong. Our geographic context is continental North America north of the Rio Grande River. Our plant context is flowering plants. Our ethnological context is Native American traditions. Our null hypothesis is that the probability of any species being medicinal is the fraction of all species that are medicinal, no matter the family to which that species may belong. Classical statistical techniques and the experience of ethnobiologists had already made it clear that among very large plant families, most have either very many or very few medicinal species. Here we use intense computation to simulate thousands of data sets to create predictions to compare with the observed data for medium and small families. Our results clearly show that a surprising number of medium and small families also have very many or very few medicinal species. Recent molecular, fossil and cytological studies have confirmed the evolutionary naturalness of most plant families. This suggests that species in the same family may have inherited from common ancestors similar ecological adaptations, such as ways to protect themselves from herbivores, pathogens or decomposers. Some of these adaptations affect the physiology of the attacking organisms, suggesting an explanation for the clear preferences of Native American traditions to choose medicinal species from some families much more than from others, regardless of the size of those families. PMID:12787954

  9. Contrasting water use pattern of introduced and native plants in an alpine desert ecosystem, Northeast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Huawu; Li, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Zhiyun; Chen, Huiying; Zhang, Cicheng; Xiao, Xiong

    2016-01-15

    Plant water use patterns reflect the complex interactions between different functional types and environmental conditions in water-limited ecosystems. However, the mechanisms underlying the water use patterns of plants in the alpine desert of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau remain poorly understood. This study investigated seasonal variations in the water sources of herbs (Carex moorcroftii, Astragalus adsurgens) and shrubs (Artemisia oxycephala, Hippophae rhamnoides) using stable oxygen-18 isotope methods. The results indicated that the native herbs (C. moorcroftii, A. adsurgens) and one of the shrubs (A. oxycephala) mainly relied on water from the shallow layer (0-30 cm) throughout the growing season, while the introduced shrub (H. rhamnoides) showed plasticity in switching between water from shallow and deep soil layers depending on soil water availability. All studied plants primarily depended on water from shallow soil layers early in the season. The differences of water use patterns between the introduced and native plants are closely linked with the range of active root zones when competing for water. Our findings will facilitate the mechanistic understanding of plant-soil-water relations in alpine desert ecosystems and provide information for screening introduced species for sand fixation. PMID:26519579

  10. Native perennial forb variation between mountain big sagebrush and Wyoming big sagebrush plant communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) occupies large portions of the western United States and provides valuable wildlife habitat. However, information is lacking quantifying differences in native perennial forb characteristics between mountain big sagebrush (A. tridentata spp. vaseyana (Rydb....

  11. Native weeds and exotic plants: relationships to disturbance in mixed grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    The paper compares distributions of native weedy species and exotic species with respect to three kinds of disturbance, roads, trails, and prairie dog towns. Data were collected at the north and south units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and at Wind Cave National Park. The paper concludes that many exotic species differ substantially from native weeds in their exploitation of disturbance. It is thus not useful to manage exotics as if they were just another weed.

  12. The Dark Side Is Not Fastidious – Dark Septate Endophytic Fungi of Native and Invasive Plants of Semiarid Sandy Areas

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Dániel G.; Pintye, Alexandra; Kovács, Gábor M.

    2012-01-01

    Dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi represent a frequent root-colonizing fungal group common in environments with strong abiotic stress, such as (semi)arid ecosystems. This work aimed to study the DSE fungi colonizing the plants of semiarid sandy grasslands with wood steppe patches on the Great Hungarian Plain. As we may assume that fungi colonizing both invasive and native species are generalists, root associated fungi (RAF) were isolated from eight native and three invasive plant species. The nrDNA sequences of the isolates were used for identification. To confirm that the fungi were endophytes an artificial inoculation system was used to test the isolates: we considered a fungus as DSE if it colonized the roots without causing a negative effect on the plant and formed microsclerotia in the roots. According to the analyses of the ITS sequence of nrDNA the 296 isolates clustered into 41 groups. We found that 14 of these 41 groups were DSE, representing approximately 60% of the isolates. The main DSE groups were generalist and showed no specificity to area or season and colonized both native and invasive species, demonstrating that exotic plants are capable of using the root endophytic fungi of the invaded areas. The DSE community of the region shows high similarity to those found in arid grasslands of North America. Taking into account a previous hypothesis about the common root colonizers of those grasslands and our results reported here, we hypothesize that plants of (semi)arid grasslands share common dominant members of the DSE fungal community on a global scale. PMID:22393417

  13. Loss of native herbaceous species due to woody plant encroachment facilitates the establishment of an invasive grass.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M; Fowler, Norma L

    2013-03-01

    Although negative relationships between diversity (frequently measured as species richness) and invasibility at neighborhood or community scales have often been reported, realistic natural diversity gradients have rarely been studied at this scale. We recreated a naturally occurring gradient in species richness to test the effects of species richness on community invasibility. In central Texas savannas, as the proportion of woody plants increases (a process known as woody plant encroachment), herbaceous habitat is both lost and fragmented, and native herbaceous species richness declines. We examined the effects of these species losses on invasibility in situ by removing species that occur less frequently in herbaceous patches as woody plant encroachment advances. This realistic species removal was accompanied by a parallel and equivalent removal of biomass with no changes in species richness. Over two springs, the nonnative bunchgrass Bothriochloa ischaemum germinated significantly more often in the biomass-removal treatment than in unmanipulated control plots, suggesting an effect of native plant density independent of diversity. Additionally, significantly more germination occurred in the species-removal treatment than in the biomass-removal treatment. Changes in species richness had a stronger effect on B. ischaemum germination than changes in plant density, demonstrating that niche-related processes contributed more to biotic resistance in this system than did species-neutral competitive interactions. Similar treatment effects were found on transplant growth. Thus we show that woody plant encroachment indirectly facilitates the establishment of an invasive grass by reducing native diversity. Although we found a negative relationship between species richness and invasibility at the scale of plots with similar composition and environmental conditions, we found a positive relationship between species richness and invasibility at larger scales. This apparent

  14. Nonrandom Composition of Flower Colors in a Plant Community: Mutually Different Co-Flowering Natives and Disturbance by Aliens

    PubMed Central

    Makino, Takashi T.; Yokoyama, Jun

    2015-01-01

    When pollinators use flower color to locate food sources, a distinct color can serve as a reproductive barrier against co-flowering species. This anti-interference function of flower color may result in a community assembly of plant species displaying mutually different flower colors. However, such color dispersion is not ubiquitous, suggesting a variable selection across communities and existence of some opposing factors. We conducted a 30-week study in a plant community and measured the floral reflectances of 244 species. The reflectances were evaluated in insect color spaces (bees, swallowtails, and flies), and the dispersion was compared with random expectations. We found that co-existing colors were overdispersed for each analyzed pollinator type, and this overdispersion was statistically significant for bees. Furthermore, we showed that exclusion of 32 aliens from the analysis significantly increased the color dispersion of native flowers in every color space. This result indicated that aliens disturbed a native plant–pollinator network via similarly colored flowers. Our results demonstrate the masking effects of aliens in the detection of color dispersion of native flowers and that variations in pollinator vision yield different outcomes. Our results also support the hypothesis that co-flowering species are one of the drivers of color diversification and affect the community assembly. PMID:26650121

  15. Do heat and smoke increase emergence of exotic and native plants in the matorral of central Chile?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Javier A.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A.; Gómez-González, Susana; Montenegro, Marco Molina; Jaksic, Fabian M.

    2009-03-01

    We studied the effect of heat shock and wood-fueled smoke on the emergence of native and exotic plant species in soil samples obtained in an evergreen shrubland of central Chile, located on the eastern foothills of the Coastal Range of Lampa. Immediately after collection samples were dried and stored under laboratory condition. For each two transect, 10 samples were randomly chosen, and one of the following treatments was applied: 1) Heat-shock treatment. 2) Plant-produced smoke treatment. 3) Combined heat-and-smoke treatment. 4) Control, corresponding to samples not subjected to treatment. Twenty-three species, representing 12 families, emerged from the soil samples. The best-represented families were Poaceae and Asteraceae. All of the emerged species were herbs, 21 were annuals, and 14 were exotic to Chile. Fire-related triggers used in this study did not increase the emergence and/or abundance of exotic species with respect to natives in soil samples. Interestingly, this study provides evidence that heat-shock can increase the emergence of native herbs.

  16. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM -pre-treated biomass

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-04-23

    We report that cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is amore » trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. Lastly, we found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance.« less

  17. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass.

    PubMed

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G; Dale, Bruce E; Chundawat, Shishir P S

    2015-07-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. PMID:25911738

  18. Insights into plant cell wall structure, architecture, and integrity using glycome profiling of native and AFEXTM-pre-treated biomass

    PubMed Central

    Pattathil, Sivakumar; Hahn, Michael G.; Dale, Bruce E.; Chundawat, Shishir P. S.

    2015-01-01

    Cell walls, which constitute the bulk of plant biomass, vary considerably in their structure, composition, and architecture. Studies on plant cell walls can be conducted on both native and pre-treated plant biomass samples, allowing an enhanced understanding of these structural and compositional variations. Here glycome profiling was employed to determine the relative abundance of matrix polysaccharides in several phylogenetically distinct native and pre-treated plant biomasses. Eight distinct biomass types belonging to four different subgroups (i.e. monocot grasses, woody dicots, herbaceous dicots, and softwoods) were subjected to various regimes of AFEX™ (ammonia fiber expansion) pre-treatment [AFEX is a trademark of MBI, Lansing (http://www.mbi.org]. This approach allowed detailed analysis of close to 200 cell wall glycan epitopes and their relative extractability using a high-throughput platform. In general, irrespective of the phylogenetic origin, AFEX™ pre-treatment appeared to cause loosening and improved accessibility of various xylan epitope subclasses in most plant biomass materials studied. For most biomass types analysed, such loosening was also evident for other major non-cellulosic components including subclasses of pectin and xyloglucan epitopes. The studies also demonstrate that AFEX™ pre-treatment significantly reduced cell wall recalcitrance among diverse phylogenies (except softwoods) by inducing structural modifications to polysaccharides that were not detectable by conventional gross composition analyses. It was found that monitoring changes in cell wall glycan compositions and their relative extractability for untreated and pre-treated plant biomass can provide an improved understanding of variations in structure and composition of plant cell walls and delineate the role(s) of matrix polysaccharides in cell wall recalcitrance. PMID:25911738

  19. Seedling growth responses to soil resources in the understory of a wet tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Holste, Ellen K; Kobe, Richard K; Vriesendorp, Corine F

    2011-09-01

    Plant growth responses to resources may be an important mechanism that influences species' distributions, coexistence, and community structure. Irradiance is considered the most important resource for seedling growth in the understory of wet tropical forests, but multiple soil nutrients and species have yet to be examined simultaneously with irradiance under field conditions. To identify potentially limiting resources, we modeled tree seedling growth as a function of irradiance and soil nutrients across five sites, spanning a soil fertility gradient in old-growth, wet tropical forests at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We measured an array of soil nutrients including total nitrogen (total N), inorganic N (nitrate [NO3-] and ammonium [NH4+]), phosphate (PO4-), and sum of base cations (SBC; potassium, magnesium, and calcium). Shade in the forest understory did not preclude seedling growth correlations with soil nutrients. Irradiance was a significant predictor of growth in 52% of the species, inorganic N in 54% (NO3- in 32%; NH4+ in 34%), total N in 47%, SBC in 39%, and PO4- in 29%. Overall, growth was correlated with both irradiance and soil nutrients in 45% of species and with soil nutrients only in an additional 48%; rarely was irradiance alone correlated with growth. Contrary to expectations, the magnitudes of growth effects, assessed as the maximum growth response to significant resources for each species, were similar for irradiance and most soil nutrients. Among species whose growth correlated with soil nutrients, the rank importance of nutrient effects was SBC, followed by N (total N, NO3-, and/or NH4+) and PO4-. Species' growth responsiveness (i.e., magnitudes of effect) to irradiance and soil nutrients was negatively correlated with species' shade tolerance (survival under 1% full sun). In this broad survey of species and resources, the nearly ubiquitous effects of soil nutrients on seedling growth challenge the idea that soil nutrients are less

  20. BOREAS RSS-19 1994 Seasonal Understory Reflectance Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, John R.; Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Nickerson, Jaime (Editor); White, H. Peter; Peddle, Derek; Freemantle, Jim; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The BOREAS RSS-19 team collected airborne remotely sensed images and ground reflectance data for characterizing the radiometric properties of the boreal forest landscape. One objective of BOREAS is to further the understanding of the spectral bidirectional reflectance of typical boreal ecosystem stands in the visible/near-infrared regime. An essential input for any canopy BRDF model is an accurate estimate of the average understory reflectance, both for sunlit and shaded conditions. These variables can be expected to vary seasonally because of species-dependent differences in the phenological cycle of foliar display. In response to these requirements, the average understory reflectance for the flux tower sites of both the NSA (Thompson, Manitoba) and the SSA (Candle Lake, Saskatchewan) was observed throughout the year during five field campaigns. This was done by measuring the nadir reflectance (400 to 850 nm) of sunlit and shaded understory (vegetation and snow cover) along a surveyed LAI transect line (Chen, RSS-07) at each site near solar noon and documenting an average site reflectance. Comparisons between sites reveal differences in the green and infrared regions of the spectra, because of the differing species in the understory for each site. Temporal (seasonal) variation for each site was also observed (06-Feb-1994 to 16-Sep-1994), indicating the changing flora mixtures and changing spectral signatures as the understory matures during the growing season. The data are stored in tabular ASCII files. The data files are available on a CD-ROM (see document number 20010000884) or from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

  1. Fine-spatial scale predictions of understory species using climate- and LiDAR-derived terrain and canopy metrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijland, Wiebe; Nielsen, Scott E.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Wulder, Michael A.; Stenhouse, Gordon B.

    2014-01-01

    Food and habitat resources are critical components of wildlife management and conservation efforts. The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) has diverse diets and habitat requirements particularly for understory plant species, which are impacted by human developments and forest management activities. We use light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data to predict the occurrence of 14 understory plant species relevant to bear forage and compare our predictions with more conventional climate- and land cover-based models. We use boosted regression trees to model each of the 14 understory species across 4435 km2 using occurrence (presence-absence) data from 1941 field plots. Three sets of models were fitted: climate only, climate and basic land and forest covers from Landsat 30-m imagery, and a climate- and LiDAR-derived model describing both the terrain and forest canopy. Resulting model accuracies varied widely among species. Overall, 8 of 14 species models were improved by including the LiDAR-derived variables. For climate-only models, mean annual precipitation and frost-free periods were the most important variables. With inclusion of LiDAR-derived attributes, depth-to-water table, terrain-intercepted annual radiation, and elevation were most often selected. This suggests that fine-scale terrain conditions affect the distribution of the studied species more than canopy conditions.

  2. NATIVE SYMBIOTIC FUNGI INCREASE STRESS TOLERANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY OF PLANTS IN ARID LANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants indigenous to arid lands have evolved to withstand extremes of moisture and temperature. Recent advances in microbial ecology have revealed that a portion of plant stress tolerance comes, not from the plant itself, but from unseen fungi that reside within plant tissues. The ability of these...

  3. ASSESSING OZONE EFFECTS ON PLANTS NATIVE TO THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    For the last six years, the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and University researchers have been documenting the effects of ozone on a large number of woody and herbaceous species native to the southeastern United States. n Great Smoky Mountains ...

  4. Planting native species to control site reinfestation by Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc.) (JKW) is a highly invasive species that has become a serious problem in riparian zones and along road and railroad right-of-ways. Once established, it forms solid colonies that usually choke out all other herbaceous vegetation, displacing native...

  5. A new perspective on trait differences between native and invasive exotic plants: reply to critique

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A meta-analysis contrasting morphological and physiological traits of invasive species and native species was conducted using data acquired from journal articles published between the years 1995 and 2010. This study (Leffler et al. 2014, Ecology 95:298-305), generated a comment from Dawson et al. (...

  6. Seed enhancement technologies for restoring native plants in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success rates on rangeland seeding projects with native species in the arid regions of the western United States are unacceptably low and predicted to further decline with climate change increasing aridity and more erratic precipitation. Seed enhancement technologies allow for the physical manip...

  7. Plant compartment and biogeography affect microbiome composition in cultivated and native Agave species.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary goal of this research was to investigate the prokaryotic and fungal communities associated with the bulk soil, the rhizosphere, the phyllosphere, and the root and leaf endospheres, for three Agave species: the cultivated Agave tequilana and the native species, A. salmiana and A. deserti ...

  8. Black grama grass under the microscope; Anatomical features of a native plant from southwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) is a perennial desert grass native to the arid Southwestern United States. It is most common in the Chihuahuan Desert, occupying large areas of New Mexico and Arizona, where occurrence of drought conditions are high. Black grama tends to grow in sandy loam soil...

  9. The Effect of Host-Plant Phylogenetic Isolation on Species Richness, Composition and Specialization of Insect Herbivores: A Comparison between Native and Exotic Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Grandez-Rios, Julio Miguel; Lima Bergamini, Leonardo; Santos de Araújo, Walter; Villalobos, Fabricio; Almeida-Neto, Mário

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of plant-insect interactions is still a key issue in terrestrial ecology. Here, we used 30 well-defined plant-herbivore assemblages to assess the effects of host plant phylogenetic isolation and origin (native vs. exotic) on the species richness, composition and specialization of the insect herbivore fauna on co-occurring plant species. We also tested for differences in such effects between assemblages composed exclusively of exophagous and endophagous herbivores. We found a consistent negative effect of the phylogenetic isolation of host plants on the richness, similarity and specialization of their insect herbivore faunas. Notably, except for Jaccard dissimilarity, the effect of phylogenetic isolation on the insect herbivore faunas did not vary between native and exotic plants. Our findings show that the phylogenetic isolation of host plants is a key factor that influences the richness, composition and specialization of their local herbivore faunas, regardless of the host plant origin. PMID:26379159

  10. Changes in plant community of Seasonally Semideciduous Forest after invasion by Schizolobium parahyba at southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abreu, Rodolfo Cesar Real de; Santos, Francisco Ferreira de Miranda; Durigan, Giselda

    2014-01-01

    The recognition of a species as invasive is generally accepted when it comes from another continent or even from another country, but requires strong evidences of negative impacts to support control actions when the invasive species comes from another region in the same country. Schyzolobium parahyba - the 'guapuruvu', is a Brazilian tree native from the evergreen type of the Atlantic Forest, which has been recorded as invader in a number of remnants of the Seasonally Semideciduous Forest - SSF. We hypothesized that this giant and fast growing invasive tree changes the structure and composition of the understory, thus impairing the forest dynamics. We assessed the invasive population in the whole fragment, and, within the portion invaded, we sampled the regenerating plant community 1) under the largest alien trees, 2) under a native species with similar ecology (Peltophorum dubium), and 3) randomly in the forest. Density, basal area and richness under S. parahyba were remarkably lower than under the equivalent native species or in the understory as a whole. Floristic composition of the plant community was also distinct under S. parahyba, possibly due to increased competition for soil water. Even though the alien species has occupied, as yet, a small proportion of the forest fragment, it dominates the overstory and threatens the regeneration processes under its canopy. In view of our findings, we recommend extirpation of the species from SSF, as well as avoiding cultivation of the species away from its native range.

  11. Native plant growth promoting bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and mixed or individual mycorrhizal species improved drought tolerance and oxidative metabolism in Lavandula dentata plants.

    PubMed

    Armada, E; Probanza, A; Roldán, A; Azcón, R

    2016-03-15

    This study evaluates the responses of Lavandula dentata under drought conditions to the inoculation with single autochthonous arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (five fungal strains) or with their mixture and the effects of these inocula with a native Bacillus thuringiensis (endophytic bacteria). These microorganisms were drought tolerant and in general, increased plant growth and nutrition. Particularly, the AM fungal mixture and B. thuringiensis maximized plant biomass and compensated drought stress as values of antioxidant activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase APX)] shown. The AMF-bacteria interactions highly reduced the plant oxidative damage of lipids [malondialdehyde (MDA)] and increased the mycorrhizal development (mainly arbuscular formation representative of symbiotic functionality). These microbial interactions explain the highest potential of dually inoculated plants to tolerate drought stress. B. thuringiensis "in vitro" under osmotic stress does not reduce its PGPB (plant growth promoting bacteria) abilities as indole acetic acid (IAA) and ACC deaminase production and phosphate solubilization indicating its capacity to improve plant growth under stress conditions. Each one of the autochthonous fungal strains maintained their particular interaction with B. thuringiensis reflecting the diversity, intrinsic abilities and inherent compatibility of these microorganisms. In general, autochthonous AM fungal species and particularly their mixture with B. thuringiensis demonstrated their potential for protecting plants against drought and helping plants to thrive in semiarid ecosystems. PMID:26796423

  12. Implications of nutrient removal and biomass production by native and augmented algal populations at a municipal wastewater treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Drexler, Ivy L C; Bekaan, Sascha; Eskandari, Yasmin; Yeh, Daniel H

    2014-01-01

    Algal monocultures (Chlorella sorokiniana and Botryococcus braunii) and algal communities native to clarifiers of a wastewater treatment plant were batch cultivated in (1) clarified effluent following a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) removal reactor post-BOD removal clarified effluent (PBCE), (2) clarified effluent following a nitrification reactor post-nitrification clarified effluent (PNCE), and (3) a reference media (RM). After 12 days, all algal species achieved nitrogen removal between 68 and 82% in PBCE and 37 and 99% in PNCE, and phosphorus removal between 91 and 100% in PBCE and 60 and 100% in PNCE. The pH of the wastewater samples increased above 9.8 after cultivation of each species, which likely aided ammonia volatilization and phosphorus adsorption. Both monocultures grew readily with wastewater as a feedstock, but B. braunii experienced significant crowding from endemic fauna. In most cases, native algal species' nutrient removal efficiency was competitive with augmented algal monocultures, and in some cases achieved a higher biomass yield, demonstrating the potential to utilize native species for nutrient polishing and algal biomass production. PMID:25325538

  13. Non-Additive Effects on Decomposition from Mixing Litter of the Invasive Mikania micrantha H.B.K. with Native Plants

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bao-Ming; Peng, Shao-Lin; D’Antonio, Carla M.; Li, Dai-Jiang; Ren, Wen-Tao

    2013-01-01

    A common hypothesis to explain the effect of litter mixing is based on the difference in litter N content between mixed species. Although many studies have shown that litter of invasive non-native plants typically has higher N content than that of native plants in the communities they invade, there has been surprisingly little study of mixing effects during plant invasions. We address this question in south China where Mikania micrantha H.B.K., a non-native vine, with high litter N content, has invaded many forested ecosystems. We were specifically interested in whether this invader accelerated decomposition and how the strength of the litter mixing effect changes with the degree of invasion and over time during litter decomposition. Using litterbags, we evaluated the effect of mixing litter of M. micrantha with the litter of 7 native resident plants, at 3 ratios: M1 (1∶4, = exotic:native litter), M2 (1∶1) and M3 (4∶1, = exotic:native litter) over three incubation periods. We compared mixed litter with unmixed litter of the native species to identify if a non-additive effect of mixing litter existed. We found that there were positive significant non-additive effects of litter mixing on both mass loss and nutrient release. These effects changed with native species identity, mixture ratio and decay times. Overall the greatest accelerations of mixture decay and N release tended to be in the highest degree of invasion (mix ratio M3) and during the middle and final measured stages of decomposition. Contrary to expectations, the initial difference in litter N did not explain species differences in the effect of mixing but overall it appears that invasion by M. micrantha is accelerating the decomposition of native species litter. This effect on a fundamental ecosystem process could contribute to higher rates of nutrient turnover in invaded ecosystems. PMID:23840435

  14. Experimental demography and the vital rates of generalist and specialist insect herbivores on native and novel host plants.

    PubMed

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Horvitz, Carol C

    2011-09-01

    1. Colonization success of species when confronted with novel environments is of interest in ecological, evolutionary and conservation contexts. Such events may represent the first step for ecological diversification. They also play an important role in adaptive divergence and speciation. 2. A species that is able to do well across a range of environments has a higher plasticity than one whose success is restricted to a single or few environments. The breadth of environments in which a species can succeed is ultimately determined by the full pattern of its vital rates in each environment. 3. Examples of organisms colonizing novel environments are insect herbivores expanding their diets to novel host plants. One expectation for insect herbivores is that species with specialized diets may display less plasticity when faced with novel hosts than generalist species. 4. We examine this hypothesis for two generalist and two specialist neotropical beetles (genus Cephaloleia: Chrysomelidae) currently expanding their diets from native to novel plants of the order Zingiberales. Using an experimental approach, we estimated changes in vital rates, life-history traits and lifetime fitness for each beetle species when feeding on native or novel host plants. 5. We did not find evidence supporting more plasticity for generalists than for specialists. Instead, we found similar patterns of survival and fecundity for all herbivores. Larvae survived worse on novel hosts; adults survived at least as well or better, but reproduced less on the novel host than on natives. 6. Some of the novel host plants represent challenging environments where population growth was negative. However, in four novel plant-herbivore interactions, instantaneous population growth rates were positive. 7. Positive instantaneous population growth rates during initial colonization of novel host plants suggest that both generalist and specialist Cephaloleia beetles may be pre-adapted to feed on some novel hosts

  15. Mapping Understory Trees Using Airborne Discrete-Return LIDAR Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korpela, I.; Hovi, A.; Morsdorf, F.

    2011-09-01

    Understory trees in multi-layer stands are often ignored in forest inventories. Information about them would benefit silviculture, wood procurement and biodiversity management. Cost-efficient inventory methods for the assessment of the presence, density, species- and size-distributions are called for. LiDAR remote sensing is a promising addition to field work. Unlike in passive image data, in which the signals from multiple layers mix, the 3D position of each hot-spot reflection is known in LiDAR data. The overstory however prevents from obtaining a wall-to-wall sample of understory, and measurements are subject to transmission losses. Discriminating between the crowns of dominant and suppressed trees can also be challenging. We examined the potential of LiDAR for the mapping of the understory trees in Scots pine stands (62°N, 24°E), using carefully georeferenced reference data and several LiDAR data sets. We present results that highlight differences in echo-triggering between sensors that affect the near-ground height data. A conceptual model for the transmission losses in the overstory was created and formulated into simple compensation models that reduced the intensity variation in second- and third return data. The task is highly ill-posed in discrete-return LiDAR data, and our models employed the geometry of the overstory as well as the intensity of previous returns. We showed that even first-return data in the understory is subject to losses in the overstory that did not trigger an echo. Even with compensation of the losses, the intensity data was deemed of low value in species discrimination. Area-based LiDAR height metrics that were derived from the data belonging to the crown volume of the understory showed reasonable correlation with the density and mean height of the understory trees. Assessment of the species seems out of reach in discrete-return LiDAR data, which is a drastic drawback.

  16. Arthropod prey of Wilson's Warblers in the understory of Douglas-fir forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagar, J.C.; Dugger, K.M.; Starkey, E.E.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of food resources is an important factor in avian habitat selection. Food resources for terrestrial birds often are closely related to vegetation structure and composition. Identification of plant species important in supporting food resources may facilitate vegetation management to achieve objectives for providing bird habitat. We used fecal analysis to describe the diet of adult Wilson's Warblers (Wilsonia pusilla) that foraged in the understory of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in western Oregon during the breeding season. We sampled arthropods at the same sites where diet data were collected, and compared abundance and biomass of prey among seven common shrub species. Wilson's Warblers ate more caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and Homoptera than expected based on availability. Deciduous shrubs supported higher abundances of arthropod taxa and size classes used as prey by Wilson's Warblers than did evergreen shrubs. The development and maintenance of deciduous understory vegetation in conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest may be fundamental for conservation of food webs that support breeding Wilson's Warblers and other shrub-associated, insectivorous songbirds.

  17. The making of a rapid plant invader: genetic diversity and differentiation in the native and invaded range of Senecio inaequidens.

    PubMed

    Lachmuth, Susanne; Durka, Walter; Schurr, Frank M

    2010-09-01

    To become invasive, exotic species have to succeed in the consecutive phases of introduction, naturalization, and invasion. Each of these phases leaves traces in genetic structure, which may affect the species' success in subsequent phases. We examined this interplay of genetic structure and invasion dynamics in the South African Ragwort (Senecio inaequidens), one of Europe's fastest plant invaders. We used AFLP and microsatellite markers to analyze 19 native African and 32 invasive European populations. In combination with historic data, we distinguished invasion routes and traced them back to the native source areas. This revealed that different introduction sites had markedly different success in the three invasion phases. Notably, an observed lag-phase in Northern Germany was evidently not terminated by factors increasing the invasiveness of the resident population but by invasive spread from another introduction centre. The lineage invading Central Europe was introduced to sites in which winters are more benign than in the native source region. Subsequently, this lineage spread into areas in which winter temperatures match the native climate more closely. Genetic diversity clearly increases with population age in Europe and less clearly decreases with spread rate up to population establishment. This indicates that gene flow along well-connected invasion routes counteracted losses of genetic diversity during rapid spread. In summary, this study suggests that multiple introductions, environmental preadaptation and high gene flow along invasion routes contributed to the success of this rapid invader. More generally, it demonstrates the benefit of combining genetic, historical, and climatic data for understanding biological invasions. PMID:20854275

  18. Leishmanicidal evaluation of extracts from native plants of the Yucatan peninsula.

    PubMed

    Peraza-Sánchez, S R; Cen-Pacheco, F; Noh-Chimal, A; May-Pat, F; Simá-Polanco, P; Dumonteil, E; García-Miss, M R; Mut-Martín, M

    2007-06-01

    Methanol extracts were prepared from different parts of 18 plants collected in the Yucatan peninsula and evaluated in an in vitro bioassay for leishmanicidal activity against Leishmania mexicana promastigotes. The ten most potent plant extracts (IC(50)<50 microg/ml) were Aphelandra scabra leaves, Byrsonima bucidaefolia bark, Byrsonima crassifolia bark, Clusia flava leaves, Cupania dentata bark, Diphysa carthagenensis leaves, Dorstenia contrajerva whole plant, Milleria quinqueflora roots, Tridax procumbens whole plant, and Vitex gaumeri bark. PMID:17482379

  19. Biodiversity and native plant abundance decline with increasing abundance of exotic annual grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Water is one of the key factors driving ecosystem productivity, especially in water-limited ecosystems. Thus a separation of these component fluxes is needed to gain a functional understanding on the development of net ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Oxygen isotope signatures are valuable tracers for such water movements within the ecosystem because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water in the soil and vegetation. Here, a novel approach was used (Dubbert et al., 2013), combining a custom build flow-through gas-exchange branch chamber with a Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland where two vegetation layers respond differently to drought: oak-trees (Quercus suber L.) avoid drought due to their access to ground water while herbaceous plants survive the summer as seeds. We used this approach to quantify the impact of the understory herbaceous vegetation on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes throughout the year and disentangle how ET components of the ecosystem relate to carbon dioxide exchange. Partitioning ecosystem ET and NEE into its three sources revealed that understory vegetation contributed markedly to ecosystem ET and gross primary production (GPP; max. 43 and 51%, respectively). It reached similar water-use efficiencies (WUE) as cork-oak trees and significantly contributed to the ecosystem sink-strength in spring and fall. The understory vegetation layer further strongly inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish ecosystem WUE during water-limited times (Dubbert et al., 2014a). Although, during most of the year, interactions with trees neither facilitated nor hampered the development of the understory vegetation, strong competition for water could be observed at the end of the growing period, which shortened the life-cycle of understory plants and significantly reduced the carbon uptake of the ecosystem in spring (Dubbert et al., 2014b). Finally, herbaceous understory

  1. Scouting contaminated estuaries: heavy metal resistant and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in the native metal rhizoaccumulator Spartina maritima.

    PubMed

    Mesa, J; Mateos-Naranjo, E; Caviedes, M A; Redondo-Gómez, S; Pajuelo, E; Rodríguez-Llorente, I D

    2015-01-15

    Spartina maritima is a native endangered heavy metal rhizoaccumulator cordgrass naturally growing in southwest coasts of Spain, where is used as a biotool to rehabilitate degraded salt marshes. Fifteen bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere of S. maritima growing in the estuary of the Tinto River, one of the most polluted areas in the world. A high proportion of bacteria were resistant towards several heavy metals. They also exhibited multiple plant growth promoting (PGP) properties, in the absence and the presence of Cu. Bacillus methylotrophicus SMT38, Bacillusaryabhattai SMT48, B. aryabhattai SMT50 and Bacilluslicheniformis SMT51 were selected as the best performing strains. In a gnobiotic assay, inoculation of Medicago sativa seeds with the selected isolates induced higher root elongation. The inoculation of S. maritima with these indigenous metal-resistant PGP rhizobacteria could be an efficient method to increase plant adaptation and growth in contaminated estuaries during restoration programs. PMID:25467875

  2. A native Zn/Cd pumping P(1B) ATPase from natural overexpression in a hyperaccumulator plant.

    PubMed

    Parameswaran, Aravind; Leitenmaier, Barbara; Yang, Mingjie; Kroneck, Peter M H; Welte, Wolfram; Lutz, Gabriela; Papoyan, Ashot; Kochian, Leon V; Küpper, Hendrik

    2007-11-01

    We report here the first purification of a P(1B) type ATPase, a group of transporters that occurs in bacteria, plants and animals incl. humans, from a eukaryotic organism in native state. TcHMA4 is a P(1B) type ATPase that is highly expressed in the Cd/Zn hyperaccumulator plant Thlaspi caerulescens and contains a C-terminal 9-histidine repeat. After isolation from roots, we purified TcHMA4 protein via metal affinity chromatography. The purified protein exhibited Cd- and Zn-activated ATPase activity after reconstitution into lipid vesicles, showing that it was in its native state. Gels of crude root extract and of the purified protein revealed TcHMA4-specific bands of about 50 and 60kDa, respectively, while the TcHMA4 mRNA predicts a single protein with a size of 128kDa. This indicates the occurrence of post-translational processing; the properties of the two bands were characterised by their activity and binding properties. PMID:17826738

  3. Assessment of native plant species for phytoremediation of heavy metals growing in the vicinity of NTPC sites, Kahalgaon, India.

    PubMed

    Kumari, Alka; Lal, Brij; Rai, Upendra Nath

    2016-01-01

    The present investigation was carried out to screen native plants growing in fly ash (FA) contaminated areas near National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Kahalgaon, Bihar, India with a view to using them for the eco-restoration of the area. A total number of 30 plant species (5 aquatic and 25 terrestrial including 6 ferns) were collected and their diversity status and dominance were also studied. After screening of dominant species at highly polluted site, 8 terrestrial and 5 aquatic plants were analyzed for heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Ni, Si, Al, Pb, Cr, and Cd). Differential accumulations of various heavy metals by different species of plants were observed. Typha latifolia was found to be most efficient metal accumulator of Fe (927), Cu (58), Zn (87), Ni (57), Al (67), Cd (95), and Pb (69), and Azolla pinnata as Cr (93) hyper-accumulator among aquatic species in µg g(-1). In terrestrial species the maximum levels of Fe (998), Zn (81), Ni (93), Al (121), and Si (156) were found in Croton bonplandium. However, there was high spatial variability in total metal accumulation in different species indicated by coefficient of variation (CV%). These results suggest that various aquatic, some dominant terrestrial plants including fern species may be used in a synergistic way to remediate and restore the FA contaminated wastelands. PMID:26442874

  4. Bioaccumulation and translocation of heavy metals by nine native plant species grown at a sewage sludge dump site.

    PubMed

    Eid, Ebrahem M; Shaltout, Kamal H

    2016-11-01

    In the present study, nine native plant species were collected to determine their potential to clean up nine heavy metals from soil of a sewage sludge dump site. Almost all nine plant species grown at sewage sludge dump site showed multifold higher concentrations of heavy metals as compared to plants grown at the reference site. All the investigated species were characterized by a bioaccumulation factor (BF) > 1.0 for some heavy metals. BF was generally higher for Cd, followed by Pb, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Mn, Zn, and Fe. The translocation factor (TF) varied among plant species, and among heavy metals. For most studied heavy metals, TFs were <1.0. The present study proved that the concentrations of all heavy metals (except Cd, Co, and Pb) in most studied species were positively correlated with those in soil. Such correlations indicate that these species reflect the cumulative effects of environmental pollution from soil, and thereby suggesting their potential use in the biomonitoring of most heavy metals examined. In conclusion, all tissues of nine plant species could act as bioindicators, biomonitors, and remediates of most examined heavy metals. Moreover, Bassia indica, Solanum nigrum, and Pluchea dioscoridis are considered hyperaccumulators of Fe; Amaranthus viridis and Bassia indica are considered hyperaccumulators of Pb; and Portulaca oleracea is considered hyperaccumulator of Mn. PMID:27184987

  5. Different Responses of an Invasive Clonal Plant Wedelia trilobata and its Native Congener to Gibberellin: Implications for Biological Invasion.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhi-Cong; Fu, Wei; Qi, Shan-Shan; Zhai, De-Li; Chen, Si-Chong; Wan, Ling-Yun; Huang, Ping; Du, Dao-Lin

    2016-02-01

    The invasive clonal plant Wedelia trilobata contains higher levels of ent-kaurane diterpenes, which are precursors of gibberellins (GAs), and higher rates of clonal growth than its native congener W. chinensis in invaded habitats. We hypothesized that the higher levels of endogenous GAs facilitate greater ramet growth in W. trilobata compared with W. chinensis. We quantified endogenous levels of GA1+3 in the two species and compared their growth responses to the changes of endogenous and exogenous GA3 by using short-term and long-term hydroponics experiments. After a period of homogeneous cultivation, levels of endogenous GA1+3 were higher in W. trilobata than in W. chinensis. The reduction of endogenous GAs repressed the emergence of adventitious roots and the growth of W. trilobata in the initial cultivation stage, and inhibited its shoot elongation and biomass. Levels of endogenous GA1+3 were positively correlated with the length of shoots and adventitious roots of W. trilobata. Adventitious roots of W. trilobata also emerged earlier and grew faster when treated with exogenous GA3. In contrast, exogenous GA3 treatment inhibited the length of adventitious roots in W. chinensis, and levels of endogenous GA1+3 did not correlate with shoot or adventitious root length. Our study suggests that GAs accelerate the rapid clonal growth of W. trilobata, more than that of its native congener W. chinensis, illustrating the relationship between plant hormones and the clonal growth of invasive plants. These findings are important for understanding the mechanisms associated with the invasiveness of clonal plants and their potential management. PMID:26879680

  6. Differences in preference and performance of the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae populations on native and introduced aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Ding, Jianqing; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-12-01

    Plant invasions represent ecological opportunities for herbivorous insects able to exploit novel host plants. The availability of new hosts and rapid adaptations may lead to host race formation and ultimately speciation. We studied potential host race formation in the water lily leaf beetle, Galerucella nymphaeae, in response to invasion by water chestnut, Trapa natans, in eastern North America. This leaf beetle is well suited for such studies because previous work showed that different herbivore populations follow different "evolutionary pathways" and specialize locally in response to differences in habitat preferences and host plant availability. We compared host preference and performance of G. nymphaeae offspring originating from T. natans and offspring of individuals originating from an ancestral host Nuphar lutea, yellow water lily, on T. natans and three native hosts (N. lutea, Nympheae odorata, and Brasenia schreberi). Regardless of origin (Trapa or Nuphar), adults strongly preferred their native host, N. lutea, over T. natans. Although laboratory survival rates (larva to pupa) were extremely high (80%) regardless of origin or host offered, survival rates in a common garden were greatly reduced, particularly for T. natans (24%) and to a lesser extent on N. lutea (54%), regardless of beetle origin. Larval drowning during more frequent leaf changes when developing on small Trapa leaves seems to be responsible for this difference. Preference of females for N. lutea is beneficial considering the much higher larval survival on the ancestral host. Abundant T. natans where the plant is invasive provides an alternative food source that beetles can use after egg/larval loads on their preferred host reach carrying capacity, but this utilization comes at a cost of high larval mortality. PMID:20021761

  7. Use of exotic plants to control Spartina alterniflora invasion and promote mangrove restoration.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ting; Liu, Shuchao; Feng, Zhili; Liu, Gang; Gan, Qian; Peng, Shaolin

    2015-01-01

    In coastal China, the exotic invasive Spartina alterniflora is preventing the establishment of native mangroves. The use of exotic species, control of exotic plant invasion, and restoration of native plant communities are timely research issues. We used exotic Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham and S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. to control invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel through replacement control for five years, which concurrently promoted the restoration of native mangroves. This process includes three stages. I: In a mangrove area invaded by S. alterniflora, exotic S. apetala and S. caseolaris grew rapidly due to their relatively fast-growing character and an allelopathic effect. II: Fast-growing S. apetala and S. caseolaris eradicate S. alterniflora through shading and allelopathy. III: The growth of native mangrove was promoted because exotic plant seedlings cannot regenerate in the understory shade, whereas native mesophytic mangrove plants seedlings can grow; when the area experiences extreme low temperatures in winter or at other times, S. apetala dies, and native mangrove species grow to restore the communities. This model has important implications for addressing the worldwide problems of "how to implement the ecological control of invasion using exotic species" and "how to concurrently promote native community restoration during the control of exotic invasion". PMID:26291074

  8. Use of exotic plants to control Spartina alterniflora invasion and promote mangrove restoration

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ting; Liu, Shuchao; Feng, Zhili; Liu, Gang; Gan, Qian; Peng, Shaolin

    2015-01-01

    In coastal China, the exotic invasive Spartina alterniflora is preventing the establishment of native mangroves. The use of exotic species, control of exotic plant invasion, and restoration of native plant communities are timely research issues. We used exotic Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham and S. caseolaris (L.) Engl. to control invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel through replacement control for five years, which concurrently promoted the restoration of native mangroves. This process includes three stages. I: In a mangrove area invaded by S. alterniflora, exotic S. apetala and S. caseolaris grew rapidly due to their relatively fast-growing character and an allelopathic effect. II: Fast-growing S. apetala and S. caseolaris eradicate S. alterniflora through shading and allelopathy. III: The growth of native mangrove was promoted because exotic plant seedlings cannot regenerate in the understory shade, whereas native mesophytic mangrove plants seedlings can grow; when the area experiences extreme low temperatures in winter or at other times, S. apetala dies, and native mangrove species grow to restore the communities. This model has important implications for addressing the worldwide problems of “how to implement the ecological control of invasion using exotic species” and “how to concurrently promote native community restoration during the control of exotic invasion”. PMID:26291074

  9. Differences in Leaf Flammability, Leaf Traits and Flammability-Trait Relationships between Native and Exotic Plant Species of Dry Sclerophyll Forest

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Brad R.; Hardstaff, Lyndle K.; Phillips, Megan L.

    2013-01-01

    The flammability of plant leaves influences the spread of fire through vegetation. Exotic plants invading native vegetation may increase the spread of bushfires if their leaves are more flammable than native leaves. We compared fresh-leaf and dry-leaf flammability (time to ignition) between 52 native and 27 exotic plant species inhabiting dry sclerophyll forest. We found that mean time to ignition was significantly faster in dry exotic leaves than in dry native leaves. There was no significant native-exotic difference in mean time to ignition for fresh leaves. The significantly higher fresh-leaf water content that was found in exotics, lost in the conversion from a fresh to dry state, suggests that leaf water provides an important buffering effect that leads to equivalent mean time to ignition in fresh exotic and native leaves. Exotic leaves were also significantly wider, longer and broader in area with significantly higher specific leaf area–but not thicker–than native leaves. We examined scaling relationships between leaf flammability and leaf size (leaf width, length, area, specific leaf area and thickness). While exotics occupied the comparatively larger and more flammable end of the leaf size-flammability spectrum in general, leaf flammability was significantly correlated with all measures of leaf size except leaf thickness in both native and exotic species such that larger leaves were faster to ignite. Our findings for increased flammability linked with larger leaf size in exotics demonstrate that exotic plant species have the potential to increase the spread of bushfires in dry sclerophyll forest. PMID:24260169

  10. Native Skies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benningfield, Damond

    2001-03-01

    People native to North America practiced their own version of astronomy. They tracked the motions of the Sun to help them decide when to plant crops, move their camps, and stage sacred rituals. Some tribes built great circles of stones to help them predict the changing seasons. Others built great mounds of earth to reflect the patterns they saw in the heavens and to align their ceremonial centers with the Sun and the Moon.

  11. Differences in competitive ability between plants from nonnative and native populations of a tropical invader relates to adaptive responses in abiotic and biotic environments.

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhi-Yong; Zhang, Ru; Barclay, Gregor F; Feng, Yu-Long

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release) in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more), which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait). In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits) but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments) also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges). PMID:23977140

  12. Differences in Competitive Ability between Plants from Nonnative and Native Populations of a Tropical Invader Relates to Adaptive Responses in Abiotic and Biotic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Zhi-Yong; Zhang, Ru; Barclay, Gregor F.; Feng, Yu-Long

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release) in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more), which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait). In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits) but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments) also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges). PMID:23977140

  13. Plant species richness at different scales in native and exotic grasslands in Southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLaughlin, S.P.; Bowers, Janice E.

    2006-01-01

    Species richness in Madrean mixed-grass prairies dominated by native or exotic species in southeastern Arizona was characterized at the community and point scales using ten 1-m2 quadrats nested within each of eight 1000-m2 plots. In the 1000-m2 plots average richness was significantly higher in oak savanna (OS, 121.0 species) than in exotic grassland on mesa tops (EMT, 52.0 species), whereas native grassland on mesa slopes (NMS, 92.5 species) and native grassland on mesa tops (NMT, 77.0 species) did not differ significantly in richness from OS or EMT When richness was partitioned by life form, EMT was notably poorer than other community types in species of perennial grasses, perennial herbs, and summer annuals. In the 1-m2 quadrats, OS (21.2 species), NMS (20.9 species), and NMT (20.7 species) were significantly richer than EMT (5.9 species). Cover in 1-m2 plots was significantly higher in EMT than in NMT, NMS, or OS. Species richness at the point scale showed a unimodal relation to canopy cover, with cover accounting for 30% of the variation in number of species in 1-m2 quadrats. Competitive exclusion and allelopathy have perhaps limited species richness at the point scale in exotic grassland. There was no evidence of a species-pool effect between point and community scales, but such an effect between community and landscape scales was supported. Madrean mixed-grass prairies are landscapes with high species richness in comparison to other grassland types in North America, providing a large pool of potential colonizing species at the community scale. Beta-diversity (between communities) within the landscape of the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch was consequently high despite a relative lack of habitat diversity.

  14. Assessment of heavy metal tolerance in native plant species from soils contaminated with electroplating effluent.

    PubMed

    Sainger, Poonam Ahlawat; Dhankhar, Rajesh; Sainger, Manish; Kaushik, Anubha; Singh, Rana Pratap

    2011-11-01

    Heavy metals concentrations of (Cr, Zn, Fe, Cu and Ni) were determined in plants and soils contaminated with electroplating industrial effluent. The ranges of total soil Cr, Zn, Fe, Cu and Ni concentrations were found to be 1443-3240, 1376-3112, 683-2228, 263-374 and 234-335 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. Metal accumulation, along with hyperaccumulative characteristics of the screened plants was investigated. Present study highlighted that metal accumulation in different plants varied with species, tissues and metals. Only one plant (Amaranthus viridis) accumulated Fe concentrations over 1000 mg kg⁻¹. On the basis of TF, eight plant species for Zn and Fe, three plant species for Cu and two plant species for Ni, could be used in phytoextraction technology. Although BAF of all plant species was lesser than one, these species exhibited high metal adaptability and could be considered as potential hyperaccumulators. Phytoremediation potential of these plants can be used to remediate metal contaminated soils, though further investigation is still needed. PMID:21820739

  15. Mechanisms for success after long-term nutrient enrichment in a boreal forest understory.

    PubMed

    Grainger, Tess Nahanni; Turkington, Roy

    2013-01-01

    Global levels of reactive nitrogen are predicted to rise in the coming decades as a result of increased deposition from the burning of fossil fuels and the large-scale conversion of nitrogen into a useable form for agriculture. Many plant communities respond strongly to increases in soil nitrogen, particularly in northern ecosystems where nitrogen levels are naturally very low. An experiment in northern Canada that was initiated in 1990 has been investigating the effects of long-term nutrient enrichment (fertilizer added annually) on a boreal forest understory community. We used this experiment to investigate why some species increase in abundance under nutrient enrichment whereas others decline. We focused on four species that differed in their responses to fertilization: Mertensia paniculata and Epilobium angustifolium increased in abundance, Achillea millefolium remained relatively constant and Festuca altaica declined. We hypothesized that the two species that were successful in the new high-nutrient, light-limited environment would be taller, have higher specific leaf area, change phenology by growing earlier in the season and be more morphologically plastic than their less successful counterparts. We compared plant height, specific leaf area, growth spurt date and allocation to leaves in plants grown in control and fertilized plots. We demonstrated that each of the two species that came to dominate fertilized plots has a different combination of traits and responses that likely gave them a competitive advantage; M. paniculata has the highest specific leaf area of the four species whereas E. angustifolium is tallest and exhibits morphological plasticity when fertilized by increasing biomass allocation to leaves. These results indicate that rather than one strategy determining success when nutrients become available, a variety of traits and responses may contribute to a species' ability to persist in a nutrient-enriched boreal forest understory. PMID:23573298

  16. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  17. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  18. Effects of a native parasitic plant on an exotic invader decrease with increasing host age

    PubMed Central

    Li, Junmin; Yang, Beifen; Yan, Qiaodi; Zhang, Jing; Yan, Min; Li, Maihe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding changes in the interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts in relation to ontogenetic changes in the hosts is crucial for successful use of parasitic plants as biological controls. We investigated growth, photosynthesis and chemical defences in different-aged Bidens pilosa plants in response to infection by Cuscuta australis. We were particularly interested in whether plant responses to parasite infection change with changes in the host plant age. Compared with the non-infected B. pilosa, parasite infection reduced total host biomass and net photosynthetic rates, but these deleterious effects decreased with increasing host age. Parasite infection reduced the concentrations of total phenolics, total flavonoids and saponins in the younger B. pilosa but not in the older B. pilosa. Compared with the relatively older and larger plants, younger and smaller plants suffered from more severe damage and are likely less to recover from the infection, suggesting that C. australis is only a viable biocontrol agent for younger B. pilosa plants. PMID:25838325

  19. Effects of a native parasitic plant on an exotic invader decrease with increasing host age.

    PubMed

    Li, Junmin; Yang, Beifen; Yan, Qiaodi; Zhang, Jing; Yan, Min; Li, Maihe

    2015-01-01

    Understanding changes in the interactions between parasitic plants and their hosts in relation to ontogenetic changes in the hosts is crucial for successful use of parasitic plants as biological controls. We investigated growth, photosynthesis and chemical defences in different-aged Bidens pilosa plants in response to infection by Cuscuta australis. We were particularly interested in whether plant responses to parasite infection change with changes in the host plant age. Compared with the non-infected B. pilosa, parasite infection reduced total host biomass and net photosynthetic rates, but these deleterious effects decreased with increasing host age. Parasite infection reduced the concentrations of total phenolics, total flavonoids and saponins in the younger B. pilosa but not in the older B. pilosa. Compared with the relatively older and larger plants, younger and smaller plants suffered from more severe damage and are likely less to recover from the infection, suggesting that C. australis is only a viable biocontrol agent for younger B. pilosa plants. PMID:25838325

  20. Despite spillover, a shared pathogen promotes native plant persistence in a cheatgrass-invaded grassland.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2013-12-01

    How pathogen spillover influences host community diversity and composition is poorly understood. Spillover occurs when transmission from a reservoir host species drives infection in another host species. In cheatgrass-invaded grasslands in the western United States, a fungal seed pathogen, black fingers of death (Pyrenophora semeniperda), spills over from exotic cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) to native perennial bunchgrasses such as squirreltail (Elymus elymoides). Previous theoretical work based on this system predicts that pathogens that spill over can favor either host coexistence, the exclusion of either host species, or priority effects, depending on species-specific transmission rates and pathogen tolerance. Here, these model predictions were tested by parameterizing a population growth model with field data from Skull Valley, Utah, USA. The model suggests that, across the observed range of demographic variation, the pathogen is most likely to provide a net benefit to squirreltail and a net cost to cheatgrass, though both effects are relatively weak. Although cheatgrass (the reservoir host) is more tolerant, squirreltail is far less susceptible to infection, and its long-lived adult stage buffers population growth against seed losses to the pathogen. This work shows that, despite pathogen spillover, the shared pathogen promotes native grass persistence by reducing exotic grass competition. Counterintuitively, the reservoir host does not necessarily benefit from the presence of the pathogen, and may even suffer greater costs than the nonreservoir host. Understanding the consequences of shared pathogens for host communities requires weighing species differences in susceptibility, transmission, and tolerance using quantitative models. PMID:24597221

  1. Salinity tolerance and mycorrhizal responsiveness of native xeroriparian plants in semi-arid western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beauchamp, Vanessa B.; Walz, C.; Shafroth, P.B.

    2009-01-01

    Restoration of salt-affected soils is a global concern. In the western United States, restoration of salinized land, particularly in river valleys, often involves control of Tamarix, an introduced species with high salinity tolerance. Revegetation of hydrologically disconnected floodplains and terraces after Tamarix removal is often difficult because of limited knowledge regarding the salinity tolerance of candidate native species for revegetation. Additionally, Tamarix appears to be non-mycorrhizal. Extended occupation of Tamarix may deplete arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, further decreasing the success of revegetation efforts. To address these issues, we screened 42 species, races, or ecotypes native to southwestern U.S. for salinity tolerance and mycorrhizal responsiveness. As expected, the taxa tested showed a wide range of responses to salinity and mycorrhizal fungi. This variation also occurred between ecotypes or races of the same species, indicating that seed collected from high-salinity reference systems is likely better adapted to harsh conditions than seed originating from less saline environments. All species tested had a positive or neutral response to mycorrhizal inoculation. We found no clear evidence that mycorrhizae increased salinity tolerance, but some species were so dependent on mycorrhizal fungi that they grew poorly at all salinity levels in pasteurized soil. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  2. Palms versus trees: water use characteristics of native fruit-bearing plant species in the Central Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunert, N.; Barros, P.; Higuchi, N.

    2012-12-01

    Native fruiting plants are widely cultivated in the Amazon but only little information on their water use characteristics can be found in the literature. Due to the growing local consumption and the increasing popularity for new "exotic" fruits all over Brazil and worldwide, additional new plantations cultivating such fruit-bearing species might be established in the Amazon in the future. These new plantations will affect the water table of the cultivated areas, however, the impact of these changes on the regional hydrology are not known. We, therefore, decided to study plant water use characteristics of two native fruit plants commonly occurring in the Amazon region, a tree species (Cupuaçu, Theobroma grandiflorum, (Willd. ex Spreng.) Schum., Malvaceae) and a palm species (Açai, Euterpe oleraceae Mart., Arecaceae). This study was conducted in a fruit plantation close to the city of Manaus, in the Central Amazon, Brazil. The objectives of our study were 1) to compare variables controlling plant water use and 2) to identify differences in water use between woody monocot and dicot plant species. We chose three representative individuals with well-sun-exposed crowns for each species, which were equipped with Granier-type thermal dissipation probes to measure sap flux density continuously for six weeks from August 1st 2011 until September 6th 2011. We used a simple sap flux model with two environmental variables, photosynthetic photon flux density and vapor pressure deficit, to compare sap flux densities between species. We achieved a good model fit and modeled sap flux densities corresponded very well with the actual measured values. No significant differences among species in sap flux densities were indicated by the model. Overall, palms had a 3.5 fold higher water consumption compared to trees with similar diameter. Water use scaled independent from species with the size of the conductive xylem area (r2 = 0.85), so that the higher water use of the palms was

  3. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    SciTech Connect

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  4. Invasiveness does not predict impact: response of native land snail communities to plant invasions in riparian habitats.

    PubMed

    Horáčková, Jitka; Juřičková, Lucie; Šizling, Arnošt L; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Studies of plant invasions rarely address impacts on molluscs. By comparing pairs of invaded and corresponding uninvaded plots in 96 sites in floodplain forests, we examined effects of four invasive alien plants (Impatiens glandulifera, Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and F.× bohemica) in the Czech Republic on communities of land snails. The richness and abundance of living land snail species were recorded separately for all species, rare species listed on the national Red List, and small species with shell size below 5 mm. The significant impacts ranged from 16-48% reduction in snail species numbers, and 29-90% reduction in abundance. Small species were especially prone to reduction in species richness by all four invasive plant taxa. Rare snails were also negatively impacted by all plant invaders, both in terms of species richness or abundance. Overall, the impacts on snails were invader-specific, differing among plant taxa. The strong effect of I. glandulifera could be related to the post-invasion decrease in abundance of tall nitrophilous native plant species that are a nutrient-rich food source for snails in riparian habitats. Fallopia sachalinensis had the strongest negative impact of the three knotweeds, which reflects differences in their canopy structure, microhabitat humidity and litter decomposition. The ranking of Fallopia taxa according to the strength of impacts on snail communities differs from ranking by their invasiveness, known from previous studies. This indicates that invasiveness does not simply translate to impacts of invasion and needs to be borne in mind by conservation and management authorities. PMID:25238059

  5. Invasiveness Does Not Predict Impact: Response of Native Land Snail Communities to Plant Invasions in Riparian Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Horáčková, Jitka; Juřičková, Lucie; Šizling, Arnošt L.; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Studies of plant invasions rarely address impacts on molluscs. By comparing pairs of invaded and corresponding uninvaded plots in 96 sites in floodplain forests, we examined effects of four invasive alien plants (Impatiens glandulifera, Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and F.×bohemica) in the Czech Republic on communities of land snails. The richness and abundance of living land snail species were recorded separately for all species, rare species listed on the national Red List, and small species with shell size below 5 mm. The significant impacts ranged from 16–48% reduction in snail species numbers, and 29–90% reduction in abundance. Small species were especially prone to reduction in species richness by all four invasive plant taxa. Rare snails were also negatively impacted by all plant invaders, both in terms of species richness or abundance. Overall, the impacts on snails were invader-specific, differing among plant taxa. The strong effect of I. glandulifera could be related to the post-invasion decrease in abundance of tall nitrophilous native plant species that are a nutrient-rich food source for snails in riparian habitats. Fallopia sachalinensis had the strongest negative impact of the three knotweeds, which reflects differences in their canopy structure, microhabitat humidity and litter decomposition. The ranking of Fallopia taxa according to the strength of impacts on snail communities differs from ranking by their invasiveness, known from previous studies. This indicates that invasiveness does not simply translate to impacts of invasion and needs to be borne in mind by conservation and management authorities. PMID:25238059

  6. Does Hawaiian native forest conserve water? Lower uptake rates at tree and stand scale by Metrosideros polymorpha relative to plantation species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagawa, A. K.; Sack, L.; Duarte, T. K.; James, S. A.

    2007-12-01

    Native plants are often claimed to be conservative water users that enhance groundwater recharge compared to faster-growing non-native species that tend to dominate watersheds. This argument would have implications for motivating conservation and restoration of native forest in Hawai'i. However, few studies have examined differences in native and non-native plant transpiration (water use) at species or at stand level. Our aim was determine whether species matter to stand-level water use. We measured plant transpiration in a continuous mosaic of native forest and non-native tree plantation in Honaunau, Hawaii, focusing on endemic dominant tree Metrosideros polymorpha, alien timber trees Eucalyptus saligna and Fraxinus uhdei, and dominant understory Cibotium tree ferns. We measured xylem sap flow for six individuals of each species continuously for over eight weeks, and we estimated stand water use by scaling up these measurements using stand sapwood area and tree fern leaf area values obtained through vegetation surveys. Native forest dominant Metrosideros had the lowest rates of whole-tree daily water use at 8 kg day-1 (200kg m-2sapwood day-1), less than half the daily rates for Eucalyptus or Fraxinus; Metrosideros also had the lowest maximum transpiration rates of the three tree species. At the stand level, Fraxinus-dominated stands had higher water use than Eucalyptus- and Metrosideros- dominated stands due to the species' high sap flow rates, five-fold greater sapwood allocation, and the stands' two-fold greater dominant tree density. In Metrosideros-dominated stands, high Cibotium tree fern leaf area contributed to nearly 60% of water use, indicating the fern's critical role in forest water balance. Stand water use was influenced by factors at various scales, including species composition, stem density, tree sizes, and tree species' sapwood allocation, and was affected significantly by understory contributions. These findings highlight the importance of

  7. Assessment of Anti-Quorum Sensing Activity for Some Ornamental and Medicinal Plants Native to Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Zaki, Ahmed A.; Shaaban, Mona I.; Hashish, Nadia E.; Amer, Mohamed A.; Lahloub, Mohamed-Farid

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of some plant extracts on the bacterial communication system, expressed as quorum sensing (QS) activity. Quorum sensing has a directly proportional effect on the amount of certain compounds, such as pigments, produced by the bacteria. Alcohol extracts of 23 ornamental and medicinal plants were tested for anti-QS activity by the Chromobacterium violaceum assay using the agar cup diffusion method. The screening revealed the anti-QS activity of six plants; namely the leaves of Adhatoda vasica Nees, Bauhinia purpurea L., Lantana camara L., Myoporum laetum G. Forst.; the fruits of Piper longum L.; and the aerial parts of Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wigg. PMID:23641343

  8. Native leaf-tying caterpillars influence host plant use by the invasive Asiatic oak weevil through ecosystem engineering.

    PubMed

    Baer, Christina S; Marquis, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    We tested the effect of leaf-tying caterpillars, native ecosystem engineers, on the abundance and host feeding of an invasive insect, the Asiatic oak weevil, Cyrtepistomus castaneus (Roelofs). Leaf quality was previously thought to be the sole factor determining host use by C. castaneus, but adult weevils congregate in leaf ties made by lepidopteran larvae (caterpillars). Adult weevil abundance was naturally higher on Quercus alba and Q. velutina compared to four other tree species tested (Acer rubrum, Carya ovata, Cornus florida, and Sassafras albidum). These differences were associated with more natural leaf ties on the two Quercus species. In the laboratory, weevils fed on all six species but again preferred Q. alba and Q. velutina. When artificial ties were added to all six tree species, controlling for differences in leaf-tie density, adult weevil density increased on all six tree species, damage increased on all species but A. rubrum, and host ranking changed based on both abundance and damage. We conclude that leaf ties increase the local abundance of C. castaneus adults and their feeding. Thus, these native leaf-tying caterpillars engender the success of an invasive species via structural modification of potential host plants, the first described example of this phenomenon. PMID:25039212

  9. Development of a constructed Willamette Valley plant community to determine non-target effects of herbicide drift on native plants

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of its regulation of pesticides, the US Environmental Protection must consider potential environmental effects, including impacts to nontarget plants. Normally the risk assessment to determine these impacts requires simple, individual species, greenhouse, dose-response e...

  10. Transplanting native dominant plants to facilitate community development in restored coastal plain wetlands.

    SciTech Connect

    De Steven, Diane; Sharitz, Rebecca R.

    2007-12-01

    Abstract: Drained depressional wetlands are typically restored by plugging ditches or breaking drainage tiles to allow recovery of natural ponding regimes, while relying on passive recolonization from seed banks and dispersal to establish emergent vegetation. However, in restored depressions of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain, certain characteristic rhizomatous graminoid species may not recolonize because they are dispersal-limited and uncommon or absent in the seed banks of disturbed sites. We tested whether selectively planting such wetland dominants could facilitate restoration by accelerating vegetative cover development and suppressing non-wetland species. In an operational-scale project in a South Carolina forested landscape, drained depressional wetlands were restored in early 2001 by completely removing woody vegetation and plugging surface ditches. After forest removal, tillers of two rhizomatous wetland grasses (Panicum hemitomon, Leersia hexandra) were transplanted into singlespecies blocks in 12 restored depressions that otherwise were revegetating passively. Presence and cover of all plant species appearing in planted plots and unplanted control plots were recorded annually. We analyzed vegetation composition after two and four years, during a severe drought (2002) and after hydrologic recovery (2004). Most grass plantings established successfully, attaining 15%–85% cover in two years. Planted plots had fewer total species and fewer wetland species compared to control plots, but differences were small. Planted plots achieved greater total vegetative cover during the drought and greater combined cover of wetland species in both years. By 2004, planted grasses appeared to reduce cover of non-wetland species in some cases, but wetter hydrologic conditions contributed more strongly to suppression of non-wetland species. Because these two grasses typically form a dominant cover matrix in herbaceous depressions, our results indicated that

  11. A Rapid Screening Analysis of Antioxidant Compounds in Native Australian Food Plants Using Multiplexed Detection with Active Flow Technology Columns.

    PubMed

    Rupesinghe, Emmanuel Janaka Rochana; Jones, Andrew; Shalliker, Ross Andrew; Pravadali-Cekic, Sercan

    2016-01-01

    Conventional techniques for identifying antioxidant and phenolic compounds in native Australian food plants are laborious and time-consuming. Here, we present a multiplexed detection technique that reduces analysis time without compromising separation performance. This technique is achieved using Active Flow Technology-Parallel Segmented Flow (AFT-PSF) columns. Extracts from cinnamon myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia) and lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) leaves were analysed via multiplexed detection using an AFT-PSF column with underivatised UV-VIS, mass spectroscopy (MS), and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(•)) derivatisation for antioxidants as detection methods. A number of antioxidant compounds were detected in the extracts of each leaf extract. PMID:26805792

  12. Elicitation of induced resistance against Pectobacterium carotovorum and Pseudomonas syringae by specific individual compounds derived from native Korean plant species.

    PubMed

    Song, Geun Cheol; Ryu, Shi Yong; Kim, Young Sup; Lee, Ji Young; Choi, Jung Sup; Ryu, Choong-Min

    2013-01-01

    Plants have developed general and specific defense mechanisms for protection against various enemies. Among the general defenses, induced resistance has distinct characteristics, such as broad-spectrum resistance and long-lasting effectiveness. This study evaluated over 500 specific chemical compounds derived from native Korean plant species to determine whether they triggered induced resistance against Pectobacterium carotovorum supsp. carotovorum (Pcc) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) in Arabidopsis thaliana. To select target compound(s) with direct and indirect (volatile) effects, a new Petri-dish-based in vitro disease assay system with four compartments was developed. The screening assay showed that capsaicin, fisetin hydrate, jaceosidin, and farnesiferol A reduced the disease severity significantly in tobacco. Of these four compounds, capsaicin and jaceosidin induced resistance against Pcc and Pst, which depended on both salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signaling, using Arabidopsis transgenic and mutant lines, including npr1 and NahG for SA signaling and jar1 for JA signaling. The upregulation of the PR2 and PDF1.2 genes after Pst challenge with capsaicin pre-treatment indicated that SA and JA signaling were primed. These results demonstrate that capsaicin and jaceosidin can be effective triggers of strong induced resistance against both necrotrophic and biotrophic plant pathogens. PMID:24135942

  13. Contrasting impacts of climate-driven flowering phenology on changes in alien and native plant species distributions.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Philip E

    2011-01-01

    Plant phenology is particularly sensitive to climate and a key indicator of environmental change. Globally, first flowering dates (FFDs) have advanced by several days per decade in response to recent climate warming, but, while earlier flowering should allow plant distributions to increase, a link between FFD and range changes has not been observed. • Here I show for 347 species that the extent to which FFD has responded to climate warming is linked to the degree to which their relative distributions have changed over 30 yr across the British Isles. • Native plant species whose phenology did not track climate change declined in distribution, whereas species that became more widespread all exhibited earlier flowering. In contrast, alien neophytes showed both a stronger phenological response to warming and a more marked increase in distribution, but no link between the two. • These trends were consistent both for relative changes in the national distribution and for local abundance. At the national scale, the more recently an alien species became established in Britain, the more likely it was to increase in distribution irrespective of FFD, suggesting that recent changes in alien species distributions are decoupled from climate and driven by other factors. PMID:20807339

  14. Native fungal endophytes suppress an exotic dominant and increase plant diversity over small and large spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Afkhami, Michelle E; Strauss, Sharon Y

    2016-05-01

    Understanding community dynamics and processes, such as the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity, drive succession, and affect invasion susceptibility, is a central goal in ecology and evolution. While most studies of how species interactions affect communities have focused on highly visible macroorganisms, we show that mutualistic microfungal endophytes have community-level effects across their host plant's range and provide the first example of fungal endophytes enhancing plant diversity. A three-year field study in which we experimentally manipulated endophyte abundance in a native Californian grass showed that despite their minute biomass, endophytes dramatically increased plant community diversity (~110% greater increase with endophytes) by suppressing a dominant invasive grass, Bromus diandrus. This effect was also detectable, but smaller, across five additional common gardens spanning ecologically diverse habitats, different climates, and > 400 km of the host grass' range as well as at microspatial scales within gardens. Our study illustrates that mutualistic microbes, while often hidden players, can have unexpectedly large ecological impacts across a wide range of habitats and scales and may be important for promoting diverse communities and ecosystems. PMID:27349093

  15. Two sides of the same coin? Rare and pest plants native to the United States and Canada.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, John Paul; Stephens, Patrick R; Drake, John M

    2012-07-01

    Plant biodiversity is at risk, with as many as 10% of native species in the United States being threatened with extinction. Habitat loss has led a growing number of plant species to become rare or threatened, while the introduction or expansion of pest species has led some habitats to be dominated by relatively few, mostly nonindigenous, species. As humans continue to alter many landscapes and vegetation types, understanding how biological traits determine the location of species along a spectrum from vulnerability to pest status is critical to designing risk assessment protocols, setting conservation priorities, and developing monitoring programs. We used boosted regression trees to predict rarity (based on The Nature Conservancy global rankings) and pest status (defined as legal pest status) from data on traits for the native vascular flora of the United States and Canada including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (n approximately = 15,000). Categories were moderately to highly predictable (AUCpest = 0.87 on 25% holdout test set, AUCrarity = 0.80 on 25% holdout test set). Key predictors were chromosome number, ploidy, seed mass, and a suite of traits suggestive of specialist vs. generalist adaptations (e.g., facultative wetland habitat association and phenotypic variability in growth form and life history). Specifically, pests were associated with high chromosome numbers, polyploidy, and seed masses ranging from 0.1 to 100 mg, whereas rare species were associated with low chromosome numbers, low ploidy, and large (>1000 mg) seed masses. In addition, pest species were disproportionately likely to be facultatively associated with wetlands, and variable in growth form and life history, whereas rare species exhibited an opposite pattern. These results suggest that rare and pest species contrast along trait axes related to dispersal and performance in disturbed or novel habitats. PMID:22908710

  16. Biomonitoring of Air Pollution by Magnetic Measurements of Native and Transplanted Lichens; Two Case Studies Around Cement Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, A.; Paoli, L.; Kodnik, D.; Candotto Carniel, F.; Guttová, A.; Loppi, S.; Sagnotti, L.; Tretiach, M.

    2015-12-01

    A cement plant is a source of dust pollution and lichens are suitable biomonitors of the impact of airborne pollutants released during cement production. We investigated the magnetic and chemical properties of lichens exposed around two cement plants, located in SW Slovakia and in NE Italy, respectively. We characterized the magnetic properties of the lichen Evernia prunastri exposed for 180 days at selected sites around a Slovak cement plant in order to define the magnetic mineralogy and test the correlations between the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters and the content of heavy metals and crustal elements in the thalli. In addition, we compared the magnetic properties of the transplants to those carried by native thalli of the lichen Xanthoria parietina and neighboring soils, barks and rocks. The data indicated a substantial homogenous magnetic mineralogy, with the exception of a sample collected from a basalt quarry. The transplants showed an excellent correlation between the saturation remanent magnetization (Mrs) and the concentration of Fe; the concentrations of the elements linked to cement production also correlated to Mrs values, apart from the basalt quarry sample. In the second context, we characterized the magnetic properties of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea transplanted near a cement plant in NE Italy. The transplants were exposed for 2 months in 40 sites distributed in surrounding rural, urban and industrial areas. In this case, the agreement between the magnetic and elemental datasets pointed out a modest environmental impact of the cement plant compared to the neighboring industrial activities, which resulted in significantly higher values of the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters. Magnetic analyses on lichens can expand the dataset of passive dust collectors in environmental magnetism, with the advantage, for the transplants, of precisely knowing the exposure time and the initial conditions.

  17. Restoration of Native Hawaiian Dryland Forest at Auwahi, Maui

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medieros, Arthur C.; vonAllmen, Erica

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND The powerful volcanoes that formed the high islands of the Hawaiian archipelago block northeasterly tradewinds, creating wet, windward rain forests and much drier, leeward forests. Dryland forests in Hawai'i receive only about 20 inches of rain a year. However, the trees in these forests intercept fog and increase ground moisture levels, thereby enabling these seemingly inhospitable habitats to support a diverse assemblage of plants and animals. Dryland forests of the Hawaiian Islands, like those worldwide, have been heavily impacted by humans both directly and indirectly. Less than 10% of Hawai'i's original dryland forest habitat remains. These forests have been severely impacted by urban development, ranching and agriculture, and invasive species. In particular, browsing animals and alien grasses have caused significant damage. Feral ungulates, including goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs, consume sensitive plants. Alien grasses have become dominant in the understory in many dryland habitats. In addition, these introduced grasses are fire-adapted and have increased the incidence of wildfire in these ecosystems. Native Hawaiian plants did not evolve with frequent fires or mammalian herbivores and typically do not survive well under these pressures.

  18. Changes in carbon pool and stand structure of a native subtropical mangrove forest after inter-planting with exotic species Sonneratia apetala.

    PubMed

    Lu, Weizhi; Yang, Shengchang; Chen, Luzhen; Wang, Wenqing; Du, Xiaona; Wang, Canmou; Ma, Yan; Lin, Guangxuan; Lin, Guanghui

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we compared stand structure, biomass and soil carbon pools, and litterfall production between a mixed mangrove forest consisting of Aegiceras corniculatum inter-planted with the exotic Sonneratia apetala and a native monospecific forest dominated by A. corniculatum in the intertidal area of Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, southeast China. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that inter-planting fast growing exotic mangrove S. apetala into subtropical native mangrove forests will significantly increase C sequestration. Although the tree heights and basal diameters of S. apetala were significantly higher than those of A. corniculatum, the density of the 12-year-old S. apetala trees in the mixed forest was much smaller than that of A. corniculatum in the monospecific forest. In contrast to several previous studies on S. apetala forests planted directly on mangrove-free mudflats, the mixed mangrove forest showed no significant difference in either standing biomass or soil carbon pools from the native monospecific mangrove forest (p = 0.294 and 0.073, respectively) twelve years after inter-planting with S. apetala. Moreover, carbon cycling was likely speeded up after inter-planting S. apetala due to higher litterfall input and lower C/N ratio. Thus, inter-planting fast-growing S. apetala into native mangrove forest is not an effective way to increase carbon sequestration in this subtropical mangrove forest. Given that exotic plant species may exert negative impact on native mangrove species and related epifauna, this fast-growing mangrove species is not suitable for mangrove plantation projects aiming mainly at enhancing carbon sequestration. PMID:24618793

  19. Changes in Carbon Pool and Stand Structure of a Native Subtropical Mangrove Forest after Inter-Planting with Exotic Species Sonneratia apetala

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Weizhi; Yang, Shengchang; Chen, Luzhen; Wang, Wenqing; Du, Xiaona; Wang, Canmou; Ma, Yan; Lin, Guangxuan; Lin, Guanghui

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we compared stand structure, biomass and soil carbon pools, and litterfall production between a mixed mangrove forest consisting of Aegiceras corniculatum inter-planted with the exotic Sonneratia apetala and a native monospecific forest dominated by A. corniculatum in the intertidal area of Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, southeast China. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that inter-planting fast growing exotic mangrove S. apetala into subtropical native mangrove forests will significantly increase C sequestration. Although the tree heights and basal diameters of S. apetala were significantly higher than those of A. corniculatum, the density of the 12-year-old S. apetala trees in the mixed forest was much smaller than that of A. corniculatum in the monospecific forest. In contrast to several previous studies on S. apetala forests planted directly on mangrove-free mudflats, the mixed mangrove forest showed no significant difference in either standing biomass or soil carbon pools from the native monospecific mangrove forest (p = 0.294 and 0.073, respectively) twelve years after inter-planting with S. apetala. Moreover, carbon cycling was likely speeded up after inter-planting S. apetala due to higher litterfall input and lower C/N ratio. Thus, inter-planting fast-growing S. apetala into native mangrove forest is not an effective way to increase carbon sequestration in this subtropical mangrove forest. Given that exotic plant species may exert negative impact on native mangrove species and related epifauna, this fast-growing mangrove species is not suitable for mangrove plantation projects aiming mainly at enhancing carbon sequestration. PMID:24618793

  20. A preliminary study of effects of feral pig density on native Hawaiian montane rainforest vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scheffler, Pamela Y.; Pratt, Linda; Foote, David; Magnacca, Karl

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the effects of different levels of pig density on native Hawaiian forest vegetation. Pig sign was measured across four pig management units in the 'Öla'a Forest from 1998 through 2004 and pig density estimated based upon pig activity. Six paired vegetation monitoring plots were established in the units, each pair straddling a pig fence. Percent cover and species richness of understory vegetation, ground cover, alien species, and preferred pig forage plants were measured in 1997 and 2003 and compared with pig density estimates. Rainfall and hunting effort and success by management personnel were also tracked over the study period. Vegetation monitoring found a higher percentage of native plants in pig-free or low-pig areas compared to those with medium or high pig densities, with no significant change in the percent native plant species between the first and second monitoring periods. Differences between plots were strongly affected by location, with a higher percentage of native plants in western plots, where pig damage has historically been lower. Expansion of this survey with more plots would help improve the statistical power to detect differences in vegetation caused by pigs. Because of the limited vegetation sampling in this study, the results must be viewed as descriptive. We compare the vegetation within 30 x 30 m plots across three thresholds of historical pig density and show how pig densities can change in unanticipated directions within management units. While these results cannot be extrapolated to area-wide effects of pig activity, these data do contribute to a growing body of information on the impacts of feral pigs on Hawaiian plant communities.

  1. Hyperaccumulator of Pb in native plants growing on Peruvian mine tailings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bech, Jaume; Roca, Nuria; Boluda, Rafael; Tume, Pedro; Duran, Paola; Poma, Wilfredo; Sanchez, Isidoro

    2014-05-01

    Tailings usually provide an unfavourable substrate for plant growth because of their extreme pH, low organic matter and nutrients, high concentrations of trace elements and physical disturbance, such as bad soil structure, and low water availability. Heavy metal contamination has also been one serious problem in the vicinity of mine sites due to the discharge and dispersion of mine-waste materials into the ecosystem. Moreover, Pb is considered a target metal when undertaking soil remediation, because it is usually quite immobile and not readily accumulated in upper plant parts. The presence of vegetation reduces water and wind erosion, which may decrease the downward migration of contaminants into the groundwater and improve aesthetical aspects. Plants growing on naturally metal-enriched soils are of particular interest in this perspective, since they are genetically tolerant to high metal concentrations, have an excellent adaptation to this multi-stress environment. Efficient phytoextraction requires plant species combining both high metal tolerance and elevated capacity for metal uptake and metal translocation to easily harvestable plant organs (e.g. shoots). Soil and plant samples were taken in Peru, at a polymetallic mine (mainly Ag, Pb and Cu) in Cajamarca Province, Hualgayoc district. Top soils (0-20 cm) were analysed for physical and chemical properties by standard methods. Total Pb concentrations in top soils were determined by ICP-OES. Pb content in plants were analysed separately (aerial and root system) by ICP-MS. Ti content was used as an indicator for contamination of plant samples with soil particles. Translocation Factor (TF) and Shoot Accumulation Factor (SAF) were determined to assess the tolerance strategies developed by these species and to evaluate their potential for phytoremediation purposes. The non-polluted soils had near neutral pH (6.8±0.1), a great content of organic carbon (42 ± 4.0 g•kg-1) and a silt loamy texture. Soil and plant

  2. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  3. How does altered precipitation and annual grass invasion affect plant N uptake in a native semi-arid shrub community?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Lipson, D.; Cleland, E. E.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns, which will change the timing and amount of plant resources. Precipitation patterns determine water and nitrogen (N) availability, because water stimulates microbial N turnover and N transport. In order for plants to utilize water and N, they must coincide with the phenology and meet physiological requirements of the plant. As resource supply shifts, differences in species' ability to acquire resources will affect plant community composition. Semiarid ecosystems, such as shrublands in Southern California, are particularly sensitive to shifts in precipitation because they are severely water limited. This study takes advantage of the altered phenology and resource demands presented by invasive annual grasses in a native semiarid shrubland. The goal is to understand how altered precipitation patterns affect plant N uptake. Rainfall levels were manipulated to 50% and 150% of ambient levels. It is expected that higher rainfall levels promote annual grass invasion because grasses have higher water and N requirements and begin to grow earlier in the season than shrubs. A 15N tracer was added with the first rain event and plant samples were collected regularly to track the movement of N into the plants. Net soil N accumulation was determined using resin bags. Invasive grasses altered the timing and amount of N uptake but amount of rainfall had less effect on N distribution. 15N was detected sooner and at higher level in grasses than shrubs. 24hours after the first rain event 15N was detectable in grasses, 15N accumulated rapidly and peaked 2 months earlier than shrubs. Shrub 15N levels remained at pre-rain event levels for the first 2 months and began to increase at the beginning of spring, peak mid-spring and decline as the shrubs entered summer dormancy. One year later 15N levels in annual grass litter remained high, while 15N levels in shrubs returned to initial background levels as a result of resorption. 15N

  4. Recent Evolutionary Radiation and Host Plant Specialization in the Xylella fastidiosa Subspecies Native to the United States

    PubMed Central

    Vickerman, Danel B.; Bromley, Robin E.; Russell, Stephanie A.; Hartman, John R.; Morano, Lisa D.; Stouthamer, Richard

    2013-01-01

    The bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, infects many plant species in the Americas, making it a good model for investigating the genetics of host adaptation. We used multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to identify isolates of the native U.S. subsp. multiplex that were largely unaffected by intersubspecific homologous recombination (IHR) and to investigate how their evolutionary history influences plant host specialization. We identified 110 “non-IHR” isolates, 2 minimally recombinant “intermediate” ones (including the subspecific type), and 31 with extensive IHR. The non-IHR and intermediate isolates defined 23 sequence types (STs) which we used to identify 22 plant hosts (73% trees) characteristic of the subspecies. Except for almond, subsp. multiplex showed no host overlap with the introduced subspecies (subspecies fastidiosa and sandyi). MLST sequences revealed that subsp. multiplex underwent recent radiation (<25% of subspecies age) which included only limited intrasubspecific recombination (ρ/θ = 0.02); only one isolated lineage (ST50 from ash) was older. A total of 20 of the STs grouped into three loose phylogenetic clusters distinguished by nonoverlapping hosts (excepting purple leaf plum): “almond,” “peach,” and “oak” types. These host differences were not geographical, since all three types also occurred in California. ST designation was a good indicator of host specialization. ST09, widespread in the southeastern United States, only infected oak species, and all peach isolates were ST10 (from California, Florida, and Georgia). Only ST23 had a broad host range. Hosts of related genotypes were sometimes related, but often host groupings crossed plant family or even order, suggesting that phylogenetically plastic features of hosts affect bacterial pathogenicity. PMID:23354698

  5. An in vitro evaluation of the Native American ethnomedicinal plant Eryngium yuccifolium as a treatment for snakebite envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Price, Joseph A.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: At least seven North American tribes specifically mention the use of Eryngium (typically roots) as an anti-snake venom therapy. As snake envenomation is an endemic, life-threatening medical risk, is there a scientific basis for the Native American ethnomedicine? Could this be demonstrated in an assay amenable to mechanistic evaluation and high throughput screening for later isolation and possible evaluation as a source for a lead drug? Materials and Methods: Proteases, mainly metalloproteases, are thought to be the main pathological agents in most American snake venoms. Water extracts of four plant parts of Eryngium yuccifolium were tested for enzyme inhibition in three highly sensitive in vitro protease assays, with multiple venoms. Results: Interestingly, activity was found in all plant parts, not just the roots, in the general protease assay, also in the most specific assay for collagenases, but less so for elastases where enzymatic activity was low, and against five species of American snake venoms. Inhibition spared the activity of a mammalian elastase, suggesting it has some specificity. In dose response assays, inhibitory activity in extracts of Eryngium was noticeably more effective than randomly chosen plants and comparable to some others. Conclusions: All data shown here are consistent with pharmacological inhibition of proteases in at least selected venoms of common venomous snakes by Eryngium extracts. Moreover, as the genus is widely distributed in America, the ethnological practice of using this plant as an anti-snake venom treatment is supportable, may have been common, and suggests further bioactivity and phytochemical studies are warranted. PMID:27366346

  6. Recent evolutionary radiation and host plant specialization in the Xylella fastidiosa subspecies native to the United States.

    PubMed

    Nunney, Leonard; Vickerman, Danel B; Bromley, Robin E; Russell, Stephanie A; Hartman, John R; Morano, Lisa D; Stouthamer, Richard

    2013-04-01

    The bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, infects many plant species in the Americas, making it a good model for investigating the genetics of host adaptation. We used multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to identify isolates of the native U.S. subsp. multiplex that were largely unaffected by intersubspecific homologous recombination (IHR) and to investigate how their evolutionary history influences plant host specialization. We identified 110 "non-IHR" isolates, 2 minimally recombinant "intermediate" ones (including the subspecific type), and 31 with extensive IHR. The non-IHR and intermediate isolates defined 23 sequence types (STs) which we used to identify 22 plant hosts (73% trees) characteristic of the subspecies. Except for almond, subsp. multiplex showed no host overlap with the introduced subspecies (subspecies fastidiosa and sandyi). MLST sequences revealed that subsp. multiplex underwent recent radiation (<25% of subspecies age) which included only limited intrasubspecific recombination (ρ/θ = 0.02); only one isolated lineage (ST50 from ash) was older. A total of 20 of the STs grouped into three loose phylogenetic clusters distinguished by nonoverlapping hosts (excepting purple leaf plum): "almond," "peach," and "oak" types. These host differences were not geographical, since all three types also occurred in California. ST designation was a good indicator of host specialization. ST09, widespread in the southeastern United States, only infected oak species, and all peach isolates were ST10 (from California, Florida, and Georgia). Only ST23 had a broad host range. Hosts of related genotypes were sometimes related, but often host groupings crossed plant family or even order, suggesting that phylogenetically plastic features of hosts affect bacterial pathogenicity. PMID:23354698

  7. Elemental concentration of a native fern from Greece that grows in a monoculture and of corn plants grown in the same soil with different levels of copper

    SciTech Connect

    Procopiou, J.; Wallace, A.

    1982-07-01

    Analysis of a native fern (Pteridium aquilinum L.) growing in large tracts of soil at about 1200 meters mean sea level in Greece indicated that it tolerated low levels of copper. Corn plants (Zea mays L.) grown in potted soil from the area did respond slightly to Cu added to the soil.

  8. Archaeal rhizosphere communities differ between the native and invasive lines of the wetland plant Phragmites australis (common reed) in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phragmites australis, a common wetland plant species worldwide, is best known in North America as persistent invasive species. Only in recent decades was a native line, Phragmites australis subsp. americanus, confirmed in North American wetlands. This study investigated whether the two lines suppo...

  9. A Test of Four Models to Predict the Risk of Naturalization of Non-native Woody Plants in the Chicago Region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Accurate methods to predict the naturalization of non-native woody plants are key components of risk-management programs being considered by nursery and landscape professionals. The objective of this study was to evaluate four decision-tree models to predict naturalization, first tested in Iowa, on...

  10. Archaeal rhizosphere communities differ between the native and invasive lines of the wetland plant phragmites australis (common reed) in a Chesapeake Bay subestuary

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phragmites australis, a common wetland plant species worldwide, is best known in North America as persistent invasive species. Only in recent decades was a native line, Phragmites australis subsp. americanus, confirmed in North American wetlands. This study investigated whether the two lines suppo...

  11. Oviposition strategy as a means of local adaptation to plant defence in native and invasive populations of the viburnum leaf beetle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Herbivores have been hypothesized to adapt locally to variation in plant defences and such adaptation could facilitate novel associations in the context of biological invasions. Here, we show that in the native range of the viburnum leaf beetle (VLB, Pyrrhalta viburni), two populations of geographi...

  12. Phosphorus nutrition of phosphorus-sensitive Australian native plants: threats to plant communities in a global biodiversity hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Lambers, Hans; Ahmedi, Idriss; Berkowitz, Oliver; Dunne, Chris; Finnegan, Patrick M.; Hardy, Giles E. St J.; Jost, Ricarda; Laliberté, Etienne; Pearse, Stuart J.; Teste, François P.

    2013-01-01

    South-western Australia harbours a global biodiversity hotspot on the world's most phosphorus (P)-impoverished soils. The greatest biodiversity occurs on the most severely nutrient-impoverished soils, where non-mycorrhizal species are a prominent component of the flora. Mycorrhizal species dominate where soils contain slightly more phosphorus. In addition to habitat loss and dryland salinity, a major threat to plant biodiversity in this region is eutrophication due to enrichment with P. Many plant species in the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are extremely sensitive to P, due to a low capability to down-regulate their phosphate-uptake capacity. Species from the most P-impoverished soils are also very poor competitors at higher P availability, giving way to more competitive species when soil P concentrations are increased. Sources of increased soil P concentrations include increased fire frequency, run-off from agricultural land, and urban activities. Another P source is the P-fertilizing effect of spraying natural environments on a landscape scale with phosphite to reduce the impacts of the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which itself is a serious threat to biodiversity. We argue that alternatives to phosphite for P. cinnamomi management are needed urgently, and propose a strategy to work towards such alternatives, based on a sound understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms of the action of phosphite in plants that are susceptible to P. cinnamomi. The threats we describe for the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are likely to be very similar for other P-impoverished environments, including the fynbos in South Africa and the cerrado in Brazil. PMID:27293594

  13. Phosphorus nutrition of phosphorus-sensitive Australian native plants: threats to plant communities in a global biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Lambers, Hans; Ahmedi, Idriss; Berkowitz, Oliver; Dunne, Chris; Finnegan, Patrick M; Hardy, Giles E St J; Jost, Ricarda; Laliberté, Etienne; Pearse, Stuart J; Teste, François P

    2013-01-01

    South-western Australia harbours a global biodiversity hotspot on the world's most phosphorus (P)-impoverished soils. The greatest biodiversity occurs on the most severely nutrient-impoverished soils, where non-mycorrhizal species are a prominent component of the flora. Mycorrhizal species dominate where soils contain slightly more phosphorus. In addition to habitat loss and dryland salinity, a major threat to plant biodiversity in this region is eutrophication due to enrichment with P. Many plant species in the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are extremely sensitive to P, due to a low capability to down-regulate their phosphate-uptake capacity. Species from the most P-impoverished soils are also very poor competitors at higher P availability, giving way to more competitive species when soil P concentrations are increased. Sources of increased soil P concentrations include increased fire frequency, run-off from agricultural land, and urban activities. Another P source is the P-fertilizing effect of spraying natural environments on a landscape scale with phosphite to reduce the impacts of the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which itself is a serious threat to biodiversity. We argue that alternatives to phosphite for P. cinnamomi management are needed urgently, and propose a strategy to work towards such alternatives, based on a sound understanding of the physiological and molecular mechanisms of the action of phosphite in plants that are susceptible to P. cinnamomi. The threats we describe for the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot are likely to be very similar for other P-impoverished environments, including the fynbos in South Africa and the cerrado in Brazil. PMID:27293594

  14. Metal uptake by native plants and revegetation potential of mining sulfide-rich waste-dumps.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Patrícia; Valente, Teresa; Pamplona, Jorge; Braga, Maria Amália Sequeira; Pissarra, José; Gil, José António Grande; de la Torre, Maria Luisa

    2014-01-01

    Waste dumps resulting from metal exploitation create serious environmental damage, providing soil and water degradation over long distances. Phytostabilization can be used to remediate these mining sites. The present study aims to evaluate the behavior of selected plant species (Erica arborea, Ulex europaeus, Agrostis delicatula, and Cytisus multiflorus) that grow spontaneously in three sulfide-rich waste-dumps (Lapa Grande, Cerdeirinha, and Penedono, Portugal). These sites represent different geological, climatic and floristic settings. The results indicate distinctive levels and types of metal contamination: Penedono presents highest sulfate and metal contents, especially As, with low levels of Fe. In contrast, at Lapa Grande and Cerdeirinha Fe, Mn, and Zn are the dominant metals. In accordance, each waste dump develops a typical plant community, providing a specific vegetation inventory. At Penedono, Agrostis delicatula accumulates As, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Zn, showing higher bioaccumulation factors (BF) for Mn (32.1) and As (24.4). At Cerdeirinha, Ulex europaeus has the highest BF for Pb (984), while at Lapa Grande, Erica arborea presents high BF for Mn (9.8) and Pb (8.1). Regarding TF, low values were obtained for most of the metals, especially As (TF < 1). Therefore, the results obtained from representative plant species suggest appropriate behavior for phytostabilization measures. PMID:24933904

  15. Nutritional characteristics of the leaves of native plants growing in adverse soils of humid tropical lowlands.

    PubMed

    Osaki, Mitsuru; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Ishizawa, Tetsuya; Nilnond, Chairatna; Nuyim, Tanit; Shinano, Takuro; Urayama, Masaru; Tuah, Sehat Jaya

    2003-01-01

    Acid sulfate, peat, sandy podzolic, and saline soils are widely distributed in the lowlands of Thailand and Malaysia. The nutrient concentrations in the leaves of plants grown in these type of soils were studied with the aim of developing a nutritional strategy for adapting to such problem soils. In sago and oil palms that were well-adapted to peat soil, the N, P, and K concentrations were the same in the mature leaves, while the Ca, Mg, Na, and Fe concentrations were higher in the mature leaves of the oil palm than of the sago palm. Melastoma malabathricum and Melaleuca cajuputi plants that were well-adapted to low pH soils, peat. and acid sulfate soils were also studied. It was observed that a high amount of Al accumulated in the M. marabathricum leaves, while Al did not accumulate in M. cajuputi leaves. M. cajuputi plants accumulated large amounts of Na in their leaves or stems regardless of the exchangeable Na concentration in the soil, while M. malabathricum that was growing in saline-affected soils excluded Na. Positive relationships between macronutrients were recognized between P and N, between K and N, and between P and K. Al showed antagonistic relationships with P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Na. Na also showed antagonistic relationships with P, K, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al. Fe showed weak antagonistic relationships with Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al. PMID:12906350

  16. Invasive forb benefits from water savings by native plants and carbon fertilization under elevated CO2 and warming.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, Dana M; Resco, Víctor; Morgan, Jack A; Williams, David G; Lecain, Daniel R; Hardy, Erik M; Pendall, Elise; Bladyka, Emma

    2013-12-01

    As global changes reorganize plant communities, invasive plants may benefit. We hypothesized that elevated CO2 and warming would strongly influence invasive species success in a semi-arid grassland, as a result of both direct and water-mediated indirect effects. To test this hypothesis, we transplanted the invasive forb Linaria dalmatica into mixed-grass prairie treated with free-air CO2 enrichment and infrared warming, and followed survival, growth, and reproduction over 4 yr. We also measured leaf gas exchange and carbon isotopic composition in L. dalmatica and the dominant native C3 grass Pascopyrum smithii. CO2 enrichment increased L. dalmatica biomass 13-fold, seed production 32-fold, and clonal expansion seven-fold, while warming had little effect on L. dalmatica biomass or reproduction. Elevated CO2 decreased stomatal conductance in P. smithii, contributing to higher soil water, but not in L. dalmatica. Elevated CO2 also strongly increased L. dalmatica photosynthesis (87% versus 23% in P. smithii), as a result of both enhanced carbon supply and increased soil water. More broadly, rapid growth and less conservative water use may allow invasive species to take advantage of both carbon fertilization and water savings under elevated CO2 . Water-limited ecosystems may therefore be particularly vulnerable to invasion as CO2 increases. PMID:24033081

  17. The first report of Pb and Zn accumulation in some native plants from the Peruvian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bech, Jaume; Duran, Paola; Poma, Wilfredo; Sánchez, Isidoro; Barceló, Juan; Roca, Núria; Boluda, Rafael; Roca-Pérez, Luís.; Poschenrieder, Charlotte

    2010-05-01

    Until recent decades little has been known about the remediation of mining sites using metalophytes in Latin America. Metal mining has helped to create severe and diverse environmental problems. The present study proposed to identify and characterize spontaneously growing heavy metal tolerant plant species in the area around the polimetalic mine in Hualgayoc (Cajamarca, Peru). These species are potentially useful for phytorremediation. Plant and soils from their rhizosphere were sampled and analized for concentration of As, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn. Translocation Factor (TF) defined the metals concentrations ratio between shoots and root biomass and Shoot Accumulation Factor (SAF) the metal concentration ratio between shoot and soil concentration were determined and used to measure the effectiveness of a plant in concentrating metals into its biomass. The soils were neutral pH (7,4±0,5) with variable content of organic carbon (2,4±1,1) and loam texture: sand (42,9±10,8) and clay (16,7±4,6). According to the total metals, all samples exceeded toxicity thresholds, high Pb (20016 ± 32559 mg•kg-1) and Zn (22512 ± 13056 mg•kg-1) concentrations were detected. High shoot Pb and Zn concentrations were found in Plantaginaceae Plantago orbignyana (6998 and 9617 μg/g); Brassicaceae Lepidium bipinnatifidum (6886 and 5034 mg•kg-1) and Asteraceae Senecio sp (4253 and 3870 mg•kg-1) and Baccharis latifolia (2554 and 1284 mg•kg-1 respectively). The high values of TFs indicates that the plants effectively traslocated metales. Lepidium bipinnatifidum shows the highest TFs values (143 in Pb and 21,5 in Zn). The SAF values were much lower than those reported for other species such as Paspalum sp in the Peruvian copper mine, which may be due to a high top soil Pb and Zn concentrations. These species can surely be considered as interesting for phytoextraction, due not only to its accumulative capacity but also since they showed an elevated transfer factor and grew in the

  18. Native Americans' Interest in Horticulture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Mary Hockenberry

    1999-01-01

    Focus groups arranged by local Native American Master Gardeners on two Minnesota reservations determined community interest in extension-horticulture programs. Topics of interest included food preservation and historical Native-American uses of plants. (SK)

  19. LEAF AREA INDEX (LAI) CHANGE DETECTION ON LOBLOLLY PINE FOREST STANDS WITH COMPLETE UNDERSTORY REMOVAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The confounding effect of understory vegetation contributions to satellite derived
    estimates of leaf area index (LAI) was investigated on two loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest stands located in the southeastern United States. Previous studies have shown that understory can a...

  20. LEAF AREA INDEX (LAI) CHANGE DETECTION ON LOBLOLLY PINE FOREST STANDS WITH COMPLETE UNDERSTORY REMOVAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The confounding effect of understory vegetation contributions to satellite derived estimates of leaf area index (LAI) was investigated on two loblolly pine forest stands located in the southeastern United States. Previous studies have shown that understory can account from 0-40%...

  1. Understory response to varying fire frequencies after 20 years of prescribed burning in an upland oak forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, J.A.; Hallgren, S.W.; Fuhlendorf, S.D.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems in the eastern United States that were shaped by fire over thousands of years of anthropogenic burning recently have been subjected to fire suppression resulting in significant changes in vegetation composition and structure and encroachment by invasive species. Renewed interest in use of fire to manage such ecosystems will require knowledge of effects of fire regime on vegetation. We studied the effects of one aspect of the fire regime, fire frequency, on biomass, cover and diversity of understory vegetation in upland oak forests prescribe-burned for 20 years at different frequencies ranging from zero to five fires per decade. Overstory canopy closure ranged from 88 to 96% and was not affected by fire frequency indicating high tolerance of large trees for even the most frequent burning. Understory species richness and cover was dominated by woody reproduction followed in descending order by forbs, C3 graminoids, C4 grasses, and legumes. Woody plant understory cover did not change with fire frequency and increased 30% from one to three years after a burn. Both forbs and C3 graminoids showed a linear increase in species richness and cover as fire frequency increased. In contrast, C4 grasses and legumes did not show a response to fire frequency. The reduction of litter by fire may have encouraged regeneration of herbaceous plants and helped explain the positive response of forbs and C3 graminoids to increasing fire frequency. Our results showed that herbaceous biomass, cover, and diversity can be managed with long-term prescribed fire under the closed canopy of upland oak forests. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  2. The width of riparian habitats for understory birds in an Amazonian forest.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Anderson Saldanha; Bruno, Renato Saragoça; Pimentel, Tania Pena; Sanaiotti, Tânia Margarete; Magnusson, William Ernest

    2012-03-01

    Riparian habitats are important for the maintenance of regional biodiversity. Many studies have compared bird distributions between riparian and non-riparian habitats but have not established how wide riparian habitats used by birds are, as measured by distance from the nearest stream. We investigated the distribution of understory birds along gradients of distance from streams, soil clay content, and slope in a central Amazonian forest, by mist-netting birds three times in 45 plots. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to reduce the dimensionality of species quantitative (abundance) and qualitative (presence-absence) composition to one multivariate axis. Estimates of the width of riparian habitats as indicated by understory birds depended on the community attribute considered, measuring 90 m for species quantitative composition and 140 m for species qualitative composition. Species distributions were correlated with clay content but were independent of slope, while distance from streams was positively correlated with clay content but independent of slope. Clay content affects plant species composition, which in turn, may influence bird species composition. However, distribution patterns of birds in relation to distance from streams are consistent among studies carried out in many different temperate and tropical regions, indicating an effect of distance from streams itself. Protection of riparian habitats is one of the most widely used conservation strategies, and Brazilian environmental legislation mandates the protection of a 30 m wide strip of riparian vegetation on either side of small streams. We show that the protected strip should be much wider and recommend strategies to place other forms of land protection contiguous with riparian areas so that Brazilian environmental legislation better fulfills its role of protecting biodiversity associated with riparian habitats. PMID:22611867

  3. Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Wang, Shunzhong; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Plantation and secondary forests form increasingly important components of the global forest cover, but our current knowledge about their potential contribution to biodiversity conservation is limited. We surveyed understory plant and carabid species assemblages at three distinct regions in temperate northeastern China, dominated by mature forest (Changbaishan Nature Reserve, sampled in 2011 and 2012), secondary forest (Dongling Mountain, sampled in 2011 and 2012), and forest plantation habitats (Bashang Plateau, sampled in 2006 and 2007), respectively. The α-diversity of both taxonomic groups was highest in plantation forests of the Bashang Plateau. Beetle α-diversity was lowest, but plant and beetle species turnover peaked in the secondary forests of Dongling Mountain, while habitats in the Changbaishan Nature Reserve showed the lowest turnover rates for both taxa. Changbaishan Nature Reserve harbored the highest proportion of forest specialists. Our results suggest that in temperate regions of northern China, the protected larch plantation forest established over extensive areas might play a considerable role in maintaining a high biodiversity in relation to understory herbaceous plant species and carabid assemblages, which can be seen as indicators of forest disturbance. The high proportion of phytophagous carabids and the rarity of forest specialists reflect the relatively homogenous, immature status of the forest ecosystems on the Bashang Plateau. China's last remaining large old-growth forests like the ones on Changbaishan represent stable, mature ecosystems which require particular conservation attention. PMID:25691978

  4. Nonindigenous Plant Advantage in Native and Exotic Australian Grasses under Experimental Drought, Warming, and Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Godfree, Robert C.; Robertson, Bruce C.; Gapare, Washington J.; Ivković, Miloš; Marshall, David J.; Lepschi, Brendan J.; Zwart, Alexander B.

    2013-01-01

    A general prediction of ecological theory is that climate change will favor invasive nonindigenous plant species (NIPS) over native species. However, the relative fitness advantage enjoyed by NIPS is often affected by resource limitation and potentially by extreme climatic events such as drought. Genetic constraints may also limit the ability of NIPS to adapt to changing climatic conditions. In this study, we investigated evidence for potential NIPS advantage under climate change in two sympatric perennial stipoid grasses from southeast Australia, the NIPS Nassella neesiana and the native Austrostipa bigeniculata. We compared the growth and reproduction of both species under current and year 2050 drought, temperature and CO2 regimes in a multifactor outdoor climate simulation experiment, hypothesizing that NIPS advantage would be higher under more favorable growing conditions. We also compared the quantitative variation and heritability of growth traits in populations of both species collected along a 200 km climatic transect. In contrast to our hypothesis we found that the NIPS N. neesiana was less responsive than A. bigeniculata to winter warming but maintained higher reproductive output during spring drought. However, overall tussock expansion was far more rapid in N. neesiana, and so it maintained an overall fitness advantage over A. bigeniculata in all climate regimes. N. neesiana also exhibited similar or lower quantitative variation and growth trait heritability than A. bigeniculata within populations but greater variability among populations, probably reflecting a complex past introduction history. We found some evidence that additional spring warmth increases the impact of drought on reproduction but not that elevated atmospheric CO2 ameliorates drought severity. Overall, we conclude that NIPS advantage under climate change may be limited by a lack of responsiveness to key climatic drivers, reduced genetic variability in range-edge populations, and complex

  5. Multiscale responses of soil stability and invasive plants to removal of non-native grazers from an arid conservation reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Huso, M.; Pyke, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances and ecosystem recovery from disturbance both involve numerous processes that operate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Few studies have investigated how gradients of disturbance intensity and ecosystem responses are distributed across multiple spatial resolutions and also how this relationship changes through time during recovery. We investigated how cover of non-native species and soil-aggregate stability (a measure of vulnerability to erosion by water) in surface and s